post51 // 48 hours in paris

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bonjour! i hope your november is off to a wonderful start, with the bundling of scarves and sipping of hot cocoas already making you feel the coziest you’ve been all year. at least that’s how i feel 🤗.

it’s truly fall here in paris! the leaves have almost all fallen off their mama branches and the temperature is starting to drop. daylight savings is past and i can now wake up without it being pitch dark outside, woohoo! in celebration of this beautiful season, i compiled a 48 hour guide to paris, specific to this leafy, festive, and warming (check) time of year! some notes:

this guide is not for the list checker. no, it doesn’t include every major sight and you may not recognize every area or name. instead, this guide is for someone who wants to really see paris: to see the brasseries, to see french people sunbathing in luxembourg gardens, to see what they eat and how they are. of course, there’s some great food in here too. so if you’re interested, hop on board!

day one, morning

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pastry breakfast at a local boulangerie: all hail the boulangerie! for those of you who were stumped by the word like i was, it translates to a bakery, specifically one focused on bread products. many boulangeries in paris also include viennoserie — typically laminated bread products i.e. puff pastry, croissants, the pain au chocolat above — and sometimes patisserie — a term you’re likely more familiar with, indicating pastries i.e. macaroons, tarts, etc. regardless of your hotel (though i’ve listed some great suggestions below!), you’ll be seconds away from a solid boulangerie in paris. they’re frequent and smell wonderfully doughy from the outside sidewalk so don’t be shy — head in and pick up a croissant! find it! but do note that many boulangeries are not open on sundays

rodin museum: this museum is a true treat in the fall as the gardens are shades of green, yellow, orange and everything in between. the artist behind the museum is auguste rodin, a french sculptor during the late 19th-century, early 20th-century. below you can see his (arguably) most famous work, Le Penseur a.k.a The Thinker. additionally, the gardens and museum offer a fabulous view of the hôtel des invalides. 77 rue de varenne, 75007 paris, open 10am-5:45pm every day except monday

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afternoon

lunch at kapunka: it’d be a shame for you to come all the way to paris and not taste some of the incredible ethnic foods this city has to offer. it’s half the fun (or more)! kapunka is a thai restaurant that i have absolutely fallen in love with here. musts: tom kha kaï soup to start, pad thaï, and their mango rice. 32 rue delambre, 75014 paris (with other locations in paris), open 11:30am-3:30pm and 6:30pm-11pm every day but sunday

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a walk through luxembourg garden: there’s no prettier place to digest a big lunch than here. if the sun’s out, grab a seat like a true parisian and get some color on your face. despite the crowds, this place can make you feel miles away from the city. jardin du luxembourg, 75006 paris

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snack time at pierre hermé: depending on how long you sunbathed, you might be a bit hungry! never fear. ditch the touristed and overblown macaroons at ladurée and head to pierre hermé. their entire showcase, macaroons included, are exquisite and definitely something you can’t get anywhere else! my favorite? their salted caramel macaroon. 72 rue bonaparte, 75006 paris, open 10am-7pm daily

evening

if you’re like me than the following activities don’t begin without a nap. grab some quick zzz’s before heading out for a night on the town!

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walk through saint-germain: it’s hard not to be enchanted with this neighborhood. saint-germain is filled with gothic architecture, pedestrian-only streets, live music, bustling brasseries, shops, the list goes on! for a weekend night, it’s a wonderful place to soak up culture and enjoy the evening. walking through saint-germain’s alleys and under it’s arches will definitely wake you up and work up an appetite for dinner.

dinner at le relais de l’entrecote: now, there are many, many, many!!! steak frites restaurants throughout paris. i am not here to say le relais de l’entrecote is the best as i haven’t been to them all. but, if you are looking for a solid steak frites option, this is a great one. service is wonderful, food is served immediately, and there’s a beautiful indoor-outdoor patio out front. there’s no menu so all you have to choose is wine. voilà! 20 rue saint-benoît (with other locations in paris), 75006 paris, open 12pm-2:30pm and 7pm-11:30pm daily

second round of wine at bar etna: a cozy bar in the middle of a bustling street! bar etna will make you feel at home, and their wine doesn’t hurt either. 33 rue mazarine, 75006 paris, open 6:30pm-2am tuesday-saturday

day two, morning

breakfast at fragments coffee shop and cafe: i linked to this gem of a cafe last week in last week’s post and i still can’t get enough! their sweet potato cake is superb and though you may never feel as cool as the hipsters who walk in here, it’s a great place to people watch the young and hip frenchies. 76 rue de tournelles, 75003 paris, open 10am-6pm on weekends

sit in the place des vosges: this is the oldest planned square in all of paris and boy was it planned well. take in the sun and grab a seat at one of the endless benches that line the square. place des vosges, 75004 paris

afternoon

lunch at glou: luckily you didn’t fill up too much at fragments, leaving plenty of room for a delicious lunch at glou. though they offer both entrees and small plates, i’d recommend the latter. highlights: comte cheese, eggplant. 101 rue vieillle du temple, 75003 paris, open 12pm-5pm and 7:30pm-11pm on weekends

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shopping in le marais or le pompidou: your choice! in terms of shopping, le marais is the place for interiors and clothing. my favorite shop in the marais has to be les milles feuilles (translates to the thousand leaves), an interior shop. give it a look! 2 rue rambuteau, 75003 paris, open 10:30am-7:30pm on saturdays and 2pm-7pm on sundays

and the pompidou! check out the exhibits they’re running as you get ready for your trip. some are pretty unbelievable. not to mention, the architecture of the building itself: a staircase you don’t want to miss! place georges-pompidou, 75004 paris 

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walk down to aux merveilleux de fred: eat a true french meringue, covered in chocolate shavings, exploding with buttercream from all sides. sounds good, right? the meringues at aux merveilleux de fred are so beautiful and inviting, you might just have to have more than one. think of it as dinner’s appetizer! 24 rue de pont louis-philippe (with other locations in paris), 75004 paris, open 9am-8pm

evening

eat dinner at la régalade saint-honoré: come here for the soufflé. stay for the soufflé. eat the soufflé. 106 rue saint honoré, 75001 paris, open 12pm-2:30pm and 7pm-11pm on weekends

nightcap at harry’s: end your trip with a nightcap at the home of the bloody mary and the french 75. known as the original cocktail bar, this “new york bar” was a popular spot for expats in the 1920s. with history and liquor on your side, head to harry’s for a true time warp. 5 rue daunou, 75002 paris, open 12pm-2am on saturdays and 4pm-1am on sundays

lodging recos

hotel relais saint germain 9 carrefour de l’odeon, 75006 paris

hotel emile 2 rue Mahler, 75004 paris

or this uber chic airbnb rue delambre, 75014 montparnasse


planning your trip yet?


all photography by catherine o’donnell/foodstuffs with the exception of the 6th photo by sofitel, and the 5th and last photo by her mama, caroline fawcett

 

post50 // pumpkin spice french toast

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happy happy halloween!!! i hope you aren’t still hungover from celebrating this past weekend buttttt if you are, i have the perfect thing to mop up any ghoulish liquor left in your tummy!

french toast. after making homemade brioche in class last week and eyeing a beautiful brioche feuilletée — a brioche loaf treated like a puff pastry at the end, giving it one turn of flaky dough — at le cordon bleu’s cafe, i knew french toast would be on my agenda for the week. i’m in france anyways, french toast is a must!*

but how could i forget halloween! i wanted to make a themed recipe, celebrating all the pumpkins i could find.

that was until i couldn’t find any pumpkins.

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my neighborhood is a calm one relative to the rest of paris. it’s full of families and grocery shops, little bistros and schools. upon deciding to make a pumpkin-flavored french toast, i visited all my neighborhood markets and grocery stores in search for either a full pumpkin to roast or pumpkin puree.

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i walked into seven different grocery stores and no one carried pumpkins or puree. what was this! at home, grocery stores essentially turned into pumpkin parties in october. (see trader joe’s pumpkin o’s that i usually buy in bulk this time of year.)

weary from aisle searching, i walked down the street in hopes of finding the winning grocery store. instead, i saw starbucks.

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starbucks, the home of the infamous psl: pumpkin spice latte. could i? yes! i entered the coffeeshop and immediately googled (using starbucks’ free wifi 🙌**) the ingredients in their pumpkin spice latte: milk, espresso, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin purée! it was decided. i was to make my #basic, american-themed french toast with the most basic of pumpkinites.

given that my working recipe for a classic brioche french toast already called for milk, i substituted the milk for psl. in went the eggs to the batter, and a bit more of nutmeg, cinnamon, and then cardamom to round out the flavor.

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this is one of the simplest recipes you can make. just cut your slices of brioche (regular sandwich bread works too!) and dredge in the batter. transfer directly to a hot frying pan and cook until brown and colored on each side. serve with a thick pad of butter and maple syrup. dunzo.

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the pumpkin flavoring is subtle with a nice kick from the bit of espresso. it may sound odd but given that the psl consists of majority milk, it works great for working into a french toast batter.

if you’re not feeling adventurous enough for the psl mix, i’ve made notes below on how you can adapt this recipe for a simple french toast or using the pumpkin puree. (if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on it!)

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aaaand in this week’s other stuff:

for anyone who is a big fan of cards, check out yellow daisy paper co. their covers are incredible!!

discovered this gem of a cafe last week.

wanna be a ceo one day? some required reading.

happy halloween and long live pumpkin spice!!!

*for those wondering, french toast is actually called pain perdu in french, meaning lost bread.

**this is not an #ad but wouldn’t it be lovely if i was getting paid! ha


pumpkin spice french toast

serves 6

fixings

6 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cups pumpkin spice latte, chilled (or whole milk + 1/4 cup pumpkin puree)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

salted butter

brioche loaf (regular sandwich bread works too!), sliced to 1cm thickness

good maple syrup

tools

frying pan

spatula

bowl for dreding

instructions

  1. preheat oven to 200 degrees, fahrenheit.
  2. mix pumpkin spice latte, 6 eggs, and spices together. place in a wide-rimmed bowl or rectangular pan that will be easy to dunk your brioche slices into.
  3. heat a frying pan to medium-high. add a pad of butter to your pan and let cook until butter browns and foams.
  4. dunk brioche slices into your dredging batter. transfer immediately to hot frying pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until well colored. once cooked through, put slices in an oven-safe pan and keep warm in oven as you continue to work.
  5. serve warm on hot plates with lots of butter and maple syrup. bon appétit!

post49 // french wine, explained

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hey hey! happy tuesday! the past couple weekends have been a crazy whirlwind of adventures for me sandwiched between days and nights spent cake making and fish gutting during the week. i know it’s only tuesday but i hope you’ll have a glass of wine tonight after hearing my learnings from the most informative wine tour there ever was…

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a significant wine program is offered at Le Cordon Bleu, where students learn about wine and food pairings as well French wine, it’s history, how it’s made, how it tastes. though i’m not enrolled in their wine program, the department offers a wine tour of the loire valley each trimester. they didn’t have to ask me twice to join! along with some friends from my cuisine and pastry program, and my mom who was in paris visiting at the time, we set out at the crack of dawn for the two hour trip south of paris.

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first stop: Vincent Carême Winery in vernou-sur-brenne

if the entrance to this wine cellar wasn’t enchanting enough, margaux, the winery owner’s oversized dachshund was. margaux accompanied us on our morning visit through the Carême vineyards and well into our wine tasting there. the region we visited within the loire valley was known for it’s sparkling white wines, and specifically vouvray at the Carême vineyards. vouvray wine is made from the chenin blanc grape. it can be produced into both sparkling and still wines, my favorite from our tasting being their sparkling vouvray.

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wondering how they get such great sparkling wine? here are some reasons:
  1. fermentation. the actual sparklization (i made up a word today!) of the wine occurs because it has been carbonated — in Carême’s case by an extra fermentation. this fermentation happens as sugar ferments into alcohol. most interesting to the Caréme wines though was that they don’t add additional sugars to their wine. none! instead, the natural sugars from their grapes do the work, leaving a wine that is wholly organic. it’s great for avoiding hangovers too, bye excess sugar!
  2. soil. if i learned one thing on this tour, it was that soil matters. with both vineyard visits, letting the soil do it’s own thing was of the most importance. for the Carême winery, they hand-pick all their grapes, limiting as much machinery as possible used from grape to bottle. this way, they can ensure they snag all their grapes in entirety, and don’t damage the vineyard with machines trudging through.
  3. weather. as the past year has been a cool one, Carême and other vouvray producers in the area will shift to making more dry and sparkling wines for production. if the weather had been hotter and more humid, there would be more sweeter, dessert-type wines. the weather in this region is highly variable so you take great risk being a wine producer here!

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second stop: La Cave restaurant in montlouis-sur-loire

a great place to rest your legs and visit when in the loire valley. the restaurant offers delicious french fare, accompanied of course by wine from the region. make sure you get their meringue for dessert! it’s unmatched in lemony flavor, and size. and fyi, cave doesn’t mean cave in french, it mean’s cellar!

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third stop: Domaine de la Taille aux Loups with Mr. Jacky Blot in montlouis-sur-loire

just a quick drive from la cave sits domaine de la taille aux loups, the vineyards of jacky blot. that’s my mom and i outside his home and tasting room!

jacky took us on a ride through his nearly 5000-acer vineyard property and boy did we learn something. unlike the Carême vineyard, Jacky hadn’t yet picked his grapes. this meant that we actually got to go into his fields and see the grapes just as they were about to be picked (he ended up picking them a week later!).

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jacky explained to us one of the most important stages of the grapes for his production: noble rot. i’d never heard of the stage myself but for this specific vineyard, acheiving noble rot is necessary in producing their wines. to get a grape to noble rot, the grape must be highly ripe and have taken on a grey layer of fungus on the outside skin. yes, fungus sounds gross but i promise it makes a damn good wine!
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here jacky shows the inside of a noble rot — yes, he sacrificed a grape for us! — and you can see it resembles a raisin in the middle. for this reason, the noble rot grapes can produce highly concentrated sweet wines. yum!

there’s a very small time frame between when the grape takes on noble rot and then develops grey rot, a damaging form of the rot that will ruin the grape for production. as you can see in the image of the grape bundle above, some of those grapes have taken on grey rot and shriveled, thus unable to use in production. as we visited, jacky mentioned how he’s been checking the weather like crazy, figuring out which exact day to pick his grapes.

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if you hadn’t deducted already, my title is a bit misleading as i couldn’t possibly explain all of french wine to you. that would take a very long book and decades of research! but, i did learn an enormous amount about wine and grape production and i hope you enjoyed the knowledge bit too. below you can find the two wine producers’ information and their profiles on wine.com. they both have tasting rooms where you can drop in and visit but you might have to do some extra sweet-talking if you want to get into their vineyards 😉

and in this week’s other stuff!!!

  • best. leather bags. ever. get you one! (they ship internationally and through etsy)
  • if you’ve got a knack or interest in politics, sign up for my brother rob’s weekly newsletter! starting five supplies you with all the know-how to keep up with today’s state of politics

that’s all folks! xx


Vincent Carême Winery 1 rue du haut clos 37210 Vernou sur Brenne
Purchase: wine.com
Domaine de la Taille aux Loups  8, rue des Aîtres – Husseau 37 270 Montlouis sur Loire
Purchase: wine.com

post48 // ricotta and tomato tart

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hello friends and happy friday!! despite the arrival of pumpkin season and my month to ideate halloween costumes, tomato season is not yet over! and from what i hear about the weather back stateside, it sure doesn’t feel like fall there either.

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last week my french host mom brought home a bevy of bright green tomatoes after visiting a friend’s farm in bourges, a city south of paris. yes, she casually spent her day picking tomatoes, foraging for mushrooms, and drinking wine. #frenchlifestyle like wut?? anyhow, i wanted to put these tomatoes to use! in my pastry courses at le cordon bleu, we’ve been baking many tarts that have me reminiscent of my homemade pies and their ever-buttery pie crusts. i decided to try out my pie crust recipe from the states in a french kitchen and turn it into the base for a tomato tart.

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learnings:

  1. my american recipe for a double pie crust didn’t even fit (!!) in my french mixing bowl. (see all that spilled flour?) this isn’t the first time i’ve noticed how my reference point for portions is far bigger than france’s.
  2. as a twist on the recipe, i used some of my french host mom’s leftover chestnut flour that she had in the pantry! the chestnut flour gave the pie crust a nutty and slightly sweet flavor that i’d highly recommend! i’m not sure where you can find chestnut flour in the states, likely at a whole foods or specialty foods shop. but if you can’t find it, don’t fret! the recipe is superb with regular ap flour.
  3. i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again, weighing ingredients is far superior to the endless cup and spoon measurements we make back home! i learned this while working at bread furst this summer and i’m never turning back. but don’t fear, i *do* include them for you below. i know this is how a lot of home cooks bake!

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the perk of this recipe is that you can make your tart base and use the baking time to prep your toppings. instead of making a completely green, wicked-themed tart, i went to the farmer’s market and picked up a couple more tomatoes in different colors for a rainbow effect. i chose ricotta cheese as the bed for these tomatoes, drizzled with honey, extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. i used to make a bowl of ricotta just like this for meetings back at food52! throw same basil on top and voilà!

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you can see that one of my tart crusts is a bit browner than the other. i used a higher ratio of chestnut flour in the dough for this tart and that’s why it browned easier. what are your favorite alternative flours to use? i’d like to do more testing with them.

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if you’re looking to hold onto summer as long as you can, this recipe is a surefire way.

and in this week’s other stuff, i have lots of goodies!

until next week! xx


ricotta and tomato tart

makes two tarts

fixings

crust:

2½ cups ap flour // 320 grams (*i used 160 grams ap and 160 grams chestnut flour)

1 teaspoon salt // 6 grams

1 cup (2 sticks) well-chilled unsalted butter // 225 grams

1/2 cup finely grated parmesan // 64 grams

extra butter or oil to prep pan

toppings:

6 beefsteak tomatoes, in various colors

16oz ricotta cheese // 500 grams

8-10 basil leaves

lemon, honey, extra-virgin olive oil, salt, pepper for seasoning

tools

bag of rice or beans for par-bake

tin foil

tart pan (like this one) or a 9-inch pie pan

instructions

crust (adapted from Kate Lebo’s, Pie School):

  1. preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. fill a spouted liquid measuring cup with about 3/4 cups of water, plop in some ice cubes, and place it in the freezer while you prep the following steps.
  3. in a large bowl, mix the flour, parmesan and salt. drop 1-tablespoon pieces of butter into the flour and toss the fat with the flour to evenly distribute it.
  4. place your palms up and curl your fingers back to scoop up the flour and fat. rub, rub, rub it between your thumb and fingers, letting it fall back into the bowl after rubbing. make sure you reach into the bottom and around the sides of the bowl to incorporate all the flour into the fat, until the mixture is slightly yellow, slightly damp. it should be chunky—mostly cherry-size pieces, the smaller bits resembling coarse cornmeal.
  5. take the water out of the freezer. pour it (slowly!) in a steady thin stream around the bowl for about 5 seconds. toss to distribute the moisture. as you add a bit more water and toss, the dough will become a bit shaggy and slightly tacky to the touch. press a small bit of the mixture together and toss it gently in the air. if it breaks apart when you catch it, add more water, toss to distribute the moisture, and test again. if the dough ball keeps its shape, it’s done.
  6. split the dough into 2 and form each ball into a thick disk using your palms and thumbs. wrap both disks in plastic wrap. refrigerate for 30 minutes to 3 days before rolling.
  7. once rested, take the crust out of the fridge and roll to fit your tart or pie pan. before transferring to the pan, make sure you’ve buttered or oiled the pan. fit to the mold.
  8. layer a sheet of tin foil on the crust. pour the beans or rice onto the tin foil to prep the crust for par-baking.
  9. bake the crust for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, then lower the heat to 375 degrees and bake for 15 more minutes.

assembly (while your crust is baking!):

  1. finely chop the basil leaves. add half of the chopped leaves to the ricotta cheese and reserve the rest for decoration. add a hefty drizzle of lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, and honey to the ricotta. season with salt and pepper.
  2. wash and slice your tomatoes. you’re looking for a width around 1cm. i also peeled my tomatoes but it’s not mandatory!
  3. once crust comes out of the oven, let cool completely. to speed things up, you can put it into the fridge or a quick dip in the freezer for cooling. (but don’t freeze it!)
  4. once cool, spoon a thick layer of ricotta on the crust. then layer the tomatoes on top. season to finish!

 

all photography by catherine o’donnell/foodstuffs

post47 // paris market tour

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hiya friends!! bienvenue à mon tour aux marché parisien. (welcome to my paris market tour). last week our chefs at le cordon bleu took us on a three-hour walk through the saint-charles market, which happens to be right around the corner from school! this market is open on tuesdays and fridays from 7am to 2:30pm. if you come to paris you’ll find that many of the markets are open on specific days of the week, so you have to plan your market tours accordingly! thankfully chef was watching out for us and already had some cheesemongers and farmers awaiting our arrival.

*i’ll be referring to chef throughout the post! if you want a visual, here’s chef kerdranvat! he’s one of my cuisine chefs and we get along great due to our shared irish heritage. he comes from brittany in the north of france and was thrilled with all the produce from brittany on our tour!

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we began the market tour with fruits and vegetables! don’t they look so tasty? all the produce here that i’ve eaten has been exceptionally fresh and i think (along with other reasons) it’s because markets like these are so popular! at school, our ingredients come fresh from farms and at home, my host mom shops reguarly at this very market. a local food movement in the flesh! but that truly is paris. just 20 miles outside the city you’ll find real farms that make me feel like i’m in the middle of america.

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chef k was very excited to show off the mushrooms as they are in peak season this very second! you can see the regular white buttons in the photo above, along with the chanterelle mushrooms. should i go mushroom foraging this weekend??

next stop: cheese!! ohhhh the cheese. a tent we came across offered such cool variations on their cheeses like nut fillings and herb coloring. i learned that now is the best time to eat fromage de chevre (goat cheese) and this has helped me finish two packs of goat cheese this week! all for seasonality purposes, of course.

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our group befriended a cheesemonger and she had some fun showing off her crème fraîche. her cheese comes from normandy which is famous for this cream so chef k was very, very excited. when in normandy, make sure you eat crème fraîche.

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next came the butcher. these days i’ve been feeling like a butcher myself as i’ve been chopping off chicken heads, trimming veal fat, and taking out pork bones all day long! i have a very long way to go in this department so it was awesome to see a true butcher at work. what was interesting about this stand at the market was that there wasn’t a speck of food waste. every part of the meat was on display. gizzards? yes. heads? yup. tongues? oh yeah! blood? wrapped in a sausage casing — that’s what blood sausage is!

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after a nice tasting of brain cheese and blood sausage (i’m not kidding!! it was good), we moved onto oysters and fish! this tent at the market was extremely busy so we had a feeling the seafood was fresh. chef k tested the waters and cracked open an oyster. very fresh indeed!

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just before the market, our class made two recipes with fish, one being a sole fillet braised in fish stock and white wine and the other a breaded whiting fish with tartar sauce. if you’re on the lookout for some fish recipes, remind me to share these with you!

after a great walking tour, chef k treated us to an 11am cheese and meat plate, wine, and a dessert plate with espresso. i felt like a queen! c’est la vie français.

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i hope you enjoyed my virtual paris market tour! i’ve had some recipes bubbling that i’ll be cooking up for next week’s post. stay tuned!


this week’s other stuff!


all photography by catherine o’donnell/foodstuffs

post46 // london town

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hello friends!! i hope your day is going well. i am back in paris and culinary school after a long weekend spent in london. it was my first time there! and i just loved it. not to mention, i had the best tour guide around: my good friend from college, greta! before i get into the dirty details of our weekend, let’s just take a moment to look at how cool the taxis are there!!! this blue one was my fave.

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pastries at aubaine deli in covent garden

after two weeks in immersion boot camp (a.k.a. french host family and culinary school where chefs only speak french), english-speaking london was a nice brain break for 48 hours. visiting a friendly face, particularly greta’s, was also a true treat. my weekend there started with a terrific walking tour after a late brunch at dishoom. greta might as well be a professional tour guide so i’d advise you all to book her for your next visit to london.

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big ben in the flesh

from covent garden to trafalgar square to buckingham palace to westminister abbey to the palace of westminister to big ben to the river thames to the london eye, we saw. it. all. and the rain held off!

while we were at buckingham palace, greta pointed out that the queen was in because the royal standard flag was raised. i waved but i don’t think she saw me through her windows!

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buckingham palace

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queen victoria statue outside of buckingham palace

while we didn’t physically go on the london eye that afternoon, we did sit across the river from it at a bar on a boat called tattershall castle. if you can’t get on the (might i say very slow-moving) london eye, this spot is definitely your next best view. after all that walking, we went back to greta’s place to relax before a big indian dinner at tayyabs. can you tell we like indian food?!

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london eye 👀

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tayyabs spread

day two in london began with a place that i will undoubtedly be returning to for the rest of my life. before leaving her apartment, greta described this place as my “heaven on earth.”

she was right.

enter borough market, london’s famed food market situated just beside the london bridge. this place was incredible! the only thing i could relate it to was smorgasburg but it was x100000 better (sorry new york!).

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berliner pastries at a german bakery stand, borough market

greta’s german heritage led us to a small german bakery stand, filled with berliners, apple cakes, cheese cakes, and more. we actually went back to this stand twice throughout our ~6 hours spent on and off at borough market. the owner was lovely and gave me some tips on how to make her creamy and crumbly apple cake! blog post coming on a recipe there soon!

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that’s pure joy folks (while eating an apple cake)

i’ve never seen so many different types of food all in one place. the serving platters were ginormous and evidently necessary, given the expansive market space was packed to the brim.

if you do go to borough market, i’d recommend bringing a buddy along as there is just too much food that you want to try that you can’t eat all by yourself. greta and i managed to split most of our portions and therefore eat more different types of food than we could’ve if we were just alone. tag teaming borough market for the win!

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paella tastings fo free!

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greta modeling w our cheese stick

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market views

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scotch eggs! because of course

the photos catalog pretty much everything i ate at borough market. it was definitely one of those days where you loosen up the first button of your jeans.

to round out our afternoon at borough market, greta and i headed to the pubs where i reunited with some of my brother jake’s friends from college. it’s a funny thing living abroad — you end up seeing and connecting with people you haven’t seen in ages, and it’s wonderful!

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goodbye for now london! it was great getting to know you. i have a feeling i’ll be back, especially because you’re just two hours away!!

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Dishoom 5 Stable St, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AB

Covent Garden Covent Garden, London WC2E 8BE

Tattershall Castle Victoria Embankment, Whitehall, London SW1A 2HR

Tayyabs 83-89 Fieldgate St, London E1 1JU

Borough Market 8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL


aaaand in this week’s other stuff:

  • glossier came to paris !!!! (hi melissa!)
  • this is what kitchens can do. (h/t kate)
  • don’t you just sometimes want to dress in hot pink?

again, any paris recos please send my way! i have a big weekend of exploring ahead of me and i’m taking all the advice i can get 🙂

post45 // fairground peanuts

Version 2

hi friends!! me again. happy fall! it may not *officially* be the season (that’s sept 22nd), but it already feels like autumn here in paris. i’ve been wearing coats more than expected in my first week here, and i don’t mind it one bit!

in one of my first pastry classes this week, chef made praliné. not to be confused with the new orleans style praline, praliné is a powder or paste used in many french desserts as a base, filling, or decoration. while chef demonstrated how to make praliné, i couldn’t help but notice the similarities between that process and a favorite snack of mine, candied nuts!

if you are not already on the candied nut bandwagon, i suggest you hop on. as a kid, i remember giddily awaiting my aunt laura’s packages of candied nuts that would arrive around christmas time. and if you don’t have an aunt laura that sends you candied nuts than you might know them from fairs, sporting events, malls, etc. if you’re in new york city, than you undoubtedly know the nuts4nuts stands that are oh. so. addicting.

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with candied nuts on my mind, i set out to make my own version of the fairground favorite this weekend. to start, i used peanuts as my base. they were the cheapest nuts at the supermarket so that was an easy decision. above you can see the core ingredients for candied nuts: water, sugar, and nuts! it’s that easy. kind of.

the following images are my best attempt at photographing the progression and caramelization of the nuts. i started with just the sugar and water in a saucepan, brought that to a boil, and then added the shelled peanuts. (aside: i caught up with my mom on the phone while shelling the peanuts. multi-tasking in a foreign country for the win!)

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the mixture will start to foam a bit and that’s when the caramelization has officially begun!

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don’t forget to keep stirring! as the sugar begins to thicken, it’s even more important to keep scraping the sides of your saucepan. the sugar will first turn powdery and then start to really caramelize.

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it all happened so fast! as soon as the true burgundy caramelization began, i took the pan off the heat and mixed as fast as i could. i also added in my seasonings at this time: a fat slice of butter, a couple pinches of sea salt, and a pinch of paprika.

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once my toppings were mixed in, i took the candied nuts off the heat and dumped them onto a baking sheet with tin foil. after they cooled a bit, i was able to break the nuts off into smaller pieces for snacking!

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bon appetit! as i’m writing this, my brain feels quite sugary so i think the fairground peanuts have done their job. off to get some real food for a late dinner!


but before i go, this week’s other stuff…!

felt v french when i used this last night before going out (thanks old roomies for the gift!)

oh my poor football team. i’ll be asleep when this game is over. god speed!

my host mom made gratin daphinois this week and i couldn’t get enough of it

au revoir from paris! xx

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fairground peanuts

serves 20 small bags

fixings

two parts nuts, two parts sugar, and just shy of one part water

500g shelled peanuts

500g granulated sugar

200g water

a fat slice of butter (2-4 tablespoons)

2 teaspoons sea salt

2 teaspoons paprika

instructions

  1. bring sugar and water to a boil. once boiling, add peanuts.
  2. stir peanuts and sugar together for 30 minutes, make sure to scrape sides as the mixture begins to thicken. see pictures above for better clues!
  3. prepare baking sheet lined with tin foil or parchment paper.
  4. once carmelization has deepened, take saucepan off heat and add seasonings. once seasonings are mixed, dump mixture on the lined baking sheet. smooth out (aka don’t copy my big giant rock!)
  5. once cool, break apart pieces to bite-size. eat alone or add as toppings to cakes, ice cream, cookies, and more!

 

all photography by catherine o’donnell/foodstuffs