vrijdag 31 juli 2009

My First Blogoversary: Favorite Things Giveaway

Yes, time flies: It's already been a year since I started blogging.Thanks to everyone who takes the time to stop by and read my blog! As you all know by now I love to share with everyone so I decided to have a giveaway with some of my favorite things.
My favorite chocolates: Milka Extra Romig & Milka Caramel, this chocolate is Swiss of origin and I'm sending you 100 grams chocolate with extra creamy praline filling and 100 grams chocolate with caramelcream and a liquid caramel filling.

My favorite candy: Zwolse Balletjes, this is an oldfashioned hard candy made in my hometown.

My favorite cookies: Verkade Fijnproevers Toffee Crunch, nice cookies with crunchy toffee and rice crisps, covered in chocolate.

Ofcourse I had to include something typically Dutch, what could be more Dutch than clogs?
The winner will get these cute stone clogs with Delft Blue design on them.

My favourite new herb to cook with: Lemon and Berry, great on fish

My favorite Dutch spices: Koek- en Speculaaskruiden, great to use in Pepernoten.

Dutch Sprinkles: 8 tiny boxes of 5 different variaties of sprinkles.

I decided to add one more favorite of mine to the giveaway... My favorite beer: Rose beer, this is a belgian white beer with raspberries that is actually coloured pink: a real girlygirl beer!

Here's how you can enter my giveaway:
leave me a comment on this post!

You can get extra entries by:

  • by becoming a follower or letting me know you're a follower in a separate comment
  • by blogging and letting me know in a separate comment with a link to your post
  • by tweeting and letting me know in a separate comment with a link to your tweet

Deadline for this giveaway is: Friday, August 14th at midnight Dutch time.

PS - You don't have to have a blog to win!!! Just leave me a comment with an email address or some way to get in touch with you if you win.

maandag 27 juli 2009

Reminder for Gift Exchange and Greek Frittata and Asparagus, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Frittata

A reminder to all my readers: don't forget to tell me if you are interested in participating in a gift exchange, read the explanation here! I will contact you all with further information!!

Today I wanted to share these Frittatas with you, but 'I've come to the realisation that I forgot to write down the recipes.... I'll ask my friend in Canada and come back to you later with the recipes!
Asparagus, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Frittata

Greek Frittata with Red Pepper, Feta and Kalamata Olives

vrijdag 24 juli 2009

Anyone interested in participating in a Gift Exchange?

Next week will be my one year bloggoversay. And I will be celebrating!! Just wanted to ask you guys for some advise.... Last November I participated in the a TWD Holiday Card Exchange, which was a blast: everyone that participated was coupled with another TWD-baker and sent them a postcard and/or small gift.

As I love receiving postcards I thought it would be fun to exchange some postcards with a small gift. Instead of a giveaway I thought everyone could win in this swap. The postcard/gift could feature something that is typical for your town/region, have a certain theme or it could even be a handmade gift swap. It wouldn't have to cost a lot... Who doesn't like being cheered up with a gift in the mail??? All international bloggers will be welcome.

Please let me know if you would be interested in such a gift exchange and I'll email you about the details!!
Deadline is 30th of August!

Taste & Create XXI - Sleeping Cookies

A couple of days ago I told you about my first partner for this months Taste & Create, now it's time for my second partner: Carol VR of No Reason Needed.

Looking through Carol's blog I saw a lot of interesting recipes, one being Amish Friendship Bread. Unfortunately I didn't have enough time to make this before the 24th of July. So I picked the Sleeping Cookies, these sounded really interesting.

They are very easy to make, no need to keep an eye on the time as the cookies are put into a warm oven that is turned off and left there overnight. The result? Meringe-like cookies: delicious! Again I forgot to take pictures, since there are no pics left I'm posting Carol's own picture of the cookies here.

Check out the other entries for this month's Taste & Create here.
If you would like to join in on the fun, check out the How it Works!

Sleeping Cookies
2 egg whites
2/3 cup sugar
1 dash salt
1/8 tsp. cream of tarter

Preheat your oven to 350F.

Beat the egg whites until stiff, then gradually add the sugar, salt and cream of tarter. Beat until sugar is dissolved. Stir in walnuts and chocolate or butterscotch bits (I left these out as the recipe didn't specify how much was needed and I had non at hand).

Drop by teaspoon on oiled, foil covered cookie sheet. Put into oven and turn off oven. Leave in all night - do not peek - or during the daytime and left in the oven until it is cold.

donderdag 23 juli 2009

CEiMB: Oven Baked Onion Rings

This week Mare of Meet Me in the Kitchen picked the recipe for Craving Ellie in My Belly and boy did she pick a good one: Oven Baked Onion Rings. The recipes can be found here at Mare's blog, on page 269 of The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger or here at Foodnetwork.

First thing I did as soon as the Tell All for the Oven Baked Onion Rings was posted was to make sure I bought the right chips, as sometimes foods have the same name in America and Holland but are actually a bit different, for example our Milkyway candybars: those in America actually have a layer of caramel in the filling whereas the ones here in Holland don't, the packaging is even completely different. Fortunately Heide of chez zero was able to confirm to me that I could in fact use the Lays Baked Chips.

Out of the three Vidalia onions I bought two were not good: they were moldy and rotten inside, yuk!!! So I ended up using only 1 Vidalia onion. I didn't want to throw out all of the crushed chips so I sliced a red onion and half a courgette. The first batch went into the oven for the full 20 minutes, but some of the onion rings (Vidalia onion) had some blackened edges so the second batch (red onion and courgette) only got 18 minutes of oven time and were absolutely perfect. These were all amazing, my favourite was the red onion, followed closely by the courgette and Vidalia onion. Great pick Mare!!

Check out what my fellow Ellie-istas thought of the Oven Baked Onion Rings here. Next week we'll make Cobb Salad, something I've never had before and can't wait to try!!!

maandag 20 juli 2009

Taste & Create XXI - Orange Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies and the Kitchen Gadget my Cat destroyed....

When Min of Bad Girl's Kitchen emailed us about having an odd number of people and asked for a volunteer to take on two people I immediately though: even more fun! So I answered her right back and get to pick recipes from two blogs for this months Taste & Create.

The first person I was linked with is Parita of Parita's World. While looking through all the delicious recipes on her blog I fell in love with her Orange Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies. As this weeks TWD-challenge is more of a dessert I was looking for something I could take with me to work to make sure my colleagues wouldn't rebel against a week without treats.....

These cookies are amazing, the coworkers loved me and the cookies! The only thing I changes was using white chocolate chips instead of regular chocolate. The cookies smell delicious, the edges are crunchy and the middle is chewy: perfect! One tiny thing: I sort of forgot to take pictures of the end product. I know there was one cookie left in the cookie jar at work when I left to go home, so my game plan is to take the camera with me to work tomorrow and take some pictures there. Untill then: just take my word for it: these cookies are sooooo good!!

So here it is, the lonely cookie left in the cookie jar.

One left out of the twenty I took with me into work, not a bad score at all!!

I took some gadgets home with me from Canada, my favorite one is this Palm Zester by Chef'n.

It's so easy to use and zests the oranges/limes/lemons perfectly.

Unfortunately this is what my Palm Zester looks like now...... I know you wonder what happened... My cat Senna is what happened. After I used it yesterday I cleaned it and left it on the kitchen counter to dry. The next thing I know is I wake up this morning with my disfigured Palm Zester in bed right besides my left foot.....

Now I just have to figure out how to get a new one as I haven't seen these around here yet....

Orange Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 + 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter softened
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp + 1 tbsp grated orange peel
1 egg at room temperature
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup roughly chopped chocolate chunks or chocolate chips

Preheat the oven at 175 degree C and line the baking tray with parchment paper or butter paper.

Sieve flour, baking soda and baking powder together and keep aside for coating.
Mix together 1/3 cup sugar and 1tsp orange peel nicely and keep it aside.
In a bowl beat together butter, sugar and egg on medium speed until fluffy.
Now reduce the speed and in flour, baking soda and baking powder and beat well.
Add in finely chopped cranberries , orange peel and chocolate chunks and mix well without beater.

Make small 1 inch round balls and roll them in the orange peel sugar coating all the sides.
Place these balls on baking tray and flatten them using back of a glass.
Bake these for 10 to 12 mins or until the sides have turned light brown.
Immediately remove and cool them, store in air tight containers.


zondag 19 juli 2009

Hot Hot Hot Enchiladas + being nervous

Last week my mom was out of town: she was volunteering at a horseback riding camp for people with disabilities, both mental and/or physical. So I decided to cook for my dad on Thursday and made him these Enchiladas that I found over at Jessica's blog What's Cooking in the Orange Kitchen.

I must say these tasted good, but the dish was way to hot for both my and my dad. I love my food spicy, but this was too much. Next time I make this I won't use one whole tablespoon of chilipowder, I'll probably start with a teaspoon. Other than the dish being too spicy it tasted great.

Right now I'm feeling a bit anxious about going back to work tomorrow. I found out last Thursday that a guy I knew growing up will be on my floor for a month, he'll be benchmarking our financial department that happens to be on the same floor that I work. This guy was very cute back in those days (although he was not my type as he has blond hair and I wasn't even paying attention to boys back then) and according to my colleague he still is, he was at work last Wednesday on my day off.

The last time I saw I was 12 years younger and 40 kilos lighter. It's not like we were best friends, but our dads were in the same Lions Club, we played field hockey at the same club and we were youth leaders at an International Youth Exchange Camp in Holland for 10 days for which we had to do lots of preparation together and stay on site for 1 days. Do you think I'm being silly to be so nervous about seeing him again tomorrow?

donderdag 16 juli 2009

CEiMB: Aromatic Noodles with Lime-Peanut Sauce

This weeks recipe for Craving Ellie in my Belly was picked by MrsBethORama of Supplious. I must say: what a great way to get back to cooking Ellie-recipes! I totally forgot last weeks assignment and felt so guilty in doing so.
You see, I try to justify all the sweets I bake and eat (although I try to limit myself to 1 piece every time) with the fact that I also cook something healthy every week. For the last 4 weeks I hadn't been doing CEiMB and I really needed to get back to it since the last couple of weeks were spent preparing for my 30th birthday party (where lots of tasting was necessary) and on vacation in Canada enjoying everything that's wrong, e.g. French Vanilla-flavoured Cappucino's and Cinnamon Raisin Bagels (toasted and buttered) at Tim Horton's, Caramel Latte Machiato's at Starbucks, etc. So getting back on track was sort of important ;-)
This dish is delicious and easy to put together. I only used 250 grams of spaghetti instead of the entire . I used a bit more veggies and forgot to buy the peanuts so couldn't serve them with this dish. In all I got 4 servings out of this dish, my veggie to pasta ratio was probably a bit higher than intended, but veggies are good for you, right? Without peanuts one of my servings contains 8 WW Points, with peanuts that would be 9 WW Point per serving.
Check out what my fellow Ellie-istas thought of this recipe here and stay tuned for next weeks CEiMB-recipe: Oven Baked Onion Rings
Thanks for all the comments on the chopsticks, I love to eat Oriental food with chopsticks so I thought I might as well add them to the photoshoot. I have several chopsticks, these are the newest and I love them as they have tiny purple flowers on them!

woensdag 15 juli 2009

My late TWD: Brioche Blueberry Tart

Yesterday evening I finally got around to making the brioche dough for this weeks TWD. When I wanted to add the filling today I found out that my plums where no good any more. What to do? I still had some beautiful blueberries in the fridge and some blueberry rhubarb jam that I brought back from Canada: a lovely combination!

I made half of the brioche dough and used my four mini-tart pans. I baked the tarts 10 minutes uncovered and 7 minutes with a foil tent. The dough was cooked to perfection and the blueberries were nice and succulent. Brought some over to my dad and he loved these!

The recipe can be found here at Chez Us, don't forget to check out the TWD blogroll!
Next weeks TWD recipe: Raspberry Blanc-Manger