Monday, May 4, 2015

French Pastries

Too many eclairs

Salted caramel, raspberry, cherry and chocolate and hazelnut.

The highlight of our quick trip to the city of lights, cheese and bread had to have been the eclairs, at least for me. Our apt was up the street from L'Éclair de Génie and when confronted with the enviable question of which one will you have? It was  hard not to order one of each, but we settled on just 4. The cherry, chocolate caramel, raspberry and the grand prise winner the salted caramel. Works of art! As hard as it was, we were pretty good about enjoying them and not scarfing them down in one sitting.  

Citron tart, Isphan, hazelnut millefuille and chocolate noir pastries
chocolate covered marshmallows, jelly candies and a box of chcoclates

picnic in park

sandwich, wine and chips 

During our trip we picked up pastries at la mère de famille and Pierre Hermé and headed to the Le Jardin du Luxembourg Luxembourg for a nice picnic in the park. Which I am really not sure if you are allowed to drink wine in the parks so we tucked out bottle in one of our bags and poured into the glasses thinking that no one was watching. We thought we would be caught as 5 police officers were interrupting a chess match. No one was carted away so I guess the game continued uninterrupted. After a nice break in the garden it was back to Pierre Hermé for more pastry, late night snacks need to be tamed! 
We took a break at Angelina for lunch. Since it was a little chilly and rainy it was a perfect day for the famous hot chocolate and their signature pastry, The Mont Blanc.

Mont Blanc and hot chocolate

There is nothing wrong with hazelnut millefuille a Chocolate Noir Cake with your morning croissants, is there?  

Friday, May 1, 2015

26.2 miles and the sights

April 12, 2015 will live forever in our minds and the feet of one. The hubster ran and finished his last marathon, ever. And I finally made into the Paris Opera House.  Hubster unfortunately didn't.  Don't tell him we went.  We promised we wouldn't look up at the glory of the ceiling.
The race for the hubster started at 10:05 on the Champs de Elysee under the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe. What a great sunny day for running it was turning out to be.
We left the chaos of the starting line, marathon map in hand and a plan to meet up and cheer on the hubster at certain points along the race.

Our goal was to meet up at 3 check points. We missed him at the first check point only because we were enjoying the beautiful interior of the Opera House, don't tell. I had come to see the Chagall ceiling and was not disappointed. The Opera House was built in 1861, Grand Staircase, the Grand Foyer and of course the ceiling. That beautiful ceiling I could stare at it all day. It depicts scenes from operas by 14 composers. Installed in 1964 was of course controversial. I think it's a masterpiece.
Now back to the race. We met up a the 30 km and I gave him a big hug and helped him over the 30 km marker. So now I can say I crossed the 30km marker in a marathon! We helds up signs and cheered on the racers that looked like they needed much encouragement.

We raced onto the next check point, the 26 mile marker. Again we cheered those racers that needed an extra ump!  Some runners remembered us from the earlier checkpoints! They kept smiling and some even said Chuck Norris was going to kick my ass. Only .2 miles to go and the hubster pushed on to the finish! Who says you need to train to run a marathon! Well for the very last marathon for the hubster it was a true test of determination but for us it was a great day of sights!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Paris, foie gras and beef cheeks.

Foie Gras Terrine with toast and fig jam

Paris, the city of food fit for kings. It was hard to dine on bad food but there were some misses with the French food roulette. More on that later!

I must confess 3 out of our 4 meals started at least for me foie gras. I can’t help myself. It’s one of my guilty pleasures. The first night was a meal down the street from our home away from home the hubster had a miss with his lamb dish I had a hit with the one of many foie gras appetizers of the trip.  

Another dinner another dish of foie gras

One warning we didn't listen to was making reservations weeks before the trip. So as we wondered the streets looking at posted menus and passing over many restaurants we found Le Procope.  We were able to get a table early. Founded in 1686 this establishment became the meeting for liberal ideas and intellectuals. Now mind you this is the night before the hubster's big race. And normally you carb load but the hubster took a different route and had a beautifully seared duck breast and mash potatoes. We all chose wisely as well ordering the beef cheek and coc au vinBoth dishes arriving in VERY hot copper pots. A lot can be said about Le Procope, it’s too touristy, blah blah blah, but our food was outstanding as was the service. Best of all, we were treated to the Crepe Suzette show right next to our table.  

Duck breast with mash potatoes

Beef cheeks

Crepe Suzette station

The biggest miss of all was the dinner we had after the race and as it was our last meal, turns out for some to be the nightmares of all French menus. It was all in French and the waitstaff was not good at translations and they didn't really seem to care. So, we took our chances and two orders were a miss. The Hubster had yet another miss with the Pied de porc, or pig trotters,  did not sit well with some.  luckily for for the Hubster the trotters didn't stay around for long.   Two of us had a hit with the beef cheek stew!  

Beef cheeks again

Pigs trotters not a good choice for dinner 

It was too short of a trip and we are already plotting when we can go back. Paris is forever my favorite city and I know that I will never starve!