Tag Archives: Autumn

Foulées Automnales de Meyrin 10KM Race

2 Jan

Autumn was packed full of activities. We started off with the Berlin Marathon, followed by a weekend of hiking in and around Kandersteg, then there was the Lausanne Marathon where I ran the 10KM, followed by another weekend of hiking in Emmental and another 10KM race at the end of November.

The Foulées Automnales de Meyrin is a little local fun run around Meyrin – Meyrin is our neighbouring commune and a short hop, skip and jump from our apartment. Just over 100 women participated in the race while almost 300 men dominated the course. It was a beautifully clear day and we were due to set off at 13h30. I wasn’t feeling up to running though, after a girl’s night out the night before, and knowing all the hills that were part of the course did not help to ease my thoughts of wanting to hitch a tram ride back to the apartment. I didn’t really prepare for this race either; I did maybe 3 or 4 short runs in the 4 weeks leading up to this race… so yeah, not ideal.

It was a nice course (apart from all the hills), touring around Meyrin and finishing at the stadium (official name but by no means a “stadium”). My legs held up their part of the bargain but I had a stitch for the most part of the race so again not ideal conditions. Must have been the wraps I had for lunch just before the race.. normally I don’t eat before a midday run. I finished in 51m13s and could not have been happier to have finished!

Note to self : It pays to have a good sleep and proper practiced nutrition before a race 🙂

Coming up next.. The final run for 2013 and Christmas in Australia

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More Autumn Recipes #2 : Pumpkin Spice Loaf

28 Nov

In between running and socialising and working and more socialising, I managed to whip out this little beauty.

Remember those  gorgeous pumpkins we picked up at the farm a few weeks ago? Well we finally cracked one open for this lovely bake. My husband has had this recipe earmarked since last Autumn when I refused to make it for him. See the thing is, I’m not much of a fan of savory loaves and this one has “ginger” in it which put me off even more. There are two flavours I like least of all out of all possible flavours and they are ginger and aniseed. I don’t like ginger biscuits and I certainly don’t like licorice. All the more biscuits for my husband and licorice for my sister!

Anyways, I finally caved and made this cake for my beloved a few weeks ago and I was surprised at how nice it was. I would perhaps go a bit lighter on the spices next time because they overpowered the pumpkin flavour entirely. The most time-consuming part of this recipe is preparing the pumpkin so ladies, a word of advice, get your men involved here for flexing a bit of muscle and cutting up the pumpkin – it makes for a nice show and you can just sit back with a cup of tea and watch! Well, that’s what I did anyway, minus the cup of tea 🙂

If you’re like my mum and you don’t like pumpkin, here’s what’s so good about pumpkin and why you should eat some. Pumpkin might be difficult to prepare but it sure is quick and easy to cook. You can whack it in the microwave as suggested in this recipe, you can boil it, bake it, fry it, grill it… skin on or skin off… what’s not to love?! Roasted pumpkin is my absolute favourite and I would recommend using roasted pumpkin in this recipe if you have the time. Pumpkin is a great source of carotenoid antioxidants (the orange-red colour pigment in pumpkins) that help the body reduce the inflammatory action of free-radicals and help to support a healthy immune system. The potassium content of pumpkin is so good that it makes a perfect pre- and post- workout recovery fuel for the body.  Potassium helps restore the body’s balance of electrolytes and supports heart and muscle function. The added cinnamon in this recipe helps to stabilise blood sugar levels as well as helps to boost brain function. Having said that, there is a lot of sugar in this recipe so please use a suitable substitute if necessary.

So it’s like I said, pumpkin is good, I like pumpkin so why not give this Pumpkin Loaf a whirl. My husband enjoyed this loaf, I enjoyed a few pieces myself and my work colleagues devoured the rest. Enough talk, here’s the recipe.

Pumpkin Spice Loaf

Recipe courtesy of taste.com.au

Ingredients

  • 650g butternut pumpkin, peeled, deseeded
  • 100g butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Method

Step 1 – Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease base and sides of a 6cm deep, 10.5cm x 20.5cm (base) loaf pan. Line with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang at both long ends.

Step 2 – Wash and cut pumpkin into 4cm pieces. With water clinging, place pumpkin in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate. Cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on HIGH (100%) for 3 to 4 minutes or until pumpkin is tender. Set aside to cool. Drain and place cooled pumpkin in a food processor. Process until smooth (you should have 1 cup).

Step 3 – Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until well combined. Stir in pumpkin.

Step 4 – Sift flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves over pumpkin mixture. Stir gently to combine. Spoon into prepared pan. Smooth surface. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand in pan for 10 minutes. Lift onto a wire rack. Serve warm or cold.

Enjoy x

Did you try making the Green Tomato Chutney or Pear and Almond Tart yet?

More Autumn Recipes : Green Tomato Chutney

20 Nov

As the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, we’re spending more time inside and in the kitchen.

I want to share with you what I ended up doing with all the green tomatoes I had from our tomato plant that wouldn’t ripen. We could have put them in a warm sunny room for a few weeks in an attempt to encourage them to ripen but my husband really wanted to make more chutney.

**As as side note, we cracked open the first jar of Red Tomato Chutney we made a few months back and it was gobbled up in a week! Must have been yummy!**

I searched for a suitable recipe and found that all the one’s I looked at were all based on a fairly similar theme so decided to just make my own version of this theme – mainly because I didn’t have all the ingredients for one particular recipe 🙂

I started off trying to peel the tomatoes – same as when I made the Red Tomato Chutney. I put a cross in the bottom of each tomato, put them in hot water for a minute or two then straight into cold water. Should have been simple right? Wrong! None of the skins had started to feel away on their own like the red tomatoes had so I plopped them back into hot water for another minute or two then into a bowl of cold water again. Still no sign of peeling.  Unfortunately, this meant that I spent the best part of the next hour trying to pry the skins off these completely un-helpful green tomatoes. A word of advice; don’t bother!

Aside from that the process is pretty straight forward as you’ll see below. It will still take you a few hours from start to finish but once all the stuff is in the pot and on to boil you can leave it and not think about it.

Do you have any green tomato recipes that you’d like to share?

Green Tomato Chutney

Ingredients

1 kg green tomatoes
200g onions
200g sultanas
200g cooking apples
200g sugar – I used coarse brown sugar however most recipes called for light muscovado sugar
500mL vinegar – I used apple cider vinegar with added mixed spice as most recipes called for spiced pickling vinegar

Method

Dice up the tomatoes, finely chop the onions, roughly chop the sultanas, and peel, core and chop the apples.
Put the sugar and vinegar into a large pan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Add the sultanas and apples and simmer for around 10 mins. Add the tomatoes and onions to the pan and return to the boil.
Simmer for about 1 hr, stirring occasionally until the mixture is thick and pulpy. Transfer to warmed sterilized jars and cover with lids. Store for a few months before consuming.
*The simmering took about 90 minutes for me to get a thick consistency to be prepared to wait it out!
Now you have perfect Christmas gifts!

Autumn in Geneva + An Autumn Recipe

11 Nov

Has it really been 11 days since I last posted something on this blog of mine? Really??

The weeks are just flying by and before we know it December will be upon us and that means Christmas, winter and snow and cold and before I get carried away I should probably get on with the fact that we’re loving Autumn! So what have we been up to?

We went to our little farm down the road to pick up some pumpkins and chestnuts…

We went for a little stroll in Meyrin…

Then we had a few little dinner parties at our place and thus begins the cooking tales of the past few weeks.

Even before I started planning the menu for this particular dinner party I knew I wanted to have an “Autumn” sort of theme.

Switzerland is so very unlike Australia when it comes to food shopping. Australia is such a large country with space and varying climates to grow just about anything all year round and you can therefore buy most fruits and vegetable from the supermarket all year round. Switzerland on the other hand is a tiny country which imports a lot of its fruit and vegetables and as a result only stocks those that are currently in season.

My husband and I have discussed this often and agree that eating according to the seasons is much more exciting. It’s Autumn now and we’re excited about the new Apple varieties coming in, pears, pumpkins, root vegetables… Oh what fun!

Anyway, back to my little autumn dinner. The menu I finally settled on consisted of a Polenta toast starter with Olive Tapenade and Sun-Dried Tomatoes, followed by a Mustard and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts wrapped in Proscuitto and a Pear and Almond Tart for dessert. I have made this tart three times now and it never fails to impress and never fails to taste 100% delicious!! So I’m going to share this recipe with you.

Pear and Almond Tart

Courtesy of Donna Hay
  • 90g butter, softened
  • ½ cup (90g) brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (120g) almond meal
  • ¼ cup (40g) plain flour (or gluten-free flour for a gluten-free dessert)
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder (or gluten-free powder for a gluten-free dessert)
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
  • 2 pears, peeled, cored and quartered
  • ½ cup (90g) brown sugar, extra
  • raw sugar, for sprinkling
  • double (thick) cream, to serve

Weekend Cooking Adventures

6 Nov

What was to be a busy weekend of entertaining and dining with friends turned into a quiet weekend at home with a sick hubby. Even with our changed plans, I decided to still make a few of my planned dishes: Pumpkin Soup and Apple Cake.

I have been inspired lately to cook with seasonal produce. I pass a local farm on my running route and for the last 2 months there has been a huge wagon of Pumpkins for sale on the road side. There are also crates full of locally grown Apples in the supermarket, along with Persimmons, Celeriac and Pears. Continue reading

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