Lemon-Blueberry Ricotta Scones

Lemon-Blueberry Ricotta Scones

When you are a stagiere (read, lowly intern) in the cuisine/pastry business, the days have a way of blending into each other. I woke up one day, and summer was over. Fall greeted me with a gust of icy wind as I opened the gate of my apartment building to walk out into the darkness – it was 5:30 am and I was on my way to work. People who say that everyone is rude in Paris have not encountered the men that sweep the streets at the crack of dawn and always greet me with a friendly ‘Bonjour’. It is something small that makes me smile every morning when all I want to do is crawl back into bed.

Prep for Lemon-Blueberry Ricotta Scones

During the first few weeks of my stage I discovered muscles I had never known existed. My hands and arms were covered with cuts (they hadn’t even given me a knife yet!) and my legs with bruises from bumping into every surface imaginable. I remember my doctor handing me a list last year when I was diagnosed with a knee defect: “Don’t kneel, don’t squat, don’t climb the stairs as far as possible”. Ha! I’d like to see his face if ever sees me at work. The physical exhaustion was something I had mentally prepared myself for; it did not stop me from waking up with stiff muscles, groaning as I took every step and from sometimes falling asleep at 8pm, exhausted beyond belief. When one of my friends asked me how tough it was, I told her to stand and just stay there for the next 10-12 hours, then double that effort. I still have it easy being in pastry; I have friends in cuisine who are working 13-16 hours a day.

Prep for Lemon-Blueberry Ricotta Scones Continue Reading…

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Weekend French Toast

Brioche french toast. #WeekendBreakfast

When I was growing up, french toast was a special weekend treat. My sister and I would cajole mom to whip us a batch and then eat our jealously guarded share while watching Sunday morning cartoons – there was always a fight over who would get the last slice. Only, this was probably not the french toast you grew up with, because it was a savory version that I now believe is common in South Asia. There were only three ingredients – eggs, salt and day-old bread that was fried till it was crisp and golden, to be eaten with ketchup. And this was always my definition of french toast. In fact, one of the first arguments my boyfriend and I had (although I’m absolutely sure he doesn’t remember it) was over french toast – he’d always had it sweet, and I could not possibly imagine why anyone would want to eat it that way.

French toast fixings Continue Reading…

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Photo of the Day: Hiking the Tuscan Hills

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Hiking from one breathtaking Tuscan village to another. #EarningMyFlorentineSteak

{Taken on hike from Pienza to Montepulciano, Italy}

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Photo of the Day: Magical Nights

Paris Magical Nights

Velvet skies over the city of light.

{Taken from Pont Neuf, Paris}

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Spring Citrus Cupcakes

Cupcake 11

After teasing me with a constant peekaboo of rain and shine, spring seems to have finally arrived to stay. Of course, this means that sunny days are spent slaving in class and weekends that should be spent snoozing on grass go by with me cursing the cloudy/windy/rainy weather. But it still brings a smile to my face to see a patch of bright, blue sky as I climb out of the subterranean domain we call the metro or to lick an ice-cream cone without shivering into my jacket. (What, you don’t eat ice-cream in the winter?)

Cupcake Coll 3

I read in a book recently that we seem to have lost the fine art of doing nothing, and I definitely agree. If we’re not working, we’re rushing around in the pursuit of being entertained. Parties, movies, dinners, shopping, museums, the constant urgency to ‘do’ something – it can get exhausting. And of course, we now have the added pressure of instantaneous updates on Twitter/Facebook/Google+/… because if it’s not posted online, how would anyone know how much fun we had? Would it even be real if we didn’t Instagram it? I love my online world as much as the next person (I mean, I write a blog after all!), but some days I like to disconnect and just breathe. And spring provides a great inspiration to do just that. On my way back home a few days ago, I found myself slowing down my pace from a brisk stride to a slow saunter. I took a little detour to one of my favorite places in the middle of bustling Paris – Square du Vert Galant, a pretty square at the tip of the Île de la Cité in the middle of the Seine.

Spring Continue Reading…

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Paris Market-Fresh Sunday Brunch

Table

Sometimes I get the feeling that my life revolves around food. Well, now that I’m going to pastry school in Paris, I guess it kind of does. But even before I came here, I remember planning trips that centered around places I wanted to eat at or markets I wanted to visit. (In the middle of planning one such vacation, my friend informed me that his roommate, who was coming along, was “not such a big food person”. I distinctly remember my brain screeching to an unceremonious halt. I take great pride in the fact that I converted a guy, who drinks 0.1% milk, into a waffle lover. With whipped cream, strawberries AND pure maple syrup. Have you ever seen the look on a Canadian waiter’s face when asked for sugar-free syrup? Try it sometime!) If you’re reading this blog, you probably understand my obsession with food. Now imagine living in Paris surrounded by 47 other people who are similarly obsessed! It’s like meeting people who finally understand your language (and don’t think you are at least a little crazy when you marvel over the beauty of purple carrots).

Veggies Coll

I had the pleasure of sharing a Sunday brunch with such friends recently. One of the greatest joys of living in Paris is the easy access to several open-air markets with products so fresh, you need to do the bare minimum to let their flavors shine. One of the most famous is the Bastille market, which also has the added advantage of being open on Sunday when most other places in Paris are closed. As I waited for my friends for our little market rendezvous and took in an impromptu music performance, my fingers inched towards my camera as usual. But this time I decided to forgo recording the experience and give the market the undivided attention it deserved. (I promise to go back soon for another post dedicated wholly to the market.)

Bread and Dips

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Macaron!

Macarons

Color, color, which color do you want?

{Reminder of a silly game I used to play as a kid. Culmination of two days of making macarons in school.}

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Photo of the Day: Free Light Spectacle

Paris Sunset 1 Copy

I love how you can be walking out in the cold and suddenly, a sight like this takes your breath away. An amazing end to a perfect Sunday.

{Taken from Pont Neuf, Paris}

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