Looking for the rays of light in this cloud-covered town

Swiss Basler Leckerli Cookies — January 7, 2018

Swiss Basler Leckerli Cookies



  • 225 g honey (16 ounces)
  • 150 g sugar (10.5 ounces)
  • 3⁄4 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 pinch clove powder
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 50 g ground candied orange peel
  • 50 g ground candied lemon peel
  • 100 g ground almonds
  • zest of lemon grind
  • 50 ml kirsch (0.2 cup)
  • 300 g flour
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 75 g confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 1⁄2 to 2 1⁄2 tablespoons kirsch or water


  1. Put honey, sugar, cinnamon, clove powder and nut meg in a pan, heat up slowly, then remove from stove.
  2. Add candied orange peel, candied lemon peel, almonds and grind skin of lemon, stir until mixed evenly.
  3. Add kirsch, flour and baking powder, knead on a table to form a soft dough.
  4. While the dough is still warm, roll it out on the back of a greased baking sheet approximately 5 mm (0.2 inches) thick.
  5. Let it rest for about 5 to 6 hours or over night in a dry place.
  6. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes in the center of the pre-heated oven at 430°F(220°C).
  7. Mix confectioner’s sugar and kirsch or water, frost dough immediately.
  8. Cut off stale edges.
  9. Cut dough in small pieces (5 x 3 cm, 2 x 1.5 inches), take them off the baking sheets and let them cool.
Handmade “Jigsaw” Puzzle — September 1, 2017
Civics Lesson — February 28, 2017

Civics Lesson

What the Democratic Party Could Learn From Its Overseas Footsoldiers

by Adam Eichen and Bob Vallier. August 3, 2016

Votes from Democrats Abroad often make the critical difference in close contests — and demonstrate that every vote counts.

"What the Democratic Party Could Learn From Its Overseas Footsoldiers" shared by @moyersandcompany on Facebook, Aug. 4 2016
“What the Democratic Party Could Learn From Its Overseas Footsoldiers” shared by @moyersandcompany on Facebook, Aug. 4 2016


Radish Greens Soup — December 19, 2015

Radish Greens Soup

My mother-in-law once made this soup for us. Well, not this soup per se. She knows how much we like soups so sometimes she gets creative. She asked us if we could guess the vegetable. We couldn’t. But the dish was such a winner that when we got home that night I hit the web searching for radish soup. There were quite a few, and as is typical for me, I believe I took this recipe because of its relative simplicity. I do not, however, remember where it was published.

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 potatoes, medium sized
1 onion
1 quart water or chicken broth
2 quarts radish greens – the tops from 2 bunches (needn’t be exact)
1 lemon
salt and pepper

metric conversion: 1 quart is a bit more than 1 liter  more...

Rinse greens, removing any brown or damaged areas. Coarsely chop potatoes and onion. Remove the zest (yellow part only) from the lemon, then juice the lemon.

In a large pot, heat oil and butter. Add onion and potatoes, cook for about 5 minutes. Add water or broth, the radish tops and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook until potatoes are soft and greens are wilted, about 10 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and zest. Purée. Taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot or cold.

Garnish, if desired, with a few thin slices of radish.

Serving Size: 1 cup
Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Imperial to Metric, An Expats Guide to Cooking Measurements — December 10, 2015

Imperial to Metric, An Expats Guide to Cooking Measurements

It’s the oldest story. You move to Europe imagining a new life of cobblestone streets, cars with size limits, quiet Sunday strolls, impassioned café discussions, timeless architecture, and fine foods. With it will come a change in lifestyle that includes running to the morning market for fresh bread and local produce, buying only what you need, and yes that includes that truffle oil, and of course, cooking at home.

You planned ahead too. You brought all the favorite recipes you’ve been carrying around with you for years, just waiting for a real kitchen to cook real food. And only after you’ve landed and set up home do you realize that all your recipes follow the imperial system of weight & measures, and Europe does not. Continue reading

GOOP Guac — August 29, 2015


This goes down as one of the all time greatest recipe finds in my life. Ever. Back in the day when I was subscribed to the GOOP newsletter, the “Make” entries were the only thing that I found useful. One fine week they delivered the Mexican Dinner, Family Style, which consisted of four dishes, three of which I still make today. These were Baja Style Shrimp TacosPico de GalloGuacamole, and the dish that I’m still happy to serve from a can, Black Beans.

Now, before the entire GOOP site was revised, renovated, and then revamped, this entry was accompanied by a video demonstration of Gwyneth Paltrow preparing the dishes. It was awesome. She demonstrated how to cut and pit an avocado, chopping onions, dicing tomatoes, and I learned techniques that have been amazingly useful. The video is no longer posted with the recipes. I guess the video’s production value from GOOP’s early days didn’t make the cut for the site today. It’s too bad, but the recipes are so good that I can forgive this disappointment.

Either I am too lazy to Google “difference salsa pico de gallo” or it never seems to matter when enjoying it with tortilla chips. Sometimes I add corn, which is sometimes freshly grilled. The guacamole recipe is divine. Try it as soon as possible. Delay only as long as needed to buy and allow the avocados to ripen. It is really that good.



  1. Cut each avocado in half, remove and reserve the pits and score the flesh inside of the shells.
  2. Scoop the avocado into a mixing bowl and mash gently with a fork—you don’t want it to be completely smooth.
  3. Stir in the onion and cilantro.
  4. Cut the lime in half and squeeze in enough juice to taste.
  5. Season the guacamole with salt, and either serve immediately or stick the pits in to keep it from browning (remove the pits before serving).
Tiramisù with Mascarpone — August 19, 2015

Tiramisù with Mascarpone

This recipe for Tiramisù with Mascarpone came straight off the Galbani marscapone package. So while I cannot take credit for the recipe, I did translate it (although this version is from the Galbani UK website).

The thing about this recipe is that it is ridiculously easy to make and results in a very impressive dessert.

6 eggs
500g Galbani Santa Lucia® Mascarpone
150g sugar
300g Sponge fingers
¾ of 1 litre of Mocha coffee
50g of liquor
bitter Cocoa powder

weight to volume conversion: 2/3 cup is approximately equal to 150 grams  more...

Put 6 yolks in a bowl and beat them with sugar until they are creamy and frothy. Add Mascarpone and a shot of liquor and mix it. Incorporate 6 whipped eggs. Put the coffee in a bowl and mix it with a bit of sugar and the remaining liquor. Spread the bottom of a Pyrex dish with the Mascarpone cream, lay on it the Sponge Fingers soaked in the coffee, cover them with another layer of cream, then another layer of sponge fingers until the ingredients will terminate with the cream on the top and put the Pyrex in the fridge for 2 hours at least. Spread it with the cocoa powder before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

Why We Love Cats — November 22, 2014
Google Creepiness — October 28, 2014

Google Creepiness

We all know that Google knows everything, and to be fair, I was logged into my Google+ account. Still, getting a customized “Happy Birthday Eileen” Google home page on my birthday did make a few hairs stand on end.

"Happy Birthday Eileen" from Google

Recipes — September 28, 2014


I haven’t been posting much lately because I’ve been busy with other stuff — Not an excuse ! I know.

A lot of the other stuff that’s been preoccupying my time has to do with an attempt to organize and classify all of my online accounts and resources. Since I do Social Media by profession, I decided to make as hard of line as possible between my “professional” profile and “personal” profile. I kind of gave up on “private” (see Google Creepiness) a long time ago when talking about anything Internet related and I’m only focused on maintaining some kind of privacy in my offline life (which also is not so easy). Continue reading

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