Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Road trip, food and silly kids

Warning – Heavily picture loaded post

Our BEST ever holidays are and have always been our road trips.

We started this years ago, when the kids were little, in Canada: 3 kids, aged 2, 4 and 6, 2 suitcases (Yeah! my super power is packing luggage), and 3 weeks on the road.  We had such a good time that we applied for resident visa in Canada at the end of the holiday (and we ended up in the UK, but that’s another story).

Our road trips took us to Italy, in the States (twice West coast then East coast), Japan (this was actually a train trip), Australia...

There’s something special about cramping everybody into a car, having to endure each other all day long, having discussions and/or arguments, playing road games such as “I give you the capital, name the country’ or ‘Find who/what I’m thinking about’ (I hate those games, I’m so bad at it or it’s the other way round)…

We drove from Orlando, to Tallahassee, Pensacola, Seaside, New Orleans.  Then we flew to Charleston and drove again to Savannah, Saint Augustine and back home.

Road

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Road1

Road2

Road3

Road5

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Want more pictures? Really? OK then, go to my Flickr photostream.

A few remarks:

  • about food: lots and lots of seafood.  One very special restaurant in Charleston : The Grocery.
  • about silly kids: I think this is self-explanatory.  It is IMPOSSIBLE to get a nice picture of the three of them together… and apparently it is my fault.
  • about taking pictures: I don’t’ seem to be improving… Arrgh! practice, practice and more practice…

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Heat in my kitchen

I will post more about our holiday, but since I’ve been cooking quite a bit this week (see my Instagram), I’ve decided to share a few recipes.

Instagram

Some of these recipes come from ideas in Pinterest. I did not always have had success with my Pins, but you can trust these one, yummy!… even if Victor complains about the lack of meat.

From left to right, top to left.

  1. Snap pea, watermelon and edamame salad:  sweet watermelon in my salad, I was not quite sure at first, but it turns out so good
  2. Tomato tart Tatin:  I loved the idea, the result was good, but the tomatoes kept a lot of water, and I got a ‘soggy bottom’ which is very wrong according to the Great British Bake off’s standards (Oh I would love and dread to be part of this programme)
  3. Vietnamese style chicken:  this is a tried and trusted recipe.  It comes from Donna Hay The Instant Cook book.  We all love it, it is fast and simple to make and there’s several options to adapt it.
  4. Beet, Plum and Ricotta salad: another sweet and salted recipe, from Martha Stewarts’ summer edition this time. Lovely, lovely salad. I am a great fan of beetroots with cheese and this combination works so well.
  5. Cornmeal berry sheet cake: one thing I miss most in Florida is the change of seasons (I know there are seasons here but nothing like in the North).  Anyway, soon it’s autumn and berry season and this cake seems like the perfect bake. The recipe is out of Martha Stewarts’ magazine, just follow the link.
  6. Bulgur Mozzarella with Roasted yellow beans and Avocado: no yellow beans in my version, so I replaced them by green beans. Another

I’m so happy to have visitors, I love to cook for people.  It just boosts my happiness level… full bellies and smiling faces.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

French holiday

Are you still around? What about a few pictures of our French holidays?

We went to my parents’ just after the Leavers’ day, and after the IB exam results (Alice has not posted anything about it, so I just want to say she did extremely well and she is now heading to LSE just in case you wanted to know).

So what did we do?

Montlucon in July1

We celebrated my Mum’s birthday, which happened to be very close to my parents’ wedding anniversary too. 
Side note for a friend of mine who once asked me why my hair was so white: now you see where it comes from.

Montlucon in July

We enjoyed some time in the garden, not so much though because the weather was not too nice.  But look at these flowers.

Montlucon in July2

More time together… our usual day tree-climbing… getting cooking inspiration from Elle à table.

Montlucon in July3

We went to visit George Sand’s home in Nohant.  Very beautiful house, with a great kitchen (no pictures :( ) and lovely garden.
Side note for my daughter: George Sand was actually a WOMAN from the XIXe Century.  She was a writer, a feminist, a patron of the art, a ‘maneater’ with quite a number of lovers, and a cook…

Monday, 4 August 2014

Leavers’ day – a month late

Oh my, oh my!  Almost 6 weeks since I came here last!

Well, life and holidays happened :-)

So let’s start.  Life first.  My oldest, beautiful, intelligent daughter has finished High School, or Secondary School for the British out there. And of course it was a big deal.  So at the beginning of July we, Alice, Juliette, Philippe and I went to Cheltenham to celebrate the end of an era.

The celebrations started in the morning with Prayers with the whole school gathered in the main hall.  Then followed Speech day.  The School reverend did the first speech, then she was followed by Malala.  Yes, Malala, the one!  She delivered a very powerful speech about her experience, about being a girl, about education.  What I particularly want to keep from her speech is that educating our girls is very important, essential, but nothing will really come out of it if we don’t educate our boys too.

And to finish the day, we had the BALL.  And suddenly, it hit me: MY girl who was just nice teenager when I dropped her in Boarding School two years ago, is now an adult, and a nice one with that.  I’d love to take all the credit for this, but I must thanks her school for all the support, the guidance she received over the last 2 years.

OK, enough words, let’s see some pictures now.

Leavers' party1
Prayers and Speech Day

Leavers' party2
How much can one loves before the heart explodes?


Leavers' party3
They were all so beautiful


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Half naked Brazilian guys dancing for an all-girls school!

Leavers' party
My girls, happy together.  What did I just say about heart exploding with love?

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Bangles and B’day cake

My B’day was last week.  I’m not to good at celebrating my b’day.  But this year Philippe and the girls were around, quite an unusual treat!

Anyway, my friend rang me and said we must celebrate… and she invited me to a bead workshop… I loved the idea.

So we went to the Bead Bar.  We went with our girls, friend and mother.  We had the classroom and Sonia just for ourselves.

I really like what we produced, easy wiring technic with such an impact.

wire and stoneJuliette did this set

wire and stone1

wire and stone2

And celebrating without a cake wouldn’t feel right so I brought a cake.  Somebody once told me that it’s not right to bake one’s own B’day cake, but I have so little opportunity to bake…

The recipe comes from the White on Rice Couple blog, Rustic Red Velvet cake layered with Berries.  I’m not supposed to eat cakes, I’m allergic to eggs and I need to start to take it seriously.

Red Velvet

I did only two layers and next time, I think I will use mascarpone instead of cream cheese, I’m not a great fan of cream cheese in deserts.