This weekend was a very special one. For my birthday, along with Valerie and her man who is in town, we headed to the in-laws fantastically adorable home for a weekend full of delicious grub and surprises. It was cold and foggy most of the weekend, which was the perfect context for making hearty gratins and staying cozy by the fire with a few rounds of Cards Against Humanity and some whisky.
We picked vegetables from the garden and enjoyed the calm of the countryside, even having the chance to visit a neighbor’s farm to see his tractor collection. The fact that he makes his own moonshine and gave me some of his homemade eau-de-vie for my birthday was pretty much a cherry on top.
However, I am clearly the most spoiled person alive, as this birthday weekend didn’t end here…. little did I know that coming back to Paris on Sunday night, there were some snazzy people that I really care about waiting for me at Troll Café to drink a beer together.
It all ended with samosas galore, as the best birthday in the world should. I am still in shock about how fantastic and culturally mixed this day was: a delicious French lunch with the family and surprise local brews, homemade eau-de-vie and tractors with a true campagnard who seemed like he had never met foreigners before, surprise beer extravaganza at Troll Café where they have one of my favorite random beers (Mongozo Banana) and then a bag full of samosas on the house from my favorite Indian restaurant. Does this not sound like a dream? I am the most spoiled person alive.
A special thank you to my dearest honey for planning this, and to all of my dear friends who made this day so magical.
When in Denver, I just love spending a summer evening out downtown. So many delicious places to eat, and amazing brewhouses to enjoy a pint. This past summer when Louis and I went to Denver was the first time I had been for summer in a few years. It was refreshing to see Colorado without a blanket of snow (not that I don’t love that!).
Whenever I go home I have a big list of all of the places I want to make sure I get to. Whether it be for a coffee, a drink, a beer or a snack. I’ve obviously got to hit up my favorites.
On Louis’s birthday, we hit up two of my favorite Denver spots that I knew he’d like. Being able to throw together family get togethers is a rare deal living in Paris, so getting everyone together for Louis’s birthday as a surprise at the Ale House really made for a good evening.
The Ale House has classic American grub but also classics with unique a twist, and a beer to match your fancy… courtesy of Breckenridge Brewery (I highly suggest their Agave Wheat beer). It’s casual with such a fantastic atmosphere, right on the Highland’s border to Denver. I am a big fan of their Mac ‘N Cheese, or any burger on their menu.
I think that this is the type of restaurant Paris is missing. Not sure what about it is. Could be the delicious brews and wide variety on the menu that is all delicious. Not sure. But I haven’t found anything quite like it. It’s relaxing. It’s casual. It’s not over priced. No one is snooty….Maybe it’s just the feeling of being in my hometown that makes it non-existent in Paris. Le sigh.
A summer evening in Denver isn’t the same with out a scoop or five from Little Man Ice Cream. You can’t be discouraged by the line as it’s worth the wait. We waiting while the sun set, chatting and laughing under the hanging lights. I went with the orange sherbet. Louis had pistachio. We sat on the lit patio licking away at our ice cream cones over some good stories with the family. I’m not sure an evening could get much better than this one.
From then on we picked up a six-pack of Louis’s newly discovered favorite, Great Divide DPA, and headed up the mountain under the stars.
Gee wizz, I adore my family.
This weekend I headed over to the border Paris’s eastern forest, the Bois de Vincennes, for a special birthday celebration picnic for Lalaina. The meeting spot was right by the Lac Daumesnil, and the sun was shining bright with a little breeze. We parked beneath the trees in the most perfect picnic spot.
Aside from being one of the most adorable people I’ve ever met, Lali is also a big yelper and foodie gal here in Paris. She’s got a knack for all things adorable, which you will be able to tell by the photos in the below. Decorations, quilts, cakes, sandwich flags, you name it. This was the girliest most adorable picnic at that park that day.
It was lovely to see some familiar faces, and also to make acquaintance with some new ones…. Not to mention trying her Uncle’s Madagascan samosas, HOLY MOLY were those delicious. Lemonade is the icing on top of any picnic.
Happy Birthday, Lali! Cheers to you!
On Olivia’s birthday a few weeks back, I went over to her precious apartment and she made some delicious egg-free almond meal blueberry cupcakes (a mouth full, right?). That woman is a whizz in the kitchen. As it was her special day, I should have been the one cooking for her! Ha!
These pancakes were so delicious and didn’t feel heavy in the tummy at all. With some pears on the side and a dab of Canadian maple syrup it was the perfect healthy breakfast.
Of course with a chai tea & a good chat? I’m not sure what could be better.
You can get her recipe for these pancakes here.
Happy Monday, think of bright colors and delicious eats to get you through the day.