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ribollita

ribollita

I emerged from hibernation to go to Tahoe with friends for New Year’s. It was fun trying to figure out things to make for dinner that would fill tummies after snowboarding, be easy, and have broad appeal. I turned to a favorite recipe, found by my awesome sister, for Giada De Laurentiis’s Ribollita. According to Joanna, this is not authentic ribollita by any stretch. Since I have never eaten any other ribollita, I think it just tastes like delicious. It is a soup with tomatoes, spinach, cannelloni and made delicious by pancetta and parmesan rind. Serve over garlic bread or accompanied with, as in the picture. Delicious!

maguro benedict

maguro benedict

Leading up to the Honolulu marathon, I was on a sushi kick. I was also nervous about eating anything too heavy, so for breakfast the day before I had the maguro benedict at The Cream Pot. It is raw tuna over a poached egg, avocado and rice instead of english muffin. I would have never have thought of this, but it was delicious.

We stumbled upon The Cream Pot because the local breakfast place had at least an hour wait. The Cream Pot was like what I imagine an American breakfast joint in Japan would be like… if that makes any sense. In fact, all of Honolulu made me wish I was in Japan. The restaurant had these amazing pictures of all their food that they put on the table so I knew after the race, I had to go back for a more decadent breakfast.

strawberry french toast

strawberry french toast

The strawberry french toast is sorta made like a souffle to make it all light and fluffy. It takes 20 minutes to prepare.

mini strawberry crepe

mini strawberry crepe

A lot of the breakfasts come in a set that comes with a mini crepe for breakfast dessert. I didn’t feel that awkward taking pictures on my food in Honolulu because all the Japanese were there taking pictures of their dishes as well.

sausage and mash

bangers and mash

The business travel continues… I spent last week in London for work. I got the chance to meet up with my friend Paul, originally from Atlanta, for some pub food in Notting Hill. I had to try a bit of everything so I had bangers and mash and the pie of the day. Update: I had said sausages and mash, which upset some Brits (really, my sister).

pie and mash

pie and mash

I preferred the pie of the day. It was filled with something red and chicken.

paul and sticky toffee pudding

paul and sticky toffee pudding

We shared some sticky toffee pudding for dessert. I can’t say what it is, but it sure tastes right. I also learned that in London you call all dessert pudding. Oh those crazy brits.

me in monaco

In front of the 11th largest yacht in the world

On my second to last day in France, I got the chance to take a quick trip to Monaco with a friend I made at the Lions festival. We watched some World Cup, checked out the yachts, and walked around the town (country).

Häagen-Dazs

Häagen-Dazs in Monaco

We stopped for one scoop at Häagen-Dazs. I got mango sorbet. As you can see, Häagen-Dazs in Monaco is a bit fancier than the one in the mall.

Vegetable Soup and Club Sandwich

Vegetable Soup and Club Sandwich

Getting sick in another country brings another perspective to your travels. I got a terrible stomach bug, took a nap on the beach and then got really dehydrated. I couldn’t bring myself to eat anything and finally just ended up ordering soup and a club sandwich from room service hoping to eat something. The hotel sent me up soup in a 3 qt cast iron dutch oven. I really couldn’t touch the food… too rich.

Risotto and Parma Chips

Risotto and Parma Chips

The first thing I tried to eat when I was feeling better was risotto with black truffle oil and parma ham chips. There was really nothing like chicken soup and crackers on the menu. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to eat until it came to the table. I was eating with my colleague Marvin, who had been staying up all night working and eating sandwiches, so this was the first real meal for both of us. The two of us sat there exclaiming with every bite. The food was so good.

Duck with Fois Gras

Duck with Fois Gras

It also came with duck, which I couldn’t really stomach.

Ratatouille, Potato Gratin, Spinach Puree

SIdes? Ratatouille, Potato Gratin, Spinach Puree

The sides were perfect!

sole menuireI was excited for all the good eats I would have in Cannes, but so far I have been pretty disappointed. Besides the fact that I can barely afford to eat here on my work per diem, I have eaten most of my meals on the floor in front of the giant touch wall I am setting up in the Palais. Granted, the sandwiches from the cart out front are not too shabby, but I want to eat in this town for reals.

After a relatively bad day where we all missed our chance to get sandwiches for dinner, I found myself walking back to the hotel at 10 PM with no dinner plans. I decided this was my moment to really live it up. I found a fancy looking restaurant and ordered Sole Meunière, which I have been wanting to try since reading Julia Child’s description of arriving in France and tasting her first French meal.

It arrived whole: a large, flat Dover sole that was perfectly browned in a sputtering butter sauce with a sprinkling of chopped parsley on top. The waiter carefully placed the platter in front of us, stepped back, and said: “Bon appètit!

I closed my eyes and inhaled the rising perfume. Then I lifted a forkful of fish to my mouth, took a bite, and chewed slowly. The flesh of the sole was delicate, with a light but distinct taste of the ocean that blended marvelously with the browned butter. I chewed slowly and swallowed. It was a morsel of perfection.

I can’t say I ate it slowly, but it sure was delicious. Simple and delicate and lemony with just a touch of fried skin. Perfection! This was a real French restaurant. I wanted just a glass of wine with the fish so I randomly ordered something. “Oh no,” the waitress said. “Wrong wine,” and she brought me the perfect rosé. I finished with a crumble aux pomme. I didn’t know apple crumbles were French, but when a French person says crumble it sure sounds French.

cannes michelle

I am near the beach. Not at the beach.

I took a break out on the terrace and tried to get me in a picture with the pretty beach that is 100 yards from where I am working all day. Looks nice, no? Those are the red carpet steps from the film festival right behind me. After Saturday, I should be able to visit the beach after all.

seafood assorment

Seafood Assortment - Before & After

The review I found for this restaurant in Cannes, where I am working for the next 2 weeks, said it had “Clams, praires, palourdes.” The Google translation for that was “clams, clams, clams.” I figured I had to try a restaurant with 3 different words for clams. Looking around, everyone was eating the seafood assortment so I ordered it as well. The assortment had no description, but what arrived was a platter of large snails, raw oysters, raw clams, langostinos, prawns and small snails. I was tentative at first, but the meal was delicious. I especially liked the large snails. I got up to my elbows in the seafood while capoeiristas performed out front. I resisted the urge to jump in the roda with them and enjoyed a fine French meal.