Last September, I was walking down the streets of Paris and loving every minute of it. I’d wander down side streets in search of fresh baguettes, head out to the main road to get a good look at the Eiffel Tower, and just absorb Paris and the culture. It’s hard to believe that was one year ago this month as it feels like it was just yesterday when I was sipping on Moroccan mint tea and drinking thick hot chocolate.
When I start missing France and all of its charm, I simply turn to movies set in Paris. Movies capture some of the most beautiful parts of the city on-screen, can be both enjoyable and challenging in thought and topic, and movies are the easiest (and cheapest!) way to experience a couple of hours in the City of Light. These are 15 great options:
Just like chocolate and vanilla soft serve ice cream, I love eating desserts that are swirled. Marble cake gives you the best of both desserts – chocolate cake and vanilla cake. Marble cake never fails to remind me of my childhood, as I would drool while watching my mom swirl the chocolate and vanilla batter with a toothpick. I opted for a pan that made the cake more of a pound cake shape, but a 9 x 5 pan would have worked just as well. Next time, I would add more chocolate layers for a better swirl in the center of the cake, but regardless, there were enough chocolate and vanilla flavors in each bite.
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 3/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup buttermilk at room temperature
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter a cake or loaf pan and set aside until the batter is ready to pour in.
Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined after each addition. Mix in the vanilla. Add flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with the flour. Set aside 1/3 of the batter.
In a small bowl, mix cocoa and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water until smooth. Add the cocoa mixture to the cake batter that you just set aside. Mix well.
Spoon batters into the prepared pan in 2 layers, and alternate spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate. To create the marbling effect, run a table knife (or wooden skewer/toothpick) through the batters in a swirling motion.
Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer pan to a rack to cool 10 minutes. Enjoy!
Dr. Seuss’ The Loraxcomes out tomorrow, and as a huge fan of Dr. Seuss’ books (especially The Lorax), I am very interested in seeing how this movie will do in theaters. With Zac Efron and Taylor Swift as the leading characters’ voices, I think this movie will pull in solid numbers at the box office. The Lorax, while featuring the developing friendship of a young boy and girl, also touches upon important environmental issues. The story of the Lorax is discovered by the young boy as he embarks on a great series of adventures. The Lorax will absolutely be a fun family movie, and it is released just in time for spring break! This story reminds me of this song:
♥ The Vow trailer. I know this movie doesn’t come out until February, but I saw it in the previews in theaters and couldn’t get over it.
We are already half-way through fall. I haven’t had the chance to bust out any scarves, coats, or boots, but the absence of cold weather hasn’t stopped me from cozying up and watching my shows and movies. This weekend includes a trip to the beach, great food, great people, and a lot of reminiscing. Have a really great weekend! For the time being, these are the things I have been watching + craving.
♥ Bubble gum cigars. I remember eating these as a kid. They are so much more fun than regular stick gum. You can order them here.
♥ The minimalist’s way to celebrate a birthday. Chocolate cake truffles.
♥ Audrey Hepburn’s test screen shots for Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
♥ Plastic popcorn bucket. I used this in my A Dash of Cinema picture (seen on my homepage). You can get them here. In addition to popcorn, this bucket is great for holding magazines and flowers.