Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Ah... France. I dream of visiting, of walking its streets, OF EATING ITS FOOD!!!!!

I can't just yet, but something from France came to me in the form of Laduree, a 146 year old Parisian institution that started as a bakery, and is now a tea salon/purveyor of luxury food.

A good friend thoughtfully brought over her baby pink Laduree box, and inside 6 macaroons were gently cradled, waiting patiently for a delicate hand to bring it over to not-so-delicate lips smacking with anticipation. I'm not a big macaroon fan myself, but I timidly tried one, and ended up enthusiastically eating 3.

We each had the pistachio, coffee and the revelation of the afternoon: the salted butter caramel. Similar to dulce de leche but less cloying, it was a sensation to the taste buds, a creamy, toffee-like silken creation with salty undertones. I, the not-a-macaroon-fan, could probably eat 3 in one sitting. Good thing there was only 1. After enjoying the macaroons, and while in the throes of utter pleasure, a part of our brain prodded us with the reminder that we had overeaten, that we consumed more sugar and calories in 10 minutes than we should have, so in an act of desperation we drank some hot tea and immediately felt better. I mean, what could be healthier, right? And tea does go so well with macaroons.

Confessions of a Shopaholic

I can't enter a food shop or walk by a market without buying something. Anything. A calorie-filled snack, an unnecessary, expensive ingredient, a kitchen doodad I admire then stick in a drawer, a bar (or three) of chocolate, something I feel my family back home will enjoy (even if I can only give it after several months), an exotic find from a country I haven't been to (now that definitely increases my choices exponentially).

Hubby says I enter with good intentions to just "window" shop, and leave a few hundred dollars poorer. My friends are testament to this predilection/addiction. Which means grocery lists are largely ignored as I tend to purchase far more than I originally planned -- but then aren't most shopaholics this way?

Last week I walked up to the Peak after my class and chanced upon Marketplace by Jason's. Part of the Dairy Farm Group, it's a cross between an upscale, expat-targeted Wellcome and Oliver's in Prince's building. That is to say, it's not as nicely stocked as Oliver's, but is far, far better than your ordinary neighborhood supermarket. I cruised the aisles and found nothing that interesting, plus I really didn't need anything. My freezer was groaning, my fridge bloated, my cupboards barely had an inch of space.

And yet you can guess what happened. The card got swiped, and the goodies lugged home.

wicked! Lindt dark chocolate with chili

worth a try: Movenpick 72%. I love my bittersweets. I love my darks.

The only dark hubby likes: with whole, crunchy almonds

For our families back home: rich, silky truffles

And my happy find: sinamak or spiced vinegar. I'm sure it's not the best brand out there but just look at the floating "silis" and flavorful spices and tell me you don't crave chicken inasal.