Quiche Lorraine

Quiche lorraine was one of the first things we made for Gastrofare back in 2009. There’s something about this classic French dish that is so appealing–simple, fluffy and delicious. I was happy to try my hand at making it, as I’m attempting to expand my week-night meal repertoire (beyond just desserts) to help David out…

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Caramel crème brûlée

There are perhaps few French desserts more iconic than crème brûlée, although apparently the actual origins of this dish (France or Britain) are still disputed. It is one of my favourites–nothing like the sound of a little spoon tapping the top of that caramelized crust, a joy so well-depicted in Amélie. This one is actually a…

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Roast duck with orange sauce

Deciding on a duck recipe for a holiday dinner party is no mean task, as there are certainly a selection of options to choose from. However, Caneton à l’Orange, the iconic French duck dish, rose to the top of the pile as a natural choice. Neither of us had ever had it, and it seemed…

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Takashi, Chicago, IL

— November 2011, our four-year anniversary To celebrate our four years together (and that we also miraculously had the day off), we decided to try out a new restaurant, Takashi, in Bucktown. We were intrigued by the menu, with its French style fare with Japanese influences. So we bundled up against the blustery cold and…

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Bouchard Restaurant, Newport, RI

– October 2011 in New England for a friend’s wedding David and I flew into Hartford, Connecticut for a friend’s wedding, but stayed on for an extra day to take advantage of being in New England in the fall. We drove a somewhat meandering route from Southbury, CT to Rhode Island just for a day…

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Trout with haricots verts and almonds

It has been a busy past few weeks, as I’ve stopped in several different countries in the last week or so. At long last, I have returned to Chicago, where I’ll be for the next five years or so slogging away on a PhD, and re-united with my husband (and dog). In honour of our…

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French-style chicken with peaches

In what’s increasingly becoming less of a summer vacation and more of a working summer, we wanted to find a relatively straightforward dish that also wouldn’t require a lot of grocery shopping (if any) for a dinner we were holding for friends. I had spotted a recipe for chicken with peaches–French style, which is always…

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Henri Restaurant, Chicago

Henri Restaurant background: A recently-opened French-influenced American restaurant on South Michigan Avenue, Henri is located in a 19th century building, which is part of the Gage Group of buildings, originally housing the Gage Millinery Company. The name of the restaurant is taken from Louis Henri Sullivan, a 19th century architect, who designed the ornamental façade…

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Chicken and fennel au gratin

One of the first dishes we tried out of the massive tome The Silver Spoon was this recipe for chicken with fennel. I’d never had fennel before I’d tried this dish, but instantly knew it was something I could get on board with. This used to be a staple in our house, a go-to recipe…

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Pork tenderloin with apple

We discovered this fabulous recipe some time ago, thrilled to be able to use the Calvados that we brought back from Normandy. Calvados is an apple brandy produced in the region of Basse-Normandie (Lower Normandy). This recipe from the Country Cooking of France is a Norman classic, utilizing a combination of apples and cream. To…

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