Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Mmm...cheese, runny, runny, cheese

I've been out of the loop when it comes to my virtual online blogging book club, but I just could not pass up a book about cheese.  This month's selection was "The Whole Fromage" - about a woman who travels though France in search of cheese. I really hated cheese as a kid, although I would eat melted mozzarella or jack cheese, but never cold, yuck. Could cheese get more mild than that?  I slowly expanded my palette, though, although I still am not a fan of the stinkiest cheese.  Give me some fresh blue cheese for my salad though, or a gooey triple-cream brie, or an sharp hard cheese with an apple and I am in heaven now. It's great that we can even get raw cheeses these days, which I think have some most excellent health benefits.  I really have no excuse not to eat good cheese, since what must be one of the world's best cheese shops (or this country's at least) is right down the street from me.

Cheese clearly lives in my genes, though, as one son practically lives on it.  He's more of a chedder/jack type (although he loved the french goat cheese I gave him), and is often the only protein he gets in a day.  My other son loves him some swiss, and they've both come to love brie.

So to motivate me to do my reading, I decided to have a little cheese (and wine of course) tasting, and headed over to the french fridge full of tasty dairy goodness.  I came home with a goat cheese, which France seems to be full of, with a pretty round fresh center.  A very ripe blue, a runny runny "brie-style" cheese (according to wikipedia description :) and a couple harder cheeses - even a local CA jack to round out the mix.

Of course one attendant was lactose intolerant, and did not believe my claim that raw cheese was ok.  She was a good sport and downed some sausages and vino.  If it was not for all the leftovers in my fridge, I'd be up for it again.

This post was inspired by The Whole Fromage by Kathe Lison, who traveled to France in search of its artisanal cheeses. Join From Left to Write on August 22 as we discuss The Whole Fromage.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Expats

I traveled quite a bit for work last year, at least in comparison to years past. I always love to travel, even though my business trips are less adventures to exotic locales than doing the same work in a new location, with the perks of gourmet meals, maid service and happy hours. Actually less happy hours than late night meetings in bars (I am in marketing, after all).

What I dream about is actually moving to a foreign city, exposing my kids to a new culture and embracing the challenges and excitement of a different place. When I lived in Japan for a summer one of my favorite activities was browsing the produce and seafood sections of the grocery store. As we become more global the stores and restaurants seem to look the same, but there are still plenty of fruits and vegetables I rarely see outside of my trips to China: dragon fruit, mangostinos (except canned), ginko nuts and lotus root, to name a few. 

In Frankfurt last year I ate three kinds of sausages in one afternoon, finally seeing why currywurst is so popular - yummy. I still love to talk about my adventure with a Japanese friend, as we searched out the best (according to google, at least) soup dumplings in Shanghai. What a joy to get to do that everyday, especially if I got to take some time off work.

Until my husband becomes a mastermind computer security expert engaged in white collar crime, I guess I'll just continue to dream.

This post was inspired by mystery thriller novel The Expats by Chris Pavone. Kate Moore sheds her old life to become a stay at home mom when her husband takes a job in Europe. As she attempts to reinvent herself, she ends up chasing her evasive husband's secrets. Join From Left to Write on January 22 as we discuss The Expats As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Meal Plan Sunday

Before we become an even more crazy sports family, thought I'd attempt a few weeks of meal planning (hint, will not be making what's in the photo). It seems to be tryout and futsal season, so we'll see how it works out. Food on the Table is a cool app, introduced to me by Keegan actually, where you can pick out recipes and it gives you a grocery list and even sale items at neighborhood groceries, although of course the Milk Pail is not on there.

I'm going to have to make some sort of souffle this week. On Friday I was asked to find a photo of a risen, then fallen souffle for some corporate powerpoint presentation, then I came home and Keegan out of the blue asked if we could make a cheese souffle. He probably won't appreciate me cramming it full of broccoli.

Monday, the day both of use work and the the kids have the day off: flavorful flounder, brown rice and carrots, followed by futsal at 8:30pm!

Tuesday: souffle, depending on whether I make it home in time

Wednesday: soccer tryouts - meatloaf, bacon covered, from Pioneer Woman, made the night before

Thursday: school orientation night, probably go out?

Friday: Thai Peanut Chicken Tenders

Saturday: cold cereal and leftovers most likely, but let's say Ground Beef A'La King for kicks and grins (I think I actually have leftover puff pastry shells in the freezer)

This is provided my family still refuses to live on green smoothies.