Friday, August 31, 2007


As promised, here is my second post on the subject of my holidays (see Part I) here in Geneva. Remember I spoke about a great place called Hermance? Well, I will continue showing you more pictures of this quaint village that is situated around the lakeside...

This time, the photos are totally different (no boats) and show something else: the view from the top of the village (when looking up North, shots of the Lake Léman (Lake Geneva) and when looking down South, the fields and the Voirons Mountain in France).

I hope that you'll enjoy the virtual visit which is offered here (click on pictures to enlarge)!

The very last picture is for Anne at "Papilles Et Pupilles" from France (see infos regarding the "KKVJ" meme). La dernière image est pour toi, Anne!...

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Whenever I have a pastry leftover, I always make sure that nothing gets thrown away. I recuperate every single piece/bit and re-use it. Mostly, it results in some fine little treats that are very satisfying...

Generally, I let my imagination do the work and rely on what my fridge has to offer. A "free jazz" moment in the kitchen...

That very time (a few weeks ago that is), I found a ricotta leftover and a few cherry tomatoes, so I thought that I could prepare four cute savory tartlets. Although they were
quite basic and simple, they were nonetheless wonderful as the spirit of summer was contained within each of them!

Cherry Tomato Tartlets:
Preheat the oven to 210° C (425° F).
Press the shaped dough into the tartlet casings.
Prick the bottom of each tartlet.

Cover and place in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
Top with three "Cherry Tomatoes"
(or more).
Crumble the ricotta cheese and drop it all over and around the tomatoes.
Sprinkle with some olive oil, dried oregano, garlic and onion powder, sea salt and pepper.

You can replace the ricotta by crumbled cream cheese, feta or "Manouri", chopped mozarella or grated gruyère/cheddar/"Provolone".
You can replace the oregano by "Za'atar" or chopped basil.
If you want more taste then add anchovies and sprinkle with some "Worcestershire Sauce" or dark balsamic vinegar.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


The fires are devastating Greece (see news), especially the Peloponnese. People are losing their houses, identity, souvenirs and lives. All that because of criminal people who have no respect for others, their own culture or nature/the environment...

In sympathy with all those who are now in great pain...
Such acts of vandalism (arson) can't be tolerated!

(From top to bottom: The plains as seen from the archeological site of Mycenae, a monastery and the mountains in Mystras/Peloponnese. Taken in October 1996.)

Monday, August 27, 2007


While surfing the net and going through foodblogs, we can make many new discoveries and find some valuable little culinary gems. As a matter of fact, the recipe that I am presenting today was found on a French blog called "Les Nectars De Maya" and met much successful...

This "Ricotta Brioche" is wonderful and ever so enjoyable. Thanks to the ricotta, it is an extremely light, fluffy and smooth
Viennoiserie that uplifts your soul and puts you in good spirits. With it's delicate taste, nobody can resist it's incredible delightfulness!

I love it and I'm sure that you'll like it too! It is so fulfilling and dreamlike...

~ Ricotta Brioche ~
Recipe by Mayacook at "Les Nectars De Maya" (France) and slightly adapted by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums

Makes 1 brioche bread.

500g Plain white flour
1/2 Tsp Salt

40g Castor sugar (+ 1Tsp)
2 Eggs (~53g) and 1 egg yolk (for the glaze)
160g Ricotta cheese

2 1/2 Tsps Dried yeast
80-100ml Tepid milk (or more if needed)

1. In a big bowl, mix together the flour and salt.
2. In a small bowl, sprinkle the dehy
drated/dried yeast into the milk mixed to 1 teaspoon sugar.
3. Leave for 5 minutes and then stir to dissolve.

4. Make a well in a centre of the flour and pour in the yeasted water.
5. Use a wooden spoon to draw enough of the flour into the yeasted water to form a soft paste.

6. Cover with a tea towel and leave to "sponge" until frothy and risen, about 20 minutes.
7. Beat the eggs with the sugar.
8. Add the ricotta and beaten egg mixture to the flour well. Mix in
the flour to form a soft dough.
9. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead until smooth, shiny and elastic for about 10 minutes.
10. Put the dough in a buttered bowl, turning to coat evenly with butter. Cover with a tea towel. Leave to rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Knock back the dough, then leave to rest for 10 minutes.
12. Divide the dough into five equal pieces and then roll each piece into a ball.
Form a brioche (as on my pictures) with the balls.
14. Place on a baking sheet and cover with a tea towel.
15. Prove until doubled in size, about 30-45 minutes.
16. Preheat the oven to 2000° C (400° F).
Brush with egg glaze (the yolk + 1tsp water) and sprinkle with poppy seeds and sunflower seeds.
15. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until richly golden and hollow-sounding when tapped underneath.
16. Cool on a wire rack

If the dough is too dry add some more milk or ricotta cheese, but if on the contrary it is too wet, then add more flour, one tablespoon at a time.

Don’t add too much flour though; the dough should not be too dry, but soft.
Any seed of your choice will be fine for sprinkling the rolls.$
While the bread bakes, check that the crust doesn't get too brown. If it's the case, then lower the temperature to 180° C (350° F).

Serving suggestions:
This brioche bread is delicious with almost anything (cheese, jam, pâté, etc…) and can be enjoyed at any time of the day.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


This week, Ahriman and Port at "Belly Timber" (USA) are happy to announce that they are hosting Weekend Cat Blogging #116...

To submit your kitty picture(s), you can either leave a message in their blog's comment section (with your permalinks) or contact them via e-mail without forgetting to give all the needed informations.

At the moment, Fridolin likes to play with his blue plastic mouse (a free gift that came with a packet of dry cat food).
He generally goes bananas while shooting it in all directions as if he would be a crazy tennis player and chasing it like a madman.
By the time his 10 minutes of total havoc have passed, the place looks like a disaster area...
The carpets are crumpled up in corners after he has surfed on them and the settee covers look as if a tornado had gone through the living room!!!
A wild "Gümpel" *...

If you want to see a funny video of Fridolin and the mouse, there see the video here.

* The term "Gümpel" means nothing. I invented this expression in order to describe people or beings which are a bit special or "doolally tap"...

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Every week, Ruth at "Once Upon A Feast" from Halifax (Nova Scotia, Canada) organizes an event that takes place on Fridays. It's called "Presto Pasta Nights" (see infos and rules). The 26th edition (six months of existence) is already on it's way and as you have maybe guessed, it's all about pasta!

Her aim is to host a weekly round-up of the recipes that we, foodbloggers, have created/made and want to share with others via her great blog. What an awesome idea, thanks!!!

For my fourth participation, I decided to contribute to the round-up with a "Noodle Kugel" that was once served at the American Embassy in Rome by Sheila Rabb Weidenfeld, former White House Press Secretary to Betty Ford (wife of President Gerald R. Ford)...

A "Noodle Kugel" is a Jewish noodle (although a matzah, zucchini, carrot and potato version also exists - see recipe) pudding/casserole also know under the name of "Lokshen Kugel". It is a qintessential American-Jewish dish that can be either sweet or savory.

Kugels (meaning "ball" or "globe" in German) have a Germanic (Bavari
an) as well as Alsatian (France) origin. In the old times, they were called "Schalet" and often filled with apples. The first ones were originally made with bread, but noodles soon started to get used as a replacement. It contributed to that speciality's ongrowing popularity and soon after other ingredients such as eggs, milk and cottage cheese were added for improvement. The Eastern European immigrants brought their own version/recipes to the US and then, it turned into the "kugel" which is now made from coast to coast.

~ Noddle Kugel ~

Recipe by Joan Nathan, "Jewish Cooking In America" and slightly adapted by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums

Yields 4-6 servings.

350g Uncooked broad noodles/lokshen
2 Cups (500g) Quark
2 Cups (500ml) milk

1/3 Cup (83g) Unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 Tsp Ground cinnamon

1 Tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 Cup Castor sugar (+ 2 Tbs for the topping)
3 Eggs (~53g)

1 Tsp Salt
1 Cup (250g) Yoghurt
1/4 Cup (45g) Raisins

1/4 Cup (30g) Dried cranberries
1/4 Cup (30g) Chopped cashew nuts

1. Cook the noodles according to the directions on the package and drain.
2. Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F).

3. Combine together the quark, milk, butter, 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, vanilla extract, 1/2 cup sugar, eggs, salt, yoghurt, raisins and cranberries.
4. Fold in the cooked noodles.
5. Place in a greased 23 x 30 centimeter (9 x 12-inch) baking pan.
6. Sprinkle with the remaining teaspoon of cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar.
7. Cover with the chopped cashew nuts.
8. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes to one hour or until th
e kugel is firm.
9. Serve warm.

I use tagliatelle or fettucine pasta. I took 350g, but the recipe asked for 250g.
Instead of quark, you can use cottage cheese, like in the original recipe.
You can replace the castor sugar by light or dark brown sugar, if you wish.
I used cranberries and for this kugel, but you can take any other dried fruits of your choice (dried apricots were used in the original recipe).

The recipe calls for slivered almonds, I replaced them by cashew nuts.

Serving suggestions:
Serve as a main dish/dairy meal with some fruit puree (plum, apricot, apple sauce, etc...) or oven-roasted fruits, as a side dish with a fish or as a dessert.
You can also eat the kugel at room temperature, although I recommend
you to serve it while still warm...

Friday, August 24, 2007


Last week, I was on "holiday". We stayed at home (no other possibility), but we had some good time nonetheless, ate well and relaxed (two of our favorite activities)...

Although we didn't travel far, last Saturday, we decided to go out for a walk in the Geneva countryside. So, on that sunny day, we took the bus to this beautiful place by the lake called Hermance (see my older post for more infos).

It is a one hour bus ride from Veyrier to Hermance which is a magnificent village situated in one of the most gorgeous parts of Geneva. There, I always feel as if I travelled to someplace by the sea!

Here is a foretaste of what's to come in part II (click on the pictures to enlarge)...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Nothing can beat summer vegetables! Eggplants, bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchinis, etc..., I love them all!

Of course, it would be pretentious to say that I only love summer vegetables, because that's not true. I believe in the respect
of agricultural seasons, the natural cycles and I love what nature has to offer all year long...

Nonetheless, I have a certain craving for the above mentioned vegetables as they are particularly
delicious, very delicate and multifaceted.It is a colorful time of plenty, so why should we not take advantage of it?!

A summer treat:
You'll need cooked yet crisp stir-fried (in olive oil) diced zucchinis and red bell peppers.
Once cooled, the vegetabes have to be marinated in a sauce made with olive oil, dark balsamic vinegar, crushed garlic, salt and pepper.
Set aside for a few hours so that the vegetables get well-soaked and their flavor develops.


They can be eaten like any other antipasto (see infos) or mixed to the pasta of your choice in order to make a salad...
You can also add some baby artichokes, cubed eggplants and a sliced onion to the stir-fried vegetables.
The salad can also be enrichened with chopped fresh rosemary, baby arugula, crumbled feta or goat's cheese as well as shaved parmesan or provolone.

Monday, August 20, 2007


I must admit that I have a sweet tooth when it comes to all those yummy backed goods from the US. The reason for my penchant for all those specialities is due to the uniqueness of their recipes and for their utter decadentness!

To fulfill my cravings, I have bought a book that has become my cookie/pastry bible and which is being seriously used on a regular basis. I'm talking about Tish Boyle's masterpiece titled "The Good Cookie" which contains many (more than 250) incredible and full-proof recipes for all those who suffer from a baking addiction!!! A real source of inspiration...

For a citrus fruit amateur like me, those "Luscious Lemon Bars" are some of the best lemon desserts/treats I've eaten so far. They are ever so freakishly mouth-puckering, tart, moist and creamy. The topping is scrumptuously sour, yet very sweet, deliciously lemony and the shortbread base is wonderfully tender, buttery and gingery as well as caramelly flavored (thanks to the brown sugar): perfectly well-balanced. This treat is unforgettable, incredibly succulent and moreish to please. Once you take a bite from this delicacy, you won't be able to stop running after the box in order to get another fix...

Tish Boyle's bars are like a drug. Very tempting and totally addictive!

~ Luscious Lemon Bars ~
Recipe by Tish Boyle ("The Good Cookie") and slightly adapted by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums

Ingredients for the brown sugar ginger crust:

1 1/4 Cup (160g) Plain white flour
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Cup (125g) Unsalted butter

1/2 Cup (120g) Firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 Tsp Ground ginger

/8 Tsp Ground cinnamon
Ingredients for the lemon topping:
1/2 Cup (64g) Plain white flour
1/6 Tsp Salt
5 Eggs (~53g)
2 3/4 Cups (578g) Castor sugar

1 Cup Freshly squeezed lemon juice (~4 large lemons)
2 Tsps Finely grated lemon zest
Confectioner's sugar for dusting

Method for the crust:
1. Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 180° C (350° F).
2. Grease the bottom and sides of a 22 x 33 centimeter (9 by 13-inch) baking pan.
3. In a small bowl, stir together the flour ground ginger, ground coriander and salt. Set aside.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, be
at the butter and brown sugar at medium speed until combined, about 1 minute.
5. At low speed, add the flour mixture and mix just until crumbly.
6. Pat the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
7. Prick the dough well with a fork.
8. Bake the crust for 16 to 20 minutes, until golden brown around the edges.
9. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool (completely) while you prepare the topping.
Method for the lemon topping:
10. In a small bowl, combine the flour and salt. Set aside.

11. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together until smooth.
12. Add the lemon juice an zest. Whisk until blended.
13. Whisk in the flour mixture until combined.
14. Pour the topping over the crust.
15. Bake the bars for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set and
lightly browned in spots.
16. Let the bars cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
17. Cut the bars into 18 rectangles.


Instead of adding 1 teaspoon ground ginger to the crust, you can r
eplace it by 2 teaspoons chopped crystallized ginger that will be added with the flour mixture in step 5.
The spices for the crust can be left out if you want a neutral-tasting dough.
Use only biological lemons for the topping.
Dont overbake the bars otherwise the topping will not be cream
y anymore.
Those bars can be stored in an airtight container in the refriger
ator for up to 5 days.

Serving suggestions:
Just before serving, dust the tops of the bars with confectioner's sugar and add a dollop of vanilla whipped cream.
Eat at any time of the day if you still have some left after the first round!...

Sunday, August 19, 2007


This week, Amar and Luna at "CatSynth.Com" (USA) are happy to announce that they are hosting Weekend Cat Blogging #115...

To submit your kitty picture(s), you can either leave a message in their blog's comment section (with your permalinks) or contact them via e-mail without forgetting to give all the needed informations.

Although there has been no heatwave to calm Maruschka down, our little yammering monster has been extremely brave, quiet and hasn't even tried once to wake us up with her horrible and nasty "yodling" during our holidays.
It has been very silent lately.
I wonder what happened to her!!!
Could she be getting wiser or sweeter?
I hope so, because it makes things a lot more comfortable and harmonious...

I was so sad to hear that another sweet kitty, the beautiful Taboo at Jellypizza (USA), had left this world.
We are going to miss your pretty face, cute soul, striking/fiery coat and kind looks!
You have now reached a land where there are plenty of kitty friends to play with, where the grass is always green and the food is abundant.
May you have a good time in cat heaven...
Goodbye little friend and rest in peace.

All my condolences to Whaleshaman.
In thoughts with you...

~ 1989-2007 ~

Friday, August 17, 2007


Although we are experiencing the most tortured and boring summer with it's non-stop changing weather, continuous rains and low temperatures, the clouds that we get are nonetheless fabulous. at least, most of the time (that's when it's not like "mushy peas"...)!

The continual fit of hiccups that the weather is going through result in t
emperature contrasts that have a great influence on the clouds. In the morning, it can be very grey, raining and extremely unpleasant, in the afternoon the sky can open a little and in the evening the sun can come blasting through the thick layer of clouds and reveal beautiful cumuluses as well as blue horizons (not always though)...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


When I visited my new friend Corinne (foodblog reader and foodie), she gave me a pot that contained a quantity of fragrant "Za'atar", a speciality I love very much. I have already made my own before from recipes I found on the net, but I must say that this one is one of the best I have tasted so far as it's extremely well-balanced and delicate...

"Za'atar" is a popular spice mixture that originates from the Middle East (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Israel). It can also be found in Turkey or amongst the Middle Eastern Armenians and the Bedouins of North Africa. It is composed of dried thyme, roasted sesame seeds, sumac and salt. Different versions exist and certain "Za'atar" may contain additional spices such as savory, hyssop, oregano, cumin and fennel seeds. Each country has it's own recipe. "Za'atar" is used to season meat or vegetables, it can be sprinkled on "Hummus" (see my recipe), on "Labneh" (strained yoghurt/cheese), spread on a dough base in order to make a flat bread called "Manikish Bil Za'atar" and mixed with olive oil to create a spread/dip.

A little like the Lebanese, I decided serve it in association with ricotta cheese, thus recreating a dish that is quite similar to the original
"Labneh Bil Za'atar". This way of seasoning that mild cheese is absolutely wonderful. The spice mixture goes very well with the roundness of ricotta and gives it a great uplift. A magical association that doesn't lack freshness nor originality!

~ Ricotta With Za'atar ~
Recipe by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums

Serves 2-3 people.

250g Fresh ricotta cheese
2 Tsps Za'atar (see recipe)
3-4 Tbs Olive oil

1. Unmold the ricotta onto a dish.
2. Sprinkle the za'atar on top of the cheese.
3. Pour the olive oil over the cheese.
4. Serve.

Always use good quality olive oil.
You could replace the olive oil by pumpkin seed oil if you wish.
You may want to add a bit of salt if you find it too mild.

Serving suggestions:
Eat this cheese with bread ("Ekmek", "Bagels", "Challah", "German Partybrot", "Plain White Bread", "Baguette Parisienne" or "Tex Mex Cornbread").
You can also mix it to pastas, spread it on cucumber slices, use it as a filling for brick/phyllo rolls, etc...

Once again, Corinne, thanks ever so much for your generosity!

Monday, August 13, 2007


In 1996, I visited Greece with my college class. We travelled all the way from Geneva to the Peloponnese by bus (with an 18 hours ferry trip across the Adriatic, from Ancona in Italy to Patras). During ten gorgeous days we went through parts of Boeotia, most of the Peloponnese and the Attica. The trip was fabulous and I will always remember that wonderful country for it's beautiful landscapes, welcoming as well as generous inhabitants and delicious food!

Since that very day, I have been very keen on testing Greece's various recipes and informing myself on it's antique, humble yet rich and unique cuisine/culinary traditions. In that place, there's areal philosophy behind eating as it's considered a big pleasure...

Although I discovered many different dishes, there's one speciality (alo
ng with "Moussaka") I ate a lot when i was still at home and loved long before going to Greece: "Lemon Roasted Potatoes". As it is a recipe that is very dear to my heart, I thought that I must share it with you as it would be a "crime" to keep it all for myself...

Those "Greek lemon Roasted Potatoes (Ellinikos Lemoni Patatas)" are maybe simple and basic, but they are nonetheless succulent, mind-blowing, very summery and tasty! They are so deliciously lemony, delicately herby, perfectly aromatised with olive oil and scrumptiously garlicky that it's hard to resist them...

If you want to invite the sun at your table, then that's the right dish to prepare!

~ Greek Lemon Roasted Potatoes ~
Recipe by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums

Serves 4 people.

Mani, Peloponnese.
1kg (2 pounds) waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 6 or 8 wedges
1/3 Cup Olive oil
The juice of 1 or 2 lemons (or more to taste)
3-4 Cloves garlic, crushed
Dried oregano, to taste
A hint of paprika (optional)
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 200° C (400° F).
2. In an ovenproof dish, add all ingredients and stir well.
3. Bake the potatoes for 1 to 1 1/4 hours and
stir every now and then during cooking to coat with the herby oil/sauce.
Serve when the potatoes are cooked through.

You can add more lemon or olive oil. It all depends you, therefore I recommend you to taste the sauce first and then, correct the seasonings if needed.
The potatoes are ready when cooked through (test with a knife), golden and crispy.

Serving suggestions:
Eat this as a main course with a salad or use it as a side dish to accompany roasted/grilled meat like lamb, chicken or pork.
You can also serve with feta cheese...

(Lemeni Village/Mani - Pic by Nikolaos Sotirios Koumaris