Well, the Beat is back! Ok, just felt like saying that to be silly, because today I'm in quite a silly mood. Or maybe it's more like *giddy* because tomorrow we're going to a chocolate festival. Yes, chocolate festival...ohhhh. And well I've surely talked a lot about loving living in Europe because of the colors, food, and fashions, there's something so exciting about attending a festival in France...or Italy...or just about any place I can get me hands on a thick bar of the good, dark stuff......who's with me?
1. Chocolate & other ridiculously great festivals
Lately it seems that if we're not spending half of our lives eating (I've had to seriously double-up on my power-walking folks), we're spending the other half searching online for upcoming festivals. And it just so happens that there are two festivals running this weekend - the Salon du Chocolat at Belgentier & the Fete de la Chataigne (chestnut) at Collobrieres. Well, it was a close call, but our old friend Mr. Cacao was a clear winner. And wouldn't you know it, the chestnut festival just happens to run for the next three weekends (that's a lotta nuts), so I've got a pretty good idea where we'll be next weekend.
As for myself...I plan to look a bit like these kids tomorrow. I mean how can you go to a chocolate festival & not go all out?
In the meantime, just when you thought the French might be a little uptight about our American holidays (who said that?), the chocolate shop windows are filling with Halloween-themed goodies. Ok, so most of these babies do say truffles on them, which kind of makes any reference to our mini-Snickers bars seem silly, but they've sure got the right spirit about them.
The display below looks a little more in line with the American version of the holiday & let's just say there's been quite a few French folks asking if we're going to have a Halloween party. Hmmm...something tells me I'll be seeing quite a few Gaulish pirates & smallish Napoleons come the end of the month.
2. It's mushroom season...are you a fan?
I've never been a huge fan of the mushroom unless they've been hidden in a cream sauce & accompanied by a steaming plate of fettuccine. The texture makes me a bit nervous & frankly, I've never been skilled at cooking them. Until now (duhn duhn duhhhhn). Since it is the season, and when in Rome and all, I decided to take the plunge & bought my very first mushrooms at the market this afternoon.
Well, I also discovered these darlings don't come cheap. I had a few French recipe ideas I was kicking around which called for just about every mushroom under the sun (trés elaborate my friends) but when I experienced that bit of 'shroom sticker-shock, I decided to build the recipe around one mushroom. The designee: the not-so-petit Girolle.
I purchased these beauties for €5 euro at the market - just a round mass of them with the price written beneath the bowl. It seemed like a good deal, and after a purchase of some lovely Chardonnay, penne pasta, and comté cheese, looks like we've got the makings of a darn good seasonal inspiration tonight - or at least a valiant try.
Here's the link to the recipe I'll be attempting via Epicurein: Penne aux Girolles et Comté.
That's a little bit of what's going on chez nous (at our house) & around Provence.
Bon weekend a tous! ...& surely they'll be lots of choco-updates coming soon to a blog near you. xx
For more on festivals in Provence, visit Provence Verte & Visit Var.