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February 2018 Newsletter

So.

This month I gave up coffee. I've had friends who've done the same and they raved about how much energy they had, how they felt a gazillion times better, how they now drink green juice for breakfast and leap out of bed in the morning at 4:30am to meditate, then do an hour of power yoga, then another 30 minutes on the treadmill before heading to work.

Well, my "de"-entry hasn't been so, uh, robust. I like tea in the afternoon, which I tried to like first thing in the a.m., but it was like drinking a cup of hot water when you're used to coffee. So while I stirred the amber eau chaude around in my cup, Romain savored his café au lait, as I watched, and occasionally leaned over and took a regretful sniff of the aroma.

grain coffee

Fortunately, I remembered from the 70's and 80's grain-based coffee beverages. (And that's probably all I remember from that era!) Before people scoff, in Italy, most caffès offer caffè d'orzo, a barley-based beverage, served like an espresso. In France, there are chicory-based coffee substitutes, but I'm not sure if I've ever seen them offered in a café. But people do drink them at home, I guess. Actually, I know...because I'm now one of them.

I don't know if I'm any calmer, but I'm actually sleeping less - maybe I'm stressed out because I miss coffee? (But I'm not jumping out of bed to work out. That's for sure.) It's been a few months and I'm still waiting for that incredible burst of energy that people said I would have. I'm going to keep going...even though I ordered three cases of coffee from Italy right before I quit, which'll be lovely host gifts over the next year, unless I fall off the pas de café wagon.

Feb newsletter

As if that major life change wasn't enough, this month I also succumbed to a new camera. It's mirrorless (whatever that means) and supposedly takes better pictures than my bulky DSLR camera. So I have to start all over and learn a new camera. (Before you get too excited, the pictures in this newsletter were taken with my old camera.) But I'm not giving it up yet. I know my old DSLR like the back of my hand, all those dials and buttons - well, most of them. However, I'm taking the plunge and learning something new. You're never too old to learn something new, right? Heck, I'm even learning to love roasted barley, instead of coffee.

One thing I didn't need to learn to love was factory visits, especially if they involve cookware. I got to visit the All-Clad factory in Pennsylvania, to see how their cookware is made. I've been to other factories, namely Le Creuset and Mauviel in France, and like those visits, it was interesting to see how something that I grab and use every day, is handcrafted.

All Clad Cookware factory visit-30

My goal for this month is to get better acquainted with my new camera, a Sony Alpha. It's small, compact and blissfully light, which was the main reason I bought it, so I'll be able to tote it around with me wherever I go. I hope to do a lot more exploring of Paris is the next few months, and share some new finds on my blog...once I figure out how to take snaps with my new bébé.

- David

Homemade cottage cheese-3
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L'appart Book News

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It was great winding down my book tour in Pennsylvania with appearances in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Thanks to all of you who came out to say hi and get a book signed. I'm getting some wonderful messages from readers elsewhere, who are enjoying the book as well. If you enjoyed the book, you're welcome to leave a review on Amazon : )

A few other notes:

I was a guest on the Stir the Pots podcast with British baker Edd Kimber.

I'll be at WHSmith in Paris on February 8th for a chat and book signing. It's free, and you can RSVP at their Facebook Event page.

I've got a few more events planned in Paris this spring. I announce them here but you can also follow me on Facebook and check my Schedule page, for updates. Some events may be ticketed, so to get notified right away when spaces are available, check those places for the speediest recent updates.

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Links I'm Liking

French Provencal Pastis Chicken Recipe-2

Worst rains in 100 years rises up to the banks of the Seine in Paris (BBC)

When the (not current) French President jumped the métro turnstile

Needlepoint bombing everyday appliances (MessyNessyChic)

18 times the rest of the world didn't understand French (Buzzfeed France, att: strong language)

Inside one of America's last pencil factories (NYT)

How French Libertines are Reckoning with #MeToo (The Paris Review)

Is London Europe's New Wine Capital? (Punch)

France Bans "Buy one, get one free" on foodstuffs (Reuters)

New onions promise No More Tears, but some say, No Taste (The Star)

French President wants baguettes to have UNESCO Heritage Status (BBC)

Which Frenchwoman had a huge impact on food in America? One that you may never have heard of… (Washington Post)

There's more than one way to Make Cassoulet (Press-Democrat)

Vanilla prices remain, unfortunately, unpredictable (Food Navigator)

Unruly mobs break out over discount Nutella in France (CNBC)

Who let the baboons out? 50 baboons escape the Paris zoo (The Guardian)

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double chocolate bundt cake with chocolate glaze recipe-9

Recent Recipes on My Blog

A double-dose of chocolate in this Double-Chocolate Bundt cake. (above)

Bring on the seeds! These multigrain seeded crackers really live up to their promise...

Caramelized Endive-Blue Cheese Tart makes a great lunch, or snacks for apéritif hour.

Go big, or go home? No need to make that choice, you can have both with this homemade Giant Bean Gratin.

I was excited to visit the All-Clad factory.

This black bean soup has a secret ingredient that makes it over-the-top good!

- dl

 
 
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