Sunday, October 17, 2010

Apologies

This past week I've been preoccupied with negotiating the sale of my current house, as well as elbow deep in paint and plaster dust at my new house.  And all the while feeling guilty because I've been neglecting my blog.

I'm going to take a few weeks off, until everything gets settled again, and I'm not between two houses.  In the meantime, I'll be taking some photos of the restoration process of my historic 1940s row/town home so I can share them. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Emile Henry Online Factory Store

For those of you who are collectors of Emile Henry (or those who would like to be), there's a post on The Kitchn about the Emile Henry online factory store.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Week-end simple: Take a walk

Here in the DC area, today is sunny but the air is cool, and it's a perfect day for a walk. 

Maybe it will be a walk along the canal, or the bike path that finds it way into the city.  It might be a walk to Georgetown for some window shopping and a coffee at one of the cafes.  Or maybe just a walk in the neighborhood to see what's going on.

Whether you have a destination, or you simply want to enjoy the autumn air and the changing colors of the leaves, treat yourself to a walk this weekend.

Bon week-end!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

French baby beets

The produce at the farmer's market is changing.  If you're a seasonal cook, you've said goodbye to the tomatoes, the courgettes, the stone fruit, the sweet corn.  What you'll find instead are the cool weather vegetables: varieties of greens, squash, brussel sprouts, and beets.

I discovered beets a few years ago; my friend Laura, a personal chef, shared her recipe for baked beets and I couldn't believe the flavor!  Since then, I've experimented with my own recipes and discovered what I really like are baby beets.  About the size of a radish, these petite beets yield a sweeter flavor than mature beets, and they cook much faster, which makes them ideal for weeknight meals.

Roasting baby beets in a bit of olive oil brings out their natural sweetness; add a strong herb like rosemary, and finish them off with butter is the simplest way to enjoy this root vegetable.  Recipes for French baby beets usually call for the addition of balsamic vinegar, which reduces to a velvety sauce while the beets are baking.  Beets can stand up to strong cheeses so you can toss them with a handful of nutty mâche and add chèvre or bleu for an entree salad.  And this recipe from Epicurious pairs roasted baby beets with haricots verts and lemon; I haven't tried it, but doesn't it sound delicious?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

French Week at The Kitchn

It was French Week at The Kitchn, and they celebrated with dozens of posts about everything we love about le cuisine and la cuisine.

You'll go shopping along Rue Montorgueil and tour Paule Caillat's Paris kitchen.  You'll discover Caillat's three cheese soufflé, Julia's beef bourguignon, and Clotilde Dusoulier's mini financiers.  And you'll learn how to make a Provençal mac and cheese, ouefs en meurette, and authentic French onion soup.

You'll find posts on Basque cooking, cooking from Alsace-Lorraine, and why the best French butter is found in Normandy.  There are posts on tartes, tartiflettes, and terrines.  My favorites are the posts on where to buy French-inspired kitchen linens, the French kitchen tours, and the classic Mouli Grater.  And Stephanie, the post on using Le Creuset pots as kitchen art made me think of you!

Seriously, if you enjoy French kitchens and cooking, you'll love every one of the posts.  They will make you want to get out your Staub Coquette and cook a cassoulet!

If you visit, I'd love to hear about your favorite posts.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Week-end Simple: Open a window

This weekend, the weather will cool and for the first time in months, I will open my windows.

It has been a long summer, with the hot, humid weather persisting up until this last week of September.  With the air conditioning on, the windows have been shut tight, occasionally being opened at night when the temperatures promise to be below 90 degrees.

This weekend will be perfect for throwing open the windows during the day, bringing in the crisp, fall air.  J'adore the fresh air, the outside noises, and the breezes that travel through the house on a cool autumn day when all the windows are open.

So throw open a window, and enjoy the week-end!