Saturday, September 30, 2006


The 16th of October 2006 has been declared as "World Bread Day" by the International Union Of Bakers And Bakers-Confectioners (UIB).

As bread holds an important role in our lives, Zorra of the highly recommendable "
Kochtopf" blog has decided to organize a little foodblog-event on the occasion of this special day.

Here's what she says:

"So I would like to take this opportunity and invite all food- and other bloggers to bake a bread and blog about it.

Bake a bread with or without yeast, use sourdough, experiment with different flours, add some seeds... It's up to you!Let us also know which is your favorite bread, your "bread habits" and how much bread you consume.

You never have baked a bread before? Well, give it try! It's easy and once you have this smell of your own fresh bread in your kitchen, there is no way back.

If you have no time to bake a bread, you can buy one at your favorite bakery and write about the bread and also the bakery.

I hope at the round-up (which I try to set up on 17th of October) we will see a huge basket filled with bread from all over the world!

How to participate:

* Bake or buy a bread, take pictures (if possible) and blog about it on Monday, 16h October 2006 (feel free to write your post in your mother tongue)

* Send an email to kochtopf(at)gmail(dot)com including
- your name
- your blog's name and your blog's URL
- the recipe name and the post's URL
- your hometown/region and country."

So, what are you waiting for, heh?!?!?

Get motivated and bake that bread! We foodies and foodbloggers worlwide want to see your creation and we can't wait to discover new recipes...

Thursday, September 28, 2006


After having shown you many pictures of the view I have from my windows, I thought that you'd like to see some photos of my village...

I'm lucky to live in a very pretty place where it is always nice to go back home. Getting down from the bus and arriving in Veyrier is the best thing you can experience! The contrast between town and countryside is so big that you suddenly feel well and calm as soon as your feet touch the ground; a real breath of fresh air.

Our village is always wonderfully decorated with seasonal flower arrangements. It is a real pleasure for the eyes as it brings colors to the streets, thus making them look very attractive and adding more cachet to this special village...
This is what we call the "Châteu de Veyrier (Castle of Veyrier)", a magnificent 18th century house that proudly stands in the middle of the old village...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


As the autumn is back and the days are fresher, I've decided to introduce you to a dish that is ideal if you are looking for a quick yet healthy recipe that will be loved by the whole family...

"Tatsch" is a traditional dish from the mountainous Grisons (Graubünden) region. Like most authentic recipes from this magnificent canton, "Tatsch" uses only humble ingredients and is simple looking. As with all farmer foods, it is also hearty and highly comforting!

"Tatsch" is a bit like a fastly prepared version of "Spätzlis" and is also very similar (when prepared the sweet way) to a dish that the Austrians call "Kaiserschmarren". It is something which will make you look forwards to the sad cold days of winter and the cuddly warmth of your kitchen when the weather outside is uninteresting and your soul is asking for attention!

This dish is delicious with any kind of fruit compote. It is not very sugary, bu
t sufficiently sweet to fulfill your dessert loving palate. It is also a healthy ally as it isn't fatty at all and it brings you the vitamins you need...

I can guarantee you that if ever you try "Tatsch", you'll be hooked on it! It is so fine that it will very fastly dethrone (maybe not totally, but it will surely be on
your heartthrob list) other sweet foods like French pancakes, American pancakes or clafoutis, etc...!

Serves 2-3 people.

150g Plain white flour
3/4 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Vanilla extract (optional)
250ml Milk
3 Eggs (~50g)
1- 2 Tbs Unsalted butter

1. Place the sieved flour into a bowl.
2. Add the salt.
3. Mix together the vanilla extract, the milk and the eggs.
4. Slowly incorporate them to the flour in order to get a thickish pancake-like batter.
5. Let it rest at room temperature for about an hour.
6. Heat up a frying pan and add the butter.
7. Pour the batter into the frying pan and cover with a lid until completely set.
8. With a spatula, cut the "pancake" in pieces.
9. Fry until nice anf golden on all sides.
10. Serve.

Tatsch should be cooked over medium heat as it should not get burnt.
You can cut the "pancake" only once the batter has totally set, otherwise you will end up with a total mess!
Tatsch tastes better when it is prepared just before serving.

Serving Suggestions:
Eat warm sprinkled with powder sugar and accompanied by any seasonal fruit compote/puree of your choice (apricot, prune, apple, peach, fig, cherry, dried fruits, etc...). It is also delicious when served with a salad or with meat (without the vanilla extract)...

(Disentis -Pic by Jean Yves Roure

Sunday, September 24, 2006


This weekend, Sarah of "Chef Sarah Jane" is kindly hosting the WCB round-up, so if you want to paticipate to this 68th edition, please send her your permalink...

This weekend, unlike all the preceeding ones, I've decided to show you my new friend "Felix"!
It is a cute young kitty who is most of the time left outside for hours without ever going back home, because it seems that his owners don't care much about him. He gets fed and caressed by the people who feel heartbroken about his situation....
He seems to never (or very, very rarely) get fetched or taken care of by it's owners and walks around asking for love and food. He even comes in front of our entry door and cries for us to let him in. Of course, with our cats, that's impossible, but I'd love to let him in or adopt him! Poor little cat...
He is an extremely sociable cat with a sweet character. Not only is he a loveable soul, but he is also damn cute! I love his coat and his white flecks.
We don't know his name, but we call him "Felix" as he looks abit like the cat in the advert...

Friday, September 22, 2006


For those of you who celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and are clueless about what to eat during this festive period, I thought that you might be interested in the following recipes as well as the useful links I've added...

~ An unbaked "Challah". ~
My recipes:
. Challah (see recipe and infos)
. Bagels (see recipe and infos)
. Baba Ganoush (see recipe and infos)
. Rhubarb Upside-Down Pudding (see recipe and infos)

. Zimtsterne (see recipe and infos)
. Pumpkin Apple Bread (see recipe and infos), replace the sugar by honey
. Quick No-Fat Apple Cake (see recipes and infos) served with honey
. Apple Latkes (see recipe and infos), although they are generally eaten for Hanukkah

Useful Links:
. Epicurious (see link)

. Cyber Kitchen (see link)
. All Recipes (see link)

. Kosher Food (see link)
. Recipezaar (see link)
. (see link)
. Jewish Food (see link)

Happy New Year! May you have fun in the kitchen as well as at the table with your family and friends!...

(Challah -Pic by
(Rosh Hashanah -Pic by
(Rosh Hashanah -Pic by

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Still in the "Papilles Et Pupilles" spirit, I thought that you might be interested to see the view out of my bedroom windows. They face the Jura mountain which you can see when you look in the direction of the north...

If you want to participate to this round-up, then send your pictures to Anne before the 30th of September, 2006! There are already many people who have taken part to this event...

A thundery end of afternoon...
An eerie burst of light ripping open the black clouds during an evening thunder (the yellowish light you can see comes from the opposite house)...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Not long ago, I spoke about that superb "The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion" book and raved about it's great contents. Well, after having tested a few recipes, I still feel the same about it. It is just mind-blowing and I don't regret one single cent I spent on this magnificent cookbook!

Although "Plain White Bread" is the most well-known and common loaf that is baked, I decided to test this book's version and see if it was any better than the other ones which I have been making until now...

The recipe is easy to follow and clear. The result is very pleasing and offers a totally different kind of white bread than the ones I had baked previously.

This "Plain White Bread" has a superb crust, the inside texture is incredibly smooth (thanks to the potato flour) and light. It also has an appetizing fragrance and an almighty taste that leaves a smirk of pleasure dance across your face...

It is a perfect loaf with a lot of character and flavor. So, for those of you who still have doubts on this bread's gorgeousness, I only have one thing to say: try it now as it might be plain and white, but it's fine! It's a basic bread, yet it's a classic...

Recipe source: "The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion: The All-Purpose Baking Cookbook" by King Arthur Flour, Countryman Press.

Makes 1 loaf.


3 Cups (~400g) Plain white flour

2 Tsp Instant yeast

1 1/4 Tsp Salt

3 Tbs (~36g) Castor sugar

4 Tbs (~57g) Unsalted butter

1/4 Cup (~40g) Nonfat dry milk

1/4 Cup (~45g) Potato Flour

1 1/8 Cups (~280g) Lukewarm water

1. Combine all the ingredients, mix and knead them together for about 10 minutes (by hand, mixer or bread machine) until you've made a soft, smooth dough.

2. Adjust the dough's consistency with additional flour or water as needed.

3. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover with a towel and let rise for about 1 1/2-2 hours or until it has doubled in size.

4. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface and shape it into a 8 inch (20cm) log.
5. Transfer the log to a lightly greased 8 1/2 (21.6cm) x 4 1/2 (11.5cm) loaf pan.
6. Cover the pan with a towel and let the bread rise until doubled, about 40 minutes to 1 hour.
7. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
8. Uncover the pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, tenting it lightly with aluminium foil for the final 10 to 15 minutes if it appears to be browning too quickly.
9. Remove the bread from the oven, take it out of the pan and place it on a wire rack to cool completely.

10. After 10 minutes, brush with butter, if desired.

Instead of 1/4 cup potato flour, you can use 1/3 cup (~23g) potato flakes.

Remember, the more flour you add while kneading, the heavier and drier your final loaf will be.

You can also shape you bread like mine, using the long loaf (~26cm) method (
see "Baguette Parisienne" recipe).
The butter glazing softens the crust, so if you prefer your bread to be crusty, ommit this part of the recipe.

Serving Suggestions:
This bread is ideal served for breakfast with jam, Nutella, peanut butter or eaten with cheese. It is also perfect if toasted.

(Hand Kneading -Pic by
(Fresh Bread -Pic by

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Another WCB is taking place and Clare is still silent, but fortunately, "" has kindly offered to host this week's round-up...

Thanks for your efforts and for taking over this special event!

Fridolin and Maruschka are the best pals in the world and they love to sleep together.
Our two lazy miniature felines like to lie in their basket and take various hilarious poses...
Generally, they stay in the basket like two lazy sausages from 7h00 AM till 16h00 PM without moving!!!
The only time they get out of it is when they have to freakishly use the toilet like two pigs on acid or start to get tiringly "sticky" because their stomachs are empty...
I really love the way they use the space in their basket; like jelly blobs!!!

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Anne of the French "Papilles Et Pupilles" has proposed us to post some photos of the view we have from one of our windows at home. In that way, we can all travel around the world while comfortably sitting in front of our computer, thus not moving from our chairs!

If you want to participate, you just need to send a 400x300 pixel version of your picture(s) and give her your name, the name of your blog and your location no later than September the 30th, 2006...

I have decided to show you the Salève as my love story with this intriguing mountain is still actual and stronger than ever!

This spring, early in the morning: the Petit Salève and it's big brother the Salève as seen from my kitchen window which looks towards the south...
A few days ago, the sky was extremely blue and the flanks of the Salève created a scene of beautiful contrast thanks to their deep green end-of-summer colour...
That's what you can see if you turn your head to the right when looking out of my kitchen window.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Berries are really fantastic and I always look forwards to the summertime when they are abundant and grace the market stalls for our biggest pleasure! I also particularly enjoy picking blackberries in the countryside around the Arve as those little purple jewels are a lot more tasty when they are wild than when bought at the supermarket...

This "Blackberry Tart" is an example of how I love to eat those wonderful fruits. This is a recipe of my own inspired by the tarts that I used to eat at home or at my grandparents'...

I prefer to eat my "Blackberry Tart" with a special filling as I find that the slight sourness and the smokey
flavor of blackberries go hand in hand with the rich and round taste of the cream. To add a little Swiss touch, I decided to perfume this tart with a little schnaps, but if you are not a big fan of such alcohols, then vanilla extract alone or lemon essence will be as delicious. In fact, I recommend you to try the lemon essence version as it rocks with such berries!

So, if you love tarts and berries, then I can only recommend you to run into your kitchen and get started as your whole apartment/house will be filled with a magnificent fragrance and your stomach/soul will show you it's greatfulness !!!

Obachan, this post is for you. You wanted to see a picture of my berry tart before it disappeared, well that's exactly how one of those fabulous tarts looked like after it was baked!...


1 Quantity shortcrust pastry (see recipe)
500g Blackberries
50g Castor sugar
60-70g Light brown sugar
2+1 1/2 Tbs Cornstarch
250ml Double cream
2 Eggs (~50g)
1 1/2 Tbs Kirsch (optional, see remarks)
1 Tsp Vanilla extract

~ Handpicked wild blackberries. ~
1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F).
2. Over a floured surface, roll out the pastry so as to fit a 26cm (10.2 inches) diameter tart case.
3. Line the tart case with the pastry and slightly prick the base with a fork.
4. Gently mix the blackberries with 2 Tbs cornstarch and 50g sugar in a bowl.
5. Place the blackberries over the pastry.
6. Bake for about 30-35 minutes.
7. In the meantime, stir together the cream, cornstarch, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla extract and kirsch.
8. Pour the cream mixture into the prebaked tart and bake further for about 30-40 minutes at 200°C (400°F).
9. Cool on a wire rack.

If you don't have any Kirsch or don't want to use any alcohol, then replace it by a few drops of lemon essence (but then again, you don't even need to replace the Kirsch by anything...).
You could use normal cream instead of double cream, but the tart's filling will be less thick and less custard-like.
You can also use other berries (red currants for example) for the confection of this tart.
If you don't want your crust to overbake, then you can cover the tart with some aluminium foil.
The cream filling is perfectly cooked when it's surface bubbles slightly (while baking).

Serving suggestions:
Eat either lukewarm or cool with chantilly cream (whipped cream) or clotted cream.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Once again, Clare and Kiri are taking a break from the Weekend Cat Blogging event, but Sarah of the cool blog "Chef Sarah Jane" from California is volunteering for this weekend's edition...

Thanks for making this round-up possible!

Look at our big baby Maruschka shamelessly lying in her basket like a little Miss Piggy!
It is her favorite position when she's feeling particularly happy, playful and she asking us to rub her lusciously soft and warm tummy...
Her body feels like a cosy pillow and I love to bury my face in her delightfully silky stomach and bond with her!
Maruschka is really a unique kitty with an immense heart of gold. She needs us to give her a LOOOOOOT of loving (more than we could ever give her!) and seems to be satisfied by the comfy life she has...
She is our little bear with the cute "moonface" (Do you know those old drawings of a moon with a face? Well, that's exactly what comes to mind everytime I look at her face...)!

Thursday, September 7, 2006


The lovely Yvonne of "Cream Puffs In Venice" from Toronto (Canada) and Lis of "La Mia Cucina" from Ohio (USA) are hosting the blog event "LA FESTA AL FRESCO". They are in desperate need of help as they want to organize an outdoor feast, but have no clue regarding the food that should be served...

I was asked to participate to this event and share my recipe for a dish that features fresh ingredients. Well, to tell you the truth, I had to do quite a lot of brain-wracking in order to find something that was not totally "mainstream" and that was a little different (at least, as different as possible)! But I did come up with a simple, yet delicious speciality that I readapted (from many different sources) for our biggest gustative pleasure...

So, after hours and days of brain-sweating, I came up with an idea hailing from Spain and more specifically from the Canary Islands: "Mojo Verde" or "Green Sauce".

The genuine local Canarian culinary tradition reflects Spanish, Portugusese, North African and Latin American influences that can be found within many different dishes. Vegetables, fruits and fishes are the basis of this highly interesting cuisine which is far away from the Spanish standards...

The "Salsa Mojo" is a typical Canarian speciality that is made with olive oil, vinegar, a lot of garlic and either green or red bell peppers. It comes in two basic versions: red and green ("Mojo Rojo" & "Mojo Verde"). Generally, the red one is eaten with "Papas Arrugadas" ("Wrinkled Potatoes") which are ovenbaked new potatoes having previously been cooked in sea water. This special treatment gives the potatoes a wrinkled aspect and a wonderful taste. The green sauce is traditionally served with grilled fish "A La Plancha".

~ A "plancha". ~
A traditional meal in the Canary Islands consists of grilled fish and "Papas Arrugadas" accompanied by the fresh coriander sauce "Mojo Verde" or the fiery chilli sauce "Mojo Rojo". In fact, those sauces are so good that they go with just about everything!!!

We particularly loved this sauce as it reminded us a bit of the Italian pesto and it's great versatility. The fresh aspect of "Mojo Verde" is just what one needs during the hotter season. Taste-wise, it was incredibly delicious as all the ingredients' aromas mingled together in order to give a round, garlicky and slightly spicy green flavor that became very fastly addictive!

Try this "Mojo Verde" now and you'll see that it will be a winner on your table and in your kitchen!...

~ Papas Arrugadas. ~
Makes one medium bowl.


6 Cloves garlic, sliced
1 Tsp Cumin seeds, toasted
2 Tbs White balsamic vinegar
4 Tbs Virgin olive oil (+ 2 Tbs if you fry the garlic, optional)
2 Tbs Fresh cilantro, minced
1/4 Tsp Dried oregano
1/4 Tsp Paprika powder
1 Tsp Green Tabasco
1/4 Tsp Red Tabasco
1 Big green bell pepper, cubed
3 Tbs Sliced almonds, slightly toasted
3 Slices toast bread, slightly toasted and cubed
2-5 Tbs Water
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

1. Put the garlic, cumin seeds, vinegar, oil, cilantro, oregano, paprika, green Tabasco and red Tabasco in your blender and pulse until well blended.
2. Add the bell pepper, toasted almonds, toast bread and water and pulse until smooth.
3. Salt and pepper to taste.
4. Serve.

If you don't want to use raw garlic, then I recommend you to fry the slices in 2 Tbs olive oil until golden brown. That's what I did...
You can add more cilantro if you wish.
Add as much water as needed until your "Mojo Verde" paste reaches a thickish pesto consistency.

Serving suggestions:
Eat with steamed, boiled or roasted new potatoes, pasta, over bread or salads, as a dip or in any way you find fit.

(Plancha -Pic by
(Papas Arrugadas -Pic by Thomas Carlen
(Canarias -Pic by Irina Mordakina

Wednesday, September 6, 2006


One evening, a few weeks ago, we witnessed a sudden cloudburst that was quite dreamlike...

Suddenly, the sun was shining brightly and the rain was falling quite heavily. It was really astonishing!

The rays of the sun setting envelop everything in a magical reddish light...
Even a rainbow graces us with it's delightful presence...

Monday, September 4, 2006


I have been kindly asked by Ruth of "Once Upon A Feast" from Toronto (Canada) to participate the WEEKEND COOKBOOK CHALLENGE dedicated to foreign foods. She is co-hosting the event with fellow foodie blogger Sarah of "I Like To Cook" from Calgary (Canada)...

Ruth asked us to write about a dish that comes from a cookbook we own, but which is issued from a cuisine unknown to us, something we consider to be "exotic" or "foreign". This post starring this "Caribbean salt Cod" recipe is my contribution to this interesting round-up...

I could have cooked an Asian, Middle Eastern, Tex Mex dish or any other speciality from a place considered to be "different", but my choice went to another cuisine that is more unknown to me. I'm a lot more acustomed to the other cuisines upon which I dwell more often. When it comes to the Caribbean cuisine and it's specialities, I get transported into a "terra incognita" filled up with new smells, flavors and sensations!

Before I bought the fabulous "Culinaria The Caribbean: A Culinary Discovery" cookbook by Könemann, this corner of the world witheld many secrets. I was already not very well informed about this part of the world as well as it's history, traditions, customs and foods. Of course, I did know the odd information that we all learn at school (political, geographic, etc...) or the normal stuff everybody knows, but I had no in depth knowledge of the countries that form the Caribbean...

This immense and thourough book enlightened me and broadened my horizon; while it offered the perspective of many delightful feasts that lay ahead, it also taught me a lot!!! I
learnt so much about the Rastafaris from Jamaica, the Arawak Indians that populated the region long before the colonialist arrived and heartlessly decimated them, Bermuda's "Pot-Hole Farming", voodoo in Haïti, Sainte-Lucie's hundreds of mango varieties introduced by the Portuguese, rum-making in Barbados, Granade's most noisy and colourful market of the Caribbean, Trinidad's Chinese and Indian communities, Curaçao's traditional Iguana soup as well as many other intriguing non-food or food related subjects...

By opening the pages of this book, I got acquainted to a culture about which I had not the slightest idea and most importantly to a culinary tradition which had stayed in the shadows of my pitiful
knowledge of the Caribbean. Through this magnificent cookbook chock-a-block full of recipes, informations and valuable explanations, I learnt and still learn many things which I would never have imagined before I opened this bible!

I can only recommend you to get yours hands on this little jewel!!!

Coming back to the recipe, salt cod being something I never prepared, I thought that this r"Caribbean Salt Cod" dish would be ideal in order to make me discover this fish. It is a colourful and fragrant dish, spicy and fresh to please, that is perfect if you want to eat something healthy, yet very tasty!

I really loved this "Caribbean Salt Cod" recipe which was adapted from the "Culinaria The Caribbean: A Culinary Discovery" and reinterprtated by

Serves 2 to 3 people

500g Salt cod
60g Butter
2 Onions, sliced
5 Cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 Red chilli, seeded and chopped
1 Yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 Green bell pepper, sliced
1 Red bell pepper, sliced
1 Tsp Ground allspice
1 Tsp Dry thyme
1 Can (400g) peeled tomatoes, coarsly crushed
2 Thin slices of bacon
500g Pineapple, cubed
8 Sprigs chives
4 Tbs Tomato puree
1 1/2 Cups water
2 Tbs Brown rum
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
2 Hard boiled eggs, smashed (optional)

~ Salt cod. ~
1. Place the cod in water, overnight.
2. Drain and cook the fish in unsalted water for about 15 minutes.
3. Drain again. Take off the skin, cartilage and bones.
4. In a frying pan, melt the butter and add the bacon.
5. Add the onions, garlic, chilli, thyme, chives, bell peppers and allspice.
6. Cook until all the ingredients are tender.
7. Incorporate the tomatoes, tomato puree, water, rum, fish and the pineapple/ackee.
8. Let cook for about 30-45 minutes, stirring from time to time.
9. Salt and pepper to taste.
10. Garnish the dish with the eggs.
11 Serve.

In the original recipe, 125g of Caribbean margarine was used, but I replaced it by butter and decided to use only half of the quantity indicated....
I used 120g Speck instead of the 2 sliced bacon, as indicated.
If you have fresh thyme, then take one sprig for this recipe.
Normally, this recipe is made with ackee fruits, but as it costs a little fortune, I decided to replace them by cubed pineapple slices.

Serving suggestions:
Serve with plain white rice or "Caribbean Red Beans And Rice".

(St-Lucia -Pic by Tan Yilmaz
(Salt Cod -Pic
(Dominican Republic -Pic by Allison Herb

Sunday, September 3, 2006


Unfortunately, Clare has not reappeared and our weekly WCB is like an orphan being moved from one house to another...

This time, Bonnie of "Miss Ellie's Page" from Virginia (USA) has kindla proposed to host this 65th edition. Thanks so much for making it possible!

Here is the King "Kiki Der Dritte" during his daily meditation...
Is he a kind of reincarnated Buddha or yogi? Sometimes I get to wonder if he is really ONLY a cat!
In any case, he seems to have reached the highest point on the scale of transcendence. Just to look at him, I get transported into a different dimension...

Friday, September 1, 2006


Here's a picture of a red currant and blackberry tart before it is baked. I thought that the colours were beautiful...

Nature is well-orchestrated, don't you think?