Sunday, July 23, 2017

What the Heck! Down to the Last Few Weeks of Summer Reading....

All the signs are in place: school supplies are for sale at Wal-Mart, kids are buying new shoes at Payless, and class lists are being prepared for posting. Some teachers (and principals!) are sad...


but I am thrilled to be heading back to work in two more weeks....

BOOK-A-DAY & PARIS IN JULY

In the meantime, I'm reading like a librarian on Death Row. I read...wait for it...probably a new record...

15 books last week!






Of course, lots of them were children's picture books, but nevertheless, I'm proud. I've read tons of wonderful Paris in July books. I've also made lots of progress on my 1001 Children's Books You Must Read list this summer, and, happily, I've now read 602 of the books. I'm pretty sure I'll complete my goal of reading a book-a-day this summer, too.

WHAT I'M READING NOW




The first three are for Paris in July: The Dud Avocado, Bon Voyage, and Curiosities of Paris.
I'm working on D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths for 1001. I saw Imagine Wanting Only This on a blog. And Window is a reread for a new feature I've been meaning to start for months (years?) called Tiny Treasures.

How about you? Are you sad summer is winding down? Are you reading anything I should read? I hope you'll share here!








What is the Sunday SalonImagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week.  It is now being hosted here.

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is now being hosted at The Book Date.

Please join the weekly meme at An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.

Il est Juillet et il est temps pour le merveilleux Paris in July hosted by Thyme for Tea! (*It is July and it is time for the wonderful Paris in July!)




Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Perfect Bread Recipe (and It's From France...Of Course!)

I've made a lot of bread in my life.

My mom taught me how to make her high-rising dinner rolls. They have become my must-make dish for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Her dinner rolls are the best.

My Aunt Marie taught me how to make her cornbread. Her cornbread is the best.

My grandma taught me to make her country breakfast biscuits. Her biscuits are the best.

Ever since I went to France in 2010, I've wanted to be a master bread baker. I've experimented here on my blog with lots of good bread recipes: Pain Fran├žaisFougasse au Romarin (Rosemary Fougasse) from Clotilde's Edible Adventures in Paris; and The Pioneer Woman vs. Grandma.

But I wanted a crusty outside and a soft inside. I was frustrated and nothing seemed to work.

Me, Leslie from Under the Apple Tree, and Emma from Words and Peace at BookExpo in Chicago last year.

Then I met Emma. I met her at BookExpo when it was in Chicago last year. Emma is a blogger at Words and Peace and she runs book tours at France Book Tours. Emma is from France. Emma shared a bread recipe that has changed my life. The recipe is the recipe used by a group of monks in a monastery in France. I can't explain it, but it is almost as if the happy peace and joy of the monastery has somehow soaked into this recipe. The bread comes out perfectly every time.


Can it get any simpler than this?
Ingredients:
  • 3 cups flour 
  • 1/4 teaspoon yeast 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups very warm water
Instructions:


  1. Mix flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Add water and mix.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap. Let dough sit at room temperature for 3 hours.
  3. After 3 hours, move it to a well-floured surface. Fold dough and shape into a ball.
  4. Place in a parchment paper-lined bowl and cover with a towel. Let stand on counter top for about 35 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, place Dutch oven with lid in a cold oven and preheat to 450° F.
  6. When oven reaches 450° carefully, using oven gloves, place parchment paper and dough from the bowl gently into the hot pot. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Take off lid. Return, uncovered, to oven and bake 10-15 more minutes.

The old cast iron Dutch oven is perfect for baking crusty bread. Beautiful, isn't it?

 And the taste? Magnifique!




Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.

Saturday Snapshot is now hosted by West Metro Mommy ReadsTo participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky below. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

Please join the weekly meme at An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.

Il est Juillet et il est temps pour le merveilleux Paris in July hosted by Thyme for Tea! (*It is July and it is time for the wonderful Paris in July!)



Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Iconic Paris*: Amazing Flowers

They are everywhere in Paris*. Flowers.

Amazing flowers.







Lush. You just want to breathe it in, don't you?

Go ahead.

Then just sit down amid the flowers. You are in Paris*. Enjoy.



*and Provence



Saturday Snapshot is now hosted by West Metro Mommy ReadsTo participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky below. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

Please join the weekly meme at An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.

Il est Juillet et il est temps pour le merveilleux Paris in July hosted by Thyme for Tea! (*It is July and it is time for the wonderful Paris in July!)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

A Week of Books: The Outsiders, Walking to Listen, You Can't Go Home Again, and Many More

WHAT I READ LAST WEEK

My book-a-day project led me to finish a diverse set of books this week.

One is a modern classic, The Outsiders. For years and years, I've heard about this book, but somehow kept skipping reading it. It's a worthy read. Even the book covers are fascinating.



I read two children's picture books, both set in Paris, Zat Cat! and Babar's Guide to Paris.



I read three nonfiction books this week. I finished my Book of the Month Club selection, American Fire. It's the true story of two arsonists in a rural, rusting part of America. I am not sure I'd say I read it (Can you read something and really not understand it?) but I finished At the Existentialist Cafe. And I read and reviewed on my blog The Madeleine Project.



And I finished a light fiction collection of short stories called Paris for One.

WHAT ARRIVED IN THE MAIL

 Salt Creek and Valley of the Moon


WHAT I'M READING NOW




It's a lot of books, I know. But my summer is winding down, and I'm trying to finish as much as I can.

Thank you all for your prayers and thoughts about my niece's baby, Oliver, born at 25 weeks. Please continue to pray for the baby and his family.











What is the Sunday SalonImagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week.  It is now being hosted here.

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is now being hosted at The Book Date.

Please join the weekly meme at An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.

Il est Juillet et il est temps pour le merveilleux Paris in July hosted by Thyme for Tea! (*It is July and it is time for the wonderful Paris in July!)