My Week of Lemonade

My Week of Lemonade

They say that when life gives you lemons you should make lemonade. This is exactly what I decided to do this past week when I saw myself stranded in New York with a bad back and a husband facing knee surgery. I had ten days, mostly indoors, to kill before getting the OK from our doctors to fly back to Paris and resume our sabbatical year.

After four months in Paris, I saw the needle on my scale drop ten pounds, but like every woman I know, I still had those last ten ones to get rid of. I decided to make a conscious effort to use those days to tighten my diet and get rid of that middle age accumulation.

Read More


After weeks in Paris we flew over to sunny Tel Aviv. I have a special love for this country where the wonderful cuisine does not cease to amaze me. The abundance of spices, herbs and fresh vegetables can be seen everywhere.

Read More

A Beautiful Thanksgiving Table

A real pumpkin makes a great center piece and you can always use it for a delicious soup when the party is over. Add some fake little pumpkins and leaves to give it color. Those can be reused year after year .

 Use lots of candles of different sizes. It is a sure way to impart some magic to your table.  Do not forget that this is the time to use your best linen and your china.

Wear something nice and festive. Honor the Holiday. We should all be on our best behavior and ready to count our blessings.

Brazilian Tables

Brazilians love beautiful tables and take a lot of pride in them. 

The secret of this magnificent table is not only its abundance but the beautiful flower cups where the sweets are placed. You can find them online and any mini pastry can be used as the center of the flower. Even if you are not doing such a large buffet you can certainly use it in trays at your next dinner party.

When I saw this picture I immediately thought of our fields. The idea of a very formal table in such a natural environment fascinated me. It is the work of Antonio Neves da Rocha whose talent made him the number one wedding designer in Brazil. He is about to launch a new book: Tables. We should all run and get one. Inspiration is everything!

Paris, My Way

If you need to recuperate from the exhaustion of summer with the kids and you are able to find a charitable soul to watch them, Paris is the place to go. The fares are lower and the dollar is stronger: time to pack (lightly PLEASE!) and take off.


 Our favorite part of town is Saint Germain des Pres, the 6th arrondissement. It is touristy but it is also home to an array of casual and a young cool crowd. Wonderful art galleries and antique shops can be found here as well as famous name brands and unique fashion labels. Do not expect your hotel to have a large room. Most hotels in this neighborhood have tiny spaces but in the end it doesn’t matter: you are supposed to be out and about. If you are staying more than a week I strongly suggest you rent an apartment. It is a good excuse for you to shop like a Parisian: choose a great wine, visit a cheese shop and indulge in fantastic charcuteries.  My husband and I have been doing this for the last 9 years. Do your research online and pay with your American Express. There are a number of wonderful sites. We happened to use we were very happy.

Next on our list is to download Patricia Wells app Food Lovers. It can pinpoint where you are and it recommends the best eating places around you. After all, you do not want to be caught in a tourist trap…

As a tourist one of the things I enjoyed the most was the Seine boat ride at night. All the monuments and bridges are lit and the city is one big magic scenario. Don’t miss it!

The Louis Vuitton Foundation designed by our Frank Gehry is spectacular. I highly recommend. Book your ticket on line to avoid a long wait to get in. They have a very nice restaurant where you can have lunch. It is located on the Bois de Boulogne which is a beautiful park that you can also visit.

Avoid the Ralph Lauren restaurant but do go into the gorgeous store. A testament that not only the French can be outstanding in fashion, it occupies a magnificent building on the Boulevard Saint Germain.

I will be posting tips as my stay here progresses. I hope to be able to convince you to log in to Expedia and drive to the airport!

Stocking your Kitchen

This is a basic list of what you will need to start. There is a world of gadgets and tools out there to make your cooking stellar and with time you can add them.  If you are doing a wedding registry this is a good beginning:

  • Baking Dish - Large - pretty enough to go from the oven to the table - 1
  • Baking Dish - Small - pretty enough to go from the oven to the table - 1
  • Baking sheets, rimmed - 2
  • Blender, or Vitamix equivalent
  • Box grater Brush for butter and sauces
  • Can opener
  • Cast iron skillet - Large - 1
  • Coffee maker or espresso machine
  • Colander
  • Corkscrew
  • Cutting  boards
  • Dutch oven (I love a Le Creuset)
  • Food processor
  • Instant read thermometer
  • Kitchen shears
  • Kitchen string
  • Knives, a great quality set with good variety
  • Ladle Liquid measuring vessel - Glass
  • Loaf pan
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Micro plane
  • Mixer
  • Pie dish, deep dish
  • Pizza cutter
  • Pot holders or silicone mittens
  • Potato masher
  • Roasting pan with rack - 1
  • Round 9 inch cake pans - 2
  • Salad spinner
  • Saucepan with lid - Medium - 1
  • Saucepan with lid - Small - 1
  • Sieve
  • Small nonstick skillet, for eggs and omelets 
  • Spatulas - silicone recommended 
  • Stainless steel bowl - Large - 1
  • Stainless steel bowl - Small - 1
  • Toaster
  • Tongs
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Whisk
  • Wire racks sized to fit inside the baking sheets
  • Wood spoons, variety of sizes

If you have any questions about the listing, comments you'd like to share, or recommendations for the list, please post a comment below!