Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Zaragoza - Taberna Dona Casta for gorgeous croquetas

When reading up on Zaragoza, Taberna Dona Casta kept coming up in so many recommendations so we had to add it to our foodie itinerary. And we did. Twice! YUMMMM. You have never really eaten croquetas until you eat them at Dona Casta. G doesn't even normally really like croquetas (he says it is the béchamel he is averse to) but he adored these as much as I did.


Dona Casta is famous for croquetas but they also do other things. During our visits we managed to try 4 different types (G 3, me just 1) leaving us 6 more to hopefully try in the future. Here is the Dona Casta croqueta menu with some creative combos like blood sausage with pine nuts or black squid rice with ali oli.


A collage of our gorgeous Dona Casta croquetas :)


So which did we have?

Monday, 27 July 2015

Meatless Monday - Courgette & Mozzarella Tart

This is one of my new favourite quick tasty vegetarian meals that can be easily done on a work night. Courgette and Mozzarella tart. It does rely on proper ingredients though as it is super simple. I use a really nice flaky pastry, trompette courgettes (LOVE THEM), a good mozzarella (I would usually say use buffalo if you can) and a nice sea salt plus a good freshly ground pepper if you can.


More info further on :)

Saturday, 25 July 2015

6 months after leaving Singapore, how is life in Nice?

I would like to preface this post by saying this is my opinion, my life, my experience. So please don't take any offence at what I have to say, your views will of course be different based on what is best for you.

The first month or so was hard I will admit. I had a birthday within a couple of weeks of being back, in the darkest coldest part of winter and I was feeling very sad, something not very normal for me. I really struggled. I missed my friends and colleagues and just felt lonely, even though my lovely husband was doing his best to cheer me up. Repatriation is not the easiest thing, especially for someone like me who thrives on the new and unknown. And I felt that a lot of our friends had moved away, or moved out of the centre of town, had kids and generally they all had their lives that we hadn't yet found our new place in. It was hard.

But as soon as the days started noticeably getting longer, and I found more of a rhythm with our friends, and I generally adjusted, things got a lot better and now overall I would say I am very happy with our decision to move back.

Before I left Singapore I wrote a post about what I was looking forward to in Nice and what I thought I would miss from my life in Singapore. I wanted to do a checkpoint 6 months later on where things stand on what I miss from Singapore and what I enjoy here in Nice.

What did I think I would miss?

Food

Singapore....

Yes, I do miss just how easy it is to get all types of food in restaurants, hawker centres etc. I especially miss Little India! I could murder a masala dosai! I really really miss it! It was so close to our house and we would wander down to Komala Vilas for a gorgeous Southern Indian lunch. I also miss Khansama which we could have delivered, such great quality Northern Indian food. Their samosas and their chilli pakoras.... amazing!

Komala Vila's rawa masala dosai

Delivery from Khansama
I also miss Thai food, my lunch at work from Rochor Centre was usually a Pad Thai and I really miss it. There are some Thai places but nowhere near as cheap and good value for money with high quality for a good price like Jai Thai.


Friday, 24 July 2015

Homecooking - Chicken Samosas with Filo Pastry

My husband is away for work which can lead to one of two things. Either I sit on the sofa and avoid cooking as I don't particularly like cooking for just one person... or I start experimenting! And this time I went for experimentation.

I am dreadful at following recipes, I get inspired by them and then decide they are missing loads of ingredients and they are doing things wrong and I go a bit freestyle. This recipe I found on the back of the filo pastry pack (Brick in French) and it was a bit simple for my taste, just onion, chicken, peas, and curry powder with salt and pepper. I decided it was missing ginger, garlic, chilli and cashew nuts plus a range of spices and mint and coriander. Plus I failed at making it into triangles!


Read on...

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Nice - Les Amoureux - Eat all the pizzas on the menu? Challenge accepted!

I think you all know we frequent Les Amoureux in the port all the time for pizza. And they have quite the extensive menu full of options to choose from. So I have decided we need to try most if not all of the menu! So here we go, I will keep this post updated each time we try a new pizza but I thought I had a good critical mass here to start with!

Here is the menu.... I still have a very very long way to go before I make it through it! I love the Les Amoureux team keeps on innovating and trying to improve. They are now milling their own flour, owning their own tomatoes and letting the dough rise for 100 hours!

Page 1 is standard pizzas.


Page 2 is mostly the special pizzas.


Les Amoureux

I had to start with the namesake. They own the plot of land that the tomatoes are grown on! They have a special deal with one of the top buffalo mozzarella producers who makes only very limited amounts of this top 3 of the type cheese. It is just amazing. Why have a normal margherita when you can have this margherita on steroids! (if steroids are small quantity speicalised produce). 


And here is Les Amoureux in the lady version with a lovely little heart :)


Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Nice - Comedy Club of the Cote d'Azur - Comedy in English this week

I just got home from a very very random evening at Ma Nolan's pub in the Port of Nice having seen a comedy show organised by Comedy Club of the Cote d'Azur (you can find them on Facebook or on their website.)

Tonight (July 21st 2015) was in Ma Nolans in Nice but they will be in Monaco on the 22nd, Antibes on the 23rd and Cannes on Friday the 24th). The headliner is a Canadian called Bobby Mair and he was supported by Amir Khoshokhan from the UK.



Both made us laugh but they were very very different! Bobby is full on in your face with short punch sweary jokes that will make you laugh out loud. Amir is quieter, softer spoke, and goes for the longer running joke, a shaggy dog story as my husband calls it. We enjoyed both but I would say it might be a bit more complicated for people without fluent English to follow / enjoy.

What had us cracked up laughing was one of the weirder things we have seen happen at a comedy show where a member of the audience (remember, we paid to be there) was happily holding his own conversation and was asked what he was talking about by the comedian. He proceeded to randomly (and repeatedly) try to sell him drugs culminating in "well you interrupted my conversation" where all hell broke loose, and he was well put back in his place by Bobby whilst we doubled up with laughter! We all know the type, the horrible stereotypical Tory boy who tried to be smart and started questioning how much the comedian made. He was cut down rather fast much to our amusement. I understand why Jimmy Carr likes Bobby and thinks he will be an international superstar or the funniest homeless man on the planet :)

If you can, then head on over to Monaco (Rascasse) on the 22nd, Antibes (Le Troquet des Artistes) on the 23rd or Cannes (Ma Nolans Cannes). Tickets at the door are 20 EUR, online they cost us 16 EUR and we even won the raffle and have a free ticket to the September show.

Here is the link for more info on the venues and options to book online for the Comedy Club of the Cote d'Azur 


More info on Bobby Mair

He's either going to be a huge international comedy star or the funniest homeless man ever.

More info on Amir Khoshshokhan


“Amir Khoshsokhan made a virtue of his rigid performance with a forensically meticulous routine in which every elongated pause was precision times, every line leading up to something with further impact.” – Steve Bennett


Monday, 20 July 2015

Meatless Monday - Grilled & Roasted Veggie Sandwich with pesto

It's that time of year in the South of France, when it becomes unbearably hot and it hardly cools down at night. I am totally overheating and missing the air conditioning from Singapore (which I mainly hated when I lived there!)

Cooking is becoming a chore, especially at lunch time. To try and counter the dehydration I put together some cold water with lime and lemon plus some mint leaves from the balcony. Lovely and refreshing,


And because it is so hot, we are naturally eating more sandwiches. Today we went for grilled and roasted vegetables on a gorgeous bread loaf from Lagache Bakery and pesto. Pretty right?



Friday, 17 July 2015

Nice - Castel Plage for lunch - Our birthday tradition

We have a tradition. A good one at that. Every time my husband's birthday is on the weekend (or we are off) we head to Castel beach for lunch and we happily get merry on rose wine and eat good food :) His birthday is in July and close to Bastille day so more often than not we won't be at work so we can chill out by the sea. This year we were in luck as his birthday falls on the weekend so off to Castel with us it was.

We wanted to make a booking and then were as useless as usual and forgot. So we dragged our poor friend S out of bed way too early as we decided to head down around 12 to make sure we had a table.



Castel is the first paying beach place when you  come around from the Port onto the Quai des Etats Unis so easy enough to find.


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