Archive | August, 2012

J’aime Bien Manger..

31 Aug

Obviously, you all know that. And although I have such an insanely large amount of things to tell you all about, it’s 1:33 in the morning and I’m exhausted. I’ve done so many different things, from making new friends (French friends, even!) to trying new foods (If you ever come across Charlotte au Chocolat, it’s a must.)  I promise to be back tomorrow to take you along on the bus tour I had yesterday. After trying to figure out how to put my words together in proper English and trying to ignore the world’s biggest fly that won’t stop buzzing around my head, I’ve got to get some sleep.

But first, I leave you with Paris’s best falafel. Heavenly! And definitely the best I’ve had to date.

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Ce Soir A La Seine

29 Aug

Reunited and it feels so good!

 

 

After four years of not having seen each other, I finally got to hang out with my friend Amandine. We did a mini exchange program years ago where she stayed with me for two weeks and then I went and stayed with her. So it’s really cool being able to see each other again! And now we’ll live in the same city until she leaves in November!

 

 

 

 

Amandine invited me to go with her to Quais De La Rappee, where many people go to sit around the river, dance, and picniquer. We ate our dinner there with a bottle of wine and watched all the people dance to many different kinds of music. They form large groups in these circles with a different genre for each. Some swing, some salsa. They invite each other (and everyone else) to dance with them for one song. People are coupled off with others that they’ve never met and their bodies just flow. It’s SO beautiful and fun. A really cheerful place to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amandine even got in on some dancing action!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another fun thing I tried? These chips that Amandine brought. They’re like cheetohs.. but salty peanut flavored. I wasn’t expecting the taste and thought I hated them. I’m pretty sure I’m addicted now that I helped her finish practically the whole bag.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My first night of many on La Seine. The first perfectly relaxing night I’ve had. Every day has been so crazy. Just go, go, go, all of the time. Perfect timing for a nice break. C’est belle, n’est-ce pas?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, and a little round-up of last night where I forgot my camera AGAIN. (Plus, I didn’t really want to look like a tourist on my first night going out!) We went to Pont Neuf, which is this the epitome of French beauty at night where all the young people go sit around at a spot on the river, drinking bottles of wine, and enjoying each other’s company. A classy “pre-gaming”, if you will! 😉 And yes, French people do drink a ton of wine and I will too while here. Need another reason why? Because it’s dirt cheap for decent bottles! I’m talking I’ll probably rarely spend more than three Euro on one bottle. Then the group was off to try to catch the last metro and head to a club called Cafe Oz. We lost half the group in the process. But everyone had a good night regardless of where they ended up. Good, and late. We were all zombies at orientation today. Cafe Oz was a fun place to go, but I probably won’t return too often. It’s kind of bro-y. But I had an amazing time, regardless!.. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I met a nice French guy last night, and we’re supposed to go on a date tomorrow. Oh la la! Who knows?

 

Une Visite Dans Mon Appartement

28 Aug

Bonjour!

The first day in France was exhausting from jet lag, but so fun! Last night we ended up having a group over for beer, wine, and bread… Which somehow ended up being my dinner. The group of us went through three baguettes on the first night. Holy merde! No wonder I was so full.

Today’s been day one of an orientation, which was a little talking and then a tour around the third and fourth arrondissements, where my university is located, so we could know the area a little better. We’ll all be spending so much time around there, so it was great to see little places to eat and how much life is in each neighborhood.  We stopped at Nectarine, a little cafe, for lunch where we were all served une quiche provencale, which was AMAZING, and a side salad. Of course the meal began with baguette slices and ended with crepes of our choice. I drank a sparkling water and selected a strawberry jam crepe. The meal ended with espresso. Parfait! I think it’ll be a long, long time until the Quest protein bars I brought will even be touched… Unfortunately, I forgot my camera AGAIN so I was unable to get photos of lunch and the tour, but I promise you I’ll be back to get pictures of the sites there. I mean, I’ll be there definitely three days out of every week for classes anyways.

On my way home, a patisserie with les macarons caught my eye, and you know me. I HAD to dive in for two pistachio flavored one. I mean, the girl with me had never even tried these little pieces of heaven! It was a must… I’ll always have every excuse to get real French macarons.

And here is a quick little tour of our adorable apartment. Since we had people over and two girls have been living here for a month, don’t mind the mess. I’ll be doing a deep cleaning after they move out on Thursday, just so we can have a fresh start. But overall, I love the place:

Our kitchen. Cooking is going to be HARD here because all the cooking utensils are awful. I might just have to buy a new knife and pan.

Our little window-less bathroom. We have to open up the whole house after showers to avoid mold! The toilet is behind the door, so it’s a little bigger than it looks.

Where I’m sitting now to blog! The view is amazing no matter where you go in this city.

On tonight’s agenda is probably whipping up a salad or something for dinner, unless I feel like eating out.. Maybe I’ll just go buy another baguette seeing as they’re only around eighty cents here. This is going to get dangerous!I can tell I’m already going to continue to fall more and more in love with this place.

Flying In The Skyyy

27 Aug

You know, I usually really enjoy traveling through multiple airports. This trip? So not the case.

My morning started bright and early, as in 3:15 in the morning, to have enough time to get my butt up to Reno and through security for my 6:30 flight. I’m still completely indecisive on if the sleep was worth it. Should I even call it sleep? I tried to go to bed at 8:30 Saturday night, but I woke up every hour at least once, typically twice. I woke up with a blast of energy on Sunday morning. Oh, was that just my second wind that would have been helpful if I stayed up all night? Cool. Thankfully Reno is probably the easiest airport to navigate through and I’ve done it a hundred times, so sleep walking once my energy wore off was not an issue.

So dead to the world, even I’m a blur… Or maybe that’s my photographer dad’s sleep shakes coming through?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a flight that was a little under three hours, I’m in Dallas with a five hour layover. In case you weren’t aware, there’s nothing to do in an airport for five hours. You can only eat so many times (I already had lunch at Au Bon Pain and still need to kill over four hours…). I’m assuming I’ll just spend the rest of the time not sleeping and riding the Skylink thing to all the different terminals. That subway in the sky is the highlight of my day. You know what is definitely not the highlight? The fact that the Dallas airport has a weird looking castle town thingy but NO free wifi. What year is this? 2005? Come on, Dallas, you cheapos!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry, that was just my exhaustion talking. I’m hoping to be able to sleep on the flight from here to Paris, which is supposed to be my overnight… Um, Losing seven hours? Also not fun. Once I get into Paris, it’ll be 9:00 in the morning and CEA has a whole day planned for us. I’ll be looking a hot mess, confused as hell and, if my incapability to sleep on planes continues, I’ll be tired as hell too. Yuuuuck! I’m already questioning what day it is. Sunday? Well I’m pretty sure it’s 11:19 at home, and NOT 1:19, so I’ll just pretend I ate lunch at the time it is at home. Meaning it’s totally ice cream o’clock here. That’s all that matters. Is that a Ben & Jerry’s I spot?

 

 

UPDATE: I’m in Paris and I love my apartment. I’ll try to update you guys with apartment pictures and things, but my roommates move out thursday so I may be busy hanging out with them and orientation!

Time’s Almost Up and The Perfect Summer Side

25 Aug

The day’s almost here for me to voyage a Paris! I’ll be heading to the Reno airport in exactly THIRTY ONE hours. This is getting so real… I mean, I did spend the majority of my day trying to fit my life into one suitcase. (Turns out, it really is impossible to pack a year’s worth of belongings into one, so, unfortunately, two it is!) I’m nervous and excited and feeling every thing that I was feeling before, but amplified. All that’s left to do is unpack all of my packing and hope that there are things I can convinced myself to leave behind. I’m not sure I’ll be able to lug all my luggage (Har har! 😉 ) around by myself when I arrive. Or I may just be the stupid American bag lady. Whatever.

 

Annnnyways, I made this salad. And it was the best summer salad. Putting it together was so fun and stupidly easy that I hope anyone who reads this considers to do the same with their leftover watermelon. Because we all know there’s always leftovers, regardless of how much you try to calculate the right amount to buy.

See? Leftovers… Whomp whomp.

And for once in my life, I forgot to take a picture of the actual salad. Who am I? Make it anyways.

Ingredients:

Watermelon, cubed

Red onion, very thinly sliced

Cucumber, thinly slices and halved, leaving the rind on for a little texture and fiber

Fresh mint leaves, minced

Juice from one whole lime

A generous amount of feta

Sea Salt

 

Proportions are to whatever might be your liking. So. Fresh! Also considering combining all the dressing ingredients together with a little olive oil and some finely diced fresh jalapeno next time. Sounds kind of fun.

Z Bistro in Carson City, Nevada

16 Aug

Last week I was at Trader Joe’s in Carson City, grocery shopping for the last things we needed to do a catering during the weekend, when I ran into an amazing woman who asked me why on earth I would be buying six watermelons. I got to explaining that I am going to study in France for the next year and am interested in staging in a patisserie while there. Turns out she’s a chef who cooked at the governor’s mansion, was the dessert chef at one of the nicest restaurants in town, and has many other achievements under her belt. She even sous-chefs occasionally for a French chef and owner of the Z Bistro in Carson City. She gave me her email and we ended up planning a lunch there together.

After much excitement, the lunch finally arrived today. And it was amazing. The company, the food, the mood, everything. Amazing.

Here was our meal:

I usually spend too much time intrigued by everything on the menu at places like these, so I decided to go with the first entree that sounded perfect to me, which was one of the day’s specials. And it was the perfect choice of a baby kale salad with fresh figs, mozzarella, fried wonton strips, and a fig balsamic vinaigrette. (It usually came with pancetta, but I, of course, ordered it without.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michelle ended up ordering another special. I don’t know all the details of her dish, but I believe it was rock fish, grilled peaches, and a saffron israeli couscous. Gorgeous!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The chef sent us out a complimentary bowl of cold strawberry soup with whipped mascarpone. OH MY GOODNESS. This was heavenly. So simple, but with such a fresh taste. My favorite thing I tasted throughout the meal, and yet it wasn’t something I would normally order. Just fantastic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, the desserts!

One of the best crepes I’ve tasted in a long time. This buckwheat crepe with slightly crispy on the outside, filled with homemade lemon curd then topped with lemon butter and fresh whipped cream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And you can be sure that I ordered creme brulee because it’s my favorite dessert of all time. The custard of this one was completely beautiful with specks from the fresh vanilla bean prevalent throughout. Surprisingly, while this was great, it wasn’t my favorite part of the meal… I think that was only because everything else was better than I imagined.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was overly full, my face hurt in the best way possible from smiling and laughing, and this opportunity was amazing. Chef Gilles said he’ll speak to a friend about possibly helping me find a stage, and I made a new friend with a European regular at the restaurant who will be near while I’m in France.

Honestly, I’m surprised that I never knew about this restaurant any sooner.

Anyone who goes through Carson City should really check this place out. I highly recommend it.

Z Bistro

725 Basque Way  Carson City, NV 89706
(775) 885-2828

I just had to share this because it is THE cutest!

15 Aug