Archive for October, 2011

Autumn Moroccan Stew

For the past two weeks, I’ve been swamped with papers, midterms, and a week out of London to Copenhagen and Berlin. I have a bunch of posts waiting in my queue to be finished, and a few guest posts from other students who travelled to other cities in Europe over the last week! But for right now, I’ll leave you with a great, make-ahead, easy, delicious, and healthy recipe for autumn: Carrot & Squash Moroccan Stew.

stewone

With the way my schedule is set up at university, I’m placed in the same position as many adults are in a typical work day: we aren’t home all day, and the last thing we want to do at 8 PM is cook a lengthy homemade dinner – even if we love to cook. There’s always times, though, where I have an hour or two to cook (either the day before or much earlier in the day). Make-ahead meals like stews are always such a great option, but they’re usually ignored due to their traditionally boring flavors. But sometimes, certain recipes can change preconceptions about a dish – like this one from Epicurious. It’s ridiculously healthy, beautifully seasonal, and feels fresh even though it’s been cooked hours or days in advance. And, served over couscous, it makes for a wholesome dish that’s impossible not to enjoy.

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A Weekend in Paris

This past weekend, I travelled over to Paris to spend some time with my cousin and her family, who were staying just south of Montmartre. After the most stressful hour of my life (from 19:00 – 20:00 on Thursday, September 29th, which included sprinting around Holborn carrying a 30 pound non-rolling duffle bag, busting into my about-to-close school building to print out a missing boarding pass, making it to the check-in-point at St. Pancras with 47 seconds to spare, and rushing through security and border control in order to make my 20:02 train), I settled in on the Eurostar and prepared for the great weekend ahead of me.

Waking up on Friday morning was difficult. The previous night, after the hour from hell and its subsequent train ride, I had to wait in a taxi queue for over 45 minutes and then use my limited French skills to explain to a non-English-speaking taxi driver where the relatively unknown, boutique hotel was in a non-central part of town. But once I was up, any tiredness in me was quickly vanquished by an unbelievably delicious apricot croissant from Midoré, the spacious and bright café around the corner from our hotel. Throughout the weekend, Midoré became our go-to breakfast/brunch place; everything we tried (apple-filled pastry, butter-caramel eclair, cappuccino, hot chocolate, strawberry tart) was just so good, and so cheap.

From Midoré, Megan and I walked over to the Eiffel Tower while the rest of her family went to Disneyland Paris (fulfilling the request of my younger cousin Garrett). For the rest of the day, we utilized our hop-on hop-off boat pass and visited different sites along the Seine. Over the course of the day, we saw the Louvre, Notre Dame, le Jardin de Plants, and – at the place where we spent most our day, getting lost deep into the neighborhood’s streets – St. Germain.

While there were countless places we could’ve eaten, we ended up at Paul Maison de Qualité, an international chain that offers freshly-baked breads, pastries, and other lunch goods. Our sandwiches were just fine; mine consisted of ham, lettuce, and hard-boiled egg on a baguette — something light and cheap enough for lunch. The place we spent the most time and money was actually at Un Dimanche à Paris, a sleek and modern dessert shop in the winding alleyways of the left bank. After perusing about the entire store, we ordered a selection of macarons and white chocolate ice cream and sat outside.

The ice cream was fine, but a little too plain. The macarons, though, were amazing – especially the butter-caramel ones. Each bite was spectacular – a heavenly combination of airy macaron and the most intensely-flavored butter caramel filling. The other macarons had this impossibly-good flavor too – the coffee, hazelnut, and pistachio flavors so deeply intense. We walked back to the boat content.

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