Saturday, March 30, 2013

Bibendum's adventure ...

The past week end, we spent two days in mountain, with friends. We were in a wonderful hotel. It was a small wooden chalet, just in front of skiing area. 


The room was almost as large as our apartment ! 
Children were running everywhere, magic in their eyes. Too bad we stay only for one night ! 




My husband and his friend went skiing and children went sledging.


I can but don’t like skiing.

Each year, I see February coming with anxiety ! 
Because, in France, for February holidays, it’s skiing time, baby ! Whooo ! Party time ! 

And for me, this is definitively NOT a pleasant time. 

First, you’re wearing snowman’s clothes… 

Please, don’t tell me you feel at ease in those clothes ? Who can feel at ease in the Bibendum’s costume ? Even if it’s thinner than years before, I admit. 

Thanks to gloves, you live, for some days, the incredible feeling of being an astronaut ! When you’re making queue at the ski-tow, if unfortunately, your badge doesn’t work automatically, you need 10 minutes to take off those gloves and 10 minutes more to find your badge in a pocket closed hermetically by a zipper who NEVER get opened when you’ll need it ! 

Just let talk about shoes… No, seriously … SHOES ? THIS ? How can we talk about SHOES ? Shoes must help you to WALK, not to ruin your pelvis just because the creator was fascinated by robots walk !
We're all Robocop, in those shoes. 
Whooo again ! 

Let's talk about skis …
My husband told me they are lighter than before. No ?... REALLY ? I don’t care, their weight is still too heavy for my little and flabby arms ! 

And why, oh why, they never stay attached together ? Why are they always crossing each other, on my shoulders, when I have to carry them on ! 

By the way and to find positive things, I must say skiing, when there’s nobody, in the wood’s silence is fabulous... (Uuuum, not too much wood, ok ?... strangely, trees and ski don't go well together. I mean, for skiers...) 

I love this feeling of immobility, of loneliness, of quiet, peace. 
Unfortunately, I don’t belong to Jet Set and I don’t have enough money to buy a mountain for myself ! 
It means, there are always too much people around me, skiing too fast and too close. 


Sigh … 
I just wait for the summer with impatience ! And I’ll tell you how much I hate people who run, in the sand, close to my towel … :D 
My husband uses to say his life is already difficult with ONE Axelle. He can’t imagine how he could endure … double Axel. 
… He’s got a very poor humour. 

If you want to hear my mare's laugh ... ! Believe, we should not talk when we are filming ! 



Thursday, March 28, 2013

My "I-need-to-clean-my-freezer-and-cupboard" ratatouille...

We all know Ratatouille.
Thank to a small rat called Remi and Disney !

But this traditional provencal (exactly from Nice) recipe needs a long time to be correctly prepared.

I mean, if you want to make the real one ratatouille, you have to cook each vegetable one by one.
When one vegetable is cooked, you take it away from the pan and cook the following one.

It takes time that I don't have, when my day was full and I must make diner for my family, you already know that.  

So, I always have and use frozen food in. Freezer is one of my best friend.
Here's a fast, easy ratatouille's recipe. It won't taste as good as the traditional one (that I'll show you in summer, I promise) but it's flavorous as well.
We must not be too exigeant with ourselves !

Here what you'll need : 
  • 300 grammes of frozen and grilled eggplants 
  • 300 grammes of grilled and frozen red and yellow peppers
  • 2 zucchini (I just had one, that's good as well)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 pulp tomatoes in can of 250 grammes or so (or 3 fresh tomatoes)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 bay leafs
  • Herbes de Provence
  • 1 teaspoon of white sugar

Step 1 :
Let your frozen vegetables defrost. To go faster, I rinse them slowly with cold water.



Step 2 :
As always, in olive oil, let onion brow 5 minutes on a low fire with salt, then add garlic.


Step 3 :
When it's a little bit caramelized, add your zucchini cut in pieces and let them cook for 5 minutes on a medium fire. 


Step 4 : 
Because we're tired and we don't have time to lose, cut defrosted vegetables with scissors ! 
No fear !


I love those colors together.

Step 5 : 
After 2-3 minutes, pour tomatoes, herbs, leafs and sugar, this last ingredient is not obligatory.


Messy dish ! 

Let cook for 20 minutes on a low fire.

Bon appétit ! 


Recapitulative : 

  • 300 grammes of frozen and grilled eggplants 
  • 300 grammes of grilled and frozen red and yellow pepper
  • 2 zucchini (I just had one, that's good as well)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 pulp tomatoes in can of 250 grammes or so (or 3 fresh tomatoes)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 bay leafs
  • Herbes de Provence
  • 1 teaspoon of white sugar
Let your frozen vegetables defrost. To go faster, I rinse them slowly with cold water.

As always, in olive oil, let onion brow 5 minutes on a low fire with salt, then add garlic.

When it's a little bit caramelized, add your zucchini cut in pieces and let them cook for 5 minutes on a medium fire. 

Cut defrosted vegetables with scissors ! 

After 2-3 minutes, pour tomatoes, herbs, leafs and sugar, this last ingredient is not obligatory.

Let cook for 20 minutes on a low fire.


Happy !

Life needs music to make it easier, sometimes.
Art and books. And Love.

On this page, I would like to share with you some music I love, which give me good vibrations on the moment.

Please, enjoy ! :)




Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Just to tell you ...

As you can see, I've changed once again my template...
I warned you :)

I just wanted to separate recipes from my blablabla.

You've got now the possibility to "come for diner", in my little kitchen and to read my family adventures, my thoughts, my great feat...etc.

This way, you can avoid my gossip, if you just want to know what you can cook tonight !

This is a new beginning, so please, forgive me if the integrality of messages are not arranged this way, at the moment. 
I don't feel courageous enough to put some order, now. I'm working on it for two hours now, and I have the same eyes than my baby rabbit when she had myxomatosis ! 

Thank you to Jamie, who gave me this idea. Just hope you'll like it. :)

Thank you for coming here, wherever you come from, thank you to the ones who come daily or regularly and for the ones who just stop for a short visit. Hope you'll come back !

Friendly, 
Axelle the french cook !  






Pics took with my cell ...

He told me : "it doesn't hurt !"


Today, I went to my second pulsed laser's session ...

I've got some little stains on my face and as a lot of things in life, it does not fix by itself.

So, one month ago, I went to my dermatologist, for my first session.
He's a 65 years man old and I just like him very much. He's the only doctor I trust. 
I just forbid him to retire !

And to trust a dermatologist when he tells that it's going to "hurt a little bit" is the best thing you can do. 

The only problem, apparently, is that my dear doctor and I don't have the same exact definition of "LITTLE BIT".

"Don't move anymore, it just going to HURT A LITTLE BIT" said this traitor...
Then he pulsed.
Then my body made a right angle with the operating table.
Then I yelled a kind of :"GRRROOOOAAAAARRRR", which meant "Yes, Doctor, you're right, it hurts just A LITLLE BIT, ooooh, how it prickles softly, this is so sweet...".

He replied : "You're a big girl, it's not going to last too long, don't worry".
At the end of the session, I took off my protective glasses and the way I looked at him made him smile :
"I know you're hating me right now."
Such a telepathist, don't you think ?

He added :
"But don't worry, for the next session, you'll get use to."
The next what ?

I came back at home, red as a tomato, with a burning face and swollen as a ball.

But it was nothing regarding the day after. 

When I woke up, I tried unsuccessfully to open my eyes. After a short moment of panic, I said to my husband :
"I have the feeling to be really, REALLY swollen."

He turned up the light and had surprised movement. I went to see my face in the mirror ...

Elephantwoman. I'm not an animal. I'm a human being !
An edema which lasted 3 days.

So today, when I get back to the second session, I said to my husband : 
"Nothing planned for this week-end, right ? No friends, no family, nothing !".
Just me and my Arnica granules. And no mirror.



Chicken, mushrooms and white wine !


Here a very good and easy recipe to share with you, friends ! 
  • For a chicken with 10 legs ...
  • 2 onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 bay leafs
  • 200 grammes of mushroom (here, canned mushroom)
  • 1 bottle (75 cl) of white wine
  • Some olive oil
  • Some herbes de Provence (or some thyme, oregano and dry rosemary)
  • 1 big tablespoon of cornstarch.

Step 1 : 
As always, begin by making onions brown in olive oil.


Step 2 : 
When they become transparent, let brown the chicken legs for 10 minutes.


Step 3 : 
Pour white wine, garlic (just exploded, no need to cut it), herbs and leafs.




Step 4 :
Take one ladle of sauce in a small bowl and stir with a large tablespoon of cornstarch.




It will help to make all that more creamy.

Step 5 :
Pour the mixture in the dish and finally, let it cook without lid, on a low fire for 30 minutes. 



Bon appétit ! 



Recapitulative : 
  • For a chicken with 10 legs ...
  • 2 onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 bay leafs
  • 200 grammes of mushroom
  • 1 bottle (75 cl) of white wine
  • Some olive oil
  • Some herbes de Provence (or some thyme, oregano and dry rosemary)
  • 1 big tablespoon of cornstarch.

Begin by making onions brown in olive oil.


When they become transparent, let brown the chicken legs for 10 minutes.

Pour white wine, garlic (just exploded, no need to cut it), herbs and leafs.

Take one ladle of sauce in a small bowl and stir with a large tablespoon of cornstarch.

Pour the mixture in the dish and finally, let it cook without lid, on a low fire for 30 minutes. 

Explanation about Ali Baba and the 40 cloves of garlic !

I hear you … What the hell is this title ??!

You don't even imagine how much I have to be creative ! But don't worry, you're going to find the link between the title, the story I'm going to tell you
and the recipe...

It was in January 2004.

I was in Paris, for work, with a friend.
During a walk in Le Marais, I bought a beautiful small lamp, which was looking like the one of Aladdin. 

The day after, coming back home lately, I went to say goodnight to my children, who were 5 and 2 years old.
They were really excited to see me (did they think I would abandon them ?... Maybe ...) and it was impossible to calm them.
They were, on the same time, kissing me, fighting each other, jumping on their bed …etc … Well, normal life.

Exhausted by my trip and exasperated, I yelled :
“STOP ! Keep quiet, I’m going to tell what happened to me in Paris !”

Heartened by the short silence, I added :
“Because, in Paris, I stolen the aladdin's lamp !”.

If I was waiting for some” whaaaaao !”, they cooled me off...
“You're talking rubbish !... That's untrue !”.

So I decides to be more persuasive and as I went along I began to invent a kind of fairy tale :

“I was walking in Paris, with my friend M.,  when suddenly … (always have a short moment of silence, after “suddenly”, it can help), I see, on our left, a small path, narrow and dark. Puzzled by it, I decide to explore…”

Finally, I had all their attention !

I was talking with low and bass voice.

“In the back of this dark alley , what do I see ? (suspense is growing) … ) a spiral staircase who were going down ! My friend tried to dissuade me, but courageously, I take the decision to follow it to the Earth's depths  …”

At this point, in the little bedroom, silence was heavy… children just dared to breathe.

“Finally, I emerge in a low light room, fuuuuuuull of fabulous treasures ! Gold, diamonds, jewels there and there ! The real Ali Baba cavern, here, in Paris ! (Where you finally understand my title ...). And in the middle of all those fabulous richness, on a pedestal, I see … ALADDIN'S LAMP !”

Here, if I had shouted, they would have a heart attack …

I left my theatrical voice some seconds, to make my story more realistic …:
“ I recognised it immediately, for sure ! Thanks to the Cartoon we watched so many times !”.

Then, I took my voice from beyond the grave once again :
“I come up… slooooooooowly… and there, I hear, deafened, coming from a distant room, an old Arabian's voice, talking to himself…”

I kept on talking with the Arabian accent :
“I told him, to Aladdin … If you leave me this lamp, what do you want me to do with it … Only bad things can happen to the one who have it !...”

With my normal voice :
“But, obeying to my courage and my will, I took the lamp !”

At this point of the story, I almost lose my children ! They yelled together :
“NOOOOOOO, MUM, NOOOOO, DON’T TAKE THE LAMP !!!!”

Surprised and laughing a little bit, I replied :
“But, it’s too late, I took it ! It is in the living room, now…”

Then, my husband came to see why they were screaming at loud and why I was laughing to die !
“HEY ! It’s late, they must sleep ! Are you crazy to tell stupid things just now ?? Am I the only adult of this house ?” 

It took me 15 minutes to calm them, promising I had invented all that !
… Untill the following morning, when they came in the living room and discovered the famous lamp, arranged on a small table.

It was so funny, for some weeks, to let them believe I would open the lamp and let the Genius free if they were not good !
I’m a sadistic mother !! :D

To feel fear and calm on the same time.

Yesterday, it happened something a little bit impressive, at work, after lunch time.

I was drinking a coffee with a friend of mine, at the our company cafeteria.

In France, we don’t drink coffee during our meal, but at the end of it. It’s a way to close this day’s moment. 

So, I was sitting with my friend, when we heard a terrific yell.
We were numerous at the bar, but after this terrific sound, a deep silence fell.
I think I will not forget this yell for a long time.
It was terrific and full of distress in the same time. 
I thought first it was someone who received a bad new.

I did not see what was happening, then I saw my boss running to a corner. 
I got up and I went to the place the yell was coming. 

A young man was lying down and I saw immediately he was having an epileptic crisis.

He was a new 30 year’s old employee, just arrived this morning. 

My boss was close to him.
In my job, fortunately, we have first aid lessons every two years.

His body was twisting by violent shock.

I slipped my scarf under his head, who were striking the floor. My boss was trying to hold him.
We turned him on the left side and waited for such a long time the crisis stopped. 
I was talking to him, quietly, with comforting words, telling him rescue were coming soon, to not worry, he was not alone, we were here, taking care of him...etc.

After some two minutes or so, he made a second crisis. I thought he would die.

Maybe it’s ridiculous for some of you who know this illness, but I don’t.
It was the first time I saw an epileptic crisis and the first time I had to interven. 

While I was looking at him and reassuring him with soft words, I thought : 
“He’s going to die on my knees”. 
And this is a very, very bad feeling. 

When finally it stopped, I was feeling so sad for him. We covered him and waited for rescue to arrive. 

I work in a high building… Well, high for us, French people. Of course if we compare with NYC, for example… But everything is higher in NY ! 

There are 14 floors. And cafeteria is at the twelfth floor. 
And believe me … When it happens something, you’ve got time to die twice !

When rescue team finally arrived, everything was over and he was almost ready to get up.

I know there’s nothing to do against epileptic crisis. Just wait and try to protect the epileptic. 
When you take first aid lessons, your first will is to not have to apply them. Never ! 
And I just hope this is the worst situation I’ll have to live !

Today, he came back to work. He doesn't remember nothing. 
I feel so sad for him. I think we just know what to be healthy means when we're confronted to health problem.

I know this post is a little bit sad. But ... c'est la vie, n'est-ce pas ?


Friday, March 22, 2013

Ali Baba and the 40 cloves of garlic : the recipe !

And here's the recipe of a chicken, that we're going to call ALI BABA and his 40 cloves of garlic ! 
Take care : giving him a name, don't become attached to...

... Ok, I'm going to take my pills, promise...

You'll need : 
  • Pieces of chicken (legs go well !), as much as you want. This story is not called "the 1,450 kg chicken Ali Baba ..."
  • 40 cloves of garlic (or so ...don't count the garlic, please !)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • Dry thyme
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper
  • One pan who can go on fire and in oven. Or as me, two pans ...
Your oven must be preheated at 180°C (350°F / Th 6)


Step 1 : 
For once, this recipe doesn't begin by onions, but by meal ! Let brown your chicken on the skin side.


Step 2 : 
Separate your cloves but don't peel them. You're relieved to know it, right ?!
Because if you needed to peel 40 cloves of garlic, you would have to begin some hours before !



Step 3 :
When your chicken is brown, take it off the pan and replace by onion. 


Step 4 : 
When onion is caramelizing, add the wine and let 2 minutes more.



Step 5 : 
Arrange the half of garlic in your pan who will go to the oven, the chiken and the second half of garlic.




Step 6 : Sprinkle with dry thyme, salt and pepper.



Step 7 : 
Finish with pouring the wine. 


Step 8 : 
Cover with a lid or with aluminum sheet and in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes.



That's it ! Believe, chicken is incredibly tender and perfumed ! It's BLISS in your plate ! 




Bon appétit !! 


Recapitulative : 

  • Pieces of chicken as much as you want. 
  • 40 cloves of garlic (or so ...don't count the garlic, please !)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • Dry thyme
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper
  • One pan who can go on fire and in oven. Or as me, two pans ...

Your oven must be preheated at 180°C (350°F / Th 6)



Let brown your chicken on the skin side.

Separate your cloves but don't peel them. 

When your chicken is brown, take it off the pan and replace by onion. 

When onion is caramelizing, add the wine and let 2 minutes more.

Arrange the half of garlic in your pan who will go to the oven, the chicken and the second half of garlic.

Sprinkle with dry thyme, salt and pepper.

Finish with pouring the wine. 

Cover with a lid or with aluminum sheet and in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes.