Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Alexis Mabille

When I got this announcement from Angelina, all I could think of was the gazillion knives and forks I've used gobbling up their divine Mont Blanc. More knives and forks and a beautiful buche de noel with a silver bow on it designed by Alexis Mabille. Honestly does anyone do bows better than the French?Alexis Mabille is doing bows up the whazoo right and left and everyone is eating them up.Alexis Mabille What's not to love about Mabille's French bows?Alexis Mabille Strategically placed in just the right spot to gently/doucement attract attention.
Or rather miam-miam
I went looking for bows I've painted.
Macaron Bow, original art, watercolor
Tiffany Bow, original art, watercolor

Eiffel Bow, original art,watercolor
Next Monday I'll be able gaze at Paris bows.
BONJOUR Alexis Mabille

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

L'Art de la Ganache

Brought back by popular request the recipe for the La Maison du Chocolat ganache!
L'Art de la Ganache, original art, 9" x 11"

For the dark chocolate ganache:
1 Orinoco Bar (all 75 gr. each)
1 Kuruba Bar
1Monsera Bar  
You can mailorder bars from La Maison
or use the best chocolate bars you can get your hands on.

500 mi (2 cups + 2 thsp) single cream
½ vanilla pod (bean)

Kitchen Utensils: whisk, Mixing bowl, saucepan
Photo by Evert-Jan De KortFor the Directions:

1. Finely chop the dark chocolate and set aside in a mixing bowl. Take the vanilla pod (bean), split the pod length-wise and remove the seeds. In a saucepan, bring the cream to a boil, remove from the heat: add half the vanilla bean and seeds, and leave to infuse for 10 minutes..Return to heat until just before boiling. Remove vanilla pod and pour infused cream over the shaved chocolate.
2-Leave the chocolate to melt for 2 minutes, then whisk lightly in a circular motion, starting from the center.
As the ganache thickens, move the whisk towards the sides of the bowl, until you obtain a smooth texture.
3-You can enjoy this ganache warm or pour it over ice cream, cakes, or fresh strawberries.

At La Maison du Chocolat, we like to pour it into a stainless steel frame set on a marble slab. We leave it to solidify for 24 hours before covering it with a layer of dark or milk couverture chocolate.
La Maison du Chocolat book You can find this recipe and many more of master pastry chef Gilles Marchal in the brand new LMDC book just out on Amazon - very lush indeed.  This video is from Melt Chocolates in London.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Coco Before Chanel

On Saturday I escaped a play with far too much shouting and ran into the arms of lush, period bio-pic, Coco Before Chanel...quelle relief!
Tea at the Paris Ritz, original art, 9" x 11"
The film charts the rise of an ambitious, difficult woman as she made her way finally to Paris and became the icon we all know. I only wish Tautou had been as tough and fierce as I imagined Chanel to be. But the film is so beautifully shot and executed - I recommend it highly.
Tea at the Paris Ritz, original art, 9" x 11" will take you along Coco's route through France as well as offer you a chance to win a trip to Paris. Do it!In the last scene Coco is sitting on her famous mirrored stairway (so she could easily see at a glance what was going on in all the floors of her couture house!) waiting for the show to begin. I hope there will be a sequel.Photo by Douglas KirklandLast Spring I heard famed photographer, Douglas Kirkland speak on his time shooting and shadowing Chanel for 3 weeks when he was a young man for Look Magazine.Photo by Douglas KirklandPhoto by Douglas Kirkland
Just 27 and he had never been to Paris before!
Can you imagine!
Photo by Douglas KirklandPhoto by Douglas Kirkland
At first he was only allowed to shoot the models, never Chanel. But she was soon charmed and he had carte blanche...

Photo by Douglas Kirkland
The best tidbit? In those 21 days, Kirkland never once saw Chanel remove her hat.
Did you know you too can stay at Chanel's apartment at the Ritz?!

Suite #302 - 3 rooms overlooking Place Vendome, were home to Mademoiselle (as she was always called), for 37 years from 1934 until her death in 1971 at age 89. The Ritz has lovingly restored with assistance from Karl Lagerfeld every small detail...

A Vogue video tour of Mademoiselle's apartment...

Photo from This imaging of how the perfume bottle Chanel No.5 is exactly designed to fit the shape of Place Vendome was cleverly photoshopped by
Et enfin the trailer for Coco Before Chanel!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Paris 0 Euro

Boulangerie 28 Paris, original art

Every now and then I remember to take a look at online L'internaute magazine.

Maille Paris, original art, 5.5" x 7.5"

It's full of au courrant info on what's hot and going on in Paris and the rest of France...
Carouche Paris, original art, 5.5" x 7.5"

The most recent issue featured a new book... Paris 0 euro - free things (or almost free) to do in Paris! YAY "Paris à zéro euro", by the way costs 12 euros and it has a website...

Where you can take a look at a few of it's pages like this one. Meanwhile back at L'internaute, there are a whole bunch of ideas taken from the book and elsewhere on free stuff in Paris like special museums. Nuit Blanche is coming up on the 3rd-4th of October, where museums stay open and free until midnight. Plus a whole host of other free events go on all night until dawn.
There's a video of a FREE! wine tasting that takes place at Les prestigieuse Caves Taillevent! Is this possible? At least watch to practice a little French...
Among the offers - a water aerobics session at Basin School Atlas- I'd be up for that.
This is the front page of L'internaute..
'Course my favorite thing to do in Paris is simply just to walk around and stare at the facades among other visual delights.What's your favorite FREE thing to do in Paris?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

J'aime le chocolat

Did you receive the newest Pierre Herme newsletter this week announcing his new Fall chocolate collection?
French macarons, original art, 5.5" x 7.5"
This chocolate Pierre Herme tarte is from a collection 2 years ago and there was no cherry on top - that's my addition...
Herme has a new combination macaron-bonbon!
(praline macaroons in chocolate, marzipan melting, coated in dark chocolate)
One chocolate macaron, original art, 5.5" x 7.5"

Herme also has a new book out full of chocolate recipes! Only in French so far but I bet the pictures are to die for...
The surprise chocolat is a standard I think...I hope..
Bowl of macarons, original art, 5.5" x 7.5"

Pierre Herme, in his student days studied with the famed chocolatier, Robert Linxe of La Maison du Chocolat, so his chocolates are superb.
His lovely chocolate map...

Herme maintains this small (not really that small) box of chocolates, always for 10 euros - a don't-miss! It must be for starving-dieting artists...
If you really want to go small there's this mini set of PH from a year ago or so...
The "CARRéMENT CHOCOLAT" from a year ago - a square of perfect chocolateness if there is such a word - in the box...
Ready for painting...and eating