We had Mexican Fiesta #2 gosh about a month and a half ago? Or something like that? And I can’t believe I’m just now posting some pics!
After a very successful first Mexican Fiesta, there was way too much recipe exchanging and #2 just had to happen ASAP. How could it not when you’re drooling over a Carnitas recipe and a new margarita recipe happens to pop up!
oh and quite a feast we had- This was the start of three tacos for me after a ridiculous amount of amazing guacamole.
I love tacos! oh and margaritas!~lots of margaritas!
Jess had made the carnitas the day before (holy guacamole they were amazing!!!) and stewed a pot of black beans – one of the most difficult things to find here in France. oh I miss the days where I can have a couple cans of black beans on hand for any Mexican adventures that happen to come my way.
The raclette nachos made another appearance and were devoured along with an entire liter of salsa.
oh and we can’t forget the corn tortillas!! There is one place in Paris where you can order fresh tortillas and avoid the packaged one’s in the store with an expiration date 6 months from the time you buy them (scary..). It’s called Tortilleria Mil Amores. Orders have to be in by Friday afternoon, pick up is just on Saturday for a couple of hours in a hole in the wall apartment.
Just look at these beauties!
I made guacamole. My fav!!
The Essentials for Guacamole:
avocados (2 is good for about 2-3 people)
Taste as you go (oh darn…) and adjust the amounts to suit how you like it! Some peeps love a ton of lime juice or a ridiculous amount of cilantro. We didn’t have jalapenos so we added some salsa to add a little kick/extra flavor.
oh yes, and there was passion fruit raspberry tart for dessert not because it’s Mexican but because half of us are pastry chefs. ;-) One of the gorgeous chefs with the tart crust we cooled outside on the patio.
Mexican Fiesta #3 –> Pronto! I want to make enchiladas!
My absolute favorite brownie recipe has made it across the ocean. I’ve made it twice here and soon there after my friends have made it several times- one a reported three times in one week.
Yes, it is that good.
To find the original recipe in cups and teaspoons head over this way.
These are ooey gooey fantastically awesome. The secret- the browned butter. It adds the right amount of nuttiness, richness, and caramel flavor to the brownies.
Here’s some pics my British friend Jenni took who has now made these ahem 6 times sent me:
Beurre Noisette Brownies
142g unsalted butter cut into cubes
96g cocoa powder
pinch of dried vanilla or a “glug” of liquid vanilla
10 ml water
2g sea salt
2 large eggs
45g all-purpose flour
100-125g pecans (or walnuts), toasted and chopped
Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius/325 F, and line the inside of an 8×8 square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving 2-inch overhangs and pressing the foil tightly to the sides of the pan. (If you like spray the aluminum foil with non-stick cooking spray, though I didn’t find this necessary.)
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, stirring often. The butter will first melt, then foam, then form more clear bubbles. Once the butter has only bubbles (and no foam) and there are browned bits at the bottom of the pan, remove the butter from the heat. Stir in the sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, salt, and 10ml water. Let the mixture sit for about 4-5 minutes to cool, then mix in the eggs one at a time, beating quickly after each addition. Once the chocolate mixture looks relatively smooth, mix in the flour, and then beat well for a few minutes. Mix in the chopped nuts, and transfer to the prepared pan, smoothing the top before baking.
Bake for about 30 minutes or more, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean – if there is still a tiny bit of moist batter at the very bottom that is ok. Remove the brownies from the oven and cool completely on a cooling rack. Once cool, remove the brownies from the pan using the aluminum foil overhangs; then pull the aluminum foil away from the brownies and cut them into 16 square pieces. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container.
You know those super cute little things that just make you smile.. well this is one of them. Just wanted to share some videos I’ve been watching by Olive Us, a family video series filmed in the countryside around their French farmhouse or in the beautiful deserts of Utah.
Le Petit Chaperon Rouge or Little Red Riding Hood. I love the ending of this one because they are eating Galettes! Something I know oh so much about now. :-D haha And it’s read by the little girl in French. Terribly cute.
I could seriously share these all day.. but here’s just one more!! A trip to an apple farm.
I LOVE the little boy!! hahaha!
ok ok! One more, last one I promise!! It’s just too cute to pass up. And you’ve really only spent 10 minutes watching these videos, so might as well watch another one. ;-)
And then if you just haven’t gotten enough- because I’ve seriously been watching them all day, you should watch:
Happy Friday! :-D Bon Week-End!
I went to Versailles two weekends ago with a Frenchman.
He told me he would be fact checking this blog post, so I’ve decided to include an enormous amount of facts and maybe a couple that aren’t true. haha!
Here’s how the day leading up to Versailles went:
#1: I was given the choice of meeting at 8h08 or 8h39 … I think you can guess which one I chose… I am so not a morning person. haha!
#2: The super difficult decision of what to bring to the pique-nique. These things are important!
And then you stay up till 1am cooking in an itty bitty kitchen with one bowl, no tools, and a paring knife. Getting sewing lessons from mi madre over Skype. oh and drinking wine with your bestie because that’s what Saturday nights are made of!
But then you’re up at 7:06AM the next morning rubbing sleep from your eyes thanking the stars that you live close to the train to Versailles. oh and glad there’s no headache involved.
I arrived au pied promptly 3 minutes before Pierre- I think this is the absolute first time I’ve met him and been on time. I was just as surprised as he was. hm or maybe he was late? I conveniently can’t remember. ;-)
And we were off!
Here’s some tips for getting to Versailles from Paris:
– Take the RER C – If you have a Navigo, it’s free for you on the weekend. Otherwise it’s about 9 euros and tickets can be bought at the station.
– Look for trains heading to Versailles – Rive Gauche and move to the top of the platform (the train is a short one).
– Take a look at the overhead listing (just like in the airport) to know when the correct train will arrive.
– The trains have names which are noted beside each listing. Our train’s name was Steve! Like Steve Urkel, Stevo, Stevie, or Stephan. :-D
– It takes about 30 minutes to get there.
Plenty of time for you to observe sleeping people, have your bag commented on, and chat with an American seatmate.. who happens to be the same guy that commented on your bag (hm..).
And not yawn! nope! I love early mornings! err
What wasn’t open? The annual ticket pass area aka the ticket I wanted to get. Don’t worry, it opened at 9:15, just 15 minutes late. How normal. haha!
We talked with the the lady you must get past in order to buy tickets. In French. I understood about 50%? I’m getting better!! ;-) It’s only when the topic changes from what I’m expecting in the conversation that I get super lost. Like agreeing to a tour of the private apartments in the chateau. But this was after I correctly understood that I didn’t need an annual pass because I could get in for free, at least for the next two weeks before I turned 27. Donc 50/50- not too shabby.
I would also like to add as a semi-related note that it’s a lot more nerve-racking speaking French to a French person! A lot of it is that I don’t want to make a mistake!
By doing the private tour and paying just 7 euros more, we skipped the massive line outside and got to see what few people do! Une bonne idea! Complete with top-secret headsets to hear the tour guide, even though we were usually the only group in a room at a time… haha! I didn’t wear mine. The opera hall! The chandeliers along the wall are actually just half-chandeliers, reflecting in a mirror!
Our tour guide.
This very cool clock that still tells the time and date (month, day, and year!) accurately until year 9999, and shows the rotation of all the planets, except for Pluto. Or maybe Pluto was there, I didn’t look too closely. nahh!
Then we did a bit of fast walking through the chateau because we were starving! And saw several short beds with ostrich plumes that would have been perfect for a nap. Beautiful doorways. And lots of gold embellishments.
Guess what I forgot? dun dun dun.. the bread. For the second time! I shall never be trusted with this ever again.
But it’s ok sandwich fixings can be eaten by their lonesome along with Croustades aux champignons and chocolate-sea salt caramel cookies. :-D
Mom- you’d be impressed, I ate cherry tomatoes! and they were good! gasp!
Then we wandered through the gardens sans map and nap- which is definitely the way to go. No stress! (a nap would have been good though- what? 7am is early! Scratch that, 7:06 is early!) and we discovered about 3 different gardens we’d never seen before!
I got orange juice at one of the two stands in the garden and a line promptly formed behind the one we went too, while the other remained completely free. haha! We were shooed off the grass. And helped three different sets of people in English and French. Quite multi-lingual we are. He just needs to brush up on his Japanese, because I have German, Spanish, and Italian covered, and we would be able to help all nationalities.
Ready to be impressed?
Ich ban ick en rosa kuh flecken!
aka. The only phrase I know in German besides Gesundheit, which means I would like a pink cow with spots! Useful in all situations.
My Italian is even better.
Then we headed back to Paris!
It was one of those days where you head home completely exhausted but with a smile on your face, oh and ready to take a nap. or a run- one of those.