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!



Quick & Easy Marinated Salmon

Posted by Corine

OK, I really want to share with you this recipe from top French Chef, Cyril Lignac, that I make all the time because it is affordable and easy but also very fancy and trendy! So make sure to try it if you are a fan of marinated raw fish and you would like to please yourself and your guests around the dinner table. Plus it is the perfect dish for the warmer summer months… not that it feels like it in London today!

What do you need for 4 to 6 people (depending on the dish being served as a starter or a main)? 

1 salmon filet (no bones, no skin) ; 4 shallots ; 4 limes ; 2 bunches of basil ; 2 tablespoons of sugar ; 2 tablespoons of salt ; 1 teaspoon of black pepper ; olive oil ; salt & pepper

How to proceed? 

  1. Peel and chop the shallots. Squeeze the limes. Chop the basil. Then mix all these ingredients with the sugar, salt and pepper.
  2. Spread some of the mixture evenly in a dish. Place the salmon fillet over it and cover with the rest of the mixture. Add some olive oil. Cover and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
  3. Drain the marinade before cutting the salmon fillet into thin slices.
  4. Use a cold dish or plates (place in freezer for a little while beforehand) to serve the salmon. Add some chopped shallots and basil on top. Drizzle some olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Tips …  Make sure to serve this dish cold!  Also try serving it with toasts to add texture and complement the dish.

Et voilà! Please give this post a thumbs-up if you can’t wait to try this recipe for yourself! 



Floating Island… a light bite!

Posted by Corine

If you are looking for a delicious and light on the stomach pudding, this French classic dessert is the perfect way to treat your family and friends this summer. It is very easy to prepare and it requires very few ingredients which is always a plus. The dessert consists of snow eggs floating on crème anglaise, drizzled with caramel… just delicious!

What do you need for 8 people? 

1 litre of semi skimmed milk ; 2 vanilla pods ; 8 eggs ; 350 g of sugar ; salt

flour, vanilla, eggs

How to proceed? 

Step 1. Prepare your crème anglaise (or English cream)

  • Split the vanilla beans in half. Heat them with milk in a saucepan over a medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes. 
  • Take off the heat and remove the vanilla beans.
  • Beat the 8 egg yolks and 150 g sugar together for 5 minutes.
  • Slowly pour the hot milk mixture onto the eggs and sugar. As you do not want your eggs to start cooking, make sure to pour the milk slowly and a little at a time. Carry on whisking until smooth and creamy.
  • Return the mixture to the saucepan over a medium heat and stir continuously for 4-5 minutes or as soon as the foam disappears from the surface.

  • Pass the mixture through a sieve, leave to cool and then refrigerate.


Step 2. Prepare the snow eggs

  • Whisk 8 egg whites lightly with a pinch of salt.
  • Once the egg white is firm, pour 140 g of sugar and whisk for 1 minute.
  • Pour 5 cm of water in a large frying pan. Using two table spoons, quenelle the snow eggs and poach them in the hot water (make sure the snow eggs are not touching each other!)
  • Cook for 2 minutes, turn them over and leave to cook for another 1 minute, remove and drain gently.

Step 3. Prepare your caramel

  • Only prepare your caramel when you are ready to serve!  
  • Heat 60 g sugar with 1 tsp. Water in a saucepan.
  • Let the caramel brown.
  • Remove immediately from the heat to ensure the caramel does not burn and place the saucepan on a cold surface.

Step. 4 Plate your dessert

  • Gently place your floating islands on serving bowls generously filled with the English cream and pour the caramel into thin fillets on top of them. 
  • Feel free to add some roasted almonds or some dessicated coconut for some extra crunch.
  • If you have children at the table, add some cute and fun rainbow sprinkles… they will love it!



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!


Easy Everyday Superfoods

Posted by Corine

I feel that I have been rushing around so much lately that making time for healthy and nutrient meals has not been my priority and I may have abused the pasta and take-away meals a little too much… and do not get me started on the Easter chocolates! I would love to have a portion of fresh spinach, kale or broccoli every day in my plate but I find it a bit difficult.. and I am sure that I am not the only one! However there are some super foods which are so easy to incorporate into your diet in a very simple and affordable way. The list is long but I would like to share with you three of my favourites.Co-Q10

I am a massive fan of the Linwoods Milled Flaxseed, Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Walnuts & Co-enzyme Q10. I bought other products from this line in the past but this one is the best so far. You should try to get an intake of two dessert spoonfuls daily to enjoy the full benefit of co-enzyme Q10 who has a critical role in producing energy and maintenance for the cells of your body, especially for your heart, liver and kidneys. Plus co-enzyme Q10 also functions as an antioxidant and is packed with iron, zinc, magnesium and selenium. The blend of flaxseed and nuts gives it a great nutty taste and it can be incorporated into your porridge, yogurt, pancake, fruit bowl, salad, soup, bread, roasted vegetables, etc. You can find it in most food stores or online for less than £5. This product is so easy to use and so good for you… it’s a keeper!

If you have never heard about them yet, make sure to remember the tasty and colourful goji berries! They are so easy to add in to your morning cereal, muesli, porridge or bowl of fruits and they can also be eaten straight out of the packet for a healthy snack. I love to add them to my salads for a sweet taste and they also look amazing as edible decorations on tarts and cakes. Goji berries have roots in ancient China as a medicinal plant to treat eye, liver, and kidney ailments. They are a great source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, Vitamin A, iron, zinc, fibre and contain a large amount of protein. I personally like to buy the Infinity Foods Organic Goji Berries as they are always nice and moist. The packet of 250g costs me around £6 and it lasts a while.

blueberriesLast but not least, blueberries are an easy and delicious way to boost your antioxidant intake on a daily basis as they are known to have more antioxidants than 40 other common fruits and vegetables! They are also low in calories which is a plus if you are watching your waistline. To make the most of it I personaly prefer organically grown blueberries as they are believed to contain more antioxidants and be lower in sugars than the farmed ones. They are also a good source of vitamin K, vitamin C, fibre and manganese. Once again you can enjoy them at breakfast with you cereal, yogurt, porridge, pancake or on their own. And if you want to bring some balance to a very sweet dessert, just add a few blueberries for a zesty kick.

I hope these three super foods will help you make some positive changes in your diet in a simple and affordable way!

Please leave a comment and share your own favourite super foods with us below.