Braised Potatoes and Carrots with Bay Leaves, time to lighten up

The holidays are over, almost…..

The cookies are gone, we’ve finished the liqueur-filled chocolates….

Time to get back to the real world.

I got the notice in the mail the other day that I’m being scheduled for my physical exam.

It’s done every five years here.

Long-time readers will remember that it was during my last physical (which was also my first) that I discovered I was fat by French standards. (You can read about how I got Fat in France here and, if you’re curious, you can read about our assembly-line physicals here.)

I knew I would be summoned this year but I wasn’t expecting it until summer. I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be right after the holidays.

Had I known I wouldn’t have baked so many cookies.

Lighter eating seems to be in order for the next few weeks and these potatoes and carrots are perfect. They’re cooked together in stock with bay leaves. Most of the stock will be absorbed, giving them a deep flavor and light glaze.

No butter needed.

Braised Potatoes and Carrots with Bay Leaves

Total time: 35 minutes


  • 2 carrots, cut into large sticks
  • 2 potatoes, cut into large chunks
  • 2 bay (laurel) leaves
  • enough chicken or vegetable stock to just cover vegetables

Potatoes and Carrots Braised with Bay


  • Put everything into a saucepan and bring to a boil. 
  • Cook, uncovered, until vegetables are done and chicken stock has been absorbed.  If there is any stock left, pour it off or use it elsewhere. 
  • Remove bay leaves and serve.

Print Recipe

I say the holidays are almost over because we still have Epiphany or King’s Day coming on the 6th of January.

It’s not an official holiday in France but it is celebrated with a special King’s Cake and, often, a glass of something bubbly – like sparkling apple cider.

In Spain, however, it’s both a holiday and a big celebration. Cities, towns and villages will have a parade on the evening of the 5th, and the holiday gifts are exchanged on the morning of the 6th. In recent years, I’m told, a few gifts may also by exchanged on Christmas, but Christmas is more of a religious celebration than a gift grab.

Andorra, where we lived for 7 years, embraces the traditions of both countries.

In front of one of the biggest stores in the country the children can sit on Santa’s lap, asking for gifts, right up until the 25th of December.

On the 26th of December Santa is replaced by the Three Kings and the children line up to ask the Kings for whatever Santa forgot. The Kings stay until the 5th of January.

That’s a long holiday season.

My Christmas is being packed away tomorrow…..

I’m out of cookies.

6 thoughts on “Braised Potatoes and Carrots with Bay Leaves, time to lighten up”

  1. We keep our Christmas tree up until the end of January, lol! The lights are a comfort to me…

    For some reason, I can’t get your blog on my Blogger reader feed, so I have to think to come here. And it’s funny, I just checked out this post and that is virtually exactly what I am cooking right at the moment! I am just steaming the veggies though — even simpler. I bet the broth gives a nice taste, though.

  2. You have inspired me – I am going to see if I can find any sparkling apple cider here in Marrakech – it is just what I feel like !! There is a big choice of French wine here so I may just be lucky !!

  3. Betty, we have to rearrange the furniture to make room for the tree – hubs wanted it back to normal. Plus, it didn’t need to get any dustier (we heat with wood)

    Sullimaybe, I do too… I do see my regular doc, but this is pretty comprehensive.

    Kate, I’m getting rather fond of sparkling cider. It’s pretty popular here.

  4. The recipe looks good, tasty, normal and simple to make. And simple is often tastiest. Shouldn’t one make simple vegetables, simple meats and complicated sauces?

    What’s complicated is finding French-style cider in North America. For the life of me, I can’t understand why it hasn’t taken off here.

    We have plenty of apples in North America.

    Tons of people are into micro-brewing, micro-distilling and micro-everything else.

    And we certainly like to booze it up here. You’d think the coast is clear to bring deux or brut cider to the USA.

    But it seems that everyone who has an idea to make cider here follows the more sour, less bubbly English style. I don’t get it.

    As far as I know, the only place to get French-style cidre is in Quebec, and that from a smallish number of producers.

    That Stella Artois (blecch, anyway) “cidre” now marketed in the USA is very English.

    /2015 rant off

  5. Dan, I never thought I liked cider until I had it in France. In the north, it’s traditionally served with Breton-style crepes (an open-face buckwheat crepe with ham and egg). I now love it. The hubs is slowly converting, but, that’s okay… more for me!

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