Easy yogurt ice cream

Easy yogurt ice cream

Our holidays are often spent in the south of France. This is where MrintheKitchen’s family lives, in the Provence, near the Mediterranean Sea. Lucky us, as we get to stay at his sister’s house (from where we can see the sea) who has a nice pool and so we get to lay by their poolside every summer.

But, before we get to relax, we first have to get there. It’s about 900 km (560 miles) from Paris, so a good day of driving. Which I don’t mind, but MrintheKitchen does. Don’t ask me why (hello! road trip = fun in my book). Last time we went there, I figured some relaxing music would help. Just golden oldies, the ones that you can sing along with without thinking. And nothing depressing, after a bad experience we had (or he had, I was singing along as usual) listening to the best of Herman van Veen on our way to the south. Most of you won’t know Herman van Veen, he sings in Dutch, has pretty poetic lyrics, and often sad melodies. I like it, but MrintheKitchen still describes it as ‘the most depressing car trip ever’. I guess it doesn’t help if you don’t understand a word of Dutch.

Budget onion quiche

Budget onion quiche

Onions are such a great staple. They go with practically everything, are healthy and cheap. The perfect pantry filling!

I always have onions (and garlic), and let’s say 9 out 10 times, my savoury recipes start with baking a shallot. They’re a real kitchen basic.

Last couple of weeks it’s fresh onion time in France, they sell beautiful little white onions with greens everywhere. And so I fall for them every time, and buy a fresh bunch every week. However, as the temperature continues to rise, there’s one (tiny) downfall of fresh onions that gets more, let’s say, pungent.

Quartier Chinois

Paris tip: Chinatown

Chinatown 10 Paris tip: Chinatown

I know Paris is beautiful. The stately buildings, the wide boulevards, the pretty parks and of course the bridges over the Seine, hung with many, many love locks (So many, that in fact all the weight is threatening to make the bridge collapse. The mayor had to order them to be cut away. Not that it helps, new couples keep affirming their eternal love for each other with a lock every day!).

Quartier Chinois

Salmon tartare

Salmon tartare

Not everyone likes the idea of eating raw meat. Even though we eat raw meat in the Netherlands (mostly on bread), the French steak tartare is something of a whole other level.

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been eating my steak rare. Really rare, and it wasn’t uncommon for waiters to ask my parents if the six year old really wanted a steak that bloody…?
I was, and still am, one happy red meat eater (but then again, I eat just about anything). So I thought I’d be one happy steak tartare eater too. I can vividly remember the first time I ordered it, about ten years ago. The waitress noticed I was a tourist on a holiday in France and asked if I was sure, “C’est cru!” (It’s raw!). But yes, of course I was sure, I’d been eating very rare steaks ever since I was a little girl, right?

Shrimp salad

Dutch shrimp salad

In my childhood memories, shrimp cocktails were sort of obligatory at fancier dinner parties. In the eighties, no Christmas dinner was complete without shrimps in a pink sauce, decorated with tangerines. And I loved it. (My mother will read this, and call me to tell my memories are completely wrong, of course we didn’t eat shrimp cocktail every year! But that’s the way I remember it. Just like the yearly Vienetta ice cream cake for dessert.)

Panna cotta with red berry coulis

Panna cotta with red berry coulis

Mr in the Kitchen is a BIG panna cotta fan. Every day at the office he goes out to get some lunch, and 9 out of 10 times, he chooses a salad. That’s all too healthy, and so he compensates by ordering a panna cotta for dessert (he’s French, a dessert is almost obligatory here). You’d say he would get tired of the same dessert every day, but no, Mr in the Kitchen and his panna cotta love are stil going strong after all these years!

Grapefruit lemonade

Grapefruit lemonade

I am an addict.

There, I’ve said it. I am, or better said was, completely addicted to Diet Coke. I don’t drink coffee, and for me Diet Coke was a real pick-me-up. Especially on busy days at the office, or during long drives in the car, I heavily depended on the boost Coke gave me.

I had some rules to keep my addiction within, for me, acceptable limits. My rules were; never before noon and no more than 2 cans a day. The latter rule was often broken by the way, those two cans were just gone before I knew it!

Mini thyme and goat cheese quiche

Mini quiche with goat cheese and thyme

If you’re a regular visitor of this blog, you’ve probably noticed I like small portions, mini so to say. Now, that’s not because I’m mini (not that I’m very tall either, especially for a Dutch girl). Nor is it because I can’t eat large portions. Actually, I don’t have a good explanation, other than that I think most food looks cuter in small sizes. And I love the concept of bite sized portions. Because there’s always room for one more, right?