Posted by Carole

Are you a lover of Asian food and its subtle flavours?

Then keep on reading because today I want to tell you about Andaliman pepper, also known as Batak Berry, a much loved condiment from Indonesia, which I discovered a few months ago and I now cannot live with!


Andaliman pepper boasts delightful citrus and fruity flavours that perfume any dish beautifully and give it that “Asian twist” I’ve been looking for for so long but couldn’t get right. It’s as exotic as the Chinese Szechuan pepper but a lot less numbing and therefore it can safely be added to dishes while being sure the results will be flavourful yet subtle!

Andaliman pepper can be used in so many different ways too… crushed and sprinkled on food, in marinades, sauces and curries and is ideal to beautify fish, seafood and poultry dishes.

No need to say Batak berries have brought extra flavours to my kitchen and will continue to do so for a long time as I cannot get tired of this wonderful taste, however there is one dish that this exotic pepper has completely changed for me and as simple as it seems… it is rice!

As an Asian food lover, I’ve tried so many times to re-create the unique flavours of rice I had tried while traveling or at my local Thai restaurant but I could never get it right. I added lemongrass, ginger, coconut milk but something was still missing until I discovered Andaliman pepper!

So let me give you my recipe for a flavourful rice that you can enjoy with many dishes or on its own as it’s just so tasty!

I also want to apologize if you’re from anywhere in Asia and think this recipe doesn’t come close to your rich culinary traditions and that “Asian food’ doesn’t mean much as each country has its specialities (I fully agree!) but my only intention is to share my love for food and flavours!

Ingredients for 2 to 4 portions

  • 200 g of Basmati or Thai jasmine rice
  • 375 ml of water
  • 2 table spoons of coconut oil
  • 1 stem of lemongrass, outer leaves removed, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed Batak berries/Andaliman pepper
  • A pinch of salt

Chop the lemongrass and ginger and crush the Batak berries in a mortar. Place the rice into a colander and rinse 2 to 3 times then reserve.

Pour the coconut oil into a large pot over medium to high heat then add the rice and let it cook for half a minute until the grains turn a more solid white colour. Stir to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Add the chopped lemongrass, ginger, crushed Batak berries and salt to the pot and stir then add the water and place a lid on top of your pot.

Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a gentle simmer and let cook for 15 minutes without lifting the lid. When the time is over, turn the heat off and keep the lid on for another 10 minutes.

Serve and enjoy that fragrant rice!

More recipes with Batak Berry are coming soon on this blog… so stay tuned and try to get your hand on this beautiful condiment… maybe here (US), here (UK) or here (CH)

Thank you for reading! Like, comment, subscribe if you like this blog!



Posted by Carole

It’s summer time in Europe and what better way to enjoy the warm weather than what we call “l’appéro” in France, a special moment before dinner where everybody is sipping on a drink and feasting on tasty snacks.

As enjoyable as it is, l’appéro is not the healthiest eating habit as it often involves caloric drinks and food – hello spritz and crisps!

So today I want to give you a skinny beetroot mousse recipe that is extremely easy and quick to prepare (no more than 2 minutes!) while being a healthier snacking option than pretzels, cheese biscuits or charcuterie! It’s also a stylish “amuse-bouche” that will add some colour to your aperitif and change from the usual carrot and celery sticks.


  • Cooked beetroots
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cucumber

Dice the beetroot in cubes, add the grapeseed oil and balsamic vinegar (approximately one table spoon per beetroot), the salt and pepper and blend until you obtain a creamy texture, then pour it in shot glasses.

Dice some cucumber in small cubes (or slice it) and place on top of your beetroot mousse, add some pepper and serve very cold.

Tip: For a creamier and more savoury snack, you can add goat’s cheese to your preparation and sprinkle goat’s cheese and pistachios crumbles on top of your mousse.

Thank you for reading and bon appétit!


Posted by Carole

Last week, my boyfriend had one of those difficult days at work and I could feel is frustration and disappointment as we exchanged a few messages on WhatsApp during his lunch break. He had spent hours in counter-productive meetings with people going back on their promises and he just felt like all the hard work he had done over the past few weeks was pointless and leading nowhere. Pretty depressing feeling everyone who as ever mingle with the corporate world knows too well!

I really wanted to do something to help him feel better but wasn’t sure what could brighten up his day until I told him I was going to cook him French crêpes for dinner. A simple suggestion that came to my mind out of nowhere but that worked wonder! His mood completely turned from sadness to excitation, just like a kid who got told he was going on holiday at Disneyland!

I know he loves French crêpes but I didn’t expect him to react this positively however when I think about it, it makes total sense! In France, sugary crêpes are associated with childhood, celebration and rewarding good behaviour. Kids love the taste and smell of crêpes and love even more to fill their crêpes with the sugary condiments and jams of their choice – chocolate paste is always THE favourite though!

So today I want to give you a very simple recipe for sugary French crêpes so you can too delight and/or lift the mood of your loved ones when they are in need of some TLC.

Ingredients for 18 medium sized crêpes

  • 100 g of plain flour
  • 2 table spoons of cornstarch
  • 2 table spoons of casted sugar
  • 1 sachet of vanilla sugar
  • 1 sachet of baking powder
  • 2 table spoons of sunflower oil (use a tasteless oil)
  • 60 g of unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 glasses of water or semi-skimmed milk
  • A pinch of salt

In a large bowl, mix the flour, cornstarch and baking powder.

Form a hole in the middle of the bowl and add the salt, oil, casted and vanilla sugar and the eggs.

Pour a small quantity of water or milk on top and gently incorporate the flour, cornstarch and baking powder to the other ingredients using the tips of your fingers. Keep adding water or milk in small quantities until the preparation is smooth and liquid enough to be poured in a pan – the preparation should be quite liquid as French crêpes should be very thin, contrary to pancakes!


Cover the bowl with a towel and reserve for one to two hours.

Heat a frying pan (there are pans specially made for this purpose but the thinner it is, the better) and add a small knob of butter. When hot, pour some of the preparation into the pan making sure it covers the entire surface in a thin layer (remember the thinner, the better!)


Using a spatula, gently lift your crêpe to check if it looks nice and golden on the down side then flip it over to cook the other side.

Add a small knob of butter to your frying pan between each crêpe.

Serve your crêpes hot and offer a selection of sugary condiments to your guests such as

  • Chocolate paste
  • Jams
  • Caster sugar and lemon juice
  • Salted butter and caramel
  • Freshly cut fruits (kiwi fruit, orange, apple, banana)
  • Mapple syrup

Tip: You can replace the baking powder + water or milk by two glasses of bier!

Thank you for reading and Bon Appétit!


Quinoa Salad lunch to get you going until dinner

Posted by Carole

Summer is definitely here (yes!!) and the heat makes you crave for a light and fresh salad for lunch… the only problem is that a salad might leave you starving by 4pm!

That’s why today, I want to give you a Quinoa Salad recipe I’m eating on a regular basis, which, on top of being super easy to prepare and a delight for the taste buds, is also very nutritious and should get you going until dinner… and serenely stay away from not-so-healthy late-afternoon snacks.

And it’s all thanks to quinoa; a “king ingredient” high in protein and fiber, packed with nutrients that are good for you (iron, magnesium, manganese to name a few) but with a low glycemic index helping your metabolism to stay up and running for a while.


  • One portion of cooked quinoa
  • Coconut oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Soy sauce
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • Fresh Basil
  • Spirulina or curcuma powder
  • Roasted sesame grains or roasted sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper

Pour the quinoa (previously cooked) in a large mixing bowl.

Add a table spoon of coconut oil and stir well then add approximately 4 table spoons of lemon juice, 1 table spoon of soy sauce, 2 table spoons of balsamic vinegar, a pinch of salt and pepper and stir.

Add 2 tea spoons of spirulina or curcuma powder (depending on your mood and needs) to the quinoa and stir well once again. Reserve.

Wash and halve the cherry tomatoes, slice some fresh basil and sprinkle on top of the tomatoes along with a tea spoon of balsamic vinegar and a pinch of sea salt, mix the all with your fingers directly on your chopping board.

Plate your quinoa and add the seasoned tomatoes on top, sprinkle a few grains of roasted sesame on your dish (or a few drops of roasted sesame oil if you don’t have grains) and serve!

Tip: You can incorporate avocado, beetroot or celery to your quinoa salad, the possibilities are countless!

I also like to sprinkle freshly chopped ginger to my dish to add a little kick and additional freshness.

Bon appétit!


Thanks for reading! Like and leave a comment below if you enjoyed reading this article!



Cooking From Scratch Made Easy

Posted by Carole

You know it already; banning ready-meals and cooking from scratch is the path to a healthy and glowy version of yourself but then there is reality…. and it’s easier to say ‘hey, when you come home late tonight you’ll have to wash and peel that veggies, chop and cook them and one hour later you’ll be free to finally sit down & eat and enjoy a nice moment with your loved ones… or your Netflix!” than to actually do it!

It’s true but think about it… What takes a lot of time when cooking is the preparation, namely all the washing, peeling and chopping of vegetables. Once they’re in the pan cooking you have a bit more time to yourself, only keeping an eye on the fire from time to time. And for this reason I totally understand why you wouldn’t want to go through all this when you’re exhausted or just can’t be bothered. Totally agree! I’m the same and very often cowardly simplify my meals so they don’t involve too much peeling and chopping.

But the good news is that there are some very simple tricks to help you cook from scratch on a daily basis and here they are:

  1. Freeze your veggies!


Twice a month I buy large amounts of vegetables such as peppers, carrots, zucchini, eggplants to name a few and take advantage of a quiet Sunday afternoon to prep and freeze them. It’s easily done and actually quite an enjoyable task if you put some music on and maybe enjoy a little glass of wine to help you go through the chore!

All you have to do is wash and dry your veggies, peel if required and chopped them the size that is the more convenient (slicing is usually a good option) then store them in freezing bags, making sure each bag will correspond to a portion you will need for a future meal so all you’ll have to do later in the week is to take a bag out of the freezer to defrost rather than trying to separate a frozen bloc of sliced carrots.

You can also prepare bags containing a mix of vegetables like green beans, zucchinis and eggplants so you’re ready to cook a lovely and colourful “poêllée” one evening.

I know it sounds like a very obvious thing to do but believe me it will make a difference and help you enjoy healthy veggies a lot more often but also make your meals more varied! The only thing you have to remember is to defrost a portion well in advance if you don’t have a microwave with a defrosting function.

And yes, you can buy frozen veggies in the supermarket but by preparing them yourselves you’ll make sure to opt for the healthiest, tastiest and cheapest option!

  1. Freeze your meat and fish


The same applies to meat and fish of course! You can cut, season and prepare them in advance and freeze them in convenient portions for future meals. Then it’s only a cooking job that awaits!

  1. Non-processed canned and jarred food


Non-processed canned or jarred ingredients such as corn, asparagus, chickpeas or beans are very useful ingredients you should always have in your cupboards.

They are cheap to buy, can be preserved for a long time, are relatively healthy (I insist that I’m not talking about processed and seasoned canned or jarred food of course!) and are an easy way to accompany or complete a dish.

Think about a nice tomato salad, add canned corn and jarred asparagus tips, a couple of boiled eggs and a nice vinaigrette on top and you have yourself a perfectly good and filing meal to enjoy.

  1. Quinoa, rice, pasta….


Remember that those only take a few minutes to cook and that a freshly made pasta dish is way better than a processed pasta ready-meal.

The Twinnie and I will give you some delicious yet healthy and easy to make rice and pasta recipes very soon so stay tuned!

Veggies bags ready to be frozen!

Thanks for reading! Like and leave a comment below if you enjoy reading this article and would like to share your cooking tips with us!



Velvety Chocolate Mousse

Posted by Carole

Pleasure is good for the mood and the body and we should allow ourselves to enjoy things we like on regular basis even if it’s a yummy dessert that is not necessarily good for our figure. Can you imagine a life where you only eat chia seeds, salad and an apple for desert? I personally can’t and don’t even want to! So today I’ll give you a recipe for one dreamy chocolatey dessert: a Chocolate Mousse, which has nothing to do with a buy-it-ready mousse!

Indeed, if you’re going to indulge in a dessert you’d better prepare it yourself and here’s why

  1. There will only be natural ingredients in your recipe making it a much healthier option
  2. You’ll be able to control the amount of fat and sugar in your preparation
  3. You’ll feel proud about yourself and will make your entourage happy and grateful
  4. Last but not least, your dessert will taste so much better, I guarantee you that!

I also need to add that this chocolate mousse is a very easy and quick dessert to prepare (15 minutes max), like any other recipes suggested on this blog because we’re all about enjoyment and pleasure!

Ingredients for 4 portions

  • 75 g of dark chocolate
  • 75 g of caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • A pinch of salt
  1. Heat a pan on low heat and add the chocolate and 2 table spoons of water. Stir with a wooden spoon until the chocolate is melted and smooth then remove from the heat.
  2. Separate the egg yolks and egg whites and reserve.
  3. Add the egg yolks one by one to the melted chocolate and keep whisking until the preparation is smooth and velvety.
  4. In a large bowl add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and whisk until they form stiff peaks.
  5. When the egg whites are very firm, add the sugar and gently blend then add the chocolate and mix carefully to keep the firmness of the whisked egg whites intact.
  6. Place in the refrigerator before eating as the mousse is best served cold!

Tip: Use a syphon to give a cloud-like texture to your mousse or serve as is if you enjoy your mousse creamy and unctuous.

Tip 2: Add half of shot of expresso to your preparation to enhance the chocolatey flavor or the zest of an orange for a fruity kick!


Thanks for reading! Like and leave a comment below if you enjoyed reading this article and if you would like to share your own recipes with us!


Easy Veggie & Tofu Recipe

This dish is my kind of recipe: tasty, healthy, quick and it does not require many ingredients! It is actually ridiculously easy to put together and a real life saver if you have limited time on your hands for a quick lunch break at home or if you just fancy a light dinner.


Cooking time: no more than 20 minutes!

Ingredients for 2 people: 2 yellow bell peppers, 2 medium tomatoes, a small bunch of flat parsley, 200g tofu, salt, pepper, olive oil and some lime juice

  • Prep your veggies: wash and dry your peppers, tomatoes and parsley before chopping them
  • Place your frying pan over a high heat and fry your tofu until golden and crisp in olive oil, then take it out of the pan and set aside
  • Add the chopped peppers to your pan and lower to a medium heat, cover and let the peppers soften for 5 minutes
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and parsley in to your pan and cover for another 5 minutes
  • Season to taste by adding salt, pepper and lime juice
  • Toss the fried tofu in to the veggies for a couple of minutes
  • Et voila! Plate up and eat straight away!




Please like or leave a comment below if you enjoyed reading this article and if you would like to share your own cooking tips with us!


Super Healthy Cooked Tomatoes

Posted by Carole

You’re already aware that tomatoes are good for you but did you know that cooking a tomato rather than eating it raw boosts it’s antioxidant properties and makes it even better for your body?

Indeed, tomatoes are a great source of lycopene, which gives tomatoes their distinctive red color but also has significant antioxidant properties known for reducing the risk of heart diseases and certain types of cancer and it’s been proved that cooking increases lycopene level in tomatoes, making them even better for you (two minutes cooking is enough to boost antioxidants level by 28 %)

There are many ways to enjoy cooked tomatoes beyond the traditional Bolognese sauce and here are two very simple and quick recipes to benefit from this very good news.

Pan-fried cherry tomatoes

Pan-fried cherry tomatoes are perfect to accompany any meat, especially grilled meats such as beef ribs or lamb chops or to beautify salad and pasta dishes.


Ingredients for one portion:

  • 6 ripe cherry tomatoes
  • One generous table spoon of olive oil (quality oil is worth the investment)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Aromatic herbs or condiments of your liking such as fresh basil, thyme, garlic, parmesan cheese or even turmeric powder – you’re free to experiment!

Wash and dry the cherry tomatoes then halve them.

Keep the tomatoes on your chopping board and drizzle olive oil onto them, add some chiseled basil and mix the all with your fingers to make sure the tomatoes are evenly covered in oil.

Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat and dispose the olive oil & basil coated tomatoes into the pan face down/skin up then let fry for 4 minutes until golden. Turn the tomatoes face up/skin down and let fry for another 4 minutes making sure to reduce the heat to low to prevent the tomatoes’ skin from burning.

Add some pepper and salt then serve!

Tip: Drizzle some balsamic vinegar onto your tomatoes to give your dish a little kick!

Oven-roasted tomatoes

Like pan-fried cherry tomatoes, these make the perfect side-dish to grilled meat or fish and give a very sophisticated look to your plates. And the recipe is even easier!


Ingredients for one portion:

  • 2 ripe tomatoes (there are many varieties to try so have fun!)
  • One generous table spoon of olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Aromatic herbs or condiments of your liking

Heat oven to 160°C

Wash and dry the tomatoes then halve them. Keep the tomatoes on your chopping board and drizzle olive oil onto them, add some chiseled basil and mix the all with your fingers to make sure the tomatoes are evenly covered in oil.

Place the tomatoes face up/skin down on a baking sheet or baking tray covered with baking paper.

Tip: Pour some breadcrumbs on your tomatoes before heating them. Breadcrumbs will absorb any water surplus and give a beautiful crispiness to your dish!

Let roast for 45 minutes, add some pepper and salt then serve!

Bon appétit!

Good to know: Did you know that tomatoes also have astringent properties and drinking tomato juice can help reduce sweating? I guess it’s interesting news for those suffering from excessive sweating!

Thanks for reading! Like and leave a comment below if you enjoyed reading this article and if you would like to share your cooking tips with us!


Frozen Avocado

Posted by Carole

Pictures of avocado toasts have invaded Instagram and for a good reason. Avocado is one of the most affordable super food you can find out there and it tastes delicious! Win-win situation!

And because it is Oh-so-trendy, I won’t tell you more about the benefits of avocado in this blog or what you can make with it – smoothie, toast, salad, guacamole etc. I’m sure you’ve heard it all already!

However, there is one thing I’ve learnt while doing some researches on the benefits of freezing food that I never suspected and it is that you can actually freeze avocados! What a delightful news, right?!

To me, it means:

  1. You can say good-bye to food waste as, if you’re like me, you have to throw away your avocados as soon they are a bit too ripe and take on that brownish mushy texture that makes me shiver!
  2. It is the perfect way to easily incorporate avocados to your early-morning smoothies without leaving a green mess on your chopping board, which you know will be waiting for you all day for a good scrubbing session. Lovely!

So without further ado, let’s get started and learn how to freeze avocados!

Option 1 – Frozen avocado puree

Most foodies say puree is the best way to freeze avocados so here’s how to proceed:

  1. Choose ripe avocados and wash them with clear water or soap and water.
  2. Cut each avocado in half around the seed and twist gently to open. Lift out the seed using your fingers or a teaspoon then peel off the skin.
  3. Cut the avocados in large chunks then blend with a food processor or use a fork to smash the chunks into a smooth paste. Add a tablespoon of lemon or lime juice for each avocado to avoid the paste turning brown.
  4. Place the puree into zipper-style freezer bags or freezer containers then freeze!

Tip: You can also freeze your avocado puree in ice cube trays to create cubes that can be easily added to your morning smoothies.


Option 2 – Frozen avocado chunks

You can also freeze your avocados as chunks or slices:

  1. Choose ripe avocados and wash them with clear water or soap and water.
  2. Cut each avocado in half around the seed and twist gently to open. Lift out the seed using your fingers or a teaspoon then peel off the skin.
  3. Slice the avocados in chunks, line them on a tray and sprinkle with lemon or lime juice then place into the freezer.
  4. When the chunks are frozen, place tem into  zipper-style freezer bags or freezer containers then freeze!

To thaw frozen avocado, place freezer bags or containers in cold water for a couple of hours or thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Use frozen avocado puree or chunks within four months for the tastiest result!

Please like or leave a comment below if you enjoyed reading this article and if you would like to share your own cooking tips with the Frinnies community!


Easy & Dreamy Cheese Omelette

Posted by Carole

I know it’s easy to heat that ‘ready in 2 minutes’ meal from the supermarket or grab a take-away at your fav Thai restaurant when you come home late from work and can’t be bothered… And actually it’s perfectly okay to indulge in a take-away from time to time but ready-meals? Really? Nope!

Ready-meals are the absolute NO GO as they are full of dirty and harmful ingredients and let’s face it, they’re not even tasty!

The good news is that you can easily cook yourself super yummy meals that are good for your body and your soul (let’s face it, we all feel guilty and gross when we finish that greasy ready-meal that wasn’t even good) and Foodie Tuesday is the day when the Twinnie and I give you recipes and tricks to achieve this, starting today!

One of your best allies to achieve that “cooking from scratch policy” I keep blabbering about is… the egg! You can cook so many things with eggs that they are one of the key ingredients you should always have in your kitchen and today I’m giving you the recipe for a creamy cheese omelette ready in less than 10 minutes and low in calories too (less than 200 calories, depending on the amount of cheese you use of course!)

On top of being very easy and quick to cook, omelette is also a very versatile recipe that you can marry with any kind of ingredients of your liking such as cheese of course but also vegetables, mushrooms, meat and even tuna and it can also be seasoned with many aromatic herbs and powders.

So let’s go and make yourself a scrumptious cheese omelette and here’s what you need – not much you’ll see!

Ingredients for one portion

  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 1 small knob of butter
  • A dash of milk
  • 1 small handful of grated Cheddar cheese
  • Salt, pepper and nutmeg

And here’s how to proceed to make that creamy omelette

  1. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl, add the milk, a pinch of salt, black pepper and nutmeg. Stir well with a fork or whip so the preparation becomes smooth and airy.
  2. Heat a small knob of butter in a small frying pan on a low heat. Once the butter is bubbling and sizzling, make sure the entire surface of the pan is butter coated and add your preparation, tilt the pan to spread it out evenly.
  3. When the eggs begin to firm up, use a spatula to gently spread the mixture away from the edges and into the middle.
  4. Let settle for another minute until the eggs are cooked but still a bit runny in the middle and sprinkle over the cheese. Note that you can also add the cheese in your egg mixture during step 1 for a slightly different way to enjoy this cheesy delight.
  5. Tilt the pan to one side and use the spatula to fold your omelette over in half. When it turns a nice golden colour, remove your pan from the heat and tilt it to slide your omelette on to a plate.

And you’re done! Your omelette shoud be golden on the outside and creamy on the inside.

Tip: You can serve it with a green salad to add some crunch and freshness.

Not too bad, right? It only takes 10 minutes max. and I can guarantee that you will feel a lot prouder and good about yourself when you sit down to enjoy that “merveille” rather than eating suspiciously orange microwaved lasagna.

Make sure to leave a comment below if you enjoyed reading this article and if you would like to share your own recipes and cooking tips!