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Far From the Tree: Apple-Pear Cocktail

The other day I was thinking of cocktails that were fall and winter-friendly. Calvados (apple brandy) of course is always in season, but I also had a bottle of spiced pear liqueur from St. George Spirits in California on hand that has a lovely pear flavor mingled with a bouquet of spices, that I’ve been meaning to incorporate into a cocktail. I had a hunch…

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Pasta Bolognese

During the current lockdown in Paris, you can still get most things at the supermarket. True, there’s less of a selection as some items are more popular than others; butter, of course, is popular, and so is flour. Fortunately I always have a good stock of both on hand, lockdown or not, but I did neglect to replenish my chocolate supply. But the pasta and…

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Salted Butter Chocolate Sauce

When it comes to baking and desserts, one doesn’t necessarily think of salt as a flavor. But more and more, I keep considering, and reconsidering, the role that salt plays in just about everything I bake. And because I keep both salted and unsalted butter on hand – I can’t imagine my morning toast without a little salted butter spread over the top – I’ll…

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Basil Vinaigrette

My sauce for the summer is Basil Vinaigrette. Don’t get me wrong, I love pesto. But this basil-forward sauce has the punchy flavor of fresh herbs and takes less than a minute to blend together. And unlike its thicker cousin, this vinaigrette can be drizzled over everything, from fresh tomatoes and shelling beans, to risotto or roasted potatoes, and even fresh cheese, like mozzarella or…

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Summer Fruit Tart with Almond Cream

This is one of the simplest fruit tarts to make. Juicy fruits are embedded in a rich almond frangipane, making it easy to slice, and it keeps well, too. So now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about nectarines. Peaches get a lot of press. Yes, they’re juicy and yes they’re sweet. But honestly, I prefer the more assertive flavor of nectarines,…

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Summer Fruit Galette

Being a baker, summer is my favorite time of year. Not only are peaches, nectarines, cherries and plums abundant at the market, but as the seasons progress, the volume of fruits lowers the price, and I stock up on whatever I can, whenever I can. At Paris markets, I try to search out producteurs, the vendors who grow the food they sell, and every summer, one in…

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Mixed Berry Shortcakes

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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Strawberry Rhubarb Tart

There’s a certain ease and simplicity to free-form tarts like this. Sometimes they’re called a crostata, sometimes a galette. You can call it whatever you want, but I call it a fast way to use great fruit when it’s in season, without a lot of fuss. At the beginning of summer, when rhubarb is still lingering around, and strawberries are elbowing their way forward, it’s a…

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Whole Lemon Bars

I’ve been having my own little lemon festival ever since I got a Meyer lemon tree. Meyer lemons aren’t well-known in France (yet), although I have a feeling once people get a taste of their sweet, highly perfumed juice, we may start seeing them more and more.

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