Garlic Press R.I.P.

Garlic Press R.I.P.

I broke our garlic press yesterday, and now I can’t help but wonder… Is this a sign of the Gods? Do I use too much garlic? Do I *eat* too much garlic? Have I pressed too much of it? Or too hard? Is this the first spasm of the Worldwide Garlic Mutiny? Some people are violently against garlic presses, so was this affirmative action from a commando of those guys? Sabotage?

I think I will hold off buying a new one for now, see what happens… But if you hear anything, do let me know, okay?

Le Thé Mariage Frères

Le Thé Mariage Frères

I could not agree more with Amy. Tea from Mariage Frères is one of those things that just make life a whole lot better. The beauty of the tins it comes in does nothing to hamper my feelings, nor does the beauty of the boxes the tins themselves come in!

And the names, indeed, the names! If you can’t make it out on the pic above, I have : “Thé sur le Nil” (fruity and lemony green tea), “Casablanca” (Morrocan mint and bergamot) and “Jasmin Mandarin” (sweet jasmine green tea). The last two I received as a gift from our friend Chacha on my last birthday…

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La Famille

La Famille

La Famille is a restaurant that opened a few months ago in Montmartre. It got an impressive amount of flattering reviews in the press (whoever takes care of their PR would get my business!) which naturally teased me into trying it. I’m a sucker for new restaurants, and when they open just two blocks from us, what’s a girl to do?

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Lemon Thyme Crème Brûlée

Lemon Thyme Crème Brûlée

Ever since we bought the Oxylaser Blowtorch I’ve been pining for an opportunity to use it. My sister Céline has (at least) as much of a sweet tooth as I do, so I decided to make us Lemon Thyme Crèmes Brûlées for dessert on Saturday.

I found a disturbing number of very different crème brûlée recipes out there, calling for widely discordant oven temp, cooking time and quantities of eggs/cream/sugar. They starred various ingredients for flavor, and I was tempted by several combinations : rosemary and vanilla, cinnamon and orange flower water, as well as a version that included chunks of honey spice cake! As is often the case, I ended up using several recipes for inspiration, choosing the ones I figured should work, and sort of blended several into my own version. For flavor, I decided to use lemon and thyme, which I had on hand and sounded like a promising duet.

And without further ado, my friends, let me share that recipe…

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Porcini Walnut Risotto

Porcini Walnut Risotto

My sister Céline lives in Frankfurt, Germany. She is to come back to work in France at the beginning of next year, which makes me deliriously happy, but until then we have to make do with the weekends she comes to spend with us. This Saturday, after the traditional afternoon of shopping together, Céline came over for dinner. She is very appreciative of my cooking, so it’s always a pleasure feeding her.

As a main dish, I prepared a porcini walnut risotto. The trusted recipe I always start from is the Basic Pressure Cooker Risotto recipe that Val posted on the Cooking Light Bulletin Board a while ago, which I tweak to include whatever ingredients my risotto happens to star.

Each of us was served a little mound of risotto, on which I ground black pepper and sprinkled parmesan, with a green salad on the side. Alternatively the risotto could be deposited on a bed of salad in a shallow bowl, or circles could be used to shape the rice neatly, but this was just us, so I forwent the fuss.

Risotto is always a very satisfying dish, and here the creamy rice was particularly well complemented by the soft porcini and the crunchy walnuts. The three of us polished this off nicely but, had we had any leftovers, I would have made risotto cakes the next day, sautéed in a little olive oil in a skillet.

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