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One of the areas I’m quite fond of lately is the lower 11th, from Voltaire to Bastille. Rue Keller is filled with little gems, and its seems as though my list of places to go in this hood keeps getting longer and longer. I had my eye on CheZ Aline for quite some time as the story behind it sure was cute (Sandwich shop and epic lunch spot inside an old horsemeat butcher shop. They replaced the “V” of Chevaline to a Z to make it CheZ Aline).

A variety of delicious sandwiches made to order with quality products: Paris ham, Milan veal, tortilla and chorizo, pickled things, homemade terrines and pickles…. there’s something for everyone and it’s all under 10 euros. Great to grab on the go, or sur place if you get there before the crowd.

Chez Aline
85 rue de la Roquette, 75011
Métro: Voltaire (9) or Bréguet Sabin (5)
Open weekdays from 11am to 7pm

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Now that the freakishly late ending of summer has passed for good, we’ve quickly moved on to the chills. For once it feels like there was actually an autumn before moving to the super cold and rainy winter months, no? Chilly weather I just love, but man, the rain sometimes just doesn’t cut it for me. On a sidenote, it’s funny, because as a kid, winter started in October basically. I feel like in Paris the true cold kicks in well after the start of the new year. As I bundle up now before heading out, I think about the last sunny weekend in the countryside with some of Louis’s closest pals, and their lovely ladies who have become friends. I just love coming here, and sharing my in-law’s beautiful home and art de vivre. I sure am anxious for the next warm seasons to bring my girlfriends here to soak up the sun and eat from the garden. For now I’ve got to enjoy the winter, probably my favorite season as a Colorado girl. Too bad the Parisian wet winter just doesn’t compare to the blue skies and powdered snow of the Rockies…. Paris has another cozy charming winter to offer.

As twenty-something Parisians know, it’s not always easy to find an apartment with an oven. The saf sad truth of smaller apartments in the City of Lights. We all hate to accept it’s true, but know it is. Of all of the apartments I’ve lived in across this city since 2008, only 2 have ever had ovens. After 3 years in our current nest with an itty bitty kitchen and lack of the magical thing that is an oven, we are taking the leap and moving. And yes, a hole for an oven was part of the criteria.

That said, I am obviously daydreaming of all of the baked things on my ‘Nom Nom’ Pinterest board that I’ll enfin be able to make for my honey and for friends. Gratin, lasagna, roasted vegetables, homemade pizza… my dreams are soon going to come true.

What are your favorite things to bake or roast? Here is some  inspiration for recipe adventures I’m really looking forward to having:

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Discover my food porn Pinterest board here.

Follow me on Pinterest.

IMAGE SOURCES (FOUND VIA PINTEREST): 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

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Giverny is a magical place. I went for the first time with my mom in 2007, as she is a big fan of Monet’s work. Went and it was the opening day of the season I remember, we forgot to check when it opened and by chance it was that day. Anyways, I had been wanting to go for a stroll through the gardens since, and finally with some friends we made our way up towards Vernon.

We went by car – only a short ride from Paris – but there is also a train and a bus that can lead you to darling Claude’s beautiful green and pink home surrounded by floral inspiration. It can be a bit touristy, so to avoid a crowd I suggest to avoid a weekend, but nonetheless it’s just as beautiful. Pop by one of the local café afterwards for a bolée of cider, to make your trip to Normandy absolutely perfect.

There are so many treasures within a couple of hours of Paris. It’s certainly worth it to get away for an afternoon.