donderdag 29 juli 2010

CEiMB - Mango Lassi

Just a short post today. Short and sweet, just like today's recipe for Craving Ellie in My Belly: Mango Lassi, picked by Leslie of Lethally Delicious.

I bought the largest mango I ever saw at the market last Saturday, but waited to long to use it and ended up with about 1/2 mango. I used vanilla-flavored yogurt and probably added a bit too much honey as the lassi was extremely sweet... But since I am known to have major sweet tooth this was absolutely no problem: the perfect drink for a hot day!

Visit Leslie´s blog for the recipe and check out what my fellow Ellie-istas though of the Mango Lassi here.

maandag 26 juli 2010

TWD: No Chewy, Chunky Blondies - instead: Lots of Ways Banana (Cup) Cakes

Frustration sums up my experience with the Chewy, Chunky Blondies that Nicole of Cookies on Friday picked for this weeks Tuesdays with Dorie..... I tried Nicole, I really did: I baked the blondies twice, unfortunately both times I ended up with undercooked blondies when they did test done!! Frustrated by wasting two batches of great ingredients (my add-ins were pecan, chocolate and coconut) and the tropical heat in my kitchen I finally gave up. Please check out what my fellow TWD-ers thought of the Chewy, Chunky Blondies here, the recipe is posted at Nicole's blog!

Last week Kimberly of Only Creative Opportunities picked the Lots of Ways Banana Cake. It's called that way because you can basically put whatever you feel like into this cake and it will still turn out amazing.

I actually baked these on time but totally forgot to blog about them because I was too busy planning my upcoming trip to Paris with my mom. I only had 2 bananas, so I made half the recipes and turned the cake into cupcakes. I used coconut milk instead of sour cream and my add-ins were shredded coconut and mini-chocolate chips. The cupcakes went into the oven for 20 minutes on 350 degrees Fahrenheit, half the recipe yielded 18 cupcakes. I simply dusted the tops of the cupcakes with confectioners sugar and added a little bit of cocoa for contrast.

Two cupcakes were devoured by my parents, two I ate myself, six I gave away to my parents neighbours and four of them found their way to Amsterdam where my dad and brother finished them of. Everyone really liked them and noticed how crumbly, yet moist these were. Both the banana and the coconut flavour were quite subtle. I will be baking these again, in fact: there are six ripe bananas waiting for me in the kitchen right now!!! Go here to check out what my fellow TWD-ers thought of the Banana Cake, the recipe can be found at Kimberly's blog.

P.S. Check out my $70 CSN gift card giveaway: deadline is Thursday July 29th, midnight CET!

A little bit of France in Zwolle

There's a new kid in town: De Stadsbakker!! The building he's situated is amazing: modern on the bottom and traditional on top.

The owner actually moved to France and worked in a boulangerie there to get the hang of making typical French bread, croissants and tartlets.

Everything looks soooo good, in fact I've bought several tartlets to try out and will blog about them later!

P.S. Don't forget to enter my $70 CSN gift card giveaway, deadline is Thursday July 29th, midnight CET!

vrijdag 23 juli 2010

How to win a $70 CSN gift card.... Giveaway!!!

Although I truely love living in The Netherlands, because visiting wonderful places such as Paris and London is so easy, sometimes I wish I lived in the USA. Especially when Ashley of CSN Stores contacts me with the request to review an item from their stores or to host a giveaway. Oh, how I would love to review one or more items of their wonderful Le Crueset cookware.....

They come in lots of lovely colors and I'm totally smitten with the color Caribbean and in particular with this Le Creuset mortar and pestle.

Another great item to try out would be this ice cream maker by Cuisinart: just imagine how much fun I could have while churning me some home-made frozen yoghurt, sorbet or regular ice cream now that summer is upon us!!

But alas: CSN Stores only ship to USA and Canada...... So again I opted for giving away one $70 gift card to be spent at one of the CSN stores.

Would you like to win the $70 gift card? Here's what you have to do:
Visit one of the many CSN Stores and leave a comment on this post telling me what you would use the gift card on.

For extra entries:
For one extra entry: tweet about this giveaway and leave a link in a comment on this post.
For another extra entry: mention this giveaway on Facebook and leave a link in a comment on this post.
Followers get an extra entry, mention that you're a follower in a comment on this post.

Please note that each entry has to be submitted in a separate comment!
Also make sure that I have some way of reaching you in case you win, by leaving behind your emailaddress or your blogaddress in each comment!

Giveaway details:
Contest is only open to US and Canada residents
This contest ends on Thursday July 29th at midnight CET
Winner will be chosen at random via generator and announced here on Friday July 30th.

donderdag 15 juli 2010

My Tapas Birthday Party: 4-Minute Spicy Garlic Shrimp

Another easy to make recipe that all my guests enjoyed at my Tapas Birthday Party, this one is by Rachael Ray and was found on Foodnetwork. I can't tell you much about the flavor because I haven't tried these. You see, I have this thing against shrimp: I can't stand their texture!

4-Minute Spicy Garlic Shrimp


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed away from skin
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 24 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails in tact, ask for easy peels at your fish counter
  • 2 teaspoons grill or steak seasoning blend (recommended: Montreal Seasoning by McCormick) or coarse salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves, a handful


Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, garlic, red pepper flakes and shrimp. Season with grill seasoning or salt and pepper and cook shrimp 3 minutes or until just pink. Toss with lemon zest, juice and chopped parsley. Remove shrimp to a serving platter leaving the garlic cloves in the pan.

woensdag 14 juli 2010

My Tapas Birthday Party: Marinated Mushrooms

This recipe for Marinated Mushroom from Real Simple is real simple, just like the name of the website suggests. They are pretty straightforward and easy to prepare, you can make this when you have a little time to spare and then pop them into the fridge until you're ready to serve them: feel free to make them a day ahead! That's exactly what I did and they were amazing!!

The day after my Tapas Birthday Party I had some Marinated Mushrooms leftover, just like some Pollo al Ajillo and Salsa de Tomate from the Aldbondigas (both recipes will be posted later), so I warmed up all three of them in a pan and served them over some pasta: lovely garlicy pasta dish!!

Marinated Mushrooms


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves. smashed
  • 1 1/2 pounds halved button mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Kosher salt


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic, stirring, until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, 2 to 4 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let marinate at least 30 minutes.

dinsdag 13 juli 2010

TWD: Brrrr-ownies

Karen of Welcome to our Crazy Blessed Life selected Brrrr-ownies for this weeks challenge for Tuesdays with Dorie was just that: a challenge! And it was a challenge on three parts. The first part was knowing that I wasn't going to like these: I'm not a fan of the mint/chocolate combination. However several colleagues are, therefor I decided to go ahead and make these anyway. The second problem was figuring out what York Peppermint Patties were, after I figured that out I knew we didn't have them here/ So I picked the next best thing: After Eight!

The second challenge that arose was actually making the brownies, everything that could have gone wrong did: I was out of eggs! So I popped over to the supermarket and arrived just in time: 1 minute before closing time!! Upon arriving home I discovered that I was also out of unsweetened chocolate, since the shop had already closed I simply decided to sub it with more bittersweet chocolate. When it was time to add the After Eight to the batter I managed to drop the bowl into the batter too!

Ofcourse I had to taste the brownies: they would have been perfect, if it hadn't been for that strong mint flavor.... However my mint/chocolate-loving coworkers absolutely adored these!!!

If you do like mint and chocolate together, be sure to take a look at the recipe over at Karen's! Also take a check out the posts of the other TWD-ers!

P.S. In a couple of weeks I'm gonna visit Paris, so if you have any suggestions of shops, chocolatiers, restaurants or other hot spots I should visit: please leave them in a comment below!

maandag 12 juli 2010

My Tapas Birthday Party: Gazpacho Shots

While browsing the Internet for a Gazpacho recipe fot my Tapas Birthday Party I came across this site where they had the great idea to serve gazpacho in shotglasses made out of carved cucumber. These look so cool and are handy too as you can simply eat the 'glasses' when you finish your gazpacho!

Both the gazpacho and the glasses can be prepared in advance and chilled before serving. This is a great refreshment during summer. I made some minor adjustments: instead of 300 ml bottled water I used 200 ml tap-water and 100 ml vodka. I also added a few splashes of Tabasco to up the spiciness of the Gazpacho.

Gazpacho Shots
makes 1 liter

4 Vine tomatoes
1 Small cucumber peeled
4 Large cucumbers
1 Garlic clove
1 Small onion
1 Small red bell pepper
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
300ml bottled water

To make the gazpacho

Roughly chop the tomatoes, pepper, onion, garlic and 1 small cucumber.
In a blender or food processor, blend the ingredients together to form a thick paste.
Pour in the olive oil, wine vinegar and season to your desired taste with salt and pepper.
Blend for a second time, adding water little by little until you achieve the desired consistency.
Reserve in a glass pitcher or pourer.

To make the shots

Take the four large cucumbers and slice off each end, cut the cucumber into 6cm long segments.
Using a peeler peel away strips of the cucumber skin creating a vertical stripe pattern.
Use a small paring knife carefully cut around the seeds in the centre of the cucumber then, gently scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
Fill each cucumber piece with gazpacho and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

maandag 5 juli 2010

My Tapas Birthday Party: Tortilla Espanola - No TWD

Nope, that's not a Tarte Noire you're seeing in these pictures.... No TWD today: I'm truly sorry, but somehow Torte Noire didn't do it for me this weekend.... Might give it a try next week though! For the Torte Noire go check out Tuesdays with Dorie or Dharmagirl over at bliss: towards a delicious life.

Instead of the Tarte Noire, let me introduce you to the Tortilla Espanola! A wonderful easy to make tapas as it is actually baked in the oven, so after prepping and popping it into the oven you can actually make another tapas without having to keep an eye on the pan to make sure the tortilla doesn't burn!!

These tasted wonderful fresh out of the oven and can also be frozen, although they do can get a bit soggy.... But these were still a hit at my Tapas Party, even if they were a tiny bit soggy! I made a tiny adaptation by adding some paprika powder to the recipe and using a yellow pepper instead of a green one, other than that I made it as written on Pennies on a Platter.

Oven-Baked Tortilla Española

Serves: 16 as part of a tapas meal, or 6 as a lunch or bunch main course

4 large red-skinned potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes, diced
4 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 scallions, white and green parts finely chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
5 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Spanish Rocal cheese
3 Tbsp snipped fresh chives (or about 1 tsp dried chives if you can’t find the fresh)
1/8 tsp paprika powder
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Place diced potatoes in a sauce pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook for 5-7 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Drain and set aside to slightly cool.

Spray a casserole dish (approximately 7×10 inch) with cooking spray; set aside.

Place the 4 Tbsp olive oil, garlic, scallions and bell peppers in a skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring, for 5-6 minutes, or until the onions are softened but not browned. Let cool a bit, then stir in the cooked potato. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sour cream, cheese and chives together. Stir in the vegetable-potato mixture, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour the mixture into the baking dish and smooth the top. Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden brown, puffed, and set in the center. Remove from the oven and let cool and set. Run a spatula around the edge, then invert onto a cutting board, browned-side up. If the surface looks a little runny, place it under the broiler to dry out. (I didn’t need to do this.)
Let cool completely. Neaten the edges, if necessary, then cut into one-inch squares. Serve on a platter with wooden toothpicks.

zondag 4 juli 2010

My Tapas Birthday Party: Simple Sangria

Today is the day I turn 31 years old! To celebrate this joyous occasion I invited some friends and family over last Saturday evening for a Tapas Birthday Party. Considering the lovely (hot!!) weather we enjoyed last week I was hoping on having the party outside. Unfortunately at the same time the first guests arrived, the rain also started! We still had a great evening inside though, with the tv on so the guys could follow the quarter final of World Cup Soccer between Paraguay and Spain.

After browsing the Internet I finally decided on these drinks/bites:
Simple Sangria
Tortilla Espanola
Marinated Mushrooms
Gazpacho Shots
4-Minute Spicy Garlic Shrimp
Pollo al Ajillo
Albondigas en Salsa de Tomate

I will be sharing the recipes and pictures with you over the next couple of days, starting with the Simple Sangria I found over at Real Simple. I followed the recipe almost as written and really enjoyed it! As the name indicates it's very simple to make, but it's still quite tasty!

Simple Sangria
Serves 8

1 bottle medium-bodied red wine (such as Rioja)
3 cups apple juice
2 thinly sliced oranges
(I used one orange and one lemon and quartered the slices)

In a large pitcher combine red wine, apple juice and oranges.
Serve over ice.

vrijdag 2 juli 2010

$70 CSN Gift Card Winner

And the winner of the $70 CSN Gift Card was also determined by using the Random Integer Generator:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2010-06-28 22:15:30 UTC

Comment number 6 was made by TeaLady: And You know I follow!!

Congratulations Tealady!! I do know that you follow!!! I will contact you via your blog!

Guess this Food Giveaway Winner!!!

A while ago I asked you all to Guess the Food above to win a surprise food parcel. Lots of you gave the right answere: it's Truffles!

To determine the winner of this giveaway I used the Random Integer Generator:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2010-06-28 22:10:58 UTC

The 4th comment was made by AppleC: It's a black truffle. Spain is one of the main producers of these little delicacies. Lucky you!