Sweet Sunday – Dutch Pancakes

Oh hi there! Sorry for vanishing for more than a week! I had no creativity or motivation to do anything for my blog last week. Well, that and I was just lazy. Shame on me… But anyways, I’m back now! And I’ve got loads of ideas for the upcoming Sweet Sundays, so we’re good to go for a while :)

As you might have read in one of the previous Sweet Sunday posts, in particular this one where I elaborate on the Dutch cake called Ontbijtkoek, I want to introduce the non-Dutchies to the sweet baked goods that The Netherlands has to offer. Also, I want to kind of show the Dutch readers that what we buy in the supermarket is actually incredibly easy to make by yourself!

Dutch Pancakes

To continue this trend, let’s talk about pancakes. There are many countries that have pancakes in their cuisine with each one adding their own style. For instance, in comparison to American Pancakes, the Dutch ones are a lot thinner, but also a lot wider. They have less density than American ones, and are actually mostly eaten for dinner. I have honestly never eaten Dutch Pancakes for breakfast, it just doesn’t work in my mind.

As humans, I think that we all love pancakes, no matter which country they originate from. They are sweet, doughy, buttery, and just all-round delicious. Am I right, or am I right?IMG_0905Besides that, the recipe is so simple, you can literally eat pancakes in 15 minutes. A quick and easy dinner or breakfast! In The Netherlands, we serve them with powdered sugar, and syrup. You can have apple pancakes by adding chunks of apple to the batter, or place cheese on the pancake while baking. There are so many possibilities, it is impossible to get bored of this recipe.

IMG_0906Also, I feel that this recipe will explain to Dutchies that you do not need to have that prepared box of pancake mix to make pancakes. Everyone has got flour, egg, and milk in their kitchen. So no need for those boxes anymore, guys :)

Have a nice Sunday!


Dutch Pancakes

Gives 6-8 pancakes

Ingredients

  • 250 grams of flour
  • 1 egg
  • 500 ml milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • Butter
  • Optional: bacon, raisins, cheese, apple, etc
  • To serve: powdered sugar, and syrup

Used kitchen appliances

  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Ladle
  • Frying pan

Preparation

  1. Add the flour, egg, milk, and salt to the bowl. Whisk until mixed and all lumps are gone.
  2. Heat some butter in the frying pan on medium heat.
  3. Use the ladle to pour in the right amount of batter in the pan.
  4. Bake for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden.
  5. Optional: place bacon in the pan before adding the batter. Or add raisins to the batter to make raisin pancakes.
  6. Keep the pancakes warm by placing them between two plates.
  7. Serve with syrup and powdered sugar.

Smoked Salmon Quiche

I looooooove quiches.

To me, they are the quickest, easiest, dinner to put together. Just toss in any vegetable, meat, fish, you have, and you’ll end up with a delicious hearty pie.

Smoked Salmon QuicheOnce you’ve mastered the basic recipe, set your mind free and be inspired by whatever ingredient you have in your fridge or cupboard.

The best thing is that you can actually make this far ahead of time. Make it in the morning, or the evening beforehand (it can be stored for at least 2 days in the fridge). It actually tastes better, and adds to the texture if you make it a few hours before eating. Just warm it up in the oven and you’re good to go!

I swear to you, you will not regret learning about this recipe.

The Smoked Salmon Quiche is definitely one of my all time favourites. It has smoky, creamy, doughy flavours yet the texture is surprising as you bite through the crispy peas and soft onions. I often serve it as dinner with a green, herby salad on the side, or maybe with soup as a starter.

Oh my, I wish I was eating this right now.

smoked salmon quicheLet me know about your own quiche creations! What do you like in your quiche?

 


Basic Quiche recipe

Makes 1 quiche

Ingredients

  • 270 grams (9.5 oz) of hearty pastry dough (I always use frozen storebought pastry, as it is just so much easier for a weekday dinner)
  • 4 eggs
  • 250 ml (1 cup) of cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • Butter for greasing

Used kitchen appliances

  • Oven
  • Quiche form
  • Bowl

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C or 400F. Let the pastry defrost. Grease the quiche form with butter.
  2. In a bowl, crack the eggs and add the milk. Season with salt and pepper, and beat together.
  3. Line the form with the pastry. Pour in the egg mixture. Bake for 30-40 minutes in the oven.

Any quiche recipe needs that easy preparation. Once you have the form lined with pastry, you can place anything you want in there. For example: bacon and cheese and make a traditional Quiche Lorraine. After adding the egg mixture you can top the quiche with anything you want, such as crumbled goat cheese, or pine nuts.

The possibilities are endless.

To make the Smoked Salmon Quiche, you’ll need:

  • 100 grams (3.5 oz) of smoked salmon
  • 400 grams (14 oz) of (frozen) peas
  • 1 onion

The preparation is the exact same as the basic recipe, you just add some extra ingredients before adding the egg mixture.

Preparation

  1. When using frozen peas, defrost them by placing them in a colander and letting cold water run over them. This will take the worst frost out of them and prevents your quiche from getting watery.
  2. Slice the onion in thin slices. Place the salmon on the base of the quiche. Add the peas. Pour over the egg mixture. Place the onion slices on top.

Sweet Sunday – Spiced Carrot Muffins

Happy Sunday to you all!

I’m thoroughlt enjoing my very relaxing Sunday, my parents have gone out today, so I’ve go the house all to myself. This means that I’m currently blasting my music through the speakers and singing alone quite beautifully (not true) and quietly (also not true).

How’s your day so far?

For today I actually wanted to share an entirely different recipe, namely a recipe for croissants. But with many patisserie items you will not get it right the first try. I did not anyways… But I am going to get back on this later, cause I can’t stand not being able to make edible croissants. So stay tuned!

Thus, I am giving you the recipe for Spiced Carrot Muffins, which is equally as delicious but definitely a thousand times easier. Just mix all the ingredients together, and you’re ready to eat!

With autumn coming up, I feel like it’s time for baked goods that incorporate carrot and spices. To warm you up during the increasingly darker days and colder nights.

Honestly, the photo has turned out to look a bit christmassy, with the powdered sugar and red cupcake liners. Starting a bit early with preparations this year, I guess. The heart wants what the heart wants.

In my opinion, everyone should have a go-to recipe for Carrot Cake or Carrot Muffins. I hope this one might be yours…Spiced Carrot Muffins


 

Spiced Carrot Muffins

Gives 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 360 grams (1 and 1/2 cup) whole wheat flour
  • 120 grams (1/2 cup of light) brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 120 grams (1/2 cup) raisins
  • 240 ml (1 cup) milk
  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 large carrot

Used kitchen appliances

  • Oven
  • Cupcake tin
  • 12 cupcake liners
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Grater

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C or 400F. Line the cupcake tin with the liners.
  2. In the large mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, spices, and raisins. Stir well.
  3. In the medium mixing bowl, add the milk, sunflower oil, vanilla, and the egg. Beat it all together until combined.
  4. Grate the carrot finely. Add to the milk mixture and stir.
  5. Transfer the milk mixture to the flour, and stir until combined.
  6. Fill the cupcake liners with the batter. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.

Lasagna al Forno

I’ll just straight up say it. I am not a big fan of lasagna. I do not NOT like it, but I don’t particularly love it. To some of you this might seem strange, as I have just confessed my undying love for pasta in the previous hearty post. However, I finally found out why I do not like lasagne as I used to eat it.

Years ago, when my siblings and I were still really young, and my parents were busy working and taking care of us, cooking was something that had to be quick and easy. After a long work day, no one wants to spend hours cooking their dinner, especially when you have three sometimes cute, but sometimes very loud, kids. So you are looking for something easy, and tasty.

In Holland, we have like tons and tons of brands that try to satisfy the need of easy dinners. Meaning that they either have prepared meals, or they have boxes which provide for everything – especially seasoning – and leaves you with the ease of putting A together with B, and done.

Which is fine.

I guess.

It’s just not something that you can make me very happy with. As I slowly started to develop my own taste in food, I found that every box of sachets with dried seasoning and mixes tastes the same. Literally every single one of them. It doesn’t matter that you’re eating Chicken Tandoori, or Enchiladas, or Lasagne. And that is not how your dinner should be. Besides that, it is not cooking, which is something that I think everyone should and could do, if you have the right recipes.

Lasagna al Forno

So when I started cooking for my family, these boxes were not to be seen in the kitchen. Much to the dismay of my brother, who absolutely loved the Lasagne.

So, my dear brother, especially for you I have made this easy and flavourful Lasagna al Forno. I hope that eating this will leave you and your taste buds happy. It sure makes me a very happy girl.

All ingredients are fresh, and unprocessed. Healthy stuff. Don’t we love that, huh? It such a comforting dish as well, it’s like a warm blanket. So pure and honest. Lasagna al Forno 2

To make it even healthier, I left out the bechamel sauce. Mainly because cream does not like me very much, which is a mutual feeling. You could ofcourse add it, or substitute it for ricotta cheese, or Hüttenkäse.

I’d love to know what you think, and if you’ve made the recipe!


Lasagna al Forno

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 250 grams of lasagna sheets
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • 125 grams of mozarella
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes

For the sauce

  • 500 grams of ground beef
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 250 grams of mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
  • 500 grams of Passata di Pomodoro
  • 400 grams of peeled tomatoes

Used kitchen appliances

  • Oven
  • Oven dish
  • 1 pan

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C or 370F. Grease the oven dish with olive oil.
  2. Finely chop the onion. Slice the mushrooms, celery stalks and carrot.
  3. In the pan, heat a slug of olive oil. Add the ground beef, and cook for about 5 minutes or until cooked through.
  4. Add all the vegetables and let cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Proceed to add the oregano, Passata, and peeled tomatoes, cook for about 1 minute.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. In the oven dish, start with a layer of the tomato sauce, cover with lasagne sheets. Make another 3-4 layers like this, and end with sauce on top.
  7. Halve the cherry tomatoes, and slice the mozarella. Place them on the top of the lasagne, along with some basil leaves.
  8. Cook in the oven for 25 minutes. Sprinkle over some fresh basil leaves, and serve.

Sweet Sunday – Autumn Coffee Cake

When I first started this blog, I had no idea of what to expect in terms of followers. Did anyone even want to read my posts and try my recipes? Turns out, there are actually people that do!

As my follower count was slowly creeping up, I was thinking that I had to something special when I reached 100 followers. Ofcourse, once you set a goal like that, it seems as if though there’s no progress being made at all. Thus, I decided to just not check my count ten times a day.

And then there I was, just casually checking my blog, when my eye fell on the follower count.

106 followers.

106.

WHAT?!

You guys make me so incredibly happy, you have no idea. The thought alone that there’s all these lovely people from all over the world reading my blog means so much to me.

A million thank you’s!Autumn Coffee Cake (5)For the something special. I made an Autumn Coffee Cake for you. It’s getting colder (sort of), there’s all kinds of autumn-, or even winter- themed products in the supermarket. It’s coming, you guys. And I could not be happier. The next six months, when it’s cold and dark outside, but warm and cozy inside, is when I am at my best.

One of the perks is that you can eat all kinds of sweet things and not feel guilty at all, because it’s cold and you want food, which is actually a valid excuse.

Anyways, back to the cake. The fact that I am making a cake like this is so rare, I mean it has butter in the batter, it has butter in the filling, it has hazelnuts, it has chocolate, it has sugar. It is so sinfully good.

I must warn you beforehand, the batter on its own is already so velvety and smooth and delicious, that speed is definitely required to prevent eating it all at once.Autumn Coffee Cake (6)The batter is the same as for a sponge cake or pound cake, or whatever it’s called where you live. You just add some espresso. Basically, the easiest cake recipe in existence.

You could of course decide to not add the filling and hazelnuts, which certainly makes the cake a lot lighter and somewhat better for your diet, but does it necesarilly make life better for you? Don’t think so. Autumn Coffee Cake (3)

Make a cup of tea (or a glass of wine) sit back in your comfiest chair with a good book, take some time to relax. Don’t think about work, about chores at home, and most of all, don’t think about your diet.

Just enjoy the moment. You deserve it.

Autumn Coffee Cake (4)Let me know what you think! If you have any suggestions, questions or anything, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments!

And again, thank you so much for following and reading :)!


Autumn Coffee Cake

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 200 grams (7 oz) self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 200 grams (7 oz) softened butter
  • 200 grams (7 oz) light brown caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • About 25 ml espresso

For the filling

  • 200 grams (7 oz) softened butter
  • 400 grams (14,1 oz) of icing sugar

For decoration

  • 200 grams (7 oz) of hazelnuts
  • 100 grams (3.5 oz) of dark chocolate

Used kitchen appliances

  • Oven
  • 18 cm cake tin
  • Baking paper
  • 1 medium mixing bowl
  • Sieve
  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • Electric whisk
  • Grater

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C or 370F. Line the cake tin with baking paper, and grease the sides.
  2. Sieve the flour with the baking powder in the medium mixing bowl.
  3. In the large mixing bowl, whisk the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs, and gradually add them to the butter mixture. Once incorporated, add the espresso.
  4. Proceed to add the flour, and stir through with a wooden spoon until you have a smooth and velvety batter.
  5. Pour the batter in the cake tin. Bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes. Let the cake cool completely before adding the filling.
  6. To make the filling, mix the butter and icing sugar until smooth. Roughly chop the hazelnuts. Grate the chocolate.
  7. Slice the cake in half horizontally. Spread about 1/4 of the filling on the bottom half. Sprinkle over half of the hazelnuts.
  8. Place the other half on top, and spread the remaining filling over the whole cake. Decorate with the rest of the hazelnuts and chocolate gratings.

 

Pasta with Peas and Bacon

Pasta. The greatness of pasta cannot be put into words. It is one of the most versatile ingredients, with many different shapes and forms. You can either use it in complex and luxurious dishes, or just use it simple but flavourful ones.

This recipe is one of the latter. Pasta with peas and bacon. I love the simplicity of this dish, yet it has a depth of flavours that makes your senses tingle.photo (2)

I recommendusing good quality extra vergine olive oil, because it brings even more taste to this dish. Recently, my uncle and aunt went to Italy, and brought us back the most delicious and beautiful extra vergine olive oil that I had ever had the fortune of tasting. So yeah, I am absolutely hooked on proper oil now. Don’t use it in cooking though, that will not do the flavour justice and can even make it disappear.

Also, don’t go easy on the Pecorino. My favourite cheese in the whole wide world, Pecorino is a cheese made of sheep’s milk. The most common variety of the cheese is Pecorino Romano, which is the only one available in my supermarket, that comes from the island of Sardinia. Just like the other three, this variety has the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status, meaning that there are only several geographical locations where this product can be made and named as such. Pecorino is a hard cheese, crumbly in texture, and sharp and salty in flavour. Excellent for grating over this pasta dish.

A perfect dish for busy weekdays, when no one really wants to cook, but just wants to have a filling meal.

Buon appetito!


Pasta with Peas and Bacon

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 250 grams (9 oz) of  dried penne
  • 400 grams (13 and 1/2 oz)of peas (I used frozen)
  • 250 grams (9 oz) of bacon cubes
  • Pecorino cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Pepper and salt

Used kitchen appliances

  • Large pan
  • Sauté pan

Preparation

  1. Boil the penne according to the guidelines on the package. Probably for about 8 minutes. Drain when ready.
  2. In the sauté pan, bake the bacon cubes on a medium heat. When fat starts to drip out of the bacon, add the peas. Bake these for about 5 minutes, or until fully cooked through.
  3. Transfer the mixture to the pasta pan. Stir until combined.
  4. Add olive oil, pepper, and salt to taste. Watch out for salt though, the cheese and bacon are already quite salty on their own.
  5. Grate over Pecorino cheese to your liking.

Sweet Sunday – Ontbijtkoek

As a lover of all things food, I own a lot of cookbooks. And by a lot, I mean really a lot. They range from Jamie Oliver, to Nigella Lawson. From small IKEA cookbooks, to big pricey ones.

Two of my favourites are actually getting pretty old, dating back to the 50’s. Both of them are in Dutch, and are books that have had several editions since they first came out in 1911. Reading them takes you back in time, when electric ovens were just being introduced, when the aftermath of WWII was still evident in the availability of products. A particular passage in the book about this struck me quite hard, as you sometimes forget that after the war everything did not go back to normal in a split second. The recipes in the book were therefore adapted to the availability of products, but ,as the writer stated, some of the products will still seem luxurious.Nederlandse Kookboeken

Another thing which is interesting is that these cookbooks never ever mention a man cooking. The fact that they even address a woman, or specifically a housewife, clearly dates the books to another decennium. Now, we find this absolutely intolerable, but back then it really was just the women who cooked and baked. One of the books is made by the Amsterdamse Huishoudschool, which was basically a school for women to learn how to run a household, or how to become a maid.

For those interested, the books are:

  • C.J. Wannée – Kookboek van De Amsterdamse Huishoudschool
  • Elektro Kookboek

Anyways, these books are like treasures to me as they contain recipes for all kinds of typically Dutch dishes. Especially recipes for baked goods that I never knew or thought that you could actually make yourself, as it is so normal to buy them in the supermarket. To bring back these “lost” recipes, I want to introduce them to you guys!

First up, Ontbijtkoek. If you translate Ontbijtkoek  to English, it literally means Breakfastcake. However, it’s not specifically a breakfast dish, as with most things you can eat it whenever you want. With tea, as a snack, as dessert.Ontbijtkoek (4)The spices used in the cake are common in Dutch baked goods. Especially ground cloves, which originates from Indonesia, is something that we use in almost every cookie, and cake. I always find that it has a kind of autumnal taste. Adding honey to the mix, makes for a sticky and firm cake.

This time I made two Ontbijtkoeken, a basic one, and one with chocolate chips. They are both equally delicious, but the chocolate is more like an afternoon tea dish, while the basic one can be used as a quick snack throughout the day. The recipe below is for the basic loaf, so you can add any chocolate chips or nuts or raisins to your own imagination.

Best thing is to eat Ontbijtkoek with a bit of butter on it. I’m literally drooling just by the thought of it. I’m going to quickly go downstairs and eat my breakfast with some Breakfastcake!

Let me know what you think :)Ontbijtkoek (1)


Ontbijtkoek

Gives 1 loaf

Ingredients

  • 300 grams of  self rising flour
  • 100 grams of white sugar
  • 3 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp of ground cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • 200 grams of honey
  • 200 ml of milk
  • Optional: 150 grams of chocolate chips, or raisins

Used kitchen appliances

  • Oven
  • 1 loaf tin
  • 1 mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon

Preparation

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C or 350F. Grease the loaf tin with butter.
  2. In the mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, spices, salt). If you also want to add chocolate chips or raisins, this is where you use them. By adding them to the dry ingredients, the flour in particular will give the chips or raisins a coating, which prevents them sinking to the bottom of the cake.
  3. Proceed to add the wet ingredients (honey and milk). Stir with the wooden spoon until combined.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the tin. Place in the oven for about 1 hour, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  5. Leave to rest and cool down a bit. To ensure the tastiness, wrap the Ontbijtkoek in tin foil. The loaf can be kept for about 2-3 days if in an air-tight environment.

Food Truck Festival Trek – The Hague

As you may or may not have read on my Twitter account (you can follow here if you want) I went to visit Food Truck Festival Trek in The Hague last weekend. As the name already suggests, this is a festival with food trucks. How clear can it be, right?

Anyways, this was the first time that the festival was organized in The Hague. Its previous editions took place in Utrecht, and were highly successful. Unfortunately, I was not able to go last time, but since it was in my hometown I had absolutely no excuse not to go. Nor did I want to have one, because food.

For the readers who are (understandably) not familiar with the Dutch language, the name of the festival is very clever. The word “trek” has two different meanings in Dutch:

  1. To travel, or wander around
  2. To be hungry

With this festival being about foodtrucks, the organization could not have chosen a better name. Honestly, I just adore these kind of word plays, they’re the best.

The festival is completely free, apart from the food and drinks that you buy of course. It took place in the Westerbroekpark, which is an amazing park located in the most beautiful and green part of The Hague.

Westerbroekpark in The HagueBut! The food, that’s even more important. I went together with my friend, so we shared everything that we bought so we could try as much as our wallet would allow. First off, we needed beer. Just your regular festival beer, but with less water added, and cheaper. Only 2,50 euros. Great start.

Beer at Foodtruck Festival TrekWe decided to walk around at first, so we could see which food trucks were there and what we wanted to try. My eye immediately fell on this beauty.

Brandt & Levie Foodtruck

Brandt & Levie at Foodtruck Festival TrekA hotdog food truck. But this was not just a regular hotdog making facility, this was Brandt & Levie. An honest and traditional sausage brand that is quite famous in the Dutch culinary world. I was so incredibly happy to see this food truck, as I have been wanting to try their products for years. And my gosh, it was even better than I thought.Hotdog by Brandt & LevieSo here you see a sesame bun, ketchup, mustard, and fried onions. Inside the bun there’s a sausage, and underneath that there’s sauerkraut. I mean, does it get any better really? The flavour and texture of this hotdog was so real and pure compared to the hotdogs you buy in the supermarket. Oh, I’m going to stop writing now, the thought of this dish alone is already making my mouth water.

Next up, we saw this amazing chips food truck which served handmade chips, with the skin on and a big dollop of fresh mayonnaise. Yum.

Handmade fries by FritezThe food truck of Fritez, as the company is called, was great as well. I like the colours, and the chalkboard on the side, which makes the handmade theme even more apparent.Fritez at Foodtruck Festival TrekThe atmosphere on the festival grounds was so inviting and relaxed. Lots of different kinds of people were just enjoying the sun, the food, and the company. Also, there was this gentleman:

Foodtruck Festival Trek in The HagueLook at him just casually playing his vinyls, singing along to the music, while sitting on his tractor. What a guy.

By this point I was already getting full, which annoyed me as I wanted so much more. But I still had room left for nachos with salsa of course. The salsa was so flavourful and spicy. I’m going to try to make one myself, if it works out I’ll post a recipe!

Nachos with salsaFinally, we spotted a food truck called Wheely Good, where they served wraps. Specifically, wraps with falafel. I love falafel so much, but this one was not so tasty as I would have liked. They were properly cooked, and not oily which is the worst. But they lacked in salt and seasoning overall. A real pity as the ingredients were all great.Falafel wrap by Wheely GoodOverall, I must say that Food Truck Festival Trek was an absolute success and I will definitely come to the next one! If you happen to be in The Hague or Utrecht at the time, you should go too!

My friend and I finished this great evening at home with a bottle of the most delicious and soft Kosovar red wine ever. So amazingly good.Kosovan red wine

 

 

Sweet Sunday – Yogurt à la Vince

About two years ago my parents and I went to the United States. During our three-week roadtrip we visited the eastcoast, places such as New York, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and so on. This is still one of the best holidays I’ve ever had. To end the intense travelling, packing and unpacking, and driving, the last three days were spend in Cape May, New Jersey. A beautiful coastal town, with a boardwalk, lovely beach, great restaurants, and amazing people.

In these three days, we stayed at a B&B called The Mooring. It’s owner, Vince, might very well be the most passionate and hospitable person I’ve ever had the fortune of meeting. To this day, my parents and I still reminisce about the great time we had in his B&B. What made our stay even better was the delicious breakfast we had every morning. From Bananas Foster to scrambled eggs, there was something for everyone. Each dish was just as great as the other.

The Mooring B&BThough the best one was the Greek Yogurt served with honey, fruit, and candied pecans. The last ingredient is something that you’re not necessarily used to or familiar with if you’re not actually from the USA. Pecans are quite rarely used in cooking in The Netherlands, and I’ve seldom seen them on a menu anywhere outside the States.

However, I’ve been wanting to recreate this recipe for a long time, and finally got to doing so. Thus, I dedicated this recipe to Vince, by naming it Yogurt à la Vince!

I absolutely adore this recipe for breakfast, dessert, or whenever I feel like it. It’s filling yet not too much, it’s sweet yet not too sweet, it’s healthy yet not too healthy. Perfect balance.

To make the candied nuts, you’ll need to make a syrup which may sound a bit tricky and difficult. Don’t get frightened by this, because it’s insanely easy. Besides that, it’s beautiful to watch the process of making syrup. Just keep an eye on the pan, so you can prevent it from burning. The syrup needs to be as thick as the bottom picture, this will take about 15 minutes.

Candied NutsAdd the nuts, and make sure that they are all coated with the liquid.

photo 1 (2)Spread them out over  a baking tray and leave to cool slightly so they harden.

photo 2 (2)Serve with the Greek yogurt, fruit, and honey.

photo 2 (1)Let me know what you think!

photo 1 (1)


Yogurt à la Vince

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 250 grams (1 and 1/4 cup) of brown caster sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150 grams (2 cups) of nuts (pecan, almond, walnut, etc.)
  • 200 grams (1 cup) of raspberries
  • 500 grams (2 cups) of Greek yogurt
  • Honey
  • Optional: oats

Used kitchen appliances

  • Medium saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Baking sheet
  • Baking foil

Preparation

  1. Line the baking sheet with baking foil. In the saucepan combine the sugar and cinnamon, proceed to add the water. Bring it to the boil, and let boil for about 15 minutes. The syrup needs to be thicken.
  2. Add the nuts and vanilla extract, stir with the wooden spoon until combined. Let boil for another 8-10 minutes, to let the syrup thicken even more.
  3. Spread the nuts out over the baking sheet, and leave to cool until the syrup has hardened.
  4. In a bowl, layer the Greek yogurt and raspberries. Place the candied nuts on top, pour over some honey. Additionally, you could add some oats.

The Corfu Diaries – Part IV

After our trip to Albania (which you can read about in part III), my siblings and I only had two days left in the beautiful country of Greece.

The second to last day were spent by the house. Swimming in the pool, finishing our books, relaxing on the balconies. Staying outside till late at night, just talking about anything and everything. Or playing a game called 30 Seconds, which is awesome and made us all very competitive. Basically enjoying the finer things in life.

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The last day held one more sightseeing excursion for us; The Achilleion. This is a palace that has been built by the order of Empress Sissi of Austria in 1890. The palace is built on the slopes of the mountain, and includes a garden with phenomenal views over Corfu. It also houses several statues and paintings of the Greek hero Achilles, hence the name and theme of the palace.

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If you plan on visiting, keep in mind that there is limited car parking space available, so if you could go any different way, I’d strongly recommend that. Also, I’ve seen the weirdest tourist ever inside the palace. They literally saw the place as some kind of fashion shoot, taking pictures kissing the century old statues, mirrors and what not. Odd.

Fun fact: James Bond-lovers, I call on you. The casino scene in the film For Your Eyes Only has been filmed in the Achilleion!

To close our holidays off in style, we visited the touristic beach town called Benitses once again. This was where we also went to the beach, and took a swim in the Ionian Sea, which was quite refreshing. Yet again however, I am a cry baby when it comes to water, especially when there’s plants on the bottom of the sea that stroke my leg everytime I try to swim. I did swim though, so go me! Mainly because I absolutely adore the salty beach hair I get afterwards…

Corfu SunAnyways, food! Our last meal! Sort of. Greek Salads and Grilled Fishes and Squids were ordered once again, because why change a good choice? However, my sister decided to change something which I think you can get in any Greek restaurant all over the world: Mixed Grill. I believe that this version included Chicken Souvlaki, Bifteki, Lamb cutlets, and Loukaniko, which is a special Greek sausage. As the name suggests, all meats were grilled, and served simply with onion, cucumber, tomato, and lemon.

2014-08-08 14.49.18I decided to also go for a globally known Greek dish, but one that I have actually never tasted in Greece: Pita Gyros. I can safely say that this is the best one that I have ever had in my entire life. The pita was soft and chewy, and the meat. Oh my gosh, the meat. So succulent. It melted in my mouth. Combined with tzatziki, this was so incredibly good. Yum.

2014-08-08 14.49.24Also, I am not sure if this is a Corfu thing, but I have not seen it anywhere else in Greece yet, but in every restaurant I’ve been they serve complimentary bread. The bread has been infused with olive oil and parsley, and grilled. It’s so tasty, and very easy to make back home!

Garlic BreadSo yeah, that’s it for the food element of the trip. But there is something that I need to discuss with you guys. Something that has been on my mind ever since I started writing The Corfu Diaries. Something which I’ve been hinting about in all these posts. Something that is so good that I’ve called (and still do) it the Nectar of the Gods.

It’s time to talk about the deliciousness that is Retsina.

Retsina.

Oh, how I wish I was drinking this right now. Sure, it will never taste the same as it does in Greece. But still.

RetsinaLet me point out why Retsina is so amazing:

  • It’s wine.
  • Therefore, it contains alcohol.

No, I’m just kidding. Although, these points do help, it’s actually the original and surprising flavour of the wine that makes it so unique and exqquisite. This flavour comes from the pine resin that is being added to the must during the fermentation of the grapes. Wow, that was one heck of a professional sentence. I’ll break it down.

In ancient times, wine went bad quicker than in the present. To prevent this from happening, the clever Greeks decided to seal the amphorae with pine resin. Meaning that air did not get to the wine, which gave the wines a longer lifecycle (humans not so much, I reckon). Along with the sealing, the pine resin also influenced the flavour of the liquid.

Even though the Romans introduced wine barrels, people were smart enough to keep using the pine resin to flavour the must.

RetsinaI mean, the fact alone that Retsina has been around for more than 2000 years kind of already tells you that it is something quite magnificent. Additionally, you can buy bottles of 2 liters in the supermarket in Greece, so yeah.

Try it if you’re ever anywhere in Greece, or when you find it somewhere in your own country, and let me know what you think! I may have raised your expectations too much, but it’s literally my favourite wine.


There you have it, guys. An elaborate journal of my holidays in Corfu. I hope I made you excited or at least curious about this wonderful place.

Visit the island, there will be no regrets.

I miss it.

I love Greece.