French Word-A-Day: Brevet + Max's exciting news!
Temoignage + Do you remember finding a Gideons in the hotel dresser? In France?

Rondelle + Recipe everyone's asking for! My Mother-in-Law's Summer Pizza!

Michèle-France's Pizza d'Ete. Summer Pizza.

TODAY'S WORD: une rondelle

    : slice

Note: rondelle, in this sense, is used for slices of tomato, zucchini, lemon, sausage etc. Careful not to ask for a rondelle de pizza! Instead, ask for une part de pizza.

ECOUTEZ - hear Jean-Marc pronounce today's word and read his mother's recipe.
First, listen to the soundfile, then check the text (in the story below) to test your comprehension.
Download MP3 or Download Rondelle


    by Kristi Espinasse

A favorite comfort food of mine is toast--and toast, in French, is pain grillé (think of it, "grilled pain"! No wonder it is so effective!).

My second favorite comfort food (nourriture de soulagement?) is anything my mother-in-law makes.  Lately, I am loving Michèle-France's summertime tart (really a pizza), and she recently posted the recipe on Facebook! For those who missed it, here's the recipe in French and English. Enjoy it and share it!:

Pour vous je donne la recette que j'ai improvisée...
Au lieu de coulis, j'ai mis une sauce avec tomates, ail, oignon, thym sur fond de tarte.
Ensuite, rondelles de courgettes, aubergines, rondelles de tomates, et au dessus quelques olives
Arroser d'un peu d'huile d'olive, du thym parsemé, sel, poivre.
Préchauffer le four. 180C degrés .
Laisser cuire en surveillant la cuisson. Bon appétit. !!!

For you I am offering the recipe I have improvised...
Instead of coulis, I put tomato sauce with garlic, onion, and thyme at the bottom of the tart (pizza dough)
Next, slices of zucchini, eggplant, slices of tomatoes, and a few olives on top.
Drizzle a little olive oil, and sprinkle thyme, salt, pepper on top.
Preheat the oven at 350F.
Keep an eye on it while it cooks. Enjoy!

To leave a comment click here.

Smokey's reading recommendation (ebook, Kindle version here) and a few selected products for summertime. He is also dreaming of baking and his own French baguette pan, to help mold the ideal gallic loaf. A selection of French loaf pans here.


Congratulations to our 18-year-old daughter, Jackie, who received her Baccalauréat yesterday! She will go on to university in Aix-en-Provence, continuing her studies in Fashion Design.

Did you know...
International schools following the French Curriculum of education may offer the Baccalauréat (Le Bac) in lieu of or alongside a traditional high school diploma. The Baccalauréat is the traditional school-leaving qualification of French schools. The Baccalauréat is offered in several streams; subjects chosen for the Baccalauréat depend on the stream chosen by the student. (Wikipedia, "High School Diploma")

A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


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Suzanne Dunaway

Merci beaucoup for the lovely book plugs and I can assure you that if anyone has any questions about baking, pizza or otherwise, or cooking in general, I am available to help.
Love your sweet doggy reading his book...I could teach him how to make doggy bones out of !bread!

The rustic pizza looks delicious. But what was the crust? Mine is pizza crust made at home, but the French often use feuilleté instead. I think pizza crust is best.

Ken Scupp

Une rondelle is also a hockey puck. Congrats to Jackie!

Kristin Espinasse

Hi, Suzanne, I thought it was a feuillete crust too, but my mother-in-law confirmed it is a pizza crust. Smokey and I will be paying close attention to your pizza crust recipe in your book...before we give this recipe a try!

Kristin Espinasse

Thanks, Ken! Good to learn the French word for hockey puck!

neil tryansky

why la recette, slice, tomato ect but not pizza, a slice is a slice??

Cynthia Lewis

Congrats again to Jackie and Max! How wonderful that your mother-in-law is feeling so well and posting her recipes on Facebook. Her pizza looks scrumptious. I enjoyed FWAD, as always, an send my best wishes to all.


Congratulations to Jackie!!! Already sent them to Max. So happy for all of you. Have a wonderful summer. Treated myself to a new kitchen towel - that brand lasts for years. Thanks for the link - had no idea they were on Amazon. Always enjoy your posts especially pictures. Happy day!

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you, Nancy! And good to have your helpful feedback on those towels.

edie schmidt


Congratulations to your lovely daughter.
Loved the photo of the pizza/tart. I will have to try the recipe.
Merci for including it,

Edie from Savannah

Bonnie Manion

Hi Kristin,
Thanks for the wonderful recipe. I loved your delicious photo. Congrats to Jackie--can't believe how the time flies!
Hi to Jean-Marc......Bonnie and John


That pizza looks delicious and I am going to try to make it!
Congratulations to Jackie!

Art Moreau

Congratulations Jackie!!!

Jan in Edmonton, Canada

In fact in the days before TV, my hockey fanatical aunt used to listen to the Montreal Canadiens hockey games on the radio (even though she didn't speak French!) and she used to marvel at how much ice time that player named L'Hirondelle (a common name in our town) got -- it seemed that he was on the ice every shift! She felt so foolish when she realized that it meant "puck" and she had a good laugh at herself.

Diane Young

Way to go, Jackie! Looking forward to hearing more as you begin fashion design at university level. Question for Kristi: How long do you bake the pizza after putting on the sauce? And thanks so much for not including le fromage, to which I am allergic.


Our dear Kristi,
What a wonderful,happy post!
Once again your words have inspired us to find joie de vivre in everything we do!
Congratulations and love to dear Jackie!And again to dear Max!What a beautiful time of life to capture their belles etoiles!
So happy that Michele-France is feeling well again!
Her Pizza d'Ete is nothing short of a slice of heaven,and I can't wait to try it!
THANK YOU to her and you for sharing it with us!
Kristi,that picture of Smokey is precious!!


Congratulations to Jackie! :) Kristi, I'm so glad to read that your belle mere is feeling well! That pizza looks delicious and I'm looking forward to trying the recipe. Oh, and toast is excellent comfort food, as are crackers. There is something about the crunch factor...

Kristin Espinasse

Diane,  I am guessing 20 minutes. But keep your eye on it! (And let me know,  as I have not made mine yet!)

Cynthia Lewis

P.S. Thank you for giving sites to buy the French market baskets. I couldn't resist and bought the one named "Katie" thinking that the leather trim would make it stronger. We have open air markets two days a week in our town where I shall enjoy using it along with every day usage.

Jackie looks so happy and beautiful while eating blue cotton candy and Smokey is in his usual laid back mode as he "bones" up on his bread making skills. Thanks for these joyful photos and thanks to Jean-Marc for reading his mother's recipe!

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you, Cynthia. I hope you will enjoy your basket. Happy to hear you have two open air markets in your area!

Joan L.

Joyeux Bac! I'm guessing you use "rondelle" for solid things that end up "rond" when you slice them?: tomatoes, pepperoni, lemons, hockey pucks which are "rond" anyway? Une part for a slice of pizza since you're actually having a part of it? What about "une tranche?"


Congratulations to Jacki. The pizza sounds delicious. I am watching Le Tour de France as always loving the scenery. Oh La Belle France!


Congratulations , Jackie. Another milestone in your life. Have a great family summer. Mary -Audrey


Congratulations to Jackie! Woot! Woot! I'm sure she is going to do great at uni!

That picture of Jackie is so cute and Smokey is such a cutie as well. Looks like he has found the perfect way to enjoy a little light summer reading.

That pizza looks perfect for summer. Am definitely going to have to try it! Thank Michele-France for the recipe us! (Sorry I don't know how to put the accent in there!)


Congratulations, Jackie! You are on your way - very exciting! Enjoy your summer days! Looks like Smokey is preparing to go to market. Kristi, you and Jean-Marc have the most beautiful children, Max and Jackie, - and, Smokey isn't so bad, himself!! You must be very, very proud of your babies!! Congratulations to you and Jean-Marc, too! Graduates! Yay!!!

Trina from St. Petersburg, FL USA

Congrats to Jackie! Also, been meaning to remark that it's so wonderful to see M-F's health restored! Smokey looks like he could get a job in Hollywood ... or the French equivalent.


Wow, big congrats to Jackie! Exciting times for her and Max! Good for both of them. The pizza looks delicious and it's making me hungry! :-)

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you all for these very sweet comments and for taking the time to send positive wishes. I am always so touched to read your words. Very encouraging!

Gilles Vrignaud

Love all your postings, thanks for the candor of your ups and downs.
Love the dog pictures.
Petite correction d'orthographe:
préchauffer dans la recette; pas besoin d'un accent aigu sur le deuxième "e" (infinitif)


Kristin Espinasse

Thank you,  Gilles. And many thanks for the correction.

Marianne Rankin

Bravo, Jackie, d'avoir reussi au Bac! C'est bien plus difficile d'obtenir, je crois, qu'un diplome d'une "high school" americaine.

Je serai contente de suivre votre carriere en couture (comment dit-on "fashion design" en francais?).

Je vous souhaite bonne chance avec vos etudes. Felicitations!

Betsy Ritzel

I made the pizza d'été in a pie crust and it was so good. I would bake the crust first for 10 minutes, then add the rest. It was like a ratatouille pie. Merci beaucoup.

Kristin Espinasse

Betsy,  So good to read your feedback--and thanks for the great tip!

Patty Cargill

Congratulations, Jackie. The pizza pic is gorgeous, receipe much like I it is E A S Y to make your pizza dough in a bread machine: just select for manuel. No mixing/kneading, dump ingredient and within an hour or so pizza dough is ready to roll.
Fresh veggies = best time ro make these and you can use whole grain flours for a healthier crust. Thanks for sharing receipes. Going to dig out my French table linens from Aix-en-Provence and create my own tiny taste of France here. You inspire me, Kristi.

Danielle Rand

Félicitations Jackie

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