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Scalloped Potatoes au Gratin or Gratin Dauphinois

Gratin Dauphinois

Also known as Gratin Dauphinois, this is the very popular style of potato served all over France! The recipe is from Julia Child’s The French Chef Cookbook. The recipes in this cookbook are all from her PBS cooking show.


  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled & smashed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 3-4 tablespoons butter
  • 6 cup oven proof and flame proof baking dish, 2 inches deep


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Slice potatoes 1/8 inch thick and place in a bowl of cold water. I like to use a mandoline to slice the potatoes
  3. Bring milk to boil on the stovetop with salt, pepper and garlic
  4. Drain potatoes and add to milk
  5. Cut up butter into tiny pieces and distribute over potatoes
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or until milk is absorbed and potatoes are tender and browned.
  7. Use the broiler to brown if needed.
  8. Bon Appetit!!!
Bring milk, salt, pepper and garlic to a boil
Slice potatoes 1/8 inch thick and place in cold water
Place potatoes in milk and distribute butter over potatoes
Scalloped Potatoes au Gratin

As Julia always said at the end of each episode Bon Appetit!

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup with Croutons and Cheese

You may think this soup is not popular in the real France, I did. But I was wrong! It is a classic hearty meal served all over France with pride and love! It will always be popular and on the menu!

I have made many versions of French Onion Soup including recipes from Julià Child, Everyday Parisian, This French Life, La Cuisine Paris, and The Original Dish. This recipe is a combination of techniques with Julia Child’s being the main classic source.

Here are some differences between the recipes I’ve tried.

Some recipes don’t add flour as Julia does. I think the browned flour adds depth to the flavor and a tiny bit of thickening to the broth.

Others use more onion or a variety of onions. I prefer using only yellow onions in this soup. Sweet onions end up being condensed in a not good sweet flavor.

Bay leaf and sage are often omitted and sometimes thyme is added. I like the sage and bay flavors. They’re richer.

Red or white wine? I’ve seen both in recipes. I prefer the earthy flavor and fragrance of sherry.

Chicken or beef broth? Homemade or store bought? Many new chefs like the lighter flavor of chicken broth. Classic French onion soup is made with homemade beef broth. I don’t have time for that. The Better Than Bouillon Roasted Beef Base is what I use. It’s a great beef concentrate paste you mix with hot water. The professional kitchens use it and it can be found in most grocery stores in the soup section. Their Organic Chicken Base is also very good

After spending several weeks in France I’ve learned that torn croutons are easier to eat than a large slice of toasted bread floating on top of the soup. The croutons don’t need to be brushed with oil before roasting either. Just tear the baguette into 1-2 inch pieces and bake at 425F 5 minutes or less, until lightly toasted on 1 side. They crisp up further when cooling.

The grated cheese can be any hard strong flavor cheese like Swiss, Emmental, or Parmesan. Emmental is Swiss Alpine cheese and is the classic. Mozzarella is too stringy when melted.


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 pounds yellow onions, not sweet onions, peeled, halved and sliced thin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 8 cups hot beef broth, Better Than Bouillon Beef Base mixed with water
  • 1 cup dry sherry
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 French baguette
  • Grated Swiss cheese, Emmental, Comté or Parmesan. Not a real stringy cheese


  1. In a heavy 4 quart saucepan or casserole melt butter. Add onion and mix well.
  2. Cover saucepan and cook over medium low 15-20 minutes, stirring at times, until soft and translucent.
  3. Raise heat to medium high and remove cover. Add salt and sugar. Stir on and off. You will caramelize the onions to a deep golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  4. Lower heat to medium, stir in flour and cook about 2 minutes until flour is lightly browned. Remove from heat.
  5. Whisk in 1 cup broth and blend well. Add remaining broth, sherry, bay and sage. Heat to simmering for 40 minutes. Season to taste.
  6. This makes 8 big servings. It freezes well!
  7. To make individual gratinéed style, tear some bread pieces from a baguette. Enough to cover the surface of each bowl. Place bread on a baking sheet in a 425 degree oven and bake 2-5 minutes. Watch closely. Crisp and very slightly brown the top side. They will crisp up further as they cool.
  8. Place oven proof bowls on a baking sheet. Fill each with the soup. Cover the soup surface with croutons. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
  9. Place under broiler 2 minutes or just until melted or slightly browned.
  10. Serve each soup bowl on a dinner plate.
  11. Voila! There you have it!
Browned Sautéed Onion
Browned Flour and Onion
French Onion Soup
Toasted Croutons
Onion Soup Gratinéed with Cheese, Broiler Ready
Voila! Bon Appetit!

Double Chocolate Cookie

Soft and Crinkly Chocolate Cookies Soft and Crinkly Double Chocolate Cookies

This Double Chocolate Cookie is perfect for meeting the desire for chocolate and is also one of our new favorite Christmas cookies.

The recipe is from Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan. My copy of this book is well stained and the binding is completely split with use. It’s a compilation of recipes from the experts who baked with Julia Child during her PBS cooking series. It is a classic reference book for bakers of all aptitudes. Rick Katz contributed this recipe.

I prefer small 1-2 bite cookies. The original recipe makes 2 dozen large cookies. I changed this to 4 dozen small cookies. I also use the microwave for melting the chocolate instead of a double boiler.

This is unlike most cookie doughs. The batter is a liquid and needs to be chilled before spooning onto baking sheets.

The batter consists of a pound of chocolate, mostly melted, except for some coarse chunks stirred in and only 1/2 cup flour. It’s almost gluten free!!!


1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

12 oz bittersweet chocolate cut in pieces larger than chocolate chips (my choice is 3 of the 4 oz Ghirardelli bittersweet baking bars) Divide this mixture in half

4 oz unsweetened Ghirardelli chocolate cut in same size pieces

1 stick unsalted butter

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons espresso powder

2 teaspoons vanilla

Whisk Dry Ingredients Together Whisk Dry Ingredients Together


1. Whisk dry ingredients together in a small bowl

2. Prepare chocolate: Chop 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate into pieces larger than chip size chunks and divide in half. The first half will be melted, so only needs to be cut or chopped into small squares. The 2nd half needs to be in chunks larger than chips. These will eventually be folded into the batter.

Bittersweet Chocolate Cut Into Pieces Larger Than Chocolate Chips Bittersweet Chocolate Cut Into Pieces Larger Than Chocolate Chips

3. In a large microwave proof bowl combine and heat the following slowly on the “melt” cycle or heat over simmering water. Heat mixture, stirring occasionally just until melted and smooth. Remove from heat or microwave.

1/2 of the chopped bittersweet chocolate

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter

Half the Bittersweet and All the Unsweetened Chocolate and Butter, Beginning to Melt Larger Pieces of Chocolate and Butter, Ready to Melt
Melted Chocolate and Butter Melted Chocolate and Butter

4. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment combine and beat the following on high for 10 minutes. The mixture will get very thick and form a slowly dissolving ribbon when the whisk is lifted and the mixture drizzles back in the bowl.

4 large eggs, room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee powder

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

A Ribbon of Beaten Eggs, Sugar, and Flavorings A Ribbon of Beaten Eggs, Sugar, and Flavorings
5. With the mixture on low speed, gradually add the warm chocolate mixture to the egg mixture. Use your rubber spatula to scrape the bowl. Mix until just combined.
6. Fold in the flour mixture and remaining bittersweet chocolate chunks.
7. Cover the bowl with plastic and chill in the frig several hours, overnight or up to 4 days.
Cookie Batter with Egg, Chocolate and Flour Mixtures Blended Cookie Batter with Egg, Chocolate and Flour Mixtures Blended
Chilled Cookie Dough Chilled Cookie Dough
Baked and Ready for Cooling Racks Baked and Ready for Cooling Racks

8. Baking:

  • Position the racks of the oven to divide the oven into thirds. Preheat to 350 degrees F.
  • Line 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Mine pans are 13 x 17 1/2 inches.
  • To make the smaller cookies use a slightly heaping teaspoon and for large cookies use a heaping tablespoon.
  • Drop the dough onto the lined sheets, leaving 2 inches of space between each mound. These are spreaders.
  • Bake small cookies 7-9 minutes and large cookies 10-12 minutes.
  • Rotate the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking.
  • Watch the cookies closely. They will puff, then sink and crinkle and wrinkle around the edges.
  • Remove them from the oven too early rather than too late!
  • They should not appear dry and they won’t be crisp.
  • After cooling on the baking sheets 5 minutes, use a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to cooling racks.