Friday, June 30, 2006


Going to the Asian supermarket is always a highlight for me. I call it "Ali Baba's Cavern" since there are so many products that I get like hypnotized whenever I decide to shop there! I really love my little Asian supermarket humbly named "Asia Store"!!!

I visit my favorite supermarket quite often and when I do so, you can be sure that I come back with bags full of goodies... Since I use certain products nearly on a daily basis (fish sauce, soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce, spices, etc...) and love Asian food, I always make sure that there is nothing missing in my cupboards.

This place is really great as it carries so many different things. Everything is crammed into a very small space! One can find Thai , Vietnamese, Chinese, Indonesian, Malaysian products, fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs as well as cooking utensils. Another positive point about this store is that it's prices are very cheap (cheaper than in "normal" supermarkets). When I'm in there, I'm in heaven!...

So, here's what I bought (from left to right):

1. Fresh yellow turmeric roots (from Thailand).
2. Fresh red chillies (from Thailand).
3. Thai fish sauce (nam pla).
4. Coconut milk (from Thailand).
5. Tamarind concentrate (from Thailand).
6. Palm sugar (from Thailand).
7. Shrimp paste (from Thailand).
8. Fresh coriander with their roots (from Thailand).
9. Fresh lemongrass (from Thailand).

10. Juda's ears (dried mushrooms) or cloud ears fungus (from China).
11. Chinese moon cakes (niangao) filled with mung bean paste and coconut (from Paris, France).
12. Bean curd sheets (from China).
13. Koh-Kae brand coconut cream flavored peanuts (from Thailand).
14. Koh-Kae brand tom yum flavored peanuts (from Thailand).
15. Mortar and pestle (from Thailand).

If you want to buy Asian products in Geneva, here's the address of this great store:

8, rue Pradier
1201 Geneva
022/ 732 28 38

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


After crossing the border into France, you can reach the Salève telepheric station, the village Pas-de-L'Echelle or the path going up the Petit Salève to Monnetier (700m). All those places are only a few minutes away from my house...

The Salève as seen from the telepheric station in Pas-de-L'Echelle in France.
The same as seen from the path going up the Petit Salève and to Monnetier...
When going up the "Pas-de-L'Echelle" path, one can see the Pas-de-L'Echelle village, then Veyrier and in the distance the Jura mountain...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Some days ago, I was craving for cookies, but did not want to make too rich ones. After a bit of googling around I found what I needed: "Fudgy Low-Fat Cocoa Cookies"!

This recipe was on the interesting site "Esurientes - The Comfort Zone". The recipe had already been posted by Nic of "Baking Sheet" who had taken it from "Cooking Light" by Alice Meldrich.

We all tend to think that low-fat baking is tasteless or uninteresting, but mostly we are wrong, especially regarding any kind of negative thoughts when it comes to this recipe, because it is far from being bland! Those cookies were full of flavour and chewy to please! Their sweet, round and slightly bitter taste confered by the vanilla extract and the cocoa was very pleasant. Nobody could have imagined that it was a light recipe! All in all, they were what most of us want to find in a cookie: pure "dirtiness"!!!

So, to all the people who might still have doubts concerning the taste quality of low-fat baking, I can only tell you to try those wonderful cookies and I bet that you'll change your mind very fastly as this recipe is awsome!...

Makes about 2 dozen.

1 Cup (150g) Plain white flour
1/4 Tsp Baking soda
1/8 Tsp Salt
1/4 Cup (30g) Unsalted butter, at room temperature
7 Tbs Unsweetened cocoa
2/3 Cup (145g) Castor sugar
1/3 Cup (75g) Light brown sugar
1/3 Cup Plain yoghurt
1 Tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 Cup Candied/dry cherries, dry cranberries or chocolate chips (optional, I used nothing)

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
2. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
3. In a large bowl, melt the butter using the "bain-marie" method.

4. Stir in the cocoa powder and sugars. Remove the bowl from the pan.
5. Stir in the yoghurt and vanilla extract.
6. Add the flour mixture and mix until combined.
7. If you are using cherries or any of the above mentioned ingredients, stir them in.
8. Drop tablespoons of batter onto a parchment lined cookie tray/pan.
9. Press down slightly to flatten.
10. Bake for 9-12 minutes or until set and firm at the edges.
11. Allow to cool on the tray/pan for a few minutes (no more than five minutes, though) before transfering to a wire rack to cool completely.

If you add chocolate chips, you will up the fat content, so remember that before adding anything else than the dry/candied cherries or dry cranberries.
I used no fruits or chocolate chips and the cookies were also very fine!
Cookies do not spread a lot, therefore you have to flatten them a little.
As those cookies are low-fat, I recommend you to keep them in an air-tight container for no longer than two to three days. Already after two days, they tend to lose their chewy aspect and get a little dry (but still fine, though).

Serving suggestion:
Eat at any time with a cup of tea or coffee.

(Cocoa Powder - Pic by

Saturday, June 24, 2006


Hey up folks, I hope you didn't forget our most awaited event of the weekend, the holy WCB round-up that Clare from Sydney hosts?!?!...

Sometimes Fridolin is a real king (König Der Dritte) or pascha, whatever! He just sits there looking proud and as if he would be a master reigning over a vast domain called our apartment...

He is also a little house tiger who likes to lie around lazily and shamelessly on the floor when the sun is shining. Kiki, our "König", is indeed a sweet kitty that loves cuddles as much as he loves to be a little freakish at times!...

You will also find this picture as well as others on the great Eat Stuff blog from Sydney, Australia where you can discover Kiri's weekly pictures... 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.

Friday, June 23, 2006


On Sundays we like to walk around our beautiful countryside. There are so many different walks that one can do when living in Veyrier.

Since we are so close to the border, we always have to ensure that we are carrying our identity cards on us, otherwise we would be a little limited. It is so easy to cross the border as most of the walking ways do so!...

On this very hot day, we went over to France and had a little walk at the foot of the Petit Salève.

It was very rewarding! We are very lucky to have such a beautiful countryside around the place we live!!!

A rather boyantly green Petit Salève...
Endless greenery...
A path...

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Pesto is something very fine and so versatile, that there are thousand ways to prepare this almighty "sauce"!

This time, I have made "Eggplant Pesto", because I wanted something that reflects the coming summertime and that would be a little less nutritious than the original "Pesto Alla Gennovese"...

I saw a similar recipe on the site "Napastyle" and made my own modifications in order to end up with this "Eggplant Pesto". It resulted in a creamy (thanks to the eggplant), voluptuous pesto that made me dream of Italy... I could litterally see myself sitting at a table in a paradisiac place somewhere in beautiful Italy! And I loved the nutty aroma of walnuts which combined itself perfectly with the smokey taste that the eggplant confer to this unique pesto...

A delicious combination that is very welcome when the temperatures are high and the cook if too tired to fiddle around in the kitchen for hours!!! And don't forget that it can also be converted into a wonderful dip or a paste for your crostinis, bruschette or fresh bread...

Makes one medium bowl.


1 Medium eggplant, ends trimmed

50g Walnuts, lightly toasted

3 Cloves garlic
, chopped
18 Large fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped

3 Tbs Olive oil (+ 2 Tbs)

4 Tbs Parmesan, grated

Pepper, to taste

Salt, to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).

2. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

3. Let cool and then chop coarsely.
4. Fill a medium pan with salted water and bring to a boil
5. Add the entire eggplant and simmer covered until cooked through.

6. Drain the water from the pan and let the eggplant cool.
7. Heat 2 Tbs olive oil in in a small skillet over moderately high heat.
8. Add the garlic and sauté until light brown.
9. Add all the ingredients into the bowl of your mixer and process until well blended and totally pureed.
10. When serving the pesto in a bowl, sprinkle a bit of extra olive oil over it.


You could very well use strong Provolone cheese instead of Parmesan.
If you wish, you can roast the eggplant in the oven; it will take more time, but it will add a smokey flavor to your pesto.

In this recipe I used walnuts, but you are free to use any other toasted nut of your choice. Instead of using roasted garlic, process it fresh.
If you want a less calorific pesto, then reduce the quantity of olive oil.
You can also make this pesto in a mortar, but it will be a bit messy thanks to the eggplant!

Serving suggestions:

Just toss a generous amount of this pesto on the pasta of your choice, use it as a filling for your lasagna, canellonis or to stuff pasta shells. Try it as a dip or as a spread for bruschette or eat it with fresh bread; it's heavenly!...

Eggplant Painting - Pic by

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


A few weeks ago, I went to an American food store named "American Market" and bought a few goodies.

This is a store dealing with all kinds of foods "made in USA"...
In this little two storey store situated in the popular quarter of the Pâquis, close to the lakeside and the train station, one can find various products such as soft drinks, sweets, Hershey's drops, brown sugar, chocolate, baking products, Tex-Mex specialities, wine, crisps, bagels, sauces (A1, Ketchup, Louisiana Hot Sauce, etc...), cookie mixes, and also measuring cups, pie tins, etc...

They really carry a lot and there are many interesting products. The atmosphere is very friendly and the store is very cute with it's American style. Everything is fine, but one thing annoyed me and freaked me out: the HIGH prices (many over 12 CHF items)!!! I had to take a deep breath and open my eyes wide so much I was in disbelief regarding their prices (well, maybe I'm too used to the ridiculously low-priced products we find in Asian food stores...)! In my opinion, they were totally overdone. Or am I wrong when I think so, are the prices of imported food from the USA always so expensive?!?... Because of that I could not really buy as many things as I planned to since I personnally found that they overpriced their products. This negative aspect made me sad as I went there with the idea that I would come back home with a full bag. That was an error! I could only afford a few low-priced items and that frustrated me a lot because I would have liked to treat myself with more......

Anyways, it's a place I would recommend you to go, at least to have a pleasant look around. It's a nice store which will transport you to another (food) world!

See what I bought:

1. Kool Aid "Island Twists".
2. Nature Valley "Pecan Crunch" energy bar.
3. Measuring cups for baking.
4. Domino "Dark Brown Sugar".
5. El Rio "Refried Beans".

American Market
Food Store
3, rue de Neuchâtel
1201 Geneva
022/732 32 00


American Market
Food Store
8, rue Juste Olivier
1260 Nyon
022/362 49 05

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


To continue my series of recipes using rhubarb, here's one that I fell upon when googling in search of a small thing that I could bake to satisfy my sugar cravings!

I found it on the William-Sonoma site and, as it's my habits, I changed a few details...

This muffin recipe was incredibly fine; I never ate such fluffy babies! Their texture was so light and airy that it knocked you off your feet. Taste-wise, the combination of the Chinese "Five Spice" powder with rhubarb was very successful and gave an extra kick to the whole!

If you love soft muffins, rhubarb and you like testing new flavour combinations, then this "Five Spice Rhubarb Muffins" recipe is a must try!!!

Makes 12 muffins.

2 Cups Plain white flour
1/4 Cup Wholewheat flour
2 Tsp Baking powder
1 Tsp Baking soda
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Chinese "Five Spice" powder
1/" Tsp Cinnamon powder
3/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Plain yoghurt
1/3 Cup Vegetable oil (peanut oil)
1 Egg (~50g)
1 1/4 Cup Rhubarb, finely chopped

1. Preheat an oven to 200°C (400°F).
2. Grease the cups of a standard muffin pan or line with muffin papers.
3. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and "Five Spice" powder.
4. In another bowl, whisk together the sugar, milk, yoghurt, oil and egg.
5. Stir the rhubarb in the wet mixture.
6. Add to the flour mixture and stir until just blended.
7. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full.
8. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 15 minutes.
9. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan.

The original recipe used: 2 1/4 cups plain white flour instead of 2 cups plain white flour and 1/4 cup wholewheat flour, 2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger instead of 1 teaspoon "Five Spice" powder and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, sour cream instead of plain yoghurt and 1 cup chopped rhubarb instead of 1 1/4 cup.
To mix the fllour with the liquid mixture I used a fork.
The secret of light and tender muffins lies within the blending of the wet ingredients with the dry ones. It's not a problem if you've left some lumps that look as if they want more stirring. Don't continue stirring no matter how hard it is, resist the impulse!

Serving suggestions:
Hey, do I have to tell you how to eat muffins?!?... There's no adequate moment for such a greedy activity: any time is the right time!

Sunday, June 18, 2006


Are you ready for another WEEKEND CAT BLOGGING hosted by Kiri's mother Clare from Australia? Then get ready to take a journey through the crazy cat world!...
Maruschka is a real baby.
We have to hold and caress her ALL THE TIME and if we don't do so, she starts crying nastily until we give her the attention she deserves!!!
One can do what he/she wants with this fluffy soft ball of hair; she just loves being kissed, cuddled, carried, used as a cushion, etc...
She would never do any harm as our "little bear" is a very sweet cat.
It's just impossible not to love her!!!

You will also find this picture as well as others on the great Eat Stuff blog from Sydney, Australia where you can discover Kiri's weekly pictures... 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.

Friday, June 16, 2006


That's where you'll be likely to find me enjoying myself (reading, eating, relaxing, etc...) when it's hot!...

My balcony table.
Actually, my balcony faces the South, so it's hot like hell when the sun is shining! We generally can only sit out when the evening has come or very early in the morning when the sun is still hiding behind the Salève...

What we see from our table: strange lentil clouds play with the Salève...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Here is a picture of a bread called "Regueifa". I bought it in the store MANOR and it is made by a Portugese bakery here in Geneva...

That's what we eat on certain Sunday mornings when I have no homemade bread to offer. It is delicious with jam, Nutella, peanut butter, etc...!

-Isn't it pretty?-

If anybody knows a recipe for this bread, then I'd be very pleased if you could share it with me...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


A "Salée à la Crème" is a speciality from the canton of Vaud in Switzerland. It is in fact a "Cream Tart" made with bread dough.

I can remember eating "Salée à la Crème" when I was small while visiting my grandparents. It was fantastic! It is something that I'll always find delicious as it is loaded with memories...

There are many different recipes around, so this one is one example out of many others, but in taste, it is correct and is not very different from the one of my childhood. I have only made it in my own way and I hope that you'll reach the heavens with this "Salée"!

~ Salée A La Crème ~
Recipe by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums 2006.

Makes one 26cm (10 inches) tart

1 Quantity pizza dough (see recipe), see remarks below (real dough)
150-170ml Double cream (min. 35% fat)
7-9 Tbs Castor sugar

1. Roll out the dough in order to get a 24-26cm (9-10 inches) round.
2. Place it in a greased tart pan lined with parchement paper for non-stick baking.
3. Press the bottom of the pastry with your fingers in order to make small depressions.
4. Cover with a towel and let rise for 15 minutes.
5. Pour the cream over the dough
and sprinkle the sugar over the cream.
6. Set aside for another 15 to 25 minutes, or until puffy.
7. Preheat the oven to 230°C (450°F).
8. Bake the "tart" in the bottom part of the oven for 20-25 minutes.
9. Let cool on a wire rack, until the cream is set and the tart is warm, but not hot.

- Champvent, my grandparents' village and it's castle -
For the dough, you have to replace the water by milk, the olive oil by (30g) soft butter and add 2 Tsps castor sugar. You'll also have to use 1 1/3 Tsps (3.5g) dried yeast or 15g fresh yeast instead of the 1 Tsp that the recipe calls for. In that way you'll end up with a real "Salée A La Crème" dough.
You can also use chopped rhubarb, fresh grapes, blackberries, blueberries, fresh figs or any other seasonal fruits of your choice as filling. Just spread the fruits over the dough before you add the cream and the sugar.
You can even prepare this "tart" without any kind of fruit filling (only with cream and sugar); this is the original "Salée à la Crème".

Serving sugestions:

Eat this "tart" when still warm as a complete meal.

(Chateau de Champvent, Vaud -Pic by Vincent Bourrut

Sunday, June 11, 2006


It's time again for our weekly cat treat!!!

That's typically our little "Psycho" when he has his 10 minutes of total mayhem! When he's going nuts running around, Fridolin generally looks quite "bizarre"; he looks quite estranged, his "rabbit" leg knocks the floor with a "ra-ta-ta-ta" sound, his superior lip lets the right tooth show and his nerves shake his whole back! A real circus number which makes us laugh!!!...

You will also find this picture as well as others on the great Eat Stuff blog from Sydney, Australia where you can discover Kiri's weekly pictures... 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.

Friday, June 9, 2006


Here is a collection of various spring (April - June) sunsets for you to enjoy... We have such a spectacular view from our windows that if you take a picture of the sky on a daily basis, non of the photos will look quite the same!...

Spring sunset...
April nightsky (you can even see the moon crescent)...
Deconstructed sky...
A beautiful sunset after the rain...Magnificent sunrays...

Thursday, June 8, 2006


Aaaahhh, cookies!!! This word nearly sounds like poetry to my ears! The quintessence of American bakery. An endIess quest for the ultimate taste Nirvana. A little piece of heaven...

It is no secret if cookies are very popular as their versatility is what makes them so interesting and attaching. It is for that reason that there are SO many different recipes and different ways of appreciating them. Some cookie lovers will claim that their recipe is the best, but although there's an immense choice of great recipes in circulation, everybody will have his/her own favorite cookie and his/her own vision of what the ultimate cookie should be like. But, what is THE perfect cookie? A chewy one? A crunchy one? A white chocolate one? With pecan nuts or walnuts? That's a difficult question to answer, because the search of the perfect cookie is a very personal one and is quite a task to undertake....

With this recipe, I will not try to assert that it is the one and only around, but I can at least say that it is indeed a very good one which I recommend you to test! Let me explain...

Their center is nice and chewy, on the outside, they are slightly crunchy. Their taste is absolutely awsome (buttery, chocolatty, nutty with hints of vanilla), even if very classical, at the end. Those cookies are simply gorgeous and it is one of the recipes to which I cling!...

The following recipe was taken from the wonderful little cute book "Afternoon Delights - Coffeehouse Favorites: Cookies & Coffee Cakes, Brownies & Bars, Scones & More" by James McNair and Andrew Moore.

Makes about 12 large cookies

188g (1 1/4 Cups) Plain white flour
1/2 Baking soda
1/2 Tsp Salt
120g (1/2 Cup) Unsalted butter, at room temperature
110g (1/2 Cup) Castor sugar
110g Light brown sugar
1 Egg (~50g), at room temperature
2 Tsp Pure vanilla extract
160g (1 Cup) Semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 Cup Walnuts, lightly toasted and coarsly chopped
1/2 Cup Peanuts, lightly toasted

1. In a bowl, combine sifted flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
2. In another bowl, combine the sugars and the butter and beat until light and fluffy.
3. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Blend well.
4. Add the flour mixture and incorporate it gently.
5. Stir in the chocolate chips and the toasted nuts.

6. Put the dough in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for an hour (not in the book, but an important step if you want them to be perfect).
7. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
8. Using an ice-cream scoop (1/4 cup), scoop up level portions of the dough and place them about 7cm (3 inches) apart on the lined baking sheet until it is full.
9. Cover the remaining dough tightly with plastic wrap to prevent from drying. Set aside until forming the next batch of cookies.
10. Place the rack in the middle of the oven and bake until the cookies are golden brown, about 15 minutes.
11. Remove the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool for a few minutes, then using a spatula, transfer the cookies directly to the rack to cool completely.
12. Repeat the forming process until the dough is used up.

You can also use white chocolate and any other nut of your choice (macadamia, pecans, brasil nuts, etc...) as long as they are toasted.
I used salted and toasted peanuts for this recipe.
Originally, this recipe called for 1 cup pecans or walnuts.
Instead of using an ice-cream scoop, shape the balls with the palm of your hands.
The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 6 days.

Serving suggestions:
Do I really have to tell you how to eat those cookies?!? Come on, sincerely, you don't think that we all know you'll be tempted to finnish the whole box within the next half an hour!!!!...

(Cookie Pot - Pic by

Tuesday, June 6, 2006


This is my second contribution to the "Farmer's Market" round-up that Melissa of COOKING DIVA and Elena of EL AMOR POR LA CUCINA have organized...

After having shown you how the "Marché De Rive" (see report) looks, it is now the turn of the "La Halle De Rive" to be exposed...

This covered market is also very intersting as it is a little more delicatessen-oriented and offers other kinds of food than it's neighbouring open air market (reachable when going out of this market).

To walk through those "halles" is a magnificent experience that one should live only after
having eaten; we all know that going out to buy food when we are hungry is very "dangerous" as we might come back with more food than expected initially or needed!!! Nonetheless, even if you visit this place with a full stomach, you can be sure that you will buy a few little treasures as there is so much to choose from (cheese, meat, Asian specialities, Italian specialities, etc...).

Enjoy this virtual tour and if you are visiting Geneva, don't forget to pass through both markets!...

Entering "La Halle De Rive"... On the right side, there is a Lebanese delicatessen stall and on the very right, an immense cheese stall.
This beautiful cheese stall held by Mr & Mrs Müller is absolutely chock-a-block full with all kinds of cheeses. You can find a wide variety of Swiss cheese, French cheese, goat's cheese, sheep's cheese, blue cheese and also many varieties of Swiss products like honey, thick double cream from Gruyère, traditional meringues and "bricelets" from Fribourg, Bénichon mustard, "vin cuit" ("cooked wine"), wines, spirits, etc... They also specialise in delivering restaurants and hotels.
We bought some French "Maroilles" and "Munster" as well as a Swiss cheese called "Le Maréchal". Those cheeses were very fine, tasty and perfectly refined. Our choice had been well guided and we were very pleased with what we bought!!!
Here, you can see a selection of goat's cheese...
That's the other kinds of Swiss specialities they offer...
That's another stall selling ham, salami, etc...
This is a stall specialised in Italian specialities like raviolis, canellonis, pasta, etc...
A flower stall...
Strawberries, raspberries...
Fresh bread...

Marché de Rive & Halle de Rive
Boulevard Helvétique
1207 Genève

If you want to participate to the round-up, please check here...

Sunday, June 4, 2006


This weekend, WCB is a very special one. For the one year anniversary of Weekend Cat Blogging, Clare has invited us all to submit a picture of our cat's favorite toy or a sound recording of his/her voice!

That'll surely be very interesting, I'm sure...

Look at those two couch potatoes shamelessly lying in their comfy bed! When I see them having some good time doing nothing and sleeping all day long, I tend to feel "jealous". Why could we not be cuddled all day long, served like a pasha, fed, sleep as we wish and above all not be worried by anything in particular (apart from the time when we get supper as that's a very important event in a cat's life, isn't it?)? Heh, I ask you why? It's not fair at all, but only God knows why some have the right to live for pure pleasure while others are doomed to serve and "suffer"......
Let's meditate on that, shall we (grrrrrr...)!!!
Regarding the toys, well our cats get very fastly bored by them, so they only have a big tree which is soon falling to pieces, a living room as playground and a cat toilet in which they like to toy around for many long minutes, moving the sand from one side to another and at the end, spreading it everywhere around and as far as possible (mmmffff *@%&*%...)!!! Otherwise, they love to get combed, so we have a brush and a glove that they like to mistreat (you have to be careful not to lose you hand while doing it!) whenever we use them on them little monsters...

You will also find this picture as well as others on the great Eat Stuff blog from Sydney, Australia where you can discover Kiri's weekly pictures... 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.

Friday, June 2, 2006


As I already love cornmeal bread, I wanted to test a cornmeal cake, so I googled a little bit and came across a recipe for "Orange cornmeal cake" by Martha Stewart ("Everyday Food") which was featured on the interesting "Simply Recipes" blog...

This cake is very aromatic, light and moist. It is a pleasant cake which is ideal for afternoon teas or served as a dessert., because it's not too sweet nor too rich. In fact, it is a perfect spring- or summertime cake as it's refreshing taste and airy texture makes it a delightfully attaching treat!...

120ml (1/2 Cup) Sunflower oil
2 Eggs (~50g)
220g (1 Cup) Castor sugar, plus 70g (1/3 Cup) for the topping
130ml (1/2 Cup) Dry white wine
The zest of one orange, finely grated or 1 paket Dr.Oetker orange zest
190g (1 1/4 Cup) Plain white flour, sieved
153g (1/2 Cup) Yellow cornmeal
2 Tsp Baking powder
1 Tsp Salt

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F).
2. In a big bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal, salt and baking powder.
3. In pouring recipient whisk together the oil, eggs, sugar, zest and wine until smooth.
4. Make a well in the center.
5. Slowly pour the liquid mixture into the well and gently fold all the ingredients together until well combined.
6. Spoon the batter into the prepared round pan.
7. Sprinkle the top with the reserved sugar.
8. Bake for about 30-35 minutes until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

You can also substitute the sunflower oil by olive oil, and the white wine by orange juice.
Don't over mix or you'll end up with a heavy cake.

Serving suggestions:
Serve this cake with orange segments.

(Zest -Pic by
(White Wine -Pic by

Thursday, June 1, 2006


Like most of you, I love pizza and could eat it on a weekly basis. It is one of those classics that kids and grownups enjoy alike and are never tired of it's fulfilling and satisfactionary taste!...

But, when I make my own pizza, it generally ends up in an orgy as it tends to take IMMENSE proportions and could be called as a "monolithic pizza"!!!

You see, I love my pizzas to be very tasty and very generous, so I pile up as much as possible. It means that I have to cover my pizza with as many different ingredients as it can take!...

Of course, this can lead to problems like the overflowing cheese running out everywhere, the oven getting dirty and a bad black smoke invading my kitchen!!!

But, this time I was very happy. I didn't go wild and overmake my pizza, so everything went for the best. In fact, this very pizza was my most successful so far. It was super-tasty, their was enough garnishing to please my greedy self, the bread dough was fabulously crusty and the overall look of it was very pleasant...

Needless to say that we were in food paradise!........

Makes enough for 2-4 people

One quantity pizza dough (see recipe)
One quantity quick tomato sauce (see recipe)
1 Tin (230g) sliced Parisian button mushrooms (drained)
200g Ham, sliced
300-350g Mozarella, sliced
60-100g Gruyère cheese, grated
1/2-2/3 Red or green bell pepper, thinly sliced
30g Anchovy fillets (from a tin and without the oil)
4-5 Tbs Capers
5-6 Tbs Green olives, pitted and halved
Herbs/Italian herb seasoning of your choice or fresh basil

1. Roll out the dough in order to get a 26-30cm (10-12 inches) round.
2. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchement paper for non-stick baking.
3. Spread the tomato sauce.
4. Cover with the mushrooms, then the ham, the mozarella and Gruyère, the bell-pepper, the anchovies, capers, olives and herbs.
5. Bake in preheated oven at 220°C (440°F) for about 40 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the crust is baked through.
6. Serve hot.

Once the dough has been rolled out and that you have spread the tomato sauce, you are free to place all the ingredients in the order you wish.
If you don't have any Gruyère cheese underhand, then any other similar cheese (quite strong, salty and medium hard) is fine as long as it contrasts with the mildness of the Mozarella.

Serving suggestions:
Sprinkle your slice of pizza with virgin olive oil, pepper and red Tabasco, if desired. As accompaniment, a salad is ideal.

(Mozarella -Pic by