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Friday, May 31, 2013

Empanadas


Every year on this exact date, France celebrates "Le Repas des Voisins / The Dinner with Neighbors", where you have the people in town gathering on a public spot of the town and have dinner together. Each person brings their own specialty for everyone to enjoy. Our Repas des Voisins was cancelled tonight. When I received the email from our association's president this morning, my heart sank. But I understood. The weather is still freaking horrible!!! It's still cold, windy, and raining! No one would have been present if we pushed through with our plans tonight. So the event has been postponed. To when, I don't know yet, but I'm hoping soon. When the weather is better, I guess. I dropped by the Bureau de Tabac at the next town and told the man behind the counter what a horrible weather we were having outside and how lucky he was to be indoors. He knew what I meant when he saw me coming in covered from head to toe and shrugging off my wet hooded jacket. He laughed sarcastically and told me that's what he heard from every customer that came in today.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Courtepaille Metzanine in Metz, France


I brought Dad to see his cardiologist this morning. The good doctor said that everything was doing great with the heart valve they operated on, but there is still the question of Dad's arrhythmia. Because of this, Dad takes anti-coagulant medication which we have to be careful about. Basically Dad cannot fall down or else he'll bleed out. The doctor asked us to come back by the end of June to run some tests and he will tell us then if we can proceed with an intervention to correct Dad's arrhythmia. But it's nothing to worry about - he is doing really good. We're happy. Anyways, we were out of the doctor's office by noon. I began to wonder when was the last time we ate out, just the two of us. Probably about 8 months ago, I think. And then I thought it'd be cool to go on lunch date with my daddy, just the way we used to 7-8 years ago.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Shopping Bag: Kimchi


Our third time shopping at Ly Kim Thanh in Metz and I'm still as contented. Even though there isn't any Filipino products available, in exception of the sinigang powder, I always come out of the store with a huge grin on my face and images of Asian dishes floating in my head. For my third trip, I think I bought more than the first 2 times. Well, I did mention that I would try all of their products and pick out my favorites. Which is what I've started to do, hence this special post on an item that I've bought on every single trip - Kimchi.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hand Mixer


My niece, MO, passed by this morning to have lunch with us on her way back home to Belgium. SO was so excited to see her cousin pick her up from school for her lunch break and she cried out to everyone that MO was her cousin. We had a break from the rain today. Beautiful sun but with wind. We're still not having the average Spring weather, though. Everyone I come across with complains about how bad the weather has been. It's impossible to start planting the vegetables in the garden as well as the flowers. Everything is muddy and wet. We still have the heater on in the house! One month from Summer and the heater is still on! Hmph! My throat is doing better by the way, but I am left with a bitch of a cough. I hate being sick and I'm constantly worried that SO will pick up my virus. Thankfully, her immune system is pretty strong.

Hit That Replay Button: S'il Suffisait D'aimer by Celine Dion


This is one of my favorite Celine Dion's French songs. It was written by the talented Jean-Jacques Goldman and brings tears in my eyes every time.
S'il Suffisait D'aimer - If Love Was Enough. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Oven-Fried Chicken


The first time I heard of Oven-Fried Chicken, I assumed that the chicken was cooked in the oven rather than in a frying pan. But then I saw Ina Garten from the show Barefoot Contessa make Oven-Fried Chicken and there I knew that I had it wrong. I learned that Oven-Fried Chicken is actually fried first and then transferred to an oven to finish its cooking. Traditional Fried Chicken is fried in a frying pan all throughout the cooking period. I guess it is less fatty than the traditional way since it absorbs less oil, but I wonder, what if I skip the first step of frying it and just bake it straight from dipping it in the flour. Will it end up as crunchy? Something to ponder about for the next time.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Shopping Bag: Fraisier


My favorite French dessert (or all-time dessert for that matter) is the Fraisier, which comes from the word fraise, meaning strawberry. Growing up, Dad always bought me a Fraisier for my birthday as one of my cakes. For Mother's Day, he thought it would be sweet to buy me one as well. He's always been so thoughtful! :)

La Fete des Meres / Mother's Day 2013


It's Mother's Day today and before anything I want to send a shout-out to all the mother's in the world:      

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY TO YOU!!!

Many complain that this is yet another of those hallmark holidays, but as a mother myself, I love that there is a special day dedicated to me and all the wonderful mothers in the world. Being a mother is easy, being a good mother is another story! Every day is a struggle to provide the best for my child. For her to have a well-rounded childhood. She knows that I am her friend, but ultimately her mother too. I buy her gifts, cook her favorite food, guide her through her school lessons, but I also raise my voice, say no when I need to, and give punishments for negative behaviors. In the end, SO knows I have her back from now until forever. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Hit That Replay Button: It's Time by Imagine Dragons



The first time I heard this song, I thought this was from The Lumineers, the group responsible for the hit song Ho Hey. It must be from the clapping and the beat of the song. Anyways, turns out it's actually from Imagine Dragons. This song has been on replay  for so many times, that SO hums the tune all the time and has even memorized the lyrics on her own! 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Roti de Boeuf en Croute


Last Winter I bought 25 kilos of beef in various cuts from my brother-in-law. We are in mid-Spring and I still  have more than a little half left. It's great to always have meat on-hand. Anyways, the weather we're having is seriously made to make people sick. I feel as if we're still in Winter rather than in Spring. It's cold. It rains hard one minute, then the next it is sunny. But it's still awfully cold. My scratchy throat last nigh has developed into a full-blown sore throat overnight. I hate being sick. Dad has blood works done every week and he offered to pick up medications while he was in town. I hate taking meds, but I did feel instantly better!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Ham and Cheese Croissant Sandwich


Every time I am in a grocery store I always pass by a section with ready-to-bake salty pastry products. An item that I've regularly eyed are Croissant Sandwiches and I thought to myself what a neat idea and how easy I could replicate this at home. I understand how convenient these are for people that are really busy. Pop these babies in the oven and in less than 5 minutes, dinner is ready. I try to avoid anything that is ready-to-bake because well, what would I blog about?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Mechoui Party


My brother-in-law, TH, has been wanting to host a Mechoui Party for his friends and family for the longest time. A Mechoui originated in Northern Africa and is basically lamb spit roasted on a barbecue. As soon as they finalized a date, TH went ahead and bought half a lamb to roast. As the day approached, I could tell how excited he was. He even prepared an organized walk around the town. A short and a long walk, 6 and 12 kilometers long. Friends from Paris, Strasbourg, and even from the South of France were coming over and I was excited to see them again. Unfortunately, the weather decided not to cooperate and we've been having a crappy May weather. Today was no exception. Heavy rain, cold temperatures, and strong winds were all present. While most would give up or stress about it, we just decided to go with the flow and have a fantastic and fun time anyways. And we did! :)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Shopping Bag: Filets de Maquereaux - Cuisines a L'Echalote


In the theme of eating fish regularly, I started looking at the section of canned products in grocery stores. I've always stocked canned tuna in my storage pantry for quick salads and pasta sauces. So I thought I would start looking at other fish products available and I gotta say there are surprisingly many items to choose from. I love sardines filet in oil, but I really really love the cans of Filets de Maquereaux -the ones cooked in shallots just like in the photo above.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sloppy Joes


I can still remember the first time I watched the movie, Jack (with Robin Williams, Diane Lane, Jennifer Lopez). I was 10 years old then. I remember laughing and also crying. But what I also vividly remember is a scene where Jack's mother mentions that she just made Jack's favorite dinner, Sloppy Joes. I had no idea what these were, but I let that go. I wasn't a foodie then. ;) But those two words somehow always stuck in my head and when I was old enough, I started my research. Sloppy Joes originated in the United States and is a sandwich made of ground beef, vegetable, and tomato sauce and is served in a hamburger bun. I made Sloppy Joes for the first time today. I've been eating burgers for years now and although the ingredients between the two looked quite similar, it turned out nothing like a burger. And according to my Dad's words, "It's a nice change."

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Rhubarb Tart / Tarte a la Rhubarbe


Nothing spells out Spring for me as Rhubarb because that's when they start to show up. Usually in late March-early April - early Spring. Rhubarbs are not fruits, they are a species of plants and pretty much grow anywhere that has soil. I remember last year when I cut them off my sister's grandmother old house's backyard. I got enough to last us the whole season for free, so I was pretty shocked when I saw their selling price in the supermarket. But it didn't matter, I knew I had to get us some. Images of tarts, cakes, and crumbles floated in my head and I was excited to share my recipes with Dad and MR, who have yet to taste the deliciousness of rhubarbs. It's funny because rhubarbs are pretty much inedible if eaten raw, but cooked with sugar, it has a tartness taste and I love it!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Vide-Grenier in our Town

We were looking forward for our town's own Vide-Grenier for weeks! Everything was planned accordingly, everyone had their designated tasks. But when I woke up this morning at 5:30AM, I saw what we feared most. Rain. It was raining hard!!!

Staring at my window, I felt bad for the people outside under the rain. I knew a couple of the organizers were down there and were probably soaking wet. People who were selling their things were hesitating to bring out their items. I felt really awful. Because aside from the rain, it was also really cold and windy!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Hit That Replay Button: Toi et Moi by Guillaume Grand


Just wanna share my favorite French song :) 

You have no idea how many times I played this song over and over again last year, daydreaming of the day my husband and I would finally be reunited again! <3 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Way We Eat Artichokes


One vegetable I was very excited to eat when I arrived in France was Artichoke. But I arrived in the middle of Autumn and had to wait until Spring to get me some. When the season for Artichokes finally came, I quickly snatched some for my niece and I. The first time, we each had one (medium-sized) and it felt almost not enough. The second time, I bought 4 huge artichokes for my niece and I to share and this time it was more than enough for us! I didn't want to throw any away so I stuffed myself until I was almost sick and promised myself that that would be my last time to have artichokes. But Spring this year came and we saw the artichokes quickly piling up the vegetables sections in stores and markets. MR has never had fresh artichokes so I thought I'd set that little promise aside in favor of preparing some for my love.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Marche Fermier in Fleury, France


We're having a pretty fun week so far. My sister, DO, and her husband, TH, are on a holiday trip to Portugal for the week and left us their beautiful dog to babysit. SO is in absolute dog-heaven! I'm betting it won't be long before she asks us to get a dog. We wouldn't mind as both MR and I are dog lovers. Anyways, today was a good day weather-wise. It's cold, colder than on usual Spring days, but we had the sun and minimal wind today. I thought it would be fun for us to go on a picnic, with Dad and the dog. But after eating our lunch, we quickly packed away because the dog was going semi-crazy with the pigeons flying around. She's a super friendly dog, but I didn't want to scare away the children in the park. Anyways, as we got home, I caught the sign for the Marche Fermier in Fleury. I had totally forgotten that that was happening today! I guess leaving the park was a blessing in disguise after all as we had enough time to hit the Marche Fermier afterwards.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Endives au Jambon


I've already written about Endives au Jambon here. Click here for the post. This is one of Dad's favorite dishes and he says I prepare it perfectly to his taste. I was still in the phase of making some of Dad's favorite dishes since he left the hospital. Imagine how happy he was when he found out what we were having for lunch today!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Hit That Replay Button : Under by Alex Hepburn



Under
By: Alex Hepburn 

I die every time you walk away
Don't leave me alone with me
I'm afraid
Of the darkness and my demons
And the voices, sayin' nothing's gonna be okay, anyway
I feel it in my heart, soul, mind that I'm losing
You, me, you're confusing
Every reason I have left to live.

Don't bury me
Don't let me down
Don't say it's over
Cause that would send me under
Underneath the ground
Don't say those words
I wanna live and your words can murder
Only you can send me under, under, under

21 grams of soul
All the sanity I ever owned
But I'm still breathing
Through the thunder, and the fire, and the madness
Just to let you shoot me down again
But I'm still breathing
I feel it in my veins, skin, bones that I'm losing
You, boy, you're confusing
Every reason that I've left to live

Don't bury me
Don't let me down
Don't say it's over
'Cause that would send me under
Underneath the ground
Don't say those words
I wanna live but your words can murder
Only you can send me under, under, under.

Chasing you but you don't look back
Words I threw that I can't take back
Reaching out but I can't hold on to you, no
Chasing you but you don't look back
Words I threw that I can't take back
Reaching out but I can't hold on to you

Don't bury me
Don't let me down
Don't say it's over
Cause that would send me under
Underneath the ground
Don't say those words
I wanna live but your words can murder
Only you can send me under, under, under.

Under.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday Family Lunch


Our Sunday Lunches have always been special. Back in the Philippines, we always gathered at my In-Law's house. We'd eat together, chat, and play Mahjong. Now that we've moved to France, I occasionally think of those Sundays at my In-Law's. So much as changed since then. My Mother-in-Law sadly passed away last August, so I know we'll never have those days again. Like they say, nothing is permanent in life except for change. In the meantime, we've picked up a little routine here. If we're not invited by friends, then Sunday lunch at home stands out from the other lunches in the week. I'll make a main dish that takes more time to prepare and even have a delicious dessert to cap off the meal. My niece goes to school and lives in Belgium and on occasions she comes home for the weekend. When she does, I usually invite her to have lunch with us on her way back to Belgium. As was the case today.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Paprika Shrimp


The French government encourages eating fish or seafood dishes at least twice a week. I don't need any encouraging. I crave for fish or seafood all the time, but unfortunately it isn't as readily available (compared to the Philippines). I have to be content with what I have and that's mostly frozen products or already precooked seafood. But that's nothing that will stop me. It's been such a long time since I've prepared shrimps in a hot dish and I thought today would be the perfect time. I decided to use frozen shrimps rather than precooked shrimp because I was afraid that reheating them would result to overcooked shrimps. Eeek. As predicted, fresh raw shrimps (none available here - boo!) would have been better, but the frozen ones did the job just fine.

Friday, May 3, 2013

L'Etoile de Chine in ZAC D'Augny, France


In the past days, I've been craving to eat out and bugging Dad to come with us. He keeps saying that he's too tired, but I haven't let go. I guess my bugging paid off because he finally agreed to go out tonight. I can be very persuasive (and annoying) when I want to. Ask my dad. He's my favorite victim. LOL. So when he asked where I wanted to eat, I cried out excitedly, "L'Etoile de Chine". He wasn't too pleased, saying something about how whenever we eat out we always end up eating Chinese. I convinced him with many reasons to eat yet again in a Chinese restaurant (i.e. we don't need to go to Nancy for a good Chinese buffet anymore, I needed him to agree that it was a good buffet) and a promise that we would cool down on Chinese or any other Asian restaurants.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Filipino-Style Pork Chops


I originally didn't want to blog about this today, but one bite and there was no way I couldn't. I've had pork chops several ways before, but this is hands-down my favorite. And it's all in the marinade. The longer it marinades, the better it is. And the quicker it takes to cook. It precooks from the marinade because of the vinegar. If there's one thing I learned about myself in the past week is my love for Asian flavors. Unlike most Pinoys, I can live without eating white rice every day, but I definitely need Asian cuisine in my diet!

Steamed Vegetables - The Day I Used My SEB Steamer


After a thorough wash, I was dying to finally use my new / not-so-new SEB Steamer, which I bought for only 5 Euros (click here for details). It looked perfect, so I crossed my fingers that it also worked perfectly. I know that if it didn't, I'd lose only 5 Euros, but I still was really hoping that this would work. I've been wanting to get a steamer for some time now, but it wasn't a priority because of the price of a brand new one. This was such a sweet deal, it almost seemed too good to be true!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Le Muguet de Mai


Today is the First of May, which is also known as La Fete du Travail / Labor Day. In France, it is also associated with Le Muguet, which is not your typical flower. It is white and resembles small bell-like vines. It has a very refreshing scent. Many French air fresheners try to copy this scent.

Vide-Grenier in Scy-Chazelles, France


A Vide-Grenier is also known as a brocante in France and is basically a garage sale / yard sale. This gives a chance for the townspeople to clear out their attics and garages and sell them to others. It's Spring and these Vide-Greniers are popping out all over and will do so until early Autumn. I know someone who has a passion for them and goes to as many as she possibly can. I don't have that kind of passion, but I think Vide-Greniers are pretty cool and interesting.

Hit That Replay Button : Tonight by Jessica Sanchez with Ne-Yo



Look what I came across the internet - Jessica Sanchez's newly released single, Tonight, which she sings with Ne-Yo.  It's a nice, fun upbeat song. Jessica has the big voice to pull this off and she can dance too! Definitely a singer / performer. As a half Pinoy myself, I couldn't be prouder of Jessica Sanchez's accomplishments. I love to see all these Filipino talents popping from all over the world! :) 

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