Gooey Chocolate Oat Cake

Gooey Chocolate Oat Cake // The Pancake PrincessWhen you’re waking up covered in a light sheen of sweat to the deep-voiced man on the radio announcing “it’s already 80 degrees with a high of 99” your desire to turn on the oven turns to negative 20 degrees. Particularly when you are trying to keep costs down in the form of taming the resource-sucking A/C beast. Yet somehow, my desire for cake does not function in the same manner.

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Green pea + butter bean mash

Green Pea and Butter Bean Mash // The Pancake PrincessLunch at Ottolenghi was by far the most memorable meal Ali and I had in London (and it probably would have taken the title of most memorable moment had we not gotten lost in the heath for the better part of an hour on the way to dinner one night). Anyway, the thanks goes to our server, who pretty much demanded I order the pea/butter bean mash when I explained how I was trying to decide between six of the salad options.

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Flax Macarons

“Let’s do a macaron taste test! We’ll find the best macarons in Paris.” <– Ah, such grand plans Ali and I had for our short time in Paris. In reality, we made it to two macaron stops (Pierre Herme and La Duree) and have you ever tried to do a taste-off between the two? It’s kind of like trying to choose your favorite child (or so I hear).

Flax Macarons // The Pancake Princess

On the downside, the price of such treasures is exorbitant. Can I be honest with you? A lot of my recipe inspiration comes from being cheap. I’ll eat something when I’m out and think, “I could make that at home [for wayyy cheaper.]”

Back in my own kitchen, I of course wanted to try making my own macarons, but I was apprehensive. They are, after all, the most finicky cookies in the blogosphere, with a toweringly intimidating reputation and an iffy chance of success. Plus I had it in my head that it would take having my own chicken and almond tree to keep up with the supply of egg whites and almond flour that I would need to bake up the perfect macaron.

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Europe Trip: Paris

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While this photo does nothing to capture the beauty of Paris (except perhaps the beauty of that wonderful man making the most delicious falafel sandwich ever), it does sum up the four days I spent in Paris last month with my cousin: eating {and wandering}. This, a month later, is the second part to my Europe recap. I hope it provides at least a few tips should you ever need to find a place to eat in Paris, or at least a little entertainment.

(PS. We pretty much used David Lebovitz’s site as our sole source of food recommendations. He only led us astray once, so I recommend him.)

Day 1

Paris kind of started off on the wrong foot not because we had to get up at the crack of dawn to catch our Eurostar train, but because it was gloomy, gray and wet when we arrived. We left beautiful, sunny London for this?! (I realize how bizarre that sounds.)

(If you plan on taking Eurostar, book your tickets as far in advance as possible. We waited to book until a week or two before our trip and by then tickets had shot up to $260+ each for a one-way ticket. We ended up leaving on Thursday instead of Friday to get tickets for $160 instead, but normally prices can be as low as $70. Flying is generally a cheap option, but more of a hassle and a lot of the really small airlines come with a lot of nit-picky rules that may result in extra charges. Also, if you want to store your suitcases at Gare du Nord, the luggage lockers are downstairs and they cost 9€ to rent for 24 hours. Having exact change is a plus, though they have a change machine downstairs.)

Another note: Once you arrive in Gare du Nord, this is a great time to buy some metro tickets. We decided, rather unintelligently, that we could probably just walk everywhere (which resulted in very sore feet.) If you will be traveling casually for a few days in Paris, a carnet–or set of 10 metro tickets sold at a slightly discounted rate–is a good way to go. There are several other passes you can buy if you are staying for a longer period of time, or you can buy one-off tickets whenever necessary, as we did.

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Piadina Grilled Cheese

Spending time in Paris is probably the best thing I can do done to ensure that I will never be vegan because I fall deeply in love with cheese, every time.

Piadina Grilled Cheese // The Pancake Princess

There was that one period of time during which I was in Paris by myself and ate what I wanted, as cheaply as I wanted—which meant a lot of cafe-croissant breakfasts and dinners spent outside with bakery-fresh baguettes, vibrant cote de boeuf tomatoes and chunks of sharp Comte cheese. That was about the time I truly fell in love with bread + tomatoes + cheese.

Piadina Grilled Cheese // The Pancake Princess

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