Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Years!

I hope everyone has a Happy New Year, wherever you are. 

Since our plans to go visit friends in Grenoble got cancelled at the last minute, we are spending New Years here in Paris.  After some last minute phone calls this morning to try to plan something, we have a few friends coming over for dinner and to celebrate the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 (can you believe it, 2011?!).

Enjoy your New Years and have a very happy and prosperous 2011!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!  I hope you are enjoying the holidays with friends and family.

I'm having a very nice Christmas with my family-in-law down in Arcachon.  We had a long and delicious meal last night of figs, toasts, oysters, sausages, salad, goose (!), stuffing, chestnuts, green beans wrapped in bacon and buche.  We washed it all down with tons of different wines...white, red and champagne.  At midnight we opened all our gifts (and there were a ton this year) then off to bed.

This afternoon we had another big meal of foie gras, magret de canard, lamb, potatoes, salad and pecan pie (made by yours truly).  After eating we went for a walk at the port.  It was a bit cold and windy along the water, but it was a beautiful day with sun and blue skies, so it was well worth it.  This evening we will be eating another big meal and then certainly passing out from having filled our stomachs too much!

Hope everyone else is having a wonderful holiday!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Le nouveau house guest

Well, we have a guest in the apartment at the moment:

Lionel found this little guy lost and alone in the cold outside his work on Monday.  He brought him into his office and one of his colleagues called a vet friend to come check him out.  The vet couldn't find anything to identify him - no tattoo, no chip, nothing.  So Lionel decided to bring him home rather than let him go to get killed by a car at the Porte de Champerret.  He is keeping his eye out for posters near his work about a lost cat and he has been looking for information on the internet too, but if we don't see anything and can't find a family who is looking for him, we are going to keep him.  Secretly, this is what I really want...for there to be no family so we can keep the little guy since I've been begging for a cat for almost a year.  Not to mention he has been here since Monday night and I'm already getting really attached.  So here's hoping there is no family out there with a little kid crying about their missing cat so I get to keep ce petit mec adorable!

So far he's made himself right at home, sleeping all over the apartment, following Lionel and I wherever we go, sleeping snuggled up with us in bed at night, exploring and climbing on everything and claiming every surface as his own.

He seems to be pretty young, though we aren't certain of his age.  We think he is somewhere around 8 months.  We already love having him around, except when he wakes us up at 6:30 in the morning.   But he is absolutely adorable, loves to be petted, loves to cuddle and likes to have all of the attention!

Let's just hope I get to keep him, cause if we have to give him back it's going to be very hard!  And then Lionel will have to find me another cat because I can't imagine not having one around now!

***Of course, this does not mean in any way that I have forgotten about my precious little Rusty who passed away a month ago.  I'm actually feeling pretty guilty about wanting to adopt another cat so soon after my dear pet's death.

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Been busy with Christmas decorations this past week:

wreath we bought at the Christmas market in Germany

our tree...the biggest one we've ever had in France

the tree

some of our decorations

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Weekend away

A few photos from our weekend trip to Trier, Germany where we did some sightseeing and enjoyed the adorable Christmas market in Germany's oldest city:

Porta Nigra, the world's best preserved Roman city gate

center of town

Christmas market and the main square

the Christmas market

Enjoying some hot wine!  You pay a little extra for the mug and then you can either return the mug
and get the money back or keep it as a cheap souvenir!

Lionel and I freezing our butts off at the Christmas market

the town decorated for the holidays

Christmas market at night

And on the drive home we decided to stop in Luxembourg City for a few hours to check it out:

Lionel and I visiting the city

the main square

city gate

the Christmas market

the cathedral

Christmas decorations

Even though the weather wasn't so great (freezing cold and snowing half the weekend), it was a great trip and a wonderful weekend and I was thrilled to get out of Paris and spend some quality time with Lionel!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A la biche au bois

Last week I mentioned that Lionel and I went to one of my favorite restaurants here in Paris to celebrate our second anniversary.  Let me just say that, as usual, it was fabulous.

A la biche au bois (45 avenue Ledru-Rollin in the 12th, 01 is a great restaurant serving delicious French cooking in very large quantities for a pretty reasonable price.

They serve a number of traditional French dishes such as coq au vin, homemade foie gras, terrines and steak au poivre all year, and during hunting seasonn they also serve gibiers, or game.  My favorite time of year to go is during hunting season because their cassoulette de biche is incredible.  I pair it with the salade biche en entrée, whatever cheeses I feel like, and then the amazing opéra biche en dessert.  We wash it all down with a good bottle of wine, and then we roll ourselves out the door as it is nearly impossible to avoid stuffing yourself at this place.

the delicious cassoulette de biche served with the best mashed potatoes I have ever had.
I would have taken photos of the other courses, but I was too busy eating and I forgot.

The restaurant has a great fixed price menu and the price is more than reasonable for the quality and quantity you receive.  For 26.90 euros you get your choice of appetizer, your choice of main dish, your choice of cheeses off of the cheese platter that they bring to your table (I highly recommend the chèvre au poivre) and your choice of dessert.  That's right...4 courses for less than 30 euros.  While this may seem expensive (and we certainly only go once or twice a year for special occasions or with visiting family), the food is excellent and homemade.

The place is small but comfortable and the owner is very nice.  The service is great by French standards, thus average by American standards, and the restaurant has somewhat of an old-fashioned feel to it.  While the decor may leave a bit to be desired, the food is the real treat, and in my opinion, you can't go wrong.  I've tasted a number of things off the menu and I've never been disappointed.  Though if I go during hunting season I never order anything but that cassoulette de biche.

I definitely suggest checking this place out, but reservations are a must!