Be mine!


Here’s a friendly little nudge and wink wink to make your own Valentine for your sweetie this year.  This diagram, my friend, is for amateurs.  I managed to successfully create “je t’aime!” in pop-up form.  The things we do for love and our blogs.

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His / Hers

© Jessie Kanelos

His:  Magret de canard (duck breast), creme fraiche, quince jelly, hollandaise sauce, bacon, cookies, cheese, San Pellegrino, plastic bag.

Hers:  zucchini, nectarines, rice cakes, anchovies, lettuce, coeur de boeuf tomatoes, chocolate, baguette, shallots, reusable canvas bag.

Gourmand, meet granola.

Although our eating preferences are not always compatible, together, we have the power to fill the fridge.

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Le Snuggie Français, Couettabra Anonymous

© Jessie Kanelos

I recently recounted on the HiP Paris Blog my discovery of the latest bedding sensation to hit the City of Lights when the lights go out.  The Couettabra, a fully-functional blanket with armholes which will do wonders in spiking productivity in bed.  Yes, my friends, it is precisely a French-ified Snuggie®.   In a country with a strict separation of public and private, this could be a complete phenomenon that I will never know about.  But at 300 euros for a double Couettabra, the price is not right to even jokingly gift this to mon mari on our upcoming anniversary.  But with 2 MacBook Pros and a family-sized hachis parmentier, it could make for one cozy automn.  Professional investment?  Is that tax deductable?

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Pigeon on Pigeon.

© Jessie Kanelos

“Birds do it.  Bees do it.  Even educated fleas do it.”  Cole Porter wasn’t the first to witness a pigeon totem pole firsthand in the City of Lights.  These lovebirds literally can’t get off one other!  Needless to say, pigeons have got a good life here, much to the chagrin of homosapiens and sparrows alike.  They are free to roam without a Navigo.  They get weeks of paid vacation.  They eat the choicest crumbs in the world, but they never get fat!  They are a little aloof, but it’s probably cultural, right?  But the life of a French pigeon isn’t completely careless; they are also on restaurant menus.

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Cheap Date

Every now and then, we married folk give our MacBook Pros a rest and we get some fresh air.

Most recently, we caught Molière’s Le Malade Imaginaire at the Comédie-Française, where his plays have been produced since Molière himself.  Unfortunately, the opulent Salle Richelieu is closed for renovations, but steps away in the Palais-Royal, the Comédie-Française  is camped out temporarily in the Théâtre Ephémère.  With 746 places, green construction, exceptional visibility even from the nose bleeds, and the unparalleled production values of the  Comédie-Française, it was an evening of high culture with a very small addition.  65 places with an obstructed view are available at the last-minute, starting at 7:30 for just 5 euros. For all the young lovers under 28, free tickets are available on the first Monday of every month with the presentation of an id.  When the curtain goes down, there is an obligatory stroll through the designer galeries of the Palais-Royal.  Fortunately, Rick Owens does not frown upon a smiling window shopper.

To top off our evening, we grabbed a bite just nearby on Rue Sainte-Anne, the Japanese quartier of Paris.  The long lines are a testament to which places are recommendable.  One of our favorites is Aki at 11 Rue Sainte-Anne, 75001 Paris.  Although there is a variety of soups and menus, the okonomiyaki, the seafood and vegetable omelette, is the highly-recommended specialty of the house.

It was such a wonderful evening, I had to run back home to my MacBook Pro and tell you all about it!

What are your favorite cheap dates?

Nail in Foot, Burger in Hand

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We are in the demolition stage of our new apartment.  This morning, as we walked into the place for our daily visit, our quirky 1950s flat to-be was transformed into the town of Bedrock.  Before I could even say “Wow, what a dump!”, “Ohmygawwwwputainmerde!”  My first step into the apartment, I got a nail in the foot.  The throbbing pain was the least of my worries.  Since I have the undisputed Generation Me dilemma of not having had health insurance since my shatterproof undergraduate days, I was sure I could feel my jaw locking in the matter of moments. Luckily, I had an unsuccessful semester in grad school that got me up to speed on that important tetanus shot.  Phew!

To help ease the pain, I was whisked off for lunch at the hyper-popular food truck Le Camion Qui Fume by mon mari qui fume.  Le Camion Qui Fume ends the search for an authentic American cheeseburger in Paris.  Although there are imposters on every cafe menu, 18 euros for a dry, uninspired hamburger on an industrial bun is not worth the ho-hum indulgence.  Food trucks have not  taken off in Paris yet, partially considering that the French cannot eat with their hands alone.  But fellow American expat Kristin Frederick has mastered the right fatty mix of ground beef, the soft, butter-brushed sesame seed buns, real cheddar and shoestring fries to cheer up any expat having a bad day.  Although the truck changes locations everyday, we dug into our burgers on the steps of the Église de la Madeleine overlooking the Place de la Concorde.  And at just 10 euros for a burger and fries, there is no better bargain or breathtaking view.


An Ode to my Apron



So, what did this newlywed domestic diva ask her husband for her birthday?  A sophisticated apron, of course. I have recently launched into a new career as a food stylist.  But I cannot get just any apron dirty.  Nonetheless, to prevent any such birthday surprises, we went shopping for it together several weeks ago.  I have always adored those fluffy, froufrou aprons from Anthropologie.  You know the ones with a pocket for a Diptyque candle and another for a green drink?  However, I needed an apron to communicate that I am serious, capable, and have good knife skills.  Needless to say, if you are looking for the best array of quality home goods in Paris, specifically the best selection of aprons, Lafayette Home Opera is the place.  There are several walls of aprons and matching accessories of every color, pattern, and persuasion.  And I found a real beaute.  What kind of chicery is this, you might ask?  It’s purple ombre canvas with a discrete and slimming kangaroo pocket, perfect for an I-phone or a snack. And I couldn’t resist adding on a matching oven mit and kitchen towels.  I’m a real housewiii, I mean, food stylist now!