Friday, May 24, 2013


Cheese Straws 5 3 bis
All through the long winter, I dream of my garden. On the first day of spring, I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth. I can feel its energy, and my spirits soar.
- Helen Hayes
Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.
- Rainer Maria Rilke
This year, winter has been particularly gruelling. Not only was it bitter cold and extremely gloomy, but it was also nerve-wrackingly endless. Thankfully, after much anticipation, the season of regrowth has finally made a welcome and promising reappearance around the middle of April and it is with open arms that we greeted its priceless return.

Ah, what a relief it is to be able to hear the birds singing at the top of their voices, see nature getting green and colorful, smell the embalmingly sweet aroma of grass and flowers, admire the generously bulbous shape of cumulus clouds, forage wild garlic, wear light clothes and luxuriate in the sunshine again!

Unfortunetely, this period of truce didn't last long. A week later, the depressingly dark, rain-laden and sterile skies as well as the frisky (lately, the thermometer rarely reaches 15° C/59° F) and harrassingly tempestuous winds reinstalled themselves and have stayed ever since. Consequently, everybody's good spirit and motivation have vanished, thus turning us into yammering zombies and moody divas.

Anyway, all we can do at the moment is dream and pray for a prompt change in the forecast, because if our beloved fiery planet doesn't make a comeback before the end of the month, we are seriously going to go haywire. Meanwhile let's pretend May is cheerful, bright and balmy...
Seating themselves on the greensward, they eat while the corks fly and there is talk, laughter and merriment, and perfect freedom, for the universe is their drawing room and the sun their lamp. Besides, they have appetite, Nature's special gift, which lends to such a meal a vivacity unknown indoors, however beautiful the surroundings.
- Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
With the better days hopefully soon settling in and June approaching, the excitement is palpable and we are all eagerly looking forward to celebrating the comeback of warmer temperatures by eating outdoors and savoring the lazy and interminable evenings on our quaint decks, cozy porches, spatious terraces or lush gardens. That is one of the great joys of spring and summer.

Thankfully, even if P. and I live in a humble village apartment, we are lucky enough to have a fairly comfortable balcony with a splendid view - a non-negligible detail when looking for a condo. In addition to being reasonably sized, it also faces south, offers enough privacy (no real vis-à-vis) and overlooks the gorgeous Salève mountain which stands at close distance from our building block (less than a kilometer away from the telepheric station).

There, sheltered from the harmful rays of our fiery globe or illuminated by candlelight, we  spend many hours munching on some delicious seasonal fares, sipping on our drinks (tea, coffee, wine or beer), philosophizing, musing on the world, gazing at the stars, reading and relaxing. This is our little piece of epicurean heaven, a holiday-like place where time stops and memories are made.

It is a unique and pleasant experience to have the opportunity of enjoying a scrumptious meal while breathing the clean air of the countryside, listening to the quirky chatter of feathered creatures and delighting in the beauty of nature. I must say that a luxury of this kind can be quite addictive!

Dining somewhere else than in a closed room or in our winter quarters is fun and highly satisfactory. Naturally, this stress-free activity implies that the food presented at our table must be easily prepared, uncomplicated and casual. As much as I love cooking sophisticated eats, I really don't want to sweat for hours at the stove when I could be chilling out on my comfortable plastic chair and having a passionating conversation with my boyfriend.

During the week, I'll cook light vegetarian suppers and excesses will be banned from our diet. Nonetheless, on weekends we'll take pleasure in letting ourselves go a teeny weenie bit. It is our habit to kick off the "festivities" at dusk with a simple "apéro" consisting of a few boozy coolers (Porto on the rocks and fruity cocktails - Malibu and orange juice - and later on some red wine for P. and a Belgian beer for me) and nibbles (Tyrells/Burts chips, French or Swiss salami, thin slices of roast beef and chickpeas - warm and au naturel or spicy and roasted). Then, once our appetite has been stimulated and hunger is well established, we'll close the evening by feasting on dishes* such as pilafs, stir-fries, curries, pan-fried fish or meat with roasted vegetables, salads, pasta, etc...

As you can see, happy hours are as important to us as dinners and we would hate to bypass that wonderful European ritual. This prelude to a supper (although it can sometimes replace it) is a serious social event that helps us slow down at the end of a hard day's work and build strong ties with others. Therefore, we generally prefer when our spontaneous or planned get-together are festive and not rushed as there's no hurry anymore and everybody wants to have fun. Simply put, "l'apéritif" is a way of life and we follow this tradition proudly.

Of course, it would be a crime to serve alcoholic beverages without providing hors d'oeuvres, hence a successful cocktail party cannot take place if appetizers are nowhere in sight. Those tiny bites don't need to be extravagant and costly, yet they imperatively have to be palatable and pair perfectly well with the refreshments people are consuming. For example, canapés, nuts, olives, slices of dried meat, cheeses, savory pastries and vegetable sticks with various dips are always a welcome addition to any late-afternoon gathering.
Life is great. Cheese makes it better.
- Avery Aames, The Long Quiche Goodbye

Wine and cheese are ageless companions, like aspirin and aches, or June and moon, or good people and noble ventures... 
- M.F.K. Fisher
One of my favorite tidbits are "English Cheese Straws". I find them ever so moreish and irresistibly rich. Besides, they hold a sentimental value for me since they are closely linked to England and the memorable times spent there with my grandparents - I remember baking them a lot together with either my Nan or mother during my early years. Nowaydays, I still make this retro British classic, however the recipe I have created is slightly more modern and elaborate than the one of my childhood (found in Be-Ro's bestselling book).

It is to be said that my intensely crunchy, savoury, flaky, cheddary, buttery and fragrant "Cheddar And Caraway Seed Cheese Straws" are addictively ambrosial and are without a doubt a great addition to any midsummer banquet. Try them yourself and see. I promise that you won't be deceived.

* Follow me on Facebook or Twitter if you want to learn more about our suppers.

Cheddar And Caraway Seed Cheese Straws
Recipe by Rosa Mayland, May 2013.

Makes about 60-70 straws.


160g Plain white flour
40g Whole wheat flour
2 Tsp Caraway seeds 
1/2 Tsp Fine sea salt
1/3 Tsp Mustard powder
1/3 Tsp Onion powder
80g Unsalted butter
20g Lard
150g Mature cheddar cheese, grated
2 Eggs (63g), beaten

Extra caraway seeds for decorating 


1. Preheat the oven to 200° C (400° F).

2. Put the flours, caraway seeds, salt, mustard and onion powder in a medium bowl. Add the butter and lard, and rub the fats and flours between the fingers until the mixture is flaky.
3. Mix in the grated cheese.
Pour in the beaten egg, gradually, while continuously cutting and stirring with a knife until you obtain a stiff dough.

5. Roll out on a floured surface and cut into 12 x 1.5 cm (5 x 0.6 inch) strips.
6. Pour some caraway seeds in a shallow plate and dip one side of each strip in the seeds.
7. Twist the straws so that the seeded side goes around the strip in a spiral pattern and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
8. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until golden brown.
8. Let cool on a rack.

If you wish, the caraway seeds can be replaced with poppy seeds, nigella seeds or cumin seeds, the lard with butter and the cheddar cheese with cantal cheese, salers cheese, gruyère cheese or any semi-hard cheese of your choice.

Serving suggestions:
Serve as appetizer with a glass of white or red wine - fortified wine also is a perfect accompaniment to the cheese straws.

Flûtes Au Cheddar Et Aux Graines De Carvi
Recette par Rosa Mayland, Mai 2013.

Pour environ 60-70 flûtes.


160g de Farine blanche
40g Farine complète
2 CC de Graines de carvi
1/2 CC de Sel de mer fin
1/3 CC de Moutarde en poudre
1/3 de Poudre d'onion
80g de Beurre non-salé
20g de Saindoux
150g de Cheddar, râpé
2 Oeufs (63g), battus

Graines de carvi supplémentaires pour décorer

1. Préchauffer le four à 200° C.

2. Dans un bol moyen, mélanger ensemble les farines, les graines de carvi, le sel, la moutarde et l'oignon en poudre. Ajouter le beurre et le saindoux, puis frotter la farine et le beurre/saindoux entre les doigts afin d'obtenir un mélange qui ait la texture sabloneuse. 
3. Ajouter le fromage râpé et mélanger.
4. Verser l'œuf battu, graduellement, tout en mélangeant bien, jusqu'à cobtention d'une pâte ferme.

5. Etaler la pâte sur une surface farinée et la découper en lanières de 12 x 1.5 cm.
6. Dans une assiette creuse, verser les graines de carvi et enrober chaque lanière avec.
 7. Prendre une lanière et la tenir par chaque extrémité, puis tourner dans un sens d'un côté et de l'autre à l'opposé pour former une torsade.
8. Placer les torsades sur une plaque à pâtisserie recouverte de papier sulfurisé. 
8. Les cuire pendant 12-14 minutes, jusqu'à ce qu'elles soient dorées.
9. Laisser refroidir sur une grille.

Si vous le souhaitez, les graines de carvi peuvent être remplacées par des graines de pavots, de nigelle ou de cumin, le lard par du beurre et le cheddar par du cantal, du salers, du gruyère ou tout autre fromage à pâte mi-dure de votre choix.

Suggestions d'accompagnement:
Servir comme apéritif avec un verre de vin blanc ou rouge - ces flûtes peuvent aussi être accompagnées d'un vin fortifié.


  1. Oh, they look so yummy. You know here in Sicily we don't get either Cheddar or caraway seeds. I think I will try onlin. I once got cheddar from the UK online but they sent me the white one and I really miss the orange. My brother lives in Ireland, I must get him to bring me some. I am now also following you on Bloglovin'

  2. These cheese straws look fantastic! I'd love to snack on some right now :)

  3. It's my favorite snack! I can munch on it the whole day easy. The lighting in your clicks made this snack gorgeous ... I wish I can get my hand on one, or maybe more :)

  4. Addictive indeed, as are your fabulous photographs. You need to publish a book with all these wonderful images you've created. And yes, spring is a most welcome season.

  5. Wow Rosa, these look fabuluous...I'm gonna try this soon.
    I'm glad we dont need to use yeast or wait for the dough to rise n stuff like that. This is one quick and easy recipe.

  6. I envy your small cosy place. I live in a city and need to run away for a while at least. I like the recipe and would love to eat it on your balcony.

  7. These look so perfectly crunchy and flakey. I love caraway, it really reminds me of family since it is used in so many German/European recipes. I wish my family loved it as much as I do! I guess with time they might come around. :p

    PS - Your pictures are stunning as always. The caraway picture deserves to be framed!

  8. nice one

    Check this giveaway

  9. Tasty snack and so beautiful pictures, they make me want to look at them again and again!:)

  10. Rosa - Loved the recipe and photographs - Each time I get a new update in my inbox from you, I am delighted :)

  11. MFK Fisher is one of my all-time favourite people to get quotes from. You should look up the book "The Everlasting Meal" it's very similar! Im loving the recipe! Definitely want to make a snack of these tonight!

  12. On n'a qu'une envie; s'installer à table (idéalement sur la terrasse), et prendre l'apéro avec toi.
    Merci pour ces fabuleuses photo!

  13. My weather has been very fickle too - it only makes me treasure the warm days even more :)

    These cheese straws are delightful! I love caraway seeds.

  14. There is nothing better than cheese straws for nibbling! These sound lovely, Rosa, and your styling and photos is stunning!

  15. What a delicious combination, I love both cheddar and caraway seeds. Thanks for sharing & have a great weekend!

  16. the photos are getting more and more beautiful by the week (if that is even possible, they're already gorgeous!)
    would love these straws, anything crunchy and cheesy and with caraway sounds fantastic!

  17. Fantastic indeed. I had no idea these would be so easy to make.

  18. Mmm, à picorer sans faim, juste pour le plaisir...

  19. Wine and cheese help aches and pains better than medicine in my humble opinion..:)

    The same here.. a little teaser of summer with heat and sun..warm hands..and beds..and now chilly and rainy..and duvets..and hot baths~
    C'est mai..

    These look so good Rosa..
    It's amazing how fennel..and caraway seeds look so alike:)
    Twins from different moms..
    Bon Weekend.

  20. Nice piece of writing. I love cheese straws - you can flavor them so many different ways. Caraway seeds are great (although I'm more apt to do cumin). I haven't tried these with mustard powder - I should. Great idea. Fun post - thanks.

  21. Oh my, these cheesy sticks look incredible. I bet I can finish the whole lot of them....haha...
    Happy weekend dear.
    Blessings, Kristy

  22. On a Friday night after a LONG week, I can totally go for that. ;)

  23. These look finger-licking good and cheesy! Pass me some! Tempting clicks! ;-)

  24. Sehr schönes Rezept ! Das müsste auch mit Sbrinz gehen. Liebe Grüsse, Robet

  25. che spettacolo rosa! bellissime foto come sempre :)

  26. Ive been waiting for this recipe since your B&W teaser photo, they just look scrumptious! Can;t wait for a nibble.

  27. Your photos always blow me away. And I love these nibbles... I want to make cheese straws so I guess this will be my recipe. Our new apartment has gorgeous sunlight that streams in which is one thing we love about it. Sadly, our winter...and spring...has been mostly dismal and dark. What do I need? Cheese straws and a glass of wine. xo

  28. Lovely story, and amazing, incredible photos Rosa. Loved every bit of it. Winter is hard in Melbourne too and it's only just begun for us...

  29. Sounds like you have a lovely little place to call your home! A place with a view yet. I wanted a place with a view but alas, my little place is not so situated. I do have a view of the woods!

    Those appetizers look so yummy that I really must try this recipe. Always looking for a good appt.

  30. OMY Rosa this look fantastic and delicious and what amazing pictures!!!xo

  31. A wonderful cheesy snack to nibble on.

  32. Delightful books quotes and personal beautiful moments. Further more will enjoy fantastic cheese straws!

  33. I love cheese straws, these look absolutely scrumptious!

  34. Absolutely delicious looking!


  35. My daughter and I actually feast on them. A lovely post and delicious flavours there.

  36. Rosa, I don't want to be repetitive but I love your pictures!
    The recipe looks superb, I just love the whole post :)

  37. Love the sound of these cheese straws, so yummy Rosa, but perhaps without the caraway seeds... I have disliked them since childhood.

  38. What a yummy snack. Gorgeous photos.

  39. Rosa these look totally yummy! I am going to try them soon and I agree when you describe natural beauty by writing that this kind of luxury can be addictive!

  40. I have always thought of cheese straws with their roots heavily in the Southern United States. I had read that they show up at every potluck. I am happy to adopt them.

  41. Those look delicious! Thank you for the recipe. I'm going to try these for a party next week.

  42. I'd love to sit down with some of these and some wine! :D

  43. I agree that everyone should enjoy a quiet drink and nibblies after an especially tough day or week. Laughing with friends just makes all that stress fly away.

    If I had a drink AND some of your cheese straws I know I'd feel better.

  44. I'd love to enjoy your cheese straws outside enjoying the beautiful weather. Great idea!

  45. Juste ce qu'il me faudrait là maintenant...partager avec toi un bon verre de vin accompagné de ces merveilles...ça me ferait très très plaisir..Rosa,
    bises bonne fin de dimanche !

  46. un'idea divina , mi stuzzica molto, foto straordinariamente invitanti;

    baci affettuosi

  47. That look crunchylicious! Love this kind of treats, and if my nephews see this, they would beg me to make it. Thanks for sharing the recipe Rosa!

  48. J'adore ce genre de gourmandises pour l'apéro !
    Tes photos sont toujours aussi magnifiques !

  49. Amazing cheese straws!I bet they are addictive:)
    Kisses,dear Rosa!

  50. What a devastatingly gorgeous combo!

  51. Spring found its' way here very hard too, even now we deal with cold runny days.. we hope for the sunny days to come soon... your cheese sticks are looking divine.. will try them soon as I love recipes that involves making a dough:) I have a recipe too of cheese sticks but I love the fact you used caraway seeds.

  52. Those cheddar cheese straws look and sound so tasty!

  53. caraway seeds have such a strong and distinctive flavor, and it's one i quite enjoy! these are terrific, rosa!

  54. Rosa, These cheese sticks are looking so tempting. The pictures and the write up is excellent and keep up the good work. Keep writing !
    Regards, Sonia

  55. Rosa, the straws look divine, I'll have to try them with parmesan cheese (it's not easy to find cheddar in Rome). The photos are top notch!

  56. This looks like the perfect snack for summer!

  57. En plein le genre de truc que j'adore grignoter à l'apéro!

  58. la photo avec les graines de carvi est superbe ;) belle recette !

  59. great snack...
    fragranct cheese straw!
    i think i'm ganna use frozen puff pastry for this...

  60. Hello Rosa,

    Wonderful appetizer and component with a wine. I bet my kids would love them for a snack. I always want it to bake them-))

    Thank you,


  61. Absolutely stunning photographs, Rosa! These look so good!

  62. OMG... Rosa está delicioso y saludable lindas fotos me encantan,hugs.

  63. This is perfect for the apéro. Like the pictures a lot.

  64. Rosa you are an amazing photographer, love your work.. Gorgeous

  65. Your cheese straws look fabulous the caraway seeds in it...and the photos are awesome Rosa.
    Have a lovely week :)

  66. We all like a little nibble with our cocktails, Rosa! Olives or nuts are most often found on my table, but these cheese straws look wonderful! Will be making them soon.

  67. Weather around here has been of the charts crazy too and so so cold, but cheese does make everything better! :)

  68. I have to make those straws. Looks so crispy and would be perfect with drinks!

  69. I could nibble on this all day long. Dangerous, but oh so good with my tea :)

  70. This is amazing!!! Cheese straws at their best!

  71. This poetic, lovely post made my evening :) And those straws are simply alluring :)

  72. I've always wanted a place with a private balcony to enjoy the sunsets and with your views it must be even more spectacular.

  73. Merci Rosa pour ces flûtes au fromage terriblement alléchantes. L'apéritif est un moment de convivialité à ne pas négliger je suis tout à fait d'accord avec toi. D'ailleurs dès que l'occasion se présente je m'installe moi aussi sur mon balcon, un endroit qui m'est indispensable surtout quand je manque de mobilité et cela arrive trop souvent. Cela rend l'enfermement plus supportable et me permet de recharger les batteries à défaut de mieux. Même si la vue que j'ai depuis mon balcon n'est pas aussi agréable que la tienne :)) cela m'apporte déjà beaucoup. Il m'arrive même de chambouler mon programme du jour pour pouvoir profiter au mieux des rares journées de soleil qui se présentent. Même le blog est laissé de côté car il est primordial de se faire plaisir quand on peut.
    Comme tu le dis si bien il faut parfois peu de chose pour être heureux, simplement profiter du temps qui passe et être en bonne compagnie en appréciant des plats basiques mais de bonne qualité. Merci pour ce partage salé et la recette que je conserve précieusement au cas où je me sentirais d'attaque pour les essayer :). Gros bisous et bonne journée ;)

  74. Each photograph jumps out at me!

    I think it's taunting me to reach in, nab the crispy straws and run for the hills.

  75. It has been a crazy spring here in New England as well. Love your caraway seed cheese straws...perfect for entertaining.

  76. Oh gosh I need those cheese straws in my life please.

  77. J'adore les cheese straws. Tu mets du saindoux, pas bête. Je garde ta recette sous le coude.
    Bonne semaine Rosa

  78. My kids and I love cheese straws and oh my gosh your photography is AMAZING!!!

  79. Jolies et délicieuses ces flûtes salés!
    Un régal pour l'apéritif!!

  80. Ils ont l'air délicieux, j'aime beaucoup la présentation, je m'imagine en train de siroter mon verre de vin avec ces biscuits apéritifs dans une chaude fin d'après midi :)

  81. What's wrong with my pastry Rossa,
    i've try the ready package pastry it's keep the shape and straight curl
    when i've try to made from scratch, it goes to folded and shringked

  82. DENTISVSCHEF: Thanks for the comment! I guess your pastry has been overworked... I hope that helps. ;-) Cheers.