Canele, cannele, canelle — there seem to be an awful lot of ways to spell this small French pastry with a hard, crispy, caramelized exterior and a soft, custardy inside. And that’s even before we non-French speakers try to pronounce them (“What? You’re making cannollis?” “No, canneles!”). To be serious, canelés or canelés of Bordeaux are credited as originating in the Bordeaux region of France. Similar to how only sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France can be champagne, only canelés pastries from Bordeaux can use the spelling with a single “n.” The rest are cannelés. Regardless of the spelling, the pastry’s egg custard batter is baked in a special mold that creates beautiful tea-sized cakes. But enough talk, let’s get to the sweets. Continue reading →
I am not a fan of crowds — not at all. I am one of those people who goes out of her way to travel during the off-season, attend events on weekdays, arrive at opening time or pretty much anything else that will hopefully mean that I get to miss the crowds. At least as much as possible. So a year or so ago when I was watching a travel show on television that suggested skipping the traditional Roman ruins for a lesser known site, my ears perked up. Lebanon’s Baalbek is a World Heritage Site and, in the words of UNESCO, “one of the finest examples of Imperial Roman architecture at its apogee.” Once you see the photographs, it is not difficult to see why Baalbek is on my must see list. Continue reading →
These days every major and minor franchise seems to be getting a reboot. Old television shows are being reborn as new television shows or being brought to the big screen, old films are being re-imagined in a modern way. (Or so they tell us.) Big Screen James Bond has always had a series of different writers, directors and actors telling his story. But when it comes to books things work a little differently. I bring all this up because The Guardian is reporting that the publishers of the late Swedish author Stieg Larsson’s Millenium series (aka The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy) will be getting a fourth book. And it isn’t by Larsson. Continue reading →
After our successful do-it-yourself afternoon tea, I have been eager to try making more finger foods. And if your home is anything like mine, then you are constantly looking for new, fresh ideas for meals. That is when I saw the menu for Volvér by Chef Jose Garces. Not only is restaurant one of the hottest and newest fine dining options to open in Philadelphia, but it is also located in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts — which is pretty cool in and of itself. When I saw the restaurant’s bar menu, I got really excited. And hungry. The menu from Bar Volvér features tartines, or open faced sandwiches, of ham and cheese, smoked salmon and wagyu. It was something I had to try at home in the kitchen. Continue reading →
Nestled between New York City and Washington, D.C., Philadelphia can be easily overlooked. We’re often underrated. But the City of Brotherly Love has some incredible secrets. While the Rocky movies memorialized the front steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, within the walls of the impressive building is, unquestionably, a world class museum. Only recently has the Barnes Foundation’s indescribable treasures been opened up to the public and accessible from the Ben Franklin Parkway. Much like Philadelphia can be overlooked, so can the Rodin Museum. No, not the one in Paris; the one in Philadelphia. Just as Albert C. Barnes collected priceless art, so, too, did Jules E. Mastbaum collect the works of Auguste Rodin. The museum houses the largest collection of Rodin’s work outside of the French capital. And it’s in Philadelphia, just a stone’s throw from the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Barnes Foundation. Continue reading →
I'm a web developer who likes to bake, blog, take photos and travel. I listen to loud music and I'm constantly working to improve my German skills. I'm also best buddies with a guy with awesome sideburns and a white miniature schnauzer. Read more...