FFWD | Salade Niçoise

Yay! I’m in time for FFWD this time round. It helps a lot that the dish is quick and easy to create – Salade Niçoise. I had thought that this will not satisfy but after this experience, I realised that it is truly a one-dish meal, just like what Dorie had warned.

Salade Niçoise [niˈswaz] gets its name from its hometown Nice and comprises tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, lettuce, hard-boiled eggs, Nicoise olives, anchovies and dressed with a vinaigrette. Of course, this dish cannot do without tuna which is the salad’s linchpin and it seems that traditionally, canned tuna is used. Suits me real fine as it is so much easier to use canned tuna. Hah! I had wanted to omit the olives since my family does not appreciate them but thought it wouldn’t be a true blue Salade Niçoise if it is without them. And, I’m glad I added them because the combination works really well.

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So, I didn’t bother to lay them in order. I thought a mess can be nice too.

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Mom gave us some snow crab and this completes our meal.

This is a weekly attempt at French food via French Fridays with Dorie. If you are interested in French cooking, why not join us?

conversation with Dorie Greenspan.

FFWD | Fresh tuna, mozzarella and basil pizza

I know I have been distracted from fulfilling FFWD weekly so I’m doing catch-up now.

Love these simple-to-make pizzas.

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I went to the supermarket today and the one I visited did not sell sushi-grade tuna and since I love salmon more, I have tweaked the recipe to include salmon instead. No basil as well so I used mushrooms instead.

IMG_7084This recipe uses frozen puff pastry as the base so you could imagine how fast this meal can be created. After cutting out 4 to 5 rounds from a sheet of frozen puff pastry, bake them for about 15 minutes till they are well-browned and crisp. Thereafter, just top each round with sauteed onions and mushrooms (in my case), sliced salmon, cherry tomatoes and season with a little salt and pepper and extra-virgin olive oil. Oh, don’t forget about the mozzarella cheese!

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This is my version.

This is a weekly attempt at French food via French Fridays with Dorie. If you are interested in French cooking, why not join us?

A lazy Sunday and a steamed asparagus & fish recipe

How many of you actually take Sunday off and eat out?

I do but when the refrigerator is filled with perishables waiting to be cooked and consumed, I can’t bear to leave them alone. So on this rainy and therefore lazy Sunday, I decided to let the oven do the cooking so that I don’t have to use too much effort to clean the kitchen.

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The FIL is coming over for lunch so I thought of potato gratin ( our family loves it) and a steamed asparagus and fish dish which I saw from here and I thought I should seriously cook it myself.

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The potato gratin is mighty simple. All you need are potatoes, heavy cream, garlic, salt and pepper. Cut the potatoes into thin slices then lay them out on a baking dish. Meanwhile, heat up the heavy cream (I normally use up 200ml) and cloves of garlic (if you like them, put more!). As you arrange the sliced potatoes in slightly overlapping concentric circles, spoon over some warm garlic-infused cream and season each layer with salt and pepper.

This time round, I’ve decided to put some cauliflower on the top layer before dusting the top with gruyere cheese. You can top it up with some herbs too! Bake in 175C oven for about 45 minutes. The dish is done if you can manage to poke a knife through the potatoes easily.

Moving on, we have the steamed fish. First, I place some asparagus on a parchment paper then lemons on it.

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Next are the fish fillets. Make sure you sprinkle some salt and pepper on them! The next time I bake them, I think I would squeeze the lemon on the fillets since I love the taste of lemon.

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The last part would be to put a dollop of butter (about 30g of it) and sliced garlic on the fillets before wrapping it up.

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Bake it in a 200C oven for about 12 minutes and you would have a scrumptious meal!
I garnish it with coriander leaves.

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Enjoy!

A ME morning spent in Patisserie G

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It’s the last day of May and I’m getting a bit emo(tional). Nope I’m not having PMS. Fact is, today is the last day of my No-Pay-Leave. Instead of cooping myself up at home, I placed Faith at my parent’s and went down to Patisserie G for brunch. I needed some time to read up on the notes from Parenting with Confidence before I go for lesson the next day.

I had wanted to visit Patisserie G after I was lured by the aroma that perfumed the surrounding environment when I passed by that 14-seat French bake shop the other day. Perhaps, I was also enticed by the Japanese outlook of the cafe, the simplicity in decor and the Maruni Hiroshima armchairs. Whatever it is, I’m going to have my ME time there.

Patisserie G opens at 8am (good for early-risers) and it was empty except for a customer who had almost completed her meal. The desserts were not displayed (pity!) and I had to settle for a latte and a croissant with ham and cheese.

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Going through last week’s notes, I was most impressed by this – 2 related things that threaten successful parenting and lead to the demise of the family are:
1) Not understanding the importance of the husband/wife relationship in the parenting process
2) Having a child-centred parenting

It is important to maintain the husband-wife relationship as the greatest overall influence we can have on our children will not come in our role as a dad or mom but as husband and wife. The quality of parent-child relationship depends on the quality of the husband-wife relationship so do make the latter an ongoing priority throughout the child-rearing years.

I thought it is important to note that there are 3 basic emotional needs of young children.
a) A child has a need to know that he is loved by Mum and Dad.
b) Every child has a need to know where he fits in Mum and Dad’s world.
c) A child has a need to know that Mum and Dad love each other.

While we want to meet the needs of our children, we have to be careful that in doing so, he does not become the centre of the family universe thus resulting in a me-ism attitude. Healthy families, on the other hand, produce children with a we-ism attitude.

There are 5 ways to meet all our child’s needs and not be child-centred:
1) Maintain your relationships that were important to you before your children were born
2) Get back into the habit of dating our partner and allowing friends or relatives to take care of the children
3) Continue to do those things that were markers of your special relationship before the children came.
4) Invite friends over for a meal or an evening of fellowship. Being hospitable forces us to focus on our home for the sake of minitering to others (healthy distractions such as these show children that service {to others} should be part of their lives)
5) Practice “Couch Time that takes place when the children are awake. This provides children with a visual sense of your togetherness.

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As I took a bite of the croissant and a sip of the latte, I wish the former could be a tad more buttery and crispy and the coffee to be warmer. They didn’t meet up to expectations and I so wish they could play some French music in the background, rather than some American pop music.

Proceeding to my next read, the peace was disrupted by two customers who were rather loud in their conversation. Distracted, I bade the ME time goodbye. It’s time to head home, to my baby. By then, the desserts were out on display and I purchased The G Spot (Dark chocolate mousse with chocolate meringue, on a chocolate hazelnut praline crunch) to try. Hopefully, it will turn out to be good.

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So, I would be back to work in June, though not on a permanent basis. I’m serving my notice, you see, and that is another story in itself.

Update: The cake is good. I should just stick with her desserts/cakes.

Patisserie G
9 Raffles Boulevard, #01-40
Millenia Walk

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FFWD | Coupetade (french-toast pudding)

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I had a rich breakfast today, all thanks to this recipe which is French toast soaked in custard. It is a dessert from central France and it is said that you can achieve best results by using brioche or challad. Since I had neither at the time of baking, just a normal loaf of white bread did the job for me.

The steps are relatively easy:

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1. Make the French toast.
2. Arrange the cut slices of French toast in the baking pan and moist raisins, dried cranberries or cherries under, over and between the slices.
3. Make the custard and pour it over the bread and fruit.
4. Bake it.

Obviously, there are tiny details within these few steps but really, it’s a breeze making this.

If you are interested in French cooking, why not join us in French Fridays with Dorie?

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