Spiced lamb burgers with tzatziki and slaw

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The best thing ever happened recently. I know I’ve talked on here about losing my need for all things American in the kitchen and embracing what I can find here in France, and learning to make things that I still craved from scratch. But sometimes, I still get really excited when I can easily find a little slice of home. Hence the best thing ever: Marks and Spencer Food opened right next to my work! OK, so I know that M&S is British and not American, but I still find versions of my childhood comfort foods (good pre-packaged cheesecake and other sweets) as well as other, more adult and grown up flavors like curry sauces and chutneys and OMG: ground lamb! I’ve set foot in the store two or three times so far, and seeing this lamb mince was definitely the most exciting moment by far (even more so than the discovery of cheesecake!). I snatched it up without hesitating, and grabbed a package of Indian naan bread as well, set on the idea of making lamb burgers over the weekend. Continue reading

My life lately

Hello! Life over the last few months has been a little nuts. Lots of change and discovery and new habits. I promise I’m still spending a good amount of time in the kitchen, I just can’t seem to fit blogging about it into my new routine. I did make an ah-mazing carrot cake the other day that my colleagues went on and on about, and I’ve been cooking a lot with figs! In salads, caramelized in pasta, in smoothies…

So here is a look at my (culinary) life lately. I really do want to get some recipes up here soon, so stay tuned!

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Yellowstone!

Wow, it’s been forever! I’m still here and still cooking, just not necessarily blogging about it. And did I mention that I just got back to France after four weeks of vacation in America? During those four weeks the only thing I cooked was grilled cheese, bacon for a blt and some scrambled eggs. But you know what I did do? Spend one week in the magnificent Yellowstone National Park. Here are some highlights!

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I promise that I’ll try to post a few recipes in the coming days (weeks?). I’ve been making a lot of delicious summer salads since I got back and I can’t wait to start grilling now that summer is in full swing!

Almost niçoise salad

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This is my go-to salad. It’s the one that I’ve been making for years, and one of the first “meals” that I made for myself once I was out on my own. Something about the combination of tuna and a mayonnaise-laced vinaigrette, crunchy cucumbers and radishes, hearty boiled eggs and big flecks of pepper keeps me coming back for more. Not to mention that this salad can be used to clean out your pantry of canned veggies, or your fridge of leftover bits of produce. It’s a niçoise salad without being so structured, putting the ingredients you have on hand to good use. Continue reading

Sticky honey chicken with ginger and sesame seeds

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I’m so glad that I finally got around to making this recipe again and that it’s finally up on the blog! This is one of the first things I learned to make on my own, back when Jé and I had just gotten together. I remember trying so hard to impress him (even though he’s really not much of a foodie), making stuffed bell peppers (another recipe that I don’t think is even on here!), pumpkin pie from scratch and then, this chicken. It felt like such a triumph. It was incredibly easy, actually, but something about it seemed complicated. Almost fancy even. It was pure instant gratification, and I made it on a regular basis for a long time, until one day, it just fell out of my rotation. And I haven’t made it since. And then the other day I randomly thought about it, and remembered how it was just as good as any take-out I ever ate in America and a million times better than what I can find in France, and just like that, sticky honey chicken was back!
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Banana pancakes with caramel sauce

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Usually, when you have over-ripe bananas, you make banana bread. I am part of the rare group of people who doesn’t like banana bread. I know! But I just… don’t. So when I found myself with three bananas that were way too ripe to just eat, I found myself in a bit of a dilemma. I’d been craving pancakes lately (my new favorite thing is forcing Jé to eat dessert for dinner, which usually involves pancakes) so I decided to give banana pancakes a try, for dinner no less! Continue reading

Baked camembert

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Sometimes I can’t believe how long it takes me to actual make a recipe that is on my list. Especially when said recipe is as easy as turning on the oven and involves only three ingredients. Also when the recipe in question is nothing short of pure bliss when it comes out of the oven a mere 10 minutes later. Also when I have technically already made this recipe several dozens of times while working in a restaurant… But somehow never got around to making it in my own kitchen. I guess it just takes that one trigger that makes you think about a recipe that you used to make/ want to make/ haven’t made in forever. For me, it was a trip to the grocery store. We were in the cheese aisle when Jé saw a specially marketed cheese that was made for being baked, or rather microwaved. It came in a cute little wooden basket-like packaging that you just had to heat up and… Amazing! Fondue in a neat little package! Jé was intrigued and wanted to try it, despite the fact that we had no idea what kind of cheese it actually was. Because who doesn’t want to eat melty, gooey, hot cheese and call it a meal? Enter the baked camembert. I gently shooed him away from the mystery cheese and picked up a camembert instead. Continue reading