Monthly Archives: July 2011
Today, I am presenting you with an amazing, mouth-watering, divine chicken recipe. You will make it once, then again, then again and again because you will never want to eat anything else once you taste this chicken.
The recipe comes, compliments of my favourite chefs in the whole wide world, Julia Child.
You may think her recipes are so hard but the way she (and her colleagues) wrote this book, hard is the last word I would use to describe them. Some of them are tedious, but not hard, and this chicken is neither tedious nor hard to make.
The recipe is called Supremes de Vollaille a Brun or (in English) Chicken Breasts Sauteed in Butter.
I cut the recipe in half to suit the cook making enough for only 2 servings.
You will need:
For the chicken…
- 2 chicken breasts (supremes en francais)
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3 tablespoons clarified butter (please see my post on clarified butter)
For the sauce…
- 2 tablespoons clarified butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Measure out 1/2 cup flour onto a plate. I use a paper plate so I can throw it out easily after instead of having to wash stuck flour off a plate.
Season both sides of both chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
Place the chicken on the plate with the flour and coat the whole breast. Shake off all the excess flour so there is only a thin coat.
Then measure out (roughly) the clarified butter into a frying pan.
Add the chicken and DO NOT TOUCH for approximately 5 minutes.
In the meantime, mince your parsley and squeeze your lemon.
Now, flip your chicken and again DO NOT TOUCH IT for another 3 or 4 minutes.
It is starting to look yummmmy. Take the chicken out of the pan to rest on a plate but keep the pan on the stove. We are going to tackle the super easy sauce next…
Add the 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan. Scrape up all those delicious chicken pieces and let the butter heat in the pan for a minute or two. It should just start turning a light brown.
Remove the pan from the stove and add in the lemon and the parsely.
Then pour this sauce over the chicken.
Et, Voila! Enjoy. You will never be the same after eating this chicken!!!
I made this one a while ago and have had the pics on my desktop waiting to upload onto this blog. Finally, I did it! I uploaded them.
This recipe is super easy, as long as you have already cooked chicken available. It’s great to make this with some leftover chicken from a previous meal. And it is sooooo easy…and fast…and delicious!!!
You will need:
- around a half cut of chopped, cooked chicken (any kind as long as it is not flavoured too much)
- 1/2 zucchini
- 1/2 tomato
- 1 cup rice (you will have leftovers but with rice that is such a great thing! You can add cooked rice to everything!)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2-3 tablespoons tamari (a soy based product)
Let’s get the rice ready first! FBF taught me this technique and I must say that I will not go back to cooking rice traditionally. I take the rice and boil it in a pot full of water, just like pasta. When it is ready I drain the water out and let it sit for a few minutes. Easy and yum!
Chop the zucchini and tomato…
Melt the butter in a pan…
Add the tomato, zucchini and chicken…
I saute them for around 10 minutes on medium heat. Then just when things start to stick to the bottom of the pan because they are nice and cooked, I add in the 2-3 tablespoons of tamari…
I cook this until most of the liquid is evaporated and the veggies + chicken are nicely coated and moist, 3-5 minutes. The tamari is salty (although low sodium, how does that work?) so you do not need to add any salt!
Serve this with the rice and yum!
Hello again! Today I am giving you a recipe for a quick, homemade pasta sauce. When you are rushing around, are you known for opening up one of those jarred pasta sauces? You may add a few veggies, maybe some meat, mix in some pasta, and call it a day (I do it to!). But today this will all change! I am presenting you with an incredibly easy and fast pasta sauce, made for 2 or 3 servings. You can really modify it anyway you like but I am showing you the way I made it. I just used the vegetables I had on hand, and you can to!
You will need:
- 1/4 red onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 zucchini
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups canned diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder
- pasta of your choice
Begin by preparing your veggies. Chop the onion finely, mince the garlic and dice the zucchini.
Heat the olive oil in a pan on medium. I am using a cast iron skillet for this recipe because I believe it cooks fast with a really even temperature. In this case (every recipe is different) it provides the best results! This one has been well used!
I start with sautéing the onions for about 3 minutes until they are soft but not burnt.
Next I add the garlic and then the zucchini.
I saute this veggie mixture for about 5 minutes…In the meantime. I use my hand-blender and blend the diced tomatoes. Do not blend them too finely though. Chunks are good!
Then I add this to the pan.
In a separate bowl, I measure out the oregano and chilli powder.
I add these into the sauce. I let the sauce simmer while the pasta cooks (about 10 minutes) stirring every now and then. By the time the pasta is cooked, the sauce should have lost a lot of its liquid and be nice and thick. Season the sauce with salt and pepper at this stage.
Et, Voila! I serve it over my favourite pasta!
Hi Everyone! I have decided to start a section of this blog dedicated to my experience in learning French!
Today I want to touch on the topic of reading French books.
I have read 3 since I started learning French 6 months ago and my experience reading them has changed dramatically since I picked up the first book Le Petit Prince (highly recommended).
Reading is a great way to see all that grammar you have been learning, being put to good use. It is also a great way to build up your vocabulary.
Here is my 2 cents on reading on French.
Begin with books for children. I am taking intense private tutoring and therefore have decided to challenge myself and choose short novels rather than baby picture books. Your level of French and the pace you decide to learn at will really determine this. Since I have a FBF and a French tutor, I can get away with reading the short, children’s novels and still understand them. I am also dedicating hours upon hours a week for studying French. After I completed Le Petit Prince, I thought I was ready to start a “big girl” novel and tackle L’Alchemiste. I had just finished reading it in English and thought it would be a breeze. I thought wrong. After struggling for a week or two on the first chapter alone, I knew I had to revert back to the children’s novels. I was not giving up on a great challenge but rather becoming humbled by the actual difficulty in learning this new language. It’s not easy.
I have learned a lot since Le Petit Prince, mainly how to get the most out of reading these books. When I began, I would quickly read out the sentences and ignore the grammar I didn’t know. I would write down the words I didn’t know, but would never write down the words I assumed I knew nor would I write them down more than once if I knew I had written it just before. Another thing I used to do was try to translate and read word for word. I don’t know how to explain this in any other words but YOU CAN’T. There is no possible way to translate French to English word for word and have the exact same sentence. French and English are different languages and have evolved in incredibly different ways.
Here is what I do now. This technique is incredibly helpful.
- Read through 2 pages and write down every single word I do not know. Even if I have to repeat it I will write it down again. Repetition is a good thing in learning a new language.
- Before moving on to the next 2 pages, I translate these words. Sit by a computer and use wordreference.com. If you use a dictionary, all that flipping will frustrate you. If the word is a conjugate of an infinitive verb (example: marches comes from marcher), I write down the infinitive, than the translation.
- Then highlight the words that are common and could be useful to you.
The list and translations plus the highlighted words that I have put in bold because I do not have a highlighter (I am not adding accents, sorry if this bothers you):
- degringole (degringoler)-to race down
- repart (repartir)-to leave again
- mugissent (mugir)-to roar
I really think that words 4, 5, and 7 will be words that I use regularly.
- After the translating. I go back and read the 2 pages with the translated words in hand.
- If I do not understand something grammatical in a sentence, I write it down to ask my French teacher later. (For example: what the heck does “Tu n’as qu’a essayer” mean?)
- I continue this every 2 pages.
- At the end of the chapter, I write a list of all those highlighted words and review them.
TIP: When you read, instead of trying to translate literally just try to grasp the overall meaning behind the sentences.
This, I say, is a great and entertaining way to learn French! It feels so awesome to understand and enjoy a story written in a totally different language!
Here is my picture of the day! I love how there is a tiny little bird in the middle of the huge birds, just eating away, minding his own business, not intimidated by the big birds at all…
I imagine that if a shred of doubt as to whether or not he should be there, popped up as a thought in his mind, he would simply respond with, “It ok! I know kung fu!”
I was in Toronto yesterday with Katherine again! After we shopped and shopped and shopped for the perfect dress for my sister’s wedding, we were naturally tired. Exhausted! We took the back door out of the Eaton centre to rest outside in the beautiful weather and I am so glad we did this because we found the Labyrinth of a Million Dreams!
Okay, it wasn’t exactly the Labyrinth of a Million Dreams, but it was a labyrinth none the less, and a very interesting one at that.
It started when I saw a women walking strangely around this huge cobble-stone circle. “What is she doing?” I thought to myself, “She looks so lost!”
In front of the circle there are two signs explaining what it is and what to do with it. Katherine ran over to it and then ran back, “It’s a labyrinth!” she excitedly exclaimed, “What? A labyrinth?! I love labyrinths!” I replied. This is a true story, I actually do love labyrinths! I went to Hawaii this past December, and there too, was a labyrinth similar to the one we were facing in front of us.
The labyrinth in Hawaii was painted on a wooden floor. This one was cobblestone. A path is created in their design. You are to enter the labyrinth with a question or intention and by the time you have completed walking it, you should have some sort of answer. It’s very meditative.
I was soooo tired though. Walk the labyrinth? Umm, ummmmm. The Katherine said, “It originated from France.” Call me obsessed with that country, but that was the necessary push to walk the thing.
Here is the entrance…
I went in with a question and an intention. I was putting a lot of faith in this walk way or sorts.
What is interesting is that halfway through, right when I asked my (personal) question in my mind, I looked up and this is what I saw…
We finished walking the labyrinth and Katherine said to me, “Did it answer all your questions?”I wasn’t sure if it had because I was missing FBF and part of the intention was that if this thing really worked than he would call me at the end. No phone call, oh well, it was a little hockey anyways.
We grabbed our stuff and ventured back into the mall to make our way back home. A soon as my mind left the thoughts of the labyrinth (like three minutes after we left it) my phone rang. It was FBF!
I packed my suitcases…and then I unpacked them. I did this as a test run to see if all my stuff would fit and all the stuff did fit! I can’t buy anything else until I leave, though, or the suitcase will become too packed. Would I suggest doing this yourself if you were moving to another country? Well, if you have a quiet evening home like I did then why not. It puts a “reality” perspective on moving. I am really leaving 90% of my stuff behind and voyaging into an unknown land with the other %10. It’s like a brand new start and only my essentials are coming with me!
If you would have asked me what I was bringing to France 3 or 4 months ago, I would have listed off my entire book collection, all my DVDs, CDs pictures in their frames, all my files from my filing cabinet (you never know when those will come in handy), all my clothes and shoes (not only half as I am bringing now), and more…
This little exercise was humbling to say the least.
Here is the suitcase, I kept in mind that there are a few more items to add to it…
And the carry-on reserved solely for shoes (haha, pun…)
I am so excited to leave! I wish that I was close enough that I could have left them packed.
I started this post with a top ten bucket list but I could only get to 7 before I ran out of ideas. I like to take life more in a flowwww rather than a plan. Reaching the age of 107 was on that list, so after I wrote that I figured that anything could be possible, why narrow it to ten.
So, instead I present to you my top ten wishes. Like wish upon a star kind of wishes. The things I have always wanted and wished for…
- To one day be able to walk into any store and buy any dress or pair of shoes I want without looking at the price tag
- To be able to purchase plane tickets anywhere in the world, anytime I want
- To make money off of doing what I love (like writing on the topics I love!)
- To live happily ever after with FBF
- To live until I am 107
- To have a beautiful, fully applianced kitchen where I can buy fresh ingredients and cook every single day
- For world peace (no joke, I am seriously tired of the freaking violence going on in the world and I am terrified of guns)
- To be able to speak French fluently, all the time
- To be able to attend and pay for the patisserie program of my choice, or any other educational program of my choice
- To be vibrantly healthy my entire life
I have to say, it was mighty hard coming up with 10 wishes. It was like my brain categorized certain things as impossible and would not let me access my truest desires…
In anticipation for France, I reduced my wardrobe nearly by half. Ok, that is a slight exaggeration. I reduced it by…a lot.
It was traumatizing to say the least but I went into it with a game plan: Anything ripped, that I haven’t worn for a while, that doesn’t match anything else in my wardrobe, not the right size, dated, and damaged was not making the cut.
Here are the clothes that lost the battle for a spot in my suitcase (can you believe I can only bring one!!!):
Goodbye old, pilled sweaters, unflattering tops and my prom dress
Here are the clothes that made the cut. Keep in mind I have another full drawer of clothes that also made the cut:
A measly little pile.
Although this may have been traumatizing, every little step that I’m doing for France makes me one step closer to being there. I would say goodbye to many more clothes if I had to, to get to France.
Today I had a very up and down day. I am getting ready to end it soon (by going to sleep) but first I reflected upon it. One thing I realized is that life is definitely a lot simpler than I make it seem.
I have a little quote box in my bedroom where I can pick out little pieces of paper with great quotes on them and today Ithought it necessary to pick one.
I picked the perfect quote!
“I slip back many times, I fall, I stand still, I run against the edge of hidden obstacles, I lose my temper and find it again and keep it better. I trudge on, I gain a little, I feel encouraged, I get more eager and climb higher and begin to see the widening horizon. Every struggle is a victory.”-Helen Keller
I thought it was astonishing that I grabbed a quote that was exactly what I needed to read after the kind of day I have had, so I picked another one to see if that coincidence would happen again. It did! Check this one out…
“If you lose today, win tomorrow. In this never-ending spirit of challenge is found the heart of a victor.” -Daisaku Ikeda
Enough said. Have a good night my readers! I’ll be back tomorrow with…it will be a surprise