Just Another Meatless Monday


Remember that scene in the “Fabulous Baker Boys” when one of the brothers buys spray on hair coloring that’s called “a hair system” and the other brother corrects him and says “it’s paint!”. That’s a little like how I feel about  “broth bowls” now surging right along side PS ( pumpkin spice…added to anything) due to the recent calendar pages turning to fall. Panera is serving them and God knows, Noodles and Co. have made a business out of them, but here’s the thing folks…”it’s paint” or more to the point…”it’s soup”!

So when Cooking Light came out with a recipe for a broth bowl WITH EGGS, I paid more attention. To be specific, it talked about “frizzled” eggs, which means cooked in oil until the edges are nice and crispy.


The broth part is easy enough. A base of garlic and chopped onions caramelized in a little oil, add mushrooms and cook them down, then diced tomatoes, a can of white beans that have been rinsed well, a blister pack of spinach and veggie broth.


I made mine over the weekend and let it chill till Monday nite. Then I brought it up to temp on the stove top and fried up an egg to top each bowl (and an extra for second helping!). I threw in some of my garlic confit to frizzle side by side with the eggs, and then portioned out some soup and topped with about a tablespoon of shredded cheese ( not included in recipe, but hey, you only live once).


Then top with the egg and dig in! Very satisfying and the melty yolk mixes with the broth to taste extra rich and silky. Enjoy!



What a potboiler!

Well there’s 2 hours of my life that I’ll never get back….


Connie Stevens plays a naive young woman who meets and falls in love with a doomed mountain climber on her way home from South America with her parents.( Her father has been working there for the past 10 years in a mine.) Susan and Conn ( the climber) have a shipboard fling that results in a teenage pregnancy. Conn dies trying to summit Mt. McKinley, but Susan doesn’t know. She’s involved in trying to hide the pregnancy from her family and when they do find out, the revelation coincides with an invite for her father to return to South America to work.

Que suerte! What luck! They can hide the pregnancy in South America, where no one knows them. And for an added twist, Susan’s mother, played by Dorothy McGuire tells everyone that she is pregnant in a “change of life event” , so that the story will stick.  Susan finally receives a call from her lover’s father telling her that he is dead. She tries to kill herself and Hoyt ( portrayed by Troy Donohue…you could surf on the wave in his hair) the novelist and stable hand, rescues her, confides all his hopes and dreams to her AND promises to watch Susan’s horse while she’s away.

Fast forward about a year and the Slades are preparing to come home. It’s speeded up by the elder Slade’s untimely death. Their best friends, who also happened to have an eligible and wealthy bachelor son, played by Bert Convy  ( seriously…) fix them up in a house in the states and basically run their lives. It’s more than a little creepy. Susan continues to hang out with Hoyt and when the baby catches fires ( you read that right, we can’t make up these plots from the 60’s…) Hoyt is the hero and the true provenance of the baby is revealed at the hospital.

Holy cow, at times patronizing, misogynistic and downright dated, this was the really a stretch of a plot. But like a train wreck…. you can’t take your eyes off it!

What to do with?

I had a sheet of puff pastry in the frig and picked up these aptly named, beautiful,  sunshine raspberries. This purchase happily coincided with a precipitous drop in temperature and humidity, allowing me to TURN ON THE OVEN! For the first time in what seems like years, but was probably only weeks…

I blind baked the pastry crust and sorted the raspberries, only one bad one in the bunch! 

Then the happy, magic concoction of egg yolk, sugar, cream, a little milk, a little flour and vanilla bean and whisk and temper the ingredients over medium heat. You will be rewarded with pastry cream….

That you can then spread on your crispy, flaky, buttery pastry…

That you can then top with fruit and some thinned out apricot glaze….which you can enjoy sitting by the fire pit on a chilly nite with the Hubs!


Well, that was a longer than necessary break, trying to get back into EDT, get a job, catch up with laundry…all good except that pesky second item of a new career. Anyway, I digress and wanted to finish up the story of our trip to Paris.


On our final day on Monday,  we decided to go out to breakfast, the Hubs correctly recognizing that if he didn’t get me to go out in Paris, he’ll never get me to go out to breakfast in the States. We opted for the typical Petit Dejeuner or Continental of coffee/tea, orange juice and pastry. Not shown is the baguette, cut in half, and toasted with butter and jam called a tartan, and it was as big as a 747 wingspan.


Then like typical but not “ugly” Americans we sought out central air conditioning. We caved, we whimpered, we even whined a little. We were HOT….like Africa hot. Over 90°F in central Paris was the breaking point for us. So like little lemmings we streamed into BHV, short for Bazaare de Hotel de Ville ( the bazaar of city hall) which it stands right behind. In Hubs lingo, BHV stands for Big Honkin Venue. This store had everything from million dollar jewelry to gallons of paint! Seriously the entire basement is like Home Depot!  The photo above of the pink and yellow china was on a wall not a table, yup glued in place!

We poked around there for the majority of the middle of the day and then retreated to a nearby sidewalk cafe for hydration and a club sandwich…a mainstay of our diet when it’s too late for lunch, too early for dinner and goes good with rose wine and cold draft beer. I think we drank some water, too. Don’t want to take any chances…

After we wandered back over the bridge to the apartment and proceeded to cram our treasures into our suitcase, clean up our lodgings a bit, finish the rose we had in the fridge and then went out for a final dinner on Ile de Ste. Louis, a pigeon flight from the Rose Window of Notre Dame. We found a table out of the way at a restaurant by the name of Chaumiere, and enjoyed dinner al fresco, like seemingly everyone else in Paris that nite.

Later we walked back up Quai de Bourbon to number 17 and looked at our bridges, the lit towers of Hotel de Ville and the bateaux on the “have a cocktail, see Paris in the moonlight” runs up and down the Seine.

Tuesday morning we were up at 4:30 am and out of the apartment by 6 for a very long ride to CDG due to numerous traffic accidents. One last pain au chocolate and tea while we waited for Aer Lingus check in and then off to our gate and flight to Dublin where we celebrated the Hubs’ birthday with a professional pint…and a little duty free shopping.





When we couldn’t get there from here…

We were trying to get here…

This is how it went…

All we needed to do was hop on the crosstown bus and get over to la tour Eiffel by 11 am to meet a former colleague and dear friend for brunch. No one told us that 1/2 the city was shut down for La Parisienne, the Paris version of a Komen walk/run for breast cancer research. An immense event that took 3 hours to get everyone over starting line. We wound up getting rerouted, as did Isa, my friend but about noon, we sat down to a leisurely lunch. Rain threatened early, but thankfully held off and cloud cover kept the temps down. We strolled back to bus and did a little window shopping on the way back to our nest.

The Hubs found a cute car…

And Paris evidently believes that cute male florists with open shirts sell a lot of flowers…

We had dinner at our local cafe and watched the bateaux go by on the river and the steady stream of human and motorized traffic on the pont, to and from the right bank…

We also saw Marcus Welby/ Royal Pains come to life when this car pulled up 3 feet away from our table in a no parking zone and out hopped the doc, complete with his black bag! Who knew there are still house calls?


When we pay a visit to the emperor, yes, that emperor…

The heat has been incredible in Paris this week, so on Saturday we got on a crosstown bus and went to see the littlest general at Musee de L’Armee. 

We’ve been here before, but each time find something new to look at.


Like cannons…

And horses, yes, real ones…just like Roy Rogers’ horse Trigger

And Napolean’s hat and greatcoat, a very dull greige…

And a big game of Stratego…

And an entire gallery FULL of toy soldiers, miniatures and dioramas. Unbelievable amounts of detail. This last photo is a closeup of the one depicting Napolean at his daughters crib. 

Of course the basalt sarcophagus is under the dome and there is still a working veterans hospital on the grounds, hence the other name of Invalides, interchangeable with Musee.


Where we find the “marvelous”

The fun of our trip to Paris this week is really that we have been able to just walk around and point out interesting things to each other. On Friday we did a lot of that in the Marais section of Paris. It was an easy walk from our studio and yielded many treasures, which of course is the reason for this post! Here are some highlights. I’m saving best for last!

Love seeing these classic Citroen cars…there are a few around town, some for rent. But I’m always reminded of the Pink Panther…marvelous!

As we were leaving our rental digs, the local Padre walked by in his soutane, the long black robe or cassock that was normal street wear for RC priests until the middle of the 20th century, after 2nd Vatican council, when it was replaced by a suit.* But it still gives you pause when you see it worn in today’s modern, rushing world. And France, although very Catholic, is very secular in the day to day. Marvelous!

There was a gem of a bakery featuring this fig tarte and next door a greeting card of a florist, artfully arranged of course. Marvelous!

There’s the custom Magnum© Bar where you can design your own, skipped that one also…Marvelous!

A giant flamingo…Marvelous!

This Marvelous street that lead to…

The greatest falafel that I have ever eaten in my young life…Holy cow it was delicious. The Hubs had a schwarma plate, also marvelous!

And then we found (insert sounds of angels singing) Aux Marvellieux de Fred. Loosely translated it means….the marvelous of Fred. Fred’s a guy who took a good thing and made it well, marvelous! He sells 3 things…the Incroyable, pictured here. A smaller version called the Marvellieux and the Cramique, here…

The Cramique is a large brioche (loaf size) with raisins, sugar or chocolate. 

Watch them make the Marvellieux…notice the size of the meringues that are used as the sandwich!

And there you have it…the marvelous of Paris!


When we rest….

Rest is a relative word in that our total miles per day walked dropped down to about 4 and about 4 pm we cried ‘uncle’ and took a BIG nap! We started the day in a cab with a panoramic roof! What a great idea! And we were off to Bon Marche, the left bank department store. ( Which of course is different than the right bank department store/s of BHV, Samartaine, and Printemps.)

We ha our sites set on la grand epicerie of the Bon Marche, which obligingly greeted us with the wall of rose wine! I felt so loved and appreciated! 

We wandered around for a couple of hours tasting and sniffing and ooh-la-la ing over everything, because as my fried A said, “the French can make anything look smart and sophisticated”. See if you can tell which of these things are not like the other…

We stopped for a quick tapas lunch in the store, how convenient and considerate of Bon Marche…

Then we hit the main store for a look at some ‘big, fat nerve’ pricing as I call it where I actually held a pair of Christian Louboutin ballet slippers in my hand and then I got ahold of myself and hot footed it out of there…but they were beautiful…sigh.

We had a lovely late nap and a late dinner at a beauty of a restaurant called l’Orangerie which we had seen on our first nite in town.



Where it’s hot, hot, hot….

The sun never quit on Wednesday! We took our time getting to the Musee D’orsay on a beautiful day, and thankfully the humidity was much lower than earlier in week.

The museum is beautiful inside and out and although probably busy, did not feel crowded at all. In a former life the facility was a train station, hence the soaring spaces. We snooped around a bit and then decided to have lunch in the restaurant, which we suspect was a space the railway companies used for first class passenger dining. Just look at this ceiling…

I also loved the chairs in the restaurant! A contrast and a complement to the classical decor, they are a modern take on those hard plastic chairs we sat on in high school.

After lunch, we took in the Impressionist galleries, herewith some of my faves…

And outside the Impressionist galleries is a roomy veranda that offers a pigeon’s view of the Louvre, Tuileries and the Seine.

Then off through the Tulieries to the giant Ferris wheel, La Ronde de Paris.

Check out these great views!

Check out this traffic!

Then a slow ramble back to our apartment along the Seine…

Finally, the view for dinner from our table at our local…