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


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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