French 75’s to Toast the New Year!

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Ok, I know we’re already a week into 2017, but I’m still reflecting on 2016 and mapping out goals for the new year!  I think writing down goals is powerful because it creates a paper trail. Plus, by putting them out into the universe, I’m forcing myself to be accountable.  I won’t bore you with my many, many  goals for the year–many of which are related to this blog and many of which are not, but I will share a few!


  1. Bake (and cook!) more savory dishes. Ok, I’m sure you’re probably thinking that I already bake enough, and I probably do. But, I love challenging myself and going outside of my comfort zone, so I’d like to bake even more  this year. Especially things I’ve never made!
  2. Host more dinner parties. Yes, I live in Manhattan in a microstudio, but I really love having people over to fill their bellies with a homecooked meal. I just happen to live in a one-room apartment that’s probably the size of many people’s bedrooms. In 2016, I managed to cook dinner for friends a total of one time. Which is pretty tragic. So, I will not let the fact that I have photo props, camera tripods, and multiple move-able pantries that occupy most available space prevent me from having people over.
  3. Share more travel content. Many of you may not know this blog was “Foodie in France” before it was “Foodie In New York.” It started as a food + travel blog to document the year I spent eating my way around France and Europe. I have some really exciting trips planned for 2017, spanning multiple continents, holidays and celebrations.  I want to share those experiences in a way that’s fun and even a little informative. My goal isn’t to write comprehensive-type guides, but just to share hidden gems and highlights that might inspire you to visit.

And now to that beautiful cocktail I made New Year’s Eve… This cocktail was inspired by my recent trip to Louisiana for Christmas.  One of our neighbors in Baton Rouge has a lemon tree. They put a sign out, “Free Lemons,” so of course I helped myself. These lemons are large and beautiful, and best of all, aren’t waxed! I basically ended up bringing more lemons than I could carry back with me to New York.  When you buy lemons from the supermarket, they often have a layer of wax on them. This is to preserve them so that they have a longer shelf-life, but it also ruins the best part of a lemon–the lemon zest. So, stay tuned for some lemon-y recipes!

New Year’s Eve French 75 Cocktail:

Makes 2.


2 lemon slices
1 shot of gin
1 shot of lemon juice
1 shot of simple syrup
sparkling wien


Add a slice of lemon to each glass.  Combine the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake, shake, shake! Pour half in one champagne flute and half in the other. Fill the remainder of the glass with sparkling wine.

Pictured: Champagne Flutes 

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about vallery

I am a lawyer-turned-baker. 
I left my 9-5 office job because I wanted to create recipes, videos, and most of all—Bake! I won the Great American Baking Show, and my debut cookbook Life Is What You Bake It contains some of the winning recipes! My motto is simple: When life gives you lemons, make lemon curd. We have the power to turn tart situations into sweet ones, and it’s my mission to teach people how.



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