My Material Life

Rachel Khoo’s Little Paris Kitchen

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Isn’t it funny that with so many television options these days, there is so little that is new and hopeful and refreshing to watch?  (And it’s not that I’m a TV snob; I’m certainly not above a little Real Housewives of Beverly Hills – not proud of it either – or better yet, Million Dollar Decorators.)  So I was looking for some House Hunters Internationals to record when a title on the Cooking Channel, Little Paris Kitchen, caught my eye.  Do you know about this show or it’s subject, Rachel Khoo?  She’s a very charming young woman who grew up in England, went to art school, worked in fashion, and then moved to Paris to study pastry making.  Eventually (and certainly with a lot of pluck and initiative) she got herself a book deal and decided to open a tiny restaurant in her small Paris apartment, using her even smaller kitchen to cook the food.  From there she went on to star in her own BBC-produced six-episode series that is now airing on the Cooking Channel in the U.S.  It’s a fun little show.  I hope you can find it on your TV.

The photo above is a French toast combination of toast, clementines and crème fraîche suggested by Rachel Khoo.  I found it online when I went searching for her recipes.  The batter was a little too wet (i.e. too much milk) for the texture of bread I used, but I replaced the sugar in her recipe with some honey and I liked that a lot.  I liked the whole thing even better when I drizzled some more honey over my crème fraîche.  This combination makes for a very nice California/French connection.  Did you ever see the movie The Grapes of Wrath?  Jane Darwell played Ma Joad – what a performance!  Remember when she talked about dreaming about living in a little white house in California, surrounded by orange trees?  Our California citrus is such a gift in the winter time.  Those bright orange slices look like jewels, don’t they?

Have you tried crème fraîche before?  It’s a cultured cream like sour cream, but with a much silkier texture and a more subtle taste.  In the San Francisco Bay Area, you can find the Bellwether Farms brand from Sonoma County at Trader Joe’s.  Don’t forget to read their packaging for ideas on what to serve it with and recipes like wine poached salmon with horseradish sauce and chocolate tart.

p.s. – Are you watching Project Runway All Stars?  Wasn’t it amazing that the remaining four designers got to go fabric shopping in Paris and of course, see the Valentino showroom/workroom and fashion show?!!  They are all so talented.  Who do you think should win?  I thought what Uli did with that last one-hour challenge was amazing!  Project Runway is my very favorite television show and I am so happy that the regular cast will be back for another series later this month.  But did you see that it is going to be a team show?  Those team episodes are always the most stressful to watch, aren’t they?  Makes me a little nervous, but I can’t wait to see Tim Gunn again!

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