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Search Results for “paris”

  1. Saturday, July 26, 2008

    Au Revoir, Paris!

    We are back in the states. SO SAD. Paris was fabulous! There is no other word for it, and everyone should go at least once in their lifetime. The food was fantastic and I took more pictures than you could shake a stick at. Make sure you keep scrolling and scrolling…I just posted a zillion pictures, which was only about half of what I have to share…but I just had to draw a line! ENJOY!

  2. Lunching in Paris

    We ate lunch at this traditional French restaurant one afternoon. Have I mentioned how much I love prix fixe menus? They RULE. Oh, and I love having tip included in my check, too. Anyway, back to the food.

    You just have to love this front window, vegetarian or not.

    Nate ordered chicken, thinking it would be rotisserie. It wasn’t and it actually wasn’t that great. But I loved the haricots verts (green beans) that came with it.

    And we finally had boeuf bourguignon, which was AWESOME.

    I also insisted that we order crème brûlée since we were in France. I’m so glad we did. I don’t ever really like crème brûlée, but I would eat it every chance I could if I lived in France. It kicked custard butt.

    (quick note because I hate it when my pictures don’t look the way I want them to…this restaurant was DARK…I’m lucky I could get any shots of the food. sorry the pictures are kind of yellow)

  3. Tuesday, July 22, 2008

    Ah, Paris!

    Right now I am sitting in my Paris apartment munching on French cookies…

    …and gazing at the Eiffel Tower. Is this really my life? I don’t believe it.

    Paris is unbelievable. I honestly think it is safe to call it the most beautiful city in the world, with more to do than one can imagine. 1 week is simply not enough time. Our apartment is literally steps from the Louvre, Musée D’Orsay & the Seine. I could live here forever, well except that I might end up with brain damage from multiple concussions due to the mansard roof. I have much to report on and oodles of deliciously French food to share with you. Until then, help yourself to some baguette, viennoise and pain au chocolat.

  4. Monday, November 27, 2017

    Week 560 Weekly Menu from Rachel Faucett of Handmade Charlotte: Eat. Make. Groove.

    Hello! I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving filled with the best food! We did…and we’re still swimming in leftovers. My family has informed me they are done with Thanksgiving food, but I beg to differ. We shall see…

    Guest Weekly Dinner Menu from Rachel Faucett of Handmade Charlotte (Week 560 Menu on @janemaynard)

    Today’s guest menu is fun and different than anything we’ve ever had on the blog. It comes from my friend Rachel Faucett, the founder of the blog and company Handmade Charlotte. Rachel and I initially bonded as roommates on the ONE-Heifer trip to Malawi I took a few years ago (here’s proof). My connection with Rachel is something for which I will be forever grateful. There is seriously no one on this planet like Rachel. She has boundless energy and creativity and is hysterical to boot. When I was asking friends if they wanted to write a guest menu for my blog, she was the first to jump in, immediately responding with ideas and inspiration for dinners, crafts and music. I told her to run with it and now here we are. Grab yourself a cup of coffee, sit down, and enjoy a trip through Rachel’s meal planning brain, which is unlike any meal planning trip you will ever take.  Thank you, Rachel, for creating a menu that is just so you.



    This ricotta ravioli looks so beautiful and so deliciously inviting!

    Week 560 Weekly Menu on @janemaynard from Rachel Faucett: Sail a Ship Kite


    I adore this Sailing Ship Kite! I think I may try to sail away to Neverland on it. Will you join me?


    Chill out to Yo La Tengo – My Little Corner Of The World while you enjoy your delicious dinner.

    Week 560 Weekly Menu on @janemaynard from Rachel Faucett: Embroidered Leaves


    This is such a great fall crafting project.

    Week 560 Weekly Menu on @janemaynard from Rachel Faucett: Studio Anorak


    Flip through this cool magazine.


    All good vibes here!


    Week 560 Weekly Menu on @janemaynard from Rachel Faucett: Soup in a Pretzel Bread Bowl


    Soup meets glorious bread bowl in this brilliant combo!


    WOW! I’m in love with everything from this shop!

    Week 560 Weekly Menu on @janemaynard from Rachel Faucett: DIY Hair Ties


    How fun and adorable! Let’s make these hair ties with Lunch Lady magazine!



    Dinner is a walk in the garden with these gorgeous pizzas!

    Week 560 Weekly Menu on @janemaynard from Rachel Faucett: DIY Paris Doll


    J’adore everything about these DIY Parisian Dolls!

    Week 560 Weekly Menu on @janemaynard from Rachel Faucett: How to Paint a Mural

    DIG IT:

    We love everything about Winter Water Factory and painted our studio a pattern from their fall collection!


    Listen to Come On, Come Over by Jaco Pastorius



    Order in from your fave take out place!

    Week 560 Weekly Menu on @janemaynard from Rachel Faucett: Sew on Patches!


    Sew Patches All Over Your Clothes! Check out these Etsy finds:


    Week 560 Weekly Menu on @janemaynard from Rachel Faucett: Fried Eggs and Charred Tomatoes Toast

    Week 560 Weekly Menu on @janemaynard from Rachel Faucett: Blackberry Slab Pie


    Mix it up and eat breakfast for dinner under your table! Try these awesome Fried Eggs and Garlic Toast and this Potato Skillet Bake! And for dessert? This Blackberry Slab Pie will be gone in seconds.


    Watch silly home videos, or make some new ones!


    Draw silly pictures. Can you sketch a silly portrait of your siblings or parents?


    Week 560 Weekly Menu on @janemaynard from Rachel Faucett: Grilled Pimento Cheese


    Nosh on these melt in your mouth grilled pimento cheese sammys!


    Rock out with these DIY Rock Candy Magnets!


    Get your groove on with this cool Putumayo jam!


    Week 560 Weekly Menu on @janemaynard from Rachel Faucett: Stuffed Butternut Squash


    Make some Stuffed Butternut Squash for dinner!

    Week 560 Weekly Menu on @janemaynard from Rachel Faucett: DIY Marbled Mugs


    Marbled Mugs! One for each person in the family! Fill them with Hot Cocoa afterwards!


    Fill your crafted mugs with the most amazing Hot Chocolate ever!

    AS USUAL…please share your dinner plans in the comments! And, in honor of Rachel, share something that inspires you in addition to food!

  5. Thursday, October 8, 2015

    What to Eat in New Orleans, i.e. How to Give Yourself a Food Hangover

    Last week I went to New Orleans with my mom, sister-in-law Cora and sister Anne with one goal: to eat tons of food. We not only achieved our goal, we did so with flying colors. Actually, too many flying colors. By the third night I felt strange. Physically strange. I think it was a food hangover. Listen, I’ve been known to put down a lot of food in my day, but New Orleans just about did me in. And it was totally worth it. Man, the food is awesome. And beyond food, the city is beautiful, the people are friendly and the music is the BEST. New Orleans has captured my heart. (As well as my stomach!)

    Cabildo Alley | New Orleans | What to Eat in New Orleans from @janemaynard (photo by Cora Wallin)Cabildo Alley. Photo credit: Cora Wallin

    As we prepared for the trip, Anne made us all do research and put it in a Google doc so that when we were on the ground we’d be ready to go! Of course we didn’t get to half of what was in the doc, but we did a TON in our 3 1/2 days in NOLA and I honestly can’t believe how much food we ate.

    Jackson Square | What to Eat in New Orleans by @janemaynardJackson Square

    If you follow my very enthusiastic advice and visit New Orleans (you better!!!), here are all the delicious/wonderful/interesting/fun places you should visit!


    Ruby Slipper Cafe (Days 1 & 4…we started and ended our time in New Orleans here!)
    My friend Kalli visited NOLA just one week ahead of us and recommended the Ruby Slipper Cafe, stating that the biscuits were the BEST THING EVER and that she wished she had just ordered biscuits and bacon as her meal. I do agree that those items were delectable, but I am SO glad we ordered other items, too. Honestly, Ruby Slipper really stands out for all four of us as a favorite from the weekend. Here are some of our Ruby Slipper top picks! (Click here for full menu and descriptions.)

    • Chicken St. Charles: I could eat this for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s UNREAL. The fried chicken is divine, the egg was poached to perfection, and the tasso sauce finished it all off beautifully. (Side note: Tasso ham is a southern Louisiana specialty.)
    • Eggs Blackstone: This was my first meal in New Orleans and, let’s just say, it set a very high bar.
    • One word: BISCUITS. Best biscuits we had all weekend.
    • Bananas Foster Pain Perdu: This French toast was one of my mom’s favorite foods from the whole weekend. Delish!
    • We didn’t imbibe at Ruby Slipper, BUT their alcoholic breakfast drink menu was extensive and delicious sounding. It’s always 5:00 somewhere, right?

    Chicken St. Charles from Ruby Slipper Cafe in New Orleans | from @janemaynard

    Biscuits from Ruby Slipper Cafe in New Orleans by @janemaynard

    Eggs Blackstone from Ruby Slipper Cafe in New Orleans by @janemaynard

    (>> Find out more…)

  6. Thursday, June 4, 2015

    Snapshots from Malawi: Lights Out

    Last night our power went out. First at 8:45 pm for just a minute or two, then again at around 10:00 pm for an hour or so. I was folding laundry and had to hold a flashlight under my arm to complete the task. I didn’t get to finish watching an episode of Damages. We had to brush our teeth in the dark. It was rough. {Italics appearing in the role of Sarcasm today.}

    snapshots from malawi: electricity in malawi | photo by karen walrondPhoto credit: Karen Walrond

    I jokingly said to Nate that I must have brought back the “Spirit of Malawi” with me, i.e. constant power outages. Nate asked if that really happens a lot in Malawi and I was like, “Um, pretty much ALL THE TIME” and then proceeded to rattle off all kinds of interesting yet discouraging facts about the state of electricity in Malawi.

    Before my trip to Malawi, ONE mailed a binder filled with information about the country and the various foreign aid groups that we would be visiting and learning about. One of the many statistics I read was that only 9% of Malawians are connected to the electrical grid. That’s right, 9% of Malawi has electricity (only 0.4% of rural Malawi), which means 14 million Malawians do NOT have electricity. While reading that number was both shocking and thought provoking, actually visiting Malawi and talking to the people about the problems with electricity was incredibly eye opening. Every site we visited is impacted by electricity (or the lack thereof) in some way, from homes to businesses to hospitals and more.

    snapshots from malawi: electricity in malawi, ESCOM control center | by @janemaynard

    The country has only 350 megawatts of generation capacity. For comparison’s sake, Nigeria generates over 4,000 megawatts and the United States generates over 1,000 GIGAwatts annually. Essentially, it’s no comparison. And the 350 megawatts Malawi does have is not sufficient to meet current demands. They would need 400 megawatts just to cover the 9% of Malawi now on the grid.

    snapshots from malawi: electricity in malawi, ESCOM control center | photo by karen walrondPhoto credit: Karen Walrond

    We had the opportunity to meet with Oliver Pierson, Resident Country Director at Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), and Patrick Kadewa, Systems Operations and Power Trading Manager, Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM), as well as take a tour of the National Control Center for ESCOM.

    Oliver is an American living in Malawi managing a $350 million dollar project that MCC has in place to improve Malawi’s electrical grid. MCC is an innovative and independent foreign aid agency created in 2004 by Congress (with strong bipartisan support) that is doing work to fight poverty in many countries throughout the world (see more about MCC here). In 2013 MCC signed a 5-year compact with the government of Malawi aimed at improving the generation, transmission and control of electricity.

    snapshots from malawi: electricity in malawi, ESCOM control center | photo by karen walrondPhoto credit: Karen Walrond

    Oliver and Patrick both shared such an abundance of information with us I could write a book. This is but a wee blog post, so I’ll do my best to keep it short. Here are a few of my main takeaways from those conversations:

    • The National Control Center keeps a constant eye on the electrical grid, tracking problems and helping to resolve them. Patrick said their job is to balance supply and demand at all times. For example, ESCOM controls “load shedding” (similar to rolling blackouts experienced in California when power demands are high). Load shedding is necessary to keep the system from collapse. Without these planned blackouts, the entire electrical grid would go down. And, even with this vigilant eye, the electrical grid does in fact crash. That means the ENTIRE COUNTRY has a blackout at the same time. I asked Patrick if that happens often and he said, “Oh, no. Just four or five times a year.” (Me, responding in my mind while quietly nodding, “WHAT?!?!?!?!”)
    • Power blackouts are not just an inconvenience, they have a significantly negative impact on the economy and the ability for Malawi to develop as a nation. While we did experience a blackout ourselves near Lake Malawi, talking to people and finding out what a huge impact these blackouts have was for more informative than my small experience at a hotel. Some buildings have back-up generators, but those are expensive to run, often break down and are not the norm. Hospitals are especially vulnerable to blackouts, affecting care as well as the storage of precious vaccines. The milk bulking groups that we visited also suffer from unreliable electricity, losing all of their milk supplies with extended blackouts. That means the farmers who walked or biked kilometer after kilometer to deliver their milk to the facility completely miss that income. These are just a few examples, not to mention what daily life is like for most Malawians living without electricity entirely.
    • Malawi’s power is all hydro, generated from 3 dams on the Shire river, one of which is in need of serious repair (an MCC project). Solar is looking like the best secondary option, but coal is being explored as well. I personally have hope for solar. For example, the Ivanpah Solar Power Facility in California generates 392 megawatts. Patrick said the biggest challenge with solar was cost, which is not a surprise considering the Ivanpah facility was a $2.2 billion project. Installing solar alone is not all that cost-prohibitive, but getting the batteries to store the energy nearly doubles the cost. Despite these challenges, one example of successful solar power use in Malawi is the Lilongwe airport, which runs entirely on 1 megawatt of solar power.
    • MCC employees are almost entirely Malawian. This was a theme I saw time and again among the groups doing sustainable foreign aid work in Malawi – employing locals makes the work far more effective and long lasting.
    • MCC’s compact with the Malawian government is for $350.7 million. The Westfield mall in my neighborhood is currently getting a “beach chic” makeover for $300 million. Just some food for thought.

    snapshots from malawi: electricity in malawi, ESCOM | photo credit karen walrondPatrick getting his thank you gift for the tour! Photo credit: Karen Walrond

    Thinking about the issue of electricity in Malawi is overwhelming. Talking to the people who are working on the system, however, is inspiring. It cannot be denied that they have their work cut out for them but they keep at it valiantly, despite the challenges of ESCOM’s antiquated system.

    snapshots from malawi: electricity in malawi, solar light| from @janemaynardSolar light used at night by the Mtika family in their home

    So, what’s the point of today’s post? For me the two biggest messages are this. First, the less than 1% of the U.S. budget that goes towards foreign aid is doing phenomenal work. For the price it takes to renovate a mall we can make significant improvements in the lives of millions of people. We need to keep letting our government leaders know that we support these programs (organizations like ONE help us do just that!). Second, the problems are vast and complex, but we cannot and should not give up. Just like the workers we met from ESCOM, you do the best you can with what you’ve got and continue to work hard for better.

    snapshots from malawi: electricity in malawi, village kitchen | from @janemaynard

    snapshots from malawi: electricity in malawi, village kitchen | from @janemaynard

    The Mtika family (who I introduced you to last week) does not have electricity. Each day they put a small solar light on the roof of their maize silo, which is what they use to light their home at night. Their kitchen is in a separate building from their home, with efficient fire-powered clay ovens that they use for cooking. This kitchen is a huge blessing compared to what others have, yet there is still no electricity. Over the last four years the Mtika’s lives have improved significantly while working with Heifer International, but the lack of electricity is still a huge challenge. When I hear the statistic “91% of Malawians do not have electricity,” I think of the Mtikas, their kitchen, and their smiling faces. And I hope that one day they too can enjoy the benefits of electricity and so much more.

    I traveled to Malawi as an expense-paid guest of The ONE Campaign ( and Heifer International ( We visited to see the economic progress””and the lives changed””made possible by U.S.-funded programs and Heifer International’s donor-supported programs.

    ONE is a campaigning and advocacy organization of more than 6 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. Not politically partisan, ONE raises public awareness and presses political leaders to combat AIDS and preventable diseases, increase investments in agriculture and nutrition, and demand greater transparency in poverty-fighting programs. ONE is not a grant-making organization and does not solicit funding from the public or receive government funding.

    Heifer International’s mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. For more than 70 years, Heifer International has provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Heifer is currently working in more than 30 countries, including the United States, to help families and communities become more self-reliant.

  7. Thursday, April 30, 2015

    The Best Lemons in the World Are Actually Limes + Why You Need a Lemon Press

    Today I have a story to tell. After the story there’s a really good kitchen tip. So, you know, make sure you keep reading to the end. Which of course you would do anyway because I’m such a good storyteller, right?!

    why you need a lemon press from @janemaynard | pictured: bearss lime tree

    Our house came with a lemon tree in the backyard. A big, beautiful lemon tree that grows the best tasting lemons in the world. There was just one problem – the lemons kept getting this weird brown spot on the bottom.

    why you need a lemon press from @janemaynard | pictured: bearss lime tree, overripe fruit

    We researched the issue and came up empty. Our gardener thought maybe it was a deficiency of some sort and asked other gardeners about it. Everyone was stumped. Then, one day, Nate noticed a blue tag on the tree. He flipped it over and discovered the tag had words on it and the words were these: Bearss Lime.

    why you need a lemon press from @janemaynard | pictured: bearss lime tree

    WHAT?!?! Our lemons were limes! Our gardener was like, “Oh man, I love Bearss limes! The way the tree was pruned I just never thought of it!” Now that we knew what kind of tree it was, our research was much more fruitful (pun intended) and we discovered that our yellow limes with brown spots on the bottom were actually just overripe.

    why you need a lemon press from @janemaynard | pictured: bearss limes

    In our defense, Bearss limes can grow really big and really yellow. I think Bearss limes should be renamed Trick Lemons. I mean, seriously, look how yellow those two overripe limes are in the picture above!

    why you need a lemon press from @janemaynard | pictured: bearss limes

    The reason our lemons were the best tasting lemons in the world was because they were actually limes. My lemon bars? Lime bars. Our neighbors’ favorite lemon chicken? Lime chicken. The list goes on. Lemon or lime, we love the tree and Nate makes the best lemonade, I mean limeade, you ever did taste.

    why you need a lemon press from @janemaynardOwen says, “Hi!”

    Story’s over, kitchen tip time! If you don’t have a lemon press, aka citrus squeezer, get one! Seriously, I’ve been wanting a lemon press for years and finally, two weeks ago, I popped onto Amazon, found one that looked good and hit “buy.” I bought the Bellemain lemon squeezer and I love it. It is super sturdy and perfect for lemons and limes. Click here to check it out!

    why you need a lemon press from @janemaynard

    I now consider my lemon press an indispensable kitchen tool and don’t know how I lived so long without it. Take note: when you start squeezing, go slow or you’ll end up with juice all over your kitchen.

    why you need a lemon press from @janemaynard | pictured: squeezed bearss limes

    Happy juicing!

  8. Thursday, April 23, 2015

    Candied Pistachios + My Visit to the Super Secret Club 33 in Disneyland

    You guys. Candied pistachios. How have I never eaten or contemplated their existence before? As much as I want to talk about these delectable little nuts, we first need to talk about where I discovered them.

    Recipe for candied pistachios, inspired by my visit to Club 33 in Disneyland

    A few days ago I received a text from my dear friend Mindy inviting me to be her date for dinner at Club 33 in Disneyland. I’ll admit, I had to Google it. I had never heard of Club 33 and, as I read about it, I found out why. It’s a “secret” restaurant in Disneyland located directly above the Blue Bayou restaurant and the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. As I kept reading I realized that I absolutely needed to accept Mindy’s invitation, drive to Anaheim, pay to get into Disneyland and join her for a 5-star dinner at this mysterious restaurant for fancy mice.

    Recipe for candied pistachios, inspired by my visit to Club 33 in Disneyland

    Walt Disney had Club 33 built so he could have a quiet and elegant place to host sponsors of the park. He took great care in planning the details, including replicating a Parisian elevator that he and his wife loved dearly. Sadly Walt passed away before the restaurant was completed, but it opened nonetheless. It has a “secret” entrance with a doorbell that you ring to announce yourself. And, if you ask Disneyland employees about Club 33 or where the entrance is, they’re supposed to act like it doesn’t exist. Kinda fun, huh? It’s also the only place at Disneyland that serves alcohol…very expensive alcohol, I imagine!

    Recipe for candied pistachios, inspired by my visit to Club 33 in DisneylandThe windows in the second story of that building in New Orleans Square are the Club 33 lounge. Now you’re in on the secret, too.

    Mindy’s parents are members of the club and they were kind enough to have me join them for dinner on Tuesday night. (I’m super glad Mindy’s husband had to work this week! Thanks, Tyler!). Club 33 was updated a few years ago so now it includes a lounge and bar area in addition to the restaurant. The lounge and bar are stunningly beautiful, with all kinds of fun details, like paintings that magically change over time.

    Recipe for candied pistachios, inspired by my visit to Club 33 in Disneyland

    When Mindy and I arrived, she let me ring the doorbell (hence, the “ooooo!” face I’m making). We were then escorted up a beautiful staircase to the lounge area. When it was time for dinner, we entered the dining room, where the tables were set with Club 33 china. Everything was beautiful (I know I already used that word a million times, sorry), with great art on the walls and “fanciness” abounding.

    The food was delectable. Truly. We had 6 courses and dinner was 3 1/2 hours long. Even after eating over that long time period we were still STUFFED. Everything we ate really was beyond delicious (hello, tender filet mignon, I am in love with you) and the waitstaff was lovely. My meal consisted of such goodness as cornbread coated fried portobello mushrooms, scallops on a bed of deliciousness that I have no idea what it was made out of, filet (I already professed my love), molten lava cake that was as good as what I make at home (that is the highest compliment I can give a lava cake) and more. It was a fantastic dinner!

    Side note: the bathroom wasn’t anything to sneeze at, either. In fact, I could live in it. Happily. Forever.

    Recipe for candied pistachios, inspired by my visit to Club 33 in Disneyland

    One of our favorite parts of the night was when it was time to leave. The park had been closed for almost 2 hours at that point, but we soon learned that all the lights stay on at Disneyland through the night (insert everyone making the same jokes about electricity bills and solar panels). One of the Club 33 employees had to escort us out of the park, I presume so we wouldn’t get into any mischief with Goofy or something. Walking through the streets of Disneyland with everything aglow and not a person to be seen was, well, magical! (Come on, I have to use the word magical at some point in this post, right?) When we walked by the Mary Poppins cafe, I half expected Julie Andrews and the penguins to come dancing by. And, no, we were not allowed to take photos, which was killer!

    Recipe for candied pistachios, inspired by my visit to Club 33 in Disneyland

    I owe Mindy and her lovely parents a huge THANK YOU for a wonderful evening I won’t soon forget! I even came away with a special treat for you, too – candied pistachios! My second course for the meal was frisée salad with avocaodos and strawberries, which was topped with a wonderful buttermilk dressing as well as candied pistachios. How have I never thought to candy pistachios before? They are, hands down, my favorite candied nut and should be served on all salads from now until the end of time.

    Recipe for candied pistachios, inspired by my visit to Club 33 in Disneyland

    Enjoy your candied pistachios and know that this is what the fancy mice eat.

    Candied Pistachios
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
    Inspired by the candied pistachios served on my frisée salad at Club 33 in Disneyland.
    Serves: 1 cup
    • 1½ cups raw, shelled, unsalted pistachios
    • 6 tablespoons sugar
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    1. Mix together the sugar, water and salt. Set aside.
    2. Preheat oven to 350º F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
    3. When oven is heated, stir sugar mixture well then add pistachios. Stir to coat all the nuts very well. Spread pistachios evenly on the baking sheet, spooning them onto the tray rather than pouring straight from the bowl to minimize extra sugar mixture pooling on the tray.
    4. Bake for 8 minutes. The sugar should be bubbling on the tray.
    5. Remove from oven and immediately stir the nuts around on the tray with a rubber spatula, making sure all those nuts get a nice coating of bubbly sugar. Spread the nuts back out evenly so they are either not touching each other or just lightly touching. Let cool completely.
    6. Serve over salad or ice cream or cake or whatever suits your fancy! At Club 33 they served these nuts on a salad with avocado and strawberries and a buttermilk dressing I wish I could replicate.


  9. Tuesday, April 1, 2014

    Pretty Food: Brie Phyllo Torte with Fresh Raspberries

    Years ago my friend Liz hosted a cheese party at her home. If you showed up with a bottle of wine, she gave you a plate of cheese! Okay, so it was actually a little fancier and more involved than that. She had gone to who knows how many cheese shops and gathered who knows how many cheeses and had them set up at different tables, organized by strength. Have you ever been to a cheese tasting? It’s really fun! You start with the mildest cheeses and work your way up. And you JUST EAT THE CHEESE. Leave the bread and crackers at home, this experience is about really tasting the cheeses, appreciating the nuanced differences of each type. It was a delicious, educational and fun night that obviously left an impression on me and changed the way I looked at cheese.

    brie phyllo torte with raspberries from @janemaynard

    There truly is an art to cheese, one that I am woefully uneducated about but also very much appreciate. Nate lived in Paris for a few years back in the day, so we have a bias towards French cheeses. When I had the chance to work on a post for Président, trying out one of their recipes and sharing it with you, I jumped. We love brie and camembert and love to buy Président when we indulge!

    brie phyllo torte with raspberries from @janemaynard

    A few years ago, Nate and I went to Paris together. We ate so many wonderful foods, including cheese of course! As I was looking through Paris photos this morning to include in this post, I laughed when I discovered the very first photo I took in Paris was of a small round of Président camembert we bought on our first day in that marvelous city! No wonder that’s the cheese I always buy – we can enjoy a bit of France right here in California!

    Président Cheese in Paris from @janemaynard

    By the way, les crèmeries are to Paris what Dunkin’ Donuts are to Boston. I couldn’t believe how many cheese shops there were, and they all looked like this. No wonder the French have mastered the art of cheese.

    crèmerie in paris from @janemaynard

    The recipe I am sharing with you today comes from Président’s website, where you can find all kinds of easy gourmet recipes. I chose this particular recipe because it not only sounded delicious but it was downright pretty. This beautiful torte would be perfect to serve at any party, but a cheese party would be especially lovely. It can serve as a nice alternative to the straight-up cheese tasting but still fit into the theme of the evening. Also, even though the torte might look intimidating to make, it actually is quite easy to throw together. You can totally impress without the stress!

    brie phyllo torte with raspberries from @janemaynardparchment paper strip for brie phyllo torte with raspberries from @janemaynardbrie phyllo torte with raspberries from @janemaynardbrie phyllo torte with raspberries from @janemaynardbrie phyllo torte with raspberries from @janemaynardbrie phyllo torte with raspberries from @janemaynardbrie phyllo torte with raspberries from @janemaynardbrie phyllo torte with raspberries from @janemaynard

    Also, this food looked gorgeous at every step of the cooking process. Sorry for all the pictures, but I just couldn’t help myself.

    (>> Find out more…)

  10. Tuesday, January 21, 2014

    Streak-Free Window Cleaning

    Today’s post has absolutely nothing to do with food. Wait, I can bring it back to food. I know I can. Give me a second…okay, I’ve got it! Today’s “Kitchen” Tip is just what you need to get your kitchen window shiny clean so you can be a happy cook and make amazing FOOD.

    the secret to streak-free window cleaning from @janemaynard

    When Nate and I were first married we were washing our trusty old pick-up truck at his grandparents’ house. It was time to clean the windows when Grammy (of Grammy’s Orange Chicken fame) handed me a stack of newspaper when I asked for paper towels. I was like “Wha? Wha?” and she was like “Yup! Yup!” Okay, those may not be direct quotes, but you get the drift.

    So, yeah, it’s true! For streak-free window cleaning use newspaper (a.k.a. newsprint) instead of paper towels or cloth towels. It works soooo much better. It sounds crazy until you give it a try. I have a ton of plain newsprint from when we moved so I’ve been using that, but you can use regular old newspaper with the print on it. It doesn’t matter. Your hands might be dirty by the end, but your windows will be sparkly clean!

    Let’s do a comparison, shall we? Here is my front room window after cleaning it with paper towels but before the newspaper treatment.

    the secret to streak-free window cleaning from @janemaynard {before shot}

    Seriously, that’s a “clean” window. Well, I thought it was clean until the morning light came shining through the next day. I immediately grabbed some newsprint and glass cleaner and got to work. Here is the “after” shot:

    the secret to streak-free window cleaning from @janemaynard {after shot}

    There is no way I could have gotten it that clear with paper towels. I tried!

    Here’s the view through my super clean window – crisp and clear!

    the secret to streak-free window cleaning from @janemaynard

    I’ve used newsprint to clean mirrors and windows – I especially like using it for the inside of the windshield in my car. (I’m sort of a clean windshield nut.)

    So, next time you need to clean some windows, grab the glass cleaner and a bunch of newspaper. And send happy thank you vibes to Grammy McCarthy!