there’s a first time for everything: baked banana

Baked bananaAnd last night it was the first time I ate a baked banana with melted chocolate. Better late then never, no? It was delicious, although I might even like it better without the chocolate. A warm, soft banana is that good. If you haven’t tried it before, I suggest you pick up a banana right now, put it on the grill or BBQ. Wait until the banana skin is completely brown/blackish, slice it open and spoon out the soft, gooey banana (or add some chocolate and let it melt a bit first.) This most be what heaven tastes like.

Categories: food Tags: , ,
white chocolate crunches with cardamom | no bake recipe

White chocolate crunches recipeHonestly, I don’t know if I should even call this a recipe, it’s that easy, and quick: the recipe for no bake white chocolate crunches with cardamom. Since the damn oven broke down, I’ve been looking for nice no bake recipes. It was actually Joost’s idea to use the ginger cookies for this purpose, the cardamom chocolate seemed like a good fit. Here’s to many more nice and easy no bake recipes, and a new oven..!

INGREDIENTS

[for 6 chocolate crunches]

6-8 ginger cookies (I used Ikea’s Pepparkakor, any type of pepparkakor/pipari will do, and I think speculaas/speculoos will work as well.)

1 bar of Rococo’s Cardamom Organic White Chocolate (If you can’t get your hands on this yummy bar of chocolate, just use plain white chocolate and add a bit of cardamom to the melted chocolate.)

Ingredients White chocolate crunches

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Put the ginger cookies in a bag. Find a blunt object, think of something that makes you angry, take it out on the cookies. Just don’t crush the cookies to a pulp, you want to leave some bigger pieces so the crunches will have a nice bite to them.
  • Melt the chocolate au bain marie.

White chocolate crunches au bain marie

  • Add the cookie crunch to the melted chocolate, bit by bit until every piece of cookie is covered in chocolate.
  • Scoop the mixture into a mini muffin tray. Put the tray into the fridge and let it set for at least one hour.
  • Perfect with a cup of black coffee. The sweetness of the chocolate & the ginger cookies will cut right through the bitterness of the coffee!

White chocolate crunches

Enjoy!

Categories: dessert, no bake Tags: , , , , ,
Food log | week 35

Food Log

OVERALL IMPRESSION | Looking back, this week was filled with odd and not so healthy dinners. Hopefully the coming week will be a  healthier one, food wise. Bought a couple of food magazines as inspiration!

MONDAY | Baguette with different cheeses, olives and fuet sausage

TUESDAY | Chicken wings and meat platter at Bar Brouw

WEDNESDAY | Vegetarian burger with a simple tomato and cucumber salade

THURSDAY | French fries and burgers

FRIDAY | Salmon fishcakes and spinach tart

SATURDAY | Wiener Schnitzel with Bimi

SUNDAY | Baguette, fuet, olives, humus

BONUS | Lots of sweet things this week as well: cheesecake and a strawberry pastry.

Categories: food log Tags: , ,
LINK LOVE | WEEK THIRTY FOUR

Link love week thirty fourLast night I was attacked by spaghetti. I opened a kitchen cabinet, and out it came. Joost suggested we play mikado (the game, not the yummy chocolate covered biscuit sticks). In the end we just cleaned up the mess and made tea, which is what I was going to do in the first place.

While sipping said tea, I started reading blogs. One thing let to another and the first feature of this blog was born: a link list. I’ll try to keep this short and interesting, but I can’t promise anything. You know how it goes; you start reading a post about the everyday life of someone you don’t know and end up with a recipe for bouillabaisse.

Categories: link love
What came first?

Dinner at Van 't SpitBeer, obviously. The chicken followed a couple of minutes later, cut in pieces, covered by juicy crispy skin. Sprinkle a bit of lemon juice on top and bon appetite!

Ever since Van ‘t Spit opened its doors, a mere five minute walk from our kitchen, we’ve been frequent guests. What better meal is there really, than chicken, fries and corn on the cob?

Well…

Chicken piri piri with grilled bimi. 

Bimi, or broccolini, is a rather new* vegetable that was developed by the Sakata Seed Company in the early 90’s in Japan. I can’t remember ever seeing it -or eating it for that matter- up until a few years ago. In Holland it’s now available in most grocery stores. I love it. Love. It. Especially when coated with an ever so thin layer of soy sauce. But in the case of chicken piri piri my master chef (aka Joost) usually grills it. Perfect as a side dish for the spicy dish that is chicken piri piri. Which, by the way, I love even more than bimi. Just FYI.

I’d show you a picture of this delicious dish, but I am unable to do so for two reasons:

  1. I never took a picture of it so far, because I’m eating it once it’s in my sight.
  2. Yesterday our oven finally broke down completely. And chicken piri piri is best when it has seen the inside of a hot oven.

So for the time being, we’ll have to make do with Van ‘t Spit’s chicken. Which we’ll gladly do so, and probably long after our oven has been fixed. But once the oven is up and running again, I’m sure the first dish we’ll make is chicken piri piri, and I’ll try to take a picture and let Joost write down the very simple recipe.

* New is, of course, a relative term and for someone who keeps forgetting that the 90’s were about twenty years ago, it makes sense to refer to something that has been developed in the early 90’s as ‘new’.

Categories: food
Banana muffins vs a crappy oven

Banana muffinsIt has been raining, almost non-stop, the entire day. Last night I fell asleep while lightning lit the room, this morning thunder woke me up. I wonder if this was it for our Summer. If grey and rainy days are what’s left until -hopefully- the snow comes. Or if we’re in for an Indian Summer.

Those of you who know me, know that Autumn is my favourite season. I love the coziness the grey weather generates indoors and under umbrella’s. To celebrate these rainy days of late, I decided to bake some banana muffins. They are yummy, great for breakfast and very easy to make. I use Astrid’s recipe and it never fails.

One thing I did noticed this time around, is the fact that the top of the muffins cracked open. This has never happened before. It’s probably due to one of the many issues I have with our oven: it’s like Dutch weather, hot one day, cold the next.

A couple of weeks ago I bought an oven thermometer, which incidentally got me even more confused. If I follow its direction, most things burn to a crisp at 180 degrees C. Suffice it to say that baking, even with a tried and tested recipe, proves to be a challenge in my kitchen these days.

Still, I find baking sweet or savoury things on a grey day like today, very comforting and relaxing. Which is why I think dinner should be baked as well, not cooked. Anyone out there that can recommend a lovely oven baked dinner? I’ll try not to burn it to a crisp, promise.

Categories: baking
Tomorrow schmorrow as long as you’ve got food and friends

Dinner at Bar BrouwWhen a friend calls you to ask if you want to go out for dinner, preferably ‘now’, you say yes, no? So I hopped on my bike and met the lovely Charlotte at Bar Brouw West, on a random Tuesday evening. We shared beers, food and lots of stories.

That’s cornbread, potato wedges, ribs and beans with a side of Anchor Liberty Ale you see in the photo. What I loved most about the food, is the fact that it tasted even better than the first time I ate at Bar Brouw. I love it when great food becomes even better over time.

Speaking of time. Lately the concept of time seems overrated. Days pass quickly and are filled with surprises, things I never thought I’d do…done. Looking forward to something seems impossible. Before I know it, it’s already happening. I know, I’m being cryptic, but hopefully not for much longer. Tomorrow’s a big day. Tomorrow is actually today. See, time does fly.

I’m excited, a little nervous and a bit anxious when I think too long and hard about the near future. But, when you’ve got friends who drag you out of the house and into great restaurants, you know all will be well.

Categories: everyday life, food
On writer’s block and baking

Cinnamon bunsI’ve been starring at the screen and typing the odd word, for half a day now. I’m trying to tell the story that let to this place, to a career switch and to this brand new blog. I simply don’t know where to start. I’m sure I will find the words later on, perhaps right after I hit ‘publish’, but for now these words will have to do.

Normally, when I feel stressed, worried or blue, I bake. Baking soothes me. Only downside is that I get stuck with lots of left over baked goods, but I guess there are worse treatments for a case of the blues. Baking is what I would have done to get through the writing block I developed for this first post, but I no longer own a kitchen, just a big mess.

Time to hit ‘publish’ and clean my kitchen and focus on what’s really important: read food blogs and eat chocolate. Right?!

Categories: everyday life
De Pijp: discovering a new-to-me neighbourhood

De Pijp Amsterdam Tuinder Amsterdam Rialto Amsterdam Scandinavian Embassy Coffee Scandinavian Embassy

I love discovering new-to-me parts of Amsterdam. In the years that I’ve lived here, I never visited De Pijp much. Today we had a few good reasons to wander around a different part of town. One of them being Scandinavian Embassy. More on that in a later post!

We also stumbled on a few great stores.  Perhaps I’ll write about them in a later post as well. I’ve been thinking about writing a small Amsterdam guide… I used to write for the Amsterdam version of Le Cool Magazine and also contributed to their book. Can’t believe it has been six years since it was published. Time flies when you’re having fun. Speaking of time, it’s time to give my feet a rest and think about which neighbourhood I would like to discover next.

Categories: in English, miscellaneous Tags: , , , ,
EVERYDAY LIFE INTERVIEW / KNAR BEDIAN
photo by Knar Bedian photo by Knar Bedian
What does everyday life mean to you? 

Everyday life is made up of all the little details that become mundane (to us) after constant exposure. It’s all the things you do without a second thought because it’s just forms your habits; it’s part of that daily grind.

Can you share a daily ritual with us? 

One ritual that’s been consistently part of my life is, every morning I wake up and have a bowl of cereal and milk. I can’t remember the last time my day didn’t include this meal (if not for breakfast, I work it in some other time of the day). Sometimes it’s nice to have a meal you don’t have to think about. Besides, consistency can be predictable and reliable.

How do you break the pattern of daily live, every once in a while?

I try to go see a live music show at least once every week or so. I’m a co-founder of Sound of Boston, a blog my friend Jonah and I started after he was contacted by the guys at (now, our sister blog) Denmark’s Sound of Aarhus, so I’m always out writing reviews on concerts and bands – it’s a great way to discovering new music and it’s refreshing to go explore different parts of the city.

Knar Bedian is a student and majors in Sociology and Spanish with a minor in Mass Communications and Media studies. She is an avid photographer and the co-founder of The Sound of Boston. I’m so glad that she reached out to me via email. Otherwise I might not have had the privilege to get to know her work. Today she’s one of my favourite everyday life photographers. You can find more of her work on her website and at Flickr.

All photos by Knar Bedian

Categories: in English, interviews Tags: , ,