Archive for ‘December, 2012’

Bubbles

Pop up some bottles, cause tonight will be the start of a new year; new opportunities and chances for everyone to do the important stuff, like more cooking and more eating. It only seems like a little while ago that I poured this sparkling Cava into a jar of fruit while the sky was still blue (now it’s smoggy) and the weather was still nice (now it’s freaaaking cold).

As study-avoidance (I’ve 7 papers, a test and a big presentation coming up and luckily for me, they’re all in Chinese – the language that I speak/write so fluently now, not.) I’ve made a list of the 10 (+1) best recipes from 2012. I’ve only included recipes that I made for the first time this year, so the fudgy chocolate cake or the sugarbread French toast did, unfortunately, not make the list. The list is extremely objective, especially since I didn’t have any breakfast (i.e. hungry) before I made it and since I’ve been craving a looot of Western (/non-Chinese) food after my four-month stay in Beijing.

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PeanutBrittle1PeanutBrittle4

This years Christmas Eve was maybe the best I’ve ever had. I went out for a fancy dinner with friends and even though the food was amazing, I enjoyed the company I was in the most.  We played Secret Santa and this peanut brittle was part of the gift I put together for one of my best friends. Not sure if he deserved it though, since he’d laughed at me during breakfast when I told him I had to spend Christmas Day working on a paper. On top of that, he forgot his presents at the bar we visited after dinner. Luckily, not thanks to him though, the package ended up safely in his room and he’s told me that he ate more of the peanut brittle than he cares to admit. Of course hearing that makes up for his douchy behavior immediately.

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HotChocolate

Every winter I drink a lot of hot chocolate. I would buy Dutch chocolate milk in the supermarket and just heat it up in the microwave. Having neither Dutch chocolate milk nor a microwave I had to make hot chocolate how hot chocolate is supposed to be made: by just mixing hot milk and dark chocolate. Make it this way and you’ll end up with an incredible rich hot chocolate, so much better than any chocolate milk you could buy in a supermarket. Adding a splash – or two – of liqueur could only make it taste more heavenly.

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LambMeatballs LambMeatballs2 LambMeatballs3

Winter has arrived today and he will not be sitting around waiting till it gradually gets colder. To make sure everyone knows he’s back this year, he’s planning on making the temperatures drop to -20˚C this weekend, lucky us. Even though it’s tradition to eat dumplings (水饺) when winter arrives, I am craving a totally different dish.

These lamb meatballs with yoghurt, eggs and coriander are hearty, comforting, intensely packed with flavor and you should definitely eat them while sitting on the couch, covered with a warm blanket and watch the last episode of Gossip Girl. Too bad I don’t have a couch, I already watch the episode and I’m just not brave enough to make the trip to the supermarket in this cold. So what I will do is eat dumplings and tell you that you should really make these meatballs, eat them the way I suggested and admit that they were indeed as good as I told you.

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Like so many other Chinese dishes this poached chicken is easy to make and doesn’t involve many ingredients, but the flavour is so complex and intense, it’s more than just the sum of its parts.

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Temperatures have dropped down to -6˚ this weekend and I can’t bring myself to go outside in this weather, so I’m spending my Sunday studying in my warm and cozy room – yes, I’m living a very wild life. Now it has gotten so cold I can’t help but peaking at the pictures I took during last summer, like these pics from the Summer Palace. Even though the Palace and the lake look wonderful in summer with the clear blue sky and surrounded by green trees, I bet it will look incredibly beautiful when the lake will be frozen over this winter.

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