Recipe: Savory Gruyère Crackers – a Winner!

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When browsing on Instagram I saw someone’s post on crackers. This person made the crackers with Cheddar cheese, which I didn’t have at that moment. But, when I get it in my head that I want to bake something, it has to happen, so I thought about what I had in the fridge that would also be possible to use.

Than I thought of some leftover Gruyère cheese that I used to make my broccoli and Gruyère pie!

Using buckwheat flour, oats, butter, baking powder, milk, some salt and the grated Gruyère cheese I made a whole batch of very nice crackers! I ate the crackers with some creamcheese and this was a delicious snack, I must say!

Can’t find the recipe I based these crackers on I’m sad to say, but I’ll sure be trying other types of savory crackers soon! Next time I will make the crackers even thinner, and then punch holes in them with a fork before baking them. They will look even more like crackers then!!

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Homemade Sourdough Bread

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After two days spent in the kitchen preparing for and cooking christmas dinners, I am finally sitting down on my couch and getting my rest, well deserved if I say so myself!

In the coming days I will be posting some items about the christmas dinners I cooked, but for now I want to share a post about sourdough bread.

Enjoy!!

Baking bread is one of my new found passions. Countless possibilities, flavours, tastes, shapes, anything you imagine you can make and bake. Sweet, savory, plain, filled with nuts, fruit, etc.. Anything!

When I am in the mood of spoiling myself a little I sometimes buy a sourdoughbread at a special organic shop.

Sourdough bread is made using sourdough, a rising agent that takes a lot of effort and time and patience to make, a very complicated proces!

But, because of the fact that is quite expensive to buy a real sourdough bread, I took on the challenge to make my own sourdough as the base for baking sourdough bread!

First off I did some research on how to create (grow) your own sourdough, and I found some great pointers and pictures on how to do it and how it should look like each day. It is like taking care of a pet, feeding it everyday, it is a live organism of course!

The result after about two weeks looks like the picture you see below (not my own picture).

With the use of my sourdough I made two breads: One of them I included in this post. Not bad I thought, for a first try! A lot of work and a lot of pafience, waiting for the dough to rise etc, but when you take the time it’s worth it!

Zuurdesem Zuurdesembrood

Homemade Healthy Chocolate and Mint Icecream – Recipe

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Another winner, this one is!! I have been experimenting with frozen bananas as a base for icecream. Take a banana, cut it i to slices and freeze it overnight.

The next day you take the banana, add some (soy, nut or regular) milk, some agave sirop, nutbutter and some nuts of chocolate (or both), put this all in a foodprocessor and there’s your icecream! Some people call it a softserve because it is a little softer than regular icecream. But you could also put it in the freezer for half an hour to let it freeze a little bit more.

Anyway, a lot of combinations with banana as a base are of course possible, with fruit, cacoa and/or nuts.

But, I find that you always keep tasting the banana flavour, which is ok if you like bananas, but I sometimes just like a different taste!

Last week I went to my favourite kitchen supply store and I found a bottle of mint essence. And as I have always loved eating mint-icecream when I worked at Rotterdam’s famous Italian icecream shop called “Capri”, I decided to try and make mint-chocolate-chipicecream using frozen banana as the base or the icecream.

So I did! I took two frozen bananas, added some almondmilk, some agave sirup, quit some chopped up dark chocolate (>70%), and some mint esstence, and there it was, a lovely bowl of mint icecream! My favourite! When I made the icecream for the second time, I used just one drop of green food colouring to make the icecream look a little more attractive.

And here’s the picture!

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Another yummy BentoBox meal!!

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Bento, bentobox, my bento, monbento, a whole new world opened itself to me when we decided to buy two lunchboxes from a company in France called Monbento!

A few years ago, when I was in Chinatown in London I ate a dish called a Bentobox; not knowing that this is such a wellknown term in foodie-land!

The word bento originally is the word for a Japanese lunch. You can buy a Bento in a shop, but lots of people make them at home and tske them to work. A traditional Bento consists of rice, fish/meat and vegetables. In Japan it is normal that people spend a lot of time making their Bento. There is even competition between parents to make their children the best looking bento!!

In general rules for a Bento are:
It has to packed with healthy ingredients;
3 parts carbs;
2 parts vegetables and/or fruit;
1 part protein

But when it comes to making my lunch or dinner to take to work, I usually go with what is in the fridge and let my imagination do the job! Baring in mind that I try to eat clean and healthy products…

Below some examples of the Bento’s I have made.

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Lightly grilled tuna – Japanese Style – Recipe

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Once in a while, on a saturday night, I use fresh, raw tuna and salmon to make sushi or sashimi, to eat as a very healthy but yet SO delicous snack.

Last weekend I bought a beautiful piece of tuna, but decided to put it on the grill for a minute or two. Just to bake the edges, the inside of the fish would still be quite raw.

The result – three words – in.cre.dible. Yummie.

I used soysauce, mirin, rice wine vinegar and honey to make a sauce, layed the pieces of tuna in the sauce and after that i rolled the tuna in the sesame seeds.

Put each side of the pieces of tuna on a hot grill for no more than 30 seconds, and…. Done!

You can use the sauce mentioned above as a dip, and combine this with wasabi to give it a kick!

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“Sinterklaas” Muffins

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In Holland december is the month in which we celebrate “Sinterklaas”.

Sinterklaas or Sint Nicolaas is a traditional winter holiday figure still celebrated in the Low Countries, including the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, as well as some parts of Germany. He is also well known in territories of the former Dutch Empire, including Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Indonesia, and Suriname. He is one of the sources of the holiday figure of Santa Claus in North America.

He is celebrated annually on Saint Nicholas’ eve (5 December) in the Netherlands and on the morning of 6 December in the other countries.

In this period the Dutch often eat “speculaas”, a kind of biscuit or cookie with a special combination of spices, like cinnamon, cardamon and cloves. The combination is a bit like pumpkin spices that are used in the United States.

Inspired by a recipe a came across I decided to make muffins with these spices. And because I have been trying to eat healthy food and trying to avoid processed sugar, I used healthy ingredients, like almond flour, speltflour, eggs, coconutoil, coconutsugar, “speculaas”spices, and bakingpowder.

This was the result:

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I will be glad when it’s december 7th! The children are so nervous this time of year!

Moussaka made from scratch

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Moussaka is an eggplant and potato based dish popular in Balkan and Mediterranean cuisines, with many local and regional variations.

The same name and recipe is found throughout the lands that were formerly part of the Ottoman Empire. In Greece, the dish is layered and typically enjoyed hot. In Turkey, it is sautéed and served in the style of a casserole, and is consumed warm or at room temperature. In Arabic countries, a variant of the same recipe is eaten cold.

Years ago I often ate moussaka made from a packet, which didn’t taste that bad, but made from scratch, with only good ingredients, Moussaka really is a treat!

With potatoes, eggplant, ground beef, onions, tomatoes and grated cheese you comea long way. Some homemade béchamesauce to gowith that and you are ready to go! If you want an exact recipe I can provide that!

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