Top 10 Culinary Finds in Paris

Traveling with a rather picky 12 year old doesn’t really lead itself to a culinary adventure, but we did have a few of my Parisian favorites and a few standbys to get me through!

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10. At the airport upon our arrival, the child was starving! With a classic mixte brioche sandwich with ham and cheese and an eclair, we were ready to tackle the train to Paris!

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9. Beef hot dogs. OK – well…what can I say?! We were at Disneyland Paris and needed a pick me up!!!

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8. Speaking of Disneyland Paris…did you know they serve MEAT IN A CONE as a snack?

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7. Gelato. Need I say more?

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6. Coffee? Tea? Nope. Vin Chaud, or hot mulled wine. Only in Paris, people!!!

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5. Dinner our first night. While Charlotte enjoyed a hamburger (ugh!) I marveled at burgundy braised beef with shallots, button mushrooms, whipped potatoes and FOIS GRAS that absolutely MELTED in my mouth!!! I’m hungry now!!!

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4. Lunch for day 2 – a Hawaiian Poke Bowl! Confession – I do not even LIKE some of the things in this bowl – the avocado and mangoes in particular BUT…sitting outside in a Parisian cafe inspired me to try new things! It was delightful! I did NOT, however, eat the cilantro. I think it tastes like soap and you cannot tell me otherwise!! hahahaha

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3. Well, I am not generally a wine drinker but I was in PARIS!!! A glass of wine was a requirement. And they don’t have wine types that Americans are generally familiar with – no Chablis, Chardonnay and pino grigios on every menu. I cannot tell you what this one was named…but it was lovely!

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2. The Macaron. NOT a macaroon!!! The macaroon is made from coconut and generally does not have a filling. The French MACARON is wonderfulness in your mouth. A delicate dance of almond flour cookie shell and buttercream or ganache filling. Traditional French flavors include lavender, rose, pistachio, lemon and chocolate. If you haven’t ever tried this bit of magic in your mouth, check out La Maison Navarre in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. You will be delighted with authentic French cooking, macarons, crepes and the most amazing French Onion Soup on the entire planet!!!

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1. Last but certainly NOT least – my absolute favorite, most amazing French culinary staple….the crepe! And my crepe of choice is nutella and banana!! Every day/night of our visit involved at least one crepe! Our go-to crepe stand was just around the corner and was a part of an Gyro shop! The guys there were fantastic and I endeared them immediately with my elementary Arabic skills – we were fast friends and they were happy to see us daily!

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Our last crepe of the trip!!!! It was kind or our lunch that day!

 

I hope you enjoyed this picture journey of our culinary experience in Paris.  We weren’t fancy, but really enjoyed each meal we took together and really, isn’t that the point?

Top 10 Favorite Pictures from Paris

Many of you followed my fantastic mother/daughter adventure to Paris this January.  You can catch up on the highlights in my Travel Diaries, but I wanted to take a minute and post my favorite pictures from the trip.

I love so many things about travel, and one of them is making memories that turn into the stories of our lives.  Being able to share this special time with my daughter was precious in so many ways and I hope she will look back on it with as much fondness as I know I will!

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Our first selfie in Paris!

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I love Char’s look – so adorable!

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I didn’t know she stuck her tongue out until I looked at the pictures that night!!!

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I love this one with the Eiffel Tower in the background!

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What do you do with fresh snow in Paris? Build a French snowman at Notre Dame!

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The Eiffel Tower was closed due to the weather, but we scooted all the way there to take in the rare sight!

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Our last crepe! Nutella and banana, of course!

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What a beauty!

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Finding Eva and Wally – pure joy!!!!

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The first gelato of the trip! Kinda like the first gift of Christmas!

 

Italy…bits and pieces (of my heart) Part I – Dinner, Breakfast, Dessert!

Bits and pieces…..here are some observations made while traveling in Italy!  I wanted to break it up into two parts to stretch out your enjoyment:)  Let me tell you about my regional food favorites, my gelato adventure in pictures in this first part, and some touring tips to help make your DIY Italy experience the best.  Oh, and let’s not forget Aperol Spritz!!

Tuscany is known for its cured meats, particularly boar meat.  It is also well known for its pecorino cheese.  Their tomato sauce is simple and savory – made with crushed tomatoes, loads of garlic, even more olive oil and whole, dried pep(p)eroncini peppers placed in a tea strainer and marinated in the sauce while it boils on low (you know these peppers – we call them crushed red pepper and you find them at every house of pizza in the north east!) Tuscans do not shy away from slabs of steak, red wine and the joy that comes with experiencing a meal with friends and family.  This is probably one of the BEST reasons to visit Italy and a part of the culture that is so endearing!  Here is my sister-in-law’s aunt’s authentic Tuscan “gravy” recipe – this is EXACTLY like the one we made in our cooking class at our agriturismo.  Also, what to do with leftover sauce!!!

 

Gelato – I take this business seriously and there is nothing more serious than Italian Gelato!!!!  I haven’t met a gelato flavor I didn’t like but I do like some more than others – my favorites are chocolate, strawberry, pistachio, salted caramel and nutella!  I always have my gelato in a cup to minimize loss due to melting, and a new flavor every time – how can you go wrong?  Here is a picture diary of Italy through the eyes of a gelato aficionado!  There’s no better way to sight-see!

 

 

What fun themes do you use when you travel?  My gelato tour gave me a free pass to eat as much gelato as I wanted!  Like one would NEED a reason!!  When my son was little,  he was FAR more interested in all the fountains at Disney than he was anything else – so I feel like it was a fountain tour of Disney!

In Part II of Bits and Pieces, learn to make the quintessential Italian refresher and learn who my favorite traveling companion is….hint: it’s not my husband – SSSHHHHH!