Walnut Cake

walnut cake

A delicious and moist Walnut Cake using seasonal walnuts, rum and honey. This simple cake looks stunning baked in a bundt pan. Seasonal Walnuts It is that time of the year again in Switzerland when the Advent is approaching and the children are becoming excited about meeting Samiclaus (the Swiss version of Santa Claus) on St. Nicholas Day on 6 December.

Vietnamese Spaghetti Bolognese

vietnamese spaghetti bolognese

This Vietnamese Spaghetti Bolognese is a delicious Asian twist on an Italian classic. Recently in the kitchen, I have been busy rustling up various Vietnamese dishes, including one of my favourite soups called Bun Rieu – a pork broth flavoured with crab and tomatoes, and served with vermicelli noodles and a pile of aromatic herbs. I love to make a big pot of this soup so that we can eat it over several

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Cherry Clafoutis

cherry clafoutis

This Cherry Clafoutis is a classic French dessert consisting of fresh cherries baked in a dense custard. You could also use apricots, peaches or blueberries. A Typical Day About three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, we head to the farmers’ market near our home to buy fresh fruit and vegetables. I avoid, as much as possible, going to the supermarket with two tiny tots in tow, but the farmers’ market

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Lyonnaise Sausage Roll

A  Lyonnaise Sausage Roll has a delicious pork sausage encased in a brioche loaf. One of the advantages of reading cookbooks like novels (I’m sure you have heard of many foodies using this phrase) is having a repository of recipes stored in the memory for those many moments when I find myself holding an ingredient and wondering how I can cook it.

Caramelized Beetroot Tarte Tatin

This Caramlized Beetroot Tarte Tatin is a delicious way of serving beetroots. Most Australians will have some memory of soggy lunchtime sandwiches. When I think of the sandwiches of my childhood, they were most often sliced multigrain bread filled with lettuce, grated carrots, tinned beetroot and a slice of plastic cheese. The beetroot always left a red stain on the bread, on my hands, on my school uniforms. And they almost always made the sandwiches soggy,

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Steamed Tofu with Soy, Chillies & Sichuan Pepper

A spicy and delicious Steamed Tofu with Soy, Chillies & Sichuan Pepper You don’t have to be a vegetarian to love tofu. In fact, I think I like it more than meat … Salt & Pepper Tofu is one of my favourite dishes ever, especially when it is fresh and piping hot. At other times, you will often find me adding tofu to most Asian soups and stir-fries. Recently, I started experimenting with recipes

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Sticky Chicken Pho

This Sticky Chicken Pho is a delicious twist on a Vietnamese classic. As a Vietnamese, I could eat a bowl of pho at breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is something so nourishing about about a steaming bowl of slippery noodles, fragrant with fresh herbs and laced with spicy chillies for that much needed kick.

Waffles with Salted Caramel Sauce

Easy to make Waffles with a quick Salted Caramel Sauce. Today was a grey and gloomy day in Zurich, which meant the only reasonable thing to do was to stay indoors and make waffles with salted caramel sauce for lunch. That’s right – lunch. With the rain drizzling outside and temperatures nearing frosty, neither my husband and I were willing to venture outside for provisions. A quick inventory of the fridge and pantry revealed

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Sticky Chinese Pork Ribs

Delicious Sticky Chinese Pork Ribs which are marinated overnight for maximum flavour. Sticky Pork Ribs I wish I could be more comfortable eating ribs in public but, the reality is, I enjoy eating them more in the comfort and privacy of my home; somewhere where I can gnaw at the bone like a messy cavewoman and lick my fingers with glee. I think it is definitely a dish best eaten in the company

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Homemade Hummus

My go-to recipe for Hummus which is perfect for dips and entertaining. Hummus would have to be my go-to dip. It’s quick and easy to make and, what’s more, it’s a very versatile dip. It can be served with vegetable crudités and crackers as an appetiser, spread onto flatbreads to eat as a snack or light meal, or even served as part of a main meal with some grilled lamb koftas and a

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Scotch Eggs with Herb Mayonnaise

These soft-centred Scotch Eggs with Herb Mayonnaise are perfect for picnics and light meals. If there is one thing that is getting me through the middle-of-the night feeds with the baby at the moment, it’s TV. It happens to be the only time that I get to watch TV, uninterrupted, and something which is not Peppa Pig.

Pickled Chillies

A quick and easy recipe for pickled chillies. They also make great gifts! Pickled Chillies I first discovered pickled chillies at my local Chinese restaurant here in Zurich. Yes, Zurich. Despite having grown up in Australia where south-east Asian food abounds, and despite my countless trips to Asia since I was a wee tot, I only came across this delightful condiment during what would be the first of many stir-fries that I like

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Galette des Rois with Apples

A twist on a traditional Galette des Rois using hazelnuts and apples. I have always wanted to make a Galette des Rois for the Epiphany and finally plucked up the courage today. In France, it is a cake which is traditionally eaten on 6 January, although some shops and bakeries make the most of this event by selling them up to a few months before the big date. But like any seasonal treat,

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Madeleines with Lemon Curd

Madeleines with Lemon Curd, a delicious madeleine recipe from Rachel Khoo from The Little Paris Kitchen. Madeleines with Lemon Curd I am rather surprised that it has taken me this long to try this popular madeleine recipe from Rachel Khoo. In my defence, I already had a madeleine recipe to which I have been faithful to for many years, plus I felt that Rachel’s recipe was a bit fiddly for me. And with

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Crispy Chicken Wings with Fish Sauce

A delicious Vietnamese recipe for Crispy Chicken Wings with Fish Sauce. The chicken wings are marinated in fish sauce and then fried to crispy perfection, served with a sweet and sticky mouthwatering dipping sauce. My mother used to cook a lot with chicken wings when I was younger. I’m not sure if it was just because they were cheap, or if she merely enjoyed cooking them. I certainly enjoyed eating them. She would sometimes

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Pecan Spice Cake

A deliciously addictive Pecan Spice Cake from Tupperware. Once upon a time, I had a terrible Tupperware addiction. Tupperware simply appealed to the Martha Stewart in me, the part of me which dreamt of cupboards filled with colour-coordinated containers, neatly stacked and labelled so that everything had its own special home.

Real Vietnamese Cooking – Interview & Cookbook Giveaway

As a child born in Australia to Vietnamese immigrants, I spent a good part of my youth believing I was just like any other Aussie kid. I ate meat pies and sausage rolls for lunch and spoke English with an Aussie accent. In fact, for most of my childhood, we lived in a small town on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland where we were the only Asians for several hundred kilometres; I was the only Asian in the entire

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Spaghetti with Tuna, Chilli, and Lemon

This Spaghetti with Tuna, Chilli, Rocket & Lemon takes only 20 mins from start to finish! I have been a long-time admirer and follower of Donna Hay’s cookbooks, even as early back when she was the food editor of the Marie Claire cookbooks in Australia. Her clean and refined approach to food styling is what normally attracts the attention of readers in the first instance; food which looks so stunningly beautiful on the

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Burnt Cream with Prunes

Comforting Burnt Cream with Prunes, quick and easy to make. I think Rachel Khoo has a thing for prunes, and I’m not complaining. As someone who has a general aversion to dried fruit in baking, I make an exception for prunes. Some recipes which I have recently attempted with much success from her latest cookbook, My Little French Kitchen, include the Kugelhopf with Prunes & Armagnac and Custard Tarts with Prunes.

Vietnamese Pork Ribs

Tasty Vietnamese Pork Ribs, perfect serves with steamed white rice. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but my blog seems to feature very few Vietnamese recipes, despite the fact that I cook Vietnamese at home every second day or so. So in an attempt to rectify the situation and to bring some more balance to this blog, I hope to feature more Vietnamese recipes which are quick, easy and delicious to make at

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Easy General Tso’s Chicken Recipe

An Easy General Tso’s Chicken Recipe which is light and healthy. There is no deep-frying but you can still enjoy the classic flavours of this Chinese takeaway favourite. There’s Chinese food, and there’s American-Chinese food. I wasn’t even aware of the latter until we were posted in Chicago for a few years where lunch with colleagues was often at P.F. Chang’s or Big Bowl, two popular Chinese restaurant chains in the US. There,

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Chocolate Éclairs

How to make Chocolate Éclairs with a chocolate pastry cream filling at home from scratch. Recipe with step-by-step photos. Chocolate Éclairs You may or may not have noticed from my photos on Facebook and Instagram that I have a weakness for éclairs. Chocolate éclairs filled with chocolate cream are my favourite and, oddly enough, my son loves the coffee-flavoured ones!

Custard Tarts with Prunes

These Custard Tarts have a caramelised pastry for extra crunch and sweetness. A big, big thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway to win a copy of Rachel Khoo’s latest cookbook, My Little French Kitchen. The response was fantastic and I loved reading everyone’s entries on their favourite French food. The entries made me realise how far-reaching and popular French food really is; from the simple baguette loaf and famous croissant to

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Interview with Rachel Khoo & Cookbook Giveaway

If you were smitten by Rachel Khoo‘s creative approach to classic French recipes in The Little Paris Kitchen, you will delight in the release of her new book, My Little French Kitchen, with her fresh take on more regional French cuisine.

Duck Confit (Confit de Canard)

duck confit

A classic French recipe for Duck Confit, or Confit de Canard, which are duck legs slowly cooked in duck fat until meltingly tender, and then pan fried until the skin is crispy and golden. Tips on how to make the best Duck Confit. Duck Confit (Confit de Canard) Confit de Canard is a classic dish found in many Parisian bistros, and it is a dish which my mother-in-law likes to serve whenever we

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A to Z of Food Daily Photo Challenge

A kitchen bible in many Australian homes is The Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander. It’s a book I turn to when I have an ingredient which I don’t know how to cook or when I simply want to revisit the food of my childhood in Australia. Stephanie’s recipe for pikelets is one which I now make from memory, especially since it was one of the few things my little one would eat when he

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Chicken Liver Pâté

A flavoursome Chicken Liver Pâté which is perfect for appetisers, dinner parties and even to use in a Vietnamese Banh Mi. Making Chicken Liver Pâté is easier than you think and it can be ready to serve after just a few hours to firm in the fridge. Chicken Liver Pâté As someone who squirms at the thought of eating livers or offal of any kind, I happen to love chicken liver pâté. Perhaps

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Lemon Curd Tarts

Delightful no-bake Lemon Curd Tarts made with crushed speculoos or digestive biscuits and topped with a homemade lemon curd. A simple but spectacular looking dessert! When I think of lemon tarts, I think of the French classic, tarte au citron. However, the following recipe happens to be inspired by the lemon curd of the English kitchen. A lemon tart is traditionally made with a shortcrust pastry base and filled with a tart lemon custard, and which

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Lemon Drizzle Friands

Recipe for Lemon Drizzle Friands with step-by-step photos. Friands are similar to the French financiers and are made with ground almonds and egg whites for a light and fluffy cake.  Leaving Australia It has been roughly seven years since I made the bold decision to quit my job in Australia, electing to become unemployed and to take a chance at life on the other side of the world. At the time, it was one of

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Vegetable Barley Soup

An easy and delicious recipe for Pearl Barley Soup with step-by-step photos. It is a popular soup in the Swiss alps, called Gerstensuppe in German. The pearl barley thickens the soup as it cooks, making the soup quite substantial and comforting. A Weekend in Kandersteg A trip to the Swiss mountains usually guarantees good, hearty, winter fare. After a day of heavy duty winter sports, the body is likely to crave something substantial,

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Lamington Madeleines

These Lamington Madeleines (or Madelamingtons) are a cute Australian twist on a French classic. Light and fluffy madeleines dipped in chocolate and then sprinkled with coconut. Recipe with step-by-step photos. Lamington Madeleine As an Australian married to a Frenchman, could there be a more perfect cake to represent the union of our two cultures than the madelamington, a French madeleine dressed up as an Australian lamington? No, I didn’t come up with this

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More from The Little Paris Kitchen

Regular readers of my blog will know that I had a love affair with The Little Paris Kitchen in 2012. I loved the TV show, the recipes, Rachel Khoo. Despite having been a consumer of French food since I was a child, I was never as inspired to cook it until Rachel Khoo hit our screens with her fresh take on the old French classics. Though, that’s not to say that every recipe

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Chicken Dumpling Soup

A simple and nourishing Chicken Dumpling Soup from the Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo. Recipe with step-by-step photos. A little while back, I had posted quite a few reviews on recipes from Rachel Khoo’s delightful French cookbook, The Little Paris Kitchen. For a short time, it looked like I was cooking my way through the book, and indeed I was – just a lot of the recipes haven’t made it to my

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Chargrilled Lemongrass Beef with Hoisin Dipping Sauce

From looking at the recent entries on my blog, you wouldn’t think that I cook a lot of Vietnamese food at home. The fact is, I probably cook Vietnamese food about 4 to 5 times a week! Of course, the frequency varies, but hardly a week goes by when I haven’t made something at least Vietnamese-inspired. After my mother, Luke Nguyen would have to be my greatest source of inspiration when it comes

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Beef and Guinness Pie

A classic Beef and Guinness Pie with tender chunks of beef and a delicious gravy. Make with traditional puff pastry or a tasty Sour Cream Pastry. Beef and Guinness Pie For many Australians, a meat pie at lunch with a good squirt of tomato sauce (ketchup) is almost a daily ritual. In fact, when I lived in Australia, I often preferred a meat pie to a sandwich, the latter being something which I

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Indian Chicken Curry with Lentil Dahl

An easy Indian Chicken Curry which is perfect for weeknight dinners, served with a fresh and fragrant Lentil Dahl. Recipe with step-by-step photos. Back in the Kitchen The weather has been blisteringly hot in Zurich lately, which should be a welcome change given the torrential rain which we’ve had in the preceeding months. But after a few days of soaking up the sun and several impromptu lakeside evening picnics, the lack of air-conditioning

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Chicken Curry Puffs

A simple recipe for baked Chicken Curry Puffs. A visit to most Chinese restaurants will reveal curry puffs on the appetiser menu and I am always a sucker for anything wrapped in pastry. I could sometimes quite happily forego the main dish and just sit down to a huge serving of curry puffs, but afraid of any negative reaction this could elicit in public, I’ve never quite gone that far. So making curry

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Chocolate Chip Chouquettes

A delicious recipe for Chocolate Chip Chouquettes, adapted from David Lebovitz. While working in the outer suburbs of Chicago in the last few years, I often found myself at a Barnes & Noble or Borders bookstore during lunch, not only because I have a fondness for bookshops but mostly because I discovered that living and working in Switzerland had had a big influence on my lunch-time eating habits. Unlike the Australians and Americans

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Coq au Vin Skewers

It was never really my intention to cook my way through Rachel Khoo’s The Little Paris Kitchen, but so rarely has a cookbook resonated with me so much that I have found myself trying a new recipe from this book every few days since I first purchased it. If only I had this level of enthusiasm for all of my cookbooks! With the weather warming up recently in Zurich, I was curious to

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Cream of Tomato & Potato Soup

In case you were wondering what the soup is which is photographed with the Rustic Bacon & Cheddar Bread, it is the Cream of Tomato & Potato Soup from French Provincial Cooking by Elizabeth David. Long before cooking became a passionate hobby and was more of a matter of survival for me, I heavily relied on cookbooks to put together really basic and simple meals like … vegetable soups. Yes, for something which

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Croque Madame Muffins

Here is another fabulous recipe from Rachel Khoo with her take on the French classic, a Croque Madame. Most people would be familiar with a Croque Monsieur which is a toasted cheese and ham sandwich, commonly served in most French bistros for lunch or as a light snack. For a more decadent treat, the Croque Monsieur is also sometimes coated with a béchamel sauce and baked in the oven until the sauce is golden

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Meatballs in Red Wine Sauce

I have been cooking quite a bit lately from Rachel Khoo’s The Little Paris Kitchen and am loving everything I have tried so far. This is a bit of a revelation for me considering that I am quite familiar with French food, having grown up eating this cuisine as a child and now married to a French husband. Sure, I have always enjoyed eating French food but, for so long, everything I had

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Pot-au-feu and Pho

Pot-au-feu literally translates into English as “pot on the fire”. It is a classic French beef stew, a peasant dish at heart. Traditionally made from beef bones and stewing beef, the broth is typically served as a clear soup, preceding the main dish of sliced beef with vegetables which have been cooked in the broth. It is honest and hearty French fare. Although the dish may take several hours to cook, you are

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Pumpkin Laksa

I have long been a fan of Nigel Slater, his books having been instrumental in my initial forays into the kitchen, along with Nigella Lawson and, dare I say it, the Australian Women’s Weekly. One of my favourite cookbooks would have to be Appetite, a hefty book filled with amazingly delicious recipes but provided in a manner that encourages the cook to develop some intuition in the kitchen. Rather than call for, say,

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Swiss Walnut Christmas Cookies

swiss walnut christmas cookies baumnuss guetzli

I have never really been a big fan of Swiss biscuits, Christmas or otherwise. In all fairness, I haven’t really sampled too many because, quite frankly, they are not always the most appealing when lined up next to the fancy American cookies or British biscuits. When presented with the choice between a cookie oozing with morsels of chocolate and a Läckerli, the latter doesn’t stand a chance, despite the fact that Läckerli is derived from the

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Vietnamese Yoghurt

A delicious recipe for Vietnamese yoghurt using a yoghurt machine. It is often observed in the Vietnamese culture, and also amongst other Asian groups, that a typical greeting when you see someone is not “Hi, how are you?” but, rather, “Hi, have you eaten yet?”

Chinese Braised Beef with Carrots

I always look forward to Autumn, that time of the year when the trees change their colours and their golden leaves line the streets with their warm tones in contrast to the biting chill that is beginning to pervade the air. I also love Autumn because I can start to pull out my favourite trench coats, turtleneck jumpers and knee-high boots, a welcome change in wardrobe when I can start to cosy up

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Vietnamese Grilled Pork Chops

Tasty and succulent Vietnamese Grilled Pork Chops, with a simple marinade to give maximum flavour. Here is another fabulous short-cut recipe for Vietnamese pork chops from Bill Granger’s new book, Bill’s Everyday Asian. The Vietnamese have a popular dish called sườn nướng where the main component is a pork chop which is typically marinated with garlic, lemongrass and fish sauce. The pork is either grilled or pan-fried until it is golden in colour and caramelised,

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Vietnamese Chicken Curry Soup

A tasty Vietnamese Chicken Curry Soup with vermicelli noodles, sweet potatoes and lots of fresh herbs. A quick short-cut recipe which is perfect for mid-week meals. One of my all-time favourite dishes is a Vietnamese Chicken Curry. My mum makes this dish using a whole chicken which is first marinated in a special mixture of Vietnamese curry powder and other seasoning, and then slowly simmered on the stove with an array of aromatics

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