Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Whole Wheat Banana Cake

I hardly eat bananas, but love them when added to fruit salad or granola, or incorporated or made into desserts, such as banana cake / banana bread.

Or this. Here is a baby banana from Thailand. One that went skinny dipping in honey and then off to leisurely hours of sun-bathing. From many internet sources, this type of banana is called 'finger' or 'lady finger'. In Thai it's called Leb Meau Nang which translates as 'lady fingernail'. A fingernail this size is long by any standard, and I think that given such a fingernail, to be called a 'lady' is debatable.

Like many other dried fruits (dried apricots, dates, prunes, plums), they are sweet and have a nice chewy texture. The honey has caramelized and has a hint of molasses. I brought 2 boxes of these back from Thailand thinking that they would make a healthy snack or dessert. But who was I kidding!? Each time after all is said and done (dinner and dessert that is), I'd shake my head and gleefully tell myself that that was fruit. Not dessert! And who in the right mind would cheat herself out of a dessert!?

In Thailand we have many ways of dealing with the excess supply of bananas. Here is dried banana sheets. The bananas are soaked in salted water, cut in half, flattened, and oven dried.

From time to time I also have to deal with excess supply of bananas myself, which in yesterday's case meant a banana cake. But not just any banana cake because I had the bright idea of making it super healthy.

I had never used whole wheat flour and had wanted to try. So last week off I went to get some at Fairway. The smallest bag was 2.5 kg and it would cost $5.98, and then I saw the 10 kg. bag was on sale for $7.98. Given that I had never used WW flour, I didn't know if I was going to waste $2.00 or 10 kgs of flour, but I was too cold for too much thinking.

After lugging the 10 kg., plus other Christmas groceries, in the windy snow storm like a mad woman, it is now sitting in the basement. So I might as well get cracking on it. I substituted the AP flour with it using my regular banana bread recipe, as well as omitted the oil and added half a cup of crushed pineapples. Fifty minutes later in the oven (the cake baked faster than the regular version at 80-90 minutes), the house was filled with that promising smell. The cake looked beautiful with a perfect brown and moist top. I was impatient to taste it, but it was after midnight already and being a reasonable girl I was, I figured I'd just flip it out of the pan to cool.

As it slipped out of the pan, the texture of bottom had a familiar look of, surprise surprise... whole wheat cake! And I was suddenly reminded of the dry and crumbly whole wheat muffins at the university which I ate exactly once and never again. At that point, I was almost sure that I was to eat this entire cake by myself... So much for trying to be healthy!

I had two small pieces today. It's definitely not a fluffy and crumbly cake, but decidedly moist, dense and flavorful. I liked it a lot and will be making it again.

Whole Wheat Banana Cake Recipe

Ingredients :
3 mashed bananas
1 cups sugar
½ cup oil (omitted here)
1 egg
¼ cup skim milk
1½ cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ cup crushed pineapple
optional ½ cup walnuts, or more (omitted here)
optional ½ cup chocolate chips, or more (omitted here)

Directions :
Mix together in order given. Pour into lightly greased and floured 9*5*3 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour 20 minutes.

Bon appetit!

P.S. Yannick hasn't tried it yet and I probably won't bother to ask. These low fat whole grain things are too weird for his French tongue.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Rotini & Cauliflower Gratin

Eventhough the days were sweet and slow, Christmas holidays seem to have come and gone by so quickly. We thought about and sent good wishes to our families and friends who were far away.

Christmas day, aside opening presents, we spent most of the day digesting excess from Christmas eve while preparing a nice meal for dinner.

Christmas Eve was spent with our friend Ryan and his family (in picture above, Trina, Jeff, Dolores and Ryan). I was in a cooking mood and tried many new recipes during the holidays.

In the photos there are tomato and pesto tarts, salmon roll, lemon cake, and zucchini squares.

I wanted to make crème brulée and quatre quart (pound cake) because Yannick really likes these two things. I thought Dorie Greenspan's Perfection Pound Cake would be great to try. I never put so much effort into making a cake, but here I was disappointed with the result.

As for the crème brulée, I didn't have a kitchen torch, so I thought I'd try the oven broiler method. And the brulée experiment was conducted on blueberry and cranberry clafoutis.

I used jasmine extract instead of the usual vanilla here. But the brulée part didn't work out too well... So needless to say, no crème brulée for Christmas this year.

Out of all the new dessert recipes I tried, I was most pleased with this super light blueberry cheesecake (adapted from Strawberry Cheesecake Pie from the Nestle website) which I made for a gathering at our friend Andrew's a few days before. I used fat-free creamcheese and was very happy with the result. And eventhough Yannick doesn't like this kind of dessert very much, I am planning to be making a whole one for myself from time to time.

I made rotini and cauliflower gratin as a side dish for our Christmas dinner. It was very simple and satisfying.

Rotini and Cauliflower Gratin Recipe

1. Cook a 3 handful rotinis in salted water.
2. Add half a head of cauliflower, cut into large florets, to the cooking rotinis.
3. Make bechamel sauce (2 T butter, 2 T flour, a bit of onion, 2 cups of milk).
4. Add 1.5 cups of grated gruyere.
5. Mix the bechamel with the drained pasta and cauliflower. Put in a casserol.
6. Mix breadcrumb with melted butter.
7. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of grated gruyere and breadcrumbs.
8. Bake at 350 degrees for about half an hour.

Bon appetit!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

White Corn from Bangkok

In Victoria we do get delicious super sweet, juicy and crunchy corn in the summer, but the kind of corn I really love is this starchy and chewy corn that I used to eat in Thailand. And sadly, this is my very last one that was brought back (20 of them) from my last trip. Why only 20?! Next time I'll know better.

I know it as 'candle' corn or sometimes 'sticky rice' corn. Now that I think about it, I am not sure if they are their actual common names as I have only heard my mother using these names. And as I have become older and wiser, I started to realize that my mother is very creative and inventive.

The texture is indeed similar to sticky rice. And I suppose if one ever looks at the candle wax and wonders what the texture would be like in one's mouth, this would be it.

When I was on vacation in Mexico for 2 weeks in 2004, I didn't find much to eat (I was a vegetarian...) and this became my dinner of choice. Everyday. There were many kinds of toppings (I don't remember what and didn't pay much attention), but I always went with lime and chili powder. In Thailand the corn is dipped in salted water after being cooked. And I like to sprinkle extra salt, white pepper, and garlic powder on mine.

Until my next trip!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sesame and Ginger Noodle Salad

Yannick was excited to hear the weather forecast announcing snow last week. How beautiful and romantic it would be!

But it's the fifth day that we have been snowed in and there's no end in sight. Yannick is amusing himself endlessly with birds and squirrels.

And for me it's kitchen time. Today lunch was sesame and ginger noodle salad which I served with okonomiyaki which is a kind of Japanese pancake. The noodle salad was very quick and easy to put together. It was tasty and refreshing.

Sesame and Ginger Noodle Salad Recipe

Ingredients :
1/2 cup cooked spaghetti, packed
1 carrot, grated
1 small avocado, diced
1/2 tsp. grated ginger
1 small garlic clove, grated
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/2 tbsp. Thai sweet chili sauce
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
pepper to taste

Directions :
1. In a bowl, toss together spaghetti, grated carrot and avocado.
2. Whisk together the rest of the ingredients, except sesame seeds, in another bowl to make the sauce.
3. Add the sauce to the noodle bowl toss well.
4. Just before serving, sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds and toss well.

Bon appetit!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Recipe Index

Le Cheesecake
Turtle Oat Squares
Italian Egg Biscuits
Sweet Potato Ravioli with Roasted Garlic Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
Blackberry Almond Tart
Candied Peanuts
Orange Cranberry Bread
Cranberry Almond Whole Wheat Biscotti
Chunky Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters
Light Luscious Apricot Cheesecake
Cottage Cheese Quiche Squares
Roasted Chickpeas
Blueberry Clafoutis
Spaghetti in Thai Roasted Chili Paste
Whole Wheat Banana Cake
Rotini and Cauliflower Gratin
Sesame Ginger Noodle Salad

Film List

I suppose that's a lot of time spent in front of the screen... I really do love good movies.

21 grams (2003)
35 Rhums
37°2 le matin (1986)
5 * 2 (2004)
500 Days of Summer (2009)
6ixtynin9 (1999)
8 Femmes (2002)
A Couch in New York (1996)
A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
A Good Woman
A Good Year (2006)
A Love to Hide (2005)
A Map of the World
A Perfect Murder
A Room with a View
A Very Long Engagement
A beautiful Mind (2001)
A la Folie (1994)
A la Folie... Pas du Tout (2002)
A la Mode (1993)
A simple plan (1998)
About a Boy (2002)
After the Wedding
Aimée & Jaguar (1999)
Air Force One (1997)
Alias Betty (2002)
Alice In Wonderland
Alice et Martin (1998)
Aliens (1986)
All My Loved Ones (2004)
All Things Fair (1995)
All about my Mother (2000)
All that Jazz (1979)
All the Pretty Horses (2000)
Always (1989)
Amadeus (1984)
Amantes (1991)
America's Prince: The John F. Kennedy Jr. Story (2002)
American Beauty (1999)
American President (1995)
An Education
An Ideal Husband
An Unfinished Life
Angel at My table (1990)
Angela's Ashes (1999)
Anna et le Roi (1999)
Annie Hall (1977)
Another Year
Antonia’s Line (1995)
Apollo 13 (1995)
Après l’Amour (1992)
As Good As It Gets
As it is in Heaven
Atame! (1990)
Atonement (2007)
Au Revoir les Enfants (1987)
Avanim (2004)
Awakenings (1990)
Babette's Feast (1987)
Bad Education (2004)
Bandidas (2006)
Basic Instinct (1992)
Beau Marriage (1982)
Beautiful Beast (1995)
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Because of You (1995)
Becoming Colette (1991)
Bee Season (2005)
Beethoven Lives Upstairs (1989)
Before Night Falls (2000)
Before Sunrise (1995)
Before Sunset (2004)
Being John Malkovich (2000)
Bella (2006)
Bella Martha (2001)
Belle Epoque (1992)
Belle du Jour (1967)
Beloved (1999)
Bend it like Beckham (2002)
Best Intentions
Best Man
Best of Youth (2005)
Betty (1992)
Beyond Rangoon (1995)
Beyond Silence (1996)
Big Fish
Billy Elliot (2000)
Black Orpheus (1958)
Blow (2001)
Blue Butterfly (2004)
Blue Gate Crossing (2003)
Blue Valentine
Bollywood/Hollywood (2002)
Bon Voyage (2003)
Bord de Mer (2002)
Born in Absurdistan (1999)
Boudu (2005)
Boys Don't Cry (1999)
Bread and Tulips (2000)
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
Bridge of the Madison County
Bridget Jone's Diary (2001)
Bridget Jones : the Edge of Reason (2004)
Brief Crossing (2001)
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Broken Flowers
Brothers (2004)
Burnt by the Sun (1994)
But Forever In My Mind (1999)
By My Side Again (1999)
Bye Bye (2002)
Ca commence aujourd'hui (1999)
Caché (2005)
Café au Lait (1993)
Calendar (1993)
Callas Forever (2002)
Camille Claudel (1988)
Capote (2005)
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001)
Carne Trémula (1997)
Carnets d'ados - La vie quand même (2003)
Casablanca (1942)
Casino (1995)
Caterina in Big City (2005)
Central Station (1998)
Certified Copy (2010)
Chaos (2001)
Charlotte Gray (2001)
Chelsea Walls (2001)
Chignon D'Olga (2005)
Children of Heaven (1997)
Chinese Box (1997)
Chinese chocolate
Chocolat (2000)
Ciao, Professore (1999)
Cidade de Deus (2002)
Cinema Paradiso (1990)
Circle of Friends
Circle of Passion (1996)
City Island
City of Joy (1992)
Clara et Moi (2004)
Close to home
Closer (2004)
Coco, Avant Chanel
Code Inconnu
Coeur des hommes II
Color of Paradise (1999)
Combien Tu M'Aimes ? (2005)
Comme Les Autres (2008)
Comme Une Image (2004)
Comment j'ai tué mon père (2001)
Common Ground (2002)
Confidences Trop Intimes (2004)
Constant Gardener
Contact (1997)
Conte d'Automne (1998)
Conte d'Eté (1996)
Conte de Printemps (1990)
Conversations with Other Women
Copacabana (2010)
Corps à Corps (2003)
Cours toujours (2000)
Crash (2004)
Crouching Tiger (2000)
Crows (1994)
Crustaces et Coquillages (2005)
Curly Sue (1991)
Cyrano de Bergerac (1990)
Cérémonie (1995)
DDeath Of Mr. Lazarescu (2005)
Damage (1992)
Dan in real life
Dancer in the Dark (2000)
Dancers Upstairs (2002)
Dances with Wolves (1990)
Dangerous Beauty (1998)
Danzón (1991)
Dark Blue World
Dead Man Walking (1995)
Dead Poet Society (1989)
Dead Ringer (1988)
Dear Emma, Sweet Böbe (1992)
Delicatessen (1991)
Demain on déménage (2004)
Des Parents Pas Comme Les Autres (1992)
Dialogue avec mon jardinier
Diarios de Motocicleta (2004)
Dieu est grand, je suis toute petite (2001)
Dirty Dancing (1988)
Disclosure (1994)
Dishonneur of Elizabeth (1998)
Diva (1981)
Divided We Fall (2000)
Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Don't Move (2004)
Don't Tell
Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
Dying Young (1991)
Décalage horaire (2002)
Earth (1998)
East is East (1999)
Easy Virtue
Eat Drink Man Woman (1994)
El Baile De La Victoria
El Bola (2000)
El Crimen del Padre Amaro (2002)
El Hijo de la Novia (2001)
El Otra Lado de la Cama (2002)
El Sólo mía (2001)
El Viaje de Carol (2002)
Elementary Particles (2006)
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Elles (1997)
Enchanted April (1992)
English Patient (1996)
Ensemble, c'est tout
Entre Nous (1983)
Entre les murs
Erin Brockovich (2000)
Est / Ouest (1999)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Eternity and a day
Etre et Avoir (2002)
Europa Europa (1992)
Eve & the Fire Horse
Everybody's Famous (2006)
Facing Windows (2004)
Far From Heaven (2002)
Farewell, my Concubine (1993)
Farinelli (1994)
Fateless (2004)
Father of the Bride (1991)
Fauteuil d'Orchestre (2006)
Feux Rouges (2004)
Fiddler on the Roof
Fille sur la Pont (1999)
Fin août, début septembre (1998)
Final Analysis
Finding Forrester
Fire (1996)
Firefly Dreams
First Night of My Life (1998)
Fish Hawk (1979)
Fish Tank (2009)
Flowers From Another World (1999)
Footloose (1984)
Forest Gump
Forty Shades of Blue
Four Days in September (1998)
Four Wedding and a Funeral
France Boutique (2003)
French Kiss
French Lieutenant's Woman (1981)
French Twist (1995)
Frida (2002)
Fried Green Tomatoes
Friends With Money (2006)
Froid comme l'été (2002)
Gabrielle (2005)
Gebürtig (2002)
Gentille (2005)
Ghost World (2001)
Ginger and Cinnamon (2003)
Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)
Gods must be Crazy
Golden Door
Good Will Hunting
Gosford Park (2001)
Gouttes d'Eau sur Pierres Brûlantes (2000)
Green Card (1990)
Green Tea (2003)
Grosse bêtise (2001)
Guantanamera (1995)
Hable Con Ella (2002)
Happenstance (2000)
Happiness (1998)
Happy Go Lucky
Harry Potter (2001)
Harry un ami qui vous veut du bien (2000)
Head in the Clouds (2004)
Head on (2004)
Henry and June
Hilary and Jackie
His Secret Life (2001)
Hors de Prix
Hotel Rwanda (2004)
House of Flying Daggers (2004)
House of Sand (2005)
House of Sand and Fog (2003)
How to Make an American Quilt
Howards End
Hussard sur le Toit
I Am Dina (2002)
I Dreamed of Africa (2000)
I am Love
Il Mostro (1994)
Il Postino (1994)
Il est Plus Facile pour un Chameau (2003)
Il y a Longtemps que Je t'aime
Ils se marièrent et eurent beaucoup d'enfants (2004)
Imagine You&Me
Immortal Beloved
In America (2002)
In Bruges
In Love and War (1996)
In My Country (1996)
In a Better World
In the Bedroom (2001)
In the Mood for Love
In the Name of the Father (1993)
Indecent proposal
Indochine (1992)
Intersection (1994)
Invisible Circus (2001)
Irina Palm
Italian for Beginners (2000)
I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing (1987)
J'en suis!
Jamón Jamón (1992)
Jan Dara (2001)
Jane Eyre
Je Rentre à la Maison (2001)
Je Vous Trouve Très Beau
Je ne suis pas là pour être aimé (2005)
Jean de Florette
Jeanne d'Arc
Jesus Christ Superstar
Jesus of Montréal
Jeux Interdits (1952)
Jeux d'Enfants (2003)
Journey of Hope (1990)
Joy Luck Club
Joyeux Noel (2005)
Ju Dou (1990)
Juana la Loca (2001)
Jules et Jim (1962)
Juno (2007)
Jurassic Park
Juste une question d'amour (2000)
Karakter (1997)
King and I
Kira's Reason (2001)
Kitchen Stories (2003)
L'Accompagnatrice (1992)
L'Adversaire (2002)
L'Ami de Mon Amie (1987)
L'Ange de Goudron (2001)
L'Année des Meduses (1984)
L'Argent de Poche (1976)
L'Arnacoeur (2010)
L'Auberge Espagnol (2002)
L'Emploi du Temps (2001)
L'Empreinte de l'ange
L'Enfer (1994)
L'Enfer (2005)
L'Ennui (1999)
L'Heure d'été
L'Histoire d'Adèle H. (1975)
L'Homme du Train (2002)
L'Ivresse du Pouvoir (2006)
L'Élégance du Hérisson
La Bonne Annee ((1973)
La Boum
La Boum II
La Buche (1999)
La Cage aux Folles (1978)
La Confusion des genres (2000)
La Demoiselle d'Honneur (2004)
La Discrète
La Double Vie de Véronique (1991)
La Désenchantée (1990)
La Femme Nikita
La Femme d'à côté (1981)
La Fille seule (1995)
La Fille sur la Pont
La Fleur du mal (2003)
La Flor de mi Secreto (1995)
La Gloire De Mon Père
La Nina Santa (
La Nouvelle Eve (1999) (
La Passion Béatrice (1987)
La Petite Voleuse
La Promesse
La Reine Margot (1994)
La Répétition (2001)
La Separation (1998)
La Tete En Friche
La Tourneuse de pages
La Turbulence des Fluides (2004)
La Verité Ou Presque
La Veuve de St.Pierre
La Vie En Rose
La Vie Promise (2002)
La Vie Rêvée des Anges (1998)
La Vie en Rose
La Ville dont le Prince est un Enfant (1997)
Ladies in Lavender (2004)
Lady Chatterley (2006)
Lantana (2001)
Last Emperor (1987)
Last Life in the Universe (2003)
Last September
Last of the Mohicans (1992)
Le Code a Changé
Le Coeur Des Hommes Ii
Le Dernier Tango à Paris (1972)
Le Déclin de l'Empire Américaine (1986)
Le Dîner de Cons (1998)
Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain (2001)
Le Fils (2002)
Le Goût des Autres (2000)
Le Grand Bleu (1988)
Le Pacte du Silence (2003)
Le Placard (2001)
Le Plus Beau Métier Du Monde
Le Père De Mes Enfants
Le Rôle de sa Vie (2004)
Le Temps qui Reste (2005)
Le Voyage du ballon Rouge
Le Zebre (1992)
Le château de ma mère
Lea (1996)
Leaving Las Vegas
Legend of 1900 (1998)
Legends of the Fall
Les Amants du Pont-Neuf (1991)
Les Aventures Extraordinaires D'adèle Blanc-Sec
Les Chansons d'Amour
Les Choristes (2004)
Les Destinées sentimentales (2000)
Les Egarés (2003)
Les Enfants du Marais
Les Enfants du Siècle (1999)
Les Femmes du 6ème Étages
Les Innocents aux Mains Sales (2003)
Les Invasions Barbares (2003)
Les Misérables
Les Nuits Fauves (1992)
Les Nuits de la pleine lune (1984)
Les Portes Tournantes
Les Rendez-Vous de Paris (1995)
Les Temps qui Changent (2004)
Les Triplette de Belleville (2003)
Les Voleurs (1996)
Les anges exterminateurs
Les poupées russes
Les Égarés
Let Mots Bleus
Life According to Muriel
Life as a House (2001)
Life is Beautiful
Like Water for Chocolate (1992)
Lion King
Little Buddha (1993)
Little Children
Little Man Tate (1991)
Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
Little Women
Lives of Others (2006)
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
Long Life, Happiness and Prosperity (2002)
Lord of the Ring (2001)
Los Abrazos Rotos
Los Amantes del Círculo Polar (1998)
Los Lunes al Sol (2002)
Lost and Delirious
Lost in Translation (2003)
Love Actually (2003)
Love Story
Lovely & Amazing (2001)
Lover (1999)
Loving Glances (2003)
Lucía y el sexo (2001)
Ma Femme est Une Actrice (2001)
Ma Saison Préférée (1993)
Ma Vie en Rose (1997)
Mad Hot Ballroom (2005)
Madame Bovary (1991)
Madame Rosa (1977)
Magdalene Sisters (2003)
Magnolia (1999)
Malabar Princess (2004)
Malena (2000)
Malice (1993)
Man of the Year (2003)
Manon des Sources
Mansfield Park
Mar Adentro (2004)
Maria Full of Grace (2004)
Mariages (2004)
Marquise (1997)
Mary Reilly
Match Point
Maurice (1987)
Mecánicas Celestes (1995)
Memento (2000)
Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)
Mensonges et Trahisons (2004)
Merchant Of Venice
Merci pour le Chocolat (2000)
Mid-August Lunch
Middle of the World (2003)
Millenium Mambo (2001)
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Mina Tannenbaum (1994)
Miss Potter
Miyazaki's Spirited Away (2001)
Mon Homme (1996)
Mon Père, Ce Héros
Monsieur Abrahim (2003)
Monsieur Batignole (2002)
Monsieur Hire (1989)
Monsooon Wedding (2001)
Morlang (2001)
Moulin Rouge
Mr. Holland's Opus (1995)
Mr. Jones (1993)
Much Ado about Nothing
Mulholland Drive (2001)
Music and Lyric (2007)
Music of my Heart (1999)
My Architect : A Son's Journey (2003)
My Best Friend's Wedding (1997)
My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
My Fair Lady
My Left Foot (1989)
My Life As A Dog (1985)
My Life So Far (1999)
My Life without Me (2003)
My Mother Likes Women (2005)
My Mother's Smile (2002)
Mystic River (2003)
Naked Lunch (1991)
Nanny McPhee
Nathalie (2003)
Nelly et M. Arnaud (1995)
Net (1998)
Nettoyage à Sec (1997)
No Man’s Land (2001)
Nobody Knows (2004)
Nobody's Life (2002)
Noel (2004)
North & South
North by Northwest (1959)
Northanger Abbey
Not One Less
Notes on a Scandal (2006)
Notting Hill (1999)
Novo (2002)
Nowhere in Africa (2001)
Nue Propriété (2006)
Obaachan’s Garden
Opal Dream (2005)
Open Hearts (2002)
Open Your Eyes (1997)
Ordo (2004)
Other Side of the Street (2004)
Out of Africa (1985)
Pacific Heights (1990)
Painted Veil (2006)
Paris, je t'aime
Parlez-moi d'Amour (2002)
Pas Sur la Bouche (2003)
Pauline & Paulette (2001)
Peindre ou Faire l'Amour (2005)
Pelican Brief (1993)
Perfect Pie (2002)
Phantom of the Opera
Piano (1993)
Pillow Book (1996)
Pinocchio (2002)
Plein Soleil (1960)
Pleur Pas Germaine (2000)
Pola X (1999)
Pollock (2000)
Ponette (1996)
Portrait of a Lady
Post coïtum animal triste (1998)
Powder (1995)
Pretty Woman (1990)
Pride and Prejudice
Proof (2005)
Prêt-à-Porter (1994)
Prête-moi ta main
Père et Fils (2003)
Quand J’Étais Chanteur
Quelques jours en septembre
Quinceanera (2006)
Quién diablos es Juliette? (1997)
Rainman (1988)
Raise the Red Lantern (1991)
Rambling Rose
Ransom (1996)
Ratatouille (2007)
Ready to Wear (1994)
Red Violin
Regarde la Mer (1997)
Remains Of The Day
Remember Me, My Love (2003)
Rendez-Vous (1985)
Respiro (2002)
Return of Martin Guerre (1982)
Ridicule (1996)
Rois et Reine (2004)
Romeo and Juliette
Room with a View
Rosenstrasse (2003)
Rosetta (1999)
Rouge Baiser (1985)
Rue Cases nègres (1983)
Rue des Plaisirs (2002)
Run Lola Run (1998)
Ruthless People (1986)
Sabrina (1995)
Samy and Me (2002)
San Toi ni Loi
Saving Face (2004)
Scent of Green Papaya (1993)
Scent of a Woman (1992)
Schindler's List
Schultze Gets the Blues (2003)
Sea (2003)
Secret Défense (1998)
Secret and Lies (1996)
Sense and Sensibility
Sex and the City
Sex and the City II
Sex, Lies, and Video Tapes (1989)
Shakespear in Love
Shall We Dance (1996)
Shawshank Redemption
Shine (1996)
Show Me Love (1998)
Shower (1999)
Sideways (2004)
Sin Noticias de Dios (2001)
Single White Female
Sister Act (1992)
Sixth Sense
Sleeping with the Enemy
Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
Sliding Door (1998)
Smilla's Sense of Snow (1997)
Snow Falling on Cedars
Solas (1999)
Something's Got to Give
Son Frère (2003)
Sorry Haters
Sound of Music
Sound of the Sea (1998)
Sous les Sables (2000)
Stick It
Story of Xinhua (1994)
Straight Story
Strawberry and Chocolate (1993)
Strictly Ballroom (1992)
Sunday in the Country (1984)
Sunshine (1999)
Sur mes lèvres (2001)
Sweet Land
Swimming Pool (2003)
Swindle (1997)
Swing (2002)
Tais-toi (2003)
Tango (1998)
Taste of Cherry (1997)
Tea with Mussolini (1999)
Temps Retrouvés (1999)
Tendres Cousines (1980)
Terms of Endearment
That's Entertainment
The Adventure of Milo and Otis (1986)
The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
The Age of Innocence (1997)
The Apple (1999)
The Butterfly (2003)
The Celebration (1998)
The Champ
The Client (1994)
The Color Purple (1985)
The Commitments
The Company (2003)
The Contact (2008)
The Convent (1995)
The Cup (1999)
The Downfall
The Dreamers (2003)
The Duchess
The English Man who Went up the Hill and Came down the Mountain (1995)
The Field (1990)
The Fog of War (2003)
The Game (1997)
The Gift
The Girl Of Your Dreams
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
The Golden Bowl (2000)
The Heart Of Me
The Heart is Elsewhere (2003)
The Hours (2002)
The House of the Spirits (1993)
The Illusionist
The Italian (2005)
The Juror (1996)
The King's Speech
The Last Blues (2002)
The Last Kiss (2001)
The Light of my Eyes (2001)
The Lover
The Nasty Girl (1990)
The Object of My Affection (1998)
The Official Story (1985)
The Other Boleyn Girl
The Other Side of Sunday (1996)
The Pianist (2002)
The Princess and the Frog
The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio
The Promise (1995)
The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
The Queen (2006)
The Reader
The Remains Of The Day
The Road Home (1999)
The Savages
The Secretary (2002)
The Seventh Continent (1989)
The Social Network
The Son's Room (2001)
The Spanish Prisoner (1997)
The Starmaker (1995)
The Sweet Hereafter (1997)
The Talented Mr. Ripley
The Tango Lesson (1997)
The Thief
The Visitors
The Way Home (2002)
The Wedding (2000)
The Wedding Banquet (1993)
The White Countess
The Year My Voice Broke (1987)
The squid and the whale
Thelma and Louise (1991)
Things We Lost in the Fire (2007)
Thirteen Conversations about One Thing (2001)
Thirty-Two short films about Glenn Gould
This Beautiful City
Three seasons (1999)
Tiger and the Snow (2006)
To Kill a Mocking Bird
To Live (1994)
To The Left Of The Father
Together with You
Toi et Moi (2006)
Top Gun (1986)
Tortilla Soup (2001)
Toto, Le Héros (1991)
Tous Les Matins du Monde (1991)
Tout contre Léo (2002)
Towards Evening (1991)
Toy Story II (1999)
Traffik (2000)
Train of Life
Travellers and Magicians (2003)
Trilogy : Blanc
Trilogy : Bleu (1993)
Trilogy : Rouge (1994)
Trop Belle Pour Toi (1989)
Truly Madly Deeply (1991)
Turtle Can Fly
Twin Sisters (2002)
Un Air de Famille (1996)
Un Couer en Hiver (1992)
Un Deux Trois Soleil (1993)
Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)
Under the Piano (1995)
Une Affair Pornographic (1999)
Une Femme de Ménage (2002)
Une hirondelle a fait le printemps (2001)
Unfaithful (2002)
United 93 (2006)
Up in the Air
Va Savoir (2001)
Valentin (2002)
Valet (2006)
Vanilla Sky (2001)
Vatel (2000)
Venus Beauté Institut (1999)
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Villa Amalia (2009)
Viva Laldjérie (2004)
Vodka Lemon (2003)
Volver (2007)
Voyage en Douce (1980)
Voyages (1999)
Wait until Dark (1967)
Waking Ned Devine (1998)
Walk in the Cloud
Walking and Talking (1996)
Water (2005)
Welcome To The Dollhouse (1996)
West Side Story (1961)
What Makes Women Laugh? (1997)
What about Bob?
What’s Love Got to Do with it
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
When Night is Falling
While You were Sleeping (1995)
White Masai (2005)
White X-Mas
Widow's Peak
Wilde (1997)
Wimbledon (2004)
Winter's Bone
Woman on Top (2000)
Wuthering Height (1992)
Xiu Xiu : the Sent-Down Girl (1998)
Y Tu Mamá También (2001)
Yellow Earth (1984)
You Can Count On Me
Zelary (2003)
Zuz & Zo (2001)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Reading List

· Olive Kitteridge (Elizabeth Strout)
· Story Girl (L.M. Montgomery)
· A Private View (Anita Brookner)
· Agnes Grey (Anne Brontë)
· Room of One's Own (Virginia Woolf)
· Fraud (Anita Brookner)
· The Kreutzer Sonata (Leo Tolstoy)
· A Russian Affair (Anton Chekhov)
· Daring Greatly (Brene Brown)
· The Invention of Wings (Sue Monk Kidd)
· Lewis Percy (Anita Brookner)
· The Bay of Angels (Anita Brookner)
· Providence (Anita Brookner)
· Incidents in the Rue Laugier (Anita Brookner)
· A Friend from England (Anita Brookner)
· And the Mountains Echoed (Khaled Hosseini)
· First Love(Ivan Turgenev)
· A Misalliance (Anita Brookner)
· A Closesd Eye (Anita Brookner)
· Altered States (Anita Brookner)
· Dolly (Anita Brookner)
· Falling Slowly (Anita Brookner)
· Rules of Engagement (Anita Brookner)
· Valley of Amazement (Amy Tan)

· Leaving Home (Anita Brookner)
· Family and Friends (Anita Brookner)
· The Measure of a Man (Sidney Poitier)
· Visitors (Anita Brookner)
· Hotel du Lac (Anita Brookner)
· Brief Lives (Anita Brookner)
· Look At Me (Anita Brookner)
· Wide Sargasso Sea (Jean Rhys)

· Undue Influence (Anita Brookner)
· Benny and Shrimp (Katarina Mazetti)
· The Piano Teacher (Janice Lee)
· Jackie (James Spada)
· Rainbow Valley (L.M. Montgomery)
· Anne's House of Dreams (L.M. Montgomery)
· Anne of Windy Poplar (L.M. Montgomery)
· The Railway Children (E. Nesbit)
· Anne of the Island (L.M. Montgomery)
· Anne of Avonlea (L.M. Montgomery)
· Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
· A Russian Affair (Anton Chekhov)
· The Promise of Happiness (Justin Cartwright)
· Voyage in the Dark (Jean Rhys)
· The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)
· Change Your Life in Seven Days (Paul Kenna)
· The Gourmet (Muriel Barbery)
· Things Good Mothers Know: A Celebration (Alexandra Stoddard)
· Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother (Amy Chua)
· Who Moved My Cheese (Spencer Johnson)
· Atonement (Ian McEwan)
· Willpower: Rediscovering Our Greatest Strength (Roy Baumeister & John Tierney)
· Bonjour Tristesse (Françoise Sagan)
· Strangers (Anita Brookner)
· Go Tell it on the Mountain (James Baldwin)
· The Sense of an Ending (Julian Barnes)
· The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Mary Anne Shaffer)
· The Gathering (Anne Enright)
· Dancing Girls and other Stories (Margaret Atwood)
· Sarah's Key (Tatiana de Rosnay)
· The Next Big Thing (Anita Brookner)
· I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou)

· Giovanni's Room (James Baldwin)
· Bridget Jone's Diary (Helen Fielding)
· A Thousand Splendid Suns (Khaled Hosseini)
· The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
· Leçons Particulières (Hélène Grimaud)
· When the Heart Waits (Sue Kidd Monk)
· The Color Purple (Alice Walker)
· The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath)
· To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
· The Help (Kathryn Stockett)
· Variations Sauvages (Hélène Grimaud)
· The God of Small Things (Arundhati Roy)
· Northanger Abbey (Jane Austen)
· A Year in the Merde (Stephen Clarke)
· Norwegian Wood (Haruki Murakami)
· Happiness for Two (Alexandra Stoddard)
· The Secret Life of France (Lucy Wadham)
· The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Kidd Monk)
· Nouvelles Romaines (Alberto Moravia)
· Women, Work & the Art of Savoir Faire (Mireille Guiliano)
· Plain Truth (Jodi Picoult)
· Memories Before and After the Sound of Music (Agathe Von Trapp)
· The Story of the Trapp Family Singers (Maria Augusta Trapp)
· The Sweet Life in Paris (David Lebovitz)

· Forever Liesl (Charmian Carr)
· Have a Little Faith (Mitch Albom)
· Moral Disorder (Margaret Atwood)
· Committed (Elizabeth Gilbert)
· Au Revoir to All That (Michael Steinberger)
· Three Cups of Tea (Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin)
· The Time Traveler's Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
· The Elegance of the Hedgehog (Muriel Barbery)
· My Sister's Keeper (Jodi Picoult)
· Cantique des Plaines (Nancy Huston)
· The Lieutenant (Kate Grenville)
· Mango & Mimosa (Suzanne St Albans)
· Ni d'Eve ni d'Adam (Amélie Nothombe)
· Stupeurs et Tremblements (Amélie Nothombe)
· A Homemade Life (Molly Wizenberg)
· Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter (Simone de Beauvoir)

· Eat, Pray, Love (Elizabeth Gilbert)
· ความสุขของกะทิ (Jane Vejjajiva)
· Fault Lines (Nancy Huston)
· The Mark of the Angel (Nancy Huston)
· The Prodigy (Nancy Huston)
· Slow Emergencies (Nancy Huston)

· French Lessons (Peter Mayle)
· A Dog's Life (Peter Mayle)
· Encore Provence : New Adventures in the South of France (Peter Mayle)
· Le Divorce (Diane Johnson)
· Maurice (E.M. Forster)
· Garlic and Sapphires : The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise (Ruth Reichl)
· Tender at the Bone : Growing up at the Table (Ruth Reichl)
· Kitchen Confidential : Adventures in the Culinary (Anthony Bourdain)
· The Age of Innocence (Edith Wharton)
· Saving Fish from Drowning (Amy Tan)
· The Opposite of Fate : Memories of a Writing Life (Amy Tan)
· What Would Jackie Do ? (Sue Callaway, Shelly Branch)
· The Man who Ate Everything and Other Gastronomic Feats, Disputes, and Pleasurable Pursuits (Jeffrey Steingarten)
· All You Need to be Impossibly French (Helena Frith Powell)
· The Piano Shop on the Left Bank (Thaddeus Carhart)
· On Rue Tatin (Susan Herrman Loomis)
· Mediterranean summer : a season on France's Cote d'Azur and Italy's Costa Bella (David Shalleck)

2005 - 2007
· Sightseeing (Rattawut Lapcharoensap)
· Little Angels (Phra Peter Pannapadipo)
· Fortune's Rocks (Anita Shreve)
· Autre Homme (Michael Bergin)
· Cooking for Mr. Latte (Amanda Hesser)
· French Women don't Get Fat (Mireille Guiliano)
· French Women for All Seasons (Mireille Guiliano)
· Things I want my Daughter to Know (Alexandra Stoddard)
· Choosing Happiness (Alexandra Stoddard)
· Time Alive (Alexandra Stoddard)
· Mon Bel Oranger (José Mauro de Vasconcelos)
· Mi Planta de Naranja-Lima (José Mauro de Vasconcelos)
· My life in France (Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme)
· Métaphysique des tubes (Amélie Nothomb)
· Entre Nous (Debra Ollivier)
· Joie de Vivre: Simple French Style for Everyday Living (Robert Arbor)
· You are Your Choices (Alexandra Stoddard)

2000 - 2003
· Hillary and Jackie (Jacqueline Du Pré)
· Lady Oracle (Margaret Atwood)
· Alias Grace (Margaret Atwood)
· Friend of my Youth (Alice Munro)
· An Equal Music (Vikram Seth)
· the Robber Bride (Margaret Atwood)
· Jackie après Jack
· the Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy ( started in 1998 ! )
· Great Pianists on Piano Playing (J.F. Cooke)
· the Fabulous Girl’s Guide to Decorum
· Lunch with Jan Wong
· Bonesetter’s Daughter (Amy Tan)
· The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing (Melissa Bank)
· Blind Assassin (Margaret Atwood)
· Mémoire D’une Geisha (Yuki Onouie)
· Clara Callan (Richard Wright)
· Le Liseur (Bernhard Schlink)

1996 - 1999
· The China I Knew (P.S. Buck)
· Maria Callas
· Jacqueline Du Pre
· Anne Frank’s Diary
· The Concubine’s Children (Denise Chong)
· Pavarotti: My Own Story
· Helen Keller: The Story of My Life
· Duchess of York: My Story
· City of Joy (Dominique Lapierre)
· A Portrait of Her Private Years (Jackie Kennedy)
· A Woman Named Jackie
· The Dragon’s Pearl
· Living in Her Sister’s Shadow (Lee Radziwill)
· Diana in Private
· All Too Human (J&J Kennedy)
· As We Remember Her (Jackie Kennedy)

· Joy Luck Club (Amy Tan)
· The Kitchen God Wife (Amy Tan)
· Roman Tales (Alberto Moravia)
· Bought and Sold (Alberto Moravia)
· A Hundred Secret Senses (Amy Tan)
· Mother's Love (Alberto Moravia)
· Breakfast at Tiffany's (Truman Capote)
· µÐÇѹªÔ§¾Åº

· Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
· Lucky Jim (Kingsley Amis)
· Pride and Prejudice (J. Austen)
· Sense and Sensibility (J. Austen)
· The Lord of the Ring - I: the Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
· Madame Bovary (Gustave Flaubert)

· A Year in Provence (Peter Mayle)
· Acquired Taste (Peter Mayle)
· Imperial Woman (P.S. Buck)
· Terrance Coran’s France
· Toujours Provence (Peter Mayle)
· Memories of Madison County
· Evocation of Love (Peter Altenberg)
· Kid, You Sing My Songs of Love, and Loss, and Hope
· The Lover (Margeurite Duras)
· Lettre à Un Jeune Poète (Rainer Maria Rilke)
· Mother: A Celebration (Alexandra Stoddard)
· Henry and June (Anaïs Nin)
· Jackie under My Skin (Wayne Koestenbaum)
· Man's Search for Meaning (Viktor Frankl)

· 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Stephen Covey)
· Looking In, Looking Out (Adler & Towne)
· Daring to be Yourself (Alexandra Stoddard)
· The Art of the Possible (Alexandra Stoddard)
· Living a Beautiful Life (Alexandra Stoddard)
· Living Beautifully Together (Alexandra Stoddard)
· Living in Love (Alexandra Stoddard)
· Gracious Living in a New World (Alexandra Stoddard)
· Chicken Soup for the Women's Souls
· Making Choices (Alexandra Stoddard)
· Gift of a Letter (Alexandra Stoddard)
· Gift from the Sea (Anne Morrow Lindberg)

· Elements of Style (E.B. White)
· In the Palm of Your Hand (Steve Kowitt)
· Poet's Companion (Kim Addonizio & Dorian Laux)
· Ecrire (Margeurite Duras)

POETRY (some)
· Book of Hours (Rainer Maria Rilke)
· Only Companion: Japanese Poems of Love and Longing
· Singing Rib (Linda Rogers)
· The Prophet (Kahlil Gibran)


Welcome to Avec Gourmandise!

Name : Rung (a Thai name which means Rainbow) aka Camille

Work : Peoplesoft / Oracle consultant

Former hometown : Bangkok, Thailand

Current hometown : Lyon, France

Food advisor (a.k.a. the eater or the guinea pig) : Yannick

Avec Gourmandise : the belief that food (and other things in life), however humble, is meant to be pursued and shared with utmost pleasure. And that life is too short to skip desserts.

About Rung and food :
Rung grew up where the giving and sharing of food are an essential part of the culture. And where people are either eating, or thinking about what to eat next. Thai food was her first love (then music, and poetry, and boys, though not necessarily in that order). Her family nickname was 'Goong-Hang', which translated as 'dried shrimp', presumably because she was just skin and bones.

When she went to high school in Jakarta, she discovered that she also really enjoyed nasi goreng, Korean barbeque, and french fries. In her final high school year as an AFS exchange student in North Carolina, aside from learning that ketchup can fix anything, she developed the capacity to eat an enormous amount of chocolate chip cookies. She was no longer called 'Goong-Hang'.

Rung loves cooking and entertaining (and collecting and experimenting with recipes), and it gives her great pleasure to see people enjoy her food. As a young girl, one of the activities she always looked forward to was her father coming home early on Saturdays for lunch, and that she could prepare him a bowl of very spicy instant noodles. Of course with her secret ingredient!

Rung was a vegetarian for 17.5 years, but now she also eats fish. She is health-conscious, reads food labels, and is religious about counting her protein and fiber intake daily. She eats nuts for the bones, fish for the brain, fruits for the digestive systems, drinks wine for the heart, and believes that a little bit of chocolate is good for the soul.

Rung loves going to the finest restaurants as well as eating from street vendors when she's in Thailand. Since coming to Victoria, Rung has developed fondness for different ethnic foods (Indian, Japanese, Italian, etc.) and is grateful for the variety of products that can be obtained there. And though she likes to eat fresh and local as the next person, she's happy to have her mangos shipped from New Zealand in the middle of winter when the craving strikes.

She also loves certain smelly and truly weird things that she doesn't eat in polite company, and that she wouldn't dream of imposing on her most adventurous guests. Fermented shrimp paste sauce, preserved durian, fermented beans, anyone?

She is grateful that Yannick is a willing eater of her kitchen experiments, most of the time. She is happy to have him share her mealtime, eventhough they have quite different tastes in foods and mostly don't eat the same things.

During the 15 months she lived in France, Rung learned to appreciate many fine points of the French cuisine (and the patisserie!) But above all, she's come to really love and admire the French food culture, the art of the table, the art of living, the culture and the people itself.

She is happy that she can now share her pictures, thoughts and stories about foods, as well as recipes with interested friends and passing visitors through her food blog. And she would be happy to hear readers'comments and answer questions.