Open Faced Springtime Sandwiches

I better blog this while it’s still Spring! Because soon it will be time to pick out squashes and eggplants and berries, and the asparagus will be done.  So it’s Springtime still, let’s embrace it – 2 months ago we were snowshoeing in the Alps, and now the trees are in bloom by the lake.  We do cheat a little on Spring, buying our Italian tomatoes as it will be a while yet before Swiss ones come into season, and I don’t feel one bit guilty because they have been utterly fantastic.  But more on them later.

We’ve been planning on going to see all the tulips and flowers in bloom at the local tulip festival (actually, we’ve been planning to do a lot of things), but life has just gotten in the way.  I had eye surgery, computer died sending us to Geneva a few times for repairs (and gave us a fun excuse to spend an afternoon with our friend Jonell, indulging in chocolate macarons from Auer), baby got sick, all number of things keep changing our plans from day to day.

So no gorgeous flowers or Springtime hikes in the Swiss alpine hillsides just yet.  But if we cannot go enjoy Springtime in the wild blue yonder, why not bring Springtime here? With these open faced sandwiches, we did just that :)

[click to continue…]


Butter Poached Salmon

Have you ever stopped to listen? Listen to the sounds of the world around you? Sitting outside I find myself appreciating the different songs of the birds, and taking comfort at night in the rhythmic inhale/exhale of my sleeping baby girl.  I hear the traffic outside amidst the gusty thrusts of the year’s first thunderstorm pelting rain against our apartment building, or down at the lake shore I take in the serenity of the water lapping against the docks swaying the boats to and fro, whilst a few seagulls (yes, this land-locked nation appears to have seagulls) call off in the distance.  If I think really hard, I can almost hear the sun trying to be noticed from behind the wall of fog that sits like a gatekeeper over the lake, keeping summer at bay just a little longer.

In my kitchen, I hear the sizzling of sliced garlic hitting the hot pan in a bit of butter, and then the shtshtshshh of salmon filets being added, its skin crackling at the thought of having to become bedfellows with a vegetable like garlic.  As my husband poaches the filets, spooning a little hot butter over top, the sizzling comes in waves, crashing against the shore each time that butter finds the pan once more.  The pot on the stove comes to a roaring boil signaling that it’s time to blanch the broccoli, and finally the salmon has quieted down letting its rich aroma permeate the room, the smells and sounds of preparation become a pair of sirens tempting us to give the meal a taste.

How often do we say, “dinner sounds good,” as a generic approval of what we will eat? Have you ever thought of what dinner actually sounds like?  While my vision hasn’t been too awesome lately as each blink of the eye comes with searing pain, when I can I’ve been taking the opportunity to close them slowly, and take in the world with my other senses.  I think we all know how to associate smell with food, but how often do you listen to your food? Maybe its song tells a story as much as its fashionable (or sometimes even garish) looks.

I think we often forget of the richness and vibrancy of the world of sound compared to that seen with our eyes, especially when it comes to food.  But food does sing.  It sings when it’s getting chopped, as it cooks, as it crunches between our teeth.  And if you listen carefully, you will notice that it carries a rhythm and possibly even a tune, that is always enriching our world and our perception of it.

[click to continue…]


Five Years

by Jenn on March 17, 2013

in Featured Posts,Photography

Matterhorn view from Riffelberg

Five years.

For over half a decade I have dedicated a little space of internet for my ramblings about food, I can’t believe it! Who knew when I started that I would still be blogging five years later?? I think it’s a lot of fun to look back and see the transformations I’ve made since I posted my “best salad ever“.  In a way, this space not only documents the food I’ve cooked, but also my life experiences – moving to a new country, starting a family, seeing some gorgeous sights, making friends, and enjoying life gluten free.

Last weekend was such an experience, a day with some friends who happen to share a similar passion as me, gathered high up in view of the majestic Matterhorn.  And while I’m not posting a recipe, these sort of images are just as much fun for me to create as food – so for my five year blogiversary, let’s take a little stroll through the mountains, shall we?

[click to continue…]


A very green carbonara

I am not going to write about the weather.  Ever since I have become cognizant of my own weather ramblings as I introduce blog posts, I have noticed I am far from alone in this habit.  Who needs small talk on a personal blog? Not here, I know you all didn’t come to hear me babble about the sun shining (or not as the case may be…)!

Boxed gluten free pasta can be hard to use sometimes – you want to make your favorite pasta dishes, substituting in GF pasta, but it just doesn’t come out the same.  In our home, the dish we struggle with is carbonara.  Every time we add in egg to our GF pasta to make the classic Italian dish, it just doesn’t coat and mix into the pasta the way it should.  I’ve finally decided to stop forcing something that clearly isn’t working out, and to instead embrace something new.  And voilà, our new pasta favorite, avocado carbonara came to be!

[click to continue…]


Grapefruit Salad

I love eating grapefruits in the winter, I think they are just one of the prettiest fruits.  Maybe it’s the ruby red – the way it entices and sparkles in the light, or simply the anticipation of that tart juicy flavor just waiting to be scooped up and tasted.  While I have had more time to think about food photography than actually do food photography lately (thanks, injured eye), I have spent considerable time wondering why such foods are so beautiful to us, and what makes food beautiful, in general.

Why are we as a culture so obsessed with photos of food and documenting our food? Dennis Dutton explained the ideal Pleistocene landscape as inherently beautiful to our tastes in his Darwinian theory of beauty (the link goes to a really cool TED talk) – essentially we find beautiful the things that would be safe and reassuring to our prehistoric selves.  He describes scenes of grasslands with trees, water nearby, paths to follow, maybe animals and other people too.  But I have to wonder, if food is not also inherently attractive on that prehistoric level as well – if a little tended garden (probably a foreign element to our nomadic ancestors), or a pot on a fire of a hearty stew wafting into the air would have ruined the beauty of such a landscape?  (ok, maybe a pot of stew brewing away would have been a bit ambitious for our pleistocene ancestors, but this is just a thought experiment….).

Grapefruit Salad

[click to continue…]


Valentine’s Temptations

by Jenn on February 13, 2013

in Gluten Free,Tastes


I’m not one for much sappy romantic love, never really have been.  But my husband? He writes me poems, it’s so sweet and endearing.  He wrote me poems on our wedding day, and sometimes I’ll wake up to find a little note that he composed professing his love for me.

Me? I request that we open up our bottle of Batard-Montrachet, and cozy up together with some homemade dinner (I seriously don’t even know what I’m going to make yet – roast chicken perhaps?) watching tv while baby girl babbles along telling the world stories about who knows what with her entire vocal repertoire of some five syllables.  Maybe I’ll make another batch of hot chocolate for dessert, or maybe I’ll get ambitious and go for a little chocolate soufflé.  All I know is, there will be chocolate, because that’s how I say, “I love you forveer.”

Are you up for some ideas of a few Valentine’s temptations? 😉

[click to continue…]