Tag Archive | dessert

Wordless Wednesday : Eggnog and Meringues for the Holidays

‘ Tis the season to fill our bellies!

Homemade eggnog with cinnamon, with homemade vanilla meringues. Yum!

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(not so) Wordless Wednesday : While in Versailles – Pause Macarons

When visiting Versailles, we decided to walk the distance from the Grand Trianon to the Petit Trianon. Close to the Petit Trianon, there was this charming place, where the historical building had been partly taken to install a souvenir shop and a small café. There we ate the most delicious macarons we had the chance to eat while in France.

As you can see, we were pigs. We took two of each kind, thinking we would bring back to the hotel what we didn’t eat.

Except, we ate them all. They were just too good. Our favorite : the dark chocolate-raspberry macaron.

We left with our belly full, ready to witness more history.

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Review : The Sweet Life in Paris

The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz
Pages : 260
Genre : Non-fiction, Memoir, Recipes
Stand alone
My Rating :

What it’s about :

Moving to Paris to build a new life, american pastry chef and cookbook author David Lebovitz realizes this is, indeed, a different life France has in store for him. Through memories and recipes, combined with good humor, the author shares his experience of adapting to a new culture.

My Thoughts :

One thing is for sure : when reading The Sweet Life in Paris, you’ll get hungry. Better stack a bunch of cookies and a good cup of coffee by your side for the trip!

From the simple “chocolate mousse” to the decadent “cinnamon meringue with espresso-caramel ice cream, chocolate sauce and candied almonds”, Lebovitz punctuates each chapter with delicious recipes. Most of them will put your sweet tooth in appetite, though there are also a few more meaty recipes to make sure you don’t overdose on sugar, such as “pork ribs” and “warm goat cheese salad”.

Yummy!

The recipes weren’t the only part of the book I enjoyed though. Lebovitz narration is honest and funny and takes you right into the Parisian life. I loved revisiting the city through his eyes, which was a much different point of view from the one of a tourist, like me a year ago (and hopefully, soon again!) It’s less about the architecture, the art, the landmarks, and more about the gastronomy and the cultural differences. Oh,and the language barrier, of course.

I do think the book could have been shortened a bit. Not that it was really long from the start, but because I found there was some repetition in the narration, and sometimes between the chapters.

Whether it’s because you want to experience a bit of the Parisian life, because you’re hungry for new recipes, because you love to travel and learn about other cultures, or simply because you already enjoy David Lebovitz’s amazing blog, The Sweet Life in Paris is a sweet way to feed both your heart and your stomach.

Wordless Wednesday : Sugar Overdose

Cookie inspiration : Becky Bakes

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Review : The Christmas Cookie Club

The Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Pearlman
Pages : 270
Genre : Fiction, Holiday!
Stand Alone
My Rating :

What it’s about :

Every year, on the first Monday of December, the Christmas Cookie club gathers at Marnie’s house. This year again, the twelve girlfriends are getting ready to share wine, cookies, and the stories that make their lives.

The Christmas Cookie Club was a nice read, although a bit different from what I first expected. The complete story takes place in a single day, the day when the Cookie Club is meeting. Although there isn’t really a “story” in the traditional sense of the word, the book still kept me interested. Ann Pearlman made me feel as if, for a moment, I was part of the group – maybe like a little bird peeking on everyone’s conversations.

So, after reading so many reviews of the book last year, I was looking forward to finally reading it. The first 50 pages of the book were so depressing, for a while I thought I was reading the wrong book. Between them, Marnie and her best friend Charlene share an awful lot of sad stories : death of a husband, loss of a child, being cheated on, violent relationship… you name it, it’s there.

Luckily, as I turned the pages and the other girls arrived at Marnie’s house, things lighten up a bit and the book started to fill with the Christmas spirit. I found that the characters’ stories made them real, and I felt that, despite the number of characters in such a small number of pages, I knew who they were. Each chapter introduces a new cookie recipe (and they are so, so yummy looking, I’m absolutely going to try them!), and ends with an ingredient’s story. This made the book really easy to read little by little or, should I say, one bit at a time!

The voice of Marnie was easy to relate to, which surprised me since I had little in common with her – she’s a woman in her fifties about to have her first grandkids, for a start – but her loving personality made it easy to care for her. Because she is the narrator, everything is of course told from her point of view, which means she knows some things about her friends, and ignores some others. In spite of her group of friends taking a huge importance in the book, I couldn’t help but feel that this was, before anything, Marnie’s story. Through her friends life, she was telling her own. She admits to that easily though :

“Sometimes I can’t get my mind around the different versions of me, Marnie. And yet the friends who met the other adaptations of me through the decades are still part of my current life. Witnesses, when we’re all together, to my whole existence. I love them as I love myself in all my varieties and aspects. And I love them for the spectacular women they are, each in her own way. (p. 73)”

So, all in all, I really enjoyed this book. It was also the perfect read for this time of the year : the Cookie club meets soon before Christmas, but it’s not about Christmas. It’s about love, friendship, family, giving, and… cookies, of course!

And if you enjoy the book, or want to start your own cookie club, be sure to get your hands on this :