June 25, 2012

There's Always Paris

See how happy you can be here?
(Fact for the Day: The Eiffel Tower
was originally painted red.)

If you're a lover of art museums, a foodie, a oenophile, a history buff, or - better yet - all of the above, it's high time you booked yourself a trip to Paris.

The wealth of things to do in this beautiful city is rather overwhelming. There are the obvious sightseeing spots - including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, and Notre Dame. They're all amazing and undoubtedly worth the trip.

But there are so many other hidden treasures to be found here.

This spring, I was lucky enough to enjoy Paris for the second time in my life. And though I did revisit many of the typical touristy places, I made it my mission to discover a handful of new gems, too.

Here are three of my favorite discoveries, should you one day find yourself in need of whiling away a day in the City of Love and Lights.

Our daily Parisian "siesta":
Bread, cheese, wine. Done.
Today's Stefcations Highlights:

  • What You'll Find: A few of my favorite places to visit in Paris.
  • When to Go: I've visited in August and in April. August's weather is lovelier and less rainy, though many of the locals seem to be missing in action, as they are known to leave the city to go on holiday during this summer month. If you go in April, bring an umbrella and sunglasses everywhere you go - it can be rainy and sunny all in the same day.
  • By the Way: Do not miss the Musee d'Orsay, known for its spectacular collection of Impressionists, including mind-blowing paintings by Van Gogh. I assure you, you can't imagine how awesome they are until you see them in person!

June 8, 2012

A New Source of Scrumptious, Simple Recipes

Crazy delicious pasta e  fagioli,
courtesy of Chef Silvio Suppa.
Wish you knew how to cook up a fantastic marinara sauce? Think making fresh pasta from scratch is absolutely out of your league? Longing for amazing recipes that require only simple ingredients?

As I've learned in recent weeks, some of the dishes I'd always assumed could never be part of my repertoire are, in fact, deceivingly simple. Where did I learn this? Cooking classes.

No, I'm not talking about stressful, pricey lessons that for last weeks on end. No, you don't have to spend extra cash on kitchen supplies. And no, you certainly need not possess Iron Chef-like skills.

I'm talking a single two-hour weeknight outing that will prove to be fun, delicious, and educational - not to mention it's a lovely way to acquire some unbelievable new recipes while coming upon the revelation that cooking up some really great food is shockingly doable.

Today's Stefcations Highlights: