dinsdag 31 maart 2009

TWD: Coconut Butter Thins

Another week, another tuesday: time passes by so fast!! But another tuesday also means another great TWD-recipe! This week Jayne of The Barefoot Kitchen Witch got to pick a recipe from the wonderfull book Baking: From my Home to Yours, Jayne chose Coconut Butter Thins.
The recipe can be found here!

This recipe is great!! Easy to prepare, pop into the fridge for a couple of hours, bake for a while and you'll end up with a delicious, delicate cookie. The coconut is barely noticeable and the thins taste really good.

The recipe makes 32 cookies. But I rolled out the dough just a bit thinner than the 1/4 inch specified in the recipe and cut the cookies a bit smaller, so I ended up with 72 smaller coconut butter thins that baked for 10 minutes. Since the dough does spread quite a bit while baking I still had reasonably sized cookies, with an average of only 1,5 WW Points per cookie!

Check out the results of my fellow TWD-ers here!

zondag 29 maart 2009


So far I haven't been able to get any of my pics up on Tastespotting, Foodgawker or Recipemuncher... Somehow they're always too dark, too big, too small, too.... whatever.

I would love some tips and tricks on what to do! So if you have any suggestions on what could work or what I might try: please leave a message!

donderdag 26 maart 2009

CEiMB: Chicken with Mango Barbecue Sauce

So, here I am again! Presenting you the strangest combination of foods on one plate you have ever seen: Chicken with Mango Barbecue Sauce (picked by Aggie's Kitchen) combined with red cabbage and cranberries, apple sauce and mashed potatoes.

I'll admit, this was not the diner I had in mind for tonight.... I wanted to serve the chicken with a nice salad, but when I came home today I discovered that my lovely romaine lettuce had changed into a slimy mess overnight.... I guess I'm just having that kind of a week!

Instead of the seeding and dicing some jalapeno peppers I found this really cool tube in the supermarket: jalapenopepper puree. Ideal: 1 teaspoon of the puree is the same as 1 whole jalapenopepper. No more accidentally rubbing in your eyes and having them sting and tearing because you forgot to wash your hands or simply didn't wash them good enough: just a simple squirt out of the tube!! Perfect.

Also I ommitted the lime juice: since I still had a peelless lemon leftover from this weeks TWD-recipe I decided to squize it before I could bin it. Then I cut the chicken into small pieces before marinating it in the sauce, thinking it would cut back marinating and cooking time (it was already about 8 p.m. when I popped the chicken into the fridge).

This dish is absolutely amazing: a perfect combination of sweet, tangy and spicy. I will definetely make this again, so Aggie: thank you for picking this recipe! One more good part: 1 serving of the chicken with sauce is only 3 WW Points!!!

Welcome Elie-istas!

Welcome back to my blog, I'm so happy to be back at Craving Ellie in Belly.
Patience is a virtue they say, so I'm going to test your patience today.

I planned on making the Chicken with Mango Barbecue Sauce, picked by Aggie's Kitchen, yesterday, but somehow my plans changed. Now I'll make it tonight.

Hopefully you'll all be back tonight to see how my efforts turned out!

woensdag 25 maart 2009

This empty feeling inside

Today's my day off from work: every wednesday is in fact. I love to sleep in on those days, I normally don't get to that every saturday or sunday. But today something was different....

I woke up around 6 am and couldn't sleep anymore, I had this empty feeling inside. It feels like something is missing, although I can't pinpoint what that might be.

Normally when I feel like this I turn to some good friends like Ben & Jerry, Milka, Lays or anything else that's available and pick up a book or turn on the tv while I munch.

But this time it's different, the feeling is worse.... It's 1 pm now, I've turned the tv on and off about a hundred times, picked up my new book "New Moon" by Stephenie Meyer about a thousand times, but just can't seem to concentrate enough to read more than one page at a time. And I couldn't stop reading 'Twilight' when I read it about two weeks ago...... I'm not even wanting to seek comfort with the former mentioned good friends Ben & Jerry, Milka or Lays....

Tonight I'll be cooking at my mom and dad's: my mom had some eye surgery last monday and I want to help in every way possible. I just hope that I can pull myself together so they won't notice how desperately empty I'm feeling....

Well at least the fact that I'm not turning to comfort foods can be seen as someting positive: it won't ruine my WW-diet....

zondag 22 maart 2009

TWD: Blueberry Crumb Cake

The first time I ever had blueberries was during my first visit to Canada in 1998, from that day on I was hooked. I can honestly say that blueberries are one of my favourite fruits, but still I have never baked anything with them.

This week I finally had the change to bake with blueberries as Sihan of Fundamentally Flawed had picked Blueberry Crumb Cake for this weeks TWD.

Again I managed to mess up: I totally forgot to add the sugar to the cake mixture..... O well, on to the next attempt: this one succeeded, the coworkers loved it and I liked it too: it looked, smelled and tasted good.

I just had one issue with this cake: all my blueberries sunk to the bottom.....

By the way, I cut the cake into 24 squares and 1 square was only 3,5 WW Points!

P.S. I accidentally deleted the pics from my camera before saving them on my pc....... So no pics this week unfortunately.

zaterdag 21 maart 2009

Another great giveaway!

Yesterday I saw another great giveaway over at A Year From Oak Cottage. Marie is giving away the cutest selection I ever saw..... So go ahead and check it out here!!

We have a winner....

All week I've been looking forward to today: today I'll go to Groningen with my Mum,
which is about a one-hour-drive from my hometown Zwolle.
A while ago I won some tickets from a magazine for the sneak preview of the movie Bride Wars that premiers here on March 26th.

Do you know the movie, have you seen it already??? Let me know what you thought about it, did you like it or hate it???

Now on to the most important part of this post: the winner of my Dutch cookbook giveaway.
At first I tried to let my pets pick the winner, so I tore up 35 little pieces of paper and wrote
the numbers 1 to 35 on them, folded them up and put them in a box.

Scott was totally not interested in the scraps of paper.

Senna on the other hand was far to busy with her grooming ritual to pick a winner......

So I had to resort to the very trustworty Random Integer Generator and
let it pick a winner, so here it is:

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:12
Timestamp: 2009-03-21 00:56:21 UTC

Comment number 12 was made by...... Chocolatechic:
chocolatechic zei...
Even with Mr. Murphy along for the ride, your cakes look fabulous.
As for the book, I'd love the second one, because I love traditional recipes.
17 maart 2009 14:51

Chocolatechic: please contact me through email, so I can send you
the Dutch cookbook you picked:

vrijdag 20 maart 2009

Last chance to enter my giveaway!!

Yes, that's correct: this is your last chance to enter my giveaway and win a cookbook filled with wonderfull Dutch recipes! Deadline is midnight today, Amsterdam time.....

Over at Cookbookhabit I read about this test that will tell you what kind of baker you are. Ofcourse I had to do the test, I'm a 'giving baker'. If you're interested in taking the test, go here!

donderdag 19 maart 2009

Check out this giveaway!!!

I just saw this giveaway on Snooky Doodle Cakes & More. The first three that comment will receive a surprise prize. You have to post about the giveaway on your blog then come back and leave a comment with the link to your blog. Those who participate have to be willing to do the same that is the 3 persons commenting on their blog will receive a prize from them.
The rules are :
1. Leave a comment in my with the link to your post to pay it forward giveaway from your blog.
2. Be willing to follow through on sending out 3 prizes to lucky winners of your contest.
3. Make sure your profile lists your profile contact information OR leave your email addy with your entry in the comments section.

So, if you're interested, hurry and go check it out!!!

P.S. Don't forget to register for my own giveaway here!!!

dinsdag 17 maart 2009

100th Post > Giveaway and TWD: French Yoghurt Cake with Marmalade Glaze

Another week has passed since last weeks Tuesdays with Dorie. Liliana of
My Cookbook Addiction picked the tasty French Yoghurt Cake with Marmalade Glaze. I absolutely loved this recipe, so did my friend and her boyfriend when I surprised them with the mini-bundtcakes when I visited her last Friday.

I have no idea where my head was when I went groceryshopping or while I was baking, I made lots of mistakes: I forgot to buy a lemon and had no other citrusfruits, I did however have some lemon juice in the houseand squeezed some of that into the mixture. Also I accidentally put baking soda in the mixture instead of baking powder... Well they still tasted great!!

Now it was time to pick a pan for the cake, but I couldn't find my cake pan anywhere, so I decided on making mini-bundtcakes and bite-size cupcakes. The mini-bundtcakes took about 30 minutes in the oven, the bite-size cupcakes needed 15 minutes. I topped the cakes with a lovely mango-passionfruit jam.

The recipe made 12 mini-bundtcakes and 18 mini cupcakes. I figured that 2 bite-size cupcakes are about the same size as 1 mini-bundtcake, so the entire recipe was 21 servings, this comes down to 3 WW Points per mini-bundtcake or 3 WW Points per 2 bite-size cupcakes. Not bad at all!!!

Todays post is actually extra special: it is my 100th post!!! So I decided to celebrate this by giving one person a chance to win something really special: a cookbook filled with traditional Dutch recipes. Whomever wins gets to pick one of the following books, offcourse they are both written in English. To get some more information about the books simply click on their titles and on the site choose 'Inkijkexemplaar". Here are your picks:

Dutch Cooking - the new kitchen: a surprisingly seductive cookbook with all the traditionally Dutch dishes our parents used to make, adjusted to this time: less fatty and with lots of fresh vegetables. The book is filled with recipes for the best stews, soups, vegetarian dishes and salades. The lovely old-Dutch dessert have also been included!! (Paperback)

In Dutch Cooking Today the best of yesterday is combined with some of today's most tempting foodstuffs. Here are all the classic recipes but in a leaner form and given delicious new twists with 'new' and readily available ingredients. This cookery book reflects and celebrates all the pleasure and unexpected variety of Dutch cooking today. (Hardcover)

So, here's how to win: let me know which cookbook you would prefer to receive and why. The deadline for this giveaway is Friday, March 20th midnight Dutch time! Be sure to check in on Saturday, March 21st when I will announce the winner!

zondag 15 maart 2009

Crunchy Salmon with Stewed Red Peppers

This is my 99th post. Stay tuned for my 100th post as it will not only feature a recipe,
but also a giveaway!!!!
Ow and that post will probably be posted on Tuesday.....

I don't cook a lot of fish or meat. I don't mind eating vegetarian....
Meats I buy and cook are normally chicken and beef, but they have to be
boneless, skinless and without lots of fat.
I only buy salmon, tuna, vissticks and freshly backed kibbeling.
Again I don't like bones and prefere the fishes to be skinless....
Salmon was on sale at the supermarket this week, so I had to buy some.
This a recipe from one of my newest cookbooks: Feel-Good kookboek by Ainsley Harriott.

Ainsley Harriott is an English chef, here in Holland he is known because of Ready Steady Cook,
a cookery serie he presents. If you want to read more about him, go here.

Crunchy Salmon with Stewed Red Peppers
(4 persons)

4 red peppers, quartered and seeded
2 garlic cloves
6 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, mediumsized, sliced into rings
120 grams passata
2 anchovies in oil
2 tbsp basil, coarsely chopped
4 salmon filets, 150 grams with skin
salt and pepper

Cut the peppers into slices about 1 centimter wide. Crush the garlic cloves with a knife.
Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a big pan. Add the red pepper, onion and garlic, add salt and pepper to taste, cook for about 10 minutes on low heat until the peppers start to soften.

Add the passata and anchovies to the pan. Cover the pan, lower the heat and let simmer for about 30 minutes until the peppers and onion are 'soft like butter'. Remove the garlic cloves, add the basil and taste to see if more salt or pepper is needed.

Score the salmon skin four or five times and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil in a pan, add the salmon fillets, skin faced down and cook for about 3 minutes. Turn the fillets over and cook for another 2 minutes
until they are cooked.

Serve the salmon with the red peppers and some spinach.

donderdag 12 maart 2009

Pasta with Wodka-Cream Sauce

A month ago I saw this very interesting recipe over at The Dogs Eat The Crumbs, it was Penne with Vodka Cream Sauce. It looked so delicious, so I had to try it!
I made it together with a friend a while ago, we used a four-cheese ravioli and absolutely loved it. We paired it with a nice salad with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, goat cheese and mustard-honey dressing. Yum!!

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

1/2 pound uncooked pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup vodka
1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

Cook the pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and keep warm.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add vodka; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until liquid is reduced by about half. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, broth, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes.
Place tomato mixture in a blender. (I catually skipped this part: I like it when you can still see the ingredients in the sauce) Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Process until smooth. Return tomato mixture to pan; stir in cream. Cook 2 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in cooked pasta, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and basil. Serve immediately.

woensdag 11 maart 2009

WW: Ovendish with Brussel Sprouts and Pasta

Here's another great Weight Watchers recipe! I love pasta and using my oven to bake,
so when I get a chance to combine the two I'm superhappy!!
This recipe is really nice, I love the combination!!

Ovendish with Brussel Sprouts and Pasta
1 kilo brussel sprouts
160 grams pasta, uncooked (I used penne)
1500 ml vegetable stock (or 6 spoons of powdered stock in 1,5 liter water)
2 onions (I used red onions)
2 tsp sunflower oil
450 grams tomato, diced
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp rosemary
120 grams cheese (40+), sliced into thin strips

Preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius.

Cook the brussel sprouts and pasta at the same time in de stock untill ready (about 10 minutes). Drain, catch the stock in a bowl. Put the brussel sprouts and pasta in a ovendish.

Slice the onions. Heat the oil in a pan and cook the onionrings for a short untill tender. Add the diced tomatoes and 300 ml of the stock. Add the rosemary and salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the sauce over the brussel sprouts and pasta in the ovendisch. Divide the strips of cheese over the dish and pop into the middle of the oven. Cook for about 25 to 30 minutes. Enjoy!!

4 portions: 5,5 Points per portion

dinsdag 10 maart 2009

Gnocci with Tomato and Basil Sauce

Yesterday I had a friend over for dinner so I decided to try one of my special new Weight Watchers recipes: Gnocci with Tomato and Basil Sauce. I paired this with a nice green salad. We absolutely loved this dish!!

Gnocci with Tomato and Basil Sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion (I used red onion)
2 garlic cloves
1 can tomatoes (appr. 400 grams)
1 pinch of sugar
2 tbsp tomatopuree
250 ml cream (light)
40 grams sundried tomatoes, without oil (I left this out, since I didn't have any at hand)
400 grams potato gnocci
fresh basil, pepper and salt to taste
60 grams grated parmesan

Dice the onion, cook for about 2 minutes in a pan with the olive oil untill tender. Squeeze the garlic cloves, add them to the onion. Dice the canned tomatoes and add them, juice included, to the onion and garlic. Also add the tomatopuree and a pinch of sugar. Let this simmer for about 5 minutes.

Lower the heat and stirr in the cream. Finely slice the sundried tomatoes and add them to the mixture. Add sliced basil, pepper and salt to taste and let this simmer for another 3 minutes.

Prepare the gnocci according to the instructions on the package. Toss everything together, garnish with a basil leave and some parmesan cheese and enjoy!!!

4 portions: 7,5 WW Points per portion

TWD: no Lemon Custard Cup

I'm so sorry to dissapoint those of you who came here looking for today's TWD recipe.... I didn't make it..... Bridget of The Way the Cookie Crumbles choose Lemon Custard Cup. This just wasn't the kind of thing that you take to work easily to share with your coworkers, so it didn't work for me..... However plenty of other TWD-ers made it, check out their efforts here.

This week I did recreate the Crunchy Caramel Bars that were made a couple of weeks ago for TWD, this was a great pick by Whitney of What's left on the Table. Heath toffee bits are nowhere to be found around these parts of the world and I didn't feel like making my own caramel so I thought about going without a topping on the chocolate. While the bars were in the oven I found some pecans in my pantry so I choped those up and sprinkled them over the melted chocolate.

Unfortunately the middle of the huge cookie was not cooked enough, so I threw it out. The bars tasted amazing! A friend came over for dinner yesterday and to protect myself I gave her all the bars that were left. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures before doing that!!!

zondag 8 maart 2009

WW: Roasted Sweet Potato with Teriyaki Sauce and Cilantro

Today is the last day of my first week on Weight Watchers, so far so good. Although I must say I find it harder to drink enough water and not eat anything I'm not allowed to when being around the house all weekend. I can deal better with it all when I´m at work... O well...

One of my solutions was going shopping with a list and not buying anything that wasn't on the list. Okay, I did buy some deodorant but figured that was okay since it was a non-food item ;)

I did hop onto a scale this morning and so far I lost 2,2 kilograms.... I know I'm not supposed to weigh myself until tomorrow morning, but I simply couldn´t resist. How often do you weigh yourselves?

So, today I tried my first Weight Watchers recipe: Roasted Sweet Potato with Teriyaki Sauce an Cilantro. I decided to serve these with the chicken baked in parchement paper I had made once before: great combination!

3 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp teriyaki sauce
1 big sweet potato
2 tbsp cilantro

Preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius, grease a bakingsheet with the olive oil.

Peel the sweet potato and dice it into cubes (size about 1 cm by 1 cm). Cut the cilantro and mix it with the teriyaki sauce. Add the sweet potato cubes and mix untill the cubes are coated with the sauce.

Divide the sweet potato cubes over the baking sheet and bake them in the oven for about 40 minutes until they are done.

dinsdag 3 maart 2009

TWD: Chocolate Armagnac Cake

When I saw this weeks assignment for Tuesdays with Dorie I knew this was a recipe I had to make! I mean: who doesn't love chocolate??? When I stepped on the scales this weekend however, I suddenly had doubts.... My weight has never been this high, it actually scared me....

I decided: no more!! Time for diet... I signed up for Weight Watchers online, today was my first day. But... I already had already bought all the ingredients and couldn't let my coworkers down... Every week they look forward to trying a new cake/cookie on Wednesday.

So, I caved in and baked the cake. But... only the smallest sliver of cake for me, just to have a nibble and know what it tastes like. The rest of the cake has to be eaten by my coworkers!!

I made a couple of changes: I used 3,5 ounces milk chocolate and 3,5 ounces bittersweet chocolate in the cake, I also swapped the armagnac for cognac. A bottle of armagnac was soooo expensive, so I bought the cutest tiniest bottle of cognac I could find. Ow and I used a square pan that I lined with parchement instead of a springform pan.

What's that you're saying?? Yes, there is something missing on top of my cake... I totally forgot to put the glaze on top. But it still tastes great!! The texture is nice and velvety, although still a bit moist (I cooked it for 40 minutes instead of the recommended 28 - 32 minutes). I was a bit worried about the prunes, but that was unnecessary: it's like they disappeared into the cake and made it even more smooth!

Thank you Lyb of And then I do the dishes for picking this wonderful recipe! I loved it, will let you know later what the colleagues thought of it!!! Check out what my fellow TWD-ers thought of this cake here.