Monday, January 30, 2006


A wintery view of the countryside and of the French Salève mountain from the village where I live. Yesterday was a cold, grey and uninterestingly uniform day, yuck!...

Friday, January 27, 2006


Well, I'm back again for another Weekend Cat Blogging Round-up... This time again, the star is our pretty little devil Maruschka who plays the top model for yall of you food and cat addicts!!!

A rather eerie food obsessed Maruschka playing the "sad victim" for hours (at least two hours before due time!) while waiting to get fed! When she's waiting she's a totally different cat with a strange face expression and a trance-like attitude...

On the occasion of WCB #34, Boo_licious of the great "Masak Masak" from Malaysia (her blog is worth checking out!) will host this weekend's edition as the cute Kiri and his family of "Eat Stuff" from Australia are away on vacation for a while...

So, you can send her your permalinks of your kitties and she'll put them up.
You can email Boo_licious at her Mum's email: or leave her the links at the comment sections: Haloscan for non-bloggers and Blogger for those registered on blogger.

Here are pictures of the other cute kitties from all around the blogosphere:
1. Say hi to Sophe Oki, Lomax and Mance from Cracker Jack'd. They're so adorable that I can understand why Aunty Kathy is so proud of them.
Gigolo Kitty continues the Snowy White and the Seven Stalkers story where Snowy White is forced to join the gym.
3. Lulu the dog has a sweet little kitty nicknamed
Willow as her bed buddy in Why Travel to France?
4. Awwww, Honey the sweetie pie is now all grown up at ten months old in Anne's Food.

5. The kitties in Look Hunny, I Cooked are so peaceful in their tall perches. I must take Auntie Catesa's advice and share with my sister next time Mum brings home a new toy.
Tasha, the sleepy kitty from A Few of my Favourite Things is back in WCB. Welcome back to Bella, Tasha and Auntie Cin, glad to see you.
7. Happy Birthday to Morganna, Barbara's daughter from
Tigers & Strawberries. She's having a Chinese dim sum feast for her birthday (I wish I could be there!) and hugging Lennier who looks so happy.
8. Maruschka from
Rosa's Yummy Yums is waiting to be fed. I know that feeling as sometimes I use that stare at Mum to will her to move and fill my cat bowl with food.
9. Dutchie & Mao love their baskets which have a great view of the world in
Kross-Eyed Kitty. I want some of that too!
Doc the cat has got a side-job, he is the official proofreader of Kiplog's posts. I hope the job pays well in terms of yummy food and more pats from the master.
11. Bow down to Princess Louise, the great kitty from Stalking the Waiter. If not, she may give you the evil eye.
Molly Doodlebug is a good kitty this weekend over at Farmgirl Fare. I wonder what mischief she has planned for the coming week.
Aggie is tubsitting over at Kayak Soup. I reckon it's because it's nice and cooling to sit in there? Sometimes I also jump into the tub with Mum before she switches on the shower.
Max shows off his whiskers in passionatenonchalance.
15. Kitty Bojangles has a moment of peace from Whiskey the cat in Just Braise. Happy Birthday Auntie Stacey - Mum was drooling over the Chocolate Coconut Fudge Cupcakes you baked.
Le Gros Noir from Lali et Cie gets no sleep as Lali's little girl loves to play with him.
Lucky the Cat gets a bath with his mummy in These Days in French Life.
18. Kashim and Othello, those adorable kitties play at their scratch posts at Paulchens Foodblog?!
19. Bussi enjoys her weekend by getting her priorities right at Basic Juice. I love the sequence of photos as that's exactly what I do too when I find a nice sunbeam at home.
20. We have
Stella and Buddy wandering outside plus a bonus picture of Stella looking cute as a pie hiding in a bag over at The Poor Cracklins.
Widget and Max fight it out for the new kitty condo at Peanut Butter and Purple Onions. Hmmmm, I wonder if Mum can build me one too. Must go and bug her now with some pleading looks.
22. Xannon the black kitty joins us from Texas at Heather's Space. He looks so like the other black kitten we have at the other house, so sweet.
Samantha has a nice red ribbon that she loves to play with at the Websorceress Cooks. It looks really fun, let me bug Mum for a ribbon too.

(Muschki 1 & 2 -Pic by Rosa


Since the weather here is quite freezing cold, grey and a little depressing, I’m sure that this savory cake will warm up your soul and chase away your wintertime “depression”… And for that, nothing’s better than food which reminds you of your nice summer holiday evenings when you are sitting out enjoying delicious food and a good bottle of wine!

This “Feta And Fresh Herb Cake” is the perfect option if you are looking for something super fine and delicate to serve as an apetizer (it goes incredibly well with olives and Parma ham). Eaten warm, a buttered slice of this cake will take you beyond the 7th sky or to yummyland!!!

This recipe was originally released in the N°86 (Juin-Juillet-Août) of the French magazine "Cuisine Et Vins De France". As usual, I have changed a few things in order to meet my own tastes...

180g Plain white flour

2- 2 1/2 Tsp Baking powder
3 Eggs (~50g)
100g Gruyère (or Fontina), grated
200g Feta (or Mozarella), cubed
6 Tbs Olive oil
100ml Milk
1/2 Cup Fresh basil and chives, chopped

A pinch paprika powder
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).

2. Incorporate the baking powder to the sieved flour and mix in the salt and pepper.
3. In a big bowl, beat the eggs until fluffy and until they lighten in colour.
4. While continuesly beating, add the olive oil and milk.

5. Incorporate the flour to the egg mixture and mix well in order to get a homogenous dough.
6. Add the feta cheese, the gruyère and the fresh herbs. Mix delicately.
7. Pour the dough into a greased rectangular cake pan.

8. Bake for about 50 minutes.

9. Cool the bread and eat while it’s still warm.

If the feta is too fresh and tends to break, then you should not incorporate the cubes into dough at the same time as the gruyère. I recommend you to pour a bit of dough into the pan and to add the cubed feta on the top, and then to add again a bit of dough and feta and so forth until the you have incorporated the whole quantity of feta cheese…

You should better use medium-aged gruyère for this cake.

Serving suggestions:

Eat it warm, cut into slices (or small cubes) and buttered.
It is ideal to serve this savory cake with olives and tapas or mezze. And, of course, I recommend you to accompany the food with a good sparkly Chilean, Californian or Italian Chardonnay wine or any dry white wine of your choice (Pinot Gris, Muscadet, Chasselas, etc...)!…

(Feta Bread -Pic by Rosa
(Chives -Pic by
(Feta Cheese -Pic by

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Zorra of "Kochtopf" is organizing a special Valentine's Day recipe round-up and is looking forward to getting your recipes (drinks, desserts, main courses or even menus)...

Blog your Valentine recipe (in English or German) before February 12th midnight, and send an email to

Please state the following in the email :
Subject line: Valentine cooking
Name of your blog
Your namePermalink to your post
Your physical location (optional)

As soon as she gets the first recipe, there will be a daily updated round-up of all entries.
=> to the round-up.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


On the occasion of the Chinese New Year which starts on January 29th under the sign of the dog, I send you my Best wishes for the New Year...

And since this period is very important for the Chinese worldwide and also a source of inspiration for the non-Chinese, I thought that you might be interested in getting a few culinary ideas, so that you can prepare your feast in total peace and as relaxed as possible!!!

May this day be a joyful culinary journey through the richness and the variety of the Chinese cuisine!

I propose you my super delicious tangy "Chinese Lemon Chicken":

and my sweet and delicate "Chinese White Sugar Sponge"...

And if you are looking for other Asian recipes, then click here.

(Gong Xi Fa Cai -Pic by
(Chinese Symbols -Pic by
(Chinese Lemon Chicken -Pic by Rosa
(Chinese White Sugar Sponge -Pic by Rosa

Monday, January 23, 2006


Crazy Gaijin of "Nihon No Ryori" tagged me for this meme...

I must say that I had to think a little before giving my "Five Cooking Challenges Of 2006" as I never tend to set myself a challenge regarding anything, and even when it comes to cooking!

But, thinking about it, I do have a few things I'd like to change, learn or do during the following monthes, so I guess that one can call them "challenges"!!!...

1. To learn more about my own country’s culinary traditions and try more recipes… Switzerland is a rich country with many regional differences whether it concerns the dialects, the mentalities or the food. This diversity is what makes this country so special! Our dishes are rustic, but very tasty. Swiss food could be labelled as “comfort food”, because it’s nourishing and uses a lot of farm products like dairy products, charcuterie, potatoes, flour, etc… We eat simple, humble and regional dishes, but they have a potential healing effect on our souls!!! And that’s exactly what I like about Swiss foods…

2. To try following a recipe entirely without always wanting to change something in it! I can’t cook without adding my own touch to recipes. I continuesly want to change things and I’m never entirely satisfied by the list of ingredients needed or with the methods to apply... It’s a very bad habit as sometimes, certain recipes don’t turn out correctly (no wonder!)! But, generally, I must say that my changes are positive and add a little something to a recipe which might have been bland if I had not modified it!…

3. To buy more tools and pans for my kitchen because I’m missing a few items, especially when it comes to stuff in the baking area. I’d like more cake pans as I tend no never have the right ones and of course, I wouldn’t mind owning more cake-making gadgets… But will my kitchen be big enough if I buy more things? I doubt, as it’s already full now and trying to get out something from a cupboard is an adventure in itself!!!…

4. To make my own French “pains au chocolat” or “croissants”. I love to make bread and bake, but I can never gather enough courage in order to make those two bakery classics! And it’s not because I’m afraid of the challenge, but more because this challenge is not adapted to my tiny kitchen!!! I just simply lack working surfaces since I can only use the side of the sink, the vitroceramic cooker (the best invention ever when you kitchen is as big as a sardine tin!) and a few centimeters of my small table… But, I guess that if I organize myself well enough, I could bake those two yummy breakfast goods!

5. To test new Nyonya (Peranakan) kuih recipes. Kuihs (kueh or kue) are types of sweet or savory bite-sized “cakes” from Malaysia, Indonesia or Singapore. I love them so much that I could eat them at any time and all the time! Unfortunately, before I can try more of them,I’ll have to buy myself a book about kuihs…

Now it's my turn to tag the following bloggers:
Susan of "Foodie Farmgirl"
Glutton Rabbit of "Pearl Of The Orient"
Boolicious of "Masak Masak"
Ivonne of "Cream Puffs In Venice"
Angela of "A Spoonful Of Sugar"

(AOC -Pic by
(The Silver Spoon -Pic by
(Cake Pan -Pic by
(Pain Au Chocolate -Pic by
(Kuih Lapis -Pic by

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


I always thought potato crisps were better when bought as I belived that it was a kind of food that could only be produced properly in a factory way.

Anyhow, a few months ago, I discovered that I was totally wrong!...

Ok, maybe it’s easier to open a packet of industrial crisps, but nothing can exactly compare with what is homemade with love and dedication! Not only are you free to choose the quality of the ingredients you use, but you are also free to spice those crisp with whichever seasoning you want to have…

I was really bluffed by the end result which was way beyond my expectations. The crisps were simply great looking and fine tasting, thus proving that your common packet crisps has nothing more to offer!

So, I warmly recommend you to try making your crisps the next time you plan to offer apetizers, because your crisps will be a real highlight!!!

Potatos, peeled
Curry powder
1/2 -1l Peanut oil

1. Cut the potatos in very thin slices.
2. Wash them in cold water, so that the starch is eliminated.
3. Strain and absorb the leftover water with a towel.
4. Heat the oil until it’s very hot.
5. Lower the heat and plunge the slices in the hot oil. Stir continuously so that they don’t stick together.
6. Once the slices are golden, get the crisps out with the help of a skimming laddle.
7. Strain and drain on absorbant paper.
8. Then, place the crisps in a plastic container and add the salt and curry powder.
9. Gently shake the bag in order to cover each crisp with the spices.

Be careful to fry the potato slices only once the oil is hot, otherwise they’ll be soggy with oil.

Serving suggestions:
You can sin at any time, 'cause nobody will blame you for gobbling them, since they are homemade crisps!!!

(Potato Crisps -Pic by Rosa
(Curry Powder -Pic


I’ve been tagged by Paz of "The Cooking Adventures Of Chef Paz" from New York City. So, I’ll try to give my best answer as I very rarely get a cold or the flu. Sorry!…

Well, generally I use what’s in my kitchen and that is stuff like spices, teas or essences. I boil some water and add a herb tea bag (thyme, nettle or mint), grated fresh ginger, a stick cinnamon, 3-4 cloves, ground cardamom, pepper and a few drops of essential oil (lavender, pine tree or patchouli).

It does sound like a witch’s brew, but some of those ingredients are natural antiseptics, de-toxifiers, antibiotics, antinauseants and sedatives!!!…

Lemon juice with honey is also a good remedy if you have a sore throat. And if you feel sick, nauseated or just queesy, then a cup of hot water (boiled) or a banana can help.

Otherwise, it is also recommended to eat lots healthy nutrients like fruits, vegetables and stuff like liver in order to reload yourself with enough vitamins and minerals to fight against your cold. You should also drink a lot as it eliminates the toxins inside your body.

As I mentioned before, I’m very rarely sick (sorry folks!), so I’m not a real specialist when it comes to preparing remedies. But I find that essential oils like lavender are good as their effect (inhaled, drunken or used as bath oil) can be quite fast with pains, stress, nausea, etc...

Now it’s my turn to tag the following people:
* Indira of "Mahanandi"
* Obachan of "Obachan's Kitchen And Balcony Garden"
Cheryl of "The Baker Who Cooks"
* Anne of "La VIe Au Jour Le Jour"
Elvira of "Tasca Da Elvira"
* Chanit of "My Mom's Recipes And More"

Of course, you don’t have to do the meme if you are not interested by it…

(Ginger -Pic by httP://
(Lavender -Pic by
(Cloves -Pic by

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


This traditional New Year’s Eve brioche from Alsace in France. Also known under the name of “Neujahr Stollen”, it is generally enjoyed with “Glühwein” (spiced hot red wine/wine punch), but it is also fine when eaten for breakfast or for tea time.

“Neujahr Stollen” are enriched with eggs and butter and it is for that reason that those breads are delightfully smooth and fluffy in texture. The chocolate chunks add a soothing flavor to this sweet, yet sinful winter time treat…

This recipe originates from Gerard Fritsch& Guy Zeissloff’s book “Recettes Gourmandes Des Boulangers D’Alsaceand was proposed on both Fidji and Avital’s mouthwatering blogs. It has also been slightly changed by me for a better understanding and successful baking. Some of the bread making methods were adapted from Eric Treuille & Ursula Ferrigno’s “Ultimate Bread” book.

500g Plain white flour
2 1/2 Tsp Dried yeast
110ml milk, tepid
70g Castor sugar
1/2 Tsp Vanilla extract

4 Eggs (~50g)
2/3 Tsp Salt
120g Unsalted butter, softened and creamed
Chocolate (chips or raisins)

1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast into 80ml tepid milk and leave for 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve.
2. Put the flour and salt into a bowl, make a well in the centre and pour in the yeasted milk.
3. Draw enough of the flour into the yeasted milk in order to form a soft paste.
4. Cover with a tea towel and leave it sponge until frothy and risen, about 20 minutes.
5. Mix together the leftover milk, the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract.
6. Add the egg mixture to the flour well and mix in the flour from the sides to form a soft dough.
7. Turn the dough out on to a slightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is soft and elastic.
8. Put back into the bowl and incorporate the creamed butter.
9. Continue kneading for about 10-12 minutes until the dough is shiny, smooth and doesn’t stick anymore.

10. Place in a bowl, cover with a tea towel and let rise for about 1-1 1/2 Hours.
11. Knock back and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

12. Incorporate the chocolate chips and form 12 equal balls.
13. Let rise for about 40 minutes or until doubled in size.
14. Brush them with egg-glaze (1 egg + a pinch of salt) and cut a cross on the top of each ball with the help of scissors.
15. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes at 210°C (410°F).

Always use a wooden spoon to work with.
The quantity of chocolate chips depends on your desire to be “dirty” or not.
Instead of using chocolate chips, you can use raisins.
For ultimate flavor, use only the best quality chocolate.
Remember that brioche bread is always better when the kneading is done for a certain length of time, but be careful not to overheat the dough by doing so!
Use the freshest butter and eggs to make the most flavorful brioche.
Be sure that all ingredients have been left at room temperature and that the butter has been left out of the refrigerator.

Serving suggestions:
Eat those brioche for the breakfast, mid-morning coffee or afternoon tea with butter.

(Alsation Brioche 1 -Pic by Rosa
(Castle Ortenbourg -Pic by Nicolas Dory
(Alsation Brioche 2 -Pic by Rosa

Monday, January 16, 2006


Ok, as many of you add lots of memes on their blogs, I thought that this one would be funny to answer and share with you. In this way, you can discover a few aspects of my personality...

7 things to do before I die:
1. Be happy.

2. Travel to the places I’d love to see (Canada, USA, South-East Asia, Germany, Thailand, Greece, Australia, New Zealand, etc…).
3. Have my own little house and live in another country like Canada, maybe?...
4. Win the lottery, so that I wouldn’t have to work till the end of my life.
5. To have tested all the recipes I find interesting.
6. To have a goat, a dog, a donkey, a pig, a cow and many more cats.
7. Buy and read more books.

7 things I cannot do:
1. Drive.

2. Be a superficial person or a materialist.
3. Be dishonnest or fake.
4. I can’t throw away food, so I always have a lot of leftovers.
5. Be patient.

6. I can’t stand lies.
7. I can’t see a cute animal without totally freaking out or melting on the spot!!!

7 things that attract me to blogging:
1. Get to meet many interesting people.
2. Get to share my interest in food with others who understand my passionate ramblings.
3. Something do do in order to make my momentary life situation more bearable.
4. To share the pictures of my cute kitties Maruschka and Fridolin.
5. To feel more confident with my ownself.
6. Something to be “proud” of.

7. Pure pleasure…

7 things I say most often:
1. Bibi!
2. Nein Muschki or Fridi isch finito?!!!!!

3. Bloody hell!
4. I’m fed up of this tin box kitchen!
5. Mmmmhhhh!
6. Oh la la!

7. P*%&*?% de m*%&*!!!!!

7 books I love ( In no particular order):
1. All Anne Rice’s novels.

2. Anything by Stephen King.
3. Perfume by Patrick Süskind.
4. Dean Koontz’s books.
5. My three Culinaria books (Greece, South-East Asia and Caribbean) and other cookery books.
6. Yukio Mishima’s writings.
7. My books about North American Indians and many others. I love books, but can’t afford to buy (m)any at the moment…

7 movies I watch over and over again ( in no particular order):
1. Dead Man by Jim Jarmusch.
2. Avalon by Mamoru Oshii.
3. The Fast Runner (Atanarjuat) by Zacharias Kunuk.
4. Hana-Bi (and all films) by Takeshi Kitano.
5. Nightmare Before Christmas (and all films) by Tim Burton.
6. Lagaan by Aamir Khan.
7. 2046 (and all films) by Won Kar wai and many many more…..

7 people I Want to Join In:
1. Anybody
2. who
3. is
4. interested
5. in
6. sharing
7. thoughts!!!

(Castle Mountain, Canada -Pic by Norbert Woehnl
(Cute Animals -Pic by
(Dessert -Pic by

(My Kitchinette -Pic by Rosa
(Kachins -Pic by
(Atanarjuat -Pic by

(Penguins -Pic by


Spiced bread have always been a thing I liked, so when I stumbled upon Adam's (The Amateur Gourmet from New York City) recipe, last october, I found that t would be a good afternoon tea treat!

As a matter of fact, it was hyper delicious, spongy and tasted heavenly! Pumpkin is a very interesting ingredient that adds a lot of flavor and colour to breads and cakes. While baking, your kitchen will be overwhelmed by a gorgeous smell of spices! And apart from being very yummylicious, it is also very easy to prepare; no fussing around...

So, I'm very thankful to Adam from "The Amateur Gourmet" for havi
ng shared this recipe with us and for giving us moments of pure bliss!!!

450g Plain white flour
3/4 Tsp Salt

2 Tsps Baking soda
1 1/2 Tsps Ground cinnamon
1 Tsp Freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 Tsp Ground cloves
1/4 Tsp Ground allspice

470g Solid-pack pumpkin
180ml Vegetable oil (I used peanut oil)
495g Castor sugar
4 Large eggs (~50g), lightly beaten
2 Granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (2 cups)

For topping:
1 Tbs Plain white flour
5 Tbs Castor sugar

1 Tsp Ground cinnamon
1 Tbs Unsalted butter, softened

1. Blend together flour, sugar, cinnamon, and butter in a small bowl with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal.

1. Put a rack in the middle of oven and preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
2. Butter two 22 X 11 cm loaf pans.
3. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice into a medium bowl.
4. Whisk together pumpkin, oil, sugar, and eggs in a large bowl.
5. Add flour mixture, stirring until well combined.
6. Fold in apples.
7. Divide batter between buttered loaf pans.

8. Sprinkle half of topping evenly over each loaf.
9. Bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of bread comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.
10. Cool loaves in pans on a rack for 45 minutes, then turn out onto rack and cool completely, about 1 hour.

If you don't have any homemade pumpkin puree, then you can use a bought can.

The following apples can be used for baking: Golden Delicious, Gala, Breaburn, Empire, Pippin, Rhode Island Greening, Arkansas Black, Rome Beauty, York Imperial, Cornell Red, Chesapeake, Cortland, Criterion, Fireside, Gingergold, Goodland, Ida Red, Jonagold, Mutsu, Niagara, Opalescent, Russet, Wolf River, Fuji, etc...

Serving suggestions:
Butter the slices of this bread (optional, but very fine) and eat together with a good cup of tea.

Recipe by Adam from "The Amateur Gourmet" blog.

(Pumpkin Apple Bread 1 & 2 -Pic by Rosa -Pic by

Saturday, January 14, 2006


Once again, WCB is back and this time I am able to share with you my "puddy cat" picture...
A sweet Maruschka enjoying the warm sun rays on a Sunday morning...
She is a little "clown" who loves to attract our attention in many different ways; she knows how to brighten our day with her cute behaviour!
You will also find this picture as well as others on the great Eat Stuff blog from Sydney, Australia.
If you also want to participate to Weekend Cat Blogging, then just leave your blog name, URL and permalink in a comment on Clare and Casey's site.
A list of the pussycats you can admire:
Check out Dawn’s sister’s cat So Russell. He is a great hunter, I bet he is still a big smooch at So Cal Foodie
Check out Squirt and Lucy, Isn’t kitty love the best *sigh* at Slowly She Turned
Check out Russell, again This is Dawn’s sister Stephanie, so obviously this is her puddy cat! Russell is being the biggest couch potato, LOVE that photo heheheh at Life is for Living
Check out “the boy” poor kitty, such a demeaning life as a kitty cat at BunnyFoot
Check out Edith, the new “Premier” *Congratulations!!!* and find news about which kitty is preggers at Anne’s Food
Check out Mars, yep he sure is the man of the house at The Disparate Housewife
Check out the karaoke singing Diana Ross impersonating kitties and out lots more about them at Gastronomy Domine
Check out the cute sleeping/tired kitty at Masak-Masak
Check out Aggie, she loves to sit on her blue afghan too! what a cool yoga loving kitty at Kayak Soup
Check out Lixue, who is helping her dad by finding the creatures beneath the computer screena at Look Hunny, I cooked.
Check out Angus, another kitty that finds couches irresistable to stretch out on at Adventures in Food and Wine
Check out Othelo playing hide and seek and Kashim, the poor kitty that is too grown up for his age at Paulchens Food Blog?!
Check out Tatterdemalion who is having a very successful time at getting high off the catnip, don’t forgetbarabra tht she also get’s to ingest all that as well at Tigers and Strawberries
Check out Duchess and Mao(the kross-eyed kitty) and say hi! as they are joining in for the first time at Kross-Eyed Kitty
Check out Bussi, who wants the feathery morsals beyond the glass, don’t we all? at Basic juice
Check out Marushka, big, black, shiny smoochy puddy cat at Rosa’s Yummy Yums
Check out Patchy Cat hanging out in the beautiful surrounds of Farmgirl Fare
Check out The smurf, the GF and Sugar hanging out at Sweetnicks
Check out Stella who is soooo cute with her little rat baby LOL at The Poor Cracklins
(Maruschka -Pic by Rosa

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Cats are gourmet eaters...and we are their personal waiters and slaves ready to satisfy all their whims and desires!!!

Thursday, January 5, 2006


My interest for Brazilian cuisine keeps growing every day a little more and I’m always looking for new yummy recipes to try... This dish attracted me because of it’s exotic, but simple touch and interesting mix of ingredients.

I was not at all deceived by this speciality, especially by the wonderfully fragrant, but delicately spiced meatballs! But, my excitement was a bit mellowed down by the slightly bland taste of the sauce... So, as I can’t follow a recipe without changing things, I decided to pump it up with more flavor by adding lemon juice, orange rind and honey!...

This recipe was originally released for Brazilian television and created by Laka Brandao under the title “Laka’s Meatballs”. I adapted it and transformed it for more scrumptiousness….

500g Ground beef

70g Peanuts, shelled, toasted and finely ground
1/2 Medium onion, finely chopped
3-4 Cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tsp Grated ginger root

1 Tbs Fresh coriander, chopped (optional)
1 Pinch ground nutmeg
2 Pinch ground cinnamon
2 Tbs Quick oatmeal (thin flakes)
Ground black pepper to taste
Salt to taste
Oil for frying (peanut oil)

400ml Chicken stock
2 Tbs Cornstarch
1 Tbs Runny honey
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tsp Orange rind
2 Tsp grated fresh ginger
Salt and pepper to taste.

1. Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs together and check salt. Form app. 1 1/2 tablespoon balls.

2. Cook in oil until golden.
3. Reserve in the oven at 120°C (250°F)
4. Blend the orange juice, lemon juice and honey together with the cornstarch.
5. Stir into boiling stock along with ginger and orange rind.
6. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Bring to the boil until it thickens.
8. Serve over meatballs.

Don’t let the meatballs get too dry when in the oven.

Serving suggestions:
Serve the meatballs with white rice (carolina, parboiled, basmati, etc…) and slices of oranges.

(Brazilian Meatballs -Pic by Rosa
(Botafogo Bay -Pic by Nicolas Pouche

Wednesday, January 4, 2006


Aren't I sweet with my flower?...

I'm tiny, but my eyes are wide open!...

Don't get that pig too close to me!...

Tuesday, January 3, 2006


“SCRAPPLE” is an authentic and original type of pork mush from Pennsylvania’s German settlers who were well-known for eating their pork meat with apples. These farmers brought their specialities to America, thus taking with them their culinary knowledge into a land which integrated their traditions and let them live.

This “SCRAPPLE” is my own invention, although it is based on different recipes which I came across on the net and descriptions I read in “Culinaria USA”. I have seen so many different versions of this dish that I decided to create my own by compiling what I found best in each recipe. No pork is used here, but as many “SCRAPPLES” were either made with ground beef, ground pork or sausage meat, I thought that corned beef would also do the trick very well and I was not wrong…

“CORNED BEEF SCRAPPLE” was a successful try and it was satisfying too!!!

1 Tbs olive oil
1 Medium onion, thinly chopped

1 tin (340g) Corned beef, crumbled up
340ml water
1 1/2 Tsp Dried sage
1 Tsp Dried oregano
1 Tsp Dried Thyme

1/2 Tsp Nutmeg
1 1/2 Tsp Garlic powder
1 Pinch paprika

Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
110g Cornmeal
2 Tbs Flour
Breadcrumb dressing

1. In a mortar, pound the sage, oregano, and thyme together until coarsly ground.
2. In a pan, fry the onion in the olive oil until translucid, add the garlic powder, and the spices. 3. Stir for a few seconds and then add the corned beef.
4. Salt and pepper to taste.

5. Stir-fry for a few minutes.
6. Pour the water into the beef mixture.

7. Slowly incorporate the cornmeal in batches and the flour while mixing well.
8. Continue stirring energically for about 10-15 minutes u
ntil the mixture starts to detach from the pan and form a ball.
9. Put the mixture into a greased loaf pan, flaten and shape.
10. Chill for at least 12 hours.
11. The next day, remove from the tin and cut into 1 1/2 cm slices.
12. Toss the scrapple into the breadcrumb dressind and fry in oil or butter until golden.

Instead of corned beef, you can use the ground meat of your choice (beef, pork, sausage, etc…) as long as the measures are respected.
If you wish, fresh chopped herbs can also be used.

When cutting scrapple into slices, dip the knife in water before processing.
Instead of using breadcrumb dressing, you can use flour to coat the slices.
When frying the srcapple, be careful not to burn the slices; they should be crusty and golden.

Serving suggestions:
Serve scrapple with either ketchup, maple syrup, apple sauce or butter and salt and pepper.
It is also a good breakfast meal when eaten with poached eggs and fried potatoes.

(Scrapple -Pic by Rosa
(Pennsylvania Barn -Pic by Linda Richters

Monday, January 2, 2006


If you like hyper moist, super soft and elastic types of bread/cakes, then this “BANANA AND WALNUT BREAD” is for you!

Apart from it’s unique texture, this bread is also very aromatic, spicy and particularly savory. I enjoy this tangy bread in the afternoon with a tight cup of coffee or a perfumed cup of tea.

This recipe was taken from a special issue of the French magazine “Cuisine Actuelle” (February-March 2003). As usual, I changed a few details and adapted it freely…


3 Ripe bananas, mashed
150g Castor sugar (or Light brown sugar)
250g Plain white flour
60g Unsalted butter, melted
1 Egg (~50g), beaten
200ml Milk
2 Tsp Baking powder
2 Tsp Ginger powder (or 1 Tbs Fresh ginger, grated)
60g Walnuts, coarsly chopped
1/2 Tsp Salt

1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
2. In a bowl, mix together sifted flour, baking powder, ground ginger, salt and walnuts.
3. In another bowl, beat the egg together with the melted butter, sugar, milk and mashed bananas until the mixture is homogenous.
4. Make a well with the flour mixture and pour in the banana mixture. Mix well until the batter is smooth and quite fluid.
5. Pour the cake batter in a pan/tin and bake for about 1 hour in the middle of the oven.

Don’t beat the cake batter for too long, otherwise the bread will lose of it’s lightness. Just mix gently.

Serving suggestions:
Cut the bread in slices and serve them buttered.
This “Banana Walnut Bread” is the ideal treat with a fine cup of coffee or a tea.

(Banana And Walnut Cake -Pic by Rosa
(Walnuts -Pic by