Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dessert Watercolor Demo

Loulou et Princesse by Frederic Cassel watercolor on Etsy
 
So people ask me all the time,
"How come you just paint desserts?"
In David Dewey's watercolor class once a year at Christmas we would have a dessert party. Everyone brought in something or other. Then we painted them. Then we ate them. Naturally they were all good geometric shapes like Cezanne preferred - cubes, sphere, pyramids etc.
Here's a couple of my early efforts from 2000.
 

Naturally I'd have liked the dessert party to occur more often. Like maybe every class.
 
Though I'm not a big fan of cake.
 
It's probably another reason I came to France besides all the pets, is the beautifully geometric shapes of the pastries. And for all the endless versions of tarte citron.
 
Moving along to today's demo which is not a tarte citron...hmm
 
That will come maybe later in the week...
I'm really loving doing these thumbnails.
 
The picture wouldn't work without them.
 
Some of the watercolor demos on Etsy like this one have paintings on the back by the way.
 
I'm happy to have found a new envelope that's supposed to be faster and cheaper than sending out the last batch, NO TRACKING with this so I can not use it. Dommage :(
at least for this smaller size (5.5 x 8.5").
Do take a look on Etsy if you'd like to own a demo of your own. Cheers Carolg

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Paris Pets

Today just Paris pets
It's true there are a lot of cats and dogs in this city but you'd be remiss if you didn't consider all the farm animals running around all over the place.
And many of them are unleashed! Shouldn't there be a law?
I guess it's OK if they hang out in shop windows eating their dinner...
You'll find quite a few at the musee des Arts Decoratifs. Something you won't ever find at the NY Cooper Hewitt Museum of Design.
It's awfully kind of fromagiers to alert you to the goat cheeses with a miniature goat/chevre don't you think? You can count on finding goats, chickens and cows present at almost every marche.
Here's a good way to remember that a goose is NOT a duck, something I have a lot of trouble with...
I do know these are ducks, seen at the musee again...
How many swank soirees have you been to of late where you get to play with bath ducks? Not many I bet. But go to Fauchon and be ready play.
We're back to the goose again announcing a gourmet festival in Paris. Is it just me that's seeing animals everywhere?
At a French friend's house for lunch, bunnies are pouring champagne! What is one to think..?
Bergdorf''s windows may be full of monkeys and ostriches but you'll never catch them on the inside like at fancy-shmancy Printemps.
Paris pets have a place at the table, in cafes and restaurants, but they do have nice manners. That much can be said for them.
They're trained to know when their Metro stop is coming up as well. I think I came to Paris for the animals...

Monday, July 29, 2013

Is there a Doctor in the House?

Of late I've been indulging in all manner of goodies.
Sometimes bad things happen to good people.

Eating SIX apricots a day is bound to have some effect, like turning you orange for one. Or giving you an itchy rash on your arms and the tops of your ears for two. Was it an Excess of ripe apricots that set my arms ablaze?

I must make an embarrassing confession. Though I never touched potato chips in the states, for some unknown reason they've become a daily habit from the vending machines in the Metro. Chilled chips! Were they the cause of my rash?
I know these desserts didn't do it. They did give me a tummy ache but that was entirely my own doing.
On Friday Louise and I shared a tarte au pomme rustique from Secco and a clafoutis from Maison Pichard (only a 1/4 each by the way) so I don't think these were the culprit. PS they were the small size too.
FYI, Louise being raised in Nice, felt it her duty to introduce me to the TRUE Nicoise salad. Please note* No green beans. No potatoes. None. Not if you want the TRUE Nicoise salad. Tuna yes. Anchovies yes. Poached egg yes.
Can cheese cake give you hives? I don't think so...
The French are crazy for our Philadelphia cream cheese. There was even a special event on June 5-9 called, La Marque de Specialites Fromageres Philadelphia in Paris, but sadly I missed it. And I'm a born and bred Philadelphian. I'll bet ya there's nothing like that in Philly...
The cheese cake from Frederic Cassel is simply called "Philadelphia".
Pâte sablée, crème légère cheese-cake, biscuit cuillère aux fruits de la passion     
Back to the cause of my arm rash...could it be the moving process?
Which is taking me forever?
At last I concluded my brand new spiffy French sunscreen spray was the culprit, since I mainly applied it to my arms. Go figure.
And the antidote?
In desperation I tried everything and finally gave my foot powder a whirl. Ca marche! as they say here. It seems to work. I'm holding my breath...
On Wednesday I'll be having another 3-day solde/sale of the watercolor demos of late on Etsy. I found a nice smaller envelope at the post office,that's supposed to be faster and costs less too. Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Le Fraisier

Un Fraisier (pronounce that Frais-YAY NOT Frais-AIR as yours truly was doing). This is why we need smarty-pants servers In patisseries. You can always count on getting a French leçon or two along with your goodies.
Today was a test...
Could I could carry un Fraisier home in one piece without residual damage...
I was coming back from the pool - a good 15 minute walk the way I meander, so British bookies might be up for a bet whether we'd make it in one piece...
WE DID! Hooray
Not the case for this way finer Fraisier from Fountainebleau.
Traveling doesn't suit it, but the taste was excellent in everyway if a bit smushed around the edges. Imagine a thin topping of marshmallow, followed by a thin layer of cake, then pistachio whipped cream out-of-this-world with some whole strawberries embedded and resting on a thin base of I don't know what, but it didn't get soggy like most Fraisiers.
Biscuit amande, crème pistache et fraises françaises
They always start at the bottom and work up in these French descriptions...
By the way, le Fraisier's traveling companions fared much better, considering they rode on a bus, a train (for 40 minutes), an RER A and finally a Metro! Pretty amazing. They're sitting on a piece of special non-slip paper so they won't slide around. Very clever. I'll cut it smaller, fit it into a box to carry it with me always to avoid future pastry disasters.
I wish I'd had it for this short jaunt - just 3 Metro stops is all it took for this baby to list like the Titanic, though I was assured otherwise by the server. Let's face it, creamy desserts have a life expectancy of about 25 steps if that.
You'd think frozen sorbets would make better traveling companions. You would be wrong. I bought 3 minis Vacherins. (Please pronounce that VACHrons almost like it's one word, NOT vach-ER-Rans)
Once there were three. They were put in a box with a handle. (Again I was returning from the pool (one must counterbalance the intake with output of calories). I forgot to shoot my food but one fell over, hit the other and then fell onto the floor. Don't worry. I ate it anyway. Waste not, want not.
Les Fountainebleau Vacherins are well-protected with lids. Plus I was informed I had exactly 25 minutes to eat them or all Hell would break loose. They could melt.
Believe me when I tell you even melted these are un-topable if that's a word. I ate them in the train station and even got a shot first.
Plus they make very nice water jars and have a lid so will travel.
I haven't quite finished moving to the new joint yet. I'm leaving a quartier dense with FAB patisseries, for one that may be better for my figure. I noticed these birds with a bell coming back from the pool today. They could either hang on the refrigerator door or I could carry them in my bag to ring when I'm passing a patisserie as a warning to 'WALK ON BY'
What do you think?