Strawberry Mousse with Crème Patissiere

From Michel Roux book “Eggs”

Serves: 6

Ingredients for the mousse:

  • 1 lb (350g) strawberries, plus extra to serve (optional)
  • 2/3 cup (130 g) superfine sugar juice of 1 lemon
  • generous 1/3 cup (100ml) heavy cream
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 quantity (9oz/250g) crème patissiere, cooled

Ingredients for the crème patissiere:
  • 6 egg yolks
  • ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp(125gr) superfine sugar
  • ¼ cup (40gr)all-purpose flour
  • generous 2 cups (500ml) milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • a little confectioners’ sugar or butter
Makes: about 1 lb 10 oz (750gr)


Directions for the mousse:

Put the strawberries in a pan with ½ cup (100g) sugar and heat very gently, stirring with a wooden spoon from time to time. When the mixture comes to a simmer, cook gently for another 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender or a food processor and whiz to a puree, then strain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer into a bowl. Let this coulis cool, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin forming. When cold, stir in the lemon juice.

Whip the cream to a ribbon consistency, then fold into the cooled crème patissiere.
Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl to a foam, then add the remaining sugar and whisk to soft peaks. Gently fold in the pastry cream mixture, without overworking.

Very delicately mix in the cold strawberries coulis. Divide the mousse between 6 glass dishes and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours before serving. Serve the mousse on its own, or with extra berries.

Tip: You may need to adjust the quantity of sugar for cooking the berries according to how ripe they are. This mousse is equally delicious made with flavorful blackberries or raspberries.


Directions for the Crème Patissiere:

Combine the egg yolks and one-third of the sugar in a bowl and whisk to a light ribbon consistency. Add the flour and whisk it in thoroughly.

In a pan, heat the milk with the rest of the sugar and the vanilla bean. As soon as it comes to boil, pour it onto the egg yolk mixture, stirring as you go. Mix well, then return the mixture to the pan.

Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly with the whisk. Allow the mixture to bubble, still stirring, for 2 minutes, then tip it into a bowl.

To prevent a skin forming, dust the surface with a veil of confectioners’ sugar or dot all over with little flakes of butter. Once cold, the pastry cream can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Remove the vanilla bean before using.



Rum-Raisin Bread Pudding - the Perfect Valentine's Day Breakfast

Raisins plumped in rum contribute the signature flavor to this custardy pudding. If you like, sprinkle each serving with granulated or confectioners' sugar.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma

Serves: 6


  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup rum or brandy
  • 4 cups day-old bread cubes, each about 1/2 inch square (challah or another egg bread, such as brioche or panettone)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ice cream for serving or Crème Anglaise



In a small bowl, combine the raisins, cranberries and rum and let stand for 30 minutes.
While the raisins are soaking, preheat an oven to 325°F. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish or 4 to 6 custard cups.

In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, butter, eggs, milk and vanilla until well blended. Stir in the bread cubes, cranberries, and raisins and rum. Let stand until the bread cubes soak up most of the liquid, about 5 minutes. Stir again and pour into the baking dish or divide among the custard cups.
Bake until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes for custard cups, 50 to 60 minutes for the baking dish.

Remove from the oven and serve hot or at room temperature. Sprinkle each serving with granulated or confectioners' sugar. Serve with ice cream or Crème Anglaise.



Shrimp with Garlic and Parsley - The Best Sizzling Spicy Appetizer

Appetizers are purely for fun. Hors d'oeuvres the French call them: "outside of the works." They are likely to have a wicked lot of calories but most people have come to expect them with cocktails. The French picked up the habit of pre-dinner snacking from the Russians, who call such tidbits zakuskis. Italians have their little plates of antipasto, while Scandinavians serve all manner of spicy, pickly things at a smorgasbord and make a complete meal of them.

Hot hors d'oeuvres are always a treat. You may have to spend a few last minutes with them, but they are worth whatever confusion they create. Some, such as tiny cream puffs, turnovers, and meat balls can be completely cooked well in advance, then popped into the oven just before the first guests arrive.  Do keep appetizers bite-size. Their function is to titillate the appetite, not satisfy it.

This recipe of Shrimp with Garlic and Parsley is amazing. I love spicy, so for me this is so good and it takes only 10 min to prepare.


Serves: 4


  • 4 to 5 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. dry white wine
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
  • lemon pepper pasta for serving, optional (I got the pasta from Trader Joe's)



In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and paprika and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant. Increase the heat to high, add the shrimp, lemon juice and dry white wine, stir well, and sauté until the shrimp turn pink and are opaque throughout, about 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper, sprinkle with the parsley and serve.



Radish Salad and Berry Drink "Mors"

A simple Radish Salad.


  • 5 radishes, sliced thin
  • 1 cucumber, sliced thin
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 
  • kosher or sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • fresh parsley, minced


Slice radishes and cucumber in thin rings. Chop fresh parsley. Toss them in a bowl.

Mix lemon juice, olive oil, black and red pepper and salt. Drizzle this mixture on radishes and cucumbers rings and serve.


Mors is a refreshing drink made of berries. Though cranberries are the most traditional choice, any berry in season can be used. This version, made with cowberries, cherries and strawberries.

  • 1 cup frosen cowberries (lingonberry, red huckleberry)
  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 6-8 cups water
  • 1/3 cup sugar (more or less, depending on your taste and the acidity of the berries)
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)

Place the berries and water in a saucepan, bring to a boil, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
Pass the liquid through a chinois and return to the saucepan. Add the sugar and lemon juice, then bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, and remove from the heat. Let cool and refrigerate.



Carrot, Apple and Orange Salad with Ginger Dressing

Carrot, Apple and Orange Salad made in minutes, this salad is not so much thrown together as tossed together, and this harmonious combination of ingredients and complementary dressing belie the speed with which it is made. This salad ideal for easy entertaining or speedy midweek meal when you are too tired, too busy or too hot to spend much time in the kitchen. It can be served as appetizer or as a refreshing accompaniment to fish or meat dishes.


Tip: It's better to have the ingredients julienned with the knife. A food processor or a mandolin might cause the apples to turn watery. You may julienned the apples 1 hour before serving time, toss them in lemon juice to prevent them from browning and they will look  great while sitting in the fridge, waiting to be tossed and eaten.

Serving: 4

  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and thinly julienned
  • 2 apples, cut into thin matchsticks
  • 2 large oranges, peeled and slice thinly
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped pistachio nuts
  • 1 small piece root ginger
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • chopped parsley or mint (whichever herbs you prefer)
  • salt and ground pepper

Peel and finely chop or grate the ginger.
Blend together the olive oil, lemon juice, orange juice, ginger and season with a little salt and pepper to taste.
Toss the carrots and apples together, pour the dressing over and mix well.
Arrange on a plate the oranges and sprinkle lightly with chia seeds.
Put the carrot-apple mixture over the oranges.
Sprinkle the salad with the pistachio nuts and chopped herbs.



Kougelhopf - Fruit and Almond Ring, the Perfect Breakfast and Brunch Dessert

Kougelhopf - Fruit and Almond Ring, is the symbol of Alsace baking.

Gugelhupf, Kougloff, kougelhopf, or guglhopf are the various versions of the name of the famous yeast ring cake. The Alsatians have used this name from time immemorial, but they still do not know how to spell it, although they all agree that the cake is part of a good breakfast or something to eat with afternoon coffee. When a glass of Tokay Pinot Gris or Gewurztraminer is offered, a piece of cake should be offered too. Savory versions with diced bacon instead of currants accompany the aperitive.


Its appearance is due to the high-walled wavy mold in which it was baked. Traditional ringcake molds are fired in terracotta and are tile red. The name is derived from German, although it comes from Austria, from where Marie Antoinette brought the recipe to Versailles. An exception is the kougloff of Ribeauville, where the inhabitants claim that the originator of their ringcake was a former village baker.


  • 2 tbsp/ 30 ml kirsch
  • 1 cup/ 150 g raisins or (sultanas or Malaga currants)
  • 5 cups/700 g flour
  • 1 oz/ 30 g compressed yeast
  • 2 cups/ 500 ml lukewarm milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tbsp/ 10 g salt
  • 2/3 cup/150 g sugar
  • ¾ cup/180 g soft butter
  • 2 tbsp almond flakes

Pour the kirsch over the raisins, stir, leave covered for a few hours to soak. To prepare the starter dough sieve 2 cups/300g flour into a bowl, make a hollow in the center, crumble in the yeast, pour on half the lukewarm milk and stir. Lightly knead and leave to prove for 2 hours.


Then add the remaining milk, the remaining flour, salt, sugar, and eggs to the starter dough, mix all the ingredients well and beat vigorously for at least 10 minutes, which is very important for the texture of the cake. The loose, semi-solid dough should come away from the bowl easily. Mix in the butter and knead the mixture, until it becomes a smooth, supple dough. Now add the raisins or currants and work them in until they are evenly distributed in the dough.

Carefully grease two ringcake molds with butter and sprinkle the almond flakes evenly in them. Fill the mold up to halfway with the dough and leave to prove in a draught-free place.

Preheat the oven to 390F/200C. Bake the kougelhopf for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the mold. When the surface is golden brown, remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool on a cake stand.

Tip: I don’t have two ring molds, so I used one ring mold and one pan for 6 small bandt cakes. Worked perfectly for me. I baked small cakes for only 15 minutes.



Preserved Lemons with Rosemary


Preserved lemons are a classic Moroccan condiment often used to flavor stews and sauces. Boiling the lemons softens them more quickly than soaking them in a salty solution alone, cutting your soaking time to around three days. Keep in mind that lemons with thinner skins will take less time to soften. Thinly slice or chop preserved lemons (both rind and flesh), and add to fish, lamb, or chicken recipes. They also give a big flavor boost to tuna, lobster, and pasta salads. Remember to taste before seasoning the dish with any additional salt.


Adapted from Coastal Living

Preparation time:
Cook time:
Chill: 3 days
Yield: Makes 1 quart


  • 4 lemons
  • 1/2 cup Himalayan Pink salt
  • 1 tsp dried crushed red pepper
  • 4 springs fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice


Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil; add lemons. Boil 5 minutes; drain. Run lemons under cold water until cool enough to handle.
Cut lemons into wedges with pink salt, red pepper, and rosemary in a medium bowl. Pack into a jar. Pour lemon juice over lemon wedges to cover. Seal jar, and chill at least 3 days or until rinds are soft and pliable. Shake container daily. Store lemons in refrigerator up to 1 year.

Tip: Stir finely chopped pieces into hot or cold dishes for a burst salty, lemony flavor.


Homemade and Ayurvedic tips for skin care

Beautiful skin is not the foray of the rich and famous only. One can easily develop a beautiful glowing skin without much use of harmful chemicals that are going to ruin the skin in the long run. There are quite a few natural products that will pamper your skin. You need to make sure that your skin gets the external and internal both nourishments as the glow that is exhibited by the skin is internal. You will find that homemade tips rival the expensive cosmetics that are used from the market.

However before using any home based product on your face and other parts of the body you need to do a analysis of your skin. While doing the analysis one needs to determine the kind of skin one posses. For Example a set of home based remedies will be beneficial for dry skin and another set will be beneficial for oily skin. Its crucial that you make sure which category your skin falls else you may end up harming your skin instead of doing it any good.

According to ayurveda gram flour applied on the face with a tinge of lemon juice to rid the skin off its dryness, pimples and even acne. Gram flour is easy to obtain from the market and one just needs to make a paste and add lemon juice to it so that it can be spread easily on the face smoothly. Once applied it has to be left there for an hour or two. This treatment can be had once a week and after a couple of weeks the good effects will show on your face with a glow and healthy skin. Remember ayurveda effects are slow but last long and don’t have any side effects.

Same is the case with Aloe vera. Aloe vera forms the base of most creams and conditioners available in the market. But if this is applied even in its natural form it will have a magnificent effect on the skin. Cucumber kept on the eyes while sunbathing has a soothing effect on the eyes and will surely leave the skin underlying fresh and ready to face the harsh sunrays once again. Azadirachta indica leaves dipped in water will kill all the germs and viruses present on the skin. Many of the herbal soaps use the ingredients of this tree and have a great effect on the skin of human beings.

Keeping a tab on the kind of skin you have in various phases of the weather change will surely allow you to use home based remedies that can be used to ensure the best maintenance of the skin. Skin is the outermost and the most sensitive part of the body. Taking care of it is of utmost importance and primary responsibility.

Photo "Basil" by Cooking Melangery


Celeriac and Spinach Soup with Baked Kale Chips


Celeriac and Spinach Soup with Baked Kale Chips - it can’t get healthier than that!
Celery Root, also known as Celeriac, has mild aroma and flavor of celery and walnuts with crisp texture perfect julienned or sliced into salads and soups or braised in broth and butter.
Here, it is combined with spinach to make a delicious soup.


Serves: 6

Ingredients for the soup:
  • 1 ¾ pints/ 4 cups of water
  • 8 fluid ounces/1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 leek, thickly sliced
  • 1 ¼ pounds celeriac, diced
  • 7 ounces fresh spinach leaves
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • baked kale chips to garnish

Ingredients for the kale chips:
  • about one bunch of kale, rinsed and dried, torn into bite-sized pieces and tough stems removed
  • olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp wine vinegar

Direction for the kale chips:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
Lay on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, wine vinegar, cracked black pepper and salt. Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 2 hours.


Direction the for soup:

Mix the water and wine in a pitcher. Place the leek, celeriac, and spinach in a deep pan and pour the liquid over the top. Bring to boil, lower the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.


Pour the celeriac mixture into a blender food processer and process until smooth, in batches if necessary. Return to the clean pan and season to taste with salt, pepper and grated nutmeg.
Reheat gently. Serve with the homemade baked kale chips.

Tip: If the soup is too thick, thin with a little water or low-fat milk when processing.


Stay warm and healthy! And have a good winter-)



Sautéed Zucchini, Mushrooms and Tomatoes with Curry Sauce


In this recipe Sautéed Zucchini, Mushrooms and Tomatoes with Curry Sauce the vegetables are cooked separately and then combined just before serving. This helps them to cook evenly and retain their color and texture. Serve this flavorful dish with curry sauce for a meatless entrée or as a side dish with roasted meats or poultry.


Serving: 2-4


  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 3 plum  tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms of your chose, brushed clean
  • 2 garlic cloves, halved crosswise
  • 6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh cilantro
For curry sauce:
  • 14 oz coconut milk
  • 3 T curry powder
  • 3 T honey
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. chili garlic sauce


Make curry sauce. Combine coconut milk, 3 T curry powder, honey, and chili garlic sauce in a medium saucepan. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes or until it thickens to a gravy-like consistency.

In a large saute pan over medium heat warm 2 Tbsp. olive oil.  Add the zucchini and cook until the zucchini rounds are tender, 3 to 4 minutes per side. During the last minute of cooking season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a platter.

Return the saute pan to medium heat and warm 2 Tbsp. of the oil. Add the tomatoes and repeat the cooking process. Transfer the tomatoes to the platter with the zucchini rounds.

Return the pot to medium heat and warm 2 pof the oil. Add the mushrooms and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to caramelize, 7 to 8 minutes. During the last minute of cooking, add minced fresh cilantro and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mushrooms and garlic to the plate with the other vegetables.  Serve with curry sauce immediately.


Spicy Bean Soup (Potage Tour D'argent)


A filling Spicy Bean Soup made with two kinds of beans and lentil flavored with cumin. Hot, spicy and richly flavored, this is a substantial soup that is perfect for a cold winter evening. Serve with homemade  Sun-dried Tomato Bread with Onions.


Serves: 6-8


  • 6 ounces/1 cup dried black beans, soaked overnight and drained
  • 6 ounces/1 cup dried kidney beans, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 /2 cup dry lentil,  soaked overnight and drained
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stick
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 fluid ounces/ ¼ cup red wine
  • 2 pints/ 5 cups Meat Stock
  • 8 fluid ounces/ 1 cup water
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • For the garnish chopped fresh herbs

Put the black beans and kidney beans plus lentil in two separate pans with cold water to cover and a bay leaf in each. Boil rapidly for 10 minutes, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add 3 tablespoons coarse salt to each pan and continue simmering for 30 minutes, until the beans are tender. Drain.


Heat the oil in a large, heavy flameproof casserole. Add the carrots, onions, celery and garlic and cook over a low heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring, until softened. Stir in the cumin, cayenne, and oregano and season with salt to taste.
Add the red wine, meat stock and water and stir to mix all the ingredients together. Remove the bay leaves from the cooked beans and discard, then add the beans to the casserole.


Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, then cover and simmer gently for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Transfer half the soup (including most of the solids) to a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Return to the pan and stir to combine well.
Reheat the soup and adjust the seasoning to taste. Serve hot, garnished with chopped herbs.

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