Friday, 28 June 2013

DWZI - Not Exactly Summer

It is officially summer.
I assure you.

Wearing my winter clothes and actually being cold isn't exactly what I had hoped for.

But I'm positive that sunshine and warm weather will be here soon.
Mostly we played indoors this week because I didn't feel like going outside in the rain with the kids.  Hey, they didn't seem to mind... as you can see they both love painting and being creative (just like me!).

Have a great, and hopefully warm, weekend!!

You can find all the DWZI participants here.
Deze week zag ik is iedere vrijdag een blik op de afgelopen week.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Buttermilk Marinated Chicken

You can always count on Martha Stewart.
For recipes, of course.
I had buttermilk to use up l and vaguely remembered that it could be used as a marinade.
So after a quick google I found this recipe on Martha Stewart's website. It is actually a 'how to marinades' article with a list of recipes.

Here is a copy of the one I used, quite conveniently I had everything I needed in the house:

1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons chopped garlic (3 cloves)
Use with chicken, fish, or other seafood.

I simply placed it all with three skinned chicken breasts in a plastic ziplock bag and left it there overnight.

Cook it on a hot grill pan and you will be rewarded for your patience with the most tender delicious chicken!

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Soda Bread

A little buttermilk goes a long way.
Well it does in my house!
We are not big buttermilk consumers and when it arrived in one of my food crates I was quite shocked really. I mean seriously, what on earth were we going to do with a whole litre of buttermilk.
Turns out there are lots and lots of things to do with buttermilk!
One of them is baking soda bread.

This is the first time I attempted it but I just happened to have read about it on Anna's blog who in turn found it on Stins blog and they both inspired me to try it!

I did not use their recipe because I wanted to make a smaller version of the soda bread.
Good thing I did because I would have eaten the whole soda bread myself.
It is dead easy and delicious.
I'm going to be making this again (and again)!

Here is the recipe from a blog called Wholesome Ireland.

Here is a copy of the recipe (adjusted to omit seeds):

100g strong white flour
100g coarse wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
25g salted butter, softened100ml buttermilk
Extra buttermilk for dabbing on top

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celcius and line a baking tray.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda & butter until you get small breadcrumbs.
Pour in the buttermilk and loosely mix until it all comes together in a dough.  If it’s a little dry add a small amount of water.

Once you have a loose dough, shape into a round with your hands.  Put the dough lightly onto a baking tray and using a sharp knife, cut a deep cross into the bread but don’t cut through the whole way. Brush the top of the bread with extra buttermilk.

Bake for approximately 35 minutes. Turn off the oven, remove the bread from the tray and wrap in a damp tea towel then return it to the warm oven to cool.  This gives you a soft crust.  If you like a hard crust then leave to cool on a rack with no damp tea towel.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Coffee Table Transformation

I was going to simply get rid of our coffee table because it was just not looking good anymore.
But then I had an idea.
How about covering it with vinyl tablecloth!

Of course I needed a little bit of help from the husband with his fancy staple gun. He also solved the problem of how to cover the edges by simply removing the table legs and screwing them back on after covering the table top. Ikea furniture is meant to be easily assembled after all... 

This Ikea coffee table now has a new life and it makes me smile every time I look at it.

Friday, 21 June 2013


This little photography hobby of mine took its toll on my MacBook.
I just had no space left and copying to an external drive daily seemed excessive, right?
So I took a leap of faith and walked into the Amac store, handed over my baby (aka little white MacBook) for an upgrade. 1 TB hard drive.
I felt lost without it and so happy when I picked it up again.

As I'm typing this I'm trying to stay calm.
Almost everything works perfectly, except for iPhoto and iMovie which apparently expects a different user / account.

I've been googling the error and apparently it is a common error with a long list of possible solutions.
Great. So I'll be trying them out... I might have worked in IT for many years but that does not make me a techie. Maybe the husband has some time this evening to help me - he is very clever with this kind of thing and most importantly will probably stay calm.

Wish me luck!

Here are the girls earlier this week, when the sun was still shining.
Playing in the tiny splash pool on our tiny terrace.

Have a great weekend!!

You can find all the DWZI participants here.
Deze week zag ik is iedere vrijdag een blik op de afgelopen week.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Courgette Oven Chips

I'm always looking for things to make for the kids.
Specifically recipes that involve vegetables.
That's how I found this recipe.

It was very easy to make but ironically my kids did not really like it.
Their loss!
The husband and I really, really, really like it.
 So these lovely courgette chips will be featuring quite a bit in our dinners going forward.

Here is a link to the recipe and here is a copy:


1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fat-free milk
2 1/2 cups (1/4-inch-thick aka 0,5cm) slices zucchini aka courgette (about 2 small)
Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 220 °C.
Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Place milk in a shallow bowl. Dip zucchini slices in milk, and dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Place coated slices on an ovenproof wire rack coated with cooking spray; place rack on a baking sheet. Bake at 220 °C for 30 minutes or until browned and crisp. Serve immediately.

Note: I just adjusted the recipe to the amount of courgette I had in the house.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Carrot and Potato Croquettes

I have always said that I will never ever buy a deep fat fryer.
And I stand by that statement.
However the other night when I was making these croquettes I really wished I had one.
I hardly ever have the urge to deep fry anything but these croquettes need to be fried allright.
They turned out quite well... although I managed to burn the oil after the first batch (how does that even happen?!?) and a few of them simply fell apart when they hit the oil.
It was quite the experiment that started all because I bought some japanese breadcrumbs and wanted to use them.

In the end I made two separate batches:
  • Vegetarian croquettes with only potato and carrots.
  • And then I made a special batch for the husband and I with garlic, bacon, potato and carrots. 
My husband was in croquette heaven.
I was relieved to have the deep fry experiment over and done with.

This is good kids food and a lovely side dish.
(but it is really hard work so don't say I didn't warn you!)

Here is the link to the recipe which I adapted to the ingredients I had at home.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Streekmolen Crate Contents

This was the contents two weeks ago and it is long gone, used up completely!

Friday, 14 June 2013

DWZI - Cake

I was very determined to be good this week.
But yesterday afternoon I cracked and gave into my craving for chocolate.
I baked a cake.
A wonderfully rich buttercream covered chocolate cake.
I baked this cake while I was suppose to make dinner.
Next week I will be good again...

Heidi was an avid helper, both with the baking and eating of the cake.

How can anyone resist her blue eyes.

Have a great weekend!

You can find all the DWZI participants here.
Deze week zag ik is iedere vrijdag een blik op de afgelopen week.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Parmesan Gremolata Smashed Potatoes

This is the best potatoes that I've ever made.

My mouth waters just thinking about them now.
When I came across the recipe via Pinterest I knew that I had to make them.
In fact I talked about it for days.

The great thing about the recipe is that it is dead simple.
I cannot wait to make it again.
And again.

Here is the link to the recipe and here is a copy:

900 gram fingerling potatoes, scrubbed clean
1/2 cup olive oil (or less)
1 tsp sea salt
3 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed, and minced
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced (should be about 1/4 cup when minced)
1 lemon, grated zest of
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 200°C. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water (about an inch higher than the potatoes). Bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through (about 15 minutes for these little potatoes). Drain the potatoes and let dry in a colander or on a kitchen towel. Drizzle a little olive oil on a shallow rimmed baking sheet. Place the potatoes on the baking sheet in a single layer, making sure to get some oil on the base of each potato, and gently press each potato flat with the flat side of a meat tenderiser or a heavy-bottomed drinking glass to about 1/2- to 3/4-inch thickness. Drizzle the olive oil over the smashed potatoes and then sprinkle salt over the potatoes. Roast for 30 minutes, flipping the potatoes over at 15 minutes with tongs or a spatula. While the potatoes are roasting, mix the garlic, parsley, lemon zest, and Parmesan cheese together in a small bowl. When the potatoes are done, remove them from the oven, and toss them in a large bowl with the Parmesan-gremolata. Serve hot. Serves 4 as a side dish.

P.S. You know I did not use 'fingerling' potatoes don't you... or even the exact measurements. Just do whatever you like. It will be fabulous!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Kids Sandwiches

I was getting a bit annoyed when Heidi barely touched her sandwiches for school.
Children are like that though, they go through phases.
I was determined to give her something interesting for lunch, but without changing the basic ingredients so I figures some shapes might do the trick!

And do they ever.
Empty lunch boxes every day.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Healthy Dinners

Doing my best to make some very healthy meals this week!

Friday, 7 June 2013

DWZI - Sun!

The sun finally made an appearance.

Yesterday I went to town with Stella.
We were pretty early so we stopped at the Hema for their €1 breakfast. 
It really is a bargain and I'm all about bargains these days.
Stella had a lot of fun playing shopkeeper in their kids corner with me as her main customer of course.

Then we strolled around town, browsing and enjoying being outside.
I tried to convince Stella to smile for a few photos but as you can see she was pretty reluctant.

Have a lovely sunny weekend!

You can find all the DWZI participants here.
Deze week zag ik is iedere vrijdag een blik op de afgelopen week.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Crustless Spinach and Mushroom Mini Quiche

For the second time in my life I made quiche. The first time was back in 2011 and I had quite the pastry disaster. So this time I figured it was a good idea to make crustless quiche and to downsize it significantly. Muffin size to be exact.

I tell you, my muffin tray works very hard.

But what prompted me to make this specific quiche?
Well it was the very large bag of fresh spinach which I bought. I was trying to figure out what to do with the last bit of spinach I had left over and then it just came to me. Make a quiche!

Definitely a good idea and I'm already thinking about more variations... you know, for when the we go on picnics or just whenever.

I found inspiration from this recipe and adapted it to suit my ingredients as follow:


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 small spring onions, finely sliced (or use 1 medium onion)
2 rashers streaky bacon, chopped up (leave this out if you want to make vegetarian quiche)
approximately 250 gram fresh spinach (washed and stems trimmed)
5 eggs (I used medium free range eggs)
1 cup shredded cheese of your choice (I used half plain cheese and half parmesan)
approximately 250 gram brown button mushrooms, chopped
100 ml fresh milk
Salt and Pepper, to taste


Preheat the oven to 190C.
Heat a little oil in a large skillet and saute the garlic and spring onions until soft over a medium heat.
Add the bacon and continue sautéing until cooked.
Add the mushrooms and saute until they are soft.
Now add the spinach and continue sautéing until they are wilted.
Drain any excess fluid from the spinach.
Whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl until combined and add the milk.
Season to taste.
Add the cooked spinach and mushroom mixture and the cheese to the eggs.
Mix well and then divide evenly among the 12 muffin cups. I managed to fill about 11 with this mixture.
Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes until they are cooked through.
Let them cool down for a few minutes and then remove from the muffin tray.
They are lovely served with a salad and fresh bread and make for perfect picnic food.

P.S. I also decided to freeze a few of them as a bit of an experiment. Will let you know how it turns out...

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Fun with Eggs

Sometimes you have to keep things interesting.
So as not to lose your mind.
Plus what could be better than to have fun with food.

The kids simply love these boiled eggs in shapes.
I bought the shapes at a market from Pakhuis Dutch-kie and even found some at the local Action.
It takes a little preparation but it makes the kids so happy.


1. Buy super cute egg forming shapes
2. Boil eggs
3. Peel and place in shape
4. Place shape in cold water for 10 minutes or so
5. Transfer to the fridge for 45 minutes or so
6. Open up and serve to very happy kids

Monday, 3 June 2013


While we were in France we pretty much drove around Provence, stopping at places that looked interesting. One of them was Glanum near Saint Remy de Provence.
Roman ruin heaven to someone like me.
We spent a few hours just exploring, imagining an ancient city and its people.
Funnily enough the kids also had a good time walking around the ruins.
Definitely worth a stop if you are ever in the area.

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