Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving from France!

Happy Francegiving! Last night I hosted the INSEAD Americans for a lovely Thanksgiving feast at Chateau de Tavers, where I live. We made three turkeys and the 50 or so guests brought side dishes and desserts to share. It was a great night and I'm glad we got to have a little taste of home.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Recipe: Moroccan Vegetable Couscous

It was great to get a break from French food and try some new things on our recent trip to Morocco. There were plenty of vegetables, couscous, and even some French influence with an abundance of sardines. Here's some images of food we ate in the Atlas Mountains and then a traditional vegetable couscous recipe.


2 cups cooked couscous
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne
4 carrots
2 russet potatoes
1 butternut squash
2 cups water
2 zucchini
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped cilantro


Cook couscous according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook until tender. Add spices, except for cilantro. Stir in carrots, potatoes, squash, and water and cook until vegetables are tender (about 30 minutes). If necessary add more water. Remove excess water once vegetables are tender and serve over the couscous. Add cilantro and salt and pepper to taste. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

French Food

Before my move to France to study at INSEAD, I wrote about why French Women Don't Get Fat and I must admit that I believe in much of what is in the book. French food tends to be rich and high-quality, but enjoyed in smaller portions. The bread doesn't make me feel bloated and seasonal vegetables are always used in meals. Our cafeteria food is pretty awesome and I'm having fun trying new things, like snail, in the restaurants of Fontainebleau and Paris. I enjoy the French love for seafood. My only major complaint about French food is the prevalence of diary. You can not get anything without cheese or milk. Although I try to avoid it, it's really difficulty to do so, and waiters do not really understand why i would want something "sans lait." Regardless, it's been fun exploring the food options in France and here are some ideas for your home cooking!

Snail, not as gross as it sounds.

Shrimp salad, with cheese sauce, of course.

Mussels and fries, my favorite!

Ni├žoise salad (recipe here)

And you can't have a French meal without a glass of wine!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Hiking in the Atlas Mountains

On our last day of break, INSEADers put the Mt. Everest simulation to work and trekked in the Atlas Mountains near Marrakech in Morocco.

We "saw" camels (actually, only George did).

We climbed ladders...practice for climbing up the business ladder.

We proved it's all about the bass on the top of a mountain.

And then we took just one more selfie.
Thanks Patrick (and Omar)!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Marrakech Morocco

The first period of classes at INSEAD is over and after a grueling finals week we had to take some time off and do as INSEADers do, travel. There were many groups of students going to different places but the Morocco trip stood out the most to me. I had never been to North Africa and thought it was a great chance to check off a continent and see something completely different. 

We had a fantastic group of people and stayed in a traditional riad, which is an open-air house with a rooftop. Props to Patrick for bringing his gopro and selfie stick and taking some awesome pictures.

We spend an entire day exploring Marrakech and walking around the markets. A bad judgement on my part, I checked my carry-on luggage and they lost it so I had to actually buy some things to use during the trip. Not a big deal though because now I have some cool souvenirs that I can use again!

Everything in the markets was wonderfully colorful and handmade. We also went to a traditional Hammam spa and where they pampered us and allowed us to relax. On the last day, we took a trek to the Atlas mountains, which I'll talk about in my next post!

There's me with a monkey!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Rugby tour to Cambridge

INSEAD is all about being open and trying new things, so, when asked by my roommate if I wanted to join Rugby Club, I said, why not? I've played plenty of sports throughout my life and rugby sounds like American football, so I thought, how hard could it be to learn? Full contact rugby has all kinds of plays and rules but the touch version is actually fairly simple, once you realize that you run and pass backwards (instead of forwards, like in football). After a few Monday night practices followed by drinking and chanting, I decided to join the club on the rugby tour to Cambridge, UK. 

The canal in Cambridge.

The guys team playing full contact against another college.

Practicing touch rugby in the park.

Watching rowers on the canal.

Fancy dinner at Christ's College.

Train station in London.

Enjoying some real English tea on the way back.

Have you ever played rugby?