Monday, 28 January 2013

Le Papillion brunch date

This post is long overdue. I forgot that I forgot to tell you about my favourite brunch place with my favourite guy! Medical School budgets don't have much give but Justin always seems to find ways to spoil me. His latest extravagance took us to the sweet little cafe´ called Le Papillion. 

Located on Morne Rouge Road in Grand Anse, this little nook of the Siesta Hotel offers a quiet, classy place to enjoy a numerous selection of unique dishes.
Note: the actual hours are 7am-2pm. An advertising mistake I came to rue on several occasions. 

My first exposure to Le Papillion came last term via the Significant Other Organization breakfast club. Almost twenty of us attended. The friendly atmosphere and presence of espressos and Earl Grey tea provided an opportunity to mingle with new friends and catch up with old ones.

The menu presents variety and something for even the pickiest of eaters. Don't be afraid to ask the server about their dishes. I didn't know what a Croque Madam contained before inquiring! The staff always have smiles and good taste in menu choices. When in doubt, ask your friendly neighbourhood server.

My date with Justin mixed friendship and romance beautifully, especially paired with spiced French toast and cristophene crepes. 

Both dishes matched wonderfully with local papaya preserves and sorrel jelly. 

Justin's cappuccino was served in the most hilarious mug I have seen in Grenada. Surprisingly, it is an accurate representation of this little island. Next time I go I will request this mug. You should, too.

The owner of Le Papillion constantly snaps pictures of patrons for their growing collection of online photos. She graciously photographed our time together for my growing collection.

Justin and I had a lovely time. Two hours of chatting and laughing does the soul good. Good food only makes a great time even better.

 If you're in Grenada, stop by and visit. You can find their facebook page here.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

School begins.

Sometimes a week or two will fall out of the calendar and absolutely cannot be found again. This was one of those weeks. Meetings, places to be, puppies to take care of... and school to begin! 

Justin's reprieve has finally come to a close. We enjoyed the break while it lasted. Happily, he's actually rearin' to begin learning again. 
Me, being the faithful wife I am, was prepared with camera in hand to document his first day. Of course, batteries die. So here are some cheater photos of St. George's University. (My mom took them while visiting last month.)

Even academia can be beautiful. I don't know the name of this beach.. but it's beautiful! 

The real sights of SGU (besides the students, of course) has to be the spectacular views. The campus seems multi-level (meaning you have to climb calf-ripping hills) which provides some spectacular views of True Blue Bay and the Caribbean Sea.

The buildings themselves have a beauty all their own. Such lovely buildings hide deceptively cold interiors. Biology-major-me decided to attend class with Justin last term. Never again will I join without a sweater.

And this, friends, is why I'm here. I am in Grenada to help my husband and friend be the best physician ever. I'm proud of you, baby!

Fyi, St. George's University offers more than just medical school. Undergraduate, graduate, post-grad, vet programs are available as well. If you're interested in the Caribbean life and in furthering your education, take a look at their site.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Pad Thai Soup

Grenada feels much cooler island as of late. Winds blow and the sun hides behind clouds. This 26 degree weather has me curled up in sweats and hoodies after dark. Not that I'm complaining.

Soup finds a welcome place on my meal schedule. Hot weather hasn't stopped me from making soups and stews but cool weather makes my soup obsession slightly more acceptable. Asians soups are among my favourite variety so when I found a Pad Thai soup recipe, it immediately made it's way to my grocery list. 

To make Pad Thai Soup you'll need:

  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chicken, cubed, or tofu
  • 1 cup cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups veg/chicken broth
  • 4 oz Pad Thai rice noodles
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp sriracha
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, crushed
  • handful green onions
  • sprinkle red pepper flakes 
If you don't have sriracha chili sauce, additional red pepper flakes may be substituted. Sorry, I had my sauce hand delivered to my door via parents. I haven't seen any in Grenada.
Ingredients excepting chili flakes and chicken

What to do:
 In large pot, heat oil then add garlic. Before garlic browns, add egg and cook until softly scrambled.

A "softly scrambled" egg
Add chicken (or tofu), pan-fry until cooked through..about three to five minutes. Add cabbage and cook for a few more minutes.

 Add chicken broth then add noodles, soy sauce, sriracha, fish sauce, and peanuts.

(You may need to hand crush the peanuts)
Creatively crushing peanuts

Cook until noodles are softened, about 3 minutes.

Serve topped with green onion and red pepper flakes. Gobble up immediately. Serves four. Or two.
Hint: it's a ton easier to pull noodles out with a pasta spoon than a ladle. Just sayin'

I'm a first time Pad Thai soup maker and I only needed 30 minutes to make this delicious meal. Definitely a pleasant surprise. My husband added more sriracha for additional heat but I was satisfied with my fire index. The soup is authentically asian but has a gentle, light taste to it. Pad Thai soup may be replacing traditional chicken noodle soup, even on sick days. It's that great.

Credit belongs here, with a few changes of my own. :)
I hope you enjoy a cool-ish weather kinda soup. I'm now going to work on hiding the leftovers from Justin.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Trees, Beaches, and the Hobbit

Yesterday was definitely a ditch the cleaning and let's read a book at the beach day. 
Grenada's beaches can be found around every corner and loop of this island so the husband and I decided to enjoy new scenery. 

We adventured to BBC beach, a hidden away beach down the hill from Quarantine Point. Its calm surf and small beach populace make it the perfect hang out spot for families with kids. In addition, BBC (also known as Morne Rouge Beach) really is a great place to go if relaxation, picnics, and reading are your activities of choice when visiting the ocean. 

Sitting on a bug-less Sea Grape tree
 Tons of trees line the beach, an awesome beach addition for those prone to sunburns. Amazingly, I found my first Grenadian tree not covered in two thousand ants. My celebratory climb was duly documented by my husband.

A little while after we arrived, Mr. Sun decided to hide under a cloud, giving me the opportunity to begin an old favourite. I found myself underneath my ant-less tree dreaming of dwarves, wizards, and adventure. Sadly, I didn't get too far since the sun peeked between clouds and summoned me to him. While enjoying the warmth, I fell asleep and therefore have no more pictures to share. :)
If you ever need a quiet place to hide and wolf down the latest novel, BBC beach would be my choice.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Sorrel Juice: A New Holiday Favourite

Food and holidays must be the world's greatest combination. One of the secret joys of world travel is finding new combinations of snacks and celebrations. My newest discovery consists of a pretty little flower and some spices.
Sorrel flowers

The pretty little flower's common name is Sorrel. The rest of the world knows it as Roselle. It's a biannually flowering hibiscus plant, apparently grows all over the world, and has many folk medicinal uses. I simply find that it makes a tasty drink! Sorrel juice comes around at Christmastime in the Caribbean. I'm sure each island has it's own variation to the drink but I stuck to the basics. (I usually have more luck if I keep things simple.)

Boiling those bright flowers

Sorrel juice really is a simple beverage to make. 

1. Drop approx. 4-6 cups of sorrel flowers in a big pot of water.
2. Add bay leaf, piece of peeled ginger root, and 4-8 whole cloves.
3. Bring to a boil until colour has drained from flowers into the water.
4. Strain, add sugar to taste, and cool before serving.
Addition of rum is optional but preferred. We're in the Caribbean, after all.
Ginger, bay leaf, cloves

Almost ready to drink!

 I was a negligent girl and forgot to take a photo of my finished product...but found one on google. :) Photo credit here.

If you're interested in making your own batch of juice you just might be able to find Roselle in produce sections of international grocers. Good luck!

Cheers and Happy New Year!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

A Beachy Christmas

I'm dreaming of a White Christmas.. 
One of my favourite Christmas songs. Good ol' Dean Martin. Of course, my white isn't what he was singing about. While snow was falling in my Canadian hometown, we (my family) pressed powdery white sand underfoot on December 25th.

Sentimental me wondered if I could accept a bikini Christmas rather than a hot chocolate, hockey, fuzzy sock sort of Christmas. Family arrived one-by-one and with each reunion the holiday spirit grew. They were ready for a Caribbean holiday so I allowed their enthusiasm to spread inside my grinch heart. And eventually, I found myself feeling Christmas-y right along with everyone else.

Dad arrived first.

Then mum.

And then brother.

Grenada loves Christmas much as the whole world does. They also have unique holiday traditions in food, music, and family. Christmas day is spent with family and visiting neighbours, delighting them with a glass of homemade sorrel juice (which I made! Post to come later), and snacks. Parang, the Caribbean's version of Christmas music, fills malls and busses with upbeat but unexpected sounds. My family created a mixture of Canadian and Grenadian traditions to suit our fancy. Dad chose reggae music; I chose butter tarts.

In keeping with my beach theme, I was greatly surprised that hardly a Grenadian leisured the beach on Christmas Day. Beach chair tourists exploded all over Grand Anse, filling the air with foreign tongues and rum punch fumes. I mean, we were no exception...I just was not expecting so many foreigners. Tis the season, I guess.

These two pictures, taken on my brother's Rebel, remind me of what I want for Christmas next year. Or maybe for my birthday...

We spent a lot of time doing this.

And this.

 Christmas on the sand really wasn't much different than a snowy Christmas. We were together. Laughing. Eating. Napping. Smiling. And rapidly buying presents behind each others' back. Just like we always do.

Happy Holidays, Grenada!