Slow Cooker Filipino Chicken

Slow Cooker Filipino Chicken

I have been meaning to share my review of the Instant Pot for a while now, and since I’ve received several inquiries about it, today I am sharing my recipe for this Slow-Cooker Filipino Chicken Adobo, and taking the opportunity to tell you about this seven-in-one appliance I love.

I have been hearing about the Instant Pot for years through the cooking websites I read, and my interest grew and grew as I noticed the adoration some bloggers have for it. It is an appliance sold by a Canadian company, and offers seven main programmable features. It is all at once:

  • A slow-cooker, for low-temperature cooking over several hours,
  • A pressure cooker with two pressure settings, high or low,
  • A sauté pot, to brown ingredient before stewing or pressure cooking,
  • A rice cooker, to cook rice, grains, and legumes,
  • A steamer,
  • A yogurt maker,
  • A hot plate to keep dishes warm, which is very convenient for entertaining and parties.

I finally took the plunge and bought myself the 6-quart model last fall, taking advantage of a good deal on Amazon. I immediately adopted it, thereby replacing my pressure-cooker, my steamer, and my yogurt maker, which I gave away or sold. (For now we are keeping our rice cooker because we are very attached to it; I told you about it when I shared my recipe for coconut spiced rice.)

Slow Cooker Filipino Chicken

My Instant Pot, available on Amazon.

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French Gift Ideas for Father’s Day

French Gift Ideas for Father's Day

Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June in many countries in the world, including the United States and France. In 2017, we will celebrate la fête des pères on June 18.

If your Papa (or significant other, if you’re getting him something on behalf of your children!) is a lover of all things French, I have gathered a long list of French-inspired gift ideas that will show how much you love him, and how highly you think of him.

Not knowing the particular tastes of your own father, I readily admit to playing into a number of gender generalizations; I hope you’ll forgive me. Feel free to draw even more ideas from my French Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day and my Best Gifts for the French-Loving Cook.

Bonne fête to Papas everywhere!

Father’s Day Cards

I love these two cards — whimsical and very French.

Super papa fathers day card

This one has glitter on the moustache.

Mon coeur est a papa card

This one says “My heart belongs to Papa.”

Moustache Mug

moustache mug

This mug doubles up as a fun game: you have to guess who each famous moustache belonged to.

Opinel folding knife

Opinel folding knife

The legendary French folding knive still manufactured in Savoie! A very affordable little gift.

Corsican folding knife

Corsican folding knife

For a slightly bigger budget, I love the slender look of that Corsican knife, manufactured in the center of France.

Pencil holder and desk organizer
Pencil holder and desk organizer

A desk organizer or pencil holder is a typical gift made by French kids at school for their Papa, who then think of them every day at the office. If you prefer to buy it than craft it, I like this leather one.

Vacuum wine sealer

Vacuum wine pump

Handy and efficient to preserve wine in half-empty bottles; Maxence and I use this one all the time.

Wine decanter spouts

Wine decanter spouts

It’s frustrating to pour wine and have that little drop dribble down the bottle and stain your tablecloth. No more with these reusable pouring spouts!

Decanting wine carafe

Decanting wine carafe

Some precious wines need a little decanting time to express their full personality, and owning a decanting carafe makes one feel very accomplished. If you can, get your dad the matching stand to dry the carafe fully between uses.

Wine/Beer Passion Journal

Wine and Beer Passion Journals

If your father is serious about his wine or his beer, get him a passion journal to organize his tasting notes!

Metro map of French wine regions

Wine map

This is such a fun print: it represents all the French growing regions in the style of a metro map. Get this simple picture frame for it.

Online French Lessons

Frantastique French Lessons Online

Has your father always wanted to learn French? Sign him up for Frantastique, a fun and well-crafted French course delivered by email, that he can customize to his level and preferences.

By using this link, Chocolate & Zucchini readers get one month totally free. It would be so fun for you and your Papa to try out the service together, non?

Paris Passport Holder

Paris passport holder
If your father does a lot of traveling, perhaps you can give him a passport holder? I like this vintage traveler’s design, but there are many more to choose from. And if your dad is also a fan of Harry Potter, this one will keep him smiling through every flight delay.

Mon Papa children’s book

Mon papa children's book

The popular children’s book is just as cute and popular in its French edition.

Coloring book for cool dads

Coloring book for dads

This is a really fun coloring book that markets itself as a manly coloring book. For the artistic dad!

Papa shirts

Classy papas deserve cool shirts.

Papa shirt

Papa shirt

Super Papa Magnets

Super Papa magnets

Cute magnets for your superhero of a dad!

French Men’s Soaps

French men's soaps

This assortment of French soaps in masculine fragrances comes in a nice gift box.

Deodorant and after-shave alum block

deodorant and after-shave alum block

This natural alum block is a traditional remedy for shaving nicks and cuts. Comes in a charming old-school package.

Habit Rouge by Guerlain

Habit Rouge by Guerlain

My Papa smells the best, and this is his secret.

Pétanque set

Petanque set

You know what would be really fun? Playing pétanque with your dad! Get him this starter kit and immediately set a date for your first game.

Milk chocolate bar from Pralus

chocolate from Pralus

This bar of milk chocolate garnished with praliné and hazelnuts will delight sweet-toothed fathers. Made by French bean-to-bar chocolatier François Pralus.

Vincent Delerm’s A Présent

Vincent Delerm's A Present

The latest album from one of my favorite French songwriters.

Bénabar’s Inspiré de faits réels

Bénabar's Inspiré de faites réels

Another one of my favorite French singers.

French Feasts by Stéphane Reynaud

French feasts by Stéphane Reynaud

A best-selling cookbook of French recipes for every occasion.

Or his Barbecue & Grill

Barbecue and Grill by Stéphane Reynaud

If your father is a barbecue champion, perhaps he’ll enjoy adding a little bit of Frenchness to his practice.

The French Market Cookbook

The French Market Cookbook

For dads who also like vegetables, and those who grow their own, my cookbook of French vegetarian recipes will give them lots of fresh ideas.

Paris Walking Tour

Paris walking tour

If your Papa has a trip to Paris planned in the coming months, consider booking him a private walking tour with me! Please get in touch and we’ll discuss the possibilities.

This post contains some affiliate links. This means that if you choose to make a purchase through them, I will receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. All opinions expressed are my own. Thank you for your support of my work.

French Gift Ideas for Father's Day : Does your Papa love all things French? This Father's Day, treat him to one of my French Father's Day Gift Ideas!

Best of May

Meet them at the door laughing

• The manuscript for my upcoming cookbook Tasting Paris is fully edited, and the photos have all been shot by the amazing Nicole Franzen. We are now working on the layout of the book, and I will soon get the manuscript back from the copy editor whose job it is to make sure everything is straightened out. I am loving how it is taking shape, and I look forward to giving you a sneak peek soon. The book will be published in the US in the spring of 2018.

• I have been leading quite a few private walking tours this month — May is deservedly a popular month to visit Paris! I’ve had guests of all ages, children, students, chefs, teens, passionate cooks, cheese fiends, chocoholics, writers, dreamers, all of them Paris lovers. I get such a thrill out of showing them around, being their best Parisian friend, and sharing everything I know about French food culture, and how to make the most of every meal in the city. If you’re planning a trip of your own, please get in touch and we’ll discuss the possibilities.

Steak au poivre at Champeaux; Australienne at Comptoirs Poilâne.

• I returned to Champeaux for a wonderful dinner with friends from out of town. I love the space, under the new canopy of Les Halles, and the menu of renovated French classics, such as the steak au poivre above, which figures in my Tasting Paris book! I also have a version of their lemon spatchcocked chicken in there. Both have been hits with my recipe testers and I’m excited to share them with you when the book comes out.

• The Poilâne team has rebranded the Paris lunch counters from Cuisine de Bar to Comptoirs Poilâne and updated the menu to feature innovative recipes around their high-quality flours and grains, such as a delicious corn bread and a barley muesli. Don’t worry, the tartines are not going anywhere, and naturally I love their avo toast, dubbed l’Australienne.

Breakfast with a good book.

Breakfast with a fine book and my mostest beloved mug.

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Chocolate Buckwheat Pound Cake

Chocolate Buckwheat Pound Cake

I love pound cakes, or quatre-quarts* in French. As a child, I went through a phase of eating Breton pound cake for breakfast day in, day out. I’m talking about supermarket pound cake, baked in long yellow logs and wrapped in soft paper. I liked it on the stale side, so I sliced it in advance, and let it age three to four days. I was an affineur of pound cake if you will.

I only recently discovered the beauty of homemade pound cake, and it has become one of my could-make-it-blindfolded cakes, in rotation with my French yogurt cake.

You know how pound cakes work, right ? You weigh the eggs, and add the same weight in sugar, melted butter, and flour. This means these ingredients each form a quarter of the batter, hence the French name, four-quarters. The English name comes from originally using a pound each of the ingredients, but that yields a pretty big cake. The French ratio allows for more flexibility.

Of course, it doesn’t tell you if you’re supposed to weigh the eggs with or without the shell, and how much baking powder to add. In truth, you can just relax about both. We’re not building a rocket ship; we’re baking a cake. Weigh the eggs with or without, add one or two teaspoons of baking powder, it will be fine. Channel your inner French grandma and do what feels right.

And it is a recipe that lends itself to variations with remarkable grace; my favorite kind of recipe for sure. Today I will share one of my favorite riffs: the buckwheat and chocolat pound cake.

Chocolate Buckwheat Pound Cake

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Roasted Cauliflower Wedge with Blue Cheese and Caramelized Walnuts

Roasted Cauliflower with Blue Cheese and Caramelized Walnuts

I want to preface this roasted cauliflower wedge recipe with one of the biggest lessons that having children has taught me, and it is: appreciation.

Appreciation for them as budding humans and appreciation for their amazing father? Absolutely. Appreciation for my parents’ decades of parenting and for my dear friends’ support? Certainly.

But, more selfishly, they have taught me to appreciate many things I used to take for granted pre-kids. Things that feed me, light me up, and make me me, but have been crowded out by other things that feed me in other ways, light me up in other ways, and define another side of me.

It’s all good: chapter of our lives, grow up so fast, next thing you know, moving out of the house, etc.

And the way I see it, I have been gifted with a priceless new perspective that allows me to experience all flavors of bliss when I read three pages of my book at the playground on a Sunday morning (in half-paragraph bursts); when I go over my fantastic flourishes worksheets while they’re coloring next to me (they’re helping me with this Paris coloring book); when everyone is fiiiiiiinally asleep and I tuck my own self into bed with a fresh episode of riveting fiction.

Roasted Cauliflower with Blue Cheese and Caramelized Walnuts

And date nights? Oh, date nights! The anticipation, the thrill, the magic of tiptoeing down our staircase and stepping out into absolute freedom, just the two of us, the city our oyster!

Sometimes we delight in having a simple meal at a neighborhood favorite; other times we plan an evening somewhere new and exciting.

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