Satay Chicken Stir Fry

satay chicken stir fry with rice

Make dinner in about 30 minutes with this totally delicious Satay Chicken Stir Fry which uses peanut butter, creamy coconut milk and your favourite vegetables. You could also substitute the chicken for beef. Minimalism with Kids In the past 12 months or so, I have been on a mission to declutter our home. I have long aspired to have a minimalist home (I blame Pinterest) but I always felt that minimalism was incompatible

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Jamie Oliver’s Get Ahead Gravy

jamie oliver get ahead gravy

Jamie Oliver’s Get Ahead Gravy is the perfect accompaniment to any roast meat. Christmas Gravy When it comes to roast dinners, I think the gravy can make or break the meal. And as someone who needs lashings and lashings of hot gravy with her roast potatoes, I take no chances in this department and always try to make my gravy ahead of time.

Cheese Soufflé

cheese souffle

A classic recipe for Cheese Soufflé with step-by-step photos. Instructions for large and individual soufflés. Making soufflé is easier than you think! This post has been prepared in collaboration with Kenwood Swiss AG, but the content and opinions are my own. My husband’s great-aunt, whom we call Marraine, is a spritely 93 years old who still loves to cook and bake for the family. At the top of her list is a Cheese

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How to Make Raclette

how to make raclette

How to make and serve raclette, a traditional Swiss dish, at home with a raclette grill. Tips on what kind of cheese to use, and what to serve with raclette. Raclette Cheese has featured quite a bit on my blog lately, and for good reason – we are coming into winter here in Switzerland! As soon as the nights start to become a bit chilly, the Swiss can be seen tucking into a

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Cranberry Sauce

cranberry sauce

A quick and delicious recipe for cranberry sauce using fresh or frozen cranberries. Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson. Homemade Cranberry Sauce No Christmas feast is complete without some cranberry sauce, and considering how easy it is to make cranberry sauce from scratch, I would highly recommend doing so instead of reaching for the shop-bought kind.

Roman-Style Fried Artichokes with Herb Mayonnaise

roman style fried artichokes

A traditional dish from Rome are these delicious deep-fried artichokes, cooked Jewish-style. My favourite, and usual, way of cooking and eating artichokes is boiled and served with a spiky vinaigrette or garlic mayonnaise, the recipe which you can find here in one of my earlier posts.

Honey, Soy & Sriracha Cocktail Sausages

honey soy sriracha cocktail sausages

Deliciously sweet, sticky and spicy cocktail sausages. Perfect for entertaining! As an expat living in Switzerland, it is hard to ignore comments about the cost of living here and how everything is extraordinarily expensive. Indeed, when you compare the cost of some products sold in neighbouring countries, the same product can sometimes be triple the cost in Switzerland.

Applesauce Cake

swiss apple cake on metal tray

A moist and flavourful Applesauce Cake. This apple bundt cake is popular in Switzerland and uses applesauce (or apple purée) to keep the cake moist and tender. Applesauce Cake Recipe Something the Swiss really love is applesauce (also called apple compote or apple purée); so much so, that it is an obligatory side dish to their version of macaroni and cheese. So when I came across a recipe some years ago for a

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Thai Green Curry with Chicken

thai green chicken curry

Make this easy Thai green curry paste and turn it into a delicious Thai Green Curry with Chicken or make it vegetarian with your favourite vegetables and tofu. The choices are endless! There comes a time during the week when I find myself with lots of bits of vegetables in the fridge, none which can be used on their own to make any meaningful meal, but it would be a shame and a

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Chinese Tea Eggs

chinese tea eggs

An easy & delicious recipe for Chinese Tea Eggs, perfect for a simple dinner or as part of a Chinese New Year meal. Chinese Tea Eggs Following on from my previous post where I shared my recipe for Chinese Turnip Cake, it seemed only fitting to also include my recipe for Chinese Tea Eggs. If you are planning a Chinese New Year lunch or dinner, or any Chinese-inspired feast, these Chinese Tea Eggs

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Vanilla Sponge Cake with Mascarpone Frosting

vanilla cake

This light and fluffy Vanilla Sponge Cake with Mascarpone Frosting is elegant and simple, and the cake itself is dairy-free. Top with any seasonal fruits of your choice, such as strawberries, raspberries, or even a mix of fruits.  Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas celebration and a wonderful start to 2017. What are your New Years’ resolutions?

Celeriac and Chestnut Soup

celeriac chestnut soup

A simple and delicious Celeriac and Chestnut Soup. Christmas is often a time for indulgence, whether it be treating yourself or loved ones to a special gift (or three), or enjoying the festivities with an abundance of good food and maybe too much champagne. After feasting on Duck Confit Parmentier and multiple serves of our favourite Chestnut Cream Pavlova for Christmas lunch, my husband asked for a simple vegetable soup for dinner later

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Chocolate Pavlova with Chestnut Purée

mont blanc pavlova

A Chocolate Pavlova with Chestnut Purée, which is perfect at Christmas or any time of the year! An easy chocolate pavlova recipe which is a delicious twist on a Mont Blanc dessert. A great recipe using sweetened chestnut purée. Merry Christmas everyone!! I hope you have all had a lovely Christmas celebration with your friends, family and loved ones. Christmas in our home today started with a leisurely breakfast … until the children

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Roquefort Cheese Ball

roquefort cheese ball

A stunning and delicious Roquefort Cheese Ball to impress your guests! A lovely Aussie friend was recently telling me about her menu plans for Thanksgiving, and my interest was piqued when she mentioned that she would be making a cheese ball for the appetiser. Her cheese ball, if she was still in Australia, would have been comprised of cream cheese with cheddar and good ol’ Coon, sprinkled with curry powder and decorated with fried onions. I was

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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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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.

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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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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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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Cheese Bread

How to make these tasty Cheese Bread rolls from scratch with these step-by-step photos. This recipe uses Parmesan, Gruyère and Cheddar, but you can use any of your favourite cheeses. One of my favourite snacks when I lived in Australia were cheese scrolls from the local bakery. In fact, as a child of parents who ran a busy Vietnamese bakery, I often lived for the moment when the cheese scrolls came fresh out

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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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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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Mushroom Tarts

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

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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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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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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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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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Savoury Waffles with Gruyère & Thyme

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!

Keralan Fish Curry with Lemon Rice

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).

Chilli, Cheese & Rosemary Polenta with Tomato Sauce

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

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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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Chestnut Soup with Bacon & Parsley

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.

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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Crispy Tofu with Spicy Tomato Sauce

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

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Aubergines with Buttermilk Sauce (again!)

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

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Aubergines with Buttermilk Sauce

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

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Black Pepper Tofu

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

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