Category: Blog

  • Feasts and Festivals: a cinematic celebration of festive joy

    Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of fun and joy of the holidays with this selection of films in which feasts, celebrations and festive moments become a source of inspiration and magic. From heartfelt stories about family and Christmas magic to culinary delights and fun adventures, each of these films brings a unique atmosphere of joy and magic of festive events. 

    Here’s a collection of films centered around feasts, holidays, and joyful celebrations:

    1. “The Christmas Chronicles” (2018)

       – This heartwarming film “The Christmas Chronicles” follows the adventure of two siblings, Kate and Teddy, who embark on a quest to capture Santa Claus on camera. However, their plan goes awry, and they find themselves joining forces with Santa to save Christmas. With festive themes and a heartwarming atmosphere, this movie captures the essence of the holiday season.

    2. “The Holiday” (2006)

       – A romantic comedy about two women who exchange homes for the holidays to escape their respective relationship woes. As they embrace the holiday spirit in their new surroundings, they both find love and joy in unexpected places.

    3. “A Christmas Story” (1983)

       – Set in the 1940s, this classic film follows young Ralphie Parker as he dreams of receiving a genuine Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, despite warnings from adults that he’ll shoot his eye out. Filled with nostalgic holiday moments and family gatherings, this movie captures the essence of Christmas from a child’s perspective.

    4. “Home Alone” (1990)

       – When eight-year-old Kevin is accidentally left behind during the holidays, he must protect his home from bumbling burglars using an array of inventive booby traps. With a mix of comedy and heartwarming moments, this film embodies the holiday spirit and the importance of family.

    5. “Babette’s Feast” (1987)

       – This Danish film tells the story of a French refugee who prepares a sumptuous feast for a small, devoutly religious community. As the characters indulge in the exquisite meal, the evening becomes a transformative experience, filled with joy, forgiveness, and celebration.

    These films capture the spirit of joyful celebrations and special moments shared around the dining table during the holiday season. Whether through heartwarming family stories, festive magic, or culinary delights, each film provides a unique perspective on the joy of togetherness and celebration during special occasions.

  • Review of French Kid-Friendly Cafés: Where to Find the Best Desserts for Children in France

    France, renowned for its rich culinary heritage, is a treasure trove of delightful flavors and delectable treats that cater to both adults and children. When it comes to indulging in the finest desserts for little ones, French kid-friendly cafés stand out as havens of sweetness and joy, offering a delectable array of treats that are sure to delight even the pickiest young eaters.

    In the heart of Paris, amid the bustling streets and charming boulevards, lie a plethora of enchanting cafés that embrace the art of crafting irresistible desserts for children. From the iconic Berthillon on the Île Saint-Louis, known for its artisanal ice creams that come in an array of whimsical flavors, to the cozy Le Pain Quotidien, which entices young palates with its freshly baked pastries and indulgent hot chocolates, these cafés embody the essence of French culinary excellence tailored for little ones.

    Venturing beyond the vibrant city of Paris, one can discover a treasure trove of hidden gems scattered across the French countryside. From the picturesque town of Annecy to the sun-kissed shores of Nice, an array of charming cafés beckon families to experience the warmth of French hospitality intertwined with the sweetness of local delicacies. Places like Au P’tit Grec in Nice, renowned for its delectable crepes adorned with a medley of sweet toppings, and Le Fournil de la Mandoune in Annecy, which entices young taste buds with its mouthwatering array of traditional French pastries, serve as havens of gastronomic delight for families traveling through France.

    What sets these French kid-friendly cafés apart is not just their delightful desserts but also their commitment to creating a welcoming and enchanting atmosphere for children. From whimsical décor that sparks the imagination to carefully curated menus that cater to young taste buds, these cafés go above and beyond to ensure that every visit is a memorable experience for the whole family.

    So, whether you find yourself strolling through the cobblestone streets of Paris or exploring the quaint villages nestled in the French countryside, be sure to stop by one of these charming kid-friendly cafés. Let the aroma of freshly baked treats and the warmth of French hospitality envelop you as you embark on a delectable journey through the enchanting world of French desserts specially crafted for the little ones.

  • French Cuisine for Kids: How to Engage Children in Cooking French Dishes

    Introducing the rich and diverse world of French cuisine to young palates can be an exciting culinary adventure for both kids and parents alike. From buttery croissants to savory ratatouille, French cooking offers a delightful array of flavors and textures that can captivate even the most discerning young eaters. Engaging children in the process of preparing these delectable French dishes not only fosters a love for good food but also instills essential cooking skills and cultural appreciation from an early age.

    One of the best ways to introduce children to the wonders of French cooking is through interactive cooking sessions that emphasize hands-on participation. Encouraging kids to get involved in the preparation process, whether it’s kneading dough for baguettes or assembling colorful vegetable tarts, can nurture their curiosity and creativity in the kitchen.

    Moreover, exploring the vibrant palette of French flavors can be a delightful learning experience for young chefs. From the sweetness of fresh berries in a classic clafoutis to the savory richness of a hearty coq au vin, French cuisine offers a medley of tastes that can broaden children’s culinary horizons and encourage them to embrace a diverse range of ingredients.

    Incorporating age-appropriate cooking techniques, such as whisking, stirring, and simple knife skills, not only makes the cooking process more accessible but also empowers children to develop a sense of confidence and accomplishment in the kitchen. Moreover, discussing the cultural significance of various French dishes and ingredients can foster an understanding and appreciation of different culinary traditions and practices around the world.

    By involving children in the preparation of French dishes, parents can cultivate a positive relationship with food that extends beyond mere consumption. Teaching them the importance of fresh, seasonal produce and the value of mindful eating can lay the foundation for a lifelong appreciation of wholesome, nutritious meals.

    Ultimately, introducing French cuisine to children is not just about creating delicious meals but also about nurturing a sense of exploration, creativity, and cultural understanding. By involving young chefs in the vibrant world of French cooking, parents can instill a love for good food and an appreciation for the art of culinary expression from an early age.

  • Cooking on Countertop Convection Ovens

    If you are serious about your cooking we recommend you look at countertop convection ovens. These kitchen lifesavers can do almost anything that your conventional oven can while using less electricity and without generating extra heat in the kitchen. The list of considerations is pretty short, what size should you choose and what features are important for how you cook? If you aren’t sure what convection cooking is, click on the link below to learn more. If you are already on board with this efficient cooking technique, read on!

    What Size Should You Get?
    If you do a lot of cooking you may feel like bigger is better. It’s true that the larger ovens (33 liters or 1.15 cubic feet and up) can handle up to a 13lb turkey, but do you really need that much on a regular basis? There is a downside to the largest ovens beyond the actual “footprint” on your countertop. The larger the oven cavity, the longer it takes to come up to temperature. Countertop convection ovens run on a standard 110-volt electrical circuit which maxes out at 1800 watts. Your conventional oven is wired into a 220-volt circuit and has a lot more wattage. So, if you don’t really plan to use the extra cooking space very often, you could be better served by choosing a medium sized oven in the 20 liter (.7 cubic feet), to 26 liter (.91 cubic feet) range that will heat up more quickly for day in day out kitchen duty.

    What Features Should You Consider?
    There are quite a few additional features to be considered. Most common are rotisserie function, oven light, digital controls, non-stick interior, extra racks, “stay on” and a 2-hour timer (basic units typically have a 1-hour countdown timer). The stainless steel exterior is another common feature that does nothing functionally but sure looks nice. Expect to pay another $15 to $20 for stainless, but if you like it go for it! All of these features have a cost, so expect to pay a bit more for them. Must have features we recommend are non-stick interior for easy cleanup, digital controls for more accurate temperature control and the rotisserie feature. The other features are nice to have, but not necessary if the price is an issue.

    A Note on Temperature Control
    Here is a tip on thermostats in countertop ovens. They aren’t very accurate! All countertop ovens are fairly “low tech”. The plus or minus on the thermostat can be as much as 54 degrees for a manual control oven. That is a total variation of 108 degrees! Digitally controlled ovens are better, but still not great, plus or minus 27 degrees. For most needs, this is not a problem. But if you are doing some serious food prep or baking, we recommend getting an oven thermometer and experimenting with your oven to get a feel for the thermostat in your oven.