5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

Ok, sorry for the slightly belated weekend post.  Better late than never, right?  Here’s what we were up to this past weekend!

1) Start of the Euro

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We kicked off our weekend being lazy.  In our case that meant watching the start of the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament….from home.  We don’t have much of a desire to go out into the crowds or crowded bars to watch.  Instead, we just watched the opening game with France from our living room.

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France ended up winning, which likely reduced the amount of damage that ensued in the hours afterwards.  Though, sometimes I can’t decide if France winning a game makes rebellious/rioting damage better or worse.  Either way, for this night it was minimal by the French.

2) Bakery Supplies

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You’ll remember Friday Night Date night, right? Well, that tradition is still alive – though this weekend it was on Saturday.  We are heading to Saint Malo for a few days during the week, and by time we get back later in the week we wanted all of the supplies for some large custom/catering events next weekend to be in stock.  Exciting stuff like gazillions of eggs and flour.  So off to the restaurant supply store we went.

This time I got distracted in the wine aisle.  Well, most times I get distracted in the wine aisle.  I mean, it’s hard not to when you’ve got a bottle of wine that cost over 1,000EUR!

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To be fair, it was a 12 liter bottle of Moët, seen in the large case below.

As for me? I picked up two cases of it.

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And by it, I mean the 3EUR bottles of Prosecco above (sitting directly below the Moët).  I rather like this brand, and at 3EUR a bottle it’s quite reasonable for summer drinking on a warm night.  Or winter drinking. Or breakfast drinking.  Really, there’s no wrong time to drink Prosecco.

After getting distracted in the wine aisles, I got further distracted in the cheese section.

2016-06-11 17.43.35 2016-06-11 17.44.07

One of these days I’m going to have a valid excuse to buy a giant wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano.  Though, I think The Girl would probably drop it on my head in the middle of the night if I brought one home. Doesn’t it get better with age anyway?

3) Italian Cooking Night

Speaking of Italian stuff, later that night we had David and Lillian over for an Italian cooking night.  We’d end up making a bunch of fresh ravioli, and then a simple brown butter sage sauce.  Of course, we started with a proper platter of Italian meats and cheeses.  Some mortadella and coppa, along with some buffalo mozzarella and burrata.

DSC_2861 DSC_2862

There may have also been a bottle of French wine too. And a baguette.

Here’s David working on a ravioli:


And then a bit later on afterwards on the plate.  I’ve still gotta figure out why when I make stuffed pastas the dough shrinks up a bit when it hits the water (versus staying flat/smooth).  The purposefully oversized ravioli have a single large egg yolk inside them, which then breaks when you cut open the egg – spilling out goodness everywhere.


It doesn’t impact taste at all, but more of a presentation thing.

Afterwards, Lillian made panna cotta.  It had a passion fruit sauce on it, which was pretty awesome.


Oh, and yes, there was Prosecco. Obviously.

4) Riding to the lake and BBQ’s

Sunday morning Julio and I met up by bike and headed out for a trek outside of town.  There are two lakes that are known for permitting openwater swimming (with passes) in the region, and we decided to make the trek by bike to the other one (Torcy).  We often go to Cergy instead.  But we wanted a bit of something new for the day.  We had a route programmed on his Garmin and phone.


The route was…interesting.  It was a nice route if you were doing more touring on a bike (or a long run, as both of us had used these trails before for that).  But for road bike riding and trying to maintain a given intensity, it was hard due to all of the obstacles in the way.


Or, the shrubbery:


We did find the lake though, which was positive.  Except that at this time of the day, swimming was not permitted.  Diving apparently was though.


Afterwards, we hung out at his apartment and had a very solid BBQ.  He had stocked ample quantities of meat for the afternoon:

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That’s definitely a properly done BBQ!

5) Re-arranging the office

With getting the nursery (baby’s room) ready at the apartment, we’ve had a bit of shuffling of furniture.  It was originally our guest room for those staying with us, and it had a bed/couch combo thingy that we got at Ikea when we first moved in.  It’s actually a rather nice one, complete with drawers below it and all.  It’s also a total nightmare to assemble.  Probably one of the more complex Ikea pieces I’ve encountered.

Given the room conversion, it wouldn’t fit anymore.  So we decided to swap it out for the sofa-couch we have in our office down at the DCR Cave/Bertie’s Cake Studio.  In that, we already had a couch, but it was pretty crappy from Ikea. About the crappiest couch you could buy there.  It’s mostly just the private offices for The Girl and I, so a crappy couch is perfectly acceptable.

So last week I disassembled the fiasco at the apartment, and then moved it all down to the studio, where I then spent the majority of Sunday night re-arranging the office layout as well as re-assembling the couch/bed thingy.  I wasn’t quite finished when I took these photos, but the majority of the way.

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The evening ended up being a lot longer than I planned as we moved the desks (and all associated electronics), including transplanting more complex things like the internet boxes and stuff.

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So I had to run cabling, and also sealed it up against the wall in little trays, etc….  But, the office now has much more room.  Perhaps some day when we finish making it look decent I’ll give folks a tour of the other side of the space (since I’ve only ever shown the DCR Cave underground portion and the Bakery portion).

In any case, onto the week ahead.  Or…what’s left of it!

Thanks for reading all!


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  1. Dave Lusty

    Great looking food as usual. Wondering have you seen the Uuni pizza oven? Think it would be right up your street for park pizza days :)

  2. Alex

    If you want to swim to the Torcy’s lake, it is on the other side of the lake (find the circus entrance), every saturday morning from 9AM to 12AM, tuesday & thursday at 7PM.

  3. Erik

    Ray, I’ve got the same bed/couch thing in my house (kid’s room/guest room). I get what you mean. Congrats on finishing it alive (and no blood in sight)! I hope you had help…

  4. Parme

    Please don’t call that thing ‘ravioli’. ( Stefano from Italy )

    • Well, the Italian cookbook I was following called it a ravioli. So…they win.

    • Camillo

      Love when you present an Italian dinner and there’s nothing an Italian would recognize as Italian food (actually the “charcuterie” and mozzarellas look like they are)!

    • OperationOne

      i agree, please please please don’t call this “ravioli” ;) someone here in Tuscany could be really upset :D

    • Ahh, my apologies. I was under the impression that as “an Italian”, you’d know how to make fresh pasta and could provide a tip on deflating raviolis. Alas, it took an American (down below) to do that.

  5. Eric

    Well, in that case – I expect a detailed unboxing and review post on your Moet purchase. Bonus if you can work in some drone coverage :)

  6. Alberto


    One bike related question. I have *never* ride a road bike, and I always think How are they in quasi off road enviroments like that gravel road you were following towards the lake?

    • Kyle Polansky

      Road bikes can handle small sections of gravel/loose pavement in a pinch at lower speeds with a lot of concentration, but they aren’t going to be very stable. It’s easy for the skinny tires to slip out and cause you to fall over.

      If you are looking to do more riding on rough surfaces, I would look into either a gravel bike or cyclocross bike. These bikes will have larger tires that will give you better traction while riding on rough surfaces. They’ll have a bit more rolling resistance on the road, but that’s the price you pay for better off-road handling.

  7. Andy

    How do you secure your beautiful carbon fibre bike with a power meter on it while you go swimming in a lake?
    I ask because I have a similar setup plus carbon wheels on quick-releases and am afraid that if I left the bike (even locked) for an hour there is a 50% chance I wouldn’t find it upon return. Am I too panicky?

  8. Doogie

    I love fresh pasta and all my recipes (especially those square filled things we all call ravioli) say to let the pasta rest before cooking. Most recommend around an hour. I think it has something to do with the gluten stretching or something scientific like that.

  9. sometimes I try to imagine the length of your TODO lists… You’d get a super high score on the habitica app :)

  10. George

    No offense, but that was “grilling out” and not in any way real BBQ. :)

    • Strange. A Weber was involved. Thus, it qualifies.

    • George

      Nope, not if it wasn’t “low and slow” with plenty of wood smoke… :)

      Just having some some fun here, no worries. Seriously though, there are definite regional differences in what BBQ means. Invite some folks from the American South to a BBQ and they’ll be expecting something different.

      link to amazingribs.com

    • Jesse

      95% of the time a Weber is used for grilling. Grilling is relatively high direct heat for a reasonably short period of time. One grills steak, hot dogs, burgers, etc. BBQ involves relatively low indirect heat for a long period of time (hours). One BBQs brisket, pork butt, and here in Oklahoma even bologna. Whole chicken, ribs, and lots of other things can go either way.

      Just different cooking techniques (think crock pot vs pan fried), but often the same atmosphere. However, with a rough chunk of meat the difference is profound as BBQ allows the meat to break down and tenderize.

      (Not to bust your chops, but some reader in KC, NC, St. Louis or Texas is having an aneurism).

  11. JS

    > There are two lakes that are known for permitting openwater swimming (with passes) in the region.

    Are some special permissions needed for openwater swimming in a lake?
    I’m not in France (but Amsterdam), but I always assumed that swimming in any body of water where it isn’t explicitly forbidden (like I do getting out my door and down the ladder into the nearby canal).

  12. Josh

    Any chance of getting a couple of cupcakes delivered to my folks who are staying in Paris tonite and tomorrow night pre-cruise?

    • Unfortunately we’re out of town until tomorrow night (on the north western coast of France), otherwise we could probably arrange something. Hope they enjoy the city!


    • Josh

      No worries. By the way, anywhere on the site I can list for sale a new Cannondale slice 57cm with dura ace di2 hi mod that I bought, 80 miles on it more than half of which are on a KICKR vs outside, but ultimately will not be pursuing Tri and therefore want to purchase a road bike instead?

    • I don’t have anything here unfortunately :(. I think your best bet would be the Slowtwitch classified section.

  13. Ray,

    Do you have a link or any clue as to where you bought that poster of Paris in the bottom picture?

    • Yup, we just walk across the street and buy it in the city hall. It’s a coloring poster that The Girl has been slowly working on.

      You can find it on the official city store here: link to boutique.paris.fr

      (Note: lots of fun things to buy on that site, so be warned you may get distracted)

      As well as a few others like this: link to omy.fr

      I just searched Google for “Paris coloring poster”, and found a few other options too.

  14. Frans

    OMG! A Balthazar bottle of champagne, even a Jeroboam (4.5L) is for most people almost too heavy that you can’t pour it in normally let a alone a Balthazar! For those who don’t know: a standard bottle of champagne or Magnum (1.5L) is poured with your thump in the indent(punt) of the bottle and hold the bottle with the rest of your fingers. But indeed: there is no wrong time for drinking Prosecco, same goes for Champagne ;)

    Good luck with all the preparations for the arriving kid

  15. Jackie Lai

    We have that same bed in our home office along with the router, etc. Over 12 years ago I painted the room red knowing one day I would have to repaint. Well that day came a few months ago. It was such a pain to move that bed and all the cables. I feel your pain. But eventually it all gets done and the pain fades away. Just like marathons, and childbirth!

  16. Stuart

    This is why you need an entire wheel:

    link to youtube.com

  17. Food and Cycling and DIY always a good Combi !

  18. Josh

    Is that Sous Vide cooked meat? (noticed the plastic bags)

  19. Ben Anderson

    I have your excuse for buying a wheel of Parm Reg – A restaurant I go to in Tokyo cuts out the top of the wheel leaving a rim so it looks like a bowl. Then they bring it by your table and toss fresh hot pasta in the Parm Reg wheel/bowl coating it with goodness…

  20. 3underscore

    On the ikea convertible bed with draws. Mark my words – be very wary before buying an ikea bed! My daughters is great after about 8 hours building and 3 hours of excessive cursing.