Dutch Apple Tart (Appeltaart)  

Oh dear, my last post was more than one year ago! We have relocated to New Jersey, US since end of last December, in two months time, it would be our first full year here. Do I like it or not, there are plus and minus wherever you live. Here the plus sign are that I get to cook less as there are so many options to eat out. Clothings and the basic necessities here are cheaper and have more choices. My son is enjoying his school here, first months in first grade may be harder on him as every thing was new to him, new school rules, expectations and routines. Now in second grade, he is very happy and said many things to learn here.

Here in NJ, I have easy access to chinese food but hubby doesn’t get to have his Dutch comfort food easily. And yesterday for the real first time, I finally baked and I baked Dutch Apple Tart from scratch. I was a bit skeptical if the shortcrust dough is going to work as it was a bit like playing playdoh, you won’t be expected to be able to lift up the whole crust, you just stick them together and P said that is the way it was supposed to be.

This Dutch Apple Tart recipe from Baking Sense I found was translated from Dutch, since it worked fabulously , it’s a keeper for future use. 2 things I altered was I use 2 cups of self raising flour and 1 cup all purpose flour instead of all 3 cups all purpose flour.

Apples season here and I got to learn new types of apple here. And on Saturday, I came across Winesap apples and they told me that they are very good for baking. The apple still tasted a little crunchy after baking, no sogginess on the base at all, I even skipped lining breadcrumbs on the crust.

One little improvement I can try next time is to let the dough rest in the fridge for a bit longer. The recipe didn’t call for chilling the dough but I think I would do it. I chilled the dough for 40” , it may be better if I chill for 1.5hrs next time to see if the dough is easier to lift.

I don’t have a food processor here in US, so used the old fashioned Rubbing-in method, and then I used the handheld mixer when add in the beaten egg.

  Basic Homemade Tomato Sauce (Sugo)  


Pollença, Mallorca, Spain



Aedermannsdorf, Soloturn, Switzerland

6 weeks of summer holidays were over, we had a great time. First week we spent in Mallorca, Spain; then back in Basel, in-laws came to visit and celebrated Marc’s birthday together. Then we spent the remaining 3 weeks in Hong Kong visiting my parents, in the meantime, we all spent a few days in Okinawa, Japan together. We were very lucky with the weather most of the time, gorgeous beaches with fine sand and turquoise water, heavenly!

Up in the air

Up in the air of Hong Kong



Okinawa, Japan

Coming back, it’s back to normal, back to real life. Marc starts at Primary school, luckily first week went well so far.

As for me, I needed to restock some food supply for home, we had nothing in the house, so we went to Manor last Saturday after some unpacking. We planned to make fish tacos last weekend and needed some tomatoes and there I saw SAN MARZANO tomatoes!!! I got very excited already as I was already looking for them in the farm near home but didn’t see that day. So quickly grabbed 2 kilos to make some fresh homemade Italian tomato sauce (Sugo). I got this recipe from my friend Sarah, from her mother-in-law. She is Italian, so of course the recipe is authentic!!!!

Making sugo was quite a lot work but the making of it was very therapeutic. I am so happy to see the local produce, after coming back here, the colors are much vivid, vibrant, shiny and inviting.

In Hong Kong, the imported vegetables and fruits look more dull and expensive, that explains why we should best eat the seasonal local produce.

So sitting in my iPhone some notes and keywords of how to make Sugo, I thought I should write it up and share with those who are interested.

San Marzano tomatoes

So excited to see the San Marzano Tomatoes, first day returned from holidays.

  Korean Pajeon (pancake) with Wild Garlic (Bärlauch) from scratch  

Sunday hiking in Aargau

春天終於到了! 這段期間在樹林和朋友的花園長滿「野蒜葉」。朋友給我一大袋,用來做什麼好呢?剛巧見到一位瑞士的部落格朋友提意 用來做韓式薄餅,又幾好喎,就試試看,反正近排很久沒有見到有韭菜賣。我呢次用了野蒜葉,翠玉瓜,紅蘿蔔和小墨魚做薄餅。


星期天,我哋到  Veltheim, Aargau, 短程行山,沿途P 指出一大片長滿野蒜草的地方,我都是第一次在大自然接觸咋。
Spring is here! In the woods and some friends backyards, you can find wild garlic (also known as ramps? ) growing here and there.(in German, it’s called Bärlauch). I got a bag from a friend, what should I do with them? I have made pesto last year but took ages to finish and the taste is rather strong. Then I saw a Swiss-based blogger Cooking at Hinterberg who has suggested to use to make Korean Pajeon, I thought this is a great idea so I gave a go. Koreans normally use chives, spring onions or kimchi and with or without seafood, I use some calamari this time.

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  Malaysian Chicken Curry (馬來咖喱雞)  

Looking to Davos Dorf from coming the ski slope

Looking to Davos Dorf from coming the ski slope

復活節假期間我哋一家三口去咗Davos ‘hea’ 咗幾日,入住我喜愛的 Intercontinental Davos, 建築物形象隻金蛋,就想起來對復活節很給應景。因只逗留數天,所以沒有入住渡假屋,那些要住上一星期才可。這兒有很完善的Kids Club, 隨時可以放低阿仔去玩,大人便可鬆一鬆,去spa 或book 個按摩疏乎吓😃。



風境雖靚,但食方面就較為失望,原本在酒店設有唔錯的日本料理,但已轉為意大利餐廳。另外我們熟悉的中菜菜館又被Casino 佔據,所以天天都要食西餐,回到家第二晚下煮我便提意簡簡單單煮馬來咖喱雞,反正有一大樽自家制的馬來咖哩粉,很方便,P完全舉腳贊同,講到咖喱他一定不會反對。另外我就做台灣肉燥飯給阿仔,剩下來的可以分小份冷藏,供打後他的星期三午餐享用。

做馬來咖喱, 你可用現成購買到的馬來咖喱粉, 又或可用自制的咖喱粉。


Last week was Easter holiday, we had a short getaway in Davos, Switzerland. We stayed at Intercontinental Davos, I called it the big Golden Easter egg to Marc, perfect for the occasion, and because I didn’t allow him to eat more chocolate eggs these days since he had not recovered from his cold and bad cough. We chose this place because they have a very well-equipped Kids Club, with all kinds of activities during the day, so the parents can take a short break to go skiing or to the spa area to relax a bit.

The weather on our first day was not great, it was even snowing, so we didn’t do much, went to our favorite Coffee place, called Kaffee Klatsch and hanged out a bit there and then we went to the Spa, but that was just what we all needed, to relax!!!!!

The second day and onwards, we had blue sky, went skiing for a bit but not too much as I actually had a small injured on my knee in early February from skiing, nothing was broken, blessed and I was happy already that I could make numerous descends. One of us had to stay with Marc, so could not go to far anyway, I took the nearest chairlift up by myself at St Jakobshorn, 4 descends and then I could feel my injured area, that signalled that it was enough for the day and I should not to push further.

The scenery in Davos was breathtaking, especially at this place called where it is very popular for ski-touring. It was so untouched and looked as if heaven on earth.

The food was rather disappointing, there are many nice eateries but mostly Swiss or Western style, the dishes are on the heavy and rich side. Previous years, we have two favorite eateries in Davos, one is the Chinese restaurant called Zauberberg, they served authentic Chinese dishes but don’t know since when they have closed down. The second one which is a Japanese restaurant in the hotel here has changed into an Italian restaurant. That’s why we would rather eat at Kaffee Klatch as the food is lighter and the place is always cozy.

As a result, when we got home, I was desperate for some Asian food and I proposed to make Malaysian Chicken Curry. With curry, P would never say no. So as promised earlier, here is the recipe with my Homemade Malaysian Curry Powder I prepared not long ago.

You can use store-bought Malaysian curry powder but here I refer to the use of Homemade Malaysian Curry Powder my homemade Malaysian curry powder.

Intercontinental Davos 01

Golden Egg, Intercontinental Davos

Sunbathing on the terrace

Sunbathing on the terrace

Me and Marc

Me and Marc

Enjoying under the sun

Enjoying under the sun


Late lunch at Kaffee Klatsch

Lunch at Kaffee Klatsch


Cozy atmosphere at Kaffee Klatsch, opens 365 days

Cozy atmosphere at Kaffee Klatsch, opens 365 days


This asparagus pasta was light and delicious, creamy but not too creamy.

This asparagus pasta was light and delicious, creamy but not too creamy.


Dry Aged Pork Chop

Dry Aged Pork Chop, this was awarded with Swiss Gourmet Porc Grand Cru. This was aged for 3 weeks, claimed to have unique flavors. However, I was not impressed, the piece of meat looked big but half of it I had to removed because it was all fat.









  Korean Glass Noodle (Japchae)  

Somehow every time I make Japchae, it’s hard to just make a small portion, all the ingredients add up together will make a big bowl. I wish my good friends live nearby so I could just let them know and they come over to have some. One time I did cook and then packed into boxes and delivered to my friends. However, this is not feasible anymore, weekdays are busier in his second year of kindergarden, more after school activities, driving, cooking, giving him shower and putting him to bed on time.

Japchae requires a lot of chopping but with a bit advanced planning and preparation, it didn’t stop me to enjoy this dish on a busy day. This time I didn’t use spinach but cabbage instead and added something else, worked perfectly and now I found out the tricks of how not to make the sweet potato noodle sticking together. Thanks to Maangchi’s recipe.

For ingredients, I used cabbage, carrots, zucchini, beef, enoki mushrooms, bean sprouts, cloud fungus, Chinese mushrooms, eggs. For meatless version, you can use fried tofu and more eggs instead of beef. You don’t necessary use spinach, I just use whatever I have at home and it worked.  You can serve with or without rice. Marc enjoyed it very much with rice.

Good thing is that Tuesdays I have TRX, so I don’t have to worry about cooking tomorrow.

  First time making Korean Knife-Cut Noodle, Kalguksu !!!  

Last Monday, I saw a Korean Knife-Cut Noodle, Kalguksu, posted in Facebook by KC, the photo was taken from Kwangjang Market, a famous food market in Seoul. It immediately drew my interest and I went to search in the internet and found a few recipes on how to make Kalguksu at home. I saw one video from YouTube and saw this old lady made these noodles by sitting on the straw mat flooring (like tatami), from rolling the dough into a big thin noodle sheet using a big wooden pole to cutting into thin strips of noodle, her feet were bended and folded all the time. I definitely can’t do that, totally impressed.

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  Kinder Surprise for breakfast?!?! And my Veggie Kimbap with Kale  

It’s best to delay your kids exposing to confectionery.

I now know why my mom had stopped me and my brother from eating sweets or crisps for as much as possible. This is because after observing for days, I notice that Marc will cough quite badly in the middle of the night when he has eaten more sweets or chocolates. Luckily, the next morning the cough is gone but he keeps coming back and asks for more chocolate again and forgets what has happened to him the night before and he has cried so badly.

And lately Marc has been crazy about chocolate or sweets, in particular Kinder Surprise Eggs. He likes the toys inside of course.

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  Bircher Muesli – gluten & dairy free version  

This is my first post after refreshing my blog with a new blog template. Thanks to Parveen for a quick turn around which saved me from not killing my blog by fiddling around. New year, new begin, I have transferred all my old posts to  janetching.wordpress.com.

As some of you may have aware that I am in the path of attempting to eat less meat and to divert my diet to more plant-based. I started in mid-July 2013 with juicing and green smoothie, and have been able to go jogging regularly. The efforts are paid off, I am happier now after finally almost losing those stubborn extra pounds. However, it is too cold lately to keep up with jogging outside and drinking green smoothie. Therefore after long consideration, I have signed up in a fitness centre. Surprisingly, I am liking it, I am adding on some resistance training on top of the cardio-training. As for green smoothie, I am drinking much less recently due to the freezing cold winter. I am trying to keep drinking enough fluids which is my weakest link. But this has not stopped me from eating healthily. And today I want to share with you my other version of Bircher muesli inspired by Tibits, the popular vegetarian restaurant in Switzerland and London.

You can find my previous version of Bircher Muesli here which was posted in 2010. The main difference is that I am not using dairy milk but plant milk and have incorporated some superfood and the nice color immersed from the frozen raspberries.

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