Friday, 28 October 2016

Pumpkin Pie for Halloween

My  goodness. It’s Halloween next Monday. How did we arrive at the end of October already? This month was so-so for me... So let’s keep moving forward. I want November to count. To end in style, how about a recipe for a crazy Halloween party?

I made this recipe for the first time 10 days ago for a dinner at home. We loved it a lot, so I thought I would suggest that you try this recipe. This pie is made of a delicious pumpkin cream filling, ranging in colour from orange to brown, baked on a crusty pastry base and rich in flavours.

“The pumpkin pie is a traditional dessert, often consumed in autumn and early winter, especially during Thanksgiving and Christmas in the US and Canada. The pumpkin is a symbol of the harvest and is also used in Halloween festivities.” Quotation from the cookbook.

1 shortcrust pastry
1 kg of peeled pumpkin (560g flesh, I chose butternut)
3 eggs
40 cl sweetened condensed milk
110 g brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger (I used fresh ginger)
3 pinches of nutmeg
Whipped cream (optional)

1. First, cook the pumpkin flesh in boiling water, rinse it and then mash until it becomes a purée. Leave it to cool.

2. Whisk the pumpkin purée, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Pour into the pastry crust.

3. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 165°C and continue baking for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted an inch into the pie comes out clean. Cool. Garnish as desired. Any leftovers can be covered and stored in the refrigerator.

Serves 6-8 people

Note: The tart mould I used has a 28 cm diameter and is 3 cm deep. Shortcrust pastry – you will need enough for one 28 cm pie mould.

For now, I wish you a very Happy Halloween & Pumpkin Day and a tip-top weekend.

P.S. For another option, see last year’s recipe, Pumpkin Fritters.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Autumn Postcards…Boho Carouge

Geneva is such a lovely town with plenty of hidden gems - we have only just scratched the surface... One of the most picturesque areas is Carouge. It has plenty of charm and is full of peaceful narrow streets and alleys which open out into small squares and terraces or private gardens...

I took these pictures yesterday…After a day of intense rain, the sky reappeared clear and I was mesmerised by these vibrant autumn colours.

The Hans-Wilsdorf Bridge over the river Arve, inaugurated in 2012, connects the city of Geneva and the Carouge – Praille – Acacias – Vernets neighbourhoods. The bridge has a strong and elegant form. It has a tube-like structure which is composed of steel ellipses as well as linear elements. (85 m long, 16 m wide).

On  my way to Carouge, I walked by the banks of the Arve, a river that flows from the Alps in France and into the Rhône in Geneva.

Is  this a snail or a slug?

Great view from the Pont de Carouge (Carouge bridge)

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Autumn Postcards...Parc des Bastions

If  you ever visit Geneva you will not escape the Promenade des Bastions, located in the city centre. This park is the most popular and the most visited in Geneva.

It  is here that several events organised by the City of Geneva take place: the Music Festival (la Fête de la Musique), the end of year Schools Party (la Fête des Ecoles) and the Escalade Race (la Course de l'Escalade).

The Promenade des Bastions was created in 1817 by Augustin Pyramus de Candolle. It was the first botanical garden in Geneva. Even today, several trees on this site are unique in Geneva.

Le’s start our walk, shall we?

At  the entrance to the park, next to Place Neuve, is the meeting point for chess players: six giant chess boards are available to them.

Further along, there is a playground for children. Next to this, there is a restaurant where, on summer days, the large terrace becomes quickly crowded.

Bronze statue called “David remerciant Dieu d’avoir frappé Goliath” (“David thanks God for having hit Goliath”)

In the middle of the promenade lies one of the most famous monuments in Geneva: the Reformation Wall.

Opposite this monument stands a building erected in 1873 which houses the Faculty of Arts (Faculté de Lettres) of the University of Geneva and the Geneva Library.

Such a beautiful fountain...

At  the far end of the park is a beautiful building, the Palais Eynard. This was built in 1817 by a Florentine architect for a Swiss banker. This is now where the Administrative Council of the City of Geneva holds its sessions.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Autumn Postcards…A stroll in the forest

Autumn begins slowly but surely... I do not know why, but I always think of autumn as the season of love. To me, this is the most beautiful season. The temperature remains clement in this part of Europe; the landscape’s shades of warm colours seem almost unreal. Plus, you can put on your boots... This also counts for me as I love to wear boots, as well as eating hot chestnuts, lying on the couch on Sunday to read, cocooning, going to the movies, making plum tarts... But I also love improvised programmes, like the ones that Sweetheart chooses so well.

What about you? What does autumn inspire in you? Have you noted some fun upcoming activities on the calendar? I’m curious to hear all about it.

 I will be posting Autumn Postcards frequently here. Here is the first one…

Adjacent to the Parc des Evaux stands a big forest which I explore weekly. About a week ago, I took these snaps during my walk. I’m so fond of this forest; it is not the most beautiful, but it is really special to me... The trees are lovely and tall too, the paths are nice and shady and we are spoiled with a gorgeous view over the river Rhône.

Wearing Leopard Wellies!

Friday, 21 October 2016

When you find the ONE... stop searching

If you have been following my blog for a while, you may remember the review of this body cream…

Well, over time, it has become my favourite body cream...I love the smell (fresh and sweet), texture (creamy and not greasy) and the convenient packaging.

With age and the frequent practice of swimming, my skin is drier than before and this body cream is my perfect ally, I am a huge fan. I have explored other moisturisers and oils, but this one remains the best…A true marvel.

In case you are looking for a beauty product winner…This is my suggestion to you ladies.

This post, like all my blog posts, is not sponsored. It is just me sharing my lovely finds. You are welcome!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Blank Gaze by José Luis Peixoto (2000) - (Original title: Nenhum Olhar)

In a rural village of the Alentejo region of Portugal, against a backdrop of severe poverty, the author weaves the stories of a handful of magical characters who are living out their destiny. They are men and women, hardened by hunger and work, love, jealousy and violence: the taciturn shepherd who sees his world fall apart when the devil whispers in his ear that his wife cheats on him; the very old and wise Gabriel, confidant and adviser; the Siamese twins, Elias and Moisés, joined at the tip of their little fingers, whose eternal communion is jeopardised when one of them falls in love, or the devil himself. These characters are universal, as is their hope of overcoming difficulty.
“(...) from the second or third sequence, we are sure that the slope is fatal: we will hit a limit, a wall, a puzzle, the origin of the world and the final disaster (...)”

Author: José Luis Peixoto is a Portuguese author, born in 1974 in Galveias, a small Portuguese village in Alentejo. In 2001, he received the José Saramago Prize for the novel “Blank Gaze” which was included in the Financial Times list of the best books published in England in 2007. Blank Gaze has been published around the world to critical acclaim for its fresh, unique and utterly moving style of storytelling.
José Luis Peixoto teaches languages and contemporary literature and is also a journalist and literary critic. He is the author of seven works of fiction and poetry. His books have been translated into 20 languages.

My thoughts: I bought this book at the 2015 Lisbon Book Fair and only read it or, rather, devoured it, this September. The question I asked myself was “why wait over a year to read it?” Even though when I bought it, I was hooked and eager to discover this witty story?!! In short, returning to this gem, it was a discovery. This great writer has a passion for an atypical poetic style. I am overwhelmed by his talent and I will try to find other works by him because it is quite rare to have a literary crush on new authors. I strongly recommend this book.