Sunday, August 22, 2010


Creating my Pissaladière

Ingredients - and I waver very liberally with these:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 yellow onions, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 9" x 13" pizza dough
  • 20 anchovy fillets
  • 20 black olives in oil, drained
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
I also add chopped garlic and roasted red peppers for added flavour

Pissaladière is a savory, Provencal onion tart layered with olives, anchovies, and herbs. Serve it cut into little rectangles for a fabulous appetizer. Be very careful to cook the onions gently. One bit of burned onion will give the whole recipe a bitter flavor.

This is my 'potager' - my 'kitchen garden' where I grow herbs and patio tomatoes

Gathering thyme from my herb garden

I chop my onions medium fine (I use my processor), add some olive oil and a little butter to my saucepan, and simmer the onions on low for approximately an hour or until they are golden (do not overcook).

I add roasted red peppers, chopped garlic, thyme, freshly ground coarse pepper and sea salt.

Now this is where I take a short cut: Yes, I could make the dough ... but ... I find it much easier to just purchase pizza dough - the rectangular shape. It comes in a 10" x 13" size.

Heat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly brown your pizza dough. I then remove the pizza dough and then spoon the onions, red peppers and garlic to cover the dough leaving a 1/2 inch edge. I arrange the Provençal olives and anchovies in an attractive pattern. Place the pissaladière back into the hot oven and continue baking until crust is done: approximately 15 minutes. Voila !!

Use a pizza cutter to cut into rectangles. Serve hot or at room temperature

Monday, August 16, 2010

Preparing dinner in my pretty kitchen

The first dinner I prepared for myself in my pretty 'French' kitchen

Home again ....

Opening a bottle of 'Arrogant Frog'
French Pinot Noir

Cooking Moules and Angel hair pasta

Dinner is served

Two baby doves ... born on my garden porch when I was in France

So, I arrived safe and sound ... and even had the luxury of wifi internet on the Trans-bridge bus !! That's a first. Jim and Diana met me at the bus station in humid and sticky Allentown, PA ... and brought me home to my apartment after seven glorious weeks in the beautiful French Riviera.

Two new additions to the apartment: baby doves that I named Luc and Kate - after French Kiss. What to prepare in my pretty kitchen ? Well, why not Moules-pasta ... with a French Pinot Noir ....

Parfait I say !

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Brussels, Belgium

Arriving at Brussels airport

Riding the elevator with mirrors - a self-photo op with my incredible Olympus e620

Grabbing the - Mercedes - bus to City Center

drizzling ... but atmospheric

Finding a cozy lane with cafés lining both sides -- HOW to choose ?

Selecting a beautiful and cozy spot complete with fireplace

Savouring incredible Moules-Frites and Leffe Biere - Incroyable !!

The main square of Brussels at night

Charming townhouses

The breathtaking tower in Brussels' main square

My 1st class accommodations - the floor of Brussels airport

So, I had arranged my connecting flight from Brussels to Newark to depart the next morning ... this would give me an evening to explore downtown Brussels, enjoy Moules-Frites and Leffe Biere and then arrive in Newark the next day at 12:30pm, with plenty of time to catch the 2:30 bus to Allentown (ugh).

It was exciting exploring a new city ... so ... I grabbed the bus to Brussels city, hailed a cab to the main square and began my exploration for the perfect café for Moules-Frites and Leffe Biere. There's a wonderful narrow lane boasting café after café, and I found the perfect one for me. The waiter sat me at an inside table across from the fireplace - how romantic - and situated near the front open wall of the restaurant so I could easily view the passers-by. Heaven - again.

I ordered the Moules-Frites Moulinière , du pain and a Leffe Biere - grand ! The mussels were plump and tender and the frites were cooked to perfection ... yum ! The Leffe beer - one of my favorites - was delish !!

And of course, given the choice, I would have wanted to be with my future French husband ... but, I will not let being on my own stop me from having a wonderful adventure !! C'etait trés fantastique !

The thing that wasn't trés fantastique was then sleeping - or trying to - on the very hard floor of the Brussels airport with the very bright over-head lights !! Little did I know that if I only had gone to the destination of my gate, there were cushy black leather sofas to sleep on ... and an open bar ...

What a wonderful seven weeks. What incredible experiences for sure. I HOPE that it all happens again for me next year ... remember Monsieur Rambaud that you invited me back for another exhibition -- and I have your invitation on video !!!

J'accepte et Merci de tout mon coeur !!

Nice, France to Brussels, Belgium

This beautiful sculpture is located in Terminal 1 in the Nice Airport

Waiting to board the plane from Nice, France to Brussels, Belgium

This photo was very interesting to me as it almost perfectly replicates Spain, France and Italy !

So ... my adventure today is to board the plane from Nice, France to Brussels, Belgium. My connecting flight is not until tomorrow morning so I have plans to explore the city. I'm looking forward to eating Moules-Frites and drinking a grand Belgium beer -- in Belgium. My flight is scheduled to arrive at 5:30pm - plenty of time to catch a bus into town.

Dejeuner with Paulette

This is my friend Paulette. She's pretty remarkable to say the least. She's smart and funny and has a very kind heart. I had the privilege of meeting her two years ago when I had my first 'artist in residency' in Antibes, France. We spent several evenings together enjoying the Jazz Festival - Jazz a Juan.

Today, my last 'full' day in Antibes, Paulette and I had a wonderful 'dejeuner' together ... Salade Nicoise and a glass of vin rouge ... We chatted about our lives - two single girls - and I told her how much I love Antibes - the town where she was born.

Paulette presented me with a wonderful book - 'Un an en PROVENCE' - Almanach 2011 - so I can improve my French day by day ... and she inscribed the inside cover. A real treasure for sure.

I had an appointment at 3:30 and had to leave her by 3:00 as to not be late (I was by 5 minutes). As I walked up the hill from Juan les Pins to Antibes, Paulette stood there and waved until I was out of sight ... now THAT'S a beautiful memory.

Thank you so much Paulette - I do hope very much to see you next year. I look forward to enjoying your company and spending fun moments with you again ! Thank you for everything -

xoxo Ann

My Final Dinner at Wolf's Home • August 8th, 2010

The table is set for 12 guests

Enjoying dinner

Jean-Jacques Illouz on Sax, Gipsy on keyboards


Serving Dessert

Beautiful slice of cake

So, tonight was the last dinner party at Wolf's home. Twelve guests arrived including Jean-Jacques with his saxophone and Gipsy with her sheet music. It's always a good time when musicians attend - and I even played the piano as well - 'Winter' by Tori Amos and 'What are you doing he rest of your life' by Michel Legrand. Hopefully everyone drank enough wine for me to sound tolerable ! It was a really nice get-together and we enjoyed each other's company well past midnight ...

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Boating in Paradise with Michel

Captain Michel

Today Michel invited me for a boat ride around Antibes for the opportunity to take some photos from a different perspective. He met me at the corner of Chemin des Eucalyptus and Chemin Vallaris for a ride on his scooter. We road around the beautiful Cap d'Antibes to his boat where it is docked at the beautiful Plage de la Solis.

Antibes from the blue Mediterranean

The Picasso Museum and the Cathedral of Antibes

Passing the Vielle Ville

The Nomade sculpture by Juame Plensa

Another View of the Nomade

The Maltese Falcon

I saw this extraordinary sailing vessel last year while being artist in residence of Antibes. It was docked at Port Vauban in Antibes. Spectacular ... AND it's for sale ... at least it used to be. The going price was 135,000,000 euros, but was drastically reduced to the very reasonable 99,000,000 euros ... so if you happen to be a billionaire looking for a sweet ride, here ya go !!

The Maltese Falcon

The Maltese Falcon

Hotel du Cap - Eden Roc

Hotel du Cap - known to be the most beautiful hotel in the world ... AND it just happens to be in Antibes, Cap d'Antibes that is. One day my dream is to have a wonderful dejeuner there ... and then a swim in the eternity pool ... then a peitit siesta with my beautiful French lover ... then dinner there ... then stay overnight in a beautiful suite ... c'est possible ?? J'espere !!

Bay of Billionaires

Chateau de la Croë

The history of the Chateau de la Croë is also full of recognizable names and memorable events. It was built in 1927 in strict Victorian style for an English aristocrat, named Sir William Pomeroy Burton president of the Associated Newspapers limited. The architect of the magnificent demure was called Armand Albert Rateau, who built the property within 7 hectares of land, which stretches right down to the sea.

In 1938, the Duke of Windsor, the former King Edward VIII of Great Britain, and his wife became its owners. After falling in love with the twice-divorced Wallace Simpson, Edward VIII abdicated the throne in 1936 and left England in order to marry her. When she moved to the rented chateau, the Duchess spent huge sums to recreate there the conditions her husband had become accustomed to in the royal palace. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor held sumptuous receptions at the chateau, hosting royalty and the political elite, including Winston Churchill.

Port de la Salis

This is the pretty little Port de la Salis where Michel docks his boat. There are over 200 boats here and more than 2000 docked in Antibes which has the largest pleasure yachting harbour in Europe. It's so overwhelmingly beautiful. Michael drove me past the Nomade sculpture, the Vielle Ville of Antibes (old village), Hotel du Cap, Chateau de la Croë, the Bay of Billionaires, Eilenroc and then circled back again. It was great fun ...

The only sad thing is that I lost my earring. I've worn these, a gift from my sister, for 10 years and in a two hour outing, one is missing. I think it came loose when I took off the helmet. I retraced my steps, prayed to St. Anthony ... and keep my hopes that this cherished treasure will be found !!! St. Anthony, you will be very busy as you only have less than two days ....

So, dinner tonight at Wolf's there will be 12 of us ... Jean-Jacques will bring his sax, Gipsy will play the keyboards ... and maybeeeee ... I will play 'Winter' by Tori Amos and 'What are you doing the rest of your life' by Michel Legrand ... should be a great night !

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Exploring Eze

Well, this is my 'Abbey Road' moment ... Isabelle is driving and we're headed to Eze - an incredible medieval village perched on a mountain overlooking the sea ...

driving past the sea ... beautiful boats and a huge cruise ship !

Looking up to Eze

The ancient stone village of Eze

beautiful turns and twists

Heading to the Chateau Eza for a cocktail

Imagine dining here ...

How classy ... a beer ... AND my sneakers which I cropped out of the photo !
Beautiful terrace - Chateau Eza

Dining with Isabelle at 'Le Nil d'Aigle'

Incredibly delicious Pancetta with grilled veggies and Socca ... a Nice speciality

Chocolate cake and espresso

Beautiful setting

Frederic our very sweet and accommodating waiter (after he changed from his black shirt and pants)
Strolling through Eze at night ... was such a lovely evening

I have to head out to Antibes but will comment later on this very incredible night !!!