Saturday, November 10, 2007

November 10, 2007

Guest blogger alert!

Leslie again reporting on Saturday's activities. I would have posted them together in one blog but Penny got a "look" when I suggested it so I split them :) We woke up super early this morning with an agenda set. First Penny took me to the market right outside of her apartment. It was amazing - I felt so stupid but I had to take pictures! Later, we independently told each other that it reminded us of Beauty and the Beast and of course, we had that market song stuck in our heads the rest of the day. We picked up some bread for our day. Then we went to the gay district because Penny needed a trousse (penny speaking: that means knife case...we both learned that word...and i didn't find the right one!) and that's where the kitchen stores were. The area was really cute and trendy (obvs).

Finally we set off for the main event of the day - Versailles. We toured the castle which was unbelievable. I couldn't believe how elaborate everything was and the history was just unreal. I've never seen anything like it before. We also toured the gardens which were kind of drab, but that's my fault for visiting in November. I experimented with all of the cheeses Penny bought and we hung out and chatted for a while, even though it was FREEZING outside.

We got back on the train to the other major event of the day - going to the top of the Eiffel Tower. We got off the train in a ritzy area and walked around and took touristy pictures in front of it, then made our ways to the ridiculously long line. Our whole plan for today was to get to the top at night - and we got there around 3. But by the time we got to the top, the sun had set :) It was completely worth the wait though - the view from the top was just amazing!
(penny here again: here are the two pictures i took from the i said...leslie has the pictures of us)

We walked back and now Penny is making dinner - chicken with some kind of mushroom sauce. It smells really good! And she is totally kicking my butt at the showtune game - I am so embarassed!

(penny again!)According to Leslie...dinner was fabulous and she is impressed with how much I've learned. We talked and did some research for things we talking about earlier in the day and then went to bed around 11! Fun day!

November 9, 2007

Guest blogging alert!

Hello to all of Penny's loyal readers! This is Leslie reporting from Penny's kitchen. So far I am having a phenomenal time visiting Pen - she is truly assimilated into the culture here and has been a great tour guide. And now she's cooking for us (while we're listening to showtunes, obvs) so I can soon confirm how well spent the past year has been :) Before I recap on the past two days, I'm going to give a short analysis of some of the things I was wondering about before I visited.

Macarroons - I totally thought of the Passover treats and was like really? You're in Paris and a pastry chef and THIS is what you love to eat? But they are definitely different. And really good. Like cream puffs texture in that there are two cookie/ pastry like parts and a creamy filling in between.

Apartment - very large and AWESOME. Beautifully decorated, completely modern, and in a great location. I even met Madame who is as cute as can be and totally cool. Her roommate is also very sweet. And her view basically right outside is the Eiffel Tower! Seriously it couldn't get better. Well except for the part where the elevator is being serviced for like four months - and she's on the TOP FLOOR OF A WINDING STAIRCASE. Let's just say that after a week my butt is going to be firm - so you can only imagine what Penny will look like after four months!

School - it seems really great. I met a lot of the people she talks about (some chefs, the administrators, Manuel, etc) and everyone is awesome. She's definitely got a great support network out here.

Speaking French - Penny's really good. She can more than definitely get by and understand even more. I was seriously impressed.

Ok, now on to Friday's activities. Penny woke up feeling as good as new and I woke up rested and without any jet lag, so we were ready to go! We went to the Musee Rodin and saw some famous sculptures I wanted to see like the Thinker, The Kiss, and The Gates of Hell. Then we walked to the Musee D'Orsay, which was totally amazing. I'm obsessed with Impressionism, and I know Penny likes that museum, so that was great. Then we took the metro to the Arc de Triumphe and the Champs Elysees where we did some major (window) shopping and went to Laduree for lunch, where Penny's favorite macarroons come from. I had a nice salad and she had a sandwich with salmon and some other stuff. And the macarroons were very good! Then we resumed the shopping and went to two department stores, which were kind of like the equivalent of Marshall Field's on State Street (tear!) but like three times more expensive. Then we were to an amazing grocery store and got the ingredients for dinner and a TON of cheese for Saturday. We walked home and Madame was home so we talked to her briefly, then checked email and stuff, and decided we were still too full from lunch to make and eat dinner, so we went to sleep.

(good job leslie. I dont think i have anything to add! but it was a BUSY day...and a LOT of touristy stuff!!! Leslie has all the pictures...but I've posted all of those pictures in previous you don't need to see them again!)

Friday, November 9, 2007

November 8, 2007

YAH! I woke up at 5 and got ready and went to the airport to pick up leslie! She arrived exactly on time at 7:30 and we went home to my place. By this time I am not feeling so well. Don't know why, but I ignore it. Anyway, she showers and I relax and then we walked to school so I could show her around. By this time I'm feeling horrible. leslie went to the catacombes while I had my last 12:30 demo. Well...I didn't make it through demo. I yarfed, spewed, threw up...however you want to politely put it....way too many times for me to function. I even left in the middle of class to go buy gingerale and fake saltines! they didn't help. Anyway...I survived that class and then we "graduated". Leslie was back by then. Here are my pictures from graduation. (the smile is SOO fake)

Anyway...needless to say...even if i wasn't planning on skipping my last two praticals...there was NO way i could go. Leslie and I walked home via the phone store. When we got home I took a 2 hr nap from 5-7. Woke up and still felt like crap. I felt bad for leslie, but there was nothing i could do. So she stayed on my computer and i went to bed for the nite at 7:30. The rest of the night was bumpy waking up on and off but eventually at 1 am I felt MUCH better and slept through the night til 9:30 am.

November 7, 2007

I woke up at 7:30 and went to the gym. I came home, showered and then went to school at 12:30 for a 3 days practical for 9 hours! AHHHHH! We got a lot accomplished though. For your viewing pleasure ;)

Those 9 hrs were LONG! But we took home a lot of food ;) We also worked on choc stuff which I didn't care much about because I wasn't going to go to class tomorrow. I came home and went to bed shortly after cause thur is a big day!!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

November 6, 2007

I woke up at 7:30, went to the gym, came home, got ready for school and left a bit early to go to the post office. I then had class from 12:30 to 9:30. We had one demo and 2 practicals. The demo was on stuff we didn't finish and it was a bunch of mish mosh that i could barely follow along. The only two things that I KNOW was made were banana/honey/rum chocolates and passionfruit chocolates. And we made nuts. But that was it. In class we made a bunch of stuff...but pictures will be posted at a later date (tomorrow) I came home and crashed. It was a LONG day (even though I didn't type much)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

November 5, 2007

LAST WEEK AT LCB! WOOH!!!!! I know...can you believe it! I am on my 11th month here. CRAZY! Anyway...I had my trainer at 10:30 who once again kicked my butt! I came home and was SO exhausted that I showered and layed on my bed and read a bit and then fell asleep for an hr til I had to get dressed for school! I went to school and at 3:30 we had a demo. We learned marshmallows, nougat, sweet raviolios, and gummies. I was so bored because we learned all of that stuff in superior! BUT i did get to help out in class today and manuel managed to catch some shots of me! it was funny!

AND i was VERY excited for what was next!!!!! Chef finished at 6 pm today and we didnt have to go to our practical because today was the MOF competition! Let me explain. MOF= Meilleur Ouvrier de France. It's a competition that takes place every three years and this was the year! It doesn't just have to do with chocolate or pastries, but there is also charcuterie and even building trades. There are MANY catagories. It literally translates to Best Worker of France. In any case tonite was the MOF competition of Chocolate. Outsiders are not allowed to watch the competition, just attend the awards ceremony. Now, each year there may not be a winner, there may be just one or there may be more than one. This year the head pastry chef over at LCB Japan was competing. He was practicing at school for the past two months and he would often let us try his work! Although we never saw his sculpture, we knew he was going to be amazing! In anycase...we went as a class to see the final results! This year 4 people won and BRUNO (the guy from LCB) was one of them!!!! it was SOOO exciting! He was excited and i congratulated him and i took plenty of pictures. The pictures of the sculptures are ONLY of the winners. There were so many people there in a tiny room (i took a picture) that I thought I would only take pics of the winners. The first picture's are of chef bruno's stuff! Enjoy because i know I did!!!!

After the competition a few of us went out for dinner with Sylvie (the woman incharge of LCB). It was a fun night out. I got home at 11 and by that time just crashed! But what an experience and so cool to be able to say i was there!

LAZY sunday!

this was prolly my most lazy sunday yet! I woke up at 2 pm! yes you read that correctly! well i did go to bed at 6 am! then i did a whole bunch of nothing. So much nothing that I can't even remember. I do remember reading a bit and eating something and responding to emails and maybe some laundry...but otherwise I went to bed at 9 pm cause i was exhausted! That's all for 2day folks!

Sunday, November 4, 2007


Yes...that's right. On my calendar it said culture day. Just another reason to throw a party :) So...I woke up at 9 and had my trainer at 10:30. And another kick in the butt! I hate it but love it at the same time! After that I went to 3 stores to find brown sugar. Luckily i heard some english speaking person in the second one talking about chocolate chip cookies so she directed me in the right way! I then came home and liz was just getting out of the kitchen! Then the cleaning lady came! AHHH! so i asked her if she could clean the rest of the house while i cooked for a bit. She did and i managed to make some stuff. The liz ran errands...i lady cleaned and then chaos began! Liz came home, cleaning lady needed in the kitchen and both liz and i needed to finish baking! So the floor was drying and liz and i finally went in to tackle the rest of the baking/cooking! I made choc chip cookies, rice pudding and pumpkin pie (which failed miserable...i have NO clue why...i used Le Cordon Bleu's recipe?!?! hahahaha!!!!) Anyway...Liz made whoopie pies, chicken bruschetta, and potatoe salad! We finished by 6ish and both showered and then liz finished one of her dishes in the oven at 7:15. People started to arrive at 7:45. The key to this party was you couldnt come in unless you brought a dish from your culture/heritage. So we had TONS of interesting food there! It was GREAT! And i ate SOOO much :) Plus a girl named Tyler made this punch which was literally a punch to your was STRONG! but really good! there were about 30 people there at the high point. Eventually we played that game where you put a post it on your head of a movie star and you have a certain amount of questions to ask and then you have to guess who you are! we played three rounds. It was a good way to get the two groups intertwined. Liz had her friends from church and then I invited all of my friends from school. But we had TONS of different backgrounds from pakistan to india to american to french to new zealand to columbian to taiwan to i have no clue! TONS of different kinds! it was a hit! THEN....our neighbors from below came! We were really happy! Now we have more friends! They said they'd come visit when they could. I told them i needed french help! so they agreed to help me. died down at 2:30ish. However Fernando stayed for a bit since I hadn't seen him for 3 weeks! It was cute. There was a michael buble cd on and he asked me if i wanted to dance. at first i laughed at him and then i said sure. so we danced for a while. then we sat up and talked til 6 am about whats been happening in our lives the past 3 weeks! CRAZY! he left and i went to bed at 6 am! GREAT NITE! here are a couple of pictures. not many, but enjoy!