Friday, 29 January 2016

Express Apple Tart

Here is an express recipe for this weekend.

My friend F. hates cooking. Some time ago I prepared this dessert for her little boy. Since then, he always asks her for "my tart"... He is not the only one... I don't know why but the "boys" have a crush on this fruit dessert. These males are really easy to please, aren’t they? Yesterday evening, I prepared this one...

4 Granny Smith apples
1 tbsp brown sugar (about 25g)
1 puff pastry (about 250g - I used Betty Bossi)

Peel the apples, core them, then slice and place into a tart pan, where you have already placed the pastry, and sprinkle with brown sugar.
Place in a preheated oven at 200 degrees and let it cook for around 35 minutes (this will depend on your oven). Once cooked leave to cool.

Et voilà... Have a sweet weekend.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

A very special guest’s punch

I took this photo with my smartphone at mum’s place (apologies for the quality).

This drink of Indian origin has been exported to wider horizons and has spawned a multitude of variations. This is my mum's recipe. She learned it ages ago when she lived in Africa and she taught it to me recently: I made it under her supervision, I tasted it and it was perfect. All the flavours were there, it was only lacking maceration time (the longer this is, the better the punch).

700 ml of rum
400 ml liquid sugar cane
40 g of cinnamon
1 lime cut into small cubes
1 orange peel
1 branch of fresh rue
1 branch of fresh rosemary

Prepare by pouring the two liquids directly into a large recipient, then add the lime, orange peel and fresh herbs. You can use recycled bottles to store the punch: they should be sterilised beforehand.

All these ingredients are the basis of the traditional recipe. It is commonly used as a "grandmother’s cure" to fight against colds and flu because it soothes the throat and warms the body. Alternatively, it is served as an after dinner liqueur. Containing a high dose of alcohol, it remains advisable not to drink too much of it!

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Goat Cheese Pudding

This is one of my favourite puddings, a gorgeous dessert. Quick and easy to make, tasty and not too sweet or heavy…At home we all crave for it…here is my dear mum’s recipe. She learned it while living in Africa.

6 eggs
250g sugar
350ml milk
1 tbsp butter
150g grated dry goat cheese (best to use artisanal cheese)
1 grated lemon zest
For the caramel
8 tbsps sugar
2 tbsps cold water

1. Preheat oven to 180ºC
2. Put the sugar with the cold water in a frying pan and heat gently over a low heat. Keep stirring until the sugar melts and forms a dark golden caramel. Do not let the sugar burn!
3. Pour the caramel into a pudding mould, quickly, before it hardens. (I use a trusty 16 cm diameter, 10 cm deep aluminium pudding mould.)  Set aside to cool completely.
4. In the meantime, blend together the sugar, eggs, milk and the melted butter for about 5 minutes.
5. Add the grated cheese to the liquid mixture and add the grated lemon zest.
6. Pour the liquid into the pudding mould, over the cooled caramel. Then, place the pudding mould in a pan partly filled with water (bain-marie, a technique that prevents the sugar from overheating) and put them in the oven.
7. Cook for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. It is ready when it becomes firm.
8. Let it cool before putting in the fridge for around 8 hours. Then, turn the mould over a serving plate in a sudden movement. Serve.

Serves 12-14

Tips: If there are any leftovers, refrigerate. You can easily keep the pudding for up to five days. You can prepare it in advance (this makes it even tastier).

Monday, 25 January 2016

The Greenhouse, 2007 (original title: Afleggjarinn)

At 22, Arnljotur leaves the ice and lava of his native Iceland, destined for a monastery on the continent where he must restore the rose garden. He leaves with, in his pocket, a photo of his baby daughter, in his heart, the love of his father and his autistic brother and the memory of his prematurely departed mother and, in his trunk, three cuttings of rosa candida.

Author: Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir, is a woman writer born in 1958 in Reykjavik, Iceland. She is also a professor of art history at the University of Iceland and director of the University of Iceland Art Museum. She has published four books to date.

My thoughts: It was in May that I bought this book, to which I was intuitively drawn by its intense pink cover. After reading the first lines, I decided to take it home, but it was not until early January that I read this gem.
“The book chooses us, not the other way round.” A writer I once met at a book fair said to me....and experience has proved to me so many times that this is true!!
The Greenhouse is a gentle and soothing book - a touch of sweetness in this cruel world! A masterpiece of Icelandic literature. I loved everything in this book: the people, the landscapes and the emotions... It is the journey of a young man in search of himself who, thanks to encounters, advice and new experiences, discovers who he is and who he can become. I loved Arnljotur for his candour, freshness and goodness. I also adored his father, an old man completely overwhelmed by the unexpected death of his wife, always worried about his son, so kind and loving. This book is a breath of fresh air, a means to disconnect from harsh reality... We need more innocent and loving people like this young man. Captivated, I have purchased another of Ólafsdóttir’s novels "Rigning í November" or “Butterflies in November” in English.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Make Up

My taste for make-up is very limited; it doesn’t really interest me! Nevertheless, for very special occasions, I make a little effort…To summarise, my makeup kit includes seven items that are still almost new.

So, from time to time, I put on the ever versatile red lipstick to give a twist to my look. At other times I wear a pink shade of lipstick or a transparent lip gloss. I also wear black mascara for sensitive eyes. I have a BB foundation cream (used only once), I prefer the Nuxe "healthy glow" effect powder for sensitive skin.

However, I must admit that my preference is just red lipstick! In Gwyneth Paltrow’s words, “Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That or a kick-ass red lipstick”. I couldn't agree more with that.

My tiny kit includes:
Multi-Usage Compact Bronzing Powder, Nuxe
Beauty Balm Hydra Zen 4, Lancôme
Mascara Respectissime, La Roche- Posay

Envy Sculpting lipstick, Estée Lauder

Rose Envy Christal Shimmer, Estée Lauder

Gloss Ocean Shimmer, Chanel

… and this Christmas gift Gossamer Emotion Red by Kiko Milano

This post, like all my blog posts, is not sponsored.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Honey Drops Body Cream

Hello ladies, I have a divine cream suggestion for you, it is Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Honey Drops Body Cream.

Those who follow this blog know that I swim and thus need a rich body cream for my dry skin. I am addicted to this cream since I first tried it over a month ago. I bought a 500ml jar for CHF 27.00 before catching my flight. It was on promotion at Geneva Airport.

I love the texture, rich but not heavy, yet still thick enough to hydrate and nourish the skin perfectly. It is quickly absorbed; my skin just feels soft and smooth. I also love its fresh smell, both sensual and relaxing. The green tea scent is subtle and the honey makes it voluptuous.

This was my gift to me for Christmas. From time to time it is important to give yourself a treat. If you find it on discount, it is worth purchasing. I think you will love it!

This post, like all my blog posts, is not sponsored.

Monday, 18 January 2016

SALES… two boutiques to die for…

I love sharing tips about new discoveries - whether new or long established boutiques - always selling beautiful things at affordable prices, because I think we should not ruin ourselves, but shop in a smart and thoughtful manner.

…And nothing better than during the sales. Here in Geneva they began officially on January 5 and run until February 13.

I have prepared two boutique suggestions. Here are some of my photos to give you an idea of what you can buy there (including some of my own purchases).

Hope you enjoy!

Julie Gloor: Fashion & Decoration

This is a jaw-dropping boutique with a wonderful collection of beautiful and exclusive clothes and accessories. It sells rare and limited edition clothing at attractive prices.

Last year, I fell for an amazing flower patterned skirt and a beautiful navy lace dress…Unfortunately, everything I tried on was too big for me (I am a size 36)...In the end I had to settle for accessories only.

Julie Gloor Showroom
Rue Pictet-de-Bock 8
1205 Genève
Tuesday - Friday from 10:00 to 19:00

L'Amphore Boutique

Totally in love with this tiny boutique which is full of beautiful, fashionable accessories, personally selected by the owner during her travels to China and France.

The clothes are originals and focused on Chinese style; patterns, mixtures of colours, materials... we need to be daring!

I fell for some items. I mix classic pieces with a touch of fantasy, while being faithful to my sober look... A little glitter can only do some good, don't you agree? Since my expeditions to L'Amphore I have also enlarged my circle of friends... and that is priceless.

L'Amphore Boutique
Rue Saint-Joseph 39
Carouge, Genève

Sunday, 17 January 2016

A bright winter's day!

I've been unwell since Tuesday... After a short and bad night's sleep, I woke up on Wednesday to see my courtyard covered in a blanket of snow! Waking up on a true winter's day was absolutely fabulous! 

After having my Birchermüesli, I grabbed my smartphone and headed out to wander around my neighbourhood to capture the beauty before it melted. The snow stayed only for the morning, but it made me tremendously happy... I don't know about you, but, for me, snow has a therapeutic effect...

I hope we will enjoy more beautiful snowfall in Geneva this winter!

…And apparently my wish came true... It started snowing again this morning. Here a few snapshots taken today.

Have a cosy Sunday!

Friday, 15 January 2016

GOA - interior perfume diffuser

Hello everyone! I hope you are enjoying better weather than that which we currently have here in Geneva. Okay, so back to what interests you…

Is there anything more pleasant than a harmonious home that smells good? I have been using this perfume diffuser at home for years. I love its subtle and fresh scents.

My favourite scent is the “Goatier Cocoon Rouge de Fruits”. It is a sparkling cocktail of tangy and sweet fragrances of redcurrant berries associated with blackcurrant flowers and strawberries.

You can purchase it at Manor and Globus.

Available Fragrances (250 ml for CHF 20.00)

1 - Patchouli cédrat
2 - Miel-Vanille
3 - Fleur de tiare
4 - Canelle
5 - Thé Figue
6 - Rouge de fruit
7 - Ambrée safran

This post, like all my blog posts, is not sponsored.