Bitters are used in a number of cocktails. Even if you can’t strongly perceive them while you’re sipping your drink, like salt, lemon zest, and vanilla, bitters are used to balance the flavors in the glass, providing a gentle undernote to bolster or as a contrast to flavors, rather than domineering or taking center stage. When writing Drinking French* I kept in mind that most…

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At some point, we’re all going to have to decide on the same measuring system. Maybe we can make it our New Year’s resolution? Most of the world is using the metric system while a few holdouts, namely the United States, Liberia, and Burma, are sticking with other systems of measurement. For the record, I know some very good bakers that use cups and tablespoons,…

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Hello all, Emily here. There seems to be more and more Christmas activities that are planned in Paris each year, so David asked me to put together a selection of my family’s favorites.  Our tree is already up and wherever you are in the world – we’re wishing you a happy holiday season! Things to do in Paris at Christmas Without the celebration (and decorations)…

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The word Mincemeat doesn’t quite inspire the same rapture that it does in England, most likely due to the name. Meat isn’t something normally associated with dessert in many places (although I had an interesting chocolate and beef pastry in Sicily), but traditional mincemeat is indeed, a wonderful addition to holiday desserts. To make it, one must get suet from a butcher, which posed a…

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Winter is just about here. And no, it doesn’t have to suck. True, there’s not much – if any – snow in Paris – which is something I miss. (When we’ve had it, it makes Paris more luminous and pretty.) But there’s no shortage of cold. In addition to being the time to unpack all one’s winter gear, and sadly pack up the t-shirts and…

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It’s funny how two ingredients can inspire so much discussion, conflict, anticipation, one-upmanship, derision, desire, ire, and postulating. Yes, I’m talking about the Martini cocktail. From what kind of gin to use, how much (if any) vermouth is added, whether it’s shaken or stirred, if you should add bitters, and whether an olive or lemon twist is preferred, few seem to agree on what makes…

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Whenever I’m looking through a new cookbook, what never fails to make me bookmark a recipe is when I come across something that has caramelized nuts on it, or in it. Whether it be Honey-Almond Squares or Swedish Almond Cake, you can be sure you’ll find me in my kitchen within the next 24 hours, and baking it. This Caramelized Peanut Cake that takes very…

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Have you ever gone away for a few weeks and found out that you’d left the freezer door ajar? Well, I did. And let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty. Before traveling, since I’m anti-gaspillage (against food waste), I jammed whatever I could into my already-stuffed freezer, including a half-eaten tomato tart, which I thought would be nice to have ready-and-waiting upon my arrival home,…

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I could probably name about a dozen people who could be called baking legends. One of them is Claudia Fleming, who was the pastry chef at Gramercy Tavern, and whose book, The Last Course, became a cookbook classic. Claudia was known for desserts that managed to balance seasonal fruits, as well as chocolate, spices, herbs, grains, and even vegetables, not by using fancy techniques, but…

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