Summer in motion!

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There are two types of Americans in Paris.  Those who go home the month of August and those who stay.  Although I secretly envy those who can binge on a month-long ice cream headache of Americana, my summers are a more local affair, doing a mini Tour de France of friends’ vacation homes throughout this fine country.

I’m pondering what France’s summer traditions are, but I’m blanking.  Oh, yeah the month of August not at home, fleeing to everywhere but here?  Merguez on the grill? Spritz on a terrace? Summer reading and late dinners?  A bottle of chilled rosé on ice?

Ok, these new traditions work just fine for my developing adult tastes.  But I still can’t help but miss those sticky childhood summers at home in Chicago: the twinkling bell of the paletas guy selling my favorite ice pop arroz con leche, shucking the golden husks off sweet corn hot off the Weber grill, the self-inflicted pain of watching daytime tv all day long and the call of arms when the ice cream truck roll through the neighborhood.Although I come from the Klondikian school of frozen treats, the Magnum bar is my good-to Euro replacement.  I quickly learned last summer that “A Magnum-a-day keeps the bikini bod at bay”. But every now and then, it’s the only thing that will do the trick.  Happy Summer!

Pâtisseries et gâteaux d’Amérique

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Here it is! It’s my lovechild and she is due the 29th of April, 2015.

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When I moved back to Paris 4 years ago, the city was on the verge of American over-saturation.  Le Camion Qui Fume scandalized as it smoked up the museum-quality streets of Paris.  I was shocked to discover Marshmallow Fluff and Easy Cheese filling an aisle of a nearby bookshop.   At my most vulnerable, I ate “authentic” cupcakes as dense as butter cookies.   Nevertheless I was seeing my culture impersonated and regurgitated into a 10 euro jar of Jif.  The demand was flattering, but not exactly what I had left back in the States.

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Seeing the lack of authentic American cookbooks, I have been trying to get one off the ground for several years now.  American baking is not all about reconstituting processed ingredients like in the books I had seen in the French cookbook market.   In my new book Pâtisseries et gâteaux d’Amérique, I focused on recipes that have the same respect for quality ingredients that even the French could revere. And thanks to Marabout for helping me make it happen.  Pâtisseries et gâteaux d’Amérique has over 64 pages of colorful, step-by-step recipes.  And the American desserts that I know and love.

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Pre-order a copy today on Amazon.

Note: The book is written in French, but generously illustrated in watercolor.  It’s still a belle objet that can be shared with anyone.

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Pâtisseries et gâteaux d’Amérique (Editions Marabout) 599.