Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Paris Chicks

A not-to-be-missed essential icon of French Easter is chicken little
Why ever did I leave my chicks back in New York?
Last years egg chase poster
Almost every window has hatching chicks present
Some are sitting in their nid/nest admittedly...
Hatching chicks of marzipan at La Mere de Famille
Just because it's the day after Easter doesn't mean the fancy eggs are 1/2 price or marked down. We have another week of vacance here. And anyway I've yet to see a chocolate egg go on sale. They must all be eaten up.
While checking out an apartment for a PB reader I was stopped in my tracks by this adorable hatching chick eggcup. I was taking pics for the renter but I'm sure the owner thought I was nuts shooting her egg cup. *Let me know if you'd like me to check out a possible future Paris rental for you.
The kitchen supply shops on rue Montmartre are full of relaxing chicks.
This one is vacationing in Tahiti.
By the way these little chicks are called 'Piou Pious'
It's the French sound they make of course.
Here's a hot song about Piou Pious on Youtube. With 40 million hits it's got to be hot no?
I'm very tempted by these bunny night lights but that's another Easter story.
La Tour d'Argent shop has beautiful Limoges eggs purely for decoration. Baker Eric Kayser has a box of a dozen mini Piou pious in dark and white chocolate. No one can top the French for Easter goofiness in my opinion but what do I know?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Sunday Brunch at Hotel Fouquet Barriere

Among with the invasion of hamburgers, Sunday brunch has taken Paris by storm the last few years.
Coco (here demonstrating the ivy and laurel leaves climbing up Paris' original lamp posts in her neighborhood) invited me to join her and other bloggers at Hotel Fouquet's brand new Brunch service at the Barrière.
And I invited Janice. The Hotel is on 46 Avenue Georges V a few steps away from the Champs-Élysées 75008
Bear insisted on the grand tour before we brunched.
A splendidly landscaped terrace awaits if you're in the mood to eat out doors.
As do barbecue chefs wait to take your order...
And deliver it to you hot off the grill (I want to say 'barbie' for the Aussies out there...)
Other chefs are waiting to make you fresh pancakes with bacon and syrup. Janice dived in, being from Canada. 
I was saving myself for the Mediterranean feast in the other room. There are at least 3 buffets if not more.
First asparagus of the season !
Artichokes in France are the best. I love the extra long stems.
A Lebanese feast was calling my name. I have to buy fresh Tabouleh and hummus at the Sunday Bastille marché every week. I've become addicted.
All kinds of cooked meats and Morel mushrooms!
My plate. I tried not to totally make a fool of myself but still...
Bear did make a fool of himself over the raspberry fool.
This is Janice's dessert plate.
I was admiring this gorgeous cake, but one doesn't like to take the first slice and ruin the symmetry does one? So I abstained from dessert believe it or not.
Chef Charles Ducrazet and his team created this fabulous giant chocolate egg-birdhouse, but they weren't slicing that up either...
Here are some other intriguing chocolate eggs around town: Puyricard went all out with a gold-leafed giant egg (how many kilos is this one is?) with a Pont Neuf landscape etched into it.
Dalloyau had an egg-like white chocolate gateau in their windows yesterday filled with fresh strawberries.
I'm still in love with Dalloyau's giant strawberry, carrot and Spring pea eggs but I made do with their mini eggs filled with raspberry and apricot. Heartbreaking the choices one has to make...
I'm mad for this witty chocolate cloche/bell of Alain Ducasse placed under a bell jar. All at the brand new Ducasse chocolate shop recently opened in the 6th, 26, rue St. Benoit a step away from Café Flore.
These eggs are NOT filled with little chocolate fish/friture. Instead they are called 'feuilleté' and have different layers of dark chocolate, feuillantine and praline - very unusual indeed.
Post-brunch Janice and I wished we had run the Paris Marathon earlier but instead ambled down the Champs-Élysées and through the Tuilleries almost all the way home. Still I'd jump at the chance of another Sunday brunch at Hotel Fouquet Barrière.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Malmaison

Thursday Jeanne (365 Dresses) and I went to Malmaison, Empress Josephine's residence near Rueil. Just a short ride on RER A or ligne 1 to La Defense and then bus 258 upstairs in the bus terminal stops right at the chateau. Well a nice walk down the lane at any rate. Entrance is 6.50 euros.
Et voila..
You're there and it's not nearly as crowded as Versailles but every bit as beautiful
And possibly more serene.
The décor inside is just as riveting. I thought the audio added a lot of nice details(2€) You'll know the architects of the Empire were deeply
Inspired by their time in Egypt. There are obvious Egyptian influences throughout.
We followed the couple in period costume..
They seemed to know the ropes...
Many, many fabulous beds
Why ever am I sleeping on a Tempurapedic travel mattress on the floor ?
Of course we didn't get the chance to test the mattresses...they may be soft as marshmallow/guimauve...
Remember to look up.
The ceiling decor is gorgeous
Josephine was fond of Teal and expert at billiards it's said...
She looks quite glam immortalized
In the many portraits.
And Napoleon is of course
All over the place 
The Corsican makes quite a handsome bust.
Did he import cedrat citrons for the occasional snack from his homeland?
Yesterday I sashayed into La Bonbon au Palais and noticed something new. I seem very well acquainted with every damn candy in the place...hmmm.
But this cedrats confits was new to me.
Instantly Georges was unwrapping the preserved candied fruit.
Some citrus come as big as melons or footballs by the way...
The top comes off and it's filled with aromatic confit on the sides.
Georges insisted I try a bar of Corsican nougat with bits of cedrat adding an acidic touch to the sweetness of the almonds. Do take a short but very serene trip out of Paris to visit Malmaison. Then pick up some Napoleonic, Corsican snacks at Le Bonbon au Palais 19 rue Monge 75005.