May 15, 2020

5 Things

Popcorn and rosé

1) Apéro

Paris in the springtime

2) Spring green

Pommes 🍎

3) Homemade applesauce happened during confinement (along with banana bread and a lot of homemade yogurt!). Apples courtesy of a neighborhood shop called Paysan Vrac.

Sunset (no filter!)

4) No filter

Ham, spinach and onion tart with goat cheese. Made it up as I was going along. (it turned out great!)

5) Spinach, onion, ham and goat cheese tart

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April 26, 2020

5 (Covid Confinement) Things


1) We have a great fromagerie around the corner, so we're still able to enjoy French cheese. Phew!

The nuns were back again for another impromptu concert!

2) The nuns at the Catholic maternity clinic across from our apartment have been coming out on their roof terrace to join the 8pm applause for the health care workers, and then staying on to sing a couple of songs for the neighborhood. Complete with tambourines

Mio Enzo

3) Zonked out

Sunday has become homemade pizza day 🍕#covidcooking

4) Sunday is now pizza day! This one from last week was sautéed red onions, red peppers and Spanish chorizo

Flour and eggs! These were two difficult to find items at the beginning of the lockdown

5) There were flour, egg and sugar shortages at the beginning of the lockdown, so when I walked into our local G20 grocery store and spotted this, I felt like I'd won the lottery

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April 18, 2020

Zucchini and Goat Cheese Tart - Day 34 of Confinement

Zucchini and goat cheese tart

As life has thrown us all a curve ball and we're advised to stay inside as much as possible, I'm heeding that advice. With that, I'm being extra conscious about not wasting food (something I will definitely be better at in the future!) and being creative with what has been lurking in my kitchen cupboards. I also, like so many others, have a lot of time on my hands to cook.

It's rare that I follow a recipe to the letter. When I cook I feel pretty comfortable swapping a minor ingredient or two if I don't have what the recipe calls for and if I don't think it will change the flavor of the final dish.

Last night I needed to use up some fresh goat cheese and zucchini, and after looking in my cookbooks and searching online, I found this tart recipe that looked interesting, but I still felt the urge to tweak it. I thought about swapping the walnuts for toasted almonds and omitting the honey entirely, but in the end I made it almost exactly as it was written (I used dried thyme instead of fresh - didn't have any - and fresh puff pastry instead of frozen) and was super happy with how it turned out!

Keep cooking, stay healthy and stay at home!

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April 15, 2020

Notre-Dame de Paris, As She Was


It's been one year since Notre-Dame de Paris was almost destroyed by a devastating fire. Sadly, the re-construction has been temporarily put on hold due to the Covid-19 virus lock down in France.

I so look forward to the day when her famous roof and spire will once again grace the skyline of Paris! The city isn't the same without her.

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April 1, 2020

Life in the Times of Coronavirus - Day 18 (17? I've lost track)

At la boulangerie

The New Normal.

Life has completely changed since France closed non-essential businesses and asked its citizens to go into confinement in mid-March. It was supposed to last for two weeks, but now has been extended until April 15. I think this came as no surprise to anyone and now we all wonder if it will be extended again. So we wait.

Fortunately, the boulangeries and fromageries are considered essential! I'm trying to avoid going out as much as possible, so every time I think about leaving the house to run and get a baguette or pop into the local fruit and vegetable shop, it's a mental tug of war of wanting to support local businesses vs. respecting the fact that we should stay inside as much as possible to avoid spreading this virus. The latter is winning. But when I do venture out, about every 5-6 days, I try to shop at the small, local places.

Day 16 confinement lunch

Obviously, tourism has been hit HARD, so I'm not working for the time being. This means I could be doing many things to fill my days, but I've found it difficult to focus. There's a great amount of uncertainty, not just for our future, but for many of our loved ones as well.
So I'm cooking. A lot. Much of my time is spent coming up with inventive ways to use up things that have been lingering in our kitchen cupboards and drawers. I'm thinking of it as a kind of therapy.

Looking out our windows at the (almost) empty streets is truly bizarre and sometimes it feels like we're the only ones living in our neighborhood. Then every night at 8pm, we know we're not alone. It's the hour when we join our neighbors by either hanging out of our windows or stepping out on our balconies to applaud the French healthcare workers*. It is truly moving, and is one of the ways we feel connected to each other during this "interesting" time.

Looking out the window.

I hope that you and your loved ones are staying healthy and sane. We are all in this together and we will get through this!

* who should all be granted sainthood when this crisis is over, in my opinion.

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