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Great Lentil Soup

 Here’s a great seasonal recipe from Epicurious.Com for Lentil Soup!

Lentil soup is one of our most favorite dishes for Fall and Winter


• 3 tablespoons extra–virgin olive oil
• 2 cups chopped onions
• 1 cup chopped celery stalks plus chopped celery leaves for garnish
• 1 cup chopped carrots
• 2 garlic cloves, chopped
• 4 cups (or more) vegetable broth
• 1 1/4 cups lentils, rinsed, drained
• 1 14 1/2–ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
• Balsamic vinegar (optional)
Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium–high heat. Add onions, celery, carrots, and garlic; sauté until vegetables begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Add 4 cups broth, lentils, and tomatoes with juice and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium–low, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 35 minutes.
If you choose to have a more puree soup:
Transfer 2 cups soup (mostly solids) to blender and puree until smooth. Return puree to soup in pan; thin soup with more broth by 1/4 cupfuls, if too thick. Season with salt, pepper, and a splash of vinegar, if desired. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with celery leaves.


Pumpkin Everything

It is the season for Pumpkins or Poitiron. Unlike the American orange pumpkins, the French one's look more like Cinderalla's carriage before it was a carriage. The farmer's cut it up for you and sell slices for baking and soups.

Pumpkin soup

Asking the Farmer how to make the pumpking soup, she suggested the following.

Skin the pumpkin and put it into water to boil. Add a few bouilloun cubes. Add a pomme de terre (potatoe) and an onion. Voila ! Put in the blender and make it a puree and it is fantastic and so easy!!!

Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving is approaching and we were invited to two Thanksgiving dinners (one on Thursday and Saturday). I decided to attempt to make a Pumpkin Pie from fresh pumpkin. My first attempt was fabulous for the inside (add enough sucre and anthing can be great), but the crust had some difficulty cooking (possibly our oven or I need to bake before a bit more before putting inthe filling. Meanwhile here is the great recipe.. Try fresh pumpkin also. It was great!!! and not hard.


1 - 8oz pkg cream cheese softened (I used some similiar cheese here in France)

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp ground cloves

3 eggs (I think you only need one or two however as it was a bit runny)

1 can canned pumpkin or equivalent in fresh

1 unbaked pie cshell, edges crimped high

1 cup diary sour cream


Cream together cream cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon, giner, salt, and cloves. Add eggs, one a a time, beathing thoroughly after each addition. Blend in softened pumpkin, milk, and vanilla. (the recipe said this, but there wasn't milk listed in the ingredients so I added a little). Bake into 375 oven 45-50 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between center and edge come out clean. Blend together sour cream and sugar; spread over top of pie. return pie to oven 3-5 minutes or until topping is set. Chill before serving.


Christmas Bark

My Sister sent me this recipe and it is fantastic and easy.. My French guests loved it!!! and believe or not they have saltines (called Table Crackers) here in France
Christmas Bark
*Makes approximately 40 pieces; I doubled the recipe and made it on two cookie sheets; ended up with 2 platters of goodies!  It is easy and yummy!
1 sleeve saltine crackers
1 cup butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
12. oz. semisweet chocolate morsels
1 cup. chopped nuts (I used peanuts, but you can use pecans, walnuts, etc.)
Parchment paper (a must)!
1.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.   Place crackers in one layer on parchment lined baking sheet with sides.
3.   Melt butter and brown sugar in medium saucepan.  Cook for 3 minutes,
      stirring constantly.
4.   Pour butter/sugar mixture over the crackers and spread evenly.
5.   Bake for 15 minutes.
6.   Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate morsels.  When they start   
      to melt, spread evenly over entire layer of crackers.
7.   Sprinkle chopped nuts on top.
8.   Put in oven with temperature off for a minute or two to let chocolate melt.
9.   Refrigerate for one hour or more.
10. Remove from refrigerator and crack into pieces.
Pack in a cute container or holiday tray for great gifts (favorite buyers, mailman, nanny, maid, neighbor, manicurist, hair stylist, boss, friend, significant other, husband, wife).
Note: this recipe is from Stacy Keibler (Dancing with the Stars).  She said, "When people find out they're made with saltine crackers, they can't believe it".

Onion Soup

With the cool weather coming we are searching for good soup recipes. Here is a lightweight wonderful soup.

Beef Stock or bouillon cubes

Tons of onions - sliced and lightly sauteed in olive oil until soft

Mix the onions with the beef stock (about  2 onions per 8 cups of stock)



Kirsten's Cupcakes

dsc04425.jpgMy friend Kirsten makes the best cupcakes in the world. An old family recipe of hers that she has shared with me. Not being much of a baker I am learning slowly and this was a great place to start... especially because cupcakes just aren't found in France. Tartes, patisseries, gateau and more, but not cupcakes. Ordering cupcake holders and a cupcake pan from America I began to bake. The next task was converting cups to grams (something I let the computer do).

This past Saturday, Zoe-Pascale decided it was time to make cupcakes for Pantoufle's 8th month birthday and we needed a party. A few friends and neighbors came over to celebrate. So here it is.  The recipe follows and just call it Kirsten's cupcakes!


3/4 cup butter
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups sifted and then measured cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup milk

Beat butter, sugar, eggs, vamilla for 5 min on high speed.
 Sift together baking powder, salt and flour.
Add dry stuff in 4 separate dumps into wet stuff alternately with milk.
 Blend on low speed just until smooth.  Bake at 350.  Pour only half way into cups. Check after 10 minutes with stick to see if cooked all the way through.

Icing:  1/2 cup butter softened
8 oz cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
Gradually add 1 package powdered sugar.