Classic yogurt cake

I’m pretty sure that yogurt cake was the very first dessert that Jérôme ever made for me. It’s almost more of a snack cake than a dessert and is as simple as it gets – even the measurements are done in terms of your yogurt container! It’s definitely the first recipe that French kids learn to make with their parents or grandparents, and rightfully so: it’s quick and easy to make, it’s moist and fluffy every time, and it’s perfect for a small sugar craving after dinner or for a quick breakfast. It’s been a long time since we made one, but recently I was in need of something sweet and found myself without any chocolate in the house, and a fridge full of yogurt. I stirred up the batter in about two minutes flat, and 25 minutes later was rewarded with the crisp and browned-outside and moist and fluffy and slightly tangy-inside of this great dessert. Continue reading

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Nectarine and lime curd tart with brown sugar crust

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What can I say, I’m inspired by nectarines! My last post was about sweet and spicy nectarine and tomato gazpacho, something I highly recommend. This particular post is all about the fruit, combining caramelized nectarines with a lime and nectarine curd on a brown sugar crust. And yes, it’s as good as it sounds, if not better. Oh, and A l’Américaine is officially one year old! Hurray! Let’s celebrate with this amazing fruit tart.  Continue reading

Brie grilled cheese with thyme and vanilla bean-infused sea salt

I am enjoying a much-needed and well-deserved rainy day all alone at home. I am catching up on my internet television, playing video games, surfing the web and meticulously planning my upcoming New Year’s Eve meal game plan. I think it’s gonna be pretty awesome, but I suppose you’ll hear about that later.

While I love a little alone time every once in awhile (a girl needs time to indulge in guilty pleasures and to lounge in her pajamas without showering for most of the day…), one thing that isn’t always simple is decided what to cook, for one. I am a huge fan of making dishes in bulk, leaving enough leftovers to feed us both for at least another day or two. Plus, most dishes, especially winter stews and soups, are usually better the next day. But when I’m all alone, I often find myself feeling lazy, reverting to quick and easy standards like bacon and eggs, or pasta and whatever I find in the fridge. Today, I wasn’t feeling overly-ambitious, but I did want something that I could be excited about eating. A quick look in the fridge and my mind was made up: brie grilled cheese on seven-grain bread.

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Cinnamon, hazelnut and vanilla bean sandies

Wow. This, my friends, is a cookie. Or a sandy, to be more precise. I knew from the ingredient list that they were gonna be awesome. Mind-blowing even. But I had no idea just how perfect they could be. They are buttery, spicy, sugary, salty, and packed with vanilla flavor, all with that grainy, nutty flavor of hazelnuts. They are hard and yet melt-in-your-mouth, not at all dry. They are sweet, but don’t take it overboard. This may just be the perfect cookie.

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