Ahh....divine Crème Brûlèe

One of my favorite French deserts. This recipe includes a little juice from passion fruits which gives it an exotic touch. The sweetness of the passion fruit varies from fruit to fruit and can therefore influence the amount of sugar in this recipe. For 4 persons you need:
3 dl cream + 0.5 dl milk
juice from 2 passion fruits (scope out the flesh from the fruits and strain it through a sieve, discard the seeds)
4 egg yolks
0.5 dl sugar
1 vanilla pod
4 ramekins á 1.5dl
  1. Pour sugar into the egg yolks and beat until smooth.
  2. Scrape seeds from the vanilla pod and add both seeds and the skin of the vanilla pod into the cream. Heat the cream slowly. When ready discard the skin of the vanilla pod.
  3. Add the cream to the egg yolks, one table spoon at a time, while stirring vigorously. When about 1/4 of the cream has been integrated into the yolks, pour the yolks into the cream and mix until smooth.
  4. Add the juice from the passion fruits and mix.
  5. Strain the mixture using a fine mesh sieve and fill 4 ramekins.
  6. Put the ramekins into a tray and pour hot water around, half the height of the ramekins.
  7. Set the owen to 150°C and cook the custard for about 0.5 hour. Allow to cool for min. 2 hours in the fridge.
  8. Before serving sprinkle brown sugar over the top of the custard and caramelize it with a cooking torch.

Rainy Sunday again

Such a wonderful evening with friends yesterday. Is there any better way how to create a bond with friends than sharing food and memories over a table? We enjoyed the dinner in front of the fire place while outside the gail was raging and the rain rattled against the windows. This is not the picture of Provence you usually get but the reality is that there are pretty nasty weather conditions also here. Today it is a "jour de repos".....lavender scented bath, watching movies and NO cooking, only left overs .. v>

Salmon and tuna fish tartare

It was an early morning today because of the market in Apt. We do not only go there for shopping but also for meeting friends and having coffee and croissant. By shopping at the market, and thanks God the French still love this tradition and thus keep it alive, you automatically get into the seasonal shopping and cooking. Most of the summer fruit selection has gone but vegetables and mushrooms are still in seasons. I bought several sorts of mushrooms and will serve it together with a slice of meat as a main course to our friends for dinner. I also found a very fresh salmon and tuna fish and will make a tartare as a starter. This is one of my very loved classic dishes and you can also make it only with salmon or with tuna fish only.
Very fresh salmon
Very fresh tuna fish
Soya sauce
Spring onion
Roasted sesame seeds
Salt, Peppar
  1. Chop the salmon and tuna very fine.
  2. Chop the chili and spring onion and coriander. Grate the ginger.
  3. Mix everything together and allow to chill for some hours in the fridge.
When serving I form it with help of a ring in order to achieve a regular shape and serve it together with creme fraiche flavoured with wasabi and finally I drizzle little lemon oil (olive oi l infused with lemon) around.


Today we went to Avignon to see the exibition of the Spanish painter Miquel Barcelò, amazing sculptures and paintings. Hungry and exhausted from strolling and watching the art we found a lovely bistro where we enjoyed our lunch. The bistros in France are busy and noisy and there is nothing more French as their cozy atmosphere. Avignon is a beautiful historical city, the former residence of popes and therefore a perfect spot for sightseeing, particularly in sunny weather and 18°C. ....and we saw it all before we drove back home to our hills.....tired and happy.

Salmon Burger

I am blessed to be a good friend with a man who is a former chef and who possesses great creativity which has inspired me a lot. During the years I have collected from him a lot of recipes, hints and ideas which I am using daily in my cooking. This salmon burger is a newcomer in my collection but is already so much appreciated. For 2 persons you need:
200 g fresh salmon
100 g smoked salmon
1 egg
pink pepper (a lot)
dill (optional)
1 spring onion
salt (be careful with the salt as the smoked salmon is already salty)
  1. Chop the salmon, dill, spring onion and ground the pink pepper
  2. Mix everything together and add 1 egg and eventually salt. This you can prepare a day ahead and stored in fridge.
  3. Before serving form into 2 or 4 burgers (I prefer the mini alternative). Heat the butter in a pan and cook the burgers over medium heat from both side.
  4. Serve it with salad in the Summer or with mashed potatoes in the Winter.
Today I served it with green peas and mango sauce as a welcome dinner to my husband.

Chateau EZA

This Summer we visited Côte d'Azur, particularly the village EZE and its Chateau EZA which has been transformed to a luxury hotel. I red about this ancient place located high above the Mediterranean Sea and with a fabulous view many years ago and since that it has been on my wish list. Chateau EZA is a former monastery and in spite of the transformation to a luxury hotel you can still feel the tranquility and serenity of the place. We only stayed one night but I will remember this place for the rest of my life....

New arrival....

Normally I do not follow the fashion hypes but this time I couldn't resist. And after all, when they disappear from the streets I can always use them in the garden. Not sure if the price could be justified in such a case but you know women and shoes, there is nothing rational behind it.

Today Asian Style cooking

Asian style noodle soup is the best food I can imagine. Light to digest and with a flavour of ginger and coriander...really a comfort food. Nowdays I have to improvise because not all the ingredients are available in this rural part of France but I do my best. My husband is not exagerated over this dish so I usualy make it when I stay alone...and today it becomes a gentle treat for the sleepless last night when I was listening to all those strange sounds in the house instead of sleeping... Only one night to go.

Morning stroll

Another beautiful morning. Started my day with strolling in the garden, listening to the birds and watching the sunrise. Sylvain has arrived and is already working in the garden. Today I am free, no obligations, only to await DHL which will deliver my Hunter boots. Will cook for me something in asian style and enjoy the day.

Tuesday morning

I should be already on the way to my French class but decided to jump over it this time. My two Swedish girlfriends who also live in Provence will come for lunch. First will we go for a hike and after that it will be a long and well deserved lunch. The weather is gorgeous, no wind but sun and I am looking forward to chatting in Swedish. My husband is in Sweden for 3 days. To be honest I hate to be alone in this big house but I already survived one night so the next two should go smoother. My daughter called yesterday to tell me about her new job. I am so happy for her.

Pumpkin soup

For tomorrow I have invited my girlfriends for a lunch and in order to prepare as much as possible ahead I already made the first course today. The pumpkin is in season, is cheap and healthy so there are many reasons to enjoy it now. I have tried several recipes but now I simply cook together the diced peeled pumpkin, chicken stock and chalot onion for 30 min. Then I mix it together with a little creme fraiche in a stand mixer which is,in my view, important as the handmixer doesn't provide the same creamy consistency...and that's it. I like to serve it with a slice of parma ham, which I bake (dry) in an own on low temperature (100C) for 15min or just as is and decorated with a few basil leaves.

Reflection on welcoming home....

I have a wonderful book from Lucia van der Post with a funny name Things I wish my mother had told me. I love everything about this book and I also bought it to my daughter as I believe that every women should have an own copy. The book has also a chapter about home and her definition is so lovely:
A home is a canvas on which we paint our personalities. As we travel more, this influences the way we live and adds another layer to the things we surround ourselves with. A home is also the storehouse of our family histories, living archive that told the house of our personal lives. Every picture, every book, every object tells the story. It speaks of where we've been and who we are, of what we mean to each other and of how we relate to the word around us.
To create a welcoming home it doesn't mean a lot of money....fill your home with books and music, flowers, fruit, chocolate and some wine and coffee and you are there :))

In the mood for books...

Books have always been, are and will be an integrated part of my life. There is many things I am dependent on but books are simply a necessity for me. Although I read almost everything coming to my hands, my taste varies with the mood I am in. Sometimes I can read crimes i weeks and months but then I move to history books or to classics which are somehow the very favorites....like Thomas Mann, Herman Hesse, Leo Tolstoy etc. I also vary the languages I read in order to keep staying proficient. Czech, Swedish or English ....French has to wait for a while. For the moment I am completely absorbed by Marcus Aurelius Mediations written around 100AD. The style of the book is direct and unpretentious and delivers many insightful and inspirational observations about human nature and the human condition, and makes an excellent rational argument for seeking the good and for acting modestly and continently. When now looking outside I see a strong wind sweeping across the garden and this makes the decision about what to do even easier.....staying inside and reading.

Sunday evening...

The day is coming to its end, the rain is still going on and I could although hear the thunderstorm coming closer. We have lighted the wood fire and opened a bottle of red wine. Today we will taste the "sanglier" which we received from the local hunter on Wednesday. His dogs were lost for several days before they came to us and found a refuge. The hunter was so happy that he insisted to share with us a piece of his hunting prey. I served it cooked in red wine and  together with mushrooms and haricot vert. My husband is going to Sweden tomorrow therefore I made the dinner a little extra so he has something to remember....

Chocolate cashew mousse

I have bought by mistake 99% chocolate instead of 90% which we love to taste together with the herbal tea in the evening. To make something of the 99% chocolate which is, in my view impossible to eat as is, I found a fantastic recipe for chocolate mousse from the Australian chef Jill Dupleix and which turns to be also healthy.

100 g dark chocolate
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
25 g roasted salted cashews
medium eggs, separated
4 tbs honey
  1. Melt the chocolate and add the dried chilli and cinnamon. Allow to cool for 10min.
  2. Whiz the cashews in a blender or food processor until finally ground.
  3. Beat the eggs and honey in a bowl until smooth. Stir in the chocolate and the ground cashews until smooth.
  4. Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks, and gently fold into the chocolate mixture
  5. Spoon into 4 small pots and chill for 2 hours. To serve, top with fruit, whipped creme or just as it is.

Cleaning the wardrobe....

Today is also perfect day (still raining) to clean and reorganize the wardrobe before coming winter season. The summer dresses have to be moved to another closet in order to prepare space for the winter clothes. This also give opportunity to dejunk the wardrobe and reorganize it for the next season. I try to keep my wardrobe small and focus rather on quality than quantity....this is what you learn with age. This year I also created my own lavender bags from our own grown lavender. I love the smell and I also use few drops of lavender oil wherever possible like in the shoes storage.

Sunday morning

Sunday and we woke up to the rain. After having lived in Provence for a while I look upon the rain in a quite positive way. The dry period during the summer is so exhausting for the nature that its survival depends entirerly on the rain season in the spring, autumn and winter. Every time the rain comes you can see how efficient and quickly the plants absorb the water. Then the whole valley looks like a rain forrest, green and with fogs rising up above the fields. It looks to be a cozy day inside today, reading books, cooking and baking.....and I already started with my favorite sourdough breakfast rolls.

Les Couleurs d'automne

Yesterday we made our traditional trip around Sault to enjoy the beautiful colors of Autumn. And of course we didn't miss our favorite  Crêperie de Moisson  where the owner makes crêpes in the traditional way. I like them simple with crême de marron, the symbol of autumn, and without chantilly but there are many other alternatives. Usually we visit this area in summer to watch the lavender fields, among all other tourists, and now, pretty alone on deserted roads, to watch the nature in its final golden glow. This is how we live and enjoy the seasons, what regards food, nature and also habits.

October in our garden.....

....this is the month of quit days, of mellow afternoons in the garden, of wood-fires and comfort food in the chilly evenings. Our garden is still green and the roses in full blossom although some signs of golden coloring appear. The sun is still so hot that we need to use sun protection when being outside. It is a perfect time for hiking and for visiting the nearby villages, for inviting friends for a supper. Yesterday we planted two grape wines which will hopefully give us a pergola shadow during the hot summer days. Autumn is my favorite season but somehow already now I am longing for the careless hot summer days on our terraces.

Surrounded by a beautiful nature ....

These are pics taken in September on the way to our home. Every day the view changes and offers magnificent sceneries which make you happy... whether you want or not....

Coffee Time

Now I am exhausted after mig first blogging attempt and I need a coffee and some fresh air..

Road trip to Pays Basque

2 weeks ago we made an amazing trip to, for us, unknown part of France...the Pays Basque and found a beautiful countryside, coastlines and fantastic food. We started in the medieval city of Albi and ended up in Biarritz. The beginning of October is a perfect time for traveling with few tourists and the weather is still warm and sunny. 

The perfect Autumn day

Woke up into a beautiful sunny morning and enjoyed my every morning meditation. The MAN in my life is already in the kitchen making the breakfast and the smell of the roasted bread, the freshly ground coffee makes the morning irresistible...and he also makes a fresh orange juice every day:)) I am again thinking about the nowadays' morning magics and compared it to my busy days in Zurich when mornings were more about running to the airport, to the office or to a meeting. Although I miss Zurich a little bit...sometimes? not really! .....now my husband waits for me as we are going for a walk into the hills.
Beyond the strikes, the fuel shortage and other scary news....just the hills and  the sun and the wind on your face

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