One of the many things that I often heard from my American students when I worked in study abroad, was that they could seem to figure out how to meet French people. You would think that for young students it would be easy, so if they were having a hard time, then what do those who are beyond university years, or even in their 30′s, 40′s, 50′s and beyond do? Are you traveling here soon, and want a fabulous way to meet the locals? Book your hotel room, and then book your dinners with Voulez-Vous Diner, all in the homes of Parisians! What a great way to enjoy the culture here.
I had been wandering through the 9th, clicking my camera button to my heart’s content at any-and-everything that caught my eye. And I walked past this place that winked at me out of the corner of my gaze as I passed it in a slow hurry to nowhere. I stopped, turned around and walked back the three steps I had gone beyond it’s door. I peered in the window. Nobody was there except a guy or two behind the bar. He seemed to be polishing counters and wiping down glasses. I, being the curious soul that I am, assumed they were open despite the empty tables, and I waltzed right in.
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.
So there is this concept that people tend to do in their 20′s, called bar hopping. It happens at night, silliness and debauchery is involved and beverages are drunk.
I am in my 30′s so my bar hopping days are long gone, but I do enjoy a good bout of café hopping! Coffee was in the late 18th century considered a drug (it was consumed at EXTREMELY high concentrations so people would get practically high off it and start (French) revolutions. So if I were an 18th century Parisian I could be considered to wild and crazy, but now coffee is one of the most civilized drinks, caffeine a blasé drug and it is taken as an afternoon treat when one is trying to relax. Robespierre may well have fallen over in his seat if he had been aware of such an outcome of this substance. But there you have it.
Fauchon… you know the brand? I do! I walk by their store at the Place de la Madeleine almost every day. It’s French, pink, divine and elegant. I love to offer gifts from their stock of delights and indulgences. I even put some Fauchon chocolates in my party favor bags at the Prête-Moi Paris 3 year party. So you could say, I am a big fan of this French power house of delicious things to treat oneself to!
So when they contacted me to ask if I would like to try some of their new line of strawberry and yuzu infused products, I replied an enthusiastic “OUI!”
A pretty box of macarons came in the mail just days later. Continue reading
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!
Paul Waters a.k.a. “Pastry Boy” of Cake & Bake invited me over to his boutique on rue Lancry in the 10th for an in depth demonstration of how to decorate a cake in fondant. Little did I know the surprise he had in store for me! He had conceptualized a cake just for Prête-Moi Paris! I was thrilled to watch the “sculpting” happen right before my very eyes, and to capture it all on video for you. In addition to being photogenic and just plain charming, Paul also has an expert hand, it meticulous when creating his masterpieces. He always made sure everything was just perfect! And of course, made it all look sooooooo easy in the process!
See what he is capable of here…and hold on to your bakers hats…this video goes fast!
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!
Article by Frank Cierpial
Montclair State University is on Spring Break this week, so at the time when I would normally be in Advanced Spoken Language, I was on a train into New York Penn Station to find one of Paris’s newest most prized treasures, La maison Ladurée.
I was thrilled to receive an invitation to the On Aura Tout Vu couture collection for Spring 2013. The event was held at the Mairie de Paris in the 4th arrondissement, and was also sponsored on part by one of my favorite cosmetic brands, Caron, who offered to guests a little box of bath beads. And beading was certainly in the theme of the collection which was illustrated by the beatle, it’s shiny green shell, and a palette of it’s colorful hues, as well as plenty of black and patent fabrics to illustrate the essence of this creature. Continue reading
Article by Frank Cierpial
La Maison du Croque Monsieur. Finding Authentic French food in New York proves to be a challenge. Finding French food in New York that college students like myself can afford proves to be even harder. This daunting task is almost impossible in most cases, but not in this one. What if I told you that you can find Authentic French food in the West Village that is more than affordable. No, I am not kidding. Such a place does exist. The place is called “La Maison de Croque Monsieur”. Continue reading
I was recently put in contact with someone Chéri knows, who is starting a business online that will greatly please champagne lovers! It is to be called Mon Champagne, and will hopefully open up its virtual doors very soon. The concept is to promote and sell champagne from talented yet little-know producers, or as we should call them “créateurs” as the are like craftsmen (and women) who take the craft of making champgne to heart. Mon Champagne will be not just selling and promoting their bubblies, they will also be explaining the different “personalities” of each vineyard, brand and bottle. I am thrilled for this website to open and there are three things main I love about their concept :
- First, Uuuuuh, it’s champagne. What’s NOT to LOVE!?!
- Second, I love promoting the “little (talented) guy”! These vineyards are not the multi-million euro branded ones, but can be just as good.
- And third, it offers a great (and tested) product at a fair price. A real price. Yaaaay! Champagne for everyone!!!! Continue reading
So, since Obama has been in the white house, Americana has gained enormous amounts of popularity over here in Paris. I can see a great difference from the days when Parisians were protesting the war in Iraq (protest which I participated in my first year here in the city of Lights and Love).
Americana diners are popping up all over the city and the hamburger has become a super trendy meal, with popular websites like My Little Paris writing about the “best burger in Paris” and the Ralph Lauren restaurant Ralph’s serving a whopping 27€ but apparently über delish! I don’t know if I could allow myself though to chose that menu item when I go there (as I am planning in it sooner or later) because they do serve Maine Lobster on the menu, and that for me is a vital part of my New England-raised-and-educated desires, much more so than a burger. But that will be for another post. There is also the extremely popular food truck Le Camion Qui Fume, where people stand in line for an hour for street food burger and fries. They have even published a recipe book! Burgers are back and totally popular among the trendy chic in the chicest city in the world.
I do think that I shall write a post with my review of all the different Americana burger joints in the city, but I still haven’t tasted them all! I am working on that, slowly but surely. My most recent tasting was at Chibby’s Diner. An adorable Americana Diner that brings you back to a nostalgic time in the USA, right here in the middle of Paris.
Post by Jenny Bailey
Five Foodie Experiences in Paris
The romance between Paris and fine food has been going on for centuries. As a result, the city has become one of the most renowned foodie destinations in the world.
Paris offers a number of gourmet experiences that tourists can indulge in – from pairing cheese and wine in one of Paris’s famous wine bars, to sampling garlicky escargots (or snails) in a traditional bistro. If snails sound slightly too bizarre for you, then thank your lucky stars you weren’t a visitor during the Middle Ages, when swan and peacock with gilded gold beaks were on the menu! Continue reading
This is the first year in 6 years that I have had Thanksgiving off and can spend it with my husband and in-laws without feeling rushed or having to celebrate a few days later on Sunday. This year I get to take my time in the kitchen with my mother in law, we get to cook together and chat, and share recipes, and I will write them all down in a little notebook and cherish them so I can pass them on one day (because her stuffing recipe is quite literally the best thing you could ever ever eat…). This will be a Thanksgiving to remember!
Brunching is THE thing to do in Paris. Make your brunch experience even trendier if you head to the Fashion Brunch IN’a City. For it’s second year in a row, the Fashion Brunch concept createtd by Tiyi of InAcity.fr is hosting weekend events this winter where you can get a fabulous New York style brunch for 25€ with sweet and savory dishes accompanied with breakfast drinks. You get to go back for seconds, and if you go for the brunch the 2€ entry fee is reimbursed to you.
This new edition will be held at the Café A in the Masion de L’Architecture right next to the Gare de l’Est in the 10th. A fabulous open space in this historic building will host the brunch restaurant and a giant room next door is where all the fashion and fun will try to contain itself!
So, of COURSE I would be getting our wedding cake from the Sugarplum Cake Shop!!! I mean, they have been my FAVORITE cake shop in Paris since they opened!!!! And Laurel, Krista and Taylor are some of the world’s greatest ladies and fantastic team where each member compliments the others to create a totally dynamic, balanced and talented trio.
I love these ladies!
There was no question about it, Sugarplum Cake Shop was where I’d get my wedding cake.
The first meeting with Laurel was to start the order, and determine the basic shape of this cake.
We played around with the styrofoam cut outs to brainstorm, and I brought some fabric swatches of the colors to be used in our wedding decoration. We talked about the style of decoration we were looking for, maybe some bunting, maybe some stripes…and what the Sugarplums had for ideas as well for our circus themed wedding cake.
I headed over to the Champs Elysées to pop into the Eric Bompard boutique on a freakishly humid and muggy day this May for their press day. Cashmere and sweaters was certainly not the first thing on my mind, rather how many layers could I take off and where could I get a refreshing drink! Luckily they offered me a cold glass of sparkling water, and the A/C was on! Yes! Continue reading
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I came across this place when I was grabbing some supplies for wedding prep at an art store near métro Nation. And it looked so absolutely inviting that I just had to go in! I sat and had a demi pression and chatted with the barman and the owner who is a young woman about my age and she was setting up the tables for the dinner hour. Continue reading