Christmas cookie exchange party

Who can resist a sugar cookie with crisp edges and decorated top? Some people use a time-tested recipe passed down from generation to generation. Others prefer to be adventurous and try a new recipe each year. A recent holiday trend in the US is to have a Christmas cookie exchange party. It is both a chance to get together with friends and an opportunity to try new cookie recipes.

Organizing a cookie exchange party is easy. First, invite nine of your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors or anyone you know who likes cookies! Tell each person to bring 20 of their favorite homemade Christmas cookies. They should also bring ten copies of the recipe and a cookie tin.

At the party, exchange so that each person leaves with a tin filled with ten different types of cookie and their recipes. Be sure to have lots of milk for dunking and tasting!

Christmas sugar cookie recipe, from Real Simple magazine

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
Put the butter and sugar in a large bowl or 64-ounce Pyrex cup. Beat with an electric mixer on medium-high until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and beat until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the lemon juice and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture. Mix until just incorporated.

Divide the dough in half and flatten each portion into a 1-inch-thick disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Heat oven to 350° F. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Scraps can be combined and rolled out again. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until light golden brown.

3 dozen cookies

Starbucks opens in Lyon!

Starbucks Lyon, now open!

Located at 2 rue de la Republique, right at the Hotel de Ville metro stop, across from the Opera, the new Starbucks is open 7 days a week and carries many of the same items as its American stores. You can order as usual, buy bags of coffee, pick up a muffin or cheesecake and of course, add on the high-demand Starbucks Lyon mug.

The Lyon Starbucks drink lineup includes:

Smooth and versatile Espresso Roast is the soul of Starbucks® with a rich flavor, lingering aroma and caramel-like sweetness. While an espresso shot is the building block of most beverages at our store, in some countries espresso shots are sipped straight for a more intense experience in flavor.

Espresso Macchiato
A dense and caramelly-sweet espresso shot marked with a small amount of foamed milk. (Macchiato means marked.)

Espresso con Panna
A dense and caramelly-sweet espresso shot softened with a dollop of whipped cream.

Coffee of the week
See Christmas Blend below.

Caffè Latte
Rich, full-bodied Starbucks® espresso in steamed milk lightly topped with foam.

Rich, full-bodied Starbucks® espresso in a small amount of steamed milk, with a deep layer of foam. With less milk than a latte, the classic and complex cappuccino offers a stronger espresso flavor and luxurious texture.

Caffè Mocha
Rich, full-bodied Starbucks® espresso combined with our proprietary bittersweet mocha syrup and steamed milk. Topped with a cloud of whipped cream.

Caramel Macchiato
A signature Starbucks® beverage. A creamy mix of vanilla and freshly steamed milk marked with intense Starbucks® espresso, topped with velvety foam and our own proprietary buttery caramel sauce.

Caffè Americano
Rich, full-bodied Starbucks® espresso combined with hot water for the European alternative to American-style brewed coffee.

Currently featuring Starbucks® Christmas Blend

"Our festive blend of bold Asia/Pacific coffees and crisp and lively Latin American beans is back to spread holiday cheer all season long. We give this coffee a joyful, spicy warmth with a very special and rare ingredient: aged Indonesian beans."

Key term: Spicy

From many lands, one blend

Every coffee bean carries a distinctive taste that is particular to its land of origin. By carefully blending beans from different regions, our coffee experts have created an interesting interplay of aromas and flavors.

(from http://www.starbucks.com/)

Java Chip Frappuccino® Blended Coffee
A decadent combination of chocolate and java chips combined with Starbucks® Latin American coffees and milk, blended with ice, topped with whipped cream (optional) and chocolate drizzle, a chocolate lovers dream.

Caramel Frappuccino® Blended Coffee
A decadent treat of buttery caramel combined with Starbucks® Latin American coffees and milk, blended with ice, topped with whipped cream (optional) and a swirl of caramel sauce.

Mocha Frappuccino® Blended Coffee
A delightfully sweet and creamy combination of chocolate, Starbucks® Latin American coffees and milk, blended with ice, topped with whipped cream (optional).

Coffee Frappuccino® Blended Coffee
Starbucks® original Frappuccino®, Starbucks® Latin American coffees and milk, blended with ice.

Vanilla Bean Frappuccino® Blended Crème
A deliciously creamy, classic combination of Vanilla bean and milk, blended with ice, topped with whipped cream (optional).

Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino® Blended Crème
Rich chocolate, chocolate chips and milk, blended with ice, topped with whipped cream (optional), and chocolate drizzle.

White Chocolate Frappuccino® blended crème
Deliciously decadent White Chocolate Mocha combined with milk and blended with ice, topped with whipped cream (optional).

Hot Chocolate
Choice of steamed milk with mocha syrup, vanilla syrup and whipped cream. A classic hot chocolate - sweet and creamy - made with steamed milk, mocha syrup and topped with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle (optional).

Tazo® Chai Tea Latte
A spicy drink of black tea infused with cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper and star anise added to freshly steamed milk.

Tazo® Tea
The finest, full flavored teas offered in Black, Green, and Herbal Infusions, steeped in hot, filtered water for your enjoyment.

Today's coverage of opening day in 20 minutes

What's new this week on Lyon Eats?

- Translating an old holiday favorite: American recipe for Chex snack mix gets a French makeover. All ingredients available at your local Monoprix!

- Keeping Kosher in Lyon: restaurants, bakeries, butchers and groceries

- Just in time for the holidays: Making a pumpkin pie from scratch in France

- When the cravings are too much: Ordering your favorites from Aux Delices des Ameriques. From Dr Pepper and A&W root beer, to Reese's peanut butter cups and Duncan Hines frosting, Pop Tarts to marshmallow fluff, they've got it all - and free shipping for orders over 75 euros!

Also added to the list:
- Bagels, bagels, bagels! Suddenly available throughout Lyon
- Top it all with Cheddar cheese
- Crescent rolls in a can, perfect for all those Pampered Chef recipes
- Fried onions for your green bean casserole
- Pepperidge Farm cookies

Keep sending your questions, requests, updates and additions!

American recipe: 'Chex' snack mix

As the Christmas holidays approach, my cravings for American treats grows. I really wanted to make Chex snack mix the other day, but as can't buy Chex cereal here, I had to get creative. I compiled a modified shopping list from a recipe online, and set off for Monoprix.

While I wouldn't say that it came out just like Chex snack mix back home, it was pretty darn good. And our American guests seemed to like it too. I made an overflowing 9x13 dish and the eight of us nearly finished it off as we sat around gabbing.

So here's the recipe!

Chex Mix a la francaise

1 small bag pretzel sticks, broken in half
1 bag frites croustillantes (fried potato sticks)
1 bag soufflés tomates et ail (puffs flavored with tomato and garlic)
1 sleeve biscottes (melba toast) broken into bite-sized pieces
2-3 cups salted peanuts
4 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder (opt)
1/2 tsp Creole seasoning (opt)

Heat oven to 250°F. Pour Melt butter over low heat. Stir in all seasonings. Pour the contents of the bags and the peanuts into a (new!) garbage bag. Pour the butter mixture into the garbage bag. Shake gently until well mixed and coated. Pour into ungreased 13x9-inch pan.

Bake 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool, about 15 minutes. Store in airtight container.

When the cravings are too much...

...there is a solution! Aux Delices des Ameriques will happily deliver the following American groceries right to your door:
Dr Pepper, A&W root beer, Aunt Jemima original pancake mix, Betty Crocker chocolate frosting, Betty Crocker super moist carrot cake mix, Crisco shortening, Jell-o cheesecake, Kraft macaroni and cheese, cherry Jell-o mix, Jell-o instant chocolate, Libby's pumpkin pie filling, Quaker strawberries & cream oatmeal, Kellogg's Froot Loops, Hershey's cocoa powder, French's mustard, Heinz sweet pickle relish, Wrigley's Big Red, Twizzlers, Reese's Pieces candy, Reese's peanut butter cups, blueberry Pop Tarts, apple cinnamon Pop Tarts, mini Oreos, Duncan Hines chocolate frosting, Duncan Hines cream cheese frosting, Arm & hammer baking soda, Jif creamy peanut butter, marshmallow fluff, Aunt Jemima lite pancake syrup, Grandma's molasses, Wild West beef jerky - and a selection of Canadian products!

Aux Delices des Ameriques offers free shipping within France for orders over 75 Euros. All orders are shipped 48-hour priority mail Colissimo. You will receive confirmation by email and be able to track your order online.

Oh, and just in time for Thanksgiving, canned sweet potatoes are on sale!

Happy shopping!

Keeping Kosher in Lyon

Henry Lippman restaurant, take-out, catering and receptions
4 Rue Tony Tollet, Lyon, 69002

Jo Delices
44 Rue Rachais, Lyon, 69007

La Fortuna
68 Rue de la Charite, Lyon, 69002

La Petite Maison
35 Rue P. Corneille, Lyon, 69006

Kfé K (delivery service)
16 r Fénelon, Lyon, 69006

Aux Delices du Marais
8 Rue Eugene Emmanuel, Villeurbanne, 69100

53 Rue Hippolyte Kahn, Villeurbanne, 69100

Nassy Gourmand
41 Rue Alexandre Boutin, Villeurbanne, 69100

Oneg Obadia
2 Rue Jubin, Villeurbanne, 69100

Chalom Traiteur
30 Eue A. Boutin, Villeurbanne, 69100

Le Belvedere
14 Rue Jean Jaurès, Villeurbanne, 69100

Le Galil
54 Rue du 4 Aout, Villeurbanne, 69100

Le Pinocchio
14 Rue A. Boutin, Villeurbanne, 69100

Pizza Cash
13 Rue d'Inkerman, Villeurbanne, 69100

61 Rue Greuze, Villeurbanne, 69100

9 Rue Michel Servet, Villeurbanne, 69100

American recipe: Pumpkin pie from scratch

Thanksgiving is often one of the big challenges for Americans in France. We suddenly find ourselves without Grandma's recipes and expertise, and without and Libby's pumpkin!

The saying “as American as apple pie” might be more accurate if it mentioned pumpkin pie. This holiday treat was included in the country’s first cookbook in 1796, American Cookery, by an American Orphan by Amelia Simmons. Pumpkins and other gourds were introduced to the settlers in New England by the Native Americans. Two hundred years later, no Thanksgiving dinner is complete without the quintessential pumpkin pie for dessert.

In France you can buy courge (winter squash) in markets and any large grocery store. For making one pumpkin pie, buy at least 2 kilos of squash. Was the squash well. Cut it into 2-inch pieces and cook on high in the microwave until soft. Cut the orange squash away from the tough edge. Using a blender or food processor, puree the squash until smooth. There's your pumpkin puree!

Here's the show-stealer. Pumpkin pie, made from scratch. If you need a good, simple pie crust recipe, go here.)

2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup evaporated milk or light cream (15 %)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pie crust, unbaked

In mixing bowl, combine pumpkin puree, sugar, and seasonings. Add eggs, mixing well. Add evaporated milk and vanilla. Stir well. Pour pumpkin pie mixture into pastry-lined pie pan.

Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes or longer, until pumpkin pie is set. Place a large piece of foil over the pie if it starts getting too brown. Check doneness by inserting a knife into the center. If it comes out clean, you're good to go!

Serve warm or cool with whipped cream.

More holiday recipes, tailored to France, here.

What's new this week on Lyon Eats?

- Vegetarian dining in Lyon
"Here, vegetarianism is not about deprivation, but enrichment." Now that sounds like a nice change from the usual plain pasta! And have you heard about the vegetarian cooking workshops for children?

Starbucks opening soon!
Find out when and where, and how to order your double macchiato in French

- Sara Lee is in my grocery store?
Yes, she is! You just have to know where to find her.

- K-R-A-F-T
We haven't spotted Mac-n-Cheese yet, but there are many other Kraft products on the shelves.

Also added to the list:
- Campbell's soups hiding under a different label
- A good substitute for Virginia country ham
- How to make French onion dip and your chip choices
- Heath bar substitute
- Southerners need their grits
- Wake up and smell the Maxwell House

Keep sending your questions, requests, updates and additions!

Brought to you by PepsiCo

Brought to you by Kraft

I picked up a new brand of coffee this morning and was surprised to see that the label said it was made by Kraft! A little quick research showed me that several popular brands in France are actually owned by Kraft, such as the following coffees:

- Carte Noire, the leading premium coffee brand in France. It is steadily building a super-premium position in new markets.

- Jacques Vabre, a traditional French brand renowned for a wide range of unique coffees sourced from the world's best growers.

- Maxwell House, a pioneer in the instant coffee market in Europe and Asia, building on its status as an American favorite.

- Tassimo, Kraft's proprietary hot beverage system, enables consumers to prepare high-quality single servings of coffee, tea, hot chocolate and other beverages. The system includes the Tassimo brewing machine and proprietary Tassimo discs.

And for chocolate:

- Côte d'Or, an intense, full-flavored Belgian chocolate pleasure made with the very best cocoa.

- Milka, the leading European chocolate confectionery brand in volume and growing globally, known for its delicious tender taste and lilac cow and packaging.

- Toblerone, an instant success when it was introduced in 1908, this triangular-shaped Swiss-made chocolate with honey nougat is known around the globe.

- Suchard, these premium chocolates are expanding across Europe, from their French and Swiss roots.

- Daim, a crunchy chocolate specialty highly popular in Scandinavia.

Other Kraft brands available in France include Ritz, Oreo and Lunchables.

Brought to you by Kellogg's

Brought to you by Sara Lee

When I think of Sara Lee, I think of frozen cheesecakes. While I haven't yet found those here in France, I did learn that the following brands and products are all owned by Sara Lee. And let me tell you - that pizza kit is great for busy evenings!

Brought to you by Heinz

When American soldiers hit the beaches of Normandy in 1944, Heinz Tomato Ketchup landed as well - and it never left! Originally, Heinz ketchup was only marketed by small importers. In 1978 the French opened a subsidiary company of Heinz.

Brought to you by Campbell's

Breaking news!

The American firm Starbucks, the world leader in the retail coffee and whole-bean market, will open its first coffeehouse and retail store in Lyon at the end of November 2007. This is its first shop in France outside of the Paris region. Starbucks will recreate its typical atmosphere in a surface area of 250 square meters on rue de la République, near the Lyon Opera House and City Hall, and hopes to be able to open other shops in the new Confluence or Carré de Soie quarters, if the first shop is a hit. The multinational, created in 1971 in Seattle, now operates in 43 countries through 14,000 coffeehouses patronized by 40 million customers every week.

(Source: Aderly)

Starbucks latte lingo

If you need to brush up on your Starbucks lingo en francais, here's all you need to know. Seriously - what better motivation to work on your French?!

Barista - (Garçon de café en italien)
C'est la personne souriante qui porte un tablier vert et qui se trouve derrière le comptoir. Le Barista connaît parfaitement toutes les recettes des boissons Starbucks ainsi que tous les secrets pour préparer un délicieux espresso; il vous aidera à passer votre commande et vous préparera exactement la boisson qu'il vous faut.

Dose d'espresso standard qui est à la base de tous nos cafés. Un shot d'espresso bien préparé est composé de trois couches: le coeur, le corps et la crema. La mousse, de couleur caramel, qui se trouve à la surface de l'espresso fraîchement tiré, disparaît quelques secondes après avoir été versée dans la tasse.

"Concentré" de café issu des grains de café fraîchement moulus de notre mélange spécial Espresso Roast®. L'espresso est soit servi pur dans une petite tasse de 30 ml soit utilisé comme base pour élaborer la majorité de nos recettes de boissons au café.

Espresso con Panna
Espresso recouvert de crème fouettée maison.

Espresso Macchiato
Espresso avec un nuage de lait mousseux.

Caffè Latte
Une boisson délicieuse composée de trois couches différentes: un shot d'espresso, du lait chaud frais et onctueux - l'ingrédient principal de la boisson- et une fine couche de mousse de lait qui offre une entrée en bouche en douceur. Le Latte Macchiato, une variante du Caffè Latte, se différencie par l'ordre d'incorporation des trois ingrédients. En effet, pour le préparer, les Baristas versent d'abord le lait dans la tasse puis le "tâchent" ensuite d'un espresso.

Caffè Moka
Un mélange d'espresso, de chocolat onctueux et de lait chaud. Le tout recouvert de crème fouettée maison.

Une boisson idéale pour un petit-déjeuner à l'italienne préparée à base d'espresso et de lait chaud et recouverte d'une épaisse couche de mousse de lait.

Caramel Macchiato
Une boisson gourmande composée d'espresso, de sirop de vanille, de lait chaud et de mousse de lait. Une sauce au caramel apporte la touche finale et sucrée de cette boisson.

Il s'agit de 2 shots d'espresso. Les boissons à base de café de grande taille sont toujours préparées avec un double shot d'espresso. De plus, si vous désirez qu'une boisson de petite ou moyenne taille soit plus forte en café, vous pouvez demander au Barista un double shot en commandant, par exemple, "un Double Caramel Macchiato Moyen!"

Petit (237 ml), Moyen (355 ml), Grand (474 ml)
Il s'agit des trois tailles de boisson que vous pouvez choisir. Pour les gourmands, vous pouvez également opter pour le Venti® (20 oz. soit 592 ml). encore plus grand que le Grand!

Types de lait
Nos boissons à base de lait sont préparées avec du lait entier mais vous pouvez tout à fait demander au Barista de le remplacer par du lait écrémé, demi-écrémé ou bien du lait de soja.

Sans mousse de lait
Si vous n'aimez pas la mousse de lait vous pouvez demander au Barista de vous préparer vote boisson sans mousse.

Une boisson plus légère
Si vous préférez déguster une boisson plus légère, demandez au Barista de vous préparer une boisson avec plus de mousse de lait et moins de lait.

Supplément de mousse de lait
La mousse de lait permet de garder votre boisson chaude pendant plus longtemps. Si par exemple vous commandez une boisson à emporter, vous pouvez la demander avec supplément de mousse.

Crème fouettée maison
Vous pouvez demander un supplément de crème fouettée maison. Ou, si au contraire vous n'en souhaitez pas, demander votre boisson sans crème fouettée maison.

Sirop aromatisé
Enfin, vous pouvez personnaliser véritablement votre boisson en y ajoutant une dose de sirop aromatisé (vanille, noisette, amande, framboise, Irish cream, caramel.)

Copyright ©2004 Starbucks Corporation.

Translating the veggie drawer

artichoke = artichaut

asparagus = asperge

beetroot = betterave

cabbage = chou

carrot = carotte

cauliflower = chou-fleur

celery = céleri

fennel = fenouil

green beans = haricot vert

leek = poireau

lettuce = laitue

onion = oignon

parsnip = panais

peas = petit pois

potato = pomme de terre

shallot = echalote

spinach = épinard

spring onion = ciboule

turnip = navet

winter squash = courge

zucchini = courgette

Translating the fruit basket

apple = pomme

apricot = abricot

avocado = avocat

blackberry = mûre

black currant = cassis

cherry = cerise

cucumber = concombre

eggplant = aubergine

grapefruit = pamplemousse

lemon = citron

orange = orange

peach = pêche

pear = poire

pineapple = ananas

plum = prune

pumpkin = citrouille or potiron

quince = coing

Translating the spice rack

anise = anis

anise, star = anis étoilé

basil = basilic

chives = ciboulette

cilantro = coriandre frais

caraway = carvi

bay leaf = laurier

clove = girolfe

coriander = coriandre

dill = aneth

four spices = quatre-épices

garlic = ail

licorice = réglisse

marjoram, sweet = marjolaine

mint = menthe

nutmeg = noix de muscade

oregano = origan

parsley = persil

pepper = poivre

rosemary = romarin

saffron = safran

sage = sauge

salt = sel

sorrel = oseille

sweet-and-sour = aigre-doux

thyme = thym

turmeric = curcuma