Saturday, August 30, 2008


This week, Katie and Puddy at "A Byootaful Life" (Australia) are happy to announce that they are hosting Weekend Cat Blogging #169...

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.

Moments of total bliss...
I wish I could sleep as well as meditate like that and relax all day long!

Friday, August 29, 2008


Geneva offers many interesting as well as beautiful walks. Since the canton is quite small, it is easy to get out of town by foot or reach the countryside in a matter of minutes (I live only 7 km away from the centre)...

During our holidays, on one particularly nice afternoon, we decided to take the Bus 8 (see TPG site) and go down at the "Appia" stop near the Red Cross And Red Crescent Museum and the UNO. Then, we walked up the hill, past the Château de Penthes and it's magnificent garden, till the little village of Prégny (in Prégny-Chambésy). After a few minutes wal
k, we reached a bench from where the view over the Lake Geneva is absolutely stunning. It also overlooks the airport, so we were able to observe the neverending ballet of aeroplanes taking off and landing every minute or so.

Enjoy those shots (click on the pictures to enlarge)!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Last Friday, my good friends and neighbors Jessica & Jonathan came to my place for the evening. As I know that they love to eat and discover new things, I made a whole Middle-Eastern and North African dinner...

On the menu (see Jessica Brogan's blog "In Search Of Dessert" and her "Flickr" page in order to read her post on the subject and see her pictures of the meal) there were several courses and nine (!) different dishes, all made from scratch as well as with much care in order to stay truthful to the original recipe.

We ate "Jerusalem-Style Hummus" (see recipe), "Turkish Eggplant Purée With Yogurt", "Moroccan Lamb Cigars", "Tiropitakia Or Greek Cheese Triangles", "Moroccan Lemony Beef And Potato Tagine" (see recipe), "Lebanese Tabbouleh", "Turkish Ekmek Bread" (see recipe), "Moroccan Batbout Bread" (recipe follows) and "Maple Walnut Ice Cream". Jessica had also made extremely scrumptious "Upside-Dowm Cheesecakes" (see recipe) with Sardinian honey...

Needless to say that we stuffed ourselves until we literally exploded! As I love that kind of spicy, flavorful and exotic food, I was so glad that both my friends enjoyed the food, had a second serving (even a third serving!!!) and cleaned their plates as if there would be no tomorrow!

As you might have guessed, today, I'm delivering you the recipe for one of the specialities I made on that occasion: a very popular Moroccan flatbread called "Batbout" and which is traditionally cooked in earthenware tajines. It is also known under the name of "Metlouâ (Matlouh)" or "Bouchiar", depending on the regions where it is made.

"Manage with bread and butter until God sends the honey. "
- Moroccan Proverb -

Bread, one of the most essential stables, is sacred in Morocco and is treated with the utmost respect. As in most Arab countries and households, the Moroccans bake bread every morning in a atmosphere of communion. Before commencing the sacred act of kneading, an invocation to God is made. Once the bread has been properly shaped, each family puts it's own mark/stamp on it and then, sends it via the children to a common bakery oven made of terra cotta.

Bread is eaten with every meal, except during the holy month of Ramadan, during the fasting. It is generally used as a "fork" or "ustensil" for conveying food when eating with the fingers. Many varieties of fermented or non-fermented breads exist. The choice is vast (Msemmen, Khobz, Anise Bread, Fried Bread, Bhagrir, Mella, Ftayer, etc...).

"Batbout" bread is chewy (like Bagels), soft-crusted, pliable, delicately spongy and overall delicious. It is ideal for dipping into the savory sauces of "Tagines", scooping into any kind of dip or for making sadwiches/wraps.

Those Pita-like loaves are very versatile and will rejoice any gourmet eater in search of new gastronomic horizons to discover. With their pleasant as well as delicate flavor and their scrumptious texture, it will soon be impossible for you to plan any Middle-Eastern, Mediterranean or North African meal without including this flatbread as accompaniment!

Picture courtesy of Jessica Brogan.

~ Moroccan "Batbout M'Khamer" Bread ~
Recipe by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums and highly inspired by Minouchkah at "Passion Culinaire" (France).

Makes 3 flatbreads.

300g Plain white flour
100g Fine semolina (Durum Flour/Semolina Di Grano Duro)
1 1/4 Tsps salt
1 Package (7g) Dried yeast
300-320ml Water, lukewarm (not hot)

1. Sprinkle the yeast into the water in a bowl.
2. Stir to dissolve and leave for 5 minutes, until it becomes frothy.
3. In a big bowl, mix together the flour, semolina and salt.
4. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture.
5. Stir in the flour to form a stiff dough.
6. Knead for 8-10 minutes.
7. Divide the dough into 3 equal-sized pieces.
8. On a lightly floured (with Durum Flour) surface, roll out each piece to form a round 1cm (1/2 inch) thick.

9. Let rise, covered with a tea towel, for about 1 1/2 - 2 hours, until doubled in size.
10. Heat a frying pan or a griddle over medium heat, until very hot.

11. Place one of the dough rounds in the hot pan and cook on both sides until golden brown.
12. Repeat with the remaining dough rounds.
13. Let cool on a wire rack.

The dough should not be too sticky.
Add more water if it's too dry or more flour if it is too wet.
If you wish, you can add a little oil in the pan. It is not necessary, though.

Serving suggestions:
Eat those breads alone or with honey, "Hummus" (see recipe), "Baba Ganoush" (see recipe), "Lemony Beef And New Potato Tagine" (see recipe) or the dips/sauces of your choice (see my recipes).


~ Batbout M'Khamer ~
Recette par Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums et fortement inspirée par Minouchkah de "Passion Culinaire" (France).

Pour 3 pains.

300g de Farine blanche/fleur
100g de Semoule très fine (Semolina Di Grano Duro)
1 1/4 CC de Sel
1 Paquet (7g) de Levure sèche
300-320ml d'Eau tiède (pas chaude/en dessous de 50° C)

1. Mettre l'eau tiède dans un bol et saupoudrer avec la levure.
2. Mélanger pour dissoudre et laisser reposer, à température ambiante, jusqu'à ce que le mélange devienne mousseux, pendant environ 5 minutes.
3. Mélanger la farine, la semoule et le sel.
4. Faire un puits et ajouter le mélange eau/levure.
5. Mélanger afin d'obtenir une pâte homogène et pas très collante.
6. Pétrir pendant 8-10 minutes.
7. Diviser la pâte 3 trois portions égales.
8. Sur une surface farinée (avec la semoule), rouler chaque morceau de pâte afin d'obtenir un rond de 1cm d'épaisseur, puis couvrir avec un linge.

9. Laisser lever, à température ambiante, jusqu'à ce que la pâte ait doublé de volume, pendant 1 1/2 - 2 heures.
10. Chauffer une poêle épaisse à feu moyen, jusqu'à ce qu'elle devienne très chaude.
11. Cuire des deux côtés, jusqu'à ce que vos pains soient joliment dorés.
12. Répéter l'opération avec les 2 autres pains.
13. Laisser refroidir sur une grille.

La pâte ne doit pas être trop collante.
Ajouter un peu plus d'esu si elle est trop sèche ou un peu de farine si elle est trop collante.
Vous pouvez ajouter un peu d'huile dans la poêle bien que ça soit pas vraiment nécessaire.

Idées de présentation:
Les "Batbouts" se dégustent nature, sucrés avec du miel, servis avec du "Hummus" (voir ma recette), du "Baba Ganoush" (voir ma recette), un "Tajine Marocain Au Boeuf, Pommes De Terre Nouvelles Et Citron Confit" (voir ma recette) ou les dips/sauces de votre choix (voir mes recettes).

Monday, August 25, 2008


Have you ever wondered how baker's arms must have looked (in the past), when all the kneading was done by hand?

Ne vous êtes-vous jamais demandé à quoi les bras des boulangers devaient ressembler, dans le passé, lorsque tout le pétrissage était fait à la main?

"My Arm" by Jessica Brogan at "In Search Of Dessert" and "Flickr".

Well, here's an example...
All that muscle mass is the result of ten years of weekly breadmaking (see my bread recipes) without using any kitchen appliance such as a KA. Now, you know where I get all my sweating and fitness training done... In the kitchen, of course!!!

Et bien, voici un exemple...
Toute cette masse musculaire est le résultat de dix années de boulange (voir mes recettes de pain) hebdomadaire sans l'utilisation d'un Kitchen Aid ou d'aucune autre aide. Maintenant
, vous savez où je transpire le plus et où je fais mon fitness... Dans la cuisine, of course!!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008


This week, Samantha, Mr. Tigger and Mom Chandra at "As The Squillion Word Spins" (USA) are happy to announce that they are hosting Weekend Cat Blogging #168...

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.

When Maruschka is hungry, her attitude changes.
She then sits in a strange way and seems to have a hump.
Her eyes also grow bigger and she adopts the most bizarre, unflintching, sad & concentrated lazer-stare I have ever seen...
It is for that reason that two of her nicknames are "Big Eyes Smith" (named after the bluesman Willy "Big Eyes" Smith, Muddy Water's drummer) and "Humpus Maximus"!

Friday, August 22, 2008


Unfortunately, during my holidays, the weather wasn't all that great. It wasn't very sunny (as a matter of fact, it was rainy and quite disgustingly grey) and the temperatures were really low (18°-23°)...

Anyway, there were a few acceptably nice days, so we profited of those sunnier interludes in order to walk around the region and enjoy the landscapes.

The following pictures (click on the photos to enlarge) were taken in Veyrier, only 5-10 minutes away from my home. It is a very interesting walk (see my older posts on the subject: here and there) during which you cross the border (Swiss-French) a few times.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I'm quite a big "Pesto" amateur. I adore this sauce and it's always a delight to savour that Italian speciality whether I get to eat the original version (basil, pine nuts, parmesan & olive oil) or a more funky version made with various non-Italian ingredients. No matter which recipe I'm using, you can be sure that I'll devour my pestoed pasta with much appetite...

We all crave (well, at least most of us) "Pesto", because it's very tasty, always a great source of pleasure, extremely versatile and it meets most people's tastes (Italian food has always been very popular). Those are the keys to it's worldwide success.

I rarely make the same recipe in a row. Generally, I
invent recipes according to what's on hand and/or in season. I improvise a lot...

If I'm feeling lazy, I'll use my blender in order to make "Pesto", but, if I feel more like going the traditional way and sweating a little, then I use my giant Thai granite mortar and pestle. Both methods give similar results, yet I must say that I am more of a mortar and pestle person as it works really well, it's fun to use and the end product is somehow silkier, finer and creamier as well as more fragrant. All that pounding releases the essential oils that hold the flavors as well as aromas, and can also be quite therapeutic as it relieves us from negative feelings (anger, depression, frustration, etc...).

This gourmet "Feta, Almond & Cilantro Pesto" is a creation of my own. One day, I wanted to make some "Pesto", but I had no Parmigiano Reggiano, no pine nuts and no basil, so I took what I found in my refrigerator and cupboards. After a few minutes of intense thumping, I ended up with one of the most marvelous "Pesto" sauces I had ever tasted!

This white "Pesto" is fantastic. The buttery sweetness of the roasted almonds matches perfectly the tartness and creaminess of the feta as well as the aromatic, pungent and green taste of cilantro (coriander). A wonderful blend!

This sauce is terribly addictive and ever so delicious that you'll fall in love with it instantly!

~ Feta, Almond & Cilantro Pesto ~
Recipe by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums 2008.

Makes about 2 cups or enough for 4 pasta servings.

4 Cloves garlic
3/4 Cup Almonds, roasted
20g Cilantro/fresh coriander
1 Cup Feta cheese
1 Tbs Lemon juice
1 Tsp Thai hot chilli sauce
1/3 Tsp Paprika
1/3 Tsp Ground cumin
6 Tbs Extra-virgin olive oil
Ground black pepper, to taste

1. With processor running (see remarks if using a mortar and pestle), drop the garlic cloves into the machine and blend until finely chopped.
2. Add the almonds and the coriander.
3. Process until the almonds and coriander are finely chopp
4. Add the feta cheese, lemon juice, chilli sauce, paprika, cumin and 6 tablespoons olive oil.
5. Process again until well blended.

6. Transfer mixture into a small bowl and season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.

You can replace the almonds by any other nut of your choice (hazelnuts, walnuts, pecan, etc...) as long as they are roasted/toasted.
If you wish, this pesto can also be made with a mortar & pestle. It will result in a much finer & more fragrant paste.
It can be made a few days ahead. In that case, put in a jar, top with enough olive oil to cover and refrigerate for up to a week.

Serving suggestions:
Just toss a generous amount of this pesto on the pasta of your choice, use it as a filling for lasagna, canellonis, pasta shells, as a dressing for your potato salads, as a dip or spread it on bread or crackers...


~ Pesto A La Féta, Coriandre Et Aux Amandes ~
Recette par Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums 2008.

Pour environ 2 tasses de pesto ou pour 4 assiettes de pâtes.

4 Gousses d'ail
3/4 de Tasse d'Amandes torréifiées
20g de Coriandre fraîche
1 Tasse de Féta
1 CS de Jus de citron
1 CC de Sauce thaïe aux piments (forte)
1/3 CC de Paprika
1/3 CC de Cumin en poudre
6 CS d'Huile d'olive extra-vierge
Poivre noir fraîchement moulu, à volonté

1. Dans un blender (voir les "remarques" si vous utilisez un mortier), hacher finement l'ail.
2. Ajouter les amandes et la coriandre.
3. Mixer à nouveau, jusqu'à ce que les amandes et la coriandre soient très finement hachés.
4. Ajouter la féta, le jus de citron, la sauce aux piments, le paprika,
le cumin et l'huile d'olive.
5. Continuez à mixer afin d'obtenir une pâte homogène.
6. Transférer le mélange dans un bol et assaisonner avec le poivre.

Vous pouvez remplacer les amandes par n'importe quelle noix de votre choix (noix de Grenoble, noisettes, pécan, etc...), mais n'oubliez pas de les torréifier.
Ce pesto peut être fait quelques jours à l'avance. Dans ce cas, mettez-le dans un bocal et recouvrez la surface d'une couche d'huile d'olive, fermez le bocal et placez-le au frigo (pas plus d'une semaine).

Idées de présentation:
Mélangez ce pesto à vos pâtes préférées, utilisez-le comme farce pour vos lasagnes, canellonis, pâtes coquilles, étalez-le telle une pâte à tartiner sur du pain ou des biscottes, faites-en une sauce pour vos salades de pommes de terre ou servez-le comme dip...

Monday, August 11, 2008


From today until next week, I am taking a small break. I'm currently on holiday, at home (unfortunately).../Dès aujourd'hui et cela jusqu'à la semaine prochaine, je serai en vacances, à la maison (malheureusement)...

I will still be visiting you, but I will not blog. Anyway, I'll not be absent for a very long time as my next recipe will be posted on Wednesday the 20th of August!/Je vous rendrai visite, mais, par contre, je ne bloguerai pas. Tout de même, je ne serai pas absente pendant bien longtemps car mon prochain billet sera sur mon blog dès le mercredi 20 août!

See ya soon!/A bientôt!

Sunday, August 10, 2008


This week, a Special Food Edition is being hosted by "HotMBC" (USA) in honor of the very much missed Sher at "What Did You Eat" (USA).

To submit your kitty picture(s) or recipe, 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.

I would have loved to cook one of Sher's wonderful recipes for this edition of WCB...
Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time to do so.

Anyway, here are some pictures of Fridolin who tells me that things are not the same anymore since Sher has gone.
She used to flatter him so much!
Anyway, please click here in order to see Sherry's gorgeous "Potatoes Baked With Parmigiano" that I cooked in her honor a few weeks ago.

Friday, August 8, 2008


On the 8th of August 2005, I started my blog, wrote and launched my very first post without knowing where it was going to lead me or how it was going to develop. It was a totally new concept and unknown territory for me... Now, three years later, I am a hooked and assiduous blogger who can't imagine living without feeding this little baby or staying away from the blogging world for too long (not more than a day!), because I would miss it all soooooooooooooo much!

On this very special day, I wish to thank all my readers, blogging friends and followers for taking the time to stop by, leaving kind comments and believing in my culinary "talents". My blog would really not exist without YOU!!!

Read more here about my thoughts and feelings regarding the foodblogging world...


Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Being the spice addicted, Mediterranean as well as Middle Eastern cuisine lover that I am, I could just simply not live my life further without buying Claudia Roden's enchanting cookbook entitled "Arabesque: A Taste Of Morocco, Turkey and, Lebanon". That's why I ended up ordering that masterpiece from my favorite online retailer...

As Claudia Roden was born and raised in Cairo (Egypt) and knows that part of the world very intimately, all her recipes are authentic and taste real. Her marvelous dishes are very accessible, not fussy to make, yet they are delectable and have that sbtleness that characterizes the food of the Middle East.

"Arabesque: A Taste Of Morocco, Turkey and, Lebanon" is a very handy book that will be your perfect ally as thanks to it's in-depth quality content your palate is going to be spoilt, you'll travel through time and land without leaving your home, you'll discover exotic foods and you'll learn more about the culinary traditions of Morocco, Turkey and Lebanon.

As I had some Feta cheese to use and tons of zucchinis in my fridge, I chose to cook a Turkish recipe that would combine both ingredients. Fritters are very popular in the Middle East and when you eat those easy to make "Zucchini Fritters", you understand why, as they are so divine.

Those delicate vegetable pancakes are very similar to the Jewish "Zucchi
ni Latkes" (see info & recipes). They are fluffy and smooth in texture, like little pillows, and refined in taste. Their wonderful summery flavor comes from the exquisitely fragrant herbs which are used and the marvelous, light, yet sharp aroma of Feta cheese. Really mouthwatering!

That recipe offers you a great, fanciful as well as healthy way to accommodate zucchinis and serve a complete meal that will create a sensation at your table. Even the most stubborn vegetable hater will adore them!

Learn more about the Turkish cuisine and discover m
y "Lahmacuns - Turkish Pizzas" recipe by following this link: click here...

~ Zucchini Fritters (Kabak Mücveri) ~
Adapted from "Arabesque:
A Taste of Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon" by Claudia Roden.

Serves 3-4.

1 Large onion, coarsely choppe
3 Tbs Vegetable or sunflower oil, plus more for frying
1 Pound (450g) Zucchini, finely chopped
3 Eggs (~60g)
3-4 Tbs All-purpose flour
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 to 3 Sprigs of mint, chopped
2 to 3 Sprigs of dill, chopped
7 Oz (210g) Feta cheese, mashed with a fork

1. Fry the onion in 3 tablespoons oil over medium heat until it is soft and lightly colored.
2. Add the zucchini and sauté, stirring, until they, too, are soft.
3. In a bowl, beat the eggs with the flour until well blended.
4. Add pepper and the chopped herbs, and mix well.

5. Fold the mashed feta into the eggs, together with the cooked onions and zucchini.
6. Film the bottom of a preferably nonstick frying pan with oil and pour in the mixture by the half ladle (or 2 tablespoons) to make a few fritters at a time.
7. Turn each over once, and cook until both sides are browned a little.
8. Drain on paper towels and serve.

Chopping the zucchini finely means that you have to cut them into a "brunoise".
There is no need of salt because the feta cheese is already very salty.
These little fritters can be served hot or at room temperature.
They can also be made in advance and reheated.
You could replace the zucchinis by chopped carrots or red/yellow bell peppers and the mint by flat parsley.

Serving suggestions:
Serve as a starter/appetizer (meze dish) with plain yoghurt or other Middle Eastern as well as Mediterranean specialities such as "Baba Ganoush", "Greek Tzatziki" and "Hummus".
You can also make a meal of that dish and serve it with the salad of your choice.


~ Galettes Aux Courgettes ~
Recette tirée du livre "Arabesque:
A Taste of Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon" de Claudia Roden et adaptée par Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums.

Pour 3-4 personnes.

1 Gros onion, haché grossièrement

3 CS d'Huile végétale ou d'huile de tournesol, et plus pour frire les galettes
450g de Courgettes, hachées finement

3 Oeufs (~60g)
3 CS de Farine blanche/fleur
Poivre noir moulu, à volonté
2 à 3 Brins de menthe, hachés
2 à 3 Brins d'Aneth, hachés
210g de Feta, écrasée avec une fourchette

1. Faites revenir l'onion haché dans 3 CS d'huile, à feu moyen, jusqu'à ce
qu'il soit légèrement doré et cuit.
2. Ajouter les courgette hachées et faites revenir, tout en remuant constamment, jusqu'à ce qu'elles soient tendres.
3. Dans un bol, battre les oeufs
avec la farine, jusqu'à obtention d'un mélange homogène.
4. Ajouter le poivre et les herbes hachées, puis bien mélanger.

5. Incorporer la féta au mélange oeufs/farine et faire de même avec les onions et la courgette.
6. Mettre de l'huile dans une poêle antiadhésive et y déposer 2 CS du mélang
e (faire quelques petit tas).
7. Retourner chaque galette et faire frire afin que les deux côtés soient dorés.
8. Mettre sur du papier absorbant et servir.

Vos courgettes doivent être coupées en brunoise.
Vous n'avez pas besoin de saler à cause de la féta.
Ces petites galettes peuvent être mangées chaudes ou à température ambiante.
Elles peuvent aussi être préparées à l'a
vance et réchauffées.
Les cougettes peuvent être remplacées par des carottes ou des poivrons rouges/jaunes coupés en brunoise et la menthe par du persil plat.

Idées de présentation:
Servez cette spécialités pour l'apéritif (mezze) ou en tant qu'entrée avec du yaourt nature ou des plats méditérranéens ou moyen-orientaux tels que le "Baba Ganoush", le "Tzatziki" et le "Hummus".
Vous pouvez aussi en faire un repas complet si vous accompagnés ces galettes par une salade de votre choix.