Friday, 30 April 2010

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Books and other things

After much deliberation, we finally ordered some new bookcases for the piles of books that were taking over our home. A word of caution... the assembly required on a bookcase from La Redoute is about 4 times that of an IKEA bookcase, and involves real tools. Nonetheless, we are pretty happy with our new bookcases, one of which is pictured below (the other was still the subject of an intense debate about its final home when this picture was taken)

From this...

to this...

In other news, I am a year older. Frankly, we were all rather tired and some of us, a little hungover, on my birthday, due to a fun night out the night before. But, after a brekkie of viennoiseries on the balcony, lunch at the sushi place and ice-cream cake for dessert (well, it was sorbet actually), we all felt a lot better. And I now have even more books to fill up the bookcases!

And finally, the kids started their new activities this week (due to my amazing ability to withstand the bedlam that is the queue for the wonderful free activities provided by the Mairie). Lily is doing ice-skating and for the first time, Jasper is doing a little 4 year olds gym class, without parents. Here he is on the walk to the class the other afternoon - he loved it!

Salad season

I've been accused in the past of never preparing salads. My defense is that salads are best eaten in the spring and summer so now, with the weather warming up nicely, there is no excuse. In fact, I have found a salade savoyarde (with its little reblochon toasts) is the perfect excuse to keep eating hot melted cheese when the fondue/tartiflette/raclette season is over. So to prove I CAN make salads...

here is my salade savoyarde with salad, prosciutto, cornichons, walnuts and reblochon toasts

and here is a caesar salad I made with lemon garlic prawns

Four already!

We had a very relaxing trip to Italy to celebrate Jasper's fourth birthday with all the italian family. Luckily we took the train (and not a french train either) as the day after we left all the drama started with the volcanic ash. The kids were thrilled to see everyone again, especially their cousin Martina. The family threw him a wonderful party for his birthday and even made a cake! He got Happy Birthday sung to him in all three languages. We ate very well, thanks to the generosity of David's aunt and uncle. And of course, no trip to Bologna is complete without a cooking lesson at Susy's...

With the very fast new train from Milan to Bologna



Playing football at the park with Sergio

The long-awaited playmobil submarine

Lunch with Nonno Piero (yes, Jasper is still in his pjs at lunch!)

Making dough with Titti

Well-risen dough

Kids' corner

Our little home away from home

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Its days like these...

you wish you had a Brumby's downstairs instead of a patisserie!

I spent ages making the hot cross buns yesterday. I even put spices in them, unlike those I made two years ago. The spice mix wasn't quite right but they didn't taste too bad last night. This morning, even reheated, they tasted like rock cakes. I know what went wrong. I didn't let them rise enough. But I was trying to get them done for goûter. As it was we ended up eating them at about 6pm. I should have just let them rise more and served them for the dessert but the kids couldn't wait! Next year I think I'll try a new recipe...

Putting on the crosses (must remember to buy an icing bag next year)

Shame they didn't taste even half as good as they looked

Thursday, 1 April 2010


Just a little bit behind on the blogging these days but what can I say? There's only so many times you can say the same thing.

But I did get out to the movies tonight and saw L'arnacoeur. This film is SO good. Very very funny (and I got almost all the jokes in french), gorgeous stars, great romance, action and a terrific soundtrack. I give it two years before someone announces an american remake of it...but it wont be anywhere near as good