I am back!!

I am back!!

I haven’t posted in almost a year; after all this time, I feel I should be telling you the highlights of last year, since a lot has changed.

First of all, I got married and moved to a new house, with a bigger and better equipped kitchen. I am still not used to it, and I am sometimes doing some real mess in there.

The first month was not easy at all. I wonder why no one tells you how hard can the first month be.

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I wanted to be the super-wife: the one who can handle everything at home, the one who cooks starting day one, the one who can throw many dinner parties every week, and even the one who can host both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve at her place on the first year of marriage. So I did all this, and it was really tiring. I finally decided to slow down the pace.

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Before getting married, I did some medical exams. The results were not enchanting; cholesterol and triglyceride levels are both high, which means I should be on diet. I ate healthy food for 2 months before the wedding and lost some weight.

I also started yoga and it was making me feel great.

But then we got married, started with the dinner parties and Christmas, and that’s how we ruined everything. For the coming month, trying to eat healthy should be one of my priorities. And getting back to sports as well.

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During the last year, I traveled 4 times: France in July, Oman and Dubai in September, Cyprus in December (for the wedding) and Dubai again in January.

France

In July, I was back to Paris, with my boyfriend – now my hubby – this time, to attend his friend’s wedding in Evreux in Normandy. In addition to Paris, we spent a few days in both Normandy and Brittany.

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Philippe Conticini’s little pieces of paradise

As expected, both Normandy and Brittany were beautiful, and our experience there was a lot more relaxing than in Paris. We visited Honfleur, Deauville, Mont Saint Michel, Dinan, Saint Malo and Rennes, and all were amazing.

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The galettes de Sarrasin

This trip was more interesting than the first one on the culinary level. I had done a better research, so I had a lot of addresses for the best bakeries and pastry shops in Paris, in addition to some excellent restaurants in Normandy and Brittany, and the local specialties that I need to try.

Yves Bordier butter tasting

Butter tasting

As usual, some of the experiences were great: butter tasting in Bistro Autour du beurre in Saint Malo, trying Brittany’s galettes au sarrasin, visiting Pierre Hermé for a tiny Ispahan macaron, trying the fairy desserts of Philippe Conticini’s “patisserie des rêves”, discovering one of the best bakeries around the corner where I was staying, Maison Landemaine…

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The best pain aux amandes ever!

But the highlight of the trip was definitely the “Kouign-amann”, a Breton cake that I had never heard of, and that was one of the best desserts I ever had in my life: a round crusty cake made of layers of puff dough stuffed with lots of butter and sugar. We tried it in a restaurant in Rennes, “Léon le cochon”, served with Caramel au beurre Salé ice cream. Wow!

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A Breton cake


Oman

I spent three days there, at a friend’s. Despite September’s 45 degrees, Muscat was still an enjoyable city. The Omani experience is very different from the experience in Dubai.

People are more chill, more relaxed. You see Omanis everywhere; they have all sorts of jobs. You see Omanis drinking alcohol in pubs in their traditional clothes – no Omani women there though.

When it comes to food, I tried two traditional dishes: the famous Omani Shuwa, a delicacy that’s usually prepared only on very special occasions, by marinating meat in spices – to each family its special blend – and then wrapping it in sacks made of dry banana or palm leaves.

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Omani Shuwwa

The sacks are then thrown into an underground sand oven that is sealed so that no smoke escapes. After 24 or 48 hours of cooking, it becomes extremely tender and is then served over basmati rice.

The second dish consisted of stewed lamb’s feet. I loved them both, but they’re really heavy that I could barely sleep.

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The lamb feet stew

And of course, if you’re planning to visit Oman, you should not miss the fish and seafood there, as it’s delicious.

Dubai

The Dubai experience in January was different; for the first time, it was 25 degrees only, and I was traveling with a colleague, which made the whole stay more interesting.

I fell in love with Thai cuisine after a dinner at Pad Thai– I brought back with me all the spices I need to prepare Thai food at home. I also had the best meat I had in my life, at The Meat Co.

The most disappointing desserts ever? I had them at Lafayette Gourmet. They looked so perfect, but lacked taste.

I’ll be going there at the end of this month for Dubai food festival. I can’t wait honestly.

Until then, I’ll try to get back to posting regularly. Ciao!

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