Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding Breakfast

I wasn't invited to the official royal wedding breakfast (must have been an oversight), so I created my own. I got up just in time to see the Hot Royal Brothers go into Westminster Abbey. Great timing, if you ask me.

Yes, I really am sitting in front of my computer in pajamas and faux jewels, sipping tea and eating freshly baked biscuits. I've also been joining in the commentary on This is the most fun I've had at a wedding, ever.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Culinary Quote: The Army Dude

If there's no chocolate in outer space, I'm not going.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Rigatoni with Truffle Creme

I actually had this dish twice while I was in France. I loved it so much when I had it on our first night in Paris at Cafe du Marche that I ordered it again at a cafe at Versailles. It was delicious, it was cheap (all things considered), and it was vegetarian.

Here's the thing: I'm not much of a meat eater. I never have been, much to the chagrin of my large, meat-loving Portuguese family. I will try virtually any vegetable, fruit, or grain; with meat and seafood, I am more wary. I quickly discovered in Paris that even when I got a piece of meat I could readily identify, it was much fattier than I liked. (Yes, I know that fat equals flavor. I've heard it all before. Animal fat, unless it is in the form of crispy strips of bacon, gives me the heeby-jeebies.)

The sauce was lightly dotted with grated bits of truffle and the flavor infused the whole dish. It was incredibly savory, simple, and satisfying. Not to mention that I spent about 14 American dollars on the meal -- expensive for pasta, but cheap when you consider that truffles cost anywhere from $250 to more than $1000 a pound.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Food Shopping In Paris

Gentle readers, Paris is heaven for the food lover. Everywhere we went, we saw gorgeous produce, fresh seafood, meats, sausages, and a stunning variety of cheese. There is a bakery on almost every street corner.

Maille has long been my preferred brand of mustard, so I was excited when The Foodie introduced me to their retail shop on the Place de la Madeleine. I had no idea Maille made so many varieties of mustard! Alas, my local Stop&Shop only carries the dijon and grainy styles, so I bought a jar of mustard with walnuts for myself and a sampler package with five or six little jars of different flavors (including blue cheese, black currant, and hazelnut) for the Army Dude. I'm kind of hoping he'll share.

Photos of Fauchon, Paris
This photo of Fauchon is courtesy of TripAdvisor

We also went to Fauchon, which carries all sorts of luxury food products: teas, preserves, honey, wine, truffles, foie gras, spices, and more. When the woman behind the chocolate counter offered us samples, we each took a bite, looked at the other wide-eyed and said "Oh. My. God." The chocolate was delicious. I immediately put together a gift bag for the Army Dude. It's in my kitchen cabinet as we speak, because he loved the chocolates so much he knew he'd eat them all that day. I have temporary custody and I haven't eaten a single one. That, my friends, is devotion.

Twice a week, there is a traveling market at the Rue de Breteuil. It's kind of like an outdoor flea market with lots of food, jewelry stalls, clothing, linens, and ceramics (among other things). We went on Saturday to check it out and buy souvenirs, and then returned on Thursday to do some serious food shopping for a dinner The Foodie was cooking that night.

The Former Farmer (who has quite the cooking chops herself and who cooked a delicious pasta dinner for us on another night) acted as sous-chef. I helped a little and ate with gusto. The cop also ate with gusto and kept the wine glasses full. Each according to his ability.

The Cop and the Former Farmer bought us this lovely dessert at a bakery near where we were staying. That pink stripe is raspberry filling and the rest is composed of several varieties of yummy chocolately goodness.

I know I'm not the first person to make this observation, and I won't be the last: it beats me how the French stay so thin.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Here's something I love about The Foodie: not only will he sit with me at an impossibly tiny table and drink hot chocolate out of delicate china cups, he will actually suggest it. I love a man who is not afraid of a place with cloth napkins.

In the middle of an afternoon filled with sightseeing and browsing in food shops, we stopped at Angelina, a teahouse on the Rue de Rivoli which is decorated in the belle epoque style and staffed by waiters in coat and tie. We ordered L'Africain, which is an incredibly rich hot chocolate served with a big bowl of whipped cream on the side so you can add as much or as little as you like. We also ordered toast with jam. We were served big, thick slices of bread that had been generously buttered and grilled, with little pots of butter, jam, and honey to accompany them.

I sipped my hot chocolate, looked around at the lovely, old-fashioned decor, and said to The Foodie "I am so happy right now."

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Food Bloggers In Paris

A coffee and tea break at a cafe in the Marais.

One of the highlights of my trip to Paris was getting the chance to meet Emily of Tomato Kumato. (If you don't already read her blog, you totally should -- she is lovely, inside and out, and her writing is terrific.) She was so sweet to spend an afternoon with The Foodie and me, showing us vintage shops, translating for us, and filling us in on lots of fun facts.

We started the afternoon with lunch from L'As Du Falafel (fun fact: it's Lenny Kravitz's favorite). The sandwiches were delicious, and different than the ones I get locally. To begin with, they are a more manageble size and served in a pita pocket. There was also cole slaw (or a similar cabbage salad) in it. The combination was really good.

We sat in a park and ate our sandwiches, surrounded by French people on their lunch breaks. The afternoon was filled with food talk, laughs, and shopping, and it ended with delicious ice cream from Berthillon and a stop at Shakespeare and Company, an English-language bookstore. (Fun fact: part of the building housing the bookstore is in the half-timbered style dating from Shakespeare's time.)

A day doesn't get much better than that.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Culinary Quote: Crescent Dragonwagon

I got back on Sunday from a 10-day trip to Paris, and I am proud to say that I said "yes" to everything I wanted -- well, except for a certain cuff bracelet at Chanel. But when it came to the food, I went for it: chocolates at Fauchon, Berthillon ice cream, and a divine "lunch" at Angelina, which consisted mostly of the richest and most divine hot chocolate I've ever tasted. Not to mention cheese, butter, and lots of baguettes.

Yes, my jeans are a little tight in the waistband, and I discovered yesterday morning that my "skinny" jeans (size, not style) don't fit at all. But you know what? I don't care.