Peanut Noodles with Kale and Mushrooms

If you’ve been feeling blah about the official arrival of fall this week, I have a lovely and easy recipe […]

  • 9
  • September 19, 2017
Minimalist Kit Header

The fall is near, students are going off to college, and young adults are moving into their first apartment. Outfitting […]

  • 33
  • September 12, 2017
Super Easy Cold-Brew Coffee

This is a strange time of year, when the universe conspires to tell me summer is over — Paris is […]

  • 9
  • September 5, 2017

The problem with working from home is that the kitchen is a powerful distraction. Oftentimes I’ll be typing away, working […]

  • 16
  • Favorite
  • September 24, 2015

Due to my ever-widening enthusiasm for breadmaking, I have become a close follower of the Bread Baker’s Apprentice challenge, wherein […]

  • 65
  • Favorite
  • September 29, 2009

I’ve been a little hard on the patty pan squash, and for that I apologize. About a year ago, I […]

  • 40
  • Favorite
  • August 1, 2010

Peanut Noodles with Kale and Mushrooms

Peanut Noodles with Kale and Mushrooms

If you’ve been feeling blah about the official arrival of fall this week, I have a lovely and easy recipe to make you feel every shade of happy about the shift of seasons and the new produce it brings.

{Related: Never sure what’s in season when? Grab my free seasonal produce calendar right this minute!}

Today’s recipe is a simple dish of noodles dressed in a peanut sauce, and tossed with garlicky kale and sautéed mushrooms.

Continue reading »

Minimalist Kit for the Beginner Cook

Minimalist Kit Header

The fall is near, students are going off to college, and young adults are moving into their first apartment.

Outfitting a kitchen for the first time can be daunting: there’s so much stuff available in cookware stores, what does one really need?

I have put together a selection of (what I consider to be) kitchen essentials for beginner cooks, allowing them to spread their wings and begin their cooking life on a solid foundation.

You will notice that I did not select the cheapest option for each item, but rather I picked models that will last a lifetime.

Certainly each cook will have to adapt the selection to their financial constraints and see what they can afford. But if you’re the parent, the big sister, or the older friend who wants to get them something nice as a housewarming present, this is what I would wholeheartedly recommend.

You’ll be giving them the gift of learning to cook with equipment they can trust, and these are pieces they’ll take with them from one apartment to the next.

They’ll hold that saucepan in their hand for decades, remembering the pasta days of their youth.

For the experienced cooks among you: is there anything you would add to my list? If you had to start again from an empty kitchen, what would you get?

Continue reading »

Super Easy Cold-Brew Coffee

Super Easy Cold-Brew Coffee

This is a strange time of year, when the universe conspires to tell me summer is over — Paris is again full of life and the kids are back in school — but I want to prolong the feeling of it for just a little while longer.

My favorite way to do this is to continue, for another couple of weeks or so, to sip cold-brew coffee that I prepare at home.

My earliest memory of iced coffee comes from making café frappé at my parents’ house in my late teens. We would make coffee from instant coffee granules, pour it with some ice cubes in a promotional plastic shaker we’d received from the brand of instant coffee, and shake shake shake, shake and shake some more. The sound of the shaking was at least as delicious as the beverage, and my sister and I felt very sophisticated.

Continue reading »

Best of Summer

The view from our house in Aveyron

Oh, what a wonderful summer it has been!

Did you have fun? I hope you did.

Summertime in Aveyron

Maxence, the boys and I had a marvellous summer vacation in July: we are juilletistes, the French term for people who take their summer break in July, as opposed to aoûtiens who take it in August. Don’t you love that we have words for that?

We spent our summer vacation in Aveyron, a beautiful low-mountain region three hours north of Toulouse, and we loved everything about it. We rented a house with a gorgeous view of an untouched valley and a vegetable garden where we were welcome to pick zucchini and tomatoes and kale.

We visited medieval castles and organic farms, we rented boats to chill on lakes, we mini-hiked, we barbecued, we took part in village meals cooked in 15th-century woodfire ovens and served in barns on long communal tables, we filled our lungs with fresh air, we made friends, and we came home happy and a little tan.

Continue reading »

Quick Nori Roll with Cucumber and Avocado

Quick Nori Roll with Cucumber and Avocado

It all started with this photo on Gena’s Instagram feed. Gena is the author of the excellent blog The Full Helping, and she has long extolled the virtues of the vegetable nori roll as a quickly and easily assembled snack: her site offers almost a dozen examples, including this latest version.

The process is not unlike that which leads to maki, but here you forgo the seasoned rice altogether — this saves time and effort, and also means you don’t have to plan ahead — in favor of fresh vegetables, lots of them.

I was so inspired by that latest shot that I went out and got some cucumbers and sprouts the very next day to make my own, and I have been weaving variations on that theme about twice a week since then — that’s how enthused I am.

Although Gena likes to apply a thick layer of some sort of spread — think hummus or cashew cheese — directly on the nori sheet, I start with the sliced cucumbers as I prefer my nori to stay as crisp as possible* — the drier, the crisper — and find it most pleasing to bite into the crunchy layer of cucumbers first.

My Take on Nori Roll

Having played around with various ingredients, I have now determined the foundation I like to build on (cucumber, avocado, sprouts, sesame), and will add whatever little things I have on hand — leftover chicken or fish, tofu, spread or dressing, crudités, greens, and herbs. I have a great fondness for the mango and jicama version I make as an affectionate nod to the maki served at Bob’s Kitchen.

Mini Cookbook of Vegan Staples

These make for a lovely item to add to the mix when we’re composing a lunch or dinner from sundry elements (see “leftovers night” in my Menu Planning Tips & Tricks). You could offer them as finger food as well, cut into maki-style slices, and I’ve been known to fix myself a nori roll as a refreshing afternoon treat, too.

* For optimal texture, I like to eat the roll the moment it is made, but of course it’s fine to let it sit while you make the others, or if you’re packing them for lunch at the office or a picnic.

Quick Nori Roll with Cucumber and Avocado

Continue reading »

Get the newsletter

Receive FREE email updates with all the latest recipes, plus exclusive inspiration and Paris tips. You can also choose to be notified when a new post is published.

View the latest edition of the newsletter.