30 December 2014

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the night…


In keeping with the Portuguese/French tradition, we had our Christmas dinner the night before, on Christmas Eve. Despite recent challenges, we decided to host a dinner party chez nous, for which (as is often the case at our parties) the invitation list kept getting longer and longer. 6, 8, 10…16 at the end of the day! Some of our classic holiday dishes were on the menu, including my spinach & artichoke dip (aka crack!) and macaroni & cheese (this time, I used the Pioneer Woman’s recipe) and Luis’s bacalhau com natas (codfish and potato casserole in cream sauce) and Azorean Christmas fruitcake, while friends and family contributed some of their own specialties.

22 December 2014

The Top 10 Dishes of 2014


2014. I can say without question that it’s been a pretty awful year. Not that there haven't been several lovely highlights (among them: travel around Thailand and to Cambodia, South Korea, France, Portugal and the U.S., professional accomplishments and of course seeing our little man grow - he turned a year old in October!). But seriously, this last part of the year has been pretty horrible, with family illness and other stress. This coupled with grim news every time we scroll our Facebook and Twitter feeds or turn on the TV (police shootings, beheadings, Ebola, kidnappings, terrorist attacks in schools...I mean what is this world coming to?!?) has me feeling pretty blue all around. However, it definitely HASN’T been an awful year food-wise. Even though you might think otherwise from the lack of activity around here (I’ll blame it on a combination of the circumstances noted above, my busy life as a working mom as well as a lack of organization on my part), trust me I’ve made lots of tasty dishes this year! Here are my top 10 (things I’ve cooked as well as eaten)…in no particular order…

14 July 2014

Moroccan carrot "tapenade" (baby food that's perfect for adults!)


Friday was a holiday here in Thailand - specifically the Asalha Bucha Day, commemorating the day that the Buddha gave his first sermon expounding the doctrine that came to him following his enlightenment. We're not Buddhists, but we'll take any excuse for a three-day weekend! We decided to make a road trip to Kanchanaburi province, about a thee hour's drive west of Bangkok and close to the Myanmar border. It was actually our first such trip since purchasing our first car just before Rohan's arrival and Luis subsequently getting his driver's license (he never needed one in all those years living in Paris). We opted to go "glamping" (unbeknownst to me, this is an actual word...meaning "luxury" camping). We stayed at the lovely Hintok River Camp at the Hellfire Pass historical site (named for a railway cutting on the former "Death Railway" in Thailand which was built in part by Allied prisoners of war and forced laborers from Malaysia during WWII). Beyond learning about the history (including at the famous Bridge on the River Kwai in nearby Kanchanaburi town, which we visited), we enjoyed a wonderful weekend of clean air, gorgeous green hills and valleys, swimming in the camp's natural spring pool, walking around the famous Erawan Waterfall and a campfire BBQ dinner.

07 July 2014

Masoor dal, yellow pepper & coriander puree (baby food that the grown ups will be fighting for!)


So I've become one of THOSE bloggers. The type who posts rarely during pregnancy and then virtually abandons her blog post-baby. In case anyone still follows me, you'll note that the last and only time that I posted anything since the birth of our baby prince (8 1/2 months ago...where has the time gone?!?!?) was on January 1. More than six months ago. I don't make any excuses for the silence, because I imagine (or rather hope) that you all understand that I've been quite occupied with the little one (whose name is Rohan), as well as work which I returned to at the beginning of March. However since he started sleeping through the night starting in the middle of May (woooohooooo!), freeing up my evenings, I've been telling myself that it's high time to resurrect the blog. So here goes (though I won't promise quite yet to post with any real regularity)...

01 January 2014

Highlights of 2013...and tips for healthy pregnancy eating!


2013...what a year it was! On October 21 here in Bangkok, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Rohan Aires (thus the reason for the silence around here). Becoming parents has certainly changed life as we know it. I haven't been doing much cooking since my mom is here and has been staying with us for some months now (lucky us!). I feel fortunate in that I have a nice long maternity leave, meaning that I still have a couple of months to go of exclusive time with our precious baby prince. So in theory, I should be able to get back to blogging. In theory, that is! In the meanwhile, I wanted to share some highlights of this amazing year and also some tips for healthy pregnancy eating for vegetarians in particular or for anyone concerned with nutrition and wellness during this special time in life.