Grilled seafood and roasted sweet potatoes

Evening again. My luggage for my trip to Nice tomorrow morning is packed and our dinner is enjoyed. Today I grilled tuna fish and scampi and served it with roasted sweet potatoes, lemon wedges and a sauce done with cream fraiche and fresh grated horseradish. My stove has an integrated grill with lava stones, which is a great solution for the occasion you want to grill and the weather is not yet ready.
I have marinated the seafood in oil, rosemary, thyme and a lot of garlic, then dried it with a kitchen paper before I put in on the grill. The tuna fish must not be cook through if you want to eat it tender.
Sweet potatoes are my favorite....I just cut each potato in 4 wedges and tossed the wedges in olive oil. Then roasted it at 220°C in 30 minutes and seasoned with salt.

It actually rains in Provence

The difference is that when the rain comes to Provence everyone is happy, especially in the Spring. Today a thunderstorm passed through our area and it is not always pleasant. Two years ago a lightning strike hit our chimney and destroyed a lot in the house. Luckily we were not in the house then that probably saved our lives. But I still love watching the rain from the porch ..... and the most beautiful is the green color that appears as soon as the first raindrops fell down.

Due to the rain I decided to postpone my shopping to tomorrow and instead I consulted my freezer for dinner. It worked pretty well, I found two veal scallopini which I transformed to  Wiener schnitzel together with the left-over vegetables. Tomorrow is market day and an opportunity to refill the food storage again.....

Luberon Villages: GORDES

Few days ago I passed by our neighbor village GORDES and I couldn't avoid to take some pictures. In the early Spring it is something special about  this "village perché". In the summer season the village is crowded by tourists so we "local" try to avoid it but it is a truly beauty...isn't it?

Evening thoughts....

The evening is approaching and the sky is turning pink. It has been a rich day with gardening, cooking and also hiking. As the temperature dropped to 14°C we have lighted a wood fire which makes it so cozy inside. I am so grateful for everything the life is giving me just now. This also includes the beauty of living in the country side, where everything feels so basic, also the baking of bread which I just removed from the oven.

Chili again

While my husband was cleaning the terrace I was cooking the vegetarian chili. It became one of my favorite recipes due to its simplicity and also due to its healthy aspect. This time I added carrots and chickpeas and a lot of rosemary and thyme and finished with basil. wait for a clean terrace.


I sleep so well since I started to meditate regularly. Every morning and every evening I spend min 30 minutes with my meditations. It is not easy to meditate when you have a busy life but if you manage that you will be rewarded. I started to meditate many years ago but first now I have succeeded to achieve at least partially peace in my soul. Because meditation needs regularity and you have to make appointments with yourself. It is a lifetime journey so do not count on to be fully learned. But this is also the joy of it....piece by piece you will be on the way to your inner tranquility. I am also trying to get rid of some of my habits as judging myself and other people, having firm opinions about all and everything etc. After my morning meditation followed by 20min yoga/pilates on the pool side I feel so free, so satisfied.....I am asking me again why I haven't tried harder to achieve this state of mind when I was still working, how much easier should everything be.

Salmon, Fruit salad and Chocolate.....hmm

I tried today the demi-cuit salmon from my favorite blog, but it was a disappointment. Actually the idea to cook fish or meat in infused oil is great but the temperature was too low. It tasted more or less like gravad salmon but with less taste.
Luckily we had some wonderful chocolate left from one of our Easter Lunch guest. She brought it from a famous chocolatier in Brussels and as all high quality chocolate it tasted divine. I learned appreciated good quality chocolate when I lived in Zurich and since that time I always prefer Swiss or Belgium chocolate.
I also had some left overs from our fruit salad from yesterday which we enjoyed with the chocolate and a cup of coffee.....

Delicious salads

Yesterday I spent some hours reading a food blog which gave me the most inspiration about food ever. I will " cook me through" her recipes as they are sooooo mouthwatering. Today I tested her bulgur salad. I still have some left-overs chicken from the weekend so I needed some side dish to it. The salad is simple to cook and you can eat it warm or cold...a perfect dish for the summer. I served it together with a vegetable salad made on fennel and radishes. For you who want try, you can find the recipe here.

I have sliced the fennel and radishes using a mandolin in order to achieve very thin slices. Then I marinated it in lemon juice, salt and pepper. You can finish it with a drizzle of olive oil.

Easter Sunday Lunch

Fish in oven

This recipe can be done with any fish. I am using the rouget and I fill the opening with green herbs (dill, basil, fennel) and lemon slices, sprinkle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. I prefer to roast it on low to medium temperature 175C for 15-20min depending of the fish size. In this case one fish is like a portion so I serve it as is on the plate.
These are the ends of asparagus which are not so tender therefore I use them for a soup. The tender part of asparagus I will steam and use as a side dish to the fish.

Dinner for two

We have been eating left-overs, salads, soups and sandwiches the whole week. So today I cooked a "dinner for two". Avocado mousse with shrimps as a starter, chicken legs with spring vegetables and garlic-thyme-lemon-butter as main course and fruits in season as dessert. Outside the temperature dropped to 14°C, it's very windy and the rain is coming so we lighted the wood fire and opened a bottle of rose wine....

Joyeuses Pâques

It is Good Friday today but in France it is a normal working day. We have both been at our hairdresser in Apt and also had a meeting with our bank clerk today. Sometimes I am really wondering about the French banking system. Under my 11 years in Switzerland I made all my banking transaction on-line. In France it somehow doesn't work. Can you imagine that they still have their bank check-system in France....oh anyhow, tomorrow it is market day and all shops are open. We are not doing any special this weekend. The only tradition is to have a few branches with the painted eggs hanging on and couple of friends for lunch.

Il fait beau...

I just came inside from a short break at the poolside.  My favorite bushes are in blossom, what a beautiful blue color. The garden is my daily joy and inspiration......and how glad I am I need not to hurry any more

Planning Autumn Travel

September and October are busy months in our travel schedule. These two months are perfect for traveling and also for hiking, but also staying home in our wonderful Provence, visiting markets and festivities in small villages . This year I booked a road trip to Dordogne for September and a hiking trip to Italy, Cinque Terre for October. Dordogne is a nostalgia trip as we are returning after almost 15 years to this region. There are many chateaux in this region which have been transformed to hotels and it is always an experience to stay and be treated at such a historic place. We will visit Cahors, known for its deep red wines, Perigueux for its fois gras, Limouge fot its china production etc.
In October we will go to Liguria in Italy, particularly Cinque Terre for a hiking trip. The Cinque Terre ( which means "five lands") is a series of villages clinging to a remote stretch of the Riviera coastline and linked with a hiking trail between. We have friends who made this trip last year and I hope that we will be just as overwhelmed as they were.


Last autumn I mentioned that I always move out and move in our wardrobe after the seasons. Now it is time to move the "winter" upstairs and bring the "summer" down. This is an opportunity to check what needs to be cleaned, replaced, completed, eliminated. Opportunity to clean the shells, to polish the shoes and to drip lavender oil wherever it is possible. So now after yoga/pilates in sunshine and after the breakfast I am ready. I also need to start planning my packing for the approaching vacation in Nice....o la la....a lot to do.
It all started here...a lot of mess 
All shoes were brought out, cleaned and polished. These are my favorites, my first investment in quality shoes 5 years ago. I still love them and will use them another 5 years..a real good investment.
Part of the job is also to test whether the clothes still fit. This one indicated that I need to loose some kilos.
Summer can now begin...
My latest investment....good looking sneakers which are chic but most important confortable.
All shoes are cleaned and my bottle with lavender oil is empty. It is a wonderful feeling, like decluttering the soul. Now I have to change and my husband is already waiting for me for a later afternoon walk. Will sleep well tonight.

Visiting Evert Lindfors in Lacoste

Oh quel jour. Our friends arrived at 10 in the morning and we started with a hike. The weather couldn't be better, sunny, no wind but not hot. We arrived home just around noon and were hungry. We dressed the table on our terrace and I served a salad with a local fromage de chevre. My lamb stew was a real success, it tasted even better than yesterday. After the dessert, strawberry with ice cream, we went to a village of Lacoste in order to visit a famous Swedish artist Evert Lindfors. Evert has lived together with his wife Barbro in France since 1947. I have planned to buy some of his cute statues for long time. We stayed a couple of hours, listening to Evert's stories from his rich life and strolling between his galleries and admiring his arts....and we brought with us  home two of his beautiful sculptures...oh quel jour

Navarin d'Agneau

This is a french classic recipe for spring lamb stew. It uses beside the lamb, spring vegetables, red wine, tomatoes and many other delights. It is easy cooked without many attention. I cooked it for tomorrow when we will take our friends for a hike and will have the food ready when we return home. I will then need only to cook potatoes and steam the vegetables. Our friends will bring with them fresh bread and voila....
6 persons
2kg  boneless leg or shoulder of lamb,cubed
3tbs flour
olive oil
1litre vegetable or chicken stock
2gloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
6 shallots
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
1tbs  tomato puree
150ml red wine
bouquet garni
1/2 tsp paprika powder
salt, peppar

New Potatoes
Green peas

  1. Trim the lamb of any fat. Place in a bowl with the flour, salt and pepper and toss to coat.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large casserole dish, add just enough meat to cover the bottom of the pan and brown the meat. Remove and repeat with next batch.
  3. Return all meat to the casserole dish, add the stock and bring to a simmer, mixing well.
  4. Add garlic, shallots, tomatoes, puree, red wine, paprika, bouquet garni and simmer for 2 hours.
  5. Cook the potatoes and the carrots, steam the asparagus and green peas.
  6. You can combine the vegetables with the stew in the casserole dish or do it when you arrange the plates. I prefer to have it separated (as shown in my pictures) but both works well.
Bouquet garni (bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, persil)
Mise en place

Yoga outside

Today I made my yoga/pilates outside, first time this year. During the time my husband prepared the breakfast, freshly pressed orange juice, egg, bread and coffee and it tasted divine after this little exercise. Now, the Day can start.......

Saturday is a Market-Day

We were early this morning as we expected a lot of people on the market. It is only one week before the Eastern and "Les Parisiens" have already started their school holidays. We also met our friends for a cup of coffee and made shopping for the weekend but also for Monday lunch as we will host a lunch for our friends after a hike. Today I bought a lot of fish and will make a fish stew for dinner but about that I will write later on....

Organic Pharmacy

I have tested many skin products until I discovered the Organic Pharmacy. Their products are free from artificial colorings, fragrances, preservatives and petrochemicals and therefore also my favorites. I buy them via internet from the UK and also their logistic system is out of this world. Yesterday lunch I placed the order and today afternoon they delivered it.... to this rural part of France. They are not cheap but they last very long as you need a very little of them each time. I can hardly imagine a morning without this wonderful skin cocktail which I mixed from the 3 serums. And the evening when I use their fatty carrot butter for cleaning my skin. I also use some other of their products but these are my absolute favorites.

My new life

When I decided, 2 years ago, to quit my career and to move to Provence I had an ambition to obtain a well balanced life with harmony, happiness and joy as major ingredients. I started regularly to practice yoga/pilates, meditate, eat healthy, exercise and also quit paying attention to the news. It is amazing how easy I exchanged the sound of CNN in my Zurich flat every morning for the sounds of countryside here in Provence. The beautiful discovery is that it seems that I have not missed anything, at least I am not aware about it. Unfortunately this wisdom comes often with age and sometime it doesn't come at all. Now...I finally stop to fight with myself and I partly found peace in my soul which I was so longing for. I am a social being but I love my solitude and I garden it very well. Take care of you....and remember that happiness is not something you find, but rather you create.

Spring lunch

As I wrote earlier the asparagus is on our table almost daily now. This is another alternative with a poached egg, which also makes the dish more complete regarding the proteins. Another spring delicates are strawberries and these red beauties are on our daily table as well. Strawberries are speciality of Carpentras, a small town in Provence. We enjoy them as they are, just washed.....

Friends for lunch

Our friends from Stockholm have had their house here in Provence in 20 years and they are spending a few weeks here every year. I usually invite people for dinner but when the weather is sunny, many of us prefer to sit outside. In spring the evenings are cold so the only option are lunches. Today we moved the table several times, in the sun it was too hot and in the shadow a little bit chilly. But who would not like to cope with my problems.....

Bakery "Chez moi"

And...I am the baker. The sourdough bread is nothing you bake from time to time, it is a constant learning process. First of all I only use the wild yeast, no commercial yeast which makes that the dough has different behavior every time. I have my wild yeast in the fridge and once a week I feed it with flour and water. I started 1 year ago and I am far from being perfect but I enjoy it so much. The baking process and the achievement are so satisfactory perhaps due to the fact that it is so closely connected with our ancient roots.....and it also tastes heavenly. These are my mornings sourdough rolls with walnuts for our breakfast today...

Asparagus in Season

Now you can buy them in kg. I just returned from the shop and bought 2kg for our lunch with friends tomorrow. Asparagus are not only tasty but also healthy as they are loaded with goodness : folic acid, amino acid called asparagine, flavonoid etc. They cleanse your kidneys and reduce blood pressure. They will stay on the market for 2-3 weeks and then return again next year. We eat them almost daily and the recipes are many but to keep the taste and delicacy the most people here like them cooked and served in very simple way.

Picnic in Ardeche

We just returned from an afternoon trip to Gorde d'Ardeche. The weather is still sunny,around 27°C and the tourists have not arrived yet. So we enjoyed empty roads and magnificent nature sceneries. We have also decided to come back next week and to rent a canoe for even more experience.

Asparagus, Pasta - pure vegeterarian

When the weather is like today, 27°C and sun you do not have the inspiration to spent a lot of time in the kitchen. For those days the fresh pasta is an alternative. I still do not like the content of white flour in it but in this case the positive thing is that the dish is pure vegetarian. 
As a starter I served steamed asparagus with a good quality balsamic vinegar and Parmegiano-Reggiano cheese. That's it....the asparagus are in season and so tasty that they do not need "much attention"
As a main course we enjoyed freshly made pasta with rocket salad, Parmegiano-reggiano cheese, roasted pine nuts and a few dropps of truffle oil.

Today....that's all I need.

Every day the simple act of opening my eyes is giving me an ever-recurring pleasure......

Daurade fillet, fennel puree and black rice

Another of my favorite recipes. Daurade is a mediterranean fish with a lot of taste. I bought today on the market a wild daurade, which is more expensive than the cultivated one but has even more taste. You can use whatever fish is available like salmon, cod etc. The key in this dish is the fennel puree, so simple and so tasty. Just cook a chopped onion in oil and add the chopped fennel. Cook it with little of water and chicken bouillon for 15min. Mix it, by using an electrical blender, together with a little of light creme fraiche for a smooth consistence. I served the pure in the bottom of the deep plate, topped it with cooked black rice (white rice works as well) and finally with the fish fillet, which I roasted in butter on a medium heat. When I have guests, I make the fillets in the oven.

Moments from "my" Saturday market

The fish market

Coffee with my dear friend Ruth.....lovely 70+ woman who has enriched my life so much
The hot weather last week has brought the strawberries to the market in excess.
G loves his shopping bag like all other men in Provence....
On our way home we always pass this tiny house which is usually for rent to tourist....

Turkey "Rosa di Parma"

Today I tried an Italian recipe from WebMD site called "Rosa di Parma". It uses all the lovely Italian ingredients as sage, garlic, Parma ham and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. However, I exchanged the pork for turkey meat and then followed the recipe. The smell of the garlic, rosemary and sage make this dish irresistible already during the cooking. I served it with fresh asparagus only but it could taste well with mashed potatoes or another pure.
When roasting the meat I used the meat thermometer in order to not overcook the turkey. I took it out from the oven when the inner temperature reached 165°C. Then I allowed it to rest for 5 min before I cut in slices.

Easy dessert

Yes...the fruit sallad. Healthy and if you choose the fruit in season also cheap.....and so tasty. Today I use a very ripe pineapple which I chopped in tiny pieces. Sometime I just chopped pineapple in large pieces and serve it in a big bowl placed in the middle of the table. The pineapple is so sweet that you can combine it with some other berries like in my case frozen blueberries. Our lunch will be a vegetable soup from the rest of vegetables I had in my fridge and the pineapple with soya yoghurt. It is nice to clean the fridge before going to shop another batch of vegetables and fruits.


Assistent is my favorite appliance when making bread. It is a Swedish product, heavy and robust, and I bought my first one when I came to Sweden in 1981. At that time I couldn't find any sourdough bread to which I was used in my country. Since that Assistent has always been part of my household. Except for Switzerland where you could buy pretty good bread and also because during those years I had not time for making my own bread. I am not fully satisfied about the choice of bread in France. I do not like the baquette and other bread based on white flour only. Also, we live 20min drive from the town which doesn't make the delivery of fresh bread easier. So I am making my own bread regularly and probably this is why my 20years old Assistent gave up. We were searching for its replacement in Avignon and its surroundings but without finding a proper alternative. Until yesterday, when my husband arrived from Sweden and he brought with him this heavy appliance by plane. This was a surprise and look on his face how happy he was to bring it to me.....

Another hot day....

Today the temperature arrised to 26°C and it is the warmest day this year. However, I had scheduled our cleaning day for today,which means that Christine and I worked the whole morning to make the house clean in spite of the weather. It is now afternoon and I am still engaged to washing and bedding. I love to have a clean and tidy space around me and freshly laundered pure cotton sheets are one of my little luxuries.
My husband will arrive later afternoon and I hope that we could still have our meal on the terrace. No special food, just the left-overs from yesterday and a glass of wine to celebrate that we are together again.....
He arrived and we had a small appetizer on the terrace while sharing our experiances....
This is the left-over from pannacotta which I served yesterday with raspberries. Today I served it with a mango and it was the best combination ever. Again you have to find a ripe mango otherwise it will not work.
Happy end....

Gorgeous day with friends

My two girlfriends have just left. We started before lunch with a hike and then continued with a long lunch. After the meal we moved to the poolside and with our feet in the water we discussed everything and nothing.......

Lunch with my girlfriends

It has been a tradition that when my husband leaves for business I invite my Swedish girlfriends for a hike and lunch. Both ladies are married to french guys and have been in France for many years. I think that they appreciate, in their busy french lives, to have a small "Swedish break". These lunches use to last for many hours and together with the hike it will be a whole day "business". I am preparing some of my clasical dishes as I do not like to spend much time tomorrow in the kitchen. I will serve Toast Skagen followed by salmon burger with green peas and mango and finally panna cotta with raspberries - another variation of my panna cotta recipe

A day to myself

A day with a book and lot of meditation. Yesterday I listened until midnight to Deepak Chopra youtube clips about consciousness and I can not let it go from my mind....

Vegetarian Chili

I tried today cook a vegetarian version of the Chili con carne based on the ingredients I had at home. Actually you do not need so much, onion, garlic, chili, can of tomatoes and kidney beans, tomato paste and some fresh tomatoes. I tried to avoid any vegetable bouillon as it also includes the chemical substance called glutamate. So I created an ultimate healthy dish and it was so tasty. I also used some other spices like curcuma, worcestershire sauce, tahini (sesame paste) red wine, fresh coriander, fresh green onion and also a piece of tofu.
You could use other spices as well or keep it simple. This is a fresh, spicy, hot, healthy and very cheap dish. I served it with home-made sourdough bread but bulgur could be another alternative....and of course plenty of fresh green salad.

Our Sunday

Wonderful day, 23°C and sun. We have been outside almost the whole the pool, planting flowers in pots, hiking and eating well. Here are some of those wonderful moments:

My personal pool boy.
An unexpected visitor. It is a very rare lizard, ca 20-25cm long.
The ROBOT has worked almost one week to clean the pool...a truly friend.
Planting pots with white flowers....I love white
....and this was our dinner today. Scallops in orange sauce and mashed potatoes with bacon.
I also managed to bake sourdough bread, which we can't be without...

Contest in Saint Saturnin

Yesterday evening we went to Saint Saturnin, a small Provencal village where the local hairdresser created an event- a contest about her best hair cut. Our friend Karen was one of the candidates and she won. This lady is amazing. When I first met her I thought she was about 38-40 years old. lady is approaching 50 and looks so fabulous.
After the show we were invited to Karen and David house for a supper. As Karen is vegetarian, she served a chili con carne without meat and you would never note that the meat was missing. It was hot and spicy ....and it will, for sure, appear on my table as well...


Today we went to our weekly market in Apt. Beside shopping fruits and vegetables, we had coffee with friends and we also bought some flowers. I am a friend of casual living lifestyles which focus on the simple pleasures of life.... therefore I like flower arrangement as simple as possible. The professional floral arrangements are nothing for me. Just to simple combine the colors, the a bucket of summer me adow flowers.

2010 National Geographic Photography Contest

Just received amazing pictures from the NG photography contest....and here are some favorites

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