Friday, 28 April 2017

Piña Colada

Ingredients for 1 person
4 cl of white rum
2 cl of dark rum
12 cl of pineapple juice
4 cl of coconut milk

• Pour the ingredients into a shaker and add 5 or 6 ice cubes. Shake well and, voilà, It’s ready!
• Pour it into a hurricane glass (a sort of elongated wine glass)
• Decorate with a piece of pineapple and a candied cherry

History of “Piña Colada”
The Piña Colada was invented on August 15, 1954 by “Don Ramon Marrero” (alias Monchito), a barman of the Hilton hotel in San Juan (Puerto Rico). His goal was to combine all the flavours of Puerto Rico in one drink, with a special emphasis on fresh pineapple juice from the Puerto Rico farms.

After more than 3 months of trials, dosages, and many mixtures, “Don Ramon” perfected the recipe for Piña Colada (which means “pressed pineapple”), that he served to many residents of the hotel, such as John Wayne...

He served this cocktail for thirty-five years as a bartender at Caribe Sol, and was consecrated in 1978 when a coconut cream maker from Puerto Rico, sold the 3 millionth Piña Colada. That same day he was honoured and the government declared the Piña Colada national drink of Puerto Rico.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Sweet Passion Flan

Today, I am sharing with you a personal recipe. I created it in 2014. I took a recipe from my mum and adapted it from scratch by adding my own favourite ingredients to make this flan: condensed milk, coconut milk, a hint of fresh grated ginger and lemon zest. All of that resulted in the most gorgeous flan. I named it “Sweet Passion Flan” because this is Sweetheart’s favourite dessert. The one in the photo was made in April.

For this recipe always use 17 cm diameter flan mould that is 10 cm deep.

Ingredients (for 6 persons):
1 can (370g) of Nestlé sweetened condensed milk
Zest of 1/2 lemon
Grated ginger to taste (I use a teaspoonful)
2 large eggs
200g of coconut milk

For the caramel: 6 tbs of sugar, 3 tbs of water

In a small saucepan, cook the sugar and water until it starts to melt. Lower the heat and cook until caramelised to a golden brown.

Pour the caramel into the metal flan mould. Turn and swirl the mould to evenly coat the bottom. Let caramel cool and harden.

Place the dish in a larger roasting pan and add hot water to come halfway up the sides of the baking dish.

Pour the condensed milk into a bowl combine with the lemon zest, ginger and eggs and beat well.

Add the coconut milk, stir and pour into the mould previously lined with the caramel.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Bake at 180°C for 1:10 minutes (45 min. covered and 25 min uncovered).

Leave to cool and then refrigerate until well chilled (at least 6 hours).

To remove from the mould, place a large plate on top of the flan and gently flip over so that the plate is on the bottom. Lift away the mould.

You can keep it for up to five days in the fridge!

Note: For a bigger flan, you just need to double the ingredients.

 The first one I made in 2014

Monday, 24 April 2017

Must de Cartier Perfume

When my perfume ran out, I went to Marionnaud Parfumeries at La Praille shopping centre, to enjoy a 50% discount on the purchase of a new one. After having tried several perfumes, my choice settled on Must de Cartier. I tried it on my wrist and I was conquered by the chemistry of this fragrance on my skin.

I would say it has a winter oriental scent, very warm and elegant. In my opinion, this is a wonderful scent due to the perfect balance of its “notes” which are made up of galbanum, orange blossom, mandarin with sensual jasmine and a woody, vanilla, amber and musky oriental background.

This fragrance was launched more than 30 years ago and I have to say that I also like the masculine and practical form of the perfume bottle which is shaped like a golden lighter.

So, who said that we must ruin ourselves for beautiful and good things? In my opinion, it is necessary to buy intelligently.

I wish you a fabulous week ahead.

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

Friday, 21 April 2017

Apple Banana Chocolate Chip Cake

Recently I came across this super simple cake recipe and I immediately wanted to try it. It was a real success. So moist and exquisite. Sweetheart was conquered and I believe you will be too when you have taste it. So here’s the recipe.

100 g of flour
50 g of sugar
1 egg
4 tablespoons of oil
6 tablespoons of milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch of salt
1 banana
2 apples (I used Golden Delicious)
1 handful of dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 180 °C. In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, oil, milk and egg. Once well mixed, add the dark chocolate chips.

Pour into a buttered cake mould and place the fruits cut into pieces, on top (first the banana then the apples).

Bake for 45 min. Leave to cool on a rack on removing from the oven.

Serves 8

Note: You can replace the dark chocolate chips with a handful of raisins macerated in rum (as per the original recipe).

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Andreia hypoallergenic nail polish

Regular readers will know that I am fond of home manicures and love nail polish, I am even preparing a blog post about home manicures for my lady readers so that you can do it yourselves without hurting your wallet!

Today, I am thrilled to introduce you to Andreia hypoallergenic nail polish. I discovered the Andrea brand last summer while I was on holiday in Lisbon and I was immediately seduced.

This famous Portuguese nail polish brand quickly became one of my favourites. Before returning to Geneva, I bought a whole stock for myself and my girl friends.

I love their palette of colours, the satin gloss texture and the faster drying and long lasting effect. Andrea hypoallergenic nail polish is a high quality product at a low price (they cost an average of € 2.30 per bottle).

If you’re looking for a good quality nail polish, I couldn’t recommend Andreia highly enough.

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

Monday, 17 April 2017

The Breakdown by B A Paris (2017)

If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?

Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside - the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.
But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.
The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt. Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…

Author: B.A. Paris is from a Franco/Irish background and was born in 1958. She was brought up in England and moved to France when she was 21. She spent some years working as a trader in an international bank before re-training as a teacher and setting up a language school with her husband. They still live in France and have five daughters. Her first novel “Behind Closed Doors” was published in 2016 and became a tremendous bestseller.

My thoughts: After I finished “The Breakdown” I immediately purchased her first novel “Behind Closed Doors” - I had enjoyed reading this psychological thriller so much. I am pleased to say that I have also enjoyed reading “Behind Closed Doors”, which I will review in due course.
I ordered The Breakdown in mid-March in the original English version. As soon as I received it from Payot bookstore in Geneva, I started reading it and I finished all 415 pages that same weekend. This book was a real great surprise: I knew it to be good, but I wasn’t expecting it to be extraordinary, which it certainly turned out to be.
To summarise it, without giving away too much of the plot, it’s the story of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s the story of a split-second decision taken by Cass, the main character, which has such a devastating impact on her life.
It relates the consequences of her decision not to stop to help that motorist she came across in an isolated place in the woods, not far from her cottage, that Friday night at eleven thirty.
Gradually, Cass learns that she knew Jane Walters, the victim who was brutally murdered. Cass had made her acquaintance just a few weeks before and they had begun a good friendship. That shakes Cass. Her previously peaceful and happy life, a life without drama at the side of her loving husband (they have been married for a year) and in the company her childhood friend, Rachel, who is like a sister to her, is turned upside down. Cass starts undergo many things that have suddenly caught up with her and throw her off-balance.
Cass starts to have memory lapses and she feels the threat of dementia hanging over her: ten years before her mother died, she was diagnosed with dementia and Cass fears it is hereditary.
I will stop here and tell you that if you like very well written psychological thrillers and a well developed and consistent story, without descending into clichés and improbable plot twists, you will love this book.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

A small gesture for others

A couple weeks ago, on a Sunday morning, I did the “spring cleaning” which means a lot of sorting and storage.  I got out my spring clothes from the wardrobe and sorted out the winter clothes that I do not want to keep for next year and also some accessories that I never wear and decorative objects that I no longer want.

I selected all the things that I wanted to take to Caritas. I do this twice a year and this time I thought it was worthy of a mention here. So, my dear readers living in and around Geneva, instead of selling your things second-hand or throwing them into the recycling bin, please do not hesitate to make a gesture for those who are in need by giving your unwanted stuff away to Caritas.

Returning to my story, after all the uncluttering I prepared a Greek yogurt cake as a reward for all my efforts...hahaha...

It was a very easy, fast and delicious cake. Even though it was slightly overbaked, it was really tasty. Accompanied with a pot of Ceylon Orange Pekoe loose black tea, bought last time I was in Convent Garden at the Tea House.

I thank you so much for being here and reading this little message and wish you all a Happy and Peaceful Easter.

Rue de Carouge 53
1211 Genève

Tél.: +41 22 708 04 44

Opening hours: Monday - Friday: 8am - 12pm / 1:30pm - 5:30pm

Monday, 10 April 2017

The perfect travel bag from Longchamp

I love Geneva. I love it enormously and call it home. But, no matter how much I love it... I also love a little getaway.

I don’t know about you, but for my part, I am a meticulous lightweight packer. My family always laughs at the fact that my bag is ready two weeks in advance... I swear it’s true!! The only “finishing touch” I put to my packing is my toiletry bag.

When it comes to my choice of hand luggage, I have been loyal to Longchamp for as long as I can remember. Why? Because I love their bags.

Longchamp bags are lightweight, practical, pretty, stylish and timeless. I have had these two bags for ages (15 years, if memory serves me well), but they still look brand new. For me, a Longchamp is truly the best travel handbag for a long weekend or for a lightweight traveller like me.

Longchamp tote bags are practical because they can be folded to fit in your luggage or in your wardrobe when not in use.

As the trip season has started with the arrival of spring (at least for me), I thought I would write a little post on these multi purpose bags that have been great companions to me for so long...

I had Sweetheart take a few photos of me before my trip so that you can see the two bags.

The large size (orange).

The smaller size (I take this green bag when I go swimming: it holds everything I need).

Finally, the good news…These bags are not costly, they are pretty reasonably priced, considering their great quality.

Spring has definitely sprung!

It goes without saying that this post is not sponsored, like all my blog posts. It’s just me sharing tips... You are welcome!

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Best desserts in Geneva - 2nd Quarter 2017

This post normally celebrates my favourite desserts from a cafe/bakery/pastry shop in Geneva. I have only documented delicacies here that I have tried personally (and many times).

For this quarter, I have chosen to present to you the star dessert for females, the macaroon. These small and colourful tiny cakes are the darling of most women.

If you want my personal opinion, the best I have ever tasted are undoubtedly those made by Sprüngli, where they are known as Luxemburgerli.

These beauties are small macaroons made of two crunchy meringues on the outside with a soft cream on the inside. They come in all the flavours you can imagine, such as chocolate, rosemary/honey, mango, champagne, raspberry, hazelnut...and many more.

I frequently purchase Luxemburgerli to offer as a gift: they are available in a small, medium or large box. At other times, I just buy a couple for myself and, often, the friendly and welcoming saleswomen let me to taste a flavour I am curious about. This is what happened with the Champagne Gold macaroon, which has since become my favourite flavour.

Here is a small selection of some Luxemburgerli (macaroons) from Sprüngli.

Champagne Gold
Sea Salt Caramel
A brief history of Sprüngli
“In 1836, David Sprüngli opened the Confiserie Sprüngli & Fils in Zurich. Ten years later, Sprüngli became one of the pioneers of Swiss chocolate making, contributing to a large extent to establishing and maintaining the reputation of Swiss chocolate as the best in the world.
In 1859, David Sprüngli and his son Rudolf bought a property on the Paradeplatz in Zurich, a square that was little frequented at the time until the constructions begin to multiply around it. The Bahnhofstrasse which runs through the square has become one of the most prestigious shopping arteries in the world. The Confiserie Sprüngli now occupies a prominent position with its shop, restaurant and café-bar. Sprüngli now owns fourteen stores in and around Zurich. There are others in Geneva, Basel, Berne, Winterthur and Zug.”

The Confiserie Sprüngli offers select Swiss chocolate specialties. From pralines to Luxemburgerli, and even snacks and desserts, all of its products are meticulously hand made, bringing together the best ingredients. The famous specialties of Confiserie Sprüngli can also be shipped abroad via the online shop.

Confiserie Sprüngli
Bongénie Grieder Genève (department store)
Rue du Marché 34
1204 Geneva
Mon-Wed: 9:30-19:00
Thursday: 9:30-20:30
Friday: 9:30-19:00
Saturday: 9:30-18:00

These are my genuine personal opinions and favourites, otherwise I would not have written about these cakes. As always with all my posts, this is not sponsored.