What do you think of when someone says “Paris”?  Fabulous food?  Wonderful fashion?  Exquisite monuments?  Well, when I think of Paris, I think of our dear friend Eileen…she is chic, beautiful, a gourmet cook, and a great friend.

We met Eileen a few years ago at cooking class, and we hit it off right away.  She is vivacious, fun, and smart as a whip…oh yes, and did I mention… beautiful?  Men seem to snap their necks when she walks by…when I met her I thought that she was a fashion model  gone “culinary”.

When I e-mailed her and told her we were coming to Paris, she immediately wrote back inviting us to dinner.  I was thrilled!  So excited that we would get to see her beautiful apartment…and she was going to cook for us…but best of all, we would get to visit with her again.

That afternoon we scoured the shops around Rue St. Germaine for the perfect bottle of wine and the sweetest bouquet to bring to our hostess. Near her apartment an elderly French gentleman admired the bouquet and asked if someone had given it to ME…I guess because Jeff was taking pictures of me holding it!

We entered through very large, imposing, wooden doors into what I have to say is an inner sanctum.  All of the noise of the street ended as we closed the heavy doors behind us and walked into the charming courtyard.  We followed directions and found her building and the little elevator that took us  to her door.  We knocked, she answered, and it was if we were still back in Provence chatting and cooking.

Eileen has lived in Paris for years and is very familiar with preparing French food, but this night she decided that she would treat us to an Italian dinner…except for the dessert.  Our feast started with silky prosciutto and melon with her special twist of lime,  succulent osso bucco with risotto, and for dessert, fromage blanc with fresh fruit.

Her apartment is everything you might expect from a pied-a-terre in Paris… whitewashed beamed ceilings, interesting art work, the patina of mellow antiques, and French windows opening onto the sights and sounds of Paris.

Her kitchen was small, but arranged so that it was extremely efficient and she produced our dinner with ease.  We made ourselves at home, helping stir the risotto, and pouring wine.

We all agreed that our best times with our family and friends happen around the dinner table.   That is why Eileen is embarking on a project that I think is absolutely wonderful…she is going to write down and photograph 40 of her family’s favorite recipes and make books for her children.  What a wonderful legacy that will be!  Since Eileen is an accomplished cook and photographer I’m thinking that this is going to be one great book!

Not all of her family favorites are her own recipes…like the recipe she shared with me for this post.  It’s a great recipe from Ina Garten, and the following is my adaptation of it.  We thought that is was the perfect ending to our meal…light, fresh and flavorful…I think you’ll agree.

Fromage blanc means “white cheese” in French.  It’s a soft white cheese that is low in calories because it is made with milk instead of cream.  If you can’t find fromage blanc (it’s a bit difficult, I found mine at Whole Foods) you may want to substitute a mixture of  1 cup of Greek yogurt (not 0% or 2%, go for the whole milk version) added to 2/3 cup of mascarpone.

Easy, Lemony, Framage Blanc with Fresh Fruit and Raspberry Sauce Recipe

Yield: 4 - 6

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Light and fresh, just the dessert for warm weather or after a heavy meal!


For Fromage Blanc

16 oz. (2- 8 oz. containers) fromage blanc (try to find made with whole milk and not 0%) OR use 1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt mixed with 2/3 cup of mascarpone
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup of honey
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest (use an organic lemon, if you can)
Vanilla seeds scraped from 1/2 of a vanilla bean (optional)

For Fresh Fruit

I used raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, orange segments and sliced peaches, but you can let you imagination go wild here...stone fruit, berries...

For Raspberry Sauce

2 - 6 oz. packages of fresh raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon Frambois liqueur (optional)


For Fromage Blanc

Stir all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. If using a vanilla bean, be sure to stir well so the seeds from the vanilla bean can become fully integrated into the mixture.
Cover and put into the refrigerator 3 hours or overnight.

For Raspberry Sauce

Put all of the ingredients into a medium saucepan and mash the berries with the back of a wooden spoon. Let mixture come to a boil and cook down by half (about 10 minutes). Take off heat and let cool. I strained the mixture twice and served the strained liquid, but you could put cooled mixture into a blender or food processor and blend, if you prefer a thicker sauce.


I used individual bowls for this dessert. Evenly distribute the fromage blanc into shallow bowls. Arrange the fresh fruit on top and pour on a bit of the of raspberry sauce. I served the raspberry sauce on the side for those folks who might like an additional amount.