Stuffed Eggplant Mini-Rolls

Petits Rouleaux d'Aubergine Farcis

[Stuffed Eggplant Mini-Rolls]

Last night, Maxence and I threw a little dinner-party for my two dear friends, Marie-Laure and Laurence, and their respective boyfriends, Ludovic and Jean-Christophe. Over the next few days, I will post the menu for this dinner…

You can see us pictured here in our living-room : from left to right, Marie-Laure, Ludo, myself, Laurence and Jean-Christophe. Interesting detail on this picture : you remember Stéphan and Patricia, our neighbor-friends? Through the window behind us, you can see their kitchen window : say hi to Stéphan and Patricia! Maxence is not on the picture, because there had to be a photographer. But I don’t want you to think I’m hiding him from you, so here’s a picture of him, too.

After an apéritif during which we nibbled on sweet potato chips (ethnic-store bought), we sat down to eat the first course, stuffed eggplant mini-rolls.

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Egyptian Sweet Potato Fries

Frites de Patates Douces

[Egyptian Sweet Potato Fries]

When Maxence and I went grocery shopping in the ethnic stores of the rue de Clignancourt last week, we bought sweet potatoes. There were five (five!) varieties to choose from, so we asked the store attendant which variety was the sweetest, and he pointed us to the ones from Egypt, white-fleshed with a dark pink skin.

Tonight, I used them to make sweet potato fries in the oven. Very simple, very good.

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Mini Sandwich Skewer

Brochette De Mini-Sandwiches

[Skewered Mini-Sandwiches]

The boulangépicier store, or “be”, opened a year ago in Paris, and is owned by Alain Ducasse and Eric Kayser, the famous restaurant and bakery emperors. The name, as well as the concept, is a fusion of “boulanger” and “épicier” – baker and grocer.

On the grocery front, they sell a range of gourmet goods (unusual spices, condiments, jams, chocolate, candy, pasta…), a small selection of organic produce and dairy products. On the bakery front, they sell the fantastic Kayser breads, made on the premises, an array of lunch items (soups, salads and sandwiches), as well as a few pâtisseries and desserts (tartlets, cookies, chocolate mousse, fruit salad…).

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Maple Sugar

maple_sugar.jpg

When my parents came over for lunch a few weeks ago, my mother, who knows me oh-so-well, brought me a cute little jar of maple sugar from Quebec. It is made by a company called Les Sucres du Quebec, which makes a variety of maple-based products.

I love, love, *love* maple syrup, and I’d never had maple sugar before, so I was very intrigued, and it’s delicious! It’s crystallized like muscovado sugar, but the crystals are more fragile and collapse faster in your mouth. The maple flavor is distinctly present and yummy. Add to this the very special taste of things given to you by your mom, and you’ve got the perfect topping!

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Grilled Onions And Peppers

I did not write the food entry I had in mind yesterday night, and my excuse for that is as valid as it will ever get : I couldn’t get back into my apartment until a late hour, for the seventh floor of our building was on fire.

Important forenote to reassure everyone : no worries, I’m fine, Maxence is fine, everybody’s fine, and the apartment’s fine!

Coming home from work, I went to the grocery store to run a few errands. When I got to the foot of the stairs that lead to our apartment complex, it started to feel like a scene from a movie. I saw the firemen’s truck, I saw the thick water hose, I saw that it was leading up the stairs, I heard someone say “C’est au 2” (“It’s at number 2″), which is our building number, I climbed up the stairs, seemingly in slow-mo (but then again I was laden with plastic carrier bags, which may explain the slowness of my ascension), until I reached the top, looked up, and saw flames and thick smoke coming out of the windows of the seventh floor.

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