Friday, 29 June 2012

DWZI - Gym

I finally did it.
Joined the gym and actually went there to exercise.
(a few years ago I also joined but went once and then cancelled it after 6 months... bad Elma and a real waste of money)

Now I am experimenting with the classes to find one that I like best.
It's actually quite fun. 
Although I live in a city full of students and twice I was the oldest person in the class (how did that happen?!?).

This week I basically had a lot of sore muscles... but at least I started moving again!

Have a great weekend everyone :-)

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Tandoori Spiced Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry

I love shopping in other countries. You know, just browsing the super market becomes an adventure. Of course it is always an adventure when you do not speak the language (in this case French).
Sometimes you stumble across good things like this little bottle of Tandoori seasoning.
It is perfect on chicken.

It will run out quickly and once it is finished it is finished for good since I won't be heading to France again soon.

For the time being I will just enjoy using it in my cooking adventures.

This lovely and very healthy meal was made by liberally seasoning about 300 grams of diced skinless chicken breasts with the Tandoori mixture. add a dash of lemon juice and let it marinate while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Peel, slice and dice a head of broccoli, a few carrots, paksoi, an onion and of course some garlic.
Prepare enough basmati rice to serve 3 people (or more, you decide). It should take about 18 minutes.
While the rice is simmering away, I prefer to start cooking my chicken and vegetables separately and then combine them when everything is done. Add a splash of soy as you go along, and of course a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Season as needed and when ready serve with fluffy white basmati rice.


Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Sushi Qube

All you can eat Japanese food.
That is exactly what you will find at Sushi Qube.
We stopped at their restaurant on the Oudegracht for an early dinner with the kids.
It was great!

The service was good and the food was delicious.
They have a very big choice on the menu and as always I ended up eating more than I should.
I especially loved the vegetable tempura and the chicken yakitori.
Heidi liked the chicken so much she even asked if we could eat it every day.
(clearly that is not going to happen!)

I definitely recommend going there and I plan on returning soon :-)

Friday, 22 June 2012

DWZI - Jungle!

I went on holiday for two weeks and somehow my little vegetable patch managed to flourish. 
I came home to a mini jungle.
We asked our neighbour to keep an eye on it. 
He just shrugged and said he didn't have to do a thing.
Mother nature looked after it really well by sending down more than enough rain.

We've been back for almost a week and I am ashamed to say that I haven't had much time to spend on the garden. 

One thing is for sure, that lettuce is ready to be served in a salad!

Have a lovely weekend everyone :-)

You can find all the DWZI participants here.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Tomato Salad with Radish

Well I had to use the radishes we harvested.
Finely sliced I added them into a tomato salad.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012


I love summer in Europe.
I just love it.

Driving along long winding roads in the sunshine surrounded by canals and green fields we stumble upon a little farm stall where they sell beautiful cherries.

Happiness straight from nature.

Friday, 15 June 2012

DWZI - Chateau de Cazeneuve

Earlier this week we were driving around the vineyards, further away from Bordeaux and into the Dordogne.
The French countryside is beautiful.
Picture perfect.

Of course it was hard to resist a visit to a Chateau.
There are many and we simply decided to go to one for which we found a flier.
Chateau de Cazeneuve in Prechac.
It was quite the drive but well worth it.

The grounds are lovely, with a stream and Queen Margot's cave all mysterious.
The kids got a chance to play on the grass and release some energy.
Then we had a tour of the Chateau.
It took almost 2 hours and we were the only non-French speaking visitors.
But that's OK. The staff were friendly and gave us a pamphlet in English which explained everything.
I must admit that the tour took a little longer than I expected and Stella was quite heavy to carry. She crawled along the corridors when possible and by the end she was squirming in my arms.

Unfortunately photography is forbidden in the Chateau so I can only tell you that the rooms are beautiful and the wine cellar very impressive. Queen Margot was not exactly faithful to King Henry IV... and in the end he had the marriage annulled because she could not bear him a son. Make no mistake, she had a hard life and was imprisoned by her brother for 18 years. The amazing thing is that in the end she reconciled with her ex-husband and his new wife and they remained friends for the rest of heir lives.


“Love works in miracles every day: such as weakening the strong, and strengthening the weak; making fools of the wise, and wise men of fools; favouring the passions, destroying reason, and in a word, turning everything topsy-turvy.”
― Marguerite de Valois (aka Queen Margot)

This week I also received a "Sunshine Award" from Mirjam a.k.a Stins! Thank you :-)))

Have a great weekend everyone!

You can find the Deze Week Zag Ik participants here.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Easy Holiday Pasta

We are staying in a self catering apartment with a very basic kitchen.
I mean seriously, how does anyone cope without cooking on gas?
It's quite an adjustment for me.

Our dinners have been pretty simple.
Luckily you don't need much to make a good pasta dish.

Courgette, mushrooms, onion, chicken breast and Pecorino cheese on top of lovely Italian penne pasta. That's all it took to make our dinner delicious.

Of course a bit of seasoning and maybe a dash of soy sauce helped too.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Chateau Margaux

We drove past the very famous Chateau Margaux.
You can visit it, as long as you make an appointment, but we decided that it would be a bit of a mission with our two small children.
So all we did was drive up to the entrance and turned around.

Maybe we'll drop by again in a few years.

Maybe by then we will be rich enough to buy a bottle?

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Lunch at La Winery

Driving around the French region of Bordeaux is lovely.
Vineyards everywhere.
We stopped at Winery, which is a big wine shop with an excellent restaurant. They have a great selection of wines from the Bordeaux regions as well as some international wines.
The sommelier was very patient with me, explaining all about the wines and the regions and the differences.

I left there with a nice selection of white and reds which he called a 'discovery' of Bordeaux.
Most of them are ready to drink now, since there is no way that I will be able to wait a few years!

The lunch at Le WY was really good.
Too good.
We even had dessert.
At lunch time.

Monday, 11 June 2012

French Burger?

Should have known Heidi would not be impressed by fancy French food... even with the home made ketchup, fresh greens and gorgeous cheese.
Apparently the burger did not taste right and she proceeded to request McDonalds nuggets.
Oh well, she is only 4 years old so what did I expect.
My husband and I 'helped' her finish the burger because it was pretty damn good.

And Stella? Well she was just enjoying the view.

Friday, 8 June 2012

DWZI - Fun in the Sun

Yes, I've been very very very lucky.
We are in France where the sun is shining...
Decided to take our vacation out of season, before Heidi turns 5.
This week I saw sea, sand, vineyards and lots of wine.

Have a great weekend everyone!

You can find the Deze Week Zag Ik participants here.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Salad, Salad, Salad

No, I am not obsessed.
Not exactly.
I just really like to eat salad...

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Checkerboard Shortbread

Since my husband made such delicious shortbread the other day, we decided to experiment a little. I figured since I have some gorgeous cacao powder it would be perfect to be used in checkerboard shortbread.

Except its a little tricky to make it into more than 4 squares... so technically speaking it doesn't qualify as checkerboard. Who cares, it was delicious!


300g plain flour
200g margarine or butter
100g castor sugar
1 tablespoon cacao powder

Yields about 40 little cookies.

Preheat oven 160C, Gas mark 6.
Cream together the butter and sugar in a bowl. Gradually mix in the flour. Using your hands knead the mix together into a smooth ball.

Split the dough in half and mix in one tablespoon of cacao powder. The dough will become nice and dark.

Now you will have one ball of white dough and one ball of dark dough. Split them again so that you end up with 4 balls of dough.

Roll them out until they resemble ropes, about 30 cm long. Place one white and one dark 'rope' next to each other, and then one dark and one white 'rope' on top.

Place all of the 'ropes' on a sheet of baking paper, roll together and gently shape into a square.

Now cut into squares, about 5mm thick and place on baking tray.
Bake for 10-15min. Sprinkle with a little sugar while they cool.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Cheese and Tomato Sandwich

I was looking through the fridge, searching for something to eat.
Not much was jumping out at me...
But I always have cheese and I always tomatoes so I decided to make a sandwich.
Cheese and tomato on toast.
Plain and simple.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Oven Roasted Broccoli

We eat a lot of broccoli.
Mostly because it is green and very good for you.
It is served in a dish at least twice a week in our house.

One of my favourite ways of preparing broccoli is to roast it in the oven.
Simply cut the broccoli head into florets, drizzle with a tablespoon or two of olive oil, season and pop into a preheated oven (200 degrees Celsius) for about 20 minutes.

Hope you all have a good week ahead!

Friday, 1 June 2012

DWZI - Strawberries

I love strawberries.
I really, really, really love them.
Seems like my daughters do too.
If I'm not quick they will eat them all!
There were some lovely sunny days this week and it was perfect for a spur of the moment picnic.
With strawberries, of course.

Oh, if you wondered how it went at the market then I'm happy to let you know that I had a great time!

You can find the Deze Week Zag Ik participants here.
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