Where Else to Find Me

Where Else to Find Me

To my great pleasure, I have been asked to contribute to another website, called Bonjour Paris. Bonjour Paris is a gateway for people who love France in general and Paris in particular, where you can find great articles on the culture and language and food of France, on the Parisian way of life, as well as great ressources to plan your trip, what to see and where to stay.

The Bonjour Paris team is great to work with, and I will happily write a bi-monthly column there, called “A Parisian Home Chef“. My latest article is about the goodies you can get in Paris for Valentine’s Day this year…

And The Sprouts Sprouted!

And The Sprouts Sprouted!

I harvested my first sprouts yesterday night, I’m so proud!

The pink radish was particularly vigorous, having grown hundreds of cute little green stems, and developped symmetrical roots, with tiny lashes, on the other side of the sprouter rack. Those guys had even started to suffocate the mixed seed sprouts on the bottom rack — I’ll have to remember that, and grow them on either side of an empty safety rack next time!

I immediately conducted a taste test, and a very satisfactory one at that : both crops are nicely crunchy and peppery (the pink radish particularly, as expected). I threw a fistful of both types into the spelt and tofu salad I had for lunch today, and I love the look of these little creatures, I love the bite and tang they add, I love the fact that they’re at their nutritious peak, chock-full of vitamins and nutrients, and I love the fact that I grew them myself, on my very own kitchen counter!

Cooking Ten Year Old Girls — and Other search phrases

Cooking Ten Year Old Girls and Other search phrases

Some of you may remember how much I like looking at the search engine queries that have led visitors to Chocolate & Zucchini. January has come and gone, leaving another batch of intriguing/funny/puzzling/cute phrases in its wake.

This month’s top five :
cooking ten-year-old girls (or did you mean “for”?)
what the fuck macaroon
free pics of girls covered in chocolate sauce
juicing vegetables to taste like chocolate (do let me know if you find out how to do this!)
what is the french dish called coucou (I am stumped)

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The Sprouted Seeds Project

At the lovely Pousse-Pousse boutique the other day, I bought myself a sprouter, and two tubs of sprouting seeds. A tub of pink radish seeds, and a tub of the “longevity mix“, which includes alfalfa, broccoli, turnip, lentil, mustard, black radish and soy seeds.

They have a lot of other seeds to choose from, but the pink radish is peppery while the longevity mix has a more mellow taste (devoid of aniseed), so the duo seemed like a good place to start.

I left them to soak in water for the night, before placing them on different racks of the sprouter, and have been faithfully watering them, twice a day, with water filtered in our Brita jug. They’re supposed to be ready after 5 days, and so far so good, so Monday should find us eating our first sprouted seeds salad!

7 rue Notre-Dame de Lorette
75009 Paris
01 53 16 10 81

Stuffed Round Zucchini

Courgettes Rondes Farcies

[Stuffed Round Zucchini]

We buy most of our fruits and vegetables at our favorite little fruit stand in the rue des Abbesses, where the staff is friendly, greets us with big smiles, gets stuff for us from the back – often including a little freebie – and is always happy to discuss what’s the best seasonal choice and how to prepare it.

But sometimes it’s just more convenient to go to the Champion grocery store if it’s on my way, and I have to admit the produce aisle there is really pretty decent. Sometimes the veggies look a little sad and wilted (especially the eggplant, for some reason) in which case I just skip that particular variety, but most of the time the quality is fine. Especially in the winter, summer produce being more delicate to handle. I can also tell they really try to offer more than the average supermarket selection, and occasionally have exotic fruits or unusual vegetables. Unfortunately, I’m afraid only a few of us customers seem to go for the new stuff : more often that not the effort is short-lived, and the particular new produce item is nowhere to be found a week later.

So last week, when I saw that they sold little ball-shaped zucchini, I instantly decided to get a few, because anything round and small and cute gets my enthusiastic vote, and also as a measure of encouragement for the good Champion guys who make the produce selection. And of course, what can you do with little round zucchini, if not stuff them with goodies? I had made a similar dish a few months ago, filling the shells with quinoa, ricotta and pinenuts, and had enjoyed the process as much as the result. I decided to do something different this time, a non-vegetarian version that would use Jackie‘s wonderful red onion confit.

This was really great (not to mention easy-peasy to make) : the zucchini look so pretty, and they are deliciously tasty with the meat and onion filling – which owes a lot to Jackie’s confit. Maxence enjoyed it particularly, and said that this was the best thing I had done lately. (He’s not quite the soup-fan that I have become, so I’m afraid the poor darling has been feeling a little deprived…) As often with dishes that are a blend of flavors, make sure you have leftovers, as this is even better the next day.

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