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Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve Dinner at Home



We decided we would stay at home for our first New Year's Eve celebration together in France. Keep it on the low-key. For the longest time, it was always a family tradition to go out for New Year's Eve. We would check-in in hotels (usually Marco Polo Hotel Cebu) and join whatever soiree they had. This time, I thought it would be neat to stay where we are. It hasn't been long since we moved in and I've been doing my darnedest to make our home beautiful and comfy, it would be a shame not to take advantage of that! We've been receiving a lot of leaflets for themed nights around the area, so at least I know there are activities for New Year's Eve or what the French also call, Saint-Sylvestre. So instead of going out, we stayed in, but I made sure this was somewhat going to be special and not feel like just an ordinary day. I cleaned the house, prepared a special meal, asked everyone to take a shower and wear nice clothes, and did my best to decorate the dining table. I think I did a pretty good job. I have to say that, after last year, I realize what counts the most. Just being able to be together is already perfect.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Creamy Mashed Potatoes - using a Potato Masher!


I learned to make Mashed Potatoes from my Dad. It was always something he liked to whip up as a side dish to whatever meat dish he prepared. He always made it so good! And he never never used the ready-to-mix stuff. I tasted that for the first time in my life last year and it definitely does not taste as good as the real thing! Dad was always adamant about using a food mill. I don't have a food mill for now, but I did manage to buy a zigzag Potato Masher from Ikea recently. And I fully intended to use it today, knowing damn well that Dad would scrutinize my choice, but I just had to finally have some good creamy mashed potatoes!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

KR's Visit: Day 3 / Last Day in Nancy, France


Like they say, all good things must come to an end. Unfortunately. I hate that KR has to leave already. It's been so good being able to catch up with a really good friend, especially one that I grew up with. Back in Cebu, we weren't constantly with each other, with our busy schedules and all, but we'd always make sure to see each other from time to time to catch up on updates in our lives. Amazingly, every time we saw each other again, even after a couple of months, we'd smoothly pick up from wherever we left off. It's a friendship I cherish and hold very close. This visit felt very much like those catching up dates we used to have. This time, sadly, saying goodbye was tough.

Friday, December 28, 2012

KR's Visit : Day 2 in Luxembourg Ville, Luxembourg


First of all, I just want to apologize for the blurry photos I have in this post. At this point of the day, the battery of my camera was just about to give up. Thankfully, I was able to take a few photos of our Luxembourg escapade. Proof that this actually happened - I still have to pinch myself! We were just outside the Cathedral of Metz, when I randomly said, "How about we go to Luxembourg?" This is my spontaneity side popping out once again. KR and MR were totally for it too! Yey for random road trips to Luxembourg!

KR's Visit : Day 2 in Metz, France


Warning - Photo Overload!

Second day and I still can't believe that KR is here! It just feels surreal! I didn't have any time to waste. If I wanted to show KR what my new life looked like, I had to be organized. So after a quick breakfast, talking, laughing, girl gossip, and a request from MR for Seafood Gratin (the same I made on Christmas Day) for lunch, we headed to Metz so we could show off our beautiful city and its Christmas spirit!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

KR's Visit : Day 1


Happiness. No other way to describe how I felt when my childhood friend, KR, sent me a message a couple of months ago that she was coming to France with her family for Christmas. My first response was to tell her that we absolutely had to see each other! I could come up to Paris or she could come to me in Lorraine. Anyways, after a couple of changes and actual fear that this wouldn't push through, we made final plans for her coming to visit me for 3 days. I could not be more excited!!! KR arrived today at the Metz Train Station and I picked her up. I was just in time to see her TGV train arrive at the platform. I waited for the crowd of people to thin out, but still looking around. And then I saw her, her bags, and the memories of my past life. 

Tartiflette


My childhood friend, KR, is arriving today to visit me and I am picking her up at the train station in Metz. For weeks, I thought of the places we could visit, but most importantly the food I would make! I finally decided on making a Tartiflette for KR's first lunch. Her train from Paris was arriving at noon, so I took take care of the first steps of the dish and all MR had to do was pop the dish in the oven at noon, perfect for our arrival at around 12:30PM.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Bonnes Fetes 2012!!!


Again, BONNES FETES / HAPPY HOLIDAYS everyone!!! :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Challenge : Being a Lunch Host

The Challenge : Being a Lunch Host - Christmas Day Lunch 2012 

I've been dreaming about this day for months. Back when I was all alone and daydreaming about the future. I promised myself that when my family was finally here and my life stabilized (meaning we were settled in our new house), I would invite the people that supported me and helped me make last year bearable.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve 2012


Christmas Eve in France with family. Second time for me. First time for MR and SO. It may be the same holiday all throughout the world, but the way it is celebrated is definitely not! In the Philippines, we would have been cooking all night long, tasting the cooking dishes once in a while, gotten ready for mass, attend mass, come back home at 11PM, played games if any, Manito-Manita, then at midnight kissed and greeted everyone there, Noche Buena (buffet-style), and then listened and looked at the fireworks display outside. That's our Filipino Christmas - the French version is slightly different. This year we were invited at DO's house. We were 25 all in all - her in-laws and the 4 of us. At 7PM, we arrived at her house at our most tiptop outfits. Dinner started at 7:30PM - sit-down style. Aperitif, Entree, Main Dish, Salad and Cheese, and Desserts. From 7:30PM to Midnight, we were seated, joining lively conversations left and right. At midnight, we all greeted each other and exchanged gifts. The night ended at 3:30AM.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Seniors Goodie Basket


We were hanging out in the family room after dinner, watching television, (thankfully) not yet changed into pajamas, when the door bell rang. It was raining outside and I had no idea who could be at the door. Turns out, it was the Mayor of the village we live in. Apparently, he was doing his yearly rounds of distributing basket goodies for the "seniors" of the village. What a sweet and thoughtful gesture, I told him!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

La Pataterie Restaurant


Potatoes to the French are almost what white rice is to Filipinos. My Dad is French and surprise surprise he really loves them potatoes! So it was only a matter of time before I bring him to the Kingdom of Potatoes - La Pataterie, which literally means the Potato Place. I'm not a big potato fan, but this place has gotten really great reviews from friends and family! In fact, DO and TH tried it a week ago and could not stop raving about it! And since it was Dad's birthday yesterday and we were Christmas shopping in the area, I thought we could have a nice family lunch.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Dad's 79th Birthday



Today is Dad's 79th Birthday and the birthday boy wakes up from his afternoon nap with a craving for oysters. He asks me if I don't mind picking up some - I tell him, whatever he wants, he'll get! I am just so grateful that we are all together this year to celebrate! Plus, turning 79 is definitely something to celebrate. I can only hope that one day I'll reach that age, healthy and still active as Dad is!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Easy Roasted Pork Fillet


I wasn't kidding when I decided to add "easy" to the title of this recipe. Easy because it is one of those recipes that uses just one pan and you put all ingredients together in that one pan until it cooks through. I learned this recipe during my year-long stay at my sister's last year. It epitomizes her cooking. Easy, quick, and delicious. I remember that this was very popular for lunch on Sundays at her house!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tripes a la mode de Caen


Mr. GI is a retired butcher who still likes to come out of his retirement to help out my brother-in-law once in a while. In fact, it was during one of those helping out days that he mentioned to me that he was getting ready to cook some Tripes a la mode de Caen at home. He asked me if I'd liked to have some and I answered that although I don't really know what tripes are and what a la mode de Caen meant, I would accept it with open arms! Plus, I remembered that this was another favorite dish of Dad's! Which means it can't be that bad! Teehee! :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Quick in Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy, France


Today was a big day for MR. A few weeks ago, MR received a convocation at the Prefecture of Nancy, France to finalize the legalization of his French visa. So with barely any sleep in my system (blame it on the stress and anxiety), we got ready super early, settled comfortably in the car, and drove 40 kilometers to Nancy. We might have been an hour and a half early, but there was no way I would let MR be late for his interview!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Afternoon Snacks at Ikea in Metz, France


Today is the first day into a new year for me. If I wanted last year to go by fast, I'm begging please don't with this year. I don't think I'm ready to turn 28 years old anytime soon! Anyways, after attending mass for the first time in Verny this morning and having a quick lunch at home, we spent the afternoon at Ikea, in Metz. I've heard so much about Ikea (back when I was in the Philippines)- their food, their furniture, the affordable prices! I've always wanted to see what the hype was about and now that I'm in France and within reach of an Ikea establishment, I thought we'd do a little shopping and a little eating today.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

My 27th Birthday Dinner


Remember my 26th birthday last year? Click here for the post. Oh God, I was miserable! Miles and miles away from my family. I tried to cheer myself up with a simple seafood dinner and a strawberry cake. It was delicious, but nothing could replace the longing for my family. I promised myself I would make up for it this year - which I did. No more lonely girl this year, my family is here. At midnight, MR surprised me with a simple picnic. In the morning, we attended a Christmas Party with fellow villagers and neighbors. The program included a clown, dogs doing tricks, a huge boa, and later on, Santa Claus arrived and distributed gifts to the children. When the program was done, snacks (Brioche, Chips, and Candies) and drinks (Kir Royale - Creme de Cassis and Champagne) were served. We left at lunchtime and immediately went to the Leclerc supermarket in Marly to pick up seafood and whatever we were lacking for dinner tonight. I am celebrating my birthday tonight with my sister, DO, and her husband, TH. It is a simple celebration with family, exactly how I wanted it. I am blissfully happy. I've come a long way since last year!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Husband's Cooking: Arroz Caldo


Arroz Caldo is my ultimate comfort food and I love it when Hubby makes it for me! It can put me out of whatever funky mood I am in. And boy, did I need some today! This started late last night when I realized
that what I was hoping for was actually a fluke. That wasn't so bad....yet! I went to sleep, hoping that it would go away in the morning. On the contrary. My day started with bad news and it just kept adding up until this evening. I was stressed. S-T-R-E-S-S-E-D. I ran all over the area to get everything done in time. I already had a schedule for today, but things have been added and removed, so that's kind of thrown me off my game. And I need to buy a new printer! But did you know that ink is almost as expensive as a printer in France?! Plus, it rained the whole day! Not exactly helping in lifting up my mood! Oh, by the way, it's my birthday tomorrow. Can I hear a weeeeee??? Not from me!!!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Leftover Pot-au-Feu Meat with an Egg Vinaigrette


We still had a good amount of meat from the Pot-au-Feu I made yesterday and since I hate HATE hate throwing away food, I thought I would turn these leftovers into our next meal. This dish was inspired by something I saw DO make with her leftovers a while back.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Pot-au-Feu



What other kind of weather is more suitable to have Pot-au-Feu than today's? For the past couple of days, the temperatures have drastically lowered to negative degrees (-8 degrees Celsius today!). Earlier today, there was an actual snowstorm. School was cancelled this afternoon, but I'll never forget walking SO to school this morning just when the snowstorm started, and being ankle-deep in fresh snow when we picked her up at lunchtime! I love snow, just not when I have to actually walk on it or when it's pouring hard either!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Baked Endives and Ham / Endives au Jambon



I haven't eaten a lot of Endives back home, although it is Dad's favorite kind of salad. Back in the Philippines, the few times we ever had some were the times we brought some back from Manila. And not at all times were they even available! When I was living with my sister last year, we had Endives Salad a lot during winter (My Brother-in-Law, TH, says that Endives is a winter salad), so once spring came in DO stopped buying Endives (by the way, a pack of 6 Endives here costs the same as one piece in the Philippines!). Like Dad, Endives is a favorite of my nephew's, JO. One night, I was tired of preparing it the salad-way so I turned to the only other way I know these are eaten - baked and with ham and cheese!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Rognons et Coeur de Boeuf / Beef Kidneys and Heart


When Dad left France to settle in the Philippines 18 years ago, he had to let go of a couple of French dishes he loved. One of these is Rognons de Boeuf, which are beef kidneys. All my life, I've never eaten beef kidneys and never did I think beef kidneys could be eaten! It was only when I arrived here last year that I was introduced to this. Every time TH kills a cow, he gives the internal organs to his mom, AN. One time, she asked me if I knew what Rognons and Coeur de Boeuf (Beef Kidneys and Heart) were and if I would like to come over to try them. They were cooked  in a Sauce Brune and were just delicious! I just knew I had to make some for Dad when he arrived in France as well as MR, who is as clueless as me about beef kidneys. But then I realized that it wasn't the cooking part that was the hard part, it was the cleaning that was a challenge!


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Lunch at McDonald's in Trier, Germany


In lieu of eating at a traditional German restaurant, we had lunch at McDonald's. Much to my disappointment. But nevertheless, this was a food experience and I wanted to document it. And it wasn't bad either! Plus, what I love about McDonald's is that they are different in each country. In the Philippines, they have McDO Chicken with Rice and McSpaghetti (how I miss both!). The only other countries I've had McDonald's at were France, Luxembourg, and now Germany and there are only burgers on the menu. But different kinds of burgers in each country. I also happen to know that somewhere in the world, there is Noodle Soups in their McDonald! Different country, different food.

A Day in Trier, Germany


So at 9:45AM today, MR, SO, and I were waiting for the bus and the group we were travelling with at the City Hall of Vigny. We were a few minutes early because we left the house earlier than scheduled. I just wanted to be careful driving on snow-covered roads. We didn't mind waiting though. From Vigny, we took a tourist bus to go to Trier, Germany. The trip took two hours (it probably would have taken an hour and a half if the weather was better). So far, everything was going great - nothing could ruin our excited mood! Not even the negative degrees we were hit with as soon as we stepped out of the bus.

The First Snow of the Season




Hey!!! I just wanted to share with you a photo of this beautiful morning we woke up to today. Beautiful, isn't it? This is the first snow of the season and I couldn't be happier. Oh wait, I can actually because in a hour we're preparing to travel to Trier, Germany! *excited*

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Moules / Mussels Marinieres


I had one fourth of a white wine bottle left from the other day. It was on the small table in the kitchen, almost staring at me, begging me to do something with it. What dish could I make with good white wine??? A Blanquette, nope. Boeuf Bourguignon, not at all! Tartiflette, I could but it's too much work! Moules Marinieres, yes yes perfect!!! I used Moules de Bouchots - Origine France. And just because they have small shells doesn't mean anything, the mussels themselves were very plump and juicy! Un delice!

By the way, today is the 1st day of December! This is my favorite month of the year and that's because in 2 weeks I'll be celebrating my birthday. Weeee! :) Today also marks the first birthday party SO is attending in France. She was invited at her classmate's house, GA, for a fete forraine themed party. When I picked her up, the birthday boy's parents said she enjoyed and really participated. I couldn't be happier!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Homemade Seafood Platter


We (MR, Dad, and I) picked up SO from school at 4:30PM and decided to take a quick visit to the supermarket E. Leclerc in Marly which is just 15 minutes away from our house. I love the E. Leclerc store - it's huge, clean, and has so much interesting stuff! One of my favorite part is the Poissonerie - the fish and seafood area. One look at the fresh oysters and I was salivating!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Foie Gras, Toasted Bread, and Mixed Green Salad



Another dinner and another dinner with salad. It's been what, 3 times in a row? Hmmm, am I having pregnancy cravings? That's what I thought at first, but no I'm not. I'm neither happy or sad about it. Don't get me wrong, I would love to have another child, but it's too soon. But then again, SO is already 4 years old and she wants a sibling, but we just reunited and after a year separation, there is so much I have to learn again about her and vice versa!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Quiche Lorraine with Mixed Green Salad


This is my go-to dish when I have absolutely no idea what to make for dinner. French-style. In the Philippines, this is the counterpart of my Stir-Fry, with soy sauce and oyster sauce. And that is why, in France, I always make sure to have cream, bacon bits, eggs, and a puff pastry crust in the refrigerator at all times!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Quick Dinner : Red Beets Salad, Mache Salad, and Cold Cuts


I love our new home. What I don't like is that my wallet is hemorrhaging badly. Every day I find myself facing a new list of things to buy. It is an never ending list. And that's for the small things for the house. We've had to buy our big appliances as well. The house came with an oven, so there was no worries there. But that's it. MR and I agreed we would first get the stuff we really needed. That's the refrigerator and washing machine. We'll wait later for the dishwasher and clothes dryer. There's the smaller stuff too - coffee maker, cooking pans, plates, glasses, and many more - and thank God DO has lent me a lot of the stuff she doesn't use anymore. The bills, bills, bills are also coming. Plus, I also have groceries to think off. You see, I'm hemorrhaging profusely and from all sides!  While I still like to prepare special dishes for lunch, I've decided to cut down and make simpler meals for dinner. Not only am I cutting down on my food budget, but also on our calories, which is not really bad for us after all!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Tiramisu


When DO called last week to ask me what were our plans for last Sunday, I told her no plans were finalized.  So she asked me if we would like to come over to have lunch at her house. Apparently, she was having other guests and we would be 14 in total. That's quite a number to have over! But she knows I can help her out. In my mind, I quickly thought of something I could bring over. As a habit, I don't bring flowers to the host. But rather I like to bring themed baskets with products. I knew that on Saturday DO was working, so I offered to bring dessert if she wanted. She thought it was a great idea. After brainstorming for a couple of minutes, I decided I would bring Tiramisu. It's everything I like making - simple, uncomplicated, and delicious!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Lunch Invitation at my Sister's


This Sunday it was our turn to have lunch at DO's. But we weren't the only ones. She also invited her parents-in-law, TH's parents, her aunt and uncle, and family friends. All in all, we were 14 gathered around the table. This was your typical French Sunday lunch with friends and family - one that goes on for several hours! We had a good meal and I realized how much I've missed AN, AR, LU, and IR. For a year, my lonely time consisted of having coffee and chatting with them. Those days are gone.  I think the recent changes in my life have just begun to sink in my head.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Marche de Noel at Place Saint Jacques in Metz, France


We had no plans of visiting the Marche de Noel / Christmas Market today. We didn't even know that there was a Marche de Noel today. The original plan for this afternoon was to make the Tiramisu we are bringing to my sister's house tomorrow and then go to Metz to refill the fuel in the car. On the way, I decided to try a new route. I was surprised that it brought us to the other side of Metz - very convenient for us if we want to go to that part of Metz, we don't have to go across the city in traffic. So after we refueled the car, I wanted to show Dad the Coislin parking lot which is near the CPAM office (Caisse Primaire Assurance Maladie). We couldn't find the parking, but instead found the underground Saint Jacques parking. What the hell?, I thought, why don't we just find a spot and walk around the old city. After a couple of minutes of walking, I realized there was something special going on. I had no idea the Christmas Markets were up, I thought that was still in December! What a wonderful surprise. If there is one thing you should know about me is that I'm a sucker for stuff like this! :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Baked Rosemary Quail with Tomatoes and Onions



Another one of firsts - my first time to cook Quail. The only time I've ever had quail was at Chinese restaurants in Cebu, Philippines and they were deep-fried. I don't know why I picked up this pack of quails. I have so little experience with it! Anyways, did I mention that we received our new refrigerator? A new washing machine too! I'm happily shopping like a normal person. No more eating immediately whatever I buy. No more storing in our "improvised cold room". No more going to the grocery store every single day. I can finally store food in my freezer and my refrigerator. And I don't have to wash my clothes by hand anymore! Oh life is good once again!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Smoked Salmon Pasta


Smoked Salmon Pasta is my absolute favorite pasta dish. I can still remember the day I had this for the first time. It was at an Italian restaurant in Cebu, La Tegola, the Banilad branch. It was my first time to order it, I was always the Spaghetti al Cartoccio girl (Spaghetti Pasta, Assorted Seafood, Tomato Sauce, Wrapped in Aluminum Foil, baked in oven) - now that sounds so good too! But for some reason, that time, I felt like ordering something else, but I wanted to stay in the fishy department. A couple of choices below the Spaghetti al Cartoccio was Tagliatelle al Salmone - Tagliatelle, Smoked Salmon, Tomato Sauce, and Cream. It was reasonably priced and I took it. It was one of my best decisions ever. And today, because I miss my youth, I miss Cebu, and I miss La Tegola - I replicated that pasta dish that I fell in love with!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My Favorites: Chinese Cabbage Salad / Salade de Choux Chinois


Chinese Cabbage Salad - My newfound love!!! Ever since I tasted this salad at the Soiree Beaujolais Nouveau last Saturday, I've promised myself to make it again at home. I don't know what it is about this salad, but I absolutely love it! It comes pretty close to my all-time favorite salad, Arugula / Roquette! This is definitely going to be a regular household dish! I've only had Chinese Cabbage in soups before, I never would have thought to make it this way. It just shows how much there is still for me to discover in the food world!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Roasted Rosemary Chicken and Vegetables


It's with great hesitation that I woke up this morning. I am not hung over from last night's soiree, but I totally lack sleep. If I could sleep several more hours, I would be in heaven. Instead I am up early to prepare for lunch today. It takes me a couple of minutes to fully come out of my sleepy state, but as soon as I do, I know exactly what I should do and am excited. Excited because this is the first time I am making lunch in our house for people aside from Dad, MR, and SO. The other day, DO asked me if she and MO could have lunch with us as TH and JO will be hunting the whole day today. I happily said yes.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Soiree Beaujolais Nouveau 2012 in Conthil, France



We arrived in the Foyer of Conthil at 7PM - Dad, MR, SO, and I. The other ladies of the Association were already here, being busy bees in the kitchen. I came empty-handed this evening because I'd already brought my Apple Tarts this morning when I came to prepare the food. Yesterday, we took care of the arranging and decorations, but today, we cleaned, peeled, pitted, sliced, diced, mixed, and dressed the ingredients for the salads. And we also baked 2 huge beautiful Crusted Hams. I had lunch with the ladies and at 4PM, I was on my way home to shower, change, and prepare the family. We were quite excited to spend the evening with good friends and new friends!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Apple Tart


I've joined the Saint Alexis Association in Conthil, France. This is the same association DO is part of as well as several friends of ours. And we are in charge of hosting the Soiree Beaujolais Nouveau. The next post will be all about the evening. I spent the morning at the place of the event with my colleagues of the association. Today, we were busy arranging the room, the tables, the chairs, and decorations. Tomorrow, we will take care of the cooking. The dinner will consist of several Salads, Baked Ham, Cheese, Green Salad, and a variety of Desserts. We will be preparing everything up to the Green Salad tomorrow, while the desserts will be individually prepared at home. As you probably guessed, I am bringing an Apple Tart, actually 2 Apple Tarts. Here's how I made them (a little cheating was involved).

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Of Pork Chops and Beaujolais Nouveau



For a change, I decided I would pick up some Pork Chops for lunch today. With SO going to school from 8:30am-11:30am and 1:30pm-4:30PM, I find I have a lot of time for myself. The first few days, my time was consumed with house cleaning, but how much can a person clean?! Yesterday, we were delivered SO's bed - her room is almost complete, all she needs are decorations. I've gotten her a really cute desk too. We are still waiting for the refrigerator, washing machine, and television though. In the meantime, I amuse myself with visiting nearby shops and supermarkets. This morning, to pick up my Pork Chops, I decide to make a quick visit to the nearest supermarket here, Carrefour Contact in Verny. The Chops weren't on display but the butcher was kind enough to freshly-cut some for me. He gave me 3 great thick cuts.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Spaghetti with Store-Bought Tomato Sauce


I'm happy to say that SO is doing really good in school. As a habit, she speaks English at home, which she still does, but it seems like she has no problem to communicate in French with her classmates and teacher. The first day was no ordinary day. At 8:30AM sharp, MR and I walked SO to her school. Other parents were waiting with their children. I have to admit it was a little awkward and I realized that this was somehow my first day too. I was suddenly shy. LOL.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Day of Roasted Pork Choucroute Fillet, Nids D'abeilles, and McDonald's

I love my Dad, but I am sick and tired of driving 40 kilometers back and forth. Not only is it a long drive, but I end up driving at night as days are much shorter nowadays. Imagine a dark sky at 5:30PM! Plus, I dislike always being in the look out for driving enforcers. I don't abuse the laws of the road, but I always have the fear of being pulled over. Dad's bed ensemble was delivered 2 days ago, but MR and I decided not to tell Dad yet as the ensemble really stinks! Stinks of chemical products. We needed to air out the room for two days! But tonight, finally, Dad came home with us. Just imagine how happy he was!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Monggo Guisado



Before you start reading this post and decide to follow the recipe, please please please soak the monggo beans in water. Preferably the night before if you're making it for lunch the next day or in the morning if it's for dinner. The longer the beans are soaked, the shorter will be the cooking time. Anyways, I was worried about making Monggo Guisado today as I didn't have all the ingredients on-hand, but I managed to improvise. Thank God I just went with my instincts because this was a success! A reminder of a home I left a year ago and am missing more and more each day.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Steak Salad



The setting was just like I had dreamt of months ago. I was in the kitchen preparing dinner, MR and SO were in the room beside the kitchen playing. Earlier in the afternoon, we were dancing to music in the kitchen.  Smiles and laughs were everywhere. As I was preparing the salad we’re having tonight, the song playing from the laptop was Dido’s The Best Day of My Life and I thought to myself - today’s a dream day. Maybe not the best day of my life but pretty damn close!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Burger Steak with Mushrooms



Today's the first time MR had the chance to get out of the house after a couple of days of house arrest. But now we've been delivered our fuel and the person in charge of the heater maintenance has passed by, there's nothing to wait for. Dad's bed ensemble will be delivered in a few days. We're also waiting for SO's mattress, a refrigerator, a washing machine, a television, and a wireless telephone. Those will arrive later in the month.  I suggested that we go to my sister's today to visit the family, including Dad. We drove back night time (well, not really night time, these days the sun starts to set at 4:30PM!). With all these back and forths I've been doing this week, I'm getting to be an expert of the roads here, night driving included. We came back for dinner time and I knew what I was making. My sister packed some of their homemade burger steaks for me to take home to cook, as well as some steaks. I can't really go bulk shopping for food yet as we don't have our refrigerator yet. The burger steaks were cooked for tonight, while I cooked the steaks, set them aside safely, and will be used for another recipe tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Dried Fish / Buwad


Last night was our first night to sleep in our new house. The fuel was delivered for our heater, so we were pretty comfortable and warm all throughout the night. It was just the three of us (MR, SO, and I) and we shared a big bed. Dad will be staying at my sister's until his bed ensemble is delivered - which gives me the perfect opportunity to cook Dried Fish or what we call Buwad. Yum, yum, yum!!!! Dad mentioned that he wanted an advance warning if ever I decided to fry some dried fish at home as he would stay the weekend at my sister's. LOL.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Ulalammm - Sisig with Calamansi, Bicol Express, and Lechon Paksiw


The first raid of my pasalubong cabinet. Exciting! Hubby knows I'm finally making something from the stuff he brought with him from the Philippines. After weeks, it's about time, don't you think??? He was quite shocked when he saw I opened not one pack, but three! LOL. I figured these are small packs and it'll give me the opportunity to make an all-in-one blog post. And I am just so excited to have some Filipino flavors in my plate and tummy tonight! Sisig with Calamansi, Lechon Paksiw, and Bicol Express - ooohh this is gonna be a good night! :)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

La Choucroute


Something bad happened yesterday. We spent the day in our new house and when we got to my sister's house DO told me that my nephew fell from a 2 meters high ladder, landed on his side, and is now urinating blood. Uh-oh, I told her, it definitely doesn't sound good! TH eventually brought JO to the emergency room and the doctors told him to stay the night or two. He was extremely frustrated and more so when he found out what we were having for lunch - Choucroute! This was requested by MO, my niece, who went back to Belgium for school this afternoon and as always it was delicious!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Beef Liver Steak - The First Meal


The First Meal. The first meal in our new house. It's an amazing feeling. After a year of waiting, my family is complete and we are moving in our house together. This a new chapter in our lives. While this is officially our house, we are not completely moved in yet. The heater is still not functional - the fuel will be delivered in a few days. Hence the reason why we are wearing jackets and scarves while eating our lunch. LOL. The feeling I have right now is the same one I have the moment I start a new puzzle. Everything is still blurry and there are a hundred ways to start. Mistakes and mishaps happen, like learning to cook with the cooking range. General cleaning is taking hours and shopping for cleaning materials is never-ending. We may not have much for now, but it doesn't mean we can't enjoy a good meal!

Friday, November 2, 2012

La Raclette - The Day MR had his first Raclette in France


MR's first Raclette in France. And one of our last meals at my sister's house. Can you believe this is almost the end???

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pinoy Pasalubong


MR, SO, and I spent the day in our new house today. We signed the papers to officially move in today - the 1st of November, 2012. We didn't sleep over though because we still need the fuel to be delivered for the heater. We do have electricity and water though! But we decided to come over to the new house to start bringing most of our things. MR came to France with a luggage full of pasalubongs for me. We unloaded them today. I found out two of my Sisters-in-Law packed in some goodies for me. As well as a family friend. It is extremely thoughtful of them!!! :)

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