french food

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Baby, the Stars Shine Bright Paris Summer 2012 Tea Party

Published Saturday, 13 October 2012 by Sydney Sunny

The last 3 days in Paris and France were very stressful but amazing. At the end of June and the first week of July, I was cleaning and packing to return to the USA. It was hard to close my life over there and to pack my small suitcases. I can not explain all of the process, but the stress of it all was very rewarding. I left my cleaned room in Amiens and arrived in Paris for 3 days with friends!

My outfit: Pink Dessert OP// Everything Baby, the Stars Shine Bright but my wrist cuffs// Credit to Yumi

My Baby rose necklace with matching rose bracelet, and rose ring resting against my lacy pink dress.

The first day I went to Baby, the Stars Shine Bright’s Tea Party. I woke up early in the morning of July 7th because of the excitement! I dolled up in the hotel and left in baby pink! I was wearing platform pink shoes and had no where to hide, but I held my curly head up head in the metro till I traveled to the store to meet some friends before the tea party. I was the first to arrive. I talked with the store owner, M. Sawada, and looked around. I bought a few presents for my friends and a huge silver Baby ring. Then, my friends began to arrive.

Sweet Yumi in her blue dress resting in the store.

I don’t know who arrived when and how but people began to pour in as time went on till the store closed. First, Yumi arrived. She is my cute friend from Japan studying in Paris. She arrived in a newly bought blue dress that I absolutely adore on her. (If only my arms were shorter or the sleeves longer…) She and I were all smiles and hugs to be together! We met at Baby’s Tea Party in February, and I have cherished every moment with her so much! So, it was a special time for me to be with her again.

Me and Rosalynn chatting happily together. //Credit to Yumi

Then, I saw Rosalynn from Lolita Wonderland through the store’s window. I have followed and adored her blog for a while. She and I became close during my stay in Europe on Facebook chat. I have no idea how we started to talk or became friends. We were always talking and messaging each other. When the tea party tickets were announced, she and I both had our fingers crossed. This was a moment when our worlds could come together and meet! And, here we were meeting each other in person! We hugged and were very happy to touch. Rosalynn is such a sweetheart! She is just as her blog portrays her- a sweetheart in love with lolita! I was so happy to meet her, and without this Tea Party I would have never met her! Sadly, on my return to the USA we chat very little because of school and the time difference!

And also, I met Emilie! She and I met at the last tea party where we both shared our loves for the colors yellow and pink! She is adorable, and I always adored her outfits! She is very clever with her outfits too! One might say, I am a secret admirer of her many talents! Plus, she is a great artist.

Tasty, delightful, colorful,sushi waiting for us to eat it.

Soon- too soon- the store closed. This was my last visit since then to Baby, the Stars Shine Bright. So, Yumi took me to an authentic tiny sushi restaurant. She said the sushi tasted truer to the sushi in Japan; however, my taste buds are not sensitive! We had a great time talking and eating. Yumi even treated me to sake! She was surprised I liked it. Oh my! After our lunch, we had time to walk over to the Tea Party at Le Grand Hotel next to the Opera.

I was twirling in the empty tea room.

Yumi and I took the back entrance to the hotel. We both took this entrance when we came to the Anniversary Tea Party in February. We thought we were late. There were no other girls entering. We followed the signs and some workers nodded to us that we were in the right place. Yet, there was no one to greet us. Confused, I think, a man took us to the room and left us. The tea party was in the same hall, so we both knew where we were. Yet, the tables were empty. What did we do? We took pictures of the empty room.
Then M.Sawada appeared at the door and was surprised to see us. With him was a small, pretty, woman with a bob cut in “muggle” clothing- Midori. Yumi and M.Sawada talked in Japanese. What I got from the conversation (Yumi’s help) was that we came in the back entrance and everyone is waiting at the main entrance to be let in. M. Sawada was not mad by any account he just directed us to the correct place to wait, smiling and bowing.

Outside a sea of girls (with a few boys) were waiting to go inside. There was girls in over-the-top sweet, classical, bittersweet, goth, simple, pastel, dark, natural hair, wigs, bows, and bonnets. The mix of styles was like looking at a Tumblr feed of the lolitas. Plus to the many styles, people were from many places. Last time there were few girls outside of the French speaking countries, but there were girls from Germany and even Russia!

Claire explained the events in French and English.

Waiting for my ticket to be checked and entering the tea room was not very exciting. Yumi and I, both, were spoiled by our early visit. For the gift, I received tiny pins of the currant popular prints from Baby, the Stars Shine Bright and Alice and the Pirates.

I choose the Black Forest cake with silver on top.

Everyone standing, chatting, and taking pictures. Emilie is posing in the

front.

This pretty German girl looked so cute in pink and her bunny!

Another girl who was cute as pie!

First, Tea and Sweets were served and every chatted and took pictures for a long time.

Midori with her book, Classical Doll.

Second, We were told to return to our seats for Midori’s entrance. She modeled the new Cinderella collection. I love the dress because it is so princess-like but also elegant!

The Cinderella dress’s print up close is stunningly elegant.

I felt like the design of the tea room mirrored the elegant print on the dress.

After she came in and modeled, the Cake made an entrance, and everyone had more sweets. I love this cake. I don’t know what kind of cake it is but it has to be made with French magic.

Midori held my hand, I smiled my super silly, excited smile.

my ticket, signed postcard, and pins

Then Midori held a little contest for her book by Rock-Paper-Scissors (which I lost horribly). And, then she sign the winner’s books and postcard for everyone else. For each person she talked to with the help of Claire, she looked at everyone’s outfit (she liked my little Baby- store ribbons), she would hold everyone’s hand, and smile for a picture. She seemed so calm, nice, and grateful to be with everyone.

This beauty won the best dressed of Alice and the Pirates. She sat at my table, she was from Russia, and she was just stunning!

Finally, the exciting hope of getting free pries by a drawing. Sadly, nothing for me! haha! And, the best prizes to Best Dressed by Midori’s Choice – which I agreed with!

Fin.

Yumi, me, M. Sawada, Emilie, and Rosalynn posing together for a final picture!// Credit to Rosalynn

Check out these blog post for more pictures and information:

Lolita Wonderland

Fancy Melody

Totoro’s Adventures (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)

PS: Sorry for the TOTAL abuse and lack of posts. I just hate to think about my last days in France… and be stuck in the middle of nowhere again! Maybe after all my French posts, I will be able to find fun things to write about again even if I am back to a boring university student! Till then!

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Parc des Buttes Chaumont and Goodbyes

Published Thursday, 28 June 2012 by Sydney Sunny

After the picnic in one park, Marine and Nicolas took me to another park to have a picnic! In such great weather everyone loves picnics in the shade after a long winter. This time we met with my friends again, Yumi and Karima. They all are my sweet precious friends!

We walked into the park and it was another forest like park- not sand paths and perfect grass and flowers. I always remember my lost love of the shade from trees. I am love the shade of trees and how the light dances between the leaves.

Walking in the shade on a warm day in a park is a favorite and simple favorite thing I like to do.

The “Parc des Buttes Chaumont” is in the area of the “Gare du Nord” , “Gard de l’Est” and “Basilique du Sacre Coeur”. It is up in this northern part of Paris pf district 19. There is not much tourist things to see in 19, so it was nice to be among the locals. There were children playing in the creek, mothers with babies, the young tanning, and the old strolling.

The bridge to the  little island with the little mountain.

I love this park. Also, there is a mountain! Well, not really, but like the Sacre Coeur it has a great free view of the romantic city of Paris. The view is on top of a steep tiny island with a mountain. On top sits a Greek style building to look from. I prefer this park to Sacre Coeur. I am often nervous in Sacre Coeur and hate the people there.

The Greek structure

 

The view of Paris- a little different then the normal view everyone thinks of, but this is Paris too!

Finally, we ate. After we walking in the grass and found the shade, we made a place to sit. I had a typical French sandwich. It is wonderful. It is simple too. It was about half a baguette with cheese and a tomato. This sandwich is a over priced golden tourist trap. Please, go to a Carrefour Market or a place to buy food. a Bagette is less then or around a 1Euro and the cheese is not expensive. Pick up anything else. You can just break the bread for lunch and have it with cheese. It is a wonderful to-go, picnic, and cheap lunch. You can save a little money but still have a nice French-y lunch!

A view of the picnics

 

We finished eating and packed our things because we were having dessert elsewhere.
At Baby, the Stars Shine Bright there was a party for Megu, a friend and worker, who was leaving to return home to Japan.

Megu at Baby

Praise to Megu time: I love Megu, and I am so happy to have become her friend over time. She is so sweet and beautiful. I never met someone who was so open and kind to me. Her sense of style and makeup inspires me to be like her! She is like a living doll!

The fabulous food

Anyways, Megu’s party was very large. There was food and drinks for everyone! I ate quite a lot, because of the chocolate pie and cheesecake. Never in my life have I tasted food like here in France.

The open doors at Baby!

 

The group of Megu’s friends

I talked with different people and looked around at everyone’s great outfits. In the end I felt that I could not go. I just couldn’t leave. Megu was a great friend, and I didn’t want to turn my back on her. I said goodbye to a dear friend in December and walking away from the train station was so hard. My legs again turned to lead. But, Megu say we will see each other again. I gave her a big hug. I pray that our lives will cross again.

Me,Megu, and Claire standing together. Megu is standing on the stairs in her high heel to be taller then me in my flats on the ground. Is she taller?

 

My tears came a little on the train. It was a brief overwhelming but controlled tear up. I was entering my last month in France, June, and I was sad. I have so many friends to say goodbye to when I leave. Yet, that is why I didn’t cry, I have so many friends.

Just Another French Meal

Published Sunday, 6 May 2012 by Sydney Sunny

After spending time with both my French family and French friends, I learned how the French people eat. And when they eat, they eat good from my observation and participation.

I am still up for a surprise every time I sit down at a French meal, but I have an excuse. I am from America.

**Before I start, these are my observation, don’t take them by heart. Each situation, family, and food is different. I am vegetarian, and it was really simple, I think, for the cook to work around me. I have not looked up information before writing this. It is purely my observation. If things are wrong, they are not wrong for me.**

I’m eating with Marine’s family in Dives, France.

The plates are placed on the table. The plate in the center. The knife and fork on the sides ( I forgot which sides for now). A smaller spoon is placed above the plate. The spoon is for the desserts. I found myself using my fork instead out of habit. Opps! Finally, a glass for a drink is place right above the plate where is the spoon is placed. The glass is not the right or left, as it is normally done in my household, but right in the center.

First Course: I am having  “salade de carotte rapee” and a beet salad. I think, it is my favorite course!

First Course:
The start is salads. There could be salads made of green lettuce or salads like “Salade de Carotte Rapee“. Also, there is sometimes raw vegetables with the salads.

*After you have finish your full of the salads, bread is usually taken. You can take bread anytime but usually afterwards it is eaten. *

Second Course: hot, main dishes

Second Course: Marine and Yumi’s hot dish of mussels and cream.

Second Course:
This is the main dish. There is usually one or two. One is usually meat and the other a side dish- for example rice, potatoes, or cooked vegetables. But what ever it is, it is hot or cooked. If meat was the only hot dish, there is always more from the first course.

*Again bread is eaten with the course and/or after*

Third Course: Cheese

Third Course:
Here is the very, very French course, cheese. A plate of different cheeses to chose from comes out. The cheese is taken with bread. Personally, I often took two because I want to try different kinds. However, often one is just chosen to taste.

*Bread is eaten with the cheese, and this is normally the end of the bread.*

Fourth Course: Dessert

Fourth Course:
This is sweetest course. It is dessert time! When Yumi and I were visiting, they made sure to buy pastries. I always ate too much because I’ve never seen such cute and wonderful tasting desserts! But for more casual days, there is raw fruit, pudding, mouse, or yogurt. They just went all fancy because of Yumi and me!

Fifth Course:
This is the time to digest all of that yummy French cooking, bread, and sweets. Coffee and tea is made.

Sounds like a yummy meal, right? I’ve never had meals like this- unless I was on a cruise!

I want to thank my family and friends for letting me take such lovely meals with them! I have not way of repaying you all such a wonderful gifts and experiences you have given me. I have learned more with you then in classrooms.

Merci.

**Also, all pictures are from Marine. I was too busy eating and drinking to take pictures! Thanks, Marine!**

Salade de Carottes Râpées

Published Tuesday, 1 May 2012 by Sydney Sunny

Marine’s mother Mme Patricia saw my post about my favorite French things. She told me when I come over she will teach me how to make “salade de carottes râpées” (shredded carrot salad) because it is very simple! So here is the recipe from a French cook!

Before dinner Totoro become nervous. He feared that he would be on the menu! However, Mme Patricia showed him how to make a wonderful orange colored salad!

You will need:
Carrots (500g but you can use as many as you want)
Dijon Mustard
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

1. Peel the carrots. I think, she had about 500grams.

2. Shred the carrots- by machine it is fast! Put the carrots in a separate bowl.

3. In a small bowl, toss on a bit of salt and pepper (more can be added later for taste) and plop in some Dijon mustard (only can be Dijon) – about 1 or 2 spoon fulls.

4. Mix in olive oil till it becomes fluffy or thick but runny, like the picture.

6. Pore the dressing on the carrots right away and mix. If you want you can make more dressing, add more pepper or salt to taste.

Totoro was very happy not to be on the menu! The French often eat this salad as a first course! Personally, it could be my only course!

The yummy end!

My Favorite [French] Things

Published Wednesday, 4 April 2012 by Sydney Sunny

I have been living in France for 7 months. It has been a long time for me, for others I’m just a baby. However, I have explored the life here in France and have found somethings I really enjoy! These are things that are easy to find in France and may be over looked, but hard to find where I live in the USA.

Food:

Speculoos:

Speculoos a Tartiner by Lotus

Speculoos by Lotus

I fell love with Speculoos cookies. It is the (almost) perfect cookie! It has warm spices- like cinnamon, which is my favorite. They are just wonderful cookies, but to make it worst the brand Lotus made a spread. It is heaven. And, the surprising element about the Speculoos is – dah dah- IT IS VEGAN. Yes, Speculoos is the easy to find junk food for vegans in France.

Salade de Carottes Râpées:

salade de carottes râpées (french carrot salad)

On one of my first adventures for food, I was looking for good, safe prepared food because I didn’t have anyway to cook. Suddenly bright orange “Salade de carottes râpées” stood out. I studied it and put it in my bag. Once I had it, I was hooked. I can eat a large box for a meal, all the time. The salad is raw carrots and a dressing of oil and mustard. My friends know I love carrots and mustard together. So, right, this is perfection – vegan, raw. I think, I will miss this the most when I leave.

Brie:

Brie - Fromage

I have bought cheese after cheese in France. I have had Camembert, Blue, Green, Munster and you name it. But, nothing is better to me then Brie. I do not think it is very popular with the French. It is just a common cheese. It is my favorite cheese that cannot ever be vegan. I’m in France- forgive me!

Confiture de châtaignes à la vanille:

Confiture de châtaignes à la vanille

In the jam section I found the normal things, strawberry, blackberry, red berry, blueberry, orange, chestnut…? WHAT?! Chestnuts, the wonderful warm “nuts” they roast on the street, can be a jam? I decide to take the advice of Beauty and the Beast’s famous song and tried the gray stuff. And, it was delicious.

Entertainment:

B-D: Elinor Jones:

Elinor Jones, Tome 1 : Le Bal d'hiver

In France they have a ton of comics or in French “Bande-Dessinée”! Tintin is a famous example. I picked up a few at the library. It was interesting to large hard back books with pictures. I felt like a little kid, but some of these comic were NOT for kids. The one that sticks out as my favorite is Elinor Jones. I loved the story, fashion, and colors. I also found out that I follow the artist online! The trilogy is unfinished.

Harry Potter:

Harry Potter Tome 1

So, Harry Potter is not, très pas, French. However, I have collected 1-6 of 7 on my shelf, and I am currently reading the 3rd! I love to read the comforting stories that I grew up on, and learn a bit of French! It is really entertaining, and educational.

Movies:

The Illusionist

French movies are a hit or miss for me. Most of the time, it is a miss. I just cannot follow the plot well or the ending is dull. I have found French movies that I do love before I came to France: Les Triplettes de BellevilleLes Choristes, and Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain. They were all popular for the French lovers in my French classes. During my stay I have tried a few. I do not remember the titles of the misses, but only the hits. Hands down the L’illusionniste wins as the best! It is a moving piece of artwork with a quiet story.
Other movies I liked:  Le Chat du Rabbin and Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis

This is just a small list. My larger and ever growing list is on Pinterest.

Hope you had fun!