Yup, it's true. I'm finally able to talk about my new apartment purchase in Paris. Since I've been living here for nearly a decade, I decided to put d

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Yup, it's true. I'm finally able to talk about my new apartment purchase in Paris. Since I've been living here for nearly a decade, I decided to put down a more permanent stake and spent a while looking for just the right place. Well, that place didn't come along (and lord knows, I looked...and looked.) Most important was to continue to be a top-floor resident. But if you want to live on the top floor in Paris, you need either:

1. Legs of steel... since many of the places are six or seven flights up (that’s seven or eight, American-style, since the French don't count the ground floor) and that's a lot of walking. I've experienced that a few times when my elevator in my building was hors service, and made the climb myself. I learned that there are 126 reasons why French women don't get fat – and they have nothing to do with stopping after half-a-glass of Champagne or drinking leek water.
2. To be ready for a brawl... because most people in Paris dream of living on the top floor (with an elevator, bien sûr) and places up there, close to heaven, go quickly. Parisians don't like living below other Parisians for a reason, and on the list of things Parisians don’t like, their upstairs neighbor is usually number-two (right after their bank, which is always number-one.)
3. The ability to live in a (very) small space... Many top floor places are chambres de bonne, or maid's quarters, where the "help" lived, while the family resided somewhere down below. Consequently many have sloped roofs, which are lovely to look at, but cut off one-quarter of your living space. (And no one is looking at the exterior of their apartment when they're in there; we want the extra space, thanks.) Also the apartments can be quite small. It always gives me a chuckle when visitors have their noses pressed against the windows of Paris real estate offices and they are marveling at the low prices. I never have the heart to tell them that the place they think is so cheap is 25 square feet, and a seventh floor walk-up.

So although I'm staying in my quartier, it's up and outta here at the end of the month, the good lord (and my contractor) willing. And I can't wait to start cooking in a real kitchen, one where I don't have to move the coffee, the cutting boards, and the flour to get a bowl. Then move the scale, the mixer, and reach behind the coffee machine to grab a measuring spoon. Then realize after I've put everything back in place, that I need a different bowl. And start all over again.

But if you'll excuse me, that's enough chatting about my old place...I've got work to do on the new one.....


Introductory Price $2.99!

Paris Pastry E-Book

We've officially launched an e-book edition of my Paris pastry guide to over 300 shops in the city, accompanied by lots of photos, directions, and specialties.

The maps will be linked to Google maps and the pretty pictures of all the glorious pastries will be larger than on the iPhone app. The e-book can be downloaded and used with just about every device out there, from iPads to Androids to Nooks. It's also available in a Kindle edition. And if you order the book from the Paris Pastry website before February 14th, we're offering it at a special price of just $2.99.

(Sorry, the discount does not apply in the Amazon Kindle store.)

Even if you're not coming to Paris, you might want to take a look at all the scrumptious pastries of Paris, wherever you are - Bon Appétit!


Paris Get-Togethers

To celebrate the release of the Paris Pastry e-book, there will be a get-together at La Cuisine cooking school on February 12th, from 2 to 4pm. There will be wine, and macarons made by their students. So come! There will also be copies of Ready for Dessert, if you'd like a personalized copy. Or you're welcome to bring your own to be signed.

Also in Paris, on February 15th, I'll be part of a panel discussion, What's Eating Paris?, talking about social media and the local food scene in the city.

For more details about either event, check out my Schedule page.


Did you miss these?

I've you've been remiss, you've missed a bunch of posts chronicling the renovation of my apartment. Rather than a bunch of stories about how goofy French people are, you can read about my own goofs (ok, along with a few other theirs)...

New Digs ...pictures of my apartment - yikes..

La Lampe ...my search for a kitchen light

Lille, Aux Moules, and a Sink ...my search for a kitchen sink

And some recipes that people have really enjoyed recently, including me…

Gluten-Free Chocolate Brownies

Salted Butter Caramels

Chocolate Biscotti

Whole Lemon Bars

Israeli Couscous with Butternut Squash and Preserved Lemons (the best!)


What's coming up?

Plenty. I visited the first gluten-free bakery in Paris (yes, really..and it's good), am planning to review a favorite steak-frites place with the best frites I've had in Paris, and I found a great French cookbook when I was packing boxes of cookbooks which I want to share.

I'm doing a write-up of what it takes to buy an apartment in Paris (namely, a good relationship with a pharmacologist), and I'm also working on a new cookbook, testing recipes like a madman. Perhaps it's not the best idea to show outtakes (er, shown), but the good news is that I'm making the flubs…so you won't have to!

: )


the worst cake in the world


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