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Three Days in New York City ~ Travel Guide

Three Days in NYC

The city, home to over 8.5 million people, contains so much to see and do. We only had 3 days to explore the city so we spent every waking moment wandering around the streets of Manhattan. You won’t see even a tiny percentage of this vast city in three days, but this is a list of the must do’s of my favorite places. They are a mix of shopping, tourist spots and our favorite places to eat.

DAY 1:

STOP #1 – Rockefeller Center – 34$: Located right in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, it’s nearly impossible to visit New York without going to the Rockefeller Center. When going to NYC for such a short trip, we had to choose between going up to the Empire State Building or the Rockefeller Center. After some readings online, we picked the Rockefeller for the 360 degrees view of the city it offers. At the top of the observation deck you can almost see all of Manhattan. North, you can see Central Park, and south brings a view of the Empire State Building and the other beautiful buildings of New York.

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Views on Central Park
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Views on the Empire State Building

STOP #2 – Central Park – free: After going to the top of the Rockefeller Center, we walked to Central Park. Central Park was perfect to relax and leave the crowds behind us. You can spend couple hours just wandering in the park. It’s huge. Also, it’s free – great news, isn’t it? – there are lots of paths to walk, and the possibility to rent bikes or row-boat.

 

 

STOP #3 – The Metropolitan Museum of Art – free: The Metropolitan Museum of Art -MET is one of the biggest museums in the world, and if you can only visit one museum during your trip I would definitely recommend this one. It seems like its galleries never end. IMG_7185.JPG

STOP #4 – Times Square – Free: It is definitely something touristy to do. However I am not going to lie, I didn’t particularly enjoy Times Square as it was packed with people and there is not much to do in this area except if you are going to see a show.

DAY 2:

STOP #1 – Grand Central Station – free: it’s the city’s historic train station. It is definitely a place to see. It almost seems like time stops for a couple of minutes looking at all those people trying to catch their trains. Grand central often appears as a romantic backdrop in movies and TV shows, such as The Avenger, Super Man or Gossip girl. You should definitely take the metro at least once just to get the feel of a real New Yorker.

 

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STOP #2 – Staten Island Ferry – Free: The Staten Island Ferry is one of the last remaining ferry systems in New York City that transport people between Manhattan and its boroughs. Hop aboard this free ferry to see one of New York City’s most famous attractions: The Statue of Liberty. We decided it was not worth the money (and the time) to go up the Statue of Liberty, and instead chose to take this ferry to Brooklyn where you have a beautiful view of both the Statue of Liberty AND the New York Skyline.

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Did you know that the original color of Statue of Liberty was not green?  It’s made of copper that was oxidized through time.
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Skyline view from Staten Island Ferry

STOP #3 – Brooklyn Bridge – Free: You will get a lot of wonderful views of downtown as you walk across the bridge. I enjoyed doing this walk at night as well, when downtown Manhattan is all lit up, it seems like you are in a different place.

 

 

 

DAY 3:

STOP #1 – High Line Park – Free: The High Line is a converted train track that is now an urban walking park. This walk is one of the best things to do in the city, especially on a nice day. It’s a beautiful green park that runs from the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street. Along the way you’ll pass through the artsy neighborhood of Chelsea.

 

 

STOP #2 – Chelsea Market – Free: Next up was lunch so we headed towards the Chelsea Market that I had heard so much about. If you’re looking for a place to get food, shopping and stay inside, away from the summer heat, nothing beats the appeal of Chelsea Market. The downside – which really isn’t – is that it’s hard to find a place to eat as there are so many options. But we finally manage to choose Dickson’s Farmstand which offers meats and house-made charcuterie as well as a rotisserie. We shared half a chicken with roasted potatoes, there are no words to explain how delicious this meal was! On our way out we came across a doughnuts shop called Doughnuttery which looked like it was making fresh mini donuts so I had to try it. These little donoughts were super cute and were pretty good (not the best donuts I ever had though).

 

 

STOP #3 – Shopping: Macy’s Herald Square is of course a must see as it is one of the largest stores in the world. Walk around and you will find all the shops you have dreamed of.

STOP #4 – The Museum of Modern Art ~ MoMA – free every friday 4-8pm: Head over to the MoMA for lots of beautiful but weird modern art that can be quite bizarre. I have to say, I’m not really into modern art but it is worth the visit.

 

 

 

 

 

Tabbouleh

In the hot summer days – like we had all last week-  I like to keep meals as simple as possible. I kept finding myself reaching for recipes in needs of fresh herbs just like this classic homemade tabbouleh recipe.  It is quick and easy to make, chocked full of fresh herbs from my garden, and tossed with fresh organic lemon juice. You are going to love it !

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Ingredients for 3 persons:

  • 1 cup whole wheat couscous*
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced small
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup parsley

*Note: For a gluten free version, use quinoa.

Method: 

1 . Prepare the couscous: In a large bowl, pour the boiling water over the couscous and cover with plastic wrap or a plate of the size of the bowl. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes until softened. If the couscous hasn’t absorbed the water or still tastes crunchy after this time, cover and let it sit for a few more minutes. Gently break apart and fluff the cooked couscous with a fork. Let it cool for 45 minutes.

2 . Tabbouleh: In your blender, combine the 3 tomatoes, cucumber, lemon juice, olive oil, mint, parsley, salt and pepper. Blend until it is smooth but don’t worry if there is still some chunk.

3 . Then combine the prepared couscous and this mixture and stir until well mixed. Add the cherry tomatoes. Leave in the fridge until serving.

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Suggested Grocery List:

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Apple Cherry Pie ~ French Mother’s Day

❤ Today is French Mother’s Day aka “La fête des mamans”. Also, when fresh fruit are in season there is nothing like making your own pie filling. So here is a yummy recipe with cherries from my garden and ‘I heart U’ pie crust. Sending love to all the mummies up there ! ❤

 

Ingredients:

  • 1lb cherries, pitted
  • 2 apples, pilled, cored and cut into fairly small pieces
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg wash (to brush the crust)
  • 2 pie dough*

Utensils: 

  • parchment paper
  • 9-inch dish pie plate
  • cookie cutter in heart shape

For a homemade dough:

  • 3 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 + 3/4 sticks of butter, softened
  • 13 tablespoons water
  • 1 pinch of salt

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Method:

1 . For the dough:  Combine flour and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in the softened butter with your pastry blender (or fork if you don’t have one) until mixture looks like crumbs. Stir in enough water just until flour is moistened. Divide the dough in half and shape each into two balls. Wrap each in plastic food wrap and refrigerate for at least 25 minutes.

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2 . In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, apples and cherries and  gently toss until well coated.

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3 . Preheat oven to 400FPlace parchment paper at the bottom of your 9-inch deep dish pie.

 

4 . Roll out one disk of dough on lightly floured surface into 12-inch circle. Place dough into  9-inch deep dish pie plate and refrigerate.

5 . Once the second crust is rolled out on a floured surface, lightly pressed with an inverted pie plate (of about the same size) onto its surface to see where the edges of the crust are going to be.

6 . Then, cut out alternating rows of hearts with the cookie cutter. Make sure to save the cut-out heart pieces. They will be going along the edge of the crust.

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7 . Take the first crust out of the refrigerator. Add the filling of apples and cherries.

8 . Lift the second crust pie and slide it off the top. You can gently pick it up and readjust. Line the heart around the edge, and brush the whole surface with the egg wash.

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9 . Bake for 45 minutes. Cool pie at least 20 minutes before serving

Pin it !

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Homemade Falafels

Today’s recipe is homemade falafels. The traditional recipe uses dry chickpeas. If you wanted to make falafels today, you would have needed to soak the chickpeas  overnight. Umm not great. The things is yesterday I felt like doing falafels for dinner with the fam since we had some tatziki and blinis in our fridge. So yes it won’t be the traditional recipe as I used canned chickpeas but it was still delicious !

For this recipe you will need a lot of herbs, cilantro and parsley – fresher your herbs, taster the falafel will be. I have fresh parsley and cilantro in my garden (thanks dad) and so it was even more exciting to make this recipe !

Bon appetit !
Mathilde xx

Ingredients:

  • 1 15oz can garbanzo beans
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 cup of chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 garlic gloves
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • canola oil, for frying

Method:

1 . Drain the garbanzo beans from the water and dry them completely.

2 . Transfer the garbanzo beans along with the parsley, cilantro, onion, garlic, cumin, salt, baking powder and lemon juice to a food processor. Process the mixture just until the ingredients are minced but not pureed – You still want it to have tiny chunks of chickpeas running through your mixture.

3 . Transfer the falafel mixture to a bowl and add the flour. Squeeze the falafel mixture into 1.5-inch balls.

4 . Heat an inch of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. When the oil is ready, place the falafel balls into the oil. Let it cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side (until golden brown).

5 . Reserve in a bowl cover of paper towel to absorb the extra oil.

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Olive and Bacon Savory Cake

Hey guys,

I am back with this new summery recipe. For starters or appetizers,  there is nothing like a savory cake! This recipe is super easy but really good !

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese or Gruyere
  • 2 cup diced bacon or diced ham
  • 12 ounces can pitted green olives, drained

Method:

1 . Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder, eggs, salt, pepper and canola oil.

2 . Mix well, then add milk, grated cheese, green olives and bacon.

3 . Cover a cake pan with parchment paper and pour in the mixture.

4 .   Bake for about 45 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes, and serve warm or cold.

Pour la version française, c’est par ici

Gluten Free Brownie

This Gluten Free Brownie is one of the best chocolate brownie ever. It’s fluffy, rich in chocolate, crispy with walnuts and gluten free. One thing though and that is do make sure that you use the best quality chocolate you can find. Enjoy xx

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup corn starch or rice flour
  • 1 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup walnuts

Methods:

1 . Preheat oven to 400 °F.

2 . Melt chocolate chips and butter in a double boiler*.

3 . In a bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, almond meal, vanilla extract and eggs.

4 . Slowly add the chocolate mixture into the bowl and mix again. Add the walnuts.

5 . Cover a 9*9″ brownie pan with parchment paper and pour the brownie mixture.

6 . Bake for 20 minutes. (Don’t over cook it, it will lose its fluffiness). Let it cool for 15 minutes before serving.

* Double boiler technique: 

Add 1” of water to a medium saucepan or pot and bring to a very gentle simmer. Place a heat-safe bowl on top of the pot so that the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. You want the steam from the water to gently warm the bowl. Add the chopped chocolate and butter to the bowl and stir occasionally with a spatula until smooth and melted.

Spinach, Bacon and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

This recipe is a rich and hearty pasta dish that’s easy to make! Jumbo pasta shells filled with creamy ricotta and spinach filling. Bon appetit !

Ingredients:

  • 12 jumbo pasta shell
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 ounces bacon, cut in tiny stripes
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (125 g) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Method :

1 . Preheat your oven to 375 F.

2 . Cook pasta,according to cooking instruction and set aside.

3 . In a large nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook for 5 minutes, until it starts looking crispy. Set aside in a small bowl.

4 . In the same skillet, and over medium-high heat, add chopped spinach and cook until it starts to wilt, about a minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

5 . For the sauce: Combine the pasta sauce and balsamic vinegar in a pot over medium heat. Bring to a light simmer while stirring together. Then pour the sauce into a 9×13 inch baking dish, spreading it out.

6 . Combine cooked spinach, ricotta cheese, and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir until well mixed. Lastly, add the pieces of bacon into the mixture.

7 . Use this mixture to generously stuff each pasta shell, and place the stuffed shells on top of the sauce in the baking dish.

8 . Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes at 350 F. Uncover and bake for another 5 minutes.

9 . Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

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Classic French Macarons

Today’s recipe is probably the most difficult recipe you will see on the blog but I had to share. I’m not sure if it’s the rainbow of color, the infinite list of possible flavors or the adorable two-bite size but I never have enough of those classic french macarons.

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It is definitely not the easiest pastry to make but with the good recipe and some patience you will do great, believe me !

Ready for the challenge?

Ingredients:

Meringue:

  • 80g (40gx2) egg white, at room temperature
  • 20g white sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt

For the sirup:

  • 100g sugar
  • 35g water

Mix of Almond Meal:

  • 100g almond meal
  • 100g powdered sugar
  • food coloring of your choice

* I recommend using grams and only grams for this recipe. You will need to be really precise and so it is best to use an electronic scale.

Utensils:

  • 2 baking sheets
  • parchment paper
  • template for macarons, here
  • cooking thermometer
  • electronic scale
  • mesh shieve

Method:

1 . Separate the egg whites: Weigh 40g egg whites 2 times and store them in the kitchen at room temperature in 2 small containers covered with plastic wrap.

2 . Prepare the almond meal mixture: grind almond meal with the powdered sugar in a food processor until fine. Sift the almond meal-powdered sugar mixture through a mesh sieve. This step is very important because it will define the smooth look of your macaron shells. Set aside.

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3 . Preheat the oven to 290ºF and position 2 racks in the lower section of the oven. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

4 . Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer), and begin to beat on medium-high. When the eggs are frothy, gradually add granulated sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until fully incorporated.

5 . Meanwhile, prepare the syrup. In a small pan, add 100g sugar and 35g water. Stir a little before turning to heat on over medium heat and immerse the cooking thermometer in it. Wait until the syrup increases temperature up to 230°F.

6 . When the syrup is at temperature, slow down the bowl mixer and slowly incorporate the boiling syrup by slowly pouring it on the edges of the bowl.  Continue to beat the egg white mixture for 10 minutes to let it cool.

7 . Add the last 40g egg white into the almond meal mixture and the food coloring of your choice.

8 . Add half of the sifted almond mixture, and gently fold it into the meringue using a flexible silicone spatula. Lift from the bottom, up around the sides, and toward the middle. Once the almond mixture is predominantly incorporated, add the second half and repeat the folding motion.

9 . When the almond mixture is just incorporated, you will need to transform the batter into the appropriate texture. Using the flat of the spatula, scrape batter from the sides to the center. You will need to repeat this until the batter slowly and continuously drips back into the bowl when you scoop it up with the spatula making like a « ribbon »

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10 . Pour batter into a pastry bag fitted with a 0.4-inch tip. On your prepared baking sheets, pipe out 1-inch rounds in the circles.

*You can place a macaron template under your parchment paper to help you make regular macarons. You can find my template here.

11 . Holding the baking sheet in both hands, rap each baking sheet firmly on the counter two or three times. This smooths out the tops and helps form the frilly foot on the bottoms of the macarons. Allow the piped macarons to dry, uncovered, for at least 20 minutes.

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12 . Bake for 13 minutes and then remove them from the oven, and let it cool. When fully cooled, assemble the macarons with your choice of filling. For those ones I chose strawberry jam !

Crunchy Chicken Spring Salad

Hope everyone is doing well. I just came back from my trip to the USA and it is now so sunny in Paris. It’s awesome ! On this Sunday I though a spring salad would be perfect. I pretty much used whatever I had in my fridge and it came out pretty nice.

Ingredients: 

Crunchy Chicken:

  • 4 chicken thigh fillets, skin removed (no bone)
  • 2 cups flour*
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups bread crumbs*

*For a Gluten Free option use corn starch instead of the flour and cornflakes instead bread crumbs. You can go check out my gluten free Gluten Free Crunchy Chicken here.

  • 5 cups Romaine lettuce leaves, washed and dried
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, sliced
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese slices
  • Salt and pepper, to season

Balsamic Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil

Method:

1 . The crunchy chicken : With a sharp knife, detail the chicken into strips. Add salt and pepper to the chicken pieces. Place the flour, the beaten egg and the bread crumbs in three different plates.
2 . Heat the oil in a saucepan. Dip the chicken strips into the flour, into the egg and finally into the bread crumbs to cover them completely. Cook for 15-20 minutes, turning them often enough to prevent them from burning.

After that, the salad comes together so FAST. Throw all ingredients into a bowl and dress with the reserved dressing. That’s kinda it.

3. Slice chicken into smaller pieces and prepare salad with lettuce, avocado slices, tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and finally chicken.

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4 . Dressing: Mix the balsamic vinegar with olive oil. Drizzle with the dressing; season with salt and pepper; serve.

 

 

Upside down Apple Pie

Another Apple pie recipe!  This french classic is infused with caramel in every bite. Made with caramelized apples and baked upside down in a bed of caramel it is by far one of my favorite. If like me you also like apple pie you can also go check out my Yogurt Apple Cake and Gluten Free Apple Pie recipe ! 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 6 apples peeled and thinly sliced ( pink lady or ganny smith)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 dough for pie crust

1 . Melt butter in a 10 inch spring form pan over medium to medium high heat.

2 . Add 1 cup sugar and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until sugar is melted and begins to turn golden brown. Remove from heat.

3 .  Nicely arrange apples around this edge of pan. Then, fill the middle with the remaining apples slices. Add a second layer of apple ( this second layer does not need to be pretty since you won’t see it after flipping the pie).

4 . At this point, the caramel might look like it’s hardened but that’s OKAY, it will loosen up as the cooking and baking proceed. Cover the pan with foil, put the pan back on heat and cook apple for 5 to 10 minutes, until apples have softened.

5 . Preheat oven to 400F. Remove pan from the heat and cover immediately with the pie dough (be careful not to burn yourself). Roll the edges of the dough against the edges of the pan. With the tip of a knife, drill a small hole in the center of the dough to allow the steam to escape.

5 . Bake for 40 minutes until the crust is golden. Let it cool for 10-15 minutes and then flip it. Scrape out any apples or caramel that might’ve stuck to skillet, and put them back into place on the tart. Don’t wait much longer or the caramel will stick to the pan.

Add some vanilla ice cream over that and you’ll be heaven.

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