December 2015 Newsletter In November, a terrible blow was dealt to Paris, a city that we all love so much. It didn't happen in major tourist spots, b

       
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December 2015 Newsletter

jean-charles rochoux and denise acabo paris chocolate shop

In November, a terrible blow was dealt to Paris, a city that we all love so much. It didn't happen in major tourist spots, but in an ordinary neighborhood with restaurants, and nightclubs, which happens to be mine. We don't have fancy chocolate shops or upscale pastry places, but do have outdoor markets, bakeries, and restaurants, and are considered a diverse, multicultural neighborhood. (However it's no problem, because being a small city, you're never all that far from a French chocolate "fix.")

It's hard to comprehend what happened and there were a variety of thoughtful remembrances, opinions and discussions related the attacks. But I hope that the city can not only rebound from what happened while continuing to process the grief and shock, and honor those whose lives were lost, but will reemerge with a greater focus on celebrating its diversity and all the positive qualities that make Paris the iconic city that it's become by evolving, while retaining its unique historical and cultural position in Europe, and the world.

Pumpkin pie recipe with toasted marshmallow topping-5

I took time to go to the U.S. to celebrate the holidays, as well as taking a trip to San Francisco to do a chat with Yotam Ottolenghi to celebrate his new book, Nopi. He's one of my favorite people, and worth traveling halfway around the world to spend a few hours with him. Can't say that about everybody! : )

The weather has been unseasonably warm, both in the U.S. and in Paris, which no one is complaining about, especially considering how cold last year was. But it's been fun to focus on fall and winter desserts, using fruits, nuts and vegetables, like Pumpkin Pie, which I topped with a crown of fluffy, toasted (and homemade) marshmallow, a bourbon-spiked Pecan Pie, dialed up with a triple-dose of ginger - fresh, dried, and candied.

And I even found a great use for those hard-to-find cranberries (at least in Paris), by making them into a tangy cranberry shrub, which is refreshing with sparkling water, but also is the base for a delicious cocktail with a pour of bourbon and a soupçon of maple syrup.

Prompted by a few nights out on the towns of New York and San Francisco, I was thinking about how I learned to drink cocktails at a Persian-themed bar in the famous/infamous Haight-Ashbury neighborhood back in the 80's or the 90's. (I can't remember which - hey, it was the cocktails speaking!) But I pulled my thoughts together enough for a story, The School of Aub Zam Zam for Punch magazine, about the tough "training" that I had.

Cranberry Shrub Cocktail recipe-8

I've got a few more days left in the states before heading back to Paris. For the holidays, I'll be squeezing in a couple of stateside events, listed just below. Hope to see you at one of them. If not, have a great holiday season...and happy baking!

- David

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December Events in New York

vanilla beans and extract-4

I'll be doing two events in New York City this week and next:

The first is at The Brooklyn Kitchen, where they're hosting a party for me and I'll be signing copies of my books during the fête. The event will be Saturday, December 5th from 5 to 7pm. Note that this is a ticketed event with food and beverages served, so please follow the link to make arrangements if you're coming. If you can't make it and would like a personalized book sent to you for yourself or as a gift, you can contact the store and they'll arrange to have one signed and shipped right to you.

The second event will be a booksigning with Food52 at their Holiday Pop Up Shop in Union Square West (17th and Broadway), New York City, on December 12th from 2 to 3pm. Stop by and get your book signed!

(I update events on my Schedule page as they are announced and updated.)

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Links I'm Liking

Yotam Ottolenghi bucks the trend with buckwheat flour. (The Guardian)

Doris Duke's Chocolate Ice Milk Recipe. (Duke University Library)

An Open Letter to a 21 year old pastry intern (Shiftgig)

Sometimes, you just need a classic meatloaf (Simply Recipes)

Remarkable image of anti-demonstration during climate conference in Paris (J'aime Paris Facebook page)

I'm now on Snapchat! Find me at davidlebovitz

Everything you want to know about Pho, including why restaurants names often include a number, ie: Pho 14 (Washingtonian, via Andrea Nguyen)

Does the world care more about Paris, than Beirut? (Channel 4)

A great Bluetooth speaker, at a fraction of the cost of fancier ones...and trust me, I've tried 'em... (Amazon)

The Myth of "Easy" Cooking (The Atlantic)

Is authenticity overrated? (The New Yorker)

Why "Pinterest Paris" Doesn't Need Your Prayers (Jezebel)

Aspirational: The 7 Secrets of People With Super Clean Houses (Trulia)

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Favorite Posts from My Blog

Cheese  cornichons  etc-10

My two favorite things come together, maple syrup and pecans, in one batch of delicious Maple-Pecan Sticky Buns.

Pas de Loup is one of my favorite finds in Paris. With delicious food and creative cocktails, this may become my hangout for the winter. (And beyond...)

Crackly caramelized sugar tops Butterscotch Caramel Blondies, a recipe from Victoria Bakery in London.

My new favorite winter libation - Rosemary Gimlets!

See you next month...

- David

My Paris Kitchen hi res
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