Chez Madeleine

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What's for dinner?

One can't always be throwing glamorous parties or hobnobbing with celebrity chefs. Sometimes, especially after one has been traveling for a while, one just wants to cook for herself at home.

Lately, I've been cooking a lot at home and really enjoying it.

Last week, I made some really great recipes from Cooking Light. For my lunches, I made homemade falafel and yogurt sauce. For dinner, I cooked up this Fig and Blue Cheese stuffed Pork Tenderloin. I paired the tenderloin with some sweet potato fries.


I also mixed up this super easy Apple Raisin Slaw.


Tonight, I made some salmon that I highly recommend. I salted and peppered two salmon filets. In a small bowl I mixed 2 tbsp. grain dijon mustard (it has to be the grainy kind), 1 tbsp organic honey, and 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce. It makes a dark glaze. I put the fish skin side down in a glass dish and spoon the mixture over the top. It carmelizes and gets really sticky in the oven, giving the fish the best flavor. I cook it at 350 for about 25 minutes.


Also, for healthy lunch club tomorrow, I cooked up this Chicken Chili and these Sour Cream, Green Onion, and Cheddar biscuits.



Tomorrow's lunch will be warm like a big bowl of chili.

So, that's my normal Tuesday night dinner. Hope yours was good too!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Bonne Anniversaire, Aimee


Today is the first day, in the 27th year, in the third decade, in the totally enviable, completely fabulous, and always interesting life of my best friend, Aimee.

And so I want to tell the world (or my microscopic slice of it) about all the things I adore about her:

#1. Aimee was the first person I knew at Emory. Her name was sent to me on a little postcard in the Summer before I went to college; she was my freshman roommate. We exchanged cards and Aimee sent me cookies. Aimee was the first person who knew my name in college. There is only so close you can be with a friend if you haven't slept three feet away from them for a year (or two in our case. I learned what true friend intimacy was with Aimee. I learned it through whispers in the dark across a ten-foot dorm room.

#2. Aimee's CD collection. Seriously, I thought the girl had lived LIVES before she got to college. She was so exotic with her CD collection-Tori Amos, and the Grateful Dead, and Jamiroquoi, and Paul Simon. She had tales of Woodstock. I still worship this girls' CD collection and her uncanny ability to discover new artists and share them with her friends.

#3. Aimee taught me how to fight fair. And I can only say this because we had fights. Screaming, crying, slamming fights where I tried to literally say things like "I'm mad because I want to be. I don't have to tell you why." Aimee taught me how to fight like an adult-to articulate what was bothering me, to tell her, so that we could solve things. She never let me sabotage a good thing.

#4. Aimee is the most incredible dancer. Seriously, I know I've been talking a lot about sex lately, but you look at this girl dance, and you just know she's good in that department, too. She enters her own world, where anything goes, and no one cares what you look like, or whether or not you move just like everyone else. Watching Aimee dance made me want to dance, and when she met me, i couldn't even bear one song without a few shots. Aimee makes dancing look like the most inspiring thing. Watching her dance still inspires me.

#5. Aimee is a smart woman. Smart doesn't really do her justice. My friend Aimee puts people to shame with her work ethic, her raw intelligence, her voracity for her passion, and her dedication to her own pursuit of the best she can be.

#6. Aimee is such a good friend. Not just to me, but to everyone. She is ever-supportive, ever-listening, and her advice could probably save the world. I would recommend Aimee as Advisor to Every World Leader. She could broker World Peace.

#7. Aimee runs and jumps into your arms when you see her after a long time. I've never met anyone else like that. She just can't wait to see you, so she runs.

#8. Aimee loves to nap in her pajamas. Seriously, the girl changes into her pajamas for an afternoon nap. AND she gets under the covers. She seriously commits to that afternoon nap. Its not just a passing fancy, its really something she puts her heart into. Napping is an artform for Aimee. She has that in common with my cat, Madeleine.

#9. Aimee is organized. In her life, in her home, in her bathroom, in her desk. She is organized. Everything has a place. She's efficient, and she has great little systems for everything that the rest of us forget to do, like cleaning our make-up brushes, or making grocery lists. I marvel at her efficiency and her little systems for everything.

#10. Aimee loves life. She is a joy to be around. I've never met anyone who didn't like her. She does the right thing. She engages the new person in the group. She always remember to ask about your family. She loves to laugh and eat great food. She cracks me up, and she's been such an important person in my life for so long, that I do not know what I would do without her.

Happy Birthday, Aim!
Love you to death, Sarah

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A Theory About People Who Love Food


Behold the most fabulous thing I ate in 2006. I know its blurry, but it was seared fois gras with blueberries from Trois. It sent shivers down my spine. It melted over and over again in my mouth. I brutally stabbed someone who tried to steal a bite with my fork.

I have a theory that is rapidly gaining strength. A thesis that supposes that people who LOVE food, who really roll it around in their mouths, get excited about menus, crave certain dishes from childhood or from their neighborhoods, and celebrate the pleasure of eating, are:

-better in bed
-more fun on a Saturday night
-more likely to dream
-better friends: more likely to call, more likely to throw you a surprise party
-more loving, affectionate, happy, well-adjusted, and passionate

In the last year, I've met two people who really didn't care for food and it honestly freaked me out. One is through work. This woman is extremely bony and shrill. She never seems to be having a good time, and I think she delights in making other people's days worse. She survives on SlimFast alone. She proves my thesis up and down.

The other supposedly "never" liked food (even as a child!). He never really craves anything, eats only one flavor of yogurt in the morning (the same type he had been eating for years), and when handed a menu at a restaurant he would just "have what you were having" because it wouldn't occur to him to care enough to order something fabulous. He was once quoted as saying he would rather jump off a bridge than eat a hot dog or a doughnut. Kind of scary.

So, my dear readers. I know I haven't given you much lately in the area of blogging, but I'm begging you to weigh in on my thesis. I'm thinking I could write a book on this one day. Have you ever met anyone who proves or disproves my theory?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Dirty South


On Thursday night, I returned from my last minute trip to South America. On Thursday I stood in 14 lines. I counted each one. Pushed my bag with my foot along the floor, rubbed the dent that had been permanently dug itself into my shoulder from my bag. Escaped into my ipod. Declared my souvenirs. Exited customs and smelled the sweeet Atlanta air and gave thanks that Delta delivered me home safely.

South America was a bunch of round and misshapen adventures strung together in a long necklace. Buenos Aires, the shiny European jewel of the continent. Parisian facades, wide, sprawling avenues, waterfront bars, spicy rich Malbec, and slabs of beef. Greasy empanadas that soak through your napkin. Sexy, sultry, daring, forbidden, fishnetted tango. Beautiful, discernible Spanish.

Sao Paulo, the massive, tall, smoggy skyline. The gemini populations--living not side by side, but on top of each other in socioeconomic layers. The very rich hopping through the city in helicopters, careful not to ever touch the streets. And the very poor running and busing through the streets in Havianas and bright fabrics. The toxic, cunning Caipirinhas. The ever-confusing sounds of Porteguese-Oy! The sheer vastness of a city within a country whose boulbous shape takes over the continent in both size and population.

There's too much to tell. Too much that I can't tell (South America is like Vegas in that way). Too much that seems a blur. But there are bright shiny moments that I can't help but sharing here. Mostly, the people are the bright shiny moments, but as usual I spent most of my time photographing the food. Thank you to all of the students who made me feel so welcomed and so embraced on the trip.

Sarah's South American Top Fourteen

#14. Coffee that reminds you why you haven't spotted a Starbucks in South America

#13. A Vegetarian at a Brazilian Steakhouse

#12. Coca-Light: a sweeter and flatter version of its Atlanta counterpart IMG_1502

#11. Five-Year Olds Dancing on bar tables at 4 am IMG_1483

#10. Outdoor cafes in Buenos Aires that remind me of the Champs Elysees IMG_1393

#9. Steaks the size of your head IMG_1424

#8. Empanadas: filled with spicy beef, potato, gooey cheese IMG_1447

#7.Toasting with friends, and hot Argentinian Sommeliers IMG_1451

#6. Dancing that makes me think of sex IMG_1469

#5. Brazilians cooking their meat on a George Foreman Grill IMG_1494

#4. Caipirinhas (muddled sugar cane alcohol, limes, ice, and sugar to the taste)IMG_1506

And Passion-Fruit Caipirinhas

#3. The Mexican Flag: sipping tequila, spicy tomato juice, and lime juice. IMG_1534

#2. Brazilian Steakhouses

#1. Friends who remind you that traveling isn't about the place, its about the people who experience it with you.
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