Sunday, February 22, 2009

le nourriture

I did it, I'm done, and although I can't owe it all to a few cappuccinos, they definitely helped ;). What a week that was! And I had a nice, relaxing, low-key weekend because of it. I just have to get through this next week of pretty easy going classes and then it's spring break for me. 5 days, yipeee!

Friday night I went for a late night dinner with Liz at some hole-in-the wall Afghani restaurant. We had to practice "date night" since we're going to be each other's sole traveling companions over spring break ;). Anyway, since  I had no idea what to expect with the food... 

I just had to stick to what I knew with the wine :). We split a fabulous bottle of a Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon.

She ordered the Dal-Naan, oriental lentils served in a spiced sauce,

and served with two naan. 

And I had the (?), a spinach pasta-like pieces filled green onion, seasoned with frommage blanc, alongside kidney beans in a tomato and spiced sauce. The verdict? Incredible! All the flavors were very well-balanced. It's probably comparable to many other middle-eastern cuisines although I have yet to find out... how exciting :).

Saturday morning I woke up to a very special treat, an apple tart for breakfast! These things are incredibly tasty, it's a good thing that I don't know the bakery that my host-mom buys them from ;). I savored my weekend treat every so slowly with instant-cappuccino and kiwi.

I spent that night in a Brasserie downtown. This was yet another micro-brewery so we shared pitchers of the blonde and amber varieties. 
As for the eats we had two amazingly delicious tarte flambées. This Alsatian dish has made blog appearances a few times before but I've never quite explained it to you all, so here it goes... Tarte flambée is one of the most famous gastronomical specialties of the Alsace region. The dish is composed of thin bread dough rolled out in a circle or a rectangle and then traditionally covered by crème fraíche, onions, and bacon.

We went for a little more adventure... the first with fresh goat cheese and tomato (omg, omg, omg) and the second with various vegetables.
It was quite the fun night. I'm so glad to have found such a compatible group of friends in both of my experiences abroad. Going into it, not knowing anyone, is incredibly scary and the results can definitely go either way. Now I feel like I have friends all over the world :).
Sunday morning's breakfast was a light as we were low on groceries, two pieces of bread wit jam, a slice of cheese, and a clementine.
Then I went out with my host-mom to re-stock the kitchen and neither one of us could resist purchasing this decadence for our second mini-meal that morning, une quatre-quarts au chocolat, or a chocolate-covered pound cake. The French name comes from the fact that the cake is made with four equal parts of flour, sugar, eggs, and butter. 

It would've been perfect alongside one of my little saving graces, n'est pas? Oh yummy. I absolutely adore cappuccinos.
Okay. As much as I've been enjoying every single bit of my adventures into French and ethnic cuisines, I can't say that I haven't been worrying a bit. I'm all for pleasure whether you're eating a fresh strawberry or a slice of chocolate cake but I also, must admit, that I don't want to carry around the extra weight that would come with overdoing the latter.  I wish I could say that I have a completely healthy relationship with food, a balanced diet and consistent exercise, all things in moderation, always eating when hungry and stopping when full, yada yada yada, but I haven't mastered all that yet. Maybe that makes me too much of a self-critical female, or maybe that just makes me normal?
I bought a few magazines this weekend to practice my French and fulfill my magazine article reading need. The French Marie Claire had a special section on dieting. Intrigued, I tried deciphering it to the best of my ability. It was quite interesting, and although I can't go into detail right now about the exact content, I thought I'd mention a small epiphany I had. The French word for food , le nourriture. You see, with the way I've been thinking about the food that I eat lately I think I've lost touch with why I eat, for nourishment. My body needs food that will nourish it, whole, nutrient-rich food, but my mind and soul also deserve to be nourished. How could I have forgotten!
I haven't been able to get back into running with the same ease and excitement in Chile and that's frustrating. I've been stressing out with classes and the rapid onset of midterm papers. In general I just haven't been feeling like myself at my best. I need a long afternoon walk, a morning yoga session, a time for me when I can be alone with my thoughts, and, I might need these daily. I'm not exactly sure where I'm going with this, but I'm already feeling  optimistic, to be continued...
Be kind to yourself.

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