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December 2018 Newsletter

Very excited to start the month off with an event in Paris at La Cuisine cooking school in Paris tomorrow!

There are more details below, but the event will be a book signing and get-together with treats from some of my favorite French producers. There will be books to purchase, which I'm happy to personalize and sign. Hope you can make it if you're in town.

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December is always a fun time in France, whether I'm having an event or not, as people get ready for the holidays. As we get closer to Christmas, everyone stocks up on champagne, we plan our fêtes, which always include oysters and some other luxe ingredients, and I stock up on chocolate at G. Detou because that seems to be the most popular ingredient in my arsenal this month.

But if you need to go over there before the holidays, I suggest going ASAP. I went over there yesterday and it was already mobbed, so I'm not the only one thinking about holiday baking. (Tip: It's also a great place to get holidays gifts as well; they've got a good selection of chocolate bars, salts, tinned foie gras, boxed candies, and olive oils.)

Speaking of gifts - yikes - it's also my birthday this month, which usually gets lost in the mishegas of holidays. That's fine this year, as I hit the big 6-0 and I'd be happy to stay home and drink champagne and eat oysters and caviar. However I think there's a fête brewing for the big day. I can just feel it...

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It's gotten colder in Paris, and darker earlier. To fight the fridig-ness, I made a big pot of pork and beans earlier this week. I forgot how much I love this dish, which is so easy to make, I can hardly stand it. A bonus if that you've got a few days of leftovers, and it gets better as it sits as the starch from the beans thicken up the juices, making it rich and glorious to spoon up on a cold day.

One secret, like most bean dishes, is to use good dried beans. There are Marcellas from Rancho Gordo, and they cooked up into silky deliciousness, which we ate with the slabs of cured pork and bits of smoked bacon in the pot. (I think there may have been Chablis involved, on the side, as well. 'Tis the season...right?) When I was testing the cassoulet recipe in My Paris Kitchen, I tried my recipe in the book with various kinds of beans, from fancy French ones to supermarket varieties. The conclusion was that there's a big difference, so don't skimp on the quality of the beans.

Okay, that's it for this month. I've got to put away all my chocolate...and get ready for the month ahead!

- David

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Paris Book Event - Sunday, December 2nd

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On Sunday, December 2nd, I'll be doing an event at La Cuisine cooking school in Paris. The fête will take place from 3 to 5 pm.

I'll be signing books; copies of L'Appart, My Paris Kitchen, and The Perfect Scoop, which will be available for purchase. (You're also welcome to bring copies of books that you already own along for signing.) Note that the venue cannot accept credit cards for book purchases.

There will be wine and snacks provided by Comté cheese, La Cigogne épicerie (food shop), and AR Lenoble champagne cellars. The event is free and open to all. If you'd like, you're welcome to RSVP at the Facebook Event Page so the school knows how many guests to expect. See you then!

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Links I'm Liking

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The death of the Montreal bagel? (Globe and Mail)

Why the French don't show excitement (BBC)

Color me intrigued: Feta Cheesecake (Kalofagas)

Best 100 Pens, rated. (For the record, I can't agree. This one is the best. So there.) (New York magazine)

Sweet Eiffel Tower Cookies (Bakerella)

Ode to Joy. How the Joy of Cooking evolved, and where it's headed next (Food & Wine)

The solitary life of a French sheep shepherd (The Guardian)

Wondering how much caffeine is in all those drinks, and foods (like coffee yogurt and chocolate bars) you eat? (CSPI)

The Anatomy of a Best-Selling Book (Daily Infographic)

Gin-Filled Christmas Ornaments? Um, what took them so long… (Distillers Direct)

National Geographic launches food magazine (Press Gazette)

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Recent Recipes and Posts on My Blog

L'Appart is now available in paperback!

Concord Grapes found their way into a tangy shrub, and grape-based cocktail.

Chocolate found its way into an incredible Chocolate Pecan Slab Pie (with an extra dose of chocolate in the crust)

You need this potato pizza...but don't need to knead the dough.

Miss those tuna melts from your childhood? (I do.) This Tuna Zucchini Casserole captures those flavors with some extra freshness.

- dl

 
 
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