Friday, September 28, 2012


Rice Basmati 1 2 bis
Rice is a beautiful food.
It is beautiful when it grows, precision rows of sparkling green stalks shooting up to reach the hot summer sun.
It is beautiful when harvested, autumn gold sheaves piled on diked, patchwork paddies.
It is beautiful when, once threshed, it enters granary bins like a (flood) of tiny seed-pearls.
It is beautiful when cooked by a practiced hand, pure white and sweetly fragrant.
- Shizuo Tsuji

There was a Young Person of Bantry,
Who frequently slept in the pantry;
When disturbed by the mice,
she appeased them with rice
That judicious Young Person of Bantry.
- Edward Lear, English artist and writer (1812-1888)
Rice is such a marvelous staple. What makes it so indispensable and irresistible is its incredible versability, great nutritional value (contains fibers, vitamins and minerals - an important component of a balanced diet),  refined savor and the many varieties in which it comes. One cannot get tired of eating this God-given cereal as not only is it healthy, but it is also a really scrumptious comodity.

Being a big fan of Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines, I am literally addicted to Basmati (
grown in the Himalayas and Pakistan) and Thai jasmine rice (cultivated in Thailand, but farmed in other similarly warm and moist environments too), hence I never fail to include one or the other in my weekly menu plan. Their
uniqueness and wonderfully soft texture as well as an exhalirating fragrance (aromas that are reminiscent of toasted nuts and/or popcorn) are remarkably compelling and irresistible. A real delight for the senses!

Over the course of the years, a handful of friends have asked me asked me to enlighten them on the art of preparing those exotic grains without failing and I've realised that few people know how to obtain light and tender rice which isn't mushy nor cloggy. It seems that a majority of food lovers are still clueless when it comes to cooking Basmati and Thai jasmine rice. So, because I am a generous blogger who enjoys helping others, I thought that it would be a good idea to reveal my no-fail method for steaming and creatively flavoring both rices here today. In addition, I have decided to share a fabulous recipe for Indian pulao (or pilaf) with you in this post
. Hopefully, my tips will prove helpful!

Directions For The Steamed Rice
Recipe by Rosa Mayland, September 2012.

You'll need 2 quantities rice (basmati or jasmine rice) for 3 1/2 quantities water - for ex. 2 scant cups rice & 3 1/2 scant cups water (serves 4). No matter the size of the recipient, always keep a 2 : 31/2 ratio!

1. In a strainer, rince your rice well, until the water runs clear - if you don't, the rice will end up being stodgy and not fluffy at all.
2. Put together the rinced rice and water in a pan (add a little salt when cooking basmati rice).

3. Bring to the boil over high heat while stirring intermittently, then lower the heat to a very low simmer and immediately cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for 12 minutes without opening the lid or stiring the rice - this would delay the entire procedure, and affect the actual time required to cook the rice as well as the rice's texture.
4. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand for another 12 minutes without opening the lid or stiring the rice.

5. Once the time's up, you can lift the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Although the rice is ready, I recommend you to let it stand for another 15 minutes in the pan (lid on & fluffed) as it'll just be perfect if you give it a few more minutes to "breathe".
Voilà it's ready!

Rice Basmati 3 1 bis
Tips for adding life to your rice:
Now that you have learnt the basic rule for steaming your rice, you can try experimenting with spices (cumin, curcuma, cardamom, black pepper, chilli, zest, rose petals, etc... - add to the cooking water, at step 2 or fry in a bit of oil before adding the rice and water just like in the pulao recipe below) and herbs (bay leaves, tea leaves, curry leaves or kaffir lime leaves - add at the very beginning of the cooking process, at step 2 or fry in a bit of oil before adding the rice and water just like in the pulao recipe below - or fresh herbs such as cilantro - add once the rice has been cooked, at the end of step 5). They'll give this side dish a little oomph and make it even more appealing.

Another way of flavoring your rice is by substituting some of the cooking water with another liquid (coconut milk, stock, pineapple juice, tea, tamari, rose water, etc...) or by incorporating dried fruits (raisins, apricots, dates, cranberries, barberries, etc...), nuts (almonds, cashews, chestnuts, etc...) or even vegetables (peas, diced peppers, macedoine of carrots, chopped onions, pureed garlic, etc...) to the rice and water at step 2.

Be inspired and let your imagination run wild!

Rice Bug 1 4 bis
Méthode Pour La Cuisson Du Riz
Recette par Rosa Mayland, septembre 2012.

Il vous faut 2 quantités de riz pour 3 1/2 quantités d'eau - par ex. 2 tasses de riz et 3 1/2 tasses d'eau (pour 4 personnes). Les proportions restent les mêmes peu importe la taille du récipient!
1. Dans une passoire, rincer le riz jusqu'à ce que l'eau du lavage soit claire, puis le faire égoutter - si cette étape est négligée, alors votre riz sera collant, lourd et pâteux au lieu d'être léger et moelleux..

2. Réunir le riz avec l'eau dans une casserole (ajouter un peu de sel lors de la cuisson du riz basmati).
3. Porter à ébullition, tout en remuant de temps en temps. Dès que le riz commence à bouillir, immédiatement baisser le feu (très petit bouillons) et couvrir avec un couvercle hérmétique. Faire cuire pendant 12 minutes - sans ouvrir le couvercle ni remuer le riz autrement cela ralentirait la cuisson du riz et aurait une incidence sur le temps réel nécessaire afin qu'il soit prêt ainsi que sur sa texture.
4. Retirer la casserole du feu et laisser reposer pendant 12 minutes sans jamais ouvrir le couvercle ni remuer le riz

5. Une fois que les 12 minutes se sont écoulées, vous pouvez soulever le couvercle et égréner le riz avec une fourchette. Bien que le riz soit prêt, je vous recommande de la laisser encore reposer, dans la casserole fermée, pendant 15 minutes supplémentaires car de cette manière il aura quelques minutes de plus pour "respirer" et sera juste parfait. 
Voilà c'est prêt!

Astuces afin de donner plus de peps à votre riz:

Maintenant que vous avez appris la méthode de base pour cuire votre riz, vous pouvez dès lors essayer d'expérimenter avec des épices (cumin, curcuma, cardamome, poivre noir, piment, le zeste, pétales de rose, etc .. - à ajouter à l'eau de cuisson, au point 2 ou faire revenir dans un peu d'huile avant d'ajouter le riz et l'eau, comme pour le pilaf ci-dessous) et des herbes (feuilles de laurier, de thé, de curry ou de lime kaffir - à ajouter à l'eau de cuisson, au point 2 ou faire revenir dans un peu d'huile avant d'ajouter le riz et l'eau, comme pour le pilaf ci-dessous - ou des herbes fraîches telles que la coriandre laquelle sera ajoutée une fois que le riz aura été cuit,  au point 5) qui arômatiseront merveilleusement votre riz et le rendront plus attrayant.

Une autre façon de parfumer son riz est de remplacer un peu de l'eau de cuisson par un autre liquide (du lait de coco, du bouillon, du jus d'ananas, du thé, du tamari, de l'eau de rose, etc ..) ou d'incorporer des fruits secs (raisins, abricots, dattes, canneberges, épine-vinette/barberries, etc ..), des noix (amandes, noix de cajou, châtaignes, etc ..) ou même des légumes (petits pois, poivrons en dés, carotte coupés en macédoine, oignons hachés, ail en purée, etc ..) à l'eau de cuisson, au point 2.

Soyez inspirés et laissez courir votre imagination!

Rice Bug 2 4

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Cow Portrait 1 9 bis
- Horny Beauty -

Apple 1 7 bis
- Harvest Time Delicacies -

These pictures have been submitted to "Black & White Wednesday", an event created by Susan at "The Well-Seasoned Cook" (for more information on future hosting and roundup, click here).

Friday, September 21, 2012


Eton Mess 4 1 bis
A cook, when I dine, seems to me a divine being, who from the depths of his kitchen rules the human race. One considers him as a minister of heaven, because his kitchen is a temple, in which his ovens are the altar.
- Marc Antoine Désaugiers
Even though being betrayed by your camera or computer, denied access to your blog platform, or lacking all inspiration is bad enough, having your cooker die on you is probably one of the worst things that any foodblogger and pastry lover can experience as it leaves you feeling completely lost and powerless. Without this essential piece of home appliance (my personal favorite together with my KA), your major working tool, you are absolutely nothing! Well, that's exactly what happened to me not long ago. A terrible and stressful nightmare especially if you are quasi-penniless and cannot afford to buy a replacement straight away.

It all started the day my basic and not so posh, yet beloved 14 years old Bosch oven decided that he was getting tired of the relentless (
over)use I made of him and merciless treatment he was getting, so he took revenge on me by gradually falling to pieces until he finally fell “dead” on a sunny afternoon in August. What a Machavellian rascal!

Firstly, the left oven door spring broke, then shortly after the right-side spring crumbled into tiny pieces, and as a result I had to keep the door shut by placing a stool in front of it. Of course, the next catastrophe inevitably had to take place during an absent-minded moment ]..[

So, if you are interested in reading more about my oven misadventures and eager to discover my new recipe, then please head over to the The Rambling Epicure, a daily international food chronicle and online newspaper for which I am a freelance writer and ponder on the meaning as well as significance of food in everyday life. There you'll find my latest article "The Warrior Cook And Quetsch Plum Eton Mess" which I hope you'll enjoy...

Etant donné que beaucoup de mes lecteurs francophones ne comprennent pas forcément l'anglais et que malheureusement peu d'entre-eux auront la chance de lire mon dernier billet en date sur The Rambling Epicure, je me suis permise de traduire la recette qui y figure afin que vous puissiez aussi en profiter car je pense qu'elle pourra vous intéresser.

J'espère que mon "Eton Mess Aux Quetsches
" vous plaira car c'est un dessert de saison qui est divinement succulent et merveilleusement parfumé. Cette spécialité figure au patrimoine britannique et a vu le jour dans les années 30 à la très élitiste et select Université d'Eton. A l'origine, il était servi avec des fraises, des bananes et de la glace. La version que nous connaissons actuellement (avec la meringue et uniquement de la crème ainsi que des fruits) est apparue bien plus tard. De nos jours, ce pouding est encore servi lors de la traditionnelle remise des prix de fin d'année académique...

Bien entendu, l'Eton Mess (ou le "bazar d'Eton") que je vous présente ici aujourd'hui est une adaptation revampée de cette gourmandise que j'ai concoté lorsque je me suis retrouvée sans four pendant quelques semaines (il a bien fallu improviser). Un pur délice!

Eton Mess Aux Quetsches
Recette par Rosa Mayland, septembre 2012.

Pour 4 verrines/personnes.

240g de Compote de questches
4 +1 Meringues de la Gruyère (ou n'importe quelles autres meringues du commerce)
170g de Ricotta
180g de Crème aigre/fraîche/sûre
35g de Sucre glace
2 Pincées de Poivre long en poudre
2 CS de Pistaches hachées, pour la garniture


1. Mettre la ricotta, la crème, le sucre glace et la poudre de poivre long dans le bol de votre batteur électrique. Battre jusqu'à formation de pics mous et obtention d'une consistance mousseuse.
3. Verser 1 cuillère à soupe de la compote dans le fond de chaque verrine, étaler environ 2 cuillères à soupe du mélange ricotta/crème, puis grossièrement émietter 1/3 d'une meringue sur le dessus (une meringue par verrine).
4. Répéter le processus avec le reste des ingrédients.
5. Garnir le dessus des verrines avec 1/4 de la meringue restante (la 5ième) et saupoudrer avec 1/4 des pistaches hachées.
6. Servir immédiatement.


Veuillez vous assurer que la compote de prunes n'est pas trop liquide (faite avec des prunes et de sucre seulement - sans ajout d'eau).
Si vous le souhaiteez, vous pouvez préparer vos propres meringues suisses (voir la recette)
. Les miennes ont été achetées dans le commerce car lors de le préparation de ce dessert mon four était hors-service.
La crème aigre/fraîche/sûre peut être remplacé par de la crème double et le poivre long par tout autre épice de votre choix (vanille, cannelle, piment de la Jamaïque, tonka, etc ..).

Suggestions d'accompagnement:
Servir comme dessert avec un verre de vin blanc pétillant (Champagne, Moscatto, Clairette de Die, etc ..) ou une tasse de café.

Eton Mess 3 3 bis

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Cow Backside 1 5 bis
- A Cow's Life -

Tractor 1 9 bis
- The Fields Which Feed Us -

Both pictures were submitted to "Black & White Wednesday", an event created by Susan at "The Well-Seasoned Cook". It will be hosted on the 26th of September by Cinzia at "Cindystar"(click here in order to see who is hosting the next roundup).

Friday, September 14, 2012


Ce monde fascinant a pourtant vite fait d'envahir votre quotidien, au point de changer votre manière de voir la nourriture...
Au bout d'un moment, vous ne verrez plus les aliments tels quels mais comme un mélange de couleurs, de formes et d'idées prêtes à être imprimées sur une photographie pour transmettre toutes ces complexes sensations...
- Mouna Abdelli 
 "Photo Gourmande: Conseils d'Une Blogueuse Culinaire" par Mouni Abdelli

Au printemps dernier, la talentueuse blogueuse, photographe autodidacte (elle travaille également pour l’agence Sucré-Salé) et pâtissière passionnée Mouni du blog français "RDV Aux Mignardises" a eu l'extrême gentillesse de me faire parvenir son premier livre entièrement dédié à la photographie numérique culinaire. Un geste qui me remplit de joie...

Bien enetendu, comme je suis un procrastinatrice notoire, il m'a fallu plusieurs mois avant de m'atteler à la tâche et enfin écrire une critique de son merveilleux ouvrage. Mais comme dit l'adage "mieux vaut tard que jamais", donc voici mes impressions!

Articulé en cinq chapitres*, "Photo Gourmande" (disponible aux Editions Eyrolles ou sur est un livret qui passe en revue les informations techniques et artistiques a maitriser afin que vous puissiez réaliser correctement vos photographies ainsi que les améliorer:
- Le premier vous aidera à bien comprendre les bases de la photo pour obtenir le meilleur de votre boitier numérique.
- Le second aborde le stylisme et la composition.
- Les chapitres 3 et 4 vous expliqueront les notions de lumières naturelles et artificielles et comment les utiliser.
- Le cinquième chapitre explique le post-traitement des fichiers.
Enfin, en annexe, vous découvrirez un chapitre bonus avec notamment la participation des 11 blogueurs gagnants du concours de photographie culinaire dont 5 y partagent leur propre expérience.

Un manuel complet que je conseille vivement aux gastronomes blogueurs et notamment aux photographes débutants qui désirent se familiariser avec les bases de le photographie de même qu'au amateurs moyennement éclairés qui veulent se perfectionner et aller plus loin dans leur démarche créative. Ce guide en format de poche très pratique est astucieux, riche en illustrations et truffé de conseils détaillés pour réussir vos images tel un pro tout en restant à la portée de tous. Parfait pour construire de bonnes bases, explorer l'univers de la capture de clichés gastronomiques et immortaliser ses meilleures plats! 

*Le Contenu:
Le bon matériel - Le « triangle d’exposition » - Les modes créatifs - À quoi sert la balance des blancs ? - Le format de fichier : JPEG ou RAW ?
La préparation de la scène - Composer - Chercher l’inspiration
Observer la lumière - La qualité de la lumière - Adoucir et diffuser
Photographier au flash - Sous les projecteurs ! - Ampoules « lumière du jour » - Pas à pas : Fabriquer sa boîte à lumière
Chacun son logiciel - Logiciels de traitement des fichiers RAW - Développer simplement un fichier RAW - Et après ?
Making of - Paroles de blogueurs - Pour se former et persévérer - 10 conseils

Apple Juice 1 4 bis
- Drinks On A Terrace -
(Taken with a 50mm f/1.4 lens at aperture f/5, shutterspeed 1/160s and ISO 200)

Exercises In Food Photography #5 - Adding Some Life To Your Photographs

After having intensely used my basic NIKKOR 18-55mm f/5.6 lens for the last 4 years, I decided to treat myself to a new one. Yes, as you can see, I finally bought a NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4 with my meager savings (once I hope I'll be able to upgrade my DSLR) and I'm really thrilled about my purchase!!!

Now, it follows me everywhere I go as it is a a killer prime lens which gives me the opportunity to take brighter and sharper pictures without being too tributary of the intensity of the light (more efficient in situations when natural or artificial luminescence is low). Perfect for food photography with shallow depth of field and for urban/landscape/travel sceneries as well as portraits.

As I need excercise, I thought that it would be a good idea to carry my camera with me when P. and I went our for a drink around the lakeside in Hermance. So, while we were enjoying our cold apple juice and ice tea on the terrace of the little camping site café, I used that setting for creating summery photos and incorporating my boyfriend into them.

I am still getting acquainted to my 50mm lens, but for a first try, the results were really satisfying and following that successful experience, I'm ready to shoot more staged food photography in the near future. I feel that we are going to have some fun time together!

Please note that this is my participation to"Exercises In Food Photography #5", an event created and hosted by Aparna at My Diverse Kitchen.

P 1 4 eyes bis
- P., Unwillingly Playing The Model And  Giving Me A Dirty Look -
(Taken with a 50mm f/1.4 lens at aperture f/5, shutterspeed 1/160s and ISO 200)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Meringues 1 8 bis

Amarula 2 5 bis
- Happy Hour: Liqueur & Peanuts -

Both pictures were submitted to "Black & White Wednesday", an event created by Susan at "The Well-Seasoned Cook". It will be hosted on the 19th of September by Haloo of "Cook Almost Anything" (click here in order to see who is hosting the next roundup).

* Not homemade, this time. They come from Gruyère (not the cheese, but the district).

Friday, September 7, 2012


Quark Zucchini Dip 9 3 bis
Who knows where inspiration comes from. Perhaps it arises from desperation. Perhaps it comes from the flukes of the universe, the kindness of the muses.
- Amy Tan

And immersion in random absurdity can be a perfect remedy to thinking too much. It leads to art and science. It leads to madness and inspiration. It leads to fun.
-  Chris Corner of IAMX
Inspiration comes in many forms and shapes. It can be found serendipitiously at any moment (while you shower, eat breakfast, have a walk, meditate, etc... - especially during downtime as then your mind is free and you have the opportunity to be reflective), everywhere and in everything (books, music, photography, movies, beauty, ugliness, news reports, sad/tragic or happy events, people, acts of courage/kindness/cruelty, mistakes, smells, nature, memories, etc...). In order to connect with it, one just needs to open wide his/her soul and heart, be receptive to its calling and remember that it is as slippery as soap, as ephemeral as a rainbow, as fragile as a butterfly and as impalpable as a ghost.

It is wildly rampant, exhaliratingly magical, a kind of cosmic drug that sets you on fire, puts you in a semi-shamanic trance, makes you feel invicible and linked to the Universe, an awesome productivity multiplier, a great encourager, an amazing enthusiasmer as well as a terrific motivator. Its purpose is the arousal of our emotions and the elevation of our mind, but sadly, as it is the case with all that has the particularity of being immaterial, you cannot summon it at will or bottle it up for later use.

Quark Zucchini Dip 4 1 bis
Inspiration is in seeing a part of the whole with the part of the whole in you.
- Kahlil Gibran

Inspirations never go in for long engagements; they demand immediate marriage to action.
- Brendan Francis

Just like a vision or revelation, it generally grabs you unexpectedly, comes in a flash, hits you without warning and is highly perishable. During a very short lapse of time, ideas sparkle/fuse and start to form, but this state of awareness doesn't last eternally, so if you don't act immediately and capture those visions or thoughts on the spot, they tend to fade and disappear as quickly as it came.

Hence, it is good to know when you are prone to intellectual enlightment (aka peaks of brilliance - mine come mainly in the morning and occasionally in the evening) and always be ready to beat the iron while it's burning hot and make sure that you keep a consistant physical trace (more than scribblings, voice memos or sketches) of your creative meanderings.

You have to tap this source before the well of wonders tarishes as illumination will not wait for you. Once the train has left it will not come back,therefore, it is important to run with it, to let it sweep you away, to capitalize and focus completely on it as well as optimize it whenever you have the opportunity and not to be parasited by anything or anyone during these brief periods of sheer clarity. In one word, understand how your think tank functions, learn to make space in your day for your inspiration to proliferate furiously and try to momentarily isolate yourself from the outside world. You'll fastly see results if you follow those basic rules.

Regrettably, it is impossible to be constantly touched by divine grace and unfortunately, sometimes we have to go through a few depressingly and ego-shattering dry spells (writer's/painter's/composer's/etc... block) before we get our mojo back and chanel the spirits of ingenuity again. Happily, these phases are mostly not everlasting and a short break from the routine usually solves the problem. You'll be surpised to see in which manner doing something completely different or escaping to a happy and different place (holidays, a hike, a nap, visiting a friend or family, going out to eat, aimlessly watching a program on TV or surfing the net, etc...) can have a positive impact on your productivety/artistic performance.

Thankfully for me, those frustratingly infructuous  intervals rarely go on forever. It seems that I am always able to draw inspiration from whatever surrounds me (I even marvel at the stupidest and meaningless of things) and nearly never fails to find subjects to write about or compose innovative eats. I guess this has a lot to do with the fact that I am a person whose brain rarely rests and is like an erupting volcano, a daydreamer with an insatiable curiosity and an individual who has kept my inner child alive.

If you give me one simple ingredient and ask me to invent a meal, you can be pretty sure that I'll come up with a recipe which is far from being ordinary and has a zest of originality. Developping dishes without having to cogitate much is one of my strong points as I am capable of summuning my culinary genius easily.

For example, a few days ago, I had some
quark (fresh cheese which can be found in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Russia, etc...) in my fridge and really wanted to sublime it by transforming it into a fresh, tasty, healthy and summery sauce which could be poured cold over boiled potatoes, accompany hot or cold staples and be used in multiple ways (dip, spread and dressing), so that's how I concocted a succulent and versatile "Quark And Zucchini Sauce". Perfect for this transitional season...

I am really thrilled and proud to announce that Rosa's Yummy Yums is listed on SAVEUR's "Sites We Love"!!! A dream come true... To read my interview, please head over there.

Quark Zucchini Dip 6 2 bis
Quark Zucchini Dip 8 3 bis

Sauce Multi-Usage Au Séré Et A La Courgette
Recette par Rosa Mayland, Septembre 2012.

Pour environ 2 tasses.

250g de Séré/fromage blanc (demi-gras de préférence)
1 Petite (150g) Courgettes, râpée
2 Oeufs durs, hachés
1 Gousse d'ail, finement hachée
1 Echalote, finement hachée
2 CS de Graines de citrouille, torréfiées et finement hachées
2 CC de Pesto (fait maison ou acheté)
1 CC de Zeste de citron (bio)
1 Pincée de Poudre de piment de la Jamaïque
Tabasco rouge, selon goût
Poivre noir fraîchement moulu, selon goût
Sel de mer fin, selon goût

1. Mélanger tous les ingrédients ensemble.
2. Servir.

Quark Zucchini Dip 2 2 bis
Vous pouvez remplacer le séré par un autre fromage frais (de chèvre, de brebis ou de vache) de votre choix, du yaourt grec, un mélange de ricotta et de crème fraîche (2 parts/1 part), du mascarpone ou du cream cheese (n'oubliez pas que le mascarpone et le cream cheeese sont beaucoup plus riches que le séré demi-gras).

Suggestion d'accompagnement:
Servir comme dip avec des légumes crus en bâtonnets ou en tranches (carottes, concombre, courgette, céleri branche, poivron, champignons de Paris, chou-fleur, jicama, etc...).
Servir comme tartinade avec du pain ou des craquelins.
Servir comme sauce avec du poisson (truite, saumon, cabillaud, etc...), de la viande grillée, des pommes de terre en robe des champs, des frites au four, des légumes vapeur ou des pâtes.

Servir comme sauce à salade (pommes de terres, pâtes, riz ou légumes grillés).

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Props 1 7 bis
- Pretty Props -*
- Wild Blackberry -

Both pictures were submitted to "Black & White Wednesday", an event created by Susan at "The Well-Seasoned Cook". It will be hosted on the 12th of September by herself (click here in order to see who is hosting the next roundup).

* Tea light holder (I use it as verrine) and vintage English horse brass (a traditional pub decoration).