a taste of Provence

They say the Provence region of France is blessed by the gods. I’m inclined to agree.

With sun-soaked hillside villages overlooking sweeping lavender fields, olive groves and vineyards, “charming” is certainly an understatement. In fact, I think “enchanting” is more appropriate.

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a taste of La Rochelle and Ile de Ré

When it comes to coastal cities in France, La Rochelle is a must-see. Commonly referred to as “La Ville Blanche” due to its characteristic limestone facades, this port city sits in the Poitou Charentes region of southwest France, a short 2-hour drive from Bordeaux.

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Lately on Instagram: no microwave, no problem

My kitchen here in France is the farthest thing from fancy. It’s an industrial, stainless steel setup complete with two hot plates, a sink, a refrigerator and a mini oven that looks deceptively like a toaster oven but lacks the ability to toast.

And that’s about it. No microwave to be found.

Of course, I could have purchased one myself, but I spent the first 18 years of my life sans microwave, so the thought never seriously crossed my mind.

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a taste of London

Remember when I traveled to Annecy and Lyon and, doing as the French do, gorged myself on regional specialities that were often meat-heavy and always cheesy?

Well, London was a very different experience.

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a taste of Paris, featuring sustainable urban farming

When I think of Paris, I imagine cast-iron balustrades bordering the Métropolitan signs of the subways stations, wrought iron balconies, elegant cream-colored stonework and wide boulevards lined with independent bookshops, cafés and boulangeries.

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a taste of Lyon

Picture this: someone blows up a pig intestine like a balloon until it takes the shape of a sausage casing. Then he/she stuffs said casing with more chopped up (and very well rinsed) intestines before tying up both ends with string, cooking it, slathering on some mustard sauce and calling it andouillette.

Now picture this: Jacqueline (me) doesn’t know what andouillette is but thinks – what the hec I’m gonna be adventurous YOLO, am I right? – and decides to order it. And eat it. And subsequently google it because, you know, it didn’t taste exactly like normal sausage. In fact, it was oddly pink and chewy.

SURPRISE! Never thought you would have intestines in your intestines, did you? Well, there’s a first time for everything.

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root vegetable buckwheat pizza recipe

I bought buckwheat flour for the first time to make galettes, otherwise known as savory crepes. After all, I have been living in France for close to 6 months now, so it was about time I made this iconic dish. From ratatouille to leeks to the classic ham/cheese/egg trio, I’ve filled these thin pancakes with just about anything I could think of. I even tried a sweet potato, zucchini, cauliflower and herb combination when I was trying to clean out my refrigerator a few weeks ago.

However much I love the versatility of the buckwheat galette, there’s only so many I can eat before I’m itching to throw on my apron and experiment with something new. This weekend, I found myself staring at the remaining half a bag of buckwheat flour, wracking my brain for some recipe inspiration.

And then it came to me…. pizza.

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