Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bakery Nouveau featured

Seattle is a food lovers dream city.  Here is one of several posts on my blog related to Seattle.  

During the visit I was allowed to photograph Bakery Nouveau in operation.  As a result of that wonderful experience, some of my photos from the bakery have been included in a new book, "The Pastry Chef's Apprentice." 

Chris (from Bakery Nouveau) sent me a copy of the book.  I opened the book and smiled...just smiled.  The book contains wonderful recipes, adapted for home preparation.

Thank you, Chef Leaman, and all Bakery Nouveau employees for allowing me to invade your space on that beautiful July day in Seattle. 


the book!
 photographer credits:
 Chef scooping cookie dough:
 French macarons.....macarons:
Click HERE to see other images from my visit to Bakery Nouveau, West Seattle, Washington.
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Friday, September 23, 2011

Chocolat Chaud and night cruise on Seine River

Today is Tuesday and it is my last day in Paris; I don't want to waste a minute!


Though we were among those enjoying Paris last night until midnight, at 9AM, Martha, Jerry and I walk the few blocks from my flat to Place des Vosges.  We are greeted by 'my' waitress at Carette Paris; she remembers me from my visit earlier in the week (American, grey hair, aging citizen....etc, etc, etc)


A few days prior, I tried to describe the Chocolat Chaud to Martha, but not until I poured the steaming hot, molten liquid into her rosebud china teacup did she understand. I believe her words, after she drank her hot chocolate (and scraped the bottom of her cup with a spoon) went something like this: "can I lick the cup?"  I understand her question, and no--we didn't lick the cups...but we could have....



Our French pastry breakfast was just as one would expect - - buttery and flakey and crispy and decedent. We found ourselves gathering the paper thin pastry scraps onto our spoon, not  wasting a morsel.  Jerry's chocolate eclair was glazed with chocolate and filled with a chocolate mousse.  Martha's pretzle (nothing like our pretzles) was made of layers and layers of flakey pastry.  My apple tart was flakey pastry shaped long and thin and filled with an apple goodness that oozed with each cut of the fork.  We ended our meal with a selection of French macarons. 


Click HERE for a short review of Carette by one of their many, many patrons.


After breakfast, I walked once again among the many shops along neighboring streets.  One last stroll to smell the cheese and the fish and the roasting chickens and the baking bread.  One last opportunity to gaze into the store windows sporting purses and shoes and boots fashionably displayed to draw the viewer into the store.  One last time to admire the rows and rows of colorful macarons.  One last time to sit outdoors at a corner cafe and sip hot tea and watch Paris move.


We allowed time for computer updates, then made plans for dinner and a late evening cruise on the Seine.


Our dinner at Cafe des Musees, recommended by a friend as an establishment frequented by Parisians, was an excellant choice.  Earlier in the day we watched as fresh produce was delivered to the restaurant. The eggplant (aubergine) I saw delivered on the street in the morning was prepared and served to Martha that evening in her dish of eggplant and lamb, along with cold couscous topped with mint leaves. Jerry dined on grouse, and I enjoyed pork glazed in something delicious and topped with slightly crisp sage leaves. 


Half of the experience of Paris is to order something from the menu, having no idea how the dish is prepared nor the ingredients therein.  The flavor combinations are unique, while taunting the taste buds and causing one to want more and more and more...  savory and sweet equally....


A Metro ride to Trocadeor...and all of a sudden....Eiffel!  
Lights glowing yellow against the night sky.  
Spire pointed toward heaven. 
Water fountains spraying in choreographed dance.  
Carousel horses circling. 
I could feel my heart beating and all I could think was, "oh....oh...how beautiful..."


Arm in arm, we descended the steps toward the Seine. The river tour offered another viewing perspective of the beautiful city.  How many pictures of the Eiffel tower does one need....As if trying to capture the moving light of a lighthouse on the ocean, I shot and shot and shot as the blue ray of light on the tip of the Eiffel tower circled the dark evening sky.  Buildings were lighted; lovers standing on the bridges above the boat embraced in the warm glow of the light on the bridge.  Individuals walked along the shore of the Seine.  With every gaze, a postcard of Paris was being painted in my mind.


Notre Dame from the Seine:
Eiffel from the Seine:
I will leave the city soon, and return to TN, USA.

I hear French music playing deep within me.....

23,759

16, rue du Parc Royal flat

75003 PARIS
3rd arrondissement (the last 2 digits of the Paris zip codes denote one of the 20 arrondissements)

The following information is from HERE:

Arrondissement 3 - Temple

\"MapAnother small arrondissement; it contains the northern part of the historic Marais district. The Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts), the Picasso Museum and the Carnavalet Museum - devoted to the history of Paris - are located here.


The city of Paris is divided in 20 arrondissements. The first one is in the center, the following ones spiral outwards in a clock-wise direction. Most of the famous tourist attractions can be found in one of the central 8 arrondissements.
The arrondissements are encircled by the périphérique, a ring highway. Outside the périphérique are the banlieues, the suburbs of Paris.







The location of my flat was within walking distance of retails shops, cafes, parks, monuments, fountains, historical buildings, bridges, and the Seine River.  Oh, and the Metro!


Laduree Paris

The Laduree boutique in the Paris - Charles de Gaulle airport was a welcome sight since I didn't visit the store at  75 Avenue des Champs-Elysées.
aren't they beautiful, adorned in colors of the rainbow and flavored by nature:

The packaging is exquisite, colors and designs reminiscent of a victorian tea room.

DELICIOUS!!!!  At first bite, the macaron shell cracked on the outside and the inside of the macaron was soft and chewy.  Perfect!!!!

Do not pass by Laduree in the CDG airport in fear of old or stale or out of date macarons; the macarons are supurb!

The packaging containers are beautiful!  I purchased macarons in a round cylinder that opens like a lipstick case.  The inside of the container is gold foil lined, reflecting the beauty of the macarons.  Paris...............


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Paris tradition - locks

I should have taken a lock to Paris!  Though the locks are often referred to as 'love locks,' I wonder if some travelers place a lock on the bridge to commemorate a visit to the 'city of light.'

Hundreds and hundreds of locks have been placed along the railing of various bridges in Paris.  Martha and Jerry placed their 49th wedding anniversary lock on the bridge during my visit.

CLICK HERE to see a short YouTube video after the event (please excuse my voice on the video!!).

after the "photo shoot" they placed their anniversary lock on the bridge

exploring Paris

It seems that while I was photographing the sights of Paris (like a good tourist), Martha and Jerry were photographing me.

Here are a couple of links to their blog.  Notice all the smiles.  We had a wonderful visit!!!!!!

Click HERE

Click HERE for more.

Follow Jerry and Martha on their Paris adventure.  Their BLOG is www.mandjwagley.com.

Oh, ..... and I'll be posting pictures of Martha and Jerry soon....taken when they least expected the camera to be pointing in their direction!

Here's a sneak preview:

Lido-Champs Elysees-Paris:
 Resting in the sunshine at Luxembourg Gardens
 morning walk near Notre Dame; we found a Paris scarf
 When you don't have your eye on the photographer, the photographer may have her eye on you!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bastille, a Tea Shop, and Lido

Our Monday morning walk took us around the busy Place de la Bastille, past the new Opera National de Paris  Bastille (the new opera house), down the pebble walk along the Canal St-Martin, through a lock, and out to the Seine River retaining wall, with Notre Dame in the distance to our right.

I photographed Jerry and Martha placing their lock on the bridge near Notre Dame.  Hundreds and hundreds of locks have been secured to the bridge.  We dressed somewhat French (with a southern accent) for the occasion.


A little shopping, risotto for dinner at an outdoor cafe along Champs-Elysees and then Lido-Champs Elysees-Paris at 9:30 PM...another amazing day in Paris.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Sunday Worship-Gardens-Fountains in Paris

The green spire of the American Church in Paris(bottom right) stands proudly near Pont Alexandre III (bridge), the Petit Palais, the Grand Palais, the Eiffel Tower(center), and a few blocks away from Dome Church and Napoleon's Tomb, and Invalides.  This morning, all the pews were filled as well as side seating, the pastor delivered a wonderful message, and we exited after the visiting choir from Texas concluded the service with upbeat, uplifting music.
Standing in Place de la Concorde, and looking around in all directions offers a magnificent view.  Though now a parade route, the square once held the guillotine and was the execution site of Marie Antoinette and 1,000+ others.

We enjoyed lunch in Jardin des Tuileries (gardens), especially Jerry's chestnut cream dessert, Coupe Mont-Blanc.

...a most delicious, floral black tea


I walked out the gates of the Tuileries gardens and gazed through the Arch de Triomphe du Carrousel onto the inverted glass pyramid at the Louvre.

We walked directly in front of the Musse d'Orsey, along the banks of the Seine.

St Michael's fountain was spectacular, in the midst of a very busy intersection.

I must say that Jardin de Luxembourg are the most beautiful gardens I have seen(travel guide states that this is the most popular park in the whole of Paris).  Though they display potted palm trees (which seem out of place to me), the remainder of the gardens are breathtaking.  A band played in the distance, children were  running around the pools of water and among the trees, young boys pushed white sailboats in the pool, and young and old sat in the chairs throughout the gardens enjoying the day, the intermittent sunshine, the hefty wind, and a few drops of rain.

Vendors sell their wares along the Seine, we walk on the cobblestones of the lower deck along the Seine on Ile St Louis, arriving at our dinner destination.

Bodega is a restaurant on a boat docked on the Seine River across from Notre Dame.  Rain showers preceded this magnificent rainbow in the afternoon sky.

Sunset turned the windows of Notre Dame a golden glow, and afterwards, the pink sky of the setting sun painted the high walls of the great cathedral.  What a truely amazing sight, sitting and watching the sky darken and the lights begin to illumine the bridges along the Seine.

Drizzle, rain, wind, and more rain and wind did not deter our day, nor that of many others in Paris.

About 11PM after dinner; Martha in Paris:

Another great day in this great city...how will I ever leave...




European hot chocolate, macaron, and Popelini

My morning walk led me to Place des Vosges and Carette Paris.  The Chocolat 'carette' was superior quality chocolate in liquid form.  I enjoyed the steaming drink, served in a china cup, along with a  cafe (coffee) macaron.  There is no doubt that I am in Paris...

The Saturday market is open today in Martha's village.  Fruit, fish, vegetables, cheese, eggs, milk, and the plat de jour (dish of the day) are among the items for sale.  We walked through a wonderland of color and aroma.  The established street business is busy also.

Chickens roast on rotessary racks, fresh fish stare blankly at those passing by on the sidewalk, the smell of freshly baked bread drifts onto the rue.  We search for Popelini; I'm glad Martha was diligent and continued the search to find the tiny shop on a side street.

from the Popelini web site:
"Popelini is the name of the italian chef who came up with the recipe for choux pastry in 1540 at the court of Catherine de Medicis.Today, Popelini pastry shop is devoted to create a modern twist on this classic french specialty, by offering a wide range of colorful and tasty choux à la crème."

A ride on the M deposits us at Magdalenae.  The church is spectacular, dressed with rows and rows of flowers along either side of the massive front steps.  From the top of the steps, we can see the obelisk at the center of the Place de la Concorde.

After a visit to local shops, and another ride on the M, we walk through the huge shopping area of Les Halles, and then to E Dehillerin.

Arms laden with bags, we retrace the M journey and make our way home.

It is now 6:30 PM, and as I sit at the antique desk and write this post, music drifts from my neighbor's window and into mine.  Church bells ring in the distance.

Dinner will be after 8:30PM tonight.  It's Saturday night, and Martha, our tour director (vs Jerry, our tour guide) says that we must go out on Saturday night in Paris!

Neither little nor a lot! of rain stops anyone in Paris.  We walked the streets, umbrellas in hand.  Many of the restaurants are very small and full to capacity during the dinner hours; however, walking a few feet along the sidewalk usually reveals another restaurant.  On our 4th attempt, we found a vacant table out of the rain.  The dinner was excellent!  A few night photos from a bridge over the Seine and midnight was upon us.
Another wonderful day in Paris....

Friday, September 16, 2011

Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur and Moulin Rouge

Chocolate begins my day in Paris, again.  The cafe on the corner of my street serves le petit dejeuner  which consists of (fruit presse) freshly squeezed orange juice served over ice, hot chocolate (or tea or coffee), and a (chocolate) croissant.  Martha added eggs, and the serving becomes Le Breakfast.

Afterwards, we walked along several narrow streets...

...my first 'up close' sighting of French Macarons...

...and cross one of many bridges in the city.  The back side of Notre Dame, in all it's splendor, stands before us.

window shopping on the walk back to the flat:

up many, many steps (more than you see here) to Sacre Coeur
lunch in Place du Tertre which is always busy with budding painters 

 went inside and listened to beautiful music
 just walked by the building; didn't go inside; need to rest before 9PM dinner
Delicious late dinner at Cafe Hugo in Palace des Vosges. 11:51 PM here....goodnight.