I say tomato you say tomato...

Today we came home from the market with flowers, vegetables and particularly tomatoes. They are sold now in crates. So....I am roasting the tomatoes in the oven for making a home made sauce and ketchup. You can imagine the wonderful smell in my kitchen, the tomatoes together with garlic, thyme and with a drizzle of good olive oil. I will freeze it then and keep it for the cold winter days......

Frozen watermelon

The watermelon is so sweet now that you do not need to add any sugar when making puree. I have frozen the puree and now I am not sure how I will use it. The color and the texture is so lovely so I am thinking to have it in a glass of champagne or in a glass of water....or just enjoy it as is in hot day as a refreshment.

Zucchini ricotta cheesecake

Now is my little family together again. My daughter arrived yesterday and it feels so wonderful to have almost 4 weeks in front of us. As every year I cook extra healthy and low carb food in order to enable us , girls, to loose some kilos. Today I tried a fantastic cheesecake based on ricotta cheese, zucchini and eggs and without any carbs. I sprinkled the cheesecake with some pancetta but for a vegetarian version I would use roasted pine nuts. Really delicious dish which I stole from a wonderful blog. The recipe can be found here.

Lavender scent

Yesterday we cleaned our house for the entire day. My husband cleaned the terraces, which became so fresh after he rinsed them with water. I had a help of a local lady to clean the inside of the house. We cleaned all windows, polished the wood furnitures with a special treatment, washed whatever was washable, exchanged bedlinen, towels and filled vases with fresh flowers. The cleaning itself is like a detox for my mind and I always feel so liberated after the cleaning. Later I collected some of the dry lavender flowers and put them in jars which I placed in each bathroom. I also lighted some lavender candles which I always buy in our local shop. So the smell and the tired muscles made my sleep very deep this night. And what a morning to wake up to the freshness of a super clean house....

Le jardin du quai

One of those evenings where everything fits together, the food, the ambiance, the company.....

Casual Sunday

My husband looks always for something to do, in opposite to me:) Today it is on his menu a maintenance of our outdoor table. While I am just strolling around with a cup of coffee and enjoying the beautiful view.....

Al Fresco Dining

As I mentioned earlier, today it was al fresco dining on our terrace. Just my husband and I. Tomorrow we will be out for dinner together with our friends. Monday is already reserved for the last preparation and on Tuesday is Macky here. Summer has never been better.....

Crowded Provence

Just came back from the market and happy to be back on our colline. The Apt market was crowded today like never before. The end of July an August are the most touristic months in Provence and this is why we leave our home only if necessary. So fruits, vegetables, fish and bread is purchased and we can relax at the pool side again. Next week will my daughter arrive and we are looking so much to have her here for almost one month.
Tonight it will be Al fresco dinning, salmon and tuna fish tartare and goat cheese with these beautiful figs from today market.
The another day we visited a local wine producer and stocked some bottles in our cave. I  like to buy local as much as possible and their wine is really excellent.


We have a couple of peach trees but it is only one of them who produces the fruits. They are so delicious, warmed by the sun and so sweet and juicy. Unfortunately they come all at the same time so I have to use them in almost all dishes. Yesterday I just enjoyed for lunch a bowl of yoghurt with peaches like they do in Greece during the Summer. Again, delicious in its simplicity. I also roasted small chickens with peaches and little of white wine in order to compensate the sweetness of the fruit. All is about improvisation when you have such a delicious ingredient on your doorstep.

En Passant

My B-day is approaching and I asked for a tiny present, I actually ordered it by myself in order to simplified it for my husband. The parfume En Passant.....just the name evokes all my senses..In Passing. I bought this exclusive bottle first time when I lived in Zurich and since that time I loved it. The most glorious, authentic smelling lilac fragrance I have ever worn. There is nothing synthetic about this perfume. It is so delicate scent and it reminds of dew drops on the lilacs. This fragrance is a masterpiece created by Olivia Giacobetti, and one that I will always love. Clean, light, delicate and quite remarkable in its simplicity. I am fast becoming a Frederic Malle addict. What a world of scents outside all synthetic products on the market....."Portrait of a lady"....."Angéliques sous la pluie"...

Mont Ventoux

Today it was time for an excursion again. We went to Mont Ventoux which is the highest point in Vaucluse with altitude 1912m. It is a popular spot for biking and along the roads there are many men and women in all ages trying to reach this top. On the way down we drove 70km/h and we were passed by several cyclists. This is no without danger and each year there are unfortunately many accidents. However, this is a natural beauty for all senses....

Filled zucchini flowers and marinated fish brochettes...

For me is food a sensual, whole-body experience. To look, to smell the ingredients, to mix them with the finger....isn't it a magic? Today I took some basic ingredients and transformed them into a wonderful summer dinner. The fresh zucchini flowers I filled with a mixture of different cheeses, garlic and pine nuts, the salmon, lot and tuna fish I marinated and then grilled. The wonderful levain bread I served as bruschetta with olive oil and a lot of garlic....and the gorgeous summer tomatoes .....

Roasted tomatoes soup with goat cheese creme

An excellent soup. I roasted small tasty tomatoes (cut in half) together with some gloves of garlic (skin on), olive oil and salt in oven for 30min at 175°C. Then I removed the skin from the garlic and mixed everything together in a mixer. I also added a spoon of tomato paste and seasoned it with salt and pepper. Then I strained the soup through a colander. I did not added any bouillon or water, just kept it as is. Together with that I served a creme mixture of a soft goat cheese and greek yoghurt. The combination of the sweet roasted tomatoes and the goat cheese is really delicious. I enjoyed the soup cold but you can eat it warm as well. I also drizzled litlle of olive oil on top of the soup and sprinkled over a few pine nuts and some basil leaves. This soup will definitely stay on my menu. The next time I invite my friends for dinner I will serve it as a starter.

14 Juillet

Today it is France national day, in France, it is formally called La Fête National. You remember well from the school that this is the day which celebrates the storming of the Bastille 1789. We have had a quit day without seeing any differences to other days but in the villages and cities there are and will be many festivities. We will watch the fireworks from our terrace later tonight. Tomorrow it is working day even for us as our french teacher will come.
For the dinner I prepared today one of my classic chicken dishes, which consists of:
1 chicken cut in 8 pieces
3 gloves of garlic
8 potatoes cut in half
4 carrots cut in pieces
red pepper
salt, peper, olive oil
This is a kind of one pot=one dish. Mix everything together in a baking dish and roast in oven for 60-80 min at 200°C. It doesn't need any attention so it is an excellent dish when you are short on time.

Lunch at La petite école

Today came the long awaited rain and together with it also a violent thunderstorm. As usual, on the country side, this causes a power cuts and so did it this time. When we arrived from our shopping tour we couldn't open our electrical gate. Hungry and wet, we turned the car and drove back to a nearby village for lunch. It is better to deal with troubel when you are at least properly fed. So we ended up at this little restaurant which has been transformed from an old school building. Simple menu without wine and dessert 36€ for 2 persons...pretty cheap to be in France.

Tomato salsa and grilled tuna fish

It was a very beautiful evening yesterday. After the sunset the temperature dropped to more agreeable level and we enjoyed the BBQ on the pool side. An another idea to grilled fish is a seasoning mixture with roasted sesame seeds, salt and crushed rose pepper.
The colors of Provence are pretty pale now and the rain is needed.....the forecast promises it tomorrow :))

Tomato salsa

Now when the tomatoes are in season I often serve a tomato salsa to grilled fish or poultry. It serves both as a salad and a sauce and it is very healthy. You can make it spicy by adding chili flakes or even better fresh chili. The recipe is simple, but it is important to let the salsa rest some hours in the fridge in order to allow  the ingredients come together.
Mixed together:
- chopped tomatoes
- chopped red onion
- juice from an lime
- chopped fresh coriander
- salt, pepper, olive oil
- little of grated ginger

Les vacances sont arrivées!

....and the ambition to cook is slowing down. Simple food is on the menu. The fresh ingredients are so delicious so they do not need much treatment. We are enjoying the days at the pool side with books, french lessons and our latest enjoyment is to listen to audio books. Unfortunately, the cicadas are so loud that we need to wait until the evening when they get silent :)

Heat wave

It is hot in Provence 30+°C and without rain the last 4 weeks. This is the Provencal summer which has two sides. On one side it is pleasant with sunny days, bathing and warm nights. While the other side is related to the drought, fires and water shortage. Every day we glance to the sky and hoping for rain but  the sky is blue and without a single cloud. When it comes to the food, the best method is to open the fridge and to compose your plate of the things you can find there. This is what I did today....a piece of melon, goat cheese, basil, avocado and some drizzle of good olive oil.

Friday's BBQ

Our french lesson ended around 6pm and it was just time to start preparing our dinner. As always after two hours french conversation we are exhausted and always feel for some kind of reward. Earlier today I bought fresh gambas which are perfect food for the grill. You need some salad, bread and in our case I also made a sweet potatoes mash. We opened a bottle of Sancerre and enjoyed the dinner at the pool side. Tomorrow it is market day in Apt and I am looking forward to meet my friends after almost 3 weeks absence. It will be early morning so better to go to bed....

Ricotta and apricot tart

I have made a quick fix today. I bought a ready made pastry dough but I carefully checked that there were no trans fats included. It is a smart solution in the summer hot days. I also tried to enhance my tart with some ricotta cheese mixture which made this cake more succulent. Soon will our french teacher arrive and I will serve the tart with a cup of strong black coffee.....
For the ricotta mix I used 500g ricotta cheese , agave sirup and 3 eggs.

The vagabonds

These two stray cats are our daily guests for breakfast, lunch and dinner. As soon as we open the windows in the morning they are there waiting to be served. They always keep a distance to you and do not allow you to touch them as they are truly vagabonds.

Our summer garden

.....it gives so much pleasure and inspiration that I can not described it enough with words. Emerveillez vous....

Lavender time

Not only the sky but also the fields are now blue. It has been our tradition to drive the" Route de lavande" and enjoy the scenery of Provencal summer. The route starts in the village of Sault, you can either drive or walk it. The fields are located about 700m above the sea, which is the precondition for cultivating the real lavender. The one which many of us have in the garden is lavendin and doesn't posses the strong smell. After having arrived to Sault we started to search for local boulangerie where we could buy croissants. It is a custom in France that you can bring your croissants to the cafe where you only order a coffee and eat your own croissants. Sault is a lovely village, very quite but very touristic during the lavender time. A wonderful day again.

Mulberry tree

I have not paid attention, first after I have found small fallen berries on the ground, that our old mulberry tree produces, very sweet and tasty berries. It is a really beautiful product of mother nature, both the trees and the berries.....

While away Sunday.....

The strong wind "Mistral" which disturbed us the two last days is gone and the hot weather arrived. Our pool has reached the temperature of 27°C which makes it is very pleasant for taking a swim. We enjoyed the Sunday with some gardening, watering, swimming and resting at the pool side with books and sudoku. When the weather is hot we eat only light lunch and have some fish or chicken for dinner. The tomato season has just started and there is an incredible selection of different varieties of tomatoes on the market. I made a salad of them and served it together with goat cheese. This is my preferred type of summer food. I eat tomatoes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In Provence they taste rather fruit than vegetable. In the evening we always drink tisane (herbal tea), it is a kind of ritual, tasty and healthy :) We also lighted up an oil lamp and a lot of candles....and I wonder if I would be brave enough and spend a whole night outside, sleeping in pool house. Not sure, the night belongs to the animals and I am not sure whoever crosses our plot during the nights.....

La vie est belle...

After having returned home we were busy with watering lavender bushes, arranging and cleaning our terraces, shopping etc. On our way home we lost our luggage so we had a lot of communication before the luggage was delivered to our home.
Only in the evening we found a little peace and prepared our dinner. I tried a recipe I saw in Sweden, where they grilled the fish on wooden planks. Plank should be soaked in the water first, then put on the grill together with the fish and let be there until the plank was smoldering. Then it should be removed from the grill and covered the fish with aluminum foil. My plank has not been enough in the water and therefore it developed a lot of smoke. The fish was good but the taste was rather smoked than cooked. However, it was one of the marvelous evenings, just being together and celebrate the summer moments..........

Getting inspired....

I always find a great inspiration in Sweden. Every time I return from Sweden i want to change the interior of our house, try new dishes, change my dresses and on and on. This time I brought with me a little of the freshness of the Swedish summer design, few napkins and cushions and what effect it makes.

It doesn't get more Swedish than this...

We are back home after almost two weeks in Sweden. After some time in the country side I really appreciate the city life again. Just strolling around, shopping, drinking coffee at one of all those cozy cafes. We spent the Midsummer in the Stockholm's archipelago which is one of the MUST BEFORE YOU DIE, more swedish it couldn't be. Then I enjoyed my time in Stockholm, visiting Jessica, my hairdresser, making a facial treatment, manicure and pedicure. This time I tried a manicure wit UV-treatment which make the polish more resistant and they promise it should keep up to 4 weeks...really wonderful. So here are some moments from this wonderful time.
...and back in Stockholm city

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