Music Monday: Fever

Now playing on my French song playlist:

Title: Fever

Songwriters: Angèle, Caroline Ailin, Dua Lipa, Ian Kirkpatrick, Jacob Kasher Hindlin, Julia Michaels

Performed by: Dua Lipa & Angèle

Lyrics I like:

Car dans mes yeux, ça se voit

La fièvre dans les yeux, oui, ça se voit

Mon cœur se serre, j’ai du feu dans la voix

Le plus souvent, c’est quand je pense à toi

Translation:

Because in my eyes, it shows

Fever in my eyes, yes it shows

My heart tightens, I have fire in my voice

Most often it’s when I think of you

🎶

*music & lyrics | all rights reserved*

I hope Dua Lipa performs this song during her exclusive online performance “Studio 2054” on November 27, 2020!

I have my ticket to see Dua Lipa. Do you have yours? “See” you at Studio 2054! 🎶

Music Monday: Kraft Dinner

Now playing on my French song playlist:

Title: Kraft Dinner

Songwriter: Lisa LeBlanc

Performed by: Lisa LeBlanc

Lyrics I like:

Faudrait pas dire ça à personne

Mais j’aimerais ça t’écrire des poèmes

Avec des beaux mots qu’on comprend pas

Ni l’un ni l’autre

J’aimerais ça qu’on se fasse une soirée

Avec des p’tites fleurs pis des chandelles

Mais j’trouve ça quétaine pour mourir

Pis toé aussi

Au pire on rira ensemble

On mangera du Kraft Dinner

C’est tout ce qu’on a de besoin

Translation:

Shouldn’t tell this to anyone

But I’d like to write you poems

With beautiful words that

Neither you nor I understand

I’d like to have a romantic dinner

With flowers and candles

But I find that cheesy to death

And you do, too

At worst, we’ll laugh together

We’ll eat Kraft Dinner

That’s all we need

🎶

Until next Music Monday, have a good week ahead. Stay safe.

*music & lyrics | all rights reserved*

Music Monday: C’était toi (You Were the One)

Now playing on my French song playlist:

Title: C’était toi (You Were the One)

Songwriter(s): Billy Joel

Performed by: Billy Joel

Lyrics I like:

Je recherche l’affection

Qu’une autre pourrait me donner

Mais après tout

Je sais qu’il n’y a personne

Personne qui puisse me sauver

Tu étais la seule

Translation:

I’m looking for affection

That another could give me

But after all

I know there is no one

No one who can save me

You were the only one

🎶

Until next Music Monday, have a good week ahead!

*music & lyrics | all rights reserved*

I Made an Apple Cranberry Flaugnarde with Crème Fraîche

One summer, I went to a pick-your-own-fruit farm with my family. We had brought home a bag full of cherries so I decided to make a dessert out of them.

I made a Cherry Clafoutis, the simple yet elegant dessert that’s originally from the Limousin region (now part of Nouvelle Aquitaine) in central France. It was easy to make and I liked how it turned out.

Now that it’s fall, I wanted to make the dessert with Granny Smith apples and fresh cranberries.

But then I learned that technically it wouldn’t be a clafoutis (also spelled clafouti) simply because there wouldn’t be cherries in it.

What’s a flaugnarde?

When using fruit other than cherries, this flan-cake is called a flaugnarde (sounds like “flon-yard”)!

This is how I made an Apple Cranberry Flaugnarde with Crème Fraîche!

You will need:

  • 9-inch glass pie pan
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • 1 teaspoon of butter
  • 1/2 of an apple, sliced
  • 1 cup of fresh cranberries, whole or sliced in half
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup of flour
  • 2/3 cup of crème fraîche
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar to sprinkle on top (optional)

Preparation:

  • Heat the oven to 350°F
  • Butter the pie pan and sprinkle granulated sugar on the butter
  • Add the sliced fruit to pan, then set it aside
  • In one bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt)
  • In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients (eggs, crème fraîche, milk, vanilla extract)
  • Whisk the dry ingredients, while slowly adding in the wet ingredients. Mix well. The consistency should be like pancake batter
  • Pour the mixture over the fruit in the pie pan
  • Bake it for 40-45 minutes

As it bakes, it poofs up! But it will slowly deflate as it cools.

it looks like pizza

Before serving, sprinkle some powdered sugar on top:

Like quiche, this dessert can be served warm or cold. It’ll add a simple yet elegant French touch to any holiday feast! Bon appétit!

Tell me in the comments below: what’s your favorite dessert to make?

Sunday Brunch at La Note Restaurant Provençal in Berkeley, California

Go to La Note where brunch has been redefined as “a meal you plan to eat at breakfast time, but will eat by lunch time” (my words). Harsh, I know. But I’m not alone.

Many online reviewers have commented about long wait times to get a table at the East Bay eatery. But the gripes seem to only add to the restaurant’s cachet rather than deter both locals and visitors. That could explain why La Note has been serving up French fare since 1997.

Sunday Brunch

Seeing is believing, so my family and I decided to visit La Note for brunch. Maybe the food was worth the wait, we thought! After initially being told there would be a 40-minute wait time, we kept getting pushed back. Meanwhile, couples and groups of 5 people or more (some with small dogs even!) who arrived after us were being seated. Apparently, it’s not so easy to find a table for 4.

Finally, 90 minutes after putting my name on the list, my family and I got seated. Fortunately, we didn’t have to wait long to place our orders. We even got our coffees, pink lemonade, and Orangina almost immediately.

individually-wrapped sugar cubes are so cute

We ordered a few items à la carte, like a butter croissant, with a side of bacon, and an almond croissant, with two eggs sunny side up. From their Weekend Brunch menu, we ordered their Cote Est plate of scrambled eggs, strips of bacon, and a large pancake. I ordered the Pan Bagnat sandwich with a green salad.

Top: Pan Bagnat | Bottom: Cote Est plate

I know pan bagnat means “bathed bread” but the one I got must have been given a “warm” bath due to the roasted tomatoes. It didn’t taste bad – it just wasn’t the temperature I was expecting. I did, however, enjoy the baby spinach salad with La Note’s house Dijon vinaigrette dressing.

In the end, I had mixed feelings about the place.

While the wait time to get a table was long, the food and drinks arrived soon after we ordered. But, sadly, the food was not worth the wait. My family and I agreed that everything we had eaten was “just OK.”

I’d like to come back for either lunch or dinner when it’s less crowded and when they take reservations!

For more information:

La Note Restaurant Provençal

You Can’t Spell Melodramatic Without “ME!”: Taylor Swift Speaks French in New Music Video

Taylor Swift is back with new music today (April 26). She released the song, “ME!” (feat. Brendon Urie of Panic! At the Disco) along with its music video, which is, at times, dreamlike and melodramatic!

Directed by Swift and Dave Meyers, the video begins with a pink snake slithering across a brightly-colored cobblestone road. Like a holiday cracker, something pops, and suddenly the reptile becomes a hundred butterflies, fluttering like confetti into a window of a house where a couple (played by Swift and Urie) is having a heated argument: in French!

YouTube | UMG Universal Records | All rights reserved

Sample dialogue:

« Devant nos filles. » (“In front of our girls” – which are actually 2 cats on the sofa!)

« Je suis calme! » (She screams “I’m calm” with a flourish as she makes a dramatic door slam exit!)

YouTube | UMG Universal Records | All rights reserved

The song is growing on me, but I instantly fell in love with the “ME!” music video. All of the computer graphics make it light, fun, and otherworldly. For instance, I spied a gargoyle-unicorn hybrid overlooking the city that looks a lot like Paris, if you ask “ME!”

See for yourself >> watch the “ME!” music video here <<

Poem: Épine chérie

Translated from French:

Darling Thorn

Like a thorn

You hurt me

Like a thorn

You protected the flower

Like a thorn

You touched me deeply

Like a thorn

You made my blood run

Like a thorn

There is an untold number

But you were the one I wanted

So I picked you

But you pricked me instead

Like a thorn

I’ll remove you

And lick my wounds

Like a thorn

You’ll leave a scar

And I’ll look at it

While thinking of you

Because that’s all I have

As someone

Without a thorn.

🥀

From The Quiet Child – Poems

(c) 2007 Darlene C Alvarez (that’s me/c’est moi)

Quiche Vosgienne

I recently learned that when you add cheese to a quiche it’s called Quiche Vosgienne! The name refers to the Vosges area in eastern France, near Germany. I love learning something new every day!

While I’m not a big fan of eggs, I decided to take the learning a step further by trying my hand at making the savory dish. Here is my interpretation of the simple and delicious meat and cheese French tart using a gluten-free crust.

I’ve taken the traditional recipe for Quiche Lorraine (crust, eggs, cream, bacon, salt & pepper) and added a blend of Swiss and Gruyère cheeses.

img_8742

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen 9-inch gluten-free pie crust
  • 4 ounces of cubed pork belly (The French call it lardons, the Italians call it pancetta, and I call it yummy bacon!)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese, a blend of Swiss & Gruyère
  • 1 cup of half & half
  • salt & pepper

By using pre-made crust, pre-cubed bacon, and pre-shredded cheese, I saved lots of time.

Instructions

First, I thawed the gluten-free pie crust for 10 minutes. After poking the crust with a fork, I baked it for 15 minutes at 350°F.

While the pie crust was in the oven, I mixed the following ingredients in a large bowl:

  • 3 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup of half & half
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

In a small, ungreased frying pan, I browned the pancetta, which I then drained on a paper towel.

Next, I filled the blind-baked crust with a 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese blend:

img_8800

I added the pancetta:

img_8802

Then, I poured in the egg, cream, and salt & pepper mixture:

Finally, I topped it off with the other half of the shredded cheese:

I baked it for 45 minutes at 375°F and then let it cool down for about an hour.

Et voilà!

Here it is: a Pancetta & Swiss/Gruyère French tart in a gluten-free crust, my interpretation of Quiche Vosgienne!

img_8814

Enjoy it hot or cold!

Do you like quiche? What flavor combinations do you like? Tell me in the comments below.

La Châtaigne: French bakery in Lafayette, California

La Châtaigne is a French bakery located in Lafayette, California (about 22 miles/34 km east of San Francisco).

Located in La Fiesta Square, the patisserie overlooks the parking lot, so there isn’t much of a view, but it’s perfect so you can enjoy your pastries and conversations.

My family and I got to La Châtaigne around 12:30 on a Sunday. Maybe we should have arrived earlier because their display case was half-empty (or half-full for those of you who are optimists!)

The cashier was quick to acknowledge the slim pickings, but apologized, and pointed out what was left: madeleines, a couple of leaf-shaped breads (fougasse), about a dozen croissants, several slices of Opera cake, and one slice of quiche.

no brewed coffee, only espresso drinks here!

the bakery also sold jam, caramels, and candies from France

In a few ways, it was like being temporarily transported to a Parisian bistro. For example, there were small tables with wicker chairs. There were dogs tied to table legs by their leashes. There were a couple of well-dressed ladies clutching their designer handbags. You could hear the Madeleine Peyroux version of “J’ai deux amours” emanating softly from inside the bakery.

I’d be reminded I was in California, though, when I’d see the occasional cyclist or 20-something in yoga pants come through. Also notably absent were ashtrays on the tables and cigarette smoke. Unlike Paris, smoking is banned in many public places in California.

Overall, I liked this little bakery. I like how it has the grab and go feel of a donut shop, but with the sit-down experience of having your food brought to your table on actual plates and cups. The pain au chocolat was fresh baked, buttery, and flaky. The Americano was delicious, as well. I’d like to come back to try their other pastries.

For more information, visit the La Châtaigne website

Bonne journée / Enjoy your day!

Have you been to La Châtaigne? Tell me in the comments below!