mercredi 11 juin 2014

Au Revoir France

   As we are winding down our 7th year in the City of Lights and getting ready to bid au revoir, I realize there is so much I have yet to see and do. I feel very fortunate to have had this opportunity to live abroad and experience the life and culture of another country. As we are making our bucket list for things to see and do in France, I realize that most of our list revolves around food with a bit of culture thrown in somewhere. Which in my eyes is not half bad at all. Did I mention the pastries??

People ask what I will miss most. The food I think is what I will miss most. I know this can be a bit overkill for some, but the flavors, presentation, and freshness just can't be beat. Oh and did I mention the pastries??!! My family has decided we are just going to make a good effort to put ourselves into a diabetic coma savoring every last pastry, but oh it will be a good one! We have noticed our pastry budget has grown quite large in the last month or so.

I will also miss the window displays and how everything is beautifully and carefully presented as if it's a live theatre show every night.

Yes, people say the French are snooty and don't like foreigners. However with the exception of a few rare instances, I have to say we have been welcomed into this country. No, it hasn't been easy, and they make you work for what you want - things aren't just handed to you - you expect everything to take a long time and if it doesn't, well something isn't exactly right. But we have persevered and made it work - albeit not perfectly, but not half bad either.

If you yet have not had a chance to experience this beautiful city, I highly recommend it. Yes, visit all the touristy spots, but be sure to make time to just walk down small side streets taking in the ambience and various ethnicities that each quartier has to offer.

Je t'aime France......

Paris Book Mob Video is Live!

   To update the last post, here is the link to the live Paris Book Mob Video - I didn't make the cut, but my daughter and Uncle did - really a great video and fun to see the audiences' expressions.

Click here for link to the video.

dimanche 13 avril 2014

Paris Book Mob

   Yesterday was the first ever Paris Book Mob sponsored by the American Library. We met up at the Tour Eiffel not really having an idea of where to go. Only when we spotted fellow book holders did we realize we were among the right bunch. We had to pose ourselves for 3 min and freeze. Important to check to make sure you have an interesting page to read for 3 minutes - never realized this is a long time to read the same page!! We mingled among the tourists in line, found a good spot and on cue froze for 3 minutes. A few came really close to see what I was reading. I could overhear various comments - "What's this?" "Why are all these people standing there with books?" What was really neat was there were a handful of students from my class participating as well!
Coming soon the promotional video for the American Library in Paris!

vendredi 7 mars 2014

Caramelized Apple Tarte Fine

   Thin apple tarts are so easy to make and when you make them yourself, there are no bad ingredients inside. Try to buy apples from a local grower - even better.

Making your own pie crust is not easy with the double and triple steps of leaving overnight to rise, reknead, etc. After all, making an apple tarte doesn't do justice if you don't make your own crust - but who has time for that?? I found this super easy thin pie crust from Clotilde over at Chocolate and Zucchini and decided to check it out. Very simple to make and only requires one hour of chilling in frigo.
Here is a link to her super easy puff pastry:

Not bad for first try. I know, I need to work on my presentation skills.....going for taste!

And voilá! Look at this beauty!

These tarts make a great afternoon snack or anytime you are looking for a coffee or tea pick me up.

Here is a link to Clotilde's super easy caramelized apple tarte fine:

 - remember she says her trick is in the butter - so make sure you choose a good one. And don't forget to butter and sugar the parchment paper underneath the dough before cooking tarte - oh yea!

Happy snacking!

dimanche 2 février 2014

La Chandeleur

   This is an old post, but thought I would share again as today is Jour des Crèpes.

Today 2 February in France is La Chandeleur or Fête de la Lumière or Jour des Crèpes. This religious holiday was to commemorate the purification of the Virgin Mary and the presentation of Baby Jesus. However, now it is mostly recognized as a celebration of a return to spring after a cold dark winter. The pancake link (as there seems to always be a "food" link with French Fêtes and why not!!) is that the pancakes symbolizes the round, golden sun.

An old superstition is that on this day one holds a gold coin in their left hand while flipping the first crêpe prepared in the pan in their right hand. If one has a successful toss of the crêpe, they will be rewarded with good luck all year round.

So happy tossing and mange beaucoup de crêpes!!

samedi 1 février 2014

I don't Speak English Very Well

   So many times we go into a shop asking if they speak English and we most often get the same response.. "very leetle". Once again, I went into our local pharmacy asking for something in French, but not quite getting the words correctly, switched over asking our over used cop out phrase, "Do you speak English?" Most of the time the French clerks see us coming a mile away and suddenly claim l'heure de dejeuner and run quickly to the nearest door. This time, however she had no where to run. So I asked for a special bandage and even had an example of what I was actually looking for. I said to the clerk, "Have you learned English yet?" Shyly she said, " I don' t like to speak English". I said, "Ah, but you know a bit". "Yes but my accent is bad", she said. She gave me my bandages and I said she could keep the one I gave her. She replied, "Yes, a souvenir. Thank you." Outside I told my friend the story and I said she must understand English if she understands the word "souvenir". My friend replied in a matter of typical French responses, "But yes, the word 'souvenir' is French!" I guess I am the idiot now!

L'heure déjeuner: lunch time

dimanche 22 septembre 2013


   Stopped by Pierre Hermé today to give them a letter of motivation for Rachel's stage (internship). I do hope she gets it. Of course, cannot stop here without buying a few goodies. Their macarons are amazing. They have a new flavor called Ephemeral..... I guess you can say it is.....olive oil and mandarin orange infused with cucumber water....

On another cooking note, this is the season for carrotte violette - they are beautiful and delicious to boot. Get them before they're all gone!!