The Perfect Madeleine

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After college, unable to find a decent job during the recession with my highly practical Art History and French degrees, I moved to Paris. As one does. In actual fact, I had gotten a decent job teaching English in French primary schools through TAPIF (a program I still recommend to French-speaking graduates looking for work or thinking about travelling). My year there was fantastic: I worked hard, met wonderful people, ate amazing food, perfected my French, and travelled. I’d go back in a heartbeat. Continue reading

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Butterscotch Birthday Cake

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One of my kitchen idols (please tell me I’m not alone in having ‘kitchen idols’) is Nigella Lawson. Or perhaps I should say that her television and cookbook persona is my idol, as tabloid stories and a prominent court case last year suggest that her real life, like so many other celebrities, is vastly different from the one we see onscreen. But that doesn’t make me like her any less as a cook. Continue reading

Strawberry Cake in October

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I’m a sucker for farmers’ markets. There’s something so enticing about buying produce outdoors, about seeing the people from your neighborhood and further afield mingling, about shopping without a list and not knowing what you’ll come home with. We have a glorious farmers’ market on the south side of Hampstead Heath on Saturday mornings with an array of stalls that varies throughout the year, but has enough consistency to feel familiar and comforting. It’s a great way to start the weekend; picking over the veg, bread and cheese on display, treating yourself to a baked good or hot sausage bap before going for a walk through the Heath. Beautiful seasonal finds have led to some of my favorite cooking adventures this year. This strawberry cake, unfortunately, is not the result of such idyllic, high-minded shopping. Continue reading