These bite-sized Mushroom Tarts have a flavoursome mushroom filling with a golden puff pastry base. They are perfect for entertaining and would delight both vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. We are hosting a small cocktail party this weekend or, as they call it in Switzerland, an apéro, where the evening will be fueled by lots of small canapés and finger food. Hubby is rather excited by all of the possible wine pairings and I
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
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
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,
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
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
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
Fruit Loaf recipe with step-by-step photos. This easy and delicious Fruit Loaf is perfect at breakfast, whether served warm or toasted. A great base recipe and you can add different types of dried fruits and spices. Fruit Loaf Growing up in Australia, a typical breakfast for me before heading to school was either a bowl of Weetbix, some toast smeared with butter and Vegemite, or some toasted fruit bread with a generous slather
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
These delicious Tahini Cookies are a perfect way to use up a tub of tahini! Recipe with step-by-step photos. Tahini Cookies I was first introduced to these Tahini Cookies by my work colleagues who travelled frequently to Israel to visit their friends and family.
I had a sudden inkling to make crumpets the other day, somewhat unusual because I was only ever a mild fan of these yeasted breads when I was a child. My memories of crumpets are of the shop-bought kind which were round, thick and spongy in texture. Once lightly toasted, a generous slather of butter was obligatory, as was a good dollop of runny honey or jam. As a child, perhaps the allure
A simple recipe for baked Chicken Curry Puffs. Curry Puffs A visit to most Chinese restaurants will reveal curry puffs on the appetiser menu and I always have a soft spot 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!
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
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
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
A delicious Bacon and Cheese Savoury Cake, or a no-yeast savoury bread, which is perfect for serving alongside soups or on picnics. Delicious served warm or cold. I love savoury cakes and this particular recipe is a firm favourite of mine. Given my New Year’s resolution to cook more vegetarian food, this has frequently been in the form of vegetable soups. After several days of eating rich food like Swedish Meatballs or Boeuf
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
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
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
Delicious Savoury Waffles with Gruyère & Thyme which are perfect as a light meal or served alongside a bowl of soup. Savoury Waffles Faced with some bits and pieces of leftover cheese in the fridge, I thought I would try my hand at a savoury waffle for lunch today, and these waffles with Gruyère and fresh thyme were absolutely scrumptious!
Rhubarb compote, or stewed rhubarb, is perfect for serving at breakfast with a dollop of yoghurt, or baked in a crumble for a delicious dessert. Rhubarb Compote (Stewed Rhubarb) I always look forward to seeing the vivid pink of the forced rhubarb at this time of the year, its season generally lasting from January to March in the northern hemisphere. After this time, the more common rhubarb can be found in abundance with
A deliciously tangy Keralan Fish Curry with Lemon Rice which is easy to make and takes only about 30 minutes to cook! Forever Summer With spring just around the corner, my thoughts have been turning to more light and fresh meals. A cookbook which I frequently turn to during the warmer months is Nigella Lawson’s Forever Summer (re-titled as Nigella Fresh in the US).
Due to hubby’s request to eat more vegetarian meals this year, I saw no reason to not buy the latest book from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall of the River Cottage fame, Veg Everyday. The book is dedicated to eating vegetarian meals, though it is not written by a vegetarian – an important distinction in my mind because it means there are no spooky and holistic ingredients which would otherwise make vegetarian cooking too much of
Cheesy Hearts, the perfect savoury biscuits for Valentine’s Day. I often approach Valentine’s Day with mixed emotions. Once upon a time, when I was a singleton, I would stay sofa-bound at home in front of the telly, à la Bridget Jones. But instead of wailing to Céline Dion on the karaoke machine, I would watch back-to-back murder mysteries, stuffing my face with all of my favourite junk foods, thinking all the while how
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,
I had an inkling to make waffles for breakfast this morning, and upon waking to see the snow falling heavily outside, thus meaning a day of welcome indoor activity, I set about humming in the kitchen. But faced with a slight over-supply of bacon in the fridge, it was time to turn my usual waffles sprinkled with icing sugar into something more savoury at breakfast.
Merry Christmas and Seasons Greetings to everyone! I hope you have had a wonderful season cooking and baking your Christmas favourites, as well as being inspired by some new recipes.
As soon as the street vendors start setting up their chestnut-roasting stations in Zurich, I know that Christmas is around the corner. I adore these roasted beauties, their sweet and fluffy interior making for the perfect street snack when you need something warm and filling. Sometimes when the air is bitingly cold, a little bag of roasted chestnuts is the perfect excuse to warm your hands while you are waiting for your tram.
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?”
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
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,
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
Easy and delicious Madeleines with Nutella. This is a classic French madeleine recipe with tips on how to make madeleines perfectly every time. I have a real soft spot for madeleines. It could be because I have very early memories of eating these dainty little madeleine cakes, their light sponginess making them the perfect snack for little hands. The madeleines of my childhood were always plain or lemon flavoured. These days, recipes abound
An easy recipe for a small batch of Peach and Raspberry Jam. Delicious made with either fresh or frozen fruit. To continue on from my recent foray into the world of jam-making, I tried my hand at one of my favourite fruit combinations for jam – peaches and raspberries. And the result? Truly delicious! This Peach and Raspberry Jam is a welcome addition to our breakfast table. I need to buy me some more
An easy recipe for a small batch of Apricot Jam which you can use with fresh or frozen apricots. You won’t be buying jam again after you have tried this recipe! Given the amount of jam which my husband and I go through (about 1 jar of Bonne Mamam per week), it’s rather surprising that I only recently got into jam-making. For a long time, I always thought that you needed a gluttony
Golden and Crispy Tofu served with a Vietnamese Spicy Tomato Sauce. This dish will win over both vegetarians and meat-lovers alike! Use either silken tofu or firm tofu. I had to renew my work visa the other day, which necessitated a trip to the immigration office so that I could be fingerprinted and all the rest. The only thing worse than taking an hour out of my day to visit a government office
Early this morning, one of my neighbours knocked on my door and suggested a barbeque at her place in the evening with some other neighbours. Such spontaneity is not common in Switzerland and I happen to love informal gatherings like these at short notice. Given that one neighbour happens to be a vegetarian, the first dish that came to my mind was Yotam Ottolenghi’s Aubergines with Buttermilk Sauce which I made for the
These Spicy Tuna Fish Cakes are fragrant with Asian flavours, including coriander (cilantro), ginger and chillies. Easy to make and a great way of using up leftover mashed potatoes. Further to my previous post, we still had another 1 kg of potatoes to get through, and as we are going away next week, I had to come up with a way to use those potatoes. And then, by chance, Carrie from The Patterned
A comforting and nourishing Braised Chicken with Mushrooms, Potatoes & Thyme. The chicken is succulent and tender, and the sauce is delicious served with fresh crusty bread. When hubby is on his own, he tends to cook really simple food like pasta. Just pasta. Oh and maybe a grating of parmesan cheese if there happens to be some in the fridge. Or he might just boil potatoes. Or he goes all out and
I was out during my lunch break yesterday buying some teatowels (as you do) and there nestled amongst the pretty decorative linens were copies of Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty. It’s not a place where you would ordinarily find cookbooks, but I’m sure some thoughtful person had anticipated that product placement of this kind would work on a gullible consumer like myself. If one was in the mood for over-priced but practical teatowels, why not
Fiery and addictive Black Pepper Tofu. This mouthwatering recipe is from Ottolenghi and it is a perfect vegetarian dish served with steamed rice. This recipe comes from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty and was recommended to me by the lovely Carrie, another food-obsessed cookbook lover who has become an invaluable friend to me in the online world. When she first made this dish sometime ago and raved about how delicious it was, I knew it was
Juice and mouthwatering Brined Roast Chicken with Bacon & Chive Waffles, inspired by Thomas Keller. After you have tried brining your chicken, you won’t roast chicken any other way! I think it’s hard to improve on a simple roast chicken, but the moment I tried it Thomas Keller’s way, I think it will be hard to prepare a roast chicken any other way! Earlier this year, my husband and I spent 4 amazing
A decadent and easy homemade Toffee Sauce, delicious served with pancakes or ice-cream. Make this from scratch in less than 10 minutes! This is a recipe I think everyone should have up their sleeves. This delicious Toffee Sauce goes beautifully with my Easy Fluffy Pancakes, Quick & Easy Waffles, or ice-cream.