Archive for ‘July, 2013’

Strawberries

Hot weather makes me incapable of doing anything other than hiding in cool places and resting (preferably at the beach/pool), I can’t sleep, eat, think properly, let alone cook or bake. It has been sizzling hot these last couple of days, especially for Dutch summer standards, and I have been avoiding doing any major activities. 

Roasted Strawberries

So I find it quite amazing that I was still able to create this summery ice cream, but I’m glad I did because it is so damn delicious and it is the only right thing to eat in this weather. Even though I was able to get myself into the kitchen to make this ice cream, I did wait till the weather cooled down a bit to tell you about this mind blowing ice cream. Strawberries are roasted, mashed and mixed with a coconut custard, churned into ice cream and mixed with chocolate, resulting in this roasted strawberry-coconut-straciatella ice cream.

Roasted Strawberry - Coconut - striaciatella

The roasting of the fruit makes the flavor of the strawberries more intense, the coconut gives it a fresh twist and the bitter chocolate is a nice contrast to the sweet ice cream and makes for a nice little crunch. I think all of us need to have a tub filled with this in the fridge as an emergency kit for the next heatwave.

Roasted Strawberry - Coconut - striaciatella ice cream

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I had this meatloaf recipe bookmarked since April and it stood high on the very long list of things that I wanted to make after being back from a kitchen-less year. Since I’m back I’ve made it three times already, mostly because I couldn’t get this sandwich out of my head.

Meatloaf Chipotle 1

While making this meatloaf for the first time, I started thinking about pairing a slice of this juicy, spicy meatloaf with some nutty Leicester cheese I’d bought in Oxford and that had been waiting in my fridge for the right opportunity to be used, so I decided I would save a slice of the meatloaf so I could make this sandwich. But then my roommates kept on eating and non of the meatloaf was left.

Meatloaf Chipotle 2

So I made it a second time, this time making the meatloaf a bit bigger and definitely expecting to end up with some leftovers, but then the suckers did it again. So for our last dinner with our roommates I made the meatloaf so ridiculously big, even the guys were impressed with the humongous unit I pulled out of the oven. And this time there was some left, but only because I’d been guarding it with my life during dinner.

Meatloaf Chipotle 3

Yesterday I finally accomplished creating the sandwich: the flavorful meatloaf and the nutty cheese were paired together between two slices of really good rye/whole wheat bread and the sandwich was fried in a generous amount of butter. It turned out to be even better than in my wildest sandwich dreams.

Meatloaf Chipotle 4

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DutchPolder

Cycling to the beach became cycling through the Dutch polders with my fun roommate. In the background there are some typically Dutch cows and a windmill, quite the Dutch scenery.

 

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Brownie Bites

Brownie cookies, need I say more?

I won’t anyway, cause I’m going to jump on my bike now and cycle to the beach and let my freakishly white skin catch some sunlight.

Have a great day!

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In the beginning of this week I spent a couple of days in Amsterdam. It’s just a 30-minute train ride away from the city where I’m living, so it’s not a big trip to make, but I always love going to Amsterdam, walking around and enjoying the canals, the beautiful houses and hoping that one day I’ll live in this, for me, enchanting city. Cause really, there’s way more to my capital than the red light district and coffee shops to buy your (partly) legalized drugs at.

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The city is covered with these canals.

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And a lot of canals have these kind of houseboats in them.

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Bikes are everywhere.

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Anne Frank Museum: on the left the house in which Anne Frank was hidden; in front of the museum there’s the long waiting line which is there all day, every day. In front of the picture there’s a tour boat, it takes you on a tour through the canals in the city center and passes many tourist spots.

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Surinamese/Javanese food, clockwise: a plate with noodles, fried rice, saté and peanut sauce, snake beans, cold salad, fried egg, prawn crackers and marinated chicken; snake beans, bean sprouts and cucumber with peanut sauce; (deep fried?) cassave with bacalhao; in batter deep fried banana with peanut sauce. Oh by the way, this meal was shared, so unfortunately not all devoured by me, myself and I.

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Albert Cuyp market.

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Sarphatipark, people (mostly the ones without a garden) relaxing in the park on this (rare) sunny day.

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Sunny and warm days like these can be quite rare, even during the summer, so when the weather is nice all clothes immediately come off to flaunt the goodies and to get tanned.

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Royal Palace of Amsterdam on Dam Square: it was build as the town hall, later it became the palace for the royal family. Now it is used by the king for entertaining and official functions.

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Across from the palace there’s the National Monument: the national Remembrance of the Dead ceremony is held here every year on 4 May to commemorate the casualties of WOII and subsequent wars.

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Dutch milf taking a stroll.

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Beers to cool down.

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More canals.

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A hidden courtyard in the middle of the city center.

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Bike domino, anyone?

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More canals..

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It’s not uncommon to see terraces on the canals. And when the weather is ever so slightly getting warmer, people crowd to all the café’s terraces to enjoy the weather, but mostly to check out all the people who are passing by.

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Pretty houses with pretty roofs.

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State Museum (Rijksmuseum): the museum was closed for the past ten years due to a €375 million(!) renovation. Now the museum is open to the public again and the waiting lines to get in are ridiculously long (so come early to avoid those). The museum has, among others, a couple of Vermeer’s, Van Gogh’s and this one in the picture is Rembrandt’s The Night Watch

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I amsterdam and the back of the State Museum, which is apparently not yet completely finished.

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There was one cold morning, so Dutch apple pie and hot chocolate milk with whipped cream (also quite Dutch) had to warm us up.

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Typical Amsterdam street, with the front of the State Museum in the background.

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Something different than a Rembrandt.

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The last canal picture, finally.

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A new way to use your bike.

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Every morning I check out the new posts on all the foodblogs I’m following, but I never get as excited as when there’s a new post on my all-time favorite blog: So Delushious – a new post always makes my day. Delicious food, sarcastic humor, a love for fried chicken and spicy food and all written by the gorgeous Chrissy Teigen – I don’t know how anyone could not be a fan.

This salad is one of the mouthwatering recipes on her blog. It’s crazy ass spicy, it’s authentic Thai and (thus) incredibly flavorful, and not unimportant, also very healthy – it’s just so delushious.

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Last winter when I was all homesick and feeling down I bought a new cookbook to cheer myself up, even though I knew I had to wait at least half a year before having the opportunity again to be back in the kitchen.

Shrimp cocktail1

This Heston Blumenthal cookbook has recipes that are, compared to his other recipes, quite doable to prepare at home, but almost all the recipes require various complicated steps and fairly advanced cooking skills. So to play it safe I started with the easiest recipe from the book, it’s actually so easy that I’m a bit embarrassed that from all the adventurous and challenging recipes in the book I chose this recipe that even the biggest douche could make in his sleep.

Shrimp cocktail2

But I know why I chose this recipe to be the first one: Heston Blumenthal calls this his secret vice. And if one of the best chefs in the world, someone who can create the most amazing and complicated dishes, calls a simple prawn cocktail his secret vice, all the adventurous recipes have to wait cause this will simple salad had to be put on top of the list.

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I love the food in Beijing: hearty, comforting food, often deep fried and swimming in thick sauces. Come to think of it, this kind of food might be the reason why my jeans shrunk a couple of sizes this year. Anyway, I mostly love these meals during the fierce and very much hated winter in the Chinese capital, when you’re freezing sitting in a restaurant and not even your thick down jacket can warm you up, only a steaming hot dinner that is both body and heartwarming.

Now that I’m back home and it’s summer (not that it’s noticeable) I’m craving more subtle flavors and lighter meals. Something like these shrimps that have been stir-fried with garlic (the more the better), chili and topped with fresh lime juice and coriander. This is the meal I want after a day of sunshine, with surroundings preferably our little balcony or in the grass next to one of the pretty canals.

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