Vegetarian & Vegan

Vegetarian & Vegan 2018-02-18T09:34:57+00:00

After 12 years at the helm of the food department of a vegetarian magazine, I would say over half of my recipes are (naturally) vegetarian or vegan. It’s just the way I cook now. While I’m not veg myself, I will always be a staunch defender of plant-based choices…starting with giving them a clear shout-out on this blog.



Homemade Ginger Beer

Two ginger beer bottles. On the right, a heavy, well-worn, barnacled specimen dredged from the deep off Saint-Malo... a little research showed to be a ginger beer bottle from [...]

February 17th, 2018|0 Comments

Zhoug (It’s better than pesto!)

No, that’s not pesto slathered all over a baked sweet potato, it’s zhoug, a spicy Yemeni herb paste made with parsley and cilantro that’s popular throughout the Middle East. [...]

February 12th, 2018|0 Comments

Secret Soup Saver

Another blustery day, another batch of soup. Tout simple: leeks, squash, some garlic, and a single potato. That combo usually works just fine for a weekday soup, but this tim [...]

February 9th, 2018|0 Comments

Mushroom Broth (with stems and ends)

Why toss out the brown ends and tough stems of those mushrooms you use when turning them into a rich, flavorful broth is as simple as setting them to boil in some water for a [...]

February 6th, 2018|0 Comments

Vegetable Pot-au-Feu

Pot au feu, the French version of pot roast, is eaten in two stages. First, the cooking broth is ladled into bowls to be sipped or spooned as a first course. Then, the meat a [...]

January 15th, 2018|3 Comments

Sizzled Spinach with Crispy Shallots

One vegetable that has seem to have fallen by the wayside in the US is fresh spinach. I’m not talking about baby spinach which is ubiquitous enough. I mean the deep-green, la [...]

January 11th, 2018|0 Comments

Caldo Verde

Caldo verde, a Portuguese soup made with sausage, potatoes, and collards (or kale, in my version) is peasant food at its finest: simple, fragrant, and filling. I cannot stop [...]

December 15th, 2017|0 Comments

Chestnut Bisque

This soup is born out of a restaurant disappointment. It was a fancy restaurant, too, one of those places in the US where they charge over $10 for a bowl of what is basically [...]

December 12th, 2017|3 Comments

Spice (Nutmeg) Crinkles

Tender and buttery, this old-fashioned snickerdoodle cookie recipe is ideal for trying out new flavors like nutmeg in baked goods. Cardamom, long pepper, and black pepper can [...]

December 7th, 2017|0 Comments

Lemony Lemon Cake

...because you can never have too much lemon in a dessert. Little motivates me more than a dessert that should have been better than it was. It wasn’t even a complicated cake [...]

November 11th, 2017|0 Comments

Le Financier (Almond Tea Cake)

Everybody’s always going on about macarons and madeleines, but if you ask me, the real superstar of the small pastry world is “le financier." Financiers (pronounced fee-nahn- [...]

November 4th, 2017|0 Comments

Wine-Poached Pears

Now that I've worked out this recipe, my goal is to have wine-poached pears in my fridge all winter long so that I can serve them and cook with them regularly, the way I did [...]

November 4th, 2017|0 Comments

Almond Croissants

There is nothing worse—and nothing better—than day-old croissants. Nothing worse, because each chewy, slightly stale bite of a day-old croissant is a reminder of how good the [...]

November 2nd, 2017|0 Comments

Homemade Apple Butter

Each year, I make more. I have not yet reached the apple butter output of nearby villages in Brittany where le pommé (the local term for apple butter) is simmered and stirred [...]

October 30th, 2017|0 Comments

Breton Buckwheat-Apple Cake

It is so very, very rare that a recipe one imagines turns out just right the very first time that it’s important to call it out, celebrate it, tell everyone about it. ‘Cause [...]

October 17th, 2017|0 Comments

Leek Green Champ

Because leeks are so very costly per pound in the US, it pains me, PAINS ME, to throw away leek tops the way most French cooks do. I’ll do it if I absolutely have to—say, whe [...]

October 8th, 2017|3 Comments

Creamy 3-Ingredient Zucchini Soup

It has been a week of last-of’s. The last of the garden peaches. The last of the cherry tomatoes. The last of the shell beans. And now, the last of the eggplant and zucchini. [...]

October 6th, 2017|0 Comments

Sunflower Seed Pesto

Looks like it’s time to harvest the basil in my container garden before the bugs do. This is the first year in Cancale that I’ve actually had a crop of basil worth harvesting [...]

September 28th, 2017|2 Comments

Heirloom Tomatoes Provençal

The last of the heirloom tomatoes deserve a special send-off, something that sets them smack in the center of the plate and showcases them in all their funny-shaped, juicy gl [...]

September 27th, 2017|0 Comments

Spiced Puff Pastry Twists

Since Cancale is the hometown of chef and master spice blender Olivier Roellinger, I end up with quite a few of his spice mixes blends in my cupboard at any given time. Some [...]

August 24th, 2017|0 Comments

Real Brownies

I would have KILLED to have had this brownie recipe when I first arrived in France. Back in the dark ages before internet shopping gave expats access to Reese’s Peanut Butter [...]

August 22nd, 2017|0 Comments

Homemade Fruit Jam

I have a little problem with large quantities of fruit for sale. I see them, and I must have them—for jam, natch. Nevermind that a 5-pound flat of strawberries will make thre [...]

August 18th, 2017|0 Comments

Zucchini Ribbon Salad

For the past four summers, I’ve been doing cooking demonstrations at a local farmers’ market. The conditions are lovely—extraordinarily good produce, cheese, meats, and cider [...]

August 9th, 2017|0 Comments

Wild Plum Compote

I have been wracking my brain for a way to make ‘compote’ sound sexy. Exciting. Like something you want to jump out of your chair and make immediately. And I keep coming up w [...]

August 2nd, 2017|2 Comments

Herbes de Provence

In France, I swear by Ducros, the supermarket brand of herbes de Provence. The balance of herbs is nigh on perfect—not too pungent, not too bitter, not too floral (the occasi [...]

July 31st, 2017|0 Comments

Slow Cooker Ratatouille

I know, I know, I just posted a ratatouille recipe earlier this week, but why wait to share another one when we’ve ALL got gobs of summer vegetables around right now? (A neig [...]

July 29th, 2017|2 Comments

Really Rustic Ratatouille

—So, how do you make your ratatouille? This is the question I ask anytime anyone in France tells me they’re making ratatouille (a vegetable dish from the South of France made [...]

July 26th, 2017|0 Comments

Quick-Pickled Samphire

For as much as foragers and foodies seem to love samphire, there isn’t a whole lot of choice out there when it comes to preparing it. The same two methods always seem to turn [...]

July 5th, 2017|0 Comments

Savory French Toast Tartines

It has been a busy couple of weeks since I was last able to shop for food. Good-busy, with lots of eating out and seeing friends, but bad-busy in the sense that a lot of food [...]

June 2nd, 2017|1 Comment

Soy-Sesame Marinated Asparagus

Oh…the happy discoveries a lazy cook can sometimes make! I put together this sauce to go with steamed asparagus for a radio segment I did on Saturday morning. (If you want to [...]

May 22nd, 2017|0 Comments

Asparagus Avgolemono Soup

It all started with trying to find a way to use the woody, fibrous ends of the asparagus I’ve been getting at the market in Saint-Malo this spring. The tips and stalks are in [...]

May 17th, 2017|1 Comment

Homemade Custard

This is the pitcher I picked up at an antique gallery (Christian La Brocante) in nearby Saint-Coulomb. I say ‘picked up’ because when I went to pay for it (for a mere 2 euros [...]

May 12th, 2017|4 Comments

Marc’s Chocolate Custard Tart

One of the bright spots during an otherwise dark time in my cooking career was working with Marc, a pastry chef from Tours. Marc had been brought into the French bakery/resta [...]

May 4th, 2017|0 Comments

Wild Garlic Spanish Tortilla

How can so few people in Brittany (or at least my part of Brittany) know about three-cornered leeks? Until my recent (as in, 2 minutes ago) internet search I’ve been calling [...]

April 26th, 2017|1 Comment

Rhubarb Muffins

Still reeling from the jacked-up rhubarb prices in the US, (FIVE DOLLARS A POUND! That’s almost as much as organic strawberries—for a perennial that grows like a weed whereve [...]

April 20th, 2017|0 Comments

Wild Nettle Soup

If ever there was an easy plant to forage in France it’s [stinging] nettles. They are EVERYWHERE—and often where you don’t want them to be, like just under a flowering apple [...]

April 18th, 2017|1 Comment

Okra à la Cross Creek

"Have ready boiling, lightly salted water. Choose only tiny, very young fresh okra pods. Do not cut off stem end because you trust me. Drop whole pods in rapidly boiling wate [...]

April 4th, 2017|0 Comments

Spicy Gingerbread

When and why did gingerbread get pigeonholed as a *strictly* holiday treat? Sure, I get that all things gingerbread are a holiday tradition, but must that mean that they vani [...]

March 16th, 2017|3 Comments

Braised Celery Hearts

When I get into a work groove on the computer, I often crave something to munch on to…um… “fuel” my inspiration. Or that’s the excuse I give myself for my at-the desk nibblin [...]

February 21st, 2017|1 Comment

Red Pepper Soup with Crispy Chickpeas

 Perhaps it is my straitened circumstances after losing my job when my longtime food editing gig ended in December. Perhaps it is the exorbitant prices I am paying for only h [...]

February 7th, 2017|1 Comment

Cooking Laurie Colwin

"If you do not have insomnia, fussy eaters in your social orbit will give it to you." Laurie Colwin “Feeding the Fussy” Home Cooking Oh, how that line of Laurie Colwin’s spea [...]

January 15th, 2017|0 Comments

Gingery Pumpkin Bread

The first time I made pumpkin bread in France was for an English class I taught in a sunny ground floor room of a small town community center. The class ran from 2:30 to 4 in [...]

December 22nd, 2016|0 Comments

Tempest Day Tomato Soup

There’s a tempest blowing out there and since the winds are from the South, the whole house fairly shakes with it. “Blustery” doesn’t even come close to describing a true Bre [...]

November 28th, 2016|2 Comments

Bruschetta Toasts

I have something of a reputation for accepting—nay, wanting—food items my neighbors would otherwise throw away or not know what to do with. Bruised apples, overripe plums, be [...]

November 28th, 2016|1 Comment

Artichoke Tapenade

1 13.75 oz. can artichoke bottoms or frozen artichoke bottoms prepared according to package directions 1 10-oz. jar artichoke hearts preserved in oil, drained, oil reserved 2 [...]

November 24th, 2016|0 Comments