Music in the Kitchen: The slow/happy mix

How to turn the kitchen into a happy place? One of the ideas we tried while living in France was to play music–originally a collection of songs I called our “Slow/Happy Mix”. As I explained in French Kids Eat Everything, it worked wonders!

Many readers have written in asking about some of the songs we play. They keep changing, but here are a few favourites we keep coming back to, again and again. Enjoy! :)


Contemporary – a bit jazzy

Je veux – Zaz

Belle demoiselle – Christophe Mae

Tout va de travers – Juliette Katz

Tout le monde – Juliette Katz



These songs are mostly in the classic parlé-chanté (speaking-singing) style. The singer’s voice has a small melodic range, and the lyrics are clever and full of emotion — sometimes intense, sometimes playful. 

La liste – Rose

Quelqu’un m’a dit – Carla Bruni

T’es beau – Pauline Cross

Partons vite – Kaolin

La maigrelette – Amelie les Crayons

Je suis pas d’ici – Thomas Dutronc

La foule – Martha Wainwright (OK, she’s Canadian, not French – but I love this song! ;) )

Sympathique – Pink Martini

Ça ira – Joyce Jonathan

Duet Tacet – La Patère Rose



Your grandparents might have listened to these, but they have stood the test of time!

La Mer – Charles Trénet

C’est Si Bon – Yves Montand

La vie en rose – Edith Piaf

La bohème – Charles Aznavour

Champs Elysées – Joe Dassin


Enjoy! :)

Win free copies of Getting to Yum & French Kids Eat Everything!

Getting to Yum French Kids Eat Everything On Sale

I’m very excited to be announcing three FREE BOOK giveaways!!!

1. Facebook Sweepstakes: Ten lucky winners will receive a copy of my new book (Getting to Yum) PLUS a copy of French Kids Eat Everything. Hurry — contest closes soon! (Open to US residents only)

2. GoodReads Book Giveaway: Win 1 of 25 copies of French Kids Eat Everything!! (Canadian and US residents only)

3. And another GoodReads Book Giveaway: Win 1 of 25 copies of my new book, Getting to Yum!! (Canadian and US residents only)

(Apologies to fans in other parts of the world!)

Green Machine Puree

Green Machine Soup with mouseHere’s a sneak peak at one of the new recipes in Getting to Yum: Green Machine Puree/Soup!

The purees in the book are designed to double as delicious blended soups for adults – saving time for busy parents. They freeze easily–so they’re our family’s “go to” fast food — just reheat straight from the freezer!).

Does your family eat a lot of blended soups?

Ooh la la! Check out this wonderful ‘tartine’ recipe from a French mom

This guest post is from Helene, a French mom living in England, who has a great blog with amazing photos: Croque Maman! Her recipe is a new twist on an old French favourite: “la tartine.” Bon appétit!

Tartine aux copeaux de chocolat

When Karen asked me to write a post for her blog I was over the moon.

I have always been fascinated by cultural differences but it is only when I gave birth to my children in the UK that I realised the depth of them.

As a French woman who has always been passionate about food I was keen to understand what French mums were doing versus other mums… I read most books on the topic including Karen’s (and I can’t wait for her new book!) and Pamela Druckerman’s. In the end, I keep identifying/listing differences and I am picking what I think is best in each culture to create my own :-)

Through my blog, Croque-Maman, I want to share what French mums cook, how they place food at the heart of family life and my journey to pass on my love of food to my children with as much home cooking as possible.

One thing that I loved when being a child was the goûter, the 4pm snack. Yes as Karen’s readers you would know that in France children only have four windows of opportunities to eat: breakfast, lunch, goûter (not for adults) and dinner. It could sound like French parents are starving their children :-) but my toddler boys love that routine and as they only have one snack time a day we can indulge a little bit more!

This goûter was a clear favourite of mine when I was a child and as my little ones appear to be chocolate lovers I have no doubt that it will be in their top 5 goûters soon! I always try to include at least two of the followings when I do the boys’ goûter: a dairy product, carbs and/or a portion of fruits or vegetables. As such I would serve a fruit before this. Besides, this is quite a big boys’ portion, as they are currently 20-month-old I would maybe give them ¼ of this.

We would sometimes substitute the chocolate shavings by hot chocolate powder mix and use cream cheese instead of butter, (as I did when I took the picture) which would count as a dairy product then… tick!

Tartine aux copeaux de chocolat (Tartine with chocolate shavings)

Serves: 2

Prep time: 5mn


- a piece of baguette (about 10cm)

- 10g butter (or 35g cream cheese)

- 40g chocolate, shaved


1. Half the piece of baguette

2. Spread the cream cheese evenly on both sides and sprinkle with the chocolate shavings

Bon appétit!

Two of my most popular posts so far are the recipe of my saumon en papillote and my second French mum interview: Sandrine and her “tarte” au chocolat. Have a quick look and don’t miss out on all my upcoming French top tricks, tips and recipes by registering to my free newsletter on Croque-Maman’s homepage or by following me through Croque-Maman’s Facebook page