Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My first post !

How scary, my first post, so bear with me ! 

I live in Silicon Valley, California, and yes, I do have blue eyes.

I moved here to California almost two months ago from Vancouver British Columbia, Canada. In this country, I am what is known as an H4.  An H4 is a type of Visa where you are the spouse and/or dependent of a (H1B) which is another type of Visa that allows a non-american to work in the U.S.   My husband was hired by one of the big players here in Silicon Valley and in this blog, this big player shall not be named, for many obvious reasons, but rather surnamed The Big Cheese. In this blog I will not be giving advice on how to land a job in Silicon Valley, revealing big corporate secrets nor criticizing our American cousins, though sometimes very tempting. Rather, I will tell funny anecdotes and explain what was involved for us in moving from Canada to the USA. I will also include recipes I have sampled, tell you about little holes in the wall and inexpensive restaurants located here, in the Bay Area,  where my husband and I enjoyed the food, share some local photos, photos of our pets, tell you about dog friendly places and businesses and great places to visit. So let's get started !

After getting over the shock of actually receiving an offer from The Big Cheese, a company my husband David had been dreaming of for years,  we went out to dinner, to celebrate. We kept saying, as if to convince ourselves and make it more tangible: <we are moving to California>. Let us hope our waiter, that evening, did not think we were too weird. Being originally from Quebec, California had always had a dreamlike connotation to us and this, even after visiting this state on many occasions. However, the celebration was short lived when we started receiving all of the different forms to fill and believe me, they were numerous. A few trees' worth of paper. Of course, I exaggerate, but barely.  We kept several files with all of the documents involved and kept going back and forth to make sure we had everything needed for the move.  A paper nightmare in a computer world!

On top of a property to deal with, a home full of furniture, clothing and various objects, we had a car to move and, more importantly two 4 legged children. And all of this in a very short period of time.  After looking at and weighing different scenarios, Constance the cat would travel with David and Taylor the Golden Retriever would travel in his own condo-sized crate. To be continued in a next post ..........

For now, here is the first recipe.  It has to be one of the best and easiest salad dressing I have ever tried. It can be used as a salad dressing as well as a sauce for fish, or chicken, or pork or whatever you choose.  I found it in the owner's manual of one of my small appliances and have tweaked it a little to suit my taste.  I hope you will enjoy it.

Parmesan and Pepper Dressing

1Tablespoon black peppercorns
1 ounce Parmesan, cut into small pieces
1 shallot (1ounce), peeled and cut into small pieces
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar

Place whole peppercorns in blender and blend 10 seconds. Add Parmesan and blend 20 seconds. Scrape sides of jar. Add shallots and garlic and blend 10 seconds. Add remaining ingredients in order listed and blend 30 to 40 seconds or until all is homogenous and emulsified. Transfer to resealable container, preferably a glass jar, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow flavours to develop.

Bon appétit !



  1. Thanks for the recipe, I look forward to trying it out. Keep the blogs coming I look forward to hearing more about your adventure!
    "Your Canadian Sister, Jen"

  2. Hey Sis, thanks for the comment. Enjoy the recipe !