Frenchie and A New Town

4 Mar

Moving takes time! Especially when staying at a furnished corporate condo for 3 months while trying to find a more permanent home.

House and condo visits, settling in, new routine, new marks.

All good fun in a new town but also quite exhausting.

While cooking has been put on hold for a while – there isn’t much you can do in a furnished place with 3 plates, 1 sauce pan and 2 pans – exploring and going on new adventures are the main activities that have taken much of my time and weekends.

Along with finding a new home.

In the end, it is a great way to discover a city and new areas.

Washington is everything I was expecting and so much more.

I could talk to you for hours about how colorful the D.C. streets are.

It reminds me of Boston a lot except that instead of being surrounded by a sea of red bricks typical of the Bostonian landscape, my head is now spinning and overwhelmed at the multitude of brightly painted facades in every color of the rainbow.

And how ironic that my temporary street is one of the most colorful streets in the area called Shaw and that the houses across from me are painted with the colors of the French flag.

It’s quaint, it’s delightful, it’s bright and it’s lovely.

Walking and exploring is so much more fun when there are secrets to discover at every street corner.

If you are thinking about visiting D.C., the followings are worth a mention:

  • Think about exploring Logan Circle – standing in the center of the circle and observing the beautiful old mansions is something I do not get tired of doing on a daily basis
  • La Colombe, Compass Coffee, The Big Bear Cafe and The Coffee Bar make for exquisite places to rest, work, read, and catch up with friends
  • Le Droit Park and Bloomingdale are both residential areas never featured in the tourists guides – quaint to walk through for their houses, colors, vibe and charm
  • How could you not fall in love with Salt & Sundry – the perfect store to find a gift
  • The colorful stools and food at Duke’s Grocery got me really excited to go back again
  • Chaia in Georgetown wooed me over with their “farm to taco” concept – a great vegetarian spot
  • As mentioned above, the city has great painted houses and murals – you should not miss the watermelon house at 11th St and Q St NW and the Dacha Beer Garden with the giant portrait of Liz Taylor

The new adventures and flavors D.C. has to offer are so enticing.

New musings, new colors and visual experiences.

Next time, I hope to announce something about a brand new home.

Stay tuned.

Frenchie and a New Beginning

29 Dec

The blog has been quiet since Thanksgiving.

There is a good reason for that.

For those who follow me on Instagram, it won’t come a surprise since I made the announcement two weeks ago.

After 3 years in Charlotte, a new life is waiting for me in Washington, DC.

New year, new beginning, new adventures.

2015 is ending on a high note.

2016 already looks thrilling and full of new experiences.

Below is a quick glance at what life looked like this year.

A few of my favorite things.

Places, food, colors, flavors and musings.

Ready for D.C. and what it has to offer.

But first, I must finish packing and moving!

Happy new everything to everyone.

Bonne Année 2016 !

Frenchie and Apple Brownies

23 Nov

I’m not going to hide it.

I’m currently planning the last details of a big Thanksgiving meal and feast – busy week ahead.

But I am also finishing up the last crumbs of a second apple brownie square – and in my humble opinion, it disappeared way too quickly.

You know, when you wet your finger to make the last crumbs on the plate stick to it.

Yes, it would be a crime to leave crumbs on the plate.

I’d even consider it a waste!

Oui, oui!

Lately, the oven has seen pesto croutons, dense and moist coconut almond cakes, caramelized roasted fall vegetables with herbs and olive oil and so much more.

A busy oven as well.

But if my oven could talk – oh the things it would confess! – I am pretty sure it would say the brownies are an all-time favorite.

Call them apple squares or apple blondies.

I like to think of them as apple brownies without chocolate.

Perfect in the morning. Perfect as a snack. Perfect on your Thanksgiving table.

And let’s not pretend this recipe was foolproof after the first attempt.

Of course, I had to test and make several batches!

Pour essayer, pour goûter.

Oh the joys of fall cooking!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Spiced Apple and Brown Butter Brownies

makes a 9 x 9-inch ( 23 x 23 cm) pan – about 16 squares

6 Tbsp butter (85 g), plus more for the dish

⅓ cup (40 g) tapioca flour/starch


½ cup (70 g) brown rice flour


⅓ cup (35 g) almond flour


1.5 Tbsp coconut flour


1 teaspoon cinnamon


¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg


¼ teaspoon ground cardamom


⅛ teaspoon ground star anise


½ teaspoon baking powder


½ teaspoon sea salt


⅛ teaspoon baking soda


⅓ cup (110 g) honey


¼ cup (25 g) dark Muscovado sugar


1 egg


⅔ cup (70 g) pecans, roughly chopped


2 medium organic Golden Delicious apples, cored and roughly cubed (use 1.5 apple if they are on the larger side)


Preheat the oven to 350 °F (180 °C).


In a small saucepan, melt the butter and cook it over medium heat until it starts to bubble, brown and smell like hazelnuts. Scrape the bottom of the pan and pour the brown butter in a bowl. Set aside.


In a medium bowl, mix and whisk together the tapioca, brown rice, almond and coconut flours with the cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, star anise, baking powder, sea salt and baking soda. Set aside.


In a big bowl, whisk together the honey, Muscovado sugar and the egg until smooth. Add the brown butter and continue mixing until well combined.


Add the flours and spices mix to the wet ingredients and fold with a spatula until you get a smooth batter.


Add the chopped pecans, the apple cubes. Stir until combined.


Generously butter the baking dish. Spread the batter in the pan and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.


Wait for the apple brownies to cool and cut into 16 squares.
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