thefrancofly.com-Color Me Seasonal March-Jessie Kanelos Weiner

Although the month of March promises a season changed for the better, its produce does not vary much from the thick of the winter months.  I am as fatigued by potatoes and beets as the next locavore, roasting away Earth tones into an oblivion.  But if my Spring predictor serves me right, when charming little bouquets of daffodils are slung on the streets of Paris, then printemps is just around the corner.  So color this in with patience.  The coloring and eating will get very good very soon.

Want to color more?  Click here to purchase my new coloring book.

#colormeseasonal

Recettes du Jardin a colorer et a cuisiner, Editions Mango

I am very pleased to announce the release of my new coloring book Recettes du jardin à cuisiner et à colorier, Editions Mango. With 96 pages of seasonal, veggie-centric recipes by Franco-Japonese author Laure Kié.  I took care of the illustrations, but the color is up to you!

Recettes du jardin a colorier et a cuisiner
Adult coloring books have had quite the renaissance in France the past few years, becoming one of the bestselling genres.  I brushed off the whole thing until I sat down with Recettes du jardin and my colored pencils.  “I know how to draw.  Why should I color?” said the arrogant illustrator.  Sure enough, I spent the whole weekend storming through page after page.  But I get it now! Coloring is a tactile break from gadgets.  Each page is a rewarding exercise in concentration.  It’s like creative camomile tea, a much-needed digital withdrawal before bedtime.
Recettes du jardin a colorier et a cuisiner, Editions Mango 2
Note: the recipes are in French, but coloring has no language.
Recettes du jardin a colorier et a cuisiner, Editions Mango

Order a copy here.  Or preferably at the local bookstore.

Happy coloring!

Galette de rois

I’m going to commit a blogging sin and reuse my header from last year.   Hold onto your teeth!  It’s galette de rois season!  Even amongst the resolutions to drink soy milk and take tai chi, the galette de rois is the official mascot of the month of January in France, in celebration of epiphany.  Every event, birthday party or gouter revolves around the puff pastry confection, enveloping a rich layer of dense almond cream and a lucky porcelain charm.  Whoever bites into the charm is crowned king or queen for the day.  As I like to say, the object is to win the crown and not get a crown, if you know what I mean.

I don’t condone comfort eating, but lately it’s been the only way to remedy the frightening events of the past few weeks in Paris.  I’ve reverted to cooking in times of crisis.  Concentrating on a few ingredients at hand takes my mind off the fear and back into the present. My galette de rois was no exception.

With an almond objection in our home (hello husband!), I swapped out the traditional filling with a homemade apple compote, warmed through with cinnamon and a splash of brandy.  I didn’t have a porcelain charm hanging around my kitchen. My two options were either inserting a 5 centime coin or an almond.  I took a risk and added the latter.  Sure enough, there was no crowned king or queen this year.  Someone ate the almond and didn’t complain.  And I’m pretty sure it wasn’t me.

Galette de rois aux pommes

2 sheets all-butter puff pastry

2 cups apple compote, preferably homemade

1 vanilla bean

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons brandy

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon cane sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds using the side of the knife.  Discard the pod.  Mix together the compote, vanilla seeds, brown sugar, brandy and cinnamon until fully combined.

2.  Roll out 1 puff pastry on a cookie sheet.  Spread the compote mixture in the center of the puff pastry, creating a 2-inch border without compote around the circumference.  If using a charm, press it into the compote.  Brush the circumference of the pastry with the beaten egg.  Cover the compote with the second puff pastry.  Press the edges to fully enclose the filling.  Using a paring knife, lightly score the top of the pastry with a geometric pattern and make several holes to help the steam escape while cooking.  Brush the top with the remaining egg.  Sprinkle with cane sugar.  Bake for 30-40 minutes until the top is golden brown and the pastry feels crisp to the touch. Cool before serving.

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