Monthly Archives: January 2012

Trident Booksellers and Cafe


Located on 338 Newbury St in Boston, MA, the Trident Booksellers and Cafe offers a variety of magazines and books, from national to international publications and provides a free wifi to anyone sitting down their cafe table where you can taste an orange/carrot freshly squeezed with the best pancakes of the state!


Cooking Demo in Boston!


Cooking Demo with the author of French Cuisine for the Young and Broke

Tuesday January 31, 7pm

Are you broke and hungry? Eleanor Picciotto has the perfect cookbook for you! French Cuisine for the Young and Broke is for people with no ideas, no appliances, and no time, but with a craving for home-made deliciousness.

Eleanor Picciotto is a recent graduate from Boston University, who had the time to write this cookbook after she was laid up from a ski accident. She’s created easy to use, delicious recipes for new and experienced cooks alike.

Read more about Eleanor on


Quatre Quarts aux amandes


Traditional French Cake, the Quatre Quarts is known for its basic use of ingredients: eggs, butter, flour, sugar- all of them used at the exact same weight. 

Lighter version of the pound cake- at least in the taste, the quatre-quarts can be declined in a variety of taste for many palates…

Plain, with Nutella, Lemon Zest, Orange Juice, Almond, Vanilla, Jam…

Below is the Almond version, here is the recipe:


  • 1 tbs. of almond extract
  • 1 handful of  sliced almonds or almond powder
  • 1 pinch of baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • the weight of the eggs in flour, in sugar and in salted butter

3 eggs normally weight around 160/180 gm- so, if you don’t have a kitchen scale, either you invest in one (~ $10 at Bed Bath and Beyond) or you use cups, but it won’t be as precise.

180 gm of sugar= 3/4 of a cup – 180 gm of flour= 1.5 cups – 180 gm of butter = melted is 3/4 of a cup. 


  1. Pre-heat the oven on 350F./ 180C.
  2. Melt the butter in the microwave or small saucepan on low heat.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the 3 eggs and the sugar until you get a yellow pale mix with a wooden spoon.
  4. Add little by little the flour – your dough should get heavier and stickier to stir.
  5. Verse slowly the melted butter to the bowl and keep stirring.
  6. Your dough should look smooth and fairly liquid.
  7. Add the pinch of baking soda and the handful of sliced almonds or almond powder.
  8. Stir again, and verse the tbs. of almond extract.
  9. Verse the dough in a baking mold, spread some sliced almonds on the top (as shown in the picture,) and put in the oven for 20-22 minutes.

Before removing from the oven, stick a knife in the middle of the cake, to check if it is cooked.

If the blade of the knife is covered with dough, let your cake cook for another 10 min.

If the blade is almost perfectly clean, your cake is perfectly baked. 

If the blade is spotless, take your cake out immediately.

Featured on the Boston Phoenix!

Plates from an Expat
 By Cassandra Landry

I’ll bet any one of you ten bucks that when you were 19, you were nowhere near as productive as Eléonor Picciotto.

Picciotto, an expat hailing from France and a recent Boston University grad, is the author of a new cookbook right up my penniless alley: French Cuisine for the Young & Broke.  When I graduated high school and packed my life into suitcases bound for college, my relatives gave me awkward dorm cookbooks, straight out of the 80s. They were full of ramen, rice and clever ways to use hot plates, which of course, are now banned. I wish she’d written this thing sooner.

The recipes, ranging from crêpes to croque monsieurs, read easy and don’t send me loading up on overpriced ingredients at Shaws–which is exactly the point, Picciotto tells me over the phone from New York in a clipped, elegant French accent.

“I’ve always loved cooking and eating good things,” she says. “When I arrived in the U.S. I was shocked at how badly people eat. But, the reason is because of a lack of knowledge, not a lack of money, which is what everyone thinks. If you know how to make a grocery list, which is the hardest part, you’ll be fine.”

After a skiing accident took Picciotto, a former member of the BU Ski Team, off the slopes and landed her in a cast for eight weeks, her friends suggested puttingtogether a cookbook to keep her occupied. She began to host dinners with friends, affectionately named “Supper Clubs,” during which she would create easy desserts or sauces, much to the amazement of her guests.

“People couldn’t believe the stuff I was making, and it was all very simple,” she says.

About a year and a half later, after impersonating a teacher to gain entrance into the BookExpo America in New York, finding a publisher, and revising her recipes seven times, French Cuisine has become a reality.

Though it’s easy to imagine that all French college students whip up pristine petit-fours for breakfast, Picciotto says the biggest difference between us and our cousins across the pond is a sneaky reliance on take-out.

“The big difference is that here, you are used to ordering in,” she says. “We don’t do that in France, because there aren’t really places to order from. No matter how late you are, how long a day you’ve had, you always cook. Even if it’s just pasta, because then you know what’s in it!”

Eléonor Picciotto will appear at The French Cultural Center, 53 Marlborough Street, Boston, samples in tow, on Thursday, January 12, 6:30pm-8:30pm. $5. To RSVP, call 617.912.0400.

Featured in the Boston Globe!


The recipe for a French cookbook

By Jane Dornbusch

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When Eleonor Picciotto was laid up after a skiing accident, she did what any other Paris-born-and-bred young woman would do: She wrote a cookbook. “I was going crazy,’’ says Picciotto, who graduated from Boston University last January. “My friends said, ‘You love to write, you love to cook, you’re stuck at home. Write a cookbook.’ ’’ The result is “French Cuisine for the Young and Broke,’’ a self-published volume ($35), full of the author’s own photos, kitchen wisdom, and simple French recipes. Picciotto  says she was surprised, when she came to the United States to attend school four years ago, at her classmates’ lack of cooking knowledge and their dependence on take-out. “I tried to tell them that French cooking can be very easy.’’ With dishes such as crepes, croque monsieur, and chocolate cake, Picciotto hopes the book proves the point and provides students and others on a budget with an alternative to fast food. Eleonor Picciotto will be at the French Cultural Center, 52 Marlborough St., tomorrow at 6:30 p.m., serving dishes from the book. Admission is $5. Call 617-912-0400 for reservations (required). To order the book, e-mail A $6.99 digital edition will available in a couple of weeks.


King’s Cake (as Americans call it!)


For your knowledge, Galette des Rois is the real name!

The tradition wants that on the Epiphany – January 6th – we cut the Galette des Rois.

The biblical meaning is when the three wise men (rois mages): Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar learn the existence of the God the son being a human named Jesus Christ and come to see him.

Nowadays, not only we cut the Galette des Rois on January 6th, but we tend to do it until the end of January.

If you go to France around that time and enter a Bakery, next to the baguettes there will be a variety of Galettes for you to chose from.

The basis of the recipe is: a pate feuilletee,  sugar, butter, almond and one egg!

The most common are “Dry” or “with Frangipane.”

Aside from celebrating a holiday, people and kids in particular love to have a Galette for dessert as there is a little game around it.

This is how you play:

You cut the Galette des Rois in slices, as you would do with a regular cake. The difference being that in the Galette des Rois, there is a little porcelain charm inserted directly into the pie.

Most of the time, people delegate the cutting part of the Galette as a majority tend to cut on the charm allowing everybody to know in which slice the charm is. The game is then ruined… or, you subtly put it back in place in the middle of the slice, and turn the plate several times in order to confuse the location of the charm!

Then, the youngest person of the group is required to go under the table.

He or she will tell the cutter or server which slice goes to whom.

Once everybody is served, the Galette can be eaten… The game is to figure out who got the charm, avoiding on choking or breaking a tooth with it!

He or she is then proclaimed as King or Queen, allowing them to pick their significant other and wear the beautiful crown (usually in paper with glitter) that you got when you bought the Galette.

The Galette is best served warm…

Tip: Turn your oven on 400F degrees (200C)- Let your oven warm up, then turn the heat off and put your Galette in for 5 minutes.

For the Best Galette des Rois Frangipane

 In New York: Go to PAYARD on 116 West Houston, New York City 

In Paris: Go to BOULANGERIE-PATISSERIE MOZART on 48 Ave Mozart, Paris 16eme



Featured on!

10912 Get Out

by Stuff Boston  |  January 09, 2012

Many 20-somethings survive on Easy Mac and microwavable taquitos. Not Eléonor Picciotto. This Thursday at 6:30 p.m., the freshly minted BU grad will school the rest of us on how to eat like the Sun King on a peasant’s budget with French Cuisine for the Young & Broke, a talk and tasting at the French Cultural Center (53 Marlborough Street, Boston, 617.912.0400). Now based in New York, the Paris-born Picciotto has been a regular behind the double burners since childhood, when her kitchen-phobic mother would routinely task her with preparing a delicious dinner for the family. Clearly, the blood, sweat and minced shallots paid off: Picciotto’s recently released cookbook of quick, cost-effective French fare (from which the event borrows its name) got props from Entertainment Weekly this December for boasting the “best name for a cookbook.” Not only can we expect an intimate glimpse into the genesis of Picciotto’s book (conceived after a college skiing accident placed her in a cast for six weeks), but also samples of its tasty recipes. Admission is $5 — a manageable cover for the tome’s target demographic, oui? Call the number above to reserve your spot.