Friday, 12 June 2009


meringues made....check
lemon curd made ....check
flaky pastry made....check
chicken cooked....not yet
layer cake made...erm, not yet
raspberry sauce made...tomorrow.

We are having some friends over for dinner tomorrow and it is feeling like a military operation.

I am making:
Chicken and broccoli pie with flaky pastry - if I was in the UK I would buy 100% butter frozen puff pastry, but all I can find here has some rather dubious oils in it - serving it with carrots, peas and new potatoes followed by
A coconut layer cake with lemon curd filling made from Southern Cakes , which I picked up in California.

As a lighter option for dessert, I have made meringues (it took two attempts, don't ask) and will whip up some cream and make a raspberry coulis. Now I could have made a starter instead of two desserts, but hey, I'm the cook so I'm making it my way.

The pastry takes about 3 hours to make - you have to refrigerate it after every fold and roll. I can't make anything else while I am doing this because the kitchen will get too hot. I had hoped to make the sponger for the layer cake today, but I think that will have to wait until tomorrow morning, then it will simply(!) be a case of assembling it all and finishing off the pie at the last minute.

Monday, 8 June 2009


Guess which float we were on for the
Europride Parade?

There was a great atmosphere. When there is so much homophobia in the world it gives me some hope that there are also events like this, open to, and attended by, so many diverse groups.

Here is just one of the participants. How can he walk in those heels??

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Go Zürich

It's Gay Pride time in Zürich, and here you can see the Cantonal flag, the Swiss flag and the gay Pride flag (is that how it is called???) here together. The trams are sporting the same 3 flags.


have a peek

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

What do you do when you've been told to cut down on wheat and dairy?

Why, you bake, of course ;0)

I haven't been told to stop consuming them, just to try not to eat them 5/7. I'll never manage cold turkey, so I am trying to just cut back gradually. One way of doing this is to mix in other grains etc. The Muffins on the right have some cornmeal and with the roasted peppers and mini-mozzarella balls ( just a few) they are delicious with soup. I only made 4, so I am not tempted to pig out.

The muffins on the right are from
Rachel Allan's 30 day muffin recipe . Believe it or not, the uncooked batter keeps in the fridge for 30 days, so you can just use it as and when you need it. Hence, two strawberry muffins all scrumptious looking and ready to eat.


Just had a phone call from Baby Bear.

He is now the proud 'owner' of a 2:1 in Economics. So, so, SO proud of him.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

May 2009

May has passed by in a bit of a blur, as you will gather from what I said earlier. Thought maybe I would share a bit of the detail.

The first weekend in York was a bit hectic, seeing us making an essential visit to
Bettys Tea Room *.I didn't have any Swiss wine this time, as strangely enough I can get a hold of some any time I want, but I did have some rather delicious cakes. We also visited The Deep , which as the name suggests is a rather big aquarium. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed. Much of the building is very dark, to the point of it being rather unpleasant. The food was appalling, despite a very appealing menu posted on the entrance. We made up for that by visiting another Bettys on our way to the airport, this time at
Harlow Carr , an RHS garden.
I was tempted to take some photos of the cakes, but decided on a few views of the gardens instead.

The next weekend saw us attending
The Badminton Horse Trials . HAving been horse-daft since I was a nipper, this was a fantastic Christmas gift from Number Guy, to help cheer me up when my son went back to the UK.

Just look at the size of that SOLID fence. Believe it or not, the horses (preferably with rider still on board) have to clear that thing in a one-er.
For those of you who don't know about horse trials, there are 3 main phases. Day one and two are dressage . Day 3 of the competition is the cross country where some very brave (and just a bit mad?) riders and their horses leap the most solid and formidable fences that you can imagine. As you can see in
this video falls can and do happen. Riders have died in the past, so it is not for the faint-hearted.

The final day is the show jumping, with the riders going in reverse order. This year the competition was literally decided on the very last fence jumped in the competition. Exciting stuff.

The next weekend saw us in the US and we stayed in a very swanky place in Carmel, called the Tradewinds . If you like exotic flowers in your bedroom, this is the place to go.

After a week of work for Number Guy, we stayed in Monteray for the next weekend so we could go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium . Now these people know how to show off a great aquarium. They had lots of otters and a new sea horse display which were highlights for us.

So as you can see, we really have been run off our feet. Not complaining, though, I'm just glad to have had the opportunities.

* No, this is not a punctuation error. For some reason (possibly due to the fact that Bettys has a Swiss connection and this punctuation is correct in German???)this is how it is spelled, without an apostrophe. I know, hard to imagine, really.