December 29, 2011

bonjour from my parents couch

A week and a half ago we were wandering the streets of Paris, ducking into patisseries and boulangeries, sampling madeleines, pain au chocolat, brioche and baguettes. It was truly a foodie tour, guided by my fabulous foodie friend Tala, who has just returned to Paris after a decade in the States. Fortunately for us it didn't take her long to get back into the Paris swing of things - she's spent the last few months getting settled by scouting out the best bread and sweets in the city.

A lot has happened since we were in Paris. We traveled the familiar route from Zurich to New York and were welcomed home with lots of hugs and a whole lot of sugar cookies. We've given and received gifts and enjoyed the company of family at the dinner table. There really isn't much like Christmas at home, and this Christmas we split our time between homes, first with my family and then a stint with Zach's in Providence. The only hard part about being home is the reality that it will be a while until we are home again, especially at a time when all of our family has gathered in one spot.

And the travel continues - we are off to San Francisco to ring in 2012 with our dear friends Helen and Brendan who are celebrating their wedding on New Years Eve.

Before we leave in the morning a few favorites from Paris...
We had barely set down our suitcases before we headed out again to two boulangeries in Tala's neighborhood (the 9th). Our first stop was Lendemaine (the first picture) where we picked up a kugelhopf, an almond croisant, a plain croissant and a brioche and a baguette (they were awared 2nd place for best baguette in Paris, and after having tried the 1st place baguette later in the weekend I think their baguette is the best). Eager to assemble a sampling of goodies we headed up the street to Arnaud Demontel where we bought another kugelhof, a raisin danish and a few more croissants.

The awards went to the almond croissant and the baguette from Lendemaine. I'd fly back to Paris just to eat them again. The second award, not pictured, went to the madeleines and pain au chocolat that we bought at Le Grenier à Pain (the spot that won 1st place for best baguette). I bit into the chocolate croissant and was so delighted by what I tasted that the bite almost fell right out of my mouth. I quickly handed it to Tala to sample since she is the resident expert and would be able to confirm or deny whether it was indeed a good croissant and she agreed it was fabulous.
This is us eating gooey French cheese on a baguette while standing on a street corner in Monmartre. Is there really anything better?
Maybe this fish on a bed of pesto sauteed veggies that we had for lunch was better? It's really hard to say what the best thing we ate was because everything was so delicious and flavorful. I've been to Paris a handful of times but this was the first time that food was the focus of the trip, and it was definitely my best visit yet! All we did was eat and it was fabulous.
I've climbed up the Eiffel Tower and I've ridden the elevator, but I think the best view I've ever had of it was from Tala's parents apartment. It's right there, out their window. And you know what, they still get excited when the lights start to twinkle.

Thank you thank you Tala! we will be back! And next time I'm taking train back so I can load my suitcase with gooey cheese, preserves and cooking supplies.

So off to San Fran tomorrow and then to Florida for a bit before I head back to Zurich on the 9th. Hopefully I'll have a second to post again soon.


  1. Hi Talley,
    I've just started following your blog, but I have to tell you how much I love it! Your recipes are delicious, and your photos are so beautiful! I enjoy having a small "virtual vacation" every time I read. Have a great New Year's!

  2. Sounds like such a nice time, both in Paris and back home here in America! The food sounds incredible... I love trips that focus on food. ;) Happy New Year to you, Talley. Oh! And I have to tell you, for Christmas my mom gave me a thing of red lipstick (someone's been reading my blog, haha). It's a deep red but I'm saying it still counts. You better be wearing some red on your lips for that wedding! :)

  3. Oh, Paris. Is there a better city? Looks like a wonderful trip and have a grand time in San Francisco!

  4. Oh my gosh, so much deliciousness everywhere you go. So jealous you are in San Fran for New Years! Are you going to swing by Tartine? Please eat some bread pudding for me if you are. Happy New Year!

  5. Oh, it all looks so splendid. I hope the rest of your travels are as magical. I second should definitely stop at Tartine if you can! I haven't actually been, but Tartine Bread is one of the best parts of my weekly kitchen rhythm.

  6. Stunning pictures of bread caught my eye. I really like your blog! As an expat living in Zurich as well, it's great to read about other expats in the land of cheese and choci. Happy New Year! towe.