Monday, 27 August 2012

Marché Couvert - Colmar

This indoor market is full of seasonal produce that is all grown locally. A verity of things are sold here, from flowers to vegetables. Back when my tonton was a young boy this was also a market. It was slightly different than it is today, there would also be more livestock and more locals selling and trading amongst each other.

Though it is a shame about the new layout their is no parking close to it, so it only the tourist and maybe locals of the town that shop there. If they had thought about parking when the renovated, it would be much more popular and more locals would go and this would also increase the local market. As here in Alsace everyone looks out for each other.

The ironic part of the building is that for several years between it being a market the building had been used for several other uses, one of them being a carpark.

Inside its all clean and full of colour. Being the end of summer all the summer fruit and veg are now being replaced by the autumn ones. Melons, peaches, plums, and even mirabelle are still being sold.

I can't get enough of these.

Mirabelles are one of my favourite fruit when I am back in Alsace. They are so versatile just like any other fruit. The small and golden little plums are delicious in a tarte, but also in a jam. This year I got spoilt as my tonton made me a large quantity of home made jam. I usually get one or to small pots that I ration over the year.

Locally made cheese

They also sell some of the local specialities pastries, some pretzels, moricettes and even mini kugelhopf. When I'm here I realise that the type of pretzels that we find at home can not even compete these ones. 

Over the weekend I went to a family reunion and found out the one of my mum's cousins is known in the family for making a kugelhopf. So next year when I'm back, we have arranged for her to teach me her wonderful baking skills.

I'm already looking forward to it. 
Bon Appétit   

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Le Jardin du Tonton

While I am home in Alsace I get spoilt when it comes to meal times. Not only is my tonton (uncle in french) a brilliant chef but his cooking is super light and healthy. He is very peticular in the way that he cooks. Last year we made cupcakes from The Hummingbird Bakery together, and he took out half the ingredients most of the naughty ones and replaced it with lighter options. It was an interesting take on cupcakes, and he finished them off with a fresh raspberry and then popped them in the open. They were still delicious. Not only that he uses fresh home grown ingredients that he cultivates himself.

When you don't find tonton in the kitchen he will be attending his garden. In the garden you will find a verity of flowers and trees, but the most fascinating part of the garden is the large vegetable patch.

In the green house alone there is about 120 tomato plants. All different types of verities from cherry tomatoes to coeur de boeuf (beefsteak), even orange ones to name a few.

Inside the greenhouse - end of the tomato season

In the outdoor vegetable patch there are a large selection of vegetables and fruit growing. There are blackberries and raspberries. Courgettes, runner beans both green and purple, broccoli, beetroots, aubergines, carrots, leeks, cabbage and different types of salad leaves and even peppers. Also a large selection of herbs.

Salade Verte


Golden Raspberries


When you take a walk though the garden you notice the greenhouse but the vegetable patch has a boarder of bright coloured flowers, which in the family we call Kenzo bouquet. This is because when I was younger my mum and tatie would create lovely bouquets from these colourful flowers.


The tomatoes are my favourite. Each summer when I come here I have a tomato salad basically with every meal. The last couple of days the weather has been extremely hot, so having a heavy meal is not to appetising. But a tomato salad is just right. 

La Recette 

Home grown tomatoes
small red onion
herds - I use basil and thyme
table spoon of olive oil
splash of balsamic vinegar
splash of vinegar du xsers

With tonton's tomatos the skin comes off very easily, so I tend to peal them. Chop them in half and then slice them. Chop the onion in to small pieces. Then add the herbs of choice, add the dressing and then season to taste. 

This is the most satisfying lunch to have when the weather is sunny (44˚C), I occasionally have some of my uncles home made bread to. 

I have to say that these are the best tomatoes in the world. The flavour is so natural and strong, that when you walk in to the green house the aroma of the tomatoes is intoxicateing. 

Saaalut et Bon Appétit 

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Foire aux Vins

The last week flew past, my girls have just headed back to England. Though last week there was the best opportunity to give the girls a little lesson in the wine of the region at the Foire aux Vins.

In Alsace there are seven varieties of grape that are used to make the wine. They are; Sylvaner, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Muscat, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Noir. I also introduced them to Crémant, which is a sophisticated sparking wine from the region. It is not champagne as champagne is made in the region of Champagne. There are also the Alsace Grand Crus which are made from the most prestigious vineyards in Alsace.

Though at the wine festival there is also a lot more than wine, there are different stalls that sell clothes, jewellery, gadgets for the kitchen, utensils for the home, beds, sofas and even yet more alcohol. There are also a large variety of places that you can eat. There are quick stalls that sell paninis, kebabs etc. But there is also a lot of restaurants that you can enjoy a proper meal. Us girls treated our selves to some Murano Glass jewellery. 

On a few occasions last week we found ourselves at the Foire Aux Vins, each night we went I made the girls try different types of wine. 


So on our third night there I introduced the girls to the girls to more wine from the region. This time it was the prestigious Crémant, and we ended up drinking bottles of it. We went for dinner with the family at the Cabaret Colmarien, which is dinner was served up with a show. There was a few different acts, from clowns, acrobats, magicians to contortionist.  Dinner was a choice of typical dishes from the region. The girls tried the choucroutte while mum, my tatie and I had the tete au veau. So after dinner we went to go for a last drink all together.

The night still continued when we got home, we stayed up till the bottles where emptied and all the topics of gossip where covered. We curled up in bed and slept into the late morning. 

Bonne Degustation. 

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Kremble Football Tournament

Once a year on the bank holiday in France, the local football club holds a football tournament. Now this tournament  is unlike any other type of tournament, it is a Kremble Tournois. This basically means that it is more of a fun game, where the teams are dressed in fancy dress or even just bizarrely dressed. The teams can be made up of all different skill level. In your team you could have your little sister, you older brother, you baby cousin, your grand parents and even your dog.

This year my brother did a team with us 'English' lot. It has been a couple of summers now that my brother and his friends come out for a week get a way. So over the years, they have became known as  'Les Anglais'. Our name this year for the game was 'Team English'.

As our fancy dress uniform, we went original. Being the year of 2012 and hosting the olympics we took the iconic Team GB t-shirts and personalised them. We each had a nickname that we used as our football names and we even had a sponsor, JBP Connections. We looked like we mean business.

Team English

Nick Names 
Les Shotis

The local girls always have a laugh and find new ways to dress up each year, this year they took a local style dress from Austria. I even played a couple of games with them so the whole stay with your own team doesn't stick as much, as some players fall or tire so you get friends to join in. I scored my first goal this year playing for them, but we still lost that match 2-4. These girls come to play and have a good time, rather than winning, its the taking part that counts.

My brother Vs his village friends

The whole day is a friendly atmosphere all the teams support each other. While I was playing one of the last games some players from another team that we had previously played, ran over to me and Rose and gave us a mouth full of beer to refuel our batteries.

The end of the day is the trophy give away. Each team wins a trophy, whether you come 1st or 7th. Our team came in the winning place of 7th, and we were thrilled with our attempt and lost all our games. Still the whole the village cheered us on. We got a special present for joining in each year, two bottle of white wine from Jean Geiler, a Risling and a Gewürztraminer. So we got our trophy, wine, and also a box of chewing gum.

Vincent, Fabienne, Brother (J.G),
Steve Remond President du Club, Joe

So after a day of playing, drinking and getting involved with the village, we had our last team photo to show off our lovely prizes. Before we headed down to the lake for the much deserved swim and chill.  

Saaalut. x 

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Back in the Motherland

So after months, weeks and days of counting down it's finally here and I am back in my homeland. Friday started at 5 o'clock in the morning, (yes I'm afraid that hour does exist). The day flew past with all the travelling and us girlies gossiping away.

When we finally got here, greeted by endless blue skies and the sunshine of Alsace. We unpacked and enjoyed a lovely light lunch and then headed down to the lake. Where we spent the rest of the afternoon chilling and re charging our batteries for the night ahead. 


I have spent all my summers here since I was seven years old. This is where my mum grew up and her sister lives. So when summer comes along we spend our days together. Food is a very big part of our lifestyle here. We are always planning the next meal at the current meal we are enjoying. Though this year we have organised it slightly differently, by planning this weeks lunch menu ahead of time.

Le Menu

Tomate du Jardin

Salade Vigneronne 

At lunch time this week, my uncle is preparing lunch for all us youngsters. All together there are 12 of us. I will do a post next week on my uncles garden. We already had my brothers favourite dish, that is a the Salad Vigneronne. It is made with grated Emmental and Saucissee de Viande. My uncle served it up with home grown beetroot and courgette. At the table we had a selection of olives, cornichons and home made bread and also not forgetting the home grown tomatoes. 

Spending our days chilling out on the side of this little hidden treasure. The boys have started out by fishing, but that didn't lasted long as we decided that we needed a cool down from the hard work of sunbathing. 

Lake Babes 

So this where I shall be blogging from for the up coming weeks. Hope that summer is treating you all, as we say out here

Saaaalut!! x

Monday, 6 August 2012

Raspberry Cupcakes

A gorgeous summer pairing of a cupcake with fresh, tart raspberries. Finished with sweet white chocolate buttercream icing. These little delectable treats are perfect for any tea time, as they play the part very well. With the inside having raspberry jam, they look very pretty when cut open.

Les Ingredients 

110g Unsalted butter, at room temp 
180g Caster sugar 
2 Large eggs
125g Self-raising flour
120g Plain flour
125ml Semi-skimmed milk, at room temp 
1 teaspoon of Vanilla extract
3 tablespoons of seedless raspberry jam

Le Méthode 

Pre heat the oven at 160˚C in a fan assisted oven, 180˚C/ 350˚F/ gas mark 4.

In your mixing bowl, start by creaming the sugar and butter together until pale and smooth, then add in the eggs one at a time making sure that all is well incorporated. 

In another bowl combine the two flours together. Add the vanilla in to the milk. Then add the 1 third of the flour with the sugar and butter and add a third of the milk to the mixture, repeat this process until all the flour and the milk is well mixed together. 

For the final touch of making the mixture, add in the raspberry jam but careful not over mix. If you over mix the mixture will become one colour. The aim is to get the raspberry jam to create streaks within the mixture. Fill your cup cases, (2 thirds full). Pop them in to the oven for around 25min or until slightly raised and golden. 

Once the cakes have cooled, add the raspberry jam in the middle. Using a sharp knife cut a hole in the centre of each cake. Then fill with the jam. A little tip to make the jam more manageable you can warm it up to make it softer. 

Finish off the cakes with a white chocolate butter cream icing, and fresh raspberries. To make the raspberries stand out, sprinkle small amount of edible glitter on the raspberry.

You could serve these with iced tea, fresh home made lemonade or at a picnic and even afternoon tea. Perfect way to enjoy some fruit with a naughty edge to it.

This is the cupcake showing of its raspberry centre, I enjoyed this with a nice cold glass of Rosé and enjoyed the rest of the sunday afternoon. 

Bon Appetit 

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Strawberry Carpaccio

Strawberries are always a big hit in summer. They never last long in our house, I even have several verities growing in my garden. I'm always excited to try new recipes that I can do with strawberries.  When I saw this recipe the ingredients had me slightly shocked, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and lemon. Though when I tired this recipe, they all complement the strawberry and brings out the iconic strawberry flavour.

Les Ingredients 
Table spoon of icing sugar
Lemon - juiced
Drizzle of olive oil
Drizzle of balsamic vinegar
Few leaves of basil


Slice the strawberries, keep them together as this makes it makes it easier to do the presentation. Place the strawberries on the plate.

To make the dressing, in a small bowl add together the icing sugar and the lemon juice, then add in the olive oil, but make sure you keep mixing well, to make sure that it is all mixed well.

Add the few leaves of basil and then dribble the dressing over the strawberries and add the balsamic, and serve immediately.

You can finish off the dish with ice cream or cream to make it slightly more indulgent.

This is pretty easy to make and the with the sun trying to come out, and us brits, trying to make the most of our summer, this recipe is a sure way to make the most of summer and enjoy locally grown strawberries.

Bon Appétit