Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Snapshots 4.09-15

Nothing like a little cemetery research for our new skip-the-line Catacombs tour. How cool is that blue??
Thanks to today's recon mission, we now start in Montparnasse Cemetery before going underground.

Horse loves eggs.  Happy Easter, Horse!
Patrick Roger, a big time chocolatier, takes real eggs, fills them with a soft chocolate shell, and then fills that with hazelnut cream.  Here Jillian cracks the first egg!
Behold, deliciousness.

Front right, Justin. Arrested today for outrunning the cops on his bike.  Hilarious because Justin is THE nicest, most polite and docile human being you will ever meet.  He made it across town, with multiple bike cops & squad cars in tow chasing him and radioing to each other.  I saw him fly by the front office and thought, "Wow, Justin's going fast."  He threw his bike in the back office and said, "Oh hey, Sadie. I think I'm about to get arrested."  And then he did.


Meet my friends saucisson, gorgonzola, and cumin-infused gouda.

We amaze ourselves with our Frenchness! Starting our pre-dinner apero of cheese, charcuterie & wine at 9pm, dinner just having gone in the oven, candles and all.  And this for our chill night in.  We are fancy & French!!
Award for most random color to have on head to toe! A full turquoise-green outfit! Bravo!
Lemony white beans with fresh herbs, shredded chicken, and a mint-almond pesto! Mmm!
Asparagus season...glad you're here!
Yep. There's a swimsuit there.  Maygan's actually decided to replace everything in her wardrobe and will only wear blue-green from here on out.


I love getting mail!!  And the fact that they had to clarify that the address was for "Bullforg Bike".  Forg.  

What?? No I didn't put the address there so you could send me mail or write me a letter or just so I can have some mail!! Why would I do that?  I don't care.  It's not fun.  Who writes letters?  I accept them here at work, or at my apartment at 3 Avenue de Champaubert, Paris 75015.  

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chocolate Chickens & Boeuf Bourgignon

In case you're wondering, April last year was day after day of beautiful perfect sunny weather, where I woke up, looked out the window, declared out loud, "It's the most beautiful day in the world!!" in a British accent, and picnicked and walked and sighed and sat outside in cafes practically weeping over the wonder that is Paris in the springtime.

This year, it's like we're stuck in February and there's no end in sight.  The only dress I've worn in the past 6 months is the same one sweater dress that I have worn a thousand times already, and I've outworn all my scarves and my jackets have buttons missing from being OVER-WORN.  AND I'M SICK OF IT!  May is next week and I'm still wearing ear muffs to ride home so my ears don't fall off!!

Sorry about my anger.  I have an extreme aversion and hatred towards cold.

On Easter, I tried to wear a dress & heels and nearly froze to death.  Thought my legs were just going to freeze into place while I was riding my bike home from church, and I'd just fall over from inability to pedal.

Easter was pretty much yesterday so this is still seasonally applicable.  Let me tell you about it.  First of all, I was stressed out over the fact that Easter Sunday had arrived and I had not yet secured some delicious Easter chocolate.  It's an unbearable kind of stress.  Most places are closed on Sunday, so I figured this would be the case with the chocolate stores, but they made an exception for Easter, understanding that it was their DUTY as a chocolate shop to provide us with animal-shaped chocolates.

I headed to Rue Cler an hour before church and let the shopping begin.  Clearly this place remembered me from last year and made their advertisements specifically to beckon me forth.

Okay, okay, I'll come in!
I opted for an assorted bag of chocolate eggs and a chocolate chicken!  Because how often can you get a chocolate chicken??  
I went for the pig & the sheep last year, because what says Easter more than a chocolate farm animal?  Maybe next year the bunny stands a chance.

On to spot #2.  Awwww how cute are they??  Little individual hand-made peeps!
 The front left peep has gigantic eyes which makes me want to check out everyone's eyes.  Make eye contact with everyone and then check out the poor little guy in the middle! Fallen over. Upside down. Beady-eyed.  He's a riot.  I would have bought him had I noticed his distressful state.  I settled on a lovely bag of praline eggs...some sort of crispy nutty toffee-like eggs, you know, to have something to balance out the chocolate.

And finally, to the master, Michel Chaudun, decorated in his Easter best.  Notice people on both sides staring in the windows at his many beautiful chocolate creations.

Gigantic chocolate chicks, eggs, bunnies, turtles, lambs frolicking...and the reflection of my Spanish boyfriend, Ricardo, in his white linen Easter pants.

Not really, I don't know who that guy is.  But I now regret paying so much attention to the chocolate while Ricardo was doing his modeling lean.
This was my prize from Michel Chaudun.  A real egg, which when you crack and peel off the shell, reveals a solid chocolate interior.  How magical is that?  Well that's why I paid $13 for it.  Magic.

Behold...the Easter loot.

After I had safely secured my Easter chocolate delights, I rode my bike just down the street to the American Church of Paris for their 1:30pm contemporary service.

Then, since I was freezing, I stopped at a cafe on Rue Cler (which was always one of my favorite things to do, but I never do it anymore), to sit on the terrace with heat lamps and work on one of my 30 in 30 list items - to read Mere Christianity.
Around 4:30pm, I realized I would not survive the evening wearing a dress, so I biked back to the apartment, changed into jeans, boots, and several long sleeve layers, and then rode to Maygan & Kyle's to make Easter dinner!!

They had proposed an Easter Boeuf Bourgignon in their fabulous new copper pot from E. Dehlerin, where Julia Child used to do her shopping.  Maygan loves her new copper pot, as she should!

Ready to go in the oven!

The inaugural baking of the copper pot.  This is your moment to shine.
We also made some delicious peanut butter & oatmeal cookies from a recipe Maygan found that doesn't use sugar or flour!

As the boeuf did its slow braising for 3.5 hours, we had wine and snacks and watched Julie & Julia, as could only be expected for a moment such as making beef bourgignon in a copper pot bought at E. Dehlerin in Paris for Easter dinner.  And let me tell you...
A tradition has been born!
We decided that Easter BB with Julie & Julia would have to become an Easter tradition.
And I love that there is wine & chocolate goodies as the centerpiece.

But let's not forget the peanut butter cookies!!  Our friends Erin & Kelly came over, and Erin brought a big bag of robin's eggs that her family sent her, so we created a lovely Easter nest dessert.
Here, Kyle expresses how we all feel about Easter dinner.  SUP-AIR!!
Bon Pacques!

Incidentally, going back to that whole freezing cold thing...Another item on my 30 in 30 list is to go to the beach as soon as it gets warm.  I love, the beach.  And I waited until the last weekend of August last year to finally make a weekend trip, where I was surprised to remember HOW MUCH I LOVE THE BEACH.  So I crossed my heart and promised myself that I would go MUCH sooner this year.  As soon as I possibly could.

I've been eye-ing the weather since mid-February all over southern Europe for any potential beach destinations to get warm enough.  When I finally saw the high 60's, approaching 70's, I found a good flight price and I booked it!  So Thursday night, I'm flying to Palma de Mallorca, which is an island off the coast of Spain, right by Ibiza, AND was 36 euros one-way!!  I can't even have dinner here for that!

My first plan is to make birds fall out of the sky by blinding them with the whiteness of my entire body.  Then maybe take a boat trip.  We'll see what happens.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Snapshots: 4.02-4.08

Oh you better believe it.  Peanuts. Scallions.  What else could it be?...
 but Graham and his sister wives...
 making pad thai!!  MM!!
Um don't ask.  

Okay really, take a million guesses, get back to me in 19 years, and you won't guess that it's...a...banana??  Oh you think it looks like a nasty piece of sausage?  And you wouldn't have guessed that it was dessert, even if it WAS wrapped in a banana leaf?  Well try eating it.  It was actually really good.  And very banana-like, despite it's freaky appearance. 

Tuesday & Wednesday

I...did...things?  Usually there is just always SOMETHING I end up taking a picture of during the day, but apparently this was not the case on Tues & Wed.  I Skyped with Kat and had a fun & delicious salmon dinner over at Maygan & Kyle's.  But nothing to show for it.


We start our Catacombs tour on Friday, so had to check out the competition. Took a Catacombs tour with our rival skip-the-line company.  There he is, standing with his little white sign across the way. And then as always, the astronomical line that is always wrapped around the block.  In case you're wondering, they've got nothing on us.  Our tour will be way better.

Off to Versailles for the day to forge a new partnership with a different bakery for our new skip-the-line Versailles tour.  The bakery we're using now is not cutting it.  As it turns out this bakery offered me a MUCH better price, they were very friendly, and they gave me a complementary box of macrons to take with me!  Extra points already for the new bakery!!

Friday night started out with the intention of being a chill night at home making green curry.  As I'm cooking, Jillian calls and tells me we're going to Candelaria, where Rick's wife works.  Change of plans!  Here one of our newest guides, Carl, rocks out appropriately to some old school Green Day.

Rick expresses extreme anger over the lack of Rick-related content on my blog.  There were accusations, screaming, Jillian got on board, as you can see.  As a result, I now have plans for a full post entirely dedicated to Rick.  It will be the first in a series featuring Paris friends.  Because you should know bout my Paris peeps!  ESPECIALLY RICK ALARCON.

Janonais!! Saturday night, I met up with Maygan and Kyle on Rue St. Anne, just north of the Louvre, which is known for its many Japanese restaurants. There are always lines out the door at these places, and it's always been a goal of mine to spend more time here and find the best spots.  Well here's where it starts, Sapporo.    

Incidentally, Maygan and I were texting a few hours before about where to go for dinner, and I suggested Japanese on Rue St. Anne, and she responded, "Oh, Jananese sounds great!" So we proceeded to greet each other by bowing and declaring "Janonais!" in a Japanese accent.  It has continued since.

Ooooookay.  The Janonese don't play when it comes to beer.  We decided to order Japanese beers, thinking we were getting a normal bottle of beer, and then BOOM, here's your wine-bottle sized bottle of beer and your 40.  This is not an optical illusion.  The bottle and beer can were twice the size of our heads.

Oh the deliciousness.  I can hardly stand it.  We decided we must come to this neighborhood often. Very often.
Afterwards, we decided to stroll past the Garnier Opera House to this bar called Footsie which is apparently a play on words for the London Stock Exchange (FTSE). It's in the financial/stock market area between the Opera House & Place Vendome, and they change the price of their drinks according to the demand of what's being bought.  Three flat screens display the prices that change ever 4 minutes.  It's a fun idea until you're up next to get your 3.20€ glass of wine and some jerks cut in front of you, the TV changes, and suddenly your wine is now 4.50€.  That happened.  I'm bitter.

But the interior of this place is beautiful.  It doesn't even look French.  I don't even know how to describe it, you have to come visit.  But check out these great huge old timey windows behind us.  And the detail on the ceiling in the picture before this one.  I'm sure it was THE spot for stock brokers to hang out back in the day, and it's beautiful and unique and it smells of leather and rich mahogany.

Easter Sunday!!!! Before church, I went to Rue Cler (my previous beautiful home address, if you will remember. How I miss it.) to purchase Easter chocolates!! There are 3 or 4 great chocolate shops in this area, and I was nervous that they'd all be closed since EVERYTHING is closed on Sunday.  But they were open "exceptionally" for Easter.  I went to three different shops and procured some chocolatey goodness.

Then after church, I went to Maygan & Kyle's to make boeuf bourgigon with them in their beautiful new copper pot!!  Happy Easter!!