Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My meadow: flower impression


As I said, I have taken my camera in my meadow and took some pictures. Aren't this beautiful flowers. On the left you see thyme, which smells delicious. In the middle there is a strawberry with a ladybug. More natural it won't get. And to the right there is the blossom of the runner been. Underneath I took a picture in my flower garden from a Euphorbia.
My flower garden is blooming right now, so it won't be a problem to get fresh flowers inside the house.
But they are great in my garden too.
Do you have a lot of flowers around your house?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Potatoes roasted in the oven


With 4 squared meters of thyme plants I got myself a new problem. Which one can I use for this recipe. I took the one with the strongest thyme smell. I thought that would be great odor in the house.
It really is. The dish did not only taste quite good, but smelled similar.

I took small potatoes (don't know how to pronounce this kind in English) and brushed them to clean them. My children love them when they are peeled, but the most vitamin are just underneath it, so I prefer to eat them unpeeled.
With this kind of potato you almost don't notice the skin because it is so thin.

The potatoes were eaten very well. I had to buy more because they go by the pound. But almost everyone was gone.
The only issue was that the potatoes weren't fully done when they got out of the oven, so we put them in a frying pan for a few minutes.
Usually I boil them 10 minutes before putting them in the oven, so I don't get that kind of issue.
Maybe I should try that the next time (or you should have a great idea for this one).

For the recipe:
- 2 pounds of small potatoes;
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced very thin;
- 3 shallots, quartered;
- 2 sprigs of thyme, cut in small pieces;
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil;
- salt;
- 3 tablespoons of water.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (or 390 degrees Fahrenheit). Brush the skin of the potato and rinse them carefully. Put them in an oven dish. Combine it with the garlic, shallots, thyme and olive oil and mix well. Add enough salt to get the right taste.
Poor the water in the dish and cover it with aluminum foil or a lid.
Place the dish in the oven, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and let them cook for another 10 minutes (to get a crunchy bite).

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Working in my meadow


As you know, I'm working in my meadow a lot. But the weather was really bad the last couple of weeks (but it's going to change I've read).
But work in my meadow is still going on. As you can see the plants in the herb garden are growing steady, as are my fruit trees. In my kitchen garden, I've got my own vegetables to eat, but the harvest is big, but not very variated yet.
I've got spinach, radishes and lettuce to eat right now. I see my potatoes growing above ground and the first strawberry is becoming slightly red.
There are a few berries on the bushes. And the raspberry bush got blossom, so that won't take long either.
That also counts for the runner beans. What a beautiful flowers that plants got. Next time I will take my camera and make pictures of the flowers. You can see that that's enjoyable too.
So now I had of to my garden again.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, May 18, 2012

FfwD: double chocolate and banana tart


Wow, this was a good, no a great recipe. Why? We had guests that came over today and I thought that that would be a good moment to make this tart. It looked inviting in the book. Double chocolate did sound good either. And it is good. This tart is delicious. It's so delicious that the friend who came over (and who's birthday is next weekend) wants this tart for her birthday.
One, not two because she thinks she can't stay away from it, because she wants to eat it. There really was within one hour no crumble left.
So I'm going to make this recipe again this weekend, and for you who don't own the book yet: you should buy it. If it's only because of this delicious recipe.

If you want to see what the others thought of this recipe look at:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dutch buffet for my sons 7th birthday party

My second son got a party. He became 7. What a big guy already. And he reads all the time. I find it amazing. When the school starts in September they almost don't know the all the characters and in May they read books.

He had a bit bad luck because his birthday was in the middle of a holiday. A lot of people went on vacation and weren't on his party. To make it more festive I made a Dutch Buffet.
Maybe you ask yourself whats that? I made:
  • Sandwiches with cream and olives;
  • Sandwiches with smoked salmon and dill mayonnaise;
  • Sandwiches with cucumber;
  • Green asparagus boiled in wine rolled in ham;
  • Stuffed eggs filled with smoked salmon, green herbs or ham;
  • Mini pizzas with old cheese, cherry tomatoes and cress;
  • Potato salad;
  • Mackerel salad;
  • Crayfish salad;
  • Cream cheese/smoked ham puffs (really delicious).
Everyone like the buffet and it looked great. Congratulations Bart.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The daring cooks: Boeuf Bourguignon


Our May 2012 Daring Cooks’ hostess was Fabi of fabsfood. Fabi challenged us to make Boeuf Bourguignon, a classic French stew originating from the Burgundy region of France.

You know it when a recipe is so famous, but you've never made it (even never tasted it). I had that with Boeuf Bourguignon. So this was definitely a recipe I was going to make. The recipe given by the Daring Cooks is quite big (you can read it down this post), but you can freeze the left-overs (if you have any) for the next time you make this.
It taste delicious. The meat got the right bite and the onions and carrots have a specific but nice taste. I can imagine why it became such a famous recipe. Only not in May with a sunny weather. I thought of it more like a winter dish. I didn't use the mushrooms, because they're not my favorite veggie. That was a vegetable you could leave out, if you wished so I did.

The radishes were my first pick this year from my garden. There are four different variations. Beautiful white, yellow, red and pink. And they taste great, though the yellow one got quite a pepper in it.
I just made them as a salad, but I've found a recipe with stir-fryed radishes. I got a few in my garden so that's a recipe for this week.

But for know the Boeuf Bourguignon recipe:


  • 1 x 6 oz (200 gm) chunk of streaky bacon
  • Olive oil
  • 3 pounds (11⁄3 kg) stewing beef cut into 2 inches (5 cm) cubes
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon (5 ml) (2 gm) pepper
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) (1 oz/30 gm) flour
  • 3 cups (11⁄2 pint/720 ml) of young red wine. Suggestions: Bourgogne, of course, but also Bordeaux, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti, Rioja etc., depending on your country and your taste. Being Spanish, my choice this time was a good Rioja. It really has to be a good one but it hasn’t necessarily to be a very expensive one, you know, il ne faut pas exagérer
  • 1 carrot, sliced (I prefer to cut it into chunks, but that's just my taste)
  • 1 onion, sliced in julienne
  • 1 1⁄2 to 2 cups (3⁄4 to 1 pint/355 to 475 ml) of beef stock or beef bouillon
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) (1⁄2 oz/15 gm) tomato paste or tomato puree
  • 2 cloves mashed garlic
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon (21⁄2 ml) (1 gm) thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leave (Julia says it has to be crushed, I prefer not to crush it so that I can remove it at the end of the process)
  • The blanched bacon rind
  • 18-24 small onions, brown-braised in stock
  • 1 pound (1⁄2 kg) mushrooms sautéed in butter (Champignons are perfect for this purpose)
  • Fresh parsley sprigs to serve.

Prepare the bacon: Remove the rind. Cut the bacon into lardons (Sticks, 1⁄4 inch thick and 1⁄2 inch (5 mm x 15 mm) long) and simmer everything in 4 cups (1 litre) of water for 10 minutes. Drain and dry carefully with paper towels. Dry the meat cubes carefully with paper towels.Preheat oven to hot 450oF/230oC/gas mark 8.In a fireproof casserole or a frying pan, sauté the lardons in a tablespoon of olive oil for 2-3 minutes until they’re lightly brown. Remove them to a side dish with a slotted spoon.In the same casserole/pan, sauté the beef until it’s golden brown. Remove it to the side dish. Still in the same casserole/pan, sauté the carrot and the onion. Return the bacon and the beef to the casserole. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper, then add the flour and toss. Place the casserole/dish uncovered in the middle position of the oven for 4 minutes. This gives the meat a lovely crust.Remove the casserole/dish from the oven. Stir in the wine, stock, tomato paste, mashed garlic cloves, thyme, bay and the blanched bacon rind.Bring it to simmering point on the stove. Now, if you were using a frying pan, discard it and put the stew in an oven proof dish. Cover the casserole/dish (If your dish doesn't have a lid, use aluminum foil and stretch it to the edges of the dish in order to minimize the loss of juices) and place it low in the oven. Adjust the heat so that the liquid simmers very slowly, it has to go on for 3-4 hours.
While the stew is cooking, prepare onions and mushrooms. For the onions: Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a frying pan and sauté the peeledonions until golden brown. Add beef stock until they’re almost covered and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until almost all the liquid disappears and they’re tender but keep their shape. Set aside.
Prepare the mushrooms as well: Wash quarter and sauté them in 2 tablespoons butter. Keep on stirring until they’re nicely brown. Set aside.When meat is tender, put the stew into a sieve over a saucepan, wash out the casserole and return the stew to it. Put onions and mushrooms over the meat.Skim the fat off the sauce. Put the saucepan on the stove and simmer it for 2-3 minutes. Skim additional fat if it rises. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon. If not, boil it until it thickens. If it’s too thick, stir in some stock or bouillon to make it lighter.Pour the sauce over the stew. Put the casserole on the stove or in the oven and reheat for 2-3 minutes. Serve it in the casserole with some sprigs of fresh parsley. Some goods sides are potatoes, noodles or rice.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

TwD: Pecan Sticky Buns


Teusdays with Dorie again and this time we made: Pecan Sticky Buns. A brioche dough with pecans, sugar and lots of butter.
It was horrible to make. Why, I don't own a kitchen aid or something like that. I only have a handmixer. And the mixing time is very, very long.
But the result is terrific. It's crunchy and though it contains a lot of butter (did I mention that earlier), it doesn't taste fat. I really loved it.
It supposed to come out as a whole tart out of the form, but that is the only thing that didn't went the right way. The buns did fell apart. Don't know what went wrong, but the good news is that I have a roll in the freezer for a next try (and this is something we eat once more this month).
A really lovely recipe with good taste.

If you're curious how it's made you can read the recipe on the blog of Nicole: http://cookiesonfriday.blogspot.com/

It's a lot of work, but certainly worth a try.

The end result:

Friday, May 11, 2012

FFwD: coconut friands


Yes, I know, two weeks too late. But I made these and I loved them so much I would share them with you. These are coconut friands. Looks like a little muffin and are really moist in the inside. It contains coconut (as you would expect from the title), but I don't like it when the coconut is to strong in taste in a recipe. These are perfect. A mild coconut flavour and very moist in the inside. Others from the group, made them with the addition of fruit. That sure will taste great, but I didn't.

These friands are really something I'm going to make a lot more. Ideally for a high tea.

For the recipe of this week. I'm working on it. I saw the refrigerator part a bit to late, so it's chilling right as we speak. I hope to post it in the evening or tomorrow, but I've seen some reactions and it sure sounds promising.

If you want to know what the other Doristas of the group made: