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Personally, I always order Salade Niçoise “sans the Niçoise”, as I don’t like anchovies or tuna – this can elicit a smile or frown from the most discriminating of serveurs!

Sip a glass of crisp, cool Rosé, too, for a true French Riviera dining experience!

“You’ll find many different versions and ingredients in this one-plate, all-inclusive meal. Julia Child would have you boiling potatoes to slice and throw in, while Jacques Médecin, the former mayor of Nice and a gourmand, would never dare include the starchy tuber in his salad because it needs to be cooked, and he believes that everything in the salad should be raw except for the hard-boiled eggs.”


Salade Niçoise

Serves 4.

1 medium shallot, minced
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from approximately 2 lemons)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
optional: fresh herbs like basil, oregano, thyme, tarragon, parsley

2 heads Boston or Bibb lettuce
1 pound green beans, French if possible
8 anchovies packed in olive oil
8 ounces canned albacore tuna in olive oil
12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup black Niçoise olives
4 hard-boiled eggs, halved

1. Place minced shallot, lemon juice and Dijon mustard in a bowl and whisk.
2. Slowly add the olive oil to the mixture until combined.
3. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
5. Trim the ends of the green beans.
6. Add the beans to the boiling water and cook for approximately 3 minutes, until tender but still crisp. Drain the beans and place them in a bowl filled with ice water to stop the cooking and keep them crisp.
7. Arrange the washed greens in a large bowl and dress with the vinaigrette.
8. Place each additional ingredient on top and drizzle the remainder of the vinaigrette. Salt and pepper as needed.

(Credit: Girls Guide to Paris)

How To Write Your First Book

BOOK DESCRIPTION:paperback How to cover

A personal step-by-step guide for how to develop your ideas into a manuscript, focus on formatting, enhance editing, and pursue publishing, & more.  Follow the author’s footsteps, to help you achieve your writing success!

REVIEW: 6/25/13


Fascinating behind the scenes look into the world of self-publishing. A step-by-step guide through the process of writing, printing and marketing a book.

It is a whole new world in which today’s digital publishing possibilities are available, but for the budding author, it is rarely obvious how to avail oneself of these new technical goodies. Kim Defforge, author of two recent non-fiction books, is there to share her experiences as a neophyte writer-publisher-marketer.

For anyone contemplating authoring their first book, “How To Write Your First Book” could prove invaluable. Though chronicling her writing experiences, as well, the book’s real emphasis is on the often difficult maze of decisions to take in choosing to become your own publisher.


France Gets First AOC Wine in Can

Wine is to be served in cans like beers and colas as a French company aims “to become the Nespresso of wine and popularise it”.

Cédric Segal, co-founder of canned wine company Winestar, said at present it was not possible to get quality wine in small-format packs and he was aiming for the young market which had turned to beer, colas and spirits instead.

His first Winestar wines are a range of AOC Corbières red, white and rosé from the Château de l’Ille in Languedoc-Roussillon. The 187 ml cans sell at €2.50 each or €59 for a case of 24 (equivalent to six bottles).

He is targeting young people as they have stopped taking wine on picnics and went for medal-winning winemaker Pol Flandroy at Château de l’Ille as he wants to get away from the bad reputation of wine boxes or bag-in-box.

Some poorer-quality wines are already sold in cans but Segal believes there will be €1.3million a year of business with the new format. Winestar cans will soon be available nationwide in Carrefour City stores.

In Germany, the market for canned wines has hit 60 million cans a year.

The cans, developed by Ball Packaging Europe, exclude all light and air and prevent the wine from oxidising – and are 100% recyclable.

Get more details (in English) HERE

Source/credit:  Connexion

Restaurant in Antibes

On the personal and very positive recommendation of a neighbor, I had lunch at a restaurant that’s near her bathing suit/clothing shop, Sakamanga, in Old Antibes.  What a great find:  delicious, great service, friendly (waiter was singing), and welcoming!

L’ANNEXE is situated among the first row of restaurants to the right, just after you enter the old town stone wall arch (with the clock above it).  This French-owner restaurant has been in business for 3 years, and our waiter happened to be Italian – a truly international experience.

The restaurant filled up with customers very quickly, while the other neighboring places stayed empty (that says it all, non?!)

My personal recommendation – this was great place to eat!  Bon Appetit!

(L’Annexe, 40, Bd d’Aguillon, 06600 Antibes / Tel: +33-(0)4-93-34-73-29

Hover over photo for caption:

21 juin – Fête de la Musique on the French Riviera!

As posted in the Riviera Times:

“Today, Friday 21st June, musicians of every genre will take to the streets and squares of towns and cities across the Côte d’Azur for a night of eclectic concerts and high energy – all free of charge!

The streets of Nice are brimming with music lovers every year on 21st June

When the Director of Music and Dance for France’s Ministry of Culture, Maurice Fleuret, learned that one child out of two in France could play a musical instrument, he tried to come up with a way to get people to celebrate music on the streets. He suggested the idea of a night of free concerts, which resulted in the launch of Fête de La Musique in Paris in 1982. Since then, Fête de La Musique has spread not only to nearly every town in France, but all over the world. It encourages both established bands and enthusiastic amateurs to take up an instrument and perform for the crowds that gather on the streets every year. In Nice, it remains one of the busiest and most important nights of the year, rivalling New Year’s Eve.

So what’s on the agenda?

In Nice city centre, the party starts in Cours Saleya with the launch of the the Nice Jazz Off Festival. The group TRIBU will kick off proceedings with a homage to James Brown and Aretha Franklin in Place Pierre Gautier at 8pm. Meanwhile in the ‘Maison Des Associations’ on Place Garibaldi, a unique sign language concert will begin at 8.30pm. Outside of the centre, Nice’s Place Saint Roch will host a concert featuring country music, up and coming bands and a gospel choir. From 7.30pm, a concert opposite the Hotel Elysée Palace will see performances from The Voice stars Jo Soul and Victoria, among others.

Festivities commence a little earlier in Cannes, with a concert from DJ Patrice at Foyer Du Soleil Couchant at 3pm. This will be followed by a variety performance from the Bel Age Big Band Orchestra, Cannes Vocal Ensemble, the Provençal Academy and Sunny Swing at Kiosque Des Allées from 4pm. World music fans will also be catered for with Mongolian music in the Musée de La Castra at 7pm, as well as a concert from Cuban music band Seneros de Fe at Place Commandant Maria at 8pm.

Dance on into the night in Saint Tropez, where music continues until the early hours of the morning. Place Carnot will host Brazilian and electronic music from 7.30pm until 2.30am. On Quai Frédéric Mistral, Angelo and le Gypsy’s Group will perform from 9pm until 1am. From 8pm, pop rock band The White Lizards will play Place Grammont, while Alexandre Lafage’s six hour DJ set in Place Celli begins at 6pm.

In the Principality of Monaco, French reggae band Danakil will perform an open air concert at Port Hercule, with support from Jayadeva. This will begin at 9pm.

Transport services in Nice will also be extended on Friday evening to cater for music lovers around the city. The Noctambus lines N1, N2, N3, N4, and N5 running every 30 minutes from 9pm to 1.10am. Trams will run every 10 minutes, from 9pm until the end of the service.”

And All That Jazz


On the Riviera, where France’s Jazz Age began in the Roaring Twenties, Europe’s oldest jazz festival, launched in 1960, is still among its very best. On the bill on the big outdoor seaside stage this summer: headliner Sting, festival faithfuls Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock and John Dejohnette, rising star of baroque-classic fusion Ibrahim Maalouf and more. July 12–July 21.


The Nice city council is organizing the festival from 8th to 12th of July, promising five summer evenings of pure immersion in all things jazz. Last year, some 35,000 visitors from all over the world made their way to the Riviera capital to witness the spectacular event, and even larger crowds are expected this time around.

It was Nice that held the first ever world Jazz Festival in 1948, and it’s Nice that continues the tradition today, welcoming international and national jazz talents to the Placa Massèna stage for five contrasting musically themed nights: trance, tempo, energy, breath and vibration.

Local star André Ceccarelli, an undeniable fixture of the jazz world, is particularly proud of the local festival, “Nice is my city, my roots and my culture. Jazz is my life, my soul and my passion. The festival is every colour, and music bursts out of it.”

Tickets costs 35 euros and more information can be found on

The Programme:

Monday 8th: It’s trance night with performances from Guillaume Perret, Christian Scott, Jon Baptiste and Eric Legenini. Highlights include performances from Earth, Wind & Fire and André Ceccarelli.

Tuesday 9th: This night will bring the tempo with Stéphane Belmondo, Lianne la Havas, Ben Harper, Nice Jazz Orchestra, Manu Katché Quartet and international wonder Robert Glasper Experiment, who has just won the 2013 Grammy Award for best R&B album.

Wednesday 10th: For an evening of energy, don’t miss Wednesday – with Kellylee Evans, J, Stéphane Chausse, the Gerald Clayton Sextet and the Youn Sun Nah quartet. Exciting performances included from the appropriately named John Legend, who’s just 25 years old and already has nine grammy awards, as well as C2C, four-time champions of the world Disco Mix Club.

Thursday 11th: For the intriguingly titled ‘breath’ evening – José James, Raphaël Gualazzi, Etienne M’Bappé, Omer Avital Band of the East and Chick Corea & the Vigil will take the stage. Musical legend Maceo Parker, king of the groove genre, will also make an appearance.

Friday 12th: To finish on a high note, the last evening will follow the theme of ‘vibrations’ with artists Tigran – Shadow Theatre, Pedrito Martinez, Vainqueur for the Tremlin Off and Shai Maestro Trio. Esperanza Spalding, up and coming American talent with two Grammies already to her name and George Benson, winner of 10 Grammy Awards, are the main highlights for the grand finale.



Source/credit:  France Today and Riviera Times

Spiced Chocolate Mousse

“French women choose their own indulgences and compensations.  They understand that little things count, both additions and subtractions, and that as an adult everyone is the keeper of her own equilibrium..” From the French Woman’s Manifesto

Spiced Chocolate Mousse (Serves 4)spiced choc mousse


7 ounces dark chocolate (70% to 80% cacao preferred), chopped

4 eggs, separated, at room temperature

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

½ cup crème fraîche

Zest of 1 orange

Zest of 1 lemon

Pinch of cinnamon

Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. In a double boiler insert set over barely simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and let the chocolate cool slightly. It should feel warm but not hot to the touch.

  2. Meanwhile, place the egg whites and a pinch of sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk for 2 to 3 minutes on medium-high speed while gradually incorporating half of the sugar. When the egg whites almost form stiff peaks, add the remaining sugar and beat until glossy. Remove the whipped egg whites and place in a large bowl. Clean the mixing bowl and add the crème fraîche, citrus zests, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and egg yolks and mix for 20 seconds on medium-high speed.  Add the warm chocolate and beat until smooth.

  3. Carefully fold the chocolate mixture into the egg whites and gently mix. Serve, garnished with additional crème fraîche and orange zest, if desired, or refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve. This may be made 1 day in advance (let stand at room temperature 20 minutes before serving if chilled).

Article/Photo Credit:   Mireille Guiliano via France Today

A nice/Nice Greeter!

Launch of the Nice Greeters program:

“The Nice Convention and Visitors Bureau is launching its Greeters program!
Greeters are people who love their city and wish to offer their time to enable visitors to discover it free of charge.

The concept was born in the early 1990s in New York City, where Lynn Brooks loved her city so much she wanted to help others discover her favourites… She met with instant success. In twenty years, the concept has spread like wildfire all over the world.

The Nice Convention and Visitors Bureau has decided to develop this form of participative tourism and you can meet its “ambassadors” here on (the) website.

Nice Greeters is a free service on a volunteer basis.”

NOTE:  You need to fill out a form on the website (link above) to book a greeter.

Source: Official website

Oceanic Museum in Monaco

I don’t like to swim and like to just look at the ocean, but am a huge admirer of the late Jacques Cousteau.  And so it was that I was excited to go to the Oceanic Museum in Monaco, where he had served 31 years as the museum’s director.  Surely, there would be a wing or exhibit dedicated to him……rien, zilch, nada, zero!

The internet makes reference to the ‘Cousteau Aquarium,” but I didn’t see his name anywhere in the museum cousteauand couldn’t figure out why.  I was disappointed and well….. angry that he had been, seemingly, forgotten.  As I walked around the aquarium, looking at all the exotic fish and sea creatures, I certainly didn’t forget to think of Cousteau and the Calypso!

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French Cuisine? Peut-être pas! (Maybe not)

Banning industrial food from restaurants is a proposal recently made to crack down on the proliferation of restaurants serving boil-in-a-bag or microwaved ready meals as restaurant-quality cuisine.  Due to the current economic climate and a more fast food lifestyle and modern technology, restaurants can make higher profits and save on the expense of a real chef by serving industrialized food.  The proposal is only one of several recent attempts to address what many see as the declining standards of France’s famed restaurants.

In April, the Collegeresto de quality sign Culinaire de France — a 15-member industry group founded by the country’s leading chefs — launched a new “quality restaurant” label awarded to eateries that meet top cooking and service standards.

The culinary group — which counts members such as Alain Ducasse, Joel Robuchon and Guy Savoy — will grant the label to deserving restaurants and make sure standards are maintained through online client surveys.

Many websites are also cropping up in France to advise consumers on restaurants where food is prepared in-house, such as “,” set up last year by food-lover Alain Tortosa.

What to do?  Look for restaurants that have a smaller selection/limited menu, such as a plat du jour, which would more likely indicate homemade cooking.

Fast food and take-aways last year accounted for 54 percent of the French market, or 34 billion euros ($44 billion) in sales, for the first time outselling traditional sit-down meals with table service.

Quel dommage!

Source: Expatica