Sunday, March 30, 2014

Easter tradition

As a child, the Easter tradition is to enjoy a good meal with the entire family : 7 uncles and aunts, 12 cousins and 4 grandchildren. But the piece de résistance was at the end of the day: chocolate egg hunting. My sister and I had a strategy all worked out: work side by side until everything was plundered.
Last weekend, we kept the tradition alive with a little twist and my children were the hunters. So much sweet memories... and stomach pain. 

Here in France, the golden bells bring the chocolate. However, in Germany, the Osterhase or the Easter rabbit brings the chocolate. 

 Come... Come closer


Eggs filled with Hello Kitty charms

And chocolate

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Looooong weekend

A crafty girly girl dreaming about becoming a princess + a boyish boy fighting pirates on his way to the treasure island + looking for activities = a challenge for me. To put the cherry on the cake, the rainy weather makes sure you get stuck inside with two energetic kiddies. Sound familiar? 

I browsed my old friend : the web and found the Playmobil FunPark. I went, I saw, I'm not convinced. The park is a huge showroom separated by theme : princess, firefighter, dinosaurs, etc. and a small corner for little ones with Playmobil 1, 2, 3. Many examples of every Playmobil to avoid any fighting but you can not escape the screaming and the noise of exciting kids. My kids were running from one theme to another, they misplace everything. Imagine what 20 kids can do after 2 hours. The restaurant serves food from the top of the food pyramid and profusely (fast food and sugary treats). There is no cloakroom and few places to seat. Of course, you have to go through the Playmobil shop to get out but at reasonable price + parking is free. I went home exhausted and the kiddies overtired. The next day, we stayed home playing quietly with our new Playmobil (fairy and Playmobil 1, 2, 3, the farm).

Friday, March 21, 2014

A vos balais !

It's officially spring! It's my favorite season: a warm enough weather, just to wear t-shirt and a light sweater in the morning, flowers are blooming, the food is getting more colourful and exotic and finally, the best for me is the spring cleaning. Although cleaning is a burden, I like the end results : the shiny windows, the stuffy basement getting a new land fresh look, the sorting/throwing/donating and selling of the unused (not enough of those but working on it), the bees dancing around on our balcony. It feels like a reborn, just in the 4 seasons in Vivaldi. The coming year I promise myself to trim down on "stuff". Challenges stand ahead. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Nicely wrapped

When my morale is low, I indulge myself with sweet delicacies. In Paris, your choice is immense : from top pastry chef to local ones, from traditional to avant gardiste, … well  you can let yourself go, to let your eyes bulge out, your mouth water and your teeth sink into the sweetly-doodlely do sweet heaven.

I heard so much about him (Meilleur ouvrier de France 2004 in pastry-sweet maker). So I had to pay a respectful visit.
As I pushed the door open with trembling and sweaty hands, my expectations were high. I discovered a nice clean modern-looking shop, a patient lady who gave me explanations on the sweets.

Finally, I choose macarons (vanilla, chocolate and strawberry) and a fruity cake. My heart broke into pieces…  I was so disappointed!!!
At the 1st bite into the macaron, the texture was not what expected : the shell was too soft, the texture was more like a brownie with a ganache.
The fruity cake was fresh, bitter/sweet, a great balance between the softness of the mousse and the crispiness of the bottom&the nuts. However, the cake was still frozen in the middle, hence the watery taste. And as golden rule, a pastry should be a treat for all your senses and above all eatable entirely. The name of the artist was written on a vulgar not eatable cardboard. I would expected the sign in "pâte à sucre" or in chocolate at least. I was not pleased at all !!!