Sunday, December 31, 2006


I wish you all a very Happy New Year 2007 and hope that your paths will be paved with a million stars!!! May luck, happiness and health be always on your side.

At the same time, I also would like thank you all for your faithful support and regular visits during the year 2006! I really appreciate your kind comments and virtual presence on this blog...

I'm looking forwards to seeing/meeting you again on "Rosa's Yummy Yums"!

"New Year's eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights."

~ Hamilton Wright Mabie ~

(First Buff -Pic by Steven Kozar

Saturday, December 30, 2006


On this very last weekend before the New Year, it is Lisa of "Champaign Taste" who is kindly hosting this edition of Weekend Cat Blogging. To participate, give your permalink when leaving a message on her blog or send her an email with all the informations needed...

To end this year in beauty, the featured cat is a certain "Black Beauty" known under the name of Maruschka!

Maruschka is indeed a princess with a beautiful face and a sweet character, but she can also be a devil in disguise...
Today, she nearly drove me crazy; I could have strangled her, he, he!
You all know now how food-obssessed she is. Well, this beginning of afternoon was a real torture for me!
You see, I was preparing some "Cheese Straws" (the recipe follows soon) and of course, my activities in the kitchen aroused her attention and put her in her food related state of trance during which it is IMPOSSIBLE to control or to discipline her.
Nothing calms her.

She generally gets those immense crazy eyes, this terrible sad concentrated look on her face and starts to move over to a spot close to the kitchen in order to play the freakish voyeur.
And God, I can't stand that bizarre head position she adopts nor
her eerie attitude as I don't recognize her. I swear she becomes someone else so much she behaves like a possessed kitty...

(Mad Kitty -Pic by

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


This year, as a Christmas gift, I made some goodies. As they were to be sent, I opted for some postable cookies and confectionary that would not suffer from the travelling around and constant banging occasioned by the post...

Needless to say that they met success and made everyone happy (without trying to sound too cheesy or self-imbued, he, he)!!!

From left to right:
  • Vanilla Kipferl
  • Spice bread (pain d'épice) chocolate chip cookies
  • Lemon honey cookies
  • Brazilian coffee cookies (see recipe)
  • Old-fashioned chocolate walnut fudge
  • Almond cantuccini cookies
The recipes will soon follow, so keep connected!

Sunday, December 24, 2006


This pre-Christmas edition of Weekend Cat Blogging is gracefully hosted by "Tiggy The Tiny Tiger" from USA... To have a chance to see your cat(s) linked on her blog, don't forget to give your permalink when leaving a comment or to directly send her an email with all the informations needed.

For this very special event preceding the end of year festivities, Fridolin and Maruschka have dicided to surprise you!

Madam Santa Claus is dressed to kill and wishes you a

Mister Raindeer hopes that you'll have a good time celebrating Xmas and the New Year, and that you'll not forget to be laidback like the zen kitty he is...

Saturday, December 23, 2006



I hope that you will all enjoy your holidays, have a good time wherever you are or with whomever you are and eat all the things you love....

"The True Spirit of Christmas

Lots of people
Crowds everywhere
Rushing and pushing and shoving,
Going nowhere.
It's Christmas time again
Have to get all those things done
Hustle, bustle, quickly,
We must beat the sun.
Must get this and must get that
Maybe this nic, maybe that nak
When did it happen?
When did we lose track...
It's a race, yes it is
We are running, yes we are
But lets not forget
Before we get too far-
What is really really important
Doesn't take much to figure out
Take time to love and love from the heart."

~ Marajo Tenderass ~

(Xmas Tree -Pic by

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Around Veyrier, the opportunities to have a pleasant walk are multiple. You don't need to go very far in order to find an interesting corner.

One of my favorite places is very close to home (10 minutes), along the river Arve in France. I had already blogged (see link 1, link 2 & link 3) about this special little paradise and will surely do it again and again and again. This spot is so beautiful if you want to witness the subtle changes of the seasons!...

A mysterious little path on the side of the Arve, in France...
My beloved Salève playing with the mist...
A rather dry Arve offering us a vision of it's winter look...
The grass is still green, but the air is now crisp and winter is timidly appearing...
In the distance, the church of Veyrier and a misty Salève are being looked upon by a shy, yet authoritative sun...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


For Thanksgiving I had made a pumpkin pie and since I still had some puree left, I wondered what I could make with it. So I came up with this "Pumpkin Jam" recipe that I invented on the spurr of the moment...

I had never made "Pumpkin Jam" before and I must say that my creation really made me proud. This jam isn't only good, it's fabulous!!! It is incredibly tasty and delicate. In fact, this "Pumpkin Jam" reminds me a lot of chestnut puree/jam, because the pumpkin (Hokkaido Pumpkin) I used has a very similar flavor and texture. It is for this particular reason that in French, the "Hokkaido Pumpkin" is called "Potimarron" (marron = chestnut). Not to forget that the added spices go perfectly hand in hand with the pumpkin's natural honeyed sweet and rich/deep aromas. It's really a wonderful jam that would make a great Christmas gift!

This incredible "Pumpkin Jam" is a unique spread which is delicious with any kind of bread ("Almond And Curry Bread", "Baguette Parisienne", "Plain White Bread", etc...) and more
specifically with brioched breads such as "Pain Au Lait", "Challah", "Portuguese Sweet Bread", etc...


~Luscious Pumpkin Jam ~
Recipe by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums

Makes about 2 medium pots.


350g Pumpkin puree (cooked), unsweetened

350g Castor sugar

350g Water

Tsp Ground cinnamon
A pinch ground cloves (optional)
1 Tsp Vanilla extract
Zest of 1 Lemon or of 1 orange
4 Tbs Lemon juice
2 Tsp Grand Marnier, Rum or Cointreau (optional)

~ "Hokkaido Pumpkin" or "Red Hubbard Pumpkin" ~


1. In a pan, stir together all ingredients.

2. Bring to the boil.

3. Lower the heat and let the mixture simmer for about 35 minutes to 1 hour, until thick (see remarks) and transluscent.

4. Pour into clean/sterilized jam jars/pots.
5. Close the jars hermetically.
6. Let cool.

I recommend you to use the following pumpkin:
Potimarron (French) = Hokkaido Pumpkin = Chestnut Pumpkin = Baby Red Hubbard = Uchiki Kuri = Chinese Pumpkin = Japanese Pumpkin.

To obtain fresh puree, take your pumpkin, cut it in half, deseed it and peel it, then cut it in cubes and steam. Once it is cooked, mash the pumpkin flesh. It has to be a very smooth puree.
The jam has to be thick and "dry", a bit like chestnut puree/jam.
Store at room temperature and keep away from the light. Once opened, keep it in the refrigerator.

Serving suggestions:
Spread the jam on a slice of your favorite bread, with homemade scones/biscuits, muffins or pancakes.
I guess that it would go well with cheese.

(Pumpkin Marmelade -Pic by


"He who has no Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree."
~ Roy L. Smith ~

(Funny Animals -Pic by

Monday, December 18, 2006



Christmas and New Year are magical times when you love cooking and adore baking; everybody wants to have a pretty table with lots of beautiful festive foods.

In order to simplify things, I put together some interesting recipes and links so that you will have to spend less time thinking about your menu...

May you find the recipe(s) of your dreams and have a jolly good time around the table (or anywhere else) with your family and friends!

~ The church of Domat-Ems in Grisons. ~

My Christmas Recipes:

Interesting links:

" December"

I like days
with a snow-white collar,
and nights when the moon
is a silver dollar,
and hills are filled
with eiderdown stuffing
and your breath makes smoke
like an engine puffing.

I like days
when feathers are snowing,
and all the eaves
have petticoats showing,
and the air is cold,
and the wires are humming,
but you feel all warm ...
with Christmas coming.

~ Aileen Fisher ~

(Xmas Magic -Pic by
(Christmas Eve -Pic by
(Winter -Pic by
(Christmas Fairy -Pic by

Sunday, December 17, 2006


It's Weekend Cat Blogging and this time, it is "Kitchen Mage" who is hosting the event. As usual, all participants should give their permalinks via e-mail or when leaving a comment on the blog...

For this edition of WCB, Kiki (Fridolin) gracefully accepted to lend his image for the whole world to see how cute he is. In fact, I think he likes striking the pose and
playing the furry male topmodel!!!...

Fridolin (like Maruschka) has many different nicknames and one of them is the "Schuhtanzer (Shoe Dancer)".
I know, I already hear you saying "why that?"...
Well, it all has to do with the ritual he does every time you are putting on your shoes and opening the front door.

At this very moment, Fridolin loves to turn around our feet/shoes and yammer frenetically with his typical croaking and high-pitched little shrieks of excitement!
His little dance is so funny and really sweet...
You can't not love such an adorable kitty, can you?!?

(Dancing Cat -Pic by

Saturday, December 16, 2006


~ Hanukkah 2006, December 16 - December 24 ~

I have compiled a few interesting recipes or links for all of those who celebrate Hanukkah (The Festival Of Lights) or for anybody who is adventurous culinary-wise. May it help you in your quest for new recipes...

Have a happy holiday and eat well!!!

My Recipes:

Interesting Blogs:
Interesting recipe sites:


Outside, snow is slowly, softly
Falling through the wintry night.

In the house, the brass menorah
Sparkles with the candlelight.

Children in a circle listen
To the wondrous stories told,
Of the daring Maccabeans
And the miracles of old.

In the kitchen, pancakes sizzle,
Turning brown, they'll soon be done.
Gifts are waiting to be opened,
Happy Hanukkah's begun."

~ Eva Grant ~

(Chanukkah -Pic by
(Hannukah Cookies -Pic by
(Hannukah Family-Pic by
(Chandelier -Pic by

Thursday, December 14, 2006


The colder winter-like days have now arrived and nature is slowly starting to go to sleep. Everything looks dead, but if you try to appreciate each and every season, then there's always something to see, even when it all looks quite sad outside.

What characterizes this period of the year is the dreamlike mist licking the contours of each and every mountain, the crushingly thick fog that stands over our heads, the fabulous sunsets, the crisp clear skies, the frost that makes the scenery look so magical or the snow which softens all landscapes like a cotton blanket. There's so much to admire...

This picture was taken at the very beginning of Autumn and it was the first morning mist of the season... A misty morning with aeroplane trails drawing geometrical patterns in the sky... A red Salève on a typical middle of autumn evening... The Salève looking splendid when bathed in warm autumnal sunset light...
A vision soon to come: a morning view of the frost bitten Salève (picture taken last year)...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Today, I want to test your culinary knowledge...

A few days ago, we received a packet and amongst the goodies that we discovered, there was this delicious speciality...

I want you to make your brain work and even hurt if that's needed! So, my question is: what is it (not the tree) and which region does it come from ?

Here is a clue: it is a Swiss speciality, it keeps well and it isn't necessarily eaten only on the occasion of Christmas or the New Year...

For the few Swiss people who already know, please don't give any kind of answer. Thanks!!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Until now, I have eaten my share of casseroles or puddings, but I have never made nor tasted any traditional "Kugel"...

So, to remedy that situation, I decided to bake a "Potato Kugel" and I don't regret taking this step into the unknown!

A "Kugel" is a popular Ashkenazi (Eastern European) pudding or casserole that is served as a side dish or dessert during the Jewish Shabbat or Jewish holidays. It can be savory or sweet and is always made with eggs and either Matzah meal or flour. A "Kugel" can be prepared with noodles, dairy products (milk, cheese, cream cheese, cottage cheese, etc...), all kinds of vegetables or fruits (zucchini, carrots, apples, etc...), nuts (walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, etc...) and flavorings/spices. In fact, it is a very useful low-budget and multifaceted dish that can be prepared in various ways depending on the seasons or what you have on stock.

This "Potato Kugel" is not very dissimilar in look and taste to "Latkes" or even to our Swiss Rösti speciality. I really wish to emphasize on the fact that this "Kugel" is very delicious and hyper comforting. It is the perfect kind of food one is eager to eat during the long winter evenings that are waiting for us! As I don't have any "Schmalz" at home, I deci
ded to use duck fat instead and was not disappointed. The duck fat added a fabulous hint of meatness and nearly sweet flavor to this "Kugel" (a good choice). I loved it!!!

I came up with this invented recipe after having surfed for a few hours collecting all kinds of informations regarding "Potato Kugels". I decided to make it with potatoes, but there are also many other possible combinations left to explore...

If you want to discover
other "Kugel" recipes (see link), then I warmly recommend you to visit Burekaboy's highly interesting blog named "Is That My Buréka?" from Canada! It is entirely dedicated to the Jewish cuisine and culture, but you'll also find other actual topics. Those other links might also be helpful (see link 1, link 2 & link 3)...

Serves 4


850g Russet potatoes
1 Big Carrot
2 Onions, chopped
1 Big clove garlic, crushed
4 Eggs (~50g), beaten
1/3 Tsp Paprika powder
1 Matzah sheet, finely ground
2 Tsp Salt
Pepper, to taste
2/3 Tsp Baking powder
4 Tbs Vegetable oil, schmalz or duck fat

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F).
2. Wash and peel the potatoes, then grate them coarsely and do the same with the carrot.
3. Put all dry ingredients together in a big bowl.
4. Add the grated potatoes, grated carrot, chopped onion and crushed garlic. Mix.
5. Pour the beaten eggs into the potato mixture.
6. Mix everything together.
7. Pour the final mixture into an oiled/greased baking dish (using 1 1/2 Tbs vegetable oil/schmalz/duckfat).
8. Pat the mixture flat.
9. Dot the top with the leftover oil/schmalz/duckfat.
10. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, until the top is crusty and golden brown.

Any kind of firm baking potato is ok.
For this recipe, the potatoes are not always peeled; it all depends on you.
The carrot can be replaced by a zucchini.
If you desire, use smoked paprika powder instead of the traditional one.
Instead of grinding the Matzah sheet, use 1/2 cup Matzah meal or 1/3 cup flour.
Work fastly after grating the potatoes lest they turn grey.

Your "Potato Kugel" has to be crisp outside and moist inside.
Let sit for 8-10 minutes before serving.
Once baked, it freezes very well.

~ Potato kugel squares. ~

Serving suggestions:

Eat the "Potato Kugel" alone, with a salad, steamed vegetables or as an accompaniment to meat such as brisket or roasted chicken.

(Shabbat -Pic by
(Potato Kugel -Pic by

Monday, December 11, 2006


Anne of "Papilles Et Pupilles" from France has had the great idea of asking us to post a picture of our Christmas tree and decorations, so here's how my tree looks...

Unfortunately, as I can't afford to buy a real and natural tree, the one that you can see here is entirely made of plastic, but it nonetheless looks cute, at least in my opinion. The only thing I miss with my tree is that characterisic aromatic and intoxicating pine tree scent that perfumes the whole place in such a wonderful way. Yet, on the other side, it is a lot more cleaner (the needles never fall!)...

My Christmas tree is really minuscule (20cm) and can be placed on our tiny kitchen table, far away from our cats' reach. Very practical!

I like it, no matter if it isn't anything luxurious...

Saturday, December 9, 2006


For our biggest pleasure, the very popular WEEKEND CAT BLOGGING event is again back and this time, it is a very Angry Cat who has decided to host the the round-up! To participate just email your permalinks to the_cat(at) or post your links directly on the unique "Belly Timber" blog from USA...

In this house, our cats get a fair share of the stardom, so as last week Mr. Fridolin was under the starlight specially for you, this time, our little pin-up named Maruschka has accepted to take a sexy pose. It is eye candy, believe me!!!

Maruschka is a very funny cat who has the most hilarious body language.
As soon as you start cuddling her, she shows her tummy and asks to be "kneaded" like crazy!
It is quite an energy consuming activity...
But, how can I resist such a pure moment of joy?
She gives me so much (on all levels) that I can't possibly refuse her a few intense minutes during which I massage her soft underside.
In any case, I don't really have another alternative as she knows how to command us.
She's a real dictator!!!
Anyhow, she is such an adorable being, although she can sometimes be quite stubborn kitty with a lot of character...

Friday, December 8, 2006


I guess that by now, you've all understood that I love to study the sky and see how it develops, minute by minute and hour by hour! It is so interesting as it changes constantly and rarely looks the same.

It never fails to surprise me therefore I always make sure that my camera is ready to immortalize the beautiful things I see...

I hope that the following pictures will make you dream and that they will entice you to take your time in order to have a better look at this ocean of beauty above our heads!

The first November snow on the Jura: around 7am...
The same day, but about a quarter of an hour later...
A few days later, still early in the morning...One morning, I was blessed to discover and admire such a crazy looking sky! Those rolls were really incredible and very photogenic...At this period of the year, when the sun starts to go down, you get to see the most magnificent sceneries...Still during the sunset: the colors that appear submerge you with a feeling of well-being. All those shades of apricot, duck blue and violet grey could not look better!Funny clouds and a clear sky...Another sunset: it is quite covered, but nonetheless beautiful...Mind-blowing fiery lines appear in the horizon...

Did you like those pictures? Which one is your favorite and why?...

Thursday, December 7, 2006


Fidji of the great "Fidji Passion Boulange" blog from France has organized a bread baking event and round-up specially for Saint Nicolas day. She asked us to bake "Mannele" or "Man-Shaped Breads" according to the tradition...

Saint Nicolas day (see link) is celebrated on the 6th of December throughout Europe (Austria, Croatia, Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, France, etc...). In Switzerland, the naughty children which have badly behaved are threatened by "Schmutzli" (or "dirty guy", he accompanies Samichlaus/Santa Claus) who makes them afraid by telling them that he'll throw them in a sack and bring them to the Black Forest where he will drown them... Gulp, very charming indeed!!! Otherwise, children sing a song or recite poems, and they receive (from their parents, relatives and Saint Nicholas) chocolates, oranges, cookies, etc... So, it is understandable that, for the kids, it is at the same time a scary and exciting moment!

During that festive time, people bake a lot and generally, they prepare little breads in the shape of men which, in older times, had the purpose of chasing away the demons. Here in
Switzerland (mostly the Swiss German part) they are called "Grittibänz", "Grättimaa", "Elgermaa", "Chläus" and "Teigermännli" depending on the different cantons and dialects, but they are also know as "Petits Bonhommes" (in the Swiss French part). In Germany, you'll find them under the name of "Weckmann", in France "Mannala", "Mannele" or "Jean Bonhomme", in Belgium "Cougnou" and in Luxemburg "Boxermännercher". As you can see, those little breads are well-spread.

"Grittibäanz" breads are very cute, delicious and fun to make. The bread dough used is a bit similar to the "Pain Au Lait" dough as it's made with butter, milk and eggs. They are very soft and superbly fragrant. A must try before and for Christmas!!!

~ The old town of Zürich during the winter. ~

This recipe comes from Marianne Kaltenbach's (6th June 1921- 15th October 2005) cookbook "Cuisine Rustique Suisse" (originally titled "Ächti Schwizer Chuchi" dating from 1977). I adapted and halved the recipe, because, in my opinion, it would have given far too many "Grittibänz"...

Makes 10 "Grittibänz".

500g Plain white flour
2 Tsp Dried yeast
2 Tsp Castor sugar
250ml Milk, tepid
80g Unsalted butter, at room temperature, softened and creamed
1 1/3 Tsp Salt
1 Egg (~50g), beaten
1 Egg yolk + 1 Tsp Water (for the egg wash)
Currants and almonds for the face/body decorations

1. Sprinkle the sugar and yeast into 1 cup of the milk in a bowl.
2. Leave for 5 minutes and then stir to dissolve.
3. Sieve the flour into a big bowl.
4. Make a well and pour in the yeasted milk.
5. With a wooden spoon, draw enough of the flour into the yeasted milk to form a soft paste.
6. Cover with a tea towl and leave to "sponge" until frothy and risen, about 20 minutes.
7. Add the leftover milk, the beaten egg, salt and the creamed butter. Mix in the flour to form a soft dough.
8. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic for about 10 minutes.
9. Put the dough into a buttered bowl and cover with a tea towl.
10. Leave to rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
11. Knock back the dough and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
12. Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces.

~ Demonstration by Anne of "Papilles Et Pupilles". ~

13. Roll each piece into a thick sausage.

14. To shape the head, use your index and thumb to pinch both sides of the sausage (first quarter of the sausage).
15. With a pair of scissors, cut both sides (middle) in order to create the arms and then, cut both legs (down).
16. Create a mouth, nose and eyes with the currants and almonds.
17. Place the "Grittibänz" on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and cover with a tea towl.
18. Prove until doubled in size, about 30-40 minutes.
19. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
20. Brush the "Grittibänz" twice with the egg wash.
21. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden and sounding hollow when tapped on the underside.

You can decorate and shape your "Grittibänz" as you wish; use your imagination!
Try baking those breads with kids, they'll love it!

Serving suggestions:
Eat at any time with the savory or sweet spread of your choice.

(Zurich -Pic by Drew Charles
(Manele -Pic by Anne
(Saint Nicholas -Pic by