Cream of the Crop Chocolate Chip Cookies 2 comments

Finally, a chocolate chip cookie so good it’s the cream of the crop!

May 28, 2019, posted by Gina – Working in the shop keeps me very busy and for that, I am truly grateful! I love it but I was also happy to have a bit of spare time on my hands this Memorial Day. So, I took the opportunity to share this great chocolate chip cookie recipe with you. 

Cream of the crop chocolate chip cookies

Over the years I have tried a million chocolate chip cookie recipes that claim to be the BEST.  I must say I have liked them all and, believe me, not a crumb was wasted. However, I did not find one I felt was “the best”.  Then a few years ago I found a recipe somewhere online and if you are like me, you approach these with caution.  Most of them are good but occasionally you come across one that is not written correctly or the result just isn’t so grea.  For some reason, I decided to try this chocolate chip cookie recipe and I was so happy; I felt I had finally found a true winner.  I think the reason why this recipe is different than others is because of the pudding mix. These are crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside and for me, this is a perfect combination.  These fall into the “best” category or the “Cream of the Crop”, as I have coined them.

This recipe makes 72 cookies!  That’s a lot of cookies.  I love this because you can enjoy a few as soon as you bake them and you can freeze some too.  

I wish I could remember where I found this recipe.  I hand wrote the recipe which is odd as I usually just print it out.  While I can’t take credit for it, I am happy to share it with you.  It is a straightforward recipe and I made them as directed.  I added the part about the #40 food scoop.  If you don’t have one of these, I encourage you to get one.  It is great for so many things and for this recipe it allows you to uniformly bake the cookies.  

Please give me a shout if you try these and let me know where you rate them.  Or at least enjoy every bite!  Until next time.

Cream of the crop chocolate chip cookies in the making!

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Spring Luncheon

Photo Above: For this luncheon, I used my mother’s china that I “borrowed” about 5 years ago.  The blue- green pastel color perfectly complimented the spring colors of the table linens and accessories.

April 11, 2019, posted by Gina – Our blog posts have been few and far between lately but we finally had a moment to share something with you.  I hosted my Cookbook Club this week at my home and we enjoyed a delicious meal. We have been cooking out of The Silver Palate Cookbook which was originally published in the 70’s.  We have links to various recipes at the end of this post if you are interested in trying any of these dishes yourself. We hope this inspires you to host your own Spring gathering!

Taking full advantage of the beautiful Spring weather, we started off with crudités and champagne in my garden.

Baked ham was the main dish and it was very good. A Dijon mustard – brown sugar mixture was spread on it for baking. It is served with wine and apricot sauce on the side. I also offered coarse ground mustard and a chutney.

All the side dishes were delicious; we had Oil Roasted Summer Vegetables, Orange & Onion Salad and Leek Tart. The vegetables were roasted with olive oil and salt. That’s all! Simple but super flavorful and it makes such a pretty dish. The Orange and Onion Salad was very refreshing and paired wonderfully with our ham. The Leek Tart was similar to a quiche but with a more silky interior. Delicious! 

Orange & Onion Salad

And what better way to end this meal than with a Carrot Cake…

Carrot Cake

With Easter around the corner, I was inspired to work with bright colors and Easter decor that complimented the Easter themed menu.

This cute couple has been part of our Easter decor for years.
I always wanted personalized eggs for my family.  Time always got away from me and I just never ordered them, that is until a few years ago.  We even have one for Emma, our black lab.
Owning the flower shop has given me access to some of the most gorgeous flowers.  These pale pink roses opened up with the most luscious petals. 
These little guys have been around so long we should probably set a place at the table for them!  The bunny on the right was actually painted by my Aunt…for my sister.  I have no recollection of how I acquired him but he does put a smile on my face.  Years ago I took ceramics classes and tried my hand at creating a mate. 

We hope you were inspired by the flavors of this meal and the Spring colors of the table setting, the flowers and the decorations! Below are links to some of the recipes…

Glazed Baked Ham

Leek Tart

Oil Roasted Summer Vegetables

Carrot Cake

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Venison Bourguignon

December 16, 2018, posted by Michelle – It’s been a long while since we posted a recipe. In fact, the last recipe we posted was of the Butterscotch Brownies that were served at our Grand Opening! This time we have a hearty wintertime dish to share with you: Venison Bourguignon. On a recent farmers market trip here in Lyon, Le Monsieur and I came across some nice looking cubed venison that the butcher was selling. I asked for a recipe, not having ever cooked venison before, and this is the one I was given. I have asked this particular butcher many times how to cook this or that and I have never been disappointed. Each time I’ve done exactly as he has instructed and each time it comes out great. This delicious dish was no exception. Lesson: always listen to a French butcher! It was very rich and tender and even better the next day. Much better the next day, I would say. I served it with creamy rosemary-garlic mashed potatoes. As for the amount of salt and pepper to use, I always wing it. So use both sparingly and then add more to taste at the end of cooking. I also used a mixture of button and porcini mushrooms. Bon Appétit!

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Butterscotch Brownies

August 14, 2018, posted by Gina – Hello All! Today I am posting the recipe for the butterscotch brownies that were served at our grand opening last week. These will satisfy any sweet tooth! If you’d like to print, download or email this recipe, or any of our recipe cards, just click on the Print Friendly button at the end of the post.

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Shrimp & Scallop Linguine 2 comments

July 13, 2018, posted by Michelle – It’s Friday the 13th but we have nothing to fear here in France! We’re celebrating Bastille Day tomorrow and, of course, looking forward to playing Croatia in the World Cup Finals on Sunday. That being said, this weekend is like 4th of July and the Superbowl all rolled into one. So, there will be big parties, picnics, cook-outs, fireworks, French flags and much merriment all weekend. I want to share the recipe for a cold dish I will be serving which is perfect for summertime. Serve this with a simple arugula and sliced avocado salad and voilà, you will have a delicious, easy to make meal. Even better – have some ice cold limoncello on hand to sip on afterwards.  Vive La France! Vive La République! Have a great weekend everyone!

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Perfect 4th of July Pasta Salad 3 comments

June 30, 2018, posted by Gina – The 4th of July is almost here and you, no doubt, have party plans. If you’re looking for a simple and delicious side dish for the festivities, look no further. My family loves pasta salad and this recipe is a crowd pleaser. You may have seen similar recipes made with spaghetti but we prefer to use rotini because it’s so easy to eat.

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Baked Corn Recipe

December 4, 2017, posted by Gina – I am sure you are like us and have lots of to-do lists for the holidays right about now. This year we are looking for ways to make life easier during the holidays so I thought I would share this super easy Baked Corn recipe with you. If I had to choose a favorite side dish, this one would certainly be in my Top 5. It is delicious and very easy to prepare. I have never found a person who did not like it, so it works great for a crowd.

Simple ingredients are needed and not one ounce of chopping is involved. I know! Crazy right?Trust me it tastes like a whole lot more effort goes into this. We are all about making you look good!

This the only piece of this deliciousness remaining after my family gobbled it up before I could take a photo of the finished pan. I guess that let’s you know that it’s really good.

Here’s the recipe. Your people will love you.

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Brunch Menu Part 2

November 7, 2017, posted by Gina – Hello! We’re back again today with Part 2 of our Brunch menu. Our first recipe is for Easy Baked Eggs and we have a few notes to help you. I used ham, omitted the garlic (it just seemed too early to be hitting the hard stuff) and used spinach because kale is a garnish. I found that baking the eggs for only 20 minutes was not enough. I ended up cooking mine for 30 minutes, but all ovens don’t bake the same so check this very frequently. The best thing about this dish was the creamy egg yolk. If it cooked too long this dish would not be as wonderful as it is. This recipe makes four servings.



The original recipe for these Sausage Asiago Rolls was actually for an appetizer but when I read it I felt it could easily be changed to a brunch item. These make you look like you are a chef and the flavor is delicious plus they are very easy to prepare. I found that these slices would not fit in a 9- inch round cake pan and baked them on a cookie sheet instead. Not sure what is up with that, but it had to be done.



Our final recipe is for a Lemon Poppy Seed Cake. I have prepared this recipe for over 20 years. If you don’t care for baking, then this is not your gig. This is a dense cake with tons of flavor and texture. I used loaf pans instead of a tube pan when baking. The batter is enough to make 2 cakes if using loaf pans. It’s like a two for one sale. While this recipe does not call for FRESH lemon juice, I believe you should use fresh lemon juice since it is one of the main ingredients. And just as an aside concerning butter, does anyone know why recipes say one cup and not 2 sticks? I mean is that not a whole lot easier? I have always wondered this. Help me out.

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Brunch Menu Part 1 1 comment

November 6, 2017, posted by Gina – I will be sharing a few recipes for a brunch menu today and tomorrow. These may come in handy if you’re expecting out of town guests over the holidays. Today I am posting two recipes from this menu;  coffee cake (and not just any coffee cake but the Ultimate coffee cake) and fresh fruit with a very delicious fruit dip. Tomorrow I’ll post recipes for Asiago Sausage Rolls, Lemon Poppy Seed Cake and Easy Baked Eggs. Enjoy!


Ultimate Coffee Cake

Fresh Fruit with Marshmallow Cream Cheese Fruit Dip

Asiago Sausage Rolls

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Easy Baked Eggs

The following recipe for Paula Deen’s Ultimate Coffee Cake is fabulous, but I have a word of warning. I followed the directions and put 16 rolls in my Bundt pan, covered them with plastic wrap and then went to bed. When I woke up in the morning, I screamed as it looked as if this pan of dough was about to take over my kitchen. See for yourself…

My advice is to use 12 rolls instead of 16 – 18 as indicated on Paula’s original recipe. Your Bundt pan will not look nearly full enough but the rolls will rise and all will be just fine. The great thing about this is you do everything the night before and just bake it the next day. This gooey coffee cake has just the right amount of crunch from the pecans. Here’s the original recipe…

I have a confession. I had never, ever used Marshmallow Cream before this recipe. In fact, I did not know where it could be found in the grocery store. About a year ago I was at a garden club function where this dip was served and it was so delicious. I tried to find the person who made it to no avail. Last week I was trying to come up with some brunch recipes and I remembered this dip. After a quick search on the internet I found a recipe, though it’s so simple you really don’t need one. Get ready to love this!

Check back tomorrow for the other recipes!

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The Perfect Fall Salad

October 12, 2017, posted by Gina – This Walnut and Roquefort Salad combines crisp romaine lettuce with creamy avocado, crunchy, rich walnuts and roquefort cheese (a sheep’s milk blue cheese). Top it with a fresh vinaigrette and you have a salad with the perfect combination of ingredients. This recipe is from the Come On In cookbook from the Junior League of Jackson, Mississippi.


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