Access To Something French

My birthday is in a few weeks and a trip to France sounds like the perfect gift (hint, hint). 😉 I’m sure that even in France, April showers bring May flowers, a perfect Spring indeed. But alas, it’s not to be (unless I find a really cheap deal) so I’ll have to find other French plans.
Having access to NY and NJ makes it easy to find a French Restaurant but why isn’t there a town or street just for the French. There’s a Chinatown, a Little Italy, a K-Town, a Little Brazil and a Little India also certain neighborhoods are known for having certain people. Astoria has a Greek community and Brighton Beach has a Russian community. But where is the Town, Little or City for the French community? Or how about a single store totally dedicated to everything French like the new Italian “Super” market Eataly.
Correct me if I’m wrong but is there such a place anywhere in the NY Metropolitan area for the French?

Macaron Recipe

This morning as I was minding my own business I turned on the tv and sat.  I was trying to decide what to eat for breakfast and then…smack!  On the Today Show, Gesine Bullock-Prado (Pastry cook and Sandra Bullock’s sister) was showing us how to make…Macarons.  She was on the show promoting her new book, SugarBaby Cookbook.  I’m not sure if she has the recipe for macaroons but if you want it click…Here!  It looks too complicated, I’ll just buy mine 🙂   Okay so now what shall I eat?

Have a great day!!!

French Macaroons

About a year ago I had the pleasure of tasting my first French Macaroon.

A few weeks ago I had my first taste of a French Macaroon.  It all happened by mistake thought.  I went to the Macy’s food section looking at their chocolate and candy, I was looking for anything French they might have. Yes, I’m going through a French stage. I want to eat, read and learn the language.  Anyway, Macy’s had nothing so I left and decide to just walk and catch my bus a few blocks away.  But long and behold a few blocks away I came across a French Cafe, that’s what the sign said.  I walked in and there were a bunch of different flavors of MACARONS.  OMG! Just as I gave up!  I bought a few and the first one I tasted was a slightly red colored raspberry macaroon.  It was delicious.  As I left the cafe I glanced up at the sign again and it said, French Cafe MACARON.   I had totally missed the Macaron part of the owning the first time.  Now I’m in search for the next macaroon.

 

Since last year I’ve been on a scavenger hunt for the next macaroon.  I’ve found a few other places that have been good, not great. Great I’ll only find in France.  But no matter where in France I will not eat a macaroon from McDonald’s.  I read that they are serving macaroons at the Happy Meal Mecca.  Have you had a macaroon today?

 

Walking and Finding L’ECOLE

As I look out the window today, March, it’s snowing.  I wonder if it’s snowing in Paris.  But Paris is Paris rain, sleet or snow.  She’s lovely regardless…so I’ve heard, since I’ve never been.  Growing up the idea of going to Paris seemed like such a luxurious place, so unattainable to me.  But now I think I can make it there and until I do I can have a little Paris here.  During the holiday season my sister and I were doing a little shopping and walking around Soho and then we saw it, the French Culinary Institute.  Since I had to jump on a train home we weren’t able to sit and eat but I gawked at the menu for a long time 🙂  But I will be making reservations at L’ECOLE, the restaurant where aspiring great chefs prepare the food, very soon.

My Evolving French Palate

It’s been a year since I read French Women Don’t Get Fat but the book remains close by, either on the kitchen counter or on my nightstand.  The book has colorful sticky notes either indication what champagne to drink or a delicious recipe.  If I didn’t mention it before the book has a bunch of wonderful recipes.  I’ve tried 2 of the recipes.  The first recipe I wrote about on my food blog so I’ll copy and paste that post here for you to enjoy J

I made Mireille Guilian’s French Baguettes (a previous post).  I’ve never baked from scratch. Every cake, cookie, brownie or muffin I’ve ever made has come in a cardboard box.  So this was my first bread making experience. The first ingredient I opened was the active dry yeast and I was not ready for the pungent smell that it had.  I was just hoping that the smell would not linger on my baguettes.  The process of mixing was attempted by my hand mixer.  The dough was becoming thick and the harder the mixer worked the harder the dough fought back, then the mixer popped like a light bulb and stopped working.  Next step, kneading.  Kneading is not as easy as it seems on cooking shows.  I wanted to take pictures of the process. Yeah Right!  It was so sticky I couldn’t get it off my fingers and I was becoming frustrated.  So, after kneading, the directions said to let it sit for an hour but for some reason I read, “Refrigerate” for an hour. Needless to say the dough rising process never happened but I tried to shape the dough into breads anyway.  I ended up making 4 different sized baguettes that looked more like calzones.

I’ve tried this recipe twice and both times the baguettes looked like calzones.  I’ll have to try it again and let the dough sit, stand or rest overnight.

The second recipe was Mushrooms.  Years ago the mention of the word, “mushrooms” would make unknown muscles on my face move to show my dislike for the fungus.  But now my palate has matured and I welcome mushrooms into my diet.  So to my delight this book had an easy and great tasting recipe for mushroom.  The recipe is called, “fricassee de champignons sauvages”.  Sounds fancy but this recipe is super easy.  The recipe has no measurements just put some mushrooms, chopped onions, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil together in a pan, cook and eat.  Easy, simple and delicious.