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This isn’t Paris, this is Strasbourg, but it is also very pretty.

Well well.  It’s been a few weeks since I last posted, and let me tell you, I’ve had a good few weeks.  I spent Thanksgiving in Europe visiting friends (and cities) I haven’t seen in awhile.  Did you know the euro is almost even to the dollar now?  My credit card surely does.

The majority of my trip was in Paris, where I was staying with my friend Maria who has an absolutely lovely apartment in the 5th.  As soon as I left the RER train from the airport, I was greeted by a market just opening for the day.  I walked through slowly, and eventually stopped in front of an oyster stand to take in the wide variety of bivalves available.  The owner of the stand saw me staring and offered me an oyster to try.  I protested that I didn’t have any cash, but he said “pas de souci” and gave me a beautiful, icy, briny oyster to start my trip.  A good omen of what was to come.

I’m awful at taking pictures of food before I eat it, so my apologies that all of the photos in this blog are of animals.  I just can’t bring myself to photograph a dish I want so badly to start eating!

However, I do want to offer recommendations of where to eat in Paris because it is one of my favorite cities.  I want everyone who goes there to feel like they can eat incredible food and don’t need to be stuck with the touristy restaurants.

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Last night, we dined on lobster.  By we, I mean everyone else but me because I’m not obsessed with lobster nor do I enjoy lobster goo all over my pajamas (I always wear pajamas to dinner).  My cat, the lovely Jethro, got to meet his lobster friends before they were steamed in a wine broth (a nice way to go).

This is the picture story of what happened.

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“What are these things?”

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I don’t know why, but I felt the need to take a month off.  A month to have my one job be selling tacos.  I made a lot of food, a lot of tasty food, but I didn’t want to document it, I didn’t want to take perfect photos or take imperfect photos and then feel as if I couldn’t write about it.

I wanted to make food to make food.  I made goat cheese cheesecake and white chocolate and basil ice cream.  I made cakes and cookies for my work fellows, who were greatly appreciative.  I also caught up on Pretty Little Liars and started watching Orange is the New Black.  So all in all a productive month for me.  Right?

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I’ve graduated!  I’m done!  No more classes, no more registering for classes, no more grades, no more papers, no more readings.  No more nothing.  Well besides the real world and a real job eventually.

graduated cat

graduated cat

I start work immediately, but I luckily somehow have three days off my first week.  This means I have three days to sit in the sun (actually will be rain) with a lot of sunscreen and a cat.

And three days to drink sangria (and gin and tonics if I’m in the mood).  Along with my sangria, I’ll probably serve some nice cocktail foods.  I’m a grazer, not a meal eater, so I tend to snack all day on little things.  I’m at home so I’m going to allow myself to splurge on items like burrata and fancy prosciutto.  Because why not?

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So here’s the deal.  There’s this award.  No one ever wins the award, but in a sense everyone wins the award.  What it really does, though, is promote new bloggers, those with less than 200 followers, and allows them to get recognition.  It strengthens the food blogging community.  The award goes out to various new bloggers from other new bloggers creating little knots of bloggers so we all get to read each others posts a bit more.

Its The Liebster Award.

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When I first started blogging, a measly 4 months or so ago now, I kept seeing this award pop up on blogs I’d begun following.  And I was kinda sad that I didn’t get one, since it seemed everyone else did.  But hey that’s living in our voyeuristic society for ya.

As I continued blogging, I became less concerned that I wasn’t immediately receiving tons of awards and praise, and more concerned with what I was putting forth into this world.  I started sharing what I was writing with my facebook friends (this for some reason terrified me, as if everyone would judge me when I made a typo), and even would talk about it at parties, as a proud mama to a lil baby blog.

I like having this blog because I like to cook, I like to tell stories, and I like to put the two together.  Plus I feel as if I am slowly becoming a part of a community of bloggers, people who love food and spend as much time thinking about it as I do.  I’m finding my niche, as some would say.

Cat in niche.

Cat in pillow niche.

I also like to share photos of Jethro because he’s just so darned cute and sweet and I want the world to know about this awesome cat.

How The Liebster Award works: someone nominates you (in my case the lovely abrooke65 over at What’s Cooking who shares some pretty awesome recipes, especially middle eastern inspired ones that always make me hungry, check her out, you won’t be disappointed) and then you must post 11 facts about yourself, answer the 11 questions that the tagger has set forth for you, choose 11 questions of your own to ask whomever you choose to nominate, and then nominate 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers.

11 Facts About Me:

  1. I’m a history major but I’ve never held an internship, instead preferring to sell gourmet hot dogs and tacos for a living.
  2. I have a summer house in The Thousand Islands where I first learned how to make pie and bread.
  3. When I was 4 years old, I wanted to be a lawyer just like my father and would draw pictures of myself in a suit with a briefcase.  This changed as I grew older.
  4. Spanish food is my favorite type of food.  I hate eating full meals, tapas are better.
  5. I’m allergic to milkweed, or at least I think I am.
  6. My sisters are both 7 inches taller than me.
  7. I was a tennis champion in high school (division 2, but it counts).
  8. Wine over beer, gin and tonics over everything else.
  9. I tend to work best in the early morning but I also like to stay up late and need at least 8 hours of sleep a night.  So basically, I nap a lot.
  10. I want to live in a different country for a long period of my life.
  11. My favorite movie is Heathers.

11 Questions to Answer

  1. What is your favorite cuisine? Spanish
  2. How do you solve a tough problem? I’m not sure.  I tend to figure out what I want to happen and then because I want it to happen, I will work really hard at it.
  3. One thing about yourself of which you are proud? I’m basically a cat whisperer.
  4. Most triumphant moment in the kitchen? Pineapple rosemary sorbet for Christmas dinner a few years ago.
  5. One word which you hate to use? Yummy.
  6. Name one location that you want to visit? Everywhere.  But right now I really want to go to South America.  Or Thailand.  Or Laos.  Although I’ve wanted to go to Morocco and Israel for awhile as well.
  7. Who is at your dream dinner party?  All of my best friends, my cat, and Alan Cumming to keep us entertained.
  8. Your favorite hobby or avocationBesides baking?  Either tennis or reading or working.  Yeah I like to work.  Not schoolwork though.
  9. What’s your dream job? Cookbook writer or editor or someone who gives food tours.  Something where I don’t have to work a 9-5 nor do I have to sit down, well ever, and I get to eat.  A lot.
  10. City life or country life?  Both.  I like farms but I also like to be surrounded by people.
  11. On a Saturday night stay in or go out?  Out.  And then come back in to watch a movie with a bottle of wine.
Answer well, or Siegfried will bite your toes.

Answer well, or Siegfried will bite your toes.  He does look hungry.

My 11 questions for the nominees:

  1. Who do you admire most in the food world?
  2. What was the first food item you ever made?
  3. What is your favorite city in the world?
  4. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
  5. What can you not live without?
  6. What’s your favorite movie?
  7. What food do you hate?
  8. What do you feel guilty about?
  9. What was your worst moment in the kitchen?
  10. Who is the one person you want to meet?
  11. What do you look for in others?

And my nominees!  Some of whom have definitely been nominated before, so no harsh feelings if you don’t respond to everything.

The Furious Pear Pie– who definitely has a thing for tea.  Which is wonderful.  Plus she shares great stories and recipes and really makes you feel as if you know her.  She has her own writing style as well, something that is hard to come by.

Maple and Saffron– I adore this blog of a Canadian and an Italian who love food and travel.  Also they do travel tours, which I personally find fascinating.

Olive Oil Diaries– This blog by a quite young blogger is adorable.  She’s clever and always has interesting middle eastern recipes to share.  Plus she loves olive oil.  Always a great thing.

The Baked Road– This high schooler can bake.  She likes to play with different ingredients and clearly has a grasp on what odd flavors can work together.

A Taste of Wintergreen– I love the lovely food that Lindy creates over at her blog.  When I first started this blog, my roommate and I would pour over her recipes and salivate.  We’ve made a few as well, and they’ve all turned out quite nicely.  Also Lindy’s from Canada, and I love Canada.

Happy Baking Everyone!

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Kitty reflects on baking and mice.

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Now, I know a lot of people go to the beach for Spring Break, and that’s great for them.  Really it is.  But I’d much prefer to be at home, lie in a large, comfortable, sluglike outfit for the better part of every day, and eat cheese.  Much more pleasurable than sucking in my stomach for perfect facebook bikini photos.

I eat a decent amount of cheese at school.  I would say when I buy cheese (once every two weeks) I generally buy three types and then spend one week eating it and the next week wishing I’d been more judicious in my cheese binges.  Especially if I had bought something special, like Roquefort or Comté.

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