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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Cora Cafeteria in Cora Metz Technopole, France


Busy day today. When I had one of Dad's doctor on the phone yesterday, she told me that Dad was most likely staying the weekend in their hospital. But I got a call this morning by his main doctor and he told me that everything was going great concerning Dad's renal system and ultimately the thing that needed to be worked on was his heart. He was afraid that if the needed intervention wasn't done on his heart soon that the kidney would start acting up again. In short, Dad's kidneys were not coping well with Dad's heart arrhythmia and the heart shock needed to be done as soon as possible. Fine. So by afternoon, Dad was transferred back to the first hospital where his cardiologist practices. With the transfer and stuff, I told Dad that I wouldn't be able to come see him today. SO was going home this afternoon from her mini-vacation at my sister's house and I needed to buy electric fans for the house in the morning. Lately, the sun has been hitting hard to the point of causing a heat wave. After the pathetic Spring we had, most are rejoicing for this, but I personally think it's too much. Anything beyond 30 degrees Celsius is too much for me. So we headed out for electric fans. But we had to be quick, because after shopping for electric fans and having lunch, we were meeting up with neighbors to clean our town's church at 1:30PM. I told you about our friend, GE's death yesterday, right? Well her funeral service is happening on Tuesday. Since our town's church is rarely ever used anymore (like once every 2 months), it was dirty and covered with dust and spiderwebs all over. It really needed a good clean! I'm happy that we could do a final something for GE. So all afternoon we bent over to wipe the church benches, dusted the dirt on the tall windows, cleaned every corner of the church, washed the floors with water and soap, and laughed about stories GE was best known for!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Perle d'Asie in Metz, France


Oh gosh...I don't know where to start. Pause. Breathe. Okay. As part of our current daily routine, we were getting ready to visit Dad in the hospital. SO's 5th birthday is fast approaching (in 2 weeks!), I sent out invitations earlier this month, except for one, our neighbors who were already gone on vacation. But I heard they were back in town so I thought we could drop their invitation in the mailbox. CE was standing in his front yard when we stopped by, we talked and he told me that it would be his daughter's pleasure to attend SO's birthday party, ..... and then he dropped a huge bomb.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Spinach Salad with Lardons, Walnuts, and a Poached Egg


What an interesting week we're having. I guess I forgot to mention in yesterday's post that Dad was transferred to a new hospital room. He is staying in the same hospital, but instead of being in the renal ICU, he was transferred to an ordinary room. The doctors have done every exams and tests possible and they haven't found anything wrong. I'm not so sure if it's good news because we still don't exactly know what happened to cause an acute kidney failure, but at least Dad can get the word "cancer" out of his head. He's been really worried about that. Anyways, on Tuesday, July 23, we watched from his hospital room as the Duchess of Cambridge, the Prince of Wales, and the Royal Baby were getting ready to leave the hospital. The world is divided about this event, it's true that the birth of a child happens in almost every household, but no one can deny that this one is a little bit more special than the others. I'd love to see a photo of the Royal Baby, Prince William, and Prince Charles together. Three royal generations and our neighbor's future rulers. I think it's a nice change from all the crimes and negative events we see daily on television. Of course, it doesn't erase all that, but for a minute it feels great to celebrate the birth of the Royal Baby.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Le Shalimar in Augny, France



As much as I love cooking, I also love going out and I love trying out new kinds of cuisine. Thankfully, I married a man that is as open as I am. Maybe a little too open, as I think he would be more capable of eating exotic dishes than I would. Anyways, last Valentine's Day, I wanted to bring my love to Le Shalimar, a restaurant specializing in Indian and Pakistani cuisine, located in the ZAC d'Augny. Unfortunately, it was a horrible day weather-wise, so MR and I decided to watch a movie instead which was nearer to our house. It was a good decision as it was snowing heavily all throughout the night and I don't know how the hell we could have left the restaurant in that condition. I thought MR and I could try their lunch buffet today. Reviews online were quite mixed so I wasn't sure what to expect, I guess I was just hoping that this could open my taste buds to Indian and Pakistani spices and flavors and that I would like it.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Center Parcs - Domaine Les Trois Forets in Hattigny, France


Yesterday morning, DO called me up to ask what we were up to today. I told her I was taking the break to clean the house and wash our clothes. I also told Dad that we wouldn't visit him. She asked me if we would be interested to join them in Center Parcs in Hattigny, France. She has friends from Paris who are visiting for the weekend and she thought it would be fun to bring them there. Center Parcs are touristic hotel domains that are all over Europe. The one in Hattigny, le Domains des Trois Forets, is the fourth domain in France. It occupies an area of 435 hectares of forests and greens. It is said to be the biggest of Europe. A couple of years ago, DO celebrated her birthday there and we've talked about going a weekend together some day. Maybe that's why she thought about me and asked if we'd like to join her and her friends. She told me about an ongoing promo, wherein you pay half price if you enjoy their facilities from 5PM to 9PM. I hesitated at first, but finally told her we'd join them. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Metz Plage - TF1 Concert


We were sitting on the couch, flipping from one channel to another, when I decided to look out of the window. It was 8PM - MR and I were done with our dinner, Eggplant with Chicken Strips (click here for the post), and the sun was still out on this Saturday night. I felt the sudden urge to go out. Get some fresh air. Then I remembered about the summer festivities going on in the city of Metz. Surely, something was up on a Saturday night. I quickly looked for the flyer I got the last time I was in the city. Let's watch a free concert tonight? Why not!

Asian-Style Eggplant with Chicken Strips


MR and I are home alone again. Dad is still in the ICU, closely monitored by the renal specialists. He had to undergo an emergency dialysis the other day to remove all the potassium in his body. He was scheduled to have another one today, but after exams the doctors did not see the need for it. His potassium level has stabilized. They also inserted a catheter, so he's peeing out all the extra water he has in his body. That is slowly improving. The doctors are also trying to find out why he was experiencing acute renal failure. They haven't found a cause yet though. While Dad is in the hospital, SO is enjoying her time with my niece at my sister's house. We're not able to go anywhere this summer break, so this is sort of a mini-vacation for her. It works because she's beyond happy. She has everything going for her - new hair, new clothes, and new toys! The cherry on top is that they have a swimming pool. SO loves the water and swimming! I'm told she is in the pool every morning and afternoon, under supervision of course. I couldn't be happier. With the crisis we're going through with Dad right now, I wanted to keep SO as far as possible from all of this.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Shopping Bag:: Carte D'Or - Sorbet de Fraise / Strawberry Sorbet


My head is spinning. Yesterday early morning, Dad called me urgently to tell me he was being rushed to another hospital that specialized in the renal system. I could feel my heart beat fast. I had to sit down on the nearest chair and breathe. Minutes later, a nurse in charge called me to confirm that Dad was leaving their unit to go to another hospital. His renal system was failing and it was catastrophic. He had to undergo an emergency dialysis. Morning passed without further news and I was a wreck. It's so hard to be in the dark. I finally got updates in the afternoon. I was told the name of the hospital and where he was staying - in the Renal ICU unit. And I got hold of Dad. He told me that they found water everywhere in his body - his lungs, his abdomen, and his feet. It's really bad! I told him yesterday I wouldn't come visit him so he could relax and really rest. SO is with her cousin, so it was just MR and I who visited Dad today. He looked better, but not totally fine yet. I hope it'll just get better from now on. *fingers crossed*

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sauteed Chayote / Ginisang Sayote


We brought Dad to the hospital this afternoon for admission. When we left him, he was settled in his own room. He looked tiny sitting on a chair. He looked tired, weak, and so unhappy. Then he started crying, really crying. Shaky shoulder, uncontrollable sobs, and his hands covering his face. Saying something how he didn't want to leave us, he wasn't ready to pass away. I felt miserable. There was no way I showed him the tears I felt were threatening to drop. I reassured him that everything would be alright and that he was in the hands of excellent doctors. I tried to reassure him, but truthfully I think I was reassuring myself more. The only way to get through it, is to get through it.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Creamy Chicken Liver and Mushrooms


Dad is really sick. :(
He is looking worse and worse every day. I called his doctor and he told me that we will push through with his hospital admission tomorrow. He did warn me to call an ambulance asap if Dad starts to have real breathing problems. It's a really scary feeling I am feeling right now. We'll see how it will go tomorrow and truthfully, I am relieved to know he is going to be admitted and taken care of by professionals. I tried to surprise and make him happy by preparing one of his favorites, Chicken Liver, for lunch today, but sadly, he barely ate anything and wasn't in the mood at all. I see him so weak and tired, and I hate that.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Homemade Mayonnaise


I made a big decision today and that is from this day on forward I will be making my own Homemade Mayonnaise. I realized how easy it was to make and all I needed was egg, oil, mustard, vinegar, salt, and black pepper - all ingredients that I always always have on-hand. So why buy a jar of mayonnaise when I can make my own? The taste. My first try I wasn't too convinced, but after a little tweaking here and there I have found a little secret which makes the perfect mayonnaise for me. The preservation. Now, this might be a slight issue. Let's get this straight. When you make your own fresh mayonnaise, you'll never be able to preserve it as long as the store-bought ones. There's raw eggs in there and I keep my mayo one day max in the refrigerator, after that it's gone. But then again, I'm not consuming preservatives and whatever chemical stuff they put in store-bought mayo to preserve it, which is a big plus! It is a choice to decide to make your own mayo, but in this case I find that the positive over-weighs the negative by a ton!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Quick Chocolate Mousse


SO was having the time of her life at my sister's house this week. Swimming, sleeping late, waking up late, playing with the dog, shopping, and meeting new people. But a couple of weeks ago, long before my niece took SO for a mini-vacation, I confirmed her presence at a friend's going-away party and it was too late to back out now. So I asked MO to bring her back home this morning and have lunch with us. I made a Warm Goat Cheese Salad because it is one of MO's favorite and for dessert a delicious Chocolate Mousse.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

La Fete Nationale 2013


Tomorrow, on the 14th of July, the whole country of France will once again celebrate its annual Fete Nationale / French National Day. In some countries, it is also known as Bastille Day. Which is in memory of the storming of the Bastille, a fortress-prison in Paris. La Fete Nationale also has roots from La Fete de la Federation, which was on July 14, 1790 and was a huge feast and official event to celebrate the end of the French Revolution. Every year since then, celebrations are held all over France. It starts with the military parade on the Champs-Elysee Avenue in Paris in front of the President and other foreign dignitaries. Dad, who was in the French army, never fails to watch the military parade every year. After his military time, he joined a company that specialized in military aircraft and these aircraft are usually featured in the parade as well. So it's a double joy for him to watch. Through the years, I've found myself excited to watch the parade alongside Dad, whose love for his country is admirable. This year I promised myself that before I turn 30, I should watch the military parade live in the streets of Paris.

Saturday Night, BBQ Night


I don't remember if I mentioned here that we got back news from MR's French language exam. And it's good. It's really good. He passed with flying colors with a score of 89,50/100 on his exam. We couldn't be any prouder of him! Learning a new language at our age and taking a government-required exam is not an easy task. But he did it and we excitedly picked up his diploma today. It suddenly felt really real when we had it in our hands. As we sang our lungs out in the car ride back home, I decided to stop by the grocery store. I had no idea what to make for dinner tonight, but I thought to myself, "hey, it's a warm summer day - why don't we have a barbecue in our garden?"

Friday, July 12, 2013

Poulet / Chicken Basquaise


After making this today, I think it's safe to say that Poulet Basquaise is my favorite French dish. I'd exchange this over Foie Gras or Escargots anytime, that's for sure! It's homey, it's hearty, and it's full of flavors. But most of all, its principal ingredients are Bell Peppers, which I've had a love affair with! A lot of people around me have a hard time digesting bell pepper. Dad included, although he used to make this all the time for me when I was a little girl and he knew how much I loved it. I find it funny that 20 years later, I am the one cooking this for my family. I found myself reflecting back to those past years while slicing the bell peppers - life is full of surprises!

My Kitchen: Rice Cooker by Silver Crest


Every week we receive brochures from nearby supermarkets and stores. In the brochure I received from the store, Lidl, last week, I saw that they were selling a Rice Cooker by Silver Crest. It's been a while now that we've talked about getting a rice cooker, but never pushed through with our plans. Mostly because we try to cut down on our rice intake. But then again, what kind of Filipino household / kitchen does not have a rice cooker? If there's something I am sure of, it's that almost every Filipino household has a bible and a rice cooker. We have the bible and now, after a quick trip to Lidl, we have a rice cooker too!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Shopping Bag: Jambon a Poeler


Dad is not feeling well at all. He's been feeling that way for the past couple of days, but it was really mild. Today, it's alarming. He's experiencing shortness of breath and his feet are enlarged. He didn't want to go see his doctor, but I called to have an appointment as soon as possible. The doctor sounded worried on the other line and told us to come right away in the afternoon. I quickly cooked lunch so we could prepare to go to the doctor's. Oh no, what's happening now???

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Au Coeur du Liban in Metz, France


My day today was unforgettable! And in a really good way. It started with me receiving my positive letter from the company I recently tried to apply to. After successfully passing the exams and interviews, I am told to wait for my next letter where I will be told the dates of the training. Yay for me. It's excellent news. I doubt it will hard for me to turn it down now. In the afternoon, I brought SO to my sister's house. My niece, MO, will be taking care of her for the week or two. We're not taking a family vacation trip this year, so this is a great alternative for SO. She loves to swim and since they have a big swimming pool, I'm sure she will be super happy. The house is also in the middle of their farm, with the animals around. For us, we felt like eating out tonight and celebrating. Dad wanted to treat us and he wanted to try the Lebanese restaurant I found online. I read so many positive reviews, so we were going in with really high expectations. Which isn't always a good thing, but I won't keep you in suspense. We were floored by the delicious food! I guess, here's goes another positive review.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Metz en Fete 2013


We were in Metz this afternoon. The four of us - MR, SO, Dad, and I. A friend of mine gave birth to a little baby girl recently and I wanted to get her cute little outfit. We're right in the middle of the summer sales, so I thought I could take advantage of that. And why not do a little shopping for ourselves as well? I eyed a pair of black ballerina shoes for Autumn, but I hesitated to get them at the last minute. As I write this, I am starting to regret my decision. LOL. Isn't it like that all the time???

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Marly Braderie in Marly, France


We decided to end our day in Marly, France. The annual Braderie was happening today and we wanted to check it out. A Braderie is a big street market / street fair.

Flowers for Lola


On July 2, 2013, I posted about the sad passing of MR's grandmother. A wonderful woman who will remain in our hearts and memories. MR's sisters informed us that the funeral was happening today. Not being able to be physically there is tough for MR, but we have no choice. That's why we thought we could respectfully dedicate some time for Lola (Filipino term for grandmother) this afternoon.

Pan-Roasted Turkey Leg with Summer Vegetables


I've always loved eating turkey meat. But sadly, back in the Philippines, I only had the chance to eat turkey once a year when I'd roast a whole turkey around Thanksgiving time. I'd try to buy the smallest turkey I could find, but it still would leave us enough leftovers to last a week! When I arrived in France, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could buy individual turkey pieces, like the single turkey leg I bought earlier this week. I've always been fascinated by turkey legs - I grew up watching Asterix on television munching on them! The turkey leg is perfect for the four of us. I like to simply pan-roast it and add whatever vegetables I have on-hand. I hate throwing away food, so this is the perfect solution!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

BBQ-ing at Home


The sun was out. A little breeze teased us from time to time to cool us down. SO's miniature pool was ready, so was my barbecue grill. We had everything to enjoy ourselves and so we did! It was a really calm and enjoyable end-of-the-day moment. We bought SO a mini-pool which has a slide and water jet, so it was triple the fun for her. SO has always loved the water! And while MR was going back and forth the kitchen and garden, I was assigned to man the barbecue grill. MR and I bought a rather small grill, but it was cheap and it does the work just fine. Our dinner was the perfect cherry on top of a wonderful family afternoon! :)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Horrible Dinner at La Poelee in Marly, France


I wanted to eat out tonight. Dad wasn't really up for it. But I wanted to go out and I didn't want to leave him alone at home. So I told him we'd go somewhere close, in Marly, for example. There's a new restaurant that isn't too expensive that I saw on the side of the road and I thought we'd go check it out. Unfortunately, when we got there, all I saw told me that we had to get out of there. The place had a funky smell, it was dark, pipes were coming out of the walls, the bathroom door was wide open to the dining room - I just couldn't stay there. For a new place, it was really run-down. But we had to eat somewhere. SO was starting to complain of hunger, Dad also, and me too, honestly. So we went to a restaurant that was just on the other side of the road, a restaurant that we'd already eaten at - La Poelee at Marly in France.

Chocolate Brownies


Today is SO's last day of school. She's been feeling a lot better since yesterday, so she was back to school. Of course, she didn't want to skip her last day especially since some of her classmates will be going to another school next year and she won't see them again. I didn't know how a last day of school is in France but I wanted to somewhat mark it. I told the teacher yesterday that I would bring a chocolate cake after lunch for the kids to enjoy as their afternoon snack. So I prepared the cake this morning, well more Chocolate Brownies, to bring when I brought back SO to school after her lunch break. I'm glad I did because some of the kids gave little presents to the teacher, even a bouquet of flowers, so the cake was the cherry on top! This isn't the first time I made this Chocolate Brownies recipe. I had it final tested on our Repas des Voisins (click here), which was a huge success with the children. I decorated the brownies square with sliced strawberries then, but I thought that it would a cool idea to use Smarties this time and very kid-friendly!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hummus


As much as I'd like to believe otherwise, there are just some dishes that are better eaten at restaurants. To me, these are the Japanese Sushi, Ramen Soup, Hummus, Sisig - to name a few. I used to think the same for Leche Flan / Creme Caramel, until I was able to make a successful one last year. And then I thought last night, if I could overcome my failure in making Leche Flan maybe, just maybe, I could do the same for Hummus. Hummus is a dish made of chickpeas and is one of my favorite Middle Eastern appetizers, along with Baba Ganoush. So I set to buy my ingredients at the grocery store this afternoon, except for the Tahini / Sesame Paste which I had purchased a couple of weeks ago and stored on my food shelf. But unfortunately, unlike the Leche Flan, I am still not convinced with my Hummus. I don't usually post recipes that I am not 100 percent happy with, but I was torn with this one because Dad really loved it. Knowing that Dad is a fan of Middle Eastern cuisine, it made me wonder - was the Hummus actually good and was I just too hard with myself???

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

L'Assiette au Boeuf in Metz, France


July 2, 2013. A day that will be marked in our minds and heart. It will be marked for the good and the bad. The bad. This morning, we received the sad news of the passing of MR's grandmother. After several years of lung problems, her body quit cooperating - the unfortunate disease of aging. She lived a long life filled with love, laughter, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren! Under any circumstances, it is always painful to watch another light fade out. I will surely miss her laughter and her voice, which was what she was known for, but I'll also miss the only grandmother figure I've ever really had in my life.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Vol-au-Vent


SO skipped school today. :( On Saturday, she already had a little cough, but I thought it would pass. And when MO, my niece, brought her home yesterday, it seemed to get worse. I quickly pulled out my curing necessities and when she woke up this morning, she seemed fine again. MR and I agreed that the best thing would be for her to rest the whole day today so she would be fine to go back to school tomorrow. It is her last week of school by the way, so it would be kinda sad if she was absent. Anyways, by afternoon she had a fever, which prompted me to give her medication. It's always scary when your child is going through something like, no matter how small. If I could, I'd take it all away and transfer it to me.

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