Grittibänz – Bake A Swiss St. Nicholas Day Treat

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My family is Swiss and German so I grew up celebrating St. Nicholas Day on December 6th.  Before going to bed on December 5th, my brothers and I would put one shoe outside our bedroom door for St. Nicholas to fill.  The next morning our shoes overflowed with marzipan, chocolate and Lebkuchen. I … Read More...

Aachener Printen

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No trip to Aachen, Germany, a short train trip from Cologne, is complete without a visit to the beautiful cathedral and the impressive treasury. But, I was there to learn all I could about the history of the iconic Aachener Printen and to attempt to crack the recipe held closely by Aachen … Read More...

Marshmallows

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On a cold, rainy Sunday morning, we made plans to stay in and work by the fire that afternoon and evening taking breaks to eat homemade soup and drink hot chocolate.  I got to thinking of the many fires my Dad used to build on bitterly cold weekends growing up in New Jersey and Illinois.  We would … Read More...

Mole Poblano

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To my mind and palate, one of the great cuisines of the world is Mexican.  Not the cheese-laden standards topped with canned sauces and accompanied by runny, tasteless refried beans and white rice found at many "Mexican" restaurants outside the country.  Rather, the incredible, regional dishes found … Read More...

Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Oat Cookies

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When I was a kid, we had a rather long walk to school.  On cold, damp days, Mom would always be pulling freshly baked cookies out of the oven when we arrived home.  I don't think she ever purchased cookies from the grocery store.  Nor have I.  I kept this tradition going for our children (although I … Read More...

Making Paella At Home

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Not long ago, I spent a glorious week at a friend's house in Alicante, Spain.  The area is beautiful. Limestone mountains, winding (and sometimes hair-raising) roads through hillside vineyards, ocean views and weekly local markets.  Our days were spent lounging poolside reading, swimming in the … Read More...

Salzburg Bauernsalat

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On a recent, sizzling hot summer trip to Salzburg, Austria, the city was throbbing with tourists so we donned hiking shoes and day packs before heading out to catch an early morning train to Golling in search of solitude and the cooling spray of Golling Waterfall.  En-route to the station, we … Read More...

Sancocho

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My introduction to the Latin American stew-like soup, Sancocho, began on a miserably cold day many winters ago when I worked in the kitchen of a gourmet shop and caterer.  The assistant chef was from Columbia.  As freezing rain pelted down outside, the chef, hankering for a taste of home, whipped up … Read More...

Tirggel – Traditional Honey Cookies of Zürich (Story and Recipe)

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Tirggel are very thin, very hard, lightly spiced honey biscuits with a slightly raised image on top typically associated with Canton Zürich in Switzerland.  Production and sales ramp up when the cold weather arrives with sales peaking around Christmas and spiking again during the annual guild parade … Read More...

Mole Rojo (Red Oaxacan Sauce)

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Travels around Mexico over the years introduced us to the wonderful world of mole. Moles are typically slightly thick, dried chili-based sauces. The term is also used for different dishes featuring the sauce. Regional varieties abound, as do individual recipes. Almost 2 years ago, I shared a recipe … Read More...

Oven-Roasted Ratatouille

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I adore ratatouille but, more often than not, am sorely disappointed when ordering it at a restaurant. Undercooked, overcooked, under seasoned, watery - you name it, I have paid for it.  I have much better luck in France but am only there a few times a year so have resorted to making my own.  Key, … Read More...

Korean Bibimbap

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Understanding the food of a culture is an essential ingredient to begin to understand the culture itself. Food reflects the history and geography of a region, group or nation.  Our first stop on any trip is usually a local market or a grocery store.  Wandering around the incredible markets in … Read More...

Kale, Fuyu Persimmon, Pomegranate and Roasted Squash Salad

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After living in Switzerland for almost six years, we decided it was time to phase out our time living abroad and settle someplace in the U.S.  Criteria included living near a major airport, great medical facilities (yes, we are getting older so this is important), access to a good-sized city, … Read More...

Cooking Chicken, Olive and Preserved Lemon Tagine in Marrakech

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On a recent trip to Morocco, we stayed at the wonderful boutique hotel, Dar Les Cigognes in Marrakech. This lovely, traditional hotel was featured on the fabulous TV series, Ottolenghi's Mediterranean Feast. The big draw of staying here was the opportunity afforded all guests of taking a private … Read More...

Custom-Made Swiss Wooden Cookie Molds

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Don't get me started on the topic of traditional cookie molds.  I could wax on for hours about the beauty, history, tradition, importance (in times gone by), the craft of the carvers, the skill of the bakers and of the varieties of the cookies themselves.  During my 6 years living in Switzerland, I … Read More...

Mom’s Kugelhopf/Gugelhupf

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In a previous post, I told the tale of the journey taken by my Grandmother's Gugelhupf pan. Then, in a follow-up post, I shared Grandma Landolt's beloved recipe.  A number of people have asked that I also share my mom's richer and denser recipe.  A printable version of hers can be found … Read More...

Grandma Landolt’s Kugelhopf (Gugelhupf)

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In an earlier post, I told the story of my beloved Kugelhopf/Gugelhupf pan.  It belonged to my Bavarian grandmother who brought the pan with her when she immigrated from Switzerland to Pennsylvania, U.S.A.  Her precious recipe (a printable version is at the bottom of this post), was an important … Read More...

The Tale Of My Gugelhupf (Kugelhopf) Pan

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Every childhood visit to my Swiss German grandparents in Pennsylvania was greeted by the smell of freshly-baked Gugelhupf. The taste and smell of this round, high-domed, dense, buttery, raisin-speckled cake baked in a decorative pan with a hole in the center penetrates every memory I have of … Read More...

Lamb Mhammer (Wedding Dish From Fez)

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One of the many highlights for us when traveling in Morocco, was visiting Fez.  We stayed at a beautiful, restored guesthouse located in the middle of the Medina, the carless and scooter-free old town.  Our phenomenal guesthouse, Riad Le Calife,  was steps from the winding and wonderful market (see … Read More...

The Making of Parmigiano-Reggiano D.O.C.

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  Parmigiano-Reggiano D.O.C.- what can I say?  One of the best hard cheeses on the planet.  Not the imitations sometimes labeled Parmesan or Italian Hard Cheese found in many grocery stores throughout the States and certainly not the appalling, grated, shelf-stable, tasteless stuff … Read More...