Sunday, January 23, 2011

Quiz: How Much of a French Woman Are You?

My computer is in the hospital! Not sure when I can go back to weekly Paris photos but here's a placeholder post I found lying around that cheered me up a little.

Found this quiz on under Mireille Guiliano's book French Women for all Seasons:

"...Before learning to become a French woman for all seasons, take this short quiz to find out how much of one you already are. Your inner French Woman--we all have one!--may already be more developed than you suspect! Find out now how close your daily habits are to bringing you optimum pleasure."

1. Your idea of the ultimate chocolate fix is?
a. A chocolate Entenmann's donut.
b. A Hershey bar.
c. Godiva truffles.
d. One or two pieces of high-quality dark chocolate.

2. How do you take your coffee?
a. I don't drink coffee.
b. Can't stand it without cream and three sugars.
c. I add Equal and skim milk for low-cal pleasure.
d. A small cup of freshly brewed coffee needs no lightening or sweetening.

3. What should the salespeople at the mall know about you?
a. I don't wear prêt à porter!
b. I'm a sucker for the latest trends for the season--I love being in fashion.
c. I'll buy an amazing pair of shoes before I pay my rent.
d. I find a few items to accompany the best pieces in my closet--I just want to refresh my wardrobe.

4. You're throwing a party in a couple of weeks. What's your plan of action?
a. I obsess about the menu, wonder how I'll ever find the time even to plan, and when the big day comes I spend the entire time in the kitchen while my guests (usually) drink too much.
b. I call a caterer, of course. What do I know about such things, and why should I care?
c. I set out a bag of chips and a bag of pretzels and ask everyone to bring a bottle.
d. I choose a few favorite food items to serve, some store-bought delicacies, some easy to prepare but impressive treats, add some personal serving touches, sit back and relax while the guests ooh and ahh.

5. Which of the following drinks will you serve at the party?
a. Whatever the guests bring.
b. Margaritas (Frozen--is there another kind?).
c. Wine, vodka, beer… hospitality is variety.
d. A thoughtfully chosen wine and mineral water—keep it simple and always give guests water with their alcohol.

6. You've just gone to the market and found wonderful fresh basil, but you got so excited about it that you bought too much. What do you do?
a. What would I be doing at the market? What's basil again?
b. I chop some in my pasta, but eventually have to throw the rest away.
c. I have a pesto pack-down that night!
d. I try to invent a new dish for using it while it's fresh (substituting it for another herb I might otherwise use); the rest I make into pesto and freeze it in ice cube trays (one cube is perfect for a single pasta serving).

7. Au restaurant, you're most likely to order:
a. A cheeseburger with fries.
b. A large salad with ranch dressing.
c. Vegetable lasagna.
d. Grilled hangar steak with wine sauce.

8. When the waiter comes to your table to take your drink order, you:
a. Order up Grey Goose.
b. Let someone else advise--wine lists are intimidating.
c. Remember the rule that white goes with fish and red goes with meat.
d. Choose Champagne--it goes with just about anything.

9. How much wine do you typically drink with dinner?
a. None--alcohol is fattening.
b. Keep 'em coming--I've read wine is heart smart!
c. A few glasses--I know my limits.
d. Usually one, but if I want more, I’ll have another half glass.

10. You're traveling and a sumptuous breakfast buffet is included in the cost of your hotel room. What do you do?
a. I load up on eggs, bacon, muffins, and pancakes, but make sure to hit hotel gym later.
b. I load up on eggs, bacon, muffins, and pancakes to get me through the day--it's free, and I don't eat that way at home, so what's the harm?
c. I can't be trusted around any all-you-can-eat spread; I skip breakfast.
d. I choose one day to indulge at the buffet (compensating with lighter lunch and dinner), but order room service for the rest of my trip to avoid overdoing it.

11. What is your ideal workout?
a. Does channel surfing count?
b. An hour at the gym, wailing on the Cybex.
c. I eat healthfully so I can spend less time exercising.
d. I walk everywhere, and enjoy some Yoga a couple of times a week.

12. Mireille Guiliano says in French Women Don’t Get Fat that her "secret weapon" is plain yogurt. If you want to sweeten it, what do you add?
a. Sweet 'n Low or Equal.
b. Sugar.
c. Spoonful of maple syrup or honey.
d. Fresh fruit.

13. You have an after-hours party to attend for work. Pick an outfit that will take you most elegantly from day to night.
a. A short suit skirt with a tank top and a jacket that you'll be able to take off later--if you've got it, flaunt it!
b. Designer jeans with a top you saw in Vogue.
c. Your trusty black dress, but you'll dress it up with trendy baubles for evening.
d. A trimly cut dress paired with simple jewelry or a scarf.

14. In the fall, you eat:
a. Strawberries.
b. Asparagus.
c. Peaches.
d. Apples.

15. Le dessert is served! You choose to have:
a. A big piece of cake--you only live once.
b. A small slice (or two) of apple tart--an apple a day keeps the doctor away.
c. A piece of pie or cake, but you'll share it with a friend.
d. Nothing overly sweet--instead you go for a piece of seasonal fruit or cheese.

Allow 1 point for "a" answers, 2 points for "b" answers, 3 points for "c" answers, and 4 points for "d" answers. Add up your total points and find out how French you are based on the scale below.

Not Very French At All (15-25 points)
You are a true American woman. You're busy and don't always have time to entertain or cook. Your treats are sweet or salty. But Mireille says in French Women for All Seasons, "When foods are bursting with natural taste--as opposed to being artificially flavored, laden with fat and salt, or just plain tasteless--the experience of eating them is more satisfying, and we can content ourselves with less." Start reading to find out how you can change your approach to eating, and how all of Mireille's secrets about fashion, entertaining, wine--and more--can change your life.

Potentially French (26-36 points)
You're already aware of your indulgences, and realize you have great potential for improvement. You just need a little coaching on how to maximize style, taste and pleasure without sacrificing your waistline or sanity. "The key," Mireille says in French Women for All Seasons "is to cultivate your own intuition of your offenders and pleasures and adjust each accordingly by degrees that suit you." Start reading to find out how you can change not only your relationship with food, but how Mireille's secrets about fashion, entertaining, wine--and more--can change your life.

You're Almost French! (37-47 points)
You value quality over quantity. But we've all been known to stress out about a party or get weak in the knees in front of a chocolate donut. In French Women for All Seasons, Mireille says, "French women don't get fat because they know the secret of pleasure. But the secret to pleasure is cultivation: a life of ongoing exploration, experimentation, practiced enjoyment, and--most important--self discovery." Check out French Women for All Seasons for tips about how to entertain and dress, new recipes, and most importantly, how to remain bien dans sa peau.

Une Vraie Française (48-60 points)
You may have already read French Women Don’t Get Fat and taken it to heart or you simply have an inner French woman. Either way, you've unlocked the secret of pleasure--it's the most important part of life. But again as Mireille says in French Women for All Seasons, "the secret to pleasure is cultivation: a life of ongoing exploration, experimentation, practiced enjoyment, and--most important--self discovery." Read the book to find out how to keep this process going throughout the winter, spring, summer, and fall.

Apparently I am "Almost French!" I scored a 40 or 43 depending on #11. Here were my answers: 1) C 2) B 3) D 4) A 5) C 6) D 7) D 8) C 9) D 10) B 11) A but sometimes D if you substitute "ballet" for "Yoga" 12) A 13) C 14) D 15) A

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Another One of Paris's Passages

Happy Belated Birthday, Molière! (January 15, 1622)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Courtyard of the Archives Nationales

On this day in 1793, French inventor Jean-Pierre François Blanchard became the first person to fly in a balloon in the United States. He had made his first successful flight on March 2, 1784, launching from the Champ de Mars in Paris.