Menu: Gabon


Ava's getting her molars in, which means she is in an extra special mood. These teeth must be massive. Ginormous. For weeks now they've been on the move - she'll go a few days in pain, then a few days off. Patience is at a premium, but I've learned to fill entire afternoons with long walks in the stroller. Instantly Ava chills out and spends the walk pointing out the birds, squirrels, and flowers. It's really rather sweet. With all this teething, I wasn't sure what food Ava was going to enjoy … [Read more...]

About the food of Gabon


Ever have a dusty, bumpy bad kind of day? A day where you want to toss your cares into someone else's hands? In a remote corner of Gabon, "Full service" takes on a whole new meaning: first they fill up your tank, then they wash your windshield, and finally, while you wait, women hand scrub your delicates. That'll improve any bumpy bad day! Just be sure you have time to wait for the clothes to line-dry.  In the midst of this simple life reigns a cuisine that is as much French as it is African, … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: France


THE SCENE I didn't tell Ava on purpose. I couldn't wait to see the look on her face. When I opened the front door she squealed and jerked her body to the side. She pitter-pattered her feet up and down in a "wobble-wiggle-squat" move, her bulky diaper-butt leading the way. This was her happy dance, like I'd never seen it before. She got so excited she actually fell over. She popped right back up, her tiny body shaking in a hysterical giggle-fit, and toddled out onto our front stoop in … [Read more...]

Recipe: Grapefruit and Ginger Tart


Celebrate late winter with this French-inspired, bright citrus tart, featuring grapefruit and ginger flavored pastry cream on top of a spicy gingersnap crust. The candied ginger garnish is the exclamation point to this perky citrus dessert. I created this dessert for a contest on Food52. The flavor was so good - tart and sweet and gingery - I thought I'd share it with you here, during French week. I came up with this happy combination while playing around with a classic French citrus tart … [Read more...]

Recipe: Ratatouille


Serves 4 When I was little, mom made ratatouille all the time. We ate it hot in the winter and cold in the summer, but always with loads of garlic. She's half Italian, half Hungarian so - naturally - I figured ratatouille was a dish from our own, personal heritage.Later, when I moved to France, ratatouille turned up everywhere. Who knew? Ratatouille is French, French, French. Most popular in the south of France, around Nice (one of the hotspots for rich and famous folk, on the French … [Read more...]

Recipe: Triple Pots de Crème (Chocolate, Espresso & Vanilla)


Makes 8 individual desserts Some days are so good - so deliriously happy, happy, happy - that I cannot limit myself to just one dessert to celebrate, even if it is a fabulously good French one... Today is such a day because, when I told Ava "I love you," she smiled big and lovingly, and gave me.... two... thumbs... up. She only just learned how to give a thumbs up yesterday, so I'm feeling pretty special right about now. In honor of her cuteness, we're going with a sampler style celebration … [Read more...]

Recipe: Teardrop Onion Soup (French Onion Soup)


Serves 4 Do you need a good cry? Today is the day. Paris can handle your tears. Trust me, I know. All you have to do is make a pot of French Onion Soup. By the time you slurp your last sip, and crunch on the last of the cheesy crouton, you will be renewed. After my brother died everything hurt. The thing was, as bad as it felt, I didn't really know how bad I was hurting. I tried to ignore it. To keep going. I didn't want to look my grief in the face. It was an ugly, unwieldy monster. If … [Read more...]

To like or to love, that is the question.


Do you want to tell someone you love them in French? "Je t'aime." Do you want to tell someone you like them in French? "Je t'aime." It gets confusing when you're a geeked out adolescent, trying not to sound too eager when talking about the cute guy in your class. It matters less when talking about food. Or family. In fact, the French language has an important message for all of us. We shouldn't just love our loved ones. We should like them, too. Makes sense to me. … [Read more...]