Wednesday, September 30, 2009

XOXO Thomas Keller.

Last week I was in Las Vegas. I don't really like it there, for various reasons. There's only one good thing about Vegas, and that's the assortment of lovely restaurants I can't afford to eat in. This does not stop me though, from pressing my nose against the glass at B&B and whimpering at the gorgeous wood paneling and wine glasses.

There is somewhere I can eat, though- Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery in the Venetian. And I ate there every day. Well, I ate a vanilla macaron every day. Perfect, palm-sized, almondy, creamy, sweet, chewy, crackly macarons, wrapped up in quirky beach-ball printed papers.

I almost cried when I ate this sammich. Perfect ham. Perfect cheese. A dab of perfect dijon. All stacked up between the most perfect, warm baguette- it was crunchy and chewy on the outside and the middle just melted. I miss you, ham sammich.

Also: Homemade peppermint patty! Chocolate was good, filling was too powdered sugar and nothing more.

Coming up on OMG!:

-The Gossip Girl Sailor dress I bought in Vegas.
- Belgian chocolates! Belgian pastries!
- Hot Air Ballooning!

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Breakfast in Paris

Oh man. This was the best pain au chocolat that I had in Paris. Flakey, deep rich chocolate and teeny strong coffee (I may have put a ton of sugar in it). We had it Sunday morning at a little bakery around the corner from our Hotel.

Boulangerie Viennoise- 2 Rue Emilio Castelar, 75012 Paris, Île-de-France, France. The woman didn't speak any English but was very patient with me making hand gestures and speaking terrible fragments of French.

Here's a chocolate brioche roll, sprinkled with French pearl sugar. I couldn't find any of this in France, but you can get it from L'Epicerie. L'Epicerie also carries my favorite lemon-infused olive oil and all your glucose and tapioca maltodextrin needs if you're trying to make Dry Caramel Sea Salt shots, ala Grant Achatz.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kirs and Co.

When you are in France, and it is that time of day for a drink before dinner, the drink that you have is a Kir. Kirs are previously covered here. You can have a Kir Royale, too, with champange- but somehow those never seemed to stick around long enough for picture taking. This was my first Kir, pictured above, and the delcious salty meat that was brought out along with it. Not peanuts, not spicy crackers- slices of delicious sausagy meat.

Sometimes you don't get a snack with your late afternoon kir, so you have to provide for yourself. In my case, this one was accompanied by éclairs from Stohlers. Long, thin, and filled with chocolate cream- it was delicious, but also the only éclair I managed to wolf down on the trip (too busy eating marshmallows and chocolates and tiny creme brules and crepes). Yum.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My favorite things at the Louvre.

Check out these sweet chairs from the Louvre. I'm pretty sure they are the best chairs I have ever seen. Bright yellow satin, pewter metallic thread design- they've even got tassels and swags of fabric on the bottom. And yet they still have a kind of modern, streamlined shape to them. I don't know who's responsible for these but, Kudos, the Louvre.

This is a lion woven in a tapestry at the Louvre. It looks a whole lot like my dog, but with a tail and yellow and also a lion.

Mona Lisa. Come on.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Pierre Herme, Pt. 2

More gratuitous, food porn shots of my macarons from Pierre Herme. Gossip Girl premier is on tonight, so more European delights tomorrow.

So bright. So pretty. So filled with creams and ganache.

What is that? Oh, that is the Lavender macaron. It's covered in shimmering pearl luster dust. It was delicious.

I'm taking these on the street in Paris. People are walking by, wondering what's going on. I don't care. How about a close-up?

Mint macaron. French manicure. This one was deemed too herb-y.


Look at the coloring on the purple cassis macaron. Gorgeous. Almost black. Yum.

The yellow is passion fruit and I did not like it, but to each their own.

This is the olive oil one. I may have eaten half of it. Bonus tip- this color green is supposed to be in for nail polish this year. You are welcome.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Table of Contents

My trip to Europe is wrapping up. I've been busy eating and taking pictures and seeing the sights. I've got weeks worth of posts for when I get back, tomorrow, from Amsterdam. Highlights include:

-Grey Goose Ice Bar in Paris- Lychee Martinis.

- Hot Air Ballooning over Bruges. (I'm pictured above with my Father and Christopher, our balloonist, setting up the balloon).

- Mussels and Frites in Belgium!

- Chocolates, chocolates, and waffles.

- Macarons, croissants, and pastries.

-The beers of Belgium.

And muchmuchmuchmore.

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Pierre. Herme.

So, I have been to Pierre Herme. These are the macarons I bought (I also got the collaboration jam! and the opera honey! but more about that later...). They are brightly colored and perfect and I love them. I've eaten through about half of the box now- very jammy, strange flavors- sweet, bitter. I've gotta say that I liked Laduree better- at one point a bartender asked me, "Which Laduree did you go to?" To which I replied, "Both."

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Le Paris!!!

I don't even know where to begin. It's been an overwhelming three days- I've eaten my weight in macarons, I've consumed more foie gras than I can even explain, and I love Paris. And butter. And ducks. And Paris. I can't blog everything at once, so I'll do what I can when I can and jump around

Above is the menu at the first restaurant we ate at once arriving in Paris- L'Encrier. After a fair amount of hilarious menu translation by my Mother and I, (we misread "pig cheeks" as "cheeks of the sea") we started our 3 course lunch.

I pushed my limits and ordered the house special- fried rabbit kidneys in a raspberry vinegrette. ZOMG. Heaven, once you got past it being a little weird.

For my main course I had the pig cheeks,which were rich and tender and taste like slow-cooked veal. For dessert- cream puffs filled with vanilla ice cream and drenched in dark chocolate sauce.

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

And we're off!

This is my first test-post on the road, using the world's teeniest laptop, borrowed from my friend Jen. I'm currently hangin' out in the Newark Airport, drinkin' vodka tonics and snackin' on shortbread cookies. Success! Tomorrow? PARIS.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Dress shopping for Paris

After months of running and weight lifting and running (macaron/eclair training), I finally treated myself to a nice little dress for Paris. The first option was Marc by Marc's Pansy-Print dress. But I wasn't totally sold, so I put it on hold at the Marc Jacobs store and kept looking.
'Next up was this confetti print dress from Cynthia Rowley, which is currently on sale for over half off on their website- good thing I didn't buy it. In fact, I didn't even try it on, since the salesgirl was unbelievably rude and just gossiped on the phone the entire time we were in the store- not even a hello! Also the model in that picture looks sad.

Then, there was Nanette Lepore's Devil dress. It's light as a feather, fit me like a glove, and had cute ruffly sleeves. The only decision was to get it in Sapphire (pictured), or in Onyx. After much debate, I settled on the black, since it seemed much more practical. At least that's how I rationalize a dress that costs almost as much as my rent. But then this morning, I saw this...

Look familiar? In the season premier of Gossip Girl, Blair wears a skirt that matches my original Marc Jacobs choice. Maybe I'll get it right next time.

Tomorrow: I'll be blogging from the Newark Airport on my way to Europe! Cheese, crackers, airline peanuts and afternoon gin and tonics.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Multigrain pancakes, Creme de Cassis laced syrup

Pancakes. Who doesn't love pancakes? When I have houseguests for the weekend, I always try to cook breakfast myself at least once. This weekend my refrigerator was laughably out of ingredients and posed a bit of a challenge. Here's what I came up with: The pancakes are Trader Joe's multigrain baking mix- but to the recipe on the box I added plain non-fat yogurt, brown sugar, cinnamon and a ton of bourbon vanilla.

And the syrup. The easiest way to class up boring maple syrup when you have nothing on hand? All you need is jam, and a fruit-flavored liquor. Raspberry jam and cointreau. Blueberry jam and Chambord. In this case, I used blackberry jam and Creme de Cassis- a French blackcurrant flavored liquor. Just warm some maple syrup in a saucepan, throw in a couple heaping tablespoons of jam and finish it off with a splash of liquor. Ta-da!

PS- Only two more days till Paris.

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