Banana Vanilla Wafer Pudding



I had never really paid any attention to those little cookies called "langues de chat", until the other day when I was offered some with my coffee.  All of the sudden I realized that they taste almost exactly like a Nilla Wafer.  Put two of them together and you can hardly tell the difference.  I had to make some banana vanilla wafer pudding.  I didn't have a pretty dish to put it in, but that didn't stop me.  The pudding turned out really great.  It reminds me of desert at grandma's house after one of her nice chicken dinners.      


Post by Dori 8 July 2014

Burger King is coming to Lyon

Burger King is opening a restaurant at Confluence on the ground floor, sometime before the end of the year.  They haven't announced when, but they are taking applications.    

by Dori
6 July 2014

Buttercup Bakery and Tea Room



A friend of mine, who is a pastry chef, brought me here some time ago.  I was afraid.  I'd been to so many of these places and always left dissatisfied, if not with the frosting then with the dryness of the cake.  I was standing there agonizing about whether or not to take the risk of one more carrot cake regret when she assured me that I would not be disappointed!

The carrot cake is wonderful.  The cupcakes are moist with a frosting that is not exceedingly sweet, but pleasantly so.  The pecan pie is amazingly authentic.  Everything I've had here, whether savory or sweet, was of excellent quality and made from scratch.

Starting in spring they have been serving homemade refreshments: Lemonade, Rhubarbade, Rasberryade, and Ice Tea.  That is in addition to the myriad teas they have on a regular basis.  They have a charming cupcake decor and outdoor seating.  Truly, if you are looking for a place to have a dainty treat, or a delightful lunch, there is no better place for it in Lyon than at Buttercup.

Buttercup Bakery and Tea Room
59 Montée de la Grande Côte
69001, Lyon
04 72 27 80 22




Post by Dori
10 Jan 2014



Hershey's Chocolate and Strawberry Syrup, Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup, Cherry and Diet 7-Up




Grocery stores occasionally have products that they try out for a while.  Sometimes they stay on the shelves and sometimes they never come back.  Right now the Monoprix in the Croix Rousse  has both Chocolate and Strawberry Hershey's Syrups, and a few cans of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup. The Monoprix at Cordeliers has Cherry, Diet, and regular 7-Up, they also have a deal for half the price on the second bottle.




Post by Dori, 1 May 2014

Spring Baking

Image from http://www.thecupcakeoven.co.uk/page22.htm


Does the coming Easter weekend have you in the mood to do a cake or cupcakes?  
It's becoming easier to find cake, and cupcake, baking and decorating supplies.  







TATI downtown has just remodeled, and all the cooking wares are now upstairs.  Tati in terms of quality is about equivalent to Walmart.  Occasionally it has deals that are worth taking advantage of.  For example, right now they have plastic glasses.  I like having them for everyday use because they are a lot harder to break than actual glasses, which is really handy if you have little ones, or big ones prone to dropping things.  They also have a cake decorating section right now, not a regular thing there, and popsicle molds.  The display has a cake turntable and fondant cutters.



KITCHEN BAZAAR is a new kitchen supply store downtown at 2 Rue des Forces, 62002. 
It's on the higher end of the quality scale, but well worth what you pay for it.  I recently bought a new metal spatula there to replace one I had brought from the states.  My husband broke the metal part in two while scraping something with it!  It was a nice wide and long spatula that I used for flipping pancakes, among other things.  I was pulling my hair out trying to find another one like it here.  I was able to find a comparable one of good quality at the Kitchen Bazaar.  If you get on their mailing list, then you get invitations to all of their events.   

I was surprised to see that they have the most complete baking and decorating supply section I've seen here.  Starting with:  molds for cakes, cake pops, popsicles, the correct size for cupcakes or muffins, with their paper baking cups, specialty molds and cookie cutters.  They also have decorating tips, pre made fondant, sugar paste molds and rollers.  I liked their spiderman and pirate candles, and the edible stickers and markers.  I was particularly taken with the natural flavorings, over 25 of them, and food colorings, including powders, gels, and spray on gold or silver.  

Kitchen Bazaar is also the only place I've ever seen a non stick cooking spray, called Ouragan, made by the Ancel brand.  It was a little spendy, but considering that it's big enough to last all year if you're a fan of non stick spray like Pam, then it would probably be worth it.      





Post by Dori, 13 April 2014




 

"El Tex Mex" - Goes Out of Business


I was walking down the street the other day and saw a big "For Sale at Auction" sign over the doors of El Tex Mex on 3 rue Pizay, 69001.  I had never eaten there myself, but I know some americans liked to go there for the Margaritas.  Apparently the auction is to be held on the 25th at 11:30.  If no buyers make an offer on the entire establishment, then they will proceed to liquidate all of it's assets by auctioning off all of it's restaurant materials.


Anyone have any ideas on where else to go for a Margarita?  

 Post by Dori
11 April 2014

Trip to Algeria

In Constantine Algeria
the City of Bridges

An American in Algeria

I've been absent since Christmas time, due to the busy preparations and trip my husband and I made to Algeria.  He is French, of Algerian descent, and hadn't been back to see his family for almost thirty years.  Just imagine with over forty cousins how many dinner invitations we had in three weeks...  I'd like to share with you just a few of the traditional dishes I tasted.




Tajine l'Ayn

This is a sweet dish made from a strip of lamb meat, cinnamon stick, prunes, dried apricots, almonds, and orange blossom water.  L'ayn is a holiday dish served during ramadan to break fasting.  People don't usually eat the meat.  They eat the fruits at the beginning of the meal, like they would eat dates and milk, before moving on to Chorba (the soup).  We weren't there during ramadan, but they made a lot of special dishes for us anyway :)  Thank you Souad.



Chakhchoukha

In the region of Constantine they are known for making a good   chakhchoukha   (pronounced sho-shor-ha).  Women start by making a flat bread out of wheat semolina, as shown in large triangular pieces on the table in the next photo.  They pinch off little bits of it, and let them dry out.  They keep this stored in the cupboard.  To make the dish, they wet the pieces, steam them twice, butter them, then cover and simmer with a meat and tomato broth until the liquid evaporates.  Thank  you Nassera for this wonderful meal.


Chorba
People in Algeria sit around a table in this manner and all eat from the same dishes.  Chorba is the red dish on the table.  They start by making a meat and tomato broth, and add ground hot red pepper, cilantro and celery leaf.  Towards the end of cooking they add the frik, which gives it a smoky flavor.  Frik is made from green wheat grains which have been grilled, washed and soaked in salty water, then dried in the shade and ground at the mill.  Nassera does this by hand, and her frik makes the best chorba I've ever had.  She was kind enough to give me some 





Karnoune

This impeccably presented dish is made of artichoke hearts with a ground meat stuffing, in a tomato sauce.  This is just one of the wonderful dishes my friend Sarah made for me at this meal.  Thank you Sarah. 



Baklava, Makrout, 
and walnut cream cups

I'm sure you are all familiar with Baklava.  It's the dessert on the bottom lefthand corner.  This is one of the best baklavas in my memory, made with rosewater, by Djawida's mother for a wedding party.  The Makrout (top left) are similar to the braj, but they are baked instead of pan fried, and are then soaked in a honey and orange blossom water syrup.  The walnut mousse cups are reminiscent of another traditional walnut cookie not fancy enough to make it into the wedding party.


Braj


Braj is a simple dessert, made through out spring time.  They use a wheat semolina dough for the outside, and fill the inside with a date paste called elgherss.  The patties are cut and browned in a pan.  Thank you Aziza and Zhora for sharing these with us.











Post by Dori
March 26, 2014

Last Minute X-mas Tips: Hot Dogs and Christmas Trees

The are three days left of the Christmas fair at Place Carnot (Perrache).  They have plenty of good things to eat as well as tons of crafts.  The sausage stand is to die for, particularly the Chantrelle mushroom saucisson.  I sent a few back to the states for my family.  As far as american food goes, I was surprised to see a baked potatoe stand.  They were made with a french touch and clever names, like the patatouille, a potatoe with ratatouille on top.  What I was pleasantly surprised by though were the German sausages, served hot dog style.  A man with a heavy german accent behind me was very happy when he saw the sign, then when he saw them started complaining in German... ?!"...americana... ?!"HOT DOG!  Then he turned around in total disgust.  Those skinny hot dogs from the grocery store is a common complaint from a good friend of mine, so I had to try them.  They were awesome hot dogs!  They even had foot long hot dogs!!   I few days later I tried their plain sausage, and it tasted a lot like our breakfast sausage.  We definitely have more german influences than french in our cuisine.



This was the first year that I've looked seriously at getting a Christmas Tree.  Being from Oregon, the biggest Christmas tree producer in the United States, having anything other than a real tree is like sacrilege.  What I cherish the most about it is it's wonderful smell.  So now I know that there are two main types of trees here.  The Epicéa, which has a wonderful fragrance but it looks like a pine shrub and is famous for loosing all it's needles before you can get it out of the house. (People here still haven't figured out that you should put them in water.) Then there is the beautiful Nordmann, which has no smell whatsoever.  There is the smaller stand at the Christmas fair that also has a Fraseris tree which is slightly less pretty than a Nordmann, but has a wonderful smell.  I also found some Noble Firs, not quite as pretty as the ones from Oregon, but still decent with a lovely fragrance.  Those, I found at Botanic.  As of yesterday they still had some at the Ecully and St Priest stores.

Post by Dori 22 Dec 2013

Best Hamburger in Lyon: Guy & Sons

They have not only the best hamburger in Lyon, but they're the best hamburgers I've had in a long time.  A friend of mine and I decided on the spur of the moment to get a burger.  I had seen this new place not far from where we were, so we tried it.  They make everything from scratch, including their own buns. The hamburger meat is a local French beef with 5% fat, and very juicy.  They favor seasonal condiments.  The fries are to die for, made from fresh potatoes.  Their website explains that they are done in the Pont Neuf style, thicker than shoestring fries, double dipped in the fryer, and seasoned with fine table salt and fleur de sel.  Pont Neuf alludes to the first fries sold in France on the bridges (ponts) of Paris in the eighteenth century.

A few days later my friend confessed that she had been so haunted by the burger that she'd had two since then.  So I had to confess that I ordered them again for delivery that very same day!

Guy is not pronounced like the English word, rather it's pronounced like "ghee".  If you don't speak French you should know that you are supposed to pick out your drink from the cooler and order at the counter.

The Vintage Burger
Multi-grain Bun
180g Burger Steak
"Melting" Cheddar
Young Lettuce sSprouts
Tomato Slices
Red Onion
Homemade Charroux Mustard Cream Sauce (what we call a Dijon Sauce)



The Bacon Burger
Multi-grain Bun
180g Burger Steak
Bacon
"Melting" Cheddar
Young Lettuce Sprouts
Tomato Slices
Chopped Red Onion
Ketchup and Mustard "Fins Gourmets"

(I got mine without the veggies on it, because that's the way I like it.)



Handy Instructions for the French:

We Eat with Our Fingers and We share Tables



Post by Dori, 19 Dec 2013

Corned Beef and Spam....


I went to my corner Casino the other day and almost got whiplash when I saw this out of the corner of my eye.  Corned Beef and some Danish version of Spam!  What!?  It's not that I want to eat these things, but really what a trip to see this in some random Casino store. 

Post by Dori
Dec 13, 2013