I'm over here!

At my friend Kelsey's blog today talking about my favorite travel destination and "home away from home" - Punta Mita!

You have heard me talk about this place time and time again so why not one more time? :)

Have a lovely day!


Eat, Drink, Be a Tourist!

For the record, Paris is way more awesome with Mike here...which means its pretty mind blowingly cool. We are off to spend the day in Montmarte and enjoying as many pastries as we can hold. 

Today my old friend Kelsey is here to talk to you about her favorite things in life. She loves all the good stuff which is why she is so wonderful. I was lucky enough to get to know Kelsey in college, being in the same sorority...we had some good times :)

We are also both Orange County girls who fell in love with San Diego. Make sure to stop over at her blog and pick up some great tips on eating, drinking and traveling. All the world's greatest things.  Have a lovely weekend!

hi friends! kelsey here from eat drink be a tourist! i'm excited to be taking over brit's blog as she's exploring paris with her lover boy. boy am i jealous! i remember when i was lucky enough to travel to france - paris was definitely one of my favorite stops. such a beautiful city. i'm so happy for britt to be able to follow her passion of baking and pastry. so in honor of britt's inspiring passion, today i'm going to let you in on some of my passions. and who knows, maybe one day one of them will take me to paris!

i love to travel.  whether it be to a city an hour away, a different state, or a different country.  i love exploring new places and soaking up all that i can.  i love learning about new cultures and traditions, eating new food and seeing all the historic sights that i can.  i dream about where i want to travel to next and even find myself looking at plane tickets to exotic destinations when i'm bored.

i have played softball since i was about 5 years old and have always had a passion for it.  i have grown up a dodger fan (thanks dad!) and can honestly say one of my favorite places to be is at a baseball game.  i love the atmosphere - the fans, the noise, the excitement of the game.  to me, there's no better way to spend a summer night than watching a game with a cold beer in hand.  

if i were to put a theme song to my life, it would be a toss up between journey's "don't stop believing" and the beatles "obla di obla da".  i love all genres of music - from oldies but goodies & classic rock to country & dubstep.  i love driving with my windows down and music up.  there's always a song for any occasion.  my love for music stems from growing up listening to my parents music, back then music was something special.  mix that with the fact that i play the piano and you've got yourself a recipe for an extreme love of music. 

ok let's be real, food is my real passion.  but that might make me sound like a fatty if i made that the main focus, haha.  i love to cook.  i love trying new recipes and seeing the reactions of the people eating my food.  i also love to try new restaurants and new types of food.  i've learned that trying new food is one of the best way to broaden your horizons.  plus, food is yummy, and you really can't argue with that point.

so there you have it - four things i'm passionate about.  i can't wait to one day live out my dreams and hold a career in a field im absolutely passionate about, just like brit will soon be doing.  you go girl!

what are some things you are passionate about? come stop by my blog and let me know!  
you can also find me on twitter & pinterest!!

thanks for having me brit! xoxo


Best news ever!

Guess what friends?!

At this very moment, Mike is on a plane on his way to Paris! I can't believe this day is already here. It seemed so far away when I first got here. I even remember telling him "50 days!" and that seems like just a week ago. 

I could not be more excited for anything, ever. It has been almost three months since we have seen each other and it will probably be another five after this trip, but for the next two weeks I will be; without a doubt, the happiest girl in the world. 

So, if you haven't figured it out yet, I will be pretty much M.I.A. until May 2nd-ish. Hopefully you guys understand :)

I have some fun, beautiful and amazing friends of mine who will be making appearances while I'm gone. Make sure to stick around so in two weeks I can tell you all the fun stories of our adventures in Paris and Nice!

À bientôt! :)


Got to get my fix

American fix.

After almost 3 months in a foreign country you really begin to realize what you love about your home. Mainly, the food.

I never realized how much mexican food I ate until it disappeared from my life. I have never craved chips and guacamole more in my life! Its a tough separation. So tough that my dad even sent over chips, salsa and 2 Pacifico beers in the mail from California! Can you say "best dad ever"?

So, I have gone on the hunt. I love French food but sometimes you just got to have something else. The verdict on the "mexican" food here...make it yourself! But the bagel....oh the glorious bagel! It was pure bliss. If only I could afford a 10 euro bagel every week, that would be the life. Maybe I should start a bagel fund?

I am also proud to announce that I am American-izing my Australian friend Isabelle. So far, she has had her first bagel, ceviche, reese's peanut butter cup, peanut butter m&ms, and up next: peeps! I have a feeling one day soon she is going to challenge me with vegemite and I am going to have to run away and hide.

What foods do you miss when you are away from home?

The best thing: the name of the bagel I ordered was the San Diego! Ah, it was meant to be great! 

Candelaria was actually pretty descent, the best I have had yet! (I've been to three Mexican places!)

Mexi & Co...good for a quick chip and salsa fix. I don't usually take my Japanese sticky rice with my burritos though... ;)

A really good burger from Schwartz Deli in the 4eme.


That awkward moment...

when you just realized you ate 15 macarons in 30 seconds. (insert: awkward turtle)

Before I tell you about how good I am at inhaling sugar, I want to say hi and welcome to some of the new readers around here. I am so happy that you came by and I can't wait to get to know you and hear your stories. :)

Are you all familiar with the French macaron? Not its American counter part the coconut macaroon. If you haven't had a real macaroon I suggest you go out immediately and find one so you can experience the bliss! It is basically two little almond meringue cookies sandwiched around a delicious creamy filling. They are delicate and delicious.

Our class made an insane amount of macarons a few weeks ago. We diligently worked at them, piping perfect little circles and mixing decadent fillings so that we could eat them wait two more days to have them. Talk about slow and painful torture! These babies have to sit out for two days so the cookies can absorb the flavors from the fillings. So, we waited...

 Violet and Black Currant
 Rose and Raspberry
 Pistachio and Cinnamon 

Two days later, they reappeared and all I know is that it went quiet and 2 minutes later every one looked around. Everyone with mouths full of macarons, looking guilty. (awkward turrrrtle). It was hilarious and we just had to laugh in spite of ourselves. Crazed pastry students. 

We brought our boxes to fill them and it was like shopping on black friday. You had to race to each flavor to make sure you got them. First come, first served baby. Luckily, there was no pepper spray involved.

What do you think about macarons? Do you like them as much as we do? 


Pastry School Homework 2

I am being such a good student. I do my homework every week. I'm so good at doing my homework I think about it constantly.

Probably not the best thing for my hips but according to my chef butter doesn't count as calories because it melts at body temperature; which means it just literally melts right off you. Yes, he is a little crazy but he is also very skinny...maybe he knows something we don't.

Here is the collection of my latest research for my internship. I can't believe I am half way through my schooling. My internship will begin in July! Which place looks the best to you??


Entremet: The rest of them

The Mogador got his own special post because it is such a delicious little creation but we also made a few other entremets that week. They were all really exciting and fun to create but not all of them were delicious.

The Black Forrest Cake was surprisingly enjoyable considering I had believed myself to hate cherries for the past 24 years of my life.

This other chocolate cake who's name I am going to admit I have completely forgotten was incredible. Good enough that I would pay for it again.

These layers of praline and chocolate mousse were so amazingly tastey that the class was practically fighting each other to get the next bite of it.  Put a really good cake in front of a bunch of hungry pastry students? Danger zone.

Then there was the Moka. Holy moly, the dreaded Moka. This is an old, old, old French "classic" and also the most disgusting flavor I have ever put in my mouth. I literally had to spit it out in the trash can like the classy lady that I am. barf. I will give it credit for being on the highly technical side. I learned a lot from this nasty thing. Mainly, not to combine rum, raisins, walnuts and coffee.


From two sides of the world...

We wish you a Happy Easter! Have a lovely, sunny, family and food filled weekend! Sending lots of love to everyone!

Brit, Mike & Tay


Entremets: Mogador

We already know that raspberries were put on this earth to be combined and eaten with chocolate. I mean, thats pretty obvious right?

We had our first week of entremet which is basically a mousse cake. This has been my favorite week so far. The possibilities really are endless! You can put any flavor into an entremet and change up the textures, design, flavors...anything!

Before I get too carried away here...we are just learning the basics and techniques here in school. Some are better than others and my favorite was the Mogador. It is a chocolate genoise cake mixed up with some raspberry jam and syrup and chocolate mousse. It was heavenly.

Chocolate Genoise cake soaked in raspberry syrup 

The topped with raspberry jam

Filled with chocolate mousse and topped with more raspberry jam


the day the ATM ate my card. and a recipe.

There are a lot of challenges when moving abroad. Even making the official decision to bite the bullet and come here was tough, but then the drives to Los Angeles to work out my Visa application, finding an apartment, getting 6 suitcases up 6 flights of windy stairs, getting a French phone, learning a new (and impossible) language and the worst of all...opening a French bank account. *cringe*

Opening a bank account sounds pretty simple right? At home, you walk in and sit down with someone and 30 minutes later you walk out all smiles because it was painless and your card will be in your possession shortly. Whoooole different story on this side of the planet. I will spare you my ranting and just say that after three weeks of back and forth I finally was ready to go down and use the ATM to "activate" my card so I could finally pay my tuition and rent that was two weeks past due...oops. 

Thats when it happened. 
First mental breakdown since moving here.
You knew this was coming didn't you?

The ATM ate my card and spit out a receipt saying "Carte Capture".  I've got enough language skills under my belt to understand that. I turn around to walk in the bank to see they have taken their "lunch break" which lasts from noon until three. 

The result? Running back up the 6 flights to my apartment to enjoy my full fledged mental breakdown in peace. The ATM machine brought up every stress and issue I've had since I moved!
sad sad puppy

After a while I found my big girl panties and decided I needed to do something to turn this day around. I got out and just walked around the city along the Seine. It is amazing how sunshine and good music can turn your day around. By the end of my hour walk, I was feeling much better and remembered no matter if the bank system here might be out to get me, things can get stressful and I might get homesick sometimes, I couldn't ask for a more awesome life. Here are some of the sights I saw on my therapy march. Having a tough day? Get out and talk a walk, I promise it works :)

all better :)

Are you ready for some Palmiers?? I hope so. Here is the recipe. It is in grams. I know, pretty inconvenient but my life has been shoved into the metric system and it is the "professional" way of doing things so I am told. If you don't have a scale, you can convert the measurements here. Also, it might look intimidating but I am just trying to be descriptive so don't be discouraged and go for it my love!

Bonne Chance et Bon Appetit!

Pate Feuilletage Inverse (Puff Pastry dough)
Oven: 450F or 230C

400g Butter
130g Flour

In your mixer, combine butter and flour. Should feel like a dough. Form this into a cube and wrap with plastic. Refrigerate until ready to use. 

270g Flour
10g Salt
140g Water (approx.)

In your mixer, combine all ingredients to create a firm detrempe (read:dough). This is a French culinary term for the first stage in the process of making puff pastry, which requires only flour and water. After, form into another cube, wrap with plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Onto a floured surface, roll out your butter dough in a rectangle just enough so that you can wrap the detrempe inside of it. Place the detrempe in the bottom half of the butter dough and fold the butter over the detrempe to enclose it as if it is a giant ravioli. Note: don't be afraid to use flour on the counter and the top of the dough, butter is easily melted and sticky so you will need to use flour to prevent the sticking and if the dough gets too warm and soft stick it in the refrigerator to firm up again. 

Press together the ends of the butter to close everything up. Place the dough with the longest seam to your left, as if it is a book (an upside down one). Roll the dough out to about 10 cm x 35 cm long. Now you will give the dough its first "turn". Visually divide the dough into thirds. Fold the top third down and fold the bottom third up. It will end up looking like this. 

Repeat this three more times to total four turns keeping the long seam to the left. Remember, if the dough gets too warm and starts sticking to your table wrap it and refrigerate it until firm again (15 mins-30 mins).

Phew, now you have perfect puff pastry! You can use this for many different recipes and I hope you try some out. But I told you I would tell you how to make Palmiers so you can have them with jam and experience heaven in the mornings.

Now, trade your table flour for sugar (regular granulated sugar). Take your dough and give it a fifth turn in the sugar (I know, your arms will be stronger for it!). There should be an even coating of sugar over the dough. After the 5th turn, roll your dough out to about 10 cm x 80 cm. Fold the dough in half to mark the center. Fold the top half down to meet the center mark and fold the bottom half up to meet the center mark. Then fold the dough in half. Roll over the dough gently with your rolling pin to secure.

Now take a sharp knife and make clean slices of about 2 cm thick. Place them on a buttered baking sheet in the shape below and make sure to give them plenty of room to expand. Bake for 5-6 minutes until the bottom of the palmier is caramelized and then flip them over and bake for another 3-4 minutes until the other side is nice and golden caramelized. Transfer to a wire cooling rack. You did it!!!

Tres, tres Bien!