Recently in the category : Ate
Hey Peeps! It's that time of year again - July 14th is rapidly approaching and that means it's time for the :
5th Annual k&k Bastille Day Picnic!
What: 5th Annual K&K Bastille Day Picnic
When: July 14th, 2011
Time: 3:00pm - after the fireworks
Where: Esplanade des Invalides (See map below)
Why: To celebrate Bastille Day, make merry, and "Oooh" and "Ahhh" over fireworks.
Join us for an hour or two, or the whole afternoon/evening! Bring a bottle of two of wine, some water and whatever you want to nibble on. Glasses and napkins are a good idea, too. Maybe even a board game or deck of cards? Don't forget blankets to sit on and sunscreen for those that burn easily.
I, for one, am hoping for sun this year!
And Mother Nature is being contrary and it does rain, we'll be putting a contingency plan in place - ie. hanging out in a bar somewhere. We'll tweet and facebook about it all as usual if that happens! )
(click on map for larger view)
Leave a comment about this on the forum
Ate, Did, Drank, Franced, Met, Seen
Apparently educational field trips have become the name of the game in the Katia and Kyliemac Empire these days. A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to head over to a real French pastry shop with a real pastry chef : the delightful Camille!
Pain au chocolat ready to go into the ovens.
"Pain Choc" ready to be enjoyed!
Baby Choux for the Pièce Montée
This is harder than it looks.
This is made from...
...this. It takes a bit of skill. And practice.
It takes a while to construct one of these. It's definitely not a last minute undertaking.
Delicious goodies ready to be prepped.
Chocolates! This room smelled so delicious, it was hard to resist "sampling" one.
We watched these Mother's day treats get finished.
This view is one of the benefits of living in Paris.
Tarte aux fraises. Best when in season. Like now.
Obviously we couldn't go home empty handed, so we made a selection of four goodies to sample on the show. We thought four was very "sage" and not too gluttonous. It was a bit hard to narrow it down, however...
Here's what we chose:
"Symphonie" - obviously chosen since it shares the same name as our resident menace.
Fraisier - one that you will find in a lot of French pastry shops!
St. Honoré - another typical pastry you'll commonly find.
Karamba (hoped I spelled that right) - my favorite of the day, with caramel and pears!
If you want to
hear read more about Camille's adventures, you can head over to her blog at croquecamille.wordpress.com!
For our Easter adventure, we went down to St. Etienne to visit the Muffin Man's parents and it proved to be a very edifying visit. It always is!
Katia's in-laws arranged for us to go to a snail farm - a Snail Farm, people!! - where we learned all kinds of interesting snail stuffs which we talked about (in French!!) in Episode 432.5. But don't worry if you don't understand French, part of the episode is in English, too.
We asked some hard-hitting journalistic type questions like :
Just how does one choose the snail "studs*"?
And we also asked some other kinds of questions that may not have been so journalistically hard-hitting. Among them:
How fast does a snail go?
What do you call the cry of a snail?
Interested in the answers? You'll find the answers to all this and more in Ep 432.5.
Mme Fabbio gave us the grand tour of the snail farm and explained the whole process of snail raising to us. These are free-range snails!
Have you ever wonder what a snail playground looked like? No? Me either. But here's an example of one being prepped for this season's snails.
Mme Fabbio will plant the playground with all kinds of vegetables for the snails to feed on - there is even a little "electric fence" that keeps the snails in and slugs out. A "brumisateur" system is suspended over the park that sprays a mist on the little guys so that they don't dry out. They are delicate nocturnal creatures, after all.
Freaky fun fact : Apparently snails are both boys AND girls. But not (if I understood Mme Fabbio correctly) at the same time. (Yeah. Probably should have confirmed this one before posting this, eh?)
"Let me outta here!"
The underbelly of a snail. Slime-o-rama.
I'm ready for my close-up, Kyliemac!"
Snail eggs. Containing little itty bitty baby snails.
Freaky fun fact : The eggs can be eaten as caviar. (I suppose that this fact isn't really all that freaky, but I had never once thought about eating snail eggs before.)
Freaky fun fact : The snail reproductive system is found in their neck.
What is a snail farmer called in French?
Answer: A "héliciculteur" or, as in this case, a "hélicicultrice", which is a lot harder to say than "snail farmer". For me, anyway.
We had a lovely time visiting the snail farm and would love to go back in the Fall when it's in full swing and the garden play park is full of veggies (and snails) so that we can see the them (the snails, not the veggies)
running - crawling - sliming(?) around.
If you happen to be in her neck of woods, make sure to visit the snail farm de Mme Fabbio.
And tell her that Katia and Kyliemac sent you!
*stud (stallion) = un étalon
As listeners of the podcast know, I make no secret that September is my birthday month (Oh, and Frog's too). This year, since I have a year pass to Disney, I received a birthday treat from the folks at Disney - a free ticket to see Buffalo Bill's Wild West show! Huzzah!
The ticket was good for any day in September, provided I brought my Disney pass and some sort of (official) identification which shows my birthday. Which is the 4th of the month, in case anyone forgot (Oh, and Frog's too). I brought my passport.
Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show is in Disney Village, so it's not actually in the park, and you don't have to pay an additional fee to get into the park and THEN into the show.
Shows are at 6:30pm and 9:30pm everyday (save for Wednesday and Thursday, although there are some exceptions, so make sure to check the site) and lasts for an hour and a half. It's recommended to get there about half an hour before show time, since there is generally a line to get in. The food listed on the menu is heavy on the meat portion, but there is a vegetarian and a non-pork option available. Ask for that when you book your tickets or enter the show.
I got there plenty early and they opened the door at 6:00 pm on the dot. I heard a bunch of different accents and not all the attendees were small childrens with parents in tow.
Once you get in the doors, you file past the ticket takers who ask the number of your party and give you your tickets to get into the Arena - these tickets let the servers know what ranch you are on, what seating you have (category 1 or 2), and what kind of meal you will be having.
As we walked into the entrance area each of us received a cowboy hat that we got to keep. The audience is divided up into four different ranches with different entrances: the Gold Star, Red River, Blue Moon or Green Mountain Ranch. I was on the Green Mountain Ranch (although I wanted to be on the Gold Star ranch since a little bird (Janna) told me that Gold Star ranch usually wins).
While we waited in the "Saloon" for the Arena gates to open, there's a bar where you can buy drinks and a Photo Stand where you can have your photo taken with the Mouse himself. (I unfortunately forgot to pick up my photos after the show at a shop across the way).
The show is based on the actual Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show that was founded in 1883 by Colonel William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody. I always thought it a bit strange that there was a Wild West show just outside of Disneyland, but it made more sense when I read that the original show was actually performed at the Champs de Mars attracting more than 3,000,000 spectators. Not a bad turn out for 1905!
There are posters and explanations (in several languages) as well as some displays to take a look at before they open the main doors to the arena...
...and a shop, just in case you need a 'coon skin cap or a sheriff's hat.
There was a bit of entertainment before they let us in to the arena. One of the cowboys came out to perform on a little stage in the saloon - quick draw and lasso tricks. Then a group of musicians and Goofy came out to perform a few tunes.
Finally they let us into the arena...
I ended up in Great Seats with my Category 1 ticket, although I have to say that there didn't really seem to be a bad seat in the house. The seats flip down, like the "strapotin" seats (jump seats) on the metro, and it's a little bit tight, but I've been seated closer to people (like at the Moulin Rouge, for example).
Here is the site that greets you :
This is what is before you...
I am ready to play the part...
The show is a blast, although not recommended if you have asthma as the animals do kick up a bit of dust. I was surprised that the majority of the show was in English - although there was a bit of French, particularly when explaining what was going to happen in the contests. The show includes the obligatory Cowboys & Indians, as well as Buffalo Bill - Annie Oakley also makes an appearance!
I found the show to be entertaining. I had a great time and sat next to a French family of five that had been enough times to have all the different cowboy hats a couple of times over. The kids were 5, 11 and 15 and the entire family loved it (obviously).
There is a bit of audience participation in the shooting matches & a several lucky adults got to ride in the Stagecoach. Not me. (Not that I'm bitter. Even though it was my birthday.)
The food wasn't the best ever, but it was pretty much what I expected for such a large group of people. I didn't leave hungry. When you first sit down, there is a basket of chips (you share with others) and a basket with some slices of bread and some cornbread. The first "course" is chili, followed by some ribs, chicken and a tiny sausage along with some potato wedges. Desert is an apple cobbler with vanilla ice cream. Finally there was coffee (or tea) and some sweet treats (although that may be only for Category 1). Finally, a chocolate coin finishes off the meal. (The kids also received a cowboy hat keychain. I didn't. Even though it was my birthday).
The theatre was only about half-full the day I was there (Sunday 6:30 show) and it looked like just about everybody had Category 1 seating - this surprised the French mother, as she told me the other times they had come the place was packed.
Tickets are rather expensive - 70€ a pop for Category 1 & 56€ (Category 2) for tickets purchased the day of (kids tickets are a bit cheaper - and I've read that reservations are Strongly suggested, especially for certain times of year. Rumor has it there are ways to get cheaper tickets - so that may be an option worth investigating. (I'm subscribed to Disneyland newsletter and occasionally will get deals - for example pre-purchased tickets to Buffalo Bill five days in advance for a significant discount.)
*For better pictures of the show here's a link to another blog review of the show.
*The actor who plays Colonel Cody in the show has a blog. It hasn't been updated in a while, but here's the link if you are interested : click here.
One of the exciting events of my trip back home this summer was getting to Holland, Michigan where I had the chance to meet up with one of the Empire, Gilbert.
Gilbert was kind enough to spend the afternoon with me and act as tour guide, indulging all of my whims, which included checking out the Gift Shops of Dutch Village.
The first shoppe we stumbled into was the Candlemaking shoppe. The process itself is pretty interesting - the inside of the candle is clear paraffin, so when the candle burns it also glows.
We stood watching the artists cut the candles for awhile - it looks easy, but it takes a year to learn the skills to do this properly. Then we traipsed off to look at all the other treasures :
Aren't they lovely?
Next we found the fashion area, and unfortunately, I didn't find anything in my size.
Well, this sort of fit. Of course, we had to look at the appropriate footwear.
Very fashionable footwear.
I kind of want these...
These shoes, however, were much too big.
After our Dutch Village adventure, Gilbert led me to downtown Holland where we ate at Froggy's.
Of COURSE this is where we ate. How could we resist?
Cheeseburgers, Fries and Root Beer! YAY!
I think we need one of these for the studio.
After we spent the rest of the afternoon roaming about downtown where they were having sidewalk sales. We *may* have stopped for ice cream at some point.
And we ended the day with a Spontaneous Wine Tasting.
A huge thanks to Gilbert for his tour guide skills and for a fantastic afternoon!
(And the coconut m&ms that he sent back with me!)
Last week I got a chance to finally meet up with Ali of AliThinks who helped me out with some proof-reading for #thepaper.
Since it was a very warm day, I proposed to head over to Berthillon to get some ice cream - my first of the summer.
She agreed so we headed over to Ile Saint Louis to get us some from the Berthillon shop itself which was rather crowded.
There are lots of flavors to choose from - and handily translated into English as well...
I waffled between the Mint (Menthe) and Pear (Poire), but pear won out!
McMacaron on the left - La Durée on the right
In Episode 329, we had the delicious Rhino75 in the k&k boudoir for our taste test of the new McMacaron vs. La Durée. How did they stack up against each other? You'll have to listen to the episode to find out!
Share your opinions with us on the k&k forum!
In Episode 309 of Katia and Kyliemac V.O., I talked about the Galette des Rois that the boys, Mamie and I dined upon.
The galette is a flaky pastry cake, generally filled with frangipane (almond), and is eaten in January to celebrate Epiphany - the day the three wise men visited the baby Jesus.
Mamie couldn't remember the name of all three of the magi, and I could only remember what they brought the baby Jesus, so I had to look them up. Thanks google! So if it's ever a trivia question for you, here is the answer: Gaspard, Balthazar and Melchior.
If you want a far more eloquent explanation, and that from a French person, head over to Clotilde's Chocolate and Zucchini blog (she actually makes one!!)
So the 8-year-old popped under the table, since he's the youngest, to decide who gets each piece. It's a part of the tradition. And, to my surprise, named me as the first galette slice receiver.
Now, I've eaten more than a few of these with the boys, as well as with others, and I have NEVER found the "fève" - which is a little porcelain figurine hidden inside the galette. This year I can no longer say that. For the first time in my galette-eating history, I found the fève.
This means that I got the crown, which, yes, I still have somewhere...
Apparently, the Mayor of Paris offers those Parisians of a "certain age" a box a chocolates at the end of the year.
This is the interesting fact I learned today.
Here is this year's box -
From what I understand, this is something that was started by a previous mayor as a way to encourage fuzzy feelings for reelection and has since become somewhat of a tradition. This is also something that perhaps the current mayor would like to "supprimer"* - which would not make him very popular and perhaps discourage his reelection. Hence, at least for the time being, it's still a line item in the budget...
*supprimer = delete or eliminate
I found myself over at Galeries Lafayette the other day (one of the major department stores in Paris), and let out a squeal of excitement at the building, all lit up with bright lights and covered in christmas decorations.
I ooh-ed and ahh-ed for a while, then headed over to Lafayette Gourmet, the place where you can find pretty much anything you want to eat. For a price, of course.
But since when have they stopped carrying Cadbury? Or was I only imagining that they did?
Click to embiggen - I love that you can see the k&k chat and all ;)
Oh. And Steve was frisked before he left the building.
I would personally like to thank one Mr. Saville for managing to bring from the states the PROPER stuff to put on pumpkin pies.
the proper stuff in my humble opinion, of course. i'm sure others will be scandalized.
Mr. Saville, i thank you.
special thanks goes to Ksam who took the photo since my batteries ran out.
Whilst I might be fussy about things that come from the insides of animals (hello? tripe? brains?), I will eat just about anything that comes from the sea. Most Sundays we try to get to the market and pick up enough seafood for a couple of meals. I find it so exciting to discover different varieties of the same things we have in Australia.
At the moment I have a special penchance for oysters (especially the little round flat ones from Brittany), sea snails (it is imperative that bulots be eaten with freshly made mayonnaise) and razor clams (I fell in love with couteaux in Spain and now I can't get enough).
Occasionally we'll make it to the big supermarkets and get our fix there. It's kindof hard to get an idea of the scale in this photo, but behind the trays of bulots, langoustines, bigorneaux, crevettes grises and crab, was a spectacular fish, about a metre long. A couple of French people behind us gagged when they saw it. We giggled.
In terms of mushrooms, the pickings are slim this year (as we discussed on k&k episode 290), but there were lots of noxious mushrooms around.
But I did manage to find the motherlode of all Laccaria amethystea (Amethyst Deceiver). Whilst edible, my in-laws tell me that these are rather bitter, and are generally only added to a dish of mushrooms to add a splash of colour.
I just like to pick them. Cos they're pretty.
Dining at the 3 Michelin starred restuarant of Régis & Jacques Marcon in Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid was an amazing experience, one I will never forget - the company, the setting, the amazing food all made it a wonderful moment in time.
As promised in k&k episode 290, here are a few photos from our evening... To say that "this was the salmon dish" or "this was seafood" seems like it's almost a blasphemy to the combination of 17,000 other flavours present in each dish. My iphone photos don't do this incredible meal justice, but check out my flickr stream to see for yourself...
Note that there is not a single mushroom present in any of my dishes. Although there were a few things in the shape of mushrooms... Can you spot them?
un café gourmand was something i'd seen on a menu or two - i wasn't sure what it was, but assumed, using my stellar translation skills, that it was some kind of fancy coffee.
café = coffee
gourmand = gourmand
i was hopeful that it was something similar to an irish coffee.
a café gourmand is the normal little espresso which is a typical way of finishing off a meal in France - but in addition to the coffee, you also get a small selection of mini desserts - generally three or four. so it's a perfect way to end a meal if you want just a bit of something sweet - and don't want to feel like a glutton.
this is one that vivi enjoyed on my recent visit to see her in champagne - complete with some sort of delicious chocolate browning with "crème anglaise", mini magnum (ice cream), mini macaroon, and mini-creme brulée.
one of the perks of doing the podcast is having the opportunity of meeting many of you guys when you come to Paris for a visit. and very often you bring us treasures.
warning: the katia and kyliemac empire strongly advise avoiding the dark pink bottlecaps, allegedly "cherry". the empire takes no responsibility for those listeners not heeding this recommendation. eat at your own risk.
There is a stall in our local market that is always swarming with 3 times as many people as any of the other stalls. It's certainly not the cheapest stall, and the fruit and vegetables are not the prettiest, but it's the only stall that has locally sourced produce, with 100% of it from France.
Whilst eating locally is a trendy concept nowadays, it's hard for Parisians (or suburbanites like us) to access truly locally grown food. Where my in-laws live in the country, they have many more options - but for the Ile-de-France region, wiith so many people in such a small space, local produce can be really expensive, and it's cheaper for many people to simply go to the big supermarket chains and buy fruit and vegetables from other European countries, Africa or even as far as Asia or the Americas.
With our discovery of this single market stall - they only sell items that are in season and are grown from France - we've stopped buying fresh produce from anywhere else. Their stuff is so damn good that I don't mind paying more, and I feel like we can finally join the "trend" of moving towards a more sustainable planet... Hopefully more stall owners will follow the trend and fresh, locally grown produce will become more accessible to more people.
This morning, they had figs at the market... they were the best figs I've eaten in a really really really long time...
I've eaten 6 so far.
You've got to appreciate life's little pleasures where you can.
Today : a fresh pain au chocolat and a steaming, hot cup of coffee.
Sure, it's at my desk (where I'm spending much of my life at the moment), but I make sure I take the time to enjoy it.
There is nothing better for breakfast than the gooeyness of still-warm chocolate in my pain au chocolat.
The deliciousness of red wine, home made beef bourguignon and ice-creamy tiramisu put us into a food coma this afternoon.
But once we had dosed ourselves up with coffee, Muffin Man and I taught everyone how to play Carcassone.
Unsurprisingly, it got nasty, as insults flew around the room and we got very defensive over our "tiny men".
But boy is it FUN.
The Muffin Man and I spent a week in Lebanon visiting my sister and her husband (who were there to see his family), en route to Australia for a summer holiday.
Most of our time was spent eating, digesting, partying, sleeping and eating a bit more.
After a late night out, somehow we managed to get up early and found ourselves at Manara Palace, a restaurant on the coast road in central Beirut. After downing a couple of cups of strong Arabic coffee, we had the courage to face a buttery-honey-yoghurt mixture, beans and olive oil, man'ouche stuffed with all sorts of delicious things. And pickles. And arghilas (hookahs). At breakfast. All with the ocean at our feet.
There were even a couple of guys fishing, sitting on various posts set up for that purpose and snorkelling. It took all my will not to wade out and join them.
and one of the things i'll be stocking up on while i'm home...
(thanks to intern noonan and all the others who have sent us these delicious goodies!)
canelés have no cinnamon in them.
i thought that they would when i first heard the word: canelé. since the word for cinnamon in french is cannelle, the confusion is understandable. frog's mum explained that it was the shape that gave them their name.
while on our mini-break we made some of our own - well, actually, frog's mum made them - but we all watched. and here are the results that made a tasty dessert (here exhibited with vanilla ice cream).
Last night Animesh kindly gave us a gastronomic tour of Indian Paris. He started off with a lecture on the different types of Indian food (which included a description of soil types. yes, it was that detailed), and we rapidly found ourselves transported to India.
There were no saris involved. I was a bit disappointed about that, but I soon forgot about it when the food arrived. Yuuuuuum.
Forget the Frenchified versions that you find in most restaurants here, with too much butter and cream. For real Indian food in Paris, this place is it.
Bhai Bhai Sweets
83 rue du Faubourg Saint Denis
it's important to know that not all macarons are alike - the ones you can find in paris at ladurée or pierre hermé are not at all like the ones we had in saint-emilion. but that doesn't make them wrong, just different.
introducing the macarons de saint-emilion.
the three things frog's dad taught us that a good macaron should be:
you can hear about our macaron adventures at 33 minutes of episode 256.
In the Marais, during Gay Pride.
It's a splended cupcakery, and it took all my will not to buy all this deliciousness.
It was after midnight. Kylie, the Muffin Man and I were in the Studio, watching various SNL shorts, when a sugar craving came upon us.
We raided the freezer, coming up with a tub of vanilla ice cream. "I know just the thing to go on top!" I exclaimed. I rummaged around in the cupboard and found a bottle of Ice Magic* sent to us by a listener last year. The Muffin Man looked at me, perplexed. "It's chocolate sauce," I replied. "I'll bring it in to you."
Minutes later, I waltzed into the studio with 3 bowls of ice cream covered in Ice Magic. A look of wonder and surprise came over the Muffin Man's face as he tapped on the Ice Magic incredulously. "But it's GONE HARD!" He said. "Like Magic," I replied.
And thus was the Muffin Man's first experience with Ice Magic.
This hilarious moment was brought to you by Bliss.
* Ice Magic (Australian English) = Magic Shell (American English)
It still cracks me up, so I giggled the whole time I was making the icing for my cupcakes (3 types! strawberry, vanilla and lemon (pictured)).
Sucre glace = icing sugar
On brioche, in a pot of plain yoghurt, the French love their home made jam.
The Muffin Man makes his own jam, just like his mum does, just like his grandmother did, and just as I'm sure generations before her did as well. It's a thing of tradition. And of pride.
So when Variri gave us each a pot of her confiture, we knew it was special. (Either that, or she had made a bad batch and she was trying to get rid of it. hehe.)
It was damn good jam.
un pot : jar
la confiture : jam
See also : episode 246, towards the end.
Please consider eating your breakfast at home where you can freely retrieve crumbs that have fallen down your top, instead of at the office where you are obliged to excuse yourself from the room three times in order to perform retrieval operations. Pétit Dejeuner crumbs are itchy.
It's strawberry season in France. Which means I'm on the hunt for a special French variety called the Gariguette. They're extra-sweet, very fragile and far more flavour-filled than traditional strawberries (which are usually water-logged and uninteresting, needing copious amounts of sugar to make them tasty). They're well worth the extra moolah to get a generous barquette. Or two.
I poured a little eau de vie de fraise des bois on top, just because I could.