Thursday, July 29, 2010

Super Simple Tonkatsu

If there's one thing I know I'm going to miss from the States, it would have to be fried chicken. Good ol' southern, crispy, fried chicken. Don't get me wrong, I'm kind of happy that I won't have the usual greasy chicken and cheeseburgers knocking at my door like they do in the states. I should eat a little healthier. Really good(I mean bad for you) cheeseburgers here in Paris are few and far between... and fried chicken? Well, I haven't even heard the words "fried chicken" since I've been here. Tear.

So yesterday, I was on my own, as Quentin went to Saint-Germain-en-Laye and Bougival to do some job stuff and grab my tripod from his parent's place(I want better pictures, damn it!). As I sipped my morning... okay, who am I kidding... afternoon coffee I read through a few of the newest food blogs I'm following. A post I happened to stumble upon from Tasty Colours caught my interest. I knew I could get recipe inspiration from following all these food blogs, never had it occurred to me that I could also get advice on the best "food" places to go in Paris(duh, Katrina). As I read through the post, I came across La Grand Epicerie de Paris. La Grande Epicerie is like the Louis Vuitton of grocery stores. Very high-end, unique, and exquisite quality products. Their website sells hedgehog-shaped sugar cubes, molecular gastronomy kits, black salt from Hawaii... just to name a few. To make it even better... it's two stops from the closest metro. Weeeee!!! I'm there.

I felt like I was going to freaking Disney World. I walked inside, and it literally took my breath away. This place is huge. As you walk in, the first thing you come across(and you can't miss it) is the absolutely perfect display of desserts. Macarons, éclairs, fruit tarts... oh how I wish I had extra money to throw around. I was a little hesitant to take pictures in there with my big camera, so I'll try to go back with my little point and shoot to get some photos of this place.

I took my time, and walked through every aisle. They had an entire aisle dedicated just to salts, one just to oils, and so on. I was in culinary heaven. Even though everything in there is ridiculously expensive, their produce is what I was I was there to buy. It's still fairly pricey, but when you're only buying for one or two people, the quality is worth the price. I bought one eggplant(to re-make my awesomely drunken fusili with roasted eggplant), some fresh apricots, two celery ribs(you can buy them by the rib, an individual portion of the celery stalk, which is perfect when you only need one or two), a head of broccoli, and two small pork chops. I really only knew what I was going to do with the eggplant, the rest I figured I'd improvise. I spent a total of 9.68 euros and got the hell out of there before I could do any more damage.

So back to the whole fried chicken bit(sorry, I got a bit carried away back there), I was trying to figure out what I was going to do with the pork chops I bought from La Grande Epicerie. Pork chops in themselves are pretty easy to mess up, if you overcook them they become dry and tough. The ones I bought were small and very thin, so I wanted a way to make sure I didn't overcook them. Since I've been craving fried anything since I got here, I figured the best way to cook these little chops would be tonkatsu style.

Tonkatsu is a breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet that is usually served with shredded cabbage. Typically, very thin pork cutlets are used for this dish, since quickly frying them in oil prevents them from drying out. Another important ingredient is the breadcrumbs. Japanese panko breadcrumbs are the best to use for tonkatsu, and will yield a light, and super crispy crust. Perfect for me, since I had two thin little pork chops, and while rummaging through the cupboards found some breadcrumbs and flour. Instead of serving this with shredded cabbage, I made it with rice and steamed broccoli.

Super Simple Tonkatsu

2 thin pork cutlets or chops, about 1/3 of an inch thick
1/3 cup of flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup of panko breadcrumbs
vegetable oil, for frying
salt and pepper, to taste

Add about 1/4 inch deep amount of vegetable oil to a large frying pan. Heat vegetable oil on medium high until nice and hot. I like to test that the oil is ready by flicking a drop of water on the oil, if it crackles and pops, it is ready. You can also be more precise with a thermometer and heat the oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a shallow bowl, add flour, and salt and pepper to taste. In another bowl, add the egg, and gently whisk with a fork. In the last bowl, add the breadcrumbs. Take each pork chop and first dredge in the flour mixture until fully covered, then into the egg mixture, and lastly into the breadcrumbs. I like to sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the pork and pat them into the chop, so the crust adheres to the egg mixture. Once both chops are completely breaded, gently place in the hot oil and fry until browned on each side(for my small chops it took 2 minutes on each side, if you have larger chops, it may take longer).

Once browned, place on a paper towel to absorb any extra oil, and allow to rest for 3-5 minutes. Serve this either with tonkatsu sauce, or in my case, I only had worcestershire sauce, which is equally as delicious. Serves 2.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Scrambled Eggs with Crème Fraîche and Lardons

My dad always told me that a great cook is one who can cook an egg perfectly. And yes, my dad can cook a pretty delicious egg. Now, I love eggs to death, but back in the day, I couldn't cook a perfect egg to save my life. I would either fry the egg in a pan on high heat and then smother it with ketchup, or scramble them till they are dry and rubbery, and top it with cheese. Sound tasty?

So I've recently started honing my egg skills, trying new and more complicated ways to cook them. Turns out I'm not as bad of an egg cook as I thought. I've nailed how to perfectly hard boil an egg. I've almost perfected the 2 minute omelette à la Julia Child, which yields a very delicate, almost silky omelette(unlike the ones I used to make, which had a texture so unappealing I would almost vomit). I've also become a little obsessed with my grandmother's very tasty deviled eggs, and have that recipe down pat.

This morning, I wanted something different, something to kick start my inspiration for eggs... in France. I had some eggs, crème fraîche, and lardons in the fridge, and figured I could do something with the three. I researched a little and stumbled upon Gordon Ramsay's way to cook perfect scrambled eggs: slow and low, and in a saucepan. His way yields creamy, light, and fluffy scrambled eggs. I usually made my scrambled eggs on medium to medium high heat, and in a frying pan... which probably explains why they yielded dry, rubbery, lack-luster scrambled eggs. I think I'll try his way.

So here's my French take on an American bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich: Creamy, fluffy scrambled eggs with crème fraîche(the cheese), topped with crispy lardons(the bacon) on toast. Drool.

Scrambled Eggs with Crème Fraîche and Lardons

Adapted from Gordon Ramsay's Perfect Scrambled Eggs
4 eggs
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
1/2 tablespoon crème fraîche
150g lardons(if you don't have access to lardons, you can always just use bacon that's cut into small strips)
salt and pepper, to taste
2 thick slices of toast

Heat a saute pan on medium to medium-low heat. Add the lardons(or bacon) and slowly render out the fat until they are browned and crispy. Place lardons on a paper towel to soak up any extra grease.

Crack eggs into a saucepan(preferably non-stick) and add butter. Do not add salt or pepper. Turn heat to medium/medium-low, and whisk the eggs and butter together with a spatula. Stir the mixture until it starts to thicken; if it starts to scramble too quickly, remove from the heat and continue to stir(You want to cook this slowly, so you will need to alternate cooking the eggs on and off the heat until they are at the right consistency). Return to heat and repeat this process until the eggs are thick and creamy.

Remove the eggs from the heat, and stir in crème fraîche. Season with salt and pepper and serve on toast. Top with lardons. Serves 2.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lentils with Lardons and Tomatoes

In my attempts to eat more healthily, I fell in love with this very delicious, and very versatile lentil salad. I was never really inspired by lentils until recently, as I was flipping through a French cookbook I bought last winter in Paris. In Françoise Bernard's "ma cuisine d'aujourd'hui", there is a recipe for Lentilles en Salade. Now, I am definitely one who eats with her eyes first... and the photo of this recipe caught my attention. It was just a simple bowl of lentils, shallots, tomatoes, a hard boiled egg, and parsley. It looked bright, clean, and refreshing... exactly the opposite of my usual fried chicken and cheeseburgers.

I had some lentils lying around the house, so I figured I'd give the recipe a shot. I didn't have exactly the same ingredients as it called for in Françoise Bernard's recipe, so I improvised with what I had in my kitchen. In place of fresh tomatoes I used sun-dried tomatoes, and instead of hard boiled eggs, I used black olives. The salad was so delicious that I ate it every day for lunch for two weeks straight. Hot or cold, it was good either way. And you want to know the best part? I lost 7 lbs. without even trying!!

So now that I've tried this recipe a few different ways, I figured I would post the most recent combination. This time I used cherry tomatoes and lardons(yeaaaah Lardon My French!!) and it was just as delicious. I made this the other night for Quentin's family, and to fancy it up, we served it with Coquilles Saint-Jacques(Scallops).

Lentils with Lardons and Tomatoes

Adapted from Françoise Bernard "Ma Cuisine d'Aujourd'hui"

2 cups french green lentils, washed
1 pint cherry tomatoes(I used yellow and red ones, but you can just use red ones if that's all you have)
1/3 cup of lardons(if you don't have access to lardons, you can always just use bacon that's cut into small strips)
fresh parsley, for garnish

For the Vinaigrette:

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
zest of half a lemon
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

I first start with the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, add the lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. While whisking, slowly drizzle the olive oil into the bowl until the vinaigrette emulsifies. Set aside.

Rinse lentils in cold water. In a large pot, add lentils with 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until done. Strain in a colander and place back into the pot. Add vinaigrette while the lentils are still hot, and gently stir to combine.

Cut cherry tomatoes in quarters and remove seeds. Then cut each quarter in half cross-wise.

Heat a saute pan on medium to medium-low heat. Add the lardons(or bacon) and slowly render out the fat until they are browned and crispy. Place lardons on a paper towel to soak up any extra grease.

You can either wait until the lentils cool to add the tomatoes and lardons, or add them while they are still hot. Both ways are delicious. Add chopped parsley, and fold to combine. Serves 4 to 6.

This recipe works really well with seafood, hard boiled eggs, or even just on it's own. If you don't have all of the ingredients, feel free to add whatever you want... this really is a "whatever you have in your pantry" kind of recipe.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chemically speaking, chocolate really is the world's perfect food. - Michael Levine

Yesterday I experienced Chocolate Heaven.

Last winter, when I was in Paris, I came across a fancy little tea shop along Rue de Rivoli called Angelina. I probably would have just passed this place by if it wasn't for the line of people wrapped around the block waiting for whatever was inside. I tried to get a closer look to see what all the fuss was about, but all of the window displays and menus were obstructed by pea coat and mitten-wearing tourists. I didn't think too much of it, I knew I eventually would be back, so I made a mental note of the name of the place and went on my merry way.


It just so happened that a friend later told us that this place has the best hot chocolate in Paris(if not the world), and if we ever get the chance, we MUST go. MENTAL NOTE: Return to Angelina. We didn't get a chance to make it back there over Christmas, but yesterday... WE DID. It was the perfect day to go, as it was actually a little cold and gloomy. Hot chocolate was the perfect thing to warm us up.

I wanted to take full advantage of this experience, so I made it a doubly chocolate event. I ordered, in French, chocolat chaud à l’ancienne(hot chocolate) et macalon chocolat noir(dark chocolate long-macaron). They bring the hot chocolate to you in it's own little pitcher, and for Quentin and I, a two person order of chocolat chaud was more than enough. We each had two full cups, which unbelievably for me, was almost too much. They also bring you a side of whipped creme, so you can add as much or as little as you'd like.


As Quentin poured my first cup, just the sight of the dark, thick, rich chocolate started to make my mouth water. I was like a kid in Chocolate Heaven... Wait, who was I kidding? I was like any person of any age in Chocolate Heaven. I took my first sip. I was like drinking liquid chocolate cake. So smooth, so rich, so absolutely delicious. The smile on my face went ear to ear. Then a bite of the macalon, a completely different chocolate experience. Crumbly and delicate, yet, gooey and creamy, and unmistakeably chocolate. I devilishly dipped the macalon in the hot chocolate. Ok, I'll be blunt. Orgasm in my mouth.

After two cups each and half of the macalon I was actually, and I hate to say it... in chocolate overload. It was all in all a little expensive(about 7 euros for the hot chocolate), unbelievably chocolatey, and absolutely 100% worth it.

So, if you ever get the chance to come to Paris, and I'm still here... I will take you there. If I'm not here... treat yourself to the best hot chocolate in Paris. You will not regret it(unless you don't like chocolate, and in that case, why are we even friends? Just kidding...).

226 Rue de Rivoli
75001 Paris, France

Monday, July 19, 2010

Filipino Chicken Adobo

Alright people, here is my first recipe post. It's not a classic French recipe like Coq Au Vin or Boeuf Bourguignon, but it is something that hits home more than anything else in the world. One of the few dishes that brings me right back to when I was young would have to be my mom's Adobo, a classic Filipino dish. Chicken cooked slowly in soy sauce, vinegar, garlic... oh, how I can remember that smell just from the thought of it. It makes you want to eat the whole house because it smells so good.

So simple, yet so comforting.

I'm mainly posting this recipe for my little brother, John(you better be reading this, Bubba!!!) so that he can start making it for himself. Now that he's moved out of our parent's house, he's learning that it's a little more difficult to work all day and still have enough energy to put a decent dinner on the table. Well Bubba, this recipe couldn't be any easier.

Filipino Chicken Adobo

Adapted from my Momma :)

1 whole chicken, cut up, bone-in and skin-on(usually I only use dark meat, mainly chicken thighs, but you can do either)
1/2 to 1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup white vinegar
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

Now, if you're in a rush, you could just throw all of the ingredients in a large pot(minus the vegetable oil), bring it to a boil, and then turn the heat down and simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour. I've adapted it a teeny tiny bit by searing the chicken, which I think adds a little more depth of flavor.

Heat oil in a large pot on medium-high. Sear the pieces of chicken, skin-side down, until browned, about 5 minutes. Once browned, add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until chicken is fully cooked(and falling off the bone), about 45 minutes to an hour. Serve over rice.

Although I usually eat this just with rice, I wanted to make a more balanced recipe post... So, Bubba, get some veggies in there! The Adobo goes really well with Adobong Gulay, a Filipino eggplant dish.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Paris Freakin' Rules

In the words of Top Chef contestant Andrew D'Ambrosi, "I have a culinary boner." Sorry mom, but seriously, today reaffirmed why Paris is the perfect city for me. I started out the day at the oldest kitchen equipment store in Paris, E.Dehillerin.

I read reviews on this place... pots, pans, and all things culinary filling wooden shelves in a two-level, one hundred and ninety year old shop. "Heaven for Cooks... A Cook's Paradise... Magnifique..." Yeah, no one really had to twist my arm to go there. Oh, and if that's not convincing enough... it's only a 20 minute walk from the apartment. I kept telling myself, "You don't have a job, you don't need to buy anything, you're just going to look... just look." I prepared myself mentally while I shoved 250 Euros in my wallet. We made the walk to the shop, which is so much closer than I imagined(very dangerous!!!), and even from the outside I started getting all tingly. A thin layer of dust covered the window displays, which seemed as if they had not changed since the 1800s. Even so, there were things I would still buy today... timeless, heirloom-quality cookware... Okay, wipe the drool from the window, Katrina. We walked inside, and within 2 seconds I already found something I wanted to buy. A French rolling pin, you know, the one with the tapered edges. I didn't necessarily need one, but I've wanted one for some time now. Good thing Quentin was there though, I could have easily spent my entire savings in that place.

Now, if you're the kind of person that buys your salt and pepper from Williams-Sonoma... you probably wouldn't be thrilled by this place. This is a real diamond in the rough... and to me it sparkles. There are no prices listed; everything is cataloged in a book, and if you want to know the price, you have to ask. A good thing for me, it made me less likely to buy. I made it out of there without buying anything, but with a mental list of what I want... for future reference.

After walking off the urge to run back in and buy up the whole store, we came across a small bookstore. There were tables outside with used books for sale, and as I flipped through some of them I realized, they were all food related. I didn't even look up to see what the bookstore was called...

Good thing I eventually did! I didn't need to know much French to know what this place was all about. Once again, Quentin had to hold me back from buying tons of books. I couldn't even read most of them(they were all in French), yet, I still wanted them all. I took a picture of the front so I could remember to come back(not that I would forget).

So if that wasn't enough to fulfill a day full of food-based wonderment, another little shop caught my eye. This time bushels of herbs and spices like you see in the spice markets of Morocco, Abu Dhabi(concepting with Tiff!), and Istanbul lined the walls of a narrow shop near Les Halles. I was in need of a few bay leaves for the adobo I wanted to make for dinner, so I wanted to see if they had some I could buy by the gram. Not only did they have bay leaves, but peppercorns of every color, paprika, star anise, cumin, dried figs, almonds, dates... I could go on and on. I bought a few bay leaves and some peppercorns and got out of there before I could do any more damage.

I went home so I could post this before dinner, since a few of you are food lovers as well. But, seeing that it's already 10:45pm here, and I haven't even started making dinner, I might save the adobo recipe for another day. Be that as it may, I still plan for it to be my first recipe post, as it's one of the few Filipino dishes I know how to make. Oh, and speaking of Filipinos, check out what I found at the grocery store the other day...

Freakin' awesome, right!?!? Who knew Paris could rule so much.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Happy Floody Fourteenth

Have you ever had one of those mornings where you were like, "Aw, SHIT!" before you even had time to rub your eyes? You know, like when you sleep through your alarm clock? Today was one of those days... and a rainy one in fact. As I told you in my previous post, we are watching over a leaky roof in a friend's apartment in exchange for a free stay in the center of Paris. Romain told us that the day he noticed the leak, he slept through 3 hours of rain, and woke up to a flood in his bedroom. So today around 10am Quentin woke up peacefully to the pitter patter of rain... then immediately after opening his eyes came the "Aw, SHIT!" moment. He jumped out of bed and ran to Romain's bedroom, where the major leak is located. Luckily, it wasn't raining too hard, and nothing was leaking through. Whew.
I, on the other hand, woke up around noon(niiiiiiice!) to a dark and dreary Paris... Happy Bastille Day by the way. Being that I already slept half the day away, I was immediately starving for something to eat(hey, when am I not?). Quentin and I didn't want to leave the apartment(in fear of the leak), but our stomachs were growling for breakfast... uh, er, lunch. Everything was pretty much closed for the holiday, with the exception of a few restaurants and shops in the more touristy areas of the city.

We waited for a break in the rain and ran out to find an open boulangerie nearby to get a baguette for breakfast. Just as we got to the boulangerie, of course, it started to rain... but I'm not talking a little drizzle here... I'm talking torrential downpour. Ok, maybe not that bad, but it was enough for Quentin and I to look at each other, look at the 5 to 6 people in line in front of us, look outside, and say, "Aw, SHIT!". We hurriedly paid for our baguette and darted out into the rain. We ran up the 5 flights of stairs(my legs and butt are going to get the best workout here) back to the apartment and opened the bedroom door. Romain was not joking. Rain was pouring in through the ceiling like a mini waterfall, dripping ever so unwelcomely on the shelves in the wall cabinet and all over the floor. We got there right in time though, and started placing pots, bowls, and buckets anywhere we could to lessen the damage. I seriously felt like someone in a sinking boat, taking buckets of water and tossing them out, only to replace it with another full bucket. I have to say though, that I am so glad we were there... for Romain and his girlfriend's sake, because they would have returned from their vacation to an absolute disaster.

After about an hour or so the rain died down, and we were able to ring out the towels and hang them up to dry. By then it was around 4pm and we were hungry again. This time, I stayed at the apartment, and Quentin ran out to grab some food. He came back with a Baguette avec rosette, cornichon et beurre... Yum Yum :)

and Fougasse aux Lardons(not the best one).


Since it is Bastille Day, the French Independence Day, I was crossing my fingers that the rain would stop before nightfall. I was desperate to see the fireworks at the Eiffel Tower, since we missed the fireworks on the 4th in NY(long story). I didn't want to miss two Independence Day fireworks shows in less than two weeks. Thankfully, it turned out to be a gorgeous, and almost cold night! The fireworks at La Tour Eiffel are absolutely amazing... I'm going to try to post the videos of the fireworks tomorrow... it's getting super late. For now, I'll leave you with a photo from before the fireworks show.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Good Night, and Good Luck

Since we arrived, Quentin and I have been squatting at his parent's apartment in Bougival (suburbs of Paris) while we search for a suitable (and affordable) Paris apartment. It's nice to be with his family, and the apartment is nice and roomy, but it is a little far from Paris, and can get expensive to keep buying tickets to get into the city. So after a couple of days of posting want ads for roommates and searching through Craigslist, Couchsurfing, and word-of-mouth references, we happened to stumble upon some unbelievable luck! It just so happened that one of Quentin's friends, Romain, and his girlfriend are going on vacation for a month or so (starting tomorrow) and wanted someone to look over their place. They recently had a leak in their roof, and wanted someone to stay at their place to make sure the damage doesn't get any worse while they are gone. Easy enough for us, right? Not only that, but the apartment is in the 6th arrondissement... which means walking distance from the Louvre, Notre Dame, and Jardin du Luxembourg. So for a few weeks, we have a free stay in a great part of the city. Sweeeeet.

So tonight we met up with Romain to take a look at the apartment and get acquainted. His apartment is pretty roomy, around 50 square meters or so, which is pretty big for Paris. There's a good sized kitchen so I can cook some meals, and a big TV and video games galore for Quentin. Later we met up with his brother Ben and had some tasty Indian food and even tastier gelato... C'est très bonne! Sorry I don't have any pictures... I left my camera at home. Tomorrow we'll be moving some stuff and Bruzer (cross your fingers) over to the apartment... so bonne nuit for now!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Yesterday's News, Today

Yesterday could have been one of the worst mornings of my life. Although it's quite annoying, I've come to love the way that my cat, Bruzer, wakes me up every morning at 7:30am on the dot. He usually starts by jumping on the bed, walking on me and tapping me with his paw. If that doesn't wake me up, he'll give me gentle little nibbles on my arm until I wake up. This morning, I rolled over to check the time. It was 8:45am, and not even a sound from Bruzer. At first, I thought nothing of it, seeing that he just had a pretty stressful past couple days... but then something in my gut sensed that he wasn't in the apartment. I kept looking out the 6th story windows of the apartment hoping to the kitty gods that I wouldn't see anything in particular at the bottom. After searching the apartment like they do on CSI, Quentin and I came to the conclusion that he was definitely somewhere outside. We walked down the stairwell only to find our first clue... little poops on the stairs! They looked just like Bruzer's(and yes, I know what my cat's poops look like), but I learned that there are a couple of cats that roam the stairwells from time to time. After searching the stairwell with no sign of Bruzer, we went outside and hoped for the best. After calling for him multiple times and walking in circles around the residence, we went around to the side of the apartment building. Now, just to give you an idea of how panicked I was getting... there is a fairly large forest within rock throwing distance from the front doorstep. If he was in that forest, he was as good as gone. My heart sank. Then, all of a sudden, Quentin calls out, "I see him!" I rush over to the side of the apartment to find Bruzer hiding in a 6 inch by 6 inch cubby hole in the exterior wall of the basement. Apparently cats frequently hide in these holes, which are used to ventilate the basement. He was just huddled in there, with his little tail sticking out in plain view. It took the two of us to try to get him out of there... gripping for dear life, we finally pulled him out and I squeezed him as close to me as possible. The poor little guy probably just got curious when someone left the front door open, and wandered around the stairwell and out the front door. With dirty little paws, torn up nails, and a little patch of fur ripped out from his chest... I could tell he was pretty stressed. I'm just glad he's home.

Ugh, so for some better news... had a pretty tasty breakfast of fromage blanc and framboise... although it hurt my stomach afterward.

Met up with an old friend and watched the children play with les petits bateaux in the Jardin du Luxembourg.

Sipped my first café au lait near Les Halles.

Had a delicious picnic with Quentin's brother and brother's girlfriend(Thomas and Patricia) at the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, the most beautiful park in Paris.



So being a long and very eventful day, I pretty much passed out once we finally got home. I figured I'd post it all today since we're not doing much. Resting my feet for now... à bientôt!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Day One

Very exhausted and hungry as hell, we've finally arrived in France. Day one went pretty smoothly. After messes of paperwork, overnight FedEx fiascoes and one too many tears in trying to get Bruzer, my cat, to France with me, we ironically didn't even go through customs at Charles De Gaulle. Bruzer seems to have survived the flight as well. I was worried that the non-direct(layover in Iceland) flight would traumatize him, after a friend of ours told us that it took 2 years for his cat to start purring again after an overseas flight. The only thing that happened was that he peed in his cage, but after spending almost 18 hours locked up like that, I can't blame him, I'd do it too. So once we got to Quentin's parents apartment I gave him a bath and plenty of treats.

Speaking of treats, I was starving from the flight. Thank you Iceland Air for being so cheap, but now I know why. Zero in-flight meals(unless you paid for them) means buying a bunch of really expensive airport food to last you through your flight. I bought about $35 worth of food to last me and Quentin through both flights, and in total: 1 Turkey sandwich, 1 Ham sandwich, Cold Udon Noodles, a small container of Macaroni Salad and Pesto Tortellini. They were all pretty tasty, but definitely not worth the 35 bucks. So needless to say, my first meal in France was a good one. Nothing too big, just a little something to tide me over, but something I've had before, something comforting, and something delicious. Galette with egg and cheese... oops, excuse moi, galette oeuf fromage. Crispy outside, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth inside... pure deliciousness.


Besides all of the goodness going on in my belly, it's been pretty calm today... mostly just unpacking and recouping from the jet-lag. So, more sleep for now, but tomorrow I'm going into Paris to meet up with an old friend that I haven't seen in years... and we'll be likely to eat something tasty! À demain!