Fast food à la française: gratin de ravioles
At the supermarket, I spend most of my time avoiding "convenience" foods. But, if I snub the frozen pizzas and star chefs' fancy prepared meals, there is one pre-made food I have come to love: the little ravioli variously known as ravioles de Royans
or ravioles du Dauphiné
Uplifting yoghurt cake with bergamot and pear
I am aware that I have neglected this blog for a long time, and without making any reckless promises I would like to remedy that this year. I am going to start with a baby step: a short post about a simple cake that may change your life.
Ten days in Guatemala
Guatemala, where one of my oldest friends has lived on and off since the 1970s, seemed the perfect destination to satisfy my thirst for adventure.
"I love you mozzarella"
Like all border towns, Ventimiglia attracts hordes of shoppers in search of a bargain. This mostly involves cheap alcohol - can someone explain why Pastis costs less in Italy than in the south of France? - and handbags or sunglasses that come with fake labels and the risk of a hefty fine should the border police decide to do one of their frequent spot checks.
On the trail of Ines
Fashion and I never really did hit it off — fashion people don't seem to eat anything, for one — but thanks to an editor with a great sense of humor and my youthful enthusiasm I managed to pass myself off as a minor authority for a couple of years.
My job frequently requires me to eat elaborate three-course meals at lunch and dinner several days in a row. It's something I have trained myself to do over the years and my stomach rarely utters a peep of complaint, as long as I don't overdo the wine (not as easy as it sounds). I am grateful, though, when I come across a restaurant that acts as a kind of cleansing interlude, replenishing my body with crunchy vegetables and wholesome grains.
A weekend in Bastia
Nonstop sunshine, rustic cakes made with chestnut flour, honey tasting of sun-scorched wild herbs, sausages of boar and donkey: these are a few of the things I expected to find in Corsica, and over the course of the weekend more than one of these preconceived ideas would prove to be false.
Au Merveilleux de Fred
Nearly every French pastry shop has its cloud-like meringues sitting in a puffy heap somewhere near the window, but they often seem to be more of a decoration than something that people actually eat.
Sunday at the Marché de Wazemmes
Lille is a city with many charms - great beer, friendly people, a freshly restored historic center - but these are not necessarily obvious on a Sunday, when shops and restaurants pull down their shutters so that families can gather round a steaming pot ofcarbonnade flamande
, beef cooked in beer until caramelized, or share a potjevleesch
, an assortment of jellied meats.
Ten things you need to know about olive oil
Of the dozens of olive varieties grown in Provence, the caillette
- informally known as the Niçoise olive - is perhaps the most beautiful and subtle.
If I had to compile a list of things I might potentially need for the house, "another kitchen appliance" would definitely not be on it.
New York and a fresh start
I have always taken New Year's resolutions very seriously. This year, though, too many are whirling around in my head: Blog more often. Listen to my acccountant. Start each day with sun salutations. Meditate. See more of nature. Teach my son to cook. Let my friends know how much I appreciate them.
Advice from a slim cook
Though I wouldn't describe myself as skinny, some people do think I'm a little too slim to be credible as a cook, particularly in a country whose people are known for slathering butter on everything from baguette to radishes.
On being vegetarian in France
A few months ago, my son Sam declared himself a vegetarian. Now, if we lived in California this might not sound unusual, but this is France, proud land of steak-frites
and tête de veau.
A new chef at the Louis XV
It was potatoes that first cemented my friendship with Franck Cerutti, chef for ten years at Alain Ducasse's Louis XV restaurant in Monaco.