Three Very Good Things: Buckwheat Praliné, Pasta with Hokkaido Squash, and a Red Collapsible Lunch Box

I recently had the opportunity to meet the lovely Stephanie — the no less lovely Aran introduced us — and I am therefore a new reader of her blog, “where practical meets pretty.” She wrote about gratitude lists in a recent post, and the first comment underneath that post was by Mary, who talked about her weekly round-up of Three Beautiful Things.

I loved the idea, as I am definitely one to find gratitude and joy in small things. In a flash I decided it would be wonderful to start a (weekly-ish) Three Very Good Things series, in which I’d share three delicious things made, tasted, and/or experienced during the week.

Here’s my inaugural Very Good Trio. Feel free to chime in with your own in the comments section, or on your own blog if you’d like to adopt the idea too!

~ Henri Le Roux‘s dark chocolate buckwheat praliné, a chocolate bite he calls Soizig: praliné is a finely ground mixture of nuts and sugar with a little cocoa or cocoa butter, covered in chocolate. This version includes blé noir (buckwheat) and the subtlety of the chocolate/buckwheat pairing is heavenly.

Henri Le Roux is based in Quiberon, in Brittany, and he’s also known for his salted butter caramels. Good news for Parisians: he’s opening a shop in the 6th arrondissement in early December, at 1 rue de Bourbon le Château (thanks to Mingou for the tip-off).

~ Pasta with Hokkaido squash, parsley and almonds: for lunch the other day, I sautéed half of a tiny potimarron (unpeeled) cut into small chunks. I cooked some spelt fusilli, tossed them with the squash, added a drizzle of squash seed oil, and scattered that with chopped parsley and almonds. It was very good indeed.

~ A red collapsible lunchbox. Like most people with actual tastebuds, I loathe airplane food and was inspired by Heidi’s recent post to buy a collapsible lunch box, airtight and complete with a spork, that I could pack with something tasty and wholesome for my impending trip to Canada.

Heidi’s is made by DCI and she got it from Flight 001, but I found a very similar one made by UK brand Wacky Practicals. I was able to order it with minimal shipping costs, and I received it within four days.

Now all I need to do is decide what I’ll pack in it. Suggestions welcome!

  • http://www.tandcake.wordpress.com Tamsin

    You’ve saved me the job of tracking down a UK supplier of Heidi’s lunch box, thanks! I hate having my handbag full of empty lunch box if I have to go somewhere direct from work.

    I have two good things for the week: roasted pumpkin, crème fraîche and rosemary on pizza and a fennel and chard gratin from the Riverford field kitchen which converted me from being a fennel and chard hater.

  • http://theindolentcook.blogspot.com/ leaf (the indolent cook)

    Buckwheat praline sounds divine. Love the idea of that wholesome pasta dish too. Very good things indeed!

  • http://mementoyummy.blogspot.com liz

    You’re coming to CANADA?! Don’t forget your toque!
    I hope you have a wonderful time :)

  • http://allieeatsmeat.wordpress.com Allie (allie eats meat)

    Collapsable lunchbox?! Wow! This is a must have!

    3 good things? – my lovely new le creuset grillet in scarlet, eating chicken pho when you have an awful cold :( and the last of the summer tomatoes made into a lovely roasted tomato pasta. Yum. A x

  • http://mwazloves.blogspot.com Mary

    Thanks so much for the shout-out! Stephmodo has long been a favorite of mine. My Three Beautiful Things posts are always my favorites – it really does help lift my spirits to think of those three things every week. That squash sounds divine.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      You’re so welcome, Mary, thanks for the inspiration! Your 3BT posts are wonderful, and I can imagine how much writing them must influence your outlook on everyday life.

  • http://naturally-delicious.blogspot.com/ renee

    Thank you again for inspiration and the reminder to focus on the wonderful things I have today instead of what I wish for tomorrow. I have so much today, my cup is full.
    I live in San Francisco, so here are three SF favorites in my life:
    This wonderful Indian summer with perfect weather for any outside activity.
    Overseas visitors who love our city and are happy to include me in their vacation plans.
    Excellent and diverse fruits and vegetables from my Mariquita Farms CSA with which I joyfully prepare meals to share.
    Thanks Clotilde, as usual.

  • Ruth Adams

    Great that you’re coming to Canada. When, where and what are you planning to do here? There are so many food shops and restaurants to try, especially in the big cities of Montreal,Toronto,the capital- Ottawa, Calgary, and Vancouver. However, do not try poutine.

  • http://swans-place.blogspot.com/ swan

    I love the idea, Clotilde – and while for now I’ll just think of 3BT in my mind (thanks for reminding me to be a bit more mindfull) – I might try and blog about them later on.

    When are you going to Canada, and where? looking forward to you report as I might be relocating from HongKong to Vancouver next year…

    Three beautiful things for now:
    Yesterday. Spend it outside, on a terrace, in lovely weather and with lovely friends. Collectively we decided our housekeepingchores could wait. We started with lunch, and just stayed there and told our hubbies where to find us for dinner.
    Travelling. I love it to be able to visit other people, cultures, countries. And how great that people will travel to visit us!
    Right this moment. Thinking of all that’s good in my life. Hubby nearby, still sleeping, breeze trough the windows, busy but good times ahead.

    Thanks for a good start of the weekend!

    • Liz Thomas

      Hi Swan,

      Yes, the weather is lovely right now isn’t it.

      Just back from protracted travelling, UK, France, Finland and then Cambodia and Bangkok.

      Best things:

      A load of lovely dried fruit from Bangkok.

      A bottle of mixed wild berry juices in the freezer(made from berries I smuggled back from the UK) waiting to become hedgerow jelly

      and

      A big bag of passionfruits (also from Bangkok) which smell divine and cost next to nothing!

      cheers!
      L

  • http://MadAboutMacarons.com Jill @ MadAboutMacarons

    What a great idea with the three beautiful things. They sure are. Lunch box is a great idea you can stash away afterwards – and how did I miss this gorgeous looking Le Roux’s buckwheat praliné at the Salon du Chocolat. Thanks for the tip off of the new store!

  • http://www.thenewlywedchefs.com The Newlywed Chefs

    Those are all three very good things! LOVE the collapsible lunch box!

  • Ada

    You’re coming to Canada?! Where will you be visiting?

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Thanks for your interest! I’ve been invited by the Stratford Chefs School to be their gastronomic writer in residence this year. I’ll spend two weeks at the school running writing workshops with the students and giving a couple of lectures (see details).

      • Ada

        Ah, too bad you’re not coming to the other end of the country. :P I hope you have a wonderful time!

  • http://itsallaboutnonduality.blogspot.com/ Shivani Allgaier

    Thank you, this will make a perfect Sunday for me tomorrow http://tiny.cc/58rki

  • Bill Hutten

    Even better, don’t spend all your time in the big cities. Nova Scotia is beautiful, for instance, and our food culture has been transformed in the last 10-15 years… Also, visit Newfoundland. :)

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      This trip is for work, so I won’t be traveling around, but thanks for the suggestions. Next time, I hope!

  • http://lemontarteinparis.blogspot.com Lemon

    The lunchbox sounds interesting. I’ve never seen something like that before, but I think, from time to time, it would be worth having it.

  • http://professionalbakist.blogspot.com Ngoc

    What a lovely idea, and a nice way to wrap up the week with something positive! I’ll have to start it this week!

  • Violetta

    I’m a huge fan of lists!
    My three good things this weekend:

    ~*Indian lunch buffet with the perfect cup of chai
    ~*the addictive power of simplification. We moved this weekend, and all along the way we just keep chucking stuff into the Good Will bin.
    ~*Seventh Generation natural cleaning wipes. (Re: moving in!) They’ve been saving me from the usual childish freak-outs I’m prone to when confronted with other people’s dust. :)

    I think I have to get one of those lunch boxes.

  • Uma

    Thanks for an inspiring idea for an instant mood upliftment. I am not thankful enough for my blessings and doing something like this will remind me of the wonderful things and people around me :)

  • Mario

    Speaking of buckwheat groats, Ani Phyo has a recipe for dehydrating them and they become crispy.

    I make “raw” truffles by blending hazelnuts, dates, and vanilla in the food processor and then adding in powdered cocoa. Finally, I mix in the dehydrated buckwheat groats and roll them into balls. These raw truffles are delicious and the buckwheat adds a nice crunch :)

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Sounds wonderful! And perhaps then you’ll enjoy this recipe for raw buckwheat granola I wrote about last year.

  • http://www.mineralifeonline.com Neil | Butterfield

    OOOOh! I so love praline and this chocolate looks absolutely stunning.

  • http://amelieschoice.blogspot.com Amélie

    You’re going to Canada, how nice! I’m originally from there, and though I have lived in Texas for the past year, I had been in Montreal for the 12 years before that. Let me know if that’s where you’re going, as I could recommend places to visit!

  • http://stephmodo.com Stephanie

    Why thank you Clotilde! I had no idea you started peeking at my blog–so happy to have you “around” :)

    I’m so happy you starting this series! I look forward to reading more…

  • Tamera

    My 3 Beautiful Things:

    The pumpkin pie I baked this morning for my husband’s birthday – in a cake pan, no less, because I can’t find any pie plates. It turned out beautifully.

    My son’s sleeping face, in my arms while I type this reply. He is 15 days old today, and already full of surprises.

    The big Red Kabocha squash in my pantry – I can’t wait to turn it into some sort of delicious tasty supper this weekend. Will it become a curry? Soup? Roasted and whipped with cream and sharp cheddar like mashed potatoes? Squash are just so full of potential!

  • Vee

    Amazing lunch box. Just wow – and the other size with two sections, for some taste combinations. Amazing.

  • Cheryl

    Clotilde,

    Are those Gianduja sablés from La Pâtisserie des Rêves available anywhere to order in the States? many thanks!
    Foodie Francophile on Cape Cod

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      I don’t think they are, no. They’re fresh and fragile, so they likely wouldn’t ship well.

  • Simone

    Love your blog Clotilde! As much for te lifestyle content as the food…

    My three favourite things at the moment are:

    1. My scottish terrier rescue who is absolutely adorable and lovable and delicious;

    2. My morning coffee;

    3. Seeded health bread with butter and anchovie paste (very popular in South Africa)

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      You have got to tell us more about that bread! Is the butter and anchovy paste spread on the bread, or mixed into the dough?

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