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The Weekend Digested, October 17 – 19: What D’jeet?

A busy Friday night at The Pickled Heron.

A busy Friday night at The Pickled Heron.

Our Friday night dinner at The Pickled Heron felt like a giant, warm hug; we hadn’t been there in an unfairly long time (we canceled our July 19th reservation to have a baby instead) so there was no better place to commemorate our first date without the little one. Everything was impeccable, of course, and now that I opened Pandora’s box of French food I plan to cash in on the grandparents’ request to cuddle with their grandson at least once a month to eat anything Todd and Daniela are making at our favorite French BYOB.

What we ate: seared foie gras with Concord grape jam; lobster cavatelli with hazelnuts, roasted cauliflower and crème fraîche; moules frites; seared black bass with Lyonnaise potatoes, broccoli and espagnole; chocolate pot de creme. Read More…

Friday Night Playlist: The Anniversary Edition

Two years with this guy - how'd I get so lucky?

Two years with this guy – how’d I get so lucky?

Tonight, my husband and I celebrate two milestones: our two-year anniversary and our first date-night since the baby was born. Definitely a reason to party. And by party I mean a nice dinner at our favorite restaurant, The Pickled Heron – the Fishtown BYOB holds a dear place in our hearts not just for their impeccable French food but also because they hosted our rehearsal dinner – and a concert at Union Transfer.

The soundtrack for our evening is a compilation of romantic tracks, most of which are relevant to our relationship: “If I Ain’t Got You” is our wedding song; we’ve seen the Foo Fighters (multiple times), Amy Winehouse (R.I.P.), Arcade Fire (while pretty round and pregnant), and The Postal Service (In Paris – stealth brag); and “Tiny Dancer” was the last song played at our wedding – an epic ending to an equally incredible day.

Feel free to get romantic, too. Happy Friday!



Beef Bourguignon

It makes me chuckle a little bit when a complaint of French cooking and restaurants is small portions with more of a concern for artful plating than feeding hungry people. In actuality, many standard recipes are incredibly rich and filling, from even just the bread basket with homemade butter to the lavish desserts. Classics like crocks of hot French onion soup with oozing caps of browned cheese, rustic one pot meals like coq au vin, and buttery, flaky tarts with baked fruit could all suffice for the largest appetite.

Beef (boeuf to all you Francophiles) Bourguignon is a staple among brasserie style menus and, while it’s recognition is now associated with fine dining, it’s a traditional French peasant dish. Recipes vary, no advanced cooking techniques are required and, overall, it’s near impossible to screw up. I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying this version at Les Halles in New York, the restaurant that helped ignite Anthony Bourdain’s notoriety. Read More…

Quiche Lorraine

Last weekend, Francophiles and Philadelphians – the ones who weren’t down the shore, anyway- flocked to the Fairmount section of the city for the 19th annual Bastille Day celebration. Across the globe, the French people celebrated their national holiday with picnics, parties and fireworks. Here, the Eastern State Penitentiary led the neighborhood in a celebration worthy of a block party with a light-hearted reenactment of the storming of the Bastille.

As tradition would have it, local “experimental cabaret troupe,” The Bearded Ladies, graced guests with an hour long outdoor stage performance, emceed by an Edith Piaf impersonator. There was plenty of dancing and singing throughout the set, and Marie Antoinette mocked the crowd from the walls of the Penitentiary, and shouted her command to “let them eat TaskyKake.” On cue, thousands of Butterscotch Krimpets were hurled at the crowd below.

While we weren’t lucky enough to catch a Krimpet, I did make something special and French inspired for a weekend brunch – traditional Quiche Lorraine.

Espelette from Paris replaced the Cayenne in this French recipe.

Espelette from Paris replaced the Cayenne in this French recipe.

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