Escape with me to fabulous Paris part II

Ok, this is getting downright ridiculous. Woke up to another 15 inches of snow..its unbelievable. I had to enclose some pictures because seeing is believing. Feel like we are drowning in the white stuff! Still very much on my high from my wonderful trip…what an inspirational city! In keeping that French feeling alive, I decided to spend the day making something I have not made in many years, Beef Bourguignon. This is a fabulous recipe I have had for years and was passed onto me by a family member, then while in Paris I obtained another recipe, which was quite similar so I combined the two and the result was pure magic! I cannot tell you how this was literally devoured by my entire family, throw in a few loaves of crusty french bread and a nice bottle of wine…and you are in for a real treat!


So I have included the recipe below the pictures. Anyway as promised, more visual stimulation from the fabulous city of Paris. Today’s pictures are various shots I took of the architectural wonders that seem to grace every city block as well as some of the incredible antiques we came across while drooling in the antique district! Let me know if you have a favorite. No matter how many times you go to Paris, I can’t imagine that you ever tire of seeing all the splendor that makes this city truly the most beautiful in the world!



?? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? The famous sign outside Bistro Lipp



?? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?A gorgeous cathedral


?? ? ? ? ? ? ?One of the corner buildings at the Louvre along the Seine

Love the black that is used in abundance in French decor
You can only imagine how wonderful this smelled!

Took lots of “cartouche” pictures since we are fine tuning the design for our own homes cartouche detailing over the front window

Stunning ceiling medallion…love the scalloping

Now this is what I call molding!

A quaint lovely little French bistro

At every turn, something delicious was calling my name……

All these are chocolates..even the purse!

This is what I would call a mouth watering window display

A typical Parisian street

Love the narrow alleys

A pretty corner at every turn

Love both the cartouche and the railing…got all kinds of inspiration

Different view same window

The limestone detailing on every building is so spectacular

One magnificent?corner of the Louvre

A corner building at the Louvre

Having lunch at popular Angelines

A beautiful bakery/patisserie

Oooh, those look good!

The infamous Eiffel tower against a cloudy gray sky looks so majestic

In the Jardin des Tulleries in the winter…still beautiful

Walking along the Seine admiring the view

The beautiful apartment buildings along the Seine river

The magnificent Musee d’ Orsay?

Love the symmetry in French architecture

Another?gorgeous cartouche

One of the antique mantles we are considering…..love the marble

A 80 year old antique mantle that we are hoping will fit for our dining room

Another view of the same mantle

So many beautiful sconces everywhere I looked, this one plated in 22kt gold

Even the pedestrian bridges are spectacular!

Every entry to every building is breathtaking

The level of detail astounds me every time

Hey, I know now where my architect got his “divine inspiration” for the cupola

Building at the Lourve

The stunning Musee D’ Orsay on a drizzly afternoon

The courtyard in front of the Lourve?

Typical cute little bistro

Another pretty corner….

Another bistro….

Fell in love with this spectacular window and the limestone that adorns it

Is this stunning or what? I am obsessed…..

Loooove the color of this door!

The macaroons oh the macaroons….

They look like little jewels…

Such pretty displays

Got some of these lovely toiletry products for my mom!

The famous Bistro Lipp

And then back to New York and the snow….makes my patio table look like a wedding cake!
Mother Nature’s latest “gift” (at least I am trying to stay positive)

It is majestic looking- have to admit!

Stunning!

Teddy doesn’t know what to make of it

Its a heavy snow so it hugs each and every branch

Should I stay or should I go (in case you are curious he opted to come back into the warmth of the house)
Hope you enjoyed this visual vacation to Paris..it was such a treat, coming home was a bit of a letdown, but as my husband likes to remind me “that’s why they call it a vacation”. So until next time, I have these wonderful pictures to reflect back on. Here is the recipe for the Beef Bourguignon which I promise you is worth the cooking time…you will absolutely love it, I promise!


BEEF BOURGUIGNON

  • About 3-4 tablespoons light virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces bacon, chopped (1/2 a package)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic cloves, large chopped pieces (not too fine)
  • 1/2 cup?Cognac
  • 1 bottle of good full bodied ?red wine (ideally?like Beaujolais, Cabernet or Burgundy)
  • ?2 cups beef?broth?(I used Emerils box of beef stock which is a 32 oz box)
  • 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2-2 1/2 pounds??beef cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Fresh pepper
  • 1 pound carrots, cut to 1 inch (don’t use baby carrots, they are too soft)
  • 2 med.onions- thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh?thyme?leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried) I used a bit more than the recipe called for
  • 4 tablespoons butter at room temperature, melted
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms (cut off stems and discard)
If you have a nice heavy dutch oven, that is preferable otherwise a good stock pot is fine. I used my Le Cruset “weighs a ton” pot but it was perfect for this dish plus its French! ?Heat the olive oil and add the bacon, cook on medium until fairly crispy. Remove and drain bacon. Add cubed beef (after they have been rinsed, patted dry and sprinkled with sea salt and pepper) ?one layer at a time and sear the meat, this will take about 4-5 minutes, make sure its seared on all sides. Set aside with the bacon.?


Next, you will add carrots, onions, and either potatoes or turnips if you are using them along with salt and pepper to the fat in the pot and cook for about 15 minutes or until soft and onions are lightly browned. Then add garlic and cook for another minute or two. Next add Cognac…you then should take a match and light it right in the pot…STAND BACK while you do this and stare in awe at your budding creation! (This process burns off the alcohol)?


Next add the meat and bacon into the pot with the juices already in. Add the bottle of wine and beef broth, this mixture should pretty much cover the meat. Next add tomato paste and thyme. Simmer and then cover…at this point you can either cook it on the stove or transfer to a preheated oven (300 degrees) I cooked mine on the stove.?


After about an hour and a half, the meat will be fork tender. On the side, take 2 tbsp of butter and melt then mix with flour and add to stew. In a small saut? pan, melt additional 2 tbsp of butter and saut? mushrooms for about 5-10 minutes or until soft. Add to stew, bring to a brief boil and then simmer and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Season to taste. At the end, I add a few additional stalks of fresh thyme…get that baguette and wine ready and you are in for a divine treat!
  • .
  • And a few picture highlights from my little cooking adventure yesterday……


?BON APPETIT!







Escape with me to fabulous Paris part II

Ok, this is getting downright ridiculous. Woke up to another 15 inches of snow..its unbelievable. I had to enclose some pictures because seeing is believing. Feel like we are drowning in the white stuff! Still very much on my high from my wonderful trip…what an inspirational city! In keeping that French feeling alive, I decided to spend the day making something I have not made in many years, Beef Bourguignon. This is a fabulous recipe I have had for years and was passed onto me by a family member, then while in Paris I obtained another recipe, which was quite similar so I combined the two and the result was pure magic! I cannot tell you how this was literally devoured by my entire family, throw in a few loaves of crusty french bread and a nice bottle of wine…and you are in for a real treat!


So I have included the recipe below the pictures. Anyway as promised, more visual stimulation from the fabulous city of Paris. Today’s pictures are various shots I took of the architectural wonders that seem to grace every city block as well as some of the incredible antiques we came across while drooling in the antique district! Let me know if you have a favorite. No matter how many times you go to Paris, I can’t imagine that you ever tire of seeing all the splendor that makes this city truly the most beautiful in the world!



                                         The famous sign outside Bistro Lipp



                                        A gorgeous cathedral


              One of the corner buildings at the Louvre along the Seine

Love the black that is used in abundance in French decor
You can only imagine how wonderful this smelled!

Took lots of “cartouche” pictures since we are fine tuning the design for our own homes cartouche detailing over the front window

Stunning ceiling medallion…love the scalloping

Now this is what I call molding!

A quaint lovely little French bistro

At every turn, something delicious was calling my name……

All these are chocolates..even the purse!

This is what I would call a mouth watering window display

A typical Parisian street

Love the narrow alleys

A pretty corner at every turn

Love both the cartouche and the railing…got all kinds of inspiration

Different view same window

The limestone detailing on every building is so spectacular

One magnificent corner of the Louvre

A corner building at the Louvre

Having lunch at popular Angelines

A beautiful bakery/patisserie

Oooh, those look good!

The infamous Eiffel tower against a cloudy gray sky looks so majestic

In the Jardin des Tulleries in the winter…still beautiful

Walking along the Seine admiring the view

The beautiful apartment buildings along the Seine river

The magnificent Musee d’ Orsay 

Love the symmetry in French architecture

Another gorgeous cartouche

One of the antique mantles we are considering…..love the marble

A 80 year old antique mantle that we are hoping will fit for our dining room

Another view of the same mantle

So many beautiful sconces everywhere I looked, this one plated in 22kt gold

Even the pedestrian bridges are spectacular!

Every entry to every building is breathtaking

The level of detail astounds me every time

Hey, I know now where my architect got his “divine inspiration” for the cupola

Building at the Lourve

The stunning Musee D’ Orsay on a drizzly afternoon

The courtyard in front of the Lourve 

Typical cute little bistro

Another pretty corner….

Another bistro….

Fell in love with this spectacular window and the limestone that adorns it

Is this stunning or what? I am obsessed…..

Loooove the color of this door!

The macaroons oh the macaroons….

They look like little jewels…

Such pretty displays

Got some of these lovely toiletry products for my mom!

The famous Bistro Lipp

And then back to New York and the snow….makes my patio table look like a wedding cake!
Mother Nature’s latest “gift” (at least I am trying to stay positive)

It is majestic looking- have to admit!

Stunning!

Teddy doesn’t know what to make of it

Its a heavy snow so it hugs each and every branch

Should I stay or should I go (in case you are curious he opted to come back into the warmth of the house)
Hope you enjoyed this visual vacation to Paris..it was such a treat, coming home was a bit of a letdown, but as my husband likes to remind me “that’s why they call it a vacation”. So until next time, I have these wonderful pictures to reflect back on. Here is the recipe for the Beef Bourguignon which I promise you is worth the cooking time…you will absolutely love it, I promise!


BEEF BOURGUIGNON

  • About 3-4 tablespoons light virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces bacon, chopped (1/2 a package)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic cloves, large chopped pieces (not too fine)
  • 1/2 cup Cognac
  • 1 bottle of good full bodied  red wine (ideally like Beaujolais, Cabernet or Burgundy)
  •  2 cups beef broth (I used Emerils box of beef stock which is a 32 oz box)
  • 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2-2 1/2 pounds  beef cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Fresh pepper
  • 1 pound carrots, cut to 1 inch (don’t use baby carrots, they are too soft)
  • 2 med.onions- thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried) I used a bit more than the recipe called for
  • 4 tablespoons butter at room temperature, melted
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms (cut off stems and discard)
If you have a nice heavy dutch oven, that is preferable otherwise a good stock pot is fine. I used my Le Cruset “weighs a ton” pot but it was perfect for this dish plus its French!  Heat the olive oil and add the bacon, cook on medium until fairly crispy. Remove and drain bacon. Add cubed beef (after they have been rinsed, patted dry and sprinkled with sea salt and pepper)  one layer at a time and sear the meat, this will take about 4-5 minutes, make sure its seared on all sides. Set aside with the bacon. 


Next, you will add carrots, onions, and either potatoes or turnips if you are using them along with salt and pepper to the fat in the pot and cook for about 15 minutes or until soft and onions are lightly browned. Then add garlic and cook for another minute or two. Next add Cognac…you then should take a match and light it right in the pot…STAND BACK while you do this and stare in awe at your budding creation! (This process burns off the alcohol) 


Next add the meat and bacon into the pot with the juices already in. Add the bottle of wine and beef broth, this mixture should pretty much cover the meat. Next add tomato paste and thyme. Simmer and then cover…at this point you can either cook it on the stove or transfer to a preheated oven (300 degrees) I cooked mine on the stove. 


After about an hour and a half, the meat will be fork tender. On the side, take 2 tbsp of butter and melt then mix with flour and add to stew. In a small saut? pan, melt additional 2 tbsp of butter and saut? mushrooms for about 5-10 minutes or until soft. Add to stew, bring to a brief boil and then simmer and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Season to taste. At the end, I add a few additional stalks of fresh thyme…get that baguette and wine ready and you are in for a divine treat!
  • .
  • And a few picture highlights from my little cooking adventure yesterday……


 BON APPETIT!







Chinoiserie, sconces, marble floors….oh my!












“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort”
-Franklin Roosevelt?



Starting in Feb. I am going to be doing monthly giveaways! In Feb. I will be giving away 2 fabulous needlepoint floral pillows (same private label company that sells to Pierre Deux) Subscribe/follow me so you have a chance to win! More details to follow………...


Good morning, hope your day is fabulous…today in NY they are calling for more snow…fun. I am personally way over winter at this point and its just begun. I am a summer/spring/fall girl at heart, anything but winter! ? Anyway, as my decisions start to come together, one which I am very excited about working on is my dining room. We have a beautiful wall of mahogany french doors that leads to the back terrace,a beautiful fireplace wall where a marble Louis XVI mantle will be placed and lots of sconces throughout. Its a large gracious dining room, about 21×29. I have decided to go with a chinoiserie paper and am looking at Gracie, Paul Montgemory and DeGournay. I am looking to have the paper made in a pale blue/green field with touches of beige’s,golds,greens and a spotting of red.?


A few patterns I love are below. ……the ones shown are all from Gracie Papers. I went to their design studio about eight months ago and it was such an incredible treat…the really have such amazing things. ?Check out their magnificent array of reproduction and antique chinoiserie panels…truly exquisite. (www.graciestudio.com)

Then we move on to lighting….I love the sconces from Decorative Source in Greenwich, CT. I bought a lot of lighting for my old house from them and their things are timeless and elegant. I am going ?to order a bunch of sconces, as we need so many and I love the lighting achieved with sconces and lamps (prefer minimal use of high hats/overhead lighting except for task lighting like in the kitchen,bathroom,etc….)….LOVE their line of lighting! Check out their lighting and accessories, they import from Europe and China and really have exquisite things….www.decorativecrafts.com

Moving on……I am in the throws of also selecting the flooring for our foyer and hallway which runs the entire width of the house and front to back. I have decided on the traditional limestone with dots placed on the diagonal. I am going for a french limestone which is very quiet almost no movement and very subdued. In my old house ?I had it with the classic black (it is shown in my original post) but I am considering this time around going with the limestone with a gold/taupe colored marble/stone. It happens to be gorgeous and very french indeed. My husband is not as keen on it however and something tells me we will end up going the black dot route. Nevertheless here are a few pictures I have collected over the years, I only list where I got them if I happen to know but many of these pictures I have had in my online album way before I knew I was going to start an online blog (otherwise I do like to give credit where it is due) Let me know if you have a favorite!?


This was out of Connecticut homes and gardens and looks a lot like my previous floor?

Love the classic checkerboard but my husband is not a fan

?we
A fabulous foyer from a Maurice Fatio house from the Douglas Newby?website……?this is so stunning and an example of the limestone with the taupe colored marble as opposed to the black

Same floor by the staircase as the Maurice Fatio house above

Another very similar floor, this one I took a picture of a showhouse in Boston

From Paris Ceramics, this rondele design is very similar to one we will use in our foyer

Another option

The classic..it is certainly quite beautiful!

Very pretty the way it was boxed out here in this foyer

Wish I could remember where I got this picture…would love to see the rest of this stunning home!

This was an ad out of a fashion magazine, and again I was drawn to the gold/taupe colored marble with the limestone…its monochromatic yet so elegant and a little different

So that concludes my post today, hope you all have a fabulous day. Talk to you tomorrow!


Chinoiserie, sconces, marble floors….oh my!












“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort”
-Franklin Roosevelt 



Starting in Feb. I am going to be doing monthly giveaways! In Feb. I will be giving away 2 fabulous needlepoint floral pillows (same private label company that sells to Pierre Deux) Subscribe/follow me so you have a chance to win! More details to follow………...


Good morning, hope your day is fabulous…today in NY they are calling for more snow…fun. I am personally way over winter at this point and its just begun. I am a summer/spring/fall girl at heart, anything but winter!   Anyway, as my decisions start to come together, one which I am very excited about working on is my dining room. We have a beautiful wall of mahogany french doors that leads to the back terrace,a beautiful fireplace wall where a marble Louis XVI mantle will be placed and lots of sconces throughout. Its a large gracious dining room, about 21×29. I have decided to go with a chinoiserie paper and am looking at Gracie, Paul Montgemory and DeGournay. I am looking to have the paper made in a pale blue/green field with touches of beige’s,golds,greens and a spotting of red. 


A few patterns I love are below. ……the ones shown are all from Gracie Papers. I went to their design studio about eight months ago and it was such an incredible treat…the really have such amazing things.  Check out their magnificent array of reproduction and antique chinoiserie panels…truly exquisite. (www.graciestudio.com)

Then we move on to lighting….I love the sconces from Decorative Source in Greenwich, CT. I bought a lot of lighting for my old house from them and their things are timeless and elegant. I am going  to order a bunch of sconces, as we need so many and I love the lighting achieved with sconces and lamps (prefer minimal use of high hats/overhead lighting except for task lighting like in the kitchen,bathroom,etc….)….LOVE their line of lighting! Check out their lighting and accessories, they import from Europe and China and really have exquisite things….www.decorativecrafts.com

Moving on……I am in the throws of also selecting the flooring for our foyer and hallway which runs the entire width of the house and front to back. I have decided on the traditional limestone with dots placed on the diagonal. I am going for a french limestone which is very quiet almost no movement and very subdued. In my old house  I had it with the classic black (it is shown in my original post) but I am considering this time around going with the limestone with a gold/taupe colored marble/stone. It happens to be gorgeous and very french indeed. My husband is not as keen on it however and something tells me we will end up going the black dot route. Nevertheless here are a few pictures I have collected over the years, I only list where I got them if I happen to know but many of these pictures I have had in my online album way before I knew I was going to start an online blog (otherwise I do like to give credit where it is due) Let me know if you have a favorite! 


This was out of Connecticut homes and gardens and looks a lot like my previous floor 

Love the classic checkerboard but my husband is not a fan

 we
A fabulous foyer from a Maurice Fatio house from the Douglas Newby website…… this is so stunning and an example of the limestone with the taupe colored marble as opposed to the black

Same floor by the staircase as the Maurice Fatio house above

Another very similar floor, this one I took a picture of a showhouse in Boston

From Paris Ceramics, this rondele design is very similar to one we will use in our foyer

Another option

The classic..it is certainly quite beautiful!

Very pretty the way it was boxed out here in this foyer

Wish I could remember where I got this picture…would love to see the rest of this stunning home!

This was an ad out of a fashion magazine, and again I was drawn to the gold/taupe colored marble with the limestone…its monochromatic yet so elegant and a little different

So that concludes my post today, hope you all have a fabulous day. Talk to you tomorrow!