This lucky girl is going on two amazing trips in the next three weeks. Today I will take a train from Beijing to Henan province to spend the week with a close Chinese friend, his friend and his Chinese family, which means I’ll be celebrating Chinese New Year with Chinese people in China, how cool is that. I’m not sure what to expect, but I think I can be sure it will involve a lot of eating (not complaining at all) and also some major awkwardness when I’m trying to have conversations in my crappy Chinese. After I return to Beijing I will spend one night here before flying home. Home! Unfortunately it’s not just fun and games, since my granddad had a nasty fall and ended up in the hospital. He’s doing ok, but I really want to spend some time with him (and bake some cakes for him) and that’s why I decided to make a short visit home before the second semester starts. I can’t deny that I’m also really reallyreally looking forward to seeing my best friends and my family again and I will, of course, spend some time in the kitchen. And to make everything even better, I will have my two loyal travel companions with me on both trips.
This couscous salad is the last dish I’ve made before coming to Beijing at the end of August last year. Of course it’s not a Dutch salad and it’s also not the first dish that would pop up in my mind when I’m craving a soothing winter dish, but when that moment comes when you’re starting to doubt if the weather will ever get better again and you need to be reminded what summer feels like, this salad full of fragrant herbs, crunchy nuts and a pungent dressing Is the perfect thing to make.
In Beijing there are a lot of small tea shops where they sell an endless range of fragrant smelling teas. You can sit down and have a tasting session in the style of a Chinese tea ceremony. I love tea and I drink it all day long, so I know I’ll be buying a couple of my favorite teas before I go back to the Netherlands.
During the big baking session a couple of weeks before my departure we made these aromatic Jasmin cookies. I was a little sceptical at first, so I placed the cookies on a plate in the kitchen for my housemates to eat them. Turned out I actually loved the combination of a crisp buttery cookie with a non-overpowering taste of Jasmin tea and I ended up finishing the whole plate.
I couldn’t believe what I tasted when I took the first bite from this croissant. The croissant is buttery and flaky (credits to the bakery though) and the filling is full of rich, moist frangipane. This is definetly my new favorite breakfast. It’s even way better than incredible Sunday morning Eggs Benedict, that should tell you enough.
I made these blondies a couple of days ago, right before I went to bed. When I took them out of the oven, I left them to cool in my room – because I live in a student house, my room is my living room and my bedroom in one – and went to bed. The smell of baked peanut-chocolate deliciousness that came from the baking tin was heavenly and it put me into a wonderful sleep. Life sucks.
I’ve never made blondies before, never even tasted one. Although I have to admit, now that I’ve finally tried one, that I’m more a brownie-lover, I really enjoyed eating these fine little blondies.