I didn’t know what to make for dinner the other night. I had some tart dough tucked away in the freezer, and because I was having trouble closing the door (er…what else is new?), I realized it was time to clear some of the stuff out. But I also had some beautiful tomatoes on hand, and a tub of fromage frais (fresh spreadable cheese), which the universe seemed to be telling me that I should make a tart out of.

I’ll admit that I’m not the most creative person with tomatoes. I usually eat them just as they are; I have a hard time messing too much with heirloom tomatoes since they are so precious around here. My usual M.O. is to slice them up, drizzle them with good olive oil, sprinkle them with salt, and eat them that way. But when the stars – or ingredients – aligned in my kitchen, a Tomato Tart seemed destined for our dinner.

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During the summer, at outdoor flea markets and brocantes, you’ll invariably find me on my hands and knees, rifle through boxes that are jammed with stuff, since ya never know what you’ll pluck out. I’m particularly keen on finding old French baking items, although I’ve learned that all those pretty little tin tart molds are best left to clutter someone else’s kitchen drawers. And since…

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La vache! as they say in France, or “Holy cow.” It’s been quite a week, with temperatures hitting 108ºF (42ºC) on Thursday. With little reliance on fans or air-conditioning, the city melted down for the day as people stayed indoors with their windows closed (on the belief that opening them lets hot air in), and the curtains drawn. I defied the odds and rose from…

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When the bakery sign went up, I thought, “Well, that’s rather audacious. I wonder what it’s going to be?” A bakery had been in that space, which had once been a pretty good, but had slid in quality, until one day, the doors closed for good. It’s a bummer to see a place decline but exciting when something better opens in its place, which happened….

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My friend Anne Ditmeyer has lived in Paris for over a decade and not only knows her way around town, but also helps others get around. She offers personalized Navigate Tours, she’s also launched Navigate Paris Online, to help you plan the perfect trip yourself. On her blog, Prêt à Voyager, she’s covered everything from the delights (and hazards) of Paris swimming pools, to her…

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It was definitely mercury in retrograde recently when I got a phone call at 8:20pm, while we were having dinner at home, from a restaurant I’d reserved a table at, asking if we were showing up for our 8pm reservation. I was sure I had reserved for the following night, but – nope – I erred and our reservation was for that evening. (Fortunately, the…

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We survived the recent heatwave, which seemed like a good time to update my post on Vanilla Ice Cream, with new pictures. Probably the worst thing you can do in a heatwave is photograph ice cream, but I did it. As a former restaurant line cook, I can cook or bake through anything. Having a batch of freshly churned ice cream when it’s that hot,…

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Tomatoes didn’t originally come from Italy, but they’ve certainly made up for lost time. Now it’s hard to think of Italian cuisine without them, from classic dishes, from Pasta all’Arrabiata and Salade Caprese, to Pizza Margherita and Panzanella, a bread and tomato salad that’s one of my favorite things to make, and eat. This summer salad gets tossed with basil, which boosts its appeal (at…

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I don’t go to many press events. It’s not that I don’t like getting to taste new and interesting things, or check out restaurants before they open and to get a glimpse of what they’re going to do. But I prefer to go and have a relaxing time, and to enjoy and experience the place as a customer would. Another thing that’s challenging about press…

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