Thursday, June 5, 2014

Every day we learn something...

If it is in the kitchen or outside it we never stop learning. Life lessons, but most of all: lessons about ourselves. How you react to everything what is happening around you teaches you something about yourself but it also gives you opportunities to grow, to learn.

When something happens that makes you very sad do not think you are weak. Sometimes you feel like you did not react in the proper way in a certain situation. That does not matter. You can always respond (a little bit) later. Do not let people get the better of you!

First of all, be kind to yourself. Not to the other person who is, clearly, stepping over your boundaries. You have the right to stand up for yourself. Do that, in a way that suits your personality (without being "physical", of course ;-)).

Take from every experience the lesson it is trying to teach you. Maybe you cannot see it at first, but wait and you will see the valuable lesson underneath the surface.

And do what makes you most happy. Every day. Because life is too short to spent it moping around and feeling unhappy. For all the readers here on this blog it must be cooking. So cook away!
And make of every day the most happy day!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Interesting posts to read - reading material for the weekend (1)

Maybe you are like me. A bit overwhelmed by all the beautiful, informative food blogs out there. You see a nice post out there but you have the feeling you are missing out on a lot more.  If you know what I mean you are on the right spot. I will try to link every Friday to other interesting posts I have spotted so that you can: either make that recipe that same weekend or dream about it that weekend. It is up to you.

To be honest I am not doing this all for you ;-). I am doing this first of all because in this way I can always retrieve the posts I love. Sometimes I like a post but then I forgot to which blog it belongs. Very annoying! Now I have a sort of online personal library which I share with you. 

So this is my first "weekend reading material" post. I hope you will like it and I hope it is useful to you as well. 

  • (Italian blog) I love these biscuits of "La tana del coniglio". The writer always give a magical touch to her creations. This time she made beautiful looking cookies called "occhi di bue". The biscuits resemble fried eggs with sunny side up (hence the name occhi di bue). I cannot help but wonder how they would taste with Nutella. But maybe that will not make it taste as moist as promised as it will with jam. 
  • (Italian blog) Ahem. I am a big fan of "La tana del coniglio". Again, I have posted a wonderful looking recipe: a sweet focaccia with peaches. Perfect for sunny days. The dough looks so moist....I am drooling. 
  • These Vegan Orange and Lemon Poppyseed Cake look amazing. I wonder how they taste like. 
  • "Tender white cod gets a coconut crust before being tucked inside a tortilla with a creamy cabbage slaw and a buttery avocado in this fish taco recipe." This is how this recipe is described on the blog Foodformyfamily. They look wonderful and sound mouthwatering. If you are in the mood for taco's I would suggest these ones. 
  • (Italian blog) A summer version of il babá. It looks great. It looks just moist enough, beautiful golden brown. Fluffy. In this babá you would like to tuck in straight away. The strawberries look amazing with it. 
  • If you want to dream away about your next travel destination maybe you can have a look here. On this Brazilian food blog you will find inspiration of all sorts. Breakfasts of the world and now restaurants of the world and their beautiful views. Well, I will certainly put a few of those restaurants on my bucket list! 
  • I love the blog of Silvia, called Sivia's cucina. The style of the blog is perfect, the recipes inviting, her writing interesting. Lemon and Olive Oil Cambella....I just NEED to make this asap! 

For now I wish all of you a great weekend!! 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Bircher muesli and an update

I cannot believe it is already almost one year ago I wrote on this blog! Time is flying. Especially when you are working full-time. Which is sad, really. How many of us are actually working their life away, doing something they find okay doing but is not their passion? How many of us bury their passion in piles of paper? I am guilty of this. Now the question is: how am I going to change that?

My big dream is to publish my own cookbook. To write about food. To cook a lot. To learn more and more and more... Oh, there is so much to learn about food! But instead of doing what I really want I let time just pass by me in a calm wave. Once in a while I call out that I really want to do something with my passion and then Boyfriend sighs in relief. "Finally!" He exclaims. The next day I wake up and do again  the same as I did the day before.

Life is now! How important is it to truly understand those three words. Not tomorrow. We all think we have the eternal life but unfortunately it is not like that. So I am going to work hard to try to  fulfill my dreams. To experiment in the kitchen. This blog of this Italian lady finally following her heart after having been fired is very inspiring. How courageous of her! I really recommend this beautiful, pure blog. So my only big update is that I still have not figured out how to follow my heart.

For now, while thinking how to make my dreams a reality, I give you a recipe. One that makes me think of my years spent in Switzerland. Funny enough I never really liked Birchermüesli in Switzerland. Not the pre-made one, in packages, at least. I have tried it a few times outdoor as well but there it tasted too rich and I did not like the taste of mysterious crunchy bits. Call me crazy, but I want to see and to know where the crunch in my food comes from! And when my German language teacher told me that people ate Birchermüesli as a light dinner in Switzerland  I was shocked. That...that pile of oat? Yuk! I hear my mothers voice in my head right now, saying: "You never use the word yuk regarding food. Think about all those people who cannot eat properly." And she is right, of course.

Clearly, I had never tasted the right Birchermüesli. It was not until I discovered the recipe of Sophie Dahl in her lovely cookbook Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights that I felt the urge to make it. And it is really healthy for you too. Well, at least my way is ;-). Apparently the original recipe of Swiss physician Dr. Bircher-Benner contained cream. I do not want to say that you can never eat cream but that would be a bit too much for me in the morning. So, again this is one of those dishes which is definitely better when it is made at home.

Birchermüesli, for me, is a really nice and fresh breakfast or a nice snack at three/four o'clock in the afternoon, that time of the day when you are counting down the hours at work.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Home made vanilla ice cream

One week ago Boyfriend gave me such a beautiful present, my very own Kitchen Aid. I cried when I received the present from him and I still cannot believe it. But there it is...standing in my kitchen on his very own place.

So, I finally have the perfect assistant in the kitchen! And it came with an ice cream maker attachment. I have used it already three times (!!!) in one week and I have to say, it is wonderful. I made Pasta Brisee with the machine, vanilla ice cream and this lovely focaccia of this very lovely blog about Italian food. And all three turned out very good.

The most exciting experiment was, needless to say, the vanilla ice cream. As I have always wanted to make my own home-made ice cream. Maybe, if I would still have lived in Italy I would not have dared to make my own ice cream. But here in the Netherlands, with mediocre ice cream, it is certainly not a luxury. And it turns out that home-made ice cream tastes different different than the store-bought one. Or the vanilla ice cream at least...I think the home-made ice cream tastes more real, more pure and it was so creamy and the taste of real vanilla was heavenly!

Friday, December 21, 2012

I am back in the kitchen!

More than two months we have lived in total chaos. We renovated our kitchen. What a work that was! How tiring. Working almost full-time and then to come home to CHAOS! Can you imagine that we couldn’t cook, that we had to wash our plates and cups in the bathroom sink and that I have eaten a few times food out of a can….And that for two months? Oh, I said that already didn’t I?

Already-made-food bought in the supermarket, why would people even consider that? Except when you really have no choice. Why not make your own, healthy, delicious soup for example? It doesn't have to take up much time, if time is the issue. And the taste….why do some people just not care about the taste? Food is there to make us life more beautiful, not just to feed our body to keep it alive. Why feed it then with crappy food?  Food is not something unimportant. You eat 3 meals a day! I can’t understand the attitude of some people towards food. If you do not take pleasure in basic things like food, what is the point? Am I being too dramatic?

Last Friday the kitchen came and after one and a half day we were able, at last, to cook our first meal in our new kitchen*. What a joy! Even if it was just a simple meal: a pasta with broccoli, it was the most delicious dish we could wish for. We were so grateful. We are so grateful. Living in a house without a kitchen, is a house without a soul. So now I am back on my blog. Happy to be back. Oh, and I realized that last October it has been already two years that I started this blog! Two years. Unbelievable.

*I will post pictures of my kitchen soon but for now it isn’t completely ready.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Impression of the Netherlands

Sometimes I just talk too much. Many of those words are just empty, polite phrases. Is anyone really saying what they want to say? Sometimes I am just too naive. Will I ever learn? I don't know. Some lessons I never seem to learn. 

Anyway, I want to show you some humble but beautiful treasures I have discovered. And they were just in front of me! I'm glad I am at least mastering the art of looking. Really looking. 

I wish you all a happy new week! 

 A beautiful autumn day on the beach. The smell of the sea and of fried food. 

Poffertjes. A typical Dutch sweet delicacy. You can compare poffertjes to pancakes but they are thicker and therefore they have a more "doughy" taste. The classic poffertjes are served with butter and icing sugar but as you can see in the picture you can get them in all kind of varieties. If you ever visit the Netherlands you can't leave without having tasted poffertjes


Kruidnoten covered with dark, milk and white chocolate. Kruidnoten are, according to the description on Wikipedia: "(...) a cookie-like kind of confectionery, traditionally associated with the early December Sinterklaas  (on 5 December) holiday in the Netherlands." The taste is a bit similar to speculoos, if you've ever tasted that, although I might insult fans of kruidnoten

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Dinner for one

When do you know you made the right choice? Only when you start believing it yourself? It's been pretty hard adjusting to The Netherlands again. Moving from Switzerland to this overcrowded country was a bit of a shock. There's always so many people, the streets are certainly not so clean as in Switzerland and people are just so loud on the street, in the office. And I have to get used to the bluntness of the Dutch, again. Here in The Netherlands you are always expected to have an opinion about everything. This is cleverly observed by the Chinese-Dutch writer Lulu Wang and since I read that I can not stop thinking about it. It's so true! "What do you think about.....?" Is probably the most-asked question during a workday here in The Netherlands. If you do not give a spontaneous speech about why you had a nice weekend and what was so nice about it, well, they will ask you about the details. I miss the politeness, the timidity, of the Swiss. And the food here...people do not seem to give a lot about food. They are perfectly happy eating a sandwich with cheese for lunch. And of course it's a whole-wheat flour sandwich. If you ever dare to bring white bread -the devil- to your work, well, you certainly get  loads of (unwanted) opinions.

So today I could not resist it anymore: I had to cook. I really had to. It was all I could think about. It is my only way to relax. For a while I was wondering if my love for cooking, my passion for food, had faded away. I did not feel the desire to cook. In the last month I just boiled some water for cous cous and I baked an egg, sunny-side up. Since one week it's all coming back again. The desire to cook, to create amazing food, to eat healthy and at the same time delicious.I am so happy that it is a steady love, that I do not get bored of cooking and I will not let it go easily. It is hard in life to find something that you like and that lasts, I am happy I found it.

So the first dish I cooked after more than one month absence is humble but surprisingly good. It is one of those dishes you create on the go. You know what I mean. Pouring some olive oil in the pan while thinking about what you could add to that oil. In the meanwhile looking in your cupboards and fridge to see what they can offer you. And you make the best of it. Often cooking for yourself makes you feel free and creative because there is no stress of failing involved. If it isn't as tasty as you had wished for, who cares? How liberating is that!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Dear readers...

It's been a while since I wrote my last post. Believe it or not but I didn't read any foodblogs for over one month, I did not even open a cookbook (although I bought a few ;-)) and I almost did not cook. The reason? We moved back to The Netherlands and I have a new job. I am really struggling trying to find a balance between work and (my) food (passion). When I come home in the evening I am tired. I look around and see all those unpacked boxes and I get stressed out; the sad looking, empty, book shelves, the kitchen which seems to fall apart (but will soon be renovated) and the stuff that we brought back.... How did we ever ended up owning so much stuff?

 And although it feels like home, being back in The Netherlands, there is still much to get adjusted too. Although the weather has been gentle and warm. It certainly feels like summer. Even here.

I just wanted to let you know what I am going trough. I did not forget you and sorry if I am not reading and commenting on your blogs. I think that soon, in September, I will start cooking again, finding joy in spending time in the kitchen. For now, I am just running around, tired, trying to bring order in my unorganized life.

So, dear readers, I will not forget you and please check my blog again soon. I promise I will post something special. To make up for this absence.