Category Archives: Dine

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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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.

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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.

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Best Music for Your Dinner Party

July 19, 2016

Best Music for Your Dinner Party | modernfrenchblog.com

The table is set, dinner is made, and guests are arriving when it hits you: You forgot the music. If you are like me, then you have the best intentions to make a playlist that matches the musical tastes of your guests AND the cuisine you’re cooking. But if you are also like me, a lot of other dinner party things get in the way of that.

Good news is that you don’t have to worry about le musique at your dinner parties anymore thanks to apps, streaming, and the wonderful world of the internet. Here are four easy ways to set the mood with some music.

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Taking Care of Cast Iron Skillets

April 9, 2016

Taking Care of Cast Iron Skillets | modernfrenchblog.com

There is a myth out there that cast iron needs to be coddled within an inch of its life. Never clean with soap! Only scrub with salt! Slather it in lard and put it in an oven for 24 hours! The list is long and complicated, and has scared many cooks away. However, the truth is that it’s all a farce. These things are workhorses and it’s super easy to take care of them. continue reading