Tomato Mozzarella Millefeuille

"Survival of the fittest", "Patience is a virtue", " Destiny brought us together", " Lucky day".

I have been hesitating between those titles that's most apt for this post. You'll be the judge.

Yesterday no words could describe how happy I was. It's been weeks that I have been searching for a dress to buy for the up-coming wedding of my sister-in-law. I am normally not an impulsive buyer so it always takes me an ample time before really settling for the one where I would put my money on. And early this week, I finally found this incredible piece of silk dress of my favorite brand. The dress was really perfect for me (from my own point of view :-) ) but when I looked at the price it was kinda expensive. That was a bit too hard to swallow for a stingy me, specially its just for one time ocassion, I thought. I have been dillydallying up If I will buy it or not. And everyday I pass by that shop after work I abstain my self from buying it.

Yesterday on my way to work, I just noticed that it was the start of the three weeks annual "Sales" in France before summer when I noticed all those "soldes" (which means sales) signage everywhere. I almost jumped from joy. My head was only fixed on that dress. Immediately during my lunch break as I headed for the shop I was a bit annoyed to saw the immense number of people in the street, all with one intention to go shopping. I decided to skip lunch anyway I could always grab a sandwich after shopping. I know Aix en Provence by heart and use all the short-cuts I knew to get there fast. I told myself that if that dress is not there anymore, its not really for me. Because I don't wanna be upset. When I finally arrived in the shop, holy cow it was literally teeming with people. How on earth I could find that dress? So I started searching high and low. But I'm always two steps behind the American tourists that were there. Oh gosh, they were so fast and were good at digging!! I saw gorgeous clothes taken right in front of my nose. "This isn't happening", I told myself. And then all of a sudden like a miracle, I turned my head on the right side and saw that silk dress that I have been eyeing for weeks waiting for me. Like a wounded soldier of great hopes I bolted and grab it with my two hands. I looked at the price and it was 50% off. Yahooooo!!

So to cut the story short, yesterday I was really so happy, for I went back home with that magnificent dress at half the price. I called excitedly hubby to tell him about this good shop iI just did but he just briefly and coldly replied "huh????". I guess men will never really understand the joy of bargain hunting and shopping. Men are truly from Mars and women from Venus.
I suppose that's the great title for this post isn't it?

This is my Click entry for this month, the photo event created by Bee and Jai of Jugalbandi.

Tomato Mozzarella Millefeuille Salad

count one average size tomato per person
one mozarella ball per person
some olive oil

herbes de provence (thyme, basils, rosemary)
some balsamic vinegar

Procedure: With a sharp knife cut carefully of equal sizes your tomatoes and do the same for your mozzarella cheese. Assemble them on the plate alternately. Put some salt, pepper and herbs on the top. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It's kind a hard to eat this salad without making the tomato tower fall. Good luck!

Tip: Better assemble this salad before serving because the cheese and tomato tends to give off juice if you prepare them too in advance. It will make your salad a bit soggy and watery.

By the way, we are leaving for a short weekend vacation in family's chalet in Alps. The weather and the scenery is splendid at this time of the year. I'll be bringing you tons of photos and freshly harvested wild berries on my return. See you soon!!

Chocolate Raspberry Creme Brulée

I am warning you, this post is kinda disgusting so if you don't have the stomach for it just zap it and jump on to my recipe :-) and do not tell me I didn't warn you.

As I mentioned on my last post, after the spectacular stunt of my daughter escaping from her crib, that prompted us to buy her a new bed so she won't do that evasion trick with us again. Everything went well. We bought her her new bed and she loved it. Hubby and I thought we could finally have a good night sleep.

At around one in the morning that night, it was the same scenario again; I heard my little baby crying. I didn't even bothered to move from our bed for I know she could get out from her bed all by herself. I heard her little footsteps stopped right in front of our bedroom. And she softly said "Mama, Mama". I went out into the darkness and touched my little girl. "What was that?," I thought. She was sticky and was wet all over. I turned on the light and was shocked to see my daughter covered by pieces of food she ate and curdled milk all over her. I woke up hubby and when we went to see her bedroom it was even worse. A real crime scene of vomit galore. Don't worry I'll spare you the details. Just Imagine that soury smell all over her place. I gave her a quick bath, dried her up and let her sleep in the middle of us. Mayumi was smiling and happy. I was thinking at the back of my head, did she do that purposely to sleep her with us. But I abandoned the idea of course. Hubby was so annoyed with the smell of my little girl so I heard him whispering her " go sleep closer to Mama". When I noticed that both hubby and little girl were sleeping: I slightly tilted wickedly the head of Mayumi towards her dad. I was grinning. Eventually after an hour, Mayumi was vomiting again and this lasted until five in the morning. We didn't waste time and rushed her immediately to the hospital.

Don't worry guys, my little girl is doing well now. She tested negative on all exams they gave her and they even let us go back home the same day. Although It's still a mystery to us what caused that vomitting. The good news is, Mayumi has finally adopted her bed and she sleeps there now happily and tightly even as I type this post.

I am sending this dessert recipe of mine that I always prepare when there is a family gathering to Laura of Spiced Life who is hosting event for Family Recipes. And I tell you everybody in my family love this. For more details and round-up check out the link.

Chocolate Raspberry Creme Brulée
4 ramekins

4 egg yolks + 2 whole eggs
20 cl of heavy cream
125 g of chocolate
250 g of raspberries
40 g of sugar
20 g of brown sugar for the caramel topping

Beat the egg yolks and two whole eggs with the 40 grams of sugar. Blend them well until them become creamy. Place the cream in a saucepan, over low heat allow it to simmer for about three minutes. The add your chocolate and let it melt. Turn of the fire and let it cool down before adding the eggs-sugar mixture. Pour this chocolate cream on your ramekins. Add the the raspberries on your ramekins. You can put roughly 5 to six raspberries per ramekin depending the size of your raspberries. You can save some raspberries for decorating them when you serve them. Place your ramekins in a baking dish and fill the baking dish with enough water to come halfway up the sides of the reamekins. Place the dish in a preheated oven 180° celsius and bake for 20 minutes. We have different ovens so the cooking time and temperature could vary depending on your oven just be sure that the custards are justly cooked; still creamy and yet firm. After their cooking time refrigerate for minimum of one hour the ramekins. Just before serving sprinkle the top with brown sugar. Put ice cube in a tray around ramekins and place try under a preheated hot grill for about one minute or until sugar melts and is golden.

Strawberry Salad

Do your remember the movie Night of the Living Dead?

Well that's exactly how I feel right now. Only I'm not the one running from them but the creepy "Zombie" itself. This is the result of numerous weeks of accumulated lack of sleep. And I tell you no amount of coffee could bring me back to the world of the living.

Maybe some of you guys who have kids could help me out on this battle. It has been several weeks now that our little girl cries in the middle of the night. We normally let her cry and wait for her to fall asleep again., But lately she could stand for almost an hour crying (much to the disgust of our neighbors I'm sure) until we go and check her out. My husband and I would try our best to console and assure her so she would go back sleeping again. But she won't stop crying until we bring her to our bed and let her sleep in the middle of us. And that is definitely out of the question. Hubby and I would play "good cop bad cop strategy" in front of her to convince her to stay in her room and sleep on her crib. Imagine that scenario that runs for hour and hour with the ear breaking symphony of my daughter's cry in the middle of the night. Naturally of course, I give up and cedes to her.

But last night, hubby and I were really fed up on this so we let her cry to her voice and eyes content and decided to leave her on the room. But before we could even close her door, we saw right before our very eyes my daugther hurdled the high bars of her crib and jump out of it unharmed like a flying ninja. "That was dangerous!", hubby shouted as I calmed downed myself after almost having a heart attack. They rarely put Jackie Chan movie on french tv where on earth she could have learned that stunt? This afternoon, we'll definitely passing by IKEA.

And please don't shout at me "AGAIN", the talented Happycook of My Kitchen Treasures is hosting a Strawberry Feast an event to honor this versatile and forever in fashion fruit. I'll be sending this strawberry salad for that event. So if you love strawberry don't forget to check out the round-up.

Strawberry Mozarella Salad


about 250 grams of strawberries ( I used the garriguette variety common in Southern France, small but highly sweet in flavor)
1 ball of mozzarella (cut in to cubes)
1 small block of feta cheese (optional)I just used them for they've been on my fridge for a long time now
250 g of different kinds of salad (mizuna, arugula, mache, young spinach)

2 tablespoons of balsamique vinegar
half a teaspoon of dijon mustard (à l'ancienne)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
some salt
chopped fresh basil leaves
some fresh thymes

In a bowl mix your vinaigrette and set it aside. In a bowl mix the salad, the cut strawberries, mozarella and feta cheese. Just before serving toss them with your sauce. I served them with my home-baked black olives foccacia.

Strawberry Tartar

Lost in Translation.

That movie of Sofia Coppola is one of my favorite. Not only because it was shot in Japan for where I lived sometime in my life. But it was quite a funny way to see how foreigners struggle in some foreign land.
When my good Japanese friend to whom I have not seen for a long time (more than seven years) wrote to me few months ago about her upcoming visit here in France. I was really euphoric. For she is more than a friend to me, she is like a younger sister to me. And besides I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to practice my japanese the language I haven't spoken for a long while. I have never imagined that it would be that hard for me to speak Japanese again for everytime I opened my mouth its french words that are coming out. It was so frustrating at the beginning but I managed to keep up.

With her meager vacation left before her grand depart for her newly signed job in Honduras as a volunteer worker for JICA, she managed to spare three days to visit me here in Southern France. Her vacation was short but meaningful. Hubby took some day off to serve as chauffer, yours truly as the tourist guide and little Mayumi as the Mascot. She enjoyed Southern France and of course a little bit of my kitchen.

I am sharing here some of our photos too. A serving of this strawberry tartar also goes to Graziana of Erbe in Cucina this week's host of Weekend Herb Blogging. That authentic herb blogging event created by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen now in the caring wings of Haalo of Cook Almost Anything.

Strawberry Tartar


500 g of fresh strawberries
a handful of fresh basil leaves
a handful of fresh thymes
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of balsamique vinegar
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper

This recipe is very easy and fast to make. This serves around four persons. Cut your strawberries. In a bowl mix your your vinaigrette: olive oil, salt, pepper and balsamique vinegar. With your fingers add the thyme and minced basil leaves. Toss your strawberry. I served it with some mozarella balls and jambon serrano.

The colorful market of Aix en Provence

Me and my tired daughter

View of Marseille from Notre Dame de la Garde

Mizuho, Me, Mayumi & Hubby enjoying ice-cream

The historical arena of Arles

The beautiful beach of Calanques

Our cute mascot

You can also try this other strawberry recipes:
Strawberry Gaspacho and Basil
Strawberry Sweet Sushi

Nutty Blueberry Pie

Last Sunday we celebrated Mother's Day in France. I must admit that being a mother now this celebration has totally a different connatation for me than it was before. Well I still of course offerred my gifts to my mother and to my mom-in-law but I never imagined how nice it was to be pampered and be offered gifts too on this day. Well I mean aside from my birthday it is great that we have this extra day of the year to feel love and important. As the weather was great we opted for a barbeque in the garden. We didn't want to spend too much time on the kitchen, so we just had some salad of beets, pink radishes, tomato cherries that were all freshly picked from the garden topped with some feta cheese and basil leaves for entrée. We threw some lamb meat and prawns on the grill and roasted them with rosemary as we chit chat. And lastly to finish off, we had this delicious nutty blueberry pie I prepared the night before. It was really a great lunch that lasted for more than four hours, well you know French lunches they last for hours and hours. I hope all the mom's out there had a great day too! Happy Mother's Day to all my friend bloggers!

PS. I am deeply touched by your warm messages :-) Thank you I miss you all too!

I am sending out a slice of this very original Nutty Blueberry Pie to the gorgeous Lore of Culinarty, the talented cook and photographer behind this delicious blogging event Original Recipes. Don't forget to check out the round-up of this event.

Nutty Blueberry Pie


For the the short crust pie

(you can replace this with a crust pie ready to use if you don't have a lot of time)

125g/4oz plain flour

pinch of salt
55g/2oz butter cubed *
30-45ml/2-3 tbsp cold water

Put the flour and salt in a large bowl and add the cubes of butter. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until you have a mixture that resembles coarse breadcrumbs with no large lumps of butter remaining. Try to work quickly so that it does not become greasy.
Using a knife, stir in just enough of the cold water to bind the dough together. Wrap the dough and chill for 10-15 minutes before using. Alternatively using a food processor, put the flour, butter and salt in the food processor and pulse until the fat is rubbed into the flour.With the motor running, gradually add the water through the funnel until the dough comes together. Only add enough water to bind it and then stop. Wrap the dough in clingfilm as before and chill for 10-15 minutes before using.

For the Filling:
1 jar of blueberry jam (about 12 oz)
250 g of fresh blueberries

50 g of chopped hazelnuts

50 g of chopped almonds

50 g of chopped macadamia nuts
50 g of finely chopped pistachio nuts
1 egg yolk
icing sugar for decoration

In a bowl combine your blueberry jam with the fresh blueberries. Pour this mixture into the pastry shell. Top it with chopped hazelnuts, almonds and macadamia nuts. Brush with egg yolk the side crust and drizzle over the pistachio nuts. Bake the pie for about 20-30 minutes at 180° celsius.

You may also like this recipes:
Mango Blueberry Opera Cake
Chocolate Eclair with Blackberries

Raspberry Tiramisu and back from my Hiatus

I'm finally back from my long hiatus.

After my two months vacation I realized that I need far more time offline, off the blogging world to cook up all the juicy things bubbling in the back burner of my life. I know a lot of you are experiencing too this need to feel a little bit "unplug" to do some "stuffs" in our life.

Well weather is great here in Southern France and raspberries, strawberries and melons arrived earlier than usual. What else is there to complain? I'll be leaving you for a moment with this refreshing easy to make Tiramisu dessert with raspberries from our garden. I'm glad to be back!

I'll be sending some of my Tiramisu off to Zora of Gardenopolis,our host for this month's Grow Your Own a blogging event that celebrates things we grow from our garden. A delightful blogging event created by Andrea of Andreas Recipes.

Raspberry Tiramisu
for 4 to 5 persons

250 grams of raspberry
250 g of mascarpone (about 8 oz)
250 g of heavy cream (about 8 oz)
5 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of Dark Currant Liqueur (Creme de Cassis)
1 tablespoon of sugar
some ladyfingers
half a glass of raspberry juice
some raspberry and chocolate powder for decoration


In a bowl put one tablespoon of sugar and raspberries, toss them a little bit. In another bowl cream your mascarpone with an electric beater, add up the liqueur. In a separate bowl, prepare a creme chantilly using your heavy cream. Add the sugar little by little. Fold your mascapone mixture with the cream chantilly. Softened your ladyfingers with your raspberry juice. Assemble them in small glasses; ladyfinger at the bottom, followed by the mascarpone mixture, then raspberries, and again mascarpone mixture. Put them in the fridge for at least two hours. Decorate with some chocolate powder and fresh raspberries.

Try my other Tiramisu recipe:

Banana Fake Tiramisu