Cheese Ball

The French concept of terroir, a confluence of elements – soil, atmosphere, weather, and other factors – that gives something a certain taste or flavor to foods and wine, is often spoken of as an elusive concept outside of France. But it does exist in the United States, as well as other countries. We just don’t have a word for it. The French, being so…

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The most interesting neighborhood right now in Paris is the 9th arrondissement. Walk in any various directions from a métro station after you land there, and you’ll find yourself in a completely different neighborhoods, whether it’s surrounded by stately buildings on the Avenue Trudaine or the Square d’Anvers lorded over by Sacré Cœur (which hosts one of the rare afternoon/early evening outdoor markets in Paris). There’s the rue…

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[UPDATE: This sale is now over, but the book is available online, or at your local bookseller.] Get ready for holiday baking with the electronic version of Ready for Dessert on sale for only $1.99 for a limited time. It’s a collection of my all-time favorite baking recipes, from a spicy, moist Fresh Ginger Cake, just in time for the holidays, to the best Chocolate Chip Cookies. Ready for…

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Cold Toast

The French are known for their fine cuisine. Their lavish lunches and sumptuous dinners are legendary. But breakfast, or le petit déjeuner, might seem to get short shrift, to the dismay of travelers coming from places where breakfast is a more elaborate affair. I remember as a tourist in France, I felt so French having a baguette or croissant for breakfast, smearing jam and butter on either, enjoying…

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Panna cotta is incredibly easy to make, and if it takes you more than five minutes to put it together, you’re taking too long! The result is a silky, custard-like dessert that pairs well with fresh fruit, a compote of baked fruits, or even just a spoonful of homemade jam. Interestingly, it’s become popular in Paris and nowadays, it’s just as common to see it on…

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Fulgurances

It’s been a hectic year and I haven’t gotten out as much as I’d like to, in spite of a long list of places I’m trying to visit in Paris, and a more I plan to check out this fall. Early in the summer, I reserved a table at Fulgurances, intrigued by the food of Israeli chef Tamir Nahmias, former executive chef at Frenchie. His…

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Every summer, we head to Burgundy to visit French friends who live abroad, but who return for the summer. They quickly get reacquainted with the more leisurely lifestyle in the French countryside, which include enjoying Chablis and visiting the small town markets. Because we’re such top-notch guests, pitching on with the cooking and making sure their pool gets used, we always get an invite and jump at…

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Tinos, Greece

Tinos isn’t one of those Greek islands that you hear a lot about. It doesn’t have exciting nightlife, like neighboring Mykonos, and while the weather is warm, the winds can be a bit fierce. But the upside is that it’s ruggedly beautiful and if you go during off-season, you’ll have a lot of the island to yourself and you can drive several kilometers and not come…

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Caponata

I used to have a hard time with certain cooked vegetable salads, such as ratatouille, even though people have insisted that I would like their version. Which I’ve always found odd, because if someone told me they didn’t like chocolate (I know – horrors!), I would not try to sell them on a brownie or chocolate cake. Ratatouille always tastes like a lot of stewed vegetable all mixed up,…

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