27 September 2012

French Cuisine Friday Recipe Link Up #1

Four weeks ago today,  we started a link up here at Katie's Language Cafe and I loved how many of you were linking up! We decided to change it to a recipe post from a photo post to accommodate more and different genres of blogs so here it is...the new and improved link up (starting back at #1)!

Link up any recipe post (it doesn't have to be French) and it can be old or new. I would love it if you would link back to Katie's Language Cafe in someway but it is not necessary. But please don't link up your own link up...everybody knows that is just tacky!

If you want to grab a pretty button for your side bar or blog post, you may (but not required)...the only thing required is have fun and please visit the posts above and below you so that everyone gets some comment/visit love.

Now go link up those awesome recipes, I'm starving!  Then come back next week to see if your recipe is one of the recipes featured!  p.s. By linking up, you grant me permission to share your recipe and a photo from your post if you are featured the following week. Merci Beaucoup!

Please link up the link to your post and not your blog homepage. Merci!

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21 September 2012

Coming next week...a new weekly recipe link up party

Bonjour, dear friends! I missed you! While the blog was only offline for 5 days while Blogger did maintenance, I missed it and you, and our community here! I am also so happy to report that Katie's Language Cafe is officially now a(dot).com. HOORAY! Check it out!

The weekly link up will be back next week It is moving to Fridays to coincide with our French Cuisine Fridays we have held here since the beginning,  and we are changing the format  from a photo post to a recipe post to accommodate more and different types/genres of bloggers! So next week, come check out our new improved linky party and link up your favorite recipe to coincide with our French Cuisine Fridays we hold here!

                                          Join me next Friday for the recipe link up!

We are growing and I am so happy you are here on this journey with me. Today is my birthday. I have realized that I no longer wish to chase youth, but wisdom. I no longer crave possessions, but experiences.  I'm spending my birthday weekend on a retreat in the painted desert, and I'll see you when I get back!

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15 September 2012

C'est la vie...

                                               One of four views from Eiffel Tower

I have not stopped blogging and Katie's Language Cafe is still going strong. If you tried to visit my blog this past week, I'm sure you noticed...none of the links or pages were working. But if you tried to visit today then you noticed something else: now you can't even visit.


Yep. Blogger is having an issue with blogs pointed towards custom domains and "doing maintenance" and going on day 6 of that now.

How did this happen?

Three days ago I switched the domain of this blog from blogspot to a custom domain; a (dot).com. A relatively easy (and usually painless) process that allows Katie's Language Cafe to be a (dot).com,  and grow my blog further while still being a blogger blog.

Had I waited 12 more hours to do this switch; I would have been locked out of the custom domain feature and my blog would still be working as a blogspot.com blog.

But as (bad) luck would have it,  I switched over just in time to be effectively locked out  and now my blog is not working; affected by the "issues" that blogger is reporting on blogspot blogs who have switched to a custom domain.

Long story short: My blog is currently not viewable accept to those of you receiving posts via email (me to you). You cannot visit me back in any way or link at this time while Blogger does maintenance on this problem. I am told it could be just a few days before all is well again or (gasp) that it could be a few weeks~~Je vais devenir chêvre si cela se produit. -- I'll be so mad if that happens! But what is a girl to do...

I'm very sorry about that.

In the meantime I will keep writing quality content on France, traveling, learning the language, cuisine and posting fab travel pictures and... practicing the virtue of Patience. The Wednesday link up will not be up again until the blogger issue is finished.  And so, C'est la vie (we accept these circumstances as they are) and in the meantime I still get to visit you in your inbox, but I hope the blog is back online soon so you can visit me too.   

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14 September 2012

French Cuisine Friday: Bruschetta Salad

**I meant to post this recipe last week for "French Cuisine Friday" and then low and behold we went and adopted two bunnies and in the excitement I completely forgot this post was only on "draft" and not "scheduled"... so here it is for you today!  You will love this recipe made with farm fresh garden fare that is plentiful this time of year and tastes as good as it looks. ~~Katie
French Cuisine Friday: Bruschetta (pronounced Bru-sketta) Salad

My favorite type of cuisine to cook and eat is actually what is known as "California Fresh", which is known for lots of fruits and vegetables, and prepared very naturally. Think seafood, light pastas, salads, bruschettas, etc, all loaded with in season produce and loads of flavor...

CA Fresh Cuisine takes advantage of in-season produce, making it more economical, in addition to being very healthy. While this is a very different type of cuisine than French cuisine, the using of seasonal produce is common across both. Food is meant to be enjoyed in seasons, one to come after the next, and the best food has a simple journey...it is picked, washed, cooked and eaten. That simply.

A simple bruschetta salad, as shown above, is a perfect way to use summer tomatoes and corn. Every time I make this, I make it in a different way. Add or subtract as you wish.

Bruschetta Salad

Diagonally slice rustic or French bread. Cut in on the diagonal, lightly grill or bake. Rub with a small amount of roasted garlic or flavored olive oil once warm.Instead of oil or garlic, you can lightly spread homemade pesto on the bread instead. Whatever your preference; but be sure to do one of the three so the bread is not dry.

Arrange around plate.  Top with tomatoes (I like to use a combination of halved cherry tomatoes and diced heirloom varieties), diced red onion, and fresh herbs of choice (I like basil).

Add to the middle of the plate fresh salad greens. Top with corn that has been lightly grilled and cut off the cob, and a few slivers of red onion for color.

Drizzle with a good olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

It's not fancy or difficult but it looks gorgeous, is very healthy and seasonal. Your taste buds, wallet, and waistline will thank you. Bon Appétit!

This post is linked up to:

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13 September 2012

Inspired by The Words


So this week I have been a day behind all week. I thought Monday was Sunday, Tuesday was Monday, I completely missed Tuesday to post my Tuesday Travels post, and nearly missed getting my new Wednesday Link Up posted on time.

I guess this can be attributed to lots of travel, coupled with a recent Monday holiday. When I travel, which I have alot lately, I forego calendars or watches; am rarely on my phone, and allow the days to flow seamlessly, one into the other.

I always come home from a trip feeling inspired. But I have learned that I don't have to come home from a foreign country to feel that way. Sometimes a book can do the same thing. Other times, a movie. I saw "The Words" starring Bradley Cooper this past week. 

Personally, I liked the movie (though I am still undecided on its ending) and was pleasantly surprised that it takes place in NYC and Paris (well, it is SET in NYC and Paris, it was actually filmed in Montreal). Bradley Cooper's character in the film is a writer and an avid reader and I can relate to both of those traits. I can also relate to one character's love of Paris and now, another's love of New York. But I love how the main characters were inspired by words and places and I came home from that movie feeling inspired by my love of Paris all over again.

                                                                 New York City Library

                                 Me, reading at a Park in Paris, near Notre Dame

Inspiration is necessary for creativity. We seek to be inspired so that we may then strive TO inspire. For this reason, I want to allow myself every opportunity to try new things; from new countries to new cookbooks, and to be sure and laugh along the way. I don' t want to look back on my life, as one character in the film does, with regret. I want to live my most inspired life; all the way through.

What inspires you?

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11 September 2012

Wordless Wednesday #3: Still looking for a name

New York City, taken from the Empire State Building, Aug. 26th.
Bonjour, everyone. I felt it appropriate for my WW post this week to be of NYC, in honor of this week being the 11th anniversary of 9/11. NYC is so beautiful; not that I was surprised, but what did surprise me is just how much I am already looking forward to going again.
Last week's featured post is: the gorgeous Hollyhocks photo linked up by 1840 Farm. Stop back by next week and get your "I've been featured button" for your blog, if you like. It should be available here by Friday!
                                                                   credit: 1840 Farm

Still working on a better name than Wordless Wednesday...maybe we will have that by next week and by next week, we will have a button for the linky party and a button for those who get featured!  

In the meantime, link up with me...

~~A post  (or two) that inspires you (can be recent or old, but must link back to Katie's language Cafe in the post or in your sidebar, and doesn't necessarily have to be wordless either!)

~~Family friendly

~~Visit the link up participants above and below you so that everyone gets some visits and comments

~~ I would love you to share on your facebook about this new linky!

Can't wait to see what you link up this week!

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05 September 2012

Wordless Wednesday Link Up #2

After the show, we looked for her picture. We knew it had to be there and it was! I was so excited to find one of my all time favorite performers, inspirations, and heroes on the wall at the Gershwin Theatre.

Can you guess who it is?

(drum roll)....

****************************DAME JULIE ANDREWS*****************************

My favorite Julie Andrews role is Maria in The Sound Of Music. But what I love love love about her is how lady-like she is. How diplomatic she is. How classy she is. 

The world would  be a better place if young women quit emulating the stars of Jersey Shore and started emulating the classy women of eras past. Julie Andrews inspires me to rise to be the best version of myself.

Who inspires you? tell me in the comments! Want to link up? Here's how!

 all you have to do is find a great photo post from your blog you want to share!

It can be new or old, must include one photo and be lighter on text.

Please link up to Katie's language cafe via word link or my button in your post so other people can find this new weekly linky.

Please follow Katie's language cafe via either GFC or NB.

I pick an entry or two to share on my fb page each week!

Please visit the blogs linked up above and below you.

Can't wait to see what you link up!

04 September 2012

Travel Tuesdays are here: NEW YORK CITY & The Art of the Short Trip

It is my firm opinion that traveling, whether domestic or international, whether big or little trips, or long or short trips, improves a person for the better. I know many people who don't travel because they don't have the time, feel it is "too hard" to get away and they miss out on wonderful opportunities that short trips can provide.

My husband and I are the master of the short, on the fly, spur of the moment trip.

Last weekend, we left Phoenix, AZ on Saturday afternoon to do a date night in New York City (my husband's idea...he's awesome that way...). We returned home to Phoenix 10pm on Monday night. We were gone 55 hours. But here is what we accomplished in that time frame, in order...(remember all this was done with one full day in the city, and one morning after)...

Three flights
Arrive NYC 

Checked into Waldorf-Astoria

Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral

Lunch at Rockefeller Center

Broadway Show~"Wicked"~ at the Gershwin Theatre

Carriage Ride Through Central Park

Times Square and Dinner at the Renaissance Hotel, overlooking Times Square (it was dark in the restaurant but I loved the Wicked billboard was behind us!)

Empire State Building, to get a view from the top of the city at night

Back to hotel/bed--The Waldorf-Astoria is a little piece of NYC (and Hollywood) History. It is full of old school glamour and it was thrilling to stay in there. An upgrade got us a suite. Not that we had much time to use the sitting room... Here is my in front of the famous lobby clock.

(next morning), 1/2 day NYC...Subway, Grand Central Station, walking tour of Wall Street/downtown area, View Brooklyn Bridge, Lunch. After our walking tour we wanted to get a shot of the Brooklyn Bridge; of course then it started raining, but other than that our weather was pitch perfect the whole visit. Perfect for walking the city.

Travel to Newark, NJ to start back home. Two flights home. 

What can you do in 55 hours? That my friends is what you can do with 55 hours. That 55 hours included all of our travel/layover time.

Wait, did I miss anything? Oh yes, we also went to the Hearst Tower (eh; it was so/so) and we also went to FAO Schwartz toy store (worth the visit if you have children).  

After the Broadway Play and after our Carriage ride through Central park, we decided to stop by the famous toy store on our way to dinner, where, kid you not, a little girl from England asked her father "Daddy, are they famous?" as we walked by. In that moment, I knew I had picked THE right dress for the Broadway Show/NYC trip...and in that moment, Mr. Darcy (my husband) was glad that he too had dressed to the nines, and while I'm on the subject...if you are ever in  attendance for a Broadway show, dress for the occasion! Flip flops are a no. tshirts? Never. You don't have to black tie it (unless it's opening night) but for God's sake don't dress like your going to a barbecue. (and if you do, don't tell me, I can't bare it!)

Let me tell you, it was awesome and fun.  Here's a few tips for short trips...

Travel Tips:

You do not need a full week to see most places. A full week is nice, but a few days can get you the highlights of most cities and even some countries. My first trip to Paris I had only 3 full days in the city. In that three days I saw 15 attractions.

When we do short trips like this to places that are on the other side of the US, we use our points for the flights. Getting the flights free makes the short time in the destination more pallatable.

Utilize the flights/wait time. My husband and I don't mind flights. They give us much needed time to talk and visit without the interruption of our 5 small children. They give him time to do computer work he needs to catch up on and now that I am in graduate school again working on a new Master's in History, they give me study time.

Plan ahead. While we do take weekend trips where we do everything "on the fly", this particular trip we planned out our day in advance, which allowed us to maximize what we were able to do.

Be flexible. You will probably not be able to see every single thing you want to in a weekend. Save those for the next weekend you are in that city. For me, my next trip to NYC will start with a visit to the 911 Memorial, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Statue of Liberty. It is good to have things to look forward to.

We are light packers. When you are going on a trip that is 3 days or less you should never check a bag on the way there. Are you a heavy packer? read this "how to travel light" post and practice packing less.

Make intentional shoe choices. This is important. The dress I took for the Broadway show has an amazing pair of 4 inch black patent leather heels I normally wear with it. Did i pack those? NO. I knew we would be doing alot of walking and those heels would have been great~~ if i were into self punishment; since I wanted to have a good time and look fashionable, I chose a pair of black patent leather ballerina flats for that night. What I sacrificed in fashion I made up in enjoyment by being able to walk the beautiful city in comfort. If you can't live without the heels; make sure you are doing short walks or taking taxis. Trust me, your feet (and your companion) will thank you.

I found New York to be busy and beautiful. I was anxious to finally visit there as it was one of the destinations I have always had on my bucket list  and I was especially anxious to visit there ever since I learned that  my husband and mine's grave plots, which are part of his family's plots, are there in the same cemetary as Irving Berlin (writer of White Christmas); actually Irving and I will be  plot neighbors once I am interned, not that I am in any hurry to move in. 

Have any other short trip tips? Share them in the comments!

03 September 2012

Labor Day in France...

                                         View of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées

Bonjour and If you are in the United States, Happy Labor Day! While last weekend found me exploring New York City, this holiday finds me enjoying one of my favorite cities, San Diego, CA.

Did you know that Labor Day in France is celebrated on May 1st?  May Day (La Fête du Muguet, La Fête du Travail) in France is a public holiday to campaign for and celebrate workers rights. Trade unions and other groups organize parades and demonstrations to campaign for workers rights on May Day. People in France also use these events to campaign for human rights in general, to demonstrate against racism or highlight current social issues. **

My series on the MERCI method of language acquisition will return next Monday with the third Installment, "Explore the Culture". Come back tomorrow for our new Travel Tuesdays series!

**source http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/france/labor-day

02 September 2012

In Gratitude...

I started Katie's Language Cafe when I got back from my first visit to France. In spite of my inconsistent postings schedule (its getting better, I promise!) it has been growing, with regular followers, email subscribers, a facebook community of over 300 and some absolutely lovely sponsors. I wanted to share them with you...

Busy as a Bee in Paris is one of my favorite places in Blogland. Maria is rearing three children, pregnant with a fourth, and raising her kids to know not one, but three languages. It's inspiring, informative and her vacation pictures alone are worth the visit!

Real Language Right Away is a great site. For people who find Rosetta Stone daunting or or too expensive, RLRA offers language programs in both French adn Spanish that  get you off to a quick start to a conversational level in those languages. To read the review post of RLRA I did a few months ago, click HERE.

ECLU is a gorgeous and sophisticated Etsy shop specializing in handmade purses, clutches, sashes and shoe clips. Their clutch was featured at the Daytime Emmy Awards 2012 and their style is très chic! They have a giveaway planned soon for Katie's Language Cafe readers, so be sure and stay tuned.

French Cupboard is a site that hosts links to several different craft sites, etsy shops and blogs; all with a French aesthetic. Be prepared to spend several minutes lost in browsing if you click over.

Thank you for sponsoring Katie's Language Cafe!  Please visit their sites and tell them we sent you.
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