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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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

Hazelnut honey mustard vinaigrette

Oh, vinaigrette! When I moved to France eight years ago, this was one of the first things I learned to “make,” and also one of the most rewarding. I’m not crazy for organic products, but I do take satisfaction in knowing what goes into what I eat. I almost always prefer making things from scratch, even if it means spending a little (or sometimes a lot!) more time in the kitchen. And while I do have a soft spot for creamy ranch dressing, I’ve learned to live without it and to prefer a simple, homemade vinaigrette. My go-to is the very recipe that I first learned here, a classic olive oil, red wine vinegar and mustard sauce. But my new favorite, which is better on so many levels, is this hazelnut honey mustard dressing. Continue reading

Crispy, chewy oat bran and dark chocolate sandwich cookies

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Oh my god, guys. These cookies are really something else. I made them twice in the span of 2 or 3 days because I couldn’t get enough. The original recipe is called Brussels cookies, and was found via Food52. I can admit to not having a clue what Brussels cookies are, but when I came across the recipe I instantly thought of those amazing chewy, crunchy, chocolatey Swedish cookies that they sell at Ikea for a small fortune (compared to everything else they sell!). Do you know what I’m talking about? Whether you have something to compare these to or not, I promise you will be blown away. They pair a crispy, chewy and almost caramely tasting thin cookie with everyone’s favorite: dark chocolate ganache. I can’t even describe the awesomeness of these fresh out of the oven and warm, with the ganache still liquid and squirting out the sides… Continue reading

Banana, ginger and peanut butter smoothie

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Who doesn’t love a smoothie? Even if you’re not really that into fruit, I think just about anyone can find the right combination of fruits and nuts, spices, roots and flavors. I was hoping to find blood oranges again at the supermarket but alas; there were none. I bought bananas and pears and kiwis instead, but the only fruit that was ready to eat that day were the bananas. I’d been craving a smoothie for a few days and knew I couldn’t wait for those pears to ripen up… So I thought… What goes well with bananas? Peanut butter! And what would be my secret ingredient? A small piece of that massive hunk of fresh ginger I’d just purchased! Continue reading

Roasted vanilla bean turkey

I’m a homebody. Maybe it comes with getting older, or perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I’m finally exactly where I want to be. Not necessarily in terms of every detail in my life, but geographically speaking, all is in order. I want nothing more than to come home to my cozy little house in Normandy after a day at work, with its fireplace and blue shutters, my cat, our garden, my artwork, my newly spring green kitchen and my computer. New Year’s Eve was no different, and we decided on a quiet night in with good food, good champagne and good company.

It didn’t take me long to decide on the menu. I knew that vanilla would be involved, and settled on a roasted turkey, marinated in a mixture of vanilla bean, honey, lemon zest and spices. I also purchased and cooked my first Jerusalem artichokes for the occasion. I roasted some spicy chickpeas for cocktail hours, and we snacked on those while sipping on homemade eggnog. Before the main dish, we devoured cornflake-coated crab cakes that were perfectly spicy and tangy, accompanied by a sweet tomato ginger jam. The dessert was literally divine, an alcohol-tinged take on classic brownies with crème de menthe and white chocolate ganache.

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