I have always dreamt of visiting Paris but never have. Not for want of trying though; while I studied in the UK I did get a French visa and had a great weekend planned with my friends but course work and deadlines squashed that idea. Then there was that time, many years ago, that my family planned a vacation to Disney, Paris until my dad’s work schedule got in the way. Yet again, a few weeks ago hubby, the boys and I planned yet another trip to this “elusive” city but the French consulate felt differently about our intended visit….ah well….. C’est la vie, non?

So today, I will travel to Paris via the web! Yep! No course work, or hectic schedule to interrupt and no visa required!

The lure of the city for me is about it’s history and it’s food. Just the prospect of wandering around the streets and markets and eating proper patisseries leaves me in a happy day dream.

So here’s what a perfect day in Paris with hubby would be like…..

After a hearty breakfast filled with delicious freshly baked yummies from the infamous bakery, Du pains et des ideรฉs, we would set out for the Palais de Tokyo to soak up some culture and contemporary art.
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Filled with contemporary artistic expression and armed with newly acquired cultural knowledge, we will progress to a bistro for a light lunch of sandwiches and other nibbles before heading for le marchรฉ d’enfants rouges: a tented haven of culture and food.

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We will sample the different offerings hence the light lunch, wandering around without a care in world taking pictures and finally speaking French IN Paris!

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As avid foodies, our dinner destination has to be magnefique and memorable, so Femi scours the various options. From Les gourmets des ternes to Possilipo he’s stumped, not because he doesn’t know which to choose but simply because their websites are in immaculately written French. I am waiting to be thrilled and refuse to get involved……errrrr not to mention that I am not confident I can plough through that much French and come up with any tangible knowledge of what I may have read (or pretended to read ๐Ÿ™‚ )

Femi is the family geek; he can find solutions even where none exist so it came as NO surprise when he simple found a great translation software that sorted out his dilemma. He was even so bold as to tell the Maรฎtre D’hรดtel to consider having their restaurant Chain’s website translated by Smartling.

I was aghast! I tried to hide but alas…….I mean isn’t that a major faux pas from a cultural perspective? Anyway, since this is a dream of my ideal day in Paris, I guess it’s ok; especially since it make sense for prospective clients from around the world to be able to understand what they read on a website. ๐Ÿ™‚

Back to my day dream…..so we wined and dined and had a fabulous evening.

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And as we headed back to our hotel, all I could think to myself was, tomorrow we must have crepes for breakfast….you all know I loooooovvveee my crepes ๐Ÿ™‚ ………Oh! Yes! And we must have chocolate too!

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What was your dream vacation like? Please share, especially if you had to use sign language and a dictionary to communicate! ๐Ÿ™‚

Photo credits: all pictures used in this post were courtesy of buzzfeed.com – www.buzzfeed.com/marietelling/the-ultimate-parisian-guide-to-paris

Incredibly it is that time of year again, come this Friday, November would have rolled round and in my opinion that would mark the commencement of the end of the year.

With this period comes global festivities such as Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas and New Year not to mention end of year office parties, awards and other such celebrations. These flurry of activities raises the question of FOOD; GLORIOUS FOOD.

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Usually, in Nigeria, The Christmas holidays conjures images of rice and chicken. And if you’re adventurous you might throw in some turkey. I say, step out of the box, burn it and explore other lush options of culinary wonders.

Instead of regular jollof rice, why not try my Thai style spicy jollof rice or maybe tasty easy one pot Dafaduka, give roast potatoes a rest and tackle the amazingly fragrant rosemary oven roasted yam. So you think that you just cannot dispense with chicken, then why not try some of my chicken piglets? Or give your whole roast chicken a fresh twist by infusing it with lemon and lemon grass. Breakfast shouldn’t be left out of the fun, there are fun crepes, pancakes and the like to explore. How about my marmalade filled French toast and zingy tangerine and blueberry compote to give your taste buds an exiting start. Make fun salads with unexpected ingredients.

Here are some of my holiday picks for the upcoming Holidays.

Marmalade filled French toast and zingy tangerine and blueberry compote.

Zingy start to any day

Zingy start to any day

Ingredients for marmalade filled french toast
4 slices of fresh soft bread
2 eggs
2/3 cups of milk
3 – 4 tablespoons of butter
marmalade

How To:

Combine egg and milk in a bowl and whisk until mixture is homogenous. Set aside.
Cover one slice of bread generously with marmalade and lay the other slice over it and pinch the edges closed. Steep in the milk and egg and milk wash and set aside.

In a pan melt the butter and add the immersed sandwich. Cook on each side until golden brown.

Ingredients for compote
This compote is a blueberry and tangerine compote
1 cup dry blueberries
1 cup tangerine juice
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cups of sugar
2 tangerine wedges (garnish)
Cocoa powder (optional garnish)
Mint (optional garnish)

How to

Soak blueberries in tangerine juice for 15 minutes. (If using fresh blueberries skip this step)
Add soaked blueberries and juice into a pan along with sugar and butter. Bring to a boil and the simmer for 6 – 7 minutes until mixture thickens slightly. Stir often.

Remove membrane from tangerine wedges and scoop out the pulp.
Plate up french toast. Place compote on the plate, scatter the tangerine pulp about the plate and finish off with a dusting of cocoa powder and a sprig of mint.

First stage of satisfactionIf you would prefer a more savoury affair for breakfast then barbecue chicken and veg filled crepe is the meal to try. The best part? It makes for a great brunch for those lazy days where you sleep in and can’t be bothered with an early meal.

Savoury delight for a great start to your day

Savoury delight for a great start to your day

Recipe:
Ingredients for crรจpes with barbecue chicken filling
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons salt
1 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter, plus more for cooking crepes
Directions
Put the flour and salt and in a large mixing bowl. Gradually whisk in the milk. Whisk in the eggs, 1 at a time, and then whisk in the sugar, melted butter, and vanilla. Cover and let rest in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.Heat an 8-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Melt a small pat of butter in the pat and swirl around so that it lightly coats the surface.

Add 1/3 cup of the batter and move your wrist in a circular pattern to coat the pan with thin even layer of batter. Cook for about 1 minute or until the first side browns lightly, then flip and cook 45 seconds to 1 minute longer. Remove to a plate and repeat with remaining batter.

To make Chicken filling you need
1 ripe tomato
1/2 green pepper
1 tsp of chives
1 tsp basil
2 tbs oil
1 tbs BBQ sauce
1 cooked chicken thigh (see recipe for herbed chicken on my post Tomatoes, chicken and Mince, Oh My!
5 tbs of a cooked tomato sauce
1/2 chopped onion
1 chopped spring onion (garnish)

Heat the pan with oil, add onions and turn down the heat. Add the basil and chives then add tomato sauce, keep the heat low. Take the meat off the chicken bone and shred. Add to the pan along with BBQ sauce. Stir for a minute, add the tomatoes and chopped green pepper. Leave the heat on for another minute and turn it off.

Fill crรจpes and enjoy!

You could serve with a side of yoghurt to give the meal an extra boost.
Savoury crepes and a side of yoghurt

Savoury crepes and a side of yoghurt

Crepes and pancakes are fun and os easy to make. See BN Cuisine with Nkem: Delightful Crepes and Delicious Pancakes for more fun, easy, yummy recipes.
Worth waking up for

Worth waking up for

My Thai Style Spicy Jollof Rice is a pleasant twist to our Nigerian Jollof rice.

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Ingredients for Thai Style Spicy Jollof Rice

3 cups Basmati or Jasmine Rice

3 table spoons olive oil

1 canned chopped tomatoes

4 pieces of dry lemon grass

1 can coconut milk

1 big onion

3 cloves of garlic

2 table spoons of salt

3 table spoons sweet chilli sauce

1 table spoon dark soy sauce

2 table spoons freshly ground black pepper

2 table spoons chilli flakes (optional)

2 spring onions/ shallots (garnish)

The How:

Chop all vegetables and set aside in individual bowls.

In a pot heat olive oil and add onions and garlic. Be careful not to burn then, after about 3 minutes on medium heat, add the canned chopped tomatoes, allow to simmer for about 20 minutes, then add the coconut milk, soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce, black pepper, salt lemon grass. Simmer for another 10 mins. Depending on the instructions for cooking the rice you may have to allow the mixture cool first before introducing the raw rice. Cook until rice is tender. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Garnish with chopped spring onions after serving.

Serves 4

birthday lunchFor your chicken roast, freshen it up by adding lemons and lemon grass to the stuffing. For a step by step guide, visit my Facebook page.

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Want a different take on potatoes? Try hassel back potatoes and Marsala chicken or fragrant rosemary roasted yams and chicken

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Salads get a raw deal (lol, pun intended) but they can be delightful accompaniments to meals. With a few unexpected ingredients like Ube or flowers from chives you can really make a salad the focal point on your table.

20130923-181242.jpgTomato canapeSee recipes for these delectable salads on my post “Nigerian flair to the everyday Nigerian fair”

What festive season is complete without dessert? NONE! There are so many simple recipes that are amazing to eat and fuss free to make. My go choices are homemade no churn ice cream and my banana bread varieties. My facebook page has all the recipes you need. The ice cream was inspired by a recipe I saw on Nigella Lawson’s website and I have adapted mine to make so many delicious varieties.

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Homemade icecream and banana breadNeed I say that there is a wealth of options to explore on the gastronomical landscape.

If you would like some help with bringing some interesting variations to your dining table over the holidays, kindly contact me and I’ll be happy to provide a special one-of-a-kind service to you.

 

 

After a lengthy hiatus, I am pleased to finally have a moment to put up a post.
Incredibly the first month of 2013 is racing to an end and I thought it would be great to look back at some of my escapades in my Flab over the Christmas Holidays.
I prepared very simple everyday meals using basic ingredients but gave them a festive twist. My husband loved them and so did my son. It was always so heart warming to watch my little boy lunge at the dishes :); at least now I know that he likes my cooking….
Pictures, they say, speak a thousand words, so feast your eyes and feed your imagination.
I’ll be happy to share any of the recipes with you so please feel free to contact me.
In the words of Alton Brown, “I bid you good eats” ๐Ÿ™‚
 

Christmas Breakfast

Christmas Breakfast


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Prepping the bird


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All ready for the oven


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I made this using a recipe from Ina Garten


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The peppers are stuffed with fried rice. An interesting plating alternative


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Christmas Spread


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All ready to tuck in!!


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Let’s plate up!!


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First helpings…..there were seconds!


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Forget Eaton Mess check out this messy dessert!!


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Now this is an egg sandwich with some serious attitude!!


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Another messy delight!


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Hello 2013! The first meal of the year


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Cheers!!!!


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New Year Lunch


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Carrot Cake with a tangy twist


Burger Mania

Burger Mania

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Ready to dig in

Ready to dig in