I had every intention of writing this post during my glorious three days off. But of course, even though I have much to tell, life happened. And I didn’t. You’ll soon know why.
First, merci mille fois to Ashley of Backyard Provence for nominating me as a Versatile Blogger! I am especially honored, as nothing of the sort has happened before. The first thing is to thank Ashley. What do you know? I call my backyard Provence and her backyard is Provence. Go figure! She posts all things provençal, and if I recall, rain, floods and plumbing almost thwarted her dream. But there she is and you should check her out très bientôt.
The second is to tell 7 random things about myself that people may or may not know. Here goes:
1. I had cancer when I was 14 years old. Because I was so young, I recovered, bounced back and don’t really consider myself a “survivor”. I mean, of course I am that. But I don’t take part in the events (maybe I should) or identify myself that way. I adjusted and moved on. I much more identify myself as “teacher”, “foodie”, “francophile” and “bookworm”.
2. I’ve developed quite a crush on quarterbacks during the past year, and this, my friends, is very out-of-character for me as jocks are not my type.
3. I lived in Colorado for 6 months after graduating from MSU. This is where my interest the culinary began. My roommate Ang had worked catering at MSU and knew a thing or two. We made the best meals during those 6 months and I learned a ton from her.
4. Sometimes on my way home from work, I drive past the airport and wish I were heading someplace. It may sound silly, but at least it’s not out of my way. Funny thing is, whenever I am actually flying off someplace, I usually wish I weren’t. Though I’m an avid traveller, I H A T E to fly. Call it a study in contrasts or maybe just call it weird. Random, however, it definitely is.
5. I’m a self-confessed Starbucks Iced Latte addict. I try to limit myself to one per week and lately I’ve even been making my own, à la vietnamienne. How I ended up here is a short and coincidental path starting with a post from Ree and ending with a recent Bon Appétit article. There was a meal at Dalat sandwiched in between (where I noticed they were using my usual brew, as does BA, for the coffee component). It was destiny, I tell you. I’m a little happier knowing I have one of these sweet and caffeinated beverages awaiting me after my drive home. I can’t tell you how satisfying this is on a hot day. Ok, I can and I just did.
6. I have a 19-year-old cat who gave me a real scare this weekend and is the reason for the blog delay. They do say cats have 9 lives.
7. I started this blog for many reasons almost a year ago. I needed a hobby, something creative, to distract me from the everyday. I also wanted to keep a handy online file of favorite recipes. What I was really hoping for, though, was to make some local connections with area food bloggers. This hasn’t happened on a local level, but oddly, I’ve made several connections in France and will be having my first blog meet-up when I’m there in July. Who knew?
Finally, I’m supposed to pass this Versatile Blogger award on to others. Instead, I’ll just tell you about some of my favorites. These are the ones that I feel a little jolt when I see them in my inbox because I know whatever I read, I’m going to enjoy.
Chrissy at My Fare Foodie. She hasn’t posted since March. Maybe this mention will spark her back to online life. Her food is creative yet simple and her posts witty and to the point. I always like to see what she’s cookin’ up next.
Lynn at Southern Fried French. I’ll admit, I clicked on her for the clever name but immediately liked what I saw. She’s a little bit foodie and a little bit culture. She’s from South Carolina but lives in a chateau in Burgundy. En plus, she made me so happy when she gave me my first blog shoutout.
Kirsty at You Had Me at Bonjour. I’m not into quilting, but her posts make me wish that I was. Her photos of life in Provence are stunning. Check her out quick before she moves back to Australia. Maybe she’ll change her blog to You Had Me at G’day.
Sara in Le Petit Village. She’s a friend of Kirsty’s. I found one through the other. Sara is one of the funniest bloggers out there. I enjoy hearing her stories of rugby, honey and her dog Fifty. She’s moving, but thankfully to another petit village down the road. I’d probably enjoy her stories no matter where she lived, but the fact that it’s Provence makes it all the more fun. I hope she really is writing a book.
Kristin at Edible Ireland. Her other blog inspired me to start mine. This one discusses all things food relating to Ireland. I met her mother-in-law at a party last year which started all this for me. Really.
Finally, there’s Noëlle at Simmer Down. She’s a Detroit food blogger with whom I’ve exchanged a couple of comments here and there. She’s a resident authority on the local food scene.
Since I must bring this interminable post to an end, here is my recipe for Vietnamese Iced Coffee. I was inspired by the BA article mentioned above but I tweaked the measurements to my liking. You will probably want to do the same. I offer you a starting point.
- 3/4 cup brewed coffee (preferably Cafe du Monde)
- 1 Tablespoon sweetened condensed milk
It’s pretty obvious what to do here, but I do have a couple of suggestions to make your path to Vietnamese Iced Coffee easier than mine was. When you brew your morning coffee, make a little extra and place it in the fridge. That way you won’t be struggling to cool down hot coffee with ice and in turn watering down your coffee too quickly. Add the coffee and the sweetened milk and stir well before adding the ice. Using a spoon run under hot water helps the sticky milk slide off the spoon. Or just do what I do and lick the spoon. Add ice, mix, enjoy…preferably dans le jardin.