1.) Paris is fun. Paris with a horrible plague flu? Not so much fun. (Yeah, I was actually sick the entire time we were in Paris. I was so hopped up on meds that most of it is pretty fuzzy. I may or may not have done some things I'm not proud of.)
2.) It is true. Parisians love their cigarettes. And wine. And baguettes. And butter. In fact, we're pretty sure that's all they live on. How the entire population of France is not dead or horribly malnourished is still a mystery to us.
3.) Seeing the Eiffel Tower in person is a bit odd. Like it's painted on a background and you're just walking through a movie set. When you finally get up close, the size of it is completely awe inspiring. Unless you're really afraid of heights, then it's just pee-your-pants-inspiring.
4.) Napoleon was the man. And I can see why people thought he was so short - his hat was HUGE.
5.) Millions of people go to the Louvre to visit the Mona Lisa. Meanwhile, the Greek wing is chock full of deification and phalluses, and it's absolutely empty. Just goes to show you there is no justice (or taste) in this world.
6.) Classical Italian artists don't know how to draw babies. Seriously, the amount of ugly babies in the Louvre is fantastic
7.) The Pompidou is six floors high. All stairs are on the outside of the building. In a big glass tube. That shakes when the wind blows. If you are afraid of heights, this museum will haunt your nightmares.
8.) Even the French have a sense of humour.
9.) Versailles houses 63% of the world's gold. And 89% of the world's opulence. Seriously, Louis knew how to decorate.
10.) If you've left St. Patrick's Day mashed potatoes in your fridge while you're on vacation, they okay to eat. That sour cream might be another story. Better make cupcakes out of them, just to make sure.
Leftover Mashed Potato Cupcakes with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
adapted slightly from Sprinkle Bakes
Makes about a dozen cupcakes
1 1/4 + 3 Tablespoons cups flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1/3 cup leftover mashed potatoes (unflavoured, cold, without any skins)
1/3 cup buttermilk
1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
2) With an electric mixer, whip up your sugar and softened butter until light. Add the mashed potatoes and continue to whip until fluffy. Add your two eggs and continue to whip.
3) Add half of your dry mixture and stir it in with a wooden spoon. Add your buttermilk, then the rest of your dry ingredients. Stir until the batter just comes together.
4) Spoon three tablespoons of batter into each cupcake liner. Bake for about 17-20 minutes, or until your cake tester comes out clean. Cool before icing.
Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
7 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1) Melt your chocolate carefully - either in a double boiler or in the microwave. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together your sour cream, corn syrup, and vanilla. Slowly whisk in your melted chocolate. Cool in the fridge until it reaches a spreadable consistency. Frost your cooled cupcakes and enjoy.