French

This French Liqueur Makes Every Cocktail Better — Shopping

(Image credit: Charity Burggraaf)

Dealer's choice is my favorite game to play at a bar. You may just find a new favorite cocktail, and at worst you'll end up chatting with a bartender. You may even learn something.

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Recipe: Creamy French Mustard Chicken — Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman/The Kitchn)

One of the techniques I walked away with from French culinary school was how to make a pan sauce from all the tasty browned bits left in the pan after searing meat. Combined with a few très French ingredients, like shallots, white wine, and two kinds of mustard, this braised chicken dish has all my French favorites: tender chicken with super-crispy skin sitting on top of a comforting-yet-elegant mustardy pan sauce. And believe it or not, it comes together in just about 30 minutes in one skillet, making you the hero of the weeknight dinner, mon ami.

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You’re Only as Chic as Your Garbage Bag! And Other Insider Entertaining Tips à la Française. — Entertaining Tips

The almonds were perfectly toasted. The music was just right. "So, how does it look?" I asked my French husband as I fluffed pillows while awaiting dinner guests. He scanned the living room with laser precision: "You serve several hors d'oeuvres or nothing at all. And always keep the door to the toilet closed!"

I pondered the horror of our guests thinking I'm just a cheap American with bad feng shui. But as a long-term expat in Paris, these aren't the first learned social cues I've taken with a generous pinch of salt over the past nine years.

"It's another country!" is the personal mantra I remind myself year after year of back-breaking bureaucratic wild goose chases and the occasional social faux pas. Nonetheless, as my French linguistic skills evolved from belligerent to nearly charming, entertaining was always the easiest way to engage a little bit deeper with French friends while practicing the Midwestern hospitality of my upbringing. And if all else fails, I can always relish in the unparalleled enthusiasm the French have for spinach artichoke dip.

But since this is France, there are still a few rules to follow. Here are some hard-earned insider tips to throwing a smashing French-style dinner party. But don't forget to add some personal flair and to take it all with a pinch of fleur de sel!

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I Bought a Tiny “Parisian” Fridge and I Totally Regret It — Small-Space Kitchens

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Everything is better in Paris. I know that. Attempting to make my American home my own version of a Parisian apartment was destined to be a disappointment. I live on the wrong continent with a different way of life. But I couldn't resist.

I should have resisted.

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Dinner Recipe: Braised French Onion Chicken with Gruyère — Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman/The Kitchn)

Here's a warm, incredibly tasty dish that suits fall perfectly. Take a mess of caramelized onions, soupy and rich, and add a touch of mustard and some chicken thighs. Braise in the oven, then broil with a handful of Gruyère cheese. It's rich without being heavy, and deeply flavorful without too much work. I'm having this for dinner tonight — care to join me?

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Slow Cooker Recipe: Cheesy Panade with Swiss Chard, Beans & Sausage — Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

A panade is one of those dishes that is way better than it has any right to be — or than it looks to be. It's an assembly of day-old bread, shredded cheese, and handy pantry ingredients (in this case, white beans, Swiss chard, and sausage) that gets doused with broth and baked until bubbly, like a savory bread pudding meets French onion soup. Not quite a soup and not quite a casserole, it's something more: the best of both worlds.

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