I still want un macaron

quebec-_macarons

So I’m going to admit it here because if I don’t gush somewhere I may find myself skipping down the street and singing.

I have it bad for this biologist boy.

I can’t stop thinking about him. I have the urge to tell him everything. My heart feels all fluttery and anxious. And (gasp) I even want to bake for him.

I am nearly (ok, no, not nearly. I am…) swooning over here, still trying to determine which way is up, how things will pan out, how to keep myself breathing and grounded. I am constantly reminding myself that it is important to go will the flow, to not lose who my independence and my identity, to realize that all of this is still new and that, like any good dessert, relationships take patience to make.

I think that I am in need of those macarons after all, even though this boy is intelligent, hilarious, *and* baked cookies with me.

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I’m back…

La-Patisserie_1

Well, the semester started with a bang.

Actually, a bang would be an understatement but everything can be condensed down into a few simple statements: I finally stopped letting my ex dictate my life, I started seeing a new (extremely awesome and smart and funny) biologist, and I am taking an extremely heavy course-load and working part time.

So, to put it simply, I have found myself with increasingly fewer and fewer spare moments. It’s wonderful yet terrifying at the same time, which is why I find myself back at computer and realizing that although I’ve been tied down with reading and life, I do miss having a place to recount my thoughts.

That, and this blog was my anchor for the “Run around France” idea which seemed great at the time, but which tanked due to the fact that I went from having infinite spare time to running around like a poulet without a head 5 days a week.

So, with that said…my originial recipe challenge must be put on hold for the moment. I’ll still be baking, as baking is the most relaxing and cathartic activity. But cooking my way through a cookbook just is not feasible, at least not right now. So expect yummy pictures of food and tales of occasional baking, but not so much a journey through a cookbook.

And…I am reinstating the “Run around France” challenge because I have found myself becoming lazier and lazier over the past few weeks. Which is not ok. It will also give me a reason to ramble on about France and my experiences in a French grammar class.

I need some more balance dans ma vie.

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Un festin pour les yeux: une tartelette

I’d be lying if I said that today wasn’t a rough and overly emotional day.

So no words right now, just delicious pictures. Because nothing is more healing than food.

tartelette framboise

tartelette citron

blueberry_tarte1

tarte au citron meringue

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Salade Niçoise

Dinner tonight was supposed to be Salade de legumes au fromage de chevre. I’ve been meaning to make that darn recipe since Monday, I even made a special trip to the grocery store for the odds and ends that I didn’t already have in my pantry or refrigerator. I, with all of my heart, was intending on making that salad for dinner this evening…but no matter how much I tried to convince myself, it just was not mean to be.

I ended up with a poor (and lazy) girl’s salade niçoise. Not that it disappointed my stomach in any way, shape, or form.

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Salade niçoise d’un pauvre fille

  • 1 can tuna, drained
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey dijon mustard
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon capers
  • 3 anchovy filets
  • 6 briny black olives
  • 1 medium size tomato

Place tuna in a small to medium sized bowl along with mustard and olive oil; mix and season to taste with pepper

Cut tomato into bite size pieces and place in bowl, arranged around the tuna

Place capers, anchovies, and olives on top of tuna and tomatoes; serve immediately

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Cake or death?

re-raspb-choc-macaroons608

A few days ago, as I sat on my couch feeling utterlly despotic over my current, stagnant life, I took a plunge and signed up for a 3-day free trial of Match.com.

Yes, I signed up for Internet dating.

I know that thousands of women across the United States sign up for this sort of thing every day, but this was not one of my proudest moments. I think myself to be fairly cute, intelligent, and at least bearable to be around…and I always envisioned myself romantically meeting the man of my dreams in the grocery store, with both of our arms reaching for the last jar of Nutella.

Fat chance of that, I’m sure. Which is why, as I sweat profusely onto my couch and half listened to  Andrew Zimmern going on about some inerd that he is always eating on his show, I “winked” at a boy I thought was interesting and cute. What am I, 13 again?

But I digress. Cute wink boy and I have been emailing back and forth over these past 2 days. And now I have reached the end of my free trial (which will cease my message sending and receiving capabilities) as well as discovered an online shop that happily bakes and sends out macaroons made by French patissiers and therefore I have reached a dilemma: macaroons or romance?

Which is more worthly of my extremely limited student funds? Clearly, I am currently infatuated with macaroons.

This dilemma seems to me to be quite similar to Eddy Izzard’s “cake or death?” dilemma. I mean really, who in their right mind would turn down cake?! Not me surely. Which is why I am having the difficulty turning down the siren-song of premade, buttery, and delicious macarons available for Internet order. Yummy confections seem infinitely better than possible heartbreak. But shouldn’t I be hunting down prospective victims (errr…men) instead of drooling over photographs on an online bakeries? Shouldn’t I just bake my own gosh darn macaroons, which I could then share with said prospective man? How the heck do I find the prospective man? Should I just run out of the coffee shop that I am currently planted in and snatch the next attractive man that walks by? And what about my macaroons?!

And this, folks, is why I am single and currently dessert-less.

{On the menu for this evening: salade de legumes au fromage de chevre}

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Un festin pour les yieux: Un bon dessert

Today, as I was hiding out in my favorite coffee shop trying to wait out a storm, I had the priviledge of sitting at the table next to a couple of friends reminiscing over their very separate, but very eventful, road trips on the west coast of the United States. As I sat sipping on my coffee, I found myself getting jealous.

The combination of last night’s episode of No Reservations, eavesdropping over the memories of Voodoo Bakery, and browsing through French pastry recipes  has instilled me with a very serious sense of wanderlust. Or, to be more accurate, a very serious desire to travel around the world eating some kickass pastries.

Don’t get me wrong, I have access to a wide variety of tasty muffins and scones and cakes here in this little coffee shop. And it’s my home away from home, so far be it from me to belittle the food that I have been eating nearly every single day since moving here.

But I want something more exotic. Something that I can’t walk ten minutes for. Something that will make my taste buds dance with glee.

Enter my most current craving: The French macaroon.

 

Le macaron is different from other ‘varieties’ of macaroons in that a fairly unsweetened meringue is used (for example, an Italian macaroon uses a more sugary meringue). And, unlike the common American conception of a macaroon, is not a puff of coconut (not that there is anything wrong with a coconut macaroon, of course. Coconut is delish).

Chocolat et framboise macaron

 

 

And now I know what my next baking project will be…

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No Reservations: San Fran

bourdain

I’m not going to be bashful about this; I LOVE Anthony Bourdain and his seemingly no BS and unself-conscious (is that even a word?!) expression  of his views. And of course I love the fact that he travels the world eating. So when I (finally) got cable, his show was one of the things that I was most excited about getting to watch on a regular basis. In fact, I’m one of those weirdos who plants herself on the couch in front of the TV for upwards of hours watching a reruns marathon.

Tonight’s episode’s setting? San Francisco, California.

I’ve been to San Fran once, on a family vacation. My most memorable moment being Ghiradelli Square and the free piece of badass chocolate that I was handed as I walked out the door with my father and I joking that we could keep walking through the store collecting samples on our way out.

Other than that, I have no recollections of the food we ate; nothing stood out. I remember visiting a bakery and eating seafood but goodness gracious, I know there are so many gourmet and exciting places to eat in San Francisco. Granted, I was only a teenager and my sister was even younger so I’m assuming my parents did not want to risk taking us into a nicer restaurant only to find out that tonight was the night for hissy fits. At the time, the decision to stick to the touristy restaurants made sense. Thinking back on that trip, however, I am feeling slightly cheated. So many delicious restaurants, so much culture to explore…and I saw so little of it.

I was allowed to live vicariously through Mr. Bourdain for this one hour, though. And I loved every minute of it…almost more than his excursions to more exotic locales because I had visited there and, to some level, could connect with his experiences…from “crunchy granola to dirty martinis”.

And now I’m feeling the need to buy plane tickets.

Anthony Bourdain always does a wonderful job of exploring the ‘non-tourist-y’, gritty, and sometimes unglamorous parts of cities that most folks would typically be skeptical of visiting. He has a way with his words that can make any restaurant appear, at the very least, intriguing. This particular episode was no exception. The San Fran episode, which began with a curiously vegan bacon-flavored coffee, had me at vegan bacon-flavored coffee. And the juxtaposition of upscale steakhouses with the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood with the street food culture? Priceless.

No Reservations, indeed.

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