Thursday, August 26, 2010


Around Paris this month signs of the traditional August vacation are everywhere.Restaurants and shops are closed, traffic is minimal and lines are short. Days are slower. It is actually a great time to be in the city, but you have to do your homework to make sure your favorite places are open. Taking a nod from the French, I will be taking a few weeks break this August and part of September, too. I'm going to stop and smell the roses and maybe even be a little lazy. In the meantime, take a peek at Frigidaire's site where they have posted one my Curried Carrot Soup on their recipe link. It's a perfect lazy day soup. Have a great end of summer and see you back soon.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Après-vous in Paris

Trying a new restaurant can be risky. After all, who wants a bad meal or even a mediocre meal? When my friend Lenny and I walked past Après-vous, our instincts were to give it a try. It is off of the touristy area in the Montmarte section of Paris. The metal sculptures in the window first piqued our interest and then the artful, casual interior made us stop and take notice. Hungry after a day of shopping for clocks and fabric, we decided take a chance. We weren't disappointed. Sitting in the small, lower level garden area was delightful. We were able to see inside the restaurant through the open windows that the owner fabricated himself. The set of different time zone clocks hanging on the wall made us think about our unsuccessful clock shopping excursion earlier that day. We almost thought about making an offer to buy the clocks, but resisted!! OK....time for dinner......the chalkboard menu was propped up on the rattan chair so we could take in the days offerings. The prices seemed a little higher than we expected, with first courses ranging from €10-14 and main courses from €18-24, but we liked the choices. After looking at the wine menu, we chose a reasonably priced red wine, called Rendezvous, that went well with our meal. I began with Foie Gras Maison and Lenny had a Roasted Chèvre with Smoked Duck Salad. Both were excellent. The next course was a perfectly cooked Tuna Steak for Lenny and Pork Caramelized with Wine for me. Once again, we couldn't have been happier. As we dined, we learned the restaurant has only been open for about 6-7 months. That explained why we were able to just walk in without reservations. We couldn't help but notice the table next to us where a man was having Steak Tartare with Frites. It was not my cup of tea, but I would have loved to have known how they liked it. I'm intrigued by food that will never cross my lips!! The light of the evening started to dim and candles were lit as we finished our first 2 courses. Feeling pretty full, sharing a dessert seemed to be a good choice. We decided on a Warm Chocolate Cake with Creme Anglaise which finished the meal off on a happy and satisfied note. As we left, there were several people sitting out front enjoying a glass of wine on this warm summer evening. Lenny and I both agreed we'd love to come back again and we wish this new restaurant well.

Après-vous: 16, rue de Trois Frères 75018 Paris
Metro: Abbesses
Tel.: +(33) 1 42 55 89 77

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

We Have a Winner!

We have a winner and the crown has her name on it! Congratulations, Debbie at Suburb Sanity!!
You are the Queen for the Day! I wrote all of the names, put them in a bowl, closed my eyes, shuffled the names and drew "Debbie".
Through the generosity of CSN, you now have a $60 gift certificate! I think the inventory at CSN will be down one red Le Creuset casserole :-) I loved reading what everyone is fun to dream. Many, many thanks to all who left a comment and to CSN.

Have a great Sunday!

PS....I ended the drawing early since I won't be around this coming week.

Thanks again to the Graphics Fairy for the crown graphic.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Zut! and More...

Time was of the essence. Well, more precisely clocks were. My friend and colleague, Lenny, was looking for old French clocks and I was in search of fabric for a project. All hands pointed toward Montmartre. Lenny had researched the shop, Zut!, which specializes in industrial antiques and clocks and is located in Montmartre. That is also the area where I often shop for fabric. The Sacré-Cœur Basilica, marks the spot along with the many artists, musicians and shops. After a long metro ride, we got off at the Abbesses stop and found Zut! It wasn't open. :-( We peered through the windows eyeing a few of the old clocks and other treasures. Knowing that the owner lives nearby and he suggests calling if he is not there, we convinced a nearby (very cute!) shopkeeper to give him a call. Zut alors! He was in the south of France, but quoted a few prices for us. OK, so the clocks were a few more euro than we anticipated, uh, maybe a lot more. He didn't have to rush back for this deal, but perhaps another time we'll have a better stroke of luck. Leaving rue Ravignan and walking down the long hill toward the foot of Sacre-Cœur for my fabric shopping, we passed by several restaurants. The artsy decor of one intrigued us, and we thought it might be a good place for dinner sometime. Mental note made. A few blocks more found us in the thick of the touristy crowds of Montmartre. Fabric shops are dotted all along the streets in this busy area. Inside the shops are many kinds of linens, toiles, finished tablecloths, tapestries and fabric of every kind. Lenny was still disappointed in not having an antique French clock in his hand, but took some solace (or maybe he was just being politely patient) in the seeing the beautiful colors of the crisp linen. Be ready to buy in meters and not in yards. My son, Zac made a conversion chart for me to take along.

Here are some conversions from imperial lengths to meters:

1 inch = 0.0254 meters

.5 yards = 18 inches = 0.4572 meters

1 yard = 36 inches = 0.9144 meters
1.5 yards = 1.3716 meters

60 inches = 1.52400 meters

2 yards = 72 inches = 1.8288 meters

2.5 yards = 90 inches 2.28600 meters

3 yards = 108 inches = 2.7432 meters

I found the fabric I was looking for and made the conversion into meters. Yikes...all of that math on a jet lagged brain made me hungry! My stomach started feeling like that dummy in the window of Zut! Our minds wandered back to that enticing restaurant we passed on our way to shop for fabric. Hungry and thirsty, we looked at each other and headed back up the long hill with visions of dinner dancing in our heads.......

To be continued.

Zut! 9, rue Ravignan
, 75018 Paris
Metro: Abbesses
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 11am-1pm and 4pm-7pm. Also open Sunday morning.

For Fabrics:
Les Tissus Saint-Pierre 3, rue de Steinkerque, 75018 Paris Hours: Monday-Saturday 9:30am-7pm Phone: 01 46 06 48 29
Metro: Anvers

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Giveaway!

It's time for another CSN Giveaway!! Just like in the 1950 show, "Queen for a Day", you can be the Queen or King with a $60 CSN Gift Card. Since I have a weakness for cooking items, I personally covet their Le Creuset line with everything from diminutive cocottes to larger French ovens. With back to school time approaching you could also choose school or office items, shoes, luggage...well, you name it and they seem to have it! With over 200 websites products to choose from, the only problem you'll have besides deciding is adjusting your crown.

Take a peek at their website while dreaming of what you'd get. Their generous $60 gift certificate can go a long way. And don't you deserve to be treated royally?! Just leave a comment and you'll be entered into the giveaway. Mention that you are a follower and you'll be entered again and if you are a subscriber, I'll enter you a 3rd time! Good luck!! I'll post the winner on August 20th.*

This Giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only.

*Drawing date has been revised to August 15th.

Many thanks to CSN for this opportunity and to the Graphics Fairy for the crown graphic.

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