Art – Zhang Wei Guang

“Cherry with pottery” by Zhang Wei Guang (China, b. 1968) – 2007.
(oil on canvas)


Haft mewa

I posted this recipe from Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, last year where I celebrated Nawruz, the Persian New Year, with the family. So here it is again on this Nawruz.

Haft mewa, or “seven fruits,” is a wonderful Afghan breakfast dish filled with the dried fruits of winter to welcome the fresh ones of spring. It is served on the morning of the first day of the Persian New Year coinciding with the first day of Spring.


Let seven dried fruits stand in plain water together overnight. Here we used: red and green raisins, almonds (peeled after 15 minutes in hot water), apricots, nuts from inside the apricots’ seeds, pistachio (no shell), and walnuts (no shell and peeled). Any of them can be substituted with dried cranberries, pine nuts and the like.

– A few drops of rosewater can be added in the water. 
– It can stay up to three days in the fridge once prepared. 

Nawruz mubarak from our kitchen to yours!

!نوروز مبارک   —   Nawruz mubarak!

Happy Persian New Year from our kitchen to yours.

The Haft Sin, the seven offerings that start with the letter “s” (س) and some more, are all set-up to welcome the new year. This year, we set it up wishing the world well, with a special thought towards the ones who continue to bare the brunt of senseless violence and war.

An apple so that the world may always be beautiful and healthy.

Greens and flowers marking a peaceful renewal and the arrival of Spring.

Dried fruits so that love and wisdom may imbue the hearts of all.

Vinegar celebrating age and granting the world patience. We need it so much.

Sumak, the colour of sunrise so that tolerance and acceptance prevail against brutality.

Garlic for medicine so that the sick and wounded may heal, and hurting hearts as well.

Coins for the wealth of wisdom and the generosity of compassion.

And the mirror (silver plate) and the candle to bring light into the hearts and remove hatred.

Eggs for the fertility of the earth, the body and the mind, towards peace.

Sweet pastry so that words may always be kind.

And of course, a book of Hafez’s poetry so that every day, life may be celebrated with beauty.

Thank you.


Gâteau pomme et mangue

Apple and mango cake getting ready to welcome Spring!


1- Prepare a baking dish lining it with butter and flour.
2- Melt 50 gr of butter and let it cool.
3- Meanwhile cut three apples in very thin slices and two mangos in small cubes, and set aside.
4- Whisk three organic eggs with 80 gr of brown sugar. Whisk until it gets slightly lighter in colour.
5- Add the melted butter and 120 gr of sifted flour.
6- Then add very slowly 150 ml of cold milk while mixing with a spatula.
7- Mix the apples and mangos in the mixtures, and pour in the prepared baking dish.
8- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes in a 180ºc oven.

Enjoy cold! It is delicious after spending some time in the fridge. 

Pappardelle alla carbonara

For a few minutes you will feel you are in Rome!

This is an easy recipe and yet I have long hesitated to try. I made it the simple way. Next time I will add pieces of bacon, or some cured meat such as Prosciutto. I think it would give it more zest and more colour of course!


For 250 gr of Pappardelle all’uovo
1- Cook the pasta per instruction.
2- In the meantime: grate 60 gr of Peccorino or Romano cheese and set aside.
3- Grind one generous teaspoon of black pepper corns.
4- In a bowl mix with a fork two small eggs with half of the cheese (30 gr) and all of the black pepper.
5- When the pasta is done, pour it immediately on the egg mixture and mix well. Add the rest of the cheese and a tablespoon of olive oil. Mix again.

Serve immediately. I served it with a lovely happy salad, omitting the Parmigiano shavings.

Banana Belgian waffles

Simply delightful and filled with the wonderful taste of banana! And it makes my nine year old son smile–the best reason to make them!


For 20 stick waffles
1- Melt three tablespoons of butter and set aside.
2- Separate three organic eggs.
3- First mix the dry ingredients: one and half cup of sifted flour, one generous tablespoon of baking powder, a dash of salt and two generous tablespoons of brown sugar.
4- Then mix the three egg yolks with one cup (200 ml) of heavy cream. At the end mix in the melted butter.
5- Whip the egg whites until stiff.
6- With a spatula, mix the flour mixture with the cream one until obtaining a sort of heavy dough. Then mix in the egg whites gently along with half a cup of milk.
7- When the consistency is even and the waffle pan is hot enough, mix in two very well crushed bananas.

Bake and enjoy with fresh fruits and honey or homemade jam. 

Note: You can freeze the waffles in a glass container and simply place them in the toaster oven to heat them up.