Sunday, July 29, 2012

Slutty Brownies

I decided to do some baking for the people in my office to say thank you for being so welcoming. Now, I am not a very talented baker - except for the odd carrot cake which I'm actually quite good at, and since I was pressed for time I nabbed this recipe from a blog I really enjoy - find it here because I won't deign to tell people how to cook!

But here goes my attempt...

French versions of the ingredients!

With French instructions - it's all learning!

Cookie mix was good and easy - add 'oeuf' - done.

Yeah - first bit taken care of!


They didn't have brownie mix in my local Franprix so I bought 'fondant au chocolat' - it required more effort than a brownie mix - four eggs and butter - but I figured it would be OK.

Stirring in the butter without an electric whisk was a bit of a pain.

My kitchen isn't exactly big enough for extravagant baking...

And on with the fondant!

Good and chocolate-y, and yes, there may be some bits of butter that I got bored trying to smoosh into the mixture - I just figured they'd melt.

Haha - little indents where the oreos are!

But they look alright to me!

Tim Burton Exhibition

I was very excited to learn, having been in Paris not 24 hours, that there was a Tim Burton Exhibition at la cinématèque française. Only on until the 5th of August, I got myself down there quickly - only to be saddened that they didn't allow pictures inside the exhibit...and there were suited men everywhere saying 'pas de photo' apologies that all we have to enjoy are sneaky phone quality shots...

The queue was a little disheartening, and took well over an hour, but eventually I got to the front.

And got a surprise when the elevator doors closed to take me to the exhibit on the fifth floor.

The text says: 'Man undressing woman with his eyes'
Vincent Malloy - the seven year old boy who wanted to be Vincent Price
By Edward Scissorhands
Michael Keaton in snake form
What became Michelle Pfieffer's catwoman costume
Willy Wonka, Willy Wonka...
He's the one that you're about to meet.
Willy Wonka, Willy Wonka...
He's a genius who just can't be beat.
Napkin doodles
There were absolutely tons of these napkin doodles - some were absolutely brilliant - I like one of the eiffel tower being attacked by UFOs.

They also had some little aliens from Mars Attacks as well as fake heads of Pierce Brosnan and Sarah Jessica Parker. Early footage of some of Burton's school time films were also shown. It was definitely an awesome exhibit but the highlight for me was the note from Tim Burton to Johnny Depp written during filming for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, it said more or less:

'Hi Johnny, I'm thinking of adding in a line when Willy Wonka brings the group into the factory. Something like; "Everything in this room is edible, even I'm edible, but that's called cannibalism and is frowned upon in some societies." Let me know what you think and I'll discuss it with John August. Tim." 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ma jolie robe!

I did a bit of online shopping on my new favourite website, stylistpick.

Cue the photo shoot!


Friday, July 27, 2012

Cooking with Nichola

It is ambitious, and invariably never works out but for some reason I thought to myself - what shall I have for dinner...I have that goat's cheese...mmm, what I really like is melted goat's cheese...oooh - what's that stuff called with the veg all cooked in a tomatoe sauce and then cheese on top?

Some googling lead me to believe it was a gratin. Well that sounded simple enough...

Dice the veg...

And fry gently.

I didn't have a proper dish to put it in so I had to improvise with this saucepan designed for heating milk...

My delicious designer goat's cheese!

Because making my own sauce would be a step too far.

But I did improvise a splash of balsamic!

Shove it in the oven and have a snack while I wait...

Freshly baked baguette and butter - yes please!

Aaaand eat. Shame to say the pictures are better than the food was - but hey, it's all learning! Maybe next time I'll try following a recipe instead of just trying to blag it.

Off out to watch the Olympics Opening Ceremony!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Wine and Cheese

Yesterday was a very French day. I was surrounded by French colleagues all day and then again all night - I don't think I've spoken so much French in one day than I have today. It highlighted two things; first, that already, my French is improving - specifically my comprehension - it's more rare that I'll get asked a question in French and all they will receive as a response will be a confused face; second, I really, seriously, need to work on my spoken French! Forming a sentence is tough.

But enough whining! I spent the night surrounded by bread, meat, cheese and wine - and better yet - it was French bread, French meat, French cheese and French wine!

I bought this goats cheese with strawberry jam in the middle from my local fromagerie for the occasion. We don't have enough of these England - shops dedicated to selling cheese only!

I also treated myself to a yummy looking goats cheese!

 And then headed out the the banlieue for the first time!

But like une vrai parisienne, I panicked about missing the last metro - which I very nearly did - luckily some lovely people dropped me back in Paris and I was relieved to see the Eiffel Tower sparkling for the midnight hour.

Absolutely lovely people, wonderful food and a very tired Nichola - why do the French consider anything ending before midnight on a weekday too early? I am not a Parisienne yet!