07/31/2014

Our Hydrangeas

They are our pride and the enjoyment of the whole neighborhood !

People stop and take photos every days when they are in bloom ...peak season to see them is mid June to end of July

DSC_9376 (Large).JPG

DSC_9390 (Large).JPG

DSC_9387 (Large).JPG

DSC_9395 (Large).JPG

DSC_9397 (Large).JPG

DSC_9375 (Large).JPG

DSC_9388 (Large).JPG

DSC_9389 (Large).JPG

DSC_9406 (Large).JPG

DSC_9385 (Large).JPG

01:07 Posted by Marielle Giai in The shop through the years | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

07/23/2014

Celebrating Bastille Day !

It's been a fun "14 Juillet " our " Fete Nationale"  !

We plan on having an even bigger celebration next year in Mission Hills

DSCN9902 (Large).JPG

DSCN9900 (Large).JPG

DSCN9896 (Large).JPG

DSCN9899 (Large).JPG

DSCN9889 (Large).JPG

DSCN9895 (Large).JPG

DSCN9909 (Large).JPG

Lou Fanucchi playing the  accordion....it felt just like being in France ! We loved his arrangement ( a mix of Edith Piaf and "Amelie Poulain" sound track ) so much we are now selling his CDs !

DSCN9920 (Large).JPG

Alice looking very very French today !DSCN9928 (Large).JPG

DSCN9912 (Large).JPG

Happy to bring a little bit of our country to California !DSCN9914 (Large).JPG

Taking our  girls to a Bastille Day diner at Brooklyn Girl after work ! We are going to try everything on that special menu ....crispy sweet breads, roasted bone marrows, steak tartare , pissaladiere, whole Loup de Mer , canard a l'orange ...DSCN9932 (Large).JPG

And French fries of course !DSCN9937 (Large).JPG

dinner.jpgSome ideas for next year ....A parade of French cars like in NY ....

The video is on Facebook...looks so much fun !

 

parade NY.jpg

 

And a waiter's race or as we say : "course de garcons de cafe "

bastille_waitersrace-facebook.jpg

 

02:10 Posted by Marielle Giai in The shop through the years | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

07/11/2014

Gearing up for Bastille Day !

Mission Hills will be the neighborhood to be for Bastille Day this year and we are thrilled about it ! All the restaurants will offer a special French menu all week end until Monday July 14th .

Getting excited about a fun week end all red-white -blue !

DSCN9887 (Large).JPG

DSCN9888 (Large).JPG

DSCN9820 (Large).JPG

DSCN9814 (Large).JPG

DSCN9825 (Large).JPG

DSCN9854 (Large).JPGPlanning a French Party ? We got you set up with flags , toothpicks . Alice made some banners with our own french fabric as well as paper rosettes and cards !

DSCN9883 (Large).JPG

 

DSCN9817 (Large).JPG

Saturday from 12 -3  . Live accordion Music with Lou Fanucchi

French Market and Side walk sale all day !

DSCN2322 (Medium).JPG

The Patio on Goldfinch will host a Bastille Dinner on Monday and Tuesday nights with Host chef Olivier Bioteau from Farm House Cafe )

Their "Vive la France " cheese platter is going on all week !!!

DSC_9452 (Large).JPGI've collaborate with Brooklyn Girl eatery on their Bastille Day special menu starting on Friday night ....so this will be our place to hang out after we close the shop Monday night . We LOVE everything on that menu !!!

photo(4).JPG

Brooklyn girl menu.jpg

 

The Red Door is putting together a Farm to Table Garden inspired French Bastille Day menu as well !

Bastille Day.jpgLast but not least : Cafe Bleu , THE French restaurant in the area is having a prix fixe menu for the occasion

cafe bleu.jpgAnd to finish Croce's Park West will show the movie "Amelie Poulain" in the restaurant at 7pm . Go for dessert as they serve my recipe of a hot chocolate fondant with fresh raspberries . Best dessert in town !

amelie poulain.jpg

See you Then !

02:30 Posted by Marielle Giai | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

06/19/2014

Back home in Provence ( last part )

"Les Carrieres de Lumieres" is the one thing you don't want to miss when in Provence. It runs pretty much all year , every day except for january and february when they work on setting up the new show for the year . It is set inside the old quarries in between Les Baux and Saint Remy both main tourists attractions but not everybody knows about this amazing show . Famous paintings are projected on the quarry's walls and floor as you walk through them ...it moves , changes and surround you with moving amazing art . This year the represented painters are Monet , Renoir and Chagall .

DSCN6576 [1280x768].JPG

 

IMG_3745 [1280x768].jpg

DSCN6598 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6599 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6600 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6603 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6593 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6604 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6577 [1280x768].JPG

It's stays at a cool 15- 17C even in summer ...so make sure to bundle up before to get in .DSCN6595 [1280x768].JPG

The village of Les Baux . Parking is at the bottom of the village and all streets are cobblestones ...no handicap access so I cannot take my mum there ...but it is a beautiful view for our picnic !IMG_3869 [1280x768].JPG

IMG_3866 [1280x768].jpg

One stop in Saint Remy for a well deserved desert ...my all time favorite classic: Chocolat liegeois and coffee liegeois : cold chocolate milk with chocolate and vanilla  ice cream or cold coffee with coffee and vanilla ice cream ...all topped with whipped cream of course !  Not complicated but so delicious !!DSCN6618 [1280x768].JPG

The typical roads lined with planes trees .

IMG_3687 [1280x768].JPG

The popes palace in AvignonDSCN6538 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6513 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6515 [1280x768].JPG

I am coming to see the exhibition of some of Louise Bourgeois massive master pieces shown inside the palace .Louise Joséphine Bourgeois, was a renowned French-American artist and sculptor, one of the most important artists in modern and contemporary art, and known for her spider structures which resulted in her being nicknamed the Spiderwoman.DSCN6516 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6518 [1280x768].JPG

IMG_3582 [1280x768].jpg

DSCN6523 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6531 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6536 [1280x768].JPG

The Cathedral " Notre Dame des Doms ". The cathedral is going through some major renovations that started in september 2013 and are not yet finished so check before to plan a visit .DSCN6511 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6483 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6484 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6488 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6490 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6493 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6496 [1280x768].JPG

IMG_3561 [1280x768].jpg

IMG_3553 [1280x768].jpg

DSCN6482 [1280x768].JPG

Hiking up to the top of the "Rocher des Doms" that gave the name to   the cathedral. On top you have the best view of the famous           "Pont d'Avignon " DSCN6505 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6501 [1280x768].JPG

 

One last meal before to leave ...has to be sweet breads " a la creme" with shaved summer truffles !! Summer truffles are very mild in flavor but the sweet breads sure were so sweet ! DSCN6814 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6813 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN7016 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6818 [1280x768].JPG

IMG_4111 [1280x768].JPG

Sea snails with aioli IMG_4238 [1280x768].JPG

And some "choux a la creme" . We cannot finish dinner without a pastry !! We've had pastries every single meal...eat cheese , bread, meat ...so much food  . Not only we didn't gain a pound but we digest it all like a charm ...here a single slice of bread can give us a serious stomach ache :(  We know for sure now that it is not the gluten or the lactose the problem but something else , probably the grain itself and GMO products . DSCN7039 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN9156 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN9157 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN9159 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN9160 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN9161 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN9163 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN9165 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN9168 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN9170 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN9171 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN9184 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN9185 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN9192 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN9198 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN9201 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN9205 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN9206 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN9212 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN9215 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN9217 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN9218 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN9219 [1280x768].JPG

IMG_3687 [1280x768].JPG

01:47 Posted by Marielle Giai in Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

06/06/2014

Back home in Provence ( part 2 )

Pascal and I grew up in Provence in the middle of the Cote du Rhone wineries . My little home town of 2000 people , Sainte Cecile les Vignes ...is obviously all about vineyards. I don't know what went "wrong" but both of us do not drink wine or any kind of alcohol as the matter fact !!  This is a serious social issue when you live there ... How can you not like wine or not drink pastis when you were born and raised in Provence!?!?! AND to make matters even worse ...we do not smoke or drink coffee...everybody there is puzzled by this "anomaly" ....here in California we are considered healthy ! 

Saturday morning is Farmer's market day and the village is buzzing . A basket in one hand and my mum on the other ...off we go !

 

IMG_4113 [1280x768].jpg

DSCN6824 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6828 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6830 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6833 [1280x768].JPGEverything looked delicious and fresh but there are very few organic produce stands . We do have really good produce in California but one huge difference was in the apricots ...so juicy and bursting in flavors . I must have eat a whole case during that trip ....

DSCN6834 [1280x768].JPG


The raspberries and strawberries were amazing as well ...still warm from just being picked up 

DSCN6838 [1280x768].JPGDried linden blossom and lemon verbena my favorites to make herbal tea

DSCN6857 [1280x768].JPGAnd all the spices to make a Moroccan couscous or tajine...

DSCN6858 [1280x768].JPGLemon confits are also a big part of north African cuisine....love them with fish or chicken. Here in San Diego ,I make my own since we have fresh lemons everywhere

DSCN6873 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6840 [1280x768].JPGAll kinds of nougats , with candied fruits ....I have to try this next time!

DSCN6839 [1280x768].JPGThis sign is pretty funny : eggs are not large and extra large but       " medium and very big "

DSCN6823 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6876 [1280x768].JPGHiro and I cannot resist the  espadrilles . Cute and comfy !

DSCN6861 [1280x768].JPG

 

 

DSCN6872 [1280x768].JPG

Paella ready to go ! DSCN6835 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6879 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6877 [1280x768].JPGMorue sechee ( baccala for the Italians ) is a true specialty of Provence ...and a lot of work to desalt and prepare but you can buy some already ready to eat at the same fish stand . It is mixed with olive oil and turned into a creamy paste delicious with steamed potatoes ...ad a few truffles and it is really heaven !

DSCN6878 [1280x768].JPGThis is my catch of the day ! A stingray fin ...just steam it for 10-15 minutes. It is mild , moist and just comes off the large bone like shredded meat .

DSCN6881 [1280x768].JPGThis is also one of my favorite : scallops with their roe . I have never been able to find some here in the US but in France it is the only way they come ...so tasty and delicious . You just sear them the same way in a little butter ...yum !

DSCN6883 [1280x768].JPGBig raw prawns with head and shell ready to grill ...best part is to suck the skin and head where all the flavors are !

DSCN6884 [1280x768].JPG

Goat or sheep cheeses ...they are all good !

DSCN6859 [1280x768].JPGBut the ones I am taking home with me are these fresh fresh goat cheeses...made locally in the near by town of Valreas. Only a day old ; they are still in their liquid. Strain the cheese and eat with good "fleur de sel" and bread ...this is the most mild of all goat cheeses ...and can only be found where they are made since they are not yet aged ...this is all my childhood and the taste of home !

DSCN6885 [1280x768].JPGI make one last stop chez Thierry the very talented florist to pick up some fresh flowers .

DSCN6643 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6644 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6652 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6653 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6654 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6657 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6660 [1280x768].JPG

 

My mum own hydrangeas and wisteria

P6270297 [1280x768].jpg

DSC08020 [1280x768].JPG

Getting ready of a "cooking class" ...today we'll make an other recipe Pascal's grand mother taught me : " blanquette de chevreau" 

A blanquette is a typical french dish made with veal in a white sauce but I much prefer this "chevreau" version. We can only find young goats in spring around Easter . It makes this dish much more moist and tender with a very mild taste .

 

IMG_3893 [1280x768].jpgThis is what you'll need: Olive oil , butter, veal with some bone if possible so it is not dry , a shallot, 1 garlic clove crushed, corn starch, white wine, chicken or veal broth , bouquet garni ( bay leaves, thyme and parsley ), 1/2 onion studded with cloves, some whipping cream and 1 egg yolk .

DSCN6626 [1280x768].JPGTraditionally you would start the meat in cold water and bring it to a simmer before to clean the foam that comes up ....but we like to bring some more flavors so we sautee the meat in a mix of olive oil and butter , let it brown before to ad the chopped shallot and garlic.  Ad a tbs of cornstarch to make a "roux" that will help thicken the sauce in the end . Ad a glass of white wine , let evaporate before to ad water to almost cover the meat . Put 1 cube of chicken or veal stock , 2 branches of celery , 2 carrots, the bouquet garni and the onion with the cloves . Salt no pepper .
Cover and let simmer for about an hour until the meat is tender .

DSCN6641 [1280x768].JPGMy best student taking notes !

DSCN6637 [1280x768].JPGWhen the meat is cooked , remove the herbs and vegetables (except for the carrots) and ad some whipping cream. If the sauce is still too liquid ad an egg yolk being very careful not to boil the sauce at any point anymore .Mix gently not to mush the delicate meat.

DSCN6670 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6673 [1280x768].JPGI am sorry if my plate doesn't look restaurant pretty but we are so ready to eat this ...we can hardly wait !!

DSCN6678 [1280x768].JPG

  I am taking my friend Hiro for a stroll in Vaison la Romaine but on the way I have to stop in Pascal's home town of Tulette at the local chocolate shop to buy some chocolate/crunchy hazelnut spread ...a much more delicious and totally addictive version of "Nutella" I specially love their old truck : "tube" made by Citroen in the 50's

It would be really cool to have one for Maison En Provence !!!

 

DSCN9241 [1280x768].JPG

 

 Vaison la Romaine is a very pretty little town with Roman ruins , bridge and amphitheater . The best thing is to actually enjoy the theater during summer months when they have concerts, local choirs performing and watch the fireworks for Bastille Day ! The farmer's market is also the best one in the region . As a tourist , you should wander in the old part of town...nice little restaurants, B&B and hike up to the "castle"

DSCN6900 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6903 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6904 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6905 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6911 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6914 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6912 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6927 [1280x768].JPG

 

IMG_4279 [1280x768].jpg

DSCN6921 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN6925 (Large).JPG

 

DSCN6936 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN7058 [1280x768].JPG

 

Grignan is a hillside fortified village clustered tightly around a large Renaissance castle that dominate the top of the hill. Grignan was made famous in France by the Aristocratic Madame de Sévigné, remembered for the many letters she wrote in the 17th century. It is surrounded by lavender fields and host a very famous " festival de la correspondance" ( a book and writing event with lectures, exhibitions, vintage books market...) they also have plays and concerts in front of the castle all summer. Worth the visit if you have already been many times to Provence and want to explore an other little artist town .

DSCN7046 [1280x768].JPG

 

DSCN7048 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN7055 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN7045 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN7081 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN7126 [1280x768].JPG

 

DSCN7064 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN7069 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN7070 [1280x768].JPG

 

DSCN7088 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN7098 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN7099 [1280x768].JPG

 

DSCN7093 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN7100 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN7110 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN7104 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN7123 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN7083 [1280x768].JPG

 

DSCN7084 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN7042 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN7043 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN7129 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN7077 [1280x768].JPG

Last part of the trip ...coming very soon !

23:09 Posted by Marielle Giai in Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

06/05/2014

Bonne Fete Papa !

It's Father's Day !

We have such fun cards made in house by our own talented Alice !

DSCN9596 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN9511 (Large).JPG

DSCN9512 (Large).JPG

DSCN9605 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN9603 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN9602 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN9604 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN9606 [1280x768].JPG

DSCN9515 (Large).JPG

DSCN9514 (Large).JPG

DSCN9518 (Large).JPG

DSCN5970 (Large).JPG

DSCN5973 (Large).JPG

20:21 Posted by Marielle Giai | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |