Best of December

Morning light on rue de l'Abreuvoir in Montmartre

I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season! We celebrated Christmas with delicious family meals, and a select few gifts at the foot of the tree. My eldest is now three and a half, so it’s his first year of really “getting” the Christmas spirit, and I must say few things melt the heart like your own kid singing Christmas songs for you (this is his favorite).

December has been a beautifully sunny, busy month spent preparing food gifts, completing an article on the perfect Paris croissant (more on that soon!), and generally striving to make Chocolate & Zucchini as helpful as it can be. Below are some highlights of my month. Please share yours in the comments!

Good Eats

Good Eats December 2015

• I had the good fortune to be invited to dinner at L’Abeille, the marvellous gastronomic restaurant housed by the Sangri-La Hotel in Paris, and was blown away by the butter that was brought to the table with fresh bread at the beginning of the meal. It is made in small batches in Brittany by a company called Le Ponclet, and it is more flavorful than any butter I’ve ever tasted. (See also: a selection of recipes starring butter.)

• I bought an incredible dark chocolate bar from Christophe Adam’s pastry shop L’Éclair de génie. It’s a coarse-textured tablette studded with cacao nibs and hazelnuts, with a good amount of salt, and I can’t say it lasted very long in my purse. Also, I love the pattern on that label! (See also: my do’s and dont’s of Paris chocolate shops.)

• I had a lovely lunch at Mensae, a youthful gastro-bistro that opened this fall near the Buttes-Chaumont, in the 19th arrondissement. My taste buds still remember fondly the crispy pork belly with braised cabbages (plural as there were several kinds!) and cooking jus served in a bowl on the side. (See also: my fire-and-forget pork carnitas.)

• Classic French restaurant Astier is a favorite of mine that was recently redone, and we recently went for Sunday lunch as a family. One of the most distinguishing features of the place is the gorgeous communal cheese platter that gets passed around from table to table — hard to resist! If you want to see more of my meal, here’s the short Snapchat story I made out of it. (Find me on Snapchat!)

You’ll find my top Paris spots on this map of favorites, and you can follow me on Instagram to see many more food pictures and Paris recommendations throughout the month.

My Top Resources

I am often asked for information on the tools and ingredients I like best, so I’ve put together a list of top resources to share with you. You’ll find cooking and baking equipment I love, but also reference books and podcasts, as well as blogging tools and parenting resources. Enjoy!

Recent Reads

Pretty GirlsLe Grand Manuel du CuisinierThe Food LabFerment Your Vegetables

More reading recommendations?

5 Cool Links

  1. What should you eat to bring luck in the New Year?
  2. If you’ve ever wondered what Paris looked like at the turn of the twentieth century, you’ll love Eugène Atget’s photos.
  3. Curious to know more about the Paris craft coffee scene? This short documentary is for you!
  4. 9 creative ways to use vegetable tops, including my very own radish leaf pesto.
  5. Why blog in two languages? I chatted with Dianne Jacob about Chocolate & Zucchini being bilingual.

Follow me on Twitter and like the C&Z Page on Facebook for many more links throughout the month!

#cnzrecipes and #frenchmarketcookbook

If you try recipes from Chocolate & Zucchini or The French Market Cookbook during the holidays, please share photos! On social media, tag them with #cnzrecipes or #frenchmarketcookbook and my name, @clotildenet — I’ll be reposting my favorites.

  • Christie Popp

    Happy Holidays, Clotilde. I’ve been reading your blog for many years now. We are about the same age (I’m 36) and both have two boys (almost 5 and almost 2 for me) and I have felt a connection watching your business and family grow. I look forward to many more years of learning and inspiration!

    • Thank you so much, Christie, your kind words mean a lot to me! I wish you and your family the very best in the new year.

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