Custom-Made Swiss Wooden Cookie Molds

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 was a […]

Grittibänz – Bake A Swiss St. Nicholas Day Treat

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 still put […]

Aachener Printen

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 bakers who produce […]

Making Paella At Home

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 Mediterranean, drinking cocktails at one of the may ocean-view bars […]

Mom’s Kugelhopf/Gugelhupf

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 below. For those of you […]

Grandma Landolt’s Kugelhopf (Gugelhupf)

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 reminder of her youth and family […]

The Tale Of My Gugelhupf (Kugelhopf) Pan

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 them. My grandmother was born and raised in […]

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

  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 packed in tubular cardboard packages.  I’m talking about the amazing cheese made […]

Savory Valais Cholera Tart

Cholera Tart or Cholera Cake (a hearty, savory dish consisting of a pastry shell packed with a dense filling) was, supposedly, developed in the Valais region of Switzerland in 1832 when the Cholera pandemic that was sweeping the world began taking its toll in that region. Seemingly healthy people were suddenly taken ill by this […]

Triätschnitte – Traditional Zürich Dessert

Triätschnitte is a traditional dish typically associated with Zürich, Switzerland.  Preparation involves a very strange method consistent between a recipe I found from 1892 and modern ones.  Stale bread slices are first dipped in a thick syrup made from water and sugar, coated with spiced sugar then baked before resting in a warm, sweet mulled red […]

Älpermagronen – Swiss Alp Farmer Macaroni, Potato and Cheese

One of the heartier dishes served in Switzerland, especially common at restaurants on hiking trails and at ski resorts, is Älpermagronen.  This rich pasta, potato and cheese dish is best topped with caramelized onions and accompanied by applesauce. Älper translates as Alps and Magronen was the Swiss German term for macaroni or pasta. Älpermagronen is said […]

Sandelholzläckerli – 200 Year Old Swiss Cookie Recipe

Every holiday season I make massive amounts of numerous varieties of classic European cookies along with marzipan creations and many different flavors of chocolate truffles. After sharing a platter of Christmas goodies with my husband’s Swiss colleague, she thanked me by sending a Christmas cookie recipe passed down through her family from her great, great, […]

Mom’s Sauerbraten

The great passion in both my professional and personal life is exploring and preserving family and regional food traditions.  One of the many family food legacies I treasure is Sauerbraten (sometimes called Suure Mocke in Switzerland),  meat marinated in vinegar and spices and then roasted.  This dish has always held a soft spot in my heart because it was […]

How Traditional Alsace Pottery Is Made in Soufflenheim

When I think of the fabulous cuisine of Alsace, I conjure up images of delicious, hearty dishes prepared and/or served in beautiful, colorful, locally-produced pottery.  Kugelhopf (yeast-induced, slightly sweet  cake baked in turban-shaped forms), onion and apple tarts, sauerkraut left to ferment in specifically-designed pots, terrines, garlicky snails nestled in half circle crevices on round plates, Lammala (sweet […]

Cooking A Wild Boar

Wild boar are native throughout Northern and Central Europe.  These impressive creatures can be quite destructive. While hiking with a friend who lives in Alsace, France, I was shown small huts set on stilts so hunters could see and shoot boar foraging in the middle of the tall crop fields.  Several months ago, I was […]