My Very First Cookbook, Newly Released in French!

Chocolate & Zucchini : Le Livre

Do you read French? Are you a student of the language? If so, I have an important update for you!

I have just released Chocolate & Zucchini : Le Livre, a new e-book edition of my very first cookbook, translated into French by yours truly.

The French edition was first published by Hachette, but it’s been out of print for a while. That always made my heart sink: it’s a book into which I’ve poured all of my soul, and many of my cult recipes, the kind you make again and again, and pass on to your sister and your friends, who later tell you, “You know, that mustard chicken of yours? I make it ALL THE TIME!”

This is why I decided to bring it back to life as an e-book — after a thorough re-reading and re-formatting effort — and I am now offering it for 8€ ($9), for immediate download on Amazon or the secure platform e-junkie.

I want it!

Don’t read French? Get the original English-language edition of the book, complete with my soul and cult recipes! It’s called Chocolate & Zucchini: Daily Adventures in a Parisian Kitchen.

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Spicy Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas

Spicy Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas

These roasted chickpeas play an important role in my weekday lunches.

Most days, when I’m working from home, my midday meal consists of a vegan bowl that features the produce I get delivered to my doorstep every Monday.

These need to be super satisfying, otherwise I’ll be snacking on chocolate all afternoon and then I can’t sleep at night from all the caffeine — true story. So over time I’ve developed an intuitive sense of what I need in a lunch bowl, and it is a combination of the below:

  • Something starchy, such as a grain (typically gluten-free) or a roasted root vegetable (pictured above: roasted sweet potatoes),
  • Something green, such as fresh salad leaves or leafy greens, either cooked, or raw and massaged (pictured above: thinly sliced and sautéed pointed cabbage),
  • Something raw, such as cucumber moons, spiralized and snipped zucchini, grated carrots, diced kohlrabi, radish confetti, halved cherry tomatoes — the list goes on,
  • Something fat-rich, such as an avocado when I can get them from not too far away, or a nut-butter-based dressing such as this simple tahini sauce or this equally easy peanut sauce,
  • Something protein-rich, such as legumes, lacto-fermented tofu, or, a recent discovery and current obsession, marinated and roasted tempeh,
  • Some fresh herbs, my favorite being cilantro, chives, and chervil (pictured above: I forgot to add them for the shot; keepin’ it real here),
  • Something acidic or tangy, such as a squeeze of citrus juice, a splash of vinegar, chopped olives, some pickles, or a thinly diced wedge of preserved lemon (pictured above: a squeeze of lime juice, though you’ll have to take my word for it),
  • And last but not least, what makes or breaks the bowl: SOMETHING CRUNCHY.

Mini Cookbook of Vegan Staples

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Aquafaba Chocolate Mousse

Aquafaba Chocolate Mousse

You know how, when you buy chickpeas in a can, they come in this thickish, off-yellow juice, not entirely appetizing to be honest, that you pour down the sink without even thinking about it?

Well, as it turns out, this chickpea brine has properties remarkably similar to those of egg whites: it’s a snot-like (graphic! sorry!) liquid that’s full of protein, and can be whisked to form a beautifully flowy mousse, peaks and all.

This was first revealed in 2014 by a Frenchman named Joël Roessel, author of the blog Révolution Végétale, though the “discovery” results from the incremental efforts of different vegan experimenters.

Since then, aquafaba — as the name was later coined — has taken the vegan world by storm, conveniently solving all baking problems that stem from not being able to use egg whites, without resorting to icky, super-processed egg replacers.

Aquafaba makes it possible to make vegan meringues (!), but the minute I heard about it, my brain went straight to vegan chocolate mousse (need I remind you what my blog is called?).

Mini Cookbook of Vegan Staples

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Best of May

Sinking building on rue Lamarck

When you’re out and about in Paris, it’s good to remember to look up, so as not to miss a special architectural detail, a beautiful play of light between buildings, or an especially striking perspective. (You do want to look back down at your feet often enough, though, as some Parisian dog owners shirk their responsibilities in a despicable manner.)

And sometimes it’s sideways you should look, such as here, at the foot of the Sacré-Coeur, where a steep little slope on your right allows you to get this trompe-l’oeil view of a “sinking” building on rue Lamarck.

Good Eats

Best of May

• We had a delightful dinner at Yard, a pocket-size restaurant in a super cute micro-neighborhood of the 11th that serves market-fresh dishes and natural wines in a fun, unpretentious atmosphere. The stand-out for me was this starter of trout with slim grilled zucchini and almond cream. I would have licked the plate clean, but their beautifully crusty bread volunteered to mop up the sauce.

• Whenever I’m in the Belleville area, I can’t not get a fabulous banh mi from Saigon Sandwich. Maxence and I have been total fans of their Vietnamese sandwiches for years and years, and in fact, they were my first meal after I gave birth to each of my sons, special-delivered by Maxence to my room at the maternité. My favorite is the chicken (poulet spécial) with extra chile peppers.

• I was happy to discover the Compagnie générale de biscuiterie, the brand-new cookie shop that star pastry chef Gilles Marchal (formerly of La Maison du Chocolat) opened in my neighborhood. (Montmartre is becoming more and more of a must-not-miss destination for pastry enthusiasts. Ask me about my walking tours!) It’s a workshop-slash-boutique where you can see the team at work making puff pastry treats and butter cookies. I recommend the paper-thin arlettes and the chocolate chip sablés.

• If more proof was needed that Montmartre is on the rise (ha ha), Melbourne coffee shop Hardware Société chose it to establish its Parisian outpost. It’s a gorgeous space with lots of light, a beautiful view, and a wall of butterflies you kind of want to take home with you. On the menu: all-day brunch (what’s not to like?) such as these poached eggs served with grilled mushrooms, ricotta, mâche and watercress on a thick toast of walnut bread. (On weekends, get there early or late to avoid the crowds.)

Find my top Paris spots on this map of favorites, and follow me on Instagram to see many more food shots and Paris recommendations throughout the month!

Latest Reads

Markets of ProvenceThe Pot Thief Who Studied EscoffierBonjour KaleMinimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking

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Food Blogger Pro Enrollment

Food Blogger ProNot long ago I told you about Food Blogger Pro, a membership site that offers invaluable resources for food bloggers. I continue to draw great value from my own membership, and you can read about it here; I’m especially excited about the new food styling course that they just added in. The current window of admissions is closing on June 2, so if you want to give it a try, this is your chance. (You can sign up for just one month if you’re unsure, and they have a 60-day money back guarantee.)

5 Cool Links

  1. My friend and fellow food writer Caroline Mignot has a YouTube channel where she shares behind-the-scenes videos with the best food artisans. I especially enjoyed her recent video on massaging butter and the one with pastry chef Johanna Roques of Jojo & Co. It’s in French, but just watching is enough!
  2. The elaborate politics of using the grocery belt divider at the supermarket.
  3. Puzzled about edible seaweed? This quick guide should clear things up.
  4. Do you let your kids near sharp knives and hot stoves? (Related: My Parents Who Cook series.)
  5. Surprise surprise (not) there’s a big gap between what “foodie culture” presents and what people actually cook and eat. I’m no elitist and think that any kind of home cooking is a win. What are your thoughts?

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

Note: This post contains some affiliate links. This means that if you decide to make a purchase using those links, I will receive a commission from the vendor, at no extra cost to you. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Best Eats in Bordeaux, From a Local

Bordeaux

Travel season is upon us, and I want to make sure you see and taste the best France has to offer! When it comes to Paris I’ve got you covered, but there are many other cities with exciting and delicious things for you to experience. So I’ve asked a team of French bloggers from different cities to share their favorite spots, and I am offering them to you in this new series.

In Bordeaux, Bénédicte recommends…

Benedicte Baggio-Catalan of my little spoonFor our first destination, I’m happy to introduce Bénédicte Baggio-Catalan, the author behind the French blog My little spoon. Bénédicte is originally from La Rochelle, but she fell in love with Bordeaux in 2002. She created her blog in 2008, in which she shares seasonal recipes for daily cooking and for entertaining. She is currently working for the Cité du Vin, a new venue devoted to wine that will open in Bordeaux very soon.

In addition to her blog, I recommend you follow Bénédicte on Facebook and Instagram. (The photos are hers unless otherwise noted.)

A market or food shop: La Recharge

La Recharge Bordeaux

Photo: Jules Rivet

A grocery store that sells products in bulk only: you bring your own jars, bottles, and bags — no pre-packaged goods at all! They have a lot of everyday products, but I also love to find new, unexpected products. It’s local, seasonal, smart, and economical. Too bad it’s a bit far from my house; we need more stores like this in Bordeaux!

Where to go for sweet treats: Hasnaâ Chocolats Grands Crus

Hasnaâ Chocolats Grands Crus Bordeaux

Hasnaâ Ferreira was a contestant on Masterchef here in France. She has been through a chocolatier training and has now opened her own chocolate shop, where she offers high-quality chocolates with interesting aromatic profiles. The latest, le Venezia, features Piemont hazelnuts paired with the fabulous “Marabout” Ethiopian coffee from my friend L’Alchimiste Torréfacteur (“the alchemist roaster”).

Where to get tea or coffee: Black List

A small coffee shop on Place Pey Berland. Yes, the coffee shop trend has caught on in Bordeaux! The wooden shop is decorated with Scandinavian accents and crates filled with fruits and vegetables, and it offers a daily selection of fresh dishes and American-style pastries. But, most of all, it has good coffee!

A fun restaurant for dinner with friends: Mampuku

Mampuku Bordeaux

Meaning “full belly” in Japanese, Mampuku is the latest restaurant from the Miles team. While they are not physically in the kitchen, their team delivers with the same spirit: creative, fresh, and convivial, with dishes that blend Asian, Mediterranean, and European inspirations. You don’t order your own dish here; rather, you order many small plates for the table to share. It’s the best place for relaxed yet refined finger foods in a lively setting.

Where to go for an intimate dinner with a date: Garopapilles

Garopapilles Bordeaux

Chef Tanguy Laviale had his heart set on opening a welcoming, home-style restaurant, in the most noble sense of the phrase, while still offering a cuisine that is refined and personal. Tanguy offers a single surprise menu with two appetizers, a main course, and a dessert that he creates and modifies frequently. I also love their wine selection. Truly one of the most inspiring restaurants in Bordeaux right now.

Wild Card Spot! Chez Boulan

Chez Boulan Bordeaux

Photo: Chez Boulan

Natives of the region know oyster producer Boulan for his unique oysters from Le Cap-Ferret, and now he has his own restaurant in Chartrons, a neighborhood in Bordeaux. There, chef Pierre Rousseau cooks a marine-inspired, fresh, innovative cuisine. I’m still dreaming about his raw sea bass with yuzu, ginger, cilantro and almonds, paired with mushrooms confit in sake and a runny egg yolk. It’s rare to get such good seafood in a city setting.

Thank you so much for sharing, Bénédicte!

You’ll find all these addresses mapped out below:

Do you have your own favorite spots in Bordeaux? We want to hear about them in the comments below! And is there a particular city or area you’d like featured in this series in the future?

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