Tag Archives: countryside

My Carrot Cake Recipe: a video

A while ago Meg and I escaped to the countryside to cook, read and sleep for a weekend.
This is a bit of what we got up to…

Video by Meg Gagnard
Recipe and cake by Olivia Cummings

Click here for the recipe.


Day 3: My Adventures in Istanbul

Burgazada is one of the Princes’ Islands. It is pure magic. You can only access it by boat, and there are no cars on this island, just bikes and horse and buggy.

It is officially a neighbourhood in the Adalar district of Istanbul. Burgaz is a common setting and even a major theme for writer Sait Faik Abasiyanik, where he also lived. The island consists of a single hill 2 kilometres across.

There are not many tourists here, so it’s perfect for a lazy restful afternoon.

What do you think?

There are so many photos to come- so stay tuned! :)

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A Sunny Afternoon in Aix en Provence.

On our way to get the boat from Marseille to Bastia we had an afternoon in Aix en Provence. It’s a city with many fountains, and the vibe and culture are polar opposites to Paris.

Being only thirty minutes away from Marseille, it really feels like a Mediterranean paradise. The apartments are precious and the cobble stones remind the people that walk on them of France’s long history.

I couldn’t resist, this olive and fig bread looked so good so I got some to snack on with fresh goats cheese.

Entre la mer et la montagne il y a Bastia.

Throughout history, Bastia was a rich city thanks to its geographical situation, being between the mountains and the water. For many centuries it was a wealthy city. The people of Bastia saw the city destroyed during WWII but its economic importance for Corsica is still high.

Walking around Bastia gave me a great idea of the previous glory and wealth of Bastia. A lot of the apartments need renovating. It feels like an old world enchanted city.

The presence and respect of Napoleon is also very strong, even after all these years.

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Saint Florent, where all the million euro yachts meet.

Saint Florent would be the Corsican version of Saint Tropez. It is wealthy, a display of the rich in their expensive attire and million-euro yachts. Despite this, it still remains more authentic, less “bling-bling”, and the wilderness is preserved. The Corsican’s sure know how to protect their wild island.

Below friends, is the Corsican flag. It was adopted by General of the Nation Pasquale di Paoli  in 1755 and was based on a traditional flag used previously. It portrays a Moor’s Head in black wearing a white bandana above his eyes on a white background.

Since the 11th century, the Moor’s Head has been a symbol of an African’s Head. The Moor was originally a female Moor blindfolded and wearing a necklace made of beads. No use is attested prior to 1736, when it was used by both sides during the struggle for independence.

In 1760, Genera Pasquale Paoli ordered the necklace to be removed from the head and the blindfold raised. His reason, reported by his biographers, was “Les Corses veulent y voir clair. La liberté doit marcher au flambeau de la philosophie. Ne dirait-on pas que nous craignons la lumière ?” (roughly translated: “The Corsicans want to see clearly. Freedom must walk by the torch of philosophy. Won’t they say that we fear the light?”) Later the blindfold was changed to a headband.

This pretty much sums up the Corsican mentality.

I spoke to a Corsican man and he told me that the Moor’s head was a man from Morocco.

Wonderful fresh pasta filled with typical Corsica cheese “brousse”.

If you have not yet been to Corsica, put it on your list of things to do next Summer!

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A grilled vegetable salad in Erbalunga.

Erbalunga, which is in the “Cap Corse” region of Corsica stole my heart. It feels enchanted. You really can imagine Napoleon in these parts of the world. To make things even more magical, the weather was perfect.

Our week in Corsica followed the coast. We went from town to town, each as charming as the next.

In Corsica most of the houses are covered in some kind of vine.

How sweet is the life of this Corsican cat?

The grilled salad was so fresh, and was a perfect accompagnement to the sun. The feature of the salad was the crumb fried mozarella. I am going to teach myself how to do it to recreate this mind-blowing salad.

My lovely little friend Zoé. She had a hot goat’s cheese salad.

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My very own mean guacamole

I have to say, I make a goooooood guacamole. It’s all about the seasoning. When you get the quantities of herbs, salt and lemon or lime right, it’s like heaven on a plate!

You’ll need:

2 avocados
Lots of herbs, any herbs you like. (I’m herb mad)
A lime
Paprika for seasoning
Olive oil
2 tbsps of crème fraîche or sour cream.

Mash it all up and add half of the herbs in the actual guacamole, and half on top as decoration. You can also add a diced tomato, I would have, but I didn’t have any in the kitchen.

I like my guacamole chunky, I don’t it to be a smooth paste. I like tonnes of herbs and seasoning, so that the smell and flavour transport you to another place.

Thanks to Meg for the last two photos, you should check out her lovely blog here.

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Centuri, where I ate seafood at the harbourside.

This town stole my heart. And my belly. Centuri is an old fishing town and I ate so well here. The colours are so whimsical and romantic.

Even the bouganvilla looked extra pretty in Centuri.

Isn’t this door just brilliant?!

In Corsica you often see the washing hung up to dry out the windows.

Seafood spaghetti… What I would do for that again today.

The seafood platter, it was so fresh.

What a happy day!

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la Corse, un des plus bels endroit du monde.

Ca fait deux ans depuis que je n’y suis pas allée. Je suis tellement amoureuse de cet île sauvage, belle et insolente. On va bien manger, dormir, nager, marcher. Je reviendrai à Paris l’esprit plus clair, reposé… la belle vie quoi!

Quelques photos de nos vacances en Corse il y a deux ans. Comme quoi le temps passe vite!

A dans une semaine xx

Warm Zucchini and Beetroot Salad with a Grilled Vegetable Side

We had unlimited access to a glorious garden two weekends ago. I was in heaven. I invented this recipe to celebrate the fact that we had sun, great company, fresh vegetables and lovely conversation.

For this recipe you will need:

2 round zucchini
2 regular zucchinis
2 beetroots
big bunch of fresh basil
big bunch of fresh parsley
2 eggplants
olive oil
crème fraîche

Cup up everything like in the photos below.

You will use the round zucchinis for the warm salad part, and the regular zucchinis for the grilled side.

Put olive oil (I also use coconut oil to cook) in a pan and start pan cooking the round zucchinis. Add in salt and garlic and onion, but don’t put in the herbs until the very end or else they will burn.

Put in the small pieces of beetroot. You will see, they make the dish a wonderful colour and give it such an earthy flavour.

You can now put in all the herbs.

When serving, dollop on about 3 tablespoons of crème fraîche while still warm. Serve this dish warm, it is more tasty.

In other news, I am loving this video, despite it being über cheesy.

J and I did a great tour of the Saint Ouen flea markets with Charlotte from Haute Curiosité.

Tomorrow I am going to Corsica until next Tuesday.

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