Saturday, September 26, 2009

Parisian Pied-à-Terre and Amour

It started with an invitation, scripted and embellished with a gold fleur-de-lis. "We'd love you (and the crew) to join us on the 23rd for drinks, 6ish. We're at........"

My friend and fellow "stew" Nancy, is staying at a pied-à-terre with her husband, in Paris, and invited us for an appèritif. Of course, we accepted. The weather was sunny and temperate and seemed to be special ordered for an afternoon of walking and shopping before going to our friend's apartment.

Along the way, we picked out a bouquet to bring. At first we were drawn to the huge sunflowers....then the colorful dahlias....and then calla lilies that had such rich fall colors. In the end we decided on a bouquet in bold shades of orange with seasonal berries.

Next we wanted to get a bottle of wine, and stopped at a favorite wine shop.

There are always so many hand picked choices here! With arms full of flowers and wine, we quickened our pace and arrived at Nancy and Michael's pied-à-terre just a few minutes late. Good thing we didn't get the sunflowers, since she had a big vase full of them on the kitchen counter.

The orange bouquet had a nice view by the open window,

that looked out over a courtyard.

Another rooftop view had been painted by the owner, who is an artist, and hung on the wall.

Nancy had prepared some appetizers

and we knew there were more coming, by the toasted nut aroma from the oven. An oozy, warm baked Brie cheese topped with sweetened sliced almonds appeared before us.

Nancy showed us some of her latest reads....

(we may never be French, but it will always hold a special place in our hearts!) We all chatted and caught up with their stay in Paris.
Even the cat was happy!

I was shown a new way to tie my scarf before we bid au revoir.

Leaving for dinner, our walk in this area near Notrè Dame, was guided by angels painted on the sidewalk...

and of course, amour.

After all, this is Paris....!

Nancy described her Baked Brie appetizer and I tried it at home. I liked a touch of honey drizzled over it while it was fresh from the oven. The side and bottom rind acts as a container for the soft baked cheese and almonds. This couldn't be any easier or more delicious!

Baked Brie with Sweetened Almonds and Honey

4 ounce round of Brie cheese*
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/2 teaspoon powdered sugar
1 tablespoon honey

*You may use a larger piece of Brie, just multiply the other ingredients accordingly.

Slice the rind off of the top of the Brie. Place in a round ovenproof container that just fits the cheese, and bring to room temperature. In a small bowl, sprinkle the powdered sugar over the almonds. Add a few drops of water while stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Place this mixture on top of the cheese and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is soft and runny, and the almonds are lightly toasted. Put on a serving dish and drizzle with honey.
Serve immediately with crackers and fresh fruit.

Baked Brie with Sweetened Almonds and Honey recipe (pdf)

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La Table De Nana said...

First of all before I forget you will once again smile at a small post I have tucked away in my drafts:)

Same little cazuela..cheese..just a different recipe..
Second of all..You are so pretty:) That sounds funny but you are..When I think it I say it:) Life's too short to keep compliments inside.

I love the pied -terre.. the angels..the art.. the book..everything..In fact I am going to read it again:)-;)

Kathy Walker said...

As always, I look forward to your posts and I am never disappointed. The cheese sounds wonderful and to enjoy it with friends makes it even better!

Lori (All That Splatters) said...

I love baked bries - this one sounds especially delicious.

Your photos are gorgeous!

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

I love anything French and I could have stayed all day looking at these gorgeous photos of Paris. We were in Provence for two months a couple of years ago and had a very hard time returning home we loved it so.

I baked Brie a couple of weeks ago and wasn't happy with my results. Now I see why - I should have removed the top rind before baking. Thanks to you I have the hang of it now. Merci beaucoup.

I love your blog and will return again. A bientot.

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

What a lovely post, complete with the most beautiful, candid photos. I enjoyed reading this very much. You're gorgeous, Diane :)

2 Stews said...

M...I always smile when I go to your blog...and am always inspired by your photos that tell their own story and your full and artful life. Thanks for the compliment...I needed a haircut b-a-d!'re always tastes better with company...and a little French ambience never hurts either!

Lori...yes...there's not much better than warm oozing cheese, unless it's chocolate, of course!

Sam...2 months in Provence?! I would have been kicking and screaming when I had to come back. I didn't know about cutting the top off of the Brie either until my friend told me. Good luck with yours.

Little Teochew..thanks for stopping by and for the compliment...I adore reading your blog and hearing what
"granny" has to say ;-)


Kate at Serendipity said...

I love this post. I feel as if I were there for drinks too. Books, friends, brie, amour, what else is there?

jetman: AKA Captain Peter M Smith said...

love the photos ... especially tying the scarf ... fakaofo'ofa (beautiful) it's AmaZing to witness the stark difference in food sophistication .. try a diet of taro and "cheap" boxed wine .... how fun it will be to run through the streets of Paris under a full moon .... malo aupito, toki cio 'i Palesi !!!!

Linda said...

What a lovely post! Thanks for the little trip!

2 Stews said...

Kate...yes, what else is there for a great girls was all there!

Peter...taro and cheap boxed wine...oh my dear, but you are in paradise...we must blog this! And the full moons in the South Pacific have to be enchanting. Pics?

Linda...thanks and thanks for coming along :-)

Karen @ Mignardise said...

As always, fantastic photography. I so wish I could be in Paris even half as much as you.

square kitchen said...

I'm on your blog for the first time. Your must've spend a wonderful day. Even if I have good connections do france (my boyfriend is french) i've never been to Paris (but we must one day). I love the paintings on the sidewalk.

Ry @ Sotto Il Monte Vineyards said...

You look so beautiful in your scarf! I'm so glad you share all of your lovely photos with us.