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Welcome to my blog!

As you've probably guessed, my name is Cécile (pronounced Say-Seal). I was born and raised in Paris, and I moved to New York with my family fifteen years ago. Banker by day and cook by night, I enjoy treating my loved ones with traditional, hearty meals that reflect our origins. Since I do not have much time (or energy!) to spend in the kitchen, over the years I have been perfecting a number of recipes and adapting them to fit my busy lifestyle. I've developed certain shortcuts that I want to share with other cooking enthusiasts who have better things to do than to spend their entire day in the kitchen.

In a way, you could call me the "anti Julia Child". Hanging out in my French grandmothers' kitchens as a kid, tasting their bubbling stews on the stove, dipping bread in their sauces, I know what authentic French cuisine is about. It's not about developing painfully acquired techniques or using a dozen different pots and pans, but rather about bringing the best out of your ingredients, experimenting, and most importantly, keeping things simple.

My passion for cooking started with my own curiosity for and appreciation of good food. I wanted to be able to make the dishes I love the most in traditional French cuisine: boeuf bourguignon, blanquette, ratatouille... Using Françoise Burgaud's Mon Bouquin de Cuisine as my cooking bible, I studied her recipes carefully, made them over and over again, and came up with my own modern, hassle-free versions.

Since our move to the US, I have discovered a number of American recipes, to which I have given my own French touch. From mac n' cheese and meatloaf to a full-on Thanksgiving feast, nothing stands in my way!

Cécile's Twelve (yes, twelve) Cooking Commandments

1. Always pick the best ingredients.
2. A little garlic goes a long way.
3. When in doubt, add some chicken bouillon.
4. If it's your kitchen, it's ok to boss people around.
5. If you can do it in ten minutes instead of four hours, go for it.
6. Leftovers are your weeknight saviors when properly recycled.
7. If your guests are picky eaters, they're not worth the invitation.
8. Butter and crème fraîche are the source of every good meal.
9. Quality comfort food is 100 times better than pretentious hors d'oeuvres.
10. Food without salt is depressing.
11. Always taste your food during the cooking process.
12. Just as for sex, practice makes perfect.