Blog Notes

basket of wine

Links Page

There’s a splashy new look to my Links page. Voted off the island is the long list of blogs with annotations, and now you’ll find an ever-changing feed of blogs and websites I read and find interesting. It will change as the various sites update, all by its lonesome, so you can check in there as frequently as you can (well, when the boss isn’t looking…) and see what I’m reading. And hopefully you’ll find and discover more sites about food and Paris.

(Thanks to Elise of Simply Recipes for the idea, and her tutorial. And to my web designer, Jesse, who did in probably ten minutes what would’ve taken a tech knucklehead like me ten hours.)

Sharing is Caring

You might, or might not, notice that at the end of each post is a little green zig-zaggy Share This icon. If you want to share a post on any of your favorite social networking sites, such as Stumbleupon, Digg, and Facebook, or email a post to someone, you can do it with a single click. Ok, I think it may be two clicks. But still, that’s not too much to do. Is it?

I’m not only a fan of doing this, but I’m the President (at least around here) and do this frequently with sites I like, sharing them on my Facebook page, so I practice what I preach, spreading the seeds of link love far and wide.

Speaking of Linking

Some readers like to leave links in the comments section, which is fine, especially if the link leads to something pertaining to the post. But some of them are quite l-o-o-o-n-g, with a capital L. And when they’re too long, they can’t be read or clicked on.

So if you can, it’s best to code them as a hyperlink, which means that readers can click on the words, which’ll take them to the link. There’s a couple of tutorials to learn how to do that, at Food Blog S’cool and Eggbeater.


I love hearing from you, and appreciate all the comments that are left here. But I’m unable to answer all the e-mails and queries. (And I just found 686 messages patiently awaiting in my spam folder…mon dieu!…which have been lurking in there for weeks and weeks.) If you have a comment about a particular post, it’s best to leave that information there. And believe me, the first thing I do in the morning, and the last thing I do at night, is read the comments on the site. I’ve even been known to get up in the middle of the night and read comments after nature’s called, too.

If you have a question about Paris, first look in my FAQ and the My Paris pages. Or use the search engine at the top. There’s a lot of information on the site, from bakeries and chocolatiers I like to visit to transit information and hotel suggestions, which hopefully you’ll find helpful.

Subscribe and E-mail Notifications

You can subscribe to the site and have posts e-mailed to you. Simply enter your e-mail address in the field in the far right sidebar where is says ‘Subscribe‘. To avoid things going into your spam folder (…ummm…) you might need to mark messages from my domain as ‘not spam’.

To receive my newsletter, which has pretty pictures, silly stories, respectable recipes not found on the site, plus late-breaking news, you can leave your e-mail address in the field just beneath that, in the right sidebar.

In neither instance is your e-mail address shared or used for any other purpose.


Second Paris Chocolate Tour for 2009 Added

Speaking of my domain, due to overwhelming demand, my upcoming Paris Chocolate Tour with Mort Rosenblum in May is sold-out and there’s a waiting list, so we’ve decided to probably add an additional week in April of 2009. Priority is going to be given to those who are on the waiting list, but if you’re interested in coming, depending on space, there might be additional openings.

With airfares dropping, now might be a good time to visit Paris before the summer, when prices rise substantially. For further inquiries or to get on that list, use the contact link on my Tours page, at the end of the tour description.


Thanks to all of you who’ve been reading the site and enjoying it. Since the redesign, its been much easier to update for me and I hope cleaner to read and navigate for you.

I’m really happy to have a place to share my stories about Paris, baking tips, recipes, favorite things I find around to eat, and other goofy stuff.

I really do appreciate you folks who stop by regularly and let me share my tales…so thanks to you all!

Okay, One More Thing…

I was recently struck by the story of a 17-year old boy who started a project to buy fuel-efficient stoves for the people who live in refugee camps in Darfur. In order to cook food, the destitute women and young girls have to leave the camps and walk for hours to collect twigs of wood for fires. During their search, many of them have been assaulted or killed.

Spencer Brody’s project, Stoves for Darfur is working to supply these women and their families with stoves that are very fuel-efficient, by up to 75%, which means the women have to make far fewer dangerous expeditions out of the camps. For only $30 per stove, it’s an amazing project, especially when you consider a teenage boy is the brainchild behind it.

Unfortunately the genocide doesn’t seem to be ending soon, and although we usually briefly see these refugees on the news while flipping channels, it’s very easy to help. (What Is the What is an outstanding book, which puts a human face on the situation in Sudan, and is a must-read.) Check out his site and for less than the price of a round of cocktails, you can make a huge difference in the quality of life for others who have nothing. I bought two, so far.

You too can do it! Purchase a Stove here.

Never miss a post!


  • Susan
    January 10, 2009 10:32am

    My husband backpacked Europe in college; “Needs paint” only intrigues me more. Unfortunately, he holds firm to that (negative impression) and told me I need to find another traveling companion if I want to go see for myself. Well, at least I get to see the kinds of things that interest me through your eyes, (and taste buds) and for that, I am grateful. You’ll do for now…I mean that in the best possible way! I found your site through Smitten Kitchen and have become a loyal groupie ever since. Thank you for all the recipes, interesting exploits and humorous insights. I’m having a great time in Paris through you!

  • January 10, 2009 10:52am

    thanks for writing about stoves for darfur! i made a donation.

  • January 10, 2009 12:28pm

    That’s a cool idea for the links page, thanks for pointing to the tutorial!

  • January 10, 2009 12:29pm

    I was off sugar for many years because when I was younger I’d have an allergic skin reaction when I overdosed on sugar (and my threshold was low :(). I moved to Spain to lead a healthier lifestyle and it took me more than two years to finish my first bag of sugar I bought here. One day I discovered your site and it was the end of my sugar abstinence era. I’d also grown older in the mean time so I no longer am hypersensitive to sugar anymore. The allergy had something to do with the activity of the oil glands in my skin and well, when you grow older these things dry up a bit. Hooray for mature skin! :P

    So thank you David for your blog. I love it and let me say that it helps me remind myself of the little pleasures in life and I’m a happier person because of this.

    All the best to you in 2009.

  • delphine
    January 10, 2009 12:38pm

    ooohh I like the links page. I may never get anything productive done ever again. :)

  • Sam
    January 10, 2009 12:48pm

    Thank you for bringing attention to the stoves for Darfur project and ‘What is the What’. I love that book, and have been urging my family and friends to check out

    I am a huge fan of your blog!

  • January 10, 2009 3:22pm

    Hi David!

    A lot of information on these blog notes! I’ll love to do a chocolate tour, right now (I’m chocoholic since I’ve memory..)
    As an active social media user especially at Stumbleupon and less degree facebook it’s important this “Share This” icon to really spread the articles. I don’t why all bloggers don’t have it.

    Have a Great Year 2009!

    Cheers from Uruguay.

    Gera .:. sweetsfoods

  • January 10, 2009 3:24pm

    Thank you for the info on the stove program. What an excellent idea – it can be overwhelming trying to know how you can help others in such a situation when you hear about what is happening in Darfur. To create a program that is simple and straightforward yet seems like it would be so helpful in the real day-to-day lives of these women is really brilliant.

    Also I ditto the thanks above for your blog! So many times I will be mid-cooking project and will trot over to laptop to search for an answer here (usually when attempting for the gajillionth time my arch nemesis, caramel) when I’m too impatient to check your books.

  • granuaile
    January 10, 2009 3:28pm

    Hello David, thank you for reminding us of Darfur again. We must not forget!
    Personally I am a big fan of the solar cookers; no fuel needed!

    I Googled to find some urls on solar cookers:

    And especially for the Dutch: Stichting Solarcookers voor Ontwikkelingslanden [foundation for solar cookers in emerging countries]

    Hope this is of any help. Thank you for your blog. Your entries make my feedreader and me smile :D

  • Dana Lundblad
    January 10, 2009 3:49pm

    First of all, a humongous fan. Never comment, but devour your site with regularity. So thanks. Prompted to comment today, only because Darfur is misspelled in one of your hyperlinks. (o:

    Anywho, hello from Berkeley, California!!

  • January 10, 2009 8:30pm

    Wow… what a story about stoves for darfur. thanks for bringing attention to it. you really do have a great blog david.

  • January 10, 2009 9:17pm

    Thanks so much for the Darfur story — great project. And thanks, too, for writing the post I keep meaning to write, with clear explanations of some of the “blog mechanics”.

  • January 10, 2009 10:54pm

    With the constant news updates about the global economic down turn, failing stock markets and looming depression, people like young Spencer Brodsky restore my hope in the strength and integrity of the human spirit! Thank you David for bringing this to my attention… now to spread the word ;o)

  • January 11, 2009 3:18am

    Thanks for the updates (and the total time-sink of links, oy). And for the Darfur project mention. That’s a great and good idea.

  • January 11, 2009 8:43am

    Don’t you love housekeeping posts? :) You’re doing good, I don’t envy your Inbox :)

  • Jen
    January 11, 2009 10:29am

    I actually *like* housekeeping posts! Must be my type A personality… I am wondering though, if next time that you make adjustments, could you add the little link thing somewhere on each entry that allows me to go forward to the more recent post and back to the one just previous to the one I am reading? That way when I miss a few days, I’m able to click from one to the next, rather than reading one post, then clicking back to the home page, then clicking on the next one, then back to the home page, etc., etc,. etc. I know, silly request, huh?

    Love the info on the stoves– thank you for sharing it!

  • sp
    January 11, 2009 10:43am

    Hi David,

    Love your site – it’s part of my daily morning routine (sometimes more). Really like what you did with the links section. Any word on if your first book will be re-released?

    Thanks for the entertainment and fabulous recipes!

  • January 11, 2009 12:45pm

    the new links section is awesome :), and thank you too for the funny stories and yummy recipes !

    the only problem I have since the redesign is the “remember personal info” checkbox that doesn’t seem to work anymore. My personal info is never remembered, and the checkbox keeps unchecking, no matter what I try :/ …

    Am I alone with this problem on the site ?

    actually the checkbox was OK till the time I tried to replace some personnal data : it erased the cookie but it can be written anymore, or more accurately it IS written, but with a mistake or something that keeps it from beeing used by the browser. I tried to erase all cookies very carefully, to erase anything from, then to check the box again, with or without charging the page before… I also tried to write again inside the cookie, to crush the cookie with an accurate one that was from a long time ago on another computer, to fully open the security levels for cookies… but nothing worked at all, this stubborn little piece of *£ù*@|# does not want to cooperate.

    I ‘d never thought I could have one day a tooth against a cookie :)

  • January 11, 2009 2:01pm

    Love that links page. Thanks for talking about the Stoves for Darfur project.

  • Gina
    January 11, 2009 3:11pm

    I just wanted to take a moment to join the chorus of folks who agree that your writing is superb and your posts are always enjoyable and informative. You are a bright spot of humor and humanity in my day. Thank you too for calling attention to the Stoves for Darfur project. While it’s tragic that such a need even exists, it’s great to know that there is such a straight-forward way to help.

  • January 11, 2009 4:46pm

    ah – an april date sounds lovely… i am spending a week in alsace with my dad (he’s turning 60 this year) just before easter and might be planning to stop over in paris. but i can’t spend a whole week, although i’d love nothing more than indulge in chocolate for six days in a row!
    looking forwards to reading many more of your amusing (and sometimes bewildering) stories on your blog and hope we’ll get a chance to meet again soon!

  • January 11, 2009 4:51pm

    Krysalia: That happens to me on certain blogs, too, although I haven’t figured out why. Here, my personal info always stays in the fields. I don’t know if there’s anything that can be done about that..désolé!

    johanna: Easter is a great time to visit, because it won’t be so frosty (like it is now) and all the chocolate shops really do it up for the holiday. After Christmas, Easter is the biggest holiday for chocolatiers.

    Ms. Gourmet: Yes, it really is an amazing project that he’s started. When I was writing the post, I was going to say, “When I was 17, I was…” but then I couldn’t remember what I was doing back then, so it couldn’t have been all that important.

    At least he’ll have something to remember, and it’s something that can be done that will provide immediate, dramatic assistance to folks who could really, really use our help.

  • MH
    January 12, 2009 7:18pm

    Wow, you must be a busy man! I would just like to take the time to say a special thank you for all the work you do commenting and replying to those that post. Imagine my surprise when, after making a comment, I got comment in return from you! It’s a living, breathing cookbook! That extra effort really makes your site feel like a community cookbook as well. With all this talk about all the changes happening with the printed medium, I think you are at the forefront of something very exciting here. I just hope you get some sleep!


  • i
    January 12, 2009 8:41pm

    David, I just wanted to say happy new year and thank you for your beautiful blog. I just added you as a flickr contact, which I hope is all right — I love seeing your photographs, but if I’ve overstepped the boundaries, please let me know, and I’ll undo it.

  • tania
    January 16, 2009 6:09pm

    Hi david!!!
    i saw you in national geographyc in a daily of a gourmet (diario de un gourmet)
    i’m tania i’m 16 years my dream is became in a big chef like you
    i loved the cake, specially chocolate cake thanks for all your recipys they are great
    i wanna wish you the best
    i send kisses bye bye
    Chao cheers from Colombia :-)