New York Christmas

New York was snowy, then it was sunny and warm, then it was steamy with rain.  And then it was freezing and clear. I don’t care. Whatever the weather, it couldn’t be better. I’m here with my children.  The best sights? There were so many…. The gazillion gorgeous Christmas trees. The foyer of the New York Public […]

Thumbprints for Christmas

Of all the cookies I make each year for Christmas, thumbprints are the ones that disappear the most quickly.   I think it’s because they’re the only ones on the Christmas cookie plate that wink – or at least the red currant jelly in their center makes them seem to! Christmas cookies are a novelty […]

Market Men

My market is filled with perfect seasonal produce, gorgeous meat and poultry, incredible sounds and colors, and a host of great looking men. Why? Because in our corner of the world men cultivate mushrooms and apples, make creamy fresh goat cheese, raise ducks for foie gras, tend chickens who lay the most beautiful eggs, serve […]

Gingerbread Houses – Maisons en Pain d’Epices

Every year, we get together with our friends Lena, Camille, and Johanna to build a gingerbread Christmas house.  They are Swedish/French, and building a gingerbread house is a Swedish tradition. When the kids were smaller, we actually baked the dough for the house, carefully cutting it, adapting the pieces for oven-shrinkage, struggling over making houses […]

Love Letter to a Parisian Restaurant

At 21 Mazarine Chef and Paul Minchelli, has the softest, most delicate touch with seafood of any chef I’ve ever known.  Didier Granier, also part owner who runs the front of the house, greets each guest as though they were JUST the person he wanted to see.  Their combination is irresistible. And then there is […]

Quince Paste

I make it every Christmas season, with quinces from my tree if there are enough.  This year there were not and I was despondent, until I smelled the quinces coming from Vincent-the-apple-man’s stand.  Like the siren’s song, it called me and I was mesmerized into buying a kilo.  Never have I smelled quinces like these. […]

Chicken Wings

A miracle occurred today, right next door in the butcher shop. There, Stéphane Coutard spends his days finding out exactly what his customers want, trimming it to perfection, then dispensing with cooking advice as he wraps  and weighs what they’ve chosen. Today, our discussion turned to chicken wings. They’re my favorite part of the chicken, […]

Thanksgiving Leftovers

We all agree – there is nothing better than Thanksgiving leftovers.  I roast a huge turkey to feed everyone once, and to have plenty of leftovers; one of my Thanksgiving guests who didn’t want to take leftovers home with him just wrote, with tears in his message, “I was thinking about leftovers; I may have […]

Morning Destination

At first light I get on my bicycle, and ride along the river Eure.  The bike path skirts fields and small housing developments, hugs the river, goes under a low bridge which requires a ducked head. This morning, fog hugged the ground, draping around bushes and humps, wrapping steps, skirting atop the water.  The sky […]

Thanksgiving in France

Thanksgiving for our family is celebrated whenever we can.  Sometimes that means mid-December, but this year we were almost right on the mark. The stars aligned so that we could celebrate last Saturday, a bit early but still in line with the Thanksgiving moment. I love Thanksgiving, even more than when I lived in the […]