Healthy fix for chilly spring in Paris: lentil soup

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Easy recipe:

3 tablespoons extra–virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery stalks plus chopped celery leaves for garnish
1 cup chopped carrots
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 cups (or more) vegetable broth
1 1/4 cups lentils, rinsed, drained
1 14 1/2–ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
Balsamic vinegar, ham or sausages (optional)

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium–high heat. Add onions, celery, carrots, and garlic; sauté until vegetables begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Add 4 cups broth, lentils, and tomatoes with juice and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium–low, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 35 minutes.

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Transfer 2 cups soup to blender and puree until slightly lumpy – don’t over swirl and make it into babyfood. Return puree to soup in pan; thin soup with more broth by 1/4 cupfuls, if too thick. Season with salt, pepper, and a splash of vinegar, if desired. For non-vegetarians consider adding some sausage or ham. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with celery or cilantro leaves.

Suggest peppery Bob’s Redmill petite green lentils. buy them here

FYI:

With 25% protein,  the lentil is the vegetable with the highest level of protein other than soybeans.

Provides  antioxidants such as Vitamin A and Vitamin C, which bind with and destroy free radicals, reducing oxidative damage to cells.

Have high content of tannins, phytochemicals that prevent cancer growth, making them a good addition to any diet.

Good source of important minerals like iron, magnesium, and zinc. Iron deficiency causes anemia while zinc is one of several nutrients necessary for fending off infections.

Where to get a good  bowl of lentil soup in Paris?

Restaurant Dominique Bouchet
11 rue Treilhard, 8th arr.

Les Papilles 30 RUE GAY LUSSAC
5th arr (not always on the menu) – their delicious cauliflower soup an alternative

 

April showers Paris? duck in here

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AT THE POMPIDOU

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From 6 April to 1 August 2016, the Pompidou Centre presents an exhibition on one of the 20th century’s leading artists: Paul Klee. This retrospective, featuring 250 works by this major figure of modern art, looks at the career of the artist through the prism of irony. Originating in early German Romanticism, this satire and detachment enabled Paul Klee to be creative and paint whilet at the same time denouncing the policies and ideologies of his time.

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The exhibition is organized around seven themes: ‘Les débuts satiriques (Satirical Beginnings)’, ‘Klee et le cubisme (Klee and Cubism)’, ‘Théâtre mécanique (Mechanical Theatre)’, ‘Klee et les constructivismes (Klee and Constructivism)’, ‘Regards en arrière (Looking Back)’, ‘Klee et Picasso (Klee and Picasso)’ and ‘Années de crise (Crisis Years)’.

11am – 9pm. Closed on Tuesday

€14. Reduced rate: €11. Free for children aged under 18.

Metro: Rambuteau (line 11), Hôtel de Ville (lines 1 and 11), Châtelet (lines 1, 4, 7, 11 and 14)
RER: Châtelet-les Halles (lines A, B and D)
Bus: 29, 38, 47, 75

AT QUAI BRANLY MUSEUM

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PERSONA: Now until November 13, 2016

At a time of major debates on transhumanism and artificial intelligence, the Quai Branly Museum presents an exhibition for understanding the mechanisms by which the cultures of the ancient to the most contemporary, “inject person” in objects.

The shaman who summons the spirits through a statuette taking the features of the gods, the child who has a passion for his security blanket, all those who converse with the pet, mutual friend of everyday life … everywhere, the boundaries between the human and all that surrounds it seem more and more permeable, raising broader questions of cohabitation between man, object, animal and machine.

Musée du quai Branly
37 Quai Branly
75007 Paris 7

Closed on Monday
Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday: 11:00 am-07:00 pm
Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 11:00 am-09:00 pm

What’s happening Paris: March

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A few cherry-picked selections to fit into your walking/eating/shopping/faire les betises schedule.

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Musée d’Orsay
Address
1 rue de la Légion-d’Honneur
75007 Paris   From 22 March to 17 July 2016

This exhibition, initially presented at the Palazzo Ducale de Venise in 2015, has now made its way to the galleries of the Orsay Museum. A major representative of naïve art, Henri Rousseau was, in particular, known by the nickname Douanier Rousseau. Although he travelled very little, he was renowned for his paintings which represent jungle scenes. From an album called “Savage Beasts” and following visits to the jardin des Plantes as well as the Natural History museum – these are the things behind his most well-known paintings.

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Some of his masterpieces, which belong to the collections of the Orsay and Orangerie Museums, can be found here, alongside others of his paintings on loan from the greatest international establishments. Also on exhibition are works by Kandinsky, Picasso, Seurat and Delaunay but also lesser-known artists, in order to highlight the inspirations and influence of the French painter.

How to get there
Bus 24 Bus 63 Bus 68 Bus 69 Bus 73 Bus 83
Metro 12 Solférino
RER C Musée d’Orsay

http://www.musee-orsay.fr
Prices:Normal rate : 11.00 €   Reduced rate : 8.50 €

 

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Omnivore Festival: From 06 March to 08 March 2016

Maison de la Mutualité
24 rue Saint-Victor, 75005 Paris

Dedicated to the discovery of all types of food, the Omnivore Festival has already groomed many talents through the five act demonstration. This year, the event is bringing to the spotlight, close to 150 guests for different events of more than 110 master classes.
The food club will welcome renowned chefs like the French Jean-François Piège and Anne-Sophie Pic ; the Spaniard, Andoni Luis Aduriz; the Shanghai chef, Paul Pairet; and Normand Laprise and Charles-Antoine Crête from Quebec. By the way, Montreal is the guest of honor at the festival with about ten different Canadian dishes. The pastry club, on its part, will assemble close to 25 professionals in pastry and chocolate making. French and international producers, grape producers brewers are expected at the Craftsman and liquid clubs. The Avant-Garde club is the platform for showcasing new talents.

How to get there
Metro 10 Cardinal Lemoine, http://www.omnivore.com

 

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The Orchestra of Found Items, From 11 March to 20 March 2016

Olympia, 28 boulevard des Capucines, 75009 Paris

Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, the creators of the spectacle Stomp, present a new show which is most detached and fascinating. On stage are uniquely talented drummers who recreate each section of a symphony orchestra using a host of everyday objects turned into musical instruments: pots, bottles, dustbins, barrels, oil cans, lids, sinks and even traffic cones. Far from the kind of chaos that is imagined, these crazy artists offer us an amazing concert. A total of sixty musicians, singers, comedians and dancers will participate in this spectacle which is as explosive as it is inventive.

How to get there: Metro 3 Opéra,  Metro 8 Madeleine
http://www.olympiahall.com
Prices : from 29.00 to 95.00 €

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For even more entertainment, consult your No Worries Paris guidebook

https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B00822LOKI&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_uPY1wb1XXG8YX

Paris: short course cooking classes

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If you’ve been to Paris countless times and want to mix it up and come home with some authentic French cooking skills, give this list a good look.

At the top of the list is the Valentine Day workshop at Le Cordon Bleu, February 13.

Chocolate and raspberry heart-shaped entremets (a light dish served between two courses of a formal meal)
Rose macaroons
Participants will enjoy a glass of Champagne after the class. 190€ per participant.
Translated into English.
Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.
Price: € 190.00
Address: 8 Leon Delhomme street
Duration: 6 Hours

One of the best culinary schools in the world. Le Cordon Bleu proposes a range of short term culinary discoveries for those with a passion for the art of cooking. A complete description of their short courses can be found on their website.

Francoise Meunier is located in the 2nd arrondissement. The Paris cooking school was opened in 1997 by Francoise Meunier, a pioneer of public cooking classes. During the three-hour class students prepare a three-course meal and then sit down to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Classes are in French, but Françoise speaks English.  Address: 7, Paul-Lelong Street.

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A typical French cooking class

Promenades Gourmandes with Paule Caillat offers walking tours of culinary Paris and cooking classes. Classes are taught in Paule Caillat’s contemporary home kitchen, located in an easily accessible historic Marais building. With no more than eight students per class, you will relish an experience that is personalized, friendly and fun. Classes start at 9:00 am with an open-air market tour, followed by a hands-on cooking class and a four-course lunch, finishing around 3 :00 pm.Each class includes a cheese tasting, along with discussion and explanation of the subtleties that make France’s fromage so unique.   Address: 187 Du Temple Street.

International Kitchen gives one day cooking class. And “Cooking Vacations” for 1 to 8 nights. The full day in Paris is a gastronomic experience. Visit a Parisian market with the chef. Learn to cook a full menu. Prices range from $100 to $395 per person, and the cooking courses can usually be confirmed for as few as two people. The lesson takes place in Chef Frédéric’s beautiful apartment kitchen, which is located on the border of the 20th and 11th arrondissements. The class begins in a nearby local market, where you’ll choose your ingredients for your class. Back in the kitchen, Frederic shares some wonderful tips as you create a full menu, including appetizer, main dish and dessert. He will also teach techniques for recreating these wonderful dishes — such as stuffed lamb shoulder and fruit with honey and thyme — at home. After class, enjoy a tasting of everything you’ve created.

L’Atelier des Chefs is one of the best Paris cooking schools. You can select your level of cooking. Also offers 3 hours courses, 4 hours courses. There are five locations in Paris. Check their website for their schedule (in French). Priced right.

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Atelier des Sens offers 2, 3 hours courses specially designed for the gourmet. Under the guidance of professional chefs, learn basic cooking techniques and actions to master traditional recipes, be it refined or inventive. Fresh market cuisine, local product cuisine, fusion cuisine, gastronomic cuisine, quick meals, introduction to molecular cuisine and a focus on cooking techniques are classes offered. Address: 40 rue Sedaine Paris 11th arrondissement.

Academie Cinq Sens offers midday cooking where you can learn one recipe.  The also offer children’s courses.  65-85 euros. Address: Village royal 25 rue Royale, 8th arrondissement.

Guest Cooking is specially for tourists who want to learn French home cooking. Workshops for kids. Address:  6 Rue Ernest et Henri Rousselle, 75013 Paris

École de Cuisine Alain DucasseLearn to cook an entire gastronomical menu. Vegetarian classes, vitamin cocktails, fileting to cooking fish, kids’ course, 3 star cooking of the Riviera. 64, rue du Ranelagh – 75016 Paris

 

 

Paris by the BOOK

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The No Worries Paris guide, that is. The stock market is plummeting, the political candidate news is disturbing, cheap oil is affecting world markets, there’s trouble in the Middle East, and there are epic storms predicted for the East Coast, but there is still Paris.

A few random pages from the book (or ebook) to inspire your walks are below. There’s no shortage of maps, photos or street by street directions. Have a look:

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In a nutshell, No Worries Paris takes readers on a visually luscious journey to the city’s striking monuments, as well as into the cobblestone crannies of its villages and along the glamorous fashion boulevards.

Virtually all of Paris is covered in 10 Walking Tours, each with its own map. Walks take from a half-day to a day to complete, starting at one Metro stop and ending at another. The tours are complemented by 10 Promenades, which are shorter in length, taking in the sights around a single attraction, mainly on the fringes of city’s arrondissiments. No Worries Paris is sure to meet expectations the famous sights s of Paris but it is also full of surprises at out-of-the way places.

The time is now. Gather up all the acorns you’ve saved over the  years, raid the stash under your matrress or max out your credit card. Air fares have never been better.

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“Getting around the City of Light should be a cinch. And it is on paper. Then reality gets in the way. There is so much to see, so much to eat. What to do? Jerry and Janine Sprout have made it trouble-free for visitors to Paris by dividing the city into walking tours that take a half to a full day, depending on your pace, and cover anywhere from a few miles to a maximum of six. The promenades in the book are shorter, taking about half a day. Each tour starts and ends at a Metro stop, and there is plenty of time set aside for detours, stops and just wandering. All the famous spots (Trocadero, Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysees, Notre Dame, Latin Quarter, Montmartre) and neighborhoods are here.” —-Chicago Tribune

Park it in the Marais at Square Georges Cain

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Out of Paris’s 400 parks, the tucked-away Square Georges Cain, an oasis of greenery,  gets my vote for poetic escapes. Maybe it’s the circular design, the gardeners’ decision to fill the center surrounding the statue of Aurore with a sea of orange long-stemmed roses in the spring, or to color coordinate all the other flowers with a pastel palette to complement the archeological relics around the perimeter. The sign at the park’s entrance reads “colors too bright would monopolize the view of the passer by.” Walk in, sit down and I guarantee you’ll feel soothed. There always seems to be an empty bench, just how the neighborhood regulars  like it.

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Who was Georges?  Answer: a painter and writer who was a long time curator (1897-1914) at the Carnavalet Museum.

Pieces from the history of Paris dispersed in the square include the remains of the previous Town Hall, Merovingian sarcophagi, and the pediment of the central pavilion of the Tuileries Palace still blackened from the fire that destroyed it.

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If you intend to visit Musee Picasso or Musee Carnavalet, this is a place to head for afterwards . Your feet will thank you and you’ll have a chance to read your No Worries Paris guide for where-to-next inspiration.

Stay long enough and you might have a chance to hear ” Le Rossignol Electrique’ by Eric Samakh (1990), a small electronic bird that starts singing whenever the wind blows (iffy in the summer).

7 rue Payenne
75003 Paris
District : Le Marais

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Bonne Année 2016

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Happy New Year 2016

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Here’s wishing Francophiles, soon-to-be Francophiles, Parisians, expats, and all Trailblazer Travel Book readers a 2016 packed with excitement, contentment, and discoveries!

Our books explore  the American West, including the ‘far west’ of Hawaii, and, as you can see, Paris, the birthplace for much of the culture of the Western World—a second home to the authors for many years.

Enough said…..Bonne année mes amis! Enjoy the ride on a visual journey of Paris by foot.

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No Worries Paris can be ordered here:

Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Powell’s Books, Trailblazer Travel Books as well as your friendly neighborhood independent bookstore

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Patrick Roger: master chocolatier

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This blog segment was intended to be a general listing of Paris’s best chocolate makers. As I delved deeper into my photos, images of the whimsical, bizarre, over-the-top creations of Patrick Roger trumped all. So let me introduce you:

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Roger is not only master of the confection but has turned his hand to sculpture. Note the sting ray in his window at Place de Madeline. Branching out in the adjoining space are huge thought provoking slabs inviting the visitor to break off a piece and sample. But, non, non, non  – you might get yelled at by the staff if you don’t read the “ne touch pas” signs.

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His chocolates take on the traditional forms too, all lined up on a counter in the center of the store. Crazy good, with hints of this and that, it’s right here, almost too perfect to eat. But you will and you’ll be back because they’re seductive.

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Go up the stairs and something else will have you guessing. An inviting room with leather sofas, a gallery of bronze sculptures. Roger has been at it again, he’s reinvented himself, his art has taken on yet another form.

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Want to know more? Here’s his website http://www.patrickroger.com

The Figaroscope called him “L’enfant terrible de la ganache…” in 2010. He’s tackled Balzac, the Thinker, a 5-ton chocolate “monkeys in the wild”. Wonder what surprises he will be up to in 2016? A real artist to keep your eye on.

Patrick Roger
3 PLACE DE LA MADELEINE
75008

Paris: Christmas faire extraordinaire

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Zip out to La Defense one of these evenings for a little shopping and holiday gaity. Covering almost 3 acres and located beneath the glitzy lights of the esplanade’s skyscrapers,  the Christmas Village with over 350 chalets is the biggest, most authentic one in Ile-de-France.

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Fill your bags with a potpurri of unique gifts by craftspeople from across France as well as  Morocco, Tunisia, Kenya, Iran, China and Nepal. Santa will be there for the kids afternoons, from 12pm-5pm on Wednesdays, 12pm-3pm on Thursdays and Fridays, and 12pm-7pm on Saturdays and Sundays, right up to Christmas Eve. Local produce, mulled wine to sip, original fashion accessories, Corsican sausages, raclette cheese,  and the sounds of traditional Peruvian flute music filling the nippy air make this a seasonal must-do.

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By métro

La Défense (ligne 1, and RER line A)
Esplanade de la Défense (ligne 1)
Note: Both stations are in zone 3, but can also be accessed using a T+ ticket or a zone 1-2 only pass by Metro line 1. You can’t go there by RER with 1-2 zone pass.

By train

La Défense can be reached on RER A, Transiliene L, Transiliene U, tramway T2, station La Défense. It can be very confusing but ‘Les Quatres Temps’ is color coded. There are many maps around the shopping center.