Bags packed…

So the bags have been packed. Luckily I usually do not bring too much stuff when traveling. Out of three suitcases I managed to squeeze myself into a half one. The rest went to the kids and Cassandra did not even pack all the stuff she brought with her from Bellegarde.

Anyway, now we are set for our trip to Denmark and Sweden. The kids have chosen The Revenant for tonight’s film-time and then tomorrow morning it is off to the airport. Fingers crossed that we will have good weather, especially at Tivoli Copenhagen.

The featured image of this post? It is grilled chicken pieces with a Greek salad that I made for lunch.

Mini cruise on Lac Leman

Mini cruise at Lac Leman (Geneva)Well it has been another weekend and as usual that meant that the kids came over. This time we made a little trip to Geneva and took a mini cruise on Lac Leman. I brought my SLR this time and got some quite nice photos. I uploads A few of them to this photo album on my  Flickr account.

Mini cruise at Lac Leman (Geneva)

Afterwards we went to a nice Italian restaurant in Geneva.

The weather was great as you can see from the photos. According to the forecast it will continue to be nice with 30+ degrees for the coming week or so.

Red Pesto ChickenNow for the usual food stuff. Obviously l did not cook anything for Saturday lunch. In the evening l put together a red pesto chicken with olives and Feta cheese served with bread and a salad. It went down quite well with the kids.

IMG-20170716-0462For Sunday lunch I did not have anything prepared so I made some quick browsing on some of my favorite food sites, specifically matklubben.se and mytaste.com (. se)  (. fr). What I found was a recipe for porc filet wrapped in Serrano ham with a balsamic vinegar sauce. I could not find any good pieces of porc filet when I went shopping in the morning so l  substituted it for a lovely filet mignon of veal that l found instead. If turned out to be quite tasty. Before being wrapped in the Serrano ham the filet was covered in a mixture of chopped dried tomatoes, garlic, ground Parmesan and chopped home grown basil.

Jonathan had seconds. The two small ones were not too keen on the vinegar sauce (which did get a rather sad grey color, that has to be said) but the rest went down.

Well th th th th that’s all folks (for this time).

Preparing for Sweden

Two more days then I am going on a short holiday to Sweden with my girlfriend to attend a wedding.  Will be fun…I hope. There will be lots of people I do not know so I guess I am a bit nervous. I know my girlfriend, obviously, her parents and her son. That’s it. Anyway, today and tomorrow evening I’m going to sort out what I need to bring and start to pack.

And now for something completely different…

The kids came over for the Saturday last weekend. Technically it was supposed to be my ex having them last weekend but since she was working they would have been sitting around alone all day so… She will have them for a long weekend when I am in Sweden anyway.

Jonathan did some binge watching of Voyager (as usual). The weather was rather poor so I had not really made any plans for outside activities. I had bought two huge racks of pork ribs for lunch. I thought that I had bought plenty of food but the kids cleaned me out completely.

Noix St Hacques aux lit de Asperge avec graine de Pin et sauce aOn the Sunday my girlfriend came over for lunch. I had made Noix St Jacques aux lit de Tagliatelle de Asperge avec Graine de Pin et sauce Pesto (featured picture of this post). It was I hit. I managed to pic two of her favorites, Scallops and Asparagus, in one dish.

But then she is not used to cook herself so she is always somewhat impressed by my cooking. She did cook for me last evening though…and I survived 🙂

Well, now it is back to work and then back to travel preparations for me…

Birthday Weekend

Okay, okay I will refrain from going into a rant about how much more I liked my birthdays before. Just insert some random “I hate being reminded about becoming yet another year older…bla bla, rant rant” here and we are done with it.

I have to say that this birthday was a lot more pleasant than my previous one though. For one it was on a Saturday so I celebrated it with the kids. Also, on my previous birthday I was still in the middle of a depression and had crawled into a bottle. Actually last Friday I celebrated 8 months of “back to normal”.

Anyway, back to the weekend. The kids came over already on the Friday. Actually I went more or less straight from work and picked them up in Bellegarde since my ex was working until around 19:30 in the evening. Nice to have a movie evening with the kids on a Friday for once. John Wick 2 was on the menu. Not as good as I hoped but you cannot have everything i guess.

Swedish Midsumme Eve Supper.
Midsummer eve Swedish buffet

Another thing that was on the menu was some traditional Swedish food. It was midsummer eve, or Midsommarafton in Swedish, so I had stocked up on some pickled herring, Gravlax, Swedish meatballs, Swedish cheese and sausages etc… The two small ones were not too enthusiastic about the fishy stuff as usual but Jonathan and I digged in.

 

View towards Lac de Divonne outside Le Rectiligne.
Lac de Divonne-les-Bains

On the Saturday I had booked a table a Le Rectiligne, a fairly posh restaurant in Divonne-les-Bains that serves classic French Haut Cuisine with a touch of modern experimenting. It was quite excellent, as usual. I had told the kids to bring some decent clothes since it is a posh restaurant after all, which they did. However Timothy, having his head in the clouds as usual, had just grabbed a pair of trousers without looking. Of course they were too small when he tried to put them on so he had to go in some scruffy sports trousers. Arrrggghhh!

Sorbet on the Rocks (yes it is a block of ice)
Sorbet served in a block of ice

I could not help myself snapping a photo of the desert. We sat on the terrace so it was not that much of a breach of etiquette. The desert itself was good but nothing too special but the bowl it came in was a solid block of ice.

The weather was great as well. Around 30 degrees and sunny. Perfect for a lunch at the terrace. The evening became another “filmtime”. This time Underworld: Blood Wars which was a bit more like I hoped for than the Friday entertainment. Review will come up later on my Books & Movies site.

As I am writing this it is Sunday so there’s not much planned. I got some Swedish cheese left so I am planning to make a Tarte aux Fromage et Lardons avec des Herbes out of the cheese for lunch . Then later in the afternoon/evening it is time to drive the kids back to Bellegarde.

Holy crap, time flies. Yet another weekend has come and gone.

I cannot believe how fast time flies right now. It feels like the previous weekend was just yesterday and  yet another one has come and gone. I did not even get any time to write something on My Ramblings until now.

Weather ForecastWell, the kids were in St Genis for the entire weekend again and it was another fairly calm weekend. The weather was (and is) great and the forecast for the week is pretty darn good as well.

We went for lunch at Palais de Asie, one of the favorite restaurants of the kids. Asian buffet, all you can eat. As usual it was pretty good. No stars in Guide Micheline of course but freshly made and quite tasty for a buffet restaurant. The kids love being able to take what they want. The drawback is that everyone gets completely stuffed (all you can eat remember…) and just dozes off in the sofa when we get back.

Well, we livened up the spirits a bit with Resident Evil: The Final Chapter later in the evening. Not great but okay and lots of satisfying violent special effects of course. A review will come later on my other site.

Preparing to play Hexagonal chess.

On the Sunday we got around to do some family activities in the form of playing cards. I have not played cards a lot lately. It was great fun. I used to play cards a lot when I was young. After all that was a time when telephones were big clunky things with a rotary dial and computers had 25 by 80 characters and a green monochrome screen so entertainment was strictly non-digital.

After the cards Jonathan lured me into a game of Hexagonal Chess. Also quite fun but he had obviously practiced before (I call that cheating) so I lost.

For lunch on the Sunday I made a Saumon au Chili, Citron Vert et Orange avec Pomme de Terres et Salade (featured picture). I thought it was excellent but the two small ones were not impressed. They raided my snacks storage later in the afternoon. Sigh…

Well, it was a good weekend anyway.

Long weekend with the kids.

Last weekend the kids were not at my place as usual since my ex was on holiday and had the kids for the entire week. This weekend we kind of compensated. Last Thursday was Ascension so it was a holiday and I took the Friday off to make it into a long weekend so the kids came over from Thursday to Sunday.

Weather ForecastThe weather has been great as well, sunny with temperatures creeping up towards 30 degrees and more, so it has been a really nice weekend. On the Friday we went to Balexert so the kids could do some shopping for my ex’s birthday and then we went on to Val Thoiry so I could do the grocery shopping. Jonathan wanted to have fish for dinner so we got some nice Filet de Perche which I fried and served with French fries and a salad.

Filet de Perche

Yesterday my girlfriend came over for lunch and later in the evening we went to Balexert again to watch Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2 at the cinema. My girlfriend was really nervous about meeting the rest of my family. The kids seemed a bit intimidated as well so they did not speak very much. Well, I guess they just have to get used to it. It was not exactly me that chose to go down the path we did.

As for the movie. I have to say I was a bit disappointed. It was in 3D but “regular” 3D and not the IMAX 3D that we experienced when we saw the latest Star Wars. I really did not like it. The image was a mess most of the time and the, too exaggerated, 3D effects more of a distraction than anything else. I will not write a review on that one before I have watched it again at home on Blu-ray … without 3D of course.

Lunch at the balconyAfter the movie we had planned to go to one of the restaurants at Balexert to eat but we discovered that all the restaurants except CrapDonalds closed when the shops closed. That’s bloody Swiss for you! So we drove back to St Genis and went for a burger at Le Brasserie instead.

Right now Jonathan is getting his weekly fix of Science Fiction, Star Trek Voyager to be specific, and I am relaxing a bit before it is time to prepare lunch. I had actually planned to go to Le Brasserie today for lunch but yesterdays change of plans obviously had repercussions on that. Thus, I had to go out in the morning to do some more grocery shopping. Luckily in France shops and restaurants are usually open when the customers actually need them and not at the convenience of the staff.

So, I picked up some pasta, tomatoes, herbs and shark meat. I was actually looking for tuna but they did not have any so I had to improvise on my improvisation. I guess we are about to see how that goes.

The next weekend the kids have asked, actually more demanded, to stay for the full weekend again. It is Fete de l’Oiseaux in St Genis and, since I now live in the village, they want to take the opportunity of staying over so we can go down in the evening and enjoy the fairground and all the attractions when it is dark and the lights are on.

A weekend without the kids

This weekend was a bit unusual in that I spent it without the kids. My ex had a week of holiday so the kids stayed at her place all week including the weekend. Felt a bit weird not having the kids over but at least it meant that I could have a sleep in on the Saturday for once.

Walk in Parc de la Grance, GenevaThis did not mean that I spent the entire weekend vegetating in the apartment though. Well, I had quite a bit of stuff to do (I still have a mountain of ironing to do…) but on Saturday afternoon I went to Geneva and had a nice walk in the park with my girlfriend. The weather has finally turned good again after a period of rainy and cold days. We spent a really nice time there. Unfortunately I did not think of taking my camera with me so the photos are taken with my phone…again. I really have to get back into the habit of bringing a decent camera with me on occasions like this. In the evening we went to a meeting with friends suffering from the same ailment as we do.

Pasta sauce a'la Baron RiccasoliOf course no kids did not mean that I did not get a chance to do some cooking. On Saturday my girlfriend and her father came over for lunch. They came just after the normal lunch time actually and I had to drive to the tram station to pick them up so I was forced to do something I could prepare pretty much all the way in advanced. My choice fell on fresh pasta and Pasta Sauce a’la Baron Ricasoli. It is actually a pretty old recipe that me and my ex found in a edition of Allt Om Mat quite a few years back but I still do it on a fairly regular basis.

Unfortunately the entire family of my girlfriend are hockey fanatics…I am not. Anyway, there has been quite a bit of hockey watching the last couple of days. What do we men not do to please the girlies? Well, I guess I have built up quite a bit of leeway with her when it comes to binge watching science fiction and fantasy at least. Sadly she is not a fan of these exquisite arts.