Thursday, July 19, 2018

Thursday Thoughts

This weekend our new mattress will be delivered! I'm so excited. It better be the best mattress ever and last a really long time after what it cost. We've been counting down the number of nights left sleeping in lumpy and saggy. OK, it's not that bad, I guess, but since we're old, the dented parts are giving us both back aches. And neck aches. Or maybe I am just not properly using the pillow? Last night was particularly uncomfortable and today is extra ache & pain filled. So new mattress = lots of anticipation and excitement.

Also - we got a king instead of another queen. So we're excited for the bigger bed.

Last weekend we went to see Ant-Man & the Wasp. It was fun and it was good to see our friend T.

The yard guys cut the vines out of the junipers and I am so happy. It looked horrible, like a giant, leafy, green monster. So the tree is gone, the vines are gone (for now, but those things grow fast and take over everything). Slowly the yard is looking better. Kind of.

What We're Eating:

What We're Watching:

  • We watched Season 2 of GLOW. We really enjoyed it! SP found a YouTube video of a real GLOW episode. I didn't watch all of it but... wow. 
  • We started Arrested Development on Netflix, the latest 8 episodes that were released in May.
  • Trial & Error Season 2 starts tonight! Really enjoyed season 1 so really looking forward to the second season.
  • The usual weekly shows: Sharp Objects, Succession, Animal Kingdom, and Six.
  • Movies: A Quiet Place (really good, really tense) and Pacific Rim Uprising (not as much fun as the first one).

What I'm Reading:
Magazines! I finished one of the Smithsonian issues. But then mom came to visit and brought a bunch of magazines, so the pile is huge.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Peach Ice Cream

Time for another break in the Paris food posts to write about Peach Ice Cream. One day we came home and discovered our neighbors had left us a bag of juicy peaches. There were a lot of them, so SP suggested a peach ice cream. I said OK.We know we like the egg custard ice creams, so we did some research and ended up making our own recipe.
At first, the peach taste seemed too faint, but after a bit in the freezer, it got stronger and tasted more peachy and less vanilla-y. This is a yummy ice cream, one I'd happily make again. Next time, when we churn the ice cream, we would use peach schnapps instead of vodka.

Peach Ice Cream

1 c whole milk
1 & 1/4 c sugar (1 c in custard, 1/4 c to macerate peaches)
1/4 tsp salt
3 egg yolks
2 c heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp vodka or peach schnapps (not necessary, but we always add a tbsp of alcohol when we churn ice cream in hopes of keeping it from freezing too hard)

Peel & slice peaches. Mix 1/4 c sugar with peaches. Macerate overnight.

In saucepan, heat milk. Stir in 1 c sugar and the salt. Stir until sugar & salt dissolve.

Whisk egg yolks in a bowl. Slowly add the hot milk to the yolks, whisking constantly. Return mixture to saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of the spoon.

Remove from heat. Cool quickly by placing pan in a bowl of ice water. Stir in the heavy cream & vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing wrap onto surface of custard. Refrigerate custard overnight.

The next morning: Place the macerated peaches in a blender and process until pureed. Stir pureed peaches into the custard. Add a tbsp of vodka/schnapps. Churn the peach custard mixture in the ice cream maker.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Breizh Cafe

Back to vacation, and I promise I am nearly at the end of Paris food posts! But this post is about one of my favorite places we ate.

David Lebovitz recommended Breizh Cafe. Our Left Bank Tour guide told us the best crepes were at Breizh Cafe. And while we in Paris, Bon Appetit posted an Instagram story about a day in Paris and going to Breizh Cafe. I really, really wanted to try Breizh Cafe, even though I had heard the line was long. We made it our mission on a sunny Sunday to find and eat Breizh Cafe crepes (after visiting Luxembourg Gardens and the Pantheon). There are several locations in Paris. We went to the Rue de l'Odeon one. We got there between noon and 1 pm and were able to grab an outdoor table right away. Luckily, no waiting.
The menu has English translations, so that was nice. We both ordered tea and it came in these beautiful teapots.

I learned a lesson at our previous crepe experience: the egg could be served runny. I wondered, were all eggs on crepes served runny? Could it be cooked? Or would that brand me as the most horrible American tourist ever? We timidly asked our server how the egg was served. I guess we were not the first to ask because right away, before we got our question out, she said the egg could be runny or scrambled. Whew!
I ordered ham, cheese, and egg crepe. Look at that glorious butter melting in the corner. So good. I spread it all over and ate the entire crepe. Really good. And cooked egg.
SP chose a vegetable crepe with egg. There was asparagus, tomato, carrot, and I forget what else. He said it was delicious.
We shared a strawberry jam crepe for dessert. It, too, was delicious. The jam was so fresh and flavorful. Maybe it was from a jar, who knows, maybe things just taste better in Paris.
Our view while we sipped tea, ate crepes, and relaxed.

It was definitely worth it to seek out Breizh Cafe. The crepes are delicious and they will scramble the egg for people like me! They also are very nice to those of us with limited/terrible French. We would definitely go back.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Thursday Thoughts

The tree that fell over a few weeks ago is finally gone. The tree people came and chopped it up. So that area of the yard looks better.

Last weekend we went to see The Full Monty. We had some free time before the show, so we walked up to Market Square and PPG and looked at the Cool Globes. My favorites were the honeybee globe and the children's books one.

Saturday Night Dinner Out was at Pork & Beans. I had the brisket grilled cheese (as usual) and it was (as usual) delicious. We also shared some pork belly potato skins. Yum!

It took 5-6 stores, trying out a bazillion mattresses, and a lot of research & debate, but we finally purchased a new mattress. It won't be delivered for about another week and a half. My back/neck/hips are really looking forward to a not lumpy & sunken mattress!

What We're Eating:

  • ribs, macaroni salad, and grilled green beans
  • chicken tacos
  • Dessert: sugar cookies from Market District and homemade peach ice cream

What We're Watching:

  • Succession is starting to interest me more. 
  • We started watching Sharp Objects with Amy Adams on HBO. I have not read the Gillian Flynn book, so I do not know what happens (unlike Big Little Lies).
  • We finished Luke Cage Season 2.
  • We watched 2 movies: The Game, which was funny and at one point I had to pause the movie because I was laughing so hard, and Beirut, which was good and as always it was a pleasure watching Jon Hamm.

What I'm Reading:
I read the latest Mike Bowditch book, Stay Hidden by Paul Doiron. I zipped through it in one day. I love the books! I'm ready for #10 but I guess I'll have to wait a year.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Le Compas

After spending a long day in the hot sun at Versailles, we decided to head to Rue Montorgueil for dinner, not just because there are lots of restaurants but also because there are bakeries and a cheese shop and we wanted more treats and more cheese. We decided to eat at Le Compas.
We sat outside on the sidewalk but I took a photo on the inside. I liked all the globe lights suspended from wood beams.

Our beverages:
Beer, sancerre, rosé. Mom and I got the large pours!
We munched away on these olives while waiting for our food. Here's what we ate:
SP chose duck with mashed potatoes. He said his duck was very good. I think those are chopped pistachios on top his duck.
I chose croque monsieur and a salad. I know, boring, but I didn't want a meat and potato kind of meal.
Mom chose steak & frites with bearnaise sauce for her steak sauce. She liked her fries and bearnaise sauce but said the steak was chewy. I tried a bite and I have to agree. It was chewy. I'm surprised that of the steaks ordered on the trip, we found them all chewy. So she was disappointed.

SP & I liked our meals, mom did not. Our server was super cheerful & nice and patient with us. It was definitely an entertaining dinner as at one point, the garbage truck pulled up to collect garbage (on a Saturday night at 6-7pm?!), and older man strolled up and down the street singing (free entertainment!), and we got to watch a bachelorette party with some women wearing angel wings on their backs and some wearing devil horns on their heads - ?!

Best of all, we made it to the bakeries and cheese shop before they closed and armed ourselves with evening snacks and breakfast. I miss cheese & croissant breakfasts!

Monday, July 9, 2018


Bakn recently opened a new location Warrendale and lately I've seen lots of photos of their drinks/food on Instagram. The photos put us in the mood for Bakn. But we live so close to the Carnegie location that we'll probably always go to that one. That's where we went for dinner a couple of Saturdays ago.
Curly pig tails (for coats)
For beverages, I stuck with iced tea but SP opted for the BLT cocktail: bourbon lemon juice, tonic water. It was yummy! Lemony and tart.
Here's what we ate:
Loaded Onion Rings (Bak'n Cheddar Cheese Sauce, Scallions). So good. Fried onion rings are an indulgence for me, not just because they're fried but because they often give me stomach issues. So I have to control myself and only eat 1-2 small-ish ones. That was hard to do with these because of the bacon and cheese. We brought some home for the next day.
SP tried the Bakn N 'Cake Tacos (three bacon stuffed pancakes, cheddar, egg, Applewood bacon, peppered bacon, arugula, bourbon maple syrup). He liked these a lot but could only eat 2 , bringing the third home for lunch the next day.
I am boring. I got my usual: #1 Breakfast Sandwich (Fried Egg, Peppered Bakn, Jarlsberg Cheese, Oven Roasted Tomato, Arugula, Baknaise on Sourdough). I love this sandwich in all it's drippy, greasy goodness. I got a side salad instead of potatoes, though, to try to combat the bacon, fried egg, and baconnaise.

We still like Bakn a lot. Good food, good service, casual. Maybe some day we'll drive up to Warrendale, but for now, we'll stick with the Carnegie location.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Thursday Thoughts on Friday

Pimiento cheese and bacon on multigrain with tomato & arugula
This week was the 4th of July. We had a very nice, low-key, non-traditional, and very air conditioned holiday. We met a friend and saw a movie (Jurassic World - in our world, it's always fun to watch dinosaurs eat the bad people plus that kind of movie doesn't require any brain power) and went out to dinner. Then we went home and watched TV.

I'm not looking forward to seeing our electric bill! It's been so darn hot. Our a/c has been running almost non-stop. In fact, from about 3 pm until 9 pm, it does run non-stop. And we have it set at 77-78. Ugh!

In the past week, we've spent a lot of time mattress hopping. I do not like shopping in general. It's not my idea of fun, it's more like torture, and some kinds of shopping are more torturous than others, like furniture and mattress shopping. We've been to 5 or 6 stores and tested so many that I cannot keep them straight. It's all a blur. But we need to decide because our current mattress will be 10 years old next month and it has big "dents" where we sleep. My dent is making my hip and back issues even worse plus I've started having neck issues.

What We're Eating:

  • Saturday Dinner Out: Bakn. I had my usual breakfast sandwich (bacon, egg, roasted tomato, arugula, jarlsburg, baconnaise on sourdough). SP had Pancake Tacos - three pancakes (the taco shell) and bacon, cheddar, egg, arugula, bourbon maple syrup (for the taco filling). We also shared Fully Loaded Onion Rings (cheese, bacon, scallions).
  • 4th of July: Industry Public House. I had macaroni & cheese with a side salad. SP had a mushroom flatbread. I could smell the truffle oil wafting off it!
  • At home dinners: Pimiento Cheese Spread, bacon, tomato, arugula on Mediterra multigrain.
    Pimiento Cheese. I LOVE this stuff.
  • Leftovers from Industry, salad, shrimp from the freezer, whatever we find.
  • Dessert: Modern Fresh Fruit Tart

What We're Watching:

  • After we finished Jessica Jones Season 2, we started watching Luke Cage Season 2 on Netflix. Only 2 episodes to go! We've been enjoying it. It's kind of fun to watch Mariah turn super crazy.
  • We're sticking with Succession even though I find most of the characters super annoying.

What I'm Reading:

  • Lost Creed from Alex Kava. It's the 4th book in the Ryder Creed series. I zipped through it quickly, so it definitely held my attention. I'm not sure if in real life the ending would be what it was. I don't want to say anything else because of spoilers.
  • Magazines. I did end up renewing my Food Network Magazine subscription. Not for $45, though. It was funny how I logged in and cancelled the auto-renew option/my subscription then 1-2 weeks later I received an offer for 1 year/$12. When I logged in to renew, there was an even better 2 year offer, so it was renewed for 2 years.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Chez Claude

Chez Claude was another restaurant close to our Paris hotel and we went there for dinner one evening. We were seated right away, on the first level, near the large open window, but not outside or right next to it so we were happily shielded from the warm early evening sunshine and warmth. SP was not able to drink that evening, so he had hot tea (which he loves anyway, so it wasn't really a hardship!) while I chose a glass of rosé. For our meal, SP chose  the 3 courses for one price (starter + main course + dessert 26,90€) and I chose main course + dessert for 20,90€. Here what we ate:
SP's starter: Fresh Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Terrine. He liked this a lot. I didn't try it because there was garlic.
SP's Main Course: Grilled Cod with pesto rosso & seasonal vegetables. He enjoyed this a lot, too, though I remember the pesto being pretty garlicky. I had told the server about my garlic issue and he was kind enough to let me know to not sample SP's food!
My Main Course: Cocorico (roasted camembert cheese, french fries, salad). It didn't occur to me until I was dunking fries in the camembert that I was eating cheese fries for dinner. Not very healthy. But quite delicious. And fancy, with camembert cheese. Yum!
We both chose this dessert: Fresh Strawberries with Mascarpone. Fresh, juicy berries and creamy mascarpone. Cool and light. I ordered a pot of tea for dessert, too. 
We both enjoyed our food at Chez Claude. The people working there were super nice & friendly. The menu either had English translations or there was an English menu, I don't remember, but it was nice to not use Google Translate. If we go back and stay at the same hotel, I'd return to Chez Claude.

(It's close to the Louvre and Palais-Royale.)