“Papillote” with saffron-pineapples.

I can’t imagine who wants to side step dessert…!

I’m a dessert person, however small it may be. Just don’t heap up my plate with mountainous triangles of cheesecake! A dessert is the ending to a good meal, as a small starter is the beginning… just like a story. A meal is story telling after all. Like any good story, it needs an attention grasping first sentence to create anticipation.  And it needs a creative ending to make the reader sit back with a sigh of contentment and contemplate the delight of escaping in dreams and living and being…

A small, light dessert, mostly with some kind of fruit does exactly that for me.  With an espresso afterwards. Maybe a chocolate as well. A sensual experience. Then I too can sit back and contemplate the delight of living, breathing and eating….

Papillote with saffron-pineapples and raspberries.

  • To prepare one papillote: cut a rectangle of baking paper about 40cm long. Fold the two long lengths over to the middle, overlapping by 3 cm and press folds in the paper. Fold the two short sides over to the middle and press folds in the paper. When you open up your paper, you will clearly see the folds of the little rectangle in the middle of your paper. That is where you filling will go.
  • Filling: A handfull of pineapple chunks, cut to your desired size.
  • A few raspberries.
  • Grated lime rind
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Fresh passion fruit pulp
  • Honey
  • A few strands of saffron.
  1. Fold your papillotes and place them, opened up, on a baking sheet.
  2. Place in the middle of each papillote some pineapple and raspberries. Sprinkle with a strand or two of saffron. Drizzle with some lime juice and honey and top with passion fruit pulp.
  3. Close the papillote by folding the long ends over the filling, overlapping on top. Take each short end on the side of the filling and twist to opposite sides like a candy wrapper. Fan open up the wrapper ends to make attractive twists.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven at 210 degrees C for about 15-20 minutes.
  5. Leave to cool. Place the papillotes on individual plates, pull open the overlapping tops and serve slightly warm with Bulgarian joghurt on the side.

     …hummingbird hawkmoth…

This is an entry for weekend herb blogging, hosted this week by A Scientist in the kitchen.


Picnic by the Loire

Time for informal, relaxed picnics is here. Our summer weekends consist mostly of some working on the house and in the garden, some tennis, and then some extended dinners that linger along with our dusk…late and lazy. I love simple meals where colour and texture play a major role and each ingredient stands on its own. A long time ago, I once thought I made an innovative potato salad, just to have my youngest 10 year old daughter tell me: “I can’t eat this salad! It’s too complicated.”

That was a lesson never to be forgotten.

For a Sunday afternoon by the Loire river across our house, this is a typical salad we would pique nique on. Very ordinary, but spiced up with an interesting vinaigrette of your choice and accompanied by an array of cheese and grainy baguettes, not forgetting an ice cold Rosé, it becomes a meal I’m sure that is served frequently in paradise, which makes it one of the reasons why I intend on going there one day…


As usual, I don’t give a formal recipe , but will mention what I’ve used in my salad.

  • Cut some vegetables in different shapes…carrots in spaghetti, roasted red peppers (of which I don’t bother to remove the peel), some mango slices, a few slices of smoked duck and cooked quinoa with sauteed onion. (Read more about quinoa. )
  • A handful of fresh herbs; rocket, sage, large Italian parsley, chives, wild celeri and tarragon.
  • Vinaigrette: make a puree of the small pieces of mango that you cut off the seed. Add some white balsamic vinegar, some poppy vinegar, salt and pepper, a small finely chopped shallot and add olive oil to your taste and whisk until creamy. I prefer a pungent vinaigrette.
  • Add some cheese triangles, a handful of olives and a fresh baguette.
  • Pack some ice cream in a cool bag along with the wine, or fresh fruit for dessert.
  • And don’t forget a flask of good coffee for that wake-up call after the nap…
  1. Pack interesting layers of individual portions in picnic hampers.
  2. Take the vinaigrette separately in a little container and add to your salad just before serving.
  3. Finish off with cheese and fruit.

Bon appetit!

This is an entry for Weekend herb blogging, hosted this week by Laurie at Medcookingalaska