Monday, April 28, 2014

Zucchini Bits and Bites

Here they are not even in season yet but somehow I am very taken with zucchini these last weeks. First I found a wonderful recipe for a zucchini soup in Patricia Wells' new "French Kitchen Cookbook"  then the recipe for these Zucchini bites at G2Food, an inspirational, beautifully photographed English/Turkish foodblog. Somehow my bites look totally different and not half as elegant as the original ones, I guess I grated the zucchini far more coarsely - but boy, did they taste good!
 Rustic Zucchini Bites

PS: Now I know why my zucchini bites look so different - the original used just the white flesh leftover from a  stuffed zucchini recipe - if you want the whole story and to know the exact recipe have a look at the comments at G2Food.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


This is a contemporary Easter egg as seen at Peyrerol, our wonderful and far too tempting Patissier in Vaison la Romaine. I am not so sure where dolphins fit in at Easter but I guess the little bunny might just be too traditional for some....

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Another Berlin Foodie Hotspot: Markthalle IX

Every time I go to Berlin to visit my sister she shows me the newest gastronomic hotspot - last time it was the very best Chinese hotpot restaurant, this time Markthalle IX. Situated in Kreuzberg, the formerly poorest Berlin district that is fast evolving into hipster paradise, Markthalle IX is one of 13 market halls that were built in 1886 of which  four halls miraculously survived two world wars and efforts to gentrify Berlins most colorful and multi cultural district. And right now Markthalle IX (market hall number nine) is "the place to be on Thursday evenings". That is when "Street Food Thursday" takes place and the hall, on other days a regular market hall, is heaving with food stalls and visitors.

Here you can have a taste of street food from all over the world. The evening we were there American style BBQ was on offer (great brisket - yum!) and New York Reuben Sandwiches, British Pies, Spanish Empanadas, Russian Borscht and Swabian "Spätzle" noodles.

 These guys sold Fish 'n Chips

 People share tables and sometimes even their food

 Traditional Berlin Meatballs came not all that traditional

 in 4 different styles and with exotic ingredients

cooked and served by this cute young man

 Bernadette had wonderful Styrian pumkin seed oil and pesto on offer

 Great marketing and a fun location

 for the "washrooms"

 Wines from all over the world

 were sold for "beautiful drinking" by a wine shop called "Boozing"

and they also had one of those old fashioned photo booths in Markthalle IX - the very best souvenir of all!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Chinese for Beginners - a cooking class in Berlin

Somehow this blog has been digressing somewhat from Cuisine de Provence to more international fare which I promise will be rectified soon but not before I share two wonderful and absolutely to be recommended adresses and events with you. I do not quite remember how I happened to stumble upon Goldhahn & Sampson but when I read Deli plus Cookbook Shop plus Cooking Classes I knew this was an adress to investigate. 

Almost disappointingly normal from the outside, once you enter G&S you are in for a delightful experience. This Berlin deli stocks not only the "world's best liverwurst" (which my husband, the liverwurst expert wholeheartedly confirms) but teas, spices, chocolates, cheeses and wines from pretty much all over the world plus wonderful specialities you won't easily find in just any old cornershop.
And their cookbook shop! OMG! As a self confessed cookbook junky I really, really had to restrain myself. I don't think I have ever seen such a fabulous selection of cookbooks - many titles in English and most I'd never seen before. You could spend hours there browsing.

 The deli
 The bookshop

But as wonderful as all this is what we had come to Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg for was the cooking class. G&S offers different cooking classes and my sister and I had chosen "Chinese for Beginners". What can I say? This was one of the best and most generous cooking classes I have ever attended.  Lijuan Chen our delightful teacher and Giulia, her lovely assistent made sure we all learned how to prepare six authentic Chinese recipes while nibbling on Soya beans and drinking fabulous German Riesling. This was hands on cooking and we all learned a lot and had a lot of fun. If you go to Berlin and want to take a cooking class - check out Goldhahn und Sampson's Website and, if you are lucky you might just be able to catch one of Lijuan's classes. I do urge you to go!

 Mise en Place
 Our delightful teacher Lijuan Chen
 We learned how to prepare Jiaozi - dumplings filled with a fragrant beef and spice mixture

not all that easy to prepare them....

Steamed seabream with ginger and spring onions

A feast not only for the eyes - the class ended with a delicious dinner