October 2016 Newsletter September was great. I started the month off by taking a wonderful, unplugged vacation on the Greek island of Tinos, an off-t

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October 2016 Newsletter

Tomatoes

September was great. I started the month off by taking a wonderful, unplugged vacation on the Greek island of Tinos, an off-the-path island that's not as lively or as well-known as the snazzier islands around it. But its rugged beauty and nearly empty beaches quickly won me over. (Although some of the terrifying roads, well...not so much.) Nevertheless, we made it out alive, well-fed and well-relaxed.

The food was fresh, fresh, fresh. Did I mention how fresh it was? Every meal included lots of vegetables and a salad course, including fresh feta (which is sold in Greek supermarkets in a family-friendly 5-pack), as well as small eggplants, fresh oregano and thyme, as well as a liberal dousing of Greek olive oil. The local wines were well-represented too. Greece gets a big thumbs-up for vacation in my book, and I came back a very happy camper.

Tinos Greece-20

Back in Paris, I hit the ground running, getting to work on figuring out how the heck to get that print option on for the recipes on my blog up-and-running, with lots of help from web people more talented (and with more patience) than I. Some of the recipes are already print-friendly and we're working on the rest. Technology is great, but wish it wouldn't change so fast, and wish most of it was more user-friendly. #Truth

Another thing I got around to updating was my Paris Restaurants page. Things happen, and change fast in Paris, especially the dining scene. Restaurants change, chefs leave, quality goes up, quality goes down. So I am constantly revising my suggestions with places I think readers will like. Some are fancy, a few are more notable for their history or "Paris" appeal, but most are selected because of the great food and because I think you'd enjoy them as much as I do.

In just a couple of days, I'll be welcoming my annual tour group to Paris, where we'll hit my favorite chocolate shops, wine bars, and restaurants before heading to the Swiss alps for gorge on Gruyère, fondue, and Swiss wines (and chocolate, of course). It's always a great week and I'm looking forward to it, as I do every year.

Lastly, I spent a day in Champagne picking the last of the grapes for this year's harvest, then had a lovely dinner and exploration of Champagne caves that are 2000 years old. Yes, they really are. It was amazing how people could excavate something so deep underground back in those days. I put a few pictures on my Facebook page.

A lot of great books have come out this fall and I'm happy to be featuring them on my blog in the next few months. A few that I'm especially looking forward to are diving into are Amaro, an ode to the bracing Italian digestive, as well as baking books; Marbled, Swirled and Layered, Dorie's Cookies, Butter & Scotch, Classic German Baking and Breaking Breads. It shaping up to be a great year for cookbooks. Fire up your ovens!...and for those of us who like cocktails, get those shakers ready...

-David

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Two New Books on Paris

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When in French is the story of Lauren Collins, a staff writer for the New Yorker, who was living in Switzerland at the time with her French husband, and realized that learning French would help her understand not only her husband better (and having a French partner, I hear that!), but also the cultures she is crossing.

Unlike other languages, French is rife with nuances and I don't know if there is another language that is more important to understanding a culture than the French language is to the French. So she set about learning the language. Lauren now lives in Paris and describes her frustrations and fulfillment of a life in French in her book.

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Kristin Beddard arrived in Paris, and like others, wondered, "Why is there no kale in Paris?" Indeed, I kept getting a slew of messages from newcomers to Paris who were perplexed about the same thing. I couldn't help them, but Kristin Beddard, who moved to Paris with his husband, set out figuring out why she couldn't find it. Along the way she acclimated to the quirky ways of Paris and the locals, making friends and integrating into the city.

Part of what made it happen for her was through her search for the elusive greens, talking to farmers and vendors at the local Paris markets, which she chronicles in Bonjour Kale. This is a fun book and a terrific chronicle of how Kristin found her place in Paris by befriending farmers and getting them to plant these popular greens. If you like books about cultural contrasts - with kale recipes to boot - Bonjour Kale is a great read.

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Recent Posts & Recipes from My Blog

Gougere recipe french cheese puffs-3

Some recent recipes and posts on my blog...

Giant gougères prove that bigger is better.

My visit to Tinos, Greece, accompanied by photos and tips, in case you want to make the journey to this semi-secluded Greek island.

Fulgurances restaurant in Paris changes chefs every few months. Right now, chef Tamir Nahmias is putting out lovely dishes featuring the flavors of the Middle East. He leaves at the end of November...so hurry!

A great no-cook dessert is Panna cotta, a creamy custard-like creation, perfect with fresh fruit. And yup, that recipe is printer-friendly : )

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My Paris Kitchen hi res
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