Saturday, 17 October 2009

On Exhibition: Vogue Covers

Walking around Paris can, sometimes, be like going to an open-air museum. This afternoon, I came upon an installation along the pedestrian walk, starting on Avenue Franklin Roosevelt, near the Champs Elysees/Clemenceau metro station...

featuring the Vogue covers, going back to the 60s. Marilyn Monroe was a standout.

Some cover themes were artsy.

And you guessed it! This warholized picture of Caroline of Monaco was one of my favorites.

Kate Moss made it in one of the more up-to-date covers in 2009.

As I continued my walk, I got to the Champ Elysees rond point and walked around to enjoy the fall garden pattern of mums...all around. This exhibtion slowed me down, but it was a most welcome sight. Bon weekend!

Friday, 16 October 2009

In the Kitchen: "Coco Chicken with Green Beans" served with "Curried Rice with Sweet Peas"

The other day I bought a chef’s jacket. What was I thinking? I was hoping that with the jacket on, I will turn out better tasting meals…and I think it does! Last night, after a rainy afternoon, I was looking for comfort food. I came up with “Coco Chicken with Green String Beans” served with “Curried Rice with Sweet Peas.” These were so easy to make. Want to try something new?

1 whole chicken 1 1/2 kg. – (I removed the skin to lower cholesterol content) cut up into serving pieces
1 small piece of ginger, cut into julienne strips, equal to about a half tbsp.
1 onion, chopped
Throw in all these 3 ingredients into a medium-size pot and mixed them up. Add –
¼ c. of water
1 ½ tsp. of salt, pepper to taste
A dash of Pepperoncino ( a bit spicy) or you can use a fresh, spicy pepper
1 tbsp of curry powder (medium strength)
2 cans of coconut milk, 13.5 fl. oz each (400 ml. each)
Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer at low heat for about 45 – 50 minutes. keeping the pot covered at all times.
Then, add 2 handfuls of frozen, green beans ( I threw in the beans to make it a complete one-meal dish)
Cook for another 10 minutes, with pot covered.

I don’t normally measure my ingredients as I just throw in everything together and do a taste test. I also use my hand to measure, if ever, to approximate some proportions…but this time, I measured accurately so I could give you an idea. In the last 30 years, you can imagine that I never cooked the same dish the same way…it is fun to cook this way, because then, I can change this or that and make it look like it is another recipe – innovative - it does not get boring.

Using a rice cooker, put in the following ingredients:
2 cups of brown rice (use cup provided with the rice cooker) rinse. * When using brown rice, my ratio is ¾ brown rice to 1 cup measurement; with white rice it is 1 to 1.
1 tsp. dehydrated onion or 1 tbsp freshly chopped onion
1 tsp. salt, pepper to taste
1 tbsp. curry powder
1 tsp. cooking oil ( not olive oil – I learned in Turkey that you are never to subject olive oil to heat, as the change in its properties because of the heat makes it toxic)
Switch on the rice cooker. When the boiling water has almost subsided, throw in ½ c. (or more) of frozen sweet peas. Leave to cook for another 5 minutes once the cooker goes to the “Keep Warm” mode.

The vegetables and the brown rice make this a high-fiber meal. Let me know how it turns out. Happy cooking!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Gardening: Roses 101

I used to spend hours gardening. I started a rose patch of single-stemmed roses, and then added some cluster type roses around the perimeter of my garden. Fertilizing at the right times was a key factor in having them produce lots of flowers during the blooming season. I learned so much more about roses when I took a tour of L’Hay-les-Roses in Val de Marne.
It was once privately owned by Jules Gravereaux. He started his rose collection in 1894. Jules used to do his rose experimentation in this house, which served as his laboratory.
This is the center-front of the garden area. What a lovely view.
Climbing roses trained around metal pylons
Climbing roses trained on metal arches
Rose vines on wooden canopy. The heaviness of the flower clusters need to be taken into consideration when planning to use them as arching vines.
Rose Variety: Veilchenblau - Bright and bold colors are contributions from the Chinese roses that were cross-bred with the long, single stem roses.
Rose Variety: Toby Tristam - These little roses look like cherry blossoms. You need to dead end a stem once a flower wilts, to make room for new growth to bud and bloom some more.
Rose Variety: Thelma - Chinese rose varieties were double or multi layered, came in different sizes, colors, and in clusters or singles.
Rose Variety: Pierre de Ronsard - This is the most Victorian-looking rose in the garden. Rose scent is powdery. Bulgari uses rose essence in their perfume line.
This is a reflection pool so one's tired eyes, after looking at the different rose varieties, could turn to look at the water to be refreshed

If you like roses, start a rose garden. They are pretty easy to manage. It's such a treat to go out into your own garden to delight in them, then cut them for your flower arrangements.

Monday, 12 October 2009

A Place to Visit: Chateau de Compiegne/Fallafel

The other day, my daughter and I went on a day trip to Compiegne, a town that is an hour away from Paris by train. We walked about the center of town with a group of ladies, had lunch at a French bistro, and then we visited the Chateau de Compiegne which used to be a a royal palace. I took lots of pictures to share.

From Chateau de Compiegne

By the time we got back to Paris it was 6:00 p.m. We went straight to the Notre Dame to hear mass, in honor of Our Lady of the Pillar (Nuestra Senora del Pilar), then walked over to La Marais as I was craving for Jewish fallafel and Pia wanted French fries with mayonnaise and Harissa sauce.

Among my best memories of New York is eating fallafel at Pax du Monde. It is probably one of the best that I have ever had. Fallafel is a middle Eastern food that is made from chickpeas and spices, formed into a ball and deep fried. Here in Paris, we found a comparable place serving fallafel.

What makes the Jewish Fallafel very inviting is it is served as a complete meal in a pita bread, with a serving of humus at the bottom, and a variety of shredded, pickled vegetables topped with tahini sauce. It is so good! I just found out from Wikipedia that this originated from Egypt , most likely it was formulated by the Copts as a fasting dish. It was adopted by the the early Jewish immigrants to Palestine , along with other Arabic foods, as part of their efforts to re-identify themselves as they resettled and acculturated in another place.

When you come to Paris, I would recommend for you to sample Jewish falafel at L’As du Fallafel on rue de Rosier, in the Jewish Quarter. On the menu poster, you will see that it is endorsed by Leny Kravitz, and it has been written about in travel magazines and books. I am endorsing it, too!

Sunday, 11 October 2009

I started cooking and baking at the age of eight. When our cook went on vacation, my mom would start cooking as soon as I got home from school. She would, then, leave me a set of instructions to manage the kitchen while she tended her garden. My mom loved gardening - she was doing her own grafting of bougainvillas and she came up with her own unique and variegated colors.

As for baking, my mom made all our birthday cakes and cake presents for others celebrating a birthday or an anniversary. I used to watch her do everything. I was her shadow. I became her assistant in cooking, baking, sewing, gardening and craft making. She would explain everything as she went about what she was doing and then would have me do exactly as she showed me. I do not know if I was born as a visual learner or I was trained to be one by my mother, as I was always able to replicate what she told me to do.

When I was 23, my father Suffered a serious heart attack and was hospitalized for some time. I ended up running the whole household. When he came home, my responsibility was to pay special attention to my father's special dietary requirements. Thus, Began the quest for healthy living. I searched and developed recipes that were designed to help with my father's continued began my close relationship with the kitchen.

Google Finds

My daughter googled my name recently and we were both pleasantly surprised to see this being auctioned off.

"Hello to all collectors of RARE Philippine collectibles about the 1970s or early Philippine TV Shows! Please buy this RARE and one-of-a-kind Christmas PHOTO Greeting Card that has all 3 Female Hosts of the hit 1970s TV Show "Ms.Ellaneous"! The Photo Greeting card front is quite CHARMING because you will see again those 3 very beautiful hosts in their PEAK of fame and appeal!"

Courtesy of:,Yogi+Dominguez+and+Ma-an+Hontiveros+(1977)+%3Csigned%3E


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