Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Orange 1 11 bis
- Bloody Pleasures -

This picture was submitted to "Black & White Wednesday", an event created by Susan at "The Well-Seasoned Cook". It will be hosted on the 6th of March by Zorra at "1x Umrühren Bitte Aka Kochtopf" (click here in order to see who is hosting the next roundup).

Friday, February 22, 2013


February is a suitable month for dying. Everything around is dead, the trees black and frozen so that the appearance of green shoots two months hence seems preposterous, the ground hard and cold, the snow dirty, the winter hateful, hanging on too long.
- Anna Quindlen, One True Thing

February, when the days of winter seem endless and no amount of wistful recollecting can bring back any air of summer.
- Shirley Jackson, Raising Demons
Although I am a big fan of winter, I have to admit that February and its uniform skies, blizzardy snowfalls, heavy sleet storms, anesthetizing as well as frigid north winds and fair share of viruses can be quite a trying, unforgiving and monotonous month. Although the season of renewal is getting closer by the minute and the first signs of spring can already be witnessed (catkins hanging from trees, chaffinches and blackbirds singing crazily, snowdrops flowering, daffodils and primroses peeking out of the ground, etc...), this in-between period of the year is definitely not my favorite as it has the aura of a dull Soviet no-man's land or of a waiting room in a Bolshevik hospital.

Painfully murky and depressingly characterless days endlessly follow one another until the point where all this blandness numbs us and the zombie mode kicks in. It is an indubitable fact that dense opaque fog, serious lack of sunlight, bitter air and polar temperatures get the best of us as this lethal combination contributes to weakening our immune system and deminishing our high spririts. Hence it is extremely important that we don't forget to take good care of our mental and well as physical wellness.

Beetroot & Orange Salad 1 5 bis
It is totally normal to feel exhausted and a little feeble when the weather is so unfriendly and our lifetsyles go against the cosmic rhythm. After all, we cannot constantly be 110% productive and ask our bodies to be invicible if we don't comply to earth's laws, pamper ourselves and accept that we are not limitless machines. So, eventhough our lives are full of unchosen obligations (going to work no matter how we are feeling and having to be equally productive on a constant basis, adopting artificial schedules dictated by our modern world, suffering from insufficient sleep and peace,  etc...), it is nonetheless our responsability to nurture our well-being and inner harmony as much as humanly possible given the circumstances.

This is the reason why I try add harmony to my existence, slow down whenever I can, have activities which uplift my soul (listen to music, read, watch movies, cook/bake, meditate, go out for walks, etc...) and eat particularly wholesomely during Jack Frosts' reign. As a result, illnesses rarely affect me (I usually only get a runny nose and sore throat), my energy level is mostly high, 90% of the time my brain is active like a rat, I am generally fairly chirpy and the only blues I experience is played by talented musicians...

Beetroot & Orange Salad 3 5 bis
The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent, not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious.
- Tom Robbins

Salad "freshens without enfeebling and fortifies without irritating.
- Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826)
One of my preferred health allies is beetroot. Not only is this globe vegetable fantastically versatile, mighty scrumptious and remarkably colorful, but it is also a great source of potassium, magnesium and iron as well as vitamins A, B6 and C, folic acid, carbohydrates, protein, powerful antioxidants and soluble fibre; ideal for boosting stamina, reducing risks of osteoporosis, strokes and heart attacks, bringing down blood pressure, stabilizing blood sugar, lowering cholesterol, helping slow the progression of dementia, treating anemia and fatigue. A highly nutritious and powerful ball of goodness which I am never tired of transforming into mouthwatering meals and seeing in my plate!

I'm not sure if it has something to do with my body sending me subliminal messages or if Mother Nature's imminent awakening is in cause, but lately, beets, oranges and wonderfully crunchy raw vegetables have been a lot on my mind and I have been constantly dreaming of bringing vibrant hues to the table as well as yearning for citrusy flavors.

Cravings can be very strong and as a rule, it is rather difficult to get rid of them, unlless they have been fulfilled. Anyway, thankfully for me my urge for hearty fare was legitimate and represented no threat to my organism (I would have resisted it otherwise), so I had no other choice than to enter my culinary temple in a jiffy and proceed to create a delightfully tasty, psychedelic and nutrient-ladden "Beetroot and Orange Salad" which I served for supper.

This zesty, refined and substantial cold dish met a frank success and brought happiness to the dinning table. P. asked for seconds and thirds, and we fiercely devoured it, leaving no leftovers. Had it been a platter of homemade pasta or a juicy steak, I don't think it would have gone down any faster or better. Simply perfect!

Beetroot & Orange Salad 10 6 bis
Beetroot And Orange Salad 
Recipe by Rosa Mayland, February 2013.

Serves 2 (as main course) or 4 (as side dish).

Ingredients For The "Salad Dressing":
The juice of 1 organic lemon
1 Clove garlic, crushed (optional)
2 Tbs Olive oil
1 Tsp Mild soy Sauce
1 Tsp Yellow or sweet mustard
1 Tsp Runny honey
1/2 Tsp Sriracha
1 Pinch ground allspice
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Ingredient For The "Salad":
1 Big raw beetroot, peeled and finely shredded
2 Tarocco oranges, filleted (see method)
1/4 Cup (30g) Hazelnuts, roasted and coarsely chopped
The rind of one organic lemon 
Sprouted alfalfa

Beetroot & Orange Salad 2 5 bis
Method For The "Salad Dressing":
1. Whisk all the ingredients together and set aside.
Method For "Plating The salad":
2. Place the grated beetroot* on the plates.
3. Drizzle the salad dressing* over the beetroot.
4. Prettily arrange the orange segments* over the beetroot.
5. Sprinkle the hazelnuts* and the grated lemon rind* over the salad.
6. Top with a handful of sprouted alfalfa*.
7. Serve immediately.

You can replace the allspice by 1/2 Tsp ground cumin, the Tarocco oranges by Moro or Navel oranges and the sprouted alfalfa by any other sprouted seeds of your choice (beetroot, onion, sesame, etc...).
The clove garlic is totally optional. Instead, try flavoring your salad with an onion which you'll cut in half and slice very thinly, then arrange nicely over the grated beetroot (before adding the orange segments).

Serving suggestions:
Serve this salad as main course, with slices of pumpernickel bread or as side dish in accompaniment to a casseroles, gratin or some barbecued meat.

* In equal quantities (either 1/2 or 1/4, depending on how many people you are going to serve).

Beetroot & Orange Salad 7 5 bis
Salade De Betterave À l'Orange
Recette par Rosa Mayland, Février 2013.

Pour 2 personnes (plat principal) ou 4 personnes (plat d'accompagnement).

Ingrédients Pour La "Vinaigrette": 

Le jus d'un citron bio
1 Gousse d'ail, écrasée (facultatif)
2 CS d'Huile d'olive
1 CC de Sauce soja douce
1 CC de Moutarde douce
1 CC de Miel liquide
1/2 CC de Sriracha
1 Pincée de Poudre de piment de la Jamaïque
Sel de mer, selon goût
Poivre noir fraîchement moulu, selon goût
Ingrédients Pour La "Salade":
1 Grosse betterave crue, pelée et finement râpée

2 Oranges Tarocco, découpée en quartiers (voir méthode)
30g de Noisettes, torréfiées et grossièrement hachées

Le zeste d'un citron bio
Pousses d'alfalfa/luzerne (graines germées)

Beetroot & Orange Salad 9 6 bis
Méthode Pour La "Vinaigrette":
1. Mélanger ensemble tous les ingrédients pour la vinaigrette et mettre de côté.
Méthode Pour La "Présentation De La Salade":
2. Disposer la betterave râpée * sur les assiettes.
3. Verser la vinaigrette* sur la betterave.
4. Arranger joliment les quartiers d'orange* sur la betterave.
5. Saupoudrer avec les noisettes* et le zeste de citron râpé*.
6. poser une petite poignée de luzerne germée* sur le dessus de la salade.
7. Servir immédiatement.

Vous pouvez remplacer le piment de la Jamaïque en poudre par 1/2 CC de cumin en poudre, les oranges Tarocco par des oranges Moro ou Navel et la luzerne germée par les graines germées de votre choix (betterave, oignon, sésame, etc ..).

L'ail est totalement facultatif. Afin de donner plus de saveur à votre salade, un oignon finement coupé fera parfaitement l'affaire (ajoutez-le juste avant les quartiers d'orange).

Suggestions d'accompagnement:
Servir cette salade comme plat principal, avec des tranches de pain pumpernickel ou comme plat d'accompagnement avec un plat au four, un gratin ou de la viandes grillée.

* En quantités égales (soit 1/2 ou 1/4, selon le nombre de personnes que vous allez servir).

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Hazelnuts 1 7 bis
- Precious Hazelnuts -

This picture was submitted to "Black & White Wednesday", an event created by Susan at "The Well-Seasoned Cook". It will be hosted on the 27th of February by Simona at "Briciole" (click here in order to see who is hosting the next roundup).


I have the pleasure to announce that I have been interviewed by my very good friend, lovely ex-neighbor and talented artist Jessica Brogan! So, if you want to learn a little more about me, then head over to her wonderful blog.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Tapioca Verrine 1 9 bis
- Vintage Elegance -

This picture was submitted to "Black & White Wednesday", an event created by Susan at "The Well-Seasoned Cook". It will be hosted on the 20th of February by Shruthi at "Food Clicks" (click here in order to see who is hosting the next roundup).

Friday, February 8, 2013


Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results.
- Willie Nelson

You want a good life, get rid of bad people...It's amazing how quickly it changes.
- Marlon Wayans
In order to lead a calm, relaxed, harmonious, peaceful and healthy existence, one MUST methodically remove all forms of happiness hindering and polluting toxicity from his/her world. It is absolutely impossible to move forward in life if our mental and physical vitality is constantly sucked dry by our unsound habits and the negativity surrounding us.

Parasites and poisons of all kinds are dangerous for our well-being, hence this is the reason why I avoid psychologically harmful individuals, sly snakes and evil egomaniacs who give off bad vibes, drain me from my my energy, complot against my sanity, drag me down and wear me out with their sick power plays, manipulative ways, pessimism, cynism, hate, frustration, bitterness, gloominess and overall lack of positivety.

This witch-hunt doesn't just stop with people. As a matter of fact, I try to get rid of anything which can be detrimental to me: self-critical as well as restrictive thoughts linked to low self-esteem, dark feelings (depression, dispair, defeatism, etc...), fallacious behavior (yammering, whining, being angry or judgemental, etc...) and potentially hazardous aliments (anything industrially produced). Our stomachs are as valuable as our souls; both deserve equal treatment...
Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.
- Michael Pollan

If we're not willing to settle for junk living, we certainly shouldn't settle for junk food.
- Sally Edwards
Despite growing up eating gourmet produces and having never really ever bought or been fond of junk food, regretfully certain products containing additives (MSG, colorings, soy lecithin, glucose, palm oil, etc...), pesticides and GMO's nonetheless tend to perniciously make their way into my kitchen, through the back door (due to a purposely deficient transparency of the food industry/lobbies - no correct or detailed labelling).

Feeding in a balanced way is primordial to me, but eating food that is as pure as possible is important too, so if I want to purchase something that has been processed beforehand (mostly seasoning sauces, condiments or the odd canned grub like mustard, chilli sauces, soy sauces, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, horseradish sauce, English pickles, tuna, chickpeas, etc... - no ready-made dishes), I make sure to always check package labels in order to determine whether the products meet my demands and are not stuffed with noxious preservatives or flavor enhancers.

That said, I am no nutter, antisocial food fascist, diet guru or fussy eater and have no problem stepping out of my comfort zone and breaking my rules now and then as I am quite flexible, understanding and respect others' choices. Generally, when I am invited to a friend's house or go to the restaurant, I'll happily make exceptions (thankfully, I am blessed with friends who appreciate dining properly and who take their welfare at heart).

Some people have a foolish way of not minding, or pretending not to mind, what they eat. For my part, I mind my belly very studiously, and very carefully; for I look upon it, that he who does not mind his belly, will hardly mind anything else.
- Boswell: Life
I want what's best for P. and myself, thus we pay attention to the quality of our chow (this means that 98% of it is homemade and of traceable origin - Swiss/regional) and consume very little meat (4-6 times a month maximum), moderate amounts of dairy products, lots of vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, cereals as well as limit our wheat flour and (white) sugar intake. Our menu plan might sound a bit boring for some of you, but what I cook or bake is far from being bland - since we are true epicureans, we also know how to indulge like Roman emperors. The only things that differentiates us from the majority of consumers is that we know the meaning of moderation and mindfulness, because we revere our bodies.

Although I am an avid baker and big fan of pastries, breads and cakes, such goodies rarely make it to our table more than once a week. Those are generally weekend treats which we greedily savor without guilt and enjoy to the fullest. After five days of feasting upon wholesome grub, we allow ourselves a dietary onterlude every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. During this short period of time, we "sin" reasonably and indulge our cravings for rich, carnivorous and sweet delicacies.

Of course, this lifetsyle implies a few sacrifices: sticking to the seasons (not that difficult as I never dream of summer heirlooms in winter or vice versa), not always finding the produce you planned on getting and having to opt for a replacement (certain vegetables, especially those presented in stores, seem not to be cultivated in Switzerland anymore - bell peppers for example), visiting markets which are not at close reach (whenever feasible as it is a pain in the backside for those who don't own a cars and whose budget is limited - public transports cost a fortune) and being stove-bound 24/7 whether you are in the mood to play the chef or not. 

Anyway, bought food rarely delivers as much pleasure as what I prepare at home. In most cases, my creations are by far the ones we prefer as besides them offering unequalable gastronomic experience and us knowing their composition, we really love the endless possibilities that homecooking provides. It is so great to have the opportunity to grant each of our culinary wishes and fulfill our gastronomic fantasies (within my capacities, of course). 

For example, subsequently to reading countless articles and blog posts on "Pretzels" (they seem to be trendy at the moment), this German/Austrian heart-shaped speciality has been a lot on my mind lately, so to finally put an end to this obssessive yearning, I've decided to bake a batch of "Swiss Pretzel Rolls" - close cousins of "Laugengebäck/Laugenweckerl". And guess what, they totally rocked our socks off!
Those dark brown and oblong lye buns are called "Délices" or "Pains de Sils" in Suisse Romande, "Silserli" or "Silserbrot" in Swiss-Germany, "Pane di Sils" in Ticino and are typically transformed into sandwiches (simply buttered or containing butter with either ham, Cenovis or Gruyère cheese) which are traditionally enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, brunch and teatime (snack) or served as an appetizer. They are hugely popular here, in Switzerland, and are available from any bakery or supermarket.

The recipe I am introducing today is accessible (easy and there's only one proofing) and musters delightfully moist, exquisitely soft, divinely fluffy, pleasantly chewy, extremely morish as well as perfect looking and scrumptious tasting (just like the real ones) crullers that are hard to resist. They are so addictive, you'll hardly be able to control yourself and will keep coming back for more!!!

Silserli - Swiss Pretzel Rolls
Inspired by
Chubby Hubby and adapted from Alton Brown's recipe on
Food Network.

Makes about 12 rolls.

Ingredients For The "Rolls":
1 1/2 Cup (360ml) Lukewarm water

7g (2 1/4 Tsps/1 sachet) Active dry yeast
1 Tbs Castor sugar
4 1/2 Cups (624g) All-purpose flour 
2 Tsps Fine sea salt
57g Unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Vegetable oil for greasing the bowl, baking paper and work surface
Ingredients For The "Baking Soda Bath":
10 Cups (2400ml) Water
2/3 Cup (200g) Baking soda

Ingredients For The "Garnish":
1 Large egg, beaten
with 1 tablespoon water

Grey coarse sea salt, sesame seeds or poppy seeds

1. In a medium bowl mix the water together with the yeast and sugar. Let stand for 10 minutes, or until foamy.

2. In the bowl of your stand mixer place the flour and the salt.
3. Using the dough hook attachment, mix the dry ingredients on a low speed, then slowly add the melted butter and the yeast/water/sugar mixture.
4. On medium speed, knead the dough for about 5 minutes, or until it is smooth and starts to pull away from the side of the bowl (at the initial stage, the dough might look a bit shaggy – don't be tempted to add more water unless it is absolutely necessary).
Oil a big bowl and place the dough in it, turning to coat evenly with oil. Cover with plastic film and a damp cloth.

6. Let rise at room temperature (in a draft-free environment), until doubled in size, about 50 to 55 minutes.
7. Preheat the oven to 450° F (220° C). Line two baking trays with parchment paper and lightly brush one extra sheet of baking paper with vegetable oil. Set aside.
8. On a lightly oiled surface, divide the dough into 12 equal pieces (use a scale for more accuracy).
Shape each piece of dough into a round and smooth ball (see method). Place them on a the extra sheet of parchment paper.

Method For The "Baking Soda Bath":
10. In a 4 liter pan, put the water and the baking soda, then bring to a rolling boil. Place the balls of dough into the boiling water (1 by 1) for 30 seconds (you might need to turn the ball to ensure all sides are coated - this process imparts the “alkaline-pretzel” flavour onto the dough and helps the rolls get a dark brown colour while baking).
11. With the help of a slotted spatula, remove the balls from the water and place them on the parchment-lined baking trays.

Method For "Garnishing And Baking The Rolls":
12. Brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture, score them and sprinkle them with the coarse salt (or the seeds).
13. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the rolls are dark golden brown in colour.
14. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Pretzel rolls are best eaten the same day they are made, but if you wish to keep them a little longer, you can freeze them (up to 3 months) without problem (don't forget to revive the rolls once they have been completely thawed - preheat the oven to 350° F/180° C and bake them for 5 to 8 minutes).

Serving suggestions:

Serve warm with sweet mustard and a Weisswurst or at room temperature sandwiched with butter and the spread of your choice or ham/proscuitto/salami or slices of Gruyère cheese.

Délices - Petits Pains De Sils
Recette adaptée de
Food Network (Alton Brown) et inspirée par Chubby Hubby.

Pour environ 12 délices.

Ingrédients Pour les "Délices":

360ml d'Eau tiède
7g (2 1/4 CC ou 1 sachet) de Levure sèche
1 CS de Sucre cristallisé
624g de Farine
2 CC de Sel de mer fin
57g de Beurre non-salé, fondu et refroidi

Huile végétale, pour huiler le bol, le plan de travail et le papier sulfurisé
Ingrédients Pour Le "Bain Au Bicarbonate De Soude": 

2400ml d'Eau
200g de Bicarbonate de soude
Ingrédients Pour La "Garniture":
1 Oeuf, battu avec 1 CS à soupe d'eau
Gros sel gris, graines de sésame ou de pavot

Pour les "Délices"::
1. Dans un bol moyen, verser l'eau, puis ajouter la levure et le sucre.
Bien mélanger et laisser reposer pendant 10 minutes, jusqu'à ce que le mélange soit mousseux.
2. Dans le bol de votre batteur sur socle, mettre la farine et le sel.
3. En utilisant le crochet pétrisseur de votre robot, mélanger ensemble les ingrédients secs à vitesse faible, puis ajouter le beurre fondu et le mélange levure/eau/sucre.
4. À vitesse moyenne, pétrir la pâte pendant environ 5 minutes, ou jusqu'à ce qu'elle soit lisse et commence à se détacher des côtés de la cuvette (à l'étape initiale, la pâte paraîtra peut-être un peu sèche -
sauf si absolument nécessaire, ne soyez pas tentés d'ajouter plus de l'eau).
Mettre la pâte dans un grand bol légèrement huilé et la faire tourner dans le bol afin de bien l'enduire d'huile. Couvrir avec du film plastique/alimentaire, puis avec un linge de cuisine humide. 

6. Faire lever à température ambiante (dans un lieu sans courants d'air) jusqu'à ce que la pâte ait doublé de volume, pendant environ 50 à 55 minutes.
7. Préchauffer le four à 220 ° C. Tapisser deux plaques à pâtisserie de papier sulfurisé et huiler une feuille de papier sulfurisé supplémentaire. Mettre de côté.
8. Sur une surface légèrement huilée, diviser la pâte en 12 morceaux égaux (
pour plus de précision, utiliser une balance).
9. Façonner chaque morceau de pâte en une boule ronde et lisse (voir
méthode), puis les déposer sur la une feuille de papier sulfurisée huilée.

Méthode Pour Le "Bain Au Bicarbonate De Soude":
10. Remplir une casserole de 4 litres avec les 2400ml d'eau et ajouter la bicarbonate de soude. Porter à ébullition. Plonger les boules de pâte dans l'eau bouillante (une boule à la fois) et les laisser dans le liquide pendant 30 secondes (les boules doivent être complètement immergées dans le liquide car c'est celui-ci qui leur donnera cette couleur brune foncée à la cuisson et cette saveur alcaline si particulière).
11. A l'aide d'une cuillère-passoire, retirer les boules de l'eau et les placer sur les plaques de cuisson.
Méthode Pour La "Garniture Et la Cuisson Des Délices":
12. Badigeonner le dessus de chaque bretzel avec le glaçage au jaune d'œuf, les inciser et les saupoudrer avec le gros sel (ou les graines).
13. Cuire au four pendant 12 à 15 minutes, ou jusqu'à ce que les délices sonnent creux et soient de couleur brune dorée foncée.
14. Les déposer sur une grille et les laisser refroidir pendant au moins 10 minutes avant de les servir.


Les pains de Sils sont meilleurs lorsqu'ils sont consommés le jour-même de leur fabrication. Par contre, si vous souhaitez les manger plus tard, alors vous pouvez très bien les congeler (3 mois max. et ne pas oublier de les "faire revivre" une fois décongelés; préchauffer le four à 180 ° C et les faire cuire pendant 5 à 8 minutes).

Suggestions de présentation:
Servir tièdes avec de la moutarde douce et une Weisswurst (saucisse bavaroise) ou à température ambiante sous forme de sandwich, avec du beurre et de la confiture/pâte à tartiner/etc... ou du jambon/prosciutto/salami ou des tranches de Gruyère.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Silserli Bretzels 6 7 bis
- Heavenly Little Rolls* -

This picture was submitted to "Black & White Wednesday", an event created by Susan at "The Well-Seasoned Cook". It will be hosted on the 13th of February by Alex at "Food 4 Thoughts" (click here in order to see who is hosting the next roundup).

* The recipe will be featured on my blog soon...

Friday, February 1, 2013


 - Café Terrace On The Place Du Bourg-De-Four  -

 - Bright Midday Light Illuminating Old Buildings, Place Du Bourg-De-Four-

Old Town 8 3 bis
- A Terrace With A View, Place Du Bourg-De-Four -

Old Town 9 4 bis
- Esplanade Saint-Antoine-

Old Town 7 9 bis
- Glasses In The Window Of The Brasserie De Hotel-De-Ville -

Old Town 5 5 bis
- Hôtel-De-Ville -

Old Town 1 3 bis
- Christies Salesrooms & Offices -

Old Town 6 2 bis
- Entrance Of The Saint-Pierre Cathedral -

Old Town 3 3 bis
- Shadow Play, Place Du Bourg-De-Four -