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Tasty Side to Life Tours Website

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Paris Antique Shopping

Had a great lil Sunday meandering around a huge Antique market in Paris. If you feel like checking out some Antique Markets in Paris here is some info on a few gems which I recommend:

1) Marche aux Puces des Clingincourt is so great. You can seriously stay for hours, great little finds. Lunch place here is called Chez Louisette and they sing to you during your meal and its CLASSIC. Was recommended first by a friend of my sisy's Jenny who has a cute new blog http://www.velvetfoxtail.com/. All the designers love Chez Louisette and go here religiously!! Its located directly inside the market amongst all of the little venders, but if u ask someone inside they'll be able to tell u. The moules are really good, and the smoked salmon. Apparently the salads are a no go. http://www.discoverfrance.net/France/Paris/Shopping/Paris_fleamkts2.shtml#

2) Marché d'Aligre- This is where all the serious dealers go when on the hunt for original antiquities from across the country! Some of the cheapest prices in Paris, particularly the further away from the St. Antoine side you get. I found some great little antique books for 5 euros, old ballerina slippers, a hat and the most amazing looking strawberries, mangos and fresh flowers! http://marchedaligre.free.fr/

3) L'Annexe des Créateurs-Ok not antiques per se but one of the best second hand clothing in my opinion.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Reims, France Things to Do

There is nothing like wandering around a quiet Champagne town and discovering a great little french chocolate shop filled with macaroons, a regional delicacy store with lots of delights (including beautiful tablecloths from the South) and a great little fondue restaurant for a cozy night on the town.

Below are 3 of my favorite gastronomic stopovers for a day in Reims:

Le Chamois, 45 Rue Capucins, 51100 Reims http://www.le-chamois-reims.com/

La Petite Friande 15 cours Langlet 51100 Reims http://www.la-petite-friande.com/

Le Terroirs de Nos Regions, 26 Rue Elus 51100 Reims

Otis Redding and Matignon

Nothing like a little Otis Redding in the taxi on the way to a fab night at Matignon Paris. Always good to relive some oldies. Croque Monsieur with truffle oil and a resto that turns into a club by midnight is a not a bad way to spend your Saturday night.

Matignon, 3 ave Matignon, 75008 Paris

Saturday, February 19, 2011

California Family Saturday Brunch

All these bright colors make me miss California! Recipes to come in following post... This is really the most complete little brunch.

I'm talking Mini Potato Pancakes w/ smoked salmon, diced red onion, dill and creme friache + 2 Creative Eggs Benedict's with Savory toppings+ Cinnamon French Toast with Pan Roasted Peaches & Maple Syrup.

All of this followed by a hike with friends in Marin, ca to the ocean.

Saturday Brunch Recipes-Cinnamon Bread French Toast with Roasted Peaches and 2 Eggs Benedicts

Cinnamon-Bread French Toast

A more flavorful + exotic version of the breakfast fave

  • 7 large eggs
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 tsp. real vanilla extract
  • 5 tsp. Agave Syrup
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 6 slices fresh goey cinnamon bread (preferably stale) hopefully found at your local baker
  • Topping: real maple syrup and fresh peaches
  1. In a shallow pan, whisk eggs, vanilla extract, milk and syrup. Beat lightly until combined.
  2. Add the goey bread into the pan, flip to fully coat both sides and let soak for 15 minutes, pressing down from time to time.
  3. Place a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tbls of butter to the pan. Cook the slices on preheated skillet for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Work in batches and cook until each slice is golden brown, adding more butter as needed. Transfer to a baking sheet. Bake bread in the oven for 20 minutes until it puffs up a bit and is firm in the middle.
  4. Serve immediately. Drizzle with warm maple syrup and top with quick pan seared peaches.

Creative Eggs Benedict

Savory Roasted Tomato w/ bacon + SF Inspired Dungeness Crab w/ avocado & chives

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup distilled vinegar
  • 8 large farm fresh eggs
  • 12 slices fresh butcher bacon
  • 6 slices of wheat english muffins or beautiful country wheat bread
  • 3 large heirloom tomatoes
  • 1/2 pound of dungeness crab-cracked and carefully remove all shells
  • 2 avocados-sliced into chunks
  • handfull of spinach
  • Hollandaise Sauce
  • 1 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tbls cold water
  • 1 tbls Fresh strained meyer lemon juice
  • teaspoon of salt and pepper
  • chives for garnish
  1. Pour water into a large pan, add vinegar
  2. Bring water to a gentle simmer over medium heat
  3. Crack an egg carefully into a cup (this step is important it will keep your eggs uniform and pretty) Now carefully slide one egg at a time into the simmering water.
  4. Using a slotted spoon carefully remove the eggs and transfer them to a kitchen towel lightly dab to remove any excess water
  5. While cooking the eggs, have a skillet with the bacon going. Also put the thick sliced tomatoes into a preheated oven at 400 for 5 minutes until nicely toasted.Or roast them in a pan quickly for a few minutes.
  6. Make the hollandaise http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/hollandaise-sauce-recipe/index.html and reserve over a bowl of hot water or in a thermo
  7. Toast bread, top with egg
  8. Voila!
    Almost clarified butter
  9. Roasting Tomatoes

Friday, February 18, 2011

Music: Florence and the Machine-Cosmic Love

Here is some music I like to cook to:

My Sisters Adorable Breakfast in Bed

I think this is quite simply one of the sweetest/ cutest/ most adorable things ever. My 25 year old sis makes her boyfriend breakfast in bed all the time. Ok, she flat out spoils him. It is the most simple breakfast ever and is savory and yummy.

All you need is a fresh morning croissant stuffed into a muffin tin. Next scoop out a bit of the insides, places a slice of jambon (ham) inside and crack an egg over the top. Plop this into the oven for a good few minutes and finally top with a quick sprinkling of fleur de sel and pepper and Voila! She then melts some good quality chocolate and mixes it into some milk and has a 10 minute little gourmet meal for her lovie! Cute right? Just makes you want to pinch her little 25 year old cheeks. Looks great on her beautiful Missoni bedding too doesn't it?

Want a bite?

Open Faced Egg Sandwich

Soft Scrambled Oven-Face Egg Sandwich with Ribbons of Zucchini, Basil and a touch of Black Truffle Oil

I have a quite possibly, what could be called- an"obsession" with brunch. I would hands down say it is my favorite meal. When I think of my 1 and only favorite homey California meal immediately my mom's perfect little breakfasts comes to mind. This usually includes some Buena Vista Social Club jamming on the bose music system + a bright fresh tall smoothie filled with blueberry, banana, almond milk, greek yogurt paired with a egg white, chevre, spinach + heirloom tomato omelette served alongside some crusty, well toasted wheat bread with olive oil and sea salt on top. Yummm makes me miss my Mom.

In terms of brunch, I don't really discriminate. I love gingerbread pancakes with lemon curd and pears, burbon pecan waffles, eggs, omelets and especially breakfast pizzas. This little meal was a quick healthy burst of flavor. Farm fresh soft scrambled eggs, market zucchini shaved into ribbons, diced avocado and a touch of black truffle oil and sea salt all piled high on top of some healthy Wasa toast.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Champagne Tasting Trip + Chateau Viewing

I kind of like the idea of killing two birds with one stone and getting to view incredibly beautiful, breathtaking Chateaus + Small Champagne Producers in the same day, at the same time. Sounds nice, right? We'll I think so...

I started bringing clients the other day with http://www.tastysidetolifetours.com to a great little small producer who I met at a Champagne fair just 20 minutes outside of Epernay close to the Blanc de Blanc terroir.

I love this producer because he has the greatest character and is an absolute joy to speak with. His Champagne is called Le Gallais http://www.champagnelegallais.com and he made my day and my clients were blown away by his humor, warmth and thorough explanation of the champagne making process. It is the time of year when producers are pruning their vines and my clients sincerely appreciated getting a little dirty, walking out into the fields and having the process explained to them.

Champagne vines are by nature creeper types of plants and therefore it is in their nature to spread as farrrr as they can. If they are left to their own little devices they would grow buds at the extremities of its branches thus risking producing a small number of grapes with irregular ripeness! Ie not a good thing! Therefore the vines must be hand pruned to maintain a good balance of ripeness and quality. Pruning begins mid January and ends at the end of March. During these months in the region you can smell and see little fires from cut wood left over from pruning. https://www.champagnegallery.com.au/champagne-science/viticulture/pruning-and-canopy-management/

The Producer: Herve's ancestors purchased this beautiful Chateau in the 1850's from la grand dame who was using it as a summer house. While we were not able to enter inside the Chateau, the outside grounds were absolutely stunning and it is quite well restored and taken care of.

With 3 hectors of land and a small production of 18,000 bottles a year Herve is truly a small producer. Also with a price point of 15-23 euro his Champagne is very much affordable. We tasted the Cuvee de Manor-Brut and an old bottle from 2002 which we picked up while exploring his cave.

The Beautiful tasting room
The Brut had incredible crisp notes of green apple, and tropical fruit and would be a perfect for an aperitif or alongside dessert. The vintage bottle which we were lucky to taste had much more complexity and notes of prunes and red fruit could be noticed. Both were outstanding and nothing like sitting with a producer in his home and telling you "to help yourself" to as many glasses of bubbly as you would like! It was before 11 so we stopped at 4 :)

The Reims Cathedral below

Our Mid day lunch break at http://www.epernay-rest-letheatre.com/Le Theatre Restaurant Eperany just 2 mins from the Gare.

Amuse Bouche shrimp with creme fraiche and tomato and a glorious avocado mousse with sliced prosciutto
Eggplant Tatin
Cannelloni of Smoked Salmon with crab and a coulis of tomato
Pear crumble with almond whipped cream and Reims rose biscuits

All in all a great day of small producer tasting, chateau viewing at Le Gallais Champagne in Boursault and a gourmet meal. If you are interested in going on a luxury and exclusive small producer Champagne trip on your next trip to France Tasty Side to Life Tours would be happy to help you have an unforgettable experience in the beautiful region!

Tasty Side To Life Tours
15 Rue Conservatoire 75009 Paris France

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