Category Archives: macarons

The perfect meal: Confit de Canard and Macarons

We’re still in Paris. Trevor is here for about one more week, and I have 2 more weeks. While we’re here, there are a couple things that we always have to eat. There are the usual suspects- cheese, bread, pastries…and then there are a few lesser known delicacies like Confit de Canard and macarons.

Confit de Canard is much more delicious than it sounds when you describe it in English. Basically, it’s duck legs, preserved in rendered duck fat, which you then pan fry and serve with potatoes sauteed in some of the extra rendered duck fat. I promise, it’s totally, amazingly, delicious.

Macarons are probably easier for everyone to get excited about. They are the fanciest oreo you’ve ever tasted. The cookies are a kind of almond-based meringue and they are filled with something creamy and delicious. They come in delicate flavors like fresh mint, salted caramel, rose, jasmine, rose vanilla, passion fruit…all of the possible colors and flavors make my head spin!  I have a bit of an obsession them, as I’ve already written about eating them here, here and here; and I’ve written about making them here and here. Unfortunately, the macarons you can find in even the best bakeries in the US do not compare to those you can get here, so we get our fill when we come to Paris.

Last night, we decided to live it up and have them both.  I documented the entire meal for your viewing pleasure.

Confit de Canard with Sauteed Potatoes.
Macarons from Pierre Herme (arguably the best in Paris)
Fresh mint- I love how much these taste like real mint
Chocolate Caramel- good, but not my favorite. I prefer the more delicate flavors
Rose Vanilla- The flavor was very good and delicate. But the filling was a little too firm for my preference.
Jasmine- Very subtle flavor. Almost too subtle, but still one that I will get again.
Salted Caramel- Hands down, one of my favorites. The flavor of the caramel is so pronounced, while the filling is soft and delicate. Amazing.
Rose- Also one of my very favorites. I never imagined a cookie that tastes like a flower would be so wonderful. This one is perfection.
Aaaaand, gone. If you’re wondering why the knife is there, it’s because Trevor and I always buy 6 different macarons and cut them in half. That way we get to try a good variety of flavors.
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Quick Valentine’s Day Recap

I have a feeling the little one will be waking up from his nap any minute now, but I’ve been wanting to do a recap of our lovely Valentine’s Day, courtesy of Trevor, and I’m already 4 days late. In the interest of time, I’ll do a picture recap.

First, Quentin and I had a little fun with finger paints. We needed to make daddy a Valentine, so we got to work.

Here is the before picture
Aaaand after. It was a mess (obviously, 7 month old + fingerpaints=big mess), but it was fun!

Happy boy!

It’s all fun and games until you decide to suck your thumb with paint on your hand. That ended the project. Good thing we were done with daddy’s Valentine.

Trevor said he would make a Valentine’s Day dinner. A few years ago, he made this delicious Crab Salad with Pears and Hazelnuts from Simply Recipes. We loved it and decided we wanted to have it again. Maybe it will be a Valentine’s day tradition.

Butter leaf lettuce cups for the salad

Delicious crab and pear salad. Unfortunately, Whole Foods was out of hazelnuts. Instead, we added a little hazelnut oil. It wasn’t the same, but at least there was some nuttiness.

Serving it up.

Add a drizzle of olive oil.

Ready!

For dessert, I made some chocolate-covered strawberries.

As a bonus, we had some macarons from Cocola that a friend gave me as a thank you for the onesie I made for her daughter. Sweet!

I’d say it was a success! What did you do for Valentine’s Day? Or am I already too late to still be thinking about this at all?

If Laduree is heaven, then what does that make Pierre Herme??


…I’m not sure that I can really put my finger on it, but it’s even better. Don’t get me wrong, Laduree is kind of like the classic beauty that you are always in awe of no matter how many times you encounter (or in this case “taste”) it. But Pierre Herme is new and exciting, like a new style or new innovation that- at first glance- looks completely “wrong,” but in the end is absolutely perfect. Pierre Herme manages to take flavors that you would never expect to taste together and meld them beautifully. It makes you wonder why they haven’t always been paired. Take “Vanilla Olive Oil,” for example. At first glance this seems like an odd combination, at best, and downright gross at worst. Not so, for Pierre Herme. These flavors are perfect together. Now why didn’t I think of that? I know that I’m a bit of a Pierre Herme fanatic here, but what can I say? He’s one of my culinary heros. He has turned macarons into edible art, and for that, I have to say he’s a step above Laduree (even though I love Laduree too!).

Enough drooling from me, though. Here are some “food porn” photos (as my dad likes to call them), so that you, too, can drool.