Friday, January 26, 2007

The Greatest Places on Earth!!!

Welcome to my first "The Greatest Places on Earth" post. This week I pretty much took us on a tour of some of the most beautiful and exotic places on earth, and then since I was doing that, I figured I would share some pictures and video of my country Mozambique and also South Africa.

You guys responded so well, that I figured I would star
t doing a once a week feature where I could spotlight a country or city, share some information about it and maybe some visual too.

Since I'm all for including my family and having fun with the kids, I thought that it would be a great idea to have my kids learn something while watching me on the computer. We're also going to try and make a craft from that country, during the weekend, and then maybe share those pictures with you too.
If I ever mention a place where you've lived or were born and you want to give us some additional info, please feel free to do so :)

One of the countries I've ALWAYS wanted to visit, was Switzerland, so
that is where we are heading this morning. Grab your cup of coffee and hold on tight....we're about to go across the ocean and all the way to Europe.


Switzerland may be neutral but it's far from flavourless. The fusion of German, French and Italian ingredients has formed a robust national culture, and the country's alpine landscapes have enough zing to reinvigorate the most jaded traveller.

Goethe summed up Switzerland succinctly as a combination of 'the colossal and the well-ordered'. You can be sure that your trains and letters will be on time. The tidy, just-so precision of Swiss towns is tempered by the lofty splendour of the landscapes that surround them.
Swiss folk culture includes yodelling, playing the alp horn and Swiss wrestling. We suggest you don't indulge in any of these after a night in a Swiss tavern. Do, however, take on some hearty traditional cooking - try rosti or the famed fondue.

Switzerland sits squarely in the belly of western Europe, landlocked by France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Austria and Italy. The Alps occupy the central and southern regions of the country and the modest Jura Mountains straddle the border with France in the northeast. The Bernese Mittelland - an area of hills, rivers and winding valleys - lies between the two mountain systems and has spawned Switzerland's most populous cities. Over 60% of the country is mountainous and a quarter of it is covered in forests.


63.7% German, 20.4% French, 6.4% Italian, 0.5% Romansch, 9% other


41.8% Roman Catholic, 35.3% Protestant, 4.3% Muslim, 1.8% Orthodox Christian, 11.1% no religion, 5.7% other.


Aren't those just beautiful....I tell you, Switzerland has got to be one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Now how about a drive from Lausanne to Vevey?

To end our trip to Switzerland, I couldn't let you all go without a recipe, you know how much I love food, so I just wouldn't be ME without sharing some goodies with you right??


  • 450 g (1 pound) puff-paste
  • 2 tablespoons margarine or butter
  • 1 shallot, hacked
  • 1 clove of garlic, pressed
  • 800 g (1.75 pounds) small mushrooms, cut into four pieces each
  • 1 dl (3.4 fl. ounces) white wine
  • 180 g (6.3 ounces) half and half sour
  • 1 dl (3.4 fl. ounces) cream
  • 1 teaspoon curry
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon paprika, a small amount of nutmeg and cayenne pepper
  • salt or spices

Bake 6 large heart-shaped pies made out of the puff-paste for about 15 to 20 minutes
Heat margarine or butter in a pot
Add shallot and clove of garlic, stew
Add white wine and mushrooms, mix, cover and cook for about 5 minutes
Increase heat, cook in open pot until half of the fluid has gone
Add half and half and cream
Add curry, worcestershire sauce, paprika, nutmeg, pepper and salt
Distribute the filling into the heated pies, serve immediately

Hints: You may replace part of the mushrooms with small pieces of veal.
You may want to prepare the pies in advance, but they have to be heated in the oven before the filling gets added.
"Apfelküchlein" (deep fried apple cookie) taste great either warm or cold, with or without vanilla sauce.

  • 4 or 5 sourish apples (e.g. Boskop or Jonathan)
  • 120 g (4 ounces) white flour
  • 40 g (1.4 ounces) grind hazelnuts
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla sugar
  • 1½ dl (5 fl. ounces) of apple cider
  • Yellow of 2 eggs
  • White of 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of oil
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Deep-frying oil
  • Some confectioner's or cinnamon sugar
  1. Add flour, hazelnuts, salt, one tablespoon of sugar and the vanilla sugar to a bowl and mix well.
  2. Add apple cider and stir.
  3. Add yellow of 2 eggs and one teaspoon of oil and mix well.
  4. Leave the dough alone for about 30 minutes.
  5. Peal the apples and remove the core.
  6. Cut the apples in rings, each about 1 cm (½ inch) thick.
  7. Add 3 tablespoons of sugar to the lemon juice, sweep the apples and leave them alone for about 30 minutes.
  8. Add a pinch of salt to the white of two eggs and stir until it is stiff, carefully mix it with the dough.
  9. Heat the oil in a frying-pan to 190°C (375°F).
  10. Dip one ring of apple at a time into the dough and fry it immediately in the oil on both sides until it is brown.
  11. Drip off the oil.
  12. Spread confectioner's or cinnamon sugar evenly over the cookies while they are still warm and serve them immediately.
  13. But they will also taste good when they are cold, especially if you serve them with some warm vanilla sauce.

With that yummy stuff I say goodbye, and see you next friday. Remember to pack light, or heck, pack whatever you want, we're not even leaving the comfort of our homes right???


  1. Oh Sandra how very lovely of you to do this!!!We can't forget about getting chocolate now can we??I've always wanted to go to Switzerland too.have a great day

  2. Sandra, I have never wanted to go to Switzerland...until now! I never knew how beautiful it was. It is amazing, the landscapes are beautiful, and the food? YUM!

    Thank you so much for doing this. Now I get to 'visit' some of the most beautiful places on earth.

  3. Fascinating! After I posted so many months of the Sunday Afternoon Drives, I know how time-consuming these trips are. This is awesome!

  4. I've been to Switzerland and it is beautiful! I went several years ago on a Eurorail pass (that was so much fun!) That deep fried apple cookie sounds delicious!

  5. Oh! I really needed a get-away today! Thank you so much for taking us along! You do it up right, yes you do!

  6. I love this idea. Switzerland is beautiful. Can you believe I never heard of Liechtenstein until reading Danielle Steel's recent book. The picture of the train reminds me of Germany. German buildings look like Switzerland's buildings.

  7. I'd love to visit Switzerland, when I went interrailing we passed through on a train bound for Italy but we didn't stop :(

    This is a great idea :)

  8. What a beautiful country..thanks for doing this I look forward to next weeks.

  9. Hey Sandra! Thank you for the beautiful tour of Switzerland. It's beautiful! I'll be on the lookout for more trips.


  10. One of these days, my wife and I, together with our two kids, will visit Switzerland.

    Hope my home country gets featured too.


  11. Did you get lost in the Swiss Alps? I hope you're ok and not sick or in crisis. Haven't heard from you in such a long time (isn't it funny how in blogland 3 days is a long time?)

  12. How beautiful! Thanks for all the effort it took to do this for us! I took a little internet break over the weekend but look forward to checking this out with Eve.
    My husband being the AF brat that he is has been everywhere including skiing the Alps. Hopefully our children will be able to have the same great experiences. Thanks again!


  13. Yummy Recipe....Thanks.
    Reminds me of my Aunt Inez'z donuts. She is German and would make theme very Halloween.

    Roses for Saint Colette


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