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Posts from the ‘peaceful’ Category

Ginger Salmon w/ Lavender honey on bed of Lentils

What can I say?   It was easy peasy and you will love it, if you like salmon.  Who doesn’t like salmon?

I usually get very fresh salmon from where-ever – and here in the port town of Cassis, it’s full of Sole, Daurad,  and other white fish – but salmon, I usually buy from a local market.   It’s always and forever GOOD.

Here’s the easy recipe:

Mix ginger orange marmalade with lavender honey – or regular marmalade with honey

Sauté 2 small pieces of salmon in a little olive oil and butter .    Apply the marmalade and honey mixture as it’s sautéing on one side.

Turn over in couple minutes, and apply same mixture.    Saute couple minutes then turn up to really high heat – throw in some

white wine and scrap the bottom as it bubbles.   Turn down.  If it seems too raw in center (depending on thickness of your salmon, let it go a few minutes longer, adding more white wine as needed.  )


Lentils were prepared day before – with sautéed carrots and shallots and teeny bit of garlic.  So all I did was heat them up.

Spread a mound of lentils on plate and place salmon on top.

Voila!  Your dinner is done and fantastic.

Our salad was simply sliced cucumber, tomatoes, S & P, herbs d’Provence, lavender oil, or olive oil

Filet slices w/ Roquefort on bed of greens


Left over ENTRECOTE roast, sliced thin

Roquefort cheese slightly melted placed on top of thin cuts of beef

Arrange over bed of greens, preferably arugula, which I can’t get at my market here, so use any that look particularly fresh and colorful and delicious

French bread

Melted Roquefort cheese for dipping bread

Left over carrots and zucchini if desired for the side dish

VOILA!  Completely satisfying and very delicious



From now on……………’s CUISINE !!!

Sept 2, 2013

From this moment on, I will feature FOOD.   The reason?  We have an OVEN now in our apartment and I am cooking cooking cooking.   You will be the recipient of that, We only wish that you could BE here and actually imbibe.

Here are photos of my first dinner – a Entrecôte – our very expensive ROAST (beef) which I have not prepared in 2 years.     I will not put exact amounts because I use no recipes, I cook by tasting and by the number of people that are coming for dinner.

Entrecôte Roast

Entrecôte Roast

Don’t be turned off by no measurements.  It’s incredibly freeing not to use them.

ALSO,  excuse my French.  It’s just part of me now and I use it with some descriptions.

Entrecôte Roast  or Roast that has the filet mignon in it

Herbed Potatoes whole

Sautéed mushrooms

Carrots and zuchinni


The best cut of meat you can find for a roast – about 3/4 of a kilo – little under 2 pounds.

Sear it first , putting a bit of flour and herbs, salt and pepper  on it by rolling it around..

Sear it well, then add a good red wine to pan and scrape the bottom of the pan

Cook it in a 350 degree oven for less than 1 hour   – ours was done in 40 minutes because we like it medium rare or “a point”   –  Add more red wine half way through.

It is incredibly delicious, like imbibing in a filet mignon, well it’s from that cut of meat.

Add a Bouquet garni to the pan with as many potatoes as you want — in the same roast pan.

1/2 inch julienned carrots and  round zucchini — As much or little as you want.  (I eat a LOT of veggies).  Cook carrots in little olive oil and butter and brown sugar, pinch of salt .  After carrots are browned nicely, add zucchini, cook few minutes more (or less) as they will still all be crunchy.

While Roast is cooking in oven, sauté the sliced mushrooms in butter and olive oil, Herbs d’Provence, S & P.  After browned nicely, throw in some red vin.

Set aside

After Roast is done – (you can use a meat thermometer to the temp of your liking),  take out – let it rest for 10 minutes, then carve.

It’s a delicious home cooked roast with veggies.   Use Creme Fraiche if you can get it- instead of sour cream- on the potatoes.

A good red wine is mandatory.    We liked a SYRAH.

Oh and desert – well it was something decadent and from a package & French,  without chemicals from ALSA; called MOELLEUX au CHOCOLAT avec des Pépites and if I could I would bring an entire case home next time!!  FABULOUS!!  It went with the leftover CHAMPAGNE that we started with,  to celebrate our new home, our new apartment, our OVEN!!!!!!

Bon Appetit!!

Marti in Cassis


August 29th –

We get to MOVE into our new apartment tomorrow!!! I’m very excited.  It has an OVEN and a regular refrigerator.  It also will have decent WIFI and that is why we are actually moving.   It will be strange to have a real kitchen, however.  It is bigger and also less expensive than the apartment we’re in now that is 33 sq meters.   I’ll post pictures soon to show you the new place, when we’re moved in.  It’s very exciting to do this.  It’s also walking distance to the city center and port – infact closer than where we are now – and not entirely a horrendous steep walk like the one we’ve had the past year.  Although, very cardiovascular exercise -.  Yeah.   My knees say “Hooray” –

August 30th

We are IN !!!!   The apartment is beautiful, spacious, large windows and sliding glass doors AND a real, a R E A L kitchen with an oven!  My refrigerator has magnets on it that I can actually SEE because it’s a normal size frig and I don’t have to stoop way over every time I go to put something in, or get something out.   I don’t have to sit on a small stool and scrape ice from the mini freezer that has frozen over and layered  more ice on the top and bottom &  that takes up more space than the few frozen items it contains!   There is a really big TV, and it doesn’t shut off in the middle of our French movie.  It doesn’t make clicking sounds either every time it’s on, telling us, ” sorry folks, this old TV is on the way to TV demise.”   Our bathroom has a TUB !!!!!  We can SOAK!!!  It has a 30’s feel – the entire apartment as the proprietor has decorated it in this fashion.

PLUS…….I have my own “devotional room”  (see below the cute little French “shabby chic” room……..)

The voile curtains glide back and forth graciously in the mediterranean breeze.    There is a glimpse of the sea, but basically the cicadas are in their glory, the fir trees and olive trees wrap around our balcony, the sky is bright blue.   Life is good.

WHAT the heck is "F" - oh yeah - FROID  = cold

WHAT the heck is “F” – oh yeah – FROID = cold

The morning after - fresh OJ

The morning after – fresh OJ

A "Devotional Room" eh? I LOVE THIS room!!!!

A “Devotional Room” eh? I LOVE THIS room!!!!





We are very very grateful to be in a place more spacious and conducive to cooking.   We probably will eat out a lot less, and I can cook to my hearts desire, like I love to do.

We can have PEOPLE over!!!  They can actually spend the night without us all being squished together!!!


Life is just really good.

Nutella & Baguette Jetlagged

August 2013

eating massive amounts of bread

eating massive amounts of bread


Middle of the night …… 
Jet lag does strange things to a person.
Last night it was Peanut Butter, Nutella and Cheese sticks at 2 am.

I wrote a postcard to someone, and don’t even know why.  Postcards?  In this day and age?

Then!  At 3 am I was out my front door and moving the car back to a safer spot just because…….

and woke up (about 1pm in the sunny afternoon)  to  find  the entire side view mirror hanging by a thread.   Either I pissed someone off cause they thought it was THEIR spot, or a sidewalk Motorcycle decided to cream my side mirror.

Either way, it cost me 50 euros.

Tonight it was an American Police corruption plot with more guns in it than in
some cold basement in Montana.  We hate these shows, but hey, it was in  ENGLISH and sometimes we’re desperate.
The choice of food late in the evening was cashews and French bread, Lemonade and popcorn.

We’re not used to such high living and fine culture activities.
But, ah, there you have it.
I wonder what tomorrow will bring?!?!?

My Happy Birthday Family Celebration- – 65 and Medicare isn’t broke yet!!

My Happy Birthday Family Celebration- – 65 and Medicare isn’t broke yet!!.


you can say I’m proud beyond proud; but that ‘s a truth.  Love my family.  French restaurant for family on my BD was less pricey than a trip to France. …..Ryan had his first ESCARGOT;  Iris saw the pink roses  from Papa’O for my BD and exclaimed (in the first pictures) “OH FLOWERS!! How very lovely!  I’m getting married in the morning!”  (True story) – there are pictures of the reunion meeting for the first time my brother Bob and other fab brother Bill, who I have known (for a while) – -at the end -it’s the “two bruthees” (brothers) my sons — to which – thank you Jack L.  …….they wouldn’t be here without you.   Family is everything.

My Happy Birthday Family Celebration- – 65 and Medicare isn’t broke yet!!


you can say I’m proud beyond proud; but that ‘s a truth.  Love my family.  French restaurant for family on my BD was less pricey than a trip to France. …..Ryan had his first ESCARGOT;  Iris saw the pink roses  from Papa’O for my BD and exclaimed (in the first pictures) “OH FLOWERS!! How very lovely!  I’m getting married in the morning!”  (True story) – there are pictures of the reunion meeting for the first time my brother Bob and other fab brother Bill, who I have known (for a while) – -at the end -it’s the “two bruthees” (brothers) my sons — to which – thank you Jack L.  …….they wouldn’t be here without you.   Family is everything.

“My Grandpa flew a helicopter into a house”

Huey Helicopter from Vietnam War

Huey Helicopter from Vietnam War (Photo credit: Photo Dean)

Iris was swinging at the park the other day, she was laughing as I was pushing her.

A helicopter flew overhead and it was quite loud –

and she said, “What is that?”   I said,  “That’s a helicopter.”

She then said,  “My grandpa…………..” and repeats these 2 words, several times.   “Yes, okay, YOUR Grandpa…….. she says, “My grandpa……………….” and hesitates like she is trying to remember something.     I say, ” WHICH grandpa?   – Grandpa Elwood?”  SHe says again,  “Yes.  My Grandpa Elwood flew a helicopter into ……..into   a    house!”   I say”  Grandpa Elwood?’  Iris says  “Yes”   I say, “No, Grandpa Elwood flew a helicopter in VIETNAM”.    She repeats…..”My Grandpa Elwood, flew a helicopter into,   into, in…..a house”……..  So, we worked on this for awhile and after several swings she got it and said, “My Grandpa Elwood flew a helicopter in Vietnam.”    Success.

Amazing the memory of these little child brains.  Obviously someone (my son?) told her about her Grandpa Elwood’s escapades with helicopters, but somehow it sounded dramatic to change the story that “Grandpa flew into a house”.

She’s running in circles now.  We’ve cooked dinner and her other Grandpa ( Papa’O) is pretending to chase her with her giggles coming in huge waves.    She loves her grandpa (s)  and  I sit back and watch with a heart full of love and amazement at the JOY OF LIFE one petite little girl has in this particular moment.     She is the  legacy of someone, known as  Grandpa Elwood, that did indeed, for this country,  fight and fly.

Vietnam War Air Operation

Vietnam War Air Operation (Photo credit: tommy japan)



22 Months Later ……………………………….

Yes, more photos

Letters from Marseille

Written July 12, 2013

Did someone very important say once, “It is necessary to have goals and work hard to get anything done in this life.”  Yes, I’m sure. I think many people over the course of centuries have said this profound sentence.  SO!  That being said ……..  Vacations are your reward, usually. So when you leave your country and visit another for a vacation, it’s meant to be relaxing, – hopefully.   When you leave your home country to stay and work in another country, on your own, without the benefit of a COMPANY* doing the paperwork FOR you, it is not a vacation, it is complicated and triple the work.

That being said, I wouldn’t have traded that “surprise of bureaucracy” for anything, because it is worth it to live in France.

Today, 12th Juillet 2013, 22 months after arriving in France, my coveted Titre de Sejour, arrived…

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