Thats how you  pronounce the name of these lovely little things - Palmiers.  I'm sure you have seen and/or eaten one of these in your life. They are just too cute shaped in a heart. But..uhh...before they get to baking in the oven they don't look so..."cute".

Hey now, I warned you. 

Palmiers are really pretty simple to make. It is puff pastry rolled in sugar and the sugar caramelizes in the oven for that crispy, sticky goodness. I already told you how much I love puff pastry so of course I had to take an entire box full of these babies home with me and later discovered that palmier + jam = heaven. Serious. So good. Would you all like the recipe for these? They are simple enough to conquer in your home kitchen. Yes?

PS- don't judge the hat. 


Love life & it will love you back.

There is this thing that happens to you when you move abroad, or at least it happens to me pretty often. You are walking around going about your business, maybe lost in thought, worried about something or tired from a long day and then BAM! You see something - the sun coming over the rooftops, the light from the Eiffel Tower making rounds above the city, a man playing the accordion, the fresh pastries at the corner shop. It feels like what I would expect getting a good B-slap to the face would be like...but in a good way. This "my life is awesome" affect (I coined that name, thank you very much) is never lost on me and I am thankful for it because it seems to come at the times I need it most.

I'm not going to lie, its not all fun and games over here. I miss Mike and Taylor so much it makes my stomach hurt everyday. I miss all my family and my friends back home and I find myself longing for a day in good old Pacific Beach which I still think of as home. So much so that days I am really tired after class I leave thinking that I am going to get in my car and drive back to little apartment D on Oliver Ave, maybe stop in 24 hour fitness for a quick and painful workout...until that whole "B-slap in the face"thing happens and I realize I am on a different continent.

Living in Paris has opened a whole new world for me. I am more motivated than ever and feel particularly inspired more and more each day. I am so happy and relieved by how certain I feel that Paris and this pastry school is where I am meant to be this year. I have only felt that sincere, concrete, no-question-about-it feeling once before in my life - lucky for me he felt the same way.

In the spirit of motivation and dream chasing, I wanted to share some of my favorite quotes with you (via Pinterest, obvi). Maybe they will resonate with you as much as they do with me. Go get 'em, guys. :)


The view ain't too shabby

from the top of the Notre Dame Cathedral.

Since the Notre Dame is my next door neighbor, my mom and I went over to get to know the place. Of course it is breathtakingly beautiful with its stained glass windows, high ceilings, and intense gothic architecture, but some of the best sights don't actually involve any of those things.

If you dare, take the trip up 400 steps to the top of the towers and behold all of the city around you. It is literally all within the 360 degree view. Be ready to get nice and cozy with the people around you. This place was not designed to accompany your "personal bubble". I guess they didn't have those in the 12th century.

Take your time and take in the sights. The Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur, Champs Elysees, and even my apartment building! Ah, I knew that would be the most impressive thing for you!

Going up to see where Quasimoto lived! Do I look like a hunchback? I definitely have the poster problems to be one day...knock on wood.


Eclairs et Religieuse

This week made Mike jealous for some chocolate eclairs. Don't worry babe, you will get some in 25 days!

Eclairs are probably something you are familiar with. Pate aux choux dough filled with chocolate or vanilla pastry cream and topped with a glaze. They really are delicious. Back home you also know them as cream puffs. How do you feel about these guys? Religieuse is a traditional French pastry. I think it is a bit old fashioned in appearance but they can be found everywhere around here. It is basically two cream puffs stacked on top of each other with some buttercream decoration.

We made the traditional flavors you can find around here: chocolate and cafe. The cafe ones were delicious and I found that I had taken down 2 before I even knew it. Ugh, hate when that happens! :)

After we learned the standard flavors we got our mind's blown by making passion fruit crumble eclairs! They were i.n.c.r.e.d.i.b.l.e. Really, they are so good, refreshing and a definite treat perfect for summer in California. Just think of all the different flavors you can make. What are your favorite flavors?


Food for Thought

Call me in idealist but I think that life should be an adventure. An exciting story filled with things and people you love, experiences that change you, ideas that challenge you, and anything else that makes you happy. I'm not crazy, I swear. I just believe in the little things.

My friends Isabelle and I were talking about these types of things the other day in class. How people live their lives, the things people stress out about, the rat race, gossip, drama...all that fun stuff and it just seems so silly. I could continue to preach to you that life is short and you just jump into it feet first - have that cookie, go on that trip, call your long lost friend, start your business, run that marathon...but thanks for awesome Isabelle and her awesome Australian commercials...I will just let the "sunscreen song" explain this to you.

Don't judge it too soon. This guy really knows what he is talking about. Happy weekend!


Field Trip Part 2: Moulins

Sorry, not Moulin Rouge (this time). Moulin is the french word for "windmill" or in this case we are talking about a flour mill! Our class went to tour the flour mill which supplies our school and a lot of Paris bakeries, pastry shops and cafes with flour. We had learned about the process in class and then we got to witness it in action and I thought it was pretty awesome (nerd alert!). 

Table "A" :)

In case you don't know, flour begins as grains of wheat and is crushed up many times and separated until you get what you think of as flour.  Today, it is all done by machines but we also got to see how they did it before technology changed the world. It was done with giant stones that ground up the wheat.  Here in the modern, functioning moulin. It is set out in the open country along a lovely little river - just step inside and you will find some intense machinery.

It is always crazy to me when I find myself standing in a building with so much history. The old mill has been there for hundreds of years. It's last year of production was 1905 and everything inside dates from then. It was one of 40 moulins along this little river and it one of the final ones standing today. They are now working on restoring it for the beauty of seeing it as it was in it's hay-day. The family who owns the mills are such lovely people and we were privileged to have lunch with them in the sweet little country town. It was so beautiful out there in the country (about 1 and a half hours outside of Paris) and a nice break from the city. I could fill my lungs with fresh, crisp air with no cigarette smoke or smog!  The best news, this moulin exports their flour! This means all you American lovers of mine will get real french baguettes someday soon, none of that supermarket hoopla! 

Then we had to have just a bit of fun. 


Field Trip Part 1: Rungis

You read that correctly. I got to go on two field trips this week. Like when you were a kid and woke up extra early and excited to go somewhere besides school. It is just as fun at 24, in case you were wondering.

Part one of field trip week is actually the second trip we went on Friday morning (read: Thursday night). My alarm starting yapping away at 2:45 am for this little trip of ours. Inhumane. I know.

My friend Stephanie spent the night so we could brave the wee hours of the morning together. We walked to school at 3:20 am when the bars of the Latin Quarter are still in full swing, got on the bus at 4 and we were touring Rungis by 5 am.

Let me answer your question for you. Why in the world are you going on a field trip at 4 am?? Rungis.
Can you see Paris and the Eiffel Tower in the background?

Rungis is the largest market in the world and it runs from midnight to 8 am with most of the action happening around the 2-3 am hour. Farmers, fishermen, butchers, and other tradesmen come from all around Europe to sell their products each day. Rungis supplies almost all Paris restaurants, markets and they export to surrounding cities. You must have a member card to purchase here, which means you must own a business. We were lucky enough to have a guided tour of the warehouses. It was an experience! They have buildings the size of football fields that hold everything from: poultry, beef, veggies, fruits, cheese, fish and even flowers!

{readers: if you are sensitive to photos of butchery, you may not want to read any further}

There is nothing like the smell of fish to wake you up at 5 in the morning.

I may or may not have gagged while walking through the pavilion of internal organs. Exactly why I am not a doctor or a cuisine chef. Yak!

Stinky cheeeeese! They have rounds so big they need a pallet jack to move them!

Two full warehouses of fruits and veggies. Now this is up my alley! It was all so beautiful!

Last but not least, the cut flowers!! I thought I had died and gone to flower heaven! Stephanie and I were basically the last ones back on the bus because we couldn't get enough! (and this smelled a whole lot better than that fish pavilion!)

We finished the trip at 8:30 or so and had a lovely breakfast of crispy baguettes, flakey croissants, jam, ham, fruit and cheese. Oh yeah, and wine. How could I forget, standard wine for breakfast? 

This trip was brutal but amazing at the same time. A once in a lifetime experience and I am really glad I had the opportunity! I got back to my apartment at 11 am and took a well deserved and long awaited nap.