Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Perfect Picture Book

The perfect picture book, I think we'd all agree, is one about a trip to Paris - because isn't that why we're all sharing this space in blogland, because we love going to Paris and experiencing all of its wonders? The perfect picture book would depict all of the delights in the City of Light, by day and night ... the liveliness and romance, the history and now-ness, from Bonaparte to Techno, and everything in between. The perfect picture book would preferably be all about YOUR own personal trip to Paris. Well, here is my perfect picture book. If you recall, the photo on the cover is the first macaron I ever had in Paris. And inside are pages filled with photos from my trip - where we went to dinner the first night I was there ... me standing in front of the hotel's large, green door ...
 ... at the market, a view to the Eiffel Tower ...
 ... enjoying gelato in the Latin Quarter ...
 ... taking a walking tour along the Champs-Elysees ...
And it dawns on me that I have so many more memories and photos to share with YOU from my trip. And that is why this blog continues. So I need to hop on that! But for now, just wanted to share with you this neat picture book I put together in iPhoto, which arrived earlier this week.
Remember all the complaining I did about not having time to shop for suitable souvenirs? Well, this makes up for that, big time! It cost a little over $35 and is well worth it. The Apple Store/iPhoto folks do a great job with the production of this "print on demand" book. Imagine what you can do with one! I wanted to put more writing into my book, but instead kept it to just photos and a little wordage here and there. What spurred it on was a little computer mishap where I was worried about losing my photos which I haven't yet transferred to a back up storage unit/disk. What if I lost my Paris photos? I think this is a better way to "back up" my Paris photos - in a book. A good old fashioned book, made a new way via my Mac and iPhoto. Isn't that just perfect?

PS The perfect picture book would not have a typo - and mine does! I was showing the book to my brother and he pointed out "Lourve" was misspelled. I could just kick myself in the butt!!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentine Papillon

Valentine Papillon, special order - one of a kind
My darling Mark is of French/Canadian descent, and his mother Theresa grew up in Vermont, within a large French/Canadian residential community. When Theresa went to school, she often gazed out the window, daydreaming. This is how, Theresa told me, her teachers gave her the nickname "Papillon" - French for "butterfly."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Macarons or Pandora?

Macarons are lovely. And so hard to find in the states. I mean - the real thing. MAD MAC offers a wonderful way to get your Macaron fix. So, how about some Macarons for Valentine's Day? I get their emails so I thought I'd share this with whoever may be interested. You only have until the 9th to order if you want them for Valentine's Day...but you can order anytime.
OR would you rather have a Pandora bracelet for Valentine's Day? It's not French or Parisian but it is lovely ...

I am on a Pandora addiction. Here's my bracelet with beads from Christmas and my new Valentine's Teddy Bear and fuchsia heart. I wish Pandora made an Eiffel Tower charm!

Macarons or Pandora? I say ... both are nice.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Yes, You CAN Make Crème Fraîche

Waltzing around Paris, there are so many interesting places to eat - after all, didn't the Parisians invent the restaurant? So I've heard it said. So what's to eat? I promised my next post wouldn't be about my handmade cards - it would be food-related. Since I am a woman of my word, here goes.

When I was in Paris last September with my group tour, one of our daytime activities was a trip to a suburb outside of the city where we attended a  cooking demonstration and wine tasting in a private home. One of the recipes that was prepared for us before our eyes was a delicious puff pastry filled with veggies and cheese, and it called for crème fraîche (fresh cream) - which is essentially (per Wikipedia) and I think Julia Child would attest, "... a soured creamcontaining about 28% butterfat and with a pH of around 4.5 .... soured with bacterial culture, but is thicker, and less sour than sour cream." During the cooking demonstration, this ingredient was whipped out of a jar that was, we were told, purchased at a market. I asked, "Isn't there a recipe for crème fraîche?" (I seemed to remember seeing it in a cookbook once.)
"Oh, noooooo ..."

Oh, yeeeessss! For Christmas, my brother gifted me with this little gem:
And lo and behold, here is the recipe ...
Now, my only problem: where to get that not ultra-pasteurized cream - the health food store?

Question to French-inspired cooks here: Have you ever made this? Would you make it? I am planning to do this in the Spring. Want to try it with me?

From the BBC series on Paris, Blood and Chocolate (Part 2 of 3). Enjoy!

Streets of Paris - I shot this the day I left Paris, on a rainy September morning.

Small group Paris tours for women