Lemon-Yoghurt Cake

A couple of weeks ago I found out that at my mom's place we have the tv channel 24 kitchen. Thank god I do not receive that at my place; I would probably fail my studies. I left that weekend with a ton of inspiration and new recipes. And this is one of them. I baked this cake 2 weeks ago. It was good, but the cooking time is not near enough to bake the cake. Maybe it is my oven, but even after 1,5 hours it was still not done in the middle. It did not matter; everyone thought it was delicious!
I am not giving you the recipe here since I am busy studying and am trying out a recipe for christmas! So find the link below. The next few recipes will all be my christmas recipes!
Lemon Yoghurt Cake


Bell Pepper Soup

One thing that often frustrated me during cooking was my lack of kitchen appliances. My cheap immersion blender almost caused short circuit the last time I used it and my mixer is making noises that he should not make. Since I cannot live without making soup or chocolate mousse I needed to do something. I saved money for a few months and now my new favorite thing has arrived! A Kenwood food processor that can do practically anything. Yesterday I used it for 4 different things: making juice, slicing vegetables, blending my soup and mash my potatoes! My new best friend!
Enough about this thing; I could talk about it all day but I will not do that to you. Some people who know me will wonder why on earth I would eat bell pepper soup. I generally do not like bell peppers and usually I would never buy them. But my housemate had some left over and I hate to throw things away. I love soup and I remembered that my mom made a lovely sweet pepper soup some time ago. And ofcourse I had to try out my foodprocessor. It is a lovely soup with a velvety texture and from now on this is my new favorite soup!


4 bell peppers, preferably red or yellow, cut in small cubes
1 carrot, finely sliced
2 stalks of celery, sliced
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 liter of chicken stock
50 ml cream
10-20 g of butter
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

Heat some butter in a large pan. Add the onion and bake for a few minutes. Add the garlic and celery and bake again for a minute or two. Add the carrot and peppers and mix well.
Add the chicken stock and bay leaf and bring to the boil. Boil for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Remove the bay leaf and puree the soup.
Add the cream to taste; I think I added less than I put in the recipe. Add salt and pepper to taste.
If you want to freeze the soup leave out the cream.


Hutspot (Carrot Potato puree) with Sauteed onions

When I started this blog a few months ago I thought it would be an easy extension to my cooking. Cook, make a picture, write a post. Hardly costs more time than only cooking. But that is not true. My camera is not that good, so I try to make the best of it which may take some time. And then I have to write a post. Although I am fluent in English it is not my native language and especially with cooking terms, I have often no clue how to say it.
Currently I am already close to my exam week which also means that there is not much time for cooking. But I promise to do better and post at least weekly again!
This recipe is perfect for my exam week, because I can make a lot of it and freeze it. Microwave meal and homemade cooking in one! It is a typical dutch recipe. We love to mash potatoes together with a large variety of vegetables (kale, endive, sauerkraut). We call those dishes stamppot (literally mash pot or something) and they are perfect, easy-to-make winterdishes. And I made this typical dish with a little twist of my own!

Ingredients (4 persons)

500 g carrots, sliced
500 g potatoes, cut into cubes
20 g butter
4 onions, cut into rings
sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
olive oil
salt, pepper

Put the carrots and potatoes in a large pan of water. Add salt generously and bring to the boil and let it boil until they are done; about 20 minutes.
In the meantime, heat olive oil in a baking pan, about 4 tbsp. Add onions, thyme and bay leaf. Let it bake on medium to low heat for about 20 minutes. They should be brown, but still soft. Turn off heat and add the balsamic vinegar.
Drain the potatoes and carrots and save some of the water. Add the butter and mash the potatoes and carrots together. Add water until you have a nice moist puree. Add the sauteed onions and pepper and salt to taste.

Serve the pork cutlet or nice slice of bacon. Smakelijk eten!


Apples with custard (Appeltjes onder een deken)

I decided to participate in another foodblog event. I especially liked this one, because I have an excuse to use this delicious and typical Dutch dessert. The event was started by Raven's blog (which is a very nice blog to check out).
I never had this dessert before I met my boyfriend. It is one of his favorite desserts of his childhood and it is perfect on a cold winter night.
One other advantage of making this is that I once again get to try to make custard. I never seemed able to do it. Maybe it is because of my impatience or just that I never get it right. But I managed this time! Not perfect yet, but I found the method that works for me.

Ingredients (2 persons)

2 apples (I used Elstar)
3-4 tbsp raisins
2 tsp sugar
pinch of cinnamon
300 ml milk
200 ml whipping cream
5 egg yolks
60 g sugar
1 tsp cornflour

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. Peel the apples and remove the core. Mix the raisins with the sugar and cinnamon. Fill the apples with this mixture and put in the oven for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile make the custard. Heat the milk. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and cornflour together.
When the milk is at the boil add the mixture to the eggs. Put the mixture in a clean pan and heat on low heat. Keep on stirring until the custard thickens, but do not let it boil.
When the apples are done put them on a plate and pour the custard over the apples.


Autumn Dinner

Sometimes it is a little boring to be just cooking for myself or my bf. Especially when I received a wonderfool cookbook: My favorite ingredients by Skye Gyngell. I have already read the book three times and enjoyed both the beautiful pictures as well as the wonderful recipes. I picked out three recipes from this book that are perfect for the season and produced this dinner for my family:

Sweet-and-sour pumpkin with roasted tomatoes and mozzarella

Steak with hazelnut-orange picada with rösti and endive

Pear stewed in Marsala

The absolute winner of this dinner was the pumpkin. If you want to impress your guests, this is the recipe you should make:

1 small Butternut Squash, 1,5 kilo (I used a different kind that also gives a sweeter taste), cut into small wedges
220 g sugar
200 ml red wine vinegar
1 bottle of white wine, (750 ml)
small bunch of thyme
3 laurel leaves
1 chili pepper

Put al the ingredients except the pumpkin into a pan and bring to the boil. Put the pumpkin wedges into the pan and let slowly simmer for 45 minutes with the lid on the pan. The pumpkin should be cooked but still firm. Let it cool down to room temperature in the syrop before serving. 


Pumpkin-Kale stew with lentils

I noticed that I tend to make a lot of dishes with meat. Considering the name of my blog it is a bit contradicting. So I needed to do something about it. I grew up with the idea that no dinner is complete unless you have some kind of meat in it. And I more and more come to realize that this is absolutely not true. I always loved vegetables and there are so many delicious ways to combine them without adding meat. This stew is one surprising dish. The addition of lentils made it very nutritious and the flavors are wonderful. The ideal meal on a cold winter night.
Since the dish was a succes I decided to submit it to the foodblog event My Legume Love Affair. This months host is Simona and the event was started already three years ago by Susan. I found out about the event by coincidence because one of the blogs I follow participated. It was great fun to make this dish and I am definitely going to participate more often!

Ingredients(4 persons):

1 pumpkin of about 1 kilo, peeled and cut into cubes (2x2cm)
250 g kale
1 can of lentils, drained
1 lemon, skin grated and juice squeezed
1 large onion, coarsly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 can tomatoes
pinch of clove powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
olive oil

Heat some olive oil in a pan. Add the onion, garlic, pumpkin and kale. Bake for about 7 minutes the vegetables have softened.
Add the lemon zest, juice, tomatoes, clove powder, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Fill the empty can of tomatoes with hot water and add to the stew. Bring to the boil and stew for 30 minutes.
Add the lentils in the last 7 minutes.
Serve with flatbread.


Brasato al Chianti

As my previous post this is an Italian recipe and I think many Italian recipes will follow. First of all because it is my favorite cuisine and second of all because my housemate lended me The Silver Spoon. It is an amazing book that gives me constant inspiration and an urge to keep on cooking. And that is what I am doing. I even woke at 8 in the morning on sunday to make this stew! And it was worth it!

Ingredients (2-3 persons)

500 g beef
1 onion, minced
1 carrot, sliced
1 can of tomatoes (only 3 tomatoes not the sauce)
1 tbsp of tomato paste
100 ml red wine (I used chianti, but another full-bodied red wine will also do)
100-150 ml beef stock
1 bay leaf
25 g of butter
2 tbsp olive oil

Heat the butter with the olive oil. Add the onion and carrot. Let slowly simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the beef and bake until brown.
Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper and add the red wine. Cook on medium heat until the wine has reduced by half.
Add tomatoes and squash them. Add the tomato paste, beefstock and bay leave. Stir well.
Let it simmer for 1,5 hour.
Serve with grilled polenta.

Eggplant Risotto

I often eat vegetarian dishes, but I haven't yet posted a recipe here. So for this post I decided to make a vegetarian dish with my favorite vegetable. And currently my favorite vegetable is eggplant. I don't like the word eggplant; it does not do justice to this beautiful, soft, slightly sweet vegetable. I much prefer the Dutch or French name aubergine. Anyway, not that it matters; back to the recipe. I choose this because it is so simple and quick to make and still very tasty. Moreover it is comfort food and that is exactly what I needed last friday. The recipe is for 2 portions or 1 if you eat as much of it as I did!


1 eggplant, diced
750 ml vegetable stock
175 g risotto rice
1 clove of garlic, minced
100 g mozzarella, diced
dried oregano
olive oil

Heat the vegetable stock.
Heat some olive oil in a sauce pan and add the garlic. Bake for a minute and add the eggplant. Bake for just a minute and add some pepper and oregano to taste. I added about a tbsp.
Add te rice and cook for a minute or two.
Add a laddle of stock and wait until the rice has absorped all the liquid before you add another laddle. Keep stirring the risotto with a wooden spoon to prevent burning. Continue in this way. This will take about 20-25 minutes.
At the end add the mozzarella and serve immediately.


Zucchini-feta pie

Last week I celebrated my birthday. My friends gave me the perfect birthday gift: a giftcard to spent at a kookwinkel (no idea how to properly translate that: a shop for kitchen appliances and tableware and cookbooks etc.).
So I bought Gizzie's Kitchen magic by Gizzi Erskine. A couple of months ago I read an article about this book and attached were two recipes that I really liked. Unfortunately these are also the best recipes from the book; so I am a little disappointed.
However, it contains some useful tips and inspirations. All in all, I am oke with it.
There is a pie recipe in the book with smoked salmon. Below it is a tip for a vegetarian variety with courgette and feta. That sounded nice and I decided to make it but I added some bacon. I must say a very successful pie!

But there pops up a small problem when making a pie: The crust. Pastry not always works for me and I do not like it that much. My mom sometimes makes quiche with puff pastry as a crust. which I like much better. In Gizzi's book there is a recipe for fake puff pastry, which is easier and faster to make than pastry and yields an amazing result. Ofcourse use a ready made crust if you are in a hurry!


Fake puff pastry:

225 g flour
1/2 tsp salt
170 g unsalted butter
120 ml icecold water


1 zucchini, cut into pieces (for my Dutch friends: dit is een courgette)
100 g feta, crumbled
1 red union, cut into wedges
225 g bacon strips
100 ml white wine
150 ml crème fraîche
3 eggs
fresh mint leaves

The most important thing for the dough is that the butter is cold and the water is cold. I cut the butter through the flour but you can also grate the butter. As long as you work fast so that the butter does not melt. 
Add the water and mix it well. Flour a work surface and dump the dough on it and form it into a ball. 
Roll out the dough into a rectangle and fold 1/3 over the middle and 1/3 over that. 
Cover with foil and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or when needed.
Roll the dough out onto a floured surface. Make sure it is large enough for a 17cm diameter cake tin. Gently push the dough into the form and cut away excess dough.

Preheat the oven to 170°C
Bake bacon strips for 5 minutes on medium heat and add the red union wedges. Bake for another 5 minutes. Let it cool a bit.
Divide the zucchini over the pastry. Add the bacon and union and divide the feta over this mixture.
Whisk wine, crème fraîche and eggs together. Add some pepper and salt and some fresh mint leaves. 
Put into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Eat the pie warm or cold!


Chocolate Mousse

As long as I can remember I am a fan of chocolate mousse. It has always been my favorite dessert. But I haven't always been very succesfull in making it. But I guess I had the wrong recipes. This recipe gives a great result and is so easy to make! And it is also fast if you do not count the washing up...


120 g of dark chocolate
6 eggs

Melt the chocolate au bain marie. Occasionally stir.
Split the eggs. While the chocolate is melting whisk the eggwhites until stiff.
Add chocolate to the egg yolks and mix well. Add 1/4 of the whites to the chocolate mixture and carefully combine.
Add this mixture to the rest of the whites and gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate. Transfer the mousse to a bowl or small serving bowls (whatever you like) and put in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.


Gnocchi with butter tomato sauce

I have never had gnocchi before, but somehow I was reading here and there about it and decided that I would take the challenge. I am little fearful of making my own pasta, since it has never worked out. Too dry, too moist, not cooked and so on. But gnocchi is a little different and I found a nice video about how to do it.
It did work out much better than my own pasta, but there is room for improvement. Especially the shaping ofcourse (as you can see). Plus I only used the few good ones for the picture. In general they were too moist.

Note that the recipe for the gnocchi is for 8 persons. After cooking your gnocchi you can freeze them. Freezed gnocchi should be cooked for about 6 to 7 minutes.

It was also the first time I made this kind of tomato sauce. And I must say I am a fan. It is absolutely delicious (although maybe not too healthy). I am going to try this in more varieties!


Gnocchi (8 portions):

1 kg of potatoes
1 egg, lightly beaten
200 grams flour

Butter tomatosauce (4 portions):

Two cans of tomatoes
70 grams of butter
salt, pepper
Handful of fresh basil (optional)
Gran padano cheese

Cook the potatoes with skin. I had 4 pretty large potatoes that I let boil for about 35 minutes.

Then make the tomatosauce. Put the cans of tomatoes in a saucepan and squash the tomatoes. Add the butter and some salt and pepper and let simmer for about 30 minutes. Add the basil at the end.

When the potatoes are done, peel them while they are still hot. Use a tea towel to handle them. Then squash the potatoes and make sure that there are no lumps left. Add the egg and stir very well to keep the egg from cooking since the potatoes are still hot.

Add 150 g of flour to this mixture and stir well until everything is combined. Flour your workspace with the leftover flour. Knead your dough for a minute.
For shaping your dough into a real gnocchi I refer to this video: Making Gnocchi

One tip I did not use but should have is that your gnocchi should not be sticky but soft. So don't be afraid to add more flour if your dough is still too sticky.

Now you can boil them in water for about 2 minutes (they are ready when they come to the surface).
Put some gnocchi on a plate and add the tomatosauce. Finish with some gran padano. Truly delicious!


White Chocolate Brownies

As I mentioned in my previous post I am in the middle of the exam week. That means I really need a treat sometimes. And one thing I can really crave is chocolate; especially white chocolate. So I decided to combine this with another wonderful thing: brownies. I never had white chocolate brownies before; I never even saw a recipe. But I used one for normal brownies and just substituted dark chocolate for white chocolate. I also decreased the amount of sugar, because white chocolate is already sweet.
The result: absolutely amazing and addicting! But don't make this to often, because it is not that good for your waistline!

Ingredients (8 brownies)

120 g flour
70 g butter
70 g white chocolate
2 eggs
100 g sugar
1 package vanilla sugar
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Whisk the sugar and vanilla sugar together with the eggs.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the chocolate. Continuously whisk until the chocolate has melted. I turned the heat off before all the chocolate was melted because white chocolate can burn easily. If you want to be safe just melt the butter and white chocolate au bain marie.
Add this mixture to the eggs.

Mix together. Add flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt and mix well.
Put the mixture into a well buttered dish.

Put it in the oven for 25 minutes until it is golden brown.

Let it cool for an hour and try to not eat the whole dish at once!


Lemon-Orange Olives

I am in the middle of my exam week which means that I practically live in the library; so that I don't have time to cook... But I can post a small recipe of something I made last week: The olives I put in the fougasse.
The recipe is a little bit of me and a little bit of different kinds of recipes I found on the internet.


About 200 g olives (only green olives or only black olives, or mixed; whatever you like)
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 tbsp lemon zest
1/2 tbsp orange zest
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp orange juice
Little bit of chopped red pepper

Mix everything well and let the olives marinate for at least 24 hours.


BBB October bread

I have been following some of the blogs of the bread baking babes and I saw the monthly breads they were baking. Already for a couple of months I wanted to bake one of those breads, but I never seemed to have enough time to bake bread.  Elizabeth is this month's kitchen of the month and the recipe she choose is Fougasse; a recipe I thought I could handle. It seemed easy and fast.
I wanted to make one with something extra so I decided I wanted one with marinated olives. (I will post the recipe for that in the coming days). It was fast, not too easy (I messed up the first try) and absolutely delicious. Especially with a nice glass of red wine!

My favorite bread dough is a recipe I more or less figured out myself with a technique that I read on BreadBasketCase Instead of kneading the bread you whack the dough around 100 times. It is very fun to do and especially nice after a not so great day!


400 g flour
300 ml lukewarm water
2,5 tsp dry yeast
2 tsp salt
Handful of chopped  marinated olives (optional)
Olive oil

Mix together with a wooden spoon the flour, yeast and water. Add the salt and mix again.

Dump the dough on a lightly floured surface.

And whack the dough around a 100 times with a roller pin until it is a soft and smooth dough. You may have to add some flour, but do not add too much. It will get less sticky.

Now knead the olives through the dough with your hands. The dough will still be a bit sticky. Put it into a lightly greased bowl.

Put a clean towel over it and let it double in size. In a warm environment it will take about an hour, but it was a cold day so it took about 1,5 hours.

After that you carefully shape the bread into a leaf; at least I tried to shape it as a leaf (see picture). Preheat the oven to 230 degrees. Sprinkle the bread with olive oil and put the bread in after only 10 minutes resting. Decrease the temperature to 210 degrees and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Let it cool and eat with some good olive oil and a nice glass of wine!

Fougasse October bread recipe: http://etherwork.net/blog/?p=1414


Lime Panna Cotta

I love desserts and I love making them. I just don't like it when it takes so long to make them. Panna cotta is probably the fastest dessert ever to make (if you do not count the waiting time). Preparing should not take more than 10 minutes. So you can make it in the morning and eat it when you come home in the evening!

You can make the panna cotta with all cream or more cream than milk; it is a matter of preference. I find the panna cotta with only cream too rich.
The original panna cotta is made with vanilla, but you can make your own variations. This is my variation; one of my favorite green things: limes!

Ingredients: (4-6 portions)

3 sheets of gelatine
250 ml milk
250 ml whipping cream
4 tbsp sugar
zest and juice of 1 lime

Soak the gelatine in cold water and put aside. Heat the milk with the whipping cream and add the sugar and stir. As soon as the mixture starts cooking, turn off heat.

Add the zest and juice of the lime. Squeeze the water out of the gelatin and add to the mixture. Stir well until the gelatin is dissolved.

Now put it in a 4-6 different cups and put them in the refrigerator and chill until firm (at least 2 hours, but preferably 4).

No picture of the panna cotta, because I finished it before I could get my camera!



My very first recipe here is the typical dish of Maastricht: Zuurvlees (literally: sour meat). I love it and it is ideal for the type of wheather here in Holland; it is cold and in my opinion in that case, nothing tastes better than a stew. So not a fast recipe but it can easily be frozen. So make a lot more than you need so you have a very fast dinner next time!


1kg beef
3 onions, sliced
4 cloves
4 juniper berries
2 bay leaves
100 ml vinegar
100 ml water
3 tbsp apple butter (stroop in Dutch)
1 or 2 slices of ontbijtkoek (I think it is called ginger bread in English)
butter for baking
pepper and salt

Cut the meat into squares and put them into a dish. Season the meat with pepper and salt and add the water and vinegar. Make sure that the meat is completely covered.
If these measurements are not enough just add more water and vinegar in equal quantities. Add the cloves, berries and bay leaves and let it marinate over night (preferably 24 hours).

Drain the meat and save the juice.
Heat a large pot and melt the butter until brown and add the meat.
Quickly fry the meat until brown. It has to fry not slowly simmer so you should probably fry the meat in portions.

Take the meat out of the pot and fry the onions. Add the meat again and add the juice.
Let it simmer for around 2 hours. Add the apple butter and ginger bread in the end.
If you want it to be sweeter add more apple butter. For a thicker sauce you can add more ginger bread.
Serve it with fries and a green salad.


Follow my cooking adventures!

For a long time I have considered starting a foodblog. I always found excuses not to do it, but not today. I will cook or bake anyway so why not share my adventures with you? This weekend I will upload my first recipe!