I probably would never have treated myself to such an extravagant meal had it not been for my very good friend, Alana, who is also a connoisseur of fine cuisine and has a palate that would challenge most of the well-known food critics out there (whomever they are). We wanted to have a girls’ dinner out and wanted something that screamed « indulgence » but did not want to skimp on food quality. Not an easy feat with my dairy intolerance. so when I called up Spring and asked them if they could accommodate someone with a dairy allergy, and they said « oui » I squeaked with such joy, Alana told me I sounded like I had won the lottery. I NEVER would have EVER thought that such a posh restaurant would be willing to modify their whole menu just so I could eat there. (I later found out one of the reasons why they were so willing to accommodate).
Le Clan Des Jules
We found this fantastic little place on rue Brochant in the 17th. It has everything you would want on a cold dreary winter evening when you go out for dinner : warm colored décor, interesting and appetizing menu, friendly service, good wine, and a fun theme to the whole thing!
So the theme is a sort of tongue-in-cheek way of saying it’s a mob owned restaurant. It isn’t, that’s just the theme. From the vintage items strategically placed around the restaurant, to the 1920′s mobster machine gun racked up on the wall, to the bullet casings lined up on one of the shleves; even one of the menu items played into the theme : on the dessert menu the last choice was « Rien, le parrain m’attend 0€ » (Nothing, the godfather is waiting for me 0€).
We were set in a cozy corner, and although when we got there were only the second table to fill, in about 30 minutes there was not a single table empty… (all French people, no tourists) and it was a week night! Thank goodness we reserved. I highly suggested doing the same if you want to head there for a meal.
I have been dying to share this recipe with you ever since Christmas eve.But first, credit due where credit is deserved : this is my mother in-law’s special Christmas eve recipe, and these images (and instructions) come from our Christmas eve family dinner with them, which is her holiday tradition. Chéri and I helped in the making of this so that I could document it and be able to understand how to prepare it, perfectly. I hope we will have many more years together as a family making this amazing meal.
Just looking at these images is making me drool. the memory of this meal is still fresh in my mind and seriously, it was so delicious we were singing her praises for days afterwards. Mmmmmmmm! Read more →
Chéri and I had a fun intimate party for New Years Eve, at our place with Lisa of Ella Coquine with her chéri and our good friend Sophie. It was nice to just have a small group of good people gathered together to laugh, drink some bubbly, eat decadent delights and be silly until well past the pumpkin hour.
I served some of my remaining champagne from Mon Champagne, Hediard foie gras (splurge!), Lisa brought smoked salmon bites with a totally amazing dairy/soy free creamy dill dip, and amazing sweet marrons marinés from Sophie, and then of course one of my favorite foods, nêms! Read more →
Le Petit Duc has a two word philosophy : Pationelle & Tradisserie
Which are actually two words mixed and matched together : Patisserie and Traditionelle. They have taken the two concepts and sliced them together to create their own definition, one that treats tradition with passion and a lot more. Read more →
So my dear friend Quinn (who has just very recently left Paris for the Land Down Under to follow her ♥ -but she will be back someday, let’s say in like 2-3 years…) has been going to a café in the 9th for well over a year. And she has been going, religiously. I think she’s still the Mayor on Foursquare even though she is no longer in Paris! She kept telling me to go there, and me never « finding the time » to hike over there put it off and off. And then Quinn left… Her café of choice? : Kooka Boora.
Read more →
So, apparently I am one of the few who « knows about » this discovery : chocolate mousse doesn’t need dairy -at all-. I came to the conclusion that most people don’t know this truth judging from all the recipes I see that call for all sorts of creams, and butters and crazy dairy requirements, and the fact that I have never met a restaurant that does it sans butter or cream. Even the dairy free recipes out there on the internet all call for the complicated substitutes that I just don’t want to deal with. Chocolate mousse is really quite a simple recipe. 3 basic ingredients are all it takes! THREE! I wish more restaurants would get the concept since it would be nice to have something other than fresh fruit once in a while for dessert when I go out. But then I live in France, dairy land of the world. *sigh* … I suppose that the silver lining is that I have retained my figure.
When I want dessert, I have to make it myself. And usually I have to come up with all sorts of resourceful and inventive solutions to my creations to make them look, taste and feel like the « real » thing.
Luckily for me this is one of the simplest desserts out there!
My boss left a little magazine cutout with some recipes she found for me (she knows that I eat dairy free and my Chéri eats sans gluten). I was so touched that I was inspired to make one particular recipe to share with my colleagues.
Rochers Coco, has go to be the easiest recipe for the biggest taste. Bite sized coconut/vanilla sublime goodness… and my whole house smelled incredible while making them!
I love hot chocolate. Sadly I am unable to go out and have it in Paris, as it is always, ALWAYS made with milk. And although lactose intolerance has finally reached the shelves of the local super markets, it has not and probably will never reach the café tables and counter of the many charming Salons de thé. And that is ok, since I have a living room decorated like a vintage café, and I can make my own chocolat chaud at home! Read more →