Category Archives: RECIPES

PRESERVED LEMONS

– N

When I told a couple of friends I made preserved lemons they were all a bit baffled and thought it took me ages to make them. But let me tell you a little secret: it might actually be the easiest thing you’ll ever do. It doesn’t take up much time and it will make a huge difference to your dish!

So let’s get started. You’ll need:

9 unwaxed lemons
180 grams sea salt
10 black peppercorns
3 cinnamon sticks
3 fresh bay leaves

First off, you need to sterilize your jar. Heat your oven to 100 degrees celcius. Remove the rubber seal from the lid and pop it into a bowl of boiling water. Put your jar and lid in the oven for about 20 minutes. When your 20 minutes are up, make sure not to touch the opening. Let the jar cool before adding your lemons.

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Now, the lemons. Start by halving 4 of your lemons.

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Squeeze the juice of these lemons into a separate bowl.

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Next up: cut a deep cross into your other 5 lemons, about three quarters through. Make sure they are still jointed at the bottom.
Open them up a tiny bit and completely stuff them with sea salt. Then push them back together.

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Once that’s done, put your lemons into your jar. Add the peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and the rest of your sea salt.

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All you have to do now is pour in your set-aside lemon juice and top the whole thing up with water. Put the lid on and make sure it’s sealed tightly.

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And yes, it’s meant to look a bit blurry… Store the jar in a dark and cool place and make sure to gently shake it like a polaroid picture every once in a while. Your lemons will be ready for use in a month and I promise you’ll be choosing recipes where preserved lemons are needed. These bad boys pack so much flavour and will give that extra little zing to your dish.

If you can’t be bothered to make them and want to use your lemons for something else, well I’d suggest the following:

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CHICKPEA MUNCHIN’

– N

You know how I’ve mentioned before that I am a huge Donna Hay fan? Well, I decided to share that love with you every once in a while by sharing a couple of my favourite recipes.
This one’s a healthy and great snack, everyone’s gonna love ’em!

What you’ll need:

400 grams of chickpeas
2 tsp of oil
¼ tsp fennel seed
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp grated lemon zest
½ tsp salt
1 tsp granulated sugar

Start with drying your chickpeas onto a bit of paper towel.

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Heat up a medium frying pan and add your oil. Once it’s nice and hot, add your fennel seed, cayenne pepper, lemon zest, salt and sugar.

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When it’s all nice and mixed after about a minute, toss in your chickpeas. Hustle and bustle them around for about 10 minutes.

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When they are pretty golden brown and crisp, grab a nice bowl and chuck them in there.

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And serve! Simple, healthy and delicious snack. (For anytime of the day if I’m honest…)

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BUTTERNUT PUMPKIN SOUP

– N

Pumpkin soup is one of my favourite soups to make. Love the colour, the texture and of course the taste. Now, I always make the same recipe for my soup. But Monique told me she had tried a new recipe over Thanksgiving and I had to give it a try. She was so right! This pumpkin soup has a bit of a twist as it contains apples. It makes the soup so fresh and light, it’s just simply delicious.

So, here’s the recipe:
(It makes about 6 portions)

1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
4 golden apples, peeled, cored and chopped
2 teaspoons of coarse salt
½ cup of light cream
1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon of fresh chopped coriander
¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper
2 cups of vegetable stock
2 ½ cups of water (plus more if needed)

First start by halving your butternut squash, scoop out all the seeds and chop your pumpkin into thumb-sized chunks.

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Chop up your apples and onions.

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Heat a large pan over medium heat and start melting your butter. Add your onion and let simmer for a bit.

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Now add your pumpkin and stir occasionally for about ten minutes.

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Start adding all your other ingredients: apples, coarse salt, black pepper, light cream, fresh ginger, cumin, cayenne pepper and coriander. Don’t be shy on the ginger as this will give your soup an extra zing to it.

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Stir it through and then add the vegetable stock and water until everything is just covered. Turn your heat down to low and let it all just boil quietly for about 30 minutes.
Once it’s ready and your pumpkin is soft, puree everything with a blender. I always like a bit of a thick soup, but if you like it a bit thinner, you can always add some more water.

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I tend to make a huge batch of soup at once and put it in the freezer. This way, I always have a before-workout-dinner-soup at hand.
What a great and healthy way to start the new year hey?!

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FISH TACO’S

– N

You know those evenings where you want to eat something really good, simple but it won’t take up too much time to make?
Well, then I have just the recipe for you. These fish taco’s are just too good really. They are healthy and wipped up in a heartbeat. I must confess that I made them a little bit more naughty by adding a bowl of nachos with cheese and jalapeños from the oven… I just couldn’t resist, oops!

What you’ll need:

2 firm fish fillets. You can use halibut, catfish, sea bass, basically any white fish you like! If you can, get ’em fresh from the market.
Dried chilli flakes
1 tbsp lime juice
Oil
Lettuce
Tortillas
Sauces:
Lime and coriander mayo
Guacamole 

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Start by rubbing your fish fillets in the chili flakes, lime juice, oil, salt and pepper. Make sure both sides are done.
In the meantime, grab your bag of nachos, sprinkle a good layer of cheese on top. Decorate them with some jalapeño peppers and put them in the oven. They’re done once the cheese is melted nicely. (I could so make a bowl right now…)

Now, it’s time to make your dips.

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Guacamole:
Chuck your avocados, lime juice, salt, pepper, chopped onion and red chilli pepper into your blender. Press the button for about 5 seconds and your guacamole is done!

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Lime & coriander mayo:
Grab a bowl and add about 4-5 teaspoons of mayonnaise. Add a handful of coriander leaves, some lime juice and salt & pepper. Mix it all up and you’re good to go!

fish taco

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Now, that’s all done, you can heat up a pan and lay your fish fillets in.
Bake them until they are cooked well.

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Your nacho’s should be good by now, so you can take them out and put them on the table.
Use your heated oven for your wraps, they only need about 30 seconds to heat up.

Cut your fish into manageable taco-sized bits.
Put everything on the table!

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Now, all you have to do is make a nice little wrap for yourself

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And DIG IN!

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GLUTEN FREE GOODIES

– N

It’s gluten-free blogweek! 19 Dutch gluten-free bloggers will blog about different topics for 7 days straight.
And as one of my very close friends has her own gluten-free blog, GLUUTS, we decided to do tackle this one together. Given our mutual love for yummy goodies (ahum, understatement) and my history in baking, we chose to make something deliciously sweet, packed with flavour and of course gluten-free. We tried and tested two different recipes, but one of them was just simply a winner for me.

Ok ok, I won’t leave you in anticipation any longer…
I present to you: fudgy pecan brownies.

What you’ll need:

90 grams of unsalted butter
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
350 grams of chocolate chips
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup chopped up pecans

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Preheat your oven to 175 degrees and line out your baking tray with parchment paper.
Grab a bowl and whisk the cornstarch, cocoa, cinnamon and salt together.

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Set the bowl aside and get a small saucepan. Now heat up your butter and chocolate chips, let it melt completely until it’s all soft and creamy.

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I know you want to dive in already, but keep yourself together. The best is yet to come.
When it’s all melted, stir in the sugar and then add the eggs one at a time.

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You won’t need a mixer, you can just use a fork, a spatula or a whisk.
Add your chocolate heaven into your other bowl and mix it all up until it’s nice and smooth!

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And now, to top it all off, add your pecans. It will give your fudgy brownies a nice crunch.

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Pop ’em into the oven for about 20 minutes. If you insert a toothpick, it should come out with a couple of sticky crumbs. Then you know you’re good!
In the meantime grab a cup of tea, chat away with your friend, have a giggle…

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And when you hear the *ding* from the oven: run, take out your brownies, leave to cool for a bit and DIVE IN!

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If you want to know more about gluten-free week or just gluten-free living, have a look at Valentine’s blog on www.gluuts.nl.

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OATMEAL & RAISIN COOKIES

– N

I am on a quest. A quest for the best ever oatmeal & raisin cookie.
A cookie packed with rolled oats and slightly burnt raisins, chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside.
I have yet to find the perfect recipe, but this one is already really good so decided to share it with you!

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees.

What you’ll need for about a dozen cookies:
140 grams of unsalted butter
160 grams soft dark brown sugar
1 egg
190 grams of  plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
60 grams rolled oats
100 grams raisins

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Start by mixing the butter and sugar together.
Add your egg and mix until nice and smooth.

Then sift together your flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and rolled oats and add them to your batter.

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Now, you’ll get a nice thick batter and all you have to do is add your raisins and mix it all up!

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Make equal sized cookies, pop them in the oven for about 15 minutes until golden brown, and BAM: delicious cookies!

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Wrap them with a ribbon, put em in a cookie jar and you’ll make lots of people happy campers.
I took them to work with me and they were gone in seconds…

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DONNA HAY

– N

Ever since I bought my first Donna Hay cookbook, I have been hooked.
She has such great, simple, easy, whip-it-up-in-a-second recipes and I love it!
Her new book  Fresh and Light has just come out full with delicious recipes for a light breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Monique is coming for dinner tonight, but still not sure what to make. It all looks finger licking good and there is just way too much to choose from!!
Any tips from other Donna Hay lovers?!

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OLA OLA OLA – OATMEAL & GRANOLA

– N

Wow, are you going to be happy with me! I am posting this today as you will be wanting to make it this weekend for your lazy Sunday breakfast.
I am sharing a great homemade granola recipe with you. It is SO much better than store-bought ones: less sugar, less fat and it’s easy to make gluten-free as well.
I can already hear you think: O dear, that is going to cost me too much time. O no it won’t. It is so easy, you could do it in your sleep. Ok, well, after a couple of times you will. I promise!

When I was in Ibiza with 11 girls (!!!) two of my friends made granola every morning for the whole group. Everyone was so excited about it that I figured I had to write a recipe post about it. And the great thing is: you can raid your cabinets and chuck in all left-over nuts and seeds you’ve got.

This is what you’ll need:
200 gr rolled oats
1 cup of mixed nuts and seeds (this time I used almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and flaxseed)
50 ml apple juice (you can buy apple juice in the store, I made mine with my juicer. Super fresh and healthy!)
50 ml honey
20 ml coconut oil (I ran out, so used vegetable oil instead. If you are using coconut oil: make sure it’s liquid before use)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt and pepper
1 cup dried fruits (I used apricots and plums)

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Preheat your oven to 170 degrees. Grab a large bowl and throw in your oats, nuts and seeds. Mix it all together and put aside.

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In another bowl combine the apple juice, honey, oil, cinnamon, salt and pepper.

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Poor the liquid mix over your oats and mix it all together nicely. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and divide your mix evenly.

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Pop it in the oven for about 45 minutes. Make sure to check every 15 minutes to toss the granola around. When it’s golden, take it out of the oven and let cool. It get’s even crunchier as it sits.
You can chop up your dried fruits and toss them in as well. Serve on yoghurt and lots of fresh fruits.

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Your breakfast will never be the same again! YUM

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FISH ‘N CURRY

– N

Ok, I am about to give you a recipe that you can whip up in a second and impress your friends, parents or a date with.
It’s my super-easy-super-tasty-go-to-fish-recipe.

To serve 2, you’ll need:
– 1 zucchini
– 2 fish fillets ( I used panga fillets)
– a jar of red curry paste
– 2 limes
– good olive oil
– rice (I used brown rice)
– a bunch of spring onions

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.
Start by laying out two sheets of tin foil. They should be big enough to wrap your fish in, like a little parcel.
Cut your zucchini in thick slices. You should get about 12-16 slices.
Divide the zucchini in the middle of your sheets and sprinkle with olive oil, black pepper and sea salt.

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Lay your fish on top

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Now, go ahead and make your curry sauce.. Grab a bowl and throw in 2 heaped tablespoons of red curry paste, 1 tablespoon with the juice of 1 lime and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Mix it all together and add a pinch of pepper and salt.

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Divide evenly over your two fish fillets

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Now, start wrapping!

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Pop your fishies in the oven for about 20-25 minutes.
In the meantime, start making your rice. Cook the rice as said on the pack. Once it’s done: add some chopped spring onions.

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While you are waiting for your fish, poor yourself a nice glass of wine, do a little dance, make a little lo.. And it’s done!
Serve the rice and fish with wedges of lime and voila, dinner is served!

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READY? STEADY? DIP!

– M

I remember the time when I had friends coming over for dinner. I was going for a ‘beer and pizza’ kind of night and in the interest of time I served them instant ones. The end result was three blackened and burned Margherita’s and many, I repeat, many jokes about my so-called cooking skills…

This brings me back to the moment when, after having lots and lots of fancy dinners at my friend’s place, it was my turn to show off. I went for the safe choice: burritos. When I had everything set to be served, I found out I forgot to buy the core ingredient: meat. Trust me, burritos with nothing more than lettuce and hot sauce just doesn’t do it.

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By now I know to stick to what I’m good at. I am therefore the biggest fan of the most simple recipes. If it has less than five ingredients and a prep time of under 15 minutes, you can be damn sure it’s got my attention.

Hence this very simple recipe my friend J. taught me, which is just impossible to fail.

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All it takes is:

1. Greek yoghurt

2. Sweet chili sauce

3. Fresh mint

4. Black pepper

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Throw everything into a bowl. Get some stirring action and you’ll end up with a surprisingly tasteful dip sauce!

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Very good with either carrots, cucumber or tomatoes. And even better with cheese flavoured nacho’s!

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Don’t worry about any upcoming recipes: Nicoline is an excellent cook and she will either do all the hard work or watch my every move!

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