Monday, November 23, 2009

Great, Healthy Idea for Pasta

Okay, I have to say right away that this wasn’t Mike’s own incredible idea – we got it from the TV show The Biggest Loser.
  • Replace half of the pasta in any pasta recipe with shredded zucchini.
  • Serve the pasta as normal.

Note: Mike has been adding the shredded zuch to the pasta for the last one minute of cooking, and that is perfect.

It saves a ton of calories, it adds healthy veggies to a meal, and the zucchini holds the flavor of the sauce much better than pasta.

You’ve gotta try it!

Love to all!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Very European Hors D'oeuvres

Sandra served a delectable hors d'oeuvres last Sunday: fromage de chevre avec des tomates seche & l'huile de olive et de ali. Translation: Goat cheese with dried tomatoes, olive oil, and garlic.

Not only was this delicious, it was also ridiculously easy, pretty and very European. Try it for your next party!

Sharlene . . . sorry this post was a few days late for Nancy's b'day celebration.

The recipe is simple. The only difficult part may be finding the right cheese in America. If you find it, please email me.

Small rounds of goat cheese - about 1 inch in diameter - at room temperature
Sun-dried tomatoes
Olive oil (go for the good stuff!)
Any other spices you may want to add
Good bread or crackers

Mix the sun-dried tomatoes with a liberal amount of olive oil and the garlic/spices. Let sit for an hour or so (until the tomatoes are somewhat re-hydrated).

Pour the tomato/olive oil mixture into a pretty serving dish and place the goat cheese rounds into the mixture.

Serve with the bread or crackers. Et voila!

Love to all!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Regarding Biarritz:

Wow . . . That’s all I could say. Wow!

The sign above and the pictures of the waves (and surfers, which may just look like black specks on the blog) below says it all.

A real ocean, beaches with real sand, waves, sunshine, no wind – that is how I would describe our time in Biarritz. Yes, we were incredibly lucky to have warm, sunny weather at the end of October, and yes, we were lucky (or Mike was lucky) to have great swell and waves.

We spent all the time we could on the beach, so there really isn’t much to tell you.

It goes much like this: We found good surf spots for Dado (Parlementia was by far the best!), and the kids and I played on the beach while he surfed.

There's Dado getting dressed for surfing (I'm sure he was singing "Mambo Number 5" to himself!), and there he is in the water. Woohoo!!

We did eat occasionally, too, and we did a little bit of shopping – but that was all secondary.

One super highlight! We visited L’Atelier du Chocolat in Bayonne, which is a company that makes chocolate bonbons. Ohhhh, yummy. We got to take a tour of the chocolate museum and watch them make the chocolates. Then – we got to do a chocolate tasting. Awesome! Of course, we bought a ton, too. Well, not a ton exactly, but a lot! The kids also got to dress up as chocolatiers and paint a white chocolate fish.

I'll have pictures of that visit in another post because I left my camera in the car (obviously, I was too distracted by the idea of all that chocolate!). All the pictures are on Dado's iPhone.

We also visited San Sebastian, Spain and Bordeaux, France. Unfortunately, they were both so unexciting that we didn’t even break out the camera. They were both very, very large cities. If we had time to explore more, maybe we would have found them to be more entertaining.

I’m sure it was the call of the ocean that pulled us away from anywhere besides Biarritz. I mean . . . Just look at that picture of Biarritz from the shore of Parlementia. Again - Wow!

Love to all!


We packed in a ton of Halloween fun since arriving home from Biarritz - a mere 48 hours before it was time to Trick or Treat.

Sophie joined us with her cousin, Marjorie, and Marjorie’s two daughters to decorate Halloween spider cupcakes. We had to improvise, since they don’t sell Betty Crocker in France: we homemade the cupcakes and frosting.

To make the spiders, we mixed Nutella with cocoa krispy-type cereal for the bodies, and we used red licorice and black licorice for the legs. According to all reports, the results were delicious.

We carved the pumpkins on Halloween day, and they were great! We were the only people in the entire village to have pumpkins, too. Some people actually commented as they walked by, “Are those real?” (in French, of course)

Trick or treating was great! “Les bonbons ou les farces!” There was lots of blood considering that Josey was a vampire and Sandra, Noah, and Victoria were all zombies. Can you find Max?

Like last year, we had a great time going through the village. About ¼ of the villagers were home and giving out candy, which is awesome considering this holiday is relatively new here in France.

Love to all!