my inspirations

hot stuff: day trip in Morocco and grilled lamb chops with green Harissa

July 13th, 2015


venez avec moi à Morocco 
(part deux)

Happy summer!

In Paris we experienced a canicule, a heatwave, like I have never seen. It sent the Parisians to the country. For those that could not leave the city for the weekend, the mayor opened up additional parks where people gathered in droves under the shade of the green trees.

The triple-digit (Fahrenheit) weather reminded me of Morocco.

This post was intended to be part two of the photo journal I posted last autumn about Marrakech (with a recipe for Harira, a traditional Moroccan soup); however, the weather turned surprisingly cold and a grilling recipe, part two or not, seemed ridiculous. It is relevant now. Summer is here and the hot weather brings with it a desire to eat light and stay out of the kitchen. It is also grilling season.

So, here it is, Morocco, Part Deux, and a simple grilling recipe for skewered lamb chops with a spicy green Harissa.



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stuffed zucchini blossoms

March 20th, 2014

chef morgan zucchini blossoms

spring has sprung


zucchini blossom farce with veal, spring greens and herbs

I knew the question was coming. Then it came.

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winter salad with blood oranges

January 23rd, 2014

chef morgan

long weekend in Napa and a detox “do-over”
Farmer’s Market winter salad with tangy blood oranges

If any of you are calling for a detox “redo” after the three day weekend, then this post and its recipe — Farmer’s Market winter salad with tangy blood oranges — is for you. Read the rest of this entry »

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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) !!!


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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) !


chef morgan strawberries 2

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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 ! 

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Venez avec moi: Monet’s Giverny

July 26th, 2013

chef morgan GIverny

I am often asked for recommendations of what to do and where to eat while in France. When I am asked about day trips outside Paris my first suggestion is always the same: go to Monet’s home in Giverny. It is an easy train ride to a magical place that is beyond peaceful and beautiful. It was restored to it’s prior appearance (designed and planned by the artist himself). A visit to Monet’s Giverny is like stepping into one of the artist’s paintings. Until you can get there in person, let me take you there via post. Venez avec moi à Monet’s Giverny (La Maison de Claude Monet en Giverny).  Read the rest of this entry »

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Paris day trip: Versailles and le potage du roi

July 19th, 2013

chef morgan


Paris Day Trip: Versailles et Le Potage du Roi

white peach and haricots verts salad with fresh chives  

My quest to see a kitchen garden built for a king and my daughters’ desire to see where Marie Antoinette lived led us to Versailles. We came home with white peaches and our day trip inspired this week’s post and the recipe: white peach and haricots verts salad with fresh chives.

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summer vegetable tart à la Provençal

July 12th, 2013

 chef morgan 1

a good summer’s day
summer vegetable tart à la Provençal

Some days everything just seems to go right. The weather is perfect. I did not step in a gift from a neighbor’s dog nor did I walk a piece of furniture down the rue to my apartment. The children are not fighting. Beyond the domestic bliss and no more juin gloom, the little things that in France I have come to expect to test my patience actually fell into place. I felt this moment should be recorded. 

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