Vegetarian Batch-Cooking for Winter: 1 1/2-Hour Prep, 6 Easy Meals !

Buy Clotilde’s latest book, The French Market Cookbook!

Vegetarian Batch-Cooking for Winter

In addition to planning my menus, I have been doing more and more batch cooking these past few months.

The idea of batch cooking is to block out time one day of the week to prep or cook a bunch of ingredients in advance, which you can draw from and combine for low-effort homemade meals the rest of the week.

It is the shortest path to feeling like a kitchen superhero, saving you brain juice and money along the way.

And today, I am offering you the vegetarian batch cooking plan for winter I’ve created and test-driven with great success: 1 1/2 hours of prep work for easy 6 meals on subsequent days.

  • Meal #1: Spiced Pilau Rice with Beets — a comforting, beautiful-looking dish with warm spices.
  • Meal #2: Stuffed Lumaconi with Butternut Squash — to start the week with a golden and appetizing dish that ticks all the boxes — pasta, silky sauce and melty cheese with an irrestistible toasted top layer.
  • Meal #3: Winter Vegetable Curry — because a warming bowl of curry made with seasonal vegetables is always a good idea.
  • Meal #4: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Kimchi served with a poached egg — think miniature cabbages roasted until caramelized, paired with a simple Asian-inspired dressing.
  • Meal #5: Grated Carrots and Beets with Leftover Curry — for a dinner involving very little time in the kitchen, enjoying your leftover curry with one of the best, and yet oh-so-simple, winter salads around.
  • Meal #6: Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup — an ayurvedic soup with delicious flavors of fresh ginger, spices and coconut milk.

Below you will find:
– A shopping list (of which you can get a free printable) — everything is available from the organic store or supermarket (they cost around 45€ ($54) in my store; your mileage may vary),
– Your instructions for the prep work — allow for 1 1/2 hours of prep time,
– Your instructions for each of the six meals — active time ranges from 5 to 15 minutes, time to table from 15 to 45 minutes,
– Suggestions of variations to adapt the plan to various dietary constraints.

If you’re new to batch cooking, this plan is an easy and lovely way to dip your toes in and see how deliciously freeing it is. If you’re an experienced batch-cook, I hope it provides some ideas to enrich your current practice. And please share your best tips with us!

Related:

To make the process super smooth, I recommend these French-made glass containers for storing your preparations (I have two sets; they nest perfectly and take up very little room) and this dual kitchen timer to keep track of two preparations at the same time!

Without further ado, here’s your vegetarian batch cooking plan for winter!

Vegetarian Batch Cooking for Winter

This is what you’ll make during the 1-hour prep time.

Continue reading “Vegetarian Batch-Cooking for Winter: 1 1/2-Hour Prep, 6 Easy Meals !”

Vegetarian Batch-Cooking for Winter: 1 1/2-Hour Prep, 6 Easy Meals !

Buy Clotilde’s latest book, The French Market Cookbook!

Vegetarian Batch-Cooking for Winter

In addition to planning my menus, I have been doing more and more batch cooking these past few months.

The idea of batch cooking is to block out time one day of the week to prep or cook a bunch of ingredients in advance, which you can draw from and combine for low-effort homemade meals the rest of the week.

It is the shortest path to feeling like a kitchen superhero, saving you brain juice and money along the way.

And today, I am offering you the vegetarian batch cooking plan for winter I’ve created and test-driven with great success: 1 1/2 hours of prep work for easy 6 meals on subsequent days.

  • Meal #1: Spiced Pilau Rice with Beets — a comforting, beautiful-looking dish with warm spices.
  • Meal #2: Stuffed Lumaconi with Butternut Squash — to start the week with a golden and appetizing dish that ticks all the boxes — pasta, silky sauce and melty cheese with an irrestistible toasted top layer.
  • Meal #3: Winter Vegetable Curry — because a warming bowl of curry made with seasonal vegetables is always a good idea.
  • Meal #4: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Kimchi served with a poached egg — think miniature cabbages roasted until caramelized, paired with a simple Asian-inspired dressing.
  • Meal #5: Grated Carrots and Beets with Leftover Curry — for a dinner involving very little time in the kitchen, enjoying your leftover curry with one of the best, and yet oh-so-simple, winter salads around.
  • Meal #6: Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup — an ayurvedic soup with delicious flavors of fresh ginger, spices and coconut milk.

Below you will find:
– A shopping list (of which you can get a free printable) — everything is available from the organic store or supermarket (they cost around 45€ ($54) in my store; your mileage may vary),
– Your instructions for the prep work — allow for 1 1/2 hours of prep time,
– Your instructions for each of the six meals — active time ranges from 5 to 15 minutes, time to table from 15 to 45 minutes,
– Suggestions of variations to adapt the plan to various dietary constraints.

If you’re new to batch cooking, this plan is an easy and lovely way to dip your toes in and see how deliciously freeing it is. If you’re an experienced batch-cook, I hope it provides some ideas to enrich your current practice. And please share your best tips with us!

Related:

To make the process super smooth, I recommend these French-made glass containers for storing your preparations (I have two sets; they nest perfectly and take up very little room) and this dual kitchen timer to keep track of two preparations at the same time!

Without further ado, here’s your vegetarian batch cooking plan for winter!

Vegetarian Batch Cooking for Winter

This is what you’ll make during the 1-hour prep time.

Continue reading “Vegetarian Batch-Cooking for Winter: 1 1/2-Hour Prep, 6 Easy Meals !”

Mexican Chocolate Discs Recipe

Buy Clotilde’s latest book, The French Market Cookbook!

Mexican Chocolate Discs

You have no idea how excited I am about this.

What I have for you today is a recipe for Mexican chocolate discs that you can make at home in 15 minutes, wrap up, and give to your friends and family members this holiday season to gain their eternal admiration, love, and gratitude. Not a bad return on your investment, right?

If you’re not familiar with Mexican chocolate discs, let me explain. They are round pucks of coarsely milled chocolate flavored with a little cinnamon, wrapped up in paper, that you buy in stacks.

The official way to use these chocolate discs is to break them up into sections conveniently marked on top of the discs and melt them in water for hot chocolate, using a little corn starch for thickening. You can sprinkle a little more ground cinnamon over your cup, and ideally you will serve these steaming cups of champurrado with freshly fried churros, because YOLO.

Mexican Chocolate Discs

I’ve never been to Mexico myself, but I have had Mexican clients on my private walking tours (you know I offer walking tours of Paris, yes? get in touch to know more if you’ll be visiting soon!) and they have been kind enough to bring me samples. And of course, Taza, one of my favorite American brands of bean-to-bar chocolate, has a full range that I stock up on when I can. (My favorite is the dark salted almond.)

I confess, however, that I don’t ever make hot chocolate with my Mexican chocolate discs. Nope. I just break off segments and eat them straight, enjoying the coarse texture, the vibrant chocolate flavor, the brightness of the cinnamon, and the hit of salt. Also, do you know raw cacao is a superfood? So there’s that to feel extra good about.

Mexican Chocolate Discs

The recipe I am sharing below is adapted from a little French book I love called 1001 Secrets sur le chocolat (1001 secrets of chocolate). I have reduced the amount of sugar to get a final result that’s 62% cacao, and added a touch of sea salt because everything is better with a touch of sea salt (challenge me if you like).

I hope you adopt it as a treat for yourself, as I have, and as a one-of-a-kind handmade food gift that will surprise and delight those lucky enough to have you in their life (I mean, really!).

Mexican Chocolate Discs

About the cinnamon I use

I am in love with the fresh cinnamon I order from Cinnamon Hill, a small company that specializes in sourcing and selling the highest-quality, freshest cinnamon from Sri Lanka and Vietnam (ordinary cinnamon usually comes from China or Indonesia). I get whole sticks, and grate them with the beautifully crafted (and highly giftable!) cinnamon grater that Cinnamon Hill has designed. Truly, you dont know what cinnamon tastes like until youve tried freshly harvested, freshly grated, top-grade cinnamon, and it makes an amazing difference in this recipe.

Mexican Chocolate Discs

Don’t miss:
12 Best Food Gifts for the Holidays
3-Ingredient Hot Chocolate (vegan)
10 Easy Recipes for DIY Cosmetics

Mexican Chocolate Discs

Have you tried this? Share your pics on Instagram!

Please tag your pictures with #cnzrecipes. I’ll share my favorites!

Mexican Chocolate Discs Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Makes 4 discs, about 45 grams (1.5 ounces) each.

Mexican Chocolate Discs Recipe

Ingredients

  • 100 grams (3/4 cups) whole raw cacao beans (such as these)
  • 20 grams (3 tablespoons) whole raw almonds
  • 40 grams (3 tablespoons) unrefined cane sugar (such as this)
  • One 6-cm (2 1/3-inch) stick cinnamon (I use fresh cinnamon from Cinnamon Hill)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Instructions

  1. In a sturdy blender, process the cacao beans, almonds, sugar, cinnamon, and salt until reduced to as fine a powder as you can. If you have an entry-level blender, you may get a coarser texture; be sure to stop the blender frequently to prevent overheating.
  2. Transfer to a bowl, add 1 tablespoon water, and knead it in until the chocolate mixture starts to come together. Add a teensy bit more water if you need to, but don’t add so much that it gets sticky.
  3. Divide in four equal parts 45 grams (1.5 ounces) each if you want to be precise and shape each into a disk, about 6 cm (2 1/3 inch) in diameter. With the dull side of the blade of a knife, mark six portions in a star pattern on each disk.
  4. Mexican Chocolate Discs
  5. Wrap each in parchment or food-safe tissue paper (you can cut out rounds or squares about 15 cm (6 inches) across), secure with a piece of masking tape, and refrigerate until ready to eat or gift.
  6. This can be eaten as a treat, like regular chocolate, or melted and whisked into boiling water or milk to make champurrado, or Mexican hot chocolate, served with churros. Use 200 ml (3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon) liquid for each disk of chocolate.

Notes

http://ift.tt/2yhhc9h

Mexican Chocolate Discs

The post Mexican Chocolate Discs Recipe appeared first on Chocolate & Zucchini.

from Chocolate & Zucchini http://ift.tt/2yhhc9h
via IFTTT

Mexican Chocolate Discs Recipe

Buy Clotilde’s latest book, The French Market Cookbook!

Mexican Chocolate Discs

You have no idea how excited I am about this.

What I have for you today is a recipe for Mexican chocolate discs that you can make at home in 15 minutes, wrap up, and give to your friends and family members this holiday season to gain their eternal admiration, love, and gratitude. Not a bad return on your investment, right?

If you’re not familiar with Mexican chocolate discs, let me explain. They are round pucks of coarsely milled chocolate flavored with a little cinnamon, wrapped up in paper, that you buy in stacks.

The official way to use these chocolate discs is to break them up into sections conveniently marked on top of the discs and melt them in water for hot chocolate, using a little corn starch for thickening. You can sprinkle a little more ground cinnamon over your cup, and ideally you will serve these steaming cups of champurrado with freshly fried churros, because YOLO.

Mexican Chocolate Discs

I’ve never been to Mexico myself, but I have had Mexican clients on my private walking tours (you know I offer walking tours of Paris, yes? get in touch to know more if you’ll be visiting soon!) and they have been kind enough to bring me samples. And of course, Taza, one of my favorite American brands of bean-to-bar chocolate, has a full range that I stock up on when I can. (My favorite is the dark salted almond.)

I confess, however, that I don’t ever make hot chocolate with my Mexican chocolate discs. Nope. I just break off segments and eat them straight, enjoying the coarse texture, the vibrant chocolate flavor, the brightness of the cinnamon, and the hit of salt. Also, do you know raw cacao is a superfood? So there’s that to feel extra good about.

Mexican Chocolate Discs

The recipe I am sharing below is adapted from a little French book I love called 1001 Secrets sur le chocolat (1001 secrets of chocolate). I have reduced the amount of sugar to get a final result that’s 62% cacao, and added a touch of sea salt because everything is better with a touch of sea salt (challenge me if you like).

I hope you adopt it as a treat for yourself, as I have, and as a one-of-a-kind handmade food gift that will surprise and delight those lucky enough to have you in their life (I mean, really!).

Mexican Chocolate Discs

About the cinnamon I use

I am in love with the fresh cinnamon I order from Cinnamon Hill, a small company that specializes in sourcing and selling the highest-quality, freshest cinnamon from Sri Lanka and Vietnam (ordinary cinnamon usually comes from China or Indonesia). I get whole sticks, and grate them with the beautifully crafted (and highly giftable!) cinnamon grater that Cinnamon Hill has designed. Truly, you dont know what cinnamon tastes like until youve tried freshly harvested, freshly grated, top-grade cinnamon, and it makes an amazing difference in this recipe.

Mexican Chocolate Discs

Don’t miss:
12 Best Food Gifts for the Holidays
3-Ingredient Hot Chocolate (vegan)
10 Easy Recipes for DIY Cosmetics

Mexican Chocolate Discs

Have you tried this? Share your pics on Instagram!

Please tag your pictures with #cnzrecipes. I’ll share my favorites!

Mexican Chocolate Discs Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Makes 4 discs, about 45 grams (1.5 ounces) each.

Mexican Chocolate Discs Recipe

Ingredients

  • 100 grams (3/4 cups) whole raw cacao beans (such as these)
  • 20 grams (3 tablespoons) whole raw almonds
  • 40 grams (3 tablespoons) unrefined cane sugar (such as this)
  • One 6-cm (2 1/3-inch) stick cinnamon (I use fresh cinnamon from Cinnamon Hill)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Instructions

  1. In a sturdy blender, process the cacao beans, almonds, sugar, cinnamon, and salt until reduced to as fine a powder as you can. If you have an entry-level blender, you may get a coarser texture; be sure to stop the blender frequently to prevent overheating.
  2. Transfer to a bowl, add 1 tablespoon water, and knead it in until the chocolate mixture starts to come together. Add a teensy bit more water if you need to, but don’t add so much that it gets sticky.
  3. Divide in four equal parts 45 grams (1.5 ounces) each if you want to be precise and shape each into a disk, about 6 cm (2 1/3 inch) in diameter. With the dull side of the blade of a knife, mark six portions in a star pattern on each disk.
  4. Mexican Chocolate Discs
  5. Wrap each in parchment or food-safe tissue paper (you can cut out rounds or squares about 15 cm (6 inches) across), secure with a piece of masking tape, and refrigerate until ready to eat or gift.
  6. This can be eaten as a treat, like regular chocolate, or melted and whisked into boiling water or milk to make champurrado, or Mexican hot chocolate, served with churros. Use 200 ml (3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon) liquid for each disk of chocolate.

Notes

http://ift.tt/2yhhc9h

Mexican Chocolate Discs

The post Mexican Chocolate Discs Recipe appeared first on Chocolate & Zucchini.

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Coconut Milk: 10 Irresistible Ways To Use It

Buy Clotilde’s latest book, The French Market Cookbook!

10 Irresistible Ways to Use Coconut Milk

This post is made possible by the support of La Maison du Coco. More info below!

My pantry doesn’t feel quite right if I don’t have a stack of coconut milk cans handy. I find a million and one uses for them, and I wanted to share some of my favorites with you today.

A cornerstone of Southeast Asian cuisines, coconut milk is the liquid that is pressed from the grated flesh of a fresh, ripe coconut. (It is different from coconut water, which is the clear liquid that’s in the center of young, green coconuts.) And for those of us who dont live where coconuts grow, coconut milk is mostly available canned.

And once you have a couple of cans stacked up in your kitchen cabinets, what do you do with them? Here are 10 delicious things to do with coconut milk.

The coconut milk I get from La Maison du Coco

The coconut milk I like to buy is from La Maison du Coco, a French company that works with coconut growers in the Philippines to offer certified organic and fair trade coconut milk. I find it particularly flavorful and creamy, and I like that I have a choice between the 6%-fat coconut milk (great for a bowl of granola), the 15%-fat coconut milk (great for cooking and baking), and the 21%-fat cream of coconut (perfect for coconut whipped cream).

Curries

Perhaps the most classic use of coconut milk in cooking is to make curries — comforting and fragrant stews of fish, meat, or vegetables. Among my stand-by recipes are this easy fish curry and this winter vegetable curry, which I make to ward off colds. I also use coconut milk in this 30-minute chicken and spinach curry.

Soups

From curries, it’s a natural progression to soups! You can incorporate the coconut milk as one of the liquid ingredients when making a soup, such as this butternut squash and lentil soup.

Alternatively, you can add a dollop of coconut milk or cream of coconut at the very end, to finish the soup and give it more body, instead of using dairy cream. This is most pleasing in broccoli, carrot, or winter squash soups, especially if you’ve add a chopped stalk of lemongrass in the cooking process.

Smoothies

Simply process the coconut milk in a blender with fresh fruit. especially tropical fruit such as mangoes and pineapple, but also berries or peaches in season. Add a touch of honey or other sweetener as needed, a squeeze of lime or lemon juice, and some ice cubes.

I also love to make a date and tahini smoothie with coconut milk, as suggested to me by Marie-Jeanne Acquaviva del Giardino (a more novel-worthy name I can’t imagine).

Replace dairy milk and cream

More generally, coconut milk is a wonderful substitute for dairy if you are dealing with a food sensitivity, if you need to veganize a recipe, or simply want a change of pace. You can substitute 6%-fat coconut milk one for one in most recipes that call for full-fat milk. Just be aware, of course, that it will bring a coconut flavour to your dish or baked good!

Try this in crpes and pancakes, in a flan or clafoutis, in mashed potatoes

Coconut Whipped Cream

This is a fun and delicious topping to make for crpes and cakes; I serve it with my roasted pineapple. All you need to to is refrigerate a can of coconut milk upside down overnight, then carefully scoop out the thick cream thats solidified at the top into a chilled bowl. Add a little sugar and beat energetically with a whisk until it forms soft peaks, and voil ! Non-dairy whipped cream!

Coconut Milk Yogurt

I am a total fan of coconut yogurt. The ones you buy at organic stores are pretty costly, but you can make your own easily. Here’s my own recipe for homemade coconut milk yogurt.

Ice cream

You can make instant ice cream by throwing into the food processor two overripe, frozen bananas, 200 grams frozen berries, and 120 ml coconut milk. In a minute youll have soft-serve ice cream to enjoy after dinner.

I also love this very easy coconut lover’s ice cream just from pantry ingredients.

Cocktails

Coconut milk is an ingredient thats used by mixologists to give an exotic, and slightly sweet note to their drinks. It works especially well in rum cocktails with a touch of lime or lemon juice to cut through the richness. For cocktail purposes, most of the time you’ll use just the thinner milk thats left at the bottom of the can after youve made whipped coconut cream.

Coconut Latte

Did you know the flavors of coffee and coconut go beautifully well together? You can make an amazing coconut latte by mixing 480 ml (2 cups) freshly brewed hot coffee with 80 ml (1/3 cup) full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream. It’s good to use a blender if you have one (be careful with that hot coffee) because then you get a nice layer of foam on top.

Beauty Products

Coconut milk can be used for all kinds of homemade cosmetics. (Don’t miss my selection of 10 Super Easy DIY Cosmetics!)

I like to make the following hair mask to nourish dry hair and promote growth: mix together 2 tablespoons coconut milk and 1 teaspoon honey. Apply on dry, unwashed hair, leave it in for an hour, then rinse, shampoo, and rinse again. Repeat monthly.

A really fun and blissful thing to do is to add a full can of coconut milk to the tub when you’re taking a bath. It’s a great moisturizer, and you’ll get to pretend you’re Cleopatra in her bath of donkey milk!

This post is made possible by La Maison du Coco. All opinions expressed are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Chocolate & Zucchini.

The post Coconut Milk: 10 Irresistible Ways To Use It appeared first on Chocolate & Zucchini.

from Chocolate & Zucchini http://ift.tt/2jRKJkD
via IFTTT

Coconut Milk: 10 Irresistible Ways To Use It

Buy Clotilde’s latest book, The French Market Cookbook!

10 Irresistible Ways to Use Coconut Milk

This post is made possible by the support of La Maison du Coco. More info below!

My pantry doesn’t feel quite right if I don’t have a stack of coconut milk cans handy. I find a million and one uses for them, and I wanted to share some of my favorites with you today.

A cornerstone of Southeast Asian cuisines, coconut milk is the liquid that is pressed from the grated flesh of a fresh, ripe coconut. (It is different from coconut water, which is the clear liquid that’s in the center of young, green coconuts.) And for those of us who dont live where coconuts grow, coconut milk is mostly available canned.

And once you have a couple of cans stacked up in your kitchen cabinets, what do you do with them? Here are 10 delicious things to do with coconut milk.

The coconut milk I get from La Maison du Coco

The coconut milk I like to buy is from La Maison du Coco, a French company that works with coconut growers in the Philippines to offer certified organic and fair trade coconut milk. I find it particularly flavorful and creamy, and I like that I have a choice between the 6%-fat coconut milk (great for a bowl of granola), the 15%-fat coconut milk (great for cooking and baking), and the 21%-fat cream of coconut (perfect for coconut whipped cream).

Curries

Perhaps the most classic use of coconut milk in cooking is to make curries — comforting and fragrant stews of fish, meat, or vegetables. Among my stand-by recipes are this easy fish curry and this winter vegetable curry, which I make to ward off colds. I also use coconut milk in this 30-minute chicken and spinach curry.

Soups

From curries, it’s a natural progression to soups! You can incorporate the coconut milk as one of the liquid ingredients when making a soup, such as this butternut squash and lentil soup.

Alternatively, you can add a dollop of coconut milk or cream of coconut at the very end, to finish the soup and give it more body, instead of using dairy cream. This is most pleasing in broccoli, carrot, or winter squash soups, especially if you’ve add a chopped stalk of lemongrass in the cooking process.

Smoothies

Simply process the coconut milk in a blender with fresh fruit. especially tropical fruit such as mangoes and pineapple, but also berries or peaches in season. Add a touch of honey or other sweetener as needed, a squeeze of lime or lemon juice, and some ice cubes.

I also love to make a date and tahini smoothie with coconut milk, as suggested to me by Marie-Jeanne Acquaviva del Giardino (a more novel-worthy name I can’t imagine).

Replace dairy milk and cream

More generally, coconut milk is a wonderful substitute for dairy if you are dealing with a food sensitivity, if you need to veganize a recipe, or simply want a change of pace. You can substitute 6%-fat coconut milk one for one in most recipes that call for full-fat milk. Just be aware, of course, that it will bring a coconut flavour to your dish or baked good!

Try this in crpes and pancakes, in a flan or clafoutis, in mashed potatoes

Coconut Whipped Cream

This is a fun and delicious topping to make for crpes and cakes; I serve it with my roasted pineapple. All you need to to is refrigerate a can of coconut milk upside down overnight, then carefully scoop out the thick cream thats solidified at the top into a chilled bowl. Add a little sugar and beat energetically with a whisk until it forms soft peaks, and voil ! Non-dairy whipped cream!

Coconut Milk Yogurt

I am a total fan of coconut yogurt. The ones you buy at organic stores are pretty costly, but you can make your own easily. Here’s my own recipe for homemade coconut milk yogurt.

Ice cream

You can make instant ice cream by throwing into the food processor two overripe, frozen bananas, 200 grams frozen berries, and 120 ml coconut milk. In a minute youll have soft-serve ice cream to enjoy after dinner.

I also love this very easy coconut lover’s ice cream just from pantry ingredients.

Cocktails

Coconut milk is an ingredient thats used by mixologists to give an exotic, and slightly sweet note to their drinks. It works especially well in rum cocktails with a touch of lime or lemon juice to cut through the richness. For cocktail purposes, most of the time you’ll use just the thinner milk thats left at the bottom of the can after youve made whipped coconut cream.

Coconut Latte

Did you know the flavors of coffee and coconut go beautifully well together? You can make an amazing coconut latte by mixing 480 ml (2 cups) freshly brewed hot coffee with 80 ml (1/3 cup) full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream. It’s good to use a blender if you have one (be careful with that hot coffee) because then you get a nice layer of foam on top.

Beauty Products

Coconut milk can be used for all kinds of homemade cosmetics. (Don’t miss my selection of 10 Super Easy DIY Cosmetics!)

I like to make the following hair mask to nourish dry hair and promote growth: mix together 2 tablespoons coconut milk and 1 teaspoon honey. Apply on dry, unwashed hair, leave it in for an hour, then rinse, shampoo, and rinse again. Repeat monthly.

A really fun and blissful thing to do is to add a full can of coconut milk to the tub when you’re taking a bath. It’s a great moisturizer, and you’ll get to pretend you’re Cleopatra in her bath of donkey milk!

This post is made possible by La Maison du Coco. All opinions expressed are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Chocolate & Zucchini.

The post Coconut Milk: 10 Irresistible Ways To Use It appeared first on Chocolate & Zucchini.

from Chocolate & Zucchini http://ift.tt/2jRKJkD
via IFTTT

Best of November

Buy Clotilde’s latest book, The French Market Cookbook!

Rue Audran

How did your November turn out?

Mine has been a little bit of a blur. 2017 has been a year of planting seeds for me, and some of them have sprouted and grown a little sooner and with more vitality than even I anticipated. All of a sudden I have a whole garden of young things to tend to. It’s a good problem to have, certainly, but add to that two small children — including one who’s not sleeping all that well — and you have to manage your mind even more carefully.

I remind myself that overwhelm is not a function of how long one’s to-do list is; overwhelm comes from not knowing what to do first. So I work on keeping that to-do list realistic, yes, but also maintaining clarity on what my priorities are. Does that resonate with you in any way? (If it does, have you already received my 3 Secrets of Productivity?)

Anyway. Amidst said blur, here are the things that brought me delight:

• The Atlas Obscura website, all about the quirkiest and most surprising places on Earth. I recommend their newsletter — I find myself wanting to share just about everything on social media — and you can dive into their newly created food section, Gastro Obscura.

I haven’t seen their book Atlas Obscura in the flesh, but it’s gotten great reviews and would be such a good gift for your science-happy, curious-minded niece.

(If said niece is also a Francophile, make sure you check out my Best Gifts for Paris-Loving Kids!)

• I stumbled by chance upon Molly Beck’s blog Smart, Pretty, and Awkward and loved the title immediately. She, too, offers lots of thought-provoking, delightful links, and I’ve gifted her book Reach Out to a dear friend of mine; it’s all about expanding your circle of connections with boldness and heart. Perhaps you know someone who would be inspired by that?

Bouillon Pigalle

Bouillon Pigalle has just opened a couple of blocks from me, at the foot of the Pigalle metro station. Its a nod to the old-fashioned bouillons, those big, brasserie-style restaurants that used to serve a humble fare (including broth, or bouillon) to working-class customers.

This is a hip take on the concept, by the guys who started Brasserie Barbs. The steak-frites barnaise I had was very good, served with the watercress and walnut salad I ordered on the side because: greens. Prices are very affordable (main dishes are all between 8.50 and 11.50!) and its a fun space in a great location.

• My youngest son is completely enamored with the story of the Three Little Pigs for some reason, and I get to tell it to him in a million different ways, sometimes incorporating whatever extra element he or his brother suggests, like unicorns and dragons and bears and magic volcanos. And when I need a respite from all the story-telling, this French animated version of Les Trois Petits Cochons is fun and wonderful.

• I also recommend you listen to my friend lodie Milo’s song La Mer. The lyrics are posted below the video and she enunciates them perfectly, so this should be extra gratifying for you if you’re working on your French. She is singing at FGO-Barbara in Paris this very Friday, December 1, so book your ticket now.

• Speaking of learning French, would you like to win a subscription to Frantastique, the personalized email course to improve your French? I have two 6-month subscriptions to give away. If you’re interested, please fill out this form to enter! The giveaway will run until December 14, 2018, then I’ll draw two lucky winners randomly. Bonne chance !

Moulin Rouge

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Best of November

Buy Clotilde’s latest book, The French Market Cookbook!

Rue Audran

How did your November turn out?

Mine has been a little bit of a blur. 2017 has been a year of planting seeds for me, and some of them have sprouted and grown a little sooner and with more vitality than even I anticipated. All of a sudden I have a whole garden of young things to tend to. It’s a good problem to have, certainly, but add to that two small children — including one who’s not sleeping all that well — and you have to manage your mind even more carefully.

I remind myself that overwhelm is not a function of how long one’s to-do list is; overwhelm comes from not knowing what to do first. So I work on keeping that to-do list realistic, yes, but also maintaining clarity on what my priorities are. Does that resonate with you in any way? (If it does, have you already received my 3 Secrets of Productivity?)

Anyway. Amidst said blur, here are the things that brought me delight:

• The Atlas Obscura website, all about the quirkiest and most surprising places on Earth. I recommend their newsletter — I find myself wanting to share just about everything on social media — and you can dive into their newly created food section, Gastro Obscura.

I haven’t seen their book Atlas Obscura in the flesh, but it’s gotten great reviews and would be such a good gift for your science-happy, curious-minded niece.

(If said niece is also a Francophile, make sure you check out my Best Gifts for Paris-Loving Kids!)

• I stumbled by chance upon Molly Beck’s blog Smart, Pretty, and Awkward and loved the title immediately. She, too, offers lots of thought-provoking, delightful links, and I’ve gifted her book Reach Out to a dear friend of mine; it’s all about expanding your circle of connections with boldness and heart. Perhaps you know someone who would be inspired by that?

Bouillon Pigalle

Bouillon Pigalle has just opened a couple of blocks from me, at the foot of the Pigalle metro station. Its a nod to the old-fashioned bouillons, those big, brasserie-style restaurants that used to serve a humble fare (including broth, or bouillon) to working-class customers.

This is a hip take on the concept, by the guys who started Brasserie Barbs. The steak-frites barnaise I had was very good, served with the watercress and walnut salad I ordered on the side because: greens. Prices are very affordable (main dishes are all between 8.50 and 11.50!) and its a fun space in a great location.

• My youngest son is completely enamored with the story of the Three Little Pigs for some reason, and I get to tell it to him in a million different ways, sometimes incorporating whatever extra element he or his brother suggests, like unicorns and dragons and bears and magic volcanos. And when I need a respite from all the story-telling, this French animated version of Les Trois Petits Cochons is fun and wonderful.

• I also recommend you listen to my friend lodie Milo’s song La Mer. The lyrics are posted below the video and she enunciates them perfectly, so this should be extra gratifying for you if you’re working on your French. She is singing at FGO-Barbara in Paris this very Friday, December 1, so book your ticket now.

• Speaking of learning French, would you like to win a subscription to Frantastique, the personalized email course to improve your French? I have two 6-month subscriptions to give away. If you’re interested, please fill out this form to enter! The giveaway will run until December 14, 2018, then I’ll draw two lucky winners randomly. Bonne chance !

Moulin Rouge

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Best Gifts for Creatives

Buy Clotilde’s latest book, The French Market Cookbook!

Best Gifts for Creatives

A love of cooking and baking often goes hand in hand with a creative streak. It’s certainly what drew me to cooking in the first place! And I find I need to feed my creativity beyond the kitchen, so I make sure I carve out time for drawing, painting, and lettering.

If this is you, too, or if you have an artistic friend or relative to shop for, I have put together a round-up of the tools and books and classes that keep me inspired and joyful year-round.

So here’s my selection…

Best Gifs for Creatives

Start Where You Are

Start Where You Are

An uplifting journal for self-exploration that encourages mindfulness and creativity, gorgeously (gorgeously!) illustrated by Meera Lee Patel.

20 Ways to Draw Everything

20 Ways to Draw Everything

From amazing illustrators Lisa Congdon,? Julia Kuo,? and Eloise Renouf comes this lovable sketchbook. Each double-page gives examples of the many ways one can draw a certain plant, animal, or everyday object, with lots of room to copy or riff or invent your own.

My Favorite Dotted Notebook

Leuchtturm notebook

I could not live without these Leuchtturm dotted notebooks; they bring me so much joy. I have one with me at all times and use it to journal, to bullet journal, to think and strategize… The dotted lines are perfect for structure and freedom, the quality of the paper is just right, and there are many colors to choose from — I pick a different one every time.

Fineline Markers

Fineliner Markers

I only write with these markers, which I buy in sets of 10 in black. I also have this vibrant color set for doodling and bullet journaling and hand-lettering.

It’s Different Every Day

It's Different Every Day

I got myself this whimsical page-a-day desktop calendar for 2018 to keep me smiling with offbeat cartoons and quizzes and fun activities. I just received it and now I’m ordering more to give to friends!

Do One Thing Every Day That Inspires You

Do One Thing Every Day That Inspires You

I’ve been using this one throughout this past year. It has 365 activities and prompts to get your creative juices flowing. You can pick a random page and do whatever you’re asked to do, or look for something that calls your name that day.

Watercolor Pocket Set

Watercolor Pocket Set

I am loving this portable watercolor set from renowned brand Winsor & Newton. It’s adorable, affordable, and of course you can take it with you everywhere you go, like the free-as-a-bird artist that you are.

Watercolor Pad

Watercolor Pad

This is the watercolor paper I use for practicing. It will make a wonderful gift together with the pocket watercolor set. (The Canson brand originated in France centuries ago, and used to be French King-approved, so there’s that too.)

Watercolor Blank Postcards

Watercolor Blank Postcards

When you feel confident in your watercoloring abilities, get these postcard-size sheets of watercolor paper to make mini works of art you’ll send out to wow your friends.

Year of the Doodle

Year of the Doodle

This is one I just got for myself as well. The pages have a collage look, and there’s a dedicated section for each and every day with an “idea spark” that invites you to draw or collage something on there.

Tombow Dual Brush Pens

Tombow Markers

I am in love with these dual markers, with a brush tip on one end, and a fine tip on the other. They’re great for hand-lettering and the colors are gorgeous. If the complete set is outside your budget, get this one instead. It will serve you well!

Drawing on The Right Side of The Brain

Drawing on The Right Side of The Brain

I have loved loved loved this book that teaches you how to draw through activities and advice that short-circuit your critical/analytical left brain, and open the channel into your intuitive right brain. It’s on its 4th edition now, and is a classic for a reason.

Drawing Trees and Leaves

Drawing Trees and Leaves

A beautiful book that talks about observing nature and making art from it. It’s an inspiring read that teaches you how to really look at things, with lots of step-by-step drawing tutorials.

Fantastic Flourishes Course

Fantastic Flourishes

I have gotten so much from this online lettering course! Teela is a great instructor and she shares all of her secrets and tips to make beautiful swoops, loops, and curls around your hand lettering. Amazing worksheets, too — you’ll be so impressed with what you create.

If you want a flavor of her teaching before you get this one, I have enjoyed Bounce Lettering as well, and use these concepts every day when I hand-letter in my journal.

One-Year Subscription to CreativeBug

Creative Bug

CreativeBug is a go-to platform for well-made creative tutorials, and you can gift a subscription to a friend for 3 months, 6 months, or a full year. This will give them unlimited access to all of the video instructions — it’s bound to be a creative year for them!

I’m especially fond of their creative challenges, such as the Daily Drawing Challenge with Lisa Congdon or the 31 Creative Lettering Ideas.

Gift Any Craftsy Class

Craftsy

I also love Craftsy. This platform works on a class-by-class basis, with classes that are beautifully produced and comprehensive, and the price includes community interactions and teacher support. I have really enjoyed the Stunning Watercolor Techniques and the Stunning Art Journals.

Any class you choose, you can click “Gift this class” at checkout to offer it as a gift to someone else; they offer gift vouchers you can then print out.

This post contains some affiliate links. This means that if you choose to make a purchase through them, I will receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. All opinions expressed are my own. Thank you for your support of my work.

The post Best Gifts for Creatives appeared first on Chocolate & Zucchini.

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Best Gifts for Creatives

Buy Clotilde’s latest book, The French Market Cookbook!

Best Gifts for Creatives

A love of cooking and baking often goes hand in hand with a creative streak. It’s certainly what drew me to cooking in the first place! And I find I need to feed my creativity beyond the kitchen, so I make sure I carve out time for drawing, painting, and lettering.

If this is you, too, or if you have an artistic friend or relative to shop for, I have put together a round-up of the tools and books and classes that keep me inspired and joyful year-round.

So here’s my selection…

Best Gifs for Creatives

Start Where You Are

Start Where You Are

An uplifting journal for self-exploration that encourages mindfulness and creativity, gorgeously (gorgeously!) illustrated by Meera Lee Patel.

20 Ways to Draw Everything

20 Ways to Draw Everything

From amazing illustrators Lisa Congdon,? Julia Kuo,? and Eloise Renouf comes this lovable sketchbook. Each double-page gives examples of the many ways one can draw a certain plant, animal, or everyday object, with lots of room to copy or riff or invent your own.

My Favorite Dotted Notebook

Leuchtturm notebook

I could not live without these Leuchtturm dotted notebooks; they bring me so much joy. I have one with me at all times and use it to journal, to bullet journal, to think and strategize… The dotted lines are perfect for structure and freedom, the quality of the paper is just right, and there are many colors to choose from — I pick a different one every time.

Fineline Markers

Fineliner Markers

I only write with these markers, which I buy in sets of 10 in black. I also have this vibrant color set for doodling and bullet journaling and hand-lettering.

It’s Different Every Day

It's Different Every Day

I got myself this whimsical page-a-day desktop calendar for 2018 to keep me smiling with offbeat cartoons and quizzes and fun activities. I just received it and now I’m ordering more to give to friends!

Do One Thing Every Day That Inspires You

Do One Thing Every Day That Inspires You

I’ve been using this one throughout this past year. It has 365 activities and prompts to get your creative juices flowing. You can pick a random page and do whatever you’re asked to do, or look for something that calls your name that day.

Watercolor Pocket Set

Watercolor Pocket Set

I am loving this portable watercolor set from renowned brand Winsor & Newton. It’s adorable, affordable, and of course you can take it with you everywhere you go, like the free-as-a-bird artist that you are.

Watercolor Pad

Watercolor Pad

This is the watercolor paper I use for practicing. It will make a wonderful gift together with the pocket watercolor set. (The Canson brand originated in France centuries ago, and used to be French King-approved, so there’s that too.)

Watercolor Blank Postcards

Watercolor Blank Postcards

When you feel confident in your watercoloring abilities, get these postcard-size sheets of watercolor paper to make mini works of art you’ll send out to wow your friends.

Year of the Doodle

Year of the Doodle

This is one I just got for myself as well. The pages have a collage look, and there’s a dedicated section for each and every day with an “idea spark” that invites you to draw or collage something on there.

Tombow Dual Brush Pens

Tombow Markers

I am in love with these dual markers, with a brush tip on one end, and a fine tip on the other. They’re great for hand-lettering and the colors are gorgeous. If the complete set is outside your budget, get this one instead. It will serve you well!

Drawing on The Right Side of The Brain

Drawing on The Right Side of The Brain

I have loved loved loved this book that teaches you how to draw through activities and advice that short-circuit your critical/analytical left brain, and open the channel into your intuitive right brain. It’s on its 4th edition now, and is a classic for a reason.

Drawing Trees and Leaves

Drawing Trees and Leaves

A beautiful book that talks about observing nature and making art from it. It’s an inspiring read that teaches you how to really look at things, with lots of step-by-step drawing tutorials.

Fantastic Flourishes Course

Fantastic Flourishes

I have gotten so much from this online lettering course! Teela is a great instructor and she shares all of her secrets and tips to make beautiful swoops, loops, and curls around your hand lettering. Amazing worksheets, too — you’ll be so impressed with what you create.

If you want a flavor of her teaching before you get this one, I have enjoyed Bounce Lettering as well, and use these concepts every day when I hand-letter in my journal.

One-Year Subscription to CreativeBug

Creative Bug

CreativeBug is a go-to platform for well-made creative tutorials, and you can gift a subscription to a friend for 3 months, 6 months, or a full year. This will give them unlimited access to all of the video instructions — it’s bound to be a creative year for them!

I’m especially fond of their creative challenges, such as the Daily Drawing Challenge with Lisa Congdon or the 31 Creative Lettering Ideas.

Gift Any Craftsy Class

Craftsy

I also love Craftsy. This platform works on a class-by-class basis, with classes that are beautifully produced and comprehensive, and the price includes community interactions and teacher support. I have really enjoyed the Stunning Watercolor Techniques and the Stunning Art Journals.

Any class you choose, you can click “Gift this class” at checkout to offer it as a gift to someone else; they offer gift vouchers you can then print out.

This post contains some affiliate links. This means that if you choose to make a purchase through them, I will receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. All opinions expressed are my own. Thank you for your support of my work.

The post Best Gifts for Creatives appeared first on Chocolate & Zucchini.

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Best Gifts for Paris-Loving Kids

Buy Clotilde’s latest book, The French Market Cookbook!

Gifts for Paris-Loving Kids

It’s never too early to fall in love with Paris!

Whether you already have a young Francophile on your hands, or want to stimulate the interest of your child, your nephew, or your friend’s kid in the City of Light, here’s my selection of tasteful and whimsical gifts for all ages.

Gorgeous books, fun toys, colorful stationery, French learning games, cool shirts

All of them are great opportunities to discuss French culture and history, and they will prompt many questions you’ll love answering about this glittering, inspiring city. You may be so charmed that you’ll decide to order them for yourself, too!

Best Gifts for Paris-Loving Kids

Filter – All
Drawing
Books
Clothing
Games
Stationery & Art

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