Happy New Year & welcome, 2016! May it be a year filled with light, love and lots of good food for you. They say you can make new year’s wishes until the 6th in Switzerland, so I guess I’m still on schedule. We celebrated NYE with a couple of friends in our home with a dinner party. We served something very common and traditional on Holidays (Christmas and NY) in Switzerland: Fondue Chinoise.

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From the safety and peace of my couch, I am now already looking back on two fabulous Christmas dinners. Going through the pictures now, I can’t help but marvel at the beauty of it all. The chats, the laughter, the loud children’s voices, the merrymaking, the food (oh, blissful food) the decoration, the presents (not by the tree but by the amaryllis bouquet, second best option), the lights everywhere, and the wonderful smell coming from expensive scented candles, baked cookies, glühwein, roasted turkeys, tinsel, tree trimmings, wreaths, fireplaces… Part of me wishes this season would never pass… But, shat do they say…? Continue reading

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Incredible how fast time goes by… I’ve been meaning to get into Holiday Baking much earlier, but life got in the way. December… Gotta love this season! So many plans, so little time. As it turns out, this Sunday was the first opportunity to simply bake something (not strictly necessary).

So I got into the kitchen, armed with dozens of room temperature eggs and butter. I started with confidence, whipping egg whites and melting chocolate. Slightly smugly, I told my love today – while everything was running smoothly – that baking is fabulous, because you grow every time and with every experience you get better. It’s like a steep learning curve. Every hour spend swinging the spatula brings you closer to patissière stardom!

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Last weekend I was in a bit of a cooking (and eating…) daze, all the time. We had our parents visiting for lunch on Saturday, which means we were prepping well into Friday night (or Saturday morning, if you like). I love to host guests for a festive, pre-christmas get-together, well before the actual Holiday craze (see for example our “Friendsmas” from two years ago). It’s the best opportunity to celebrate in peace and quiet (which, at least to me it feels like that) gets more and more difficult with approaching the end of the year… So we spoilt our guests. The menu was…
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How does “Two Turkey Thanksgiving” sound to you…? Our friends hosted their annual Thanksgiving fête last Sunday, and because their guest list is ever growing, two turkeys had to be made. So Günther (the 10th!) was joined by Hildegard (the 1st). And I, as the closest (geographically) and their neighbor, had the honor to roast one, in my own oven. Since J’s turkey creation is already world-famous and well-loved – especially the stuffing – I had to come up with something different for birdie Hildegard…

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You darlings! I have to thank you for that overwhelming response to the design of the site and also the giveaway (still running until tomorrow, so make sure to enter a comment below the post). I would have never dreamed in my wildest dreams that anyone would be interested in receiving mail from me, but it appears you are! The comments from all over the world, the holiday greetings, the love and even the poems (yes!) are so sweet to read and they make my day and probably my week. And all the hot chocolate ideas… So fun! So, thank you, dears, you are awesome.

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Ever since I had the first (proper) hot chocolate (memory) from real, melted chocolate (and, quite needless to say, not just from powder), I was hooked. There was no going back. I used to sip on such a rich, “real” chocolat chaud in the beautiful town of Aixe en Provence, in the South of France, during our family vacations. It was served at our favorite tea and chocolate place (that, sadly, now doesn’t exist anymore). It was a little bit decadent, but just the right amount. Mostly, it was just heaven on earth. You could maybe, with a little bit of practice, drink 2 or even 3 cups. But really, after one, you’d be full. Sugar coma, ahoi! You could just as well eat a whole menu of starters, main with steak & frites and an ice cream dessert instead. But the fasting (before and after) was so worth it.

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Darlings,

I am most excited to announce the new and shiny version of F&F! I’ve been working on bringing the new site to you for the past couple of weeks (and months), and today it’s as ready as it will always be to show you. You’re going to find your way around, I’m convinced. Just browse a bit and get used to everything new (hey, mom, I know you’re reluctant, fingers crossed you’ll be a convert soon!). New, for example, is the “slider” (tech language, I was taught) on top, where I’ll be showing you my (seasonal) Favorites. Currently: my favorite wintery & Holiday inspired dishes, from hearty, warming soups to my favorite christmassy cookies (trees, you guys!).  Continue reading

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