Latest Posts

Lighting up the Christmas Spirit

Here is my “little” (well it started out as a little idea) DIY Christmas project.

To beginn with I thought that I would use 1 or two pallets (and ended up enjoying the sawing so much that I did four). I was very pleased with the result and decided to see what it would look like if I painted one (BIG mistake!!!). It worked out so well that I ended up painting the whole lot (half way through I did start to question the whole idea). But it was well worth it…

The Wood Work

The Painting

The Result

If you want to give it a go all you need is:
-a couple of pallets
-a jigsaw
-a drill
-a tin of paint
-some Christmas lights
(and some patience)
Have fun!

Taking the Trail from Silvaplana to St. Moritz

We’re back up at our caravan in the Engadin in Silvaplana (1815 meters above sea level). It was a bit chilly this morning (4°C/ 39°F) with a northern wind blowing (made it felt a lot colder), but the sun was shining and so we decided to take the panoramic trail to St. Moritz.

From our Campsite in Silvaplana we headed up through the village.

With the trail being south facing and the exercise of climbing up hill, it didn’t take us long to warm up…

…through the village of Champfèr…

…back up to the trail…

and down to St.Moritz…

…and the sighting of this little squirrel, (on our way down to St. Moritz) made the kids day!

Almond & Plum Cake

It’s a lovely late summer day and I’m making the most of it with this little treat. An almond & plum cake, a truly delicious combination. You see for yourself and give it a go!


Ingredients
125g/ 4.4oz butter
3 eggs
125g/ 4.4oz sugar
a pinch of salt
200g/ 7oz ground almonds
100g/ 3.5oz flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1.5 dl/ 0.3pt milk
1 orange peel
1 tsp cinnamon
8 plums
almond slivers
icing sugar

Preheat the oven at 180°C/ 356°F. Mix the ingredients together. Pour the mixture into the greased cake tin. Slice and pit the plums and place in a circular pattern onto of the mixture. Scatter the sliced almonds on top and bake for 35 minutes.

When it’s cooled down, sprinkle with the icing sugar.

Get yourself a cup of coffee, go outside and enjoy a slice (or maybe two slices) of your treat…

A Wonderful Waterfall Walk

As I mentioned in my post A Roadtrip to Start the Season” we have parked our caravan here in “Pontresina” (1815 metres above sea level) and are now spending the kids summer holidays up here.
Today we decided to walk to a waterfall on the opposite side of the lake. I’ve seen the waterfall on my morning dog strolls and couldn’t wait to go exploring…

Our Sunny, couldn’t resist the lake and someone else enjoyed the simple pleasure of a dandelion…

… even with a couple of distractions on the way, we reached our destination in about 45 minutes.

In no time at all the kids were busy stacking stones like the ones that were scattered around the base of the waterfall. (I’m sure my blogging buddy Mike will like them, check his post). They were so busy, that they completely forgot about the time and I had to drag them away with the promise, that we’d go back another day.

Sweet & Salty Summer Salad

With the summer holidays just round the corner, we’ve had a couple of school/ kindergarten “end of the year” parties. For one of those events I made this salad, it went down very well and one of my friends asked for the recipe…so this is for you Francesca.

Ingredients
500g/ 17.6oz couscous
600ml/ 1.2pt vegetable stock
5 tbsp olive oil
10-12 apricots
200g/ 7oz pistachio nuts
100g/3.5oz sultanas
1 handful of mint leaves

Dressing
5 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 limes (juiced)
(1 tsp of honey if you like)
salt, pepper & couscous seasoning (coriander, cumin, chili, anise, mustard seeds, cinnamon)

Boil 600ml of stock, take off the cooker and pour the couscous into the pan. Leave to soak for about 5 minutes. Add 5 tablespoons of olive oil and stir it with a fork to get rid of any clumps. Free the pistachio nuts from their shells (you might need double the amount if your kids help out). Chop up the apricots and mint leaves. All you have to do now is add all the ingredients and pour the dressing over it.

So simple! Give it a go!

 

Hiking the ” Hoher Kasten”

We’re spending the weekend in the Appenzellerland (an area in the east part of Switzerland). A beautiful spot!  So join us on our hike down the “hoher Kasten” and see for yourselves (that is when the clouds aren’t in the way)…

We started in “Brülisau” (921 metres above sea level) and took the cable car up to the top of the “Hoher Kasten” (1’784.5 metres above sea level). From there we hiked back down the mountain. A hike that takes about 1 and a half hours (if you walk all the way).

…nearly down, time for some refuelling at the restaurant “Ruhesitz”…

The boys decided to have a little fun on the last couple of kilometres of the hike. They rented scooters at the restaurant and whizzed off down to “Brülisau”…

..and the rest of us walked and enjoyed the authentic and beautiful scenery.

 

A Roadtrip to Start the Season

At last! We packed our stuff, hooked our caravan up and headed off to our Summer season campsite.
Our journey started in Schneisingen (where our caravan is parked) and went right through Switzerland, up to the mountain village of Silvaplana (1815 meters above sea level). It’s quite an adventure for us, as:
-we’ve never driven our caravan onto a car shuttle train before (the pass road has to many steep turns)
-we’ve never camped at this altitude (snow possible even in Summer)
-and we’ve never parked our caravan at a campsite for a whole season
(middle of April until the middle of October)
Well we’re always good for an adventure so here goes…

The journey from Schneisingen to Klosters wasn’t very eventful (except for the scenery)…

The car shuttle train took us from Klosters, 19 kilometers through the Vereina tunnel to Sagliains, in the middle of the beautiful Engadin.
Only a couple more Kilometers to go…

Made it! The kids were great (to excited to argue), no breakdowns or mishaps (although the road got a bit tight going through some of the villages towards the end) but all in all, a success. Now all we’ve got to do is get ourselves installed and relax…

 

Barbecue Tips: Barbecuing with Kids & Gadgets!

Today I’m delighted to publish the blog article, I’ve written for the company “Tchibo”. Check this Link.

Spring is here at last! Everything is blossoming, the garden is calling. Here are 2 recipes for kids and grown-up’s to kick off into the new BBQ saison!

Burgers for the „little ones“

Our kids love burger’s. And even better if they can prepare their favourite recipes themselves.

Best Burger” Recipe
750g/ 26.5oz minced meat
1 bread bun or two pieces of bread
1 onion
1 egg
1 bunch of parsley (not liegt bei all)
salt & pepper

Soak the bread in warm water. Chop up the onion and parsley. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl (except for the bread). Squeeze the water out of the bread and add to the mixture. Season with salt and pepper, knead it and we’re ready to make the burger’s.

As my eager, little cook is demonstrating… put the burger mixture into the form, press it until it fills the form (right up to the brim) turn it over, press the bottom out and there you go! A perfect burger.

I personally think this tool is great because:
-all the burger’s are the same size which means they all take the same amount of time
-and no more arguments about who gets the biggest burger

Right, now all Daddy has to do is grill them and put them in their buns. With yummy ingredients such as: tomatoes, cheese, salad and ketchup (of course), we let the kid’s take over and arrange their “Best Burger’s” to their individual preferences.

And the kids conclusion: “BRILLIANT!”

Pleasure for the „Grown-Up’s“

With the “little one’s” are very content with their burger’s. That means it’s time to create some tasty barbecue treats for the “Grown-Up’s”…

My husband loves cool, high-tec gadgets! Therefore he was extremely pleased with the bluetooth barbecue thermometer Now he can connect his mobile (his favourite gadget) to barbecuing.

All he had to do was download the GrillnGo App, stick the needle into the chicken and connect the two. Choose what to cook (veal, pork, chicken etc.) and the App asks you how you want it (bloody to well done) and it does all the work. Goodbye raw meat and under cooked chicken. No need to cut your food to make sure that it’s done.

I’m thrilled! And the boys think that their new gadget is cool too, that they can “play”  while they’re barbecuing (they could hardly take their eyes off the display of the temperature reader).

I love creating new recipes and flavourings. So while my husband and the boys were enjoying themselves with their new gadget, I’ve been busy experimenting with this “flavour box”. I’ve soaked some Rosemary and Thyme in a bowl of water for about thirty minutes (to stop them from smouldering under the heat), then I put them in the smoker box and left them with the chicken under the lid of the barbecue to give the chicken breasts a little extra flavour. Delicious!

“Smoked Chicken” Ingredients
2 chicken breasts
a bunch of Rosemary
a bunch of Thyme
Tip: instead of fresh herbs you can also use smoker chips that come in various flavours such as maple, beech, oak etc. depending on what your barbecuing

To go with it I made a courgette-tomato salad with a simple dressing and a bowl of crisps.

Everyone is happy and satisfied, our first Spring barbecue was a complete success! The washing up will have to wait, I’m going to enjoy the last sunray’s of the day…

 

If you are interested in the burger press, the bluetooth barbecue thermometer or the smoker box then click here for further information.

Ready For Some Rhubarb Pie?

Get your rolling pins out. It’s pie time! While shopping this week, some delicious rhubarb caught my eye. I couldn’t resist. So here goes… a scrumptious, rhubarb loaded pie.

The Dough
125g/ 4.4 oz butter
250g/ 9.0 oz flour
100g/ 3.5 oz sugar
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 egg

The Filling
700g/ 24.5 oz rhubarb
80g/ 2.8 oz sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste
(or vanilla flavouring you prefer)
1 tsp cinnamon
80g/ 2.8 oz ground almonds
1 egg yolk (to braise the pie with)
icing sugar (decoration)

Make the dough and leave to chill for about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven at 180°C/ 356 °F. For the filling, chop up the rhubarb in about 1 cm wide chunks. Mix the rhubarb, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla flavouring together. Grease your pie dish. Split the dough in half (base and lid of pie) roll it out and lay into your dish. Prick the base and cover it with the ground almonds. Fill it with the mixture and place the dough lid on top. Brush with egg yolk and bake for about 40 minutes in the bottom half of your oven. When done, leave to cool down. Before serving, sprinkle it with icing sugar.

To serve, you could try ice cream, whipped cream, cream cheese or simply on it’s own.

And now indulge!

It’s Just Simply Spring…

The weather this afternoon has given me a great excuse to leave the gardening for another day and make some Easter decorations instead. So, I popped down to my local florist/ friend Urs at Toscanini and stocked up with some lovely flowers…

…which intrigued someone…

 …with a little help from my furry friend I created these…

…and the end result is “simply Spring”…

…it was obviously hard work for some.