Category Archives: Dine

How to Make French Potato Salad with Ingredients from Trader Joe’s

August 27, 2018

Summer in the Pacaut household means one thing and one thing only, barbecue.

Okay, it also means drinking rosé and micheladas but let’s focus here and get back to the summer grilling going down at our petite maison.

This is a time when we really let our French flag fly. Barbecues typically start with a traditional apéritif and a game of pétanque followed by many a pork product (whether cured or grilled), tons of wine and cheese, and this delicious French potato salad.

It’s funny how the simplest dishes often garner the most attention. This one was our summer darling who got all the compliments and recipe requests.

Now you too can whip up a French potato salad with ingredients from Trader Joe’s and serve it at your next outdoor shindig!

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Minimalist Kitchen Essentials

August 6, 2018

Anyone who loves to cook spends a lot of time in the kitchen. And anyone who spends a lot of the time in the kitchen eventually gets overwhelmed by the amount of stuff they have tucked away in various cupboards and drawers.

When I hit this point, I started decluttering like a madwoman and eventually whittled my kitchen stuff down to the absolute essentials. These are the 60 or so things that I use on a regular basis and that add the most value to my adventures in the kitchen.

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Minimalist Tabletop Essentials

June 18, 2018

Minimalist Tabletop Essentials | Alyssa Pacaut

One way to take the stress out of entertaining is to get your tabletop essentials in order.

Getting together the essentials for modern entertaining is similar to building a minimalist wardrobe. Look for simple, classic designs that will be in style for years to come, and then opt for solid colors in a neutral palette so it’s easy to mix and match.

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6 Great Podcasts for Foodies and Cooks

June 5, 2018

6 Great Podcasts for Foodies and Cooks | Alyssa Pacaut

What did we do before podcasts? I can’t seem to remember a time when I wasn’t listening to one on my way to work or when cooking.

You probably listen to tons of great podcasts already. But if you are a foodie and love to cook, then here are six of my favorites that you too may enjoy!
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Be the Best Dinner Party Guest

February 19, 2018

Be the Best Dinner Party Guest | Alyssa Pacaut

It’s pretty easy to be a guest at a dinner party. All you have to do is show up and eat a nice meal with your friends. Done and done.

However, some of you out there may be overachievers (like me) who want to be the best dinner party guest ever. Or maybe you’re just looking for some etiquette advice in these modern times. Either way, we’ve entertained enough to know what separates a good guest from the very best so here’s a few tips.
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The Magic of Caramelized Onions

February 6, 2018

The Magic of Caramelized Onions | Alyssa Pacaut

Here’s one way to take your dinner party to the next level: Make a big batch of caramelized onions. Not only will they make your kitchen smell delicious, but they are also a tasty addition to whatever you are serving.
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50 French Dishes

December 26, 2017

50 French Dishes | Alyssa Pacaut

Classic French cuisine will always have a special place in my heart. If not for the craft and tradition, then the focus on high quality ingredients and, well, all that butter.

And so, I present you with a list. A list of all lists, really. One that took a very long time to craft and cultivate. Any Francophile worth their salt is probably familiar with some of these dishes, but hopefully there are a few new ones that you can try out.
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Mexican Holiday Dinner Party Menu

December 5, 2017

Mexican Holiday Dinner Party Menu | Alyssa Pacaut

If you haven’t noticed, December has arrived and everyone is in full holiday party mode. It’s already a challenge to cook for a large crowd, but doing so during the busiest season of the year? Yikes.

Meet my friend Mexican food, a crowd-pleasing cuisine that everyone loves and is fairly easy to cook. Not to mention, it’s an easy way to serve a vegetarian-friendly meal without the meat eaters noticing.
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French Summer Dinner Party Menu

July 18, 2017

French Summer Dinner Party Menu | Alyssa Pacaut

Summertime and the living’s is easy. There’s no need to slave all day at the stove when inviting people over during the summer. The following dinner party menu requires a minimal amount of time in the kitchen and highlights the best flavors of the season including tomatoes and rosé!

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What I Always Buy at Trader Joe’s

June 13, 2017

What I Always Buy at Trader Joe's | Alyssa Pacaut

Don’t you long to go to the market à la française? Imagine going from stall to stall with a straw tote in hand buying fresh berries from François, a handful of herbs from Jacqueline, and then a final stop in the local cheese shop. A girl can dream right?

Until we move to France, I’ll always have Trader Joe’s and their top-notch, European-style products. The list below is quite long but it includes everything we typically buy and regularly replenish.

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Spring Dinner Party Menu

May 23, 2017

Spring Dinner Party Menu | Alyssa Pacaut

Though seasons sometimes feel the same in Southern California, this spring has been particularly sweet after our winter-iest winter ever. Super blooms popped up all over the place and the bougainvillea are putting on their best show.

So, when coming up with a spring-inspired dinner party menu, all I could think about was pink pink pink and a touch of bright green.

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The Perks of Keeping a Dinner Diary

March 14, 2017

The Perks of Keeping a Dinner Diary | Modern French Blog

There’s nothing I love more than wining and dining. Oh wait, I love documenting things in obsessive detail!

As a teen, I wrote pages and pages about boys and best friends. In my twenties, I filled travel journals with adventures in far off places. There was a brief phase where I weirdly kept inventory of my closet in Excel. And now, as a woman in her thirties, I present you with the dinner diary.

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British-Inspired Dinner Party Menu

February 7, 2017

British-Inspired Dinner Party Menu | Alyssa Pacaut

Sometimes all you need in winter is a warm hug. An embrace is a great way to greet your dinner party guests but you can also extend a hug by serving a dish that almost seems to give you a hug from the inside. The Brit’s certainly know a thing or two about bone-chilling winters so it’s no surprise that their world-famous Sheperd’s Pie is the perfect antidote for a dreary evening.

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