Category Archives: Love of France

THIS…I…DO…FOR…ME 2018 DINE-AROUNDS!

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Travel is not the only thing that This…I…Do…For…Me (TIDFM) offers.

When I first conceptualized TIDFM back in 2015, I did so with the idea that I wanted the business to be a conduit for providing uniquely curated experiences for women age 50+.

One of the ways in which TIDFM carries out its mission of connecting women age 50+ is through its Dine-Arounds at   outstanding Chicago restaurants.

The first gem on our itinerary is a Vietnamese eatery well known in Chicago as Pasteur.  Several of us will be traveling to Southeast Asia in 2019, and I thought what better way to learn about Vietnamese culture except through its cuisine. We will dine there on Saturday, May 5, 2018!  Pictured below is a Vietnamese Vermicelli Salad and Banh Mi Lettuce Wraps.

 

The second restaurant on our Dine-Around schedule is Eddie Vs Prime Seafood scheduled for Saturday, July 21, 2018. This outing is particularly special because TIDFM will also host its second Annual Book Swap. My gift to my assignee is the book “Stockdale” written by author Priscilla Lalisse-Jespersen.  I’m excited about passing this book on and the pleasure I derived from reading it.

Each attendee will bring a used book to share/give to another attendee who has been assigned to them. Also, when presenting the book to their assigned partner, each will explain a little about the book and why they enjoyed it prior to presenting the book to its new owner.

On Saturday, September 29, 2018, our Dine-Around will take us to Mexique, a fusion experience of Mexican and French cuisine.  I love this place!  You will be amazed at what Chef Carlos Gayton does with the Roasted Monk Fish.  It will explain why he is slated to receive his first Michelin Star ⭐️.

And, lastly, Mindy’s Hot Chocolate will be the venue for our last dining experience for 2018.  Even though the food is out of sight, the desserts are epic — Chocolate, Chocolate and more Chocolate!  Check out Mindy’s Milk Chocolate Coffee Mousse highlighted below, right.

 

What’s the best part of all of these outings?  Not the food, although the food is magnificent and not the lovely decor, although beauty is evident.   It’s the conversation. It’s the laughter.  It’s the sharing. And ultimately the best part are the new relationships that are forged and the opportunity to be with like-minded women!

Bon appetite!

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Reflections on France — How I Miss Her!

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Reflections on France — How I Miss Her!

I have been back exactly one month from my Wonderful France trip, and one thing is really clear to me — I want to go back!  France has that great mix of serenity — Saint Paul de Vence and  Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Balme — to high profile sophistication of Monaco, Monte Carlo, Nice and Lyon– to the just plain fast pace as you would find in exciting Paris.

When I say I felt freer than I have in my entire life, I mean it.  I was free to meet new people —  adventuresome Australians, caring Canadians and all ablaze Americans.  I was free to try my first Pastis and my first Floating Island.  I unapologetically and unashamably took pictures of all the iconic Parisian and uniquely French sites, while at the same time taking photos of some of the most unsuspecting aspects of life in France.  You know the ones that cause you to ask yourself “who would be interested in this photo?”

The food, the food, the food!  Who knew that ordinary chicken could express its Frenchness in so many different ways.  I actually had Coq Au Vin!  Who knew that macarons taste better in Aix? Who knew I would eat at Paul Bocuse’s Lyonaise Restaurant in Lyon? And, oh, The boulangeries, charcuteries and the plentiful open air markets (St. Tropez) too big to navigate in one visit.  I had fun trying, though!

Who knew that I would find a bracelet laden with Swarovski Crystals for little or nothing?! I came back loaded down not with clothing, but with tee shirts and refrigerator magnets shouting out Côte D’Azur, Avignon, Arles and Cannes!

I am determined to cook something — anything — with those cooking herbs from Provence, and then lay that meal atop the Provençal linen that I purchased.

Yes, I’m a newly minted Froncophile.  Can’t you tell?  Actually, I’ve been one for a while through my mental travels, visits to French restaurants in Chicago, and through the writings of James Baldwin, Richard Wright,  Peter Mayle, Julia Child and a good number of Expats, who like me, have that Love of France Disease.

France, who knew I would miss you this much? #thisidoforme.com