Saturday, December 31, 2011

Cauliflower-bacon gratin


It's the last day of the year and the year past by so quick. There's happened a lot: lost my job, the childeren have grown too fast, started with my meadow, with french fridays with dorie, we've laughed, we've cried, we've been very mad and very happy. And optimistical about 2012. Also because of the sweet words I got from you. From this blog I want to wish everyone a happy 2012.

As for Dorie, she suprised us this day of the year with cauliflower-bacon gratin. Not quite what I'm used to do with my cauliflower. I usually cook it or stirfry it. But as a gratin it was a whole new experience. But that's part of the fun offcourse.

I've made this one on a day my sister in law eats with us, so that's a risk (someone out of my family which I can't hide anything from), but she took twice (and that doesn't happen very often).

It was really very nice. A nice variation on my normal recipe and I'm sure that we are going to make this more often. The only minor comment, personally, is that I would take an extra few minutes to cook the cauliflower. It was somewhat to crunchy for me. But that is a minority.

Do you want to know what the other dorista's made. Look at:

Friday, December 23, 2011

FFwD: crème brûlée


Today I worked for the last time at my company. Because of a reorganisation my department is redundant. One site of the story is that is making me sad, I've got great colleagues and challenging work. But on the other site there is an opportunity, I can start thinking of starting my own business a cookery school. But it's feeling strange. Tonight we are going to have a farewell party and then we all leave our own ways. I only can hope that everyone gets allright.

But then again, it's Friday, French Friday. I never made crème brûlée the official way. So I got myself a gas burner (comes in handy with my cooking school).

At the bottom I put in a little of my homemade plumjam. That's a nice accent for myself. And furthermore I made the custard myself according to the recipe of Dorie. Let it stand for a few hours in the refrigerator (so a little skin can form on top) and sprinkle a little bit of sugar on it. Burn it with  my gasburner and you've got a really delicious crunchy dessert.

We liked it very much and it looks wonderful.

I can imagine as a dessert after christmasdinner. Candlelight, pine twigs, christmas ornaments on the table and then a great dessert. You take a spoonfull of it and it melts in your mouth...
Can you imagine?

We aren't supposed to give the recipe, but you can find similar recipes on the web.
Do you want to know what the other Doristas made look at:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Marcs spareribs


My two eldest have had there christmasdiner at school today and they had to bring something with them. A starter, head of dessert.
My middle son choose a minipizza. We have taken a cookie pincher and made minichristmastrees and stars. My eldest son wanted spareribs, but homemade. That's allright with me, but he has got to help in that case. So I want to introduce my guest cook today. The props and ideas how to take the photos were all his. And offcourse the cooking, as you can see on the photos. Well done.
And my whole kitchen smells delicious.

He also wants to write something so here are Marcs comments:
I think it was fun to make.
the childeren in my class thought is was delicious.
I tried it my self and loved it.
It was great.
It's nice to have a top cook as mother
O yeah you have to try here recipes they are great.

(Isn't he great, for such a comment :-)

We've used homemade bbq sauce and made a marinade out of it. This is the recipe we used:

BBQ sauce
  • 1 small onion, chopped;
  • 3 garlic cloves, squeezed;
  • 1 red chilli, without seeds, chopped;
  • 1 teaspoon of fennelseeds;
  • 55 gram brown sugar;
  • 50 mL sojasauce;
  • 300 mL tomato ketchup.
Marc’s spareribs:
  • ribs, sliced in 2 or 3 ribs;
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar;
  • bbq sauce (above);
  • 1 tablespoon sojasauce;
  • 1 tablespoon onionpowder;
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped;
  • 50 mL sunflower oil;
  • 1 teaspoon salt;
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper.
Bbq sauce
Heat the oil in a small pan and whisk the onion and the garlic in one tablespoon of oliveoil, during 1 minute.
Add the fennelseed, sugar, chili, sojasauce and tomatoketchup and heat for 5 minutes.
Marc’s spareribs
Heat the oven at 130 degrees Celsius.
Add to the small pan with bbq sauce the sugar, sojasauce, onionpowder, garlic and oil and add salt and pepper at taste. Let it cook for about 5 minutes.
Take for each part rib 2 small leaves of aluminium foil, large enough to fold it after the sparerib is in it. Lay de 2 leaves on eachother (with only 1 leave the rib might tear it). Brush the rib with the marinade, lay it on the aluminiumfoil and add an extra tablespoon on the rib. Fold the foil, so no air can escape and put all the ribs on a large plate. Bake for about 2 hours at 130 degrees Celsius. Unwrap the ribs and lay back on the plate. Bake for another 15 minutes at 225 degrees Celsius (or put them onther the grill). 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

FFwD: potato chip tortilla


I loved this one. It was so easy and it did taste so great. A perfect lunch meal.
It had enough taste. And did I mention the easy part????

A nice recipe for everyone, I'm sure. And it looks great.
And because it was so easy, I had a lot of time to think about what to cook on christmas.
My parents and my brother, his wife and their childeren are joining us on the 25th of december.

My menu will be like this:
- Amuse: calvadosapple with pate;
- grilled tuna, broccolimusselini and soysauce;
- melonspoom;
- salmon with zuchinni scales and champagne sauce, accompanied with pommes ducesse and potato gratin;
- poached pear with caramel mousse and almond tuilles.

I'm looking forward to making all of this. I've ordered the fish already. Christmas is the one time a year (almost) when you can get crazy on the menu like this. Maybe I even get it done to make some pictures to blog.

But I've to wait for a week, so I will.

We don't write the recipes on our site, but there are similar recipes to be found on the internet.

If you want to see what others made of this recipe, you can go to:

Have a nice weekend.

The daring kitchen: Char Sui


Blog checking lines: Our Daring Cooks’ December 2012 hostess is Sara from Belly Rumbles! Sara chose awesome Char Sui Bao as our challenge, where we made the buns, Char Sui, and filling from scratch delicious! 

Luckily you're on the other side on your computer, because I had (or still have a little bit) the flu. Have I been miserable the past few days. Luckily I made this recipe ahead, so I still can post it, although a bit to late.

Unfortenately that means that all work went down to zero. And now I have to get to go on with my household. And my boy, do 3 childeren make a lot of mess in that few days. 

Back to the challenge. Our challenge was to make Char Sui. And it was delicious. I made small portions, so we all had our own. And that was a good trick, because no one could said they had less then the other. It all was gone. So thank you Sara, for the challenge. This certainly is a meal we are going to eat a lot more.

For the recipe I used the one without the red foodcolouring and maltose. If I can I like it more with no substitutes.
So here it is.

- 1 teaspoon (6 gm) salt;
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil;
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce;
- 1 teaspoon (3 gm) ground white pepper;
- 2 tablespoons honey;
- 2 tablespoons (30 gm/1 oz) sugar;
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce;
- 1 tablespoon shaoxing cooking wine;
- 1 teaspoon (3 gm) five spice;
- 750 gram pork lion.

Trim the pork loin to remove fat and tendon and slice lengthways so you have two long pieces, then cut in half. Place in container that you will be marinating them in.
Combine all the other ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine.
Cover pork well with 2⁄3 of the marinade mixture. Marinate for a minimum of 4 hours, I find it is best left to marinate overnight. Place the reserved 1⁄3 portion of the marinade covered in the fridge. You will use this as a baste when cooking the pork. Place marinated pork loin on the grill of your BBQ. Cook on a medium heat, approximately 15 minutes, until cooked through. Be careful to watch that you don't burn the pork.

And then to end result:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

FFwD: Chard-stuffed pork roast


This was supposed to be chard-stuffed pork roast, but it didn't. Chard was not available in my store. So I stood in front of the vegetables and thought about it. I wanted to make this pork roast what other vegetable could I use? And then my eye saw the fresh spinach. Not quite the same, but I thought it was a pretty good substitute. And the result. We loved it. We truly did. Not even the parents, but also our childeren. I've made four roast so we all had our own.
And not only did it taste good. It didn't took much work either.
In about 15 minutes everything was in the oven to bake.
My baking time was a bit longer than was said in Dorie's recipe, about 10 minutes more, but it was moist and tender.
We ate it with mashed potatoes and white beans in tomatosauce.
I didn't make the last one myself, but I've seen on our cooking channel (yes I'm a little addicted to that one) how I can make it. That certainly will become a project of mine.
Hopefully with my own tomatoes from my own garden.
My garden is going well. The roses are planted and so are all the fruitbushes that should have been planted. But I've got no pictures because the weather around here is so  bad.
When the rain is over and the sun is shiny I will give it a shot.
Not that you will see quite a lot, because the roses are just above the ground.
I can't wait until they bloom.

We aren't supposed to give the recipe, but a similar recipe (with kale instead of chard) can be found at:

If you want to see what others made of this recipe, you can go to:

Have a nice weekend and a picture of the end result:

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sinterklaas: chocolate pepernoten ice cream

As I blogged yesterday, tommorow Sinterklaas is being celebrated in the Netherlands. As I did mention we eat pepernoten as a treat. But we also have chocolate pepernoten. And they are even better.
On sunday we always end our dinner with icecream. So to stay in season I've made chocolate pepernoten ice cream.
And it's good, very good. I've ate it and I pitty that Sinterklaas is gone tomorrow. I have to wait almost a year before chocolate pepernoten are available again.
But christmas is coming so that's also a good prospect, because I love that holiday to.

My childeren are nervous of what present to expect. Sinterklaas comes along and brings something with him in a bag. When you are naughty (that's the story), you get a roe. A roe is a bundle of wood (too bad for you).
Otherwise he brings you something you want (or you hope he will).
And we sing songs and drink chocolatemilk.

For the chocolate pepernoten ice you need:
- 400 ml cream;
- 100 ml milk;
- 1/2 teaspoon speculoos spice;
- 130 gram brown sugar;
- 80 gram chocolate pepernoten, roughly chopped.

Mix the cream, milk, spices and sugar and put them in your ice cream maker. Let it work conform your manual. Then take a spoon and mix, by hand, the chocolate pepernoten through. Put it in a bowl and freeze it for about 2 hours until it's firm.
You can decorate it with chocolate pepernoten or with tangerines, which zwarte piet always got with him.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The daring kitchen: cooking with tea


Blog-checking lines: Sarah from Simply Cooked was our November Daring Cooks’ hostess and she challenged us to create something truly unique in both taste and technique! We learned how to cook using tea with recipes from Tea Cookbook by Tonia George and The New Tea Book by Sara Perry.

As written before, I am terribly late with this post. This should have been posted around the 14th november, but due to a lot of circumstances, it didn't.
But not blogging it was not an option, because the recipe was so great.
I've never cooked with tea before so this was a challenge. And I am thankful to Sarah that she did challenge us to do it.
I've made tea smoked salmon with wasabi latkes. I've found the recipe at www.foodnetwork.com.

It's really an easy recipe but the unique taste of the smoked salmon combined with the spicy latkes was delicious. My childeren loved it and so did my husband and I.

Next time I blog I hopefully have some pictures of my meadow procect included as well. Due to the fog that's almost all the time around it, I couldn't make them before. But the project is going so quick. But that for the next post.

Here's the recipe for the smoked salmon with wasabi latkes. Enjoy it.


- 1 pound salmon fillet, center cut, skin off;
- 1/2 cup mirin;
- 1/2 cup water;
- 1 tablespoon sugar;
- 1 tablespoon salt;
- 1/4 cup ginger julienne;
- 1 teaspoon toasted Szechwan peppercorns;

Smoking mix:
- 1 cup long grain rice;
- 1 cup sugar;
- 1 cup oolong tea or black lychee tea;
- 1 piece aluminum foil;
- 2 wet cloths;

Wasabi Potato "latkes" 

- 2 cups warm riced potatoes (boiled in salted water, drained well);
- 1 tablespoon butter;
- 1/4 cup sliced green scallions;
- 1 tablespoon horseradish;
- 1 tablespoon wasabi powder mixed with a little water to form paste;
- Salt and black pepper;
- 1 cup all-purpose flour;
- 3 eggs, beaten;
- 1 cup bread crumbs.


Cut the salmon in 4 equal pieces and place in a small hotel pan or baking dish. In a bowl, mix together mirin, water, sugar and salt, stir until dissolved. Add ginger and peppercorns to liquid. Pour brine on salmon and marinate for 1 hour. Pull salmon out of brine and place in a bamboo steamer. In a wok lined with foil add the rice, sugar and tea. Mix well and turn wok on medium heat. When mixture starts to smolder, place bamboo steamer on top. Seal the seam between the bamboo steamer and wok with wet cloths. Turn wok down to low and smoke for 15 minutes. Turn wok off and let smoke another 15 minutes. Salmon will be about medium rare and should be served warm.

Wasabi Potato "latkes"
In a bowl, mix warm potatoes and butter. Mix in scallions, horseradish and wasabi. Season with salt and pepper. Shape potato mixture into 2 1/2 inch diamater cakes. Dredge the cakes in flour followed by egg and finally panko. Deep fry cakes at 350 degrees until golden brown.

Friday, November 25, 2011

FFwD: herbed olives


I haven't been blogging last week for good reason. I didn't have my computer at home. I blinked my eyes and then it was gone. My husband needed it for very good reasons (he had a business exchange), where he held a demonstration of his photography work (he is a very good photographer in my opinion (check out: www.janssen-fotografie.nl if you like). And I could not post.
But today he came back and here I am again.

In America yesterday was thanksgiving, and I do love the idea to be grateful. So we also stood still at that day, to be grateful. We don't know thanksgiving in the Netherlands, so we still had to work. The turkey didn't make it to my plate therefor.
But I had a few guests on wednesday for a very nice workshop, and I had to take care of the snacks.
We were free to choose something from the great book around my french table from Dorie Greenspan and I choose the herbed olives.

It was a great succes. I only forgot to get the kernel out of the olives, a small error.
And not only did this taste great (and also did smell very good), it looked great in the jars.

We aren't supposed to blog the recipe on the blog, but you can find it on the internet, for example at the following link:

And don't forget to give your partner an olive before you kiss him / her (because of the garlic added).

Friday, November 18, 2011

FFwD: Braised cardamom curry lamb


Another Friday and it has been two Fridays ago, that I've blogged on French Fridays with Dorie. It has been two busy weeks. I had my birthday and because I like to cook, I made everything myself (sorry no pictures and no recipes... yet). I haven't blogged that because I wouldn't make it on time on my birthday party. But I did have quite a few good recipes, I discovered. A red velvet cupcake, one from DC cupcakes with strawberry and champagne and one with a chocolate ganache. Great taste all three of them and I will make them again and blog it, I promiss.
I also made an Indian buffet with the curry we made for the Daring Kitchen and butterchicken, three salads and rice. And it was all gone.

The last two weeks were also busy weeks in my garden and I suspect there will be another two weeks of work. We (and by we I mean my dad and me (and for a great deal my dad)), are making and painting the two large containers for the fruit bushes. A lot of them, but not all, have to be planted in october - november. And they are probably going to arrive tomorrow. A littlebit (say 3 days) to soon, but they have a container around their roots, so lets hope for the best.

But I also had my cooking memberships from the daring kitchen and french fridays with Dorie. I'm already to late with the daring kitchen, so I'll blog that saturday (I hope).
But I'm on time with my FFwD blog and it was so in style with my birthday party. We ate braised cardamom curry lamb.
I went to the grocerystore around here and I've been looking for the curry mentioned in the recipe. There wasn't any curry. So I thought lets make it from scratch. And that's what I did. But my curry was very, very, very hot. So it took over a lot of the taste of the Dorie recipe. I like hot, so I didn't care that much, but my husband found it to be to much.
Through the hot flavour the taste was really sweet and the lamb was tender. The potatoes did taste really nice.
It should have been a great recipe without the hot spice, I'm sure.

We aren't supposed to write the recipe on this blog, but you can find it at the link followed:

See you on saturday.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Update of my meadow (2)


I promised to  blog two weeks ago for an update on my meadow. But the weather was not that nice and it was more work than was expected, so you can guess it took a little bit longer. But as the saying is, good work takes time. The herb garden is finished. Without the planting though.

First there was a tractor which ploughed the grass we had sowed in spring.
Then there were at least three trucks full of sand to heighten the herb garden. When we looked a few weeks ago we estimated that the height of the sand would be one board high to level everything out. We made the containers for the roses (they will be placed on the end of the herb garden) two boards high.
We weren't quite right. The height difference from the beginning of the meadow untill the end of the herb garden is two boards (about 50 cm, 20 inch).  That became a lot of sand. Then the sand had to be leveled, as seen on photo 2. And we placed a canvas to keep the weed out of the gravel. We've measured out where the containers should be placed and filled them with sand. At last we put the gravel in. The gravel looks a bit yellow, but that's the mudlayer on the gravel. After a big rain shower the definite color will be seen.
For the last picture I placed the pergola. But it's got to have it's definite place in the future. It will be placed a lot higher, as you can guess after reading this. Stairs will be made to go to the kitchen garden. In the big containers and on the pergola, roses will be planted. I hope they will come soon. The firm said the roses would be delivered this week, but I haven't gotten them yet.

The herbs can't be planted yet, because of the mild frost we are already experiencing. The plants are already there in the two containers in the back of the second photo so in the early spring the transplant will be done. When I moved them in this season the roots wouldn't be strong enough to live through the frost and all my work would been gone away. I don't want that off course.

The wood for the other containers and the chicken coop has just been delivered. Wow, the timing is really great.

I am certainly very glad with the end result for this week:

Friday, October 28, 2011

FFwD: Pumpkin stuffed with everything good

O yeah, it's Friday again.
And I'm blogging my post very late. That's because I was very busy (who isn't these days?). Last week I hired someone to level out my herb garden and he came today. Without telling me (but I don't mind). That's great news, however I forgotten to paint a few boardsides (of my containers) and so I was the whole afternoon in my garden painting. And being happy that finally there is progress. Monday or tuesday it should have been finished. And I will be posting the photos by then to keep you on track. But because all of that my timetable became a mess.
But then again it's still Friday and time to blog another post from the book: " around my french table " from Dorie Greenspan. Every Friday we cook something from that book, and the recipe chosen is published on the site of French Friday with Dorie.
This week it was "pumpkin stuffed with everything good". And as a matter of fact, it's not a vegetable we eat a lot in the Netherlands. And I've never tasted it in a way that I would say, go on let's have it again. Until this Friday that was. The recipe of Dorie is really tasteful. The bacon, combined with the cheese and herbs gives the pumpkin a real boost.
After the preparation of the pumpkin I still had a lot of filling in my bowl. In my supermarket there was one sort of pumpkin and it wasn't very big. As a matter of fact, I don't even know where to get it otherwise.
With the rest of the filling I made a dish which I prepared in the oven. First a layer of beans in tomatosauce, then a layer of mashed potatoes and finally the filling. And this was also a very nice dish (and I didn't throw anything away).
We aren't suppose to write the recipe in our blog but at this link it is published:

And a photo of the end result:

Have a nice weekend.