New Bag and New Bar

I have been busy as usually (nothing new I am afraid!). Work is manic just before Christmas. It is like people are preparing for the end of the world and want to do everything BEFORE CHRISTMAS!

To keep myself going and reward myself for the hard work I bought a new bag. I am a big fan of Marc Jacobs. I just love that casual New York style combined with French classic. I actually needed a small cute handbag to take to work, travels and evening catch ups.

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The x ring in the picture is also new..I know I am a shopaholic..will tell about it later..

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Dress: Betty Basics
Fur: Jane Ramsay Australia
Bag: Marc de Marc Jacobs
Shoes: Nine West
Sunnies: Oakley

I love that grey striped dress. I bought it in Lorne, the store had a large selection of Betty Basics clothing. Perfect to every day life, high quality cotton, fits beautifully and stays well in the washing! I have 3 dresses and I ordered even two more as they are just so nice. I am going through this phase that I mainly wear grey, navy blue, white or black..

Last weekend we also trialled the wine bar nearby. We have lived here almost a year and I cannot believe we have not been to this place. It has been rated one of the nicest bars in Melbourne and I have to admit it is. Food was excellent and wine selection superb! The bar is called Bellota.

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I ate delicious vegetarian eggplant dish. And my husband ordered John Dory fish.

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So nice isn’t it? We had a great weekend. I have been knitting like a crazy person -my way or managing work stress-. I will soon post some instructions for anyone who is interested. A super easy knit.

I will write more soon. I am on my lunch break and running now back to work! Just wanted to post quickly some updates. I cannot wait for Christmas holidays!

 

 

Birthday at the Brooks of Melbourne

I had my birthday recently and my dear husband wanted to surprise me with a tasty dining experience. As we do not have a babysitter organised yet we had to do a lunch rather than a dinner to celebrate my birthday.

My husband took me to The Brooks of Melbourne. We opted for the city lunch instead of the degustation as my husband could not take a long enough lunch break for the long fine dining lunch.

I started with a bit of sparkling, Tasmanian Arras, in fact Arras ’Cuvee Brut Elite’, NV . A great sparkling, like a champagne.

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I have probably mentioned many times but my all time favourite champagne is Pol Roger and the second in the top three is Billecart-Salmon rose champagne. Third place I am not quite sure for which one it goes to there are couple of options competing with each other.

I chose trout for my starter, I love trout and this one was salted and served fresh.

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My husband chose a creamy onion soup which was delightful.

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For the main I went for a light vegetarian dish.

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My husband chose John Dory for his main.

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I had a lovely birthday. So relaxing. My daughter was in the daycare and I was just wandering in the city and enjoying my life here, doing a bit of shopping… After the crazy three months I felt like I deserved it. I am living in such a great city and am so glad I have finally time to appreciate it!

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PS. Sorry about the dark photos from the Brooks we were in the cellar and it was very difficult to get the light right as I did not have my DSLR with me…

South Melbourne Restaurant Jewel

A little while ago my dear husband took me for a weekend lunch. Like usually we got our baby to sleep in her pram and strolled for a late 2pm lunch to a local restaurant. I had hardly noticed this place before as it is in the quiet area of South Melbourne almost in the Albert Park. It was fantastic. The place is called Lamaro’s.

I could not believe what a fine dining experience it was just on my door step. To start with I went for a fig, chevre and walnut salad. A very classic combination which can be really boring if not done well but this one was beautifully prepared and presented.

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My husband went for something a bit meatier!

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For my main I chose trout. I have not been eating meat much lately, I am somehow a bit tired of meat and prefer vegetarian or seafood at the moment.

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The crunchy corn with beetroot was different but amazing!

My husband went for a pork belly as expected.

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The dining experience was great, the wine selection was fantastic and service great! If you are looking for a great little place to eat in South Melbourne this is it!

I am back…Life is great

So sorry about this huge silence. Everything is good I have been just too busy. In fact my work was too intense for three months, I worked a way too much and spent a way too little time with my sweet little girl. Like I said in my previous post I am not a person who just keeps on going and feels miserable I always search for the change to make things better. In this case better meant changing my job. I just simply needed a job with better work life balance. I don’t want to miss these special years by working when my daughter is super cute and lovely . Life is too short for that. I feel happy, relieved and rejuvenated. I took a week off in between the jobs and I truly feel like now I can breathe freely and I have a chance to discover this amazing city.

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Yesterday I just went for shopping all by myself which was so relaxing..you will probably see some outfit photos soon. Today I went to see Jurassic World in the Crown cinema at Southbank. When I was 5 years old I was determined to become a palaeontologist. I read all the possible dinosaur books before they even became fashionable, I knew the latin names of those creatures and I was super excited about the first Jurassic Park movie back in 1992. Today in the theatre I felt the same goose bumps that I felt when I was in the primary school watching the first Jurassic Park movie. Now when I live in the continent that actually has some dinosaur excavation work maybe I make a career change when I hit 50 year crisis haha! Anyway these two days have been so relaxing.

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Last weekend we went to Mornington Peninsula which I absolutely love. A particularly great spot is T’Gallant. The restaurant is super cosy and casual and wine great quality for the price. I love fine dining but with a toddler I hesitate to go to white table cloth restaurants these days so T’Gallant is actually a super good middle ground!

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We bought three bottles of their great Pinot Noir!

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Another great spot is Merrick General Wine Store in Mornington Peninsula. Food is great and wine selection amazing. I got so fond of this fantastic Elgee Park sparkling. It is like one of my favourite champagnes Pol Roger!

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I warmly recommend!

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Have a great start of the week!

Fish pasta -Kalapastaa

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I am terribly sorry about this huge blog silence. I have been extremely busy with all sort of things. This has been a tough week in many ways my baby has had cold for 6 weeks now and on the top of that she got her first ear infection this week. Bad sleeping and an unwell baby have definitely kept me busy night and day this week!  Today I also got sad news that my dear grandma passed away. So sad but that is what life is like it starts and it ends. The most important thing is that we make most of the time we have. I am happy that I had her in my life for all this time and lucky to be able to bring back all the amazing memories of her -she really made my childhood special. I think to respect her memory I will share one Eastern Finnish recipe soon as that is where she comes from and Eastern Finland has its own very strong food culture.

Bad night after bad night I have finally recovered from the sleep deprivation and able to share a lovely fish pasta recipe with you. Simple but tasty. This is done Bill Granger style. It is super healthy and good.  I am such a big fan of seafood and chicken these days that don’t even need any red meat. Cannot remember when I have bought some..I love how many amazing dishes you can cook with fish! Anyway, I try to share my next post a lot sooner! Hope you all are having a lovely weekend! It has been incredibly sunny here in England. Unfortunately I have been lying in bed recovering from my cold and fever so have only been able to enjoy the sunshine by looking out of the window. Light, sun and spring time make miracles anyway!

100g pasta ( I used corn and rice pasta)

2 cod fillets

1 red chilli (seeds removed)

3 garlic cloves

200ml dry white wine

handful of fresh flat leaf parsley

black pepper

white pepper

onion granules

squeeze of lemon

salt

1. Cook pasta.

2. Fry crushed garlic and chopped chilli in a frying pan until golden brown.

3. Add white wine to garlic-chilli mix and bring it to boil and let it boil for a couple of minutes.

4. Add cod fillet cubes into the frying pan and cook for 2 minutes. Do not over cook the fish otherwise it gets flavourless and dry!

5. Add cooked pasta into the frying pan. Mix well.

6. Add chopped parsley and hint of back pepper, white pepper and onion granules and a bit of salt too.

7. Squeeze half a lemon in.

Serve with lovely white wine and enjoy!

King prawn-red pepper pasta – Katkarapu-paprika pasta

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As I have mentioned several times I absolutely love seafood. That is why I feel very lucky of my husband coming from Queensland Australia as when we travel there I can always enjoy the most amazing seafood that the Great Barrier Reef and Australian tropics can offer. I cannot believe how big king prawns and scallops are over there, they are huge, flavoursome and so fresh that I could not imagine anything better. I have also tried to educate myself to become familiar with the different type of fish they have over there. As funny as it is some of the fish have European names but are totally different fish.. I guess the first Europeans who immigrated in Australia run out of names and thought they would name the fish with the familiar names they used to grow up with :)! So do not get confused if the fish you order over there whilst having the same name is something totally different! Anyway I hope you enjoy this simple prawn pasta recipe, it is a perfect dish to cook after the working day as it won’t take much time or effort but still tastes good.

For 2-3 people:
1 onion
1-2 garlic cloves
1 spring onion
150-200g king prawns
50ml white wine
1-2tbsp chopped dill
3tbsp eggplant pepper paste (see the recipe below)
100ml soy cream
150-200g pasta ( I used corn-rice pasta to make it gluten free)
3tbsp olive oil
juice of half of the lemon
black pepper, salt, paprika

Eggplant-red pepper paste:

1 eggplant

1 big red pepper

1. Bake the eggplant and red pepper cubes in the oven in 200 celsius degrees for half an hour until soft and a bit brownish.

2. Blend the cubes to get the smooth paste.

3. Use in any cooking or spice it up with some salt and black pepper and use on the top of the bread.

Prawn pasta instructions:

1. Cook pasta.

2. Cook the onions until golden, add king prawns and white wine and let it boil for a couple of minutes (not too long as otherwise prawns become chewy!).

3. Add eggplant-rep pepper paste. dill and soy cream.

4. Add the pasta, spices, juice of half of the lemon and olive oil.

Serve and enjoy! Home made, fresh and so irresistibly  good!

White wine always compliments this dish. For those who live in England I can recommend a good every day wine that is -I think- rather exceptional price -quality wine: Calvet Prestige Sauvignon Semillon. Be aware of not getting ripped off. In Ocado this wine is £11.99 but for example Morrisons has it quite often reduced to £6-8 and so does Sainsbury’s. I quite often hunt these offers and buy many bottles at once as this wine is definitely worth that £11.99 in flavour and good to serve in casual house parties when friends are visiting:)

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The Orange Tree Pub -Pubi Totteridgessa

We love to do day trips at weekends. My dear Aussie husband and I both love discovering new places in London particularly when new pubs are involved. On Saturday we went to this praised and recommended pub in Tottridge called The Orange Tree. I had heard it was good but never did I think it would have been this good. It was like a fine dining restaurant, fantastic atmosphere, beautiful decor and great location and yes, the food was top draw.

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Rakastamme  päiväretkiä. Minä ja rakas aussiemieheni yksinkertaisesti nautimme uusien paikkojen katsastamisesta etenkin jos kuvioon kuuluu pubiruokailu. Lauantaina vierailimme eräässä hyvin arvostetussa ja suositellussa pubissa Tottridgessa nimeltä The Orange Tree. Olin kuullut, että kyseinen pubi olisi hyvä. En koskaan kuitenkaan uskonut, että mikään pubi kauempana ”maaseutumaisemissa” voisi olla näin uskomaton. Ruoka oli kuin ”fine dining” ravintolassa, tunnelma mahtava, sisustus ja ympäristö hivelevän kaunis.

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ImageDecor was very impressive

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Everything was just so thought through.

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I had this amazing scallops starter. Scallops were seared in the top quality olive oil and served with pineapple salsa, sweet chilli sauce and balsamico. I got so excited about this dish so I prepared the whole fried squid with salsa in the evening. I will post the recipe later :)!

Tilasin tämän uskomattoman herkullisen alkupalan: oliiviöljyssä paistettuja kampasimpukoita, jotka tarjoiltiin makean chilikastikkeen, ananassalsan ja balsamicon kera. Innostuin annoksesta niin paljon, että valmistin samana iltana kokonaisesta mustekalasta vastaavantyylisen aterian. Postaan reseptin pian blogiini!

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For the main course I ordered a duck salad. I am getting used to ordering salads as my main. This is due to a fact that I know that every time the main arrives my baby gets hungry too and there is no way I am finishing my meal before feeding her, so the best option is to order something that tastes good even if being cold: salad. With the starter I had Australian Little Yerring Chardonnay. I am a Chardonnay girl from head to toes, but I ordered this wine due to the nostalgic feelings. My dear Aussie husband and I did a trip to Yarra Valley and actually visited Yerring station  a few years ago. In the winery I had this wine last time! With the mains we chose Shiraz-Viognier from the same vineyard. My dear Aussie husband had a seafood linguini as his starter and spit chicken roast as his main. Everything was so delicious that I warmly recommend you to visit this pub. It is like a top class restaurant. The staff is wonderful, food excellent, wine list very interesting and the pub is also very child friendly.

Pääruoaksi tilasin ankkasalaatin. Tilaan nykyään aina salaatin pääruoaksi. Tiedän kokemuksesta, että joka kerta kun pääruokani saapuu, tyttäreni tulee nälkäiseksi ja tämä merkitsee sitä, että oma ruokailuni saa odottaa. Tästä viisastuneena tilaan siis aina salaatin, joka maistuu kylmänäkin yhtä hyvältä! Alkuruoan kanssa tilasin valkoviinia, australialaista Little Yerring Chardonnayta. Rakastan Chardonnayta ja vannon sen nimeen aina, mutta syy juuri tähän viiniin oli nostalginen mieliala. Nautin viimeksi kyseistä viiniä Yerring station viinitilalla Yarra Valleyssa Australiassa, kun rakkaan aussimieheni kanssa teimme viinitilamatkan. Pääruoan kanssa päädyimme samaisen viinitilan Shiraz-Viognier punaviiniin. Meillä oli kerrassaan täydellisesti onnistunut pubilounas! Paikka oli mahtava, palveleluhenkilökunta hyvin ystävällistä, ruoka uskomatonta, viinilista kattavan vaikuttava ja pubi oli erittäin lapsiystävällinen. Suosittelen siis lämpimasti teitä vierailemaan kyseisessä pubissa, se on kaiken matkustuksen arvoinen!

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I hope you had a great weekend too!

Toivottavasti teilläkin oli onnistunut viikonloppu!

Slow cooker Chicken -Slow Cooker Kanaa

I promised I would post a recipe for you if my whole chicken slow cooker dish was even a decent one. In fact it was super tasty even though I threw all the ingredients in without any recipe. You can obviously apply the recipe depending what suits for you and whatever you happen to have in your pantry at the moment. The whole point of using a slow cooker is just leave the ingredients cooking for hours and hours.

Lupailin reseptiä slow cooker kanastani, siis kokonaisesta kanasta, jonka valmistin lauantaina. Minulla ei ollut lainkaan reseptia vaan heittelin sekaan ainesosia sitä mukaan kuin mieleeni juolahti ja kuinka ollakaan, kanasta tuli varsin herkullista. Luulen tosin, että syynä tähän lienee pikemminkin ihanainen slow cooker kuin kokkailutaitoni! Voitte soveltaa reseptiä oman mielihalunne mukaan. Onhan koko slow cookerin idea harras ja pitkä kypsentäminen. Voitte valita esimerkiksi yhden yrtin, jota suositte ja rakentaa aterian sen ympärille. Minulle tämä yrtti oli timjami.

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For 4-5 people:

1 onion

3 garlic cloves

500ml chicken stock

100ml dry white wine

700g parsnips

1 whole free range chicken

2-3 tbs chopped thyme

3 tbs BBQ sauce

3-4 tbs jerk chicken spice

1 tsp onion granules

1 tsp black pepper

1. Cut the parsnips and slice the onion.

2. Rub the BBQ sauce on the chicken skin and cover it with the jerk chicken spice.

3. Put the parsnips and the onion slices in the bottom of the slow cooker, pour the chicken stock and wine on top, add the spices.

4. Set the chicken on the top of the parsnips. Crush the garlic on top and into the sauce.

5. Cook in the slow cooker at least 5 hours.

Remember to reuse the chicken stock that you have left after this meal. The stock will be perfect for risottos, soups or paellas.

Enjoy!

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Neljälle tai viidelle hengelle:

1 sipuli

3 valkosipulin kynttä

500ml kanalientä

100ml kuivaa valkoviiniä

700g palsternakkaa

1 kokonainen vapaa kana

2-3 rkl timjamia

3 rkl BBQ-kastiketta/grillikastiketta

3-4 rkl jerk chicken maustetta (tai jotakin tulista maustemixiä!)

1tl sipulijauhetta

1 tl mustapippuria

1. Pilko palsternakka ja sipuli.

2. Hiero grillikastike kanan nahan päälle ja ripottele paksu kerros jerk chicken maustejauhetta.

3. Laita palsternakka, sipuli, valkoviini, kanaliemi ja mausteet slow cookeriin.

4. Asettele kana palsternakkojen päälle ja musrkaa valkosipulin kynnet kanan päälle ja liemen joukkoon.

5. Anna kypsyä vähintään viisi tuntia, mitä pidempään sen parempi!!

Muista uudelleenkäyttää kanaliemi, joka jää yli tästä ateriasta. Liemi on ideaalia juuri risottoihin, keittoihin tai paellaan!

Nauti!

Another pampering day -Toinen hemmottelupäivä

I had another pampering day today. My dad is in town which is amazing by the way as I have spare two hands helping me with the baby! Whilst my dad went to have a day out shopping and my dear Aussie husband was looking after our sweet baby girl I went to hairdresser, to my absolute favourite and trusted one called Jojo&Flo. I always book the salon director to do my hair and she is just amazing. She told me already last time that I should go for bob style cut and darker highlights, I hesitated. Now I was I totally ready for the change. I thought the suggestion of salon director would suit me as my dear Aussie husband told me last summer that ”darling you are turning to thirty it would be maybe time to look a bit more elegant rather than girly”.  He meant it in a nice way and I totally agreed. Time to change my look to more classic chic, like Parisian street style rather than have my long blonde hair flowing whilst wearing something pink :)! So today I took darker highlights, in fact mix of three: dark brown, golden brown and blonde.

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Tänään sain nauttia toisesta hemmottelupäivää tässä kuussa. Luksusta! Isäni on Lontoossa käymässä, mikä on ihanaa, minulla on kaksi muuta kättä auttamassa vauvan kanssa. Kun isäni suuntasi shoppailemaan keskustaan ja rakas aussimieheni toimi lastenvahtina suuntasin luottokampaajalleni muodonmuutokseen. Varaan aina ajan niin kutsutulta ”salon directorilta”, mikä täällä on korkein kampaajan arvo salongeissa (täällä siis usein titteli etenee graduate, stylist, senior stylist ja salon director). Hän jo viime kerralla ehdotti trendikästa polkkaa ja tummempia raitoja. Silloin emmin. Nyt olin valmis muutokseen. Viime kesänä nimittäin aviomieheni hyvään sävyyn tokaisi ”rakas täytät kolmekymmentä, ehkä olisi aika pukeutua elegantimmin pikemminkin kuin tyttömäisesti”. Olin samaa mieltä. On aika tavoitella pariisilaista klassista katutyylia pitkien blondien hiusten ja pinkkien vaatteiden sijaan. Tänään siis leikkasin trendikkaan polkan ja otin kolmen sävyn raidat: tumman ruskeaa, kullan ruskeaa ja blondia. Olen uskomattoman tyytyväinen. Lopputulos oli juuri sitä mitä toivoinkin. Kiitos ihanaisen luottokampaajani!

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For tonight I have a whole free range chicken in white wine simmering in a slow cooker for dinner.  I will post you the recipe if it is successful. This is in the end my first whole chicken that I am cooking. I love slow cookers by the way, they are the dream of any housewife as you just put things in for 8-10 hours and you get an amazing meat that falls off the bone -yummy! I better go now to enjoy my evening as I just got my baby to sleep. I hope you have had a lovely weekend so far. Have a relaxing Saturday night!

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Illalliseksi minulla on tulossa kokonainen kana valkoviinissä. Toivottavasti se onnistuu. Jos kokkaan ensimmäisen kokonaisen kanani onnistuneesti, resepti seuraa perässä tähän blogiin. Kokkaan kanaa siis niin kutsutussa ”slow cookerissa” (uunimme on siis yhä hajalla kiitos British Gasin huonon palvelun). Rakastan muuten ”slow cookeria”, se on jokaisen kotirouvan unelma. Ei tarvitse kuin laittaa mausteet, lihat ja liemet ”slow cookeriin” ja jättää hiljakseen poreilemaan 8-10 tunniksi. Liha suorastaan putoaa luusta, niin meheväksi se tulee. Lähden nyt nauttimaan lauantai-illasta sillä sain juuri vauvamme nukkumaan. Toivottavasti teillä on ollut onnistunut viikonloppu. Ihanaista lauantai-iltaa kaikille!

French Onion Soup

It has taken ages for me to add any recipes on my blog. This time I cannot blame for myself, but one particular British Internet provider that wasn’t able to connect our internet after my dear Aussie man and I moved from our old place to this lovely new apartment near Oxford street.

Why I originally got an idea to try to cook some onion soup was when I went to this amazing French brasserie in Covent Garden in London. I couldn’t remember when I last time had had some onion soup so I ordered the soup and I remembered how mouthwatering it could be. When I searched for a recipe I ended up on a webpage that had an onion soup recipe from Julia Child’s cook book. I knew this would be the one worth trying, I cooked it one weekend for my dear Aussie man who ate two bowls and was craving for more. The soup is healthy but tasty. I tried the soup with Emmental cheese too, but French do know which cheese goes well with what. Onion soup with Emmental cannot be compared to one with some Gruyère on top. If you can find some very aged Gruyère you will get the best result. I believe the right cheese gives the magical touch for this soup!

Ingredients:

1 tbs olive oil

1tbs butter

750g onions

1 garlic clove

2,5dl (1 cup) dry white wine

7,5 dl (3 cups) beef stock (Knorr jelly one is really good)

1/2-1tsp black pepper

hint of salt

Topping:

Gruyère cheese

small cubes of white bread

1. Cut the onions into nice slices. Cook the onions and a pressed garlic clove in a frying pan until they turn into golden brown.

2. Add wine and let it simmer so that alcohol boils away.

3. Add the beef stock, salt and black pepper.

4. Let it cook without a lid at very low temperature for 90 minutes.

5. Heat up the oven into 180 celsius degrees. Pour the soup into small oven proof bowls, add some white bread  cubes on top and grate some Gruyère on the top of the bread. Let the soup cook in the oven for 10 minutes so that the cheese melts nicely.

Enjoy! This recipe is Julia Child’s and I can guarantee it is one of the best soups I have ever cooked, served or tasted.