Off Somewhere Sunny!

The Seychelles

Maxence and I are leaving tonight for ten days of well deserved vacation in the Seychelles islands. The plan is to lie on the beach, sleep till noon, read under coconut trees, swim in lagoons, walk in the natural parks, search for geckos, scuba dive, marvel at the multicolored fish, and sip on drinks with chunks of exotic fruit perched on the rim of the glass.

I probably won’t be posting until we get back, but I heard that the Seychelles serve the best créole cuisine of the Indian Ocean, so stay tuned for my take on that!

And thanks to this website for the picture, which I borrowed until we bring back our own…

The Giant Pomelo

The Giant Pomelo

Another instance of blog synchronicity – there may be some pheromones at work here, who knows? Deb recently posted a picture that made me laugh, on which a pomelo looked huge, posing proudly next to a teeny tiny mini-grater. On the very same day, I had taken a somewhat similar picture of my first pomelo ever!

I enjoyed the taste very much, by the way, nice and tart, and I like tart. But I peeled it like an orange, and the skin of each section stood in the way of the enjoyment a little. Maybe I should have eaten it like a grapefruit?

Urchins

Oursins

Or : Maxence the Fearless Eater

Maxence loves sushi. It is hard for him to decide which type is his favorite (I know, I asked), but it could very well be Uni, sea urchin sushi, which is somewhat hard to find in France. So when we spotted sea urchins at the rue Lepic fish market (which we don’t like very much apart from the good shellfish selection : bad service and overpriced fish) we bought five.

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R’Aliment, une Cantine Bio

R'Aliment, une Cantine Bio

2005 Update: Unfortunately, R’Aliment is now closed — my friends and I mourn the loss. You can still however go to the sister restaurant Biotifull Place, on the 1st floor of the Printemps de la Beauté department store, at 66 Bd Haussman in the 9th.

R’Aliment is a small modern restaurant in the 3rd arrondissement, that I would label “cantine bio” : “cantine” is French for a school or office cafeteria, and is sometimes used to mean a restaurant that has a laid-back and relaxed atmosphere, and where you could see yourself having lunch or dinner everyday. And “bio” is short for “biologique”, and means “organic” in French. In the words of the owner – my translation – it serves a “healthy and balanced cuisine, flavorful and colorful, prepared with seasonal organic products, domestic or exotic”. Promising, no?

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Chocolate, Apricot, and Ginger Loaf Cake

Cake au Chocolat, Abricots et Gingembre

On Sunday afternoon, we had a few friends over for the goûter. In attendance were : Marie-Laure and Ludo, with whom we had had brunch earlier in the day ; my friend Sophie, who used to work at my company ; Stéphane and Caro, who are friends from college ; and our neighbors Stéphan and Patricia. To feed this crowd, I wanted to make something chocolate. I know, I know, I surprise myself too, sometimes.

When Pierre Hermé‘s Chocolate Desserts cookbook came out, one of the magazines I read had an article that published four of them : they don’t quote the book word for word, they just give the recipe essentials, which still makes the book worth buying, as Pierre Hermé always gives very detailed instructions. All those recipes looked great, but you have to make choices in life, as hard as they may be. So I set out to make the apricot and ginger chocolate cake.

Language note : in French, the word “cake” (which is pronounced more or less like “kek“) means not just any cake – that would be “gâteau” – but a cake that’s baked in a loaf pan.

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