Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cracking sloe gin trifle

I had a go at making a trifle this weekend. My first trifle ever. It didn't look pretty but it was delicious. Since we are going to Galicia for Christmas, I thought it would be a good idea to have an Irish or British dish as well. Looking at recipes online I found plenty of ideas, all of them different so I decided to go free style and use whatever I fancied.

We made plenty of sloe gin last year so that seemed like a good choice.
Also for the base, I bought Boudoir biscuits and assembled them with plenty of blackcurrant jam from the Gorey Farmers Market (I pasted them together as a boudoir jam sandwich). I bought a tin of peaches in grape juice and poured all the peaches (but 3 I left for decoration) over the biscuit and jam base. Then drizzled a good bit of slow gin.

I had homemade apple jelly in the cupboard so that was next in. At this stage it looked like a bit of a mess, not a sight of the tidy and even layers of shop-bought trifles. Then I made custard (one pint of milk) from powder and once it cooled off a bit, I poured over the messy base. Once the custard was cold I whipped cream (with a touch of sugar) and covered the top. I used the remaining peaches for decoration and sprinkled a bit of cocoa powder on top.

Because sloe gin has a very sweet taste and not particularly alcoholic, it went very well with the berries and the fruit.

I should have taken a shot but I just got too carried away... next time!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Autummy chestnut flan

Sweet chestnuts used to be the most important part of the Galician diet back in the day, being the starchy basis of daily meals before the mighty potato was introduced from South America.

The chestnut still remains a big Autumm favourite and the star of the 'Magosto', which is mainly a party celebrating the chestnut harvest, its main purpose being to gather together and roast and eat chestnuts (and sort of celebrate the beginning of winter too).

As a kid, we celebrated a 'magosto' party at school and I loved going to my grandparents around this time of the year, to gather chestnuts and roast them in the fire. Roasted or boiled and eaten with milk... as children we loved the sweet floury taste of chestnuts and the fun involved in picking them, and cooking them. Never to be eaten raw though, as granny said warms will grow in your belly. It might be a myth but just in case...

This year I found some French chestnuts at the Gorey Farmers Market and decided I'd try to make a chestnut flan (creme caramel). It was my first ever flan, and my first ever chestnut flan... and it didn't turn out too shabby! I followed a Galician recipe book that has the shortest recipes ever (they are all about 4 lines long in average!) in true Galician cooking free-style.

Here's what I needed:

500gr (approx) of sweet chestnuts
200gr of sugar
milk (2 bowls - around a pint and 1/2)
4 eggs (separate yolk and whites)
a drop of vanilla essence

First I boiled the chestnuts in water so they can be peeled properly.
Once peeled, I boiled the chestnuts in the milk with the vanilla essence and 150gr of sugar.
The chestnuts will disintegrate in the milk eventually. To help them along, you can blend the mix for a bit.

Prepare a big bowl (the one you'll cook the flan in, it needs to go in bain Marie so it must be resilient) lining it with caramel (in a saucepan melt sugar with a bit of water, then pour in the bowl - my caramel wasn't great but it did the job).

 Once you think the chestnuts have blended into the milk, sieve the mixture (so there are no lumpy bits of chestnut in your flan). Add the other 50gr of sugar and the egg yolk. Then add the whites (first, whisk them to get a bit of fluffyness). Mix well and pour in your caramel lined bowl.

Put the bowl in a big pot with water so you can boil it (bain marie) for roughly 45min to an hour. Let it cool down and turn upside down on a plate or dish. Voila! eat cool with sugary whipped cream. Enjoy your magosto!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

'Little stairs to the doors of the sea'

'Little stairs to the doors of the sea', in Lisbon

Four recipes for chorizoholics

my chorizo stash
Forget for a moment about the tasteless u-shaped industrial chorizo you'll find in your average supermaket. If you haven't tried the smaller, wrinklier and more natural version of cured chorizo with its delicious spicy smokeyness you don't know what you are missing.

Fried, boiled, grilled, with pasta, with boiled potatoes, in your pizza, in a sambo... or just as it is, chorizo is the one food I can never resist. Some people can never say no to chocolate, I go mad for a bit of nice chorizo. When our friends visit from Galicia there is usually one present they bring in their case: vacuumed packed chorizos to keep us going until the next Galician arrives in the house with more supplies.

For other chorizoholics out there, I share 4 very simple recipes here where the star ingredient is, of course, chorizo (chourizo for us Galicians):

-Chickpea stew
What you'll need:
one onion
one clove of garlic
1 or 2 carrots
4-5 ripe tomatoes (or a tin of chopped tomatoes if you prefer)
chorizo to your taste (the more the merrier!) chopped in slices or cubes
300gr dried chickpeas (if you use dried ones, you'll need to soak them for a good few hours, I suggest you soak them the night before you are cooking them) or two tins of chickpeas.

First you are going to prepare a base of tomato sauce cooking the onion, garlic and chopped carrots for a few minutes, then adding the chopped tomatoes and letting it all simmer for a few minutes until it is nice and soft. Then you can add the chorizo, the chickpeas and a pint of water (roughly). It is so simple! now you only need to let the mix bubble away until the chickpeas are cooked and add seasoning to taste. Depending on how liquid you like your stew, you can add more or less water.

If you like peppers, you can also add fresh red or green peppers to the vegetable mix. Some people might find it too overpowering but I find it works well with the chickpeas.

-Brown or Green Lentil stew
The cooking method for the lentil stew is exactly the same as the chickpea stew. The only difference is that you might like to add some cured ham cubes if you have them. I also like to boil a couple of eggs and add them to the lentil stew. Use brown/green or puy lentils for this. They have lots of iron so they are very good for you!

-Chorizo in cider (or white wine)
Cudillero, in Asturias
This is a deliciously simple recipe. You simple cut the chorizo in slices or cubes and boil it in cider or white wine until soft. You can eat it with nice fresh bread or boiled potatoes. Chorizo in cider is a very traditional recipe from Asturias, the region neighbouring Galicia, and famous for its natural cider. I was recently in Cudillero, a pretty little fishing village in Asturias, where we had some tasty chorizo cooked in local cider, as well as some fishy delicacies...

-Runner beans with chorizo
Runner beans are now in season so this is a good late Summer-early Autumn dish. They grow fantastically well in Ireland. It is the one crop that never fails to deliver in our neglected vegetable patch...

For this dish, you need potatoes, eggs, runner beans and chorizo.
It is also a very simple, quick and tasty recipe: basically you just have to boil the potatoes, eggs and runner beans until tender. With the chorizo you can either boil it too or chop it and fry it very slightly in a pan with a drop of olive oil and drizzle over the boiled potatoes, eggs and runner beans.

You can also add chorizo to your potato tortilla (Spanish omelette) or have some fried chorizo (better if it's not too cured) with fried eggs for a Friday treat! - don't forget to make some salad or veg to go with it, for a bit of a healthy balance. There is a million ways of cooking with chorizo, all of them delicious...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

5 random Amsterdam food experiences

Earlier this year, Mr M, two friends and I went to Amsterdam for a few days. I hadn't really researched much about the city and the only rough plan of action I had in mind was visiting the Van Gogh Museum and chilling out. And chilling out, in my book, means a few decent food treats must be included.

With the help of some local friends, here you have 5 random food experiences we really enjoyed - all for different reasons:

-Spicy Ethiopian 
In the Jordaan district we found a cool Ethiopian restaurant called Semhar and recommended by one of the guides the group had. The place was a fantastic discovery, offering authentic Ethiopian food in a simple and homely family-run restaurant. The whole group really enjoyed the spicy Ethiopian delights -both vegetarians and meat eaters- presented in huge platters, perfect for sharing.

-Say Poffertjes 
The Spaniards have churros, the French have pancakes and the Dutch batter-delicious cross between the two is poffertjes. They might look like Yorkshire puddings to go with your roast dinner but are infinitely more delicious and sweet. We found them at the Albert Cuypmarkt, after being recommended by our local friend, Isis. Nice and warm, sprinkled with sugar and a lump of tasty unsalted Dutch butter, this was street food heaven. We couldn't get enough.

After trying once, there was no way we were going to let this discovery go so easily: it was poffertjes every time we had the chance. We were even tempted to buy a poffertjes pan to take home. Because it sounds like 'cheese' we thought it would be the ideal word for picture taking...

-Street Haring
Being a big fan of Swedish and Polish herring I had to try the Dutch version. There were plenty of street vendors so we went for a herring roll to see if it lived up to expectations. Stuffed in a soft bun with onions and pickles, I thought it would be pretty much the same as the Scandinavian herring but I was wrong! It was slimy and felt and tasted a bit too raw for my taste buds. I finished the bun but after crossing it off my list, it will not be an experience I will be looking to repeat any time soon. We also tried the smoked eel, and while it didn't sound as pleasant, it was incredibly tasty. That is one definitely for your to-eat list, if you get a chance.

-Food with a view
Our Galician friend Lucia had studied a couple of tourist guides and had found plenty of interesting tips, including a lunch suggestion involving the city library, a few minutes walk from the Central Station. A library for lunch? Bizarre, we thought but we soon found out it had a decent choice of international food made on the spot at pretty decent prices. Its biggest attraction , however, was its great view of the city since it is on the top floor- if it wasn't for the fog!. Ok, so we didn't get to see much of the view but we could just about make it out.

-Cheese Tasting
 Reypenaer cheese makers have been selling cheese in Amsterdam for over one hundred years. Their shop organises tastings for keen cheese loving visitors, with your own 'expert in cheese tasting' certificate to take home at the end of it.

The tasting is a bit of a marketing gimmick but good fun all the same! you get to try some of the house's cheeses, from the chevre affine to the mature Reypener reserve, along with some wine; and mark each of them. And it will guarantee you will make a stop at the shop to take home some of their cheeses.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sunday in Clonegal

It is funny how you can have amazing places close to home and not even realise... it wasn't until I went to one of the #SMEcommunity meetings in Clonegal earlier this year that I discovered Huntington Castle. I had heard of the 'new age' witch living there but I hadn't realised you could go in to the castle or that there were tours to see the place. 
So taking the opportunity that the in-laws were visiting this weekend we went up to Clonegal (it is only about 25 min drive from Gorey) to spend our Sunday. Apart from the castle, Clonegal has another great 'attraction', restaurant Sha-Roe Bistro which is a lovely low key place with stunning top quality nosh!
The plan was to have a treat Sunday lunch at Sha-Roe and then head next door to the castle to check out the gardens (the last time I was there it was so wet I didn't get to see them) and have a tour of the place. The plan didn't disappoint, we hadn't been to Sha-Roe in a good while (why?? I don't know!) but it was as good or even better than I remembered. I had a smoked salmon terrine with haddock fishcake for starters and an absolutely superb courgette and cucumber risotto with scallops. I'm generally not a fan of risotto but this was no ordinary risotto, it was just amazingly tangy and tasty and everything you would need for a tasty Sunday treat! for dessert I had the classic lemon tart with raspberry sorbet which was sweet, refreshing and amazing. We must go more often! 
It was fun to have another tour of Huntington Castle because I got a different guide this time (I presume they are brothers) and we got different anecdotes from the castle's inhabitants and eccentric family residents. The castle was built in 1625 on the site of a 14th century abbey. It was built over a water well which still can be seen down in the basement, where the cult to the Goddess Isis has its 'Vatican' - as the guide said.

It is refreshing to go to a site that has been in the hands of the same family for centuries and see how the place has evolved, without artificial 'additives' solely for tourist consumption. It is a family house that happens to be a castle and have a very very colourful history! now they have opened tea rooms and they also have a resident artist studio, as well as a few crafts on sale.

For such a small place, Clonegal, gives you a good mix of things to do on a Sunday. Oh, and if you fancy walking, the Wicklow Way has its finishing spot here too!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Irish heritage and history in your pocket

My friend and archaeologist Neil Jackman has just launched this amazing project called Abarta Audio Guides. Neil and a group of friends with many different talents from music to acting have produced and launched these fantastic audio guides to 8 of Ireland's most high profile sites and events (Glendalough, 1916 Rising in Dublin, Rock of Cashel, Kilkenny Castle...).

The guides last up to 50 minutes in duration and they offer an interpretation of the sites and events with anecdotes and stories about these heritage sites. The greatest part? you can download it at home and take it with you, no need for queues or renting equipment at the sites. The Abarta team idea is to roll out to more sites in the coming months and develop apps with videos and other exciting things...

Since archaeology jobs are very scarce in Ireland these days, it is great to see the archaeologists still in Ireland come up with ideas to reinvent their talents. He has been working hard on this project for the past few years and I hope they do really really well. It is a fantastic idea and a handy way of taking Ireland's heritage and history in your pocket!

Go on! Check out the Abarta audio guides! you know you want to!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Bronze Age cooking - no Tin Foil in sight

It was my first time at the Wexford Food Festival this year. Despite being so close, I hadn't managed to do it last year. I was particularly curious to see the Bronze Age cooking demonstration: after spending three years digging fulacht fiadh around the country in the many commercial archaeological digs of the Celtic Tiger times I was definitely keen to see - and taste! - how it all worked!

So this year, we managed to head down to the Irish National Heritage Park with a couple of friends and have a bite of Bronze Age cooking! The weather was gorgeous so that was a bonus! and while we managed to miss the first demonstration and had to wait for the second round we were happy to go around and have a look (yet again) at the park. It is a great spot to take visitors, it gives them a chance to get a quick history of Ireland in the space of just over an hour! some parts of the park need a bit of work, and some other parts that we managed to see last year were closed this time around. It makes the visits slightly annoying because you never get to see the whole thing, but I suppose it is worth the wait and once all repair work is done it will be a fantastic attraction.

Anyway, back to the fulacht fiadh or burnt mound, it consists of a trough dug into the ground where hot stones (heated over a fire) were thrown and meat was cooked for what archaeologists suppose were special or big occasions for Bronze Age people (1500-500 BC). Why they didn't save themselves the hassle and cook directly on the fire, we'll never know! The fulacht fiadhs would have been reused though, leaving plenty of burnt stones scattered around the area for archaeologists to dig.

There are tons of fulacht fiadh around Ireland (Wikipedia says 4,500!), they are a pain to dig because of the huge extension of burnt material and stones that can cover a pretty significant surface and depth. But after digging them, it was great to taste a bit of meat cooked in one!

One of the ladies in front of me wasn't too impressed with the bacon being wrapped in hay and chucked into the murky water so asked the fulacht fiadh 'chef' if they (as in Bronze Age people) would have used tin foil! someone must go back to history classes!

Bacon wasn't enough to fill us up so we headed into town to check out the food stalls for some tasty treats!

Here's some info on fulatch fiadhs http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fulacht_fiadh

and a video from the Irish National Heritage Park

Friday, May 25, 2012

What's in the fridge Friday dinners

We tend to do most of our food shopping at the Gorey Farmers Market on Saturday mornings which means by Friday night the fridge is looking pretty bare. Friday dinner tends to be a frugal one, we call it 'what's in the fridge dinner', using up whatever is left from the weekly supplies. It can be a bit dull or boring and sometimes experimental - with very inconsistent results! but sometimes it can really work! 

Last Friday, for example, I decided to cook cannelloni, as I had some pasta left in the cupboard, stuffed with some leftover vegetables. To avoid a bland veggie mix I decided to give it a bit of a kick, the result was spicy cannelloni with a lentil and spicy veg filling and yoghurt on top (no good pics I'm afraid), here's what I used:

It is a very easy option, because it requires no bechamel sauce.

For the filling: 4 tomatoes, 2 carrots, 1 courgette, 1 onion, garlic, ginger, coriander in seeds and fresh, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, cumin seeds, chilli seeds, salt, pepper, brown lentils. 

Peel and chop the vegetables, finely, and add to a pan with a bit of olive oil. Add a cup of brown lentils and the spices. Cook until the lentils are soft. Add a bit of stock or water if the mix gets too dry, the lentils need water to soak when they cook.

Let the mix cool down.

Fill the cannelloni pasta (those ones already in a rolled shape), lay on a deep tray and cover with enough yoghurt so the pasta is not exposed. Cook at 180-200C for about 30 min. Easy peasy!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Galician basics: Empanada of anything

Mussel empanada!
Empanada is, along with octopus, one of the classic and most traditional Galician foods. Made to share, to take out, to eat in... empanada (similar to patties - or let's call it pies) can be bought in any bakery and filled with almost anything. More often than not the filling will be seafood or fish (salted cod, tuna, cockles, mussles, octopus, conger eel, razor clams, clams...you name it) but also meat, traditionally pork (for example zorza, a kind of minced chorizo meat) but ham and cheese is a popular modern addition to the repertoire.

Normally, empanada is eaten cold but my hometown has a special version, called Market Day Pie, that is made with chunky fish, eaten warm with a paprika oily mix. It is delicious.

When I first moved to Ireland, this was one of the foods I missed the most, and friends visiting will travel with a fresh (or day old) portion of empanada in their cases, just to kill the craving.

I've tried making empanada before but never tasted quite right but recently I got a new pastry recipe from a friend's mum in Viveiro and this time it was a real success, tasted like the real deal.

The pastry can be frozen, hence the huge quantity of flour (unless you are making a huge pie)

-1kg flour
-cup of white wine
-cup of milk
-cup of sunflower oil
-pinch of salt
-25gr yeast
Mix and let sit and rise for 30min-1hr.

For the filling, I had mussels from the market. I steamed them and then I made a veggie sauce with: 1 onion, 1 red pepper, 5 fresh tomatoes, salt, saffron, spoonful of olive oil.

I rolled the pastry in to parts (one for the bottom and one for the top), put the veggie paste and mussels and then covered. I even made a little M for the top, like the Galician bakers do to indicate the main ingredient of the filling: Mussels!

I baked it for about 30 minutes, until golden brown. Didn't it look pretty?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ensaladilla Time!

16th of May and looks like the Summer is being a bit shy this year. After a half decent day today - literally half: sunny morning and overcast afternoon! - we can only hope good weather is on its way! and one of my favourite and easiest summery meals is ensaladilla.

You might have seen it in your travels to Spain, covered in a thick layer of mayonnaise as tapas or pintxos in bars. Ensaladilla means 'little salad' but it doesn't really  have to be that small.

My mum and dad used to make huge ones (with homemade mayonnaise, yum!) when we had big celebrations at home and had the family over. Usually as a starter, along with Galician empanada. In Spain, they tend to call it ensaladilla rusa (little Russian salad) so I presume its origin is not Spanish at all. The beauty of it is that you can mix and match the ingredients depending on the season.

The basic ingredients are (in my book!):
-potato, egg and carrot (boiled)
-tomato (fresh)
-tuna, if you can get hold of good fresh tuna steak from your fishmonger and boil it, much better than your average tasting tinned tuna. Although there is pretty good quality bluefin tuna in olive oil available in certain specialist stores around Ireland (I recently bought some in The Store Cupboard at Rathwood but Dunnes Stores seems to stock pretty decent tuna jars too).

Other additional ingredients (depending on the season):
-asparagus (perfect for this time of the year, early Summer) - boiled (cut in half, as tips take less time to cook)
-peas (our crop is usually out around July) - no need to boil, if they are fresh they will be delicious!
-runner beans (our crop generally starts in late summer, around August) - topped and tailed; boiled until soft
-a few nice olives to decorate, if you like them

It can't get any easier than ensaladilla: just cook the ingredients that need to be cooked, let cool and then chop in smallish cubes the potato and carrot (not too small otherwise it will go a bit mushy). Cut the tomatoes in wedges and the runner beans in chunks of about 3cm. Slice the egg and jut cut the asparagus in half (they are very delicate). Then assemble in a deep dish.The result will be a combination of layers of different vegetables with sliced boiled egg and most delicate vegetables (like the asparagus tips and a few olives) on top to decorate.

It is a great picnic and packed lunch meal! and don't forget the mayonnaise to taste!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Third-time lucky Falafels

People get hooked on falafel after travelling to the most exotic places: Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey... I can't really point out the exact moment I got addicted to falafels. I have never been to the Middle East so it is quite possible it was in the middle of a bog in County Roscommon circa 2006.
third-time lucky falafels

What is this random Galician from Co. Wexford doing in the middle of a bog eating falafels? you might ask. Well, that is a question I have asked myself many times too. It was one of the first years of the Mantua music (and arts?) festival in Ballagahderreen. Yes, it was in a bog: soggy, wet and miserable (even though it was the middle of the summer). There was no toilets for half the duration of the festival and one of the few food options at the festival was, of course, falafel wraps.

I came home swearing I would never ever go to another festival again (if it's located in prime bog-location and it's raining) and never touch another chickpea. But I was wrong, at least in the second instance anyway. My temporary falafel overdose in boggy Roscommon seemed to have triggered a need for mushy chickpeas every now and then.

Then I was lucky enough to live close to the Gorey Farmers Market with Mohammed's best ever Lebanese style falafel wraps. Mohammed is now gone (to bigger markets) but the Gorey market has recently got a new 'falafel man', this time from Syria. And while I do miss Mohammed's falafels, the new ones are amazingly good as well.

In between Mohammed's departure and the new arrival, we had a few sad falafel-free months, so I tried to feed my addiction by DIYing it: The first time I used tinned chickpeas: too mushy. The second time I used dry chickpeas but without cooking them (I was following a recipe!): way too crunchy. And this week I have tried with dry chickpeas but boiling them for while.

They are the best I have done so far, hence the 'third-time lucky' name. I had tried to make them with a packet mix once but that doesn't count (and they were too mushy too, for your information). So here's the recipe:

Ideally, you would need a food processor to get a paste of the right consistency but I have combined some patient fork-squashing moves and a blender. Time consuming but hey, it is worth it.

With 500 gr of dry chickpeas you will make approximately 40 falafels (too much even for falafel freaks but I was only experimenting, remember). You will need to soak the chickpeas overnight. Note to myself: try doing about half of that amount next time.

I boiled the chickpeas for about 15/20 minutes, although some recipes suggest you can just use the food processor to get a coarse paste without boiling them.

I chopped a big onion, three garlic cloves, a bunch of fresh parsley, a bunch of fresh coriander and mixed with the chickpeas. Then I tried to blend it but I didn't want a very mushy consistency (it is up to you!) so I combined it with the 'highly advanced' fork-smashing technique ;-). Really, I need to buy a food processor for this type of thing.

I added about 3/4 teaspoons of ground cumin, one of chilli flakes (ground would work too), salt and two tablespoons of flour.

I mixed the paste well and rolled it into little falafel balls and put them in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil for about 30 minutes (shaking every so often so they go crispy all around).

We ate them with toasted pitta bread, lettuce, tomato, hummus and some yogurt (I grated some garlic into it). And it was a great success!

Next time I must try using a processor, just to get an even consistency.

I'll still keep going to get the 'pro' market falafels but this will do the job when I need to kill that falafel craving...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Easy Recipe: Home made sausage rolls

Two reasons I wouldn't be able to become a vegetarian: chorizo and sausage rolls.

They are two of my soft spots, food wise. I admit your average sausage roll from deli counters around the country might not be the best for you but many cafes make their own. Why not make your own to know what exactly goes into them?

I made some last night with sausages from Wexford's Pat O'Neill who sells his quality pork products at the Gorey Farmers Market and has a few awards under his belt.

It is easy peasy, you can either make the pastry or buy the puff rolls from the shop, to make a shortcrust pastry you only need a bit of butter, flour, salt and a bit of water.

Here's the quantity I had for 16 small rolls:
100gr butter
200gr flour
olive oil (for the oven tray)
8 good quality sausages

To make the pastry, mix the flour and butter until it is crumbly. Add salt. Add water gradually to the flour and butter mix and knead until is soft and smooth, and not to sloppy. Roll into a ball and leave the pastry in the fridge for about an hour or so.

In the meantime, power boil the sausages, for 5-10 minutes (to make sure they are properly cooked).

Roll the pastry, cut the sausages in half (unless you want to do big sausage rolls, then just keep the whole sausage) and then roll the sausages in pastry squares, big enough to be able to wrap them nicely and close both ends. Preheat the oven to 190C roughly and once it is hot enough, place the rolls on a baking tray sprinkled with a bit of oil so they don't stick to the bottom. Cook for about 30-40 minutes, until you see the pastry is cooked and they have a nice healthy colour!
Voila! serve with a bit of salad to keep up with your 5 a day.
They are great for packed lunch, even when cold!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

and those Christmas pictures...

Christmas and the Swiss/French cheese fest sounds like a life time ago (how many times a week can you actually eat and enjoy raclette??), but I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the best shots of our trip to visit Mr M's family to the Swiss/French border. 

The winter light can be so beautiful, I just love that picture of the Swiss flag taken in Geneva's old town.

I was very amused by the Playmobil characters used by the Swiss Rail company at Gare Cornavin in Geneva while the station is under renovation... Playmobil fans out there will love it.

A couple of shots from Les Gets, in the French Alps