Take 30% Off One Book at Amazon—Through November 29

So, I was tooling around on Amazon, and I found that they’re having an amazing sale: You can take 30% off any one book. That’s in addition to already-discounted prices they have. To take advantage of this sale, simply look for this little banner that runs underneath each book:

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To view more details of the 30% offer, click on one of the book titles below.

What to spend it on? Here are a few great cookbooks I suggest:

All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking, by Molly Stevens

This book is a must for anyone who, like me, loves braising meats. The recipes are amazing–they show you how to take inexpensive cuts of meat and transform them into bold, full-flavored dishes that are great for winter. I can’t recommend this book enough! (PS: For a taste of her recipes, check out my adaptation of her Top Blade Steaks Smothered in Mushrooms and Onions.

My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories, by David Lebovitz

I’ll say it again: David Lebovitz is the New York Times of French food bloggers. Not only is his food amazing, but he is also pretty hilarious: He take on life in Paris runs the gamut–his stories point out both the joys and annoyances of his life in Paris, with wit and insight. His photography is compelling, and his recipes always reveal plenty of a-ha moments. (In a way, he’s also the “Cooks Illustrated” of French cooking!) Another highly recommended tome, and a great gift for your favorite Francophile.

Madeleines: Elegant French Tea Cakes to Bake and Share, by Barbara Feldman Morse









Do you—or does someone you know—own a Madeleine pan? I do, and I must admit I don’t use it as often as I’d like to. Frankly, I just don’t have that many occasions to serve little French tea cakes, even though I love them.

That’s why I adore this new book: Madeleines: Elegant French Tea Cakes to Bake and Share($14.50): It offers tons of creative ways to use that Madeleine mold that go beyond tea cakes. Sure, there are sweet options, like Tahitian Vanilla, Chai Tea, Browned Butter, Almond Macaroon, and of course, amazingly luscious chocolate. But what intrigues me most are the savory Madeleines, which are an inspiring way to beautify a soup or stew supper. These include Gruyère and Rosemary Madeleines, Buttery Cornbread Madeleines, Herbes de Provence Madeleines, and Brie-Stuffed Madeleine Puffs, among others.

Keep in mind that this sale ends on November 30, 2015 at 02:59am EST. More details here.

Disclosure: As an Amazon affliate, I will receive a small commission on any purchase you make through these links. This helps support the work I do on this site. To be clear, I would never recommend a product that I don’t wholly love! Thanks for your consideration.

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The Best Way to Store French Cheeses? With French Cheese Paper, of Course!

Formaticum Cheese Storage Bags

Formaticum Cheese Storage Bags: A Must for the Cheese Lover this Holiday Season.

How many times have you seen a good piece of cheese go bad? Waxed paper doesn’t cut it–the cheese can dry out and get hard. Plastic wrap doesn’t let it breathe. The solution? This great Cheese Wrap, from Formaticum. I love these. 

During this season of entertaining, chances are, you’ll invest good money in some great cheeses. Frankly, I’ve found only one way to keep them in peak condition: Formaticum Cheese Storage Bags.

Made in France (a country that knows a thing or two about cheese), the porous bags allow the cheese to breathe, yet keep it from drying out. They also make post-party cleanup quick: Simply place the leftover cheese in the bag and fold over the top. No time-consuming origami-style re-wrapping needed.

(PS: If you DO like to wrap your cheese origami style, you can also buy Formaticum Cheese Paper.)

I’ve found some at a few local shops, but that doesn’t help you if you don’t live in Amerique profonde, where I’m hunkering down for the winter. Luckily, you can find them at amazon.com, through the links above.

PS: If you do buy something through one of my links, I’ll receive a small commission on your purchase. But don’t worry–I’d never recommend something I didn’t love! Thanks for your consideration.

PS: Did someone say fromage? Here are some posts about some of my favorite French cheeses:

How to serve a French Cheese Course.
A story about my discovery of Comté Cheese, by the Comté Cheese Association.
What kind of Goat Cheese to use for salads, cheese trays, cooking, etc.

Enjoy your cheese!



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My Kind of Wine from My Kind of Place: Pineau des Charentes

A few years back, I was invited to travel through the Cognac region as a guest of the BNIC (Bureau Nationale Interprofessionelle de Cognac).

Cognac, the city. What do you know? Another beautiful place in France.

Cognac, the city. What do you know? Another beautiful place in France.

I knew I’d come away with a new-found appreciation for the famed spirit, but as a bonus, I got to know Pineau des Charentes.

Pineau des Charentes: A great apéritif from the Cognac region of France.

Pineau des Charentes: A great apéritif from the Cognac region of France.

What Is Pineau des Charentes?:  This wine-based apéritif is made mostly in the Charente and Charente-Maritime region (which is also home to Cognac.) In fact, most Pineau is made from the same wine grapes used in cognac, but while Cognac is a distilled spirit, Pineau is a fortified wine; that is, it’s made by adding a spirit (in this case, Cognac) to grape juice early in the fermentation process, which stops fermentation and keeps the wine’s sugars intact. The wine is then aged in oak barrels.
The resulting sip has the luscious density of port, yet brings bright, honeyed orchard-fruit flavors; think golden apples, pears and apricots.
How to Serve Pineau des Charentes: Of course, because it’s sweet, most Americans immediately assume it’s a dessert wine, and there’s no reason you can’t enjoy it that way. But for the French, Pineau des Charentes is an aperitif, a pre-dinner drink meant to open up the appetite for the pleasures to come. Try it this way, and you may find, as I have, that sweetness in that pre-dinner drink readies the palate for dinner much better than a dry, citrusy glass of wine.

Serve well chilled in small (3- to 4-ounce portions).



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