my France

summer caponata

July 17th, 2014

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a successful vacation (by Oscar Wilde)

summer caponata

Vacation. Actually, it is more like this VACATION ! 

This year I thought I would try something new: take a vacation and NOT work. You know get out of the kitchen, enjoy the cooking of others (often), step out of my routine, and detach from my computer. So far so good. Oscar Wilde said that “moderation is a fatal thing [and] nothing succeeds like excess.” By Mr. Wilde’s standard, I have been highly successful in my vacation thus far. Read the rest of this entry »

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venez avec moi à Provins

July 11th, 2014

chef morgan a table

Paris Day Trip
venez avec moi à Provins

cardamom sablés with
fresh summer peaches and rose cream

The gloom skipped juin and has taken over juillet in Paris. It seems more like a summer in San Fran than Paris but for the stone buildings. Read the rest of this entry »

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venez avec moi à Dijon

June 2nd, 2014

chef morgan a table Dijon

Paris Day Trip

venez avec moi à Dijon

This post is dedicated to Sandy Kiratsoulis and Barbara Bomes.
May the new chapters in your lives bring forth beautiful experiences filled with adventure. You will be missed. 

The desk sits in front of the window giving me a direct view of the stone apartments and Parisian rooftops across the way. Inspiring and distracting. I was supposed to sit at my desk and complete revisions on a manuscript. Deadlines. However, as I looked at the rooftops facing me my thoughts drifted to the lengthy list of places I have yet to discover and I found myself getting up and down from my desk for things like making a snack for which I was not really hungry.

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Salade Niçoise (à ma façon)

May 18th, 2014

nicoise 3
a dream kitchen, a village in Provence, and a favorite salad  

Salade Niçoise (à ma façon)
(salad Niçoise my may)

There was a photograph of a kitchen on Instagram which gathered several “likes” and one person commented, “my dream kitchen.” It made me think. What is my “dream” kitchen?” Do I have one? What would be in it?  The topic is hardly unique. Elizabeth David wrote an article about the same thing but I believe the discussion was prompted by magazine competitions, not an Instagram photo. Times are different but the question is still fun.

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Springtime in Paris and 8 Parisian restaurants you will adore

April 30th, 2014

chef morgan a table paris

Paris in the Springtime
&
My Short List of Bon Goût

(8 Parisian restaurants you will adore)

Do you remember Frank Sinatra crooning: “I love Paris in the Springtime…”? I remember playing my parents’ Frank Sinatra record (yes, I said record) wondering if Paris is more magical in the Spring. As an adult, I have found that Paris is wonderful all year long but there is something special about Paris in the Springtime. Blue Eyes was on to something.

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Paris weekend getaway: Venice, Italy

October 6th, 2013

chef morgan Venice
 “Big” Venice with a little sole (à la menuière)

I had an inside tip. It was an inside tip on a Paris apartment and not just any apartment, an apartment in a beautiful building on avenue Georges Mandel. My friend’s mother told her that if I acted fast, I could preview the apartment before it was officially on the market. Was I interested? Bien sûr ! (of course). Good apartments in Paris are far and few in between and they are taken immediately. The tip was better than chocolate praline from Patrick Roger.

As luck would have it I registered to run a marathon in Venice, Italy in a week. Everything seems to be a quick plane ride from Paris so I made an appointment to preview the apartment before I headed to Venice. It would be a tight schedule: three countries; four days. This week I want to take you there. Venez avec moi (come with me) à Venice, Italy with a Paris stop, a marathon detour, and a favorite fish recipe: sole à la meuienere.

Allez y (let’s go) !!!

LM

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tartare de daurade (sea bream tartare)

September 5th, 2013

chef morgan tartare

La Rentrée, l’art du cru, and what Parisens really eat

 recipe: tartare de daurade (sea bream tartare) 

If you have traveled to France in the month of August you know that the country really comes to a halt. As a friend aptly noted, “Ah… grandes vacances, where everyone is out and out of it.” C’est vrai (it is true).

For the month of August (although it is creeping into July as well) there is a customary and societal expectation of absenteeism. Everyone takes time to re-charge their battery and spend time with their family. This uniform expectation of doing nothing and getting nothing “accomplished”  I have grown to love as there seems to be no downtime due to texts and emails sent to your portable phone. When you accept that nothing — nothing — will just get done in August, it is very liberating (although as an American it took me some time to come to terms with the notion). You plan around it and guess what? Everything still gets done. French time.

chef morgan train

 

 My daughter took this photograph on the train returning to Paris from Nice. I like it because to me it says “au revoir” (bye, see you again) to the summer. 

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Paris day trip: Château de Fontainebleau

August 30th, 2013

chef morgan

Paris day trip: Château de Fontainebleau 

emperors, strawberries, and a canoe on carp lake

recipe: summer strawberries with lime sugar and fresh mint 

Not far from Paris is a château rich in history. Yes, there are many. However, this particular château was inhabited for seven centuries by the royal and imperial French elite (most famously by  Napoleon I and Josephine). Surrounded by breathtaking courtyards, fountains, canal, gardens, a park, and a lake, it is a perfect Paris day trip. It is the Château de Fontainebleau and this week’s recipe, summer strawberries with lime sugar and fresh mint, was inspired by a visit to this château. So until you get there in person – venez avec moi (come with me)à la Château de Fontainebleau. 

Allez -y (let’s go) !

LM

chef morgan strawberries 2

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A.O.C. olives, a castle, and a beautiful village

August 17th, 2013

chef morgan

Les Baux-de-Provence

green olive tapenade (with steamed cod)

Provence is full of olive trees but there is only one area in Provence where the olives and olive oil are certified “A.O.C.”  It is the  Vallée des Les Baux de Provence. When I discovered this piece of culinary trivia, the day trip was planned. The olives seduced me, but the history and culture kept me there. So come with me – venez avec moi – à Les Baux-de-Provence (which inspired this week’s recipe: green olive tapenade with steamed cod).

Allez-y  (let’s go) !

LM Read the rest of this entry »

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oven-roasted pork tenderloin with herb-caper salsa

August 8th, 2013

 

chef morgan pork 1

this little piggy

oven-roasted pork tenderloin with 
herb-caper salsa

 

This week’s post is inspired by a visit to 6 Paul Bert in the middle of a three day French visa adventure (which I will tell you about). My meal at 6 Paul Bert was definitely the highlight and I nearly licked my plate clean, which is why I call this post “this little piggy” (as well as the fact that the subject of this week’s recipe is pork). This week we are making oven-roasted pork tenderloin with herb-caper salsa. 

 à table ! 

 LM  Read the rest of this entry »

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