December 2012 Hi all. First up - I'm having a book event and get-together in Paris on December 1st from 4 to 6pm at La Cuisine cooking school (80, qu

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December 2012


Hi all. First up - I'm having a book event and get-together in Paris on December 1st from 4 to 6pm at La Cuisine cooking school (80, quai de l'Hôtel de Ville, 4th.) There will be treats from the school and I'll be there signing copies of Ready for Dessert, The Sweet Life in Paris, and The Perfect Scoop.

(You're welcome to bring previously purchased copies, or you can just stop by and just have a little nibble and something to drink. Actually, you don't even have to eat or drink anything, but since they're making pastries and so forth, and 'tis the season...why not?)

Now that that's out to the way, I can't wait for December to be here. It's a time when Paris really winds down – people head indoors because of the cold, blustery weather, and everyone sort of hibernates. (That is, until the January sales, which seem to do a pretty good job of getting people out.) The markets are filling up with colorful citrus and I can't wait to make jams and jellies. Soon there will be sour oranges for Seville Orange Marmalade and I've been piling wild mushrooms into my market basket because I can't help it. And have been sautéeing them with salted butter, garlic - and a little more butter - then piling them up on polenta. I've also discovered the Verre Volé épicerie (54, rue de la Folie Mericourt), which is a specialty shop of goodies brought to us but the same people that have the wine bar, and wine shop around the corner.

And I've been making cocktails at home and experimenting a little with tipping back something other than wine. There are some specialty stores in Paris, such as Maison du Whisky, which will set you up pretty well, and I recently came home with some French vermouth and American rye whiskey. Then I candied some cherries, and, well - you'll have to read about it in December on my site because it's not quite ready yet. I think I need to do a few more rounds of, um, "recipe testing"...

But on another note, I am buckling down on a book project and I'm sure my editor got the short straw at the editorial meeting when they were handing out authors, because she's been incredibly patient while I work on recipes and write, which is a 48/7 job because I'm thinking all the time. The hardest part is to get what's in my tiny little brain onto the page. I supposed the rye isn't helping.



Interesting Online Services, Shopping, and More...


Although I can't pronounce it, it's easy to enjoy the sigh-inducing style of Heidi Swanson in her online shopping pop-up site. You never know what will show up on Quitokeeto, because much depends on when and where she can find things. There have been antique Parisian baguette cutters, Spanish knives, a honey-like spread called 'honeydew', chocolate molds, and heirloom maple syrup. Things go fast when they open, understandably, but they'll send you a note when they have new items so you get first dibs.

Rue La La

I was admiring someone's fancy suitcase a few years ago and she said, "I bought it on Rue La La!" And I was, like, "What the heck it that?" So I joined and found it's an online shopping site. Every day the brands change and things so fast, especially if the price is right. And yes, I did snare a similar Tumi suitcase for about 30% of the retail price.

Recently Rue La La had a pretty great sale on All-Clad cookware, which I am a fan of. I tried to post an invitation on Facebook but found out it was a private sale so folks couldn't buy. I was even more upset because I found out that All-Clad made a pie pan (how come no one told me?) – but it was sold-out by the time I hit the site. And even though they don't ship internationally, I'm still hooked and have friends bring stuff, like pie tins, suitcases, and so forth. They have a lot of clothes and other kinds of stuff (Spanx anyone?), but they do have very good sales on cookware and appliances from companies like Le Creuset, KitchenAid, and Cuisinart. (They recently had their new ICE-100 ice cream maker on sale, which sold out right away. #want)

So if you want to join them, you can use this invite and check out the sales yourself.

(Note: I get a dinky affiliate fee from Rue La La.)

The Perfect Pin

For those of you on Pinterest, like me, it's an overload of design, lanky women with long hair posing in alleys (which I'm trying to get rid of in my stream...), eye-popping food, and fun- and sometimes goofy - stuff. Marla at Family Fresh Cooking wrote a post, The Perfect Pin, which offers some tips on navigating this newcomer on the social media scene.

How to Start a Food Blog

Much has changed since I hit the "publish" button on my site in 1999 (in fact, it seems like much changes every 24 hours!) How to Start a Food Blog offers a lot of practical tips and advice on how to start-up your blog, and maintain it. It's an overload of information, all well-presented and interesting reading if you are thinking of starting a blog, or want to get some advice about what to do with your current one.

So You Want to Write a Food Blog?

And finally, a witty look at what not to do with your new blog. Some tips for naming your site, with tongue a bit in-cheek, from Sean at Hedonia.

chocolate hot pudding

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Oh, before I forget. I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving, if you live where they celebrate it. I kind of dropped the ball on it this year, but in my defense, Thanksgiving just isn't a big holiday in Paris. But next year, I'm making wild mushroom stuffing. With rye.

And now, it's just about December. I sent this out a few days early to let folks know about the book event here in Paris. It feels like winter now, as the sun disappears early and it's dark by 5 in the afternoon. The good news is that it's the season for vin chaud. So I need to get cracking on that recipe. Look for it next month! -dl

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