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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Just a Minneapolis gal in Paris

Last week I was so fortunate to travel to Paris with my mom and sister Blair.  My sis Karly is studying there this semester, so we went for a little visit.

Paris is unbelievable.  Beautiful.  Breath-taking.  Chic.  Romantic.  Historic.  It was so surreal to be there.  I mean, you hear about it, read about it, watch movies about it, see paintings and photos of it; but to actually be there is indescribable.

And the cuisine?  Fabulous.  Here are a few of my food experiences!

A French hot dog.  Two hot dogs wrapped in a fresh baguette and dijon mustard, topped with crispy cheese.  The hot dog itself was pretty gnarly.  At least the after-taste wasn't so good.  Stick an American hot dog in there and it'd be award-winning.

1664 beer.  If you know me well you know I love me my beer.  Two pints for two Euros?  Now that's what I call a bargain!

One simply cannot travel to Paris without trying a crepe.  Banana and nutella is my fave.  So so so yummy.  Every time I've had a crepe in Europe I've thought to myself, I am going to make crepes when I get home.  Haven't done it yet, but one of these days.  Perhaps over the holidays this year...

Blair had a little mishap and got it all over her face.  

The last night we were there we went to a French brew pub.  Who know they had brew pubs in Paris, of all places?!!  The space was super cool - multi-level with exposed brick, complete with a lounge space.  Very sexy.  Well, as sexy as a brew pub can get. 

We (Mom, Karly, her beau Kyle, and I) shared a pitcher of Ginger Twist beer - an amber beer with hints of ginger, lemon, and lime.  Mmmmm.

So so so much fun.



Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Homemade applesauce

'Tis the season for apples.

One reason I am particularly fond of the fall is the idea of spending a sunny, crisp Saturday afternoon at the apple orchard.  The irony, though, is that I haven't actually been to an apple orchard to pick apples since I was a wee young lass.

Toward the end of the summer I though to myself, This is the year I will finally make it to the apple orchard.  And suddenly, in the blink of an eye, it's the middle of October.  Where is the time going?!

Instead, I decided that a bag of freshly picked apples from my mom would have to suffice for the time being so that I could make one of my favorite fall recipes - applesauce.

Nothing like a bowl of warm, homemade applesauce to accompany an autumnal meal by the fire on a crisp, blustery evening indoors.  Meatloaf?  Mashed potatoes?  Squash, anyone?

Homemade Applesauce

8 tart apples, Honeycrisp is always a good option
1 C water
1 C sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg

First, peel all of your apples, get rid of the cores, and cut them in to quarters.  Bring the water and apples to a boil, stirring the apples occasionally to ensure that all apples are softening.

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, again stirring occasionally and breaking the apples when they become tender.  I prefer mine to be the consistency of chunky applesauce, but you can also continue stirring / breaking the apples until completely smooth.  

Stir in remaining ingredients, heat to boiling, boil and stir 1 minute.  Super easy, just a bit time consuming.

You'll never eat Mott's again.