Sunday, September 30, 2007


This week, Boo_licious at "Masak-Masak" (Malaysia) is happy to announce that she is hosting Weekend Cat Blogging #121...

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

This week, there's nothing particular to declare on the cat front...
They have both been very brave and quite invisible.
Maybe it has something to do with the colder days which have taken over.
Maruschka was very adorable lately.
There was no yammering, just the usual acid stare and glooming laser eyes!


Our Swiss firefighters have released a rap video because they are really fed up of getting phony calls from members of the public seeking directory information!

They get more than 20 of those phone calls a day and they block the lines, thus not letting the real people who are in serious trouble reach the fire station as fastly as they should...

Read more here.

Friday, September 28, 2007


It is not new to you that I love to walk around the Geneva countryside and my village... It is an activity that I enjoy doing and which always enables me to snap a few pictures in order for you to discover my place through the different seasons.

Here are a few photos (click to enlarge) showing that fall has really arrived and that there's no turning back! The mist, light, crisp air, apples and turning trees are all there to remind us that the gates of autumn have been opened and that we have already entered it's realm of dim sunlight and of orange sunsets...

Apple trees close to Troinex.
A last blast of green before the autumn installs itself permanently.
The Petit Salève seen from a strange angle.
An abandoned house? No, a shed...
A greenhouse full of aromatic herbs in the Marais region.
The sun rising.
The first morning mist.
A very autumnal vision...
Where is the Salève?
Brrrr, it's getting nippy!
A beautiful sunset.
The sun is disappearing behind the clouds...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Buying industrial cakes or cookies and sweets is not really my thing as I believe that what is homemade (with love) not only tastes better, but is also a lot healthier (since you choose what you use). Well, I must confess that there are times when I bend the law in order to test a few of the popular and most-advertized typical American treats...

That's how, I lately found myself queueing at my local supermarket with a box of "Oreo" biscuits and a pack of "Jelly Belly" jelly beans! I bought them, mainly to make my own opinion on those products, out of curiosity, although a part of me (my childish side) took them by pure and unashamed gourmandise.

JELLY BEAN is a naturally flavored gourmet confectionary made in California with real fruit juice and puree. This small-sized bean was invented at the very beginning of the 20th century. It has a soft gummy center (tracing it's origins back to Turkish Delights) and a hard shell. Back in the 1930's it became an Easter candy as it resembles an egg. "Jelly Beans" come in various flavors such as juicy pear, watermelon, coconut milk, chocolate, lemon, cherry, apple, orange, lime, raspberry, strawberry, grape, banana, manderine, peach, pink grapefruit, plum, etc...

Those sugary delights taste good because they are not chemically flavored. Of course, they are sugar-based, but at least, contrarily to many other sweets, they are relatively additive-free (colorings and glucose only). So, if you want to experience a strong and fruity taste explosion that makes your tastebuds go wild and leaves a pleasant lingering sweetness in your mouth, then the "Jelly Belly Beans" are for you!

OREO BISCUIT is popular chocolate sandwich cookie which consists of a sweet, white filling (commonly referred to as 'cream' or 'creme'), sandwiched between two circular chocolate wafers. This biscuit was first produced in 1912 and is now the best selling cookies of the 20th century. Like most industrial baked goods, "Oreo Biscuits" may contain a certain quantity of non-natural ingredients such as additives, glucose and flavors, but at least, they now contain no hydrogenated oils (trans fat)...

Although this cookie is labelled as being "the world's n°1 biscuit" or "milk's favorite biscuit", they are nonetheless very common/classic in flavor. While they might not taste bad, I would either not say that they really kick ass (as I expected they would after reading a lot of bragging about them). In fact, I consider them more like a "guilty and dirty pleasure/treat" rather than an item you'd die for, especially if you are a daring homebaker who knows what a real, good and natural cookie is. But I must point out that they are far from being the worst industrial biscuits I've tasted so far. In fact, they are quite better than the average ones I've had the opportunity (or unluck) to test...

Monday, September 24, 2007


As far as I can remember, I've always enjoyed eating chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or any kind of pulse/legume as not only are they good for your health, but also very tasty and extremely multifaceted. But, it is only lately that I have discovered that little culinary jewel called "Chickpea Flour", "Gram Flour" or "Besan" in Indian...

Since the very day I bought me first bag of "Chickpea Flour" I've been under the spell of this fabulous high carbohydrates and protein-rich magical ingredient!

"Chickpea Flour" can be used in the Indian cuisine (to make a chickpea omelet/pancake called "Chilla", to spice up curries,
as a batter for deep-frying, as a soup thickener, as a binding agent in "Koftas" or "Kebabs", as a main ingredient in sweets, etc...). In fact, it is to the Indian kitchen what the egg is to the Western Kitchen and it can even be used as a face scrub and toner as well as a remedy for babies! Here, in our part of the world, it is very popular amongst the vegetarian, gluten-free (and egg-free/milk-free) and wholefood communities as well as in Italian cusine to make "Farinata" and in French cuisine (Mediterranean) to make "Socca" which are both a kind of savory pancake.

This unique flour is very flavorsome and ever so useful that it will soon become a must-have ingredient in your kitchen. Once you've tried it, there's no way you can forget it or snob it!

The recipe I am presenting today is gorgeous, cheap and very fastly prepared. This "Chickpea Terrine" is a wonderful vegetarian dish that is highly nourishing, healthy and above all, delicious. The use of "Besan" confers it an original nutty and soily/earthy taste that is very satisfying and which is pleasantly enhanced by the use of spices and the adition of sweet vegetables like the bell pepper and onion. Really scrumptious!

~ Chickpea Terrine ~
Recipe by Valérie Cupillard "Pâtés végétaux et tartinades" (see link) and freely adapted by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums.

Serves 4.

1 Yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 Medium onion, finely chopped
2 Cloves garlic, crushed
5 Tbs Olive oil
2 Tsp Dried thyme
1/2 Tsp Paprika
1 Pinch Smoked paprika
1/2 Tsp Mustard (powder or paste)
1/2 Tsp Curry powder
A few drops Tabasco (red or green)
150g Chickpea flour
500ml Water
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

1. In a frying pan, stir-fry the chopped onion in olive oil, then add the garlic and the chopped bell pepper.
2. Add all the spices and herbs.
3. Cook over medium heat for about 15-20 minutes, until the bell pepper is tender.
4. Meanwhile, put the chickpea flour in a pan and add the water.
5. Mix thouroughly until both ingredients are well blended.
6. Cook over low heat (stirring continuously) until the mixture thick
7. Salt and pepper to taste.
8. Turn off the heat and add the vegetables and mix well.
9. Pour into a greased cake mould.
10. Bake in the oven at 180° C (350° F) for about 35-45 minutes.
11. Cool on a rack and unmould the terrine.

For that recipe, you can use any bell pepper (red, green, orange, etc...) or replace it by 2 coarsely grated carrots (original recipe) that you'll also stir-fry.
If you wish, the chopped onion can be replaced by 2 finely chopped shallots (original recipe).
It is possible to use 1 teaspoon garlic powder instead of the 2 cloves garlic.
You can also add more curry powder (3 teaspoons instead of the 1/2 teaspoon) and ommit the thyme, paprika, smoked paprika, mustard as well as Tabasco (as in the original recipe).
The cooked chickpea mixture (water and flour) should have the consistency of a thick béchamel or custard.

Serving suggestions:
Cut the terrine into slices and eat warm or cold. It is ideal as a starter or as a healthy main course served with a "Ratatouille", a tomato sauce, a salad or vegetables.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


This week, Kate and Puddy at "A Byootiful Life" (Australia) are happy to announce that they are hosting Weekend Cat Blogging #120...

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

Fridolin is a very complicated eater.
No later than today, he refused his supper although it was the usual brand I always give...
Grrrrrrr, I could "strangle" this high-nosed monster!!!
He is the kind of cat who loves something one day, but who, all of a sudden, refuses to touch it the next day.
So you can imagine that there are not many treats I can offer him.
The only thing he loves to chew on are my plants!
Cheeky little brat...

Friday, September 21, 2007


On the 23rd of september, it will be the very first day of Autumn, so in order to say goodbye to the Summer and let it fade away peacefully, nothing's better than to exorcise any feeling of regret or pinch in the heart...

Yes, I would have liked to experience a better, hotter and sunnier Summer. Yes
, it passes too fastly. Yes, I'm feeling a little sad at the idea that I still have to wait 9 long months before I can sit again on my balcony. Yes, I'm going to miss the long Summer nights and caressing warmth of a Summer breeze! But, at the same time, I love Autumn and it's fiery colors very much. I get all excited at the prospect of seeing the magnificent fading orange sunlight in the evening, feeling the leaves crunching under my feet, eating pumpkin pies, doing some cocooning around a nice warm dinner or in front of a good film, staying in the warmth of my bed while it is freezing outside, admiring the mist that embraces the Salève like a shroud, hearing the ugly sound of the packs of crows passing over my house.

In fact, I am looking forwards to the coming season as much as I a
m going to miss the preceeding one! But life is an endless cycle and we can still be happy to be able to enjoy nature's changes as well as to feel the seasons...

As a last ode to Summer, here are some pictures (click on the photos to enlarge) in order to remember that finished season and close this chapter on a good note.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


In one of my previous posts (see post) I spoke about Claire, a very kind foodblogger (visit her great blog "Le Sens Du Goût") from France, who had offered/sent me two bags of "Biscuits Roses De Reims" in order for me to test her wonderful "Gâteau Moelleux Aux Biscuits Roses De Reims" recipe. Well, today, her biscuits are again going to be a subject of discussion...

Thanks to this girly-colored (pink) speciality, I have improvised a little seasonal (autumnal) dessert. In fact, it was created on the spurr of the moment (therefore the quantities are approximative) with what I had in by cupboards and fr
idge. Another moment of "free jazz" in the kitchen!

As this sweet treat is a hybrid cross between the English "Trifle" and the Italian "Tiramisù", I decided to call it a "Triflemisù". And believe me, it's name might sound bizarre and alien, but it tastes awesome.

This "Triflemisù" is made with a light lemon mascarpone cream, a delicate fresh plum (quetsche) puree/sauce and those famous pink biscuits soaked in Amaretto alcohol...

~ Triflemisù ~
Recipe by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums

Serves 4.


~ 2/3-1/2 the quantity of "Mascarpone Mousse" (see recipe)
~ Half a bag of "Biscuits Roses De Reims" (12-14 biscuits)

~ 500g Fresh plum puree/sauce (see recipe), add a pinch of cinnamon to the fruits
Enough "Amaretto" to soak the biscuits

One at a time, submerge each biscuit into the "Amaretto".
2. Line the bottom of a 22 centimenter (9-inch) bowl or individual containers (glasses also work well).
3. Cover them with half the "Mascarpone Mousse" and half the "Plum Sauce".
4. Repeat the layers, finishing with the cream.

5. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving.

Instead of using "Biscuits Roses De Reims" go for "Ladyfingers".
If you don't have any "Amaretto", try soaking the biscuits in "Porto", "Cointreau", "Limoncello" or "Grand Marnier".
Generally, that kind of dessert tastes a lot better the next day.

Serving Suggestions:
Eat at any time of the day (or night!).

Monday, September 17, 2007


I have already written a lot about challah breads (see recipe 1 & recipe 2) and by now, you must all be aware of my unconditional love for that Jewish brioche (if it was not the case, now it is!), so you'll not be astonished if I dedicate another post in order to share a new challah recipe with you. I mean, I can't help it. It's such a wonderful speciality!

This time, I will not repeat myself and speak about it's origins or history (for that, read my older post here), I will only proceed with Maggie Glezer's marvelous recipe...

But, the only thing you need to know about this "Pumpkin Challah" or "Pan De Calabaza" (in Spanish) is that it is a Sepharadic Rosh Hashanah (see infos) bread and that the pumpkin in the recipe has a symbolic meaning. This bread can be compared to the hard shell of the pumpkin that protects it's insides as it is an embodied prayer to God asking him to give his protection to the querant in the coming year.

Anyhow, it is also a bread that can be made on the occasion of Thanksgiving and which is the ideal ally in order to grace the table of all the homebakers at any time of the year, whether they are of Jewish origin or not...

As a challah addict, bread freak, amateur baker and adventurous (I hope...) foodie, this light "Pan De Calabaza" really makes me enthusiastic and fills me up with uncontrolled joy. This non-dairy bread is very easy to make and always gives good results. It's appealing orange color is incredible and the braiding makes it look ever so pretty. Not to forget it's gentle pumpkin and delicate spicy flavor as well as it's sweet and rich scent/taste that will please you with every mouthful. A fabulous bread!

~ Pumpkin Challah Or Pan De Calabaza ~
Recipe taken from Maggie Glezer's cookbook " A Blessing of Bread: The Many Rich Traditions of Jewish Bread Baking from Around the World" and adapted by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums.

Makes 1 big loaf or two smallish loaves.

1/2 Cup Pumpkin puree (+ more if the dough is too dry) homemade or canned
2 1/4 Tsps (7g) Active dry yeast
1/4 to 1/2 Tsp Ground cardamom
1/2 Tsp Ground ginger
3 3/4 Cups Plain white flour
2/3 Cup Warm water
1/3 Cup sugar
1 1/2 Tsps Salt
1/4 Cup Plain vegetable oil
1 Egg (~53g) + 1 egg (for the glaze), beaten
Sesame seeds or poppy seeds

1. Sprinkle the yeast into the water in a bowl. Leave four 10 minutes and then stir to disolve.
2. Mix the flour and the spices together in a large bowl, make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the yeasted water.
3. Use a wooden spoon to draw enough of the flour into the yeasted water to form a soft paste.

4. Cover with a tea towel and leave to "sponge" until frothy and risen, about 20 minutes.
5. Whisk the sugar, salt, oil, egg and pumpkin together. Add to the dough and mix well.
6. Knead for at 5-10 minutes.
5. Let the dough rest while you wash and dry your bread bowl.
7. Oil the bowl lightly, put the dough in it, cover the bowl with a towel.
8. Let it rise in a warm place until the dough has tripled in size, about 2-3 hours.
9. Punch it down and shape as you wish (I opted for two braids, which requires halving the dough and then cutting each half into thirds, rolling those thirds into ropes of dough, and braiding the ropes).
10. Place the loaves on baking sheets that have been oiled or sprinkled with cornmeal/flour.
11. Let the loaves rise until at least doubled in size, about 40 minutes to an hour.
12. Glaze the loaves with the extra beaten egg and sprinkle them with sesame seeds or poppy seeds.
13. Bake the loaves at 180° C (350° F) for 40-45 minutes.

Instead of the pumpkin puree, you can use 1 sweet potato (baked, then mashed).
I recommend you to use the following pumpkin:
Potimarron (French) = Hokkaido Pumpkin = Chestnut Pumpkin = Baby Red Hubbard = Uchiki Kuri = Chinese Pumpkin = Japanese Pumpkin.

To obtain fresh puree, take your pumpkin, cut it in half, deseed it and peel it, then cut it in cubes and steam. Once it is cooked, mash the pumpkin flesh. It has to be a very smooth puree.

You can add a little more pumpkin puree if you want the flavor to be stronger.
Use plain/neutral tasting oil such as peanut oil, canola oil or sunflower oil.
If you find you dough too wet, add some flour or, on the contrary, if you find it too dry add some pumpkin puree, a tablespoon at a time.
The dough should be firm, easy to knead and neither dry nor sticky.

Serving suggestion:
This challah can be served on Jewish festive days like Shabbat and Rosh Hashanah, or any other non-Jewish festive days such as Thanksgiving or Christmas/New Year.
Eat for breakfast with jam, honey or the spread of your choice.
When served for dinner or supper, this bread can be accompanied by all sorts of cheeses and pickles/salads/raw vegetables (tomatoes, cucumber, etc...).

Sunday, September 16, 2007


This week, Megan and Bad Kitty Cats at "Bad Kitty Cats" (USA) are happy to announce that they are hosting Weekend Cat Blogging #119...

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

Angry Black Kitty

Miss Maruschka has been a naughty kitty today.
She woke up her mom who needed her sleep desperately.
And believe me, she did not have the desire to play.
This "devil" wanted her morning treat IMMEDIATELY!

Sometimes her tantrums are nerve-racking,
But I nonetheless enjoy her angry "singing",
For she is a kitty one cannot stop loving!

~ Rosa ~

Friday, September 14, 2007


It is very funny how the blog world is small and full of good surprises. Some months ago, I received a message from a fellow blogger who is American and lived in another canton (Neuchâtel). I already knew Jessica's great blog "In Search Of Dessert" before and enjoyed it a lot (I still do), but never would I have thought that she would move just a few blocks (max. a four minutes walk) away from my home. Crazy!!!

Since her move to Veyrier, we have already met a few times to chat around a cup of coffee or while cuddling her newborn kittens (soooooo sweeeeet!!!) and went out for a walk.

So, some weeks ago, my new friend and I, we went for a walk (1
hour) around Veyrier (see my older posts on the subject). As she was new here and loves to have a physical activity, I really wanted to show her one of my favorite parts of our neighboring countryside. It was a beautiful trip that made me happy as I enjoyed her company very much....

As this little tour of Veyrier was so pleasant and the weather was still very nice, the following day, I decided to go there again in order to shoot some photos. Have fun taking this virtual tour with me (cliick on each pictures to enlarge)!