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Frenchie and Weekends Away

7 May

I’ve been very lucky these past few months.

Lucky that I was able to visit friends who no longer live in the same city.

I came to realize I am surrounded by friends who, like me, enjoy moving and end up in interesting cities and countries.

Keeping in touch, optimizing the quality of a friendship with long-distance allies, buddies, mates, can prove to be difficult.

What is the secret to staying in touch?

How do you stay close when the long-distance barrier stand in the way?

Weekends away and mini trips for one-on-one face time – quick reunions to catch up and explore together.

These escapes are something I look forward to.

What do you do to keep up with friends who live far?

Please share your favorite getaway places, cities, memories.

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Continue to discover Washington, DC has been on top of my travel list for a while now.

Food hunting of course. But also immersing myself in the quaint architecture of its various neighborhoods.

A different kind of historic town in comparison to Boston, which I continue to miss dearly.

Washington always surprises me for its colors and random happy spots that I soak up along the way.

From one lone bright yellow house on a busy street surrounded by other gray houses, to the eye-popping colored walls of Georgetown.

Un vrai délice.

In no particular order, my DC list goes as follow:

– the ham croquetas, the manchego and ham open-faced sandwich, the barely spicy thick tomato sauce with eggs at Estadio were a brunch highlight

– the magnificent bold colors, pastel tones, and whimsical look of 12th Place NW off of W Street NW caught my attention.

– the fennel pollen and orange peel saucisson, the home-made punch and the crusty bread at Etto proved to be the perfect afternoon snack.

– relaxing on a bright Sunday morning at the Big Bear Cafe outside terrace while waiting for a lemon blueberry muffin showed me Washingtonians can think about something else other than work.

– the Meridian Hill Park off of W Street NW is a place I had never explored before. A high point in the city and a high point of my visit as I thoroughly enjoyed the walk from Dupont Circle through the various off the beaten path streets leading up to the park.

– the pastrami hash, the bagels, the smoked salmon, the challah French toasts, the rye bread… yes, it is DGS Delicatessen and it is as good as it sounds.

– the unusual elongated and narrow location of Iron Gate restaurant, tightly nestled in between two townhouses. You actually eat in what was once an alley. The old stables in the back turned into a bigger dining room. If you can get seated near the bar at the front of the restaurant in the alley, it is the perfect spot. Oh and I forgot to mention the charred feta stuffed squid with currants, pine nuts and mustard cream.

– if you are lucky to be in DC during the cherry blossom season, the walk around the Jefferson Memorial is stunning.

When talking about Atlanta, I can’t say I know the city well.

Work trips mostly took me there.

Hotels, conference rooms, no real city experience.

I caught up with Atlanta recently and unearthed its unique side.

I focused on the following:

– biking the BeltLine – an all day biking trip featuring colorful walls, murals, parks, and peculiar corners. What fun!

– how could you say no to lamb merguez, chickpeas, olives and mint at One Eared Stag? I couldn’t!

– the Krog Street Market has been on my list of places to visit for more than a year now. Enfin ! GC BBQ, The Little Tart Bakeshop, Superica, Yalla… too many things to try.

– the beauty of old Victorian houses in the Inman Park area.

– the blue and white bright interior at Jake’s Ice Cream and Sorbets shop.

– the walk through the Botanical Garden filled with flowers each prettier than the other.

– a winning gazpacho with lobster meat at King + Duke.

Now that I am back, I can’t wait to go back. I saw a side of the city I had never seen before.

Pictures in this post are from DC and Atlanta along with quick snaps weaved in the story from other weekend getaways in NYC and Blowing Rock, NC.

Frenchie and a Long Winter

21 Apr

 

It has been a quiet winter on the blog.

Time flies quickly when life purposely and unwittingly puts many obstacles on your way.

I hope this long silence is over because I have many photos and experiences to share.

I will be back.

 

Frenchie and a Memorable Year

23 Dec

Farewell to a memorable year.

2014 is closing its doors soon and the time to look back at a year’s worth of pictures, recipes, family, colors, friends and food has come.

Ending the year feeling thankful.

Thankful for the people met along the way, the friendships that became stronger, the food and joys of cooking shared with many, the family visits and trips that continue to make me look at the world in a different way.

But also ending the year on a fun note with the interview Lindsey at Lost in Cheeseland wrote last month about Frenchie and the Yankee as part of her Franco File Friday column. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can read the interview here.

Lindsey is an incredibly talented blogger and a wonderful friend. I wish we lived in the same city so we could eat chocolate regularly over tea and coffee.

And lastly, the fun assignment to work on an exclusive Thanksgiving recipe last month for the November issue of the Charlotte Observer/South Park Magazine team.

To tell you the truth, I could see myself making this recipe during the Holiday Season as well so I included it below.

A happy and merry end of 2014 to all.

Winter

Spring

Summer

Fall

<Note to the readers outside of the U.S.: I wrote the recipe for an American magazine and did not include the conversions as I usually do on the blog. Please email me for details.>

Bourbon-flavored Cranberry Clafoutis

for a 9″ round 1-quart shallow baking dish

1⅓ cup (6 oz.) fresh cranberries, divided into 1 heaping cup (5 oz.) and ⅓ cup (1 oz.)

½ cup (2.5 oz.) dried cranberries

⅔ cup plus 1 Tbsp. Bourbon

½ cup Grand Marnier

2 tsp. vanilla extract

unsalted butter, for the mold

½ cup natural cane sugar plus 2 Tbsp., for the mold

4 Tbsp. quinoa flour

2 Tbsp. almond meal

2 Tbsp. finely ground tapioca flour

½ tsp. sea salt

finely grated zest of ½ organic orange

3 eggs

⅔ cup whole milk

¾ cup heavy cream

½ Tbsp. turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 400 °F.

Bring 1 heaping cup (5 oz.) of the fresh cranberries, dried cranberries, ⅔ cup of the Bourbon, Grand Marnier and 1 tsp. of the vanilla extract to a boil in an 11″ sauté pan. When boiling, continue to simmer over medium to low heat for 8-10 min stirring often or until the juice is reduced to about 1 Tbsp. Transfer in a small bowl and set aside to let the cranberries and juice cool.

Generously butter the baking dish and sprinkle 2 Tbsp. of the sugar all over the bottom and sides. Tap the excess out.

In a bowl, combine ½ cup of the sugar, quinoa flour, almond meal, tapioca flour, sea salt and orange zest. Beat in the eggs until well combined. Add and stir in the milk, heavy cream, 1 Tbsp. of the Bourbon, and 1 tsp. of the vanilla extract. Whisk to combine.

Pour the cooked cranberries and the remaining juice into the baking dish. Arrange them to cover the bottom. Pour the batter on top. Scatter the ⅓ cup (1 oz.) of fresh uncooked cranberries evenly on top. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar and bake the clafoutis for 35-40 min until the center is set and the top is golden brown.

Serve at room temperature or cold.

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