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!


  1. banks are never open in europe. its out of control.

  2. This is so sad and happy at the same time! Lol I'm sorry about the stinky ATM :( hope they have you a new one? Xoxoxo

  3. NOON TO THREE. HOLY CRAP. DO THEY WALK UP THE EIFFEL TOWER AND BACK EVERY LUNCH BREAK!?! That is ridiculous. I'm sorry :( I'm glad you found your big girl panties though hahaha. It's so true how a beautiful day and lovely background music can turn a frown upside down :) thank you for the recipe too!! Convenient that I'm getting groceries tonight..


Merci Beaucoup!