23 July, 2015

In loving memory


A little while ago a family member past away. I was with my mum and she wanted to make a cake for the family, to have something. She asked me to do it and (of course) I was willing to make a cake. The cake isn't that pretty, as in, it's not bakery worthy, but it tasted good (they said). I was glad to be able to do something for them.

Now I came to think about it, it would do great with some homemade marmalade! Haha.

Love, Yvonne

Little piece of land...


I think it might be a good idea to show you where our fresh food comes from.

My dad and his wife spend loads of time there, to look after the veggies and fruits they've planted. They have several kinds of vegetables and fruits, such as pods, zucchini, lettuce, raspberries, potatoes, tomatoes... The list goes on and on and on, haha. In a small border, my dad's wife has planted some flowers. Sometimes she takes some home, to put on the table or in a little vase.

So many times we have enough or to much of everything. But, unless it isn't good anymore, we will use it to put in our freezer or give it away to our neighbors or family. Most of the times they are really happy with it, because if it is fresh and it's biological it tastes really good! Haha.

We have some pumpkins here, but they are still small so we haven't tried it yet. We don't do halloween or thanksgiving, so saving them for then isn't really an option, haha. They are probably going to get used for pumpkin soup or bread. 

I think I've harvested the almost the last pods. The plants are getting a bit yellowish, so they've had their longest time, I guess. Those three are of course not enough for an entire meal for three persons, but I will think of something that they come to a good use. 

There are also some tomato plants. We really like to see the tomatoes get red, but it hasn't happend yet, because of the lack of sun. We're still in the Netherlands, which might say enough of the Dutch weather, haha. There are at least two or three different kinds of tomato plants, since I brought two packs of Italian tomato seeds from Italy last year. They don't know if they like them, so they also planted some 'normal' tomato plants.

The zucchini plant is a plant to really look after, because zucchini's can be to smal one day and the next day it can be to big. The harvest time for 'the right size of zucchini' is really short. It's okay of course. 

There are also some raspberries and strawberries, there aren't many fruits, only about 5 different kinds. Not every kind of fruit is able to grow here of course, others might take to much light or space, but for instance raspberries and strawberries are fine to grow.

How do you like fresh fruit and veggies? They are my favorite!

Love, Yvonne

22 July, 2015

Dinner experiments pt. 1


I may have mentioned in some earlier posts that we use as much of our own veggies and fruits as possible.  Now I've made some yellow curry with pods when I was at my moms place. She still had some ingredients that needed to be used (she usually eats at her work, but had some days off), so I've made one of the most delicious curry's I've ever made!! 

I've used yellow curry paste, coco milk, chicken, pods, unions, zucchini, leek and paprika... And of course some rice! The rice I used was pandan rice, to me it's a great rice with hot dishes. This is because pandan rice is a bit milky (to me anyway). 

As usual I made to much. That Wednesday night I ate alone (my mom had to go to the hospital, to a family member, all of a sudden), but the next day we ate of it and then we still had some left, we ate it with some pancakes on Friday, haha. 

When I ate it I realized it could use some rasped cheese (the Dutch way, haha. On the other hand: you can put cheese on everything! Hahaha) or some bread with it. But that's something you'll always find out to late: when you're already eating it or when you've finished it, haha. Thankfully my mom loved it as well, she could eat 2 plates if there was more rice, haha. 

How do you like curry? 

Love, Yvonne

B-day Pie


It was my mums birthday a little while ago so I made her a hazelnut meringue pie with mocha cream. I found the recipe a while ago in a book by Cees Holtkamp, named 'de Banketbakker'. Cees Holtkamp is a Dutch baker of pies, bread, croquets and many other things. His bakings are also to be found at the Dutch Royal Family, they say, haha. When I found the recipe 2-3 years ago I promised my mum to make it for her birthday, but it never happened. Then last year I received a book (as a gift), made/written by Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra, a woman from Guyana, South America, who married a Dutch guy and started looking for Dutch traditional recipes/the Dutch cuisine. People kept telling her that Holland doesn't have it's own cuisine, there weren't traditional recipes and stuff, but they were wrong. She started looking for the recipe's, made them and published them in a book called 'Het Nederlandse Bakboek' (the Dutch Baking Book).

And guess where I found my promised pie? Exactly, at Pagrach-Chandra's book, Het Nederlandse Bakboek. It was simplified, easier for me to make, but still a good challenge for someone who has never made a meringue or some buttercream... I showed my mum, she agreed, I showed my sister who was a bit sceptic, but still she wished me luck (in a good way) and so on it went. I got my ingredients and the next morning I started backing.

In the end it wasn't that difficult. I've mixed powdered sugar, a pinch of salt and caster sugar together, I've mixed roasted hazelnuts and cornstarch/cornflour, and at last I've mixed the egg white's to a foamy substance (keep in mind that there were three different bowls and the last one was brand clean,  a bit of fat and it wouldn't have worked). I baked it for 90 minutes in a preheated oven on 130 degrees Celsius.

While it was baking I made the buttercream. It's the easiest decoration you can think of. In this case the base is 300 gr. of butter and 350 gr. of powdered sugar. I've added some instant coffee that was resolved in some hot water and that was added to the butter and the sugar. The difference was immediately visible.

Me, with a finished pie.
When the pie was ready I got it out of the oven, let it cool on a grate and added the buttercream. According to the recipe you had to slice the meringue in three pieces, add the butter cream to each layer and pile them, finishing it with some roasted hazelnuts. Now, my plate was breaking while I was getting the meringue out of the plate, so my sister and I decided that it was easier and better to slice the plate in 15 pieces after I added the butter cream and the hazelnuts.

It was a bit of work, but it was worth it. Everybody loved the pie, even I did, while I usually don't like that kind of things, haha.

Do you like meringue's?

Love, Yvonne

21 July, 2015

Something with marmelade and rhubarb.


I like to cook a lot, as you might have seen with my last post. When my dad and/or his wife take something home from their land and it's not enough to eat we get creative: what can we do with it? So last week they took some rhubarb home. It was (after I cleaned it) only 400 gr. (about 0,88 pound/14,1 ounce). It might have been enough to eat with potatoes for two people, but only my dad likes it that way. Not an option. Now I've made some marmelade of rhubarb last year or the year before, so I thought about it and suggested it. And so it went. I've made some rhubarb marmalade!

In the end I had three full jars with marmelade. As you can see there is a bit of air on top of the jar, I really had the idea they where filled, haha.

Here, in the Netherlands, we have special sugar to add in fruit and then cook it: gelei-suiker. Usually I take the weight of the fruit/veggies I have and add 100-150 grams extra, it depends a bit on the fruit I'm working with. For now I also added the rasp of 1 orange. It cooked for 4 minutes and afterwards I putted it those brand clean jars I had. The sugar is replaceable with other kinds of sugar/jelly products, but make sure when you want to make marmelade, you take a product that makes it marmelade and not only juice!

Love, Yvonne

07 July, 2015

Chocolate pie


Last saturday, July 4th, I made a chocolate pie! It was delicious. What the fun part was, it was mixed with red beets and coffee! My dad and his wife (not my mom) have a little bit of land where they grow vegetables and fruits and now we try to use as much as possible of the vegetables we grow. For example, we have beets, pea pods and endive, we try to find a recipy to use as much as possible of those three vegetables. Maybe we eat something with pea pods, carrots and zichinni's. An another night we might eat endive, unions, paprika's and tomato's. Just to eat as 'much' as possible from our own land.

So July 4th we made chocolate pie with red beets and at night for dinner we ate beets and potato's from our own land.

It was:   
  • 300 gr. of pure chocolate
  • 220 gr of beets
  • 60 ml of very strong coffee
  • 5 eggs, yellow and white separated 
  • 130 gr of Sugar
  • 200 gr of butter
  • 135 gr flour
  • 3 tp cocoa powder
  • 1,25 'coffeespoon' bakingpowder
  • big pinch of salt
It was an enormous list of ingredients and the recipe looked really difficult. But while we where working on it, we found out it wasn't that difficult. 200 gr of chocolate + butter needs to be melted, beets pureed, sieve the flour, cocoa, bakingpowder and salt in a different bowl. Add the Sugar through the chocolate, get it of the gas, ad the egg yellow and beets. Egg Whites need to be stiffend, through the chocolate and as last the flour mix and the last bit of chocolate (in little pieces). Put it in a cake pan (that is greesed) and in a preheated oven (180 degrees C) for 55-60 minutes. Goes great with ice cream, yoghurt and raspberries. Keep in the fridge with warm weather (25 degrees C and up).

We eat our first piece when it was a bit hot. It tasted delicous. When it was cold it was a bit different, it still tasted great, but the chocolate was hard again so there where a bit parts in it, which made it crunchy.

When you make it, I hope you like it as much as we did here!

Love, Yvonne

Recipe: Mme ZsaZsa's book and blog

15 June, 2014

30 day challenge: day 1


For the first day I had to take a self portrait, a selfie, so I made it and I will post it, since I promised it, haha. Here it comes. 

It's not the best selfie I've ever took, but since I am/was outside because of the good weather, I enjoyed it. Haha. 

Would you like the same sort of challenge?