Un mijoteuse: a must-have for cool weather comfort!
Favorite French Words & next winetasting!

Le quignon - is it your favorite part too?

Pomegranat photo by sam gish

One more winetasting in September--here at home. Join us!
Thanks, Sam Gish, for this snapshot taken at our winetasting. The next meetup is September 28th. Hopefully there will still be flowers on the bougainvillea. Email us today and let us know if you can make it! Confirmations to [email protected] 

le quignon (kee-nyohn)

    : heel, hunk, or end of bread

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Un quignon de pain. Smokey aime bien qu'on lui donne un quignon de pain le matin. A heel of bread. Smokey really likes for us to give him a heel of bread in the morning.

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE... by Kristin Espinasse

Today we're going on a treasure hunt, or une chasse au trésor. So follow the photo captions and keep your eyes peeled for a crusty hunk or heel! We're searching for the tastiest part of the baguette--the one everyone wants, that crisp on the outside soft on the inside QUIGNON.

Somebody's run off with the quignon--and just when I finished making soup! So help me get back the hunk so I can sit down for lunch and enjoy MY end of the baguette!


And we're off! Is that it, barely visible on top of the green mailbox in the garage? No, that's an entire baguette and not un quignon. (I can't use that one. I found it, hard as a tooth, at the back of the bread drawer. But it makes a nice vignette over there on the boîte aux lettres, no? Maybe the postman will think he's lucky.


Meantime, pas de chance, I'm still out of luck. And my stomach is growling away! Quignon, guignon, où est-tu? Where are you?

Hey! Just what has Jean-Marc got in the hand he's hiding beneath the edge of the photo. Nice try, Chief Grape. Hand it over! (Photo by Cynthia Gillespie-Smith)

winetasting at Mas Des Brun
What? You say the guy facing you, the one giving the talk on wine, is empty-handed? Alright then, which one of you turkeys is hiding my quignon?

Fine! A little patience will surely produce results. I'm hungry--but I can wait.... 


Comme si de rien n'était (as if nothing was amiss...) Here we are in the backyard, toujours sans quignon. Some very suspicious looking garden visitors, wouldn't you say? (Or is it the photographer? Yah, right, Cynthia. Pretend to be documenting the wine tasting when really all you want is that quignon for your own cup of soup. HAND IT OVER, buddy!)

Crockpot chicken

Meantime, what's this guy doing?! Waiting for lunch, perhaps? Why the anxious look on your face, Smokey? Can't hold the secret any longer? (By the way, thanks, dear readers, for all those crockpot recipes you sent in, here! I've made a few of them already. And this here (pictured) was a suggestion by JoAnna W: "put a whole chicken in the slow cooker..." JoAnna, I will never again cook chicken any other way. Not one gram of meat wasted and broth to freeze for winter!

Bon, chicken soup is waiting. All I need for lunch is that crusty, soft-in-the-middle perfect for dipping quignon!!!


Quick hide the evidence! Is that you woofing down the quignon, Smokey? Well, harrumph! No chicken soup for you! 

Off to see about that 5-week-old baguette on the mailbox -- that is, if the mailman didn't beat me to it. Salut, and see you next time.


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Fay Plauche' Butler

Nothing is better on a cold winter day than skipping over to the local bakery for a hot- out- of- the oven loaf of French bead. Scurry home with bread wrapped in towel to keep it warm. Once home, slice off the ends, scoop out the soft inside then fill with butter and cane syrup. Oh! Man!

Audrey Wilson

Alas, as a coeliac I can't enjoy quignon any more, though I do remember them from before I was diagnosed.
On another point re the crock pot, I put mine on today with mustard & honeyed rabbit & vegs A trial . It smells good & I hope it will taste as good !

Cynthia Gillespie-Smith

Splendid wine tasting last Saturday -- BEAUTIFUL wines, friendly new faces, a tour of Kristi's garden, and OH that crunchy quignon!

Diane Fujimoto

Just learned that word yesterday, as we enjoy tasting a different baguette every day of our 2 week stay in Beaune. Now I know what to claim before anyone else takes it! Merci beaucoup, Kristi.

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristin,
Love all the photos and wish I could make it to a wine tasting sometime! Can you use quignon to describe a "hunky" man? hehehehe

Ruth Hartz

Bonjour Kristin,
J'adore les quignons et quand je vais dans un restaurant en France j'en demande toujours. Les quignons restent souvent dans la cuisine et ne sont pas dans les paniers de pain!
Grace a vous nous allons faire une croisière au Portugal avec AMA Waterways fin Octobre.
bonne continuation


Chicken soup and bread....mmmmm 😄 Perfect for these chilly nights we're having in Illinois!


Chris Allin

Clever story line, Kristin...very creative! Glad to learn the french word for my favorite part of the baguette. In our nearby university town, just past the winery vineyards and sunflower fields, there is a very authentic french bakery with a brick oven, racks of many different breads and cases filled with savory and sweet pastries. Provence on the Prairie? Not quite, but we like to dream.
Looks like other enticing ingredients went into your crockpot with the chicken. Might Smokey think so too?

P.S. Cynthia made me smile!

Bruce in northwest Connecticut

"The part everyone wants"? In this house, you can't give the quignon away. We either give it to the dogs or throw it away.


Wonderful Photos & Robbery Account!

It looks as though Smokey is asking Grace on his newly acquired quignon. Smokey does appears truly thankful!

Bette Anderson

Dear Kristin, I will be on vacation in Paris from October 10-17 and wondered if you have any book signings or speaking engagements in Paris that week. Reading your blog is a real bright spot in my day. Merci, Bette

Patricia Cowan

Smokey won in the end! As well he should. My dear #holliebcollie does, too...as she goes every day, keeping me happy and healthy!
Love your stories and have enjoyed all your books!


Are you going to make your own noodles to go in your chicken soup? There is nothing better than home made noodles.So different than those purchased at the store.
Also I love all your photos, have you ever thought about a coffee table photo book?

Faye Stampe,   Gleneden Beach, OR

Dear Kristin,

I love all the photos -- the post too, but esp the photos. Thanks so much. Will you have wine tastings in 2015?

Be well!

Dotty in Rhode Island

I couldn't find JoAnna W's recipe for whole chicken cooked in crock pot. Could you repeat it or reference it further? It seems like an excellent recipe from your description, Kristin.



Catharine Ewart-Touzot

my son is the only fan of the end..guess you know it is difficult to find real French baguettes
in the states, my husband, who is French is never really happy with what we find.

Cheryl in STL

All these years of speaking French and spending time there and I just learned quignon a few weeks ago! It is definitely the best part of the baguette! My husband and my kids all know that it is mine.

Barbara Bottini

Fun, clever way to share photos. Thanks. I so enjoy your blog. And, as long as I'm here I'll tell you how I handled my empty nest: My son moved away to college and I moved away to South Korea. True!!! I accepted a post with the U.S. Govt. teaching on an American military base in South Korea. What an adventure. My son came to visit during his Christmas vacation. I was there for four years and then had a transfer to Germany. It was from there that I drove south on a school holiday and found Provence

Cynthia Lewis

Thanks for such a lighthearted post today with lovely photos mixed in along with it! The chicken cooked in your crockpot made my mouth water. My thanks, too, to all who sent in the wonderful recipes for crockpot creations. Best wishes, Cynthia

Kathleen from Connecticut

When I was young, on Sundays after church , we would stop at the Deli and by some good rye bread and the ends would be eaten immediately. As for the ends of the baguette, my husband Dean loves them. If I eat them they need to soak for a bit., although to find a good crusty baguette in Connecticut est tres difficile.
Love the pictures and the ramblings.


Kristin Espinasse

Dottie, No recipe (JoAnna, are you reading?) that I remember. I put lemon and tarragon in the chicken, set it on a bed of onions and garlic, and poured water (with bouillon powder mixed in) on top. Cooked on high, then low, four hours. Delicious! Lots of leftovers (soup...)

Faye, we will surely have tastings in 2015. When are you coming? :-)

Bettye, I would love to come to Paris then. . . So far no plans. Will let you know if that changes. 

Thanks for these lovely comments. Sorry when I cannot answer each one. This time I am in bed with a cold, trying to speed heal before Dad and Marsha arrive tomorrow. Do not want to share my microbes!


I will try the chicken, today I am cooking stuffed green peppers in. My slow cooker. Smells wonderful!


From what I've always heard, chicken soup sounds like just the right help for your cold. I hope you feel much better tomorrow! If you're like me, I so always want to be well when I'm going to be spending precious time with dear relatives and friends and it's so frustrating to be ill. Best of luck in getting well soon and enjoying your Dad & Marsha's visit. I loved your post, as always! I always learn something, but more than that, it's just enjoyable how you wrap the new word in a great story. Judi


Les quignons de baguettes et le pain sec were never wasted during my post-war childhood.
We made soupe au lait for breakfast. Simply: chunks of bread, dans une assiette profonde, sprinkled with brown sugar and milk (hot or cold) poured over it. I loved it! One of my cousins didn't and sadly his father gave him this meal as punishment.

Stale bread is also turned into pain-perdu (French toast). Interestingly it is called gewonnen brood in Flemish (won bread, pain gagné).

All this talk of baguettes m'ont mit l'eau à la bouche!
Bon appétit!


Kristin, tks for all your posts who send me 20000 km back to my Belgian childhood!
Your blog is a great place where I cannot help but turn to Franglais!

Robin Lewin


Hope you will be well for your company. So glad to hear you will have wine tastings in 2015, I'm going to try to get there! Loved the blog and pics of Mr.Smokey!



Bien sur, j'adore les quignons! :) By the way, I made chicken soup today in my crock pot, using a whole chicken. I have cooked it in that manner in the past, but have never thought of adding more water and making soup. That's a fantastic idea. Thank you.


Our dear Kristi,
Oh! Your words!
Such beautiful pictures!
You have (once again) wrapped us in hugs!
Natalia XO

Charlotte West

Hi Kristin,
I so loved the "hunt the quignon" photos! And the post with the recipes. I so wish I could be there for your wine tasting, but will savour the reports afterwards. From here in New Zealand at the bottom of the world, where Spring is just beginning, your photos of Summer with your vege garden, sunflowers, and bougainvillea call up thoughts of long sultry days and evenings, the smell of grass and earth.

Best wishes for the wine tasting


Patty Cargill

Love crock pot snap w/ Smokey framed by window. DOMMAGE! Recently I broke glass lid of my black crock pot! Whatsamama to do?

Chris Allin


Go online and google " crockpot replacement parts".
Lots of possibilities!

Kitty Wilson-Pote

Yummy post today! Thanks to all who shared crockpot recipes, now saved to sample over the wintry months ahead.
FYI, at no cost, there are tempting recipes to tweak at this website below, which has a special section for slow cooker food. I may have found my favourite pumpkin cake slow cooker recipe here:

Margie Rose

J'aime votre blog! It's like looking forward to hearing from a friend who is living in and loving my favorite place. Merci bien.

Diane Young

I'm reading this at suppertime and wish I had some chicken soup and quignon. Always enjoy your blog with its photos of lovely neighborhood..

Nancy MacPherson

I love your blog and always look forward to your posts. I will be in Provence next September and hope one of your wine tastings will co-ordinate!! Love all things French!!

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