Saturday, March 29, 2014

Fondue de Poireaux

If there's one vegetable that I've really been enjoying a lot since arriving in France, it's Poireaux or Leeks. The leek belongs to the same family of the onions, but unlike the onion it does not form a tight bulb at its end. After making sure to wash it thoroughly (because of the soil and dirt), I like to remove several leaves off and discard the darker green part. This is tougher at the bite. I enjoy leeks several ways, whether it is boiled, sauteed, or steamed. Click here, here, and here. I have yet to try them raw - in fact, I wonder if it's possible. Anyways, I especially like to partner leeks with fish and seafood. The two together is just wonderful, whether it is served combined or separated.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Ham, Corn, and Lettuce Salad

I don't know if I mentioned this earlier, but it's officially been Spring for the past 4 days. The weather has been unusually cool, almost too warm for the season. Considering the lack of Winter we had, I thought Spring would be absent or pretty harsh, but so far it's been pretty good. The sun is out and it's warm enough to go on walks and have picnics. I take all of these as signs that it's time to ditch my Winter soups and move on to my Spring salads!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Smarties Cookies

I call these babies Smarties Cookies, but I could have named them whatever other chocolate-coated candies I had on-hand. M&M's, Nips  .... I had Smarties today, so there you go. Anyways, SO has been going to her new / not-so-new school for 4 months now and she has adjusted pretty well. I love seeing her excitement whenever she comes home. But what I look most forward to is when we prepare together her afternoon gouter / school snack. I don't know how it is for you, but I grew up in the Philippines and in my school, we had a school canteen and ordering our snack was just a snap away. It isn't like that here, well at least not in SO's school. Instead, parents are asked to prepare a school bag with an afternoon snack and drink (or a plastic glass if the child prefers water). I admittedly sometimes buy from the store, but SO and I always have the best time making her snacks from scratch. She hasn't shown much interest in cooking yet, but is always super excited to make her own gouter. It's cute.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Magazine Feature - French Entree Magazine

Just want to share something pretty cool that happened recently in my life. For the first time ever, one of my blog post (click here) was featured in an international magazine. It is truly an honor to be featured in the magazine, French Entree - your complete guide to property, lifestyle, and holidays in France!!! Above is a shot of the article, but if you can grab a copy of the magazine, please do! :)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Quick Choucroute

I always thought making Choucroute might be too complicated for me to make at home. Choucroute is usually enjoyed in the Alsace region of France, although I am sure that with the presence of Alsatian restaurants all over, the rest of the country are able to enjoy a good Choucroute too. My hesitation with making Choucroute myself is that it usually requires several kinds of meat (unless you're making the seafood kind) and that it might be too much for the 3 of us. To have an idea, click here, here, and here. But recently, I was given a couple of cans of sauerkraut / sour cabbage and I thought I'd experiment with it. Try a Quick Choucroute for example - one that doesn't use as much ingredients but is still packed full of wonderful flavors.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Casimir Pizza Food Truck in Conthil, France

Hot pizza! But I gotta say, it's not only the pizza that is hot in my town lately. Local government elections are coming up and I witnessed some pretty intense stuff. I realized that there's nothing like elections to bring out the bad / mean side of people. Grrrrr. But I don't want to think about that anymore. Tonight I want to think about this great Pizza Food Truck that's in the little town of Conthil, France. Every 2 weeks, Conthil is lucky to have the presence of Casimir Pizza Food Truck. Conthil is a tiny town of about 200 people, but whenever Casimir is in town words get out in neighboring towns. Based on experience, ordering ahead is highly advised!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Le Bol de Riz 2014 in Morhange, France

Two years ago, I accompanied AN to the event, Le Bol de Riz in Morhange, France and I remembered having a really good time (click here). It's two years later and I thought I would share the same opportunity with MR, who unfortunately could not stay until the end. The event starts at 7:30PM and usually ends pretty early so we brought along our little girl, SO. Unfortunately, by 8:45PM, we were still looking at photos on a projector and listening to a boring lecture. People were groaning, the chefs were getting worried, and SO fell asleep. Ten minutes before the lecture ended, MR decided to go home with our little girl. I think most people wanted to do the same at this point, but I couldn't leave without my Bol de Riz / Bowl of Rice. I sensed that the chefs were worried, but the rice turned out even more delicious than the one two years ago!!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Soiree Raclette with My Girls

You can't deny it. A girl's night is all about laughter, smiles, giggles, secrets, and the good ol' catching up on gossips. "Did you hear....? OMG!!! She did what? Nooooo, he didn't! I can't believe it. It's true, it's true! That's just unbelievable!!!" LOL. I laugh out loud because whether it is in the Philippines or in France, a girl's night is a girl's night. The language changes, the content doesn't. But I swear it's not mean. I would never hurt anyone intentionally, but it's undeniable, this happens! Sorry guys, but girls talk! Hihihihi....

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Chicken Peanut Stew

Today's dish is inspired from the Kare-Kare dish I made a month ago (click here). When I tasted the peanut gravy-like sauce, I knew I was a goner. Then questions started popping in my head. Surely something so good cannot be restricted to one kind of dish and one kind of meat. So I went with my gut feeling and came up with a Chicken Peanut Stew today. I didn't follow the Kare-Kare recipe as I made significant changes. I later realized that this turned out to be a lot less Asian in flavors, but the peanut sauce was just as delicious.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

For Mommy on her birthday!

In a span of 2 years, we unfortunately lost several members of our family. Sadly, my husband lost his mother and grandmother and I lost my father. These are big losses for us, especially as these are persons who have had a big influence on us. We have picked up the pieces and gradually moved on, but I realize that from the day they physically left us, life was never gonna be the same.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Beef Liver with Caramelized Onions and Parsley

I never had Beef or Calf Liver until I arrived in France. Back in the Philippines, I loved Chicken Liver and I occasionally had Pork Liver when it was cooked in Pancit or Bam-I, but I don't recall ever having Beef or Calf Liver. But now that we are based in France and with easy access to excellent beef/calf liver (thanks to my brother-in-law!!!), it was only a matter of time that I get to know the wonderful world of beef/calf liver and how to prepare it. I was taught to cook it the traditional way here (click here), but of course I decided I would try a little mixing and matching of flavors.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Beef and Carrots Stir-Fry

It's another Monday. Another week. SO is on the second week of her winter break and she is spending it at home. Thankfully, it is scheduled to be a hot and sunny week, so we can organize indoors and outdoors activities. Speaking of outdoors activities, it is time to take care of the fruit and vegetable garden. Did you know that where I live now, almost everyone has their own fruit and vegetable garden? Your own potatoes, carrots, leeks, onions, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and etc ... growing in your own backyard! I always thought that that was amazing! And this year, I am given the opportunity to do that. My sister finds my excitement cute, but to me, it feels like one of my dreams coming through. Oh, I do dream about it at night. I already know what I want in my jardin and what I want to do with it. I dream of homemade jams, savory tarts, soups, salads....And perhaps, someday, making this Beef and Carrots Stir-Fry dish again but this time with my carrots. My carrots from my garden!!!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sunday Family Picnic in Morhange, France

It's been pleasantly hot these days. Almost like it's Spring already although we still have officially 3 weeks to go. It is March and we haven't really had a normal winter. While the United States has been hit hard by snow storms, we haven't had any here. Truthfully, I'm a little sad. I would have loved to have a white winter. But I don't complain because there's something I love more than snow and that's - Outdoor Picnics. I don't know what it is about picnics, but I've always had a fascination for them. Back in the Philippines, we never had picnics. For one, it was simply too hot and two, we never found a spot we liked.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

SO's Kitchen: Mini-Brioche

My daughter, SO, is on her 2 week winter break. Lucky gal! We would have loved to take a short ski trip, but unfortunately her father and I really can't take time off work right now. But that's okay, I got it covered as I enrolled her at the centre aere / centre de loisirs close to our house for 1 week. She is on her fourth day and she is loving it! This week's theme is "Travelling the World" and each day they "discover and travel to a different country". Monday was the United States of America, Tuesday was France, Wednesday were the Caribbean Islands, Today is England, and tomorrow they will be in Ireland. She always comes home late afternoon excited to tell us what she learned and to show us what she did that day.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Beignets de Carnaval

It's Carnaval season once again and that means one thing - making Beignets! But I honestly thought of skipping it this year. Memories of flour all over my kitchen, sticky hands, and splattering oil made me think twice, especially when it's easier to go to the store and buy some (click here). But then again, I thought of the Beignets I made from scratch last year and felt pretty proud of myself (click here). It sure felt better than buying at the store. This isn't the same recipe I made from last year - that was AN's recipe which I still have to find! This year, I decided to work up my own recipe.

Monday, March 3, 2014

My Top 13 Fave Blog Posts of 2013!

The year 2013 was a tough one. But for the sake of our 5 year old daughter, we tried our best to make life seem as normal as possible. And a normal life, for us, is exploring, discovering, and having great meals! So as winter comes to an end, let me share with you my fave meals of last year!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Sushis & Cie in Remilly, France

I wanted to like this place. I really did. An Asian / Japanese food place within 20 kilometers from where I live? It was the dream. Plus, the person who served us was super and really friendly. Unfortunately, the quality of the food left a lot to be desired and both MR and I were left unimpressed. I heard about Sushis & Cie from a friend who told me that a new Asian restaurant opened nearby. She and her husband ordered take-out for Valentine's and she said she loved it. I don't know if today was an off-day but considering that it was Saturday night, I hope they didn't disappoint a lot of clients like they did with us. I think it might take a miracle for us to order from them again.

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