My dearest Ladies,
Summer is in full swing and the heat is on… even in Paris! I’m here on my own for a few days to visit with my good friends Brechtje, Gwen and Renate, who are all in town. It’s wonderful being able to catch up with my girlfriends. It’s like no time has passed at all, you know? Even though we all live in different countries, the conversation picks up right where it left off. The mark of true friendship if you ask me.
When I’m not in Paris yapping away with the girls over too many glasses of wine, I’m working from home in Herblay. It’s very quiet here as mom, dad and Lucy are in Milos (lucky devils!). I don’t know about you but I find it harder to get excited about cooking for 1, so my meals here have tended to be simple and quick to prepare. Case in point, a couple of days ago I whipped up some of my tasty chickpea salad sandwiches. They were bursting with flavor and healthy to boot. I thought you might enjoy the recipe, so here it is.
This type of recipe is generally touted as a vegan substitute for tuna salad sandwiches, but I think that’s doing it a disservice. In my opinion, chickpea salad sandwiches stand on their own two feet and are absolutely delicious in their own right. The possibilities for mix-ins are endless. Experiment and see what you like best and let me know what you think.
The Man and I are enjoying our last few days in California, it’s hard to believe we’ve been here for almost two months already. There are many things I’ll miss: bike rides down the Pacific Coast, the view of the lagoon from the apartment, technicolor sunsets… and the Carlsbad Farmers’ Market.
I’ll miss the stands bursting with colorful locally grown produce, the incredible selection of hummus at the Baba Foods stand and the wonderful variety of other foods on offer. A few weeks ago I just about gave the Man an ulcer when I bought a small pot of local honey for $10. But let me tell you, it was worth every penny.
The recipe for Power Toast I want to share with you makes very good use of this top shelf honey. I created the recipe a few months ago in Barcelona when I couldn’t find anything to put on my morning toast. After scouring the pantry for odds and ends I came up with this filling, nutritious and delicious recipe. The nuts and seeds deliver great texture, while the honey offers a welcome sweet touch. A dusting of cinnamon takes it over the top. You can easily veganize this recipe by substituting agave nectar or maple syrup for the honey.
I hope you are all well!
This week I have decided to share with you a recipe that is easy, quite healthy and tasty!
I have tried it on friends and it was a winner!
As you know, the man and I have just come home from a wonderful 10 days in Belle-Ile-en-Mer. We really didn’t want to leave Brittany to come back to Paris – funny that seems to happen every time we go there! We had stunning weather that was perfect for hiking, strolling along the ports and barbecuing on the beach. The last time we were there a friend made simple BBQ of grilled sardines – a fish that I was convinced I didn’t like. The result was quite simply a food epiphany. Why had I shunned sardines for so long? How could I not know how delicious they are? Why am I so stupidly picky about food??? In any case, the same friend treated us to another sunset feast on the beach this time with sardines AND mackerels. Turns out, mackerel is delicious too. Needless to say that my life has changed forever.
Naturally, my food epiphany rapidly morphed into a food obsession. My attention quickly turned to the local canning company La Belle Iloise, which I proceeded to raid mercilessly. Continue reading
Vancouver, March 2014
There’s nothing quite like home-made bread: the smell, the taste and the real sense of accomplishment. But it can be quite laborious what with all the kneading. No more thanks to Jim Lahey from Sullivan Street Bakery!!! Here’s his original recipe which I followed from the article in the NY Times. It’s so easy that even little Norah could make it (well- one day soonish…)
Brrr…. anyone else cold?
Paris can get so damp and miserable this time of year. What better way to keep warm than with a bowl of steaming homemade French onion soup, complete with the requisite heaps of melted gruyère? I’d been promising my Man this very treat for over a year now (in my defence, you can really only make it in the colder months…) so he was thrilled when I busted out my traditional French lion-head bowls and got down to business.
I’m a big fan of onion soup and have tried recipes from a number of cookbooks over the years. I remember in 2008 when Emily came over to help me prepare a batch in the teeny tiny Parisian kitchen I had back then. The soup was tasteless and I was lucky she was there to rescue the meal. In the end, one of my French guests said it was “une vraie soupe à l’onion Parisienne” (a real Parisian onion soup) so we did well – thank you Emi! Continue reading
Life is sweet at the moment as I’ve been enjoying the beautiful island of Milos in the company of my man, mom and dad. One of my favorite moments of the day is sitting on the terrace in the morning and tucking into a simple breakfast of Greek yoghurt and honey. The view up here (as you know) is pretty spectacular and I never get tired of it.
Mom and dad buy fruit, veggies, eggs and cheese from a local farm down the road. The people are super nice but – as they don’t speak English and we don’t speak much Greek – communication can be a bit complicated. The lady laughs a lot when I don’t understand what she’s saying, which is all the time. I think an extended stay on the island would help me learn the language… a tantalizing prospect!
As I mentioned above, my man and I usually eat light for breakfast but a few days ago he decided to treat me to some eggs. We had picked some up at the local farm and he wanted to make something special with them. I suggested eggs in a hole. He looked at me like I was from Mars.