Thursday, June 26, 2014

My Favorites: KFC France - Sweet Pie

I just realized that it's been a while since I posted something in the "My Favorites" category. But that doesn't mean that I haven't added new favorites in my list. So here comes KFC's Sweet Pie. First of all, I love KFC in general. I loooovvveeee fried chicken and I curse every time I order chicken in a KFC here and see that there's no white rice (like in the Philippines!). I don't have a KFC branch near my house, but luckily there is one near my workplace. After several lunch trips there, I thought I'd try their Sweet Pie. I've been hearing so much about Macau's Egg Tarts and how good they were and I wondered if these were similar.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

L'Ere des Tulipes in Metz, France

The day after my Strasbourg day-trip (click here for the post), I was up again early morning ready for another day at work. But today I was especially motivated to go to work because I was meeting one of my close friend afterwards. She just started a new job and her office is about 500 meters from mine. Today was her third day on the job and I just had to see her! So we made plans to see each other after work today and ended up eating dinner together (which she insisted to pay!!!).

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Pierre Herme in Strasbourg, France

And now it was my turn to choose what to do! This was pretty simple; I had it all planned. MR was in for no surprise, he knew it had to do with food. And he wasn't wrong. LOL. A couple of years ago, Manila, the capital city of the Philippines went through this macaron craze (and so did the rest of the world!). For years, I've been hearing the names Pierre Herme, Laduree, Fauchon - who's better than who, who's more popular, who's more expensive. I've never been a big fan of Macarons. But then again, I've never had the opportunity to try the ones they brand as "the best in the world", so I couldn't help but wonder if my lack of enthusiasm for Macarons came from that.

Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg in Strasbourg, France

Once I was done with my meeting, MR and I realized that we didn't really have a lot of time to explore before heading home to pick up our daughter. We agreed that we would each get to choose one place to visit or one thing to do. I let my man pick first and with many thanks to our phone, we quickly found ourselves casually walking in the small streets of Strasbourg in the direction of the city's beautiful cathedral.

A Day in Strasbourg, France

It started with a professional meeting scheduled in Strasbourg. Then, MR told me that he wasn't working today so I asked him if he wanted to come with me. He would be alone for maybe an hour or two while I was attending my meeting, but hey, alone and in Strasbourg ain't that bad. That gave him the opportunity to walk around and explore the city for the first time. Originally, I had wanted to take train tickets. It's only a 2 hour drive, but I didn't feel like driving. Unfortunately for me, there was a train strike going on and I didn't want to have a bad surprise. I worked half-day today so by lunch time MR and I were on the road to Strasbourg.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

SO is still having on and off fever. She skipped school and stayed at home today and so did I. I was freaking out at first because you never know with fever. I mean, it could be the first sign of something potentially dangerous. Thankfully for SO, it is a case of over-exhaustion and she just really needs to sleep it off as much as possible. All day and night long, I've been looking over her. The super mom instinct really kicks in in moments like this - who cares that I haven't slept 2 hours straight!!! Like many of us, SO loses her appetite whenever she is sick. But since I was giving her paracetamol, I wanted her to have something in her stomach. That's why I decided I would prepare pasta for dinner, which just happens to be her all-time favorite food.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Clafouti de Cerises / Cherry Clafouti

This month has been especially busy, this week in particular. You can definitely feel summer break coming up soon. SO has also felt it as she is sick in her bed with fever right now due to over-exhaustion. On Thursday, she went out the whole day on a school field trip. On Friday, her school held an end-of-the-school-year celebration with games and programs. Later that night, we stayed for the school fair and had barbecue for dinner with fellow parents. The organizers were also able to play the France vs. Switzerland world cup game on the big screen. We left when it started getting too cool. On Saturday afternoon, SO was invited to a pony-inspired birthday party. We had to cut that short when she suddenly started feeling quite ill. We were supposed to celebrate La Fete de la Musique later that in Nancy, France, but unfortunately we just couldn't go. There's always next year, I told MR. Today, we decided to stay at home and lie low. And like on many Sundays, I try to make a dessert and today's creation was a Clafouti de Cerises / Cherry Clafouti.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Lunchdate at La Table du Saulnois in Maizieres-les-Vic, France

MR and I have always set aside time in a week just for the two of us. I find that it's important to spend time with one's spouse away from the children once in a while. As much as we need space from each other (in my opinion, it's never good to stay glued to someone 24/7), it's also good to find ourselves just the two of us. We talk about us, our days, our dreams, and just spend time with each other. It's been almost 13 years and amazingly we still learn new things about each other.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day Lunch 2014: Grilled Cote de Boeuf, Creamy Potato Salad, and Mixed Salad

Some super heroes don't have capes ... They are called Dad.

I was determined not to make today a sad day. This was the first Father's day since Dad passed away, but we also had another father to honor today and that is my husband, MR. In my life, I fell in love 3 times. The first time was after a couple of months of dating MR, the second was on my wedding day, and the third was when he became a father. And he's an amazing father. I had a pretty good dad as well, who provided me his best, and I can only hope that SO grows up to appreciate her father every single day of her life like I do.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Flunch in Semecourt, France

I was sitting quietly at a table in the corner savoring every bite of my food when I happened to look at the table in front of me. I was looking at a family of 4 - a little boy, his mom, the grandmother, and the grandfather. I saw them eating, talking, and laughing together and I couldn't help but think about my own family. Not too long ago, this was us. I realized that so much has changed in just a span of 1 year. Our whole family dynamics has shifted and it's bittersweet. It's true when they say that the only thing constant in life is change. The family looked incredibly happy. I was lost in my thoughts when I heard the mom call the attention of the little boy and his grandfather for picture-taking. This was something I always did and I have countless photos of SO and my Dad, but it hit me that I could never be able to do that again. It was more than I could take and I fought hard to hold back the tears.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Homegrown Strawberries

My 5 year old daughter, SO, is becoming more and more curious with each passing day. Whenever something piques her attention, you can be assured that she will ask about it. Why is the sky blue, Mom? Why are plants green, Mom? Why do you know that, Dad? How do you cook that? Where did that cake come from? Why can't I get a new toy??? LOL It's cute, a little annoying sometimes, but I tell myself it's good that she is keen to observation and is interested to learn!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Grilled Lamb Chops

After weeks of waiting, it's finally been warm enough to eat out in our backyard. So I thought I would bring out our little barbecue grill - dust and clean it thoroughly. Thankfully, I still had half a bag full of charcoal left from last year and all of the materials and tools needed. SO and MR took care of our outdoor tables and chairs, which also needed a major clean-up. And while they did that, all that was left for me to do was preparing the meat.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Leon de Bruxelles in Semecourt, France

Today was the crappiest day of the week (weather-wise). It rained all day long. Small, constant raindrops. And it just had to be on a work day where I have to walk 500 meters to and from the building. It's not much to walk, but with the rain and the constant fear of slipping on the wet floor, it's almost torturous. To cheer up, I decided to try one of the many restaurants nearby for lunch. What I didn't realize is that I would have to walk from the parking lot to the restaurant and back. I got rained on at least 4 times today and each time I was drenched. Anyone who knows me knows how much I dislike rain and it's gonna take a miracle for me not to be sick after this day!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Spaghetti Carbonara

It's my mother's birthday today. If she was still here with us, we would have celebrated her 56th birthday. It's always hard to go through days like these. Most days I am perfectly fine, but when it's a birthday or an event linking to a deceased loved one, I can't help but feel an empty space in my heart. It doesn't matter what age you lose a parent or how long it's been, it's always painful. On days like today, I like to imagine what life would be like with my mom beside me. She'd most probably be with me sitting and talking in the kitchen, preparing whatever ingredients we needed for lunch or dinner. Then later in the day, when SO would be back from school, she'd be after her asking for hugs and kisses, giving her a bath, and putting her to sleep. She was an amazing woman, an amazing mother, and most probably would have been an amazing grandmother! I haven't had a lot of vivid dreams of my mom since I lost her. And for a while, right after I gave birth, I wondered to myself if my mother was looking down at me and was proud of the mother I was becoming. In a lot of ways, I am like her, but I also have my own parenting skills. Finally one night, I remembered dreaming of her - SO was in her arms and she was standing gently cradling her granddaughter, singing sweet songs to put her to sleep, and laughing. She looked so happy with shiny eyes full of love and compassion. I never questioned myself after that. I knew she was definitely looking down at me and she was approving.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Steamed White Asparagus with a Creamy Egg Vinaigrette

June 1. The first day of what is looking to be a very busy month.  I was looking at my monthly planner and it seems like every event is being crammed into this month. What did I expect anyways. SO has only 1 more month to go in school. So there's the school bingo night, end-of-the-school program, and the teacher's retirement farewell party. July and August represent summer and almost everyone goes away on vacation in France. Companies, factories, schools, and even small shops close for a few weeks. Which means I also have to work double time to finish my goals before summer. Then there are the barbecue parties or get-togethers at work (both for MR and I). Our town activities. World cup events. My monthly catching up with friends. And many many more stuff. But I'm not complaining and I wouldn't exchange it with doing nothing for anything in the world. If I wrote it down, it means that I can do it!!!

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