In the kitchen: my first Challah !

I clearly remember that Friday night, during our summer vacation last year, when we met some elderly people from Israel. They had just celebrated Shabbat and wanted us to try the Challah, the braided bread they traditionally have before dinner. I heard numerous times about it and saw pictures on the Internet yet it did not seem appealing to me: it reminded me of the heavy French brioche which my mom would buy us for school when we were kids.

This week, I was determined to bake my first bread. I have no idea how I thought of Challah but I remembered that Friday night, when that old architect handed me with a big smile a piece of that bread, I tasted something that was approximatively the culinary incarnation of a childhood dream: eating a cloud.

(Yea, weird: I imagined that if one could eat the moon, he would eat something like a cookie and clouds could be a more dense version of candy floss. It’s called imagination).

Challah has a crust that is sure to please even those who remove the crust from their bread because it is so thin, and the inside of the loaf is to DIE for: it’s so fluffy and moist, I ate plain chunks of it but I imagine it would be the perfect match with everything: jam, butter, Nutella, and toasted, I think it would make a really good bruchetta or french toast.

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Can you see the clouds ?

This recipe calls for honey (like most Challahs I guess) and I though I added 3 or 4 spoon of a very strong thyme honey a friend brought us from Greece, it just gave it the sweetness that made the loaf so decadent; if you really want a sweeter version of a Challah I think you would have to add more honey or even sugar…

 

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OOTD: One skirt, two looks !

Hello ladies,

I am so glad to be back on the blog ! I was quite busy this week as I was trying to finish all my projects before starting the second internship of the year at the hospital, hence the lack of posts. I just love writing. I’d do that all day long if I could. I’d do calligraphy, I’d write books for children, I’d…well, let’s move on to today’s post, shall we ?

I had fun doing my OOTD last time, and I thought the experience was enjoyable and that I would repeat it ! Though I am not pretending to be a fashion blogger or a beauty editor, I remember, when I was sixteen, as I was starting to pick modest outfits, that I would browse blogs to find some inspiration.Some were really good, but I would rarely find bloggers who had my petite figure: I am not that short (though I am one of the shortest girls of my class), but I am not tall enough to wear floor-lenght dresses and skirts- maxi dresses are definitely not for me, unless I would want to wear them to mop the floor as I walk. So basically, I tend to wear skirts that cover the knees and I got used to that knee-lenght skirt look that both suits me and is modest at the same time.

The second reason I am starting to post OOTD pictures on the blog is that often, when you browse for modest outfits on Pinterest, you often find there modest dresses, sure, but either straight out of the runway with impossibly high heels that will ruin your walk after only 40 minutes (uncomfortable)- or pictures that are Photoshopped and with such an elaborate makeup and hairstyle that it would take you half a day to recreate the look (unrealistic):

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Mayim Bialik: Lovely and modest ! But a little too fancy for everyday.

That’s why I choosed to post “quick selfies” (since I am living on my own) that I take before heading to work, that are not retouched, and the lighting could be better and all but that’s what I want to show: the real me, with the habitual amount of makeup I wear on a daily basis. After all, we want to look nice… but we have better things to do that to stay all day long in front of the mirror, right ?

As we say in France, “trêve de bavardages” (without further ado), two OOTD ! I love using the same items and combining them with different tops and accessories.

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Autumn

Black denim skirt, champagne white-dotted tee-shirt and a taupe cardigan

Today, I wore the same skirt with a plain elbow sleeve top and black boots, some golden accessories to add a bit of color to all that black…and a béret ! Vive la France !

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Parisienne
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A little close-up ! Taking selfies is definitely not that easy…

I loved doing this post ! Please let me know if you would like to see more OOTD’s and if you have any requests/questions. I love reading your comments and nothing makes me more happy than getting to know my readers !

 

 

OOTD: Warm in Winter

 

Since I won’t be able to blog much next week I thought I’d do my first OOTD on the blog ! Well, it’s not really the outfit of the day but since I have that on my camera roll I thought I’d do a little post just for fun.

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Skirt and top: H and M

I love wearing skirts on almost a daily basis ! However, I find it hard to shop during winter and to find that skirt you can mix and match with lots of tops and, at the same time, has a fabric that is thick enough to keep you warm (and not overly expensive). Where I live in France, there is almost never snow, but boy- the wind is blowing ! I got myself this ultra thick black patterned skirt at H and M for 29 euros and I have a feeling, because of its quality, that I could keep it forever. It kind of reminds me of a blend of vintage skirts and the little black dress 🙂

Have an amazing week !

Stéphanie

Redeeming time #1- Spending less time on the Internet

Weddings Technology
This Sept. 3, 2011 photo courtesy of Luminaire Images Photography shows groom James Williams, right, as he watches his bride Lauren Barnes use her iPhone to accept his Facebook relationship status change to married during their wedding at Long Beach Museum of Art in Long Beach, Calif. (AP Photo/Luminaire Images Photography, Molly Yarchin)

Get ready for the long intro, the nice list comes at the end of the post ^^:

Have you ever thought about the fact that if, by some accident, the Internet as a platform was to be destroyed, if every blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram accounts and applications on your phone were to disappear, you would be very angry, if not regretful ?

I thought about that this afternoon. I was contemplating the possibility of the Internet disappearing, and all these pixels being swallowed in some kind of virtual vortex. How would then be our interaction with others ? Our capacity to be creative without instantly googling key words every time we are looking for a tutorial, a lesson, or a recipe ? How would we use our time ?

Continue reading “Redeeming time #1- Spending less time on the Internet”

Schedule # 1

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The hard thing when you are living alone, as a student, is that when you have to study at home, whether because the library is too far and it’s raining or simply because it’s late and you have no option but to study in your room, is that you can often lack the motivation to study since there is no one to be accountable to ! Especially if like me, you only have a few lectures every now and then and that therefore, you rarely get to study with your friends from uni.

That’s why I have decided to start posting my schedules here online, and at the end of each week, cross the items off the list to give me a boost.

 

17/02-21/02: Things to do

-Cardiology homework -> done

-Accounting: read 4 lectures

-Create a Prezi for my presentation -> done

-Start putting a binder together for my pharmacology exam

-Tackle and finish the first chapter of this binder: diabetology

-Clean my room -> almost done

-Do laundry -> done

-Clean the bathroom -> will do on Monday

-30 min of fitness

 

 

Lord’s day

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“The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no newthing under the sun.”- Ecclesiastes 1:9
 Men’s hearts and their corruptions are the same now as in former times; their desires, and pursuits, and complaints, still the same. This should take us from expecting happiness in the creature, and quicken us to seek eternal blessings. How many things and persons in Solomon’s day were thought very great, yet there is no remembrance of them now!- Matthew Henry

Thy Will be Done

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This year, I discovered something about myself: I am impatient.

I thought I was not. But, as a brother preached the other Sunday, it’s not until you are tested that you know what you are really made of. If you always get what you want when you need it, well, you can’t really say you are patient- there was nothing to wait for, as soon as your belly started grumbling you took the phone and five minutes later, the pizza delivery guy was at the door !

Impatient when it comes to more things than I thought, I must add ! When it comes to school, to my future career, to my expectations… to so many things. And though my parents taught me to be polite, to say thank you, and to be grateful, I found that I often act accordingly with people… but not God. I pray about something, and when I get the said something, I forgot that the Lord graciously answered my prayer and complain about the very thing He just gave me.

And I am talking about that prayer I have said many times: “Thy Will be Done”. His will is perfect after all, is it not ? Why do I, so often, struggle with leaving God be God, and quietly wait upon Him. I’m just a tiny human, and, as Jesus said, ” who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?“. Worrying won’t help.

It will just keep me from doing God’s will.

It will make me waste my precious time.

And I am thinking about that in connection to Valentine’s day because I sat with one friend the other day and she was all sad as she was getting ready to spend another Valentine’s day as a single young woman…

So often, when we see people having things we don’t have, we start to wallow in self-pity; and I am no exception, though God is working on that issue. What I fail to realize is that though I deserve the wrath of God, He loved me unconditionally. He Loves me. His Eternal Son is a delightful Being of Happiness and never needed anything and yet choosed to come down to suffer for our sake, so we would be happy forever with Him. That’s unconditional love, and it is so beautiful that sometimes it’s hard to believe since we have no record of someone, out of Jesus, who came to die for his ennemies.

Oh, the beauty of unconditional love. The beauty of a woman praying for those who hate her, make fun of her. The beauty of a man who will feed those who cannot give him anything in return.

And the thing is that often I forget that though we aren’t necessarily going to have “our best life now” here on earth, there will be a happy ending.

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,  that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such” (Ephesians 5:25-27) Some many poems have been written, so many songs have been sung, so many books have been written in the name of love, and I can’t help but wonder, if there is such a frenzy and an excitement around human love, which is only but a pale picture of what it actually points to, the Love of Christ for His Church, I can’t begin to imagine the ecstasy of Heaven. I pray that God will grant me the necessary patience to eagerly wait for that day.

Whatever He wills, I choose now to gracefully receive, and I want to make God’s desires my desires. What it takes to become what He wants, i.e, conformed to the image of Christ, will not be easy, and He will have to refine me over and over. The way is hard, and not being in control is not something I am particularly fond of, but it’s the only way. God’s way is the only way and I want, even when my spirits are low, to gladly follow Him. My life is not my own.

Something I have struggled with this year, since my brother went to another town for his studies, is loneliness, and some circumstances which I would have changed, if it were in my power to do so. But deep inside, I know the disastrous consequences of being the own captain, the own god of your life.

Now, though it’s hard, I can begin to see the fruits of this solitude in which I was confined. It helped me become sympathetic with those who suffer. It made me more intentional about being there for others. It made me see that to people who don’t have the hope that is found in Christ, we will probably be the only portion of the Bible they will ever read, and that therefore, my time of loneliness had to be used wisely. By modeling Christ’s love through our actions and our care for them.

It could be a card with heartfelt words written on it.

It could be a shoulder to cry on for those who need it.

It could be a tray of biscuits for those who think they are invisible.

It could be a prayer.

It could be a listening ear in this era of technology where nobody listens anymore.

It could be a regular time of encouragement for those who have lost someone a long time ago but are now forgotten.

It could be an afternoon spend with that shy girl who has no friends.

I don’t want to waste that precious time. Because if what my heart desires is not granted to me, it will be, one day, in an overflowing measure...

 

“Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure– pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” (Luke 6:38)

 

In the kitchen: thai chicken

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Ladies… Y’all know that feeling when you’re finally able to replicate that dish you were drooling over at the restaurant once, right ?

It just happened tonight as I cooked this Thaï chicken stew I once had at my favorite Vietnamese restaurant…

 

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The well-known Pho I eat every time I go there
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The dreamy decorations…

Thanks to this restaurant, l’Indochine, I discovered two things: spring rolls, which I thought were bland and tasteless because in the great majority of Chinese/Asian buffets, springs rolls often consists in a sheet of rice rolled around a pound of noodles with a piece of chicken and a leaf of lettuce.

Boy I was wrong. At the Indochine, they make sure the beef in their beef spring rolls and bo-buns was coated in a citronella/lemongrass marinade and it makes a world of difference ! Oh, and they also put fresh mint leaves everywhere, in the Pho, the shrimp spring rolls, so that adds lots of flavor too and helps you digest the big roll you just swallowed.

The other dish I had there that led me to try my hand at replicating it was one of those hot main courses they serve under silver “cloches”. It was a thai cod simmered in a coconut sauce and served with rice, and I.was.smitten.

For this recipe, I replaced the cod with chicken and roughly (I never measure when it comes to food), I chopped one onion and sautéed it in a pan with olive oil, a garlic clove, one small bell pepper; I added the chicken, a bit of chili sauce+ red chili pepper powder, half a can of coconut milk, a bit of garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste, and the secret ingredient… Lemongrass (learn how to slice it here). What I love about this “herb” is that it gives to the dish that “lemon-y”, “citrusy” flavor that will not disappear in the sauce but stay distinct from it- from a gustative point of view it adds texture. Serve with basmati rice and bon appétit bien sûr !

 

 

 

 

The Love of Christ

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We love because of loveliness apprehended and perceived, but Christ loved because He would impart His own loveliness to the object of His choice. Even the best of men, doubtless, love in some measure from selfish motives. There is some mixture of self-interest in all human love, but Christ had nothing to gain by loving His Church. He was very God of very God, the adored of angels and the Beloved of the Father, yet He fixed the eyes of His love—mark you, not of His pity, merely, but of His love—upon those whom He had chosen out of the race of men! He loved them, not for anything that He could ever gain from them, for He had all things in Himself, but because of what He would impart to them! They had nothing of good in themselves and were only fit to be loved by Christ because, like empty vessels, their very emptiness fits them to be receivers of His fullness.“- Charles Spurgeon, Christ’s love to His Spouse