Paris

  • My Paris-and-tea-cup themed birthday cake My Paris-and-tea-cup themed birthday cake

    My Paris-and-tea-cup themed birthday cake

My Paris-and-tea-cup themed birthday cake

  I don’t like surprises. So when a milestone birthday of mine was approaching, I told my husband what I wanted as my gift. A cake. No jewelry, no flowers. No surprise party. Definitely, no surprise party. Just a cake. Is this a test, he asked me in disbelief, was I going to be disappointed if I got just a cake? I assured him, I wouldn’t. And you can see why. I didn’t want just any old birthday cake. A Cake Boss-type, amazeballs, I-can’t-believe-it-cake. Maybe, just maybe, I seem spoiled to you.  I just wasn’t sure if I’d ever really celebrate a birthday again on a larger scale, especially with a young son. So I wanted to do this one my way. I told him who he should get it from, Bakerbots Baking, which you may remember from the stunning Noah’s Ark-themed cake I purchased for my son’s baptism. I also had a […]

  • Dorie Greenspan’s Tiger tea cakes Dorie Greenspan’s Tiger tea cakes

    Dorie Greenspan’s Tiger tea cakes

Dorie Greenspan’s Tiger tea cakes

  Hello readers, it’s been a while. Longer than I realized, in fact, and part of the reason for that is that I’m on a serious diet. After several months of illness, and being stuck at the same weight for more than a year, I decided to do something to lose the rest of my baby weight. After all, my son is nearly 2 years old. It was time. But that also means that I’m less likely to be baking, and sampling my baking as I go along. The good news for you, is that I have a backlog of posts I’ve been meaning to get to for a long time. My family and friends have expressed their concern that I don’t stop feeding them my experiments, and I won’t. I just won’t be baking butter-cream-egg-yolk concoctions every week like I used to. Every now and then, I’ll substitute fat-free vanilla yogurt […]

  • Chocolate and Zucchini’s chocolate-dipped hazelnut marbles Chocolate and Zucchini’s chocolate-dipped hazelnut marbles

    Chocolate and Zucchini’s chocolate-dipped hazelnut marbles

Chocolate and Zucchini’s chocolate-dipped hazelnut marbles

  Pressed for a last-minute sweet for dinner guests, after my macarons failed miserably, I turned to my copy of “Chocolate & Zucchini: Daily Adventures in a Parisian kitchen.” Penned by food blogger extraordinaire Clotilde Dusoulier, I read this book cover-to-cover on a train ride from Paris to Amsterdam. It holds a special place in my heart for several reasons: Clotilde’s was the first food blog I ever read and bookmarked; I bought this book at Paris’ legendary Shakespeare and Company bookstore; and finally, all the recipes I’ve tried, so far, are divine.To find some inspiration for my after-dinner sweets, I turned to the chapter entitled Mignardises, French for the “sweet bites” that you get with your coffee at a high-end restaurant. Clotilde says in her blog that the word comes from mignard, “an old-fashioned word which, as a noun, means a small child, and as an adjective means delicate, […]

Chocolate and Zucchini, Clotilde Dusoulier, French, Paris, sweets|Comments Off on Chocolate and Zucchini’s chocolate-dipped hazelnut marbles
  • Is the French cafe on its way out? Is the French cafe on its way out?

    Is the French cafe on its way out?

Is the French cafe on its way out?

  “The bar of a cafe is the parliament of the people,” Honoré de Balzac once wrote. First it was the outdoor smoking ban, and now this: The New York Times is reporting that “Across France, Cafe Owners are Suffering.” According to the New Times, had 200,000 cafes in 1960 and now it has fewer than 41,500, with an average of two closing every day. The economic downturn – and changing attitudes, to be sure – are hurting traditional cafes. What is to become of the Paris I know?Since my first trip to Paris at the age of 12, then as a rebellious backpacker at 18, then as an optimistic university student in London at 21 then as a married woman years later, to me the iconic cafe has epitomized everything that is good about Paris — a refuge for artistic souls, a hangout for chain smokers, a clandestine rendezvous […]