Hong Kong and Macau Revisited Part One (Jose Rizal sites and Dinner with friends)

Since hubby was on a short business trip to Hong Kong, we took the opportunity to take a mini-break together and visit some interesting sites both in HK and in Macau.

Our room at Lan Kwai Fong hotel, it was quite old and maybe a bit dusty but it was very central
and the staff were nice and spoke good English.
this is our view from the hotel

It was hubby’s first time to visit both countries, while this is already the second time for me. Our hotel was very central, located in-between Sheung Wan and Central MTR stations, and within walking distance to the Ferry Port.

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Delicious Graham Cake

for our Farewell Party last weekend, i decided to make a Graham Cake. in the Philippines, we usually refer to this as Crema de Fruta. i prefer to call it Graham Cake.

i have checked several web sites and videos on the internet and took a little bit of something on some of them to make my very own recipe.

what is challenging here in France, when trying to cook something, is finding out first the french name of the ingredients that you need.

full cream

i wouldn’t have known before that lait concentré sucré is what we know in the English-speaking world as condensed milk. now i do…

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Madrid and Toledo

this Romanesque architecture of one of the churches in Toledo reminded me so much of the Basilica de St Sernin in Toulouse

i wanted to visit Madrid first of all, to see a friend from Singapore who was having a grand European tour. it was so nice to see her again after a long time. we had such fun catching up, soaking in the sights and sampling the gastronomic Castillian delights.

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How to cook aiguillette de canard

the South of France is famous for its duck. i was not so much a duck person when i was living in Asia. especially since we never usually eat duck in the Philippines. but here, i have learned to appreciate it much, much more than before.

this week, since my husband was on a week-long business trip, i was left to my own devices in the kitchen. and so, having no choice, i decided to try my hand at cooking aiguillette de canard in the same way that my husband cooks them, but with a little bit of my own personal touch.

it’s actually very simple, you just buy it as it is from the supermarket, like this:

aiguillette is the sides of the duck, cut into strips

before throwing it on a non-stick pan, i like to grease it a bit with vegetable oil (i use colza oil, btw). and then just cook it on medium heat until the sides start to brown. and then you can turn it over.

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Menu de Pâques (Easter Menu)

for non-french speakers: all photo captions are in English.

hier midi, on a profité le menu de pâques d’une brasserie qui s’appelle Le Bibent. on se trouve cette brasserie pratiquement au Place du Capitole de Toulouse.

the easter menu of Le Bibent, a famous brasserie of one of France’s top chefs, Christian Constant

le menu q’on avait manque les rilletes de sardines indiqué dans le menu ci-dessus. mais cétait très bon quand même. et j’ai trouvé le reste des plats copieux.

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Un Weekend Aveyronnais

one of the many, many things that i will definitely miss in France is the marché. there is nothing quite like it. as you already know, France is all about food. and all the territories have their own specialties.

this weekend, there is the Marché Aveyronnais at the Place du Capitole. we took the opportunity to go this morning since it was quite a mild winter weather we are having today.

my husband, as you know is of Aveyron origin. for those who do not know where it is, it is still in the south of France and still in the region of Midi-Pyrénées (like Toulouse) but it is a few notches higher up in the map.

image from: http://www.gite-les-pissades.fr/rieupeyroux-aveyron.html

it is a region famous for roquefort cheese (that smelly moldy blue cheese), laguiole knife (we received them as wedding gift from my parents-in-law), and the world’s tallest viaduct (Millau viaduct).

we were greeted with this huge sign of a stall selling farçous upon entering the vicinity
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Top Chef

it’s the season for Top Chef again. and so also starts the highest high of all drama on French reality TV.

the host and chef judges of the show

everybody knows that France is best known for having the best food in the world. when you say best, first of all, it means the food is fresh, well-grown, and healthy. then, it should also be beautifully presented. lastly, and of course, most importantly, it should taste great.

but to be able to really comprehend the french standard for the “best” food, you have to actually live for a while in France to absorb the culture and the ways of the people here.  and if you have lived here long enough, you will understand that the best food is a product of art, science, mathematics, sweat and blood, and all that drama… and you get to see all of this if you watch Top Chef.

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Au Marché de Noël

If you visit the Place du Capitole de Toulouse during this time of the year, you will find yourself surrounded by various delicacies and produce of Southern France and also from the rest of the world.

You have the famous nougats and candied fruit stands

These candied fruits are oozing with sugary sweetness… gives me toothache just by looking at them
Nougats are extra-soft and chewy here in France, but also extra-expensive
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Homemade Holiday Treats

last year i tried my hand at making pastillas de leche to give away to friends as a Christmas treat.

my very own, homemade yema balls in paper cups, stacked neatly in a bright yellow plastic glass

it was easy to make and you don’t need so many ingredients.  wrapping up the stuff was tiresome though.

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