SUNFLOWER SEED BAGUETTE

We are celebrating the return of the Olympics with sunflowers by using sunflower seeds in our baking. This is the recipe for our sunflower seed baguette. Sunflowers from the Miyagi area of Japan are featured at the Olympics. The organizers said that after the earthquake and tsunami, the parents planted sunflowers on a hillside in Miyagi in memory of their children who died, and every year now the hill becomes covered with sunflowers.

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FRENCH VANILLA ICE CREAM

French vanilla ice cream. Christmas came early and Santa just left me a Whynter ice cream maker. Wow! We made one batch of ice cream in it and I immediately got rid of all the previous ice cream makers we had hanging out in the garage never being used. No messing with ice and rock salt or freezing the inner container. But best of all, it made the most incredible French vanilla ice cream I have ever had. Better than anything we had found in France. I was stunned.

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CASSOULET IN PARIS

The cassoulet at Au Pied de Cochon – the perfect Parisian brasserie – was one of the highlights of visiting Paris. On this particular trip, we were there in the winter, so the restaurant was serving le Cassoulet Toulousain. This means it is in the style of the way it is made in Toulouse, which is a classic. It is made with pork shoulder, duck confit, garlic sausage and topped with bread crumbs. With some research, I was able to recreate the recipe at home.

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Laduree in Paris

We diligently tried all the best french macarons in Paris, but nothing compared to Laduree! Maybe it was the pastel colors, or the uber cute shop, or the matching ribbons and tissue paper with the Laduree insignia, but nobody does it like Laduree!

(A list of our favorite tips for traveling with a camera is included at the end of this blog)

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Strasbourg France

Really nice having some down time while traveling.  Just leisurely wandering instead of rushing to the next planned activity.

OUR TIPS FOR TRAVELING WITH CAMERA EQUIPMENT

OUR LIST OF FAVORITE EQUIPMENT FOR TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY

Traveling with camera equipment can get a little tricky, so we have listed some of our favorite tips for making it easier.

  • Take only your favorite camera and lenses
  • use a comfortable cross-body camera case
  • always carry a polarizer
  • use watertight and shock resistant equipment
  • put gel packets in the camera case

CAMERAS –

LENSES –

OTHER EQUIPMENT –


French haute Couture designer Cleone

CAMERA AND LENS DETAILS LISTED ON THIS BLOG POST IN THE RIGHT COLUMN

While in Strasbourg, Tony and I stopped to admire the exquisite wedding dresses at the boutique shop of haute couture designer Cleone, and actually met the designer herself. The dresses are incredibly imaginative.  I would love to be invited to a runway show for the next collection – I can’t wait to see what she will design next. [Strasbourg, France – October 2, 2013]


Viking Cruise crashes

CAMERA AND LENS DETAILS LISTED ON THIS BLOG POST IN THE RIGHT COLUMN

Our relaxing river cruise has ended before it hardly got started!  The Viking Sun, part of the Viking River Cruise line crashed into a structure on the side of the canal at 2:30 in the morning (news article).  Our cabin was below the water level, so we went topside where we took these pictures of the damage.  We were near Strasbourg, so eventually the boat was evacuated and we were taken to Strasbourg, which was the end of our river cruise.  I guess you have to be flexible when you travel, since you never know what is going to happen!!


Colmar France

The lovely village of Colmar, along the Rhine in France.


South of France diet

My trainer wanted to know what I have been eating, since I have lost weight.  I told her Tony and I have been hanging out in the South of France (which really means we are picnicking in the back yard).  The trick is to eat special things and have them handy – like on this tray – so I don’t go hunting for less healthy alternatives.  She wanted a picture.  Now that’s what a diet should be like!