Monday, July 30, 2007


The ever active Zorra at "Kochtopf" (Spain) has once again organized a wonderful event under the sign of bread. Is is called "Bread Baking Day" and it's second edition has already been launched!

This time, it is hosted by Becke at the great "Columbus Foodie" (USA) and the subject is "Bread With Fruits". All the informations needed can be found on her blog (se
e infos), but don't forget that the closing date is August the 1st 2007...

For "Bread Baking Day #2" I decided to bake a "Fragrant Swedish Rye Bread" which's recipe I found on Alanna Kellog's interesting blog "Kitchen Parade" (USA). Although it doesn't really contain any fruit, it is nonetheless aromatized with orange zest, so I guess that it is still somehow related to fruits.

This "Swedish Rye Bread" is excellent. Being made with rye flour it is somehow slightly hearty, but at the same time, it is also very light, fluffy, moist and smooth. This delightful bread's incredible and original flavor originates from the caraway/fennel seeds as well as the orange rind that are used in the confection of this awesome speciality from the north! The crust is gorgeously crunchy and tasty to please. Being not too dark, yet not plain at all, this loaf will rejoice the amateurs of both white and brown breads as well as the lovers of brioche type breads.

A must-try for all of you bread addicts and homebakers!

~ Fragrant Swedish Rye Bread ~
Recipe by Alanna Kellog at "Kitchen Parade" and slightly adapted by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums.

Makes a ~750g (1½ pound) loaf or 2x ~370g loaves.

1 1/2 Cups Strong white flour
1 1/2 Cups Rye flour

2 1/2 Tsps (7.5g/1/4 ounce) Active dry yeast
1 1/4 Cups Lukewarm water
1 Tbs Unsalted butter, softened
1/2 Tbs Salt
1/4 Cup Light runny honey

1/4 Cup Light brown sugar

2 Tbs Caraway seeds (see remarks)
Zest of an orange

1. In small bowl, proof yeast with 1/2 cup warm water and 1 teaspoon sugar.
2. In large mixing bowl, mix together the remaining water, the salt, th
e honey, the sugar, the caraway seeds and the orange zest.
3. Gently stir in 1 cup plain flour and the proofed yeast.
4. Add remaining flours until combined, knead for about 10 minutes, adding flour as needed.
5. Transfer to a greased bowl, cover with
a towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
6. Punch down, let rest for 1o minutes and form into a loaf.
7. Transfer to a greased loaf pan, cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30-45 minutes.
Preheat the oven at 190° C (375° F).

8. Bake in preheated oven for 35 – 45 minutes until golden brown and hollow-sounding when tapped underneath..
9. Let cool for 5 minutes, remove from pan, brush top with butter.
10. Finish cooling on a wire ra

Both fennel seeds and ground fennel work, so does caraway. You can even mix both.
You can use dark rye flour or light rye flour if you wish.

Instead of taking only honey for this recipe, you can use a mix of both honey and molasses (2/3 honey and 1/3 molasses).
When proofing the yeast (point 1), if it doesn’t bubble up, then the yeast is dead and you’ll need to repeat this step with new yeast.

Serving suggestions:
Eat this bread with honey, jam or even cheese. In fact, it's fine with every kind of accompaniment or spread...

Sunday, July 29, 2007


This week, Kate and the beautiful Puddy at "A Byootiful Life" (Australia) are happy to announce that they are hosting Weekend Cat Blogging #112...

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.

A very long time ago, Kitikata-San (I think... Thanks anyway!) had tagged me for a meme. It took me very long to do it and I'm very sorry for having made you wait an eternity for my answers...

Here are the "Seven Things About My Cat(s)":

1. Fridolin is a cheeky little monster who likes to create havok in the apartment. This morning, I had washing drying in the bath. He tried to pull down a towel and, of course, the clothes horse fell over with one awiful big clatter. All my stuff (make-up, combs, mirror, etc...) spilled over the bathroom floor... Grrrrrrrrr, sometimes I could strangle that cat!!!!

2. Maruschka is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. She can be the usual sweet Maruschka for hours and hours, but as soon as her "food program" starts, her personality changes. She is then unreacheable, bizarre and looks like a lost soul walking up and down in the living room and staring at me like a ghost on acid! That's when she starts to make me go up the walls, no matter how much I try to not see her and act in a zen way!!!

3. Fridolin has a kangaroo leg since he had his accident (jumping out of the fifth floor window while trying to catch a pigeon). He is not handicaped, although he is a "cyborg" (metal in his leg) and jumps everywhere without problem, but when he sits, his leg doesn't really bend normally. Instead, it is kinda straight and points in front...

4. Maruschka likes to leave "presents" (poo, pee and barf) when she decides to show her discontent. For example, once she could not get a fly, well, two minutes later there was a nice smelly thing in the bathtub!!! I find it the most "pleasurable" (I'm being ironical, of course...) when I walk on one of her presents while coming out of the bedroom after a good night's sleep. Eeesh...

5. Fridolin is a finicky eater. For weeks he'll swallow his food like a crazy kitty and from one day to another, he'll refuse to touch it although he's hungry like a lion! The worst part is that he wants to eat, but nothing pleases him and he walks away with his nose up... Little snotty brat!!!

6. Maruschka doesn't really like to play. She gets bored very fastly (before me...) and just sits there looking at me trying to get her to move. Without success...

7. Fridolin and Maruschka love one another, but it doesn't stop them from fighting like two rabbid monsters. I hate it when they do that as hair flies in all directions, they make a disharmonious racket and you can be sure that Maruschka will be injured. The idiot! But my question is: why doesn't she fight back? I mean, she's a lot bigger than him, but prefers to be dominated. I guess it's that boring male/female thing...

Friday, July 27, 2007


At the moment, here in Central/Northern Europe, the weather is very capricious! We can never have a full week of sun with normal summery temperatures!

You can be sure that if we are able to enjoy 2-3 days of heat and clear blue skies, then the next 3-4 days will be disgustingly grey, unseasonally fresh and depressing (= rain). I have not been able to enjoy the summer yet and August will be here very soon and Autumn also...

Please, Mr. Weather, I want to sit on my balcony and feel the Summer before the sad season arrives!!!


Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Just a little bit of food for thought regarding something that is important, whether we want it or not.

There are only different degrees of importance to which we should pay attention in order to know which place it holds in our lives...

"When money speaks, the truth keeps silent."
~ Russian proverb ~

"Money can't buy you happiness, but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery."
~ Spike Milligan ~

"If you want to know what a man is really like, take notice how he acts when he loses money."
~ New England proverb ~

"He who has money can eat ice cream in hell."
~ Lebanese proverb ~

"The rich man plans for tomorrow, the poor man for today."
~ Chinese proverb ~

"With money in your pocket, you are wise and you are handsome and you sing well too."
~ Yiddish proverb ~

"Only when the last tree has died,
The last river has been poisoned,

The last fish has been caught,

Will we realize that money cannot be eaten."

~ Cree proverb ~

What's your relationship to money? Which place does it take in your life?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


A few weeks ago, I met Corinne, an avid foodblog reader from Geneva. I got to know her when we had our "Swiss Foodblogers Picnic" in June and since then, we stayed in contact...

Corinne is a very generous and sweet person who makes you feel comfortable straight away and with whom a simple meeting at a coffee place/shop becomes unique and highly pleasurable.

On the occasion of our get-together around a cup of coffee, she brought me some little food gifts that made me very happy. Firstly, there was an immense and fr
agrant abricot from her brother's garden in Valais and a wonderful homemade jam (redcurrant and banana) that is definitely one of the best jams I've ever tasted so far! Not only is she a very skillful cook, but she is also extremely goodhearted!

Thanks Corinne for your heart-warming kindness...

Corinne's delicious jam on a slice of my pumpkin challah...
Isn't the color contrast just marvellous?

Monday, July 23, 2007


I particularly love scones as they are not only delicious, but also extremely interesting when served as appetizers, afternoon tea items or as accompaniment to a light meal (a salad or a soup, for example).

A "Scone" is a small quickbread originating in England. It can be sweet or savory and is comparable to it's North American (USA & Canada) cousin the biscuit which is also very soft and looks quite similar. In fact, many recipes are identical...

Those "Tiny Curry Scones" are really gorgeous! They are wonderfully fluffy and light textured, yet their crust is delicately crisp. They have a beautiful mild curry taste and exquisite notes of cheese, mustard, garlic and onion. Cute little scones with a dazzling aroma. A real symphony for the palate!

Believe me, those scones will be a big hit during your parties or meals! Very successful and delicious...

~Tiny Curry Scones ~

Recipe by Pascal Weeks ("Cookies, Muffins And Co") and freely translated/adapted by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums.

Makes about 18 scones.

Ingredients for the scones:
280g (2 Cups) Plain white flour
4 Tsps Baking powder

1/2 Tsp Salt
2 Tsps Mild curry powder
1/2 Tsp Cayenne powder
1/2 Tsp English mustard powder

1/3 Tsp Onion powder
1/3 Tsp Garlic powder

2 Tbs Parmesan cheese, grated
125g (1/2 Cup) Unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 Egg (~53g), beaten
50ml (1/4 Cup) Milk
Ingredients for the topping:
1 Egg (~53g), beaten
1 Tsp Milk

Poppy seeds

Method for the scones:
1. Preheat the oven at 200° C (400° F).
2. In a big bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, curry powder, cayenne powder, English mustard powder, onion powder, garlic powder and parmesan cheese.
3. Rub the butter into the flour mixture.
4. Mix the beaten egg together with the milk.
5. Add this liquid mixture to the flour mixture and mix to a soft dough.

6. Turn out on to a floured surface and knead very lightly.
7. Roll out to a thickness of 1.5 cm (0.6 inch).
8. Cut into 3 cm (1.2 inches) rounds.
9. Re-roll the trimmings and cut more rounds until no dough is left.
10. Place on a baking tray lined with baking sheet.

Method for the topping and baking:
11. Mix the egg and milk together.
12. Brush each scone with that mixture.
13. Sprinkle with poppy seeds.
14. Bake for about 12 minutes, until golden brown and risen.
15. Cool on a rack.

Once the butter has been incorporated (rubbed) into the flour mixture, it should ressemble coarse meal.
While adding the liquid mixture to the flour mixture, use a knife to cut and mix.
The dough should not be sticky, but just soft.
If the dough is too dry, add a little milk.
The scones are better when eaten on the same day, but they can be kept up to 2 days in a plastic bag.

Serving suggestions:
Serve warm or completely cooled, halved and buttered. You can also eat them with cream cheese, "caramelized onions" (see recipe) or chutney.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


This week, the gorgeous Kashim and Othello at "Paulchen's Foodblog" (Austria) are happy to announce that they are hosting Weekend Cat Blogging #111 (see link)...

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.

Fridolin and Maruschka are still very calm.
The heat of the last days has had positive effects on them.
When it's hot and the air is humid, the two "monkeys" are real sweethearts and aren't like jumping peas on drugs!
Even Maruschka isn't as food-obsessed as usual...
A real miracle!!!

Friday, July 20, 2007


Since I live a few meters (2 minutes) away from the French border, every year I am lucky to be able to see the fireworks that the "Pas-De-L'échelle" village organizes on the occasion of the 14th of July ("Fête Nationale")...

For such a small place, they are quite big and the best part about this event is that I can enjoy the show from my balcony!

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Every week, Ruth at "Once Upon A Feast" from Halifax (Nova Scotia, Canada) organizes an event that takes place every Friday. It's called "Presto Pasta Nights" (see infos and rules). The 20th edition is already on it's way and as you have maybe guessed, it's all about pasta!

For my third participation, I decided to contribute to the round-up with handmade pasta. I have only made twice my own pasta, so I am still a learner. Anyhow, I had a lot of fun making "Orecchiette" as well as eating them...

Those typical homemade ear-shaped pasta from Apulia (Puglia in Italian) were really interesting and not as difficult to make as I had imagined (quite relaxing, not too strenuous and quite easy in fact). Although I might still need some exercise in order to attain perfection, the result was undisputably unique taste- and texture-wise. The "Orecchiette" were smooth, delicious and very delicate. With tomato sauce,
this dish was excellent and the sauce adhered perfectly to their rugged surface.

Mamamia, è buonissima la pasta! A great experience that I will repeat very soon...

~ Orecchiette ~
Recipe taken from "The Silver Spoon" (Phaidon Press) and adapted by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums

Serves 4

200g Plain flour
100g Semolina flour (see infos)
1/2 Tsp Salt
Warm water

1. Mix together the flour, semolina flour and the salt.

2. Heap into a mound on the working surface.
3. Make a well in the centre, add a little warm water and mix to a firm, elastic dough.
4. Knead well.
5. Shape into long rolls 2.5cm (1 inch) in diameter.
6. Cut into sections.
7. Drag each of them, one at a time, slowly over the work surface using your thumb to form small shells.
8. Repeat with all of the remaining dough, placing the orecchiette on a lightly floured cloth as they are made.
9. Heat up some water in a large pan.
11. When it's boiling add a pinch of salt and the orecchiette.
12. Cook for about 10 minutes until al dente.
13. Drain the pasta.
14. Toss in some olive oil.

Instead of shaping the orecchiette with your thumb, you
can also use the round end of a table knife.
When shaping the orecchette, the dough will form a cup shape around your thumb.

Serving suggestions:
Those pasta can be eaten with tomato sauce, grated parmesan, vegetables (broccoli, cima di rapa, etc...), pesto (see sauces section), seafood, etc...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Unfortunately, since I live in an apartment, I don't have a proper garden. I nonetheless have a few plants on my balcony that create the illusion of having a green paradize. Anyway, with the magnificent view I have all around, I can't complain...

Mind you, this balcony is a real ecosystem (plants, animals and micro organisms). On the roof above, there are always pigeons, crows, blackbirds, sparrows, magpies, buzzards, etc... In and around the plants, there are colonies of busy ants walking in line, beetles, tree bugs of kinds, flies, bees, bumble-bees, butterflies, wasps (agressive European wasps and pacific mud-daubing wasps from Asia), etc... Not to forget that there are bushes, lavender, mint, basil, ginger, thyme, etc... for all those little creepy crawlies to "play" in!

Isn't it great? I have a lilliputian garden and I love it!...

A tree bug...
An injured beetle...
A stone with a fossile in one of my plant pots...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Orange is a stimulating color that can be associated with health, energy, warmth, appetite, fire, strength, joy, etc... It has very positive vibrations that tend to make us feel well and happy.

A wide variety of oranges (the color) exist, especially when it comes to what can be eaten. It seems that we all appreciate the food items that are particularly colorful and flamboyant, thus we are attracted to them. Who can be impassible or marble-like when confronted to a pumpkin, an orange, an apricot, a mango, cheddar cheese, a carrot, a melon, a bell pepper, sweet potatoes, curcuma, ...? Nobody!

Let's not forget that except the fact that this wonderful color is vibrant and pleasurable to look at, antioxidants abund in all vegetables and fruits that are orange. Is it the reason why nature made the most healthy food radiate and glow in such a powerful way? To attract us?...

The simple beauty of an apricot in the sunlight...
Thai dried shrimps...
A tartlet made with leftover pastry and apricots...

Monday, July 16, 2007


Today, I'm going to share with you a Swiss recipe that I have loved since childhood: "Quarktorte" or "Quark Tart".

In Switzerland as well as in Germany or Austria (Käsekuchen), we like to eat a kind of lighter version of cheesecake called "Quarktorte". It is made with "quark cheese" (see infos), a kind of fresh cheese of central European origin that is also known as "curd cheese". This tart is sometimes prepared without any kind of pastry base. In some ways, it is a little similar to the Polish "Sernik", the "Brocciù Tart (Fiadone)" of the Corsicans or the Italian "Ricotta Tart"...

This "Quarktorte" is really delicious. I highly recommend it to all those who love cheesecakes and tarts. Although, it is extremely light and fluffy textured and doesn't contain as much fat as it's American cousin, this tart is a real stomach filler! But on the other hand, it is particularly enjoyable with it's tangy and fresh cheese taste, lemony aroma and it's honeyed little raisins. Delicate, sweet without exaggeration and ever so scrummy!

This tart will make you discover new horizons in the cheesecake world. A marvelous recipe that deserves attention!

~ Quarktorte Or Swiss Quark Cheese Tart ~
Recipe by
"" and freely adapted by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums.

Recipe for a 26cm (10 inches) round pan.

Ingredients for the pastry:
One quantity "Shortcrust Patr
y" (see recipe)
One quantity "Baking Powder Pastry" (see recipe)
Ingredients for the filling:

500g Swiss Magerquark cheese (0% fat, see infos)
3+1 Eggs (~53g), 3 eggs separated + 1 left entire

2/3 Tsp Baking powder
60g Cornstarch
130g (40g+90g) Castor sugar

1 1/2 Tsps Vanilla extract
2/3 Cup Milk
The rind of one lemon, finely grated
70g Raisins

Method for the pastry:
1. Make the pastry as directed in the recipes given above.

2. Place the pastry in the prepared tart pan and prick with a fork.
3. Refrigerate while you are preparing the filling.

Method for the filling:
4. Preheat the oven to 200° C (400°F).
5. With the help of a whisk, mix together the Mag
erquark, 3 egg yolks, 1 (entire) egg, baking powder, cornstarch, sugar (40g), vanilla extract, milk and lemon rind until well blended.
6. In another bowl, beat the 3 egg whites and slowly incorporate the leftover sugar (90g) until fluffy and stiff.
7. Gently fold the beaten egg white into the Magerquark mixture so that the filling is homogenous.
9. Sprinkle the raisins evenly over the base of the tart.

10. Pour the filling into the prepared pastry case.
11. Bake for 15 minutes at 200° C (400° F), then reduce the heat to 180° C (350° F) and continue baking for 30-45 minutes until the filling is set.
12. Cool in the oven with the door slightly cracked open.
13. After an hour remove from the oven and let cool completely before serving.

If you want a low-fat pastry that is a little bread-like, then you should use the "Baking Powder Pastry" recipe, but if you want a richer and crispier tart base, then choose the "Shortcrust Pastry" recipe.
Instead of "Magerquark" you can use 1/2 fat Quark, Bulgarian cheese, ricotta, low-fat cream cheese, Neufchâtel cheese or petit suisse cheese (or "fromage frais"/"fromage blanc"/"bibeleskaas") although the result will not exactly be the same. The cheese used should be low-fat (0.5%-4.5% fat)...

Serving suggestions:
Sprinkle the tart with some icing sugar.
Eat for teatime or for supper.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


This week, the beautiful Dragonheart at "Dragonheart's Domain" (Germany) is happy to announce that he is hosting Weekend Cat Blogging #110 (see link)...

Don't forget to send him a hug, because Wednesday the 18th of July it's going to be his birthday!

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

At the moment, Fridolin has painful tantrums when his supper is being served.
Suddenly, he has become very difficult to please and just refuses everything that is in his plate although he is very hungry!
He snobs his favorite meals, but he still cries for food.
You can offer him anything, he will not touch it.
It seems that this sudden cinema is not abnormal.
Every year he goes through this strange phase...

Friday, July 13, 2007


Yippeeeeeee, the sun has finally come back! We can now be blessed with his healing rays that embrace us like arms of light...

It might not last, but at least he hasn't let us down and he tries to show us that he's always there, keeping a benevolent eye on us. Ah, it feels so good to enjoy his warmth and to see the positive effects his golden touch has on us.

What would we do without the sun (click on pictures to enlarge)?....

The Sun Never Says

Even after all this time
The sun never says to the earth,
"You owe Me."

Look what happens with
A love like that,
It lights the Whole Sky.

~ By D. Ladinsky ~