• Food

    Chicken Pie with Potato and Celeriac Topping

    This is an adaptation to my Chicken Pot Pie recipe. It tasted so good, I thought I would share it with you.   Parboil potatoes – 3 or 4 middle-sized ones will do – and boil them in salted water for about 10 mins. Let them cool while you prepare the chicken as in recipe above. Thinly slice potatoes and large celeriac, then layer them on top of chicken.     Cover with fresh thyme and grated cheese then bake in oven as normal for about 40 mins.      

  • Food

    Easy One-Pot Chicken and Ham Pie

    This is my standard meal when we have visitors, One-Pot Chicken and Ham Pie. It looks impressive but is actually very easy. 15 mins prep, which you can do in the afternoon. When your visitors arrive, put the pastry on top and pop it into the oven. Do remember though that if you prepare earlier that you will not be able to reheat leftovers (if you ever have leftovers, we rarely even a teaspoonful left for the dog). Serve with roast or boiled potatoes, and veg. Sometimes I put peas or mushrooms into the pie too. If you have a pot that you can use on the stove then put…

  • Food

    Roasted Pork and Late Summer Veg Casserole with Thomas Crosby Muffins

    This is a recipe that I made up today to use up some of the veg that we have left over this week. Regular readers know that we have signed up for a veg box, which I pick up in a nearby village every Tuesday. This week we still have a lot of courgettes and aubergines, not to mention a glut of tomatoes, so I thought I would make a roasted veg casserole, with tomatoes and with that I will serve Thomas Crosby Muffins from Food, Football and a Baby.     Sometimes I get fed up of pasta or potatoes, and the cheese and ham muffins make a good alternative to…

  • Food

    Banana Cupcakes with Caramel Fleur de Sel

    When I renamed the blog, I decided that I would make Salted Caramels and perhaps use the photos for the blog logo. Easier said than done, I discovered. When I searched for a recipe, I found that almost all of them called for what the Americans call “heavy cream”. This is a cream with a fat content of 36 to 38%, in between single cream and double cream. The closest I can find in Switzerland is Vollrahm, in French Crème Entière, with 35%. For making caramels, it is incredibly important to have a candy thermometer, which I did not have. I bought what I thought was a candy thermometer but…

  • Food

    Lazy Sunday Afternoon Cookies and Easy Chicken & Ham Pie

    It has rained today. Warm rain, it has to be said, so still preferable to Scottish rain, but rain all the same. Our dog sniffs at the door, toddles along the side of the house, does what she has to do and hurries back inside. It is that kind of rain, persistent, heavy, drenching, driech. It is a day for cookies, I decided. If it were colder, we could put the fire on, drink hot chocolate and toast marshmallows. Despite the rain, it is still almost 20°C, so we shall keep that plan for a proper autumn day. My cookies are baked, soft squigy chocolate chip using this recipe. I cannot buy…

  • Food

    Store Cupboard Quick Meals

    Sometimes I just cannot be bothered cooking. I have no inspiration, no initiative, null bock (as my German husband would say). When this happens, I open the cupboards and the fridge and have a Ready-Steady-Cook moment. I have learned over the years that having some basic ingredients in the house makes it possible to throw things together at the last moment. Even if we have guests, I can forage in the freezer and fridge and find something worthy of serving up. Not being organised enough to plan a menu for the week, this is my normal way of deciding what to make for dinner each evening. So I might have…

  • Expat

    Happy Independence Day

    Happy 4th July! Today I am doing something that I have never done before. I am hosting a 4th July party. Actually, it is the first time that I have ever attended an Independence Day party so I am not quite sure what I am letting myself in for. As a Trailing Spouse, I meet a lot of women from other countries and cultures, many of them wives or girlfriends of my husband’s colleagues. Some of us meet once a month for a night out and this month we decided to have a BBQ to celebrate Independance Day. I fear I got off to rather a bad start when I…

  • Food

    The BEST Carré d’Agneau recipe ever

    Or if you are being less poncy, “Rack of Lamb”. I prefer to say Lamb Carré as it sounds more exotic, less pedestrian. And this is definitely not a pedestrian recipe. About a year ago, I was searching for a good recipe and came across this one. I know it was on a recipe website, but I have searched and searched and I cannot find it so I cooked it as I remembered it. As I was writing this blog post, I realised that I had forgotten to add the olive oil to the breadcrumb mixture, but it still worked. I think you would get a thicker crust with the…

  • Food

    Cooking For Vegetarians

    I am going to admit that I am not a great fan of vegetables. Or rather, I like veg but I love meat and a meal for me pretty much always includes some kind of meat. Less meat is more healthy, I know, but there we are. I just like meat. So when our guests arrived last week and I discovered that one of the group is veggie, I knew it was going to be a challenge. Particularly as my children are big meat eaters – or rather my son is. My daughter is more likely to eat the side order and the veg. The first evening I had to…

  • Food

    Salmon en Croûte

    This was adapted from a Jamie Oliver’s recipe, in the Ministry Of Food book. I blogged recently about the E Coli outbreak in Germany, and my decision to start buying local food. Next week I shall receive my first veg box from the farmer behind the hedge. Until then, I have been going down to the village where he has a little stall with an honesty box to buy my veg. I must take a photo next time I go past, it is very sweet. Today, I bought a bag of fresh spinach, a lollo rosso salad, a massive courgette and some spring onions. The quality was very high, all…

  • Review

    Review of Book and Recipe Jenny Colgan – Meet Me At The Cupcake Café

    Right. Before you start reading, get eggs and butter out of the fridge and switch your oven on. By the time you finish reading this review you will be ready to bake. The Jenny Colgan book “Meet Me At The Cupcake Café” tells the story of Issy, a hobby baker who works for an Estate agency. Issy is involved with her boss, Graeme – who is the typical Estate Agent (apologies to pleasant Estate Agents, I am sure they are not all filled with ambition and avarice). When the company is forced by the economic downturn to make several employees redundant, Issy is horrified to be one of the unfortunate…

  • Geneva,  Switzerland

    Filets de Pêrches

    If you go into a restaurant in Geneva area then there is a good chance that one of the dishes on the menu will be Filets de Pêrches – fillet of perch. After living here for sometime, a colleague of my husband remarked that it was a wonder anyone could swim in Lake Geneva, the amount of Perch that was on offer in the restaurants. He was of course alluding to the fact that the restaurants give the impression of offering fresh fish from the lake, when it is anything but. It is imported frozen from other countries. Some restaurants do sell perch from Lac Leman, as Lake Geneva is…

  • Food

    Quick Homemade Pizza

    Living in a small village has advantages and disadvantages and one of the down sides is the lack of take-out. We do have a pizzeria in the next village, but by the time we drive over there, wait for the pizza to be made (as we can never remember where we put their telephone number) and drive home, I can make pizza. And most of the time (to blow my own trumpet for a moment) it tastes better. The recipe is one that I use for making white bread – from Mumsnet recipe pages. I can make a large family pizza and still have enough dough left to make a…

  • Food

    Healthy Banana Muffins – No Eggs

    I did not intend to make “healthy” cakes today but I had run out of eggs and fancied making banana muffins. When I looked for a recipe, I came across this one on Mumsnet. The recipe looked good, and had good reviews, so I overcame my doubt about healthy cakes – in my opinion there is no point in eating a healthy cake. When I eat cake, I want lots of flavour and I have seldom come across really delicious healthy cakes. The recipe was pretty easy, melt honey and butter with milk, mash in bananas Then add cup of SR flour (I cannot buy wholemeal SR flour so used…

  • Baking

    Lindt Chocolate Cake

    Here is one I prepared earlier. This was baked to take to friends’ going away party. When we arrived at the friends’s house we were surprised to see that there were no cars outside. We walked towards the door, only to see several nappy bags with dirty nappies lying on the doorstep. Before ringing the doorbell, I quickly checked my calendar to find that the party is tomorrow.  Oh, well. Hopefully the cake will still taste good tomorrow. It is very easy to prepare, but be warned it is not exactly light. So put away your scales and weightwatchers books for now and just enjoy. First put the cocoa into…

  • Food

    Easy Homemade Bread

    It is not as time consuming as you may think. The recipe I use is simple, quick and easy to prepare. I use American cups – I bought a set of cups as I use a lot of American recipes and it saves measuring the flour. 3 1/2 cups of strong white (or wholemeal) flour (440g) 1 1/2 tsp of instant dried yeast 1 tsp sugar 1 – 2 tsp salt Warm water Put yeast, sugar and about 1/2 cup of lukewarm water into mixing bowl (before I bought my Kitchenaid, I used a food processor but of course you can do this by hand). Leave for a couple of…

  • Food

    Quick and Easy Salmon Coulibiac – inspired by Hairy Bikers

    This is one of my OMG,-forgot-to-defrost-something-for-dinner-what-can-we-have-meals. It was inspired by the Hairy Biker’s recipe but is made from store cupboard and freezer ingredients. From start to finish, including baking time this recipe takes about 45 minutes and is really delicious. The day I took the photos, I used Uncle Ben’s Lemon and Rosemary Rice so I left out the lemon. Normally I make it without the prawns as my husband is allergic to them. Quick and Easy Salmon Coulibiac You need: Packet of ready made Puff Pastry One egg Packet of frozen salmon Couple of cubes of frozen spinach leaves, defrost a little so you can separate them. Uncle Ben’s…

  • Food

    How to make friends and bake fabulous Fairy Cakes

    The good thing about blogging (and twitter, not to mention Mumsnet) is that you can ask any question and you generally receive an answer. Whether you are looking for relationship advice, ideas for a birthday party, wondering where to apply for a passport or recipe advice, there is generally someone somewhere willing to help. Added to that, I have met so many people online who I am truly blessed to count as my friends. Whether the friendship stays online, or we manage to meet up in Real Life, these are people I can count on to help when times are tough or I need a new recipe. Cooking was always…

  • Food

    Baking Rugelach

      Today I tried my hand at Rugelach, a festive Jewish treat. They look a bit like croissants but are made with cream cheese and sour cream. The rounds of dough are cooled for minimum 2 hours After which time they are rolled out sugar, cinnamon and sultanas are mixed then sprinkled over the rounds Which are then cut into 12 sections then rolled up Then baked in the oven for 22 minutes I made half with sultanas and half without so that MonsieurLindt could have some, he is a raison-picker-outer.  Rugelach  Ingredients 250 g all-purpose flour 2 g salt 225 g unsalted butter 224 g cream cheese 75 g…

  • Baking

    How to make (and eat) Hot Cross Buns

    Last week I saw that Dan Lepard (no Def Lepard jokes please, he has heard them all) was due to go on Mumsnet.com to do another webchat with bake-a-long after the success of the previous one. Great, thought I. Then I remembered that I am supposed to be on a diet.  Never mind. The long periods of time between kneading the dough, leaving to rise, then forming the buns and again leaving to rise gave me ample time to fit a run in around my baking. Perfect way to spend a day. Following Dan’s recipe pretty much exactly, I prepared the dough using raisins and mixed spice. I forgot the…