Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Sablés au Citron: French Lemon Shortbread from Paris Sweets by Dorie Greenspan


According to respected cookbook author Dorie Greenspan, "Cookies don't get simpler or more satisfying than sablés, the basic butter cookie of France." In her cookbook, Paris Sweets, Dorie Greenspan turns to Paris pâtisserie owner, M. Lerch who flavors his sablés with lemon zest and coats their edges with sugar so they come out of the oven with a bit of sparkle. M. Lerch advises a gentle touch when you add the flour, so the gluten isn't activated. Also, he encourages a nice long rest in the refrigerator to allow the gluten to relax and to allow the cookies to hold their shape during slicing and baking.

Here's the recipe:

16 tablespoons salted butter
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
Grated zest of 1-1 1/2 lemons
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar, for coating

Don't worry about blending in all of the flour.

1. Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer and beat at medium speed until it is smooth. Add the sifted confectioners' sugar and beat again until the mixture is smooth and silky. Beat in 1 of the egg yolks, followed by salt, vanilla, and grated lemon zest. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, beating just until it disappears. It is better to undercoat than overheat at this point; if the flour isn't fully incorporated, that's OK---just blend in whatever remaining flour needs blending with a rubber spatula. Turn the dough out onto a counter, gather it into a ball, and divide it in half. Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

2. Working on a smooth surface, form each piece of dough into a log that is about 1 to 1 1/4 inches thick. Wrap the logs in plastic and chill for 2 hours.

3. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/ Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

4. While the oven is preheating, work on the sugar coating: Whisk the remaining egg yolk in a small bowl until it is smooth and liquid enough to use as a glaze. Spread the sugar out on a piece of wax paper. Remove the logs of dough from the refrigerator, unwrap them, and brush them lightly with a little egg yolk. Roll the logs in the sugar, pressing the sugar gently to get it to stick if necessary, then, using a sharp slender knife, slice each log into cookies about 1/4 inch thick. Place the cookies on the lined baking sheets, leaving about 1/2 inch space between them.

5. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they are set but not browned. Transfer the cookies to cooling racks to cool to room temperature.




For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy ReadsTo participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken and then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky at West Metro Mommy Reads.


Please join the weekly meme at An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.

Il est Juillet et il est temps pour le merveilleux Paris in July hosted by Thyme for Tea! (*It is July and it is time for the wonderful Paris in July!)

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

I Can't Resist Buying Books With French Things on the Cover



Loaves of Bread


Notre Dame


French Food


Julia Child


Paris Bridges


French Fashion


Paris Streets

French Art


The Eiffel Tower





Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.


Please join the weekly meme at An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.

Il est Juillet et il est temps pour le merveilleux Paris in July hosted by Thyme for Tea! (*It is July and it is time for the wonderful Paris in July!)

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Weekly Wrap-Up: Foodie France (Don't Miss These Books!)



A Bite-Sized History of France: Gastronomic Tales of Revolution, War, and Enlightenment is the perfect pairing for Mastering the Art of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love From a Year in Paris. 

Travel back to the beginning and into present day in A Bite-Sized History of France with the history of France through its foods; this is the definitive book. Every chapter is a close look at a key event in French history along with the foodie consequences/side effects/highlights. It's absolutely fascinating. Of course, there are lots of chapters about wines and liquors, including Bordeaux, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, cognac, champagne ("the devil's wine"), and absinthe ("the curse of the green fairy"), as well as many of France's wonderful cheeses, plus all of France's iconic foods, but there are also intriguing chapters about salt, honey, peanuts, and sugar.

In Mastering the Art of French Eating, Ann Mah has married a diplomat and her life has become a round of moves. And then her husband is posted to Paris, and Mah is living in the city of her dreams. But that ends quickly, and Mah's husband is suddenly reposted to Iraq, and Mah must find a way to focus her days without her husband. She does, writing a novel, taking a job in a library, and writing a blog about French foods. Her research takes her to Brittany where she studies crepes, to Provence where she studies Soup au Pistou, and Burgundy where she studies Boeuf Bourguignon, along with lots of other food adventures. 

If you have any interest in France and/or French foods and drinks, these are a must-reads.





I started Paris in July off with two books of light fiction, and I spent last week reading about foodie France. This week I move to reading two classical French books, Swann's Way by Marcel Proust, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein, and Jean-Paul Sartre's No Exit. 



I also plan to take on these beautiful children's books: Children of the World; Solar System; World Atlas Sticker Book; Here and There; and A Place to Stay, all from Barefoot Books.










Take a look at the lists Wendy at Falconer's Library made to celebrate her 50th birthday: Fifty Favorites: My Favorite Book Published Each Year of My Life and Fifty More: My Favorite Book at Each Age I've Been. I love reading these.





I'm a huge fan of Juli at Whimpulsive's The Things I Liked This Week. Her list of things she enjoyed each week always lift my spirits.





We've gone fossil hunting this weekend, up near Mineral Wells and Midlothian, in north Texas. I hope we have good weather and good hunting. 





What did you do last week?

Did you read any good books? Share them with us.

Have you seen anything bookish you'd like to tell us about?

What else is going on in your life?

I invite you to link up here and/or at the Sunday Salon page on Facebook each weekend (Saturday-Sunday-Monday) and let us know what you have been doing. Visit other blogs and join in the conversations going on there.

Other places where you may like to link up are below. Click on the picture to visit the site.


My linkup for Sunday Salon is below. 



Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Paris in July: Paris-ish Things in My Home

I love Paris. My family and friends know that I love Paris. I live far away from Paris. Whenever my family and friends see something Paris-ish, they often bring these home to me. Whenever I see something Paris-ish, I bring it home.

Here are some of the Paris-ish things I have.

Lamp

Fragrance warmer

Painting

Clock

Musical snow globe

Books

Notebook

Pencil holder

Calendar

Cookbooks

Notebook

Fragrance warmer

Coffee mug

Knives

Beret


What French things do you have in your home?







For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy ReadsTo participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken and then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky at West Metro Mommy Reads.


Please join the weekly meme at An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.

Il est Juillet et il est temps pour le merveilleux Paris in July hosted by Thyme for Tea! (*It is July and it is time for the wonderful Paris in July!)

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Wonderful French Book Characters

How many of these wonderful French book characters do you know? Who have I left off my list?



Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans




Cinderella (Perrault)




Madame Bovary




Belle and the Beast in Beauty and the Beast




Candide




Erik in The Phantom of the Opera




Le Petit Nicolas




Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince)





Otto Lidenbrock in Journey to the Center of the Earth




Athos, Porthos, and Aramis in The Three Musketeers




Jean Valjean in Les Miserables



I haven't read yet but want to meet the Count of Monte Cristo, Arsène Lupin, Magritte, Marcel of Swann's Way.




Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.


Please join the weekly meme at An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.

Il est Juillet et il est temps pour le merveilleux Paris in July hosted by Thyme for Tea! (*It is July and it is time for the wonderful Paris in July!)