Monthly Archives: August 2016

How to Organize Your Recipes with Gmail

August 30, 2016

How to Organize Your Recipes with Gmail | modernfrenchblog.com

Once I started getting into cooking, I quickly amassed a collection of recipes ripped from magazine pages, scrolled on pieces of scratch paper, and hastily bookmarked online.

At one point, I got tired of trying to hunt down my favorite recipes and decided I needed a place where I could easily access all of them. After some trial and error, I finally settled on a recipe saving system using Gmail.

Why You Should Organize Your Recipes with Gmail

Gmail is an easy, digital way to save your favorite recipes.

You don’t have to install a new app on your phone, which means you don’t have to keep track of yet another username and password. It’s also pretty accessible, especially if you are like me and are always logged into your email with your phone (almost permanently) attached to your hand.

Another plus is that it’s super easy to share recipes. If someone asks, just find the requested recipe and forward it along to your friend. Boom, done.

How to Organize Your Recipes with Gmail

The basic premise is that you email recipes to yourself and save them in a special folder in Gmail. Though fairly straightforward, here’s a detailed description of how to go about it.

1. Scroll down the left sidebar of Gmail and click on “Create a New Label.” Type “Recipes” into the box under “Please enter a new label name” and then click on “Create” to create the digital folder where you can gather your emailed recipes.

2. Start a new email and enter the recipe you want to save. If it’s online, simply cut and paste it into the body of the email. If it’s an old family recipe, then take the time to type it out or snap a photo of the handwritten recipe.

3. Now it’s time to organize your recipe within the email. Warning, it’s about to get a little OCD! First, put the recipe title in the subject line of the email. Then, organize the recipe in the body of the email using the following format: Ingredients, Preparation, Tags, Source, and Link.

Tags are like hashtags or keywords that will help you find a recipe and can be as detailed as you want them to be. You might tag a recipe with the meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) or recipe type (like starter, main dish, side dish, or dessert). You could even include key ingredients.

Since this is all a little esoteric, here’s an example of what a recipe looks like. Bonus! This is a Guamanian recipe from my mom’s side of the family that’s pretty darn tasty.

Chicken Kelaguen

Ingredients
6-8 pieces of chicken (legs and thighs preferred)
1 small yellow onion
2-4 lemons
Small bunch of green onions
1 fresh coconut (optional)
1 serrano pepper (optional)

Preparation
Salt and pepper chicken to taste. BBQ chicken on grill until just barely cooked through (don’t worry, the lemon juice will cook it the rest of the way). Take chicken off grill and let cool. Separate meat from the bone and chop into fine pieces.

Finely chop onion and mix with the chopped chicken. Add lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. If you have access to a fresh coconut, halve the coconut and grate it with a hand grater. Add the grated coconut into the mixture. You may also add in finely chopped peppers if you want a little heat.

Cover and allow to rest in fridge for a few hours. Garnish with sliced green onions before serving.

Tags: LUNCH, DINNER, BBQ, CHICKEN, GUAMANIAN
Source: Family Recipe
Link: N/A

4. Finally, email the recipe to yourself and drag it to the “Recipes” label in your Gmail sidebar.

Et voilà! That’s how you get your first recipe into Gmail. Continue and repeat until you have all your favorites saved via email.

Once your done, you’ll always have your favorite recipes at your fingertips whether you are cooking at a friend’s house, whipping up a meal on vacation, or in the middle of Trader Joe’s trying to remember what you need for your favorite dish.

Do you have a method to organize your recipes? If so, do you store them online or prefer an analog style?

Why You Need a Cheese Dome

August 16, 2016

Why You Need a Cheese Dome | modernfrenchblog.com

In the United States, storing cheese is not that big of a deal.

Here you can re-wrap that cheddar in the packaging it came in or throw a hunk of cheese into a Tupperware. Heck, you can even get cheese in a can and it will probably keep for…well…eternity.

However, in a country like France where there are more than 350 types of cheeses, you can imagine they take their cheese storage seriously. Hours of research revealed a super fancy (and super expensive) wrapping paper, some very strong opinions about plastic wrap, and one tip to leave it on a windowsill as long as you live in a colder climate. In a word, cheese storage can be very complique.

Why You Need a Cheese Dome

Enter the cheese dome aka the laidback, low maintenance queen of the cheese storage world. It’s sturdy, reusable, and looks just as nice in your fridge as it does on your table.

A cheese dome also creates the perfect climate for your favorite fromage. The bell-shaped curve of the glass top allows some humidity to form within the air of the cheese dome. This atmosphere mimics the cold, slight dampness of a cheese cave.

Most importantly, a cheese dome allows your cheese to breathe. See, there are million bacteria that work hard to make your cheese tasty. Suffocating those little guys can cause bad mold to grow quickly or, worse, can lead to an ammonia -like smell. Quelle horror!

How to Use a Cheese Dome

Cheese domes are best for soft, semi-soft, and washed rind cheese. This includes cheese like Brie, Camembert, Havarti, Basque cheese, Gouda, and others.

For the record, we’ve kept all different types of cheese in our cheese dome from fresh goat cheese to Parmesan and it always seems to work well. The only cheese I would avoid are ones packed in liquid like fresh mozzarella or feta.

Keep your cheese dome on a shelf in fridge. Before serving, take it out of the fridge and leave it on a counter for 1-2 hours. This allows your cheese to come to room temperature, which inevitably enhances the taste. It also allows softer cheeses to get back to their original texture (i.e. helllllo creamy goodness).

Where to Buy a Cheese Dome

Currently, we own this marble beauty from Crate and Barrel. The white marble is on trend and really does look pretty against our wood table. My only complaint is that the marble is a bit heavy.

You could also go for a cheese dome with a wooden base like this one, this modern one, or this traditional one. However, moisture can pool on the base and eventually crack the wood.

Complaining and slightly dissatisfied with all types of available cheese domes…c’est très français, non? Since this post is quickly turning into the worst praise of the cheese dome ever, let me turn a corner here.

The Conclusion about Cheese Domes

While the initial outlay of $60-70 may seem steep, a cheese dome can last many years. This makes the cost-per-use dirt cheap. And as we already covered, they are easy to take care of and do double duty as both storage vessel and serving platter.

That said, the most exciting thing about owning a cheese dome is that you can fill it with wedge upon wedge of glorious cheese. From strong blue cheese to a mellow gouda and satisfying triple cream brie, they’ll be waiting for you in the fridge stored at the perfect temp and humidity.

P.S. Get the best cheeses from Trader Joe’s for to store in your cheese dome and devour later on.

French Connections

August 9, 2016

French Connections | modernfrenchblog.com

Isn’t summer the best? Long days full of fun like block parties, margaritas and tacos, picking fresh tomatoes off the vine, and mornings at the beach. It’s just like heaven and I hope it never ends. What’s up next? That frosé for starters and then the perfect summer read (second to last bullet).

Yes way frozen rosé.
• A detailed guide to help you take care of table linens.
The thing your sandwiches are missing.
• The French would definitely approve of these table manners.
• Totally not a summer recipe but I totally want to make it.
• Bookmarking this fun travel guide for our next trip to Paris.
French wine barrels vs. American wine barrels.
• Adding this novel to my summer reading list.
• Some tips on how to look stylish while traveling.

Wine Review: Espiral Vinho Verde

August 2, 2016

Wine Review: Espiral Vinho Verde | modernfrenchblog.com

Wine: Espiral Vinho Verde
Region: Portugal
Retailer: Trader Joe’s
Price: $4.49

There is something about drinking a cold glass of wine on a hot summer day. For a while now, it’s been all yes way rosé at our home, but last week a friend brought over this bottle of vinho verde and now we have a contender for best wine of the summer.

The Espiral Vinho Verde is a white wine with a light, pale yellow color. It smells of straight up, full-on citrus with a very faint mineral note on the edge. Taste-wise, it opens with a burst of tart, green apple and then eventually mellows out to a honeydew melon that’s just sweet enough.

Notice all the references to green fruit? Well, that’s partly because vinho verde is Portuguese for green wine. However, the name doesn’t reference the color of the wine and instead refers to the fact that these wines are bottled super young. As a result, they are ever-so-slightly effervescent and do a little dance on your tongue.

With something so bright and refreshing, it’s no surprise that this wine goes well with the summer food like grilled chicken, pasta salads, spicy seafood dishes, and citrus-infused ceviche. You could also go Mediterranean with your food pairing and serve with a chorizo sausage appetizer or saffron-heavy paella.

Most importantly, be sure to chill the heck outta this baby. Plunge it into an ice bath or chill it in your freezer for 30-40 minutes. That way, you’ll take one sip and forget that the words “heat wave” ever existed.

P.S. How to say tipsy in French and a great red for those who aren’t into white wines.