Posts Tagged ‘Cheese’

3 Things that Inspire me to Cook French Food

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Photo Credit: Saveur Magazine, Christopher Hirsheimer

Each time I go to Paris, I get super inspired to come home and be the best French cook in town.  I am not sure if it is the daily trips to the fresh markets, the ultra-chic kitchen in the apartment or the fact that despite eating everything in sight, I never gain weight (French women don’t get fat, right?).    Like wearing a scarf everyday, I usually give up 2-3 weeks after my return.  After my last visit, I decided to find some things to support my new French lifestyle and cooking endeavors and guess what?  They actually helped!  I am a much better French cook, I am trying new recipes with regularity AND they actually taste good….even if I am not wearing a scarf.

Saveur Magazine was an easy remedy to finding new recipes.  The recipes may seem difficult but their writers do an awesome job at breaking down the steps and making them easier to understand.  There are often times whole French menus for different holidays and sometimes there are recipes from famous places in Paris.  I have had great results from their recipes.  I also love it because they do stories on things that might be happening in Paris or on small food shops or tucked away bistros.  It is a great resource for any Francophile.

Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom

Oh Julia, how you inspire the French cook in all of us!  I have talked about this book before, it is my go to cookbook for fresh, simple and most of the time easy French cooking.   This book contains 127 pages of recipes and cooking advice written so well that I can hear Julia telling me the sequence of each step in her unique voice.  I usually grab this off the shelf within the first week back from a trip.

Last, I have to mention one of my favorite food blogs.  I can’t remember how long ago I stumbled onto Lost in Cheeseland but I visit it pretty frequently.  I don’t go on for recipes but more for just day to day Paris inspiration.  Lindsey talks about life in Paris, restaurants,  food and her life.  She also is a GREAT photography and her pictures of Paris are lovely.  Reading her blog transports me back to Paris and reminds me of how much I love the city.  I think you will love it.

I would love to know what you are cooking these days and where you are finding your great recipes.  Drop me a line at or tweet me on Twitter @CobbleStay.

Quiche ala Julia Child

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

My friends and I talk a lot about cooking.  The majority feel that French cooking is time consuming and difficult.  I think it is the opposite.   Walk into many Paris kitchens and you will find basic ingredients that are combined easily to make simple yet fabulously tasting dishes.   The key is to use high quality ingredients and not to try to cut calories using low fat replacements.  Often, when something tastes magnificent, you tend to eat less.

I love this recipe from Julia Child’s book, “Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom”.  I use thick cut, apple-smoked bacon that I buy at Bristol Farms and I use real butter, cream and farm fresh eggs.  No skimping allowed!  Okay, one confession…to save a bit of time on a weeknight, I will use a ready made pie crust from Trader Joe’s.   I serve the quiche with a simple salad of baby greens and an oil and vinegar dressing.  The whole family loves it!

Quiche Lorraine On A Weeknight

6 strips of crispy cooked bacon

3 large eggs

About 1 cup of cream

Salt, pepper and a dash of nutmeg

One ready made pie crust in a tin or pie plate (9 inch)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Break bacon into smallish pieces and spread out over pie crust.  Blend the eggs and cream and whisk in spices.  Pour into pie crust.  Bake in oven 30 to 35 minutes until it is puffy and golden brown.  (I give the pie plate a little shake and the center should jiggle a bit but not look liquid-y)  Let the quiche cool and serve at room temperature with a simple green salad.

Parisian Cheeses

Monday, November 7th, 2011

By: Daniella Carrese

Paris is located in the Île-de-France region of France. Many great items come from Île-
de-France, including the cheeses. This region is known for its soft cheeses. Some of
these cheeses include Brie, Fougerus, and Petit Morin. Upon staying in your apartment
rental in Paris
you can stroll down to the fromagerie to pick up some of these delicious

Brie has been favored by people since the Middle Ages. The earliest record of this
cheese dates back to King Charlemagne in the 8th century. Possessing a slightly nutty
taste, when paired with sweet grapes or honey brie can make excellent hors d’oeuvres.
A typical way to eat brie, besides on a cracker, is brie en croute which is a baked brie
inside puff pastry along with cranberries and nuts. Brie is considered one of the most
favorite cheeses among the French people.

The name Fougerus comes from the fern that is places on top of the cheese when it is
ripening. Robert Rouzaire created this cheese when he was frustrated trying to come
up with another, so he placed a fern on top to hide a flaw on the rind. Fougerus has a
buttery taste, well paired with fruit.

Petit Morin cheese is produced where the Seine and Marne rivers meet. When making
the cheese a little fresh cream is added to mixture. Tasting soft and refreshing this
cheese is well paired with champagne.

France is known for having some of the best cheeses in the world. Even Paris
has some famous cheeses. Next time you are in Paris don’t for get to stop by the
fromagerie down the street from your Paris apartment rental.

The best way to eat your way through Paris

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Food just might be the most overwhelming thing about Paris. There are restaurants, bakeries, cheese shops, food stands and everything else in between. Deciding where to have your meals can make your head spin. Ahhh, what a good problem to have.  If you really want your Parisian food experience to stand out, then remember a few simple tips.

Eat what’s in season. Most of the time the chefs will only serve what they can get fresh and ripe.  If you see a restaurant serving vegetables that aren’t in season I would stay away. Chefs in France take a lot of pride in their cooking and prefer to serve you the best of the best. Don’t eat on an American schedule. Dinner at 7 PM in Paris is considered the early bird round. You will really get to know the locals and enhance your dining experience if you stick to a french schedule. Normally, take your lunch between 12 and 1 PM. Next, hit the restaurants between 8 and 9 PM. If you’re unsure of what the dinner protocol is for a restaurant you’re interested in, do a walk by at lunch and get a feel for the vibe.

When you do find a restaurant you like, order from the “menu”. This is one of the price fix options that is typically 3 or 4 courses. It is the best way to eat dinner in Paris. You typically will save some money, as even the pricier restaurants provide a deal this way, and you will get to experience the food as the chef intended you to. Things are paired to give you a complete dining experience. Have an apéro before dinner. It’s a very French thing to do, and makes your meal more of an experience. You can visit a bar of cafe, or have one at the restaurant. Either way, it starts the evening off right.

Finally, be brave! Try something you wouldn’t think you’d like. Have the Foie gras or Boeuf tartare. You just might be surprised what you fall in love with. The best part about a vacation rental in Paris is the fabulous kitchens. This allows you to dine out and try your hand at French cooking in your own “home”. Bon Appetite!

Learn from the professionals

Friday, August 5th, 2011

Paule Caillat

Not only can you find fantastic restaurants in Paris, you can always find a fantastic chef. If you are dying to channel your inner culinary skills then a fun excursion might be waiting for you in the kitchen. There are so many day classes, half-day classes and weekend adventures to choose from. We’ve found two unique experiences that are sure to delight your stomach and your taste buds.

The Promenades Gourmandes class with Paule Caillat. This is truly a start to finish class. Paule Calliat has been conducting cooking lessons, in English, for the last 13 years. All in her own kitchen. The day starts when you head with her to the market to shop for the ingredients. Talk about fresh! You will get to experience the local boulangerie, boucherie and poissonnerie. You will be skillfully educated on the differences in types of cheeses, cuts of meats and what to look for when selecting ingredients. Once you’ve filled your baskets, it’s back to her kitchen where the magic happens. You will prepare, completely hands on, a four course meal to pair with wine and great conversation. Nothing seems more authentic then sipping a glass of wine, while learning how to sautee and whisk a meal together from a true Parisian chef.

38 rue Notre Dame de Nazareth, 3rd, From €270 per person (less for parties of 2 or more).

You could also try a teaching class at La Cuisine Corsaire Ecole with Chef Emmanuel Tessier. The classes are all themed: spices, vegetables, fish, lobster, desert. Whatever the theme, expect to be transported with the ingredients. French is the primary language but ,if you give advance notice, you can have an English translation provided. For three hours you can expect to use all your senses and learn from a great chef instructor. It is very hands on and the themes are always related back to your own personal preferences. Suggestions of substitutions and ways you can use the techniques at home are discussed. Once your masterpiece is finished, you will sit down to taste the fruits of your labor. Each class has a max occupancy of 8 so an intimate lunch is a relaxing way to end the class. You also get a smaller box of your dish to take with you. The icing on the cake? As another parting gift, you are provided with ingredients to whip up something similiar at home. Tres Magnifique!

Place Saint-Méen, Cancale, €104–€160

Whether you choose to venture from your apartment rentals in Paris or not, is up to you. If you’re in the market for a unique culinary experience, a cooking class is the perfect way to spend an afternoon in the city of lights.

Lunch In Paris

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Eating lunch on your balcony of property 018

Eating in Paris, the culinary capital of the world, is always a pleasure. Eating lunch in Paris can be a particular pleasure since it offers a wide variety of possibilities for price, venue or choice of food.

Every neighborhood in Paris is filled with small specialty food shops. Paris apartment rentals afford the visitor the chance to get to know, and feel a part of, a real Parisian neighborhood. Browse the local boulangerie for a baguette, a thin loaf of French bread; the fromagerie for a tasty cheese; the charcuterie for some sausage, or other meat; and the patisserie for some fine French pastries. Or grab a bottle of wine and go home to your own Paris luxury apartment and enjoy a great lunch in comfort.
In fine weather, those same fixings can be turned into picnic fare. Paris abounds in possible picnic spots, and, since Paris vacation rentals are available all over the city, one is sure to be near to your Paris luxury apartment. While the Luxembourg Gardens on the left bank and the Place des Vosges on the right bank are two of the better known picnic spots, part of the fun of picnicking in Paris is finding your own special place from the many along the Seine, or the boulevards, or the many parks.
If picnicking or preparing your own lunch is not what you want, you still have many choices for eating lunch in Paris. Because most people staying in Paris apartment rentals aim to live like a Parisian that, most often, includes lunch at a neighborhood café or bistro. Often, cafes and small restaurants in the areas where people live and work, rather than in tourist areas, offer the best food and the best values around. While Paris cafes are the quintessential places to sip coffee, and other beverages, unhurried and enjoy the Parisian experience, they also serve food, often soup and sandwiches, and are great places for lunch.
Bistros are small restaurants that offer slightly heartier lunch offerings.
Traditional bistro fare can include French classics such as coq au vin, chicken cooked in red wine, and boeuf bourguinon, beef in a burgundy wine gravy with mushrooms and onions. Paris also has many ethnic restaurants that reflect the city’s diversity. These restaurants offer many different choices for lunch in the city.
Lastly, lunch is also served on boats that traverse the Seine and in the restaurants of the many hotels of Paris. Many hotel restaurants are among the highest rated, such as Alain Ducasse in the Plaza Athenee Hotel and Le Cinq in the Hotel George V.
Whatever you choose, allow yourself the time and comfort to explore the wonderful City of Lights, the hub of haute cuisine at any meal.