France has just reopened its border after the Pandemic lock-down… If you haven’t planned yet to fly to Paris, why not bring a French touch into your life with French recipes, food delivery, culture and virtual tours of Paris’ best museums, TV shows to brush up your French. Experience French cult pharmacy products, that can now be delivered to your door! Be inspired by French lifestyle!
Prepare a French meal
Gather a few friends or your family and treat them with authentic French dishes…
Here’s a délicieux menu that’s easy to put together –
Croissant filled with chicken or egg salad
Salade Gourmande or Salade Niçoise
The name comes from the French words croque (“crunchy bite”) and monsieur (“mister”). This is a very popular hot grilled ham and cheese sandwich in France… What’s not to love?
If you add a fried egg on top, it’s called “Croque-Madame”. If you dip the bread slices in egg and pan-fry them (like French toast) and add ham and cheese, it’s called “Monte Cristo”.
Although there are many ways to make Croque-Monsieur, here’s my favorite recipe, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it! Bon appétit!
- 8 slices Country-style bread (pain de campagne) or toasted sandwich bread
- 8 slices cooked Jambon de Paris or high quality ham
- 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
- 1 tspn Herbes de Provence
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 tbsp whole grain mustard
- 1/2 tspn Freshly grated nutmeg
- Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
- First, make the Bechamel sauce. In a medium thick-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat till melted, add the flour and continue to cook while stirring until smooth, around a couple of minutes. Gradually add the milk, mixing well at each addition, and continue to cook and stir for around 4 minutes. The sauce should be thick and smooth. Remove from heat and add the mustard, nutmet. Taste and add seasoning as necessary.
- Preheat oven to 425 F / 220 C.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay 4 slices of bread on top of the parchment paper, and spread half of the Bechamel sauce over 4 slices of bread, side up. Place the 4 slices of ham over the 4 bread slices and evenly sprinkle half of the grated Gruyere on top of the ham. Top with the remaining 4 slices of bread. Spread the other half of the Bechamel sauce on top, sprinkle with the other half of the Gruyere cheese, and sprinkle with herbes de Provence. Bake for around 12 to 15 minutes till the cheese is bubbly. Serve hot.
Croque-Monsieur is served in most snack-bars, cafes and bakeries in France, it’s a delicious and satisfying lunch or snack!
For the Croissant sandwiches, use store-bought mini-croissants, and add your favorite filling such as chicken salad, egg salad, or cold cuts and cornichons / gherkins.
How to define Salade Gourmande… The closest translation would be a Gourmet’s Salad. It can be composed with many elements including crisp greens, various proteins and usually with vinaigrette dressing.
You can use any ingredients that take your fancy, like a seafood version with boiled prawns and scallops, or a vegetarian version with mushrooms, artichoke hearts, asparagus.
For my Salade Gourmande, I have used blanched asparagus, fresh mushrooms, artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes, crisp lettuce and a slice of duck foie gras with a home made vinaigrette dressing.
This happens to be one of my favorite fresh fruits tarts and here’s the recipe, adapted from David Lebowitz.
Not in the mood of cooking? No problem… You can eat out, or order some delicious French specialties delivered to your home!
French Ingredients delivered chez vous
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Why not indulge and order these beautiful products from France, they are personal favorites!
Maille Mustard Variety Pack 7 Oz, 4 Count
For more info or to buy (around $14.32) click here
From France Henaff Mix Pates and Rillette 3 Types of Different Tastes
For more info or to buy (around $14.99) click here
Henaff Pork Liver Confit with Black Peppercorn – 3.2 oz. (1 PACK)
For more info or to buy (around $12.99) click here
Marky’s French Cheese Assorted Gift Box – 8 Cheeses – Brillat Savarin, Pont L’eveque, Berthaut Epoisses, Petit Livarot, Camembert, Delice, Crottin Maitre, Crottin De Champcol – Only Cheese is Included
For more info or to buy (around $129.95) click here
Caramel Lollipops with Salted Butter Sucettes Caramel Au Beurre Sale 12 pcs by Barnier
These are my favorite Pierrot Gourmand lollipops growing up… I love both the Salted Butter Caramel and Fresh Fruits flavors… Please indulge!
For more info or to buy (around $13.46 for 12 pcs ) click here
Bonbons Barnier 12 Assorted Lollipops in Gift Bag
For more info or to buy (around $16.95 for 12 pcs) click here
La Trinitaine, French Brittany Galettes au Beurre (Butter Cookies) in Mini Quimper Tin, Faience Couple, 4.6 OZ
For more info or to buy (around $10.99 ) click here
La Dunkerquoise French Waffle Cookies – Caramel
For more info or to buy (around $8.75) click here
Crepes Mix, Traditional & Authentic French Mix Easy To Prepare Foolproof Cooking Makes 15 Crepes (Crêpes Françaises) – My French Recipe
For more info or to buy (around $12) click here
Or bake a flourless dark chocolate cake with a convenient cake kit by clicking on the image below…
French Restaurants and Food in Los Angeles
If you are in the mood to enjoy great French cuisine, make a reservation at these awesome French eateries…
Le Salon de The
Le Salon de Thé in West Hollywood is a cozy tea room owned by 2 sisters from Paris. Try their delicate finger sandwiches and seasonal small plates prepared with family recipes. Their homemade hot chocolate is legendary.
The tiny L’Appart is co-owned by Marc Moubarak and executive chef Thierry Babet and is located in the heart of downtown LA.
They serve typical bistro food like onion soup, boeuf bourguignon, duck confit, escargots etc. The dessert menu is pretty tantalizing like their homemade chocolate lava cake.
French bakery Chaumont in Beverly Hills greets you with a fresh-from-the-oven pastries aroma. Everything is baked fresh daily following time honored French tradition. It’s the best place to get croissants, éclairs, pains au chocolat as well as a variety of pastries.
Breakfast and lunch are also served with a light menu with salads, omelettes and sandwiches made with organic ingredients.
République is owned by chefs Walter and James Beard-nominee Margarita Manzke and is located in the historic structure built by Charlie Chaplin in 1928, formerly occupied by La Brea Bakery and Campanile.
It’s open all day with a blend of French and new American specialties, prepared with the best ingredients and skills.
Take a Masterclass in French Cuisine
Why not learn to cook or bake from the best French chefs?
Click on the links below to find out more or to register.
Celebrated for his innovative twists on classic desserts, Cronut® creator and James Beard Award-winner Dominique Ansel has been called the “world’s best pastry chef.” In his MasterClass, Dominique teaches his essential techniques for perfect pastries. Learn baking and more with his precise methods, add classic recipes to your repertoire, and explore texture and flavor inspirations to delight friends and family with your own decadent desserts.
As a third-generation baker and CEO of the renowned Parisian bakery Poilâne, Apollonia Poilâne keeps time-honored traditions alive with every loaf. Now she’s sharing the joy of making bread from scratch with her recipes and hands-on demonstrations. Learn how to make your own starter and a variety of French breads, including rustic wheat, rye, and brioche. Taste, smell, and feel your way to fresh, warm bread at home.
Alice Waters started America’s farm-to-table revolution. When she founded the iconic restaurant Chez Panisse, her local, organic ingredients sparked a movement and earned her the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef. In her first-ever online cooking class, Alice opens the doors of her home kitchen to teach you how to pick seasonal ingredients, create healthy and beautiful meals, and change your life by changing the food you make at home.
A French Culture Journey
Paris has made its unique cultural offering accessible online. Click on the Universal Museum of Art, to discover many exhibitions of local landmarks such as Notre-Dame Cathedral as well as international galleries.
The Musée de l’Orangerie offers istar exhibits, Monet’s Water Lilies murals, as well as pieces from other masters including Cézanne, Renoir, Rousseau and Picasso.
Admire ornate artefacts, jewellery, delicate woodwork and intricate tapestry via the Musée des Arts Decoratifs’ 360-degree virtual tours. The Fondation Louis Vuitton has launched an app to explore Frank Gehry’s futuristic building through virtual guided tours.
For more virtual tour ideas, head to Paris Info for some of the highlights.
Be entertained by a French TV Serie
I’m a great fan of French TV series, whether they’re light hearted and humorous, or dark and violent… I would highly recommend you to stream these highly entertaining shows!
Lupin is a French mystery thriller TV serie that premiered on Netflix in January 2021. So far, 2 seasons have been released and the 3rd has been confirmed by Netflix.
The show stars Omar Sy (who won a Cesar for his main role in The Untouchables) in the role of Assane Diop, a man who is inspired by the adventures of master thief Arsène Lupin, a character created by Maurice Leblanc in the early 1900s. It became the most watched foreign language serie on Netflix.
I love all the complex and flawed characters in Spiral, a long-running classique of French TV, a cop-and-justice show with subtlety. Some scenes could be disturbing and gruesome. It’s just fascinating to watch the police procedural. The first 6 seasons can be streamed on Amazon Prime, seven and eight on MhZ Choice
A serial killer, nicknamed ‘La Mante’ decides to collaborate with the police when a string of murders that copycat her style suddenly appear. Placed in solitary confinement since her arrest, “The Mantis” has one condition: to deal only with Detective Damien Carrot, her estranged son.
Watch this show on Netflix.
The Chalet is a suspense thriller involving a group of attractive friends being stranded in an Alpine hotel. The vibe is more like an Agatha Christie novel but with flash backs and old secrets being slowly revealed with twists and turns. Fun to binge on Netflix.
I’m not into supernatural movie or TV and much prefer murder mysteries, but this series is well made. It’s set in a small French mountain town where deceased residents mysteriously return. There’s an eerie feeling with good acting and suspense building score.
How to Watch: Stream on Amazon Prime
Witnesses, a hit in France, is about crime procedurals, with style and imagination, set in a small coastal village in France. An odd-couple detective pair solve unusual crimes, in macabre and tension-filled plots and dark secrets. Stream on iTunes and Amazon.
Who Killed Little Gregory
I remember following this heart-breaking story in the news as it unfolded in 1984, as it captivated France for decades. This five-episode Netflix documentary plunges you into a French working-class village where something terrible has happened: a four-year-old boy abducted and discovered drowned in the nearby Vologne River. It’s dark, ugly with family fights and rivalry, and human nature at its basest. A captivating true story to watch on Netflix.
I really enjoy watching The Tunnel (French: Tunnel), a British-French crime drama television series adapted from the 2011 Danish-Swedish crime series The Bridge (Bron/Broen). The main characters are a British and a French police detectives Karl Roebuck and Elise Wassermann. The latter reminds me of Claire Danes’ character Carrie in Homeland, one of my favorite shows. The plot follows the two detectives working together to find a serial killer who left the upper half of a French politician and the lower half of a British prostitute in the Channel Tunnel at the midpoint between France and the UK. It’s a thrilling show highlighting many social problems faced by both countries to watch on Amazon Prime.
French Cult Pharmacy products delivered to you
French people including models and artists swear by these pharmacy products which are super effective with great value! Now you can order them from Amazon.
Bioderma – Sensibio H2O – Micellar Water – Cleansing and Make-Up Removing – Refreshing Feeling – for Sensitive Skin
For more info or to buy (around $14.99) click here
Although you can find Micellar water in many US brands, Bioderma is known as the most reliable brand for micellar water products, used by dermatologists, make-up artists and consumers, as they don’t strip your skin of natural oils like other makeup removers.
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer, Oil-Free Face Cream with Niacinamide
For more info or to buy (around $19.99) click here
The brand was actually founded by French pharmacists in the 1970s and uses thermal spring water from a tiny French town called La Roche-Posay as an ingredient in all the products.
Eau Thermale Avene Thermal Spring Water, Soothing Calming Facial Mist Spray for Sensitive Skin (10.14 fl.oz)
This mist is infused with antioxidants that help hydrate and soothe dry skin and calm irritated and sensitive skin.
For more info or to buy (around $18.50) click here
Homeoplasmine, XL – 40g Magic Cream – For Dry Skin, Irritations, for Soft Lips! [ The Original French Packaging ]
For more info or to buy (around $12.75) click here
This is one of the top cult products. The Aquaphor-like ointment was once used to soothe nursing mothers’ chafed nipples, but now it’s a magic moisturizer and lip balm staple for every makeup artist and model in town.
Le Petit Marseillais Shea Butter, Sweet Almond & Argan Oil Moisturizing Hand Cream, Non-Greasy French Skin Care for Dry Skin Relief & pH Neutral for Skin, 2.5 fl. oz
Made with sweet almond oil, shea butter, and argan oil, this hand cream smells wonderful but also leaves hands super soft.
For more info or to buy (around $12.40 ) click here
Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré, Face Cream & Makeup Primer – Shea Moisture Cream for Daily Skincare – Face Moisturizers for All Skin Types
The Internet made Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentre one of the most praised cult French pharmacy products out there. From supermodels and celebrities to makeup artists and beauty editors, all of the experts praise this moisturizer as one of the best for hydrating skin before makeup. The name itself translates to “embryo smooth,” and who doesn’t want skin that soft?
For more info or to buy (around $28) click here
Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Purpose Dry Oil Nourishes, Repairs and Softens For Skin and Hair Non-Greasy, Lightweight .#B
This multipurpose oil can be applied to your hair, skin, and face, and it smells heavenly.
For more info or to buy ($44.99), click here
Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk, Ultra-Gentle, All Hair Types, No White Residue, Paraben & Sulfate-Free
Every French pharmacy carries this one hair product: Klorane dry shampoo. I have been using it for years and it’s been a lifesaver while traveling. This is hailed by far as one of the best dry shampoos on the market. It doesn’t make your hair sticky or leave any weird residue, and it smells good.
For more info or to buy (around $20 ) click here
I hope this post will inspire you to immerse in French food and culture! La vie est belle, n’est ce pas?