Note from Design Mom: While I’m busy with the move to France, I’ve got a crew of talented Guest Moms filling in for me. Today’s post is from Ashlea who is sharing five tips on how to be a little more French. Enjoy!
I bet I’m not the only one pining for an extra suitcase I can just snuggle up in and hitch a ride across the Big Pond with the Blair family. You too? Reality is that I’m not moving our nest overseas anytime soon. Sigh. Sooooo I thought it would be a hoot to enjoy my vision of a very French day in a kind of northern-Michigan-in-January-meets-France kind of way. How ‘bout a little joie de vivre to kick the winter blahs to the curb, lovelies?
2) Drink some strong coffee slowly and listen to Edith Piaf or the Amelie soundtrack. Again, crucial. Don’t have these options on hand? Put on whatever transports you to the streets of Paris.
3) Make some kid-friendly French food: crepes! I started making crepes recently and I really don’t think I have one good reason to ever go back to making traditional American pancakes. Crepes are so ridiculously easy, delicious and versatile. Sweet or savory, you can eat them for breakfast, lunch AND dinner. Fill them with fruit compote or a bit of veggies and cheese, or just rolled up with a bit of powdered sugar and a drizzle of syrup.
Crepes, adapted from Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything”
Makes 12-16 crepes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons melted and cooled butter or neutral oil, plus more for greasing the pan
I also like to add a splash of vanilla extract and about a ½ cup of powdered sugar
Combine flour, salt, powdered sugar and milk, then beat until smooth. Beat in the eggs, melted butter, vanilla and butter. If you’ve got time, refrigerate for one hour and beat again before cooking.
Put a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. When hot, add 1/2 teaspoon of butter or vegetable oil. Ladle about 1- 1 1/2 tablespoons batter in the skillet and swirl to coat in a thin layer. Dump any excess batter back into the bowl.
Once the batter’s dry on top (less than a minute), flip the crepe and cook about 15 seconds longer. The crepe should brown only slightly and should not become too crisp.
Repeat the process until you’ve used up all of the batter. Enjoy!
4) Adorn your child in a striped boatneck shirt like the French sailors in our dreams wear. So cute, right?
5) Introduce your kids to a French artist. My favoite pick? I so very much love the Mini Masters series, especially the book Magical Day with Matisse. My little birdie, Wren, loves the colorful paintings and the sing-song words.
Lusting for even more joie de vivre in your nest too? I think that Mom was right, let’s turn off the TV and take a long walk. Time for me to step away from the computer and enjoy my coffee. Salut!