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Archive for February, 2010

Good Morning yall!!!!

I’m up early since I AM GOING ON VACATION TODAY! I can’t tell you how much I need a break. This wont be a long break though… just 5 full days…. but I’m so happy I can relax and get my mind off work for a little while. The hubby couldn’t get off though so I’m taking this short vacation with one of my girlfriends, who is as desperately in need for a break as me….

Since I’m leaving the sweet hubby behind we decided to go out to dinner last night. And we had so much fun, laughing and talking together. We went to a seafood restaurant (one with lobsters and crabs playing around in the windows before you mindlessly eat them!)…. I had the all-you-can-eat raw oysters meal and the hubby had a HUGE seafood platter with lots of shells, a crab, some crawfish and shrimps… Well, I stuffed myself silly with oysters, but gave up after 36! Still pretty good, but the waiter put me to shame by telling me that one person ate 13 servings of 12 oysters! Can you imagine: 156 oysters!!!!

We were pretty “seafooded out” by the end of our meal. But we still ordered desserts. Crazy, huh? I had the “Café gourmand”: an expresso served with a mini creme brulée, a scoop of sea salt caramel ice cream and a mini cup of fruit salad. And the hubby had a “baba au rhum”, a spongy cake soaked in rum with a lot of whipped cream. They even bring the rum bottle to the table for you to enjoy as much as you want on your cake…. INSANE!!!

Well, as you can see, it was a pretty extravagant dinner!!!! We first thought it would be an interesting meal to share with our american friends when they come visit…. But then decided that all you can eat raw seafood is something you can only truly enjoy if you are born French or have lived here long enough to start swearing in French when you walk in dog doo on a parisian sidewalk. And even then, only on special occasions, that should come few and far appart…. It’s kind of like andouillette or langue de boeuf….

So american fellows, enjoy your fried seafood as much as you can! After a meal like that one, the only way I can eat oysters again is fried in a Po Boy sandwich….

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Hi everyone!

What a great sunday! Travis and I had some visitors for brunch today! Our friends Floryse and Adrien who recently moved back to Paris from London came over for brunch with their 3 month old son Louis! This was a great opportunity for me to prepare a nice meal! Floryse is, just like me, very conscious about what she eats and prefers healthy brunches at my place than incredibly rich ones at restaurants. It is indeed hard to find a healthy place to go for brunch in Paris…

We started with a fried egg and a “Tartine de chèvre aux légumes grillés” (Multigrain toast with melted goat cheddar and grilled vegetables). We all had seconds of the tartines…

Since highschool, Floryse and I have always loved yogurt or “fromage blanc” with raspberries. It was our healthy dessert of choice. So I made her these Verrines de Fromage Blanc aux Framboises:

I used the cover recipe from the cookbook my mom gave me last week. I think I did pretty good!

Ingredients:

  • Yogurt mixed with honey or agave syrup
  • raspberries
  • organic amaranth muesli (you can use any kind of muesli or granola)

I simply layered raspberries then yogurt then muesli then raspberries, yogurt, muesli then toped with a couple raspberries and a drizzle of honey! It was awesome.

Floryse and Adrien have developped a love for exotic fruits since the travelled to many exotic places like Thailand, Laos, La Réunion (french island in the indian ocean), mexico… So I couldn’t resist getting us a little tropical fruit basket with passion fruits, mini bananas, dragon fruit and a whole coconut which Travis had to saw open 😉

And without further ado, here is Baby Louis! He is so incredibly cute, smiles constantly and has the longest eyelashes I have ever seen! I am in love….

And here is the beautiful family:

Flo and Adrien, it is good to have you back!

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Thank you, Jill!

Good Morning yall!

Again, sorry for not posting a lot lately. I’ve just been so busy and tired. I need a vacation, and luckily my break is finally coming!

I woke up this morning to find the coolest thing in my mailbox! A package from Jill, my fellow blogger on Cupertino Chronicles! I knew this was coming since a few weeks ago I won her book giveaway. I was so excited and also so touched that she was ready to mail it to France for me!!!

When I opened the package, there was this cute little card:

And then the book from Country Living: “Farm Chicks in the Kitchen” … It is by far the cutest cookbook I own…

All there recipes look pretty awesome…. And the desserts list makes me drool….

And the cinnamon buns….

What I also love about this book is all the decorating tips and ideas thrown here and there…. I love the vintage/ countryish style. It reminds me of my mother in law, Kathy, so much…. She has a perfect sense of style and her house is beautiful. So when I opened this book I couldn’t help but think of her!

So cool!!! Thank you Jill for sharing this with me!!!! You made my week!

Sorry but I’ll have to keep bragging about my mother in law some more. As you could see from my previous post, I have a pretty awesome mom, myself. But I got lucky! and was blessed with an equally awesome mom in law!!!! She is quite crafty and has incredible decorating ideas. One of the last thing she made are these funky light shades:

Yeah… she made the little birds ans flowers and painted them herself. Cool, huh?

These went in her laundry room and pantry… pretty stylish!

This reminds me how much I miss Texas. I wish I could be sitting on the back porch of my in law’s house, enjoying a cup of ice tea and the great view….

Nature is really the one thing I miss living in Paris… Ahhhh…. the Hill Country is just so pretty (the pics were taken last winter by my sis in law Kristin and her husband Jeremy)

Well… Yall have a great weekend! I’m heading to the hairdresser right now for a much needed hair cut!

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As you can tell from my lack of posting this week, I’ve been pretty busy and overwhelmed lately. Consequence: I’m a tired mess, my house is a mess, and the husband is a hungry mess (the boy literaly forgets to eat when I’m not around….).

I was telling my mom the concerns I have about the influence of my work on my health and my household. While I’m aware I’m a very lucky person (I have a fantastic husband, a job that I love, and a future to look forward to both professionnally and personally), I just need to let my frustration out every now and then. Otherwise, I feel like a pressure cooker ready to explode (I know, not the sweetest analogy but you get the idea!). Well my mom has always been such a great listener. She always has the right words to sooth my fears and a “plan of action” to help me. That plan included meeting me after work yesterday afternoon, taking me shopping for a while, showering me with presents, and helping us with some work around the apartment. It felt so relaxing to have her around. Like I could finally let go of that pressure….

She stayed over for dinner, which was the perfect occasion for me to reconnect with the kitchen…

While we worked on the house, we snacked on low fat goat cheddar and organic musli crackers

Dinner later included:

  • Ostrich steak with green peppercorn sauce
  • Parsnips fries
  • Sautéed mushrooms with crushed peppers, parsley and garlic
  • A few asparagus “au naturel”
  • And for the hungry husband, I made some mashed potatoes with black truffle and olive oil.

Ostrich meat is delicious and very lean (about 2,5% fat). I also love dear meat… They are interesting alternatives to beef…. Have you ever had either?

Parsnip fries have also become one of my favorite sides. I think I love them more than sweet potato fries… You really should try them if you haven’t yet! They would go perfectly with a burger, steak or chicken tenders…. or just by themselves!

For dessert we had pistachio yogurt and strawberries. I mixed one teaspoon of organic puréed pistachios with 1/2 cup of low fat yogurt and 1/2 tsp of agave syrup, topped with stawberries. Delicious and healthy!

Among the many presents she brought, she got me this totally cute cook book: “Brunch and dinners for you and I”. Perfect Valentine’s day gift! I love it and can’t wait to try some of the recipes!

Here is a cute pic of my mom and I:

“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother.” – Abraham Lincoln

Do you also have a very strong relationship with your mother? Has she influenced who you have become?

Happy Valentines day yall! I better get some work done before the husband gets up. I promised him he’ll have my undivided attention today! And I am soooo ready for some fun time with him!

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Happy Sunday!

After this insane week of mine, I was so glad I could sleep in this morning. I can’t believe it was close to noon when I woke up. When I realized what time it was, I ran down to the market to buy some fresh fruits, veggies, fresh goat cheese and organic eggs, and to the butcher for ground turkey and a small pork loin… Travis came with me and we had a good time together, chatting about the importance of buying fresh local produce and leading a healthy lifestyle. He also told me about his last company dinner. He and his fellow workers were taken to a group cooking class! Together they prepared a full meal from scratch, along with some cool drinks. Suprisingly, he loved it! And said we should do that together some night, as a date. Who would have thought?!?

When we came back from the market, we were ready for some breakfast! I quickly made us some Banana Bread Oatmeal:

This was made with 1/4 cup oats and 1/4 cup oat bran per person, cooked in skim milk, then mixed with 1/2 mashed banana and a dash of cinnamon. Topping included pecans, dark chocolate chips, bee pollen, ground flax seeds and a little plantain banana chip. It was perfect….

After “breakfast”, I went directly to preparing dinner, which needed to cook for a while in the crockpot. I also made a big pot of Chocolate Turkey Chili for my lunches this week. I made it without beans this time. I’ve been craving this chili since I made it a couple weeks ago. I’m thinking it would make a perfectly healthy yet filling lunch along with a small salad.

Dinner was an complete invention. I often don’t have time to look up for recipes, and just make something with what I have on hand. Tonight was Crockpot stuffed pork tenderloin with turnip-apple purée.

I prepared the stuffing by first sautéing some fresh spinach then adding 1/3 cup of fresh goat cheese, salt and pepper. I split the tenderloin lengthways without cutting all the way through, stuffed it with the spinach mixture, securing ends with tooth picks. I then placed it in the crock pot along with 5 small turnips and 1 apple (halved). Cooked on low for 5 hours.

When fully cooked I removed the turnips and apple and placed them in a medium bowl. I then puréed the whole thing with my hand held blender, seasonned with a dash of salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

It thought this tasted incredible! I love how the pork tenderloin turns out so much more moist when cooked in the crockpot instead of baked. And fresh goat cheese makes everything taste so much better, in my opinion anyway…. The mashed turnips and apple went really well together. The consistency was a little watery, but that didn’t bother me. If you’d like it thicker, I believe you can add a potato or two. But frankly, I don’t really care for potatoes….

I finished dinner with a peppermint herbal tea and 2 small squares of my chili/ flaxseeds dark chocolate. Perfect dessert!

I hope yall had a good sunday and were able to recharge before the new week starts….

Good night,yall!

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Sorry about not posting for so long! My eats haven’t been as interesting and as healthy as I would have liked this week. Lots of eating out for work.

But here are the highlight of the end of this week:

Pizza night with Fanny:

I had a great night on wednesday! Pizza and a movie (The Lake House). Gosh, I love this movie…. Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock make the cutest couple! Pizza was great too. I picked up a Cured Ham and Rucola Pizza at this place called Croccante, a family owned italian restaurant in the 15th. My sister first took me to this tiny place about a year ago. It is small and cosy and feels very homey. The owner is really  friendly, his accent rough but enchanting, when like me, you like Italy so badly you wish you lived there. My friend Fanny and I were talking about living in Italy while waiting for our pizza to be made, and I was telling her that if I lived there, I’d probably give up my job, live in a small town, have a huge garden, and cook all day from my fresh produce…. Sounds fun…

On the side I enjoyed one of these goat cheese bites wrapped in italian ham. It was delicious.

Raw Honey and Peanut Butter toasts for breakfast:

This was my quick and easy breakfast of the week. More than once in the past few days I woke up too late to fix myself some nice oats or quinoa, but this is a healthy alternative that you can prepare in no time. This week I used the leftover whole wheat Hallah bread my sister made.

Delicious!

Have you ever had Raw Honey before? It is exceptionnal. We bought it at Whole Foods. This jar is the local (Texas) kind, but they also carry other brands that should be sold outside of Texas.

Quick Salad for the working bee:

Just thought I would show you what I usually eat for lunch. It doesn’t take much time to prepare but tastes delicious. I’ve always had something for salads. They often taste more interesting than sandwiches.

This contains: Romaine, red and yellow bell peppers, 1/4 avocado, parisian mushrooms (I buy them pre-sliced), reduced salt chicken deli meat, and crumbled low fat feta. For the dressing I use a balsamic vinegar glaze. Yum!

Chocolate:

Are you one of those people who needs a bit of chocolate every day? Well I sure am. However I have very good self control with chocolate. I choose dark chocolates only and never have more than 1 or 2 squares. That’s the spirit: indulge in moderation!

Since I discovered the brand NEWTREE, my life has changed. I used to always get Lindt 70% or 85% (which I love still) but now I discoved healthy variety and it’s good to have a change sometimes.

From left to right:

  • dark chocolate with whole flax seeds,
  • ginger,
  • chili and flax seeds,
  • pink peppercorn,
  • Cherry

All of them are 73% cocoa and taste amazing. My favorites are the chili and the cherry one.

Which one would you choose?

Hope you are having a great day! I’m heading to the gym before my driving class. Then I might see my long time friend Floryse, her husband Adrien and their son Louis. They are moving back to Paris after 3 years in London!!! And I am very excited to see them. Especially Louis, whom I have not yet met! They are looking for an apartment in our neighborhood!

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If you like vegetarian food but would like to stay away from overpriced raw salads and bland tofus, Aquarius is the place to go. It is a very homey and cosy restaurant in the heart of the 14th district. The food is 100% homemade and organic, the prices are more than affordable and the service is pretty great!

Tonight we took our friends Naima, Henri and Thibaut to Aquarius for the first time. Thibaut later admitted that he was scared to not have his meat for dinner. But I think they ended up really liking the place. As usual, I stuffed myself silly but couldn’t resist their delicious desserts….

We started by spliting 2 starters: the hummus and the eggplant dip. Sooo good. Especially the eggplant one. The husband who doesn’t like sharing, had the seaweed salad. With our starters, we enjoyed our Kir Royal à la Rose (Champagne with rose water): incredible!

By the time our main dishes arrived, I had totally forgotten about picture taking… I only remembered when I was almost done with my veggie lasagna with Seitan. They were very yummy and filling.

Then desserts…. the ultimate temptation…. Aquarius’ desserts are just too good and I had to have one. Luckily the husband accepted to share one because I was already stuffed.

We had the date bread pudding. My new favorite. I have to try to replicate it at home.

Accross the table, Naima had the Tiramisu. My old favorite. Yummy too…

Sorry about the bad photos!

Aquarius

40 rue de Gergovie

75014 Paris

Metro: Pernety

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