Friday, September 28, 2007

Parting Shots...

Here's a few parting shots of goodies I'd like to possibly buy, paint and or taste..
These macs at La Grande Epicerie -
well the brilliant colors turned me off initially, but I'm feeling more accepting.
Especially since next Saturday I'll be taking a 3-hour macaron class
This green Lego gateau of Dalloyau on the left has always fascinated me.
Time to belly up to the bar and try it.
Will it taste like a real Lego?
Qui sait ?
Orange chocolate bars at La Mere de Famille...
Well if you're a foodie expert you've got to be ready
to taste cow's whatsits and dog's tail.
Hey, not this foodie expert!
But orange chocolate? I can give that a whirl.
As an early toaster of marshmallows over the pilot flame
when I was home alone,
this French version has me curious - Guimauve.
I won't be toasting any in my rented Paris apartment though...Tee-hee :)
This caught my eye at Lafayette Gourmet.
These lemon meringue I have no hesitation about!
Apple tarts from Poilane.
This window shot is for Asuncion in Spain!
Do I have to eat it too?
I can't eat EVERYTHING
I'll have to take a tanker home :(
Caramels from La Mere de Famille...
I'm going to sign on for a cooking class called,
Caramel Délicieux at Atelier des Sens
tout a suite!
I'll get to make MACARONS caramel au beurre salé! YAY
Oh and I'm paying a call on Gerard Mulot's kitchen with Meeting the French!
Last but not least...
This yaourt "macaron" has me very curious.All part of research...

Bon Appetite :)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Pas Prete...

Pas prête is short for Elle n'est pas prête.
(She's not ready.) Some of you think I'm "excited" to be going off to Paree. Hum...I haven't really had the chance to get excited.Or even have the "cold feet" I normally get before a trip.
I'm juggling 3 deadlines here. Doing lots of praying between bouts of procrastinating and occasional actual working, on a Thanksgiving menu for the Russian Tea Room..
And some coffee painting sketches that have taken way too long. Plus I have to write a little story on Paris Breakfasts for Artful Blogging ALL BEFORE I GO on Sunday morning. Yes, idiot-moi, I decided to take a day flight on AirFrance.
Oh did I mention I went out and bought a new camera?
What kind of a ding-a-ling does that just before a trip?
This ding-a-ling, that's who. I'll take along my old friendly Canon PS A510 of course, but the lense cap decided to break off recently.
Quite a few of you have wanted to know if you'll be getting your morning PB fix regularly while I'm away...
That's why I bought this new laptop to take along.
It took months to decide which one to buy...
I got a Compac because I wanted XP Professional.
Microsoft Vista gives me the shakes.
Since it's my FIRST laptop it looks more mysterious than those macarons. The keyboard is harder to figure out than a French keyboard.
Or it will be when I get it out of the box.
Another reason for a 'puter in France is,
I've noticed in the past, after a few weeks I get a hankering for spoken English. This way I can get a shot of the BBC if the urge arises.
What to take?
This one is tough since I use a rather small (and old) suitcase. But it's nice to have a few friendly cups along to throw in a Parisien still life..
Which ones do I take?
Oh and books are always the killer aren't they? So darn HEAVY! One thing I never leave behind is my real dice bracelet.
US Customs is always totally distracted by this bracelet.
So I can bring in all the contraband diamonds and fois gras I want.
Any fabulous last minute suggestions are most welcome

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Mystery Macarons...

Have you ever been running somewhere and you spot something wonderful.You take one near-perfect picture of it and make a mental note. I must come back here and go inside.
But WHERE was it?
That's what I'm wondering about this adorable pile of macarons I saw the first day last time in Paris.
I thought the little window sign at the bottom would be a logo clue.
But no, it's just a symbol for some French Pastry association.
Objective #1: Find this place again!
I know you're busy reading the yummy the list on this Maison Kayser ardoise.But when I look, I see yummy handwriting like any French kid can do. What I wouldn't give to be able to write like this.
That's why this mystery restaurant appeals to me...
But I passed by so quickly, I didn't get the street address, the name, nuttin'I know it's somewhere around Lafayette Gourmet.
I don't care what the food is like.
I just want to eat in a place surrounded by ardoise /
blackboards covered in French handwriting.
Objective #2: Find it!
*Update: I found it - 63, rue de Provence 75009
COJEAN is across the street at 66
Why I never went inside AQUARELLE is beyond me? This is an easy one - at least I know where it is!7-9, rue de Buci Paris, 75006
 I've not been back to the Tour Eiffel since MY FIRST TRIP TO EUROPE, when you have no choice about visiting national monuments. But this trip I think I should get a little bit closer than this shot. What do you think? More French handwriting. This mystery window is on rue de Seine I think. I'm going to go look for it. Wonderful seashell underwear.
I got a quick shot even though the vendeuse was wagging her finger at me. It was on rue Bonaparte, down a bit from Pierre Herme. I wish I'd gone inside and bought these..

Especially since I took this picture 2 years ago!
So this mystery underwear is long gone.

Is there something you missed out on from a previous trip
that you'd like to go back and do?

Not a mystery.
I KNOW I will get to visit often with
my adorable cousin K. in Pigalle. I hope we go back to Rose Bakery and that I remember to take pictures.
I loved Lyn's comment:
I always rent an apartment in a part of the city I've not rented in before.
First morning I scout the neighborhood, get my first "flavor" of it, find a nice place for a latte and a pastry, then sit and enjoy.
Objective #3: these mystery chairs in the Jardin Luxumbourg would like me to stop and sit down and enjoy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

L'Opera Cake Geometry

The famous l'opera gateau is not exactly unrelated to my Paris trip. I keep staring at my rectangular suitcase
and thinking about pastry geometrie instead of packing.
I tried opera cake at Sadaharu Aoki's patisserie
on 35, rue de Vaugirard, 75006
Sadly, I cannot report how it tasted.
I was too busy admiring it's perfect architecture and lovely dimensions.
The cake was first created by Louis Clichy in 1903.
But Dalloyau renamed it after the grand Paris Opera
and is reknown for their version. I stole a shot at Galerie Lafayette Gourmet.

Every French patisserie makes a version of this popular multi-layered chocolate decadence.
L'Epicerie has their monster versions...
I would love to figure out why a squared cake in the US connotes an
office party birthday or a banana cake?
Where is the panache?

Where's the ganache? Humm.

Pierre Herme makes what looks like an opera cake but he changes the equation.
Called the Carrement Chocolat, it is not layered.
Inside is:

(biscuit "molleux chocolat", creme onctueuse au chocolat, mousse au chocolat, fine feuilles de chocolat craquant)
Well I see the word feuille / leaves, so maybe it is layered?

Help me out here.

I brought the petit four version home to paint.

There's nothing like the challenge of painting a square
on a rectangular piece of paper.But I think I forgot to taste it...
Uh ohThese (20!) step-by-step demo pictures are from
the Meilleur du Chef.dom..
Here's what's inside the cake:
Giaconda biscuit
Coffee syrup
Coffee buttercream
Chocolate ganache
Chocolate glaze
Not exactly "a piece of cake" to make!
I think I better focus on the 20+ layers going inside my little suitcase...ahem

Monday, September 24, 2007

First Day in Paris

What would you do on your first day in Paris?
I'll be there next Monday! Normally I'm not a plan-ahead kind of person, but it does seem only right to start off the day with some macarons.
I'll stock up on pomegranates too. I don't want to catch any Parisien colds over there!
Plus a carton or two of Tropicana Gazpacho
to counter act all the macarons.
A bouquet of flowers seems like a good idea too.
I've rented a studio in the Marais, and not very far from the apartment is
my favorite lunch at L'As du Falafel,
I've mapped out the route Don't you love Google?
After lunch, I'll get a Parisien haircut natch.
This time
I know where to go.
I better call today for an appointment.
A stop at any cafe is de rigeur...
One thing I don't plan on having in Paris is jet lag.
Getting up crazy early in New York has some advantages.
I plan on ending my first day with a tarte au citron.
If it's from Pierre Herme's.
That would be heaven.
Any other first day suggestions are welcome!

Friday, September 21, 2007

L comme Leche-Vitrine...

I thought I'd give you a few Paris windows to lick this weekend
i.e. leche-vitrine/window shopping. So we'll begin with some Viennoisserie for starters
Then move on to the hard core ultra, serious patisserie.
You can enjoy your pastry on a plate from Pierre Frey,
with a "pastry" patterned napkin and tablecloth,
while leaning against a "pastry" pillow! Why not?

Really the cheese course should come before dessert...
but who's going to know?

A glass of Champagne wouldn't hurt either...
from Fauchon's windows, their own private brew.
Of course you'll need roses with your Champagne and tarte.
In Paris flowers are out on the street, not hidden behind store windows where you can't enhale the scent.
The truth is woMAN cannot live by pastry alone. This woman will be munching some healthy sandwiches and salads between patisserie bites. Cojean has come up with a wrap especially for October. I've yet to see a September or October wrap in New York. I'll be spending the ENTIRE month of October in Paris starting a week from this Sunday.
If you want to lick more windows:
Bonne Appetit!