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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