Tuorta da Nusch Engiadina (Nut tart, a typical recipe from the Grisons)


Since I was going to Dubai for work for a few days, my sweetheart told me I may as well leave a little something behind to sweeten up his lonely days at home.
So, last sunday I was baking another tart that will last a few days, in fact, it needs to rest two days before it can be eaten, chances are I get a piece as well when I return next Saturday.


For the dough
300g flour
150g sugar
200g cold butter
1 egg
A pinch of salt

For the filling
300g sugar
300g walnuts
2dl heavy cream (won’t work with diet products)
1 tbl spoon honey

For the dough, mix the flour and sugar in a bowl, cut the cold butter in pieces and put it on the sides in the bowl. Mix the egg with the salt, add it to the flour. Now mix gently until you get a soft dough, it remains quite sticky. Wrap in a foil and let rest in the fridge for 30 mins.


Meanwhile, chop the walnuts coarsely. In a pan, melt the sugar slowly until it turns brown, but not too dark. Add the nuts and stir until they are covered with sugar. Now add the cream and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Now add the honey and stir well once more, remove from heat and let rest.

Heat the oven to 220c. Grease a baking pan of 26cm diameter, take 2/3 of the dough and roll it until it is approx. 5mm thin, put it in the baking pan, ensuring you have a rim of about 4cm. Now add the nut filling and distribute it evenly, fold the rim down onto the filling. Roll out the remaining dough to a shell of 26cm diameter and cover the tart with it. With a fork, press the rim so it sticks well together. Pierce the shell a few times with the fork as well.

Bake for 10 mins at 220c, then reduce the heat to 180c and bake for another 30-40mins.

Now comes the difficult part, it smells so nice, you’d love to dig in right away, but -stop- you need to wait two days to let the flavours unfold.


Aargauer Rüeblitorte -Carrott Cake


Summer is over and it is time to dedicate myself to baking and cooking again!
Here’s a typical carrot cake recipe from our neighbouring canton of Aargau, one can make lots of jokes about them, but they have some amazing recipes! Carrotts are cultivated in the canton of Aargau, so the story goes that due to the masses of carrots produced, some smart baker invented this cake so the carrots would be used and not thrown away. And, remember, carrots are very healthy! Maybe not so much as a cake, but let’s pretend for once, this is a healthy recipe!

Ingredients for a springform pan of approx. 28cm, square or round:

5 eggs
150 g sugar
1 pinch of salt
1 lemon, zest and juice
400 g carrotts, finely grated
1-2 ts of cinnamon
1 pinch of  clove powder
1 ts mixed spice (optional)
200 g finely chopped almonds
75 g flour
1/2 ts baking soda
Butter or spray for the pan


150 g icing sugar
1 tbs water
2-3 tbs lemon juice

Heat oven to 180c
Separate the eggs, beat the eggwhites with a pinch of salt until they turn stiff. Set aside in fridge.
Beat the egg yolks and the sugar until you obtain a creamy texture. Mix in the carrotts, the almonds, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, the lemon zest and all the spices. Stir well. Now slowly add the baking soda and the flour, stir again until well blended. Now add the egg whites, stir gently and ensure the dough is very well blended. Spray or butter the pan, pour the dough in the pan and bake for 45 mins. Prepare the icing by stirring the ingredients well together.

When the cake is done (check with a toothpick, if no dough sticks on it, the cake is done), let it cool for a few minutes, remove it from the pan and cover it with the icing. Usually, you would now have to wait for two days until it develops its best flavour, but seriously, who can wait that long??


Zucchine alla Poverella (aka isi)


This is a traditional dish from Puglia, it is ideal to accompany some appetizers or fresh fish or you can mix them with a bowl of pasta. The mint and vinegar gives the zucchini a very fresh taste, just what you want on a hot summer day.

4-6 small zucchini, cut evenly in rondelles of about 4-5 mm
Mint (to your liking, I used about a handful), finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of lemon juice, fresh
1 -2 tablespoons of white balsamic vinegar
Olive oil to fry zucchini
Salt, pepper


Cut the zucchini and let the water drain in a bowl (i usually put the zucchini on a plate and cover them with a second heavy plate, so the water extracts from the zucchini, takes about 1hr)
In a pan, fry the zucchini in enough olive oil until golden brown (medium heat).
Turn off the gas and add the mint, garlic, vinegar and lemon juice. Stir well, season with salt and pepper. Let cool off in a bowl and enjoy luke warm or cold.


Strawberry Mint Sherbet

On a hot summer day (yes, that exists in 2016), a refreshing strawberry sherbet is a good way to cool down.
And it is even healthy..at least healthier than Ice Cream…

500g fresh strawberries, washed, cut in half
100g caster sugar
1dl water
3 tablespoons of lemonjuice
2 tablespoons of fresh mint, finely chopped


With the water and sugar, make a syrup and let completely cool.
Blend the strawberries, lemon juice, syrup and mint until the mix is smooth.

Now put it in your ice maker and proceed as per instructions.
If you do not have an ice maker, place the mix in a bowl in the freezer, stir every hour with a swinger, it takes about 4 hrs to freeze.


Store sherbet in the freezer, take it out about 10 minutes prior serving. Garnish with fresh strawberries and mint leaves.



Tsoureki – Traditional Greek Easter Bread (looks like Swiss Zopf, tastes different)


It is Greek Orthodox Easter this weekend! And traditionally, people eat Tsoureki, and of course lots of other culinary delights. The amazing fact about Tsoureki is, that you can keep it for a week and it won’t dry out.


For a loaf of about 600 g:
500 g white flour type 405 or 505
100 g sugar
20 g fresh yeast
125 ml fresh milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of ground Mastika
1 teaspoon of aniseed
Grated zest of a lemon
50 g butter

Egg yolk and milk
Optional: almond flakes

Put the flour in a bowl and make a hole, add the yeast and milk and let rest until the yeast has dissolved. Add all the remaining ingredients and knead well, add flour if the dough remains too sticky. Let rest for 45 mins in a warm place.
Knead a few more minutes, adding flour if needed.
Cut the dough in two parts, roll each one into equally thick strips of about 50cm, then braid them. Let rest again for 20 mins. Meanwhile heat the oven to 200c.

Mix the egg yolk and milk and brush over the loaf. Add almonds if you want. Bake for about 45 minutes. Traditionally, a hard boiled egg, colored red is placed on the loaf as well prior to baking. I skipped that part as I had no more eggs left:-)

Some recipes mention also to pour a syrup over the hot loaf, you may do that, for me, it is sweet enough as it is.


Kαλό Πάσχα

Greece in a glass


During our recent trip to Greece, we had the opportunity to meet a passionate wine maker who runs a family wine estate close to Athens in Mesogaia, on the Attica Peninsula. Thanks to our friend Giorgio, a Swiss National who moved to Greece for work a few years ago, we met Vassili Papagiannakos in his beautiful domaine.
Vassili welcomed us with open arms and showed us his estate and the production site which is a very modern, state-of-the-art production line where he and his team produce about 200’000 bottles a year. Most of the products are white wines, complemented by Rosé and Reds.

Vassili took over the winery as the 3rd generation from his grandfather and father and invested in latest technologies, actually they are the first winery in Greece designed and built according to innovative bioclimatic standards in order to produce world-class wine. Various awards are the proof that the Domaine Papagiannakos wines are outstanding.
Vassilli explained that the terroir where his grapes grow is very unique. The soil is a combination of clay, sand and gravel, and the climate is perfect, 320 days of sunshine, no rain from June to October, mild winds and being surrounded by the sea are all favorable factors.
When you think of Greek Wines, I am sure that Retsina comes to your mind and you lift your eyebrows in disbelieve that Greek Wine could taste better than this petrol-flavoured liquid! Believe me, Greece has come a long way and modern Greek Wines do no longer have to shun competition from Italy, Spain etc.
I enjoy especially the white wines as they are making me dream of the crystal clear waters of the Aegean Sea, the hospitality of the Greeks and the wonderful nature!

We were invited to taste all of the Estate’s wines, here is a selection of them:
Kalogeri, made with 100% Malagouza grapes is a dry white wine, very fruitful and balanced. I would recommend it with seafood or fish/poultry.
Savatiano Papagiannakos is made with 100% Savatiano grapes, again a dry white wine with medium acidity, it has aromas of citrus fruit and is a perfect match with seafood, or just as is, to enjy and dream of Greece!
The Vareli, also made of 100% Savatiano grapes, in addition to fermenting in steel tanks, ages 6 months in oak barrels, a very complex wine, with aromas of wood, spices and citrus fruit.
It has very balanced flavours and is my favorite of the white wines we tasted.
This wine for me is Greece in a glass!
Vassilli also produces a Rosé, made of 100% Muscat de Hamburg; it has an aromatic bouquet of flowers and pomegranate. For people who like a chilled Rosé it is certainly worth trying it.

Then we moved on to the reds:
My favorite red is the Kalogeri, a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. After the fermentation in stainless steel tanks, it is aged for 14 months in new french oak barrels. The deep ruby colour and complex bouquet of ripe red fruit, spices and vanilla make it a pure pleasure to drink. It is a wine that complements rich food, but is certainly also a wine that can be enjoyed without food, on a terrasse, marvelling at the sea!

To end the tasting, we were offered a glass of the Melias, a sweet white wine made from 100% Malagouzia grapes. It is a dessert wine with a taste of honey and ripe pineapples. For the boys, it was too sweet, for me, it was just perfect and I would either serve it with blue cheese or with dry bisquits such as Cantucci.

We had a fantastic time with Vassili and Giorgio and hope we can make the Papagiannakos‘ Winery better known in our country and help to improve the image of Greek wines outside of Greece.
Efcharisto‘ poli for the hospitality Vassili!

Granola – home made

I know, I know..every blogger eventually posts a recipe for home-made granola….I do it too, before the hype is over. Actually, this is another test for spoiling future guests. So bear with me…

200 g rolled oats (me, a mix of typical swiss oats)
100 g mixed seeds (sunflower, pumkin seeds, sesame and whatever else you fancy)
100 g mixed nuts, coarsly chopped with a knife, not in a blender!
35 g coconut oil
35 g honey (me: lavender honey)
Spices such as vanilla, cinnamon and ginger
50 g dried mixed berries (cranberries, cherries, blueberries)
50 g dried apricots
I did not use any additional sugar!


Heat the oven to 150c and prepare a baking tray, covering it with a baking sheet

In a bowl, mix the oats, seeds and nuts and stir well.
In case the oil and the honey are not liquid, melt the two ingredients together in a pan, let cool off for a few minutes and then add to the dry mix and stir until the dry mix is fully moist.

Add the spices and mix well again. Now place the granola mix on the baking tray, distribute it well. Put in the oven for 40-45 minutes, gently stirring every 15 minutes until the granola is golden brown and dry. I did reduce the heat to 100 c after 25 minutes as it became quickly golden brown, but not dry. Every oven is different, I suggest you watch it closely and adapt temperatures if needed.
Meanwhile chop the dry fruits and once the granola is done, stir it under the hot granola.

Now let completely cool off before transferring into jars.