Tag Archives: culinary

Auberge de la Ferme: Wine Choices for Dinner

I never had the opportunity to write about the experience at Auberge de la Ferme. I will do it in another opportunity because now I just want to share our wine choices for dinner. They have an extensive selection of wines in a big cave and every time we go there we spend a lot of time choosing the right one, hoping it is good enough for the occasion.

This time we made a very good choice at a good price. They are:

Montravel

We had a gastronomic dinner with 7 services and most of the dishes demanded a white wine. We choose Montravel, that was one of the waiter‘s suggestions. This is a very good 12% dry and fruity wine 2013.

White wine Montravel
White wine Montravel

Julienas

Some of the dishes demanded a red wine. So, we once again accepted one of the waiter‘s suggestions. The dry, 13% red wine Juliénas 2011.

Red Wine Julienas
Red Wine Julienas

We still are amateurs in the art of wine appreciation. So, I’m saving the choices here for the next time 🙂 .

Real Social Values that We Can’t Find on Facebook

Every working day, my wife and I go walking from home to the train station very early in the morning. Sometime ago, there was a singular thing on the way that caught our attention: a litle “burnt yellow” pumpkim was beautifully growing in the garden of a house in the neighborhood. Over the next 3 months we patiently followed the growth of that pumpkim, which was slowly becoming gorgeous.

Day after day, the temptation to take that away was inevitably increasing. However, the romantism of that rare scene of mutual trust between the residents and passersby was bucolically charming, surrounded by a scenario of a calm small town on the countryside of Belgium.

When the pumpkim was finally looking ripe, the residents put a lovely message for those of us who resisted to that daily temptation.

The message translated from French was:

“Our pumpkim is ready to be eaten…. Thanks to all people who gave a benevolent look and resisted the temptation to take it. So, come and enjoy a good pumpkim soup among neighbors this Friday, August 19th, from 7 p.m.! Everyone is welcome.”

That’s a great example of social interaction that is rare to see nowadays. It comforts me, makes me believe that real social interaction is far more valuable for life than the digital ones, like Facebook and Google+.

Jamie Oliver for the Peace Nobel Prize

Last year Mr. Obama won the Peace Nobel Prize. There was a lot of controversy about this prize because the president of the United States didn’t do anything concrete to bring peace to the world. I, particularly, didn’t like the Nobel commission’s choice for this prize. So, in order to fix this hasty decision, I would like to suggest a name for 2010: Jamie Oliver, the famous British chef! What???

Jamie figured out that he can actually change the world by changing people’s eating habits. His mission statement seems really touching, inspiring and reachable actually.

“I wish for your help to create a strong, sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again and empower people everywhere to fight obesity.”

Doing this, Jamie could save millions of lives all over the world reducing the obesity statistics and, consequently, making people feel really happy for doing something definitively useful, which is: feed people. Watch his message in this video below. It is more than convincing, it’s touching.

You may think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not. I’m 31 years old and I started to cook at 30, less than 1 year ago. I know by a matter of fact what Jamie is trying to say. I know how good cooking means for mental health :D. If you have a family to care about and you go to the kitchen with the mission to feed them, you see exactly your importance in other people’s life cycle in the simplest way possible. That’s why cooking is worth experiencing.

These two pictures below show two of Jamie’s recipes that we have made at home and they are simply amazing.

Poulet et Poireaux Stroganoff

Côtelettes D’Agneau Grillées Avec Une Riche Salsa

Look at the details about Jamie’s plan here and start helping him to accomplish this by just spreading the wonderful art of cooking. If somehow you are not motivated enough, watch the movie Julie & Julia and you will be sufficiently motivated. Trust me! 😉

Not a Single Protein Lost

One of the things I really miss from Brazil is the Japanese food! – WHAT??!! Japanese food in Brazil?! :O – I’m serious! At least in my city, there are dozens of Japanese restaurants offering all kinds of Japanese food. They started around 10..12 years ago and we all thought that they would stay opened for a while only, since they were offering raw food for a culture of well cooked meal, but they have consolidated and expanded business through the years.

When we lived there, we went to Japanese restaurants at least 2 times a month to eat something like the picture below. A sushi boat with 42 peaces. It is too much, I know, but a small portion always lets us wishing for more.

For our surprise, some friends in Belgium invited us to a Japanese dinner. Wow! I couldn’t believe that we were going to eat something we hadn’t eaten for years! I think I was the first to confirm the invitation. This emotion was equivalent to the one I had in Portugal when I went to a churrascaria (a restaurant specialized in Brazilian barbecue), to taste different kinds of meats from Brazil.

The dinner was AWESOME! Delicious! So good like the ones I ate before. We also helped, preparing some caipirinhas and people really enjoyed it (at least, they asked for more!) We would like to thank our friends one more time for these great moments, which also brought great memories. I made the video below to register the occasion. 😉

Not Exactly a Recipe of Caipirinha

If there is one thing that represents well the Brazilian soul and culture, this thing is our most known drink: caipirinha! There is nothing really special in the recipe of this drink to make it so unique. You just need sugar, lemons, and cachaça and mix them, pressing all the ingredients with a wooden bat in a common glass or improvising somehow with clean hands.

The secret is the quantity of each ingredient and this quantity is totally subjective, managed by the heart of the bartender. Look at these guys. The caipirinha they prepare must be great, but not because they have experience doing that, but because of their feelings represented by an authentic smile :). The meaning of this feeling is simple: “I want you happy and feeling good as I am, so I’m going to improve your mood through this caipirinha”. It is not actually said, but felt. You feel your mood changing when you start to drink it and you can be sure about that when you ask for a second one.

The main ingredient of caipirinha is cachaça. It is a traditional strong drink from Brazil, around 40% of alcohol. Of course you have all the freedom to drink it as you wish, but you will miss the Brazilian spirit if you drink it pure or alone. Why can’t you drink it pure? Because it is too strong and you will not find happiness, but the floor. Why can’t you drink it alone? Because you cannot find happiness alone. So, every time I give a bottle of cachaça as a gift I always advice: “This bottle is yours but never ever drink it alone.”. People don’t understand, but I insist without any further explanation. Now, I finally decided to explain it here.

The recipe of caipirinha mixes sugar with cachaça, reducing the alcohol effect to the body. Drinking it with friends will make you happy, everybody happy and their happiness will come back to you in double.

So, if you received a bottle of cachaça as a gift or you bought one, follow my advice: wait for a moment of good mood, invite some friends and use any recipe available on the internet. It doesn’t matter. What matters is how good you want to make your friends feel.