Wednesday, 17 February 2016


Pronounced "pea-salad-year", it's a cousin of pizza from Nice, so quite a nostalgic food for me. 
You can get it everywhere over there (bakeries, supermarkets, street stalls...), but no hope of ever finding it here... Luckily, it's quite easy to make:)

Ingredients (for 1 big/2 small pissaladières)
For the dough:
250g self raising flour 
150ml water
a pinch of salt 
a generous drizzle of olive oil
For the topping:
7 medium sized onions 
a few anchovies 
a few black olives 
balsamic vinegar 

1. Slice the onions and sauté them in olive oil with plenty of thyme. You want to first put them on high heat to brown them a bit, then add a slog of balsamic vinegar and reduce to medium low, still stirring regularly.

Traditionally, pissaladière is made with white onions, but I couldn't resist this beautiful color:

2. While the onions are gently reducing, we're going to make the dough. Mix the flour, salt, water and olive oil into an homogenous ball.

I do it with a stand mixer and dough hook, but it would work just fine by hand.

3. Flour a work surface and roll the dough into shape (I make 2 small ones because we have a small oven). In a pinch, you can use a clean wine bottle as a rolling pin.

4. Once the onions are ready, spread them on the dough (leaving a little border), and add the black olives and anchovies.

5. Bake at 200C for 15 min (up to 25 if you have a slow oven), and enjoy!!!

For example i
t goes very well with a side salad of mixed leaves, cherry tomatoes and yellow bell pepper...

Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy New Year :-)

2015 was a great year :-) For a lot of reasons, big and small, but there was definitely a pretty big one: we got married!!! :-)

It all went pretty fast actually: we got engaged last May, and since we wanted decent weather for our wedding, we had to decide between trying to organise it in the autumn before it got cold, or wait until the end of the spring next year.

Neither of us is very patient, and there are few things that dial the anticipation up to 11 like getting married:-)
Also, after thinking about it, we figured the more time we had to plan it, the bigger it would become and the more it would take over our life (and our savings!).
So the autumn it was.

So we kinda buried ourselves in wedding planning and dropped off the face of the Earth for a while, but it was all worth it:-) We had an amazing day, and it was great to be surrounded by family and friends!

More details some other time, but for now, here's hoping 2016 is at least as great as 2015:-) Happy New Year everyone!!!

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Chocolate Chip Buckwheat Cupcakes

I was having some chocolate with some multi-cereal bread earlier on today, and I noticed I really liked how the chocolate taste combined with the malty taste of some of the cereals...

Then I remembered I had those dark chocolate chips that were almost as savoury as sweet: quite some bitterness from the dark chocolate and a bit of salt (they put a bit of salt in most things to underscore the taste, but this was a bit too noticeable), and very little sweetness. I thought that they might work well with something with a malty taste, like, say... buckwheat... Which I happened to have in the closet:-)

So this is another riff on my trusty banana bread recipe (which I really should post as is sometime;-) ).

Here we go:
- 300g buckwheat flour
- 100g white flour
- 12g baking powder
- 200g white sugar
- 200ml milk
- 3 plain yoghurts (pots of 125ml)
- 3 eggs
- 70g butter
- 275g chocolate chips
(This is what I happened to have on hand, you could play around with a quantities and see what it gives you... but I really liked the result so I'm putting it on the record as is).

1. Mix the dry ingredients (except the chocolate chips).
2. Add the wet ingredients and mix some more (tip: melt the butter in the microwave so it combines more easily with the rest).
3. Stir in the chocolate chips.
4. Preheat your oven to 200 (fan)/220, and divide the batter into your cupcake tins (I got some individual ones from my mom which are very handy since my 12-cupcakes tin doesn't fit in our small oven/microwave/grill).
5. Bake for 15-20 min (depending on your oven, ours is a bit slow so it needs 20 minutes).

These are the ones I baked (I can only fit 12 at a time in our oven). The recipe gave me about 30, I froze the rest.

Very yummy, especially right out of the oven... And quite a different taste than regular cupcakes (which are often too sweet for my taste).

The chocolate chips are at the bottom!

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Mini woolly hat with pom-pom

Not really the season anymore I know, but I'm gradually learning more knitting skills... This helped me practice the purl stitch, and learn decreases (knit 2 together and purl 2 together... which do what they say on the tin).

The pom-pom - which turned out super duper fluffy if I may say so myself - I knew how to make from kids camps years ago. Basically you only need a bit of cardboard, yarn and a needle (no need for a pom-pom maker!).
You can find a tutorial here (I didn't bother measuring the circles, I just eyeballed it).

So why a mini hat? Well there's this campaign every year where they put mini woolly hats on smoothie bottles and give a fraction of the profits to charity (original UK version here).
Here are two from smoothies I bought in January:

I really like the red one. The cream one kinda looks more like a condom, but hey it's possible that it was the idea...

Anyway, I thought it was kinda cool, and since they've published knitting patterns for people to make them, I thought I'd try my hand at the beginners' one:)

If someone else fancies giving it a try, it's the first one on this page (that one's in French, though you can find a pretty similar one on the UK website).

I'm really hoping they run the same campaign again this autumn, so I can send it in... And it'd be really cool to spot it on a smoothie on the shelves;)