I just love finger food and I have to say that the smooth, salty and tangy taste of this great snack makes me the happiest! And now I know why... It might just be the ultimate snack for women!
Edamame or in other words, soybeans in pods, are not only rich in antioxidants, which strengthen your immune system, reduce the risk of cancer and neurogenerative diseases, they also contain a considerable amount of phytoestrogen, primarily isoflavones that protect from osteoporosis while contributing to prevent and ease menopausal symptoms. Yeah!
Ready in 2 minutes: boil the frozen edamame pods at high temperature for two minutes, strain and sprinkle them with fresh lime or lemon juice, and Kosher salt (or fleur de sel—hand-harvested sea salt). They are 100% non-fat, rich in proteins and so good for you, once you’ve tasted them, you’ll want to have them all the time.
Edamame used to be only available in Japanese specialty stores but now, they can be found in the frozen department of your favourite grocery store.
In the valley between Bordeaux and Toulouse you find the most praised delights of French cuisine such as black truffles, foie gras (goose liver), boletus mushrooms and a new generation of amazing chefs who master the art of making you feel like you’ve died and gone to heaven at first bite!
Get your pupils and your taste buds ready for a mouth watering gastronomic preview of the Garonne in the South West of France.
Our first stop offers the most amazing view of Bordeaux—if you can take you eyes off your plate—Le Saint-James is one the best table of the region, graced by the talent of renowned chef Nicola Magie (2 Michelin stars). My introduction picture features his vision of the guacamole and below, a true work of art: a perfectly seared scallop on a tomato tart with a sea anemone tempura, and a foie gras lasagna with variations of the boletus.
Next, we travel to Valence d’Agen at L’Entracte, the restaurant of great chef Pascal Ladogne who offers generous portions of the regions specialties in a warm and friendly setting. Here are 2 great classics: garlic snails and tartare, with fresh raw boletus.
Then, we go up to Moirax, a small village built around an 11th century priory, to Le Prieuré, the Michelin Star restaurant of amazing chef Benjamin Toursel, for an spectacular tasting menu including scampi with beets and shiso, as well as a very creative tuna tartare, served here with a raspberry ketchup and crunchy snow peas.
Last but not least, it is in Astaffort that you will find the great cuisine of Michelin star chef Fabrice Biasiolo, from Canard, Cochon & Cie, who also honors Une Auberge en Gascogne, the Château & Hotel owned by French signer Francis Cabrel. There is no menu, just three themes to choose from: Initiation, Creation or Emotion, they change daily in accordance with the chef’s inspiration. Amongst all, I tasted something new and totally pleasurable…spall of raw foie gras with balsamic vinegar, as well as foie gras and passion fruit macaroons, served with a shooter of tomato water. Just WOW!
Note from my liver: “On the menu this week: clear broth and steamed vegetables!!!”
This year, I am going to miss Canada’s premiere social media event for women: Blissdom Canada.
But I think you will agree that I have a good excuse. I have been invited to the South of France to vendange. So instead of getting all dressed up nice and pretty to party with the fabulous YMC’s Yummy Mummies, I am in the grape vines with my rubber boots, my raincoat and…a glass of wine? No…handy gardening scissors!
I am ready for my very first grape harvest. The ceiling is low, it’s humid, cold, and rainy but the grapes are beautiful and sweet. Rows of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, just perfectly ripped and ready to be picked, one cluster at a time. My heart is pounding with joy! I can’t believe I am here, in the heart of the Garonne.
In the ‘chai’ the wine maker is throwing the grapes in a machine for crushing and destemming them into the most beautiful deep purple juice. At this point, it actually really looks and tastes like Welsh grape juice.
The grapes will macerate for days, start fermenting—which means the sugar will transform into alcohol—and then begins the taskful art of making wine.
Of course there is amazing tastings and incredible gastronomy all over this very ‘In Good Taste’ region and I will tell you all about it in my next post!
Just finishing an amazing meal at L'Auberge du Prieuré, in Moirax, near Agen, cheering with my good friend Yves Lapierre, the amazing Chef Benjamin Toursel and his wife Agathe and Laurence Raffy (on the left) from another fabulous restaurant Cochon, Canard &Cie in Astaffort, one of the restaurants of great Chef Fabrice Biasiolo.