Monday, January 28, 2008

Saving the BEST for Last

So we're down to the last few remaining days in France and guess what happens? Justyn gets arrested!!

Just kidding hehe... Fabby is actually a cop in Feyzin so we had her and her cop buddy pose for some pictures.

I don't remember if this was our dinner on the same day, but I do remember that we ate these puppies during the last leg of our trip. These are called, according to Angel, Vol au Vent. They're stuffed with cheese, bechamel sauce, mushrooms and shrimp. Talk about comfort in a puffy pastry. Yum! I may try to make these someday.

So in short, that's a summary of our 3 week trip. The flight back was exhausting and I know I'll miss the people we met, but I'm glad to be back home! We've been back a couple weeks now and I tell you, I had so many cravings for authentic Asian food. I wish I had taken pictures of all the food we ate, but I kept forgetting my camera. So far, we've had Chinese, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Cambodian and Filipino food. YUM!
To everyone that hosted and fed us, merci boucoup! Special thanks to Angel, Justyn, Donoho and Ashley for putting up with my ass when I was being bitchy hehe.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Krabby Patties

Oh yes... last night we watched one of my favorite cartoons, Spongebob Squarepants. Call me juvenille, but whatever. This stuff keeps me young. On this particular episode of Spongebob, his cousin helps him with burger flipping. Well Krabby Patty flipping that is. So I thought to myself, why not make a burger with crab cakes?

Tonight, we decided to try it out. Unforunately, our grocery store doesn't have jumbo lump crab meat in bulk, so Justyn bought scallop and fake crab meat instead. I know... I wished we had real crab meat to make it authentic, but there's always next time.

So Jusytn mixed his "crab" meat with chopped basil, crackers, tiny scallops, mayonnaise, salt and pepper.

Next he shaped them into little piles to make patties.

He also bought some frozen wedged fries that had parmesan and garlic flavoring to it.

Sliced tomato and lettuce would go well with our krabby patties.

Here's him working hard.

Then you fry up the patties and bake the fries.

Unfortunately, we didn't have time to refridgerate the patties, nor did they hold their shape, so we just stir fryed the mixture and topped them on the burgers. Flavorwise, it was fantastic, but I think it would've been better if we chopped up the seafood and then formed them into patties. I may try this in the future, but I'm kinda sick of seafood at this point hehe.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

Courtesy of ( this recipe made me seriously drool. I didn't feel like going to the Asian supermarket to get forbidden rice, so instead I used rice noodles. Besides, with rainy cold weather like this, you can't go wrong with chicken noodle soup right? And why not put a Thai twist on it? This recipe is almost fool proof.

First, the ingrediants.

Here's where I deviated from the recipe. It called for 2 cups of low sodium chicken stock, but instead, I added a full big box of the broth. I also added more red curry paste. One can of coconut went in and you just stir it together until it comes up to a simmer.

Add bone-in chicken breasts (I used 3 instead of 2), the white parts of the green onion, can of diced tomatoes & finely diced red bell pepper. This comes to a simmer again for about 25-30 minutes.

I took the chicken breasts out after they were fully cooked, chopped up the meat and added it back to the pot with the rice noodles. That simmers for another 10 minutes or until the noodles were done. Then you sprinkle in the basil, green parts on the scallion and a little fish sauce.

Final product. Yum. It was so easy that I'll definitely make this again especially with this weather. Although, next time I would add some Srirachi to make it spicier.

Marseille, France

The best part of the trip had to be in Marseille. I was getting over my cold and no longer had bad food sitting in my innards. Since the Cuneo car snafoo, we had a taxi drive us from Cuneo, Italy into Marseille, France. We arrived at our host, Delilah's house in the late afternoon.

We hung out a bit to get settled before going out. Delilah took us to an old port in Marseille which had a killer view and impressive monuments. It was very scenic and romantic.

After a little sightseeing, we drove a couple minutes to a downtown area to grab dinner. What else is a must have than Bouillabaisse right? Hello? We were in the Provence region of France. Gotta have some of that. We perused all the little restaurants before settling on one that looked promising. The bouillabaisse was a touch on the salty side and I had no idea how to eat the small crab but otherwise, it helped settle my stomach and was perfect for the cold weather outside. The bouillabaisse was served with toasted croutons and rouille (sp?) with cheese.

The night was still young, so on the way into the downtown area, we passed an Irish Pub. When Justyn saw the pub he quickly exclaimed "OOH! An Irish bar! We're so going there!!". So after dinner was over, we walked over to the bar. Justyn had a couple pints of Guiness which made him very happy. For some reason, French beer is not served in pint glasses. Rather they're served in tiny fancy glasses. Justyn was happy to finally get a full pint of beer.

The trip into Marseille was a long one, so after the bar, we went home to go to bed. The next morning, I was excited. We would finally get to visit a French winery to see what the hype was all about. Delilah had set up a tour for us even though it was off-season. We had gotten there during lunch time, so the owner told us to have lunch first and then come back when we were done. The French are serious about taking their lunches even if there are paying customers at the door.

We ended up going to a restaurant that was recommended by the owner. Typical French fare, but done better and tastier. My stomach started feeling yucky again, so I got spaghetti bolognese. Justyn ordered Cordon Bleu which looked amazing. Unfortunately, I don't know where the picture went. Donoho got pizza. We had desserts and coffee and then we were off to the winery!

At the winery, called Chateau Virant, we got a quick tour of the grounds starting from the grape harvest all the way to bottling and packaging. It's no different from Napa so we weren't new to the process. After the tour, we got to taste 5 of their wines. Let me tell you, French wine is overrated. They all smelled like blue cheese and well, it's just not up to par with California wines. Sorry France, Napa pwns you n00bs. J/K hehe.. There is one redeeming thing about this winery. It just so happens to be their olive oil. Yum. High quality olive oil just does not compare to the stuff you buy at the grocery store. There is so much more depth and flavor the oil. I promptly bought a bottle of the high quality stuff right there.

We still had time to kill for the rest of the afternoon until dinner so we went to a casino to do a little gambling. Angel and I did horribly at the blackjack table right up until the last hour of playing. Go figure. Her friends arrived right when the dealer started busting like crazy, but we needed to get going anyway. Dinner was waiting.

By dinner, I mean dinner and a Caberet show! We hadn't celebrated Donoho's birthday yet, so we took him to a Caberet. Without giving too much away, I will just say that Donoho was VERY happy. I think you'll know why when you see the pictures below.

Unfortunately, since we had stayed longer in Cuneo, we had to cut our trip in Marsille short by a day. We needed to make it back before New Years afterall. You can read all about that in an earlier post :)

PS - Thanks goes out to Delilah for being an amazing host and so accomodating. We loved your cute apartment and your baby boy!