Loosely translated, gateaux de voyage are cakes that are meant for traveling- to bring on a weekend trip!

We spent all last week baking a million different kinds of cakes.  I was in charge of the marble cake and the Conquistador.  I was so proud of myself when I conquered the Conquistador!  (Conquistador= chocolate tart crust + orange marmalade + chocolate chips + merengue topping.)

My friend Maura has impeccable timing, because not only did she arrive in Paris in time to taste test all these cakes, but we also planned a weekend trip to Amsterdam.  So with gateaux in our stomachs (I know you were expecting me to say bags) Maura and I were off to Amsterdam… from the city of light to the city of red lights.

On Saturday morning we took a cruise through the canals…

Then we walked around the charming Jordaan area…

Sampled the local sweet specialty: pannenkoeken

And on Saturday night we had the most delicious dinner at Lof.  It’s the kind of restaurant where the chef decides his menu based on what’s fresh at the market that day.  Our conversation mainly centered around how delicious every bite was…

Lof at Lof

Oyster and artichoke bruscetta appetizers (we had lamb for our entree but didn’t get a great picture because it disappeared so quickly.)

Homemade ice cream- vanilla, strawberry, cherry and caramel

So you may be wondering, did Maura and Danielle go to the red light district?  Well, yes, we did.  But as Maura likes to point out, there’s so much more to see in Amsterdam than the ladies (I use the term loosely) in the windows.  There are the groups of people dressed up as sailors (we still don’t know why), the smell of weed in the air, the man in the bathrobe walking down the street in the middle of the day, the bike riders who will run you over if you’re not careful…

But seriously, Amsterdam is a beautiful place, with amazing architecture…

friendly people, gorgeous flowers, a laid back atmosphere, and plenty of pannenkoeken for everyone…

It was a really fun weekend in a charming city.  And when we arrived home, tired from our trip, we had a little gateaux waiting for us as we settled back into the City of Light.

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