5.31.2015

DIY VEGETABLES TART

A few weeks ago I decided to start the 12 weeks Top Body Challenge from Sonia Tlev, and since I've tried to reduce as much as I can my fat and sugar intake (when eating at home) and start doing more exercise. As a foodie who dines out very often, it's very hard to control the oil, the cream and the butter chefs use to cook the dishes I order. That's why to balance this situation I am very careful when
I'm cooking at home.
My favourite recipe at the moment is a spiral vegetables tart with 5 different vegetables (onions, zucchinis, carrots, aubergine and red peppers) served with goat's cheese and thyme. It is only 195 kcal per slice - I usually have one slice with a baby gem on the side and a tsp of balsamic vinegar (215 kcal) or sometimes two slices with no side (390 kcal).


To make this recipe you will need:
- 1 light puff pastry
- 2 medium zucchinis
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 onions
- 1 aubergine
- 2 pieces of cooked red peppers
- 1 egg
- 1tsp of mustard
- 50g of goat's cheese
- 15ml of light double cream
- 1 mandoline

The first step is to prepare all the vegetables. You need to wash all of them, then after you peel the carrots and dry the zucchini and aubergine. To get a flexible carrot I boiled them for 10 minutes and let them cool down.
          

On another board you chop both onions. You need to cook them in a non-stick frying pan (to avoid using oil) until they become brown. Generally I cook on low heat and add a bit of water while they are cooking to make them soften quicker. When they are ready you need to let them cool down.

Using a mandoline, cut in lengthwise all the vegetables.

In the meantime, I preheat the oven to 180°C and I prepare the base of my tart. Gently ease the puff pastry into the tart tin, then prick the surface of the pastry with a fork and spread the table spoon of mustard on top.

Place the cooked onions on top of the mustard and then place the vegetable strips into the tart tin. You can start from the outside or from the center, this is totally up to you. I always start from the outside as I find it more easy and quicker. I alternate layer of zucchini - aubergine and carrot until the end and add some pieces of cooked red pepper between layers.

On top of the tart I spread 25g of goat's cheese (the 25g left will be used at the end for decoration). In a bowl I mix 15ml of light double cream, 1 egg and 30 ml of water and add it gently on top of the tart.

Bake the tart to 180°C for 35-40 minutes. Straight after the oven, I usually spread some thyme and the rest of the goat's cheese so it can melt.

I use the spiral method very often now and experiment with new flavours. I've made a smoked salmon, dill and courgette spiral tart (one of my friends mentioned I should add feta next time)... the options are unlimited !

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5.21.2015

HOUSE OF FRASER AW15 PRESS DAY / HOME COLLECTION

Today I was invited to have a sneak preview of the upcoming AW15 collection at the House of Fraser’s Head Office on Baker Street. After a warm welcome with pastries and orange juice, I was shown the two showroom suites: Home collection (see below) and 
Womenswear & Accessories. 
I had a preview of Linea Home, Living by Christiane Lemieux, Dickins & Jones, Casa Couture,  Bibba Home and Shabby Chic.
I'm really into home decoration at the moment because of my new flat and some of the items I saw today will definitely be on my shopping list this Autumn. 
This Autumn Winter, House of Fraser showcased three trends for their Linea Collection: Alhambra (earthy and blue tones items with an ethnic and contemporary style), Highlands (warm, neutral and tartan fabrics influenced by the Scottish Highlands) and Juxtapose (bright colours and geometric patterns). I didn’t really like the Highlands collection, but I wanted to buy every items from the Juxtapose and Alhambra collection!   
Alhambra dinnerware (from £6), Laser cut motives (£10-£15), Aqua Velvet cushion (£25), Distressed foil cushion (£25)
May Mirror (£225), Mirror base trinket boxes (£25-£40), Metal Alhambra frame (£20), Throw (£70-75)

 Petra copper pendant (£100), Red chevron cushion (£25), Candle sticks (£12-16), Teal wooden vase (£40-45)
The home line featured some interesting kitchen accessories especially the Acacia products (platter boards, bread board and spice rack). This room also had the new collection of le Creuset round casserole dish and the latest Nespresso machine. 
Kitchen aid onyx black food (£245), Le Creuset pot (from £99), Nespresso machine (from £260)
Black round casserole pot (£110), Acacia storage jars (£14-£18), Acacia platter boards (£20-£25), Acacia spice rack (£40), Capri frying pan (£55), Capri saucepan (£50)
Living by Christiane Lemieux was really nice too. I liked the combination of shapes and exotic landscapes created through their fabrics. My favourite piece from this collection was the pineapple light. Something was telling me that the pineapple trend is not over for the next few months....
George turquoise stoned linen sofa (£1,399),  Bodo side table (£299), Zeus pineapple glass pendant (£80), Marrakesh reed diffuser (£30), Set of 3 candle sticks (£50), Zig Zag tea towels (from £12)
If you are looking for something more simple, modern with sculpted, Casa Couture will be your dream collection. I thought the plate and cutlery set was beautiful. I enjoyed the range of colour of this collection too (caramel, blush, plum, taupe and grey). 
 Microdot dinnerware (from £12), Copper 24 piece cutlery set (£180), trio of copper bowls (£35), Marble and copper candles holders (£25-£30), Plum velvet border cushion (£45), Liliana table lamp (£150), rainbow sandstone accessories (from £15 each), Metallic throw (£85)
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5.20.2015

MY ESSENTIAL NAIL CARE / MON SOIN ESSENTIEL DES ONGLES

A few years ago I decided to stop biting my nails, with the help of the nail treatment Mavala Stop (£5). I managed to stop, and since then I've discovered a new world, a world full of nail polishes, hand creams and manicures. I also realised that professional manicures can sometimes be very pricey (especially in London!) so I can only really only afford it once every 3 months. However, on a weekly basis, I do my own manicure using a selection of special products that help me to keep my hands and nails looking good.

Il y a quelques années j'ai décidé d’arrêter de me ronger les ongles, pour cela j'ai utilisé le traitement Mavala Stop (8,90€). J'ai réussi à m’arrêter et depuis j’ai découvert un nouveau monde, celui des vernis à ongles, des crèmes pour les mains et des manucures. J'ai constaté que les manucures professionnelles peuvent parfois être très coûteuses (particulièrement à Londres!) donc j’en fais seulement une fois tous les 3 mois. Toutes les semaines avec l’aide d’une sélection de produits spéciaux je réalise moi-même mes manucures pour garder mes mains et mes ongles en bonne santé. 
my essential nail care
I usually start my manicure by soaking my fingertips into a bowl of warm water (with a teaspoon of lemon juice) for few minutes as this will help to soften the cuticles and exfoliate any dead skin. Then I push my cuticules back and clear under my nails with a cuticle pusher. To finish my cuticle treatment I use KIKO nail scrub and care pen (£4.90).

Je commence toujours ma manucure en trempant les bouts de mes doigts dans un bol d’eau chaude (avec un peu de jus de citron) pendant quelques minutes pour ramollir mes cuticules et exfolier les peaux mortes. Puis je pousse en arrière mes cuticules et je nettoie en desous de mes ongles avec un repousse cuticule. Pour finaliser j’applique le stylo exfoliant de chez KIKO (4,90€).
Nail cuticle KIKO Scrub & care pen
Depending on my nails length I use either a nail clippers or a smooth nail file to shape and finish my nails. As a top coat I apply the penetrating nail hardener from Mavala (price varied between £7 - £15). I've tried a lot of different brands but Mavala is the only one which really helps against my soft, flaking and splitting nails. 

Selon la longueur de mes ongles, j’utilise le coupe ongles puis une lime à ongles pour redéfinir la forme de mes ongles. Comme base, j'applique le durcisseur d’ongles pénétrant de Mavala (13,50€), j'ai essayé plusieurs marques mais Mavala est la meilleure pour lutter contre des ongles cassés ou dédoublés.
Mavala Penetrating nail hardener
Then it is time to select the nail polish that I want to have for the next few days. This step is always the longest part of my manicure. I have never managed to keep the same colour for more than a week, it is the reason why I don't often have a professional manicure as it will cost me a lot per month!
Below is a selection of my favourite nail polishes for this spring/ summer season. It features Tapage and May from Chanel (£18 each), KIKO's 361 Raspberry pink (£2.50), Fruity scent nail polish from Rimmel London 053 Apricot punch (around £5), Blue Celestial from Topshop (£5), Los Feliz Green from &Other Stories (£5), Sinful Colors' Nirvana (£2) and Mirror Mirror by Sephora (around £4).


Puis c’est enfin l’étape la plus décisive, celle du choix du vernis que l’on veut porter pendant plusieurs jours, cette étape est souvent la plus longue de ma manucure. Généralement je n’arrive jamais à garder la même couleur plus d'une semaine, c'est pour cette raison que je ne vais pas souvent dans un salon pour une manucure car cela me couterait trop cher!
Ci-dessous, voici une sélection de mes vernis à ongles favoris pour cette saison, il y a Tapage et Mai de chez Chanel (23,50€
 chacun), le 361 Raspberry pink de chez KIKO (2,50€), le vernis parfumé Apricot Punch de chez Rimmel London (3,90€), le Bleu Céleste de chez Topshop (£ 5), Los Feliz Green de chez &Other Stories (7€), Nirvana de chez Sinful Colors (2,10€) et le Mirror Mirror de chez Sephora (3,90€).

Chanel, KIKO, Rimmel, Topshop , &OtherStories, Sinful Colors & Topshop nail polishes
I apply two coats of nail polish, each coat with three brushstrokes across the nail. I usually keep three cotton stalks on the side to adjust any nail polish overflowing on my fingertips.
Because I am not a manicure expert sometimes I damage one of my polished nail, my biggest mistake was to use cotton and nail remover to try to fix the issue, as you end up damaging more polished nails... I came back to France recently and bought my favourite magic nail remover from Sephora (£6), you only dip your fingertips inside the pot and the nail polish will disappear. I like this nail polish remover as it is acetone and paraben free, so it is gentle on nails and cuticles compared to other products. Apparently Bourjois have a similar products that you can find in the UK (I've never managed to find it in Boots, so maybe it is only online).


J'applique toujours deux couches de vernis, avec trois coups de pinceaux par couche pour éviter de faire des pâtés. Je dispose toujours de coton tiges sous la main au cas ou je déborderai sur la peau. Comme je ne suis pas encore une experte, il m’arrive parfois d’abimer le vernis que j'ai fraichement mis sur un ongle, et en essayant de réparer mon erreur avec du coton et du dissolvant cela fini toujours par un carnage. Lors de mon récent séjour en France, j’ai pu me racheter le bain dissolvant magique de chez Sephora (7,95€). Ce produit est tout simplement parfait car il permet d’enlever le vernis sans utiliser de coton, il est sans paraben et sans acétone, et il ne dessèche pas les ongles comparé à d'autres produits.
Sephora express nail polish remover
When I am fully happy with my nails, I apply a top coat, mine is Mega Shine colour lock top coat from Boots (£5.60). I once used the nail polish fixer from KIKO (£6.90) but I didn't think it really helps to dry quicker. The best thing to do is to let everything naturally dry, I don't use my hands usually for 10-15 minutes after the top coat.

Quand je suis entièrement satisfaite avec mes ongles, j’utilise un top coat, le mien viens de chez Boots mais vous pouvez en trouver un peu partout - celui de chez Sephora est bien aussi (7,50€). J'ai utilisé une fois le fixateur de vernis à ongles de chez KIKO (6,90€) mais je ne l’ai pas trouvé très efficace. La meilleure méthode reste le séchage naturel, j’essaye de pas utiliser mes mains pendant 10-15 minutes après l’application du top coat pour un résultat optimal.
Mega shine colour lock top coat Boots
When everything is fully dry I nourish my nails, cuticles with two drops of replenishing oil Avoplex from O.P.I (£16.95) and I massage in.This avocado oil rich in proteins, vitamins and phospholipids smells good, but also hydrates perfectly cuticles and dry skin. This oil has been recommended to me by a beauty specialist while I was having a manicure done in a beauty salon.

Quand tout est entièrement sec, j’ajoute quelques gouttes d’Avoplex d’O.P.I (10,79€) en massant mes ongles et cuticules. Cette huile d'avocat est riche en protéines et vitamines, elle hydrate parfaitement les cuticules et les peaux sèches. Cette huile m’a été recommandée par une esthéticienne lors d’une manucure.
Avoplex O.P.I replenishing oil
The final touch is to moisture and hydrates my hands using the 'Hand food' from Soap & Glory (£5), one of my favourite brand for beauty, cleaning products.

La touche finale est l’hydratation de mes mains avec la “Hand Food” de chez Soap & Glory (£ 5), c’est une de mes marques anglaises favorites pour les produits de beauté.
Hand food from Soap & Glory
Et voila ! You have now all the information and key products to be like a professional and do the perfect manicure at home.
Et voila! Vous avez maintenant toutes les astuces pour réaliser une manucure parfaite à la maison.
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5.18.2015

BONE DADDIES

For the last month I have been very busy looking for a new flat. I found the perfect flat and moved on the 1st of May with my boyfriend. Since then I've spent most of my time decorating and gardening to change this flat into a comfy cocoon to live. I am very sorry I didn't dedicate a lot of time for blogging but this is going to change from now on.
One of my favourite dishes is ramen. Since I moved to London in 2011 I have probably eaten an average of one ramen every two weeks. Tonkotsu's and Dozo's ramen are the ones that I ate the most in the last year. Recently I have finally tried the restaurant Bone Daddies that specialises in ramen. I have never been before because it was most of the time too busy and I hate queuing.

Au cours du mois dernier j’ai été très occupée par la recherche d'un nouvel appartement. Depuis le 1er Mai, j’ai enfin trouvé celui de mes rêves et j’ai aménagé avec mon petit ami. Depuis j’ai passé le plus clair de mon temps à décorer les lieux et jardiner pour transformer cet appartement en parfait petit cocon pour deux. Je suis vraiment désolée de ne pas avoir consacré beaucoup de temps pour mon blog ces dernières semaines...mais cela va dorénavant changer.
Un de mes plats favoris est le ramen. Depuis que j’ai emménagé à Londres en 2011, je mange en moyenne un ramen toutes les deux semaines. Au cours de cette année, j’ai essentiellement mangé ceux de chez Tonkotsu et de Dozo (Soho, Londres). Récemment j'ai finalement essayé le restaurant Bone Daddies qui est spécialisé dans le ramen. Je n’y avais jamais été auparavant car il y a très souvent beaucoup d’attente. 
Tenderstem broccoli with yuzu kosho mayo
My friends and I shared tenderstem broccoli and fried chicken while we were waiting for our ramen to be cooked. The broccoli were nicely cooked but none of us liked the sauce served with it. We didn't think it's taste went well with broccoli. Instead we ate them with soy sauce. The Fried chicken were good and tasty. I liked the fact the batter was not too greasy and slightly spiced.

Mes amis et moi avons partagé en entrée des brocolis cuits à la vapeur et des morceaux de poulet frit.
Les brocolis étaient bons mais aucun d'entre nous n'a aimé la sauce qui les accompagnait. Nous avons trouvé que le goût ne s’associait pas bien aux brocolis. Nous les avons mangés avec de la sauce de soja. Les morceaux de poulet frit étaient bons et savoureux. Ils étaient pas trop gras et leur panure était légèrement épicée.

Fried chicken
All the ramen were good, nicely presented with a perfect egg (runny and centre yolk). I had the T22 ramen it was great, and I especially liked the texture of scratching on top. It was enjoyable but at the end the broth became too salty because of the scratchings.

Tous les ramens étaient délicieux,  joliment présentés avec un oeuf cuit à la perfection (le jaune liquide au centre). J’ai commandé le ramen T22, il était très bon, j'ai particulièrement aimé la texture croustillante des grattons de poulet sur le dessus du ramen. C'était agréable mais à la fin le bouillon est devenu malheureusement un peu trop salé à cause de ces grattons.
T22 soy ramen, chicken, cock scratchings (chicken bone broth)
Mushroom ramen, mushrooms, tofu, garlic, thyme, egg (vegetarian mushroom broth)
One of my friends who doesn't eat meat had the mushroom ramen. My boyfriend had the tonkotsu ramen, I think from all of the ramen I had in the past and the T22 on that day, his ramen was the best. The broth was excellent and the taste was perfectly balanced with nicely cooked pork.

Une de mes amies qui ne mange pas de viande a commandé le ramen à base de champignons. Mon petit ami a opté pour le ramen tonkotsu, de tous les ramens que j’ai eut la chance de gouter dans ma vie, je pense que celui-ci est le meilleur. Le bouillon était excellent et les saveurs parfaitement équilibrées avec le porc bien cuisiné et tendre.
Tonkotsu ramen, spring onion, chashu pork (20 hour pork bone broth)
I will definitely come back to Bone Daddies (since I have written this article I 've had another ramen at Bone Daddies already). I will also try their sister restaurants - Shackfuyu and Flesh & Buns soon.

Je reviendrai très bientôt chez Bone Daddies (depuis la rédaction de cet article j'y suis déja revenu pour y manger un Tonkotsu ramen). J'essayerai aussi d’aller dans leurs autres restaurants - Shackfuyu et Flesh & Buns.

9/10.
Bone Daddies Ramen Bar
31 Peter St
London W1F 0AR
Twitter: @BonedaddiesLDN
Bone Daddies on UrbanspoonSquare Meal
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