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I’ve been working on some recipes to share on the blog, then the confinement hit, and going to the supermarket or obtaining ingredients became more of a challenge. Having lived in earthquake country, I started buying a few extra things in the last few weeks, especially seeing what was happening to our neighbors in Italy. Being a baker, I’m fortunate that I always have flour, chocolate, sugar, and nuts in stock, plus I keep butter on hand in the refrigerator and freezer, in case of emergencies. And not being able to bake a cake or a batch of cookies for me, counts as one!

We are on day #1 of a fifteen-day confinement. Bars, cafés and restaurants were closed Saturday at midnight (which were packed in my neighborhood, as usual, with twenty- and thirty-somethings), and people were told to keep a distance between them and avoid public places. But the revelry continued on the streets around here through the wee hours of Sunday morning. Later in the morning, people waited in line, shoulder-to-shoulder, shopping at the Bastille market, and Sunday afternoon, people filled parks in Paris, or sat by the canal to have a beer with friends. To be honest, it was disheartening, and a little frightening, to watch the news and hear people being interviewed, talking about how they didn’t care, that they were going to do whatever they wanted. So here we are, with talk of the military coming in to make sure people stay indoors.

I realize how fortunate I am to have a safe place to live. And while being stuck indoors isn’t all that fun, other people are having a much more difficult time. So be sure to compassionate to others, especially people in the medical community, public service, or who are working in shops. Bakeries and grocery stores in France are allowed to be open, and those people are in close contact with others, as well as handling money. Many are taking public transit to work, which isn’t the ideal place to be. So we should all do our best to make an extra effort to be compassionate and nice at this time, both in daily life and online, and realize that we are all in this together, no matter what country, continent, and culture you come from.

While we’re confined for a few weeks, I’ll be sharing some new recipes I’ve been working on which you can bookmark for later if you don’t have the ingredients right now, and I’m planning to share one of my favorite cocktails from Drinking French shortly as well, because many of us could use a good drink at the moment. Right?

People have asked me for recipes that they can make at home, who have limited access to ingredients. These are some of my favorites from the blog, and I’ve offered modification for certain ingredients if the ones in the ingredient list aren’t available:

Friendship Bars

Being a miser with whatever amount of butter you’ve got? These bars have zero beurre and only use 1 egg. The only other things you need are dried fruits and nuts, which you probably have amongst all those jars and bags in your kitchen. I like the tangy dried apricots in there, but feel free to swap out whatever dried fruits and nuts you have on hand, keeping the quantities the same. These fruit-filled bars are a great snack or energy booster.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola

If you’re looking for a granola recipe that doesn’t have a long list of ingredients, here ya go. With a base of protein-packed peanut butter, this is a fun project if you’re trying to keep the kids busy.  If you don’t have the sunflower seeds or peanuts, swap them out with the equivalent amount of another nut or seed. Sesame seeds would work here in place of the sunflower seeds, as would coconut. Maybe pumpkin seeds, although those tend to burn, so I’m not sure. But whatever you do, don’t skip the chocolate! : )

French Chocolate Cake

This rich chocolate cake highlights how French cooking doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s got ingredients that you likely already have on hand; chocolate, butter, eggs, sugar, and flour. The result is a very chocolaty gâteau that will satisfy chocolate cravings. For those who are gluten-free, try my Chocolate Orbit Cake or Gluten-Free Chocolate Brownies.

Hot Chocolate Pudding

These individual puddings are easy to make, and easier to eat! You don’t need any fancy cake pans. I’ve even baked them in oven-proof coffee cups or café au lait bowls, like the one shown above.

Chocolate Sorbet

No flour, eggs, butter, or dairy? No problem with this egg-free chocolate sorbet. It’s amazingly rich that people say “I can’t believe it’s not ice cream!” But it’s not. The recipe calls for milk or water, but if you have nut milk (or oat, or another alternative milk), that can be used. And honestly, some of the best hot chocolate is made with a base of water, not milk or cream. (If you do want to make it more creamy, you can swap out some coconut milk for some of the regular milk or water.) If you don’t have an ice cream maker, follow these instructions for making ice cream without a machine.

Fromage Fort

Take a tip from the French and turn all those bits and ends of cheese lurking in your refrigerator into fromage fort, a hearty, robust cheese spread. If you don’t have cream cheese, try straining a pot of yogurt into labneh and using that in place of the cream cheese. (Reserve the liquid to add to soup or a batch of bread.)

Artichoke Tapenade

Tinned artichokes are the base of this flavorful dip and spread. You may have a jar of green olives lurking in your refrigerator. Even those Spanish olives you use to put in your martini will do. If not, you can use black olives, which will change the look, but if anyone balks…more for you! A substitute for the capers would be some finely chopped pickles.

Sardine Rillettes

A few days ago I posted some of the foods that I had purchased in anticipation of the lockdown. People thought I was nuts, but although the grocery stores are going to remain open, I think it’s good to have an extra bag of non-perishables. I have plenty of grains, pasta, and olive oil on hand (I keep those in stock all the time), but I doubled down on canned tuna and sardines, which I love. (I also bought sterilized UHT milk which I dislike, but any port in a storm, as my grandmother used to say.) And several readers asked if the sardine rillettes on my blog, made with fresh sardines, would work with tinned. I don’t think so because they are of a different size, and have different moisture levels.

So if you’ve got tinned sardines, you can use this recipe from My Paris Kitchen: 1/4 cup (110g) cream cheese (you can use butter in its place), 3 tablespoons salted or unsalted butter, two 4-ounce (115g) tins of sardines, drained and boned, 2 scallions or 1 shallot minced, 1 tablespoon of capers rinsed and squeezed dry (or chopped pickles), 1 tablespoon lemon juice (ok to add a bit of vinegar in place of the lemon juice), salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne. Mash all together with a fork. You can use tinned mackerel in place of the sardines if you have them. Serve on crackers or bread.

When I get a moment, I’m going to redo the photo of these, above, which I think I took in eleven years ago. But they are really tasty and a great way to use canned sardines which are really good for you. A reader told me he saves the nutrient-rich oil to give to his dog.

If you’ve got smoked salmon on hand and fresh or frozen salmon, that can be used to make smoked salmon rillettes, although I am sure you can use canned salmon (which my grandmother used to buy, but it always sounded weird to me for whatever reason…) in the recipe in place of the fresh.

Split Pea Soup

This is one of my favorite soups. It uses dried split peas, if you’ve got those in your pantry. The base starts with carrots and onions (and some bacon), but you can skip the bacon, and modify the recipe with any aromatic vegetables in place of the carrots or onions, such as using celery or leeks. The potatoes give it additional body, but those are optional, too.

Potato Leek Soup

If you’ve got a bag of potatoes, you’ve got a pot of soup. That’s all there is to it. Onions can be subbed for the leeks. I like a little sour cream or crème fraîche dolloped on top. Chives are a nice garnish, but use whatever is available to give it more eye appeal; toasted garlic breadcrumbs, bacon bits, Tuscan seasoned or smoked salt, or even a few leaves of arugula or lamb’s lettuce.

Jook (Congee)

I have no idea why this rice soup goes by several names, but I learned to make it when I worked in a restaurant that served southeast Asian and Chinese food, back in San Francisco, from one of my co-workers. (She told me jook mean “archer” in Chinese, which had some connection to the dish, but I don’t recall exactly why.) No matter what you call it, it’s a simple, nourishing soup/porridge made from rice. You can add whatever you like to it; dried (soaked in hot water until soft) or fresh mushrooms, crisp or soft bacon, meat, shrimp, and frozen or fresh vegetables like peas and carrots. The fresh ginger gives it some zip but if you don’t have it (and yes, I know it’s not the same flavor) but some dried ground ginger will liven it up. I like a hint of fish sauce stirred into it, too.

Pasta Puttanesca

This one-skillet pasta is the ultimate pantry dish since, traditionally, none of the ingredients are fresh; it’s specifically meant to be made with preserved ingredients. It calls for tinned tomatoes, garlic, capers, olives, and anchovies. The anchovies “melt” into the sauce, so if people have concerns about people not liking them, they may not notice them. If you don’t have anchovies or afraid people will not come to the dinner table, although not traditional, you could use some tinned sardines or a dash of Asian fish sauce to sneak some umami flavor into the sauce.


My favorite way to turn canned tomatoes into a one-pan breakfast, or dinner: Shakshuka! Spices give these baked eggs an extra kick, and you can make the base in advance. I like it best with runny eggs, but you can cook the eggs longer than the softly cooked ones shown here if people in your household like their more cooked. Just be careful as they can go from soft, to overcooked, in less than a minute.

Pork and Beans

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably got some bits of pork or bacon squirreled away somewhere in the back of your freezer. Dig them out (unless you have some fresh pork/ham hocks on hand) to pair with some of those dried beans you’ve been stocking up on. If you want to get more creative with dried (and fresh) beans, check out Joe Yonan’s new book, Cool Beans.

Dave and Kate’s Brownies

Digging into my stash of unsweetened chocolate, I made these in my Instagram stories and they were a big hit with questions coming out me left and right. The nuts and nibs are optional, and the result into a Katharine Hepburn-approved brownie. (Her family lived in our neighborhood when I was growing up, but I never met her, unfotunately.) If you don’t have unsweetened chocolate, check out one of the other brownie recipes on my blog.

Ballymaloe Irish Brown Bread

I can’t live without bread and although the bread bakeries are open in France during the lockdown, that might not be the same where you live. So here’s a great loaf to make at home. You likely don’t have the Irish flour in your cupboard, but you can swap out whole wheat flour. This bread is easy and nutritious. It doesn’t require extensive kneading or any fancy baking equipment. So if you can’t get bread, this bread will tide you over.


If you’ve got an overload of vegetables, why not make pickles out of them to preserve the bounty? Chard stems, radishes, carrots, and red onions, are all easy to pickle. They’re a fun project if you’re stuck indoors, and nice to have to serve at meals. They’ll perk up any lunch and dinner and make it more interesting.

Baked Pears

I like these with Marsala wine, but port or Madiera will do the trick.

Poached Prunes

Dried fruits are my best friends right now. If you’ve got prunes in your pantry, poach them and serve with some kumquats to perk things up, or slices of fresh oranges to round the prunes out for a more complete dessert.

Simple, No-Churn Chocolate Ice Cream

Take a banana and some chocolate, blend with Bailey’s and freeze. Then…voilà!…you’ve got ice cream. You will need to use the Bailey’s, which gives the ice cream a scoopable texture after frozen. No Bailey’s? Another liqueur with a flavor that you like with chocolate will do. (The liqueur keeps the ice cream soft so there’s no non-alcohol option on this one, but here’s a standard Chocolate Ice Cream recipe, and you can freeze it using this no-churn method.)


I’ve got a number of favorite cocktail recipes here on the blog, if you need a drink, everything from a beguiling Black Manhattan and Negroni Spritz, to Margaritas and Cosmopolitans. If you think you’re too sophisticated to have a Cosmo, then you don’t know what you’re missing. I had one recently and was reminded why they were such a hit. Tough times call for a fun cocktail, imho, and a Cosmo definitely falls into that category.




    • Kathy

    Least we forget your amazing French Onion Soup……I made it Sunday, froze the remaining for this long stay at home, thank you!

      • Katherine Mah

      Good afternoon David, Thank you for another of your very thoughtful and gracious posts. Do take good care to stay safe (and your family!). Kindly,

    • Sandra H

    Thank you David, for this thoughtful post. All recipes look delicious, and we can pick and choose some using whatever ingredients or substitutes we have on hand. I hope you and Romain and everyone stays safe and well.

      • Katherine

      Wonderful, David. Thank you so much. I’m in France, too, and I hope everyone here will heed the warnings and stick to the precautions so we can get rid of this nemesis! Bonne santé

    • Judith Gorman

    This post reminds me why I love your blog. We are moving to our cottage in Ontario to avoid contact with others. These recipes will make us happy. So thank you for helping us get through this difficult time the best way possible – eating and drinking well.

    • elise

    Thanks for your thoughtful post! Am lucky in that my company has adopted a work from home schedule and am looking out for good bread recipes to put some of my energy into kneading dough after my day ends.

      • Kerrie Anne Cresswell

      Thanks for the post. Will make leek and potato soup tonight.
      Still looking for flour, only locally. Normally have a spare but got caught before things went crazy here (and we’re not in quarantine).
      Stay healthy everyone

    • Terrie Chrones

    Thanks! Actually you’ve pointed out gaps in my pantry this way. Making a list…..

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I always have things like grains, dried beans, canned tomatoes, and other things in my pantry, but I did get back ups of sterilized milk, canned vegetables (namely corn, although Romain wanted haricots verts, or green beans), tuna, appetizer snacks, extra wine, and stuff like that. I didn’t go nuts but have enough so that we have to go out as little as possible. The grocery stores and bakeries are staying open and I feel for the people working there, and hope that customers start paying more attention to keeping their distance, handling money, touching things, etc. I know they are doing it elsewhere but in my neighborhood, we’re not seeing that much of it – yet.

        • Esther

        David .. Your post is truly a gift ! During this difficult time it’s so appreciated ..
        Though almost just about every store or restaurant nearby to us on Cape Cod is closed but our grocery stores remain open so it’s possible to get ingredients if I don’t have on hand ..
        My heartfelt thanks to you for today’s post which has inspired me and honestly for all the wonderful recipes you have been so gracious to share ! !

          • Natalie Edwards

          Bula David, I write from Fiji where I have a small cafe, use your baking recipes and never miss a blog.
          Thank you for all your wonderful recipes and taking us on your French journey.
          To you and Romain’s good health.

    • Debra

    First thing I made was your French onion soup too. Very comforting. Then came the seedy Fontina crackers. Looking forward to more cooking inspiration. To your health!

    • Genine

    David you are the best! So uplifting!! Nothing like awesome snacks to get us through these trying times!!!

      • Sarah Ghiz Korwan

      This post is a keeper- the best of the best. #cookinggoals Many thanks!

    • Lill

    Thank you for your insightful post this week. I live in Nova Scotia, and the whole province in shut down (restaurants, bars, gyms, etc). I will be spending the next 3 weeks teaching my boys how to bake some of your recipes, while my husband will put them to work renovating our family room. I always look forward to reading your blog, and I wish you and Romain a healthy and peaceful distancing:)

      • L.

      PS- by week 2 of confinement, I will probably be breaking into your new drinks book ;)

      • Dee

      Also in Nova Scotia – bumping elbows with you !

    • Kathleen LeRoy

    Thank you David
    For those of us who need to cook for families, using what we have in freezer while augmenting with limited ingredients available in market is daunting!
    Thank you for urging us to think creatively and sending recipes
    We love this so keep sending

    • Lorrie Fulton

    We are ‘sheltering in place’ here in Sonoma, and so far this week has produced split-pea soup and a new chocolate chip cookie. Tonight though, is your Chicken Marsala. I can’t wait!

    • Kathryn a Linkjendal

    David, you are a welcome constant in my life. Always informative and delightful. Thank you.

    • Claudia Dawley

    Thank you, David! What a welcome post and great reminder to extend kindness and compassion to others during this stressful time. In times of trouble, personally or globally, I can count on you to divert my time and attention to creating amazing things in my kitchen. In Chicago, all bars and restaurants are closed except for take out or delivery. We are committed to supporting our local establishments through this method until the state ban is lifted. Thank you again for your thoughtful post and as always, for such delicious recipes!

    • Barbara

    David -Greetings from the Seattle area, where this extremely thoughtful post inspires in so many ways! Please the article in today’s Seattle Times re the Canlis burger drive-thru…like your post, the burger drive-thru is boosting spirits beyond measure! Merci!! BC

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I did read about Canlis doing a burger drive-through – for others who don’t know, Canlis is a highly-regarded, very upscale restaurant in Seattle where everyone wears jackets and ties. Right now they decided that that wasn’t appropriate considering the times, and are now serving burgers! I think we’re also seeing a lot of good from other restaurant owners (many who are losing their shirts, and may lose their restaurants) but some are giving away their larders to food banks or customers, some are staying open to do take out (so they can stay in business and keep people employed, etc. so we are seeing the best of people right now in many places, especially in the food world : )

        • Heidi P Aronson

        I worry about the restaurant workers though. The kitchens are usually close quarters.

    • Synthia

    Thank you David, I agree we all need to come together at this time not buying extra rolls of toilet paper or hand sanitizer so if your neighbor runs out you can make money off him. This is a good time to give to your neighbor if he is in need. In the end we will all be a tighter community. I live in Bordeaux few people are going out. Really enjoy your blog especially living here, you understand both worlds. Stay safe xo

    • Christine Moore

    We are in lockdown here in Los Angeles, so I am looking forward to exploring some of your yummy recipes. A nice distraction!
    I especially appreciate your description of your current life in Paris and the links you provided. It’s interesting to learn how others are coping with this crisis. The difference between the French system of caring for it’s citizens and the American capitalist system is eye-opening!
    Your posts are always so fun and entertaining, but especially so now that I’m stuck at home for the foreseeable future.
    Many thanks to you!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      It is interesting to see the differences. Having nationalized health care means that people don’t have to worry if they can afford to see a doctor or get treatment. I’m not an expert, but hope that helps contain things. However I do know that everywhere people in the medical profession are working very, very hard and trying to keep up.

        • jane

        I was happily surprised to hear of LMVH converting all it’s French perfume factories over to hand sanitizer production! Hope to see similar response in US corporations.

    • Tatiana

    Thanks for these recipes. Lots of carbs. I’m gonna need a ton of exercise. The Bay Area was just put on enforced isolation. They’ve made it a misdemeanor to go out unless it’s to get food, exercise or to go to your doctor. I’m not sure how they will enforce it. In the mean time I still hear the CalTrain whistles on their regularly scheduled time table.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      To be honest, I’ve been eating a lot and not exercising for the past week as I didn’t want to go to the gym. I am watching Pilates videos on YouTube, some of which are actually quite good! I’m just not very disciplined, so need someone in front of me, telling me what to do. (In person is best, but will make do with online for the time being.)

        • claire silvers

        A lot of exercise studios/teachers are teaching on Zoom, as you may know–it works much better than I had anticipated & is easy to use. Only issue I had was when 1 of our cats blocked the screen trying to capture the teacher’s moving arm images. Agree that it is far more enjoyable, not to mention motivating, to exercise with a live person (who can also correct my slouchy form).

          • David
          David Lebovitz

          Yes, I’ve heard about Zoom. A studio I go to sent out a message there will be classes there but nothing has shown up yet. There are some very good teachers/classes on YouTube, but looking forward to seeing my regular teachers on Zoom if they get around to putting classes there.

    • Janis Wells

    David, Bravo! for your compassionate response and selection of confinement appealing treats! Your brownie recipe is especially tantalizing.Stay in and stay well.

    • Robes

    Thank you for sharing these recipes! And the content of your post. Look forward to baking and cooking some
    of them here in Barcelona.
    Stay well.

    • Judy Fujimoto

    Thank you, David, for the thoughtful and useful recipes. Alas, we had to cancel our planned Spring Break trip to Paris with our grandchildren. Your recipes keep us in the Parisian spirit. May Romain and you stay well.

    • Lyse

    Cooking your recipes should be officially part of how to deal with present crisis. We are making your coffee-braised lamb shanks – it smells good just reading the ingredient list. Thank you.

    • BBowman

    Thanks for these recipes. We do have a lot of the necessary ingredients on hand. One thing we have a ton of is sorrel, b/c our plants are going crazy in the back yard. Our favorite potato, leek, and sorrel soup (Georgeanne Brennan’s) requires, well, leeks, and we have none of those, and are also not flush with other oniony things, so we’re wondering about sauces and pestos and the like. Berkeley Bowl West, which is {mirabile dictu} just around the corner from us, had a line over two blocks long to *get into the store* on Monday, after the shelter-in-place order was announced but before it took effect at midnight. Seems likely to remain that way for awhile – which is to say, forget that for us oldies. We’ll make do with what we’ve got already, it seems.

    • Cate

    Any ideas what to do with cooked turkey breast in the freezer? I fear it has freezer burn so will need strong flavours!

      • Dee

      Turkey tikka masala ?

    • Clare

    Happy St Patrick’s Day from Mayo in the West of Ireland. Thank you for the kind post today. We are practicing Social Distancing here, so everyone’s thoughts seem to be turning to cooking and baking. Lots of great ideas in your post- the most important one being ‘Be Kind’ at this time. Stay safe wherever you are.

    • Sandra Myers

    I have to share this post on FB, so I can find these recipes. I might as well cook and bake. Who knows how long we’ll all have to stay away from each other? Just one question re grandmothers? Yours or our shared?
    Stay safe and be well!

    • Maire

    Lovely ideas – thank you, dear David

    • Matty Maccaro

    Thank you so much for these simply wonderful recipes. Your ideas for substitutions were so helpful. Stay well and safe. If ever there were at time for Kindness, Patience and Positivity, this is it. all best wishes David!

    • anna

    I will celebrate my first week of confinement , tomorrow here in Rome. The interesting thing with all this mess is to discover that you have plenty of food in your pantry . No need to raid supermarket shelves. The challenge could be to find new great unexpected ingredient combinations ! Good luck to everyone and thank you, David.

    • Wendy Wong

    You’re the best. I don’t know you but I like you.

    Thank you for sharing all your great recipes.

    • Heidi P Aronson

    Thanks for the post, David. I read somewhere that paper money isn’t terribly worrisome as a transmission point. Watch those coins, though! Thinking of you and Romain. You’ve been such a companion to so many of us over the years. Stay safe and sane!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Europeans pass a lot more coins than in the U.S. since €1 and €2 are coins. Also many cashiers and vendors love exact change, so there’s a lot more change being tranferred. Fortunately, credit cards have become very prominent in France, and almost everyone takes them.

    • Patrick

    The French chocolate cake sounds terrific, and I thought I had all the ingredients at hand. Well, not quite; I only have unsweetened chocolate (if it’s sweet or semi-sweet it tends to be eaten). Any suggestions?

    • Jake Sterling

    Speaking of pickled vegetables, I’ve been perfecting my bread baking and am producing some really good pumpernickel flavored with caraway, fennel seeds and orange peel. Lately, we’ve been making a grilled sandwich with cheese, pickled cabbage, and a sauce mixed up out of mayonnaise, ketchup and sriracha. I use about 3/4 cup pickled cabbage per sandwich but go fairly light on the cheese.

    So good.

      • jane

      Why yes, Jake, that does sound awfully good, thank you!

    • Pat

    New drink name. You get to come up with the recipe…The Quarentini

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      A lot of people have been posting those around Instagram. Check around there for recipes!

    • Katharine

    Can’t wait to try all of these, especially the no-churn ice cream thank you!

    • bonnie

    Much appreciated, David– thank you!

    • Lisa Walker

    It is upsetting to see people unaware of the calamity… so, thank god for cooking and your incredible recipes and writing. Stay safe XO

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      To be honest, I was really astonished (and a little upset) to see being so cavalier, especially when the news in France interviewed people in the parks and hearing what they had to say. I know that attitude isn’t the norm, but to see so many people adopting it was discouraging. And now, since people couldn’t follow simple precautions, we all have to remain locked inside. Hope this passes quickly!

    • Ellen

    Thank you so much for this thoughtful post. Stay safe. We have a shelter in place order in the SF Bay Area and although groceries are open, they are packed at all hours with panicked buyers. I’m going to work my way through today’s list of recipes – with the addition of your whole lemon bar recipe (we have a lemon tree) which freezes amazingly well.

    • Betsy LM

    A big thank you from Hong Kong for all of the ideas! We are in week 7 of virtual school and social distancing. I am a teacher and online learning is effective, but a challenge in so many ways. We so miss having the classroom interaction! Our lifestyle has changed, but it has worked to limit infections. In the meantime, I’ve been working my way through your recipes: tahini fig chocolate chip cookies were a huge hit as was the buckwheat chocolate cake. The Perfect Scoop has become my go to ice cream book. I’m looking forward to trying the salmon rillete and fromage forte later this week. Stay well and thank you for sharing your wisdom and wit each week.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Glad you’re enjoying and using the recipes!

    • darian robin

    Thank you David, for these delightful and delicious recipes. Not only are we being asked to stay home in Los Angeles, it’s been rainy for days with forecast for more of the same through next week. Angelenos don’t handle that very well. Rolling up my selves to make some of your recipes will bring joy and sunshine into the house. Can’t wait to get started!


    • Pat Milito Strauss

    Thanks sooo much David! We need this. I’m a nurse, so there is no staying home, but I love that you’ve made life a little easier AND uplifting for us. Love all of your posts.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Nurses (and others in the medical profession) are truly the heroes in this situation. Every night at 8pm in Paris, people are leaning out their windows and applauding the medical community for a few minutes, as thanks for your public service – xxx

    • Anne

    Thank you so much for this list of recipes. I’ve been making soup and bread, doing my bit by self isolating as much as possible.

    • Rachael

    Thanks for this. I am a longtime fan of your shakshuka recipe and just made a triple batch, getting ready to “shelter in place.” I am also about to tackle your passion-fruit ice cream recipe, subbing in some powdered milk out of necessity. Take care of yourself.

    • Jaime K

    Oh David! this post brought tears to me. Your kind thoughtfulness and encouragement are simply uplifting.
    San Francisco is adhering tightly to the shelter in place. the City feels deserted and eerily quiet. I am astonished that Parisians are so cavalier. Thank for you for all the great recipes, suggestions and for the sustenance you offer us on so many levels. Take care!

    • Gavrielle

    Really fantastic ideas! Can’t wait to try the ice cream. A note about canned salmon: I used to think it was a bit weird, too, until I read the can label. In New Zealand our salmon is all farmed, but canned salmon is wild caught. So now I yum it up with relish.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      It’s funny because I always ate canned tuna, but salmon somehow seemed odd to me. (I suspected others feel that way.) Now might be a good time to give it a try, if people haven’t.

    • Jenna

    Kumquat season here in LA with trees full of fruit. I just made your kumquat marmalade. Delicious!

    • Madeline Bishop

    You are just my very favorite chocolate-lover friend. Thanks for the chocolate recipes! When I bought provisions for the “sequester” I made sure I had enough chocolate so I can now try these recipes. (Really? Bailey and banana ice cream? )

    Also, I am a retired French teacher, so I love your little anecdotes about living in France.

    • monique

    Thank you for this..for your stories on IG..and for your The Sweet Life right now~

    • Dee

    Thank you for the wonderful recipes. We are locked down in a compound, in a country where there will be no flight available for the next few weeks; we definitely need some cheering up. Will start with one of the chocolatey recipes. :-)
    As for the name “jook”, this is a Korean word for congee/rice porridge. The recipe though seems more South(east) Asian than Korean.
    Stay safe!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Thanks. I learned how to make it from a woman I worked with who came from China, but there’s always a certain amount of crossover between cultures. (Slightly unrelated, but one day I was folding dumplings with her and she told me what her family went through to get to the U.S., I’ve thought about that for the rest of my life – the things the rest of us take for granted vs. what other hardships refugees and other people have been through.)

        • Dee

        I think I remember reading about your experience working with people from Asia in one of your books (haha, subtly noting that I bought all the books). And yes, when I visited Phu Quoc island, I had the chance to meet the owner of Red Boat fish sauce factory and his story of making American dream after getting to the US in the 70s on a boat, then returning to Viet Nam after his retirement to make this sauce that is connecting both worlds–was inspiring. I hope this weird experience of the whole world going on lock down separately together will make us be more compassionate with each other. Stay safe!

          • David
          David Lebovitz

          It’s a good reminder to keep things in check. When your internet goes down or you have to stay indoors for a few days or weeks, that some people don’t have water, electricity, or even a roof over their head, and worse. Going to Phu Quoc in Vietnam also provides one with a few reminders of the hardships people faced. That’s great to got to visit Red Boat, which is a very special product, and they’re very nice people to boot.

    • Shell

    Wonderful list! Alas, I was all set to do the French Chocolate Cake. But my face when I saw the “5 eggs, separated.” No mixer of any kind right now.
    Guess Ill switch to the Hot Chocolate pudding. Or the sorbet.

    • Mary-Karen Euler

    What a lovely posting, David…Merci! Am reminded that I have some tinned smoked salmon from a trip to the Oregon Coast some time ago that should do well in your Rillettes recipe…Plus have left over Kerry Gold Butter due to my Irish Soda Bread turning out rather doorstop-ish this year! BTW, in the link to the Ballymaloe cooking thereof, is that Darina Allen’s husband?

    • Mary-Karen Euler

    PS ~ And thanks to Romain, your faithful readers will have Rye w/Caraway Seed Triscuits in their pantries, atop which the Salmon Rillettes will go nicely!

    • Terrie Chrones

    In Oregon the small batch gin producers are using the first batch of gin production to make sanitizer

    • Judith Hanson

    I have never been disappointed with a recipe of yours and I’ve tried several by now. Today the Fruit bars and Sardine recipes. Nothing more comforting in such difficult times than
    reading your blog and trying the latest.

    • Kathleen Stewart

    David, last April I spent a week at Ballymaloe cookery school, all because of you. It was an amazing week, and seeing you recommend Ballymaloe Irish Brown Bread made me say out loud “YES!” . It was one of the best weeks I have ever experienced, and it completely changed my cooking. Although this week I am making their sourdough, the Irish Brown bread is in my rotation. I do not say this lightly, thank you for exposing me to something that changed my life!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Glad you liked it there. It’s a beautiful, very special place. Part of it is their breads, which are so wonderful. I’ve always wanted to go and attend Darina’s foraging class – she’s incredible and such a force, and fun to be with, too.

        • Mary Karen

        I would highly recommend Darina’s foraging class. She is such a hoot! Failed to figure out how to post a photo of her here, pants rolled up wading in the sea after some kelp. And stay at the Manor House for Sunday Allen Family Buffet dinner.
        Divine indulgence!

    • jcksf

    Hi David, I just clicked on the Simple, No-Churn Chocolate Ice Cream recipe link and it leads to your 9-13-2011 chocolate ice cream recipe as does the link for standard chocolate ice cream that you mention parenthetically in the post. I’d love to see that recipe that uses bananas and Bailey’s. Thanks!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I fixed the link…thanks for letting me know : )
      You can always use the search engine at the top of the blog to type is a word like “Bailey’s” to locate a recipe in the archives. There are a lot of recipes on the blog, so that’s a good way to locate one.

    • Marsha

    The friendship bars are amazing! I left some on my neighbors’s patio and in my mailbox with a note to the mail carrier to stay safe!

    • Leti

    You are so kind,David!!! This is an amazing post. Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness – can’t wait to try many of these as the days pass in our shelter in place in the Bay Area.

    • Penelope

    Thank you for all these suggestions. But you wrote about the French Chocolate Cake: “It’s got only four ingredients, which you likely have on hand; chocolate, butter, eggs, sugar, and flour.” I count 5 ingredients.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Apologies for the oversight…fixed!

    • A

    Thank you for taking the time to share these recipes. I’m a big fan of the chocolate sorbet which I think is easy and marvelous. Typically I use the food processor.

    I imagine I speak for many of your followers when I say that I think your devotion to your community during these challenging times is especially heartwarming.

    • Linda

    David, I read your blog and your books sheerly for the joy of your writing. I’m the worst cook in all the world! I wanted to thank you for the generosity of your time and effort to supply these recipes as so many of us are staying at home. Wishing you and your family and friends years of health and happiness ahead.

    • Kathy

    David, have you read Cecilia Chiang’s autobiography?
    It’s wonderful and I’m certain you’d love it, all that she went through to escape Mao’s China.

    • Francine

    Thanks for being there; your recipes are always a delight. I come from an east European family but we were all born in France, but now living in Canada. Food was always central in our life. It’s such a joy reading yours posts.

    • Franki Kohler

    I have had the artichoke tempenade recipe in your book post-it marked for ages — finally made it. WOW! I used large green olives stuffed with jalapena. I also pickled some carrots. YUM. Thanks so much for the nudge.

    • Virginia Bennett

    Every recipe looks amazing.

    • Sandra Myers

    I made the “split pea” soup, but used lentils as that’s what was in the pantry cabinet. Mike wouldn’t have touched split pea, but thought the lentil was awesome and had an almost meat flavor, but probably from the kosher “facon” I used. I’ve printed many of these to refer to for making as time marches on. I have to check my chocolate stocks, or add for the next grocery trip list. Anything else to suggest as I don’t have any Bailey’s for the no-churn ice cream? Be well cousin! We all need your entertainment!

    • Rick McGonnigal

    David: Just reading your WSJ Saturday Review interview…and I feel your pain as to the kitchen faucet. After fighting the bad design of a prior “commercial-style” unit, where the hose under the sink constantly caught on water supply valves, I found the answer…on Amazon. To make sure I meet your blog policy about ads, even thoughIm selling nothing, feel free to email me and I’ll send you a screen shot I just took of the relevant unit that I bought. Ironically it has returned to full price of $180, which is the price at retailers here inFL…I got it on sale at $135.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Thanks Rick, The first issue is that the faucet was installed wrong from the start (it’s too far from the back of the sink, so a conventional spigot won’t reach the basin) – but also American hose and joint widths are different than those in France and in Europe, sadly My first faucet was adapted from the different size but the company (Kraüs) changed the size, which I learned after a number of telephone calls to them in the U.S. and no one in France can adapt the water hoses, which only work with the original size of the original faucet, to another size.

      I know it sounds confusing. Now imagine trying to explain this to both a French plumber, and an American plumbing company! Eventually, I think I’m just going to have to replace the whole sink, although the cut out in the counter is a specific (custom) size and there are no other sinks in France of that size to be found, so may have to have someone make a custom stainless-steel sink. I’m going to tackle that in a few years as it makes my hyperventilate thinking about having that done here…and the cost : 0

    • Roman Makowensky

    During this time of self isolatating, my kitchen is getting a workout.
    I made the “Friendship Bars”
    Let me just say OMG!

    Coffee and cake will never be the same.

    • Sara

    Hi David,

    Thank you for these! Much needed. I have another kind of stay-at-home recipe need, though I know it’s a long shot. My partner’s big 30th birthday is very soon and we will just celebrate it at home the two of us which is not bad by any means, but it’s a little sad to cancel all of our little plans. :( I want to make a special birthday cake that will make us forget the state of the world for a few moments. What would you make? He’s a chocolate fan, but fairly open minded as well.

    I think I can find most standard ingredients in my local grocery store, but nothing too exotic.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I can’t say what would be special for your partner (you know them better than I do!) and what ingredients are available to you, but I’ve got many cake recipes here. I do think the Hot Chocolate Pudding Cakes would be nice for an intimate dessert à deux, if you and your beloved like chocolate :)

    • Sherry Morse

    David, thanks for these. I am a long time fan and had to write you about your super fruit and nut bar recipe tonight.

    After being in self imposed quarantine for the last 10 days I decided I had to try these to keep my spirits up (I returned from France then – but no worries, no one at US passport control was remotely interested in where I’d been or had any self quarantine recommendations so getting through immigration took about 5 minutes.)

    I exchanged the sugar for 3T honey, added a pinch more soda – and used almond instead of regular flour, same amount.

    I baked them for 35 minutes because almond flour can burn easily…but they turned out beautifully. If I did it again (and I may not because they are just toooooooo goood and I am finally almost thin enough) I would add a little bit of cinnamon – maybe 1/2 – 1 tsp – and maybe some fresh nutmeg and a pinch of cardamom. Just thinking….

    These were an excellent choice – but I can only do one recipe a week or I will have to go to the emergency room for severe waddling and it is not a good choice of place to be at the moment unless you bring your own respirator. Great to be back in the USA….you are missing some unbelievable press conferences….

    Thanks! Keep the blog coming. It is really fun.

    Warm greetings from the North Berkeley hills, where we are almost as locked away as you are in France….but have the rambling park hills of spring to walk through 6’ apart.

    Bonne chance, et ne respire pas trop a l’extérieure mon vieux,

    • TxLaurieLou

    Dear David, your newsletter and blog posts have always made me smile and feel inspired to try something new. We have some of the same “stay at home” staples, ie the canned sardines, and I am going to make your recipe using them. I love sardines. Somehow I found the Marshmallow Fluff Fudge recipe too! Just ordered Marshmallow Creme Fluff from Target. MmmmMmm. Thinking of y’all from Texas, sheltering in place north of Dallas. Take care of yourselves,

    • Jordan

    Thank you for this list. This is one of the most enticing Quarantine recipe lists I have seen. Chocolate sorbet is churning as I type.

    • Kate

    Thank you!

    • happy cyclist

    Xia Xia from socal! I had to remove the NYT as my homepage and substitute it with your blog. I rather be cooking, ride my bike in the garage or along Pacific coast highway 101 early in the morning. This is a more of a cheerful read and a reminder what it means to slow down and live as normal as possible. Sending you sunshine from Carlsbad, CA.

    • Joni


    You are the king! Thank you, thank you for inspiring me and sharing these recipes.

    • jan langton

    I’ve just discovered your website ~ I don’t know how I got along without it. Most appropriate that I’ve discovered in these last few weeks of the pandemic. Reading today’s article on your family life makes me so happy for you, and happy to hear such lovely and positive things. Thank you!


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