gettin' our asian on in paris

Like I said before, life here (and life in general) pretty much revolves around food. Its awesome. So naturally my friends and I not only spend most of our time in class working with food but when we hang out afterwards it usually still involves food. Don't judge us.

You're judging, aren't you?!

Well, anyway, I have been getting my fill of asian cuisine here. We made a meal of hand rolled dumplings one afternoon. I went with Mandy and her mom for Thai while they were here and the other day I went for my first pho soup (ever). It is all pretty satisfying, but nothing ever compares to my grandmother's gyoza. Seriously, nothing!

Are you a fan of Pho? I have been hearing all this hype about how amazing this stuff is for the past few months and I am going to go out on a limb here and say I really was not very impressed! It wasn't bad but I don't think it was amazing or worth all the rage. What do you think?? Am I wrong?


Blogger Hibernation

Woooo, what a crazy few weeks it has been! I have been enjoying every minute of having my family here in Europe! They left this morning to head back to California but the adventure is not over yet! My brother is still in Europe and I am meeting him in Amsterdam tomorrow morning. I can't wait! We are heading to Munich after that and then I come back to Paris and start working on Tuesday.

It has been SO busy lately and I have had little time for the internet but I have SO much to tell you all about. Pardon my absence but I will be back to regular scheduling blogging soon enough! I hope you are all doing wonderfully! Lots of love!


Pastry School: C'est Fini!!

Today was officially the final day of my schooling at Ferrandi. Five months of pastry school is already behind me! I actually can't believe it. I know after everything ends you think about how time flies but it amazes me every time how very true that really is. Even though the days may seem long every now and then, the weeks, months and years just continue flying by.

I am so grateful for my time at Ferrandi and all the wonderful people I have met here in Paris. We have an incredible group of individuals and I will really miss seeing them every day. We had some really fun times in the lab together, especially with our crazy chef. It was filled with a lot of "TMI"(or TIM or MIT as our chef gets confused), bursting out in random songs (usually Beyonce inspired) and slowing stealing Valrhona chocolate from the cupboard. Oopies! It's too good to resist.

 best pastry class in history
 best picture of chef ....ever.
celebrating at a Ferrandi alumni's amazing restaurant - l'Epi Dupin

As for us students, we are now moving onto our internships. This is the scary part. We are all working in different restaurants, hotels, and patisseries throughout the city and we are all getting pretty nervous. Biggest issue? Um...je ne parle pas frances! The language barrier (and pressure to learn) aside, I am really excited to put my skills to the test. It is a fresh challenge and I am very ready for it! Where will I be working? At the newly established Sébastien Gaudard in the 9eme.

My first day will be July 3 so until then, I will be traveling! Tomorrow our class takes a three day trip to Strasbourg and then I meet my family back in Paris for the weekend (they are now in Berlin). Next Tuesday my brother and I head to Amsterdam and then Germany! It's going to be an amazing two weeks! I will have loads to tell you when I get settled in again.

Did anyone get around to making the lemon cake this weekend? How did it turn out?
Here is the chocolate cake if you are in need of another decadent treat. Bon Appetit!

Line 3 small loaf molds with baking paper.
Oven at 200C/390F to start, then 150C/300F
convert here

140 g unsalted butter
125 g heavy cream
360 g granulated sugar
125 g eggs
200 g flour
7 g baking powder
85 g cocoa powder
240 g milk

Cream the butter, heavy cream and sugar together.
Add the eggs at room temperature
Sift the flour, baking soda and cocoa powder. Add into the butter mixture.
Beat until completely combined.
Add the milk little by little until absorbed and you have a smooth batter.
Fill the molds halfway and bake at 200C/390F for 10 minutes then continue baking at 150C/300F for 40 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
(To get a nice appearance, run a knife down the loaf when you change the temperature. There should be a light crust that formed but the rest will still be liquid. Run the knife long ways once and put back in the oven. This is form a nice pyramid/dome shape on the cake)

Decorate and serve! Or just dig right in :)


Happy Father's Day!

Happy fathers day to the greatest of them all. I can't begin to explain to you how incredible my dad is. He has taught us all so much about life, generosity,kindness, hard work and happiness. I am so blessed to have him as a father, friend and role model. And even luckier to be spending the weekend in Rome with him and the rest of my awesome and crazy family. I'll be back to tell you all about Rome and my fresh farmers tan soon. Until then, go give your dad a hug and as my dad would tell you... Remember "happiness in a choice!" :) And happy fathers day to both of my loving and inspiring grandfathers! And all other dads out there!


Feelin' popular slash a recipe!

First thing, thank you to Elizabeth for officially making me feel like a cool kid by being my 100th follower! I didn't think when I started this blog that I would really get into it. I figured it would be fun for a little while and then I would drift away from it but turns out, I really enjoy blogging. It is an amazing way to connect to other people. I have learned so much from other people's posts, seen so many incredible photos and I think its such a positive space. People support and encourage each other, share life experience, give advice, discuss real issues and make people laugh and smile. I'm so thankful that I have been a part of it all through this little corner of the internet. Thanks for being here!

My family is here visiting from California this week and it is just amazing. It feels really good to be with my family even if we have been sightseeing like crazy people and my hips feel like those of an 80 year old woman. I will walk until my feet are broken off if it means getting to have them here. They are headed to Rome right now and I will be meeting them there tomorrow. Today, I am headed to class for our final exam! I can't believe this is my final week of school! I am half way through my time here in Paris...so weird! There will be more on that later :)

For now, here is the delicious recipe for the Citron Gâteaux de Voyage. Let me know how this turns out for you! :)

Makes for 2 - 19cm loaf molds
Oven: 180C/ 350F
Convert grams here

375 g Eggs
525 g Granulated Sugar
225 g Creme fraîche
400 g Flour
8 g baking powder
Zest of 3 lemons
150 g Clarified butter 

Soaking Syrup
100 g Water
100 g Sugar
200 g Lemon Juice

Prep your molds with butter and flour.

Cream the eggs and the sugar together.
Mix the lemon zest into the creme fraîche.
Mix the creme fraîche mixture into the egg mixture to combine.
Add the sifted flour and baking powder.
Add the clarified butter and mix completely.
Fill molds 2/3 full and bake until a knife comes out clean.

While the cake is baking, prepare your soaking syrup.
Bring the water and sugar to a slight boil to make the syrup.
Combine with the lemon juice.
Soak the still warm cake in the syrup and then leave to cool.

Decorate the cake with a glaze/fondant or an icing sugar frosting (add lemon juice to taste). You can use candied lemons slices to make an impressive presentation!

Bon Courage! Send me photos! :)


Gateaux de voyage

A "gateaux de voyage" is very similar to a typical American style cake or breakfast bread. Think banana bread or carrot cake. It is considered a "travel cake" because they stay fresh for about a week and are pretty easy to package and handle.

It is simple work but they all turned out pretty nice. My favorites were the pound cake, lemon and of course, chocolate! Some other flavors were: spice bread, mango, earl grey tea cake, chocolate marble cake, hazelnut brownies, yogurt cake, and fromage blanc. These also make great gifts! They are simple to take and don't take too much time but you can decorate them in so many impressive ways that your friends will be amazed.

Leave a comment and tell me which cake you want the recipe for! I will post it for you so you can give it a whirl! :)


after school activities

Our favorite?


We are really good at it. One of the best things about living in France (the #1 exporter of wine in the world) is that wine (read: good wine) is cheap...dirt cheap! I can buy a bottle of decent wine at the market for 4 euro, which is probably why I stock pile the stuff.

One of our favorite places to go after class is a cozy little wine bar just a few blocks away from school. It's close so we don't have to waste a lot of time between leaving the lab and drinking. Just the way we like it. Sometimes we have to go to the place on the corner if it's been a long day, the wine bar is too far of a walk on those days.


playing catch up!

It has been a busy two months. Mike came to visit and a week later my best friend came to visit and now I am prepping for my entire family's arrival in one week! It has been and is amazing. I love seeing everyone and am so happy they have come/are coming. Only problem is, it doesn't leave too much time for keeping up on my blog!

I was just going through my photos thinking.."what should I write about now?" and realized...holy motherload I have a lot to cover!

So I am going to play a game called "lets get you up to speed" and am going to throw together the past few weeks of school...well, bits and pieces.

I am in my final three weeks of classes. Can you believe it? I can't! This coming week we work with ice cream (YUMMM) and then plated desserts and then... c'est fini! It's gone quickly but I am going to enjoy these last few weeks with my classmates and my insane chef as much as I can.

 pate de fruit
 mint marshmallows
 painting on pastillage
making praliné ...so good
 the mighty kouglof
 petit brioche
 Pain aux lait
 baba aux rum passion fruit and cassis
almond croissants

All caught up? Phew, thank goodness! :)


Mike's Visit Part 5

The last few days that Mike was in Paris the sun finally decided to show its face. It was a blessing and we enjoyed it so much! Lounging together is one of the things we do best so sunshine + park + us = perfection!

We sat around in the Luxembourg garden and read our books. We walked the streets, drank wine down on the river, people watched and my favorite, had a picnic at the (I know, its cliche) Eiffel Tower. It was something on my "must do when he is here" list and we got it checked off.

We walked down a lovely little market street near the Champs des Mars and went in and out of stores collecting all the essentials for a superb picnic lunch: strawberries, baguette, cheese and wine.

Sitting there under the sun and the Eiffel Tower together was one of the most amazing afternoons I have ever had. It was simple and I was so happy in that moment. I wish we could do it every weekend. I will hold onto that feeling until we are reunited in December.