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 […]

Sancocho

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 a batch of […]

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

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 Sechseläuten (or Sächsilüüte).  They have variously been called Tirggel, Türggeli and Dirggeli. […]

Korean Bibimbap

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 Morocco, Japan, Spain, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, […]

Cooking Chicken, Olive and Preserved Lemon Tagine in Marrakech

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 traditional Moroccan foods cooking class in the small […]

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 […]

Lamb Mhammer (Wedding Dish From Fez)

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 previous post with photographs of the […]

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 […]

Pumpkin Seed, Chicken, Pork and Hominy Pozole

Living in Switzerland has made finding authentic Mexican food a bit of a challenge.  When cravings hit, I make my own.  Two weeks ago, we purchased a home in Northern California surrounded by both large and small Mexican restaurants.  We are in Mexican cuisine heaven.  That said, I still plan to make an effort to […]

Images of the Souk in Fez, Morocco

Visiting traditional Berber and Arabic markets, known as souq (or souk), when in Morocco is usually a must for most travelers. We spent hours and days exploring as many as possible, including the walled, maze-like labyrinth medina (old town) markets in Marrakech and Fez as well as venturing to an incredible weekly Berber market held […]

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 […]

Reuben’s Bacon Recipe

Whether you are a strict vegan or a devout omnivore, everyone should know where their food comes from.  Five year old Reuben Burgess from Arnaudville, Louisiana certainly demonstrates that he does and allowed me to share his recipe for bacon.  His mom, musician and violin maker extraordinaire, Anya Burgess, also gave her permission.  Needless to say, there will […]

Mardi Gras King Cake

It’s Mardi Gras time!!  I love, love this festival.  I have spent many happy times in Louisiana at celebrations in the city of Lafayette and in rural Cajun country.  I cannot express how much I love the traditions of Courir de Mardi Gras passed down generations in the prairie regions of Cajun country. A description […]

Basler Fasnacht Mehlsuppe – Swiss Carnival Soup

  When I lived in the U.S., I would head down to Cajun country in Louisiana to attend the eye-popping parades normally associated with New Orleans as well participate in the very traditional (and little known) rural celebrations out in the countryside such as the Courir de Mardi Gras in Eunice where we would don […]

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, […]