This week’s highlight came from France…from Normandy to be be precise. Or to be even more precise from the the Pays D’Auge. This is apple country and the chicken casserole that is the Poulet Vallée D’Auge contains both apples and Calvados, the apple brandy that is also a specialty of the region.
And if chicken, apples and Calvados aren’t enough for you how about we add a generous dollop of creme fraiche into the mix. Bon Appetit indeed.
We had a bit of a cold snap in the week so this hearty kind of meal was perfect. And for those of you in the Northern hemisphere who are still in the midst of winter, this will warm any, and all,the cockles you have.
The perfect drink to have with this would be a cider, one from Normandy would be perfect! Or maybe a wee glass of that Calvados.
This is a lovely dish and that sauce is divine!
I also made these prawn cakes from the Paleo book. They looked gorgeous but tasted only ok. I felt the restrictions of the Paleo diet really made themselves felt here. Thai food is meant to have that mix of sweet, salt, sour and heat. The recipe as it stood had no sweet in the dipping sauce. It vastly improved after I added some sugar. They do look pretty though!
The Six Week Challenges
The six weeks of “no” alcohol are nearly over. I had a bit of a set back this week. A friend of mine resigned from work and we arranged to go for doughnuts so he could tell me all about it. And somehow on the way to the doughnut shop we got waylaid by the little bar on the corner. We were halfway through our glass of vino when we started getting messages. “Where are you? The fire alarms are going off. We need to evacuate the building”. I am the fire warden for our office. Can you believe it? I never leave my desk. NEVER. And the ONE time I go off for a sneaky
doughnut pinot, the flipping fire alarms go off.
What could we do? They would have grounded the lifts, we weren’t getting back into the building in a hurry. Nothing for it but to have a second glass o’ wine.
Here is the scene of the crime – Dikstein’s Corner Bar,
We had a lovely New Zealand Pinot but ewwww…did I feel seedy afterwards. Totally lethargic, no motivation to do anything except flop on the couch and tune out in front of the telly for the entire evening. I will say more about this challenge when it is over – in just a couple of days. But after yesterday I am seriously evaluating my relationship with booze.
Still struggling with this one. I thought this would be so much easier than giving up booze. Not so. I”ll try to lift my game for the last two weeks. And this one can go back on the list for a re-do later in the year.
I’m LOVING this. And after only a week or so in, I am already seeing the difference! I am mixing it up between two different routines – one has a morning routine and an evening routine so if I get up early enough I do that one. If not, there is another where you do one 10 minute workout for the day. Really happy with this one!
The March Challenge
I have not decided what will replace the no alcohol challenge come the first of March.
I am narrowing it down:
Journalling – I used to journal all the time and love it. And I think in some ways that was my meditation. I REALLY want to get back into it.
Candy Crush – MUST. STOP. PLAYING.
Food – I feel I should replace a “food” challenge with another food challenge – I was thinking maybe a month without bread, pasta potatoes. But Jenny has inspired me to do one around food waste.
I will do what I did last month and see what jumps out at me on the morning of the first! Eeeeekkk – can you believe it’s almost March?
I have given up on The Apologist for my audiobook. I could not get into it. I had previously started Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantell and I have gone back to that.
You can keep your real Housewives…for real scandal and intrigue, give me the Tudors anyday!
But my major discovery this week was this:
Savage Lane by Jason Starr
The hot pink cover had me at hello. I like to read dark and this is pitch black! It is also pitch perfect. Nasty, nasty people doing nasty, nasty things. I’m loving it!
Here is the premise:
“Life is sublime in the idyllic suburbs of New York City. Recent divorcée Karen Daily and her two kids have, for the first time in years, found joy as they settle into the close-knit community of Savage Lane. Neighbours, Mark and Deb Berman have been so supportive as she moves on in life: teaching at the local school and even dating again.
But behind the pristine houses and perfect smiles lie dark motives far more sinister than Karen could have ever imagined. Unknown to her, Mark, trapped in his own unhappy marriage, has developed a rich fantasy life for the two of them. And, as rumours start to spread, it seems that he isn’t the only one targetting Karen”
This is the first book of his I have read but I am now keen to read more. And all of his covers from No Exit Press are equally arresting:
I am going through a phase where I want to fill my house with plants. To help with that obsession, I bought this book:
Have started following this blog:
Her instagram is also amazing!
And have been trying to find a local version of these West Elm Planters.
Now I just have to buy some plants!
That’s about it. I haven’t really done much else this week except work.
On The Menu
- Saffron chicken from Persiana
- Lamb Kebabs from the A-Z of Cooking with the tomato salad with pomegranate salad also from Persiana….and eeeekkkk. Sabrina has a new book coming out in May! I can hardly wait!
- Honeycomb Cheesecake from A Moveable Feast
- Sweet Potato cakes with Lemon Chickpeas
That’s about it for me for this week. Except for the recipe for the Poulet Vallée D’Auge – which you can find here.
What are you cooking, reading, doing this weekend? I am planning to take the dogs down to the dog beach for a play.
Have a wonderful weekend whatever you do.