Côtes du Luberon

In Provence they start to harvest grapes. It seems to me a little early but everything is early this year. I often think how hard the people must work to obtain this nectar. Also when you buy the wine bottles from a vineyard it is more personal affair, you pay directly to the owner and you shake the hand which probably participated in the whole process. This could be compared to a supermarket where each bottle is anonymous. We got so inspired when we saw today all the hard working people in the fields that we decided to take a little wine shopping tour in our vicinity. There are two domains which we are already customer of and today we tried two new ones. So we visited 4 vineyards in 2 hours and filled our little cave......and surprise. The last vineyard was somehow known to me and soon I discovered that this was the Chateau from the movie "Good Year".....unfortunately the chateau itself is closed for public and you can only visit the cave but at least I got a glimpse of this famous property. Next time we will share a bottle of wine I will drink it with awareness of the domain, the shape and size of grapes and the soil and of course all these wonderful people who keep going with the knowledge and passion from generation to generation......

Grilled sardines

Tuesday was dedicated to cleaning and it's done. Our 250 sqm are now shining, the bed linens are exchanged, the windows are cleaned, the lavender scented candles are lighted and outside is a warm night with sky full of stars. My kitchen is so clean that I didn't want to cook anything in it. Instead we cooked our evening meal in the cuisine d'été, a bulgur salad and grilled sardines. Sardines are very cheap and healthy fat fish. I usually buy them fresh and freeze them to use them later as needed. Today, after the whole day of work it worked very well as it is so easy to prepare. They just need to be seasoned with salt and pepper. Tomorrow, we will go to Apt to made some shopping and soon, I need to pack for our trip to Lausanne.........

La récolte de lavande

Some weeks ago we harvested our lavender. This was a hard work although for Sylvain who is young and used to it. He still cut it in the manual way, no electrical scissors in spite of 400 plants. Well done. Some of the lavender flower stems we grouped together and bound them with a ribbon. After, they dried some days upside down in our pool house. Now I have separated the dried flowers from the stems. The stems will be used in our fireplace. Imagine, the cold winter evenings and wooden fire with a smell of lavender.....The flowers will be filled in small "sachets de lavande" and will be placed all over in our cupboards. And next year the same procedure..........living with seasons, in harmony with nature and follow the ancient routines is definitely part of my happiness.

Last Summer Days

Just came back from the market and enjoying my late breakfast. Can it be more tasty with rye bread and ripe tomatoes and a cup of coffee from freshly ground beans. These are those last days of Summer 2011. By definition the Autumn starts within few days but in reality the Summer days in Provence continue often to October and sometime also in November. However, I feel a little bit moody that the hot summer nights are over and that from now we will be equipped with blankets when sitting outside in the evenings. In the end it is about to enjoying every second of the present moments.......

It's getting better and better.....

Now it starts to be repetitive to mention our beautiful evenings but I can not avoid to sharing it again. We stayed home yesterday and enjoyed the evening on our terrace. When sitting there you need to remind you that this is not a dream but our beautiful house in amazing settings. The view, the garden, the stone terraces, everything in such a harmony in those warm and velvet nights. We enjoyed the left-overs for dinner and talked and laughed about the stories attached to when building the house, to the many trips between Zurich and Provence and that we would never imagine the result like this. We talked about the coming Autumn and our trips, about the hikes we want to pursue, about to buying a picnic basket and........We have been married soon in 22 years and there has never been a harsh word or dispute between us............I must really have found THE MAN in my life.

Another beautiful evening...

There has been a lot of good food, wine and late nights. The weather is still so hot that we only get outside and start "to live" in the evenings. Yesterday we went to our favorite restaurant to meet our Swedish friend Jane. This was a marvelous evening with a lot of laugh, delicious food and a glass of rose. However, from now we do have only a few appointments so I will focus again on healthy food, meditation and yoga. Soon we will go for our first Autumn trip but after we returned the hiking season will start. Looking forward this healthy style of living.

Summer dinner with friends

Yesterday it was THE evening. We invited our friends for a traditional August dinner before they leave back to their works. And the evening was unbelievable beautiful and warm. We closed up after 1 am and the thermometer indicated still 24°C. I served 4 course dinner including the selection of local cheeses and figs. The dessert was a white chocolate mouse according Nigela´s recipe and it worked really nice with a frozen granita made from a mango fruit.
For the main course I ordered from a local butcher a pork file stuffed with prunes, which makes the file so succulent and tender.


We were early on the dimanche market in Coustellet today. The heat is unbearable later on so if you want to manage something you need to get up early. During the Summer it is not easy to keep flowers fresh here in Provence and therefore I avoid buying them now, at least  during these very hot days. However the sunflowers appeared on this local market so I decided to buy them. The baguette and the sunflowers are the ultimate memories I have always associated with Provence. The cooking for my six guests today will be tough as the temperature is about 35°C but I am looking forward the evening. Sitting under the vine pergola, chatting with our closest friend and watching the shooting stars is anyhow a privilege which I do not take for given.


4 weeks ago I wrote about the happiness I felt when my daughter arrived and we had in front of us almost endless 4 weeks of being together. Now it is over and she left. It feels so empty and so sad. However, this is the way we live and I should be used to it. This is why I so deeply appreciate to have us all  together. Lucky enough, in two weeks we will all meet in Lausanne for couple of day and I am already looking forward to it. Now my husband and I need to take care about our friends. Tomorrow we will host a dinner for our closest friends. Yesterday we went for a 50th bday party and met some new exciting people which I am looking forward to see again and to learn better.

My little family

My husband returned home from his trip to Sweden today so our little family is together again. M is leaving on Saturday so there are only few nights left before my husband and I will be alone again. The evenings and nights are marvelous and we enjoyed dinner on the terrace and celebrated with a glass of champagne.

Low Carb Food

Both my daughter and I have lowered our carbs intake to minimum. The reason is to loose a little bit of weight. For me this means only a slice of bread in the morning and then I only enjoy vegetables, some protein and fat. It is amazing how fast you get out of the habit to eat bread to everything. During the Summer I do not have much exercise and therefore no need for carbs. In September we will start with our hikes and I then will go back to my normal diet but the intake of white flour and sugar will still remain limited. Yesterday evening we enjoyed a salmon-tunafish tartare and today cooked vegetables with tunafish mayonnaise and egg. So light ...and so delicious.

La Canicule

Provence is in the beginning of  a "canicule" which is a French expression for a very hot period during the Summer. It is a period of inactivity as you barely can do anything else than laying in the shade and with a short distance to the pool. In the end of this week the meteo forecasts 37°C. The food will be very light, a fruit smoothie with melon granita will serve well during those days.

Marinated Salmon

This dish belongs to my portfolio of starters or light lunches. The most difficult part is to slice the raw salmon in very thin but rather large pieces. I marinate them in olive oil and lemon juice, salt and pepper for couple of hours before I cook them very gently in the oven(150°C), by placing them on baking sheet covered by baking paper, for a few minutes(3-5min). Then I transfer, very carefully, the slices on the plates and serve it with rocket leaves, shavings of parmesan cheese, roasted pine nuts and finally with a drizzle of a good quality olive oil.

Summer nights in Provence

You can't get enough of them. The warm calm nights with a sky full of stars.The restaurants are fully booked, and everywhere you can hear people murmuring and glasses clink. You drink local rose wine to cool off even in these late hours of the day. The food is adjusted according to season and you wish it would never ends.

Fish duo

Back from market. Today I brought with me home some cod and salmon filets. I cut the salmon in very thin slices and then rolled it together with the cod filet. As the salmon is a fat fish it will make the cod more succulent. I will steam it together with some asiatic herbs and spices as coriander, lemon grass and ginger and serve it with a cream-mango sauce..but first tomorrow. Tonight we are going to our favorite restaurant in Isle sur la Sorgue.

And the Summer continues......

Foie gras for dinner....

I must admit that this is an exception. Normally we eat foie gras only at Christmas and from time to time on restaurant but I never buy it home during the Summer as this is a dish for the very cold days. But as we have a strong cold Mistral for some time here I get inspired and served a piece of foie gras as a starter for our dinner today. I always buy the best quality and this one below is the best what I could find. In my previous days I used to buy on the airports the canned foie gras but now I have learnt to appreciate the fresh one without conservation. It is delicious as is, it only needs to be seasoned with salt and (rose) pepper and served with something fruity. It could be a piece of stone fruit or fig. We enjoyed it today with our own pears..... so ripe and so sweet.

Sleepless night

Tonight we had a lot of "fun". First, at 2am a powerful thunderstorm passed our region and the lightning woke everybody up, in the house. The electricity went off and on and in the end we gave up the sleep and all of us stood on terrace and watched the beautiful "spectacle". After we fell asleep again the security alarm went off with all of its power. We understood that something went wrong with the circuit due to lightning and the power cuts. The alarm couldn't be stopped and we had to call the security company to come and shut it up. So today we decided to take it easy to recover after this crazy night. Now, after the rain the air is so fresh, so we lit the candles  and enjoyed a simple dinner on our terrace.

Augusti Market

The first signs of autumn creeps closer and closer in spite of the hot weather. The selection of fruit and vegetables on  the market is the best proof of it. The mushrooms and the grapes arrive, the tomatoes are offered in excess, the peaches are so ripe that you have to handle them very delicately. I also took opportunity to enhance my wardrobe with some white tunics, which were on sale. The rain is in the air now and we all welcome it, next week the heat will be back again....


I am using frozen rouget filets for this beloved dish. It is typically made from fresh raw fish marinated in citrus juices such as lemon or lime and spiced with chili pepper and herbs. I will served it as a starter together with green salad and avocado. For me it is the  ultimate summer dish, but you have to be sure about the fish quality.

Winter vacation @ Baros

It is difficult to imagine the winters dark and chilly days when today outside is 30+°C but better to be prepared. I secured today, what I believe, will be a trip of our lifetime. We are both frequent travelers but none of us has yet discovered the "Robinson Crusoe" island. Next year my husband celebrates a major milestone and therefore it will be a special trip. Baros here we come...
Photo: Baros Maldives

Bohemian chaos

That's I would describe the atmosphere in our house. There are books and magazines laying on all tables, bathing suites hanging everywhere, kicked off shoes laying both inside and outside....and I enjoy it. Normally I am a ZEN person and like to have it tidy around but the summer is an exception. I do not care. So just now after having finished my breakfast (11:30am) I am sitting on our terrace, listening to the water sound of fontain and discussing yesterdays event. We went to Orange  to see Rigoletto opera in the ancient roman amphitheater. The theater is in the same condition as 2000 years ago.... almost. We sat together with other 7000 visitors on the same stone benches as our roman ancestors did....and it was an overpowering feeling. If you combine it with top performing artists and musicians, the beautiful tones of Verdi and the sky full of stars, you get the picture....don't you?. It was first time this year I managed to secure tickets to this very special event. Next year we will be back there again.

Summer Food

Summer in Provence is a heaven for all us lovers of vegetables and fruits. The colors, textures, sweetness and the varieties are without limits. I make my shopping twice a week and then I compose the dishes accordingly. Salads are so easy to do so this is what we eat for lunches.

B-day dinner

It has been a tradition to celebrate my B-day with a dinner at the restaurant La Bastide de Gordes. It is a magic place located in the chic village of Gordes. Sitting on the terrace together with my little family and enjoying the superb service and food is worth to wait for another year.

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