August 22, 2011

Paris Eating Buyer Beware

How can it be Paris eating – buyer beware? Extra charges for bread, expensive bottled water, 15% built-in service charge, “tourist” menus, snooty wait staff…

So armed with that knowledge and a list of Zagat rated restaurants recommended by Saffron, Nutmeg and Ginger venture out.  Her suggestions are all fabulous from the outside! The lesson?  Make a reservation!! Nutmeg and Ginger are zero for three so far (this might be good news for the Visa balance):
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August 22, 2011

Paris To Do List

No matter how many times you have been to Paris there is always something to do.  If you have never been before the must-do list includes; Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, The Opera, Bateaux Mouches, L’Arc de Triomphe, Montmartre, Champs Elysees, Notre Dame and St Michel.  After you have hit the must do list there are endless museums, galleries, great shopping and fantastic neighbourhoods to explore.

Nutmeg’s favourites include:
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August 22, 2011

Don’t tell the French Italian Coffee is Better

Nutmeg and Ginger are staying in the Novatel in Paris, needless to say it is not the Four Seasons nor the Ritz.  What is interesting is the coffee service, or lack thereof at breakfast.  The hotel serves a breakfast buffet and in an attempt to cater to international tastes, serve everything from croissants and baguette to powdered scrambled eggs.  Generally speaking they do a decent job (stay away from the eggs).  The two “coffee” waiters for a room of 60+ have the following task; to serve coffee.  Nutmeg is amazed how these guys (she has tested her theory on both of them) have the classic Paris waiter attitude often found in street side bistros…. just because you are seated in my restaurant in my section and look like you might want a coffee does not mean you deserve one. When you finally do get a coffee you are so darn thankful you drink it.

Out on the streets of Paris…

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August 20, 2011

Paris France Not to be confused with any other

Nutmeg and Ginger are in Paris for Gingers’ school trip. The great thing about Paris in February is the hordes of summer tourists are absent.  This does not mean there are no crowds but rather that the crowds are made up of more locals, French tourists and Asian school trips.  The weather is pleasant at about 5 degrees Celsius, however, it is not spring so requires a good heavy jacket, hat and gloves.  There is no snow on the ground so the ladies are all strutting their boots.  Nutmeg, as some might agree has a boot fetish so this is a bit like being in a candy store.  The boots cover all styles although there is a higher percentage of the black flat sole, zippered, laced or both. Nutmeg packed light so must be content with the one pair she did bring along.

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August 13, 2011

Happy Valentines and Aphrodisiac Foods

Love it or hate it February 14th is today.  Give your sweetie a hug or give yourself a special treat.  Here is some background:
Saint Valentine’s Day (commonly shortened to Valentine’s Day) is always on February 14 (yes boys that is TODAY) to  celebrating love and affection. The holiday is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentine and was established by Pope Gelasius I in AD 496. It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other by presenting gifts (flowers, candy, cards). The holiday first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.  Aphrodite, was the mythical goddess of love.  Aphrodisiacs were first sought out as a remedy for sexual anxieties.

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August 12, 2011

European Coffee and Chocolate Capitals

Nutmeg is off to join Ginger on a school trip. She really hopes that a school trip in your mid-40’s looks a lot different then it might of in high school. Anyway, watch for updates from the coffee and chocolate capitals: Paris, Vienna and Brussels.

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August 12, 2011

Good Seafood in Land Locked Calgary

Nutmeg was convinced when she moved to Calgary that she would never see swordfish or good ahi tuna again.  Without disclosing how long she has been in Calgary let’s just say the seafood scene is much improved.  There are some very good places to buy seafood now.  Calgary will never rival the likes of Vancouver’s Granville island, Seattle’s Pikes Place, Fisherman’s wharf or any of the other amazing places to buy really fresh seafood.
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August 5, 2011

Thank You to Family and Friends

Nutmeg would like to express her gratitude to her fabulous spicy friends and family.  The 20 plus days on crutches in January was pretty ugly.  However, the incredible group of people in my life made it all bearable.  Hot Sauce and Chili arrived from Florida and took over dog duty, laundry, compost, garbage and all the other boring and unsatisfying chores.  There were countless phone calls, emails, skype chats, text messages, candles, hair dryers, yoga magazines, books and much much more.  Thank you all for being so wonderful.

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August 5, 2011

Coffee at Phil and Sebastian Coffee Roasters

Phil and Sebastian Coffee Roasters has recently opened a street front outlet in Marda Loop.  Nutmeg is now mobile, after ditching the crutches, so she thought that she would go and soak in the Saturday experience at the new location.  This group is pretty serious about their coffee as evidenced by the line-ups at the Farmer’s Market and new retail location.  The baristas get the orders out pretty quickly and the coffee is hot, so that deserves a check mark in Nutmeg’s books.  The design of the location is bright, clean and there is ample seating.  Marda Loop continues to evolve as a “go-to” retail strip and great inner city neighborhood, so the addition of Phil and Sebastian Coffee Roasters is welcome.
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July 9, 2011

Mushroom Roast a Veggie Dish to Impress

OK so the story about Nutmeg is her activity level has been cut to zero by knee surgery.  The surgery was supposed to be minor but….not so much so she is house bound on crutches for 4 weeks.  The great news is there is lots of time for the blog and for trying new recipes.
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