Friday, July 31, 2009


Now that we have mountain bikes, we try to go out for rides at least three times a week in order to be fit, to clean our heads and free our souls from the stress of modern life...

Generally, we do 1h30 rides around the countryside that surrounds our village and go in the direction of Compesières/La Croix-de-Rozon which are very close to the French border and the Salève mountain. The landscapes in that area are simply stunning. It is such a pastoral and peaceful place!

I hope you'll enjoy the pictures I took last Saturday afternoon...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


On the 1st of August, Switzerland will celebrate it's National Day. It is considered a holiday and most people have a day off (it is just like a Sunday) in order to relax, commemorate our independence and have fun...

This day is celebrated solely in the municipalities, at a local level, with a multitude of parades (not military), speeches, bonfires, fireworks, music, gymnastic shows and
group performances of the Swiss national anthem. People will also organize big feasts and picnics.

On this occasion, I thought that you might be interested in checking out my Swiss recipes as well as the links I have pointed out for you. Maybe you'll want to bake or cook something Swiss this weekend!


Le 1ier août, la Suisse célébrera sa "Fête Nationale" et ce jours-là, tous les suisses (ou presque) auront congé...

Chaque commune aura sa petite fête durant laquelle les g
ens pourront apprécier les multiples feux d'artifices, feux de joie, parades (non militaires), discours, groupes chantants l'hymne et défilés de gymnastique. Les suisses profiteront aussi de ce jour férié pour festoyer et pique-niquer.

En cette occasion, j'ai pensé que vous serez peut-être intéressés de découvrir mes recettes suisses ainsi que les liens que j'ai sélectionné rien que pour vous.
Peut-être que vous cuisinerez une spécialité suisse ce weekend!

My Swiss Recipes:
Basel Bread (Bern & Basel)
Blackberry Tart (Vaud)
Blood Sausage With Spätzli and Applesauce (Vaud & All Regions)
Brunsli Cookies (Basel)
Cheese Fondue (All Regions)
Cinnamon And Apricot Flan Tart (Vaud)
Cinnamon Cookies (Graubünden)
Cuchaule/Saffron Brioche (Fribourg)
Grittibänz/Man-Shaped Bread (Swiss-Germany)
Kriegskuchen/ War Cake (Graubünden)
Magenbrot/Chocolate And Spice Bars (Swiss-Germany)
Mailänderli/Lemony Cookies (All Regions)
Maluns/Leftover Potato Side Dish (Graubünden)
Mehlsuppe/Burnt Flour Soup (Basel)
Quarktorte/Quark Cheese Tart (Swiss-Germany)
Raclette/Melted Cheese Dish (Wallis & All regions)
Rice Tart (All Regions)
Salée A La Crème/Cream Yeasted Tart (Vaud)
Spätzlis/Mountain Pasta (Swiss-Germany)
Spätzlis Casserole (Swiss-Germany)
Tatsch/Chopped Pancake (Graubünden)

Swiss Recipe Sites & Recipes:
750g (In French/En Français)
All Recipes
Ciel De Françoise (In French/En Français)
Euro Info Tourisme (In French/En Français)
Orphée (In French/En Français)
Recipezaar Saveurs Du Monde (In French/En Français)
Swiss Roots

Monday, July 27, 2009


As it incredible as it might seem, it is once again that very special time of the month when all Daring Bakers worldwide are invited to share their creations with the rest of the planet as well as ramble about the latest baking trial and it's successful or unfortunate outcome...

The July Daring Bakers' challenge is hosted by Nicole at "Sweet Tooth" (Philippines) who chose "Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies" and "Milan Cookies" from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network.

At first glance, both recipes didn't impress me much as I was expecting a totally different challenge. I was really looking forward to baking something summery, refreshing and less chocolaty (Don't get my wrong. I love chocolate, but when it's blazing hot outside, I'd rather eat lighter food...).

course, I was nonetheless very excited because I was going to be able to make homemade marshmallows for the very first time of my life and was finally going to conquer my fear of that treat which I have always considered highly inaccessible and somewhat scary.

In fact, my fears were proven wrong and there was nothing terrifying about making marshmallows. It is easy as Sunday morning! Aaahhh, how stupid I can be sometimes. Setting mental barriers is not productive...

As I've been quite busy lately, I chose to bake only one of the two cookie recipes proposed and, naturally, I decided to face my phobia of making marshmallows and definitely put an end to it. Thanks to the Daring Bakers I have once again showed my inner demon that I am capable of vanquishing my anguish of failure and that I can serenely face challenges without flipping out!

Overall, those "Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies" were not really difficult to make, but were very time-consuming (the time listed on the recipe isn't accurate and the chocolate took a while to set), yet worth the effort. I ended up with an industrial quantity of cookies, so if you don't have friends or family with whom you can share them or if you are watching your weight closely, you'd better divide the recipe by two or three, otherwise you'll be stuck with tons of cookies...

Although, generally, chocolate and marshmallow combos don't particularly make me drool, I must say that those cute retro cookies were very enjoyable and contributed to making me change my mind on the subject. The lusciously buttery, delicately flavored and not too sweet cinnamon cookie base paired very welll with the soft, fluffy and sugary marshmallow centre, and the chocolate coating added a much needed contrasting bitterness which gave more body and character to the overall savor of those regressive little droolicious domes.

really want to thank Nicole for having chosen that recipe and helped me "master" the art of making marshmallows!

~ Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies ~
Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network website.

Preparation time: 10 min
Inactive preparation time: 5 min
Cooking time: 10 min

You'll need:
Cookies (recipe follows)
Homemade marshmallows (recipe follows)
Chocolate glaze (recipe follows)

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Cinnamon Cookies

Ingrédients for the "Cookies":
3 Cups (375g/13.23oz) All purpose flour
1/2 Cup (112.5g/3.97oz) White sugar
1/2 Tsp Salt
3/4 Tsp Baking powder
3/8 Tsp Baking soda
1/2 Tsp Ground cinnamon
12 Tbs (170g/ 6 oz) Unsalted butter
3 Eggs, whisked together

Method for the "Cookies":

1. In a mixer with the paddle attachment, blend the dry ingredients.
2. On low speed, add the butter and mix until sandy.
3. Add the eggs and mix until combine.
4. Form the dough into a disk, wrap with clingfilm or parchment and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
5. When ready to bake, grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper or a silicon mat.

6. Preheat the oven to 190° C (375° F).
7. Roll out the dough to 0.3cm (1/8-inch) thickness, on a lightly floured surface. Use a 2.5cm to 3.8cm (1 to 1 1/2 inches) cookie cutter to cut out small rounds of dough.
8. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool to room temperature.
9. Pipe a “kiss” of marshmallow onto each cookie. Let set at room temperature for 2 hours. 10. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or silicon mat.
11. One at a time, gently drop the marshmallow-topped cookies into the hot chocolate glaze. 12. Lift out with a fork and let excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. 13. Place on the prepared pan and let set at room temperature until the coating is firm, about 1 to 2 hours.

If you don’t want to make your own mars
hmallows, you can cut a large marshmallow in half and place on the cookie base. Heat in a preheated 170° C (350° F) oven to slump the marshmallow slightly, it will expand and brown a little. Let cool, then proceed with the chocolate dipping.

Vanilla-Flavored Homemade Marshmallows

Ingredients for the "Homemade Marshmallows":
1/4 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Light corn syrup
3/4 Cup (168.76g/5.95oz) Sugar
1 Tbs powdered gelatin
2 Tbs Cold water
2 Egg whites , room temperature
1/4 Tsp pure vanilla extract

Method for the "Homemade Marshmallows":
1. In a saucepan, combine the water, corn syrup, and sugar, bring to a boil until “soft-ball” stage, or 112.7° C (235° F) on a candy thermometer.
2. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let dissolve.
3. Remove the syrup from the heat, add the gelatin, and mix.
4. Whip the whites until soft peaks form and pour the syrup into the whites.
5. Add the vanilla and continue whipping until stiff.
6. Transfer to a pastry bag.

Chocolate Glaze

Ingredients for the "Chocolate Glaze":

12 oz (360g) Semisweet chocolate (60% cocoa)
2 oz (60g) Cocoa butter or vegetable oil

Method for the "Chocolate Glaze":
1. Melt the 2 ingredients together in the top of a double boiler or a bowl set over barely simmering water.


Etant donné la longueur du texte original, je n'ai malheureusement pas pu faire une traduction française de ce billet et je m'en excuse auprès de tous mes amis lecteurs et blogueurs francophones! C'est pourquoi je vous suggère de vous rendre sur les blogs mentionnés ci-dessous. Vous y trouverez cette recette en version française.

Chez Vibi de "La Casserole Carrée" (Canada)
Chez Isa de "Les Gourmandises d'Isa" (Canada)

Sunday, July 26, 2009


This week, Samantha Black & Mr Tigger at "Life From a Cat’s Perspective" (USA) are happy to announce that they are hosting Weekend Cat Blogging #216...

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 information.

The really great thing about cats is their endless variety.
One can pick a cat to fit almost any kind of decor, color scheme, income, personality, mood.
But under the fur; whatever color it may be,
there still lies, essentially unchanged, one of the world's free souls.

~ Eric Gurney ~

Friday, July 24, 2009


A flower offered of itself
And eloquently spoke
Of Gods
n languages of rainbows
And silent secrets...
~ Phillip Pulfrey ~

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Authentic food from the Middle-East really attracts me to the highest point. The aromatic, deep, rich, elegant and refined Arab cuisine of this region of the world intrigues me as it reflects the mysterious, bountiful and exotic cultures that originated it...

As Claudia Roden's gorgeous cookbook "Arabesque" has ignited my interest for Middle-Eastern gastronomy, I now feel the urge to expand my cookery book collection in that direction. So when I came across the reviews of Greg Malouf's "Turquoise - A Chef's Travel In Turkey" on the net, I knew that I had to add it to my ongrowing (yet still frustratingly small) selection of cookbook.

My very thoughful boyfriend consulted my wishlist and decided to offer me this big book for my birthday (last Xmas). What a wonderful gift for a food lover like me! It might be quite expensive, but it sure is worth every penny spent!

Last week, I invited my good friend Corinne for lunch and as I know she is a food enthusiast as well as a Middle Eastern gastronomy admirer like me, I decided to treat her with a 100% Turkish menu based on three recipes taken from that fabulous "bible". I made a "Tomato Salad With Tarragon, Feta And Sumac Dressing", a dish called "Sultan's Delight" and some "Yogurt And Honey Sorbet" with "Cinnamon And Vanilla Flavored Apricot Compote". Both of us were delighted by the wonderful dishes that the Turkish cuisine offers and ate with much appetite!

"Sultan's Delight" is a delicate and luscious speciality consisting of a "Lamb Ragoût" which is served over a "Cheesy Eggplant Purrée". According to legend, this very dish was served to the Empress Eugénie de Montijo, wife of Napoléon III, Emperor of the French, on a visit to Istanbul in 1869. As the Sultan Abdülaziz I wanted to impress his guest, he had many of his favorite dishes prepared, including this one. Eugénie liked it so much that she sent her own French chef to the palace kitchens in order to get the recipe. Unfortunately, the Sultan's chef was reluctant to give away his secrets and said that "an imperial chef needs only his heart, his eyes and his nose". Anyway, this popular dish (one of the most important of the Turkish cuisine) would not be served in restaurants around Turkey or cooked in many home if the recipe hadn't been shared somewhere down the line...

If you are still skeptical about that classic dish's amazin
g exquisitness, a mouthful it will be enough to convert you and make you understand why Eugénie fell in love with it or why the Sultan's chef was so protective when it came to sharing it with people outside of the palace! This spicy tomato and lamb stew pairs wonderfully well with the creamy and rich eggplant puree in order to create a unique as well as heavenly dish.

~ Sultan's Delight ~
Recipe by Greg Malouf "Turquoise: A Chef's Travel In Turkey" and adapted by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums.

Serves 4.

Ingredients for the "Lamb Ragoût":
700g Lamb (from the leg or shoulder)
40g Unsalted butter
2 Medium-big purple onions, cut into 1cm dice
3-4 Cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 Tsps Fresh oregano, chopped
1 Tsp Honey
2 Large vine-ripened tomatoes, skinned, seeded and diced
1 Tbs Hot Turkish red pepper paste (see remarks)
1 Tsp Sea salt
1/2 Tsp Freshly ground black pepper
250-300ml Chicken Stock
Flat-leaf parsley, chopped, to garnish
Ingredients for the "Cheesy Eggplant Purée":
2-3 Medium-big eggplants
90ml Thick cream
100g Gruyère, Cheddar, Kasseri or Comté cheese, grated
Good pinch of ground nutmeg

Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Squeeze of lemon juice

Method for the "Lamb Ragoût":
1. Trim the lamb of any fat and sinew and cut into 3 cm cubes.
2. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-based casserole dish over medium heat, then brown the lamb
all over and remove from the pan.
3. If necessary, add a little more butter to the pan, t
hen add the onion, garlic and oregano and sweat over a low heat for about 5 minutes.
4. Add the honey,
then increase the heat and cook for another couple of minutes.
5. Stir in the tomat
oes, pepper paste, salt, pepper and stock, the bring to the boil. Stir well and return the lamb to the pan.
6. Cover the pan, lower the heat and leave to slimmer very gently for 1-
1 1/2 hours, or until the lamb is tender and the liquid has reduced to a thick sauce.
Method for the "Eggplant Purée":
7. Prick the eggplants all over with a fork and sit them directly on the naked flame of your stove top. Set the flame low-medium and cook for at least 15 minutes, turning constantly until the eggplants are charred all over and soft (see remarks).
8. Remove from the flame and place on a small wire rack in a sealed container or plastic bag so the juices can drain off. Allow the eggplants to cool for about 10 minutes.
9.When the eggplants are cool, gently peel away the skin from the flesh, taking care to remove every little bit or the purée will have a bitter burnt flavour.
10. Put the eggplants into a bowl of acidulated water and
leave for 5 minutes-this soaks away any lingering bits of burnt skin and turns the flesh pale and creamy.
11. Drain the eggplants in a colander and squeeze them gently to extract any moisture, then chop very finely.
12. Bring the cream to the boil in a small saucepan and simmer for a couple of minutes to reduce slightly.
13. Stir in the cheese and nutmeg, then season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
14. Add the chopped eggplant and beat lightly to combine.

15. Taste and adjust the seasonings as required.

As I had not hot Turkish red pepper sauce, I used "Sambal Oelek".
If you don't have a gas stove, put the eggplants on a baking pan covered with parchment paper and bake them in the oven, at 250° C/480° F for
about 40-50 minutes (turn them over after 25 minutes). You won't get quite the same smoky flavour, but the effect is reasonable.
If you wish, you can thicken the eggplant puree by using cornstarch (mix 1 1/4 Tbs in cream before boiling).

Serving suggestions:
To serve, spoon the eggplant purée into the centre of a warmed serving platter. Make a well in the centre of the purée and spoon in the lamb.
Garnish with parsley and serve hot with a salad, Ekmek or Pide bread.


~ Délice Du Sultan ~
Recette par Greg Malouf "Turquoise: A Chef's Travel In Turkey", adaptée par Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums.

Pour 4 personnes.

Ingrédients pour le "Ragoût d'Agneau":
700g d'Agneau (gigot ou épaule)
40g de Beurre non-salé
2 Oignons rouges (assez gros), pelés et coupés en cubes d'un 1cm
3-4 Gousses d'ail, finement hachées

2 CC d'Origan frais, haché
1 CC de Miel

2 Grosses tomates, épeluchées, vidées et coupées en cubes
1 CS de Pâte de piments forte turque (voir remarques)
1 CC de Sel de mer
1/2 CC de Poivre noir fraîchement moulu

250-300ml de Bouillon de poulet
Persil plat, haché, pour garnir
Ingrédients pour la "Purée d'Aubergine Au Fromage":

2-3 Aubergines, moyennemnt grosses
90ml de Crème double

100g de Gruyère, Cheddar, Kasseri ou Comté, rapé
Une bonne pincée de noix de muscade moulue
Sel de mer
Poivre noir, fraîchement moulu
Quelques gouttes de jus de citron

Méthode pour le "Ragoût d'Agneau":
1. Enlever le gras, les tendons et nerfs de l'agneau et couper la viande en morceaux/cubes de 3 cm cubes.
2. Dans une large casserole à fond épais, faire fondre le beurre à feu moyen, pu
is faire brunir la viande de chaque côté et la déposer dans une assiette
3. Si nécessaire, ajouter un peu plus de beurre dans la casserole, puis ajouter l'oignon, l'ail et l'origan. Faire suer sur feu doux pendant environ 5 minutes.
4. Ajouter le miel, puis augmenter la température et cuire pendant une à deux minutes supplémentaires.
5. Ajouter les tomates, le pâte de piments, le sel, le poivre et le bouillon. Bien mélanger et porter à ébullition.

6. Couvrir la casserole, baisser le feu et faire mijoter pendant 1 à 1 1/2 heures, ou jusqu'à ce que la viande soit tendre, que le liquide se soit évaporé et que la sauce soit épaisse.

Méthode pour la "Purée d'Aubergine":
7. A l'aide d'une fourchette piquer les aubergines un peu partout et les placer directement sur la flame (feu moyen) du fourneau et les cuire au moins 15 minutes en les retournant constamment jusqu'à ce qu'elles soient bien grillées de tous les côtés (voir remarques).
8. Retirer du feu et les déposer, emballées dans du papier journal pendant 10 minutes.

9. Quand les aubergines sont plus trop chaudes, enlever la peau de manière délicate et sans en laisser autrement la purée aura un goût amer.
10. Mettre les aubergines dans un bol d'eau froide acidulée et laisser tromper 5 minutes afin que les petits bouts de peau partent et que la chair devienne pâle et crémeuse.
11. Egoutter les aubergines dans un chinois et bien les presser afin qu'il ne reste plus de liquide, puis hacher la chair très finement.

12. Dand une casserole moyenne, porter la crème à ébullition et faire mijoter quelques minutes afin qu'elle se réduise un peu.
13. Ajouter le fromage et bien mélanger, puis assaisonner avec la noix de muscade, le sel et le poivre ainsi qu'avec quelques gouttes de jus de citron.

14. Ajouter les aubergines hachées et battre afin d'obtenir une purrée homogène.
15. Goûter et ajuster l'assaisonnement si nécessaire.


Comme je n'avais pas de pâte de piments forte turque, j'ai utilisé du "Sambal Oelek".
Si vous n'avez pas de fourneau à gaz, alors mettez les aubergines dans le four (milieu) à 250°C et cuisez-les pendant 40-50 minutes, en les retourn
ant après 25 minutes. Vous n'obtiendrez pas le même goût fumé que lorsqu'elles sont grillées directement sur le feu, mais le résultat sera plus que correct.
Vous pouvez épaissir votre puree en utilisant de la maizena (mélanger 1 1/4 CS avec la crème avant cuisson).

Idées de présentation:
Mettez la purée au centre de votre assiette, puis faites un puits et mettez-y quelques cuillères de ragoût d'agneau. Garnissez avec le persil et servez chaud avec une salade ainsi qu'avec du pain Ekmek ou du pain Pide.