Hi. I'm an American student living in France. Studying French. Of course. This means that I am A) poor and B) hungry. I have an ever-growing cookbook collection and if anyone wants to let me work in their restaurant for six months I will. For free.

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  • Location: Besançon, Franche-Comté, FR
  • Favorite foods: I like everything except for brussels sprouts and Christmas ham. And, by everything I mean every food that I've had the pleasure to eat so far. Oh, and I got it bad for lemons.


@Lamora-- My brother and I like to call it Chicken Filet (Chicken-Fil-A ) instead. Ha.


@lamora- Chick Filet is how you say it.


@Perkz- Ask for the Honey Roasted BBQ Sauce, too for the sandwich.


@Lorenzo- Hey, man. Kudos to you if you feel that strongly about it. There are things that I feel that strongly about that other people think I'm crazy for abstaining from... simple things like you not eating at Chick-Fil-A. I don't agree with you, but I don't need to in order to understand from where you're coming. I've never thought about it the way you put it, and I think it's... interesting... Ha. But, for real. Like my friend H says... Keep doing you, bruh!


@Lorenzo-- I guess I see where you're coming from... I mean, I know we're not Europe, but in the Franceland (where most people agree that there is no God, but still somehow remains to be very much catholic) EVERYTHING is closed on Sundays. Are they trying to send some message that these French "heathens" should be in church? Not sure. Don't care really. That's how they do. Just gotta roll with it, yo. We keep everything open on Sundays in America... and, now I'm wondering why we don't shut everything down one day a week, too. I think it would be a good idea. I mean, why not? Frenchies still have enough time to do all their stuff.

Ps. And, maybe this whole rant was just your conscious tellin you that you need to go to Church sometime! ;) jk.


Mmm... Chick Fil A. Loooove it. Don't find a problem with the Sunday's off thing. Whatever. I don't find any religious overtones, but maybe that's b/c one of my parents best friends' owns one or whatev. If I avoided everything with "undertones" I wouldn't go anywhere. Or, I would never send my kids (when I have them) to school... due to the crap they are taught there. That I was taught, even. But, I mean, if you feel strongly about not going to a place like that, then that's your choice and good for you for staying away from something about which you feel strongly! More chicken for meeee... More waffle fries, too!

Did Ina mispronounce something.....

Paula Deen pronounced bouillabaisse "boo-luh-bayz" once. Hahaha... KILLED me. Personally I pronounce "endive" the French way, but I'm a French speaker. I speak Spanish, too... it's just a habit to pronouce Spanish things with an accent. The same with the French words. At first I wondered if it came across as being pretentious, but now I'm not so worried about it. :)

What food(s) did you love as a kid and now can't stand?

@blave- I'll pass, thanks.

Best Farmer's Market you've been to

Every one that I've been to in the Franceland has been great.

What food(s) did you love as a kid and now can't stand?

Man, I used to BEG for brussels sprouts. HATE them now.

Red or white wine in bolognese?

@Jerz- Yeah, it's my grandmother's thing. I've suggested using cream, but she didn't like that idea... and, needless to say, if she doesn't like it, it's never gonna happen. Haha. Just wait til I'm someone's grandmother! In like... 45 years. Ha.

Texas Wineries? Yer Darn Tootin'

Red or white wine in bolognese?

@Jerz- I've seen Mario Batali put milk in his. I make it with milk, but that's how my family does it.

What is this? Double Devon Cream

Brookie, you'll be getting some sooooon! :)

Anyone ever use the Martha Stewart Cast Iron Pot?

I have a cast iron pot from that line and my mom cooked some pinto beans in it and HATED it. So, who knows. It was a steal though... literally 5 bucks. I think it might need to be seasoned, but it supposedly was pre-seasoned, so who knows. Mine isn't enameled, so I really have no answer for you.

Just disregard this entire comment. Haha. :)

I will season that pot though when I get back Stateside.

Comfort Food

Nothing like a good, comforting antibiotic. Yummy.

Okay, so what's the deal with chocolate anyway?

I like chocolate and fruit together. Fruit alone is great, chocolate alone... not so much.

Costa Rican Food

I looooved Costa Rica. Especially bartering at the markets. That was my senior trip. I'm in France now and I prefer Costa Rica to the Franceland.

Do You Love Onions?

@onepercent- Eh, I wouldn't take it that far... :)

Rescue my bolognese!

Fish sauce in your bolognese?!

Here's a video of Batali making his bolognese... @derosa and @hungrychristel-- he makes it differently from the Epicurious recipe. I haven't tried either one. But, I will when I get home!

In Videos: Depression Cooking with Clara

Oh, man. She's amazing.

Cuban Black Beans and Rice inspiration?

@bitchincamero- Ah, I LOVE your blog. I've been following for a while. I knew you'd jump on this thread! My best friend is Puerto Rican, but she's got this Cuban obsession. Some of her best family friends are Cuban and she's always over at their house cooking and eating. She eats Cuban food everyday practically. Needless to say, I'm always telling her to save me a plate and she does... but she "accidentally" forgets its for me...

Knife Brands

I've got a Wushtof Santoku (German) that I love. Likewise, I also have a Global Vegetable (Japanese) that I love, too. I was also given a Furi knife (Australia) which I also really like.

Those are all 7" knives. I've got a set of Wushtof which I love.

I've got it bad for knives. I looove them. There's a Shun one that will be my next buy. I don't have a favourite of the 7" knives. I like them all equally, I think.

Do You Love Onions?

@onepercent- That's the smartest thing you've said all day. ;)

Juuust kiiidding.

Do You Love Onions?

You know why God created women don't you? Men couldn't handle it by themselves.

Where to Eat: Berlin Edition!

Off to Berlin on Friday.

Tell me, Food Guides...

Where should I eat?
What street food should I not miss?
What beer should I drink?

...and, so on and so forth...


Merci! (Or, Danke!)

Horse, Anyone?

So, I was at the Casino (giant absurd mega grocery store in the Franceland) and in their meat section they had horse. I also noticed it in the canned foods section. Yum. Horse in a jar!

Now, my only culinary experience with horse falls into the radish category... Wishing to know more, I ask these questions:

Has anyone had it? If so, what's it like-- flavor wise, texturally, etc. How was it prepared? If you've never had it, would you try it? If no, pourqoui pas?

College Eats!

So, tell me, dear SE reader.

What is the saddest, most depressing thing you ate during your darkest days of college? And, by that I mean... poorest.

You know... when you went to the store and you were like... Should I buy more plates or more beer? Then, you decide on the beer b/c you can always eat Top Ramen out of an upside down frisbee...

[*I've never had to choose between beer or plates... and, I don't own a frisbee b/c my dog is afraid of them. Go figure.]

Cereal Bar

There's this place in Knoxville, TN that's called The Cereal Bar, and I'm told by a friend of mine that it's Cereal Mecca for us cereal lovers. He says there's a gazillion different kinds of cereal and they also have different kids of milk-- whole, 2%, skim, soy, etc.

What is your favourite kind of cereal? When do you like to eat it? Any add ins? What kind of milk?

For me, it's Life. Followed by Raisin Bran with banana slices. Plain Cheerios follow with a sprinkling of sugar. My favourite time to eat cereal is at like 1 in the AM.

Oh, and 2% or skim, please, thankyouverymuch!

Food for 3 in the AM.

You stumble into your place after one (three... seven) too many drinks.Throw your keys on the table. Take off your coat. You're STARVING. You figure you gotta get something on your stomach b/c if you don't, you're gonna be siiiiiick.

So, what do you eat/drink?... not as a preventive for a hangover really, but more b/c you've already (over) indulged and you figure... if you're gonna go for it, ya might as well really go for it, and when ya do it... ya gotta do it big!

How Do Your Like Your Eggs?

How do you like your eggs?

Me, personally... anyway, but scrambled. Sunny side up. Hard boiled. Soft boiled. Over easy. Baked...

Oh, Mr. Egg. How I do love you! You're a great food for the... frugal minded (read: poor) college student like me.

There was a feather in my carton of eggs the other day. Gotta say, that was a new experience. Also, each individual egg had the use by date stamped on it. I love that idea. That way you can take all the eggs out of the carton and use it to make those little caterpillar toy thingies. You know the ones with the pipe cleaners for legs and the wiggly eyes...?


Okay, yes. I admit it. I'm actually 9 years old. Ha.

Sweet or Savory?

Maybe it's just me... but, when I eat, I CANNOT end on sweet. I have to end on savory.

I had a friend once who ate some ice cream and was so bothered by the sweetness left, she squirted a pack of mustard into her mouth just to be rid of it.

How about you?

Sweet? Savory? Or, Elisabeth, you're crazy?

(It's the last one. I know.)

Culinary Blasphemy!

SE, I've missed you. While I've been in Hungary for the past two weeks, you've moved on without me, and I will be forced to play catch up.

But, I'm back! And, I'm here to say THIS:

I would never eat in France again if I could eat in Hungary everyday at my great aunt's house.

She's been cooking on an old school wood burning stove for 55 years or so. Watching her bake in that thing is a something to marvel at. And, can I mention that she doesn't have ANY counter space? She has the stove, her sink, and a cabinet to store dishes and such. That's all. She has this little table next to her stove that she does everything it. It comes up mid thigh so she (in her 70s) is all the way down to need dough.


Who wants to go eat Hungarian food with me in April?

Out of curiosity.

Okay, so let's say that you're stuck on an island and you can only choose ONE food to have in an endless supply. What would you choose?

Me, personally? The Potato. Oh, Potato. How I do adore thee. You can be roasted, grilled, baked, fried, boiled, broiled... eaten raw, if need be!

I kinda hope that if I ever wind up on an island where I'm surrounded by potatoes that I end up on Spice Island.

HAAA, get it? Spice Island? Like... the brand....? Ya know with the pict-- okay, nevermind.


Bison Burger.

Well, how are they?

I LOVE burgers, and the last one I had was a few months before I moved. At the Marché de Noel there is a guy selling them.

I mean, I'm gonna try it either way, I'd just like to get an idea of what I'm going to be tasting!



PB and J?

Maybe it's b/c I'm still practically a kid (and, a poor college student), but peanut butter and jelly sandwiches-- I LOVE them!

What is your favourite way to eat them?

Jelly? Jam? Marshmallow fluff? Honey? Banana? Bacon à la Elvis? Pressed in a panini press?

I once saw Paula Deen (I know, I know, she's trying to kill us) spread butter (go figure...) on the outsides of the bread, dip them in sugar, and cook it off. I've done this and let me say, it's fantastic. The sugar gets all burnt and you get that crunch.


Five ingredient meals!

Anyone got any ideas for 5 ingredient meals? That's not including olive oil and s/p as any of the five, btw!

Anyone? Anyone?

Merci beaucoup!

Mayo/egg storage

So, I'm living in France and the stores aren't keeping their eggs in the refrigerated sections in the stores. That trips me out! The same with milk... although, you gotta refrigerate the milk once you open it. My question is: how long can eggs be stored at room temperature? The same with mayo. I was always told it has to be stored in the fridge, but is that true? The eggs in commercial mayo are pasturized, and everything else-- oil, lemon, etc. -- those are all fine at room temp. Anyone know? I'm baffled by the mayo. Mayo in the jar at your house-- put it in the fridge. In packets at the burger stand-- room temp (or warmer!) is fine.

Anyone? Anyone?

Blogwatch: White Hot Chocolate

Sprinkles? White chocolate? A mountain of whipped cream? Yes, please? Marisol, of Once Upon a Plate, makes a white hot chocolate worthy of a fairy tale. There's heavy cream and half-and-half in there, but I never think that's a bad thing. I'm sure you could substitute milk or more half-and-half though if you'd like something a little less rich. Besides, all the wow factor is in that gorgeous whipped cream mountain and the smattering of sprinkles on top. Sprinkles make everything better on a dreary day.... More

Cheeseburger Cupcakes

Is a cupcake still a cupcake if it's made into a dessert sandwich? Sure! I love these cute cheeseburger cupcakes made by Fat Cat Cakes. They're composed of "yellow cake buns with sesame seeds, buttercream ketchup and mustard, chocolate... More

John Updike's Short Story on Drinking Water

Creative Commons In memory of the amazingly prolific writer and critic John Updike, here are some favorite lines from a piece he wrote for the New Yorker last year on one man's satisfaction glugging down a glass of water each night: The bliss goes back, I suppose, to moments of thirst satisfied in my childhood, five states to the south of this one, where there were public drinking fountains in all the municipal buildings and department stores, and luncheonettes would put glasses of ice water on the table without your having to ask, and drugstores served Alka-Seltzer up at the soda fountain to cure whatever ailed you, from hangover to hives.... More

Jim Lahey's No-Knead Pizza Dough Recipe

Jim Lahey playing with his dough at Co. If the lines at Co. remain at WTF? status, go home and make your own no-knead pizza dough with Jim Lahey's recipe. There's nothing sneaky about his approach: just the expected yeast, salt, flour, and water. Back in December, we told you about a no-knead dough recipe from Chef John of the blog Food Wishes. His version is slightly busier than Lahey's, with additional ingredients like sugar, olive oil, wheat flour, and cornmeal.... More

Cook the Book: Castilian Garlic Soup

Here's one for the garlic fiends: a soup that uses six whole heads of garlic. Adapted from Nancy Harmon Jenkins' New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook, Castilian garlic soup is a mellow, saffron-tinted broth with the mingled sweetness of garlic and sherry.... More

What's Your Favorite 'Vegetarian' Dish?

It can include milk/eggs, but no meat, chicken, or fish. In my house, we're trying to be more creative without using meat. Organic stuff is outrageously expensive in the neighborhood, and the cheaper chicken breasts the size of basketballs just... More

Chewing the Fat: Batali and Bourdain on Sex

Mario Batali and Tony Bourdain are a couple of champion fat chewers who know and like and respect each other a great deal, so we thought why not bring them together for the next set of Chewing the Fat episodes. Food and Sex: Church and State? Batali and Bourdain discuss. What say you, serious eaters? [Possibly NSFW conversation after the jump]. The new season of Tony's show No Reservations airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on the Travel Channel. Mario's show, Spain...On the Road Again, co-starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Mark Bittman, continues on PBS.... More