May 31, 2011

Life in the South of France

Lentil Salad

"Is this all you guys do around here? Eat and drink?"

I look at their faces, the lines of consternation etched in their foreheads and I glance down at the table strewn with dishes, empty wine glasses, empty bottles and bagutte crumbs.
The typical scene after a 6 hour Sunday lunch.

Our friends and family visiting from the States are often taken aback by our long lunches and the way we savor food and wine. I think they find it very decadent.

No, I tell them, it's not all we do...

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May 29, 2011

Photo du Jour - Floating Garden

Barge Herb Garden

A canal barge herb garden, floating on the Canal du Midi. Now, this is my kind of gardening!

This week's entry to Your Sunday Best, hosted by A Rural Journal and to Sunday's in My City by Unknown Mami.

Unknown Mami
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May 27, 2011

The Winners!

I would like to announce the winners (chosen by a random number generator) of Corine Gantz's book, Hidden In Paris.

So without further ado...congratulations to:

Ashley of Summer in the Garden
Giulia of Bricolage
Aidan from Conjugating Irregular Verbs.

Thank you all for taking the time to comment. I really wish I had a copy to give to each and every one of you! Remember, if you didn't win, you can always purchase a copy of Hidden in Paris on

The winners will receive an email from me tomorrow.

Thanks again everyone! Pin It

May 26, 2011

Photo du Jour - A Quiet Café

Café Chairs

A quiet Paris café. Pin It

May 24, 2011

La Fête du Fromage - La Couronne des 3 Seigneurs

La Couronne des 3 Seigneurs

The sweet, fresh flavor of La Couronne des 3 Seigneurs perfectly embodies the mountains of the Ariège Pyrénées, where this goat's cheese is produced.

There is nothing complex about about this delicate fromage férmier, all around it is very easy on the senses. There is almost no aroma, the texture is soft and fine and it has pleasant flavors of fresh milk, mellow citrus and a hint of salt. Yet for such a mild cheese, we thought it was fantastic!

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May 22, 2011

Photo du Jour - Spanish Shutters


The simple, rustic doors and colorful shutters in Spain were heaven for me and my camera! My favorite place for photographs was definitely the old fortress of Peñíscola.
Whitewashed houses, colorful tiled balconies and flowers growing everywhere. All set against the stunning backdrop of the blue Mediterranean.

My contribution to Your Sunday Best at A Rural Journal.


Don't forget to leave a comment on the previous post to win a copy of Corine Gantz's new book, Hidden in Paris. The drawing will be Friday, May 27. Pin It

May 20, 2011

Hidden in Paris - A Giveaway!

“In a tale of friendship, self-discovery and love, three women running away from their lives become unlikely friends in a beautiful house in the heart of Paris.

I've been following Corine Gantz's colorful, exuberant blog, Hidden in France, for years. The bold interior design and decorating photos she shares are some seriously beautiful eye candy and her prediction last year that canelés are the new macarons made me cheer (please tell me that it came true, I am so tired of seeing macarons everywhere).

Imagine my delight when I received an email from her earlier this month offering me three copies of her debut novel, Hidden in Paris, to give to my readers.
My first ever giveaway!

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May 19, 2011

Photo du Jour - L'Ancien Quartier

Old and New

Antiquated shop signs, peeling paint, faded wood, modern plastic gutters, phone and cable lines, TV antennas. The ancient quartiers are an intriguing mix of old and new. Pin It

May 16, 2011

Inspiration From A French Market

Marseille Market

French markets inspire! How can they not?

Walking through our local market, I can't help but be seduced by the juicy berries, the snappy green beans, the tender lettuce, the shiny eggplant.

Each season has its highlights, which require only a minimal amount of effort in the kitchen, so planning a menu is easy. Simply purchase the freshest fruit and vegetables and mix and match with eggs, meat, cheese, more fruit, more vegetables, whatever you're craving.

Right now the stalls are piled high with asparagus, strawberries, radishes, artichokes, spring onions and spring garlic.
Here are a few recipes to tempt you.

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May 15, 2011

A Mediterranean Perspective


Sea and sky. Shells and sand.

Submitted to My Sunday Best, hosted by A. Rural. Journal.

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May 12, 2011

Photo du Jour - Where the Streets Meet

Charming Corner

In Peñíscola, Spain. Pin It

May 8, 2011

Why Are the French So Rude?

Street in Cassis

The answer is simple:  They Aren't.

Ok, prepare yourselves for a bit of a rant...

I am so over reading message boards where tourists describe their brief time in France and complain endlessly about everything from the lack of ice cubes in their drinks, to the smaller sized beds, to the restaurants that won't serve them dinner at 5:30pm, to the locals who won't "bother" speaking English.

And I hate to have to point fingers here, but it seems like the complaints are mostly written by North Americans and residents of the British Isles.  Maybe other nationalities are complainers as well, but since I can't read Japanese, Swedish or really any other language other than French and English, I don't know what they're saying about the French.

le café

Please let me reiterate;  in my opinion, the French population in general, we're talking about all 66 million of them, are no more rude than residents of other countries of the world. Even when dealing with visitors who don't want or care to respect their unique traditions, customs and way of life.

I mentioned the stereotype of the rude French waiter in a post the other day and almost everyone commented that they had never encountered one.
So I think it is time to squash this stereotype!
What do you think? 

The only reason I started reading those message boards in the first place was to offer help to people planning a visit to or moving to France, so I have nobody to blame but myself. I've decided to stop reading them. Pin It

May 6, 2011

Photo du Jour - Texture

barn door and stone details

The color and texture of old stone and wood. Pin It

May 4, 2011

My Café in Paris

Paris Café

It didn't take me long to find "my" café during the week I spent in Paris last December.

My hours at the fromagerie meant that I was up and out the door before most of the city's inhabitants had even gotten out of bed. That first freezing cold morning I simply made a beeline for the only open café in the neighborhood.
I knew I would need a serious caffeine jolt and some filling, buttery pastry before jumping on the Métro and heading to work.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

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May 2, 2011

La Fête du Fromage - Tome Fleurie de Brebis

Tome Fleurie de Brebis

This generous, slightly battered wedge of fromage de brebis was brought to me by some friends who took a skiing trip to the Hautes Alpes in February.  
Un vrai cadeau!

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