Friday, March 30, 2007


Ruth at "Once Upon A Feast" from Toronto (Canada) has decided to organize a weekly event that takes place every Friday. It's called "Presto Pasta Nights" (see infos and rules) and as you have maybe guessed, it's all about pasta!

For my second participation, I thought that it would be good to cook something from scrap, a dish that would cost practically nothing, but which would nonetheless be very luxurious taste-wise. So, I made an inventory of my cupboards and came up with this rather unusual recipe that I am very proud to present here!...

Pestos exist in a multitude of different variations, but I had never really seen anything like "Anchovy Pesto" before. It's quite unknown in our latitudes, unless you are of Italian origin. In fact, I was heavily influenced by a poor people's pasta dish ("Pasta Con Sarde") from Palermo in Sicily and which is made with chopped anchovies (that are plentiful in this region), pine nuts and raisins. As I wanted to use anchovies, but also wanted to eat pesto, it came to my mind that it could be possible to make a cross recipe between both specialities...

"Anchovy Pesto" might sound intimidating at first, because everybody thinks that it will be very fishy, but it has nothing unpleasant about it. All on the contrary!

This dish is generous, delightfully flavorful, delicate and absolutely nothing in
it lets you think that it is cheap. The strong fish taste of anchovies is masked by the rafined flavor of the roasted nuts that add body as well as an exceptional roundness to the pasta...

Those "Pasta With Anchovy Pesto" are just simply exceptional and will surprise you positively without emptying your wallet!

~Pasta With Anchovy Pest
Recipe by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums

Serves 2

200g Dry tagliatelle
2 Tbs Sultanas, rehydrated in enough hot water to cover
For the pesto:
2 Tbs Cashew nuts, roasted
2 Tbs Pine nuts, roasted
1 Tin sardines, well drained
3 Cloves garlic
3 Tbs Parmesan cheese, grated
5 Tbs Olive oil
1 Tsp Red Tabasco sauce
Pepper, to tas
Salt, to taste (optional)

1. In a mortar, pound together the nuts, sardines, garlic and cheese until you get a paste.
2. Add the olive oil, tabasco, pepper and salt to taste.
3. Pound again until well blended. Set aside.

4. Fill up a big saucepan with water and bring to the boil.
5. Add the tagliatelle and lower the heat.
6. Cook for about 6 minutes, uncovered or until the pasta are "al dente".

7. Strain the pasta, reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid.
8. Over low heat, add the pesto to the cooking liquid and stir, then return the pasta to the pan.
9. Stir
well so that the pasta are evenly coated.
10. Sprinkle with sultanas.

Instead of sultanas, you can use raisins or dried cranberries.
If you prefer, you can replace the Tabasco sauce by chilli flakes or any other chilli sauce of your choice.
For more flavor, a few basil leaves can be added to the paste in the mortar.
You could use other pasta such as "spaghetti", "fettuccine", "bucatini", "linguini" or green (spinach), red (tomato)....
Before serving, green peas and a teaspoon fennel seeds can also be added to this dish in order to give it a Sicilian touch.

Serving suggestions:
Eat this dish with a light green salad (lettuce for example) .
If you desire, you can also sprinkle some extra Parmesan cheese over the pasta and/or grate some "Botarga" over this dish.

(Agrigento -Pic by Roberto Bellaccomo

Thursday, March 29, 2007


Spring is a season full of changes...

The weather never stops jumping backwards and forwards. One day, it can be warm and sunny and the very next it can be very winter-like!

A tree in fog...
Crazy spring snowfalls and cherry blossoms...A nice and warm day with summer-like clouds...
A fog so thick that everything looks as if eaten by it!...

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Hier, j'ai eu le bonheur de recevoir ton colis et je tiens à te remercier de tout coeur pour ce gentil geste. Cette surprise m'a vraiment fait plaisir!!!

Avec ces pralines, je confectionnerai très bientôt une brioche savoyarde ainsi que d'autres spécialités.

A suivre, donc...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Once again, the sweet Hélène at "Dans L'Assiette De Mademoiselle Charlotte Et Cie" has tagged me for another meme!

Although I appreciate drinking wine, I'm not a big connoisseur, so I have tried my best to answer the following questions...

According to you, is wine more feminine or masculine?
I would say that wines are more masculine with sometimes
a feminine touch...

Do you prefer red, white or rosé wine?
It all depends on the seasons and the food...

When the temperatures are low, I will tend to drink more red wine. But when the summer is here, I'd rather appreciate a lighter and fresher wine (white or rosé) that will be chilled.

The choice of wine will also depend on the food that is served.
I am more attracted by red or white wines, though.

Do you prefer white champaign to pink champaign, or vice-versa?
As a matter of fact, I'm not really a champaign person as I find it a littl
e uninteresting and bland, apart from it's price (wink)! So, I'm quite incapable of answering that question, although I do think that the white version is more authentic...

I can understand that some people love Champaign, but this wine doesn't speak to me (or very rarely). In fact, I find that a good bottle of "Clairette
De Die" is more pleasurable. It is not as dry as champaign and is also a lot fruitier.

When was your "first time" with wine?
I don't really remember, but as I grew up in a wine-oriented family, I always was used to seeing wine. So, at a very early age, I started tasting the wine that the grownups drank. Generally behind their backs!

What is your best "emotional" memory with wine?
Er, that's a difficult one. I'd say any time I've been able to discover a good wine...

What is the best food association with wine?
When cheese and fresh homemade bread are accompanied by a fresh bottle of whi
te wine...

Your next wine tasting experience (real or fantasized)?
I don't know... I'd love to be in a beautiful bodega in Chili or Argentina, sitting on a cool terrace with an incredible view, under vines and sipping a delightfully fresh wine!

Who chooses the wine at your place and who takes care of the wine storage cave?
I'm good at choosing wines, but it's something that we do together. Regarding the wine storing cave, I live in an apartment, so there is none. Only a few bottles stocked in boxes...

How many bottles do you have on stock or in your wine storage cave?
Not too many, unfortunately. Maybe ten...

How would you initiate a young person to wine?

I'm not a specialist, but I'd make him/her taste a few diff
erent wines from different places and countries...

I tag the following people:
Ari at "Baking And Books" (USA)
Ilva at "Lucillian Delights" (Italy)
Susan at "Food Blogga" (USA)

(Red Wine -Pic by
(Bacchus -Pic by Kakichev U.
(Wine And Cheese -Pic by
(Clairette De Die -Pic by
(Maipo Valley, Chili -Pic by

Monday, March 26, 2007


On the occasion of our inaugural "Swiss Soup Swap" organized by Rai at "Ugly Fruit", I made some apperitive muffins which were very appropriate for our event's little opening party during which all kinds of nibbles and wine were served...

As on that very day, I had to make six litres of my "Caribbean Banana Soup" for the swap that was going to take place that same evening and considering the fact that I wanted to prepare something to eat, my choice was easily made. I was going to bake a batch of muffins that would be fastly whipped together and which would be tasty enough in order to please our demanding foodie tastebuds!

It is to be said that those "Pesto Muffins" are very quickly baked, yet they are a successful last-minute ally thanks to their two much loved and popular winner ingredients that are pesto and ch
eese. This recipe gives delicious muffins that are perfumed with the exhilarating scent of Italy, that are light, fluffy textured and real scrummy...


~Pesto Muffins~

Adapted from

ields 12 muffins

1 1/2 Cup Plain white flour
1 Cup Wholemeal flour
3 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 Tsp Garlic powder (optional)
1/4 Tsp Onion powder (optional)
1/2 Tsp Salt (optional)
Ground black pepper, to taste (optional)
1/4 Cup Olive oil
2 Eggs (~50g)

1/3 Cup Pesto sauce
1 Cup Milk

1. Preheat oven to 200° C (400° F).
2. Mix together the dry ingredients (first 8) in big bowl.
3. In another bowl, whisk together all wet ingredients.
4. Combine the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients with the help of a fork.
5. Spoon the dough
into the greased muffin pan.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until
a skewer inserted in the middle of one muffin comes out clean.
7. Coll on a wire rack.

If you wish, you can also add 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or 1/2 cup
toasted pine nuts, or replace the parmesan cheese by the same proportion of grated cheddar cheese.
Gently work the wet mixture into the dry ingredients in order to get a batter that remains lumpy.

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:
Serve those "Pesto Muffins" for the apperitive, as a starter and eat them with butter.
You can also eat those muffins while still warm, a few minutes after they have come out of the oven or reheat them just before serving.

(Pesto -Pic by

Sunday, March 25, 2007


This week, Amar and the beautiful Luna at "CatSynth.Com" (USA) are happy to announce that they are hosting Weekend Cat Blogging #94!

To submit your kitty picture(s), you can either leave a message in their blog's comment section (with your permalink) or contact them via e-mail without forgetting to give all the needed informations.

Fridolin is a very photogenic kitty when he's lying on the tree and looking proud like a little emperor.
He has a way of behaving that makes him the ideal subject, because he's so impassive and statue-like, yet so very sweet.
Not to forget that his gray tabby coat has magnificent swirling patterns and interesting colors which are eye-catching...

Friday, March 23, 2007


On Saturday the 17th of March, for the third consecutive year, the annual "Festival Du Chocolat 2007" took place in Versoix in order to honor the know-how of our Swiss chocolate makers.

The tradition of chocolate festivals started in 2005 (12th of March) in "Place du Bourg" square in Versoix, a small lakeside town near Geneva. That year, morethan 8,000 visitors had shown up. In 2006, the event took place in the "Place De La Gare" (in front of the train station) under a heated tent and attracted even more people (15,000) from many different regions and countries...

~ Versoix Lakeside. ~

This year, it was a real success and considering the sheer amount of people, a new record must have been broken once again (unfortunately I haven't found any numbers). Even early in the morning (9h20 am), the place was already chock-a-block full (the right expression...)!

~ Under the tent. ~
This festival is a must for anybody who loves chocolate and who wants to dream like a little child in front of the enormous display of goodies to discover, buy and to savor!

~ L'Epicerie De Châteauvieux from Satigny. ~
(Two following pictures)On the right, the renowned Philippe Chevrier.
I met up with a bunch of GOL people and chocoholics at the Geneva train station. After a very short lapse of time, we arrived in Versoix and started our visit...
~ Confiserie Rapp from Prangins. ~
More than 20 artisans (or should I say "artists"?) exposed and sold their products for our biggest pleasure. The Geneva chocolate manufacture Favarger had even opened their doors and a visits were made possible.

We started our visit in the tent. It was very difficult to know where to look, because there were many great stalls. I was very impressed by the wide array of different chocolates on exhibition! I must mention though, that not all stands looked as equally good. Some were very interesting and colorful, but others, on the contrary, were deceivingly boring, pale and looked very basic. For those, more efforts could have been done and that's really a pity. Such events are important and if your image is bad, your business will suffer from it...

~ Paganel from Geneva~
(Two following pictures)
Although, the place was quite crowded and there were free samples, things were calm, the atmosphere was good and the people were quite polite and not too pushy. Was it because of the soothing and mod-enhancing effects of chocolate on their character? Maybe...

~ Organic Cocoa Mustard by Céline Amann from Begnins. ~
While some confectioners were generous, others didn't offer much to taste, only tiny pieces of chocolate that were way to small to give any kind of idea on their product! Once again, business doesn't go in pair with being utterly mean, that's contrary to having a commercial attitude...

Amongst my favorite were Brocard Pâtissiers Chocolatiers from France, Pâtisserie Paganel from Geneva, Noz Chocolatier from Lausanne, Confiserie Rapp from Prangins, Philippe Pascoët from Carouge (Geneva), Philippe Chevrier's (chef cook) Epicerie Du Domaine De Châteauvieux from Satigny (Geneva), Jean-Claude Hochstrasser from Geneva and Confiserie Wenger from Le Noiremont. Their stands were beautiful and abunded with many gorgeous-looking creations and yummy "confiserie" items!

~ Philippe Pascoët from Carouge. ~
(Three following pictures)
~ Absinth fountain. ~

As I had only a very low budget, I bought only one little chocolate bar
which has nonetheless brought me a lot of pleasure. I found it on the Confiserie Wenger stall. It had layers of dark chocolate, apricot, waffle, giandujia and light chocolate. Mmmmhhhh, wonderfully delicate!!!

~ Wenger's apricot chocolate. ~
(Two next pictures)
Then, we visited the Favarger (see link) fabric were we learned everything about chocolate making and the different processes that are required. Upon entering, we were surrounded by an intoxicating smell of cocoa! I had never seen a manufacture from the inside before and it was a very informative experience.

By the way, I really recommend their chocolates which are just simply awesome taste- and quality-wise!...

~ Sébastien Brocard from neighboring France. ~
(Next five pictures)
After that, it was dinner time, so we bought some sandwiches and drinks, and we walked to the lakeside where we ate and talked a little about nothing and everything.

At about 15h00, we all went back home very happy and with our chocolate cravings fulfilled for a while (at least for the next half an hour!!!)...

~ Fish by La Bonbonnière from Geneva. ~

It was a very good day that I'm ready to renew next year!

If you want to see more reports with pictures, then please visit the following blogs:
San at "Dans La Cuisine Des Frangines" (French Language)
Leeloo at "Quoique" (French Language)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


It is the 21st of March and today marks the beginning of Spring!

A few days ago, the weather was really warm (15° C) and the sun was shining. Everybody was excited by the high temperatures, but on Monday, it changed radically! In fact since two days, we are having wet snowfalls and the air has got quite fresh and chilly (5° C).

Those are the last hiccups of Winter, before Spring finally imposes itself...

Please click on the pictures to enlarge.

Wet snowfalls and strong winds over Veyrier...
Heavy clouds carrying their load of humid snow flakes...
Two weeks ago, it was quite different from now...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Not long ago, I got tagged for this "Spring Meme" by Hélène at "Dans L'Assiette De Mademoiselle Charlotte Et Cie" from France...

It was quite a difficult questionnaire, so I hope that you'll enjoy my answers!

If I were a tree, I would be...
I would be a giant sequoia tree (sequoiadendron), because I find it very majestuous and impressive. It is one of the world's largest trees, a "living fossil" that has outlived the dinosaurs by 70 million years and was/is imbued by the Native Americans with mystical powers!

Thanks to my height I would be able to see far into the horizon. I would be wise for I would get/be very old (the oldest specimen is 3,200 years old!). As an evergreen, I would always look nice and never naked or poor. My habitat would be wonderful and I would feel very well in the middle of a National Park in the US...

... a bush?
I would be a wild blackberry bush...

Although this kind of bush looks uninteresting and thorny, it is nonetheless very combative (it is well spread) and offers a non negligeable quantity of wonderful little fruits.

Blackberries are delicious, tasty and have a beautiful violet color. They are delicious in any desserts and very healthy. A gift of nature!

... a flower?
I would be a white Calla Lily, because it is very delicate, pure looking and it doesn't need much to be beautiful!

I've always love
d those flowers for their photogenic and artistic aspect. They are incredibly well-shaped, nearly unreal. As they are very close to perfection, those flowers tend to have the power to make you enter a meditative state whenever you admire them. Breathtaking!

... an aromatic herb?
I would be Thai basil (bai horopa) with it's unique and delicate licorice/anise flavor...

It is so aromatic and fres
h! I love Asian (Vietnamese, Laotian Cambodian and Thai) food and this herb adds a wonderful dimension to any dish whether it is a stir-fry, a curry or a salad.

... a spice?
I would be cinnamon, but if I were a spice mixture I would be either curry powder or Chinese five spice powder...

Cinnamon is fine if used to flavor a sweet or a savory dish. It adds a real dimension to all recipes and it's fragra
nce is unbelievable. I love cinnamon!

Regarding curry powder or Chinese five spice powder, they are very tasty spice mixes that add a lot of character to any dish. They even go very well with sweet food (brownies, cakes, custrard, etc...)...

... an aquatic plant?
I'd be a violet water lily/lotus, because I love the serene atmosphere of ponds...

It is a symbolic flower in many cultures (Egyptian, Indian, Sri Lankan, Ch
inese, Mayan, Japanese, African, etc...). It represents abundance and fertility, the apparition of life within the neutral immensity of primordial waters.

Beyond this representation, water lilies are just simply magnificent and pure.

... a plant received as a gift or offered to someone?
I would choose the orchid for it's delicacy and perfect looks...

It is a no
ble plant that looks simple, but is in fact very rafined, exotic and detailed. They look nearly artificial and thus quite surreal. They don't fade or wither with the passing of time. Orchids remains forever fresh, in bloom and beautiful.

It is a sign of beauty, love and affection. It is such
a special plant that it can only be offered to people who count for you...

... a garden animal?
I would be a cute little hedgehog that eats the parasites in the garden (natural pest controllers) and works his way through the garden like a miniature pig!

This tiny mammal looks ever so sweet and innocent. I'd love to cuddle one of those adorable garden critters!

During the summer, it is a delight for me to hear their grunts and snuffles when they are out in the garden. It is incredible to see how an animal of this size can make such a noise...

...a season?
I would choose either Autumn/Fall or Spring...

Autumn is a superb season with it's lush reds, yellow and greens. A festival of sumptuous colors that always rejoice me! It is also the time of plenty and harvest.

Spring is quite similar to Autumn, in a sense, because it also marks a change and the end of a season. Who cannot love a season that announces the beginning of the warmer days and of nature's renewal? An exciting time!

I tag the following people:

(Sequoia -Pic by
(Blackberry Bush -Pic by
(Calla Lily -Pic by
(Thai Basil -Pic by
(Water Lily -Pic by
(Orchid -Pic by
(Hedgehog -Pic by
(Cherry Blossoms -Pic by