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

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Pesto, Goat Cheese, and Pea Pasta

It’s not easy being green.

During the fall/ winter months that is. It’s kind of rude, actually. We’re spoiled by delicious, local summer fruits and vegetables and then niente. No more fresh basil, crisp zucchini, or crunchy asparagus.

Pesto, Goat Cheese, and Pea Pasta 1 | Netflix and Nutella

I had a craving for green things last week, and I decided that I  couldn’t have yet another salad. So I threw together a quick (and few ingredient, of course) pasta dish that left me more than satisfied.

Pesto, Goat Cheese, and Pea Pasta 2 | Netflix and Nutella

This dish was a staple when I was in Paris with my sister. It’s a quick, clean-out-the-fridge kind of dish. All I did make my pasta (always al dente), and add some pesto, goat cheese, and frozen peas. I topped it with some crushed red pepper flakes.

Pesto, Goat Cheese, and Pea Pasta 3 | Netflix and Nutella

Note to self: back away from crushed red pepper if you feel a cold coming. I used it as a home remedy to clean out my sinuses. Might have been a mistake.

Though this satisfied my green craving and got my cold on its way out, I’ll be green with envy until local veggies come back.

Pesto, Goat Cheese, and Pea Pasta | Netflix and Nutella

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.

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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.

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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.

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.

Bordeaux and St. Emilion: Sights

I came back from a two-day trip to Bordeaux and St. Emilion. We caught a 6:41AM train from Paris to Bordeaux on Saturday morning and took a bus on Sunday morning to St. Emilion. A day in each place was perfect, if not a bit short. But this mini-escape from my faster-paced life in Paris was the perfect retreat pre-finals.

Since I apparently decided to be a paparazzi, I’ve split the posts into two: one for sights and one for tastes. Enjoy the photos and definitely plan a trip to French wine country if you ever get the chance. It’s one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever visit!

Bordeaux

A future home option

Bordeaux     Bordeaux

Bordeaux

Bordeaux     Bordeaux

Bordeaux

Bordeaux     Bordeaux neo-classical structure

Boredaux

Ruins in Bordeaux

Camo tree

St. Emilion

St. Emilion wall

St. Emilion

St. Emilion “place”

St. Emilion     Vineyard in St. Emilion

St. Emilion

Vineyard with tower

St. Emilion

Our wine tourguide

Winemaker at Chateaux La Fleur Picon

Baby grapes

Baby grapes

Springtime in Paris

This is the Paris I’ve been waiting for.

springtime in Paris

The weather has taken a beautiful turn, and I find myself making excuses to the long way home just so I can walk though the endless number of parks and gardens in Paris.

springtime in Paris

springtime in Paris

This past weekend, my sister and I were swamped with work and to-do lists, but made some time to go to the Jardin Des Plantes in the 5th. The weather was perfect. I leave a month from yesterday (GULP!), so taking advantage of these beautiful days will be a feat  I will gladly take on.

Me, springtime in Paris

springtime in Paris

Non, je ne regrette rien

It’s not every day that you get to visit geniuses like Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde tomb

Jim Morrison

Jim Morrison tomb

Edith Piaf

Edith Piaf tomb

and Chopin (excuse the video clip, but I had to).

Chopin tomb

It never ceases to amaze me how many  elements fit into the puzzle of Paris’s history. Taking a walk through the Pere Lachaise cemetery was a surreal yet very cool way to experience Paris.

Framed

Walking by all of the tombs you’re greeted with many questions. What did this person do with his or her life? Did they make any discoveries? Did they love?

Eternal love with a kiss on the cheek

Eternal love with a kiss on the cheek

It’s easy to create a story based on certain graves, like this one of a man who died before he turned 25.

Copper

It was strange to take such pleasure in the graves, seeing them as pieces of art when you know that they represent something much more. They represent someone’s entire life, and this is how they chose to be remembered.

White   Dark

Pere Lachaise is a surreal experience, definitely. But a beautiful one nonetheless.

Wideshot

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Eternal sleep

The Steak Place

Throughout my travels in Europe, I’ve learned something about myself: I have really keen senses.

They transport me back to memories I’d forgotten – smelling trees like the Red Woods we used to visit when I lived in San Francisco, catching a whiff of my mom’s perfume on the bus, or biting into a piece of food that transports me back years ago.

My family first visited Paris when I was in the lower school, and though I remember loving it, the few specific memories I have come from pictures, including the Christmas card photo we took in front of the Arc de Triomphe.

When my sister’s friend came to town and treated us to a beautiful dinner at Le Relais de l’Entrecôte in the 8th arrondissement (the first one of the famous chain as my factual sister pointed out), I had one of these flashbacks. One bite in and I was transported to the memory of eating the meat with my family at least 10 years ago.

The waitress asks you how you like your steak cooked, scribbles it down on your paper tablecloth, and returns with a simple frisée salad with walnuts and the best vinaigrette you’ve ever tasted. Oh and baguette. Always baguette.

steak and fries

Then, you receive a plate of steak with fries, the perfect vehicle for the sauce which is so unbelievable that the recipe is still unknown to outsiders. It’s buttery, herby, creamy, saucey…the list goes on. By the last bite, you’re a bit full, but wish you had just one more bite.

Then comes 4 more pieces of steak and a refill on the fries. Heaven? Heaven.

If you can make room, get a bit of dessert. My pick was the profiteroles.

profiteroles

If you don’t mind being a bit spendy and like a good piece of steak, this place is definitely for you. Come hungry, but expect to stand outside in line for at least 30 mins (even on a Tuesday night).

Le Relais de l’Entrecôte
15 Rue Marbeuf, 8ème Arrondisement

Sunday, Monday, Happy Days

It’s amazing what a bit of good weather will do for your mood. Any stress you feel is momentarily cast aside so you can enjoy a bit of time out in the fresh air soaking up some Vitamin D.

That’s why with the recent weather change in Paris, I’ve been having a hard time staying indoors with the three papers I have to write. As much as I usually put my schoolwork above everything else, it’s only 74 degrees in Paris every so often.

Here are some of my suggestions for what to do on a beautiful Paris day like what we had yesterday and are presumably having for the rest of the week. Enjoy, and don’t sweat the small stuff. Go out and enjoy the sunshine!

  • Paris has numerous parks and gardens – from the Luxembourg Gardens and the Tuileries to Monceau and Buttes Chaumont. You can wander endlessly, then linger in the grass with a picnic of cheese, bread, and wine. The only trouble you’ll run into is trying to find a patch of grass not already taken!
Luxembourg Gardens

Luxembourg Gardens

Parc Montsouris

Parc Montsouris

  • The Place des Vosges in the heart of the Marais (the Jewish quarter) is the perfect place to spend part of your day. After shopping in boutiques, stuffing your face with falafel, or just doing endless walking, the Place des Vosges is the perfect place to put up your feet and relax. It’s been around since Henry IV and Catherine di Medici; with a birthdate like that, it’s got to be worth your while!

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  • “Walks along the Seine” is more than just a lyric from “Our Last Summer” by Abba. Taking a walk along the famous river is the perfect way to spend the day with someone you can talk to for ages. And if you run out of space to walk and still have things to say? Swing around and walk back up the other side! It’s a great way to see numerous tourist spots, too! If you’re looking for something a bit less touristy and a bit more chill, try the Canal Saint Martin for a similar activity with a different vibe.
Seine

Pont des Arts across the Seine, looking onto the Louvre

  • Visit a local market! Paris is covered in open-air markets in all different neighborhoods. From the more famous ones to the ones just around your corner, these markets are a great way to pick up some groceries, talk to some real French artisans, and enjoy the weather.

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  • Lastly, if all you want to do is sit in one place but still enjoy the outside weather, you’re in luck. Sitting outside in Paris is not only a past-time but also a hobby; people watching, eating, drinking, laughing, what could be better?

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