Pages: Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ...39 40 41 Next

A Truly Legit Thanksgiving Feast in Paris

You wouldn’t imagine the craziness that happens in the expat community in France come Thanksgiving. The big questions: Where to find pumpkin puree and a Turkey!?

Thanksgiving Table

Turkey aka dinde is actually pretty popular in France, but not the whole bird. I read a funny article the other day about a family that had ordered a turkey from their local farmer and instead of a turkey they got a note apologizing that the turkey population hadn’t faired that well this fall and he hoped they would be ok with a pheasant. Another story talked about a butcher that meticulously sewed on pieces of skin to the turkeys he had because they had come to him without all of their skin in tact. But that’s just gross. shudder

Let’s just say if you’re looking for a whole turkey- it’s difficult to find at a reasonable price. Then there’s the question of cooking it. Most people here have mini ovens that look a lot like toaster ovens. They’re great for small casseroles, a couple trays of cookies (more like several trays at 5 cookies a sheet), or even a quick slice of toast if you don’t have a toaster, but turkeys, well, I’m not really sure how that would fit.

How to solve both of these truly important questions! Well- turkey breast and legs of course instead of a whole turkey & bribe a friend from the US to bring over canned Libby’s pumpkin puree (Thanks Jen!)! et voila! Problem solved!

Thanksgiving Turkey

The usual bunch got together minus two awesome peeps, Tina and Vincent, but plus another awesome person- Ian of the Baking Chin. We had a pretty early Thanksgiving (Nov. 10), because one of us was going to the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade on Thanksgiving… JEALOUS!!!!

Un petit apéro or two.. to start. :-) Jess, you know the way to my heart! Poinsettias made with some bubbly, Cointreau, and cranberry juice.

Thanksgiving Apero

While we made a pumpkin pie- using the recipe off the can of course. Seriously the only way to go. Ian made the pie crust from scratch and… by memory. Me = impressed.

Pumpkin Pie Crust Pouring Pumpkin Pie Molly-Pumpkin Pie


Then there was the heat up shuffle before we all sat down to eat! Four things in the oven at once, gravy on the stove, mashed potatoes in the microwave!

Our amazing menu included:

Pain de Compagne & All American Dinner Rolls

English Sausage Stuffing

The Grandmother’s Dressing

Turkey Breasts wrapped in Bacon & Turkey Legs


Cranberry Sauce

Roasted Parsnips and Carrots with a Honey/Dijon Sauce

Sweet Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes

Green Bean Casserole

Pumpkin Pie

Now I’ve never had English stuffing before and it was delicious!! It’s so different from the stuffing I’m used to in the States. A lot more like meatloaf made with bread crumbs, sage, English sausages and several other things. Baked in the oven and then sliced.

English Stuffing Ian's Bread

I made my family’s stuffing passed down from my grandmother. It’s unique in that it uses both cornbread and biscuits, lots of sage, sausage, celery/onions/garlic, and eggs to bind. A lot more crumbly than an English stuffing and oh my goodness, heaven. I can’t believe I actually used to avoid this at Thanksgiving in the past!! I made both the cornbread (with polenta because corn meal is difficult to find) and buttermilk biscuits from scratch after an intense day of shopping with Jenni and Tina. haha!! Then combined it all into the awesomeness that is stuffing.

American Stuffing

Jess made the turkey, gravy, and green bean casserole- from scratch. No canned condensed soup here!! Here’s the recipe she used from Martha Stewart. It was a-mazing!!! Just a few changes to the recipe: zucchini instead of mushrooms, a little bit of gouda, and some crispy store-bought onions for the top. yum!

Jess - Turkey

Thanksgiving Plate Filling

I refused to think about the 8K I was running the next day. Full plate! Pile it up! nom!

Molly-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving Plate

Holy moly everything was amazing. I think we all had seconds and thirds. Then after a walk around the neighborhood we came back for pie! and a discussion about whipped cream in a can (creme chantilly) or as it was written on the can “creme gourmande”! And oh drank more wine and cider. Then we couldn’t walk but that’s what Thanksgiving’s are made of. :-D

Just a couple more days until Thanksgiving in the States! Maybe I’ll post my Grandma’s stuffing recipe? :-D

23. November 2013 by Molly
Categories: carrot, France, paris, pie, pumpkin, savory, sides, sweet potatoes, thanksgiving | 8 comments

Les Mustaches! On the Run!

Yesterday in the theme of November/Movember me and my friends ran a 8K in Paris called Les Bacchantes. The only requirement (well besides hopefully finishing the race) was to wear a “stache”. haha!

Found one at a Halloween store! And got a surprise mustache for Jenni… bahahaha – which knowing me should have been pretty easy to guess.

Found a Stache

We met bright and early (8:30) chez moi! and then after securely fastening our mustaches on, we headed out to the race! We’d celebrated Thanksgiving the day before and boy that was resting in our stomachs. oh and I had a scary blood shot eye. haha!

Jenni- sporting the… wait for it…. Western mustache I picked out for her. haha! If only there were handlebars too..

A couple warm up laps at the metro, some weird looks,  and trying on some accents to match our staches- mine ended up Russian for a bit and then there was Tina’s meatball comments. ..

We also decided that we wanted to be referred to as the “Three Mustacheers.”

iPhone Pics 11-12-13 074 iPhone Pics 11-12-13 077

We made it to the start and met up with the Frenchman and his friend! Who took a much better photo of us then my one handed attempts earlier in the day.

iPhone Pics 11-12-13 078

We’re ready!! Nope- warm up first! A little dancing, stretching and good to go! On y va!

The course was beautiful!! It started at Avenue Foch close to the Arc de Triumphe (we could see it in the distance) and then went through the woods called Bois de Boulogne that border the left side of Paris. The leaves are changing so just imagine running through the woods with bright reds and yellows and you’re there. :-) Pretty!

The race was fast! So fast that my mustache blew off in the first 2K. 47 minutes for us at a 9:40 min/mile pace. Woot! Go team!

After was- cake, tea, soup and then the usual oranges, apples, Goo chews and water. tehe! Then some post-race pics at the Eiffel, because why ever not!

iPhone Pics 11-12-13 085 iPhone Pics 11-12-13 086

After showers at my place we headed to lunch at a cafe down the street with the Frenchman and his friends. Tina was apparently drunk off of one glass of white wine. haha! There might have been mention of a bird sculpture and a very hard to pronounce word- janvier! I promise I’m saying it correctly now.. maybe? haha! Loved the mix of languages! The red wine was delicious! Bon choix! The liver.. errr not bad but not awesome? Very chewy? We decided to try frogs legs next. haha! So pretty much an awesome day start to finish. :-)

12. November 2013 by Molly
Categories: France, healthy, paris | Comments Off

Ai Ai! Mexican Fiesta #2 + Guacamole Essentials!

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.

Carnita Taco

I love tacos! oh and margaritas!~lots of margaritas!

Group Shot!

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.

Raclette Nachos- Devoured

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)


cilantro (coriander)

red onion




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.

guacamole Guacamole-molly

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!

06. November 2013 by Molly
Categories: France, paris | 6 comments

The One Fanged Dracula Pumpkin

I take Halloween very seriously. It is after all my favorite holiday. You might not be able to tell but I am listening to “Thriller” and wearing pretty sweet Halloween glasses right now. Themed writing at it’s finest! hahaha! Everything might be tinted orange.

What do I LOVE about Halloween in the States?

No not the excuse to dress in a super skimpy costume that everyone seems to use this holiday as an excuse for. Sad days!

When I was young I loved the day, it would always be blustery and cold, we would have an orange themed dinner and then head out to go trick-or-treating around the neighborhood until late at night. Now, it’s just as fun -the old scary movies, decorations galore, pumpkin carving, and eating way too much candy while waiting for ridiculously cute kids to come by and say “Trick or Treat, Stinky Feet! Give me something good to eat!” hahaha!

Halloween Baking

My family would go all out. Spiderwebs around the doorway, tons of cut out bats hanging from the ceiling in the foyer, a full Frankenstein with body parts on the dining room table, dry ice bubbling in a Calderon, oh and my favorite…. a little ghost that would make sounds when someone was near. We hung it from the tree in the front yard and then threaded the rope it was attached to through a small crack in a window at the front of the house. Then we would pull the ghost far up in the tree, hidden from those below, and lay in wait for Trick-or-Treaters to come by… BOO! tehehe!

Halloween in Paris has been a bit different. haha! It actually started this year on my birthday with an awesome box from my coworkers that contained… Halloween themed candy!! What! You know me too well! The sickeningly sweet, totally awesome, shaped pumpkins and ghosts and witches! Ah yumm!

Then I received a box from mi madre with candy corn (which I proceeded to eat within 48 hours), 10 cookie cutters, decorations, and themed napkins!!


The cookie cutters I used to make a …. Halloween Sculpture in class … entirely out of Sugar!

Halloween Sugar Sculpture

And then there was the search for the great pumpkin. Halloween isn’t a big holiday in France so I thought this would prove to be next to near impossible. But sure enough, just about a week before Halloween I started to see Jack o’ Lantern pumpkins popping up all over the place. Well not everywhere but I did happen to find one relatively easily at my local flower shop. Pop over to Sara in La Petit Village for the Story of the Jack O’Lantern!

Anna and I took a trip over there to pick one out from the 6 available and then lug it home. I stopped to take it on a photoshoot at the Champ de Mars. Or maybe it was me taking a break from carrying a very heavy pumpkin. ;-)

Jack O Lantern Pumpkin Paris

A very late night out lead to a pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks in the morning (how dare they be out!) and cookie making at Jenni’s for a Halloween picnic!

iPhone Pics 10-30-13 025

We all met at the Champ de Mars and found a covered spot because the weather was looking a bit gloomy due to hurricane Stormaggadeon that was blowing through! And had a pretty awesome Halloween spread complete with guitar music by Amin!

iPhone Pics 10-30-13 029 Puff Pastry Coffins

Puff Pastry Coffins by Anna (below)

Anna and Pumpkin

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread by Ian.

Monster Munch

Monster Munch ~ yuck!

We also had wine, cheese, beetroot salad, rye bread, my Halloween sugar cookies and two types of muffins (pumpkin and banana!)! Yummm!!!

1390714_10151929149177645_510926876_n    1381518_10151929146047645_1883076478_n 529367_10151929146752645_2069330971_n

And the One Fanged Dracula Pumpkin was born! bahaha… spooooooky

iPhone Pics 10-30-13 036


Happy Halloweeeeen!

Now you should listen to Monster Mash, the Purple People Eater, I Put a Spell on You, and Skeleton in the Closest by Louis Armstrong. oh the watch an Alfred Hitchcock movie- but not Psycho at night because that’s just crazy! ;-)

I’m off to Disneyland tomorrow for their Halloween celebration! Super excited! Now what to dress up as!


30. October 2013 by Molly
Categories: cookies, halloween, paris | 3 comments

Brownies Beurre Noisette in Metrics

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:

Browned Butter Brownies

1376708_10100289895486157_228993964_n 1392820_10100289880446297_609701530_n 1380937_10100289880436317_384570670_n

Beurre Noisette Brownies

Adapted from Bon Appetit, February 2011, recipe by Alice Medrich

142g unsalted butter cut into cubes

250g sugar

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

sea salt

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.


22. October 2013 by Molly
Categories: brownies, chocolate, pecans | Comments Off

Pages: Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ...39 40 41 Next

← Older posts

Newer posts →