Yes, this might be one of those nostalgia-inducing posts only people who post childhood profile pictures can appreciate. But on a much overdue trip back to Chicago after 4 years, I found something even better than a letter to myself in the future, Jessie’s Book of Fabulous Recipes. Amongst the remnants of 18 years of unrequited love in the attic of my childhood home, I found this document scarily predicting my future, all captured in beautiful food illustrations. Doughnut-flavored gyros with caramel? Dare I say this was a precursor to molecular gastronomy? An alive pigeon in honey dijon mustard? Dare I compare this to French cuisine?
Paper by FiftyThree is my go-to application for drawing on-the-go. I’ve used it reportage style capturing Paris’ latest latte on my IPad. And also documenting the whirl of parading fashion elite in my 6 Second Street Style series. FiftyThree is a mobile invitation for creativity, never having to worry about unsharpened pencils again! And now with Book, my collections of sketches and chicken scratches can now be printed on accordion paper, neatly folded into a 15-page Moleskine journal.
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A few weeks ago, I introduced mon mari to the crucial foods of my upbringing, his first Thanksgiving included. We made a long overdue trip to my hometown, Chicago, Illinois. It was a walk down memory lane regaining my Midwestern appetite. There was the the vital deep-dish slice at Lou Malnati’s, cookie pizza included. My all-time favorite Clark Street omelet at Salt & Pepper Diner, including a Chicago celebrity siting of Ronnie Woo Woo. (You try explaining that to mon mari) And I shan’t forget the fine institution of Margie’s Candies. Eating 3 scoops of ice cream out of a shell with a gravy boat of hot fudge will one day be folklore for my 1/2 French children.
But our last night in Chicago deemed unparallelled kitsch. We took the fateful drive up to Superdawg®. Mon mari had his first Chicago hotdog under the watchful eyes of two life size winking hotdogs.
Superdawg® drive-in 6363 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60646
*This drawing was made by Paper | FiftyThree
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Don’t forget! 24 hours left to win a francofly original watercolor, shipped to one lucky super fan anywhere in the world. Enter to win here. The winner will be announced tomorrow…
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Nothing declares the commencement of summer like breaking out the onesie. My friends, summer has arrived in Paris! After taking an honest look in the mirror, this might be my 1980s polyblend onesie’s last summer, a bittersweet farewell to a lot of memories of warm beer, vicious farmer’s tans and other slightly regrettable adventures of my early 20s. It’s really not too sad; I’m wise enough now to know it really was never very becoming anyway. Cheers to getting a little bit older and finally investing in natural fibers!
But now that the sun is out to play, I have been packing a lunch and seeing where the day takes me, often including this superfood salad and juice. Between some rendez-vous, a little picnic for one is one of summer’s perfect pleasures.
Super rouge salad
-1 handful red baby spinach
-1/2 avocado, cubed
-2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
-1 tablespoon goji berries
-1 tablespoon toasted pumpkin seeds
-lemon juice & olive oil, to taste
Layer all ingredients in to-go container. Season with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste before serving.
Super rouge juice
-1 small beet, peeled
-1/4 pomegranate, peeled and seeds removed
Juice all ingredients together. Drink immediately or keep chilled before enjoying.
Shopping from Le Bon Marché.
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An unabashed love of Burger King is something I will write off as a cultural difference between myself and mon mari. After shutting down shop in France in 1997, Burger King has become a storied myth, inspiring cross-country travels for the love of onions rings. Not too unlike my cross-continental odyssey to live happily ever after in the land of pain au chocolat. Although Burger King will open its doors again in France soon, after a glacially cold weekend of questionable croquette sandwiches and mystery meat vending machines in Amsterdam, mon mari indulged in a little BK. And I turned my cheek, dreaming of viennoiserie...
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Thankfully I live in France. Come December, I have already built up a butter immunity which will serve me through the holiday season. And my affinity for Christmas cookies. Subscribing to the late Gourmet magazine as a precocious preteen, the Christmas cookie issue always promised sugar-laced fantasies of royal icing, meringue and ambitious ways to permanently dust the kitchen with icing sugar. Although cashmere sweaters are cool, I prefer giving a pretty parcel full of homemade treats. It started with grade school teachers, evolved into an embarrassing expression of unrequited love, and now is a holiday staple for many grateful French friends.
Nevertheless, I have curated a few of my favorite cookie recipes from the past few years, francofly-tested and Frenchie-approved:
-An unexpected mix of spices warms up a classic shortbread in these orange cardamom cookies.
-These festive, sugar-laced red and green pistachio cranberry icebox cookies were my salvation, sent to me by my mom during finals week my senior year. And I asked her for the recipe tout suite.
-Can’t forget about the chocolate! Or Martha Stewart. I love these chocolate crackle cookies.
-And finally, an irresistible recent addition to my cookie collection, nutmeg maple butter cookies from Smitten Kitchen. Sprinkled with a little fleur de sel, they make one multidimensional butter cookie.
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