Tuesday, March 31, 2009

French food: Good. Jet Lag: Bad

Right now I am so friggin' tired I have literally lost any ability to concentrate for longer than one minute.

Totally frustrating. Although quite frankly to be fair my body believes that it is about 3am, as does my brain and my eyeballs.

So here are a few photos from my trip to tide you over until all the parts in my body match up again:

Every morning I made a big pot of coffee. Most days I had pain grille (toast) with apricot jam, but two days we had treats from the boulangerie - pain au chocolate, croissants, et croissants aux amandes.

The woman who runs the boulangerie is a sweetheart and pretty much we saw her once a day for the pain (bread), except for Wendnesday when they were closed and we had to get bread from the Vival, the local convenience shop.

From the shop to the house!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I could live here

I am in heaven.

Baguettes, butter, apricot jam, Nutella, et tiny fresh radishes.

See my post over on Shamrag as to why this post isn't longer, but I will try to post again tomorrow or Friday.

You are going to sacre caca! when you see the foods I've eaten so far. I will post photos as soon as I can.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Oh. Mon. Dieu.

It's a long story but anyway I am here at Logan Airport waiting to board a plane that will take me to France.

To Monts sur Guesnes to be exact. Have no idea where that is? Yeah me neither. I'll let you know when I get there. I have had terrible writer's block, writers rot really, and I hoping this trip (petit vacances!) will help shake it.

See, this is what happens when I decided to stop saying no and starts saying yes. Or "oui!" as it were.

Anyway, if you don't believe me, here is a photo of the duty free:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Positive thoughts NEEDED!

As some of you may remember a little while back I corralled a bunch of you lovely readers into joining Team Calamity Shazaam. And WOW what a bunch of fab bakers you all were!

YOU baked, packed, and shipped boxes and boxes of cookies over to Kevin in Afghanistan, much to the delight of his wife Lisa.

Now for the sad news. Over the weekend Kevin and a fellow Canadian soldier were involved in an incident with an IED. The Canadian soldier was killed and Kevin was apparently badly burned. He was flown to Texas for treatment where Lisa has now gone to be with him.

I have to ask all Team Calamity Shazaam members, and Calamity Shazaam in the Kitchen readers, to send as many positive thoughts as possible to Kevin and to Lisa.

When I know more I will update it here. And as always, thank you for being a part of Team Calamity Shazaam.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What this warning REALLY means.

What they really mean by this is that the built up pressure will cause the lid to explode off the top of the can and send trails of black treacle dripping from the ceiling.

Not that it will have gone bad or anything.

Happy Blurrrrggthday!

Oh my effing word! This is the birthday that I think that I have eaten the most.

I started eating on Sunday and haven't stopped until juuuuuuussstttt.................. NOW!

(Well I think that there is going to be March Birthday Cake in the office tomorrow. Shhhhhh...)

Saturday night I went over to my oldest friend's Mom's house for dinner. Ennairda & I have known each other since we were one, we share the same exact birthday, and well pretty much we are biologically unrelated sisters. It was a real treat to have dinner together. Her mom made us broccoli, asparagus, baby potatoes, and delicious pan seared lamb. I ate an embarrassing amount and then tucked into a gorgeous dessert of mango sorbet with a four berry sauce on top. Thank you OtherMother!!! It was such a nice treat.

By the time I was hungry again it was Sunday morning and as it would turn out a very fabulous friend threw me a surprise birthday brunch for my family & friends. For starters he served up grapefruit halves, sprinkled with brown sugar & grand marnier, then lightly grilled. This was followed by little eggs in pots, baked with foie gras and shaved black truffles, with brioche toast points. Then Belgian waffles with thick cut bacon, and coffee. All of this was followed by the most enormous cake that can only be described as "triumphant!". It was a tall cake, shaped almost like a top hat, layered with grappa pastry cream, covered in chocolate ganache, decorated with preserved lemon and orange slices, and studded all over with candied violets. Is it any wonder I spent the last bits of Sunday asleep on the couch?

Never one to say die, I went out with the lovely Miss Amy for pizza and wine at Emma's last night. Frankly pizza & wine is what I would call an Italian roofie, guaranteed to render me unconscious in, oh, about 20 minutes. But whatever, it was EXACTLY what I needed - great food and even better conversation!

Menus at Emma's. And seriously gaaahlicky salad.

We got two pizzas: No. 5 and No. 16. Fricking DELICIOUS!

Miss Amy and I are complimentary eating companions. We like everything and we eat it all. At the end of this we each made out with two slices of leftovers, which honestly was just a midnight snack for later!

Who would have thought that after this I would conceivably be able to eat one more thing. But no, the eating safari began again this morning with a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee and a strawberry frosted donut. Seeing as how it was my birthday today and all, I really felt no reason to deprive myself.

For lunch the Evil Twin and I went for sushi, and even more thrilling than Idaho Maki was meeting up with a friend of her boyfriend who picked up the lunch tab. How AWESOME is that? Pretty awesome and it pretty much made my day!

And then to cap off this fantastic day my Mom took me to B&G for dinner. I love my Mom and not just because she takes phenomenal care of her family, but also because I really just enjoy her company.

We ate and ate and ate. And had a little drink (Vouvray!).

The oyster pile at the bar. YUM!!

Complimentary Oyster Veloute. Done & done in about 2.2 seconds.

I ate a dozen oysters: 8 Umami, 3 Malpeques, 1 Iforgetthename...

I love oysters. I could eat them every single day. Also we got the mussels with broth and fennel. With a side of fries of course...

And for dessert the Meyer Lemon Cheesecake. Which at that point was the gilding on the gild of the gilded lily.

Well, that is that. Until next year. Who knew that getting old would ever be so tasty!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sunday is for Cooking

Over on Shamrag I was lamenting the loss of my sweet tooth as a sign of my advancing senility. However I think I was wrong, because my sweet tooth is BACK! Whoo hoo!

Yesterday I ate an entire sleeve of Thin Mints. I did share with the Evil Twin and so I don't feel AS bad as I would if I'd eaten it all myself, although truth be told I don't usually feel anything but pure happiness when I eat Thin Mints.

But really I can't eat too much processed stuff anymore. It makes me ill. So I make sweet stuff from scratch. Today I made the Ginger Cake that I can't just cannot get enough of, I like to have a slice in the late afternoon with tea to power me through the last bit of work. I also like to have a slice for breakfast when I have a tough morning. And sometimes a sliver before bed for sweet dreams.... Oooh I love that cake.

And I also made this kumquat-golden raisin-cranberry compote that I like to eat out of the jar. It's an Alice Waters recipe and it is crack in a jar. Basically you slice up some kumquats and cook them in a simple syrup with some vanilla until they are translucent (about 10 minutes), then remove them and put the raisins and the cranberries (dried) in the syrup and cook them for about 20 minutes. Let everything cool, mix it all together and then put the fruit and the syrup in a jar and leave in the fridge. It is f*cking DELICIOUS.

But I didn't just make sweets.

I also roasted some cauliflower - sliced, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled liberally with salt, pepper, and cumin, then cooked until golden brown. Then I cooked up some brussels sprouts, and candy cane beets (something like that - they are pink and stripey making them my perfect veg), and I made a jar of pickled red onions - which I don't really know why I did that, but they are delicious and I do love me something pickled.

Then for dinner I made pasta with olive oil, capers, red pepper, garlic (ugh A LOT of it!), and grated the heck out of a slab of romano all over it.

Now I am in food coma and I am hoping for a snow day tomorrow!