吉凡尼的花園 Le Jardin de Giverny in the 美術館 area

Woke up super hungry…… time for some delicious eats at 吉凡尼的花園 Le Jardin de Giverny – I’ve been here before, years ago and it was pretty bad but they changed owners and have definitely improved 10 fold.

I so hangry

We ordered two add on lunch meal sets and two a la cartes to share.

Delicious Fresh Foccacia Breads

[You can actually buy breads and pastries in the front of the house]

You can also buy different vinegar, oils and balsamics in the front as well… yay for dipping yummy warm bread…

Fresh Veggie/Fruit Juice

My clear vegetable soup… which tasted a bit buttery to me so I wasn’t that into it. The flavors were great though.

And of course for my “drink” that came with my meal I got a nice glass of white wine.

Fresh salad with walnuts and starfruit.

Appetizer: Ratatouille

It was absolutely delicious and one of the few times I’ve ever had it.  I’m so glad I ordered this.. it was between this and escargot.

My aunt’s appetizer: A Crab “Tart” which is so not a tart, but it was good and fresh none-the-less

And for her main dish she got the seafood risotto.  YUM.  I had a bite and you could taste yummy saffron…. reminded me of a paella but creamier…

Mama, of course, got the pan-fried duck breast, but which was cooked really well and just fatty enough. So so tender.

My other aunt got the pan-fried sea bass, which was one of my choices….

But I ended up getting, DUH, the spicy seafood stirfry :]

And then we went straight into dessert….

A mini Creme Brulee… which I gave to my aunt since she rarely gets to eat these things….

But I enjoyed my delicious iced coffee…. MMM froth

地址:台中市五權七街58號 (台中綠園道)
電話:886-4- 2376-9755

I ended up staying for tea time as well but while my aunts chatted I explored the area a bit…..

Crazy Good Italian Book Signing for Top Chef Mike Isabella

After Brunch, I went shopping with J and W went home to rest a bit.  After a fun relaxing afternoon, we headed over to Graffiato to W’s buddy’s book signing at Graffiato. You might know him.. Top Chef Mike Isabella.  The booze were flowing and the snacks were a-coming. Even saw a quick glimpse of other Top Chef Bryan Voltaggio.

Hahaha YESSS.. I’m a “celebrity tweeter” ;]

[BTW this cook book is pretty awesome, you should totally go out and get it. NOW!  EVEN has his pepperoni sauce in it ;] YUM]

After a super fun party W and I decided to sit down and eat there. I’ve never ever had a bad meal at Graffiato. SO FREAKING GOOD.  We ordered a few things and we got surprised with a few items as well.

Crudo

Light, fresh and perfection.  A perfect way to start a meal.

Pig’s Head.

As soon as I saw this on the meats&cheeses part of the menu, I KNEW I had to have it. DIVINE.  Fennel, apple, SOOOOOO good. Thinly sliced and pure scrumptious.  I like the bit of cartilage from the ear in it. NOM.

Burrata with asian pear, walnut, & pickled cauliflower

My MUST get here.  W already knows so he doesn’t even have to ask and I don’t need to say and he knows I want it.  I love it when a man knows exactly what you want to eat without asking.  He never gets me wrong.

Crispy Veal Sweetbreads with Fried Green Tomatoes and Coffee Aioli

Who would’ve thought a coffee aioli would be good.  It was SOOO good.. light coffee flavor.. creamy.. paired SO well with the tender crisp fried sweetbreads. BUT.  I must say, the star of the show was the fried green tomatoes!!!  W and I were digging for them. SOOOOO good.

W’s must get: Roasted Cauliflower with pecorino, mint

Delicious, per usual. We both adore Cauliflower.

Sweet Corn Agnolotti with Pinenuts

I forgot what the other stuff was. Olive?  Not sure. But these were tender and pillowy. YUM.  The creamy innards were bursting with sweet corn flavor.

We always get the Porky’s Revenge so I wanted to try another one.

Countryman Pizza with black truffle, fontina, farmed soft egg

Sexy Egg… our waiter popped it and spread it for us, but I secretly wished I did it instead haha…

Although it was just truffle oil, it was delicious.  BUT… I think Porky’s is still my favorite… still need to try some others. HEE HEE. But I love my pig.

Charred Octopus with potato, black garlic, olives

Another dish we always get.  It’s SO tender and delicious. YUM.

Crispy Lamb with yogurt, cucumber, tapenade

You guys know I’m not a huge fan of lamb but W loves this. NOM NOM NOM.

Complimentary Desserts from the Book Signing Party before.. SOOOO GOOOOD

Nutella Pudding and Tri-Color Italian Cookies

SOOO GOOD.. and the nutella.. OH MAN, I licked the shot glass cleeeean!!!! And I may have kept the cute little spoon ;]

SHHHH

I don’t remember why I was doing this and why W took this pic of me. But apparently I was NOT amused.

Art, Baklava, Clams & 3D glasses

I am swearing off CANDY (gummies, lollipops, etc…) til Thanksgiving!!!! An occasional piece of DARK CHOCOLATE is okay but nothing else. NO cookies, cakes, desserts, etc… UNLESS it’s the weekend and when I EAT OUT, I’m not allowed to buy it home. I’m getting pudgey and totally unhealthy. All the stress from work is really upping my sugar intake and since diabetes runs in my family, I really need to be more careful. PLUS, I need to detox, especially since I feel so crummy lately, due to other health reasons >_<; BUT if I eat candy, you can e-punch/kick/nunchuck my booty :D

It was SO gorgeous out I NEEDED to get out of the house despite feeling really down in the dumps. So I went to the MFA!!! I haven’t been there since summer and there were some new exhibits I wanted to check out.


I LOOOOVE it here, I can spend hours and hours drawing and writing in this museum since I started coming here in the 5th grade!!!!! What can I say, I love FOOD, FASHION & ART!!!… hmm, MUSIC too… I guess I’m just an all around artsy girl :]

OHOHOH BEFORE I FORGET *can’t contain excitement!!!* Guess which GUMMY VITAMIN is the newwwwwwwwwwww one….???? :D Hehehe *giggle giggle fart fart*

 

It was the ONLY way for my parents to get me to start taking vitamins again… so EVERY MORNING after I shower and get ready and start popping them :] Even tho now I also take vitamins with my herbal drink (iron… multi… C, this and that.. so many >_<;) I STILL LOVE THESE!!!

Does anyone ELSE eat these other than the super duper cool Gliding Calm & Moi?

(btw, if you guessed the IMMUNE C ones you win an e-cookie!!!)

Guava on the drive there…
 

I needed a snack tho before I began my wondering around the hallways…. I also needed a pick me up caffeine boost… I wasn’t really hungry and was content with my coffee… but then I had a slight chew craving… plus my partner in crime wanted some munchies… (Note: I was KINDA curious about their Roasted Pumpkin Salad…. but then opted out of it…. I don’t like getting prepared squash outside cuz they always overdo it on the butter, oil, sugar, etc… and most of the time I never like the way it comes out as opposed to making it myself… hehehe, I’m so picky!!!)

Coffee Break @ the Courtyard Café!!!

What should I get???
 

Spiced Walnut Baklava w/ Orange-Honey Syrup
 
While this was on the sweet side it was SOOOOOOOO delicious and you could really taste the orange (you could even see the orange zest!!!) I ate.. most of it :] HAHA.. 

+ Turkish Coffee Pudding Tart w/ Cardamom Cream
 
I wasn’t impressed :[ Especially next to the Baklava… this looked like a cheap defrosted tart with some mildly flavored coffee pudding plopped sloppily in it. Baklava was worth the 7.95$ this was SOOO not! At least I KINDA got my coffee’s worth getting over 3 refills :] Hahaha…

I had a great time at the museum… :] It closed at 445 since it was a Sunday :[ Boo! I stopped by Starbucks…

& Walgreens (for some bandaids + more cooking mags + the chinese paper for my parents) on the way home….

I’ve had a HORRIBLE stomachache all day :[ I got some niiiice herbal tea!!!! It didn’t really help tho :[ 

AND THEN……
Super Dinner for my Anemia!!!! (well, according to Health Castle)

Steamed Brussel Sprouts (Iron Absorption Enhancer) & Steamed Clams (Execellent source of Heme Iron) !!! (I’ll explain what that sauce/other dish is in a sec)

I LOOOOVE steamed brussel sprouts.. so sweet!!!
 
I sprinkle it with TONS of hot pepper flakes :] 

Steamed Clams + Tabasco = LOVE!!!

I had some of the soup too, MMM so good!!!
 
I had like 34 of these babies!!! I need more more more…. 

& then my mommy made Taiwanese 炸酱面 (Zha Jiang Mien) – since there are different versions slightly varied by where you go…. Koreans make 자장면 really good too :]

SOOOO thick and chunky with lots of veggies and pork :]  Nice + Spicy too!!! NOM!!! This was on Shirataki Noodles :]

I’m off to watch JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH with the 3-d glasses the movie comes with :D

I have meetings startng at 8:30 tomorrow morning, my back is super sore and I feel so horrible and lightheaded so I think I’m gonna work at home again.. which means, I’m SO making myself a HUGE piping bowl of PUMPKIN OATS in the morning :] Well, I’m between that and carrot cake oatmeal (inspired by Erica)…. we’ll see how much time I have between meetings/work to do it.

(btw, I thought I’d share my PB stash…)
 
They’re all almost empty, except the Heat is On which I haven’t opened yet…

I STILL CAN’T FIND MIGHTY MAPLE!!!! *freaks out* I only saw it ONCE at my local WF and then NEVER again, ANYWHERE :[ My favorites so far are…. Bee’s Knees, White Chocolate Wonderful & Cinnamon Raisin Swirl…. ok, I love them all, but the Dk. Chocolate Dreams actually doesn’t appeal to me – strangely enough… 

I bought lots of AWESOME HUUUUUUGE MUGS from Starbucks today that I can eat my OATS in :D I’m SO excited.. hahaha… I also bought Dora the Explorer band-aids, YAY!
 

DORA ♥

edit @ 1102pm
Journey to the Center of the Earth was AWESOME!!! The 3d glasses made me dizzy tho so after a little bit I switched back to the 2d version.

I’ve been in a thriller/drama/horror movie craze lately so a nice fun kid action movie was AWESOME!!! I think I’m gonna watch ALL kiddie movies this week :]

I had a piece of dragonfruit

& 2 Cherimoyas!!! ♥

My new love, my new crack!!! Crackity cracky crack :]

NIIIIIIIIIITE!!! I’m gonna try to go to bed early, but I might fail cuz I really wanna read some cookbooks and cooking mags :]

Halloween Weekend

(I wrote this last nite but forgot to publish it HAHA until now…)

What a blur. I’m in the midst of a health scare… :T More details when I get more testings done… So here are the quick highlights!!!

FRIDAY


GoLean after my doctor’s appointment and working at Starbucks


Hehehe, setup for Halloween!!! I was SOOoOOOOoOoo tempted to take some candy…. I probably would’ve but they ended up moving it closer to the door…


Steamers


& Cioppino!!!! Legals is SLACKING!!!! There was SOO little soup and just ONE piece of fish.. thankfully the mussels were good cuz it was all that. Oh and 3 tiny scallops, two which were nasty and overcooked :[

I ended up working SOOO super late :[ & then I got the dreaded Phone call of the Health Scare :[

I made myself feel better with a caramel apple

The Butterfinger was pretty but the candy was stale and it just didn’t taste good together with the white chocolate & caramel so I didn’t eat it…

& then a nice bag of Peachy O’s.. (and I was COVERED in the sugar..)
I watched The Locker, but it was so bad that I only watched, 3minutes of The Locker 2 and switched to Organizm.


Dior fell asleep during the movie :]


I had another bag after I went upstairs…
(can you tell I’ve been in a candy mood?)

SATURDAY

Barley!!! Lots and lots of barley!!!

Plain barley… halfway thru i missed my super chewy wheatberries!!!… So I added a tbs :]

I decided to go grocery shopping/hopping… :]


Had one of these from trick or treating…


& one of these… :] Sour Lemonade blow pop!!!

I just realized I had NO chia seeds this wkend :P I actually have no idea where I put my baggie of it… HMMMM

Cherimoya, TWO… from Russo’s :] (Check out my NEW SQUASH BOOK!!! Coco!!! You’d love this one too!!!)

Saturday Nite was HOTPOT nite at home. I was literally STUFFED with ALL of this. ALL OF IT. I ate sooo much I couldn’t move and my chest was sticking out. YEP. THE WHOLE TOP HALF OF ME :[

The set up…


Yum yum yum…. making the tasty soup…


All of my favorite things, look at those mushrooms, I ate them ALL!!!


Ginormous squids and lots and lots of watercress!!! YUMMMM!!!


Dior wanted some shabu too :]

 

My new slipper socks

And then I had 3 Whole Foods’ Vegan Gingersnaps…

They’re like one of my FAVORITE cookies!!!! They HAVE to be the vegan ones tho…

Getting my read on :]

I am such a fatarse :]

& TWO caramel apples


DIor’s share, and Mommy’s share…

The new kitchenware love of my life!!!

Hehehe, I really like this new commercial :]

OHHH I also had 2 bags of Peachy O’s.. and some sour Cherry Candies :]

SUNDAY…
I made my parents brunch to use up the bacon.

Pancetta Scrambled Egg Whites with Beans & Wheatberries for Mommy…


Bacon


Pancetta Fried Egg for Daddy…

Barley w/ Jujubes and Red Beans


(I had TWO bowls!!! hehehe)

I went treadmill shopping & bookstore browsing and had a Guava along the way!!!!

Grape Lollipop

Most of 2 Starbucks Cookies.. the PB Cup & Sugar… & a VENTI Americano

I bought the new Boston magazine and 3 Vegan Cookbooks :] Including La Dolce Vegan & Candle Cafe Cookbook

ANYWAYS, onto the HIGHLIGHT cooking of the weekend was SUNDAY NITE!!!! I’ve been super excited to try Kath’s Butternut Squash-Kale Soup ever since I read about it and saw the video and just added a few smaller twists to it. Now that I made it once I know what I want to add/subtract from it :]

I tossed a little over 2lbs of butternut squash, 2 large carrots chopped, 2 large celery stalks chopped & a shallot roughly chopped into a big pot… I cooked it for awhile until it started getting fragrant. I added a BIG box of creamy carrot soup (Pacific) and simmered it until the veggies were soft. Then I pureed it with my NEW immersion blender!! Then I added cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne, hot pepper flakes, paprika and course ground pepper into the soup.


I chopped up a large honeycrisp apple (unpeeled) into bite sized pieces, tons of kale (also chopped in bite-sized pieces) and lidded it up!!!

In another pan I sauteed two turkey breast tenderloins (bite sized) with rosemary, black pepper and hot pepper flakes til brown.

Bowling it up… I layered turkey, with the soup & garnished with toasted walnuts.

My bowl was soup & wheatberries :]

Dessert of 2 Cherimoya & Neon Brite Crawlers…

& thennnnnn, now, Red Vines & Pecans…

ANYWAYS.

I’ve been dreaming about Chace Crawford like almost every night. HMMM, does that mean anything?

Isn’t he dreamy? *swoon* Hayden’s so freaking adorable too :]

I’ve also bought lots of yummies yet to come up on here…. like PB&Co. Bee’s Knees… lots and lots of beans (I’m gearing up for a nice yummie CHILI!!!), so on and so forth. I’m banned from buying squash til I finish what I have :] Mwahaha.. so I snuck in a couple cans of pumpkin ;]

I MISS OATS!!!! Oatmeal tomorrow :]

Pumpkin Millet Oats = Happy, but still sick, Tiffie

1c Pumpkin
1/2c Oats
1/4c Wheatberries
1/8c Millet
1 tbs Flaxseed
(the last time I tried flaxseeds for awhile I had a bag reaction to them, but when I had it in my 4-grain hot cereal this weekend it seemed okay… soooooo…. here I go again!!!)
Cinnamon +  Nutmeg to taste
~ 1 tsp Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla
Walnuts to top it off!!! 

Cooking the Millet

I was so tasty and I put big pieces of walnuts in it so I’d crunch a bit with a lot of oatmeal…

SOOO freaking MUCH!!! & SOOOOOO GOOD!!! SOOO much textures and chews and so fluffy!!!! I looooove the thick rolled oats from Bob’s Red Mill!!

It was so good that Dior tried to steal some :] TEEHEE….

  It took me over 1/2 an hour to EAT too… SOO GOOD and I’m still SOOO full from it (I ate early today too!!!)

Decided to make some Bacon wrapped Shrimp, topped it off with a nice sprinkling of course ground black pepper!!! YUM!!!

Placed them on top of a bed of fresh Arugula

And fried some Sage leaves as well in the bacon fat :]

 

DELICIOUS!!!

NEw season of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives tonite!!! I *heart* Guy Fieri!!!

 

ANYWAYS… I’m off to play with Dior, watch a movie, possibly drink some wine to unwind and eat my other caramel apple :]

edit @ 1047pm

My goofy little baby…

I thought it’d be funny to watch an old horror movie (it IS almost Halloween!!!)

I was laughing the whole time…. and eating this:

Monster Apple!!!!!

Cut up, it took me like an hour to eat lol….

I’m still sick… and super tired, gonna do a little work and then go to bed… Nite!!!!

Butternut Apple Walnut Muffins

20 oz Butternut Squash (finely diced and mashed)
1 1/4c Brown Sugar
4 Large Eggs
1/2 Granny Smith Apple (peeled, diced)
Pinch of Salt
2 1/2c Whole Wheat Flour
2tsp Baking Powder
1tsp Cinnamon
3/4 Apple Sauce
2/3c Chopped Walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees & line a muffin pan with muffin cups.
 

2. Peel and dice and roughly mash up the butternut squash.

3. Add in the 1 1/4c of Brown Sugar (you can add more if you want it sweeter) and the 4 large eggs.
 

4. Mix thoroughly. And then chop and peel and add in the granny smith apple.

5. Mix thoroughly. Add in salt, flour, baking powder, apple sauce, cinnamon & walnuts.

6. Use an ice cream scoop and scoop them into muffin cups so it’s almost at the top.
 

Makes about 20 muffins! Bake about 20-25 min
 
 

My first batch I added a cute half walnut on top of each

and the other batch I topped it with cranberry sauce (1/2c cranberries, 1/2c water, boiled down)

Like mother, like daughter

FIRST of all, Happy Birthday Kath!!!!
Everyone NEEDS to go say happy birthday to her and check out the AMAZING cake her awesome hubby made for her :D
  *jealous* No guy has ever baked me a cake… lolol..

HINT HINT: I like it when guys cook!!! Hahaha… the most fanciful & untypical thing a guy has ever made me was paella… but I usually end up doing all the cooking LOL… I only had one boyfriend who enjoyed cooking almost as much as I did tho, so I think we influenced each other a lot in that sense while we were together.

OK, onwards…


Read title, see picture :]

Sidenote: Today’s sunny with high of 68 degrees :D ECSTATIC!!!

I woke up feeling really sick yesterday morning…. so I had some water & vitamins, my chia seeds and was out the door…

Trader Joe’s had human bingo yesterday while I was shopping and I got THREE things!!!! Some chocolate decadance cereal, apple/grape juice & a tub of chocolate covered almonds :D Yay for free!!! It was fun too… you’re supposed to scream BINGO when they call your number and I was the only one who actually screamed it (aside from the 5 year old who also won once) … >_<; I’m a dork!!!

I got some dried pomelo at TJ’s so I had three pieces, they’re bitter and yummy!!!

There was no skin on it tho… dried fruit skin is the best!!! I still prefer the Russo’s kind that’s just dried skin with a tiny piece of meat, these are less sweet tho…!!!

Some other more interesting things I bought…

& then at Whole Foods I was deciding on Arrowhead Mills’ 4 Grain or 7 Grain Hot Cereal to try.. I decided that I’d go for simple first :] Plus the 4 Grain looked thicker and chewier on the box :] Haha… but this one has flax in it, I’m hesitant since the last time I tried flax I seemed allergic but this was too tempting not to buy :D

I made a quick trip to B&N to look for some books and to get my coffee fix and then ended up being STARVED whilst browsing. Feeling faint, I was SO happy I remembered to pack a cup of GoLean in my bag :D


Kashi saves the day (again!!!)


I added a new kind of squash to try this wk :D It says it’s chestnutty, so I’m excited!!! I’ll probably try it tonite!!!

Red Kuri: Originally from Japan and also known as “baby red hubbard,” this squash has an orange-red skin and is round with a slight teardrop shape. The flesh texture is very smooth and creamy, with a savory chestnut-like flavor. [ Source ]

I also picked up two TINY kabochas :D CUTE!!! & Spaghetti Squash

(Unpictured: I also bought lots of butternut, they’re having a sale @ WF!!!)
I *heart* my Squash collection!!!

I decided to try a mixture of flavors I saw in a cooking mag once… I got STARVING suddenly right when I was preparing dinner so I had the last 2 tiny mini Honeycrisps to prevent munching on dinner before I finished!!! :]

DINNER would be… Chicken Thighs w/….

Honey Butter Pears…
 

Leeks… (I was ecstatic when I found these, usually I prefer buying them fresh and trimming them my own, but I’m sick so screw you :P)
 

I added some toasted walnuts and mushrooms on top :D

Secret ingredients: I placed a slice of pancetta underneath each chicken thigh AND had red currant jelly in it :D

I figured I needed a veggie sidedish so… simple & quick:
Curried Orange Cauliflower… I bought a tiny orange thing… added curry and some other spices to it and chopped up some dried cherries… spicy and sweet!!!
 

Since I still felt crummy I whipped up a huge bowl of pumpkin oatmeal w/ wheatberries & a whopping a tbs of lowfat coconut flakes :D Only 35 cal a tbs :D It wasn’t overly pumpkiny.. I guess I need more than 1/2c of pumpkin to 1/2 of oats?!?!..
 

I took lots of oatmeal p0rn ;]
 

The coconut lasted me til the very end!!!

Next time I’m gonna toast them first tho…

The dinner spread:

YEP, I’m classy: Oatmeal + Wine

Yum yum yum!!! 

I decided to go old school last nite and watch Halloween (can you believe I’ve watched them all except for this one???? The OG???? I even saw the remake last year but not this one…. oy)

Even Dior’s ready for movie time (and I bet she was daydreaming about ‘Apple Time’ here too..)

I ended up eating 1.5 persimmons (sooo yum)

A HUUUUGE glass of wine (so I didn’t have to get up to pour more)

(I ended up filling it almost to the top haha but it looks prettier & classier partway filled)

& a tub of sour worms from WF… I didn’t mean to but they were so chewy :]

At least they’re a bit “healthier” cuz they’re made from fruit juices?!?!.. hahaha…

Some books/mags I bought today, thought it was funny cuz it was so random:

I guess all that food, worms and wine caught up with me cuz while I’m still feeling crummy I’m also feeling stuffed. I had a weird nite (but better than previous) I think the wine helped me sleep a little better actually. WEIIIIIIIRD dreams tho about me living in a super strict boarding school and such. @_@ The new head that came in was super strict (as opposed the previous lax one who just let us turn it into a party school) … and the new head didn’t like me and locked me in the gym with no electricity and my boyfriend w/ the help of our friends (in my dream) was trying to sneak me out.

I also had another WEIRD dream also about me trying to run away from this psycho guy… strange.

Is my dreams trying to tell me something about me needing to get away?!?!.. hahaha… 

Brain: You need a vacation
Me: OK!!!!

So I was gonna wake up early to make brunch for everyone.. but now… I duno. I wanted to make french toast, eggs, bacon, the works.. but now.. maybe something simple.. Just one thing.. hahahah… or oatmeal for all :D