Tag Archives: Traditional dishes

Mamma Mia! Here we go again…

“Who doesn’t want a world where everyone bursts into song and dance?!”

What goes well with a rainy and cold day?! Warm socks, comfie pullover, turmeric tea, music and hair in a bun! That’s my comforting routine when it is cold outside and all I want to do is either writing, drawing, reading or watching TV and no that does not make me a nerdy!!! So for those who are in the mood for a “lift me up” movie session, may I suggest something a bit different like a musical ūüôā

I just love musicals! Probably because it combines 2 arts I really enjoy: Music and Dance to tell a story in an emotional way!

I saw a few on TV: West Side Story, Grease, My Fair Lady… but of course it is not the same as seeing a real performance on stage with the orchestra, the dancers, the crowd, the magic in the air! So it all really started a year before I moved to Australia. At that time, I was living in London. I would not compare London to Broadway but when it comes to musicals, I must say this is the place to be, at least in Europe! So I had the luck and pleasure to see on stage: The phantom of the opera, Les mis√©rables and Mamma Mia and I absolutely adored each genres and that’s how it all started!

Dressed like my mum when she was a hippie dancing on Abba’s songs

I must confess I have a sweet spot for Mamma Mia, probably because somehow it makes me think of my mother’s youth: the music (Abba group), the clothes (flares jeans, high boots, belly out and colourful tops) and the hippie style. So I could not resist going to the movies and watch the film ! What I liked about it: ¬†It‚Äôs the story of a passionate, strong and independent young woman who after graduating, starts to travel first to Paris and then follows her heart¬†and her desires freely despite the obstacles, and successfully realises her life plan in Greece! It is a story about different sorts of love ‚̧ , friendship, starting over and discovering your true self. ¬†It ¬†is ¬†a ¬†recurrent theme ¬†that ¬†many ¬†foreigners ¬†can ¬†relate ¬†to ¬†when ¬†starting ¬†a ¬†new ¬†life ¬†abroad!

On the jetty at Semaphore beach when we went crabbing: definitely something very new for all of us!!!

One ¬†of ¬†my ¬†favorite ¬†moment and song in the movie is ¬†“I ¬†have ¬†a ¬†dream” when she finds this old house in Greece and she can see the potential it holds and decides to purchase it and renovate it to transform it successfuly in a hotel. I like those moments in life when you feel passionate about a project of yours and nothing can stop you, you have a vision, you know it has the potential to work, you just go with your heart and you put all your efforts into it, when you know you know!

In love with this picture from Greece I found in a Op shop shortly after I watched Mamma Mia ūüôā

I also like the fact that this musical takes place in Greece, I have never been in this country but it is definitely on my list. I m particularly keen on the¬†Greek islands and their glorious beauty of deep blue waters and white and blue houses. I want to get lost into the beauty of Santorini ant its whitewashed houses perched on the cliff of the volcano. I want to wander around and visit its historical sites, gazing at Athen’s necropolis and its stunning landscapes and architecture. And as the enthusisatic foodie I am, I want to taste a flavorful Moussaka (eggplant, minced lamb, tomatoes and B√©chamel), enjoy a Greek salad with some delicious feta and some¬†scrumptious skewered meat served in a pita bread with tzatziki: that is exactly what I intend to do!

In the meantime, if I can’t go to Greece, Greece will come to me… luckily I know a nice Greek caf√© in Adelaide with withe walls and a blue door, just like in Mamma Mia, and maybe my next blog mission will be to find a Greek restaurant as well, because on a cold and rainy day, a delicious Moussaka would be the perfect comforting Autumn dish ūüėČ

Sunny one so true, I love you!

For¬†an Asian street food¬†vibe, Sunnys’shop located on Prospect road will blow your mind.

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Spring time is the perfect time for some street food vibe!

Prospect is full of surprises and today was no exception. It is so closed from the CBD, it takes me only 35 minutes to get there with my bike (and I go very slow) so no excuses! ¬†Each time I go, I discover a new shop or a cafe that I¬†fancy a lot! And today Sunnys’ shop took my heart away ūüėČ

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“I got a pocket, got a pocketful of sunshine, take me away, a secret place, a sweet escape…” at Sunny’s place¬†ūüėČ

As I parked my bike, I could not help noticing this lovely dark pink and blue frontage. It reminded me a bit of the cafes and restaurants in the Grenadines islands. It felt so welcoming with these cute and lively colours, a holiday spirit was floating in the air.

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Soft inside, crunchy outside. God I love Bahn Mi ‚̧

I ordered a chicken lemon grass Bahn Mi ‚̧ It was DELICIOUS! In a very quick and short way, it is a vietnamese baguette sandwich but in an authentic¬†and poetic way it is so much more. A Bahn Mi is the fruit of love of two distinct civilisations, the Viet and the French.¬†For the history note, France colonized Vietnam and Cambodia forming the Indochinese Union in 1887,¬†which was the start of the French influence in Vietnam for the next 70 years to come! Let’s say that the French baguette was part of the happy legacy from ¬†that time. ¬†So when you think of a Bahn Mi sandwich, you have to picture¬†a fresh and crunchy French baguette filled with the colourful beauty of Vietnam: Fresh herbs, carrots, chili, a bit of mayonnaise and then you can add chicken, roasted pork or meat. It is so tasty and so aromatic, it is in my opinion the best sandwich!

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A lovely gem born in Prospect!

Sunnys’s Bahn Mi is wonderfully fresh and tasty, soft inside, crispy outside. The staff is super ¬†friendly and the vibe in this little shop is soooo good. I checked the menu and there are so many dishes I wish I could try because everything looks so yummy and the price is reasonable. I wish next time I turn up to this restaurant, they will be serving Vietnamese coffee (my new found passion)!

So all in all a really good experience and now I can’t get this song out of my head:

“Sunny, thank you for the sunshine bouquet,
Sunny, thank you for the love you brought my way
You gave to me your all and all,
Now I feel ten feet tall,
Sunny one so true, I love you” – Boney M.

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Sunnys Shop

106b Prospect Road

Prospect Adelaide 5082

Tel (08) 8420 08 88

www.sunnyshop.com.au

Good morning Vietnam!

At the moment, it seems that I have a thing for¬†vietnamese food and I can’t get enough of it. When you think of it, it is not that surprising, Vietnamese and French cuisine have history.

It all started in¬†the 17th century with the arrival of Catholic missionaries in Vietnam. But it did not stop there, then¬†France colonized Vietnam and Cambodia forming the Indochinese Union in 1887 which was the start of the French influence in Vietnam for the next 70 years to come! So naturally when you stay that long in a country, you leave pieces of yourself in several ways: be it architecture, culture, words, names and of course cuisine. I find it fascinating to discover¬†(and taste) the French influence on Vietnamese cuisine (the tasty baguette sandwich called Bahn Mi is one of them). For sure it is different comparing to what I am used to in my home country, and sometimes it is hard to make the link¬†between the two countries but there is something magic about all these flavorful dishes¬†and I can’t help being attracted to them (maybe it is in my DNA).

For those who know me well, I often go to Central Market in China Town. Most of the times to buy herbs or lemon because the quality and the price is much better than what you would get in the supermarkets and also the atmosphere is really nice and friendly.

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In the mood for vietnamese food ūüôā

Last time, I went there, I remember it was a beautiful day and as I was feeling a bit hungry I thought I should pass by Little NNQ and see if it was not too crowded. This is a vietnamese restaurant and it is quite popular so it can be tricky to get a good seat sometimes. This place has been recommended to me by John’s vietnamese friend, his name is Phong and lives in Adelaide (and John is American from California who happens to know a lot of people everywhere because he has traveled and worked in so many countries). Luckily the odds were with me and there was a lovely table by the window and the friendly waiter told me I could sit here. As it was a beautiful day, the large windows were opened so it was like I was sitting at the terrasse outside watching people passing by, cars honking and for a minute imagining I was in another country, in a galaxy, far, far away…haha. As things were going well for me, I decided to continue playing my luck and I asked the waiter to choose his fav dish for me. Besides, as I felt adventurous, I opted for the Vietnamese coffee. Normally I’m not the kind of coffee drinker type (I am more into chai or matcha latte) but I’m always happy to try new things and this was the opportunity to get the true¬†vietnamese experience… besides one coffee can’t hurt, can it¬†?!

My dish was a combination noodle salads. It was very colourful, tasty, crunchy and pretty healthy I believe. So I really enjoyed it and I really recommend it! But I must confess, my favourite part was definitely the Vietnamese coffee as I’ve never had this kind of experience before. By the way, I apologise I have not a lot of pictures to demonstrate the technique but I think I was so overwehlmed by this experience that I completely forgot to document it, my bad¬†!

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Time to relax and catch up as the coffee is slowly dripping into the condensed milk!

First the coffee was served in a slow drip filter tool. So basically, the coffee was slowly dripping into the condensed milk in the glass just below it (one drop at a time, so it is a long process). The waiter explained to me that in Vietnam locals would use this time to chat and catch up with their friends while waiting for the coffee to fully drip through.¬†Once it is finished, all you have to do is to transfer¬†the content in¬†a glass full of ice cubes, and enjoy your ice coffee with a straw. ¬†So basically drip coffee is the way Vietnamese people create and enjoy conversation with their friends or relatives. I ‚̧ the concept, I must say and I can’t wait to renew this experience with my friends next time!

Just so you know the Vietnamese coffee has a strong taste (always Robusta, twice as strong caffeine wise, so be prepared to jump like a kangaroo after that ). Once again, it is one of the many heritage from the colonists period. The French introduced coffee to Vietnam in the 1800s, they also brought with them condensed milk as they could not get fresh milk in Vietnam and they also brought phins which is a slow drip filter that sits on top of a cup. Since that time, it has become a tradition in Vietnam to enjoy coffee this way. It is more than just coffee, it is an invitation to relax and chat. ¬†I think that the combination of the bitter coffee beans allied with the sweetness of the condensed milk and the cool refreshing kick of the ice cubes just work perfectly! I think I have officially became a Vietnamese coffee lover ‚̧

So next time you are in the mood for Vietnamese food, why not go and try Little NNQ with some friends and indulge yourself with a Vietnamese coffee while chatting remaking¬†the world. Vietnamese coffee will boost your body while relaxing your mind, call it magic or mystique, the choice is yours ūüėČ

Little NNQ

125 Gouger Street

Adelaide SA 5000

http://www.nnq.com.au/littlennq/

Chez John

“Breakfast is my speciality. I admit it is the easiest meal to cook, but I make everything with a twist!” – Hugh Jackman

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Chez John : the best American Breakfast in town

Breakfast is my favourite meal during the weekend and luckily Adelaide offers a wide range of nice places¬†where to enjoy the most important meal of the day ‚̧

I tried many places since I arrived in Adelaide but the restaurants that have, in my opinion, the best breakie in town are: East Terrace Continental, The Royal Oak, The Findi and the Original Pancake kitchen!

But as my grandmother would say, nothing beats an homemade meal and breakfast is no exception! I must say, when it comes to breakfast, my friend John (from California) masters the art and I am a huge fan of his American breakfast! You would think that as a French person, I stick to cocoa, baguette, butter, jam, croissant and pain au chocolat but I must admit that since I moved abroad I changed my breakfasts’ habits. Now I really appreciate a nourishing and salty breakie to kick the day!

John’s American breakfast is the BEST and even the restaurants can’t beat the quality of his cuisine. Generally he makes: scrambled eggs, homemade baked beans with a twist, rosemary potatoes, portobello mushrooms, grilled/garlic tomatoes, crunchy bacons and toasts! Breakfast is served with a lovely English breakfast tea with some milk and sugar. It is absolutely divine and I really adore¬†it! It smells so good and I like the colours and the texture, it is absolutely fantastic. Pictures don’t do justice to it so you will have to take my word for it!

You can always look on the internet and try to find “chez John” to taste his amazing American breakfast but I am afraid it is a very exclusive address and if you want to get invited, you will have to become friends first and move to California¬†ūüėČ

That sushi is a diva!

If you happen to be a foodie of great diversity like me, you should definitely join our English cooking class at the North Adelaide Community Centre!

There is always something nice to taste, a new flavour to discover or a new technique to master while learning English!

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Marjorie (from Colombia) mastering the sushi art

Today was a very special day because there was the famous South Australian Life magazine covering our international cuisine event! Actually they wanted our dishes¬†to appear in¬†their food and wine section‚Ķ. wow… can you believe it, our dishes are making the news!!!

So we did our best to represent our countries with food we really love! I think we did a great job and we enjoyed plates from different part of the globe:

РYosuke (from Japan) made delicious sushis for us! The tuna and the salmon came from Adelaide Central Market and it was very fresh and tasty! I think all the eyes were turned on this piece of art and we were all more than welcome to give it a try. It was not that easy and rolling a sushi is a real technique! Actually Marjorie (from Colombia) and Balbina (from Spain) were really good at it!

РJessica (from Mexico) cooked amazing chicken tacos with a fabulous fresh guacamole: OMG it was divine! I love the colours of Mexican cuisine, it is so lively! It is like the party is already starting in  your plate before it has even reached your mouth.

РMarjorie (from Colombia) prepared some vegetable roots with cheese and tomatoes/onions sauce. Somehow the sauce reminded me of the taste of one of our traditional dish from South of France called: ratatouille.  What a lovely surprise I must say!

– Pegguy (from Taiwan) made a beautiful Taiwanese beef noodle soup, such a comforting dish! The beef was literally melting in my mouth and the flavour was absolutely lovely!

– and I (Virginie from France) cooked a “tarte au thon”. Basically it is a kind of quiche made with mustard, tuna, tomatoes, cheese and cream! It can be a starter or a main dish with a salad… depends on how hungry you are! I got the recipe from my grandmother and it is always a hit when I make this dish. My family and friends absolutely love it, and so do I ‚̧

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English mixed with cooking class: a tasty concept!

As always, this class was good fund and a great success! It was a wonderful opportunity to taste some lovely dishes and bond with each other ūüôā

Soupe √† l’oignon au bleu d’Auvergne – Onion soup with blue cheese

“A classic and comforting recipe from the French countryside that will please your palate during winter, especially after an outdoor walk in the biting cold.”

Ingredients:

 For 4 people:

¬†‚ÄĘ 400 g onions

¬†‚ÄĘ 2 liters of chicken stock

¬†‚ÄĘ 70 g unsalted butter

¬†‚ÄĘ 150 g of Bleu d’Auvergne (blue cheese)

¬†‚ÄĘ 4 slices of country bread

¬†‚ÄĘ Salt

¬†‚ÄĘ Coarse salt

¬†‚ÄĘ Ground black pepper

Method:

¬†‚ÄĘ Peel and chop the onions.

¬†‚ÄĘ Melt the butter in a large saucepan add the onions and gently brown over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spatula.

¬†‚ÄĘ Then add the chicken stock, seasoned with a pinch of coarse salt.

¬†‚ÄĘ Stir and bring to a boil and allow to simmer about 1 hour over low heat. Stir from time to time during cooking.

¬†‚ÄĘ Meanwhile mash the Bleu d’Auvergne (blue cheese) in a bowl with a fork until you obtain a creamy texture.

¬†‚ÄĘ Lightly toast the slices of country bread and while still warm, spread the cheese on the top of them.

‚ÄĘ Once the soup is cooked, remove half of the volume of onions with a skimmer or a slotted spoon. Let the mixture cool down and put it in the blender to obtain an onion puree.

¬†‚ÄĘ Then put the onion puree back into the saucepan, mix, adjust seasoning to taste adding salt and pepper and mix well again.

Presentation: 

Serve this traditional dish in preheated soup plates. Place the toasted bread spread with bleu d’Auvergne on the side ready to be immersed in the soup.

Top tip:

A little trick to avoid ” crying ” while mincing onions: use a sharp knife! Actually a bad knife crushes the pulp of onion instead of slicing it – it spreads a fine mist of onion juice in the air followed by a river of tears!

If you can’t find Bleu d’Auvergne, you can use a local blue cheese as well, in that case choose a creamy and flavourful one.

Bon app√©tit ūüôā

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Kellie, who is the North Adelaide Community Centre coordinator, asked me to take part to a good cause by writing a recipe from France. The idea was to create a “City Community – favourite soup recipes” book in order to raise money for the Welcome Centre of South Australia –¬†http://www.welcometoaustralia.org.au/¬†– so they can replace a trailer which was recently stolen from them! The goal was to obtain a collection of recipes that reflect a little bit about our family and heritage. I really liked the initiative and I was happy I could help! I chose to translate this recipe into English because I originally come from Auvergne and I liked the idea that ¬†“Bleu d’Auvergne” (a typical blue cheese from this region) was part of this comforting dish. My¬†favourites French cheese are: Bleu d’Auvergne, Fourme d’Ambert (another blue cheese), Cantal, Saint-Nectaire, Salers and Gaperon – all made in Auvergne haha!¬†Luckily¬†some of them can be found at the Adelaide Central Market which is good when I am missing French cheese.

On the rocky road again

Easter time is all about chocolate and you would think that now you can wait until christmas for your next chockie shot… but can you really get enough of those little treats?! I really doubt it!

Luckily for me, I live in Adelaide: Haigh’s chocolates paradise! Forget about Willy Wonka’s factory because here it’s not just a story, it is the real thing! They have just celebrated their 100 years anniversary and it is too bad they did not organise a chocolate lottery for this special occasion ūüė¶ Anyway,¬†I am in love with their chocolates but the one that drives me literally crazy is: Milk Rocky Road! I could eat it all day and then probably cry a river because my jeans don’t fit anymore. What can I say, it is my secret weakness, I must say they are¬†absolutely delicious! Imagine¬†cubes of light vanilla marshmallow mixed with cherries, sultanas and almonds, tossed in chocolate. The first time I tried them was¬†in September 2014, only a couple of days after my arrival to Australia and I still remember the flavour on my palate ‚̧ what a delightful¬†surprise when you think that I am not a big fan of marshmallows!¬†I¬†am not sure you can find “Rocky Road”¬†in France, well I have never heard about them before. On the contrary, it seems to be easy to find those little treats in Australia, Great Britain or America (with slightly different variations).

So if like me you are a chocolate lover and you want to know¬†what Rocky Roads taste like, then here is an easy recipe from the famous Chef Jamie Oliver himself! In this recipe, he uses dark chocolate (healthier option) but I prefer the non diet friendly version with milk chocolate ūüėČ

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fruit-recipes/rocky-road-kill/#owepoyEMDyxbMiaw.97

My tip: should this not be easy¬†for you to find golden syrup in your country, I think it is ok to¬†use substitutes such as Agave syrup, Maple syrup or molasse. Careful with the dosage since you don’t want the result¬†to be too sweet. Please feel free to let me feedbacks in the comments section as I am curious to know how it went, if you liked it and if you have any tips to share.