Pomme frites, clafoutis and tournesols….Say What??
July 11, 2011

Roast poulet and French Fri....I mean..pomme frites

This weekend was my favorite type of weekend…where I have NOTHING planned, nothing I HAVE to do….no committments, no obligations….so anything goes. Most Friday nights we meet our daughter for dinner somewhere close to all of us, which usually means Hampden, but this Friday we went to Petite Louis in Roland Park…we shared a chicken and french fries for two(Frenchified it’s poulet with pomme frites). Whatever, it was delish….and we even brought some home!

Best buy in Harbor East?? Great vegetarian dinner....

Saturday night went down to Harbor East…had a quick dinner at Vino Rosina, which is a terrific wine bar right around the corner from Bagby’s Pizza….they have some lovely small plates…like the grilled polenta with squash, topped with a soft poached egg. Some people on FB seemed to think that was a little weird, but poached eggs on top of a savory dish….is yummy. And this was only $8….and really would have made a lovely dinner all in itself.

Cupcakes with a smile...

The intention after dinner was to see Horrible Bosses, but the 7:30 show was sold out….:(     My spirits lifted considerably though, when I spiedCaroline’s Cupcakes, which has opened a little stand inside the Hagen Daz store. Black bottom with cream cheese icing, cures all ills…seriously, it does.

Market tournesols(sunflowers)!

Made it to the downtown farmers’ market under the JFX Sunday morning…made it in time for tomato seconds(if you have never availed yourself of the bargain that is tomato seconds…well, more for me). These are ‘maters that may have split a tiny split or have a spot or bruise. They’re still fabulous…and a great buy. Picked up some sunflowers, bread, and eggs too….and you see some of the cutest kids there. And they are decked out…I wished I dressed as well for the market(I don’t.)…check out this little girl

Clafoutis, ready to go into the oven....

That night we grilled some lamb, sliced some of those tomatoes and drizzled with olive oil, sautéed yellow squash, and I made a cherry clafoutis, from a recipe in one of my oldest and most beloved French cookbooks, French Country Cooking.

The finished clafoutis

It’s a snap to make really, the only messy part is pitting the cherries. Then it’s just eggs, flour, sugar and milk. And one of my favorites. Here’s an Emeril Lagasse recipe that is close to mine….but I would ditch the brandy and vanilla bean(just use extract)…and my recipe calls for 1/2 cup each of sugar and flour..not one cup, and only one cup of flour…..but, whatever. Let me know how yours turns out! And send pictures! You won’t be sorry you tried it…claloutis is a classic….for a reason.

A delicious ode to Julie and Julia
August 11, 2009

Meryl Streep doing a mean Julia Child...

Meryl Streep doing a mean Julia Child...

Yes, I was indeed part of the pack who made it to see Julie and Julia this weekend….Realizing the theatre at Harbor East would be packed with people just like me(Julia/food nuts), we got there just in time to find seats together. The audience was as expected, majority female, but there were plenty of guys there too for this new genre of film…the chick food flick. And we loved it. Meryl Streep pulls off the impossible…playing someone so much part of the public consciousness even as parody….and making the character plausible, and lovable. Just a word of advice…plan to eat something delicious afterward whether you’re eating out or in. Plan something nice. You will be ravenous for something with butter after seeing this ode to all cooking Julia Child. And sharing this movie with my daughter, who is just learning to cook, was such a special treat…I got tears in my eyes at one point….I know…so sentimental.

The ratatouille is coming together!

The ratatouille is coming together!

Our reward when we got home? Some amazing Ratatouille, (the dish, not the movie)compliments of my daughter who is a new convert to Julia Child’s legion of fans, now drawing a whole new generation of people learning the joys of slow food…actual cooking….in the kitchen..with real ingredients. Real butter. Real flour. Real vegetables! Now, there are as many recipes for ratatouille as there are restaurants in Provence, and they’re probably all delicious…here’s one from Epicurious, that uses copious amounts of garlic…(love it!)….but ratatouille is a forgiving recipe…adjust ingredients to your liking.


The ratatouille was finished before we made the afternoon movie…it sat happily on the stove with all it’s luscious ingredients(heirloom tomatoes that I got on sale from the farmer’s market…a large basket of “seconds” for $5 as they were racing decay, but perfect for cooking)melding blissfully into one another, and when we got home I quickly butterflied( not boned!) a chicken so that it would cook in half the time, roasted it  after rubbing it down with some butter mixed with Mediterranean sea salt, chopped some French Bread and put it all on the table with some real butter(Julia would want that). What a feast…I think we all channeled Julia that night as we savored the fresh tomatoey-garlic-eggplant-olive oily goodness…it was great plopped on top of the bread. Bon appetit!!