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Showing posts from March, 2015

Barcelona - Bar Oviso for breakfast

I love "search nearby" options on phone applications that provide reviews like Yelp and Tripadvisor. We needed somewhere to grab a coffee and a bite to eat, and we had been walking around looking at places near our hotel, but we had no idea what was good or bad. So I looked a couple of places up and Bar Oviso seemed popular with the locals as well as tourists, and was right behind our hotel (visible from our room) so we popped in.

Glad we did, we ended up going twice! The coffee was potent and small, just how I like them. Strong flavour and wake you up immediately.

Meatless Monday - Artichoke Spinach Potato Pine nut and Buffala Tart

I have recently started eating artichokes. This is a big thing for me as I always more or less avoided them or ate around them if they showed up on my veggie pizzas. But I have decided to try and get into what is produced locally, and eating as much as possible seasonally, and little cute artichokes have been showing up in bunches all around Nice and I couldn't help myself, I had to buy them.

We then needed to figure out what actually to do with them, what does one cook with artichokes at home? They always seem like more of a restaurant veg to me. But G pulled out our trusty Silver Spoon, the Italian cooking bible, and found a recipe that had the artichokes in a tart, and we fortunately had a tart pastry base that we had to use. So he went from that basic idea, checked what we had that needed eating (spinach and buffalo mozzarella) and put together this Meatless Monday contribution of artichoke, spinach, potato, pine nut and buffalo mozzarella tart and it was lovely.

It is also a …

Barcelona - Bar Celta Pulperia for Galician Tapas

Bar Celta has been our go-to place for tapas ever since we wandered into it in the Gothic quarter of Barcelona years ago on our first trip to this town that we love. It has since moved about 10 minutes away from where it was, but the food and the ambiance are still the same and we love it - we made it our first stop this trip to Barcelona, we dumped our bags at the hotel and walked over! We  somehow didn't get around to G having their namesake octopus (pulpo) but we enjoyed what we did order - check out my usual collage below!

And of course read on for more info...

Update June 2015 as we went back for the famous octopus :)

Our weekend in Barcelona - food and shopping!

We went away for the weekend as we needed a break from the routine, moving back isn't as easy as it should be, especially for someone like me who thrives on new new new. So to cheer me up, my darling booked us a weekend in Barcelona which is one of our favourite cities in Europe, and I know many agree with us :)

We booked ourselves a hotel in Barri Gotic, the old city centre of Barcelona, after a few failed attempts to book somewhere via Air BnB. We realised once we were there that there was a race on which went a long way towards explaining why all the cheaper options were booked up. We ended up at a lovely hotel to be fair, the Aparthotel Arai - pretty and central with nice staff. 
We have done most of the touristy things to do in Barcelona in previous trips, so we just focused on food and shopping and we were very happy :) We "discovered" the joys of Massimo Dutti (dangerous, we both came out with new jackets and jumpers) and performed our usual pilgrimage to Pull and…

Meatless Monday - Roasted peppers and Roasted tomatoes pasta

G was away and I was feeling a little uninspired in the kitchen, but at the same time had a hugely full fridge full of things I needed to cook to stop them going off. I may have impulse control issues when it comes to buying food!

When I get uninspired I tend to go for easy options, things I know. This was a bit of that and a bit of "meal prep"  to avoid spoiling the vegetable collection in my fridge, and to make way for more veggies I had just picked up from the market!

So I turned on the oven and sliced a whole loads of veggies up, with glugs of olive oil and garlic cloves, and put them in the oven. I will explain more about that in another post but wanted to share a bit more info about the pasta I was then able to throw together super fast on a work night.

I present to you, roasted pepper and roasted tomato penne pasta:

Read on for the step by step process for delicious pasta.

Nice - Tribeca Burger - very nice and veggie option!

We were looking for a lunch option and just couldn't agree as I didn't fancy pasta (G wanted to go to Le Local but I had pasta the night before) and he didn't fancy anything I suggested. So we went quiet for a bit, both stewing slightly, until G happened across the idea of heading to the new-ish burger place around the corner from us, on Place du Pin, called Tribeca Burger. I had read that they had veggie options and a chicken option, and that their chips (fries) were amazing so off we wandered.

Yum! Read on if you want more info than just 'yum'

Nice - Al Taglio for pizza slices on Rue Droite in Vieux Nice (Nice Old Town)

I had wandered past Al Taglio a few times so was very curious about this new pizza slice place on Rue Droite in the Vieux Nice. I had even peeked in to check out their gourmet slices from closer up and been assured by a random patron that they were very good. They open from I believe 1130 to 1900/1930 every day except Tuesday so are only an option for me on the weekend or if I get back earliesh during the week and don't have plans to go to Les Amoureux ;).

This time I was meeting hubby and friend at Distilleries Ideales for a drink and I know they don't have anything I like to eat so I popped around the corner to Al Taglio for a quick snack. I snapped up the last slice of the cherry tomato pizza (pictures of that further down) and whilst it was being reheated I took a few shots of the shop and pizzas on offer. 
Here below you can see the tomato, mushrooms and ham pizza slices, the four cheese pizza and the corner of a buffalo margarita pizza.

Meatless Monday - Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

A great thing about winter is that squash is in season, and who doesn't love some pumpkin or butternut squash? They are so versatile from soups, to roasted, to pies, to pasta to salads. And many many more. We decided to go for a meatless option when we had a butternut squash in the "Panier du Producteur" delivery and we made a lovely spiced butternut squash soup.

So how easy is it to make Spiced Butternut Squash Soup? Very easy if you follow the following steps below.

Nice - Royal Kebab - Place St Francois for the best kebab in Nice (chicken!)

One thing I really missed when I was in Singapore was a proper doner kebab, especially chicken kebab. I always loved this place on Place Saint Francois in Nice called Royal Kebab. For a kebab shop it is super clean, and a huge bonus for me is that it is a poultry kebab, a mixture of turkey and chicken! Woohoo :) So we went for lunch during a tidying up campaign of our place as we couldn't face cooking.

You have various options but we tend to stick to the sandwich section of the menu (though I do need to get a veggie plate or a kebab plate) and you can get your kebab sandwich with chips inside if you want!

This time we got chips on the side though. And the kebab was stuffed with salad, tomatoes and onions (all optional) and you pick your sauces and I tend to go for a mixture of harissa (spicy red sauce) and "white sauce" which is either yoghurt or tahini based. Yum.


Nice - Cost of Living - Market Shop 15 Feb

Another insight to what is available at the market at the moment and our little local shops. Sorry to be publishing this one a little late but like has been busy! I am trying to get into a routine so I started yoga, G went to China for work, and we received our shipment of our belongings from Singapore.

One Sunday morning G headed off to the market to pick up a bit of shopping for the week. He spent 65EUR split as follows:

Veggies - 25 EUR
Bread - 5 EUR
Cheese - 5 EUR
Wine - 30 Eur

Here is the wine.... Chateau de Crostes always makes us giggle and we call it poo.... why you may wonder? Well, in French, you don't always pronounce all the letters in a word, and "s" can often be silent. And we choose to make it silent in this wine's name which makes it sound like "crotte" which is French for poo :) So G got pink poo and white poo, and a red wine without a funny nickname.

He bought himself a nice piece of cheese for 5 EUR before he gave it up for Lent.

Leeks ar…

Home Cooking - Meatless Monday - Potato, Green Beans and Pesto Pasta

G was away and I had to have a quick-ish lunch after yoga. I had an impulse purchase a while back of purple potatoes, mainly because they were purple. OK, entirely because they were purple! But it felt like they shouldn't be wasted on something where they wouldn't be visible. I finally figured out I could use them in one of my old favourite pastas of potatoes, green beans and pesto. I know that sounds weird but you have to try it to understand! It really is yummy! And I am trying to start (when I remember) to make my dishes a bit prettier, so I got a bit faffy and added pine nuts and basil :)

Read on for the details and more pictures of purple potatoes!

Nice - What is in season in January/February? And what to cook?

OK so this post is slightly late as it is early March, but I wanted to share it any way! What is so exciting to us about being back in Europe is all the fresh produce, we are loving it! It is great to see the seasons changing and the fruit and vegetables available also changing (plus the prices of course...) I thought I would share with you what is in season and what we cooked with it.

We got back at the end of January and so we got to enjoy a bit what was in season during winter here in Southern Europe. So what is that you wonder? Well I have a handy application that tells me what is in season (called Marche Malin - those of you who speak French can see the screenshots below) but I could also see that based on what was cheap at the market on Cours Saleya and supermarket, plus what was delivered in the Panier du Producteur we bought.

Here is the Panier du producteur for info:

At a high level, the following are in season during January and February, the winter in Nice:

- citrus (lemons…

Nice - Roast Chicken Sandwich - Luxury!

You may have read my post about our first joint meal back in France that we cooked in our flat in  Nice which was roast chicken with loads of different veggies.  A benefit of a roast when there are just two of you is leftovers! Yay! And we used our leftovers very very well and took full advantage of being back in France by making a proper roast chicken sandwich each.


Nice - Delhi Belhi for yummy Northern Indian food

One of our old favourites from our first time living in Nice was always Delhi Belhi, our go-to for Indian food in Old Nice and surroundings (though we would occasionally potter down the road to Aradhana). I came across the boss when having lunch at Pipo Socca so it inspired us to pop down to see if the food held up after a couple of years living next to Singapore's Little India.

I am happy to say we did enjoy the food still so that was a relief! We had lovely evening at this restaurant we tend to associate with first dates as most of the times we go there, there are couples on what seems like their first date. It is a dark, wooden restaurant and maybe going "ethnic" shows you are a risk taker and helps you impress your date? Who knows... We like it any way!

It was nice to see the owner again, this is a family business, run by people from Delhi, that has been in Old Nice for a couple of decades already.

Update November 2015 - new pictures and dishes further down :) as well…