You'll NEVER believe where I went yesterday ................
.................. Paris! I turned 60 this year and for my birthday, my daughter surprised me with the most amazing gift, a day in Paris, just the two of us! The big day was yesterday and we got up super early, took a cab to the train station, then took the high speed EuroStar (it goes under the English Channel) right into the heart of Paris. Though the skies were gray, the forecast rain held off and we had a blast, climbing the Eiffel Tower (720 steps!), eating lunch in the lovely Rue Cler area and strolling down one charming Parisian street after another.
We saw Napoleon's Tomb, Notre Dame, the Louvre and, of course, checked out a bunch of delicious patisseries (pastry shops) and boulangeries (bakeries). It was a wonderful day in every way, but I have to say, the best part was being able to spend the whole day with Cait. Oh, and just as we were ending our day, the skies opened up and the French rain poured down! We didn't care as we headed back to London on the train, eating a lovely picnic dinner of French baguettes, fabulous herbed ham and cheese, truffled honey and of course, a bit of Parisian chocolate!
Since I was going to be totally out of the "blogging loop" from early morning till late night, my daughter-in-law, Lindsay offered to do a guest post for today. As you can see from the pictures, she made something wonderful again and here she is to tell you all about it! Merci, Lindsay! (Oh, and please save a bit of this yummy stuff till I get home!)
My husband Nick is in the process of training for a 200 mile road biking ride from Greensboro, NC to Myrtle Beach, SC. While that probably seems crazy to some, Nick loves a challenge and he has really enjoyed training for the ride.
Saturday, he spent all most all day on his bike, riding 90 miles. I joined him for the last 30 or so. Needless to say, we worked up quite an appetite. We decided to celebrate with a date night and tried out a new burger place in downtown Raleigh. By the time we ordered and our food arrived, we were famished. The burgers were some of the best we have ever had. Mine had this amazing bacon onion jam on it, that I knew I would be recreating in the near future. The next day, I played around in the kitchen and this is what I came up with! The jam is smokey and sweet and Nick and I were both eating it by the spoonful. We enjoyed it as an appetizer on toasted bread with goat cheese. I think it would be wonderful on pizza, omelets, sandwiches and of course burgers! Really you could put it on anything! ~ Lindsay
Bacon Onion Jam
5 pieces applewood smoked bacon, cut into small pieces
2 lbs sweet onions, cut in half and sliced thin
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat a large, heavy pot over medium heat (I used my dutch oven) and cook the bacon until lightly browned. Remove bacon, leaving the fat in the pot. Drain on paper towels. When cool, chop into small bits.
2. Add the sliced onions to the pot. Allow to cook over medium heat until browned and caramelized, stirring frequently. This takes about 45 minutes.
3. Return bacon to the onions and add in the balsamic vinegar and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring frequently another 15 or so minutes. At this point the mixture should be thick and caramelized.
4. Allow to cool and store in glass jars in the refrigerator. I got 2 Mason jars full of jam from this recipe. You could easily double it if need be.
5. For the appetizer toast a sliced baguette in the oven (400˚ F. for about 10 minutes). Spread the toasted bread with softened goat cheese and top with the jam. Sprinkle with fresh thyme.