Tag Archives: travel

Cooking Like the French Do!

3 Oct

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When we were planning this trip, one of the very second things we decided to do, after running a marathon and drinking the champagne of course!, was to take a cooking class. I mean…really…how could I not?!

One thing that we knew we absolutely HAD to do in Paris was take a cooking class! Now, I love to bake but I’m pretty plain Jane when it comes to actual cooking grown up food. I enjoy reading recipes and thinking I’ll make some more fancy stuff, but I never do. This would be a chance to learn some new stuff that I’d hopefully be able to use.

Eydie thought I might want to do something related to baking but real food seemed to be the way to go (though, trust me, there were a lot of baking offerings as well!!)

We registered in advance and on our final day in Paris got up early for breakfast and headed out to meet the rest of our group at an outdoor market. The plan is that you shop for your ingredients then head back to the school to do the actual prep and cooking. And EATING!!

As a side note, to continue a recurring theme of this trip, our chef/teacher was from…yes, you guessed it….Texas 🙂

After deliberation, we selected to make scallops (the other options were lamb and veal, which BLECH!). We shopped for our scallops – in the shells still mind you! – as well as some veggies to roast, some cheese and berries for dessert.

It was really interesting to learn about some different and new (to me) veggies as well as hearing about how cheeses are made and aged and what makes them different.

Once back at the school we unpacked our goodies and started the prep work. With 8 of us things went pretty quick and it wasn’t long before we sat down to enjoy our scallops and roasted veg. We were also able to enjoy some nice wine.

The scallops were cooked very simply – salt and pepper and seared in a hot pan. The veggies were tossed with olive oil, some herbs and salt and pepper and stuck in a hot oven while we did the work on the scallops All of this was served with a really delicious, and surprisingly easy, hollandaise sauce – all plated in  a very lovely manner…

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A stack of veggies in the middle with my three scallops…notice the artful “smear” of sauce…

Remember the scallops were in their shells? Well…you know we had to clean those suckers ourselves!! I seemed to be the only one having trouble even getting the darn thing open! I got some help with that and was soon cleaning away with everyone else.

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Our main course was followed with the cheese plate that we had put together in the market and also our berries with whipped cream. One thing that made the whipped cream really tasty was that we added lime zest when whipping. By hand.

Once lunch ended and we said goodbye to our new friends, and took the mandatory medal selfie,

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And medal shot….

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Eydie and I headed back to E. Dehillerin so I could pick up a Staub coquette – I had gone in looking for Le Crueset but really liked the simple black Staub. And, bonus, we had a coupon from the cooking school so once again, my procrastination and indecisiveness paid off! And I also decided to get a set of grown-up tongs!

 

After wandering around a bit (okay, I got us a little lost!) and found this park….

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we headed back to the room. I still needed to get some Eiffel Tower medal shots. E was tired so stayed in and I headed out once again making a stop at M. Georges for some macaroons for Phred’s babysitter (and, who am I kidding, me!) and of course the kouignettes which totally lived up to the reviews!!

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This is a pastry that is Right up my alley — slightly crispy puffy pasty with chewy gooey caramely goodness

Once I’d stocked up I wandered to Le Tour…where I hung around long enough to see them lighting it up for the night!

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The medal visits the Eiffel Tower

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I am not smiling because I have to leave tomorrow…

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There’s a great light show that ends with this!!

I didn’t hang out too long, since I still needed to finish packing and get some sleep – the shuttle was coming pretty early in the morning and after our trip FROM the airport, we were prepared for a very long ride out!

Up next, my final (sob) Paris post – really a wrap-up and recap along with some extra pictures that will hopefully make you smile!!!

I would HIGHLY recommend finding a way to take some sort of class on YOUR next trip to Paris! I know that I plan on it!!

 

Paris Marathon – Day 2

14 Jun

So, I just am going to throw this out there – I hoard my Frequent Flier miles. And really, the reason I do is because I vowed a couple of years ago that I would never fly to Europe in coach again! I hold on to the miles knowing that an opportunity would certainly come up soon!! Good thing I don’t go to Europe too often.

Part of the plan is to get the best “use” out of the fewest miles possible. That means, for me, searching for the “super saver” deals – that meant that on my trip to Paris I would be flying out of…Washington DC. In my opinion, the drive down is a small price to pay overall!

As I posted here I started the day off by dropping off my pal at his Nanny’s house and headed to DC. I headed to Dulles about 4 hours before my flight since I figured I’d spend most of my time in the lounge (yet another reason to use those miles to upgrade for an international flight!!)

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Some of the ‘snacks’ available in the lounge…let the eating begin!!

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Why yes, I think I *will* have some shrimp cocktail, thank you!

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A light snack before my flight

I had chosen to fly out in United’s Global First cabin– which gave me lots of room for sleeping should that happen!

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The pods…

I’d read a lot of reviews online of the service so that I would know what to expect. Based on most of what I had read, I shouldn’t expect much, particularly from the cabin crew.

Well, I must have lucked out or something – there were 3 flight attendants in our cabin most of the time and they were nothing but awesome! Naturally, my wine glass was never empty – except when I was drinking the after dinner port with my cheese course.

So the meal…started with the usual (haha – I say that like I fly first class all the time!) hot nuts. Cashews and almonds. None of those pesky peanuts for us 10 special travelers.

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A warm appetizer of coconut shrimp with tabbouleh and mango chutney Then soup. A really yummy chicken enchilada soup. Up next, salad. Not one of those plastic prepacked salads for me – fresh tossed with my choice of dressing. I was getting full so I skipped the croutons! The main course that I selected was beef short ribs. Tasty but not amazing (Anne, when did you become such a food snob?). And to finish, the aforementioned cheese course. You’ll be surprised to learn that I skipped – yes, skipped, the ice cream sundae. Really, I couldn’t have eaten another bite!

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I thought they might have gone overboard with the utensils….

 

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My coconut shrimp!

 

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The crouton-less salad…

 

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Mains…

While dining I watched a couple of movies – Night at the Museum and something that was apparently not too memorable! After that I kind of flipped around and at some point dozed off for a little while after changing into my sweatshirt.

Before arriving in Frankfurt, we were served a small breakfast of fruit, granola, yogurt and breads. Before I knew it it was time to say goodbye to our wonderful flight crew. One of the French flight attendants asked if I was staying in Germany or going on and when I told her I was going to Paris she mentioned that she lived just outside of Paris (later on, I saw her on my flight from Frankfurt to Paris!)

When we got out of the plane in Germany, to get to a connecting flight we had to walk WAY to the other side of the airport, up and down stairs and then through security again. Which was a bummer cause they took away my big bottle of water 😦 Once through security it was another long, hot hike to the gate.

EVENTUALLY I made it to Paris, grabbing a couple of shots of the Eiffel Tower – off in the distance in the haze.

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Really, it *is* out there!!

 

One at the airport I grabbed my bag and waited for Eydie’s arrival – she’d been delayed/canceled/rebooked/delayed but eventually arrived! Her luggage, however, did not. After filing the report and letting the airline know where to deliver her bag, we hopped in our pre-arranged shuttle for a long tour of Paris, dropping off other visitors!

After we arrived and freshened up, it was time to find some late lunch, early dinner and hit the expo!!!

Where I’ve Never Been….

28 Mar

So, this was scheduled to post Friday morning…but it didn’t. Bonus for ya’ll!! Follow up post later today!

Last year, one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to go somewhere I’d never been. I didn’t get to that part…but this year…things are gonna be different!

 

And it’s starting today!

In just a few hours I’ll be in a new place! I’ve wanted to go here for years – have had a couple of opportunities but for one reason or another it didn’t work out …but now. Now I’m doing it!

Sure it isn’t terribly exotic. But it’s a start!

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My friend Sharon asked a few months ago if I’d like to Run with the Bulls. Not those bulls  – this year anyway! Sharon LOVES Bermuda. Probably as much as, if not more than, she loves New York City. So I picked a great person for a first visit, right?!

On Sunday we will be Running with the Bulls. Well, technically and officially, I’ll be Walking with the Bulls since when I signed up I didn’t know what kind of condition I’d be in. And. Bermuda is actually kind of hilly from what I’ve heard! So it’ll be fun for sure.

Saturday evening we’re doing an Earth Day kind of celebration walk through Hamilton which will be another fun event.

So it’s about 15 hours before the plane leaves Newark and I’m all packed! And excited. And the best news? (well, it’s all good but…) I got upgraded for my flight from Newark to Hamilton! Which means I’m starting my party EARLY.

Can’t WAIT to go — I’m so excited and have gotten lots of good advice from another friend who loves Bermuda, possibly even more than Sharon does!! I think the only thing I could possibly regret about this trip is that it is way too short!!

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Bermuda – bird’s eye view From coldwellbankersislands.com

I’m looking forward to sharing this great weekend with you…probably not tomorrow…probably not Sunday…but soon. Real soon!!

Have a great TGIF!!!

 

 

 

Let the Countdown Begin!!!

23 Nov

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Well folks, it’s almost Thanksgiving! That means it’s almost travel time!! It would really be helpful if I had actually unpacked from my LAST trip right?

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Luckily, going to Houston is generally a pretty casual affair — and usually I pack all wrong!! I try to bring something a little more dressy than yoga pants or jeans (shorts?). This time, for reasons I may write about later, I’m making sure to pack a nice dark dress.

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I wish I had one of these!!!

I’m bringing paper work to do, since I still can’t work remotely and my manager wants me to be able to bill some hours on Tuesday and Wednesday (Friday is a holiday but I may still do a couple hours then, depending on what’s going on!)

There will be baking with my two favorite assistants on Wednesday afternoon and side-dish making with the Chef de Cuisine for the week – my brother! I plan on attempting home made rolls (instead of the store-bought ones we usually have – but maybe there should be backups!) and I am going to bake a couple of great items from Sally’s Baking Addiction — LOVE her recipes!! Love.

So lots of eating, lots of baking (I try to fill up Pop’s freezer!) and lots of togetherness!

But first? I have a long list of things to get done today!!

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Traveling Truth!

3 Sep

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The truth today is that, as much as I LOVE going to Disneyland and running with all the great people who runDisney, and as sad as I am to leave the parks behind I am really happy to go home!

I fly all day today and get to pick up my dawg on the way from the airport!!

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My buddy is the one on the right 🙂

And tomorrow it’s back to work for my last few weeks, and another runDisney race coming up really soon!

It’s all good

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend and is ready to get back in the groove.

 Happy_Tuesday

It’s Tuesday. Not Friday.

27 Aug

You want the truth? You want the TRUTH? Okay…I think you CAN handle the truth!

It’s Tuesday. It’s not Friday. That’s the truth.

Truth also is that I am STILL not packed for Disneyland.

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I have clothes on the bed, I have clothes hanging to dry and at least I finished my Mouseketeer shirt for the Half Marathon.

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The front of my Mouseketeer shirt for the Disneyland Half Marathon

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Back of my Mouseketeer shirt

But I am not packed!

Which means, tonight is packing night. Full on, close the suitcase packing night.

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