Lunch for Film Crew

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For all of those of you who don’t know yet (I suppose all of you), my partner is trying to get into the film business. He attended the right schools, dreamt appropriate dreams (well sort of) and is passionate about it. All he needed was a kick in the *youknowwhat*. That’s where I came in. And because like all beginners he is starting small, low-budget (actually broke) and with simple means, I decided to provide some lunch for those poor unpaid actors and helpers, sweating their socks off at 30° and being bitten to bits lying in anthills (yes, he sort of made them do that – no business like show business, right?).

Anyway, while they were out and about tackling their challenges, I was staying behind in my kitchen to prepare some goodies. To be honest, I didn’t think it would be that much work. If I had known… well I probably would have done it anyway. Or okay, maybe I would have prepared something the day before. Thankfully I got up as early as my filmmaker (this is really unusual especially for a Saturday morning) which allowed me to be finished just in time. Phew.

So let’s start with a refreshing cold soup (poor fellows needed to rehydrate one way or another):

Gazpacho

  • Servings: 5
  • Time: 20mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
1 red pepper
1/2 cucumber
4 tomatoes (big and fleshy ones)
1/2 onion
1 garlic glove
100g toast
3.5dl vegetable stock

Season and olive oil to taste

1. Cut the pepper, garlic, onion and tomatoes into pieces.
2. Seed and peel the cucumber and cut into pieces.
3. Pull the toast into pieces.
4. Then puree the ingredients including the vegetable stock and oil (if desired).
5. Allow to cool in a fridge until served.

You may have noticed that I didn’t take a picture of the end product of the gazpacho. Well there are two reasons for that. Number 1, my filmmaker took all the camera’s with him, so all I had was my Iphone. As you can see, the result is not quite as nice as with my Canon. And number 2 it just really doesn’t look that nice. Really, really not. But it is really, really tasty. I promise!

Next I thought I’ll make some classic sandwiches. They’re easy to make (yay for me), filling for the crew (yay for them) and most of all tasty (yay for all). Because I have a special ingredient – chutney! Oh yes I do. I yet have to make chutney myself, but whenever we are in either Ireland or England we get a jar and it never really lasts very long. For some reason we can’t find chutney here in Switzerland. I mean you can get mango chutney and that sort of stuff, but a nice ale or spicy savoury chutney is really a rare treat around here. And I find it goes ever so well with ham or cheese and then of course with all sorts of sandwiches!

Baguette Sandwiches

  • Servings: 5
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
4 baguettes
1 Pack of oven ham (or very smooth and tender ham)
a few radishes
chutney
40g cheese, sliced (I used mountain cheese but any will do)
mustard
butter for smearing
a bunch of rocket
brie
a few basil leaves
2 tomatoes
1 ball of mozzarella
balsamic vinegar

Caprese Baquette
1. Half one baguette lengthwise.
2. Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella and add for every slice of tomato a slice of mozzarella on top of one half. I dried some liquid off them first.
3. Distribute the basil leaves uncut over the tomato and mozzarella mix.
4. Drizzle ever so carefully the baslamic vinegar on top. It doesn’t need much, just a bit for the taste but not enough to drench the baguette.
5. Add the other half and cut the baguette into handy pieces.

Chutney Cheese and Ham Baguette
1. Half one baguette lengthwise.
2. Smear the bottom length with mustard and the other with butter.
3. Add the sliced radishes onto the bottom length.
4. Then add the ham onto the radishes and smear with chutney.
5. Place the sliced cheese and add the other half of the baguette on top and again cut into handy pieces.

Brie and Rocket Baguette
1. Half one baguette lengthwise.
2. Smear both pieces with butter.
3. Add the sliced brie onto the bottom length. Be very generous.
4. Smear chutney on top and decorate with a generous amount of rocket.
5. Place the other half of the baguette on top and again cut into handy pieces.

You have probably noticed that there is still one baguette to spare. This one I just cut in pieces first and used all the leftover ingredients I still had. And I still had enough for half a brie and half a ham sandwich left.

I thought that was already a decent lunch. But those people spend the whole morning running around the woods and town alike and it was a hot, hot day. I was sweating my hat off in the kitchen. To be fair, I did keep the door closed as I didn’t want the rest of the appartement to get hot, I think that might have been a mistake. And on top of this I was about to turn on the oven. So long story short, I made my first ever cupcakes. It really was a spur of the moment thing. Why not, right?

I found this recipe on the BBC recipe website. And it just looked so adorable. After I had a whole box of gooseberries in the fridge, this was meant to be!

Gooseberry Butterfly Cupcakes

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 45mins
  • Difficulty: easy-medium
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Ingredients for the cupcakes
110g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
100g caster sugar
2 eggs
75g natural yogurt
2 tbsp elderflower cordial
90g butter, melted and cooled
Pinch of salt

For the topping
170g gooseberries, topped and tailed
25g caster sugar
1/2 tbsp elderflower cordial
100g crème fraîche

1. Mix the flour, baking powder and sugar together in a bowl.
2. Beat the eggs, yogurt, elderflower cordial and melted and cooled butter together with a pinch of salt.
3. Stir the dry and wet ingredients together
4. Spoon into the prepared muffin tray

Preheat the oven to 180° and bake for 20 mins until risen and nicely browned.

1. Add the gooseberries with the sugar into a pan and simmer for 10 minutes. It’s ready when they have collapsed but still got some texture.
2. Stir in the elderflower cordial and leave to cool
3. Once cool, fold into the crème fraîche.
4. To serve, I cut the top bit of the cupcakes away and halfed it.
5. Then add the topping onto the cupcakes and place the piece you just cut away like a butterfly onto the topping.

Last but not least I preapared some iced tea. I just filled a pan with water and brought it to the boil. Then I added a teabag of Lady Grey and a apple tea with a good tablespoon of honey and mint leaves. I left it to absorb for about 15 minutes. Then removed the teabags and mint leaves and left to cool. I added ice and lemon pieces and left in the fridge until served. There are two pictures of the iced tea below.

So that’s what I am going to bring to Angie’s Fiesta Friday this week. I hope you’ll enjoy it and have some wonderful weekends or indeed holidays ahead of you! 🙂

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Red Berry Cake

I found this recipe in the most popular Swiss cooking magazine. Betty Bossi. It’s the kind of magazine (and books) my grandmother had already used and which has established itself as THE cooking and baking magazine in Switzerland. Founded in 1956, the idea is based on the American Betty Crocker, a free product magazine. And the funny thing is, when I lived in England some Swiss people I knew even imported it. It is that popular.

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So the reason for baking this cake is, that two girls I had worked with are now leaving for another post. I volunteered to bake something for their aperitif (that’s what we do here when someones is leaving, drinking and snacking) but they had already plenty in stock. So I just brought this to work yesterday – as a “last goodbye cake”. As sad as it is to see those two cheerful girls leaving, as happy I am to participate in yet another Fiesta Friday. It’s already number 25. Can you believe it? Time really flies and I’d like to thank Angie for being such a wonderful host. Every week I look forward to the tasty dishes my fellow bloggers showcase. It’s a feast! If you don’t know what I am talking about, you ought to pop over to the Novice Gardener’s blog and have a look yourself. You won’t regret it. I promise!

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Red Berry Cake

  • Servings: 16
  • Time: 1h30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:
200g soft butter
200g sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs
2 tbsp lemon juice
200g flour
100g grounded almonds
1 tsp baking powder
270g redcurrants
105g raspberries

1. Combine butter, sugar and salt.
2. Mix one egg after another into the mixture.
3. Add the lemon juice.
4. Add flour, almonds and baking powder and mix well.
5. Add the berries and mix carefully.
6. Add the batter into the baking tin.

Place in the preheated oven at 180° for about an hour.

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I must say, they cake was fantastic. It’s moist and refreshing and it makes the most of all the fantastic summer goodness that is available right now. When it is sweltering hot outside, the last thing I want to eat is a filling, dense cake or even worse, something hot! I just can’t bear it. To be honest, I believe I was mixed up as a baby. I am definitely a child of the north (Winter is coming)! Autumn and Spring? Yes, please!

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Peach and Honey Mini Bundt Cakes

It’s been raining here for over a week non-stop. It doesn’t bother me, OH NO, but it does set me into a autumn/winter mood. I had to be careful not to bake any Christmas treats in the last couple of days. So I forced myself for something summer calls for. And I’ve found these lovely Peach and Honey Bundt Cakes on Fräulein Cupcake‘s Blog. I have altered them ever so slightly and I think they taste delicious.

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Peach and Honey Mini Bundt Cakes

  • Servings: 15
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
35g melted butter
15g caster sugar
18g honey
1/2 tsp vanilla sugar
1 tbsp rum
1 egg
30g all-purpose four
10g grounded almonds
60g peaches

1. Mix the first five ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Add the egg and mix well.
3. Purée 25g of the peach and cut the other 25g into tiny pieces.
4. Add the flour and almonds, mix well.
6. Now add the purée and the the small pieces of peach and mix again.
7. Fill the tin with the mixture.

Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven at 210°.

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The original recipe was a bit too nutty for my taste, so I replace some nuts with flour and added more Peach. It really is wonderfully satisfying coming home from a long day at word and mushing up a Peach. 🙂 I can only recommend it!

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I shall bring these little treats to Fiesta Friday which Angie is hosting. Thanks again Angie. You are such a wonderful host.

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Semolina Pudding

Actually I wanted to conclude my British Weeks today with some Banoffee Pie. Good idea, you say? Well yes, but I had forgotten that I’ve never made this before and yes – it was catastrophic. I just wasn’t able to produce any caramel. And since it is very warm today, I gave up after the second attempt. There you go. So I shall forfeit the British Weeks for now. But I will come back and share the Banoffee Pie recipe once I am able to do it. 🙂

Instead I made some semolina Pudding. Do you know what semolina pudding is? Whilst cooking it up, I was wondering how known this pudding is in the big wide world. Here in Switzerland it’s a rather old-fashioned treat. You know, one that our grand-mothers used to make. But I still love it. It is somewhat similar to porridge, but instead of being eaten hot, it’s cooled down in the fridge first (at least my version), which allows it to set into fantastic shapes. And since it’s summer and really hot outside a cool treat is just what we need.

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Semolina Pudding

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 1hmins
  • Difficulty: easy
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For the pudding:
0.75dl milk
1/2 vanilla pod
75g semolina
30g sultana
a pinch of salt

For the raspberry sauce:
75g raspberries
a pinch of sugar
a bit of water

1. Bring the milk and the vanilla pod to the boil.
2. Add the salt.
3. Add the semolina and keep stirring on a low heat for about 20 minutes.
4. Add the sultanas.
5. Pour the mixture into cold dishes and place in the fridge. I always use our coffee mugs.
6. Once the mixture has set you can tip the pudding onto a plate. You might have to shake it a bit.
7. In the meantime place the raspberries, sugar and water in a pan and heat up. Make sure the sugar is dissolved.

Pour the raspberry sauce over the pudding and enjoy!


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Traditionally this pudding is served with anything from cordial maple leaf syrup being poured over it or simply accompanied by some fruit. But since it’s summer and there is an abundance of raspberries in my parents garden (yes, I always steal their fruit), I shall use raspberries. To make it sauce like, I heat the raspberries in a saucepan, adding a sip of water and let it simmer for a few minutes. If you like it sweet, you can add some sugar, but I like it just as it is. I’m telling you, hot berries and a cold semolina pudding – delish!

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I would even go as far as to call this dessert healthy. I mean there is hardly any sugar in it. If you’re not gluten or lactose intolerant, there is nothing wrong with this treat. Specially the fruits give it such a sweet flavour without overloading the dish with artificial sweeteners. Thumbs up from me anyway.

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I shall bring these dessert treats to Angies Fiesta Friday #23 (thanks Angie for being such a great host). I know, Friday is way past. But as usual I am late. C’est la vie, right?

Elderflower Liquor for Fiesta Friday #19

Last Friday was Fiesta Friday, how could I forget? To be honest, we had a National Holiday here in Switzerland on Thursday. So my excuse is, the days just melted into each other until Monday came along. But now I’ve got my bearings back for the next challenge.

Despite my confusion, I had plenty of time to bake and shake last weekend. And because it was a long one, and because it was a Bank holiday, and because that’s just what everybody should do.. I made some liquor. Well, yes… just because.

At the moment elderflower is in bloom everywhere around here and – shame o shame – no one seems to be using these wonderful tasty heads for their cooking, baking or drinks. What a shame indeed. So, I went and raided my parents neighbours plant on Thursday. I am sure they don’t mind, specially because I put a small bottle of liquor aside for them. I can tell you, we had such a lovely smell in the apartement for a few days. Sweet, sweet elderflower everywhere. I just love it.

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So what could be more fitting than brining this wonderful smell and tasty drink to a party? I can’t think of much, but yes, that might just be me. This is incredibly simple to make, I promise!

Ooo and you know what? Today is also my birthday. So another reason to get a wee bit of a drink out and celebrate. Specially since the day promises to be bright and warm. Barbeque, anyone? 🙂

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Elderflower Liquor

  • Servings: a lot, see all my bottles
  • Time: 12h 15mins
  • Difficulty: super easy
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Ingredients
10 elderflower heads
750ml water
1/2 juice of half a lemon
700ml wodka or schnaps (I used schnaps)
250g granulated sugar

1. Clean the elderflower buds with water or shake to get rid of insects.
2. Combine the water and the lemon juice.
3. Add the elderflower heads and let them soak for 12 hours or longer.
4. Strain through clean fine muslin cloth or a fine-meshed sieve into a clean bowl
5. Add the wodka or schnaps and mix well.
6. Just pour into bottles and done!

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I think I might just take the rest of the day off, put my feet on the table (yes I do that sometimes), cut a big hole into a wonderful cake, get the lounge chair out (that’s just who I am) and relax. Sounds good to me.

So Happy Fiesta Friday and cheers everyone!

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