Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Soap Opera

I've just found the most luxurious, wonderful French soaps, I could just sing! In fact, I did do that this morning while scrubbing up. I'm pretty sure my neighbors as far as across the river could probably hear my crooning. Hope they enjoyed my modern rendition of Patsy Cline's Crazy! oxox, Chelle

Saturday, March 26, 2011

And Our Winner Is ...

Thanks for stopping by ladies. We appreciate your visit and your lovely comments! We had Mr. French Charmed draw a name from our Lucky Black Hatbox. And the winner is ... Congratulations Tara! Your French Script Ribbon will be on the way to Australia next week! Once again, thanks to every one of our Charming Readers. Hope you will be back to visit soon, as we have an event coming up for the month of April, and there will be 3 giveaways! More to come in the following week ... Cheers!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Happy 100th!

Hello lovely French Charmed readers! Big news today: Believe it or not, we’ve reached our 100th blog post! We’ve covered so much about France, glamour and all things girly-girly since our launch, but the more we post, the more we realize that we haven’t even gotten started yet! We have so much to share, including our brand new newsletter, "Le Gazette," which you can sign up for here, and we're so excited about this next month being the kick off of a fun “April In Paris” theme on the French Charmed blog! We hope you enjoy the upcoming content as much as we’re enjoying putting it all together. And we’d also like to extend a very gratuitous thank you to you all for joining us on this journey. In fact, as a way to say thanks, you might be the very lucky reader who will win a boxed set of our beautiful French script ribbon! All you have to do is a leave a comment below, and a winner will be chosen at random on Saturday, March 26. Good luck, and thanks again for following!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Channel Your Inner French Girl!

There’s a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ that Frenchwomen seem to have — a sexy, confident energy that exudes from them like sunbeams flashing on the waters of the French Riviera. It’s certainly something to be envied, but it’s not nearly as out of your grasp as you might think. In fact, with just a few simple actions, purchases and/or mindsets, you too can feel as if you hail from Europe’s sexiest little country! To get our exclusive list of 51 ways to feel French right now, be sure to sign up for our free French Charmed newsletter "Le Gazette" here!

Photo credit:

Monday, March 14, 2011

To The Beet

So as you all know, I throw an Oscar party every year. And though I had planned on a big bash yet again this year, it seemed almost everyone was out of town! I still had a get-together, but since my guest list was pretty small, I opted to make dinner instead of the usual all-out soiree. I found this amazing beet risotto recipe and knew instantly it would be perfect for the occasion: the intense red color is so reminiscent of the red carpet! And the fresh lemon zest adds the perfect golden accent, just like the coveted golden statues of the evening! Even though the awards are over, I still urge you to try this recipe. It is truly outstanding and worth a celebration of its own! oxox, Chelle

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tongue Tied

I am so excited to reveal this absolutely unique and beautiful French script ribbon we'll be offering at the French Charmed boutique this spring. In all honesty, I was perfectly speechless when I found it and just knew I had to have it on my site for all of you. Can you imagine how gorgeous this spectacular detail will be wrapped around presents? And I also think it would be so pretty tied into a bow and used as a napkin holder during your next dinner soiree. Stay tuned, as this breathtaking ribbon is about to hit center stage! oxox, Chelle

Monday, March 7, 2011


Hello French Charmed readers, and happy Mardi Gras! I'm sure you all know that we should eat, drink and be merry this week. But do you even know how this tradition started? Yeah, yeah, bring on the booze, who cares, right? (Im with ya!) But for those of you interested, here it is in a nutshell: Mardi Gras (French for Fat Tuesday) first came to America back when France was trying to claim the Louisiane Territory (now Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana) in the late 1600s. The first settlers from France celebrated this French Catholic tradition of eating fatty foods before Lent, and we caught on and started celebrating with them when  the party was moved from a small town along the Mississippi River to New Orleans in 1718! And now for the moment you've been waiting for: Cheers dears! oxox, Chelle

Photo credits from top to bottom:,, life magazine,,, life magazine,

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Morning Glory

So many mornings I wish I were at some fabulous French hotel, lounging in 1000-thread-count sheets, sipping soothing tea from beautiful china and indulging in baguettes drizzled with honey and jam. Alas, I can't have those wonderful moments every time I wake up, but I can always dream! Especially now that I've found this fabulous baguette recipe. So scrumptious!

HOMEMADE FRENCH BAGUETTES, makes four 16-inch baguettes
{adapted from artisan breads every day, peter reinhart}

* 5 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
* 2 tsp salt, or 1 tbsp coarse kosher salt
* 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
* 2 cups lukewarm water (about 95 degrees)

prep day: combine all ingredients in bowl of mixer, set with paddle attachment, and mix on lowest speed for 1 minute until well blended and smooth. dough should form a coarse, shaggy ball. let rest, uncovered for 5 minutes. switch to dough hook and mix on medium-low speed for 2 minutes. dough should be smooth, supple, and tacky but not sticky.

knead dough by hand on lightly floured work surface for 1 minute, then transfer to a large clean, lightly oiled bowl. cover with plastic wrap and immediately refrigerate overnight or up to 4 days.

baking day: remove dough from refrigerator 2 hours prior to baking. gently transfer to lightly floured work surface, taking care to degas it as little as possible. divide dough into 10-ounce pieces for baguettes.

form baguettes: pat each piece of divided dough into a thick rectangle. fold the bottom half to the center and seal the seam. fold the top half to the center and once again seal the seam. roll the top half of the dough over the seam to create a new seam on the bottom of the loaf. rock loaf back and forth to extend it to desire length, 6-12 inches. let rest for 5-10 minutes. repeat the same folding process: bottom to center, top to center, and pinch to create a seam. with seam side underneath, gently rock loaf back and forth, with hands moving out toward and increasing pressure at the ends, to slightly taper the loaf until baguette is the length of baguette pan (or baking sheet).

mist top of dough with spray oil, loosely cover with plastic wrap, and proof at room temperature (preferably in a couche, or improvise on a clean linen towel, dusted with flour – leaving 3 inches between loaves so fabric can be bunched up to create “walls” for support while proofing; you could also place the prepared towel and loaves on a baguette pan to further aid in keeping its shape, for about 1 1/2 hours, or until increased to 1 1/2 times its original size.

prepare for hearth baking: about 45 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 450 degrees. place a sheet pan, which will serve as the steam pan, with a 1-inch rim on shelf under which baguettes will be baked. remove plastic wrap from the dough 15 minutes prior to baking. gently roll dough onto baguette pan. just prior to baking, score the dough 1/2 inch deep with a serrated knife or razor. transfer loaves to the oven, pour 1 cup hot water into the steam pan. always use an oven mitt and wear long sleeves when adding water to the hot steam pan to prevent steam burns. it’s also advisable to cover the oven window with a dry dish towel to prevent backsplash from hitting the window and cracking it – but remember to remove the towel before closing oven door! using a watering can with a long spout when pouring the water into the steam pan provides control and distance from the hot steam.

bake for 12 minutes, then rotate pan and bake for another 15-25 minutes, until the crust is rich golden brown, the loaves sound hollow when thumped, and the internal temperature is about 200 degrees in the center. cool on wire rack for at least 35 minutes before slicing or serving. best eaten the same day, or heated briefly in the oven the next day if crust loses its crispness.

Au Revoir ~ Chelle
Photo credits from top to bottom:,,, (recipe also from here).