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December 2017 Newsletter

November was quite a month. I packed my bags (or bag, as in, one lone carry-on) and hit the road for my book tour. I've become a pro at packing light, having pared down my wardrobe to essentials, although there was an emergency - and expensive - shirt I snagged at J. Crew, but otherwise, I made it through, meeting many of you, (fairly) well-dressed, and (very) well-fed.

(Of course, two days after I bought that shirt, they put everything on sale at 40% off. I forgot the deep discounts stores do in the States!)

I'll have to admit that I'm not the best traveler. I woke up ridiculously early most days; thank goodness for in-room coffee, which I could prepare wandering around in the darkness, looking for clues as to what city I was in. And I did my darnest to avoid airport food, although some airports (I'm looking at you, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and one terminal at Newark), have really ramped up the quality of their food offerings.

Still, it was nice to get off the beaten track as much as I could, with my limited free time, to check out a few local restaurants, bakeries, and ice cream shops. But the best part was hosting chats, answering questions, and meeting readers (like you!) wherever I went. I love that part.

Use august 2017

Telling the story of L'appart, at first, was a challenge for me. A lot happened during that time and I wanted to get it all down on the page, and make it a page-turner for readers. As I wrote, I found the stories flowing out of me, from frustrating trips to Ikea (as the French say, EE-kay-a), to finding my place in Paris. I struggled through language challenges, engaged in overly open discussions about bodily functions, as I learned the particular vocabulary for plumbing (the French language is very nuanced, and each type of sink has its own specific, and completely different, word), and watched a vrai parisien (my better-half) take control of a situation that went off the rails when a certain américain needed it.

And...big thanks to my readers, who've made the book a bestseller right out of the gate - I just noticed this morning that it's the #1 best-seller on Amazon in French cooking, Food and Wine, and it's been nice to receive so many messages from readers that are enjoying the book. Seriously, I'm flattered. (Insert blushing-face emoji here.)

Stay tuned for another giveaway on my blog in December, which will include a library of my cookbooks, and another one with my friends at Context Travel for a trip to Paris, which I'll also announce on my blog shortly.

French Provencal Pastis Chicken Recipe-26

As winter chills things down, I'm looking forward to tackling some of the citrus that starts showing up at markets. I love making a few jars of Seville orange marmalade, a bright batch of Tangerine Sorbet, and a syrupy Orange Cake with candied oranges.

It's also time for long-cooked soups and stews, like the beef daube with olives (from L'appart), hearty split pea soup, or the French classic, Potato-Leek soup.

I haven't made plans for the holidays yet, because I'm at that point in my life where I've decided not to make plans more than 48 hours in advance (see link below about cutting down on making decisions), and trying to figure out how to keep on top of all the messages that arrive via email, Instagram messages (which has two mailboxes), Facebook Messenger (which also has two mailboxes), Twitter, Snapchat, What's App, Skype, and texts.

Honestly, all I want for Christmas is for someone to come up with an app that consolidates them all into one handy-dandy place : )

I'll likely stick around and do something with my family, in between more book events here and there. I've got some fun and delicious foods (and drinks) coming up on my blog, including a butter-based cocktail, and a French pastry that uses the bourbon-infused butter leftover afterward. I did a double-take on a buckwheat-based cookie. And there's a savory caramelized tart coming up, that'll brighten up your winter.

- David


Winter Book Tour News


I've got more book tour dates planned for the next few months.

Tonight (!) I'll be in New York City with Deb Perelman at the 92nd St Y. Note that if you got tickets a while back, the event was moved to a larger venue (Kaufmann Concert Hall), so make a note of that.

In mid-December, I'll be in Boston, appearing at Milk Street Café with Chris Kimball. That's sold-out, but I'll also be at Flour Bakery+Café with owner/baker Joanne Chang on December 13th for a book signing and open-to-all fête...with pastries! They request that if you plan to attend that you RSVP.

On December 19th, I'll be at Bedford Cheese Shop in Brooklyn at 7pm with Romain for a chat about lots of things, including cheese, renovations, and Paris. So if you want to hear things straight from the mouth of a vrai Parisian, here's your chance.

In January, I'll be hoofing it to Philadelphia for a special event with food and cocktails (yay!), and I'll also be at Barnes & Noble for an open-to-all book signing and interview with Paul Bennett of Context Travel. Keep an eye on my blog for tickets when they're announced. I'm aiming to post about it on Monday, Dec. 4th.

And mark it in your calendar, as I'll be at WHSmith in Paris on February 8th for a chat and book signing. I'll get that information up on my Schedule page when it's finalized.


Links I'm Liking

French Provencal Pastis Chicken Recipe-11

How to eat the world's most expensive poulet (CNN)

I never realized how much of our time is spent making decisions. This article on How to beat decision fatigue struck home with me (Asia Efficiency, via Sara Rosso)

Not too early for New Years resolutions... 12 Stressful Things to Stop Tolerating (marc & angel)

Taste-testing diet wine, although I have to say, probably better to use real wine glasses for evaluating wine (The Insider)

Bonnat chocolate (from Voiron) opens a boutique in Paris (The Maven)

Save time with these conversational (and email) shortcuts (Medium)

How the Pioneer Woman Saved a Small Oklahoma Town (Thrillist)

I always enjoy this Holiday Gift Guide (Lottie + Doof)

Take a peek Inside Paris's First Naked Restaurant (The Local)

I talk to 650 on blogging, kitchens, and my new book, L'appart (the six fifty)

Pumpkin cheesecake recipe with toffee pecan sauce -5

Recent Posts & Recipes on My Blog

This chocolate cake with pools of caramel was so good, we polished it off at home without any adornment.

I've been making my pumpkin cheesecake (above) for years, which is even better topped with a crazy-good pecan praline sauce.

While on book tour, I used my free time (ha!) to compile this list of Thanksgiving desserts, many of which would be great for Christmas or other winter holidays feasts.

An Australian baker in New York, who learned his craft in France, is creating a wild collection of pastries that are out of this world.

Don't toss those chard stems! Use 'em for these tangy Swiss chard stem pickles.

- dl

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