Tout est bien qui finit bien

It is exactly 1 year since I started this blog. The goal was to try the technology about blogging but also to get in touch with friends who are not yet on the Fafacebook. It has been very inspirational to share my recipes, to write about our travel experiences but also about the daily life here in Luberon. Our wonderful life continues by following the seasonal changes, by meeting old and new friends and also by traveling, picknicking, dining etc. Two years ago when I decided to retire I had two main goals. The first one was to find an inner peace and the second one was to learn French. Both are still on my agenda and will remain for the rest of my life as both are evolving all the time. I will stay on Facebook and I am looking forward to reconnect with you there. In my view is facebook an excellent meeting point. You can get involved or you can just observe others, it is up to you. And remember, when you do not try new things, it a sign of getting old....and this is the last thing we like to be....or? :))

A table...

It's raining today, finally, and I hope it will continue for some days and give the nature a relief. It has been incredible dry this year. I started my day by driving to Apt for my appointment with my hairdresser and also to make some shopping. Our fridge was pretty empty after we had been away for 4 days. Yesterday, and thanks to the lack of other ingredients we managed to have a pure vegetarian day. Today, I bought chicken de bresse, which is a high quality chicken coming from the region of Bourg en Bresse, north of Lyon. So now I am roasting the main part of the chicken in oven together with rosemary and thyme from our garden. The house is filled with the wonderful smell of those mediterranean herbs. The remaining part I am cooking as a soup together with a plenty of vegetables. Today I will serve the roasted chicken with a mixed salad and as desert a fruit salad. The soup we will enjoy tomorrow together with a lot of homemade noodles.The wood fire crackles cosily inside and outside falls the darkness. It is this atmosphere, I love so much.

On a healthy route....

Sharing some pictures of our lunch and dinner today. The ingredients have changed with the season and here are some of my current favorites:
- Red beetroot, cooked and shredded with horseradish
- Sweet potatoes, roasted with olive oil in oven
- Fennel chopped and cooked in butter together with shallots and seasoned with chicken stock and spiced with curcuma.
- Celery root, cooked with cauliflower in chicken stock, mixed and served as a soup. Seasoned with parmesan cheese and parsley.
- Avocado, great to add to salads or mix into soup.
- Avocado oil, Argan oil, Sesame oil and Olive oil. Always great in salad or drizzle over soup.
- Pomegranate seeds and juice.
- Dried prunes, very high in antioxidants and perfect to add to salads, tagine or just as snack

Taste of Autumn

Today's market was almost empty. I guess that it was due to the Mistral wind which has arrived and which you feel independently how well dressed you are. My husband who returned home yesterday night from Sweden was already used to the low temperature but for me it was a surprise like for many locals. We made our shopping as the fish, vegetables, bread, flowers and also some girolles (mushrooms) and chestnuts. I also visited a butcher to buy some lamb chops. Lamb is still the meat which is produced in very natural way, at least here in Provence. The butcher made a nice lamb package for me and he also shared his recipe. I should roast it for 10min from both side and then keep it in oven at 120°C  additional 20 min before I slice/cut it into individual pieces. When I bought chestnuts I received an advice how to roast them in an open fireplace. This is a new way of shopping, by receiving new ideas for cooking. Tonight we lighted the wood fire for the first time this season and  enjoyed the lamb with haricots verts and mushrooms together with a deep red wine. Now we are planning for our hike tomorrow.

Good-bye Summer, Welcome Autumn.......

There is only one remedy for the ending summer and that is to welcome in the next season with open arms. Autumn has always been my favorite season and therefore no clouds to welcome it. Particularly, here in Provence, we got an additional month of summer which makes us all pretty satisfied. Yesterday we started our french class so like other children, pupils an students we are back in school, with new energy and enthusiasm. The gardener today  pruned some of the trees and also cut the perovskia. Now, there are only the roses and the oleander flowers which still remind about the summer season. Also the vineyeards fields are getting the color of gold. I am changing the cooking style from light dishes and salads to more comfortable pots and soups. Yesterday, we enjoyed, first time in this year the pumpkin soup. I served it with a tartine and dried tomato pesto. Soon we will start our hiking season, soon we will light our woodfire to warm up during the coming chilly evenings and to make all of  things which we planned for during all those hot days.

Coq au vin with salad and sourdough bread


Mas des Herbes Blanches

We can say: It all started here. 18 years ago when we first arrived to the Luberon valley for vacation we discovered this beautiful hotel. Since that we have returned every year, dreaming and planning to have a similar house in similar settings. 10-years ago we bought a plot in the vicinity and started the construction. We also paid a visit to this hotel together with our architect in order to clearly communicate our ideas. Nowadays, we do not need hotel for accommodation but we return from time to time for lunch or dinner. Today, as we celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary we took the opportunity and made this day to something special…..a gourmet lunch on the terrace......

What's on....

Nothing special, just wanted to share some pictures about the influence of flowers, fruits on the interior. I do not aim to make this blog about interior decoration, this is not my strong side, this is rather about the good life. So today we returned from the market, the coffee/croissant with friends and loaded with flowers, fruits and coffee grains and other necessities for the coming week. It will be again a warm lovely summer day.....


Some times ago I bought an interior design book from Malene Birger and decided to make some redecoration in our house. Today, when we brought home some new framed paintings I decided to group all the paintings we had in our living room together. This is how Malene creates this kind of charming, cozy and bohemian home. The result was pretty asstonishing compared how it was before. At the same time I also got rid of curtains and let the window only be decorated by the paintings. All paintings represent modern art but I could also mix it with some other types. I am not ready, this is just beginning.....


After we returned home we still continue to have "vacation", and sometime I feel that whole my life is like a long vacation. The weather is sunny with a temperature 25-28°C and in the pool 27°C thanks to our heating pump. We spend the most time outside enjoying the last moments of the Summer. We have also embarked on few projects like the creation of a study room, some changes in decoration and also to plant new plants in our garden. We have cancelled our trip to Italy as we feel it will be too much of traveling. Tomorrow we will pick up our new framed paintings and also visit Roche Bobois, my favorite furniture shop, in order to furnish our study you see there is not much drama in our life, on the contrary:))

Fast food at home

I bought today a slice of tuna fish and 4 gambas for our dinner. I roasted the fish in olive oil/butter infused with garlic and fresh thyme. The tuna fish has to be roasted carefully and when done it must be rare in the middle. The gambas are done also very quickly. I served it with cooked broccoli and haricots verts with a dressing à la Jamie Oliver: soya sauce, mirin, sesame oil, grated fresh ginger and pressed garlic. The vegetables need to be hot when mixing them with the dressing.....simple but delicious. It could also be served with a spoon of garlic/wasabi mayo. It took only 20 min to make it.....

Back home

It is still very warm in Provence and without rain it looks that we will have a very early Autumn. Our vine pergola has already lost many of its leaves and for those still remaining the color becomes rather brown than green. We arrived yesterday and as always it is great to be home. Early this morning we went to the market and bought some fish and vegetable, but only for today. Tomorrow it is time for our road trip to Dordogne. This time is camera with me and I am looking forward to using it frequently.

Life and Work by Malene Birger

This is THE coffee table book if you are interested in design and beautiful photos. I received it today and disappeared for couple of hours. It is a pleasure for all senses and I  have such a desire to refurnish our house completely.

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 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.

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