Paris Desserts

Dessert Gallery

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TOP 5 DESSERTS

5) Chocolate brownie from Chez Sesame

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4) Mille-Feille from Josephine Chez Dumont

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3) TIE between Amorino pistachio gelato with Speculoos gelato // Pozzetto Gianjula and pistachio gelato

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Above: Amorino // Below: Pozzetto

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2) Speculoos cheesecake by Guu desserts (from Auchan supermarket)

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1) Creme brûlée from Bistrot Richelieu: WINNER!

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Almost made the list: financiers from Moisan Bakery and Eric Kayser

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Above: Moisan Bakery // Below: Eric Kayser (mini with nature, chocolate, pistachio, regular-sized pistachio)

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Paris-Brest

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Desserts from Gateaux Thomieux, Bon Marche, Liberte, and Tholoniat: Opera, mille-feuille, chocolate tart, flan, St-Honore, eclair, choux, etc.

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Dinners in Paris

Dinner Gallery

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TOP 5 DINNERS

5) Blanquette de veau (creamy veal stew with carrots, pearl onions, mushrooms)

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4) Baguette, carrot mustard salad, Caprese salad, Compte cheese, steamed Provencale-style fish, steamed broccoli, sautéed vermicelli

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3) Spaghetti with tomato shrimp sauce, mushrooms, Camembert cheese and zucchini stir-fry with krill

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2) Caprese salad, rocket and pine nut salad, baguette, garlic green beans, potato cake, stir-fried bean sprouts, steamed fish with scallions, rice

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1) Taco cups with ground beef, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, cheddar, cheese plate with grapes, vegetable soup with baguette

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Almost made the list: creamy lobster pasta with tomatoes and basil

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Lunches of Paris

Lunch Gallery

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TOP 5 LUNCHES

5) Babalou 4-cheese pizza with parmesan, rocket, and cherry tomato salad

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4) La Taverne de Menil zucchini galettes with tomato bulgur, salad, sauteed potatoes, oregano yogurt sauce

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3) Cafe Jacquemart-Andre smoked salmon salad with fish eggs and black caviar tomato, steamed potatoes with dill sauce, and vegetable flan

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2) Angelina Chèvre Quiche and salad

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1) Le Bosquet Ravioli Gratin with salad: WINNER!

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Almost made the list: vegetable soup with baguette, seared white fish with tomato, leeks, lemon cream sauce

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Breakfasts of Paris

Breakfast Gallery

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TOP 5 BREAKFASTS

5) Moisan Bakery almond toast

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4) Chocolate Pistachio Escargot

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3) Moisan Bakery chocolate almond croissant

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2) Coquelicot pistachio almond croissant

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1) Almond croissant with Ova-Maltine baguette: WINNER!

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Almost made the list: Ova-Maltine on brioche toast and Carrousel du Pain tasting platter of almond croissant, pain aux raisins, and chausson aux pommel

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Last Day in France = Homemade Sushi

Monday, September 1, 2015

My morning started with yogurt from La Fermiere. This was the best yogurt I had in France – creamy vanilla yogurt with chestnut puree.

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You can see the vanilla beans in here! I took care of Alexandre for about 45 minutes in the morning while Maggie took a shower. We had breakfast together, then cleaned up and got dressed before he went to school.

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Thankfully the weather was just PERFECT today. Not too hot, but still sunny. There was a breeze and the air was the freshest it’s been. We decided to spend our day in Paris today. This is what we see for about 2.5 hours every day on our way to and from Paris.

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Today I made all the plans because yesterday was Seline’s day! First, I wanted to go to Du Pain et des Idees (Bread and Ideas), which in the St-Martin Canal. Last time we went, they were CLOSED! They recently reopened after their break in August. I bought lots of goodies because they are one of the top bakeries (maybe even the #1!) in Paris.

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They are famous for the chausson aux pommes, which is an apple tart, so I ordered one of these. I had this for “breakfast” at around 11:30. My yogurt was not filling enough to last me from 7:30-11:30!

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This is an original recipe by Du Pain et Des Idees and has half of a whole apple baked inside. The pastry was crusty, thick, and buttery perfection. If only this was hot and served with some milk.

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Seline had a bacon-cheese pave first, but we were a little hungry, so I got a pain au chocolat for her too. I took the first bite – a big one – and savoured every crispy, buttery layer and the melt-in-your mouth Valhrona chocolate. Quality ingredients really do make a difference. That’s what French cooking is all about!

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For lunch, we decided on Le Bosquet. We took the Metro to the Eiffel Tower area. It was this review, by Kevin and Amanda, that made me decide on Le Bosquet for my very last meal in Paris. Favourite meal in Paris? A must-see? YES. I needed to try this.

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Le Bosquet from the outside! We sat inside today. Unfortunately our waiter was not very nice and actually the epitome of a snobby French waiter. 😦 He didn’t seem passionate or knowledgeable about the food and didn’t give us a smile once, despite the hundreds of “mercis” we said.

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There was only one word to describe this place: modern. The terrasse was filled with locals and some tourists, but it wasn’t touristy despite being in the Eiffel Tower area. We got here at around 2:00.

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We were given complimentary baguette to begin. Seline liked these a lot and ended up finishing the entire basket. :O

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Seline ordered the combo meal – a starter, main dish, and dessert for 24 Euros. For the appetizer, she chose the half avocado with shrimp and a salad. I cut the avocado into thin Cindy-slices for her to top the baguette pieces with.

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I tried a bite. The filling was kind of like mayo + ketchup and I found the avocado a tad too firm.

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Of course, I had the ravioli gratin for my main dish. I don’t even know how to explain this dish because I won’t do it justice. It looks so simple and unassuming, like Kevin and Amanda pointed out, but this dish was heaven in a gratin plate.

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I freaked out after my first bite and Seline kept staring at me with wide eyes because I couldn’t control myself. This was so, SO cheesy. I think I detected ricotta, emmenthal, a bit of chevre, and spinach pureed into the ravioli. The sauce was simply cream, and it was topped with more grated cheese and breadcrumbs. I savoured every single bite and tried to eat as slowly as possible. This was one of the best things I’ve eaten all vacation. 😀

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The salad was only okay, though. I thought the leaves were bitter and the dressing a bit strange.

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Seline’s main was the duck confit, which was served with pan-fried potatoes and the same salad. She thought it was good, but not as good as my duck confit from Josephine Chez Dumonet.

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Her combo meal came with dessert, and she chose the two scoops of ice cream: one vanilla and one strawberry. It’s funny because those two flavours just happen to be her favourites! I was debating between the tarte tatin (apple pie) and creme brulee, but ultimately decided on the apple pie because I’d already had a creme brulee at Bistrot Richelieu.

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I’m not sure if I made the right choice. This was good, but I wasn’t in foodie heaven. I guess I still had that incredible ravioli in my mind and this didn’t quite live up to those standards. I was hoping for a thick, buttery tart crust with sliced apple, but these big apple chunks were tender and melted into a thin crust. Still good! The waiter added a scoop of vanilla ice cream free of charge. 🙂 I finished it all – this slice was BIG!

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Our last time walking back to the Metro – AKA our last walk in Paris!

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We got a final peek at the Eiffel Tower but only saw the tip.

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We zipped home and arrived at about 5:15. I was so sleepy on the RER and bus! We made sushi for dinner.

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Maggie taught Seline to fry the tempura while I played with Alexandre. Then we made the sushi rolls together and she showed us some interesting tips. I made my own roll. Unfortunately there was no crab or avocado, but we used fried egg, cucumber, and fried shrimp with mayo.

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Seline made her own roll, too 🙂 The knives were hard to use and I wish we had a bigger cutting board! Seline’s “sushi salad” was apparently very yummy.

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I had also picked up a loaf of bread, called “Pain des Amis” from Du Pain et des Idees. We cut it up and spread garlic-herb cream cheese on it. So good!

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I’m so happy that I had some of Paris’s best bread (with the best spread!) on my last day.

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For dessert, we had quite a spread! Some treats here are from Tholoniat, others from Liberte par Benoit Castel. We have a pistachio-raspberry cream tart, a chocolate choux, a millefeuille, a vanilla flan, two financiers (one “nature” and one chocolate), and a chocolate tart.

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Liberte is on the left, Tholoniat on the right.

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The chocolate choux was one of my favourites! There was dark chocolate cream in here.

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This was my plate. All four of us had a quarter of each pastry.

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The millefeuille was really good, and the chocolate tart rich and dark.

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This pistachio-raspberry tart had a very interesting taste and fluffy texture. I think there was mascarpone in here? The flan wasn’t bad. It was my first time having a sweet flan and the texture was different than I’d expected.

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I can’t believe today was our last day in France! 😦

Cinnamon Day

Monday, August 31, 2015

This morning I had a quiche! This was from Coquelicot. I just love that place! Nothing I’ve gotten from there has disappointed me.

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This was made with plenty of creamy chevre, zucchini, and tomato.

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The crust was really delicious, too. I put this in the oven for 15 minutes but it just wouldn’t heat up! I was so stupid because because I forgot that I could simply put it in the microwave… which is what I did after 🙂

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Alexandre and Seline had a good time plopping onto the couch. We played for an hour or so in the morning after his breakfast (chocolate cookies!).

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I made a paper airplane for him. He loves this “avion” (airplane). He always asks me to write his name on it, then he pretends to write with his special Ninja Turtles pen.

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In the morning, we stopped at Disney Village to browse the boutiques and see the lake. Did you know that it’s FREE to go into Disney Village? There’s just a bag check, but you don’t have to pay!

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I love, love all things Disney. Saw some adorable figurines, statues, ornaments, and notebooks. And keychains and plates and bowls. If everything was half-price, I’d probably buy half the souvenirs in the store :O

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Seline liked our morning, too!

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She got hungry a little while later. I was pretty steamed (MAD) because she didn’t finish her croissants in the morning. We bought two croissants for her from Coquelicot and she claimed she was full after one. So, evidently, 2.5 hours later, she wanted to eat.

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She decided on Earl of Sandwich in Disney Village, a sandwich (duh!) place that overlooks the river.

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We had a nice view and Seline ordered the chipotle chicken bacon sandwich with avocado. She liked it. I debated ordering a ham + brie sandwich because the thought of hot, melty cheese on toasted bread was tempting.

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It got super windy outside so we moved back into the building. Seline’s meal came with a Sprite and some chips.

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Then we hopped onto the RER! There was just one station to our next destination. The ride was only 3.5 minutes.

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I think we understand Paris transportation much better now. We always sit in the same spots on the RER.

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So, one stop later, at Val d’Europe, we arrived at La Vallee Village, the outlet! It was around 1:00 when I grabbed a 6 Euro quickie lunch at Pret-A-Manger.

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Again, WHOA! Can you believe this is French fast food? This cost less than a McDonalds Meal and was a gourmet salad with cucumbers, mixed greens, Scottish smoked salmon, wild crayfish, lemon, and a French-inspired Dijon dressing.

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It was so delicious! The bites with smoked salmon, cucumber, and greens were my favourite. I want to recreate this salad at home. Do you know why I decided on a salad? There were lots of other options – from sandwiches to toasties to soup to quinoa bowls.

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Well, I chose the salad because of THIS! Amorino is famous for making amazing roses with gelato. This classic cone (medium) was about 5 Euros.

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You can order as many flavours as you’d like, but I chose Speculoos, chocolate hazelnut, and pistachio. Speculoos is my absolute favourite gelato flavour. It’s cinnamon cookie and tastes like heaven. Pistachio was excellent too.

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After that, we went to the Sea Life Aquarium. We had a great time here.

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Some fish freaked me out. We both loved this octopus, which was really smart and cute.

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Unfortunately there wasn’t a shark feeding today! We headed upstairs to the mall. I thought it was cool that there was an educational aquarium and children’s play area right underneath a big shopping centre. We shopped at Auchan, a grocery store (I have a yogurt obsession. Seriously).

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After picking up shrimp, cabbage, and a cucumber for dinner, we headed home and AGAIN took the wrong bus! I swear I got it right this time, and I’m 100% sure we didn’t miss the right one. But for some reason, we took the wrong turn and Seline noticed something was wrong… so we ended up getting off and walking for 20 minutes.

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Dinner was cold Japanese noodles with pan-fried turkey and cucumbers. I sliced the cucumbers and chicken while Maggie made the sauce out of peanut butter, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, and water. It was excellent without the garlic! I went heavy on the sauce today and kept adding more. Peanut butter… yum.

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I picked up these desserts on a whim at Auchan! A chocolate molten lava cake and a Speculoos cheesecake.

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Seline wanted the chocolate lava cake and I opted for the cheesecake.

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You can never have too much cinnamon! Seline warmed hers up in the microwave and it spurted everywhere. Aww!

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Seline actually thought it was “pretty bad”. She wished the inside didn’t come out and wanted some cold vanilla ice cream with this warm chocolate dessert.

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Mine, on the other hand, was PERFECTION!

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The cheesecake part creamy and subtly sweet, with a hint of vanilla. The cinnamon cookie crumble was thousands of times better than a regular graham crust. What a special dessert!

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Alexandre shared a chocolate lava cake with Maggie 🙂 He ate lots today and finished most of the dessert. What a great eater! I think he’s gonna be a foodie.

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We played after dinner – Ninjas, ball, bubbles, puzzle, airplanes, drawing – before his mom took over and Seline and I took a rest. Tomorrow is our LAST DAY in France and we’re going to be busy packing in the afternoon! I’ve got exciting plans for the day and I can’t wait to show you what we do in the morning…