Category Archives: Food & Wine

French food & wine, cooking, some gastronomy, gourmandises, desserts, recipes, and favorite places in town. A table et bon appétit!

Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais King


On Saturday, January 4, 2020, Beaujolais, France, and the wine industry lost one of their most passionate advocates with the passing of Georges Duboeuf the founder of Les Vins Georges Duboeuf, a family affair which started in September of 1964. Georges Duboeuf aka The Beaujolais King was 86 years old.

Georges Duboeuf’s love affair with Beaujolais is no secret. His legendary palate, his ability to spot great wine and his enthusiasm and passion will continue to make him an emblematic figure in the wine industry. His wines are renowned for their consistency, quality, and value. He was the first winemaker to bring Beaujolais Nouveau to the table.

Georges Duboeuf 1933-2020 Creator of Beaujolais Nouveau

Les Vins Georges Duboeuf is a family tradition and a beautiful legacy. Georges and his wife Rolande were joined by their son Franck who manages the Vins Georges Duboeuf business today, “it is up to the following generation to join the family adventure.”  

Les Vins DuBoeuf works closely with hundreds of small family winegrowers to procure the highest quality fruit throughout the region (over 400 in the Beaujolais region alone), as well as export many small Chateau and Estate-produced wines that would otherwise not be able to bring their wines to the US and sold in 120 countries throughout the world. Les Vins Georges Duboeuf is imported by Quintessential Wines, based in Napa, California.

In the US, the most popular Beaujolais Nouveau is Georges Duboeuf. Every year and year after year we anxiously awaited the unveiling of the Beaujolais Nouveau artistic label and the release of the Beaujolais Nouveau in the USA and we will continue to do so in remembrance of Georges Duboeuf.  “Le Beaujolais nouveau est arrivé!”

 

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La Madeleine Bakery Café


These pictures were taken at La Madeleine Bakery & Café a French bakery franchise in Texas and other states in the USA. It all started in 1976 when Louis le Duff opened Brioche Dorée in Brest, a city in Brittany in northwestern France.

Then in 1983, the first la Madeleine location opened in the heart of Dallas, Texas on Mockingbird lane across from Southern Methodist University.  

Today there are now over 80 la Madeleine locations, each with their own individual French charm.

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Galette des Rois Easy Recipe


This is an easy Galette des Rois recipe for Epiphany that I’ve made several times at home and it is delicious. This is a basic list of ingredients that I adapt depending on if I am using almond paste or almond flour (grounded blanched almonds).

Basic Ingredients

  • Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets (aka pâte feuilletée)
  • 2 cups (or more)  almond meal/ or almond flour*
  • 3/4 cup unsalted cubed butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs  (2 for almond filling +1 for eggwash on top)

Optional Ingredients 

  • 2 tbs almond flour (or regular flour)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Zest of 1/2 orange
  • some rum (optional)

Don’t forget your fève which can be a trinket, bean or whole almond.

*NB: To make the almond powder or almond meal you can use blanched almonds or make your own with natural almonds that have been boiled in water for 1 minute, drain, cool, and peel off almond skin. As a big fan of Pâte d’amande, I’ve also used 7 oz almond paste instead of almond flour and adapted the recipe using less sugar.

 

Easy Directions

Step 1 – Use thawed puff pastry dough, roll out and cut into 2 circles (use a plate or round disk) and refrigerate till ready to fill or make your own pâte feuilletée

Step 2 – Make the crème d’amande filling, whip together butter cubes at room temperature with the sugar, add eggs one at a time, incorporate the almond flour (or soft almond paste), vanilla, orange zest, rum, and mix well to a creamy consistency, voilà!

Step 3 – Put it together, place the almond cream mixture in the center of the bottom puff pastry circle and spread leaving about an inch all around (add the fève, trinket or plain almond) and cover with the second puff pastry circle. Pinch together the two dough circles and flatten with spoon or dull side of the knife.

Step 4 – Decorate the top of the galette as you wish with a sharp knife and make little air holes around, brush with egg wash

Step 4 – Bake about 20-30 minutes until puffed and golden at 385F or 185C, let cool a bit

Step 5 – Enjoy warm!

 

 

*** Approximate U.S/ Metrics Baking & Cooking Measurements 

For reference 1 stick of butter is 1/2 cup butter or about 4.0 oz

Cups  Grams (g) Ounces (oz)
1/8 cup 20 g 0.7 oz
1/4 cup 40 g 1.3 oz
1/3 cup 50 g 1.8 oz
3/8 cup 55 g 2 oz
1/2 cup 75 g 2.6 oz
5/8 cup 95 g 3.3 oz
2/3 cup 100 g 3.5 oz
3/4 cup 115 g 4 oz
7/8 cup 130 g 4.6 oz
1 cup 150 g 5.3 oz
2 cups 300 g 10.6 oz
4 cups 600 g 21.2 oz

 

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Paris Baguette


Paris Baguette is a French-inspired bakery chain from Korea founded in 1945 that first opened in Paris, France in 1988. This Korea based chain is owned by a group called SPC Group which operates a number of food and beverage brands in Korea. Today Paris Baguette has over 3,500 locations and franchises around the world including 45 locations in the U.S. from Los Angeles to New York with a new addition in the heart of Texas in the Dallas area since last summer.

I visited Paris Baguette at the Los Angeles location in Encino on Ventura Blvd and recently the Dallas location area in the Zion Market at the Lewisville Music City Mall. The bakery looks inviting with a terrace outside with umbrellas,  the inside bakery display and atmosphere are French-inspired with a fun self-service concept. Pick up a tray and a pair of tongs, make your selections and pay at the cashier. The products themselves look pretty good: croissants ( I tasted the almond croissant in L.A ), bread, baked goods, and perfect looking chiffon cakes are pleasantly displayed French style.

However, maybe it was a slow day on a Thursday afternoon 😉 at the newly opened Dallas area location, I was disappointed that the displays were not overflowing with tantalizing goodies and the selection was limited. (no almond croissants! no macarons! ) It definitively needed a fresh restocking.  On the other hand, there were a lot of pre-packaged bread and slices of cake and a few wrapped sandwiches like crab salad or breakfast croissant sandwiches. I’ll go back another day and update.

This is the Los Angeles location in Encino filled to the brim with goodies. My almond croissant was fresh, tasted good, flaky, with nice almond filling, loaded with almonds on top and a bit on the heavy bulky side, unlike the buttery light French croissants.

Till next time! Still have some tastings to do 🙂

 

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Les Petits Macarons


It wasn’t until the early 1930′s that the “macaron” took on a Parisian flair as it is known today when an enterprising young baker called Pierre Desfontaines, an employee of the legendary Ladurée Maison founded in 1862-  bakeshop and tea salon, thought of creating two macarons or almond-flavored meringue with a sweet almond ganache cream filling in between.

I found many good and popular French Macarons gift boxes

Macarons box

Macarons from France

on Amazon and even a few Ladurée items from Paris for the ultimate fans such as the Ladurée Macarons Eiffel Tower Keychain

 

Macaron Keychain

or the Ladurée Macarons Secrets

Laduree Book

And if you want to try your hand at it in your own kitchen make sure to check out the easy recipe here.

Romantic Macaron

And find everything else French macaron!

 

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5 Items to Bring out Your Inner French Chef


Made in France since 1925, Le Creuset has been making joy in the kitchen for over 90 years with its signature range of iconic cast iron cookware, tableware, kitchen tools and more.  

Now with your very own Le Creuset French Cast-Iron Dutch Oven, you’ll be better equipped to make your famous Coq au Vin or Boeuf Bourguignon in no time! You can find simple to follow recipes in my favorite Julia Child’s  Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

I picked only 5 items to bring out your inner French Chef. So, get inspired and start by choosing your color, I think the traditional Le Creuset signature color is Orange Flame,  but Caribbean Blue is an original color and would fit right in our kitchen. 😉 😉 😉

Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 7-1/4-Quart

These cast-irons Dutch Oven come in different quart sizes, this size is the perfect standard for family meals with leftovers.

Round French (Dutch) Oven, Caribbean

Also known as a Dutch oven, this updated kitchen classic enhances the cooking process by evenly distributing heat and locking in the optimal amount of moisture. With ergonomic handles and an advanced interior enamel that resists chipping and cleans easily, Le Creuset’s French ovens blend the best of the past with the latest innovations in comfort and functionality.

Le Creuset Unisex French Trivet

This silicone Trivet is pretty enough to put on your dinner table to protect the surface from heat.

Le Creuset Spatula Spoon

So put on your apron and pour yourself a nice glass of wine and let’s get cooking! Your inner French Chef is ready!

Don’t forget the Le Creuset Screwdriver!

 This Le Creuset Set comes with 23 pieces

or even 16 pieces!

These are the types of items that will last a lifetime so it’s a good investment especially if you enjoy the French art of cooking. The sets are good deals actually and averages out much less per item than buying each one separately.

Take a peek at all the other BESTSELLERS from Le Creuset 

More to come from this authentic French brand and in the meantime happy cooking and Bon appétit!

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As an Amazon affiliate, French A L.A Carte earns a small fee when you purchase on Amazon by using our link. You do not need to buy the specific highlighted products on the blog, in order for it to “credit” my account. Any purchases that you search or make from anywhere on Amazon, after first visiting my link, will credit this blog and help support it.

Thank you for your support of the blog! Merci!