Dis-Moi Ce Que Tu Manges

“Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai qui tu es.”
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

To ring in Bastille Day, the FIAF (of which I have recently grown so fond) put on a street fair, which brought out French guests like Payard, Cognac, Maille and more.

Cognac's pasteries | netflix & nutella

Cognac’s pasteries | netflix & nutella

Also visiting were restaurants in the city that are of North African influenced, like the tajine restaurant where I got this delicious truffled mac and cheese.

Truffled mac & cheese | netflix & nutella

Truffled mac & cheese | netflix & nutella

I visited with my mom, and we – of course- couldn’t leave without grabbing a crêpe. On the busy, gray streets of New York, it was so special for me to share my passion for France and French culture with the woman who instilled it in my years ago.

My mom - always the Jackie O enthusiast | netflix & nutella

My mom – always the Jackie O enthusiast | netflix & nutella

La Belle Crêpe | netflix & nutella

La Belle Crêpe | netflix & nutella

Her simple but delicious lemon and sugar crêpe in the making | netflix & nutella

Her simple but delicious lemon and sugar crêpe in the making | netflix & nutella

The delicious-looking crêpe display | netflix & nutella

The delicious-looking crêpe display | netflix & nutella

And you always need a French-themed animal balloon. Pourquoi pas?

French balloons in the making | netflix & nutella

French balloons in the making | netflix & nutella

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Weekly Roundup: July 7

With limited funds from an unpaid internship and a hungry appetite, I’ve found that most of my outings of consisted of food. Shocker. Here are my favorite moments from recent adventures:

Bar Primi | netflix & nutella

Bar Primi, from left to right:
Ricotta and spinach ravioli with lemon and asparagus
Lamb amatriciana
Spaghetti pomodoro

Central Park | netflix & nutella

Central Park never gets old

Meatball parm on a roll | netflix & nutella

Meatball parm on a roll at Parm

In-stagram-spiration | netflix & nutella

One of my favorite Parisian instagrams giving my travel inspiration

Dad-spiration | netflux & nutella

My dad’s newest painting, still in the works, which gives me inspiration to follow my passions at any time in my life

Monday Mélange: Everyday Vices

Rainy Mondays are just cruel. I woke up this morning to my alarm and could have sworn it was 5 a.m because it was that dark outside. But no – just a downpour. It’s days like this – and weeks like these – that make it really hard to stay focused and driven. With only about a month and a half of school left, I indulge in a few of my daily vices to keep me going:

1) Cupcakes. They’re pretty, always delicious, and make me smile. This past weekend, I was visiting friends from Paris in D.C. We stopped by Baked and Wired for one of D.C.’s most famous cupcakes. The long line moved pretty quickly, and even the memory of this strawberry cupcake is brightening my day.

Strawberry cupcake, Baked and Wired | netflix & nutella

2) Friday Night Lights. I fell in love with this show my senior year of high school, and rewatching it from the beginning is the perfect distraction. Riggins is so damaged but lovable, and I find myself easily falling in love with him again every episode. All the seasons are available on Netflix.

Friday Night Lights | netflix & nutella

3) New York State of Mind. I’m using one of my favorite websites, Serious Eats, to make a list of bakeries, restaurants, and bars I have to try this summer when I’m back in NY. I’m having serious cabin fever, so daydreaming of pizza, great baguette, and Shake Shack will do for now.

Serious Eats, NY | netflix & nutella

4) The Notebook. This soundtrack always puts me at ease and helps me focus on work.

5) Shopping. I can’t help it. After doing some spring cleaning, I’m realizing that having that same blouse from the 9th grade probably means it’s ok for me to do a little upgrading. Instead of splurging on 10 items at Forever 21, I’m trying to me more aware of the fact that being in my 20’s means investing in some essentials. So even though I get less bang for my buck, these classic pieces will last. P.S. Macy’s is having an awesome shoe sale… don’t mind if I do!

Steve Madden sandals | netflix & nutella

*The Food Network. It’s supplementary to the top 5 because – who am I kidding – nothing can compare. Even as background music to doing laundry, the Food Network makes me smile. What better vice is there?

Pioneer Woman | netflix & nutella

Cinnamon Palmiers

The tristesse is overwhelming. I’m missing Paris. A lot.

Cinnamon Palmiers | netflix & nutella

The chouquettes I could buy for under 1 euro. The daily bus rides with a view of the Eiffel Tower. Living avec ma soeur and her copain seems like a distant memory. Even listening to the same playlist that lulled me to sleep in the City of Lights gives me a homesick feeling.

Cinnamon Palmiers | netflix & nutella

Le sigh.

I had to bring in a snack to a group meeting. Someone does it every week, and to feed into my mélancholie, I decided to bring in a snack that could somehow encompass my love for French in one small bite. Result? Cinnamon Palmiers. These little buttery bites of sweet puff pastry heaven are a simple reminder that even if Paris is a plane ride away, some things can bring me back instantly. And even fewer ingredients than the last palmiers I made.

Recipe via About.com (though I used 2 tbsp. of butter instead of 3 as per the comment section and probably would have been fine with 1 1/2)

Cinnamon Palmiers | netflix & nutella

Monday Mélange: Leavin’ On a Jetplane

I’m starting a new series on my blog called Monday Mélange. Mélange means “mix” in French, so it will be a mix of my favorite things, centered around a certain theme.

Many of my friends are finishing their semesters abroad, and while I can’t wait for them to come home, I remember feeling truly shocked that my time in Paris was coming to a close. They’re squeezing in some last-minute travels, and it got me thinking about how much of the world I’d still love to see.

For more about places I’d love to visit, visit my Pinterest board.

1. India

India

2. Greece

Greece

3. Quebec

Quebec

4. Sicily

Sicily

5. Scotland

Scotland

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Paris feels like a faint memory in my mind. It was officiated by an ever-so disappointing bite of a store-bought croissant.

Yes, I’m now spoiled about French pastries.

Stuffed Zucchini Boats | Netflix and Nutella

The other day, I was craving  a green apple, endive, and vinaigrette salad (with real French mustard…another thing I’m a snob about). It was the first meal my sister made for us when we arrived to Paris. It was New Year’s Day, and we couldn’t stomach much. Out came the potatoes cooked in duck fat and this perfect salad. The sweet and tangy salad became a staple in our house during my stay.

Stuffed Zucchini Boats | Netflix and Nutella

Though it’s not the same unless Emiglia makes it for me, I’ve been looking to her blog for culinary inspiration. After years and years of school, she’s finally graduating (with honors, I’ll add) from La Sorbonne with a master’s in French Lit. She has a “real person” job. It’s safe to say we’ve lost her to France. I’m so lucky that I was able to spend time with her, adding to her crazily busy schedule. And I appreciate the nightly dinners en français that we would share with Tom (who happily sacrificed his second serving of salad for our benefits).

Stuffed Zucchini Boats | Netflix and Nutella

But it’s nice to know, that roughly 4,000 miles away, we’re enjoying the same dish. Zucchini is a favorite in our family, and with one of the last ones I could find at my local farmer’s market, I copied my big sis. Unfortunately, mine was a bit less fancy with my limited supply of ingredients. But I did my best!

Stuffed Zucchini Boats | Netflix and Nutella

Congrats, Big Em. J’ai hâte de te voir en décembre.

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

1 zucchini
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 turkey burger patty
1/2 cup tomato sauce
parmesan cheese (optional)
crushed red pepper (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Over medium heat, add oil to pan and add turkey patty. Once defrosted enough, shred the patty into bite-sized pieces. Cook just until the last bit of meat is no longer pink.

3. While the turkey is cooking, slice zucchini length-wise. Using a spoon or a knife, hollow out the inside of each half of zucchini (don’t discard insides). Place zucchini boats into greased baking pan.

4. Chop the zucchini insides into bite-sized pieces, and add to pan when turkey has almost fully changed color. When the meat is all grey, add sauce and crushed red pepper. Stir until combined. Fill mixture into zucchini boats.

5. Bake zucchini boats for about 10-13 minutes, or until zucchini is turning golden. Sprinkle with parmesan Enjoy!

Serves 1-2

Chocolate-Dipped Palmiers

It’s funny how so much can change in just one year.

Fall semester of my sophomore year, I was yearning for my Spring in Paris, not fully allowing myself to get involved because I knew that soon, I’d be off in the City of Lights. I was under-involved and bored.

chocolate dipped palmiers 2

Now, I’m probably too involved in my academics and school activities.  I never have a free moment, but when I get to incorporate relaxation into my crazy schedule, I jump on the chance. The “me-time” this week? Baking for my school’s Org Fair.

chocolate dipped palmiers

For the French Club booth (a way that I always hope will transplant me back into the 15ème, drinking du vin with mes amies and taking les balades by the Canal St. Martin), I baked palmiers, also known as elephant ear cookies. Until I actually get to go back to my deuxième home, these will have to suffice.

chocolate dipped palmiers 1

Recipe via Pepperidge Farm

Back in the New York Groove

After finals week came to a close and I enjoyed my last few days in Paris, I can’t believe that I’m now back in New York.

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It’s bittersweet. The weather has been rainy and cold ever since I got here, which is making enjoying the city a bit difficult. I’m on Long Island for Memorial Day weekend, going through old clothes, old trinkets, and many memories.

It’s hard being back in New York. I missed my family and New York a lot, and it’s nice to be back in my own bed and have my whole closet of clothes to choose from as opposed to the selection of clothes I’ve been rewearing for the past 5 months.

Simple tasks like driving to the grocery store are strange. I hadn’t been behind the wheel in 5 months, and though it comes back to you like riding a bike, it definitely feels weird to be the driver instead of the passenger. At the market, I almost bumped into a few people and felt “Pardon” slipping out of my mouth, before quickly switching to “Excuse me.”

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It’s little adjustments like keeping my eyes on the road and switching languages that will take a bit of time to get used to. What will take a bit longer is no longer seeing my oldest sister every day. I’ve grown accustomed to the rants and raves that she and I settled into. And the occasional cute mistakes we’d mock her boyfriend about. (My favorite is “Why are you so mean with me?” Just too cute.)

Before I left, we made homemade crepes. Though I have the essence of France with the 3 jars of mustard I brought back with me, the taste isn’t the same without Emily.

Crepe Batter    DSCF2019

DSCF2026    DSCF2021

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Can’t wait for August, Em. I miss you!

Here’s a recipe for crepes, though hers is from memory.
*Update: The link above is now a link my sister suggests as a good crepe recipe.

Grande Mosquée de Paris

I came to Paris because I love everything about French culture – the food, the art, the literature, and more. But after my time here, I’ve realized more and more that Paris is changing – it’s much more like New York than I ever realized, mostly because of its tendency to be a melting pot of cultures.

Grande Mosquee Paris

Grande Mosquee Paris

I’ve always been interested in experiencing different cultures through their religions. One of my most fond memories of field trips at my Catholic school was in the 7th grade when my entire class went to different places of worship: a Jewish temple, a Buddhist temple, a Greek Orthodox church, etc. Having been exposed to Catholicism at home and at school, I found the traditions of other religions to be extremely interesting and beautiful.

Grande Mosquee Paris

Grande Mosquee Paris

With classes over and finals about to begin, my friends and I decided to take a study break by going to the Grande Mosquée of Paris. It takes up an entire block: with gardens, a café, and baths, there is so much to see in this intricately designed building in the middle of the classic-looking city.

Before

Before

After

After

If you have a few days to spare in Paris, I really suggest heading to the 5th arrondissement. Paris is a city to visit classically French things, of course, but more and more it’s becoming the home to many other groups of people. At first glance, it may be surprising that this mosque is in the same city as Notre Dame, but it’s a symbol of how cities around the world can adapt to different people.

Grande Mosquee Paris

Two Weeks Notice

I truly cannot fathom that two weeks from today, I will be headed home to New York. Where did the last few months go?

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It’s so cliché, but time really does go by so quickly. The youngest of four kids, I always heard “You’re growing up so fast!” and “You’re so much taller since the last time I saw you!” to which I politely smiled and nodded. When you’re little, time is just a way to count the days. You go to school at 8AM, come home at 3, have dinner at 6, go to bed at 9. Every September you go back to school, every summer you go to camp. Time just kind of goes by, and it was easier.

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As we get a bit older, you realize you don’t always want the time to just go by. Sure, when you’re sitting in class or at your desk, sometimes you can’t help but count down the minutes until you can get up and leave. But even succumbing to this occasional circumstance, I still feel like the time slipped right through my fingers.

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As I head back to New York two weeks from today, I’ll be taking every day at a time – exploring New York the way I’ve been exploring Paris; learning and working at my internship; turning 20; cherishing the moments I have with all of my family together in my house of 16 years that we’ll be moving out of.

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Through the ups and the downs, I guess the most important thing to do is cherish the time that you have. It always goes by too quickly.