Friday, August 31, 2012

Paris Day 2

Chausson aux pommes

I woke at 5am this morning. By 7.30 I had ventured out to get some breakfast at the local boulangerie.
The goal today was to see as many things as possible without having to communicate - in fear of total humiliation at not being able to speak their language!
So that's exactly what I did. The man at my hotel highlighted a very simple route for me to follow for the majority of the day.
See lots, speak little!

And try really hard not to get lost.
I walked and I walked and I walked and I walked, till I could'nt walk anymore.
I saw things that were of beauty I can not begin to describe, really beautiful. Until you see them for yourself it is hard to believe this is all real. How does a city stay this beautiful? How does it smell beautiful (with the exception of the cigarette smoke),how does everyone look so good and the food - I have no words.
I love this small pocket of Paris, I could fit right in here - Babe lets get really rich and move?
When my feet could no longer walk another step, I high tailed it back to my hotel, for my new room was awaiting me.
And the room with a view is exactly that it is heaven, I love this hotel, then again I love Paris!
I'm in the room above - open windows
I unpacked again, got cosy, posted some photo's on Instagram and then decided I couldn't just sit here waiting for it to get dark (which at the moment doesn't happen till 9.30-10).
I'd been snacking all day, crepe's near the Eiffel Tower, baguette with Camembert & lettuce from Paul on the Champs Elysee's.
This was followed by my first French Onion soup at Cafe De Florewashed down with a very strong Pimms.
This soup was life changing, it was magic! Caramelised onions and soggy put firmish bread soaking in the most insane oniony beefy broth covered in a thick and oozing layer of greyer cheese which was crunchy on the rims of the bowl need I say more!
After this I wandered again still trying to find my bearing's(I figure walking around getting lost then trying to find my way back is the only way for me).I stumbled upon another Patisserie which I could not resistI could have eaten the whole shop (if there was any room left in my tummy)but what caught my eye was a Nectarine and Pistachio tart - obviously popular as there wasn't much left and a Raspberry tart (I have a MAJOR thing for Raspberries). Both came home with me. I was eating them for dinner, or at least that's what I thought!
I made my way back to my room (again), Instagramed (again), then thought cheese,
I need cheese!
So off I went again in search of some french cheese. I could have gone to any monoprix (supermarket) and found good cheese but I was pointed in the direction of a little Parisian cheese store close to where I ate breakfast.
'Androuet Fromager'
I stumbled in in hopes someone could speak a little english and was in the middle of explaining my stupidity when out from the back I hear an Australian voice - phew thank god, someone I can explain my stupidity too!
She helped me pick the most incredible raw milk cheese. I asked for stinky she gave me a washed rind that she suggested I get une demi baguette aux sesame (half a sesame baguette)and bring the cheese to room temp then scoop it out with a spoon and eat it with the baguette. To accompany this a milder goats which was firm on the outside but crumbly and sticky on the inside - a perfect match.
I ate them both and my cakes, I was stuffed. Thank god I walked for 5 hours!

Day 3 has just begun.x

 ©Michelle Schoeps 2013
All photos taken by Michelle Schoeps

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Arriving in Paris

Someone pinch me I'm really here!
I'm through the first day all by myself without even getting lost and only speaking five words of french!
Today is going to be even better...
I'm staying at a gorgeous little hotel called Hotel Saint Vincent in Saint Germain, my room (which I booked online) is not exactly what I was hoping for so I'll be moving today to the room with a view (or balcony at least).
Yesterday I started by walking down Boulevard Saint Germain and trying to find my bearing's, which for me is very hard as I have zero sense of direction! Everyone assured me I'd be fine and they were right I found my hotel, I had a meal all by myself at Brasserie Lipp - my lovely and very patient waiter tried to make me eat calf livers, but I politely refused. I struggled with my french (which I know very little).

After my late lunch I walked the streets in search of everything, I bought some chocolate's and fruit and then it was back to my hotel for a Perrier and bed.

 Flying in to France

 The drive to my hotel

 The most insane salted caramel buttery crunchy sticky pastry I ever did eat!

©Michelle Schoeps 2013
All photos taken by Michelle Schoeps

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tomato and Capsicum Soup - Two ways

Tomato and Capsicum Soup - Two ways

Is anyone still there?
Wondering what happened to me? Had I forgotten I had a Blog? Well briefly, yes!
I moved house and decided quite off the cuff to join a friend on a trip to Paris.
Yes, I did say Paris!
Those of you who follow me on instagram will be aware that I've not stopped cooking quite the contrary. But to find 5 min on my computer to write a post or edit photo's hasn't been a possibility in this house of late.


  Mostly my days are a blur, this is why I decided I'd go to Paris (I also have a very understanding supportive boyfriend who said, GO)! 
My blog has been in dire need of some TLC and lets be real, who wouldn't go to Paris if it were an option?

 So half hearted I've followed an eating plan that Anthia put together for me over the past month, so I could lose 5 kilos in the 
  lead up to my travels. A cleanse of sorts, I failed miserably I might say. But what I've learnt in the past 6 weeks is that moderation is the key - emotional eating is the enemy! 

My instagram photo's above were taken on good days and this Tomato & Capsicum soup I made was a winner. I made it in two variations and
I promised I'd post it - so that's what I'm doing!

Tomato & Capsicum Soup 
2 ways!
Bacon,chili,lentil & Coriander

Prawns,chili, borlotti beans & coriander 
I bought these insane baby heirloom tomatoes in Haberfeild the other day (locally grown and so delicious)
along with these tiny red,very sweet capsicums and fresh borlotti beans
So I washed the tomatoes, cored the capsicum and popped them into a baking dish along with some garlic and olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh chili (the mild version)
Roasted in a 175c oven for 45min -1 hour or until they are blistered and juices are released.
Now add them to a saucepan cover with stock and bring to a boil.
Let it cool a little, then push it through a sieve until all that's left are skins and seeds. Make sure you scrape the pulp off the underneath of the sieve.
If you're having dairy mix a little cream into your soup, but it tastes just as good without.
Make sure you taste your soup for seasoning and then serve with either one of these.
Soak and cook your lentil.
Crispy bits of bacon, lentils, finely chopped up green and red chilli's and coriander - Yum!
Fresh Borlotti beans - boiled until cooked (about 20 min) and then fried in a little coconut butter with prawns that are cut up into bite size pieces and marinated with hot and mild hungarian paprika, garlic, salt and pepper
 Whichever one you pick they're equally delicious.
I have not added exact quantities because there arn't any, make as much or a little as you like.
I'm not promising many more posts before I leave, but I do promise that once I'm on that plane I will be blogging. I won't be writing about what I cook (there'll be no cooking on this holiday), just a lot of eating and food exploring. Everything that 2 weeks in Paris can give me! 
A personal diary of what I did and saw - some family history, but mostly so I have a memory of that crazy spur of the moment trip I was lucky enough to take.
8 sleeps to go....

©Michelle Schoeps 2013
All photos taken by Michelle Schoeps