Summer bliss in a glass
Enjoying the most wonderful summer heat wave – much too nice to stay indoors and blog regularly…..or cook for that matter….
Usually my idea of a prefect weekends involves pancakes for breakfast, but with this weather I hardly want to stand over a hot stove, endlessly flipping pancakes. Thankfully this fabulously summery dish crossed my path: some fruits stewed with orange and then layered with honey sweetened yoghurt and roasted oats.
The magic in this dish is the contrast of flavours and textures: tart fruit topped with gently sweet smooth yoghurt and crunchy oats.
The original recipe involved a few more steps (and calories): some cream whipped stiff with golden sugar that is folded into the yoghurt and finally some cookies crumbled over the top of it all. But I kept it a little simpler – as this treat is all about enjoying the summer.
(a little altered from Albert Heijn ‘Jools Schotse Zondag‘)
250g mixed frozen summer fruits (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries etc)
1 twig of fresh rosemary
2-3 tbsp honey
1/2 an orange
optional: 1-2 tbsp butter
100g Greek Yoghurt 0% fat
- Place frozen fruit, rosemary and 1/2 tbsp of the honey in a little pan.
- Grate in the orange peel and stir in juice.
- Bring to the boil. After a few minutes, when the fruit is soft and has released some juice, use a slotted spoon to remove the fruit and allow it to cool.
- Discard the rosemary and allow the sauce to cook a little longer and thicken. Add to the fruit.
- In a separate pan melt the butter (if using) and add oats and 1 tbsp of honey. Cook stirring regularly until the oats have turned golden.
- Stir the remaining tbsp of honey into the yoghurt.
- Layer the glasses with fruit, yoghurt, oats (repeat layers). Finish with a little fruit and/or oats.
Tips & Variations
- Whip 50g cream with some golden sugar until stiff and fold into the yoghurt
- Add some crumbled cookies to the layers
…and now off to have summer adventures…
Dreaming of summertime and easy living
Sometimes simple is all we want! And this recipe is fabulously simple. I shouldn’t even call it a recipe – one ingredient, a little mixing and you are set.
I have just spent almost three weeks travelling Malaysia and Singapore. What a culinary adventure! But after all that time of having other people cooking (fabulous!) dishes for me, I am not ready to return to the kitchen yet. I’d much rather laze around for a little longer sipping this fabulous summery drink. The taste takes me straight back to the bustle of small town streets and the quiet of deserted island beaches.
So here is to amazing memories and dreams of future adventures.
Cheers and selamat minum!
1/2 ripe watermelon
a little water
optional: ice cubes
optional: fresh mint
optional: lime juice
optional: honey or agave syrup
- Peel and cube the watermelon.
- Blend in a blender adding water if necessary.
Tips & Variations
Consider some of the following
- Or make a mojito by crushing together the mint and lime leaves and then topping with watermelon puree, rum and a splash of sparkling water
“Eat me” and travel straight to France
There are two things I enjoy almost as much as being on holiday: the anticipation before the trip and the afterglow when you get back. One of my favourite ways to continue the adventure back at home, is to bring foodie souvenirs and to cook typical local dishes.
And at the moment my mind is still in France: the fabulous winding roads and the beautiful villages of the Loire valley…the rilletes, pâtés, baguettes, croissants and glasses of Saumure-Champigny wine ….I could go on and on (although I don’t think I will try pig’s ear again….)
So this weekend I decided to bring a little of the Loire region into my kitchen by baking a Tarte Tatin; the well known upside-down apple cake from the Orleans region that achieved fame through the ladies Tatin.
There are many different variations for making Tarte Tatin. Some cooks just throw some caramel sauce and apples together, cover all with pastry and shove it in the oven. But I find that this just does not deliver those soft rich caramel flavoured apples that make for a spectacular Tart Tatin. So I take that little bit of extra time and cook the apples in the caramel sauce first. The secret is to keep spooning some sauce over the apples and to shuffle them around a little in the pan to ensure even cooking.
If you are in a rush you could save some time by using store-bought puff pasty. I do however prefer the crumble of a quick home-made short crust; especially when you are planning to eat the tart at room temperature.
I should warn you though: it really is very hard to resist the scent wafting out of your oven and allow the tart the time it needs to bake all the way through.
Amboise, a Loire town that makes your mouth water
One 25cm tart
6 apples (use a firm, fresh-tasting apple like Jonagold, Cox)
90g butter (room temperature)
Optional: 1 vanilla pod
150g all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
- Use a mixer to beat together the butter and the sugar until creamy. Add the egg and combine until pale.
- Quickly add the flour, salt and vanilla (if using).
- Shape the dough into a disc, wrap in cling film and refrigerate.
- Melt butter in a round 25cm oven-proof pan.
- Add sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved and the sauce has turned a light caramel colour.
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Peel and core the apples. Cut them in half length-ways.
- Place the apples in the pan, cut side up. Cook the apples on a medium-low heat for about 25 min or until the apples have softened and the sauce has browned a little. Spoon some caramel over the apples about every 5 minutes. If the outside apples are cooking slower than those at the center carefully shuffle them around.
- When the apples are cooked arrange them in neat circles. Turn off the heat.
- On a floured surface quickly roll the pastry into a disk that is a little larger than your pan. Fold the pastry over your rolling-pin and transfer to the pan.
- Use the blunt end of a knife handle to tuck the dough around the apples. Do not tuck the edges of the pastry in though, but allow them to curl up against the sides of the pan.
- Bake the tart 25-30 min or until the crust is golden.
- Allow the tart to cool at least 10 min before covering the pan with a plate and turning it out.
Tips & Variations
- Ready-made puff pastry can be used instead of the home-made crust
- the apples can be replaced by pears
A dollop of ice cream, crème fraîche or vanilla yoghurt
Avocado for dessert? Yes, please!
Don’t give me that look!
Believe me: you can turn avocado into a fabulously decadent desert!
But I’ll forgive your doubt, I was skeptical as well when I first discovered this recipe. But I knew I had to try it – immediately! Some recipes are on my to-do list for years before I test them. This one made me so curious I had to try it instantly.
I was amazed by the result: super rich, creamy, thick, chocolaty. And it is incredibly quick to make….and healthy…. What more can you ask for!
Try it and be wowed!
(Found on the blog ‘Simply Dish’)
2 servings (or 1 very generous serving)
1 ripe avocado
1 ripe mango
2 tbsp dark chocolate powder
1 tbsp maple syrup
a few drops vanilla essence
a small pinch of salt
- Peel the avocado and mango and cube.
- Place all the ingredients into a food processor and whizz until very very smooth.
- Preferably chill for a few hours in the fridge. Bring to room temperature for 30 minutes. (Or skip this step and dive straight in there.)
Tips & Variations
- Replace the mango with a ripe banana
- Omit the mango and only use avocado
Red fruit and veg smoothie. Full of healthy goodness, ever so tasty and really quick to make – what more can you ask for
There has been a dramatic shift in weather (the snow vanished overnight and temperatures are 10C above 0C instead of below). And no matter that it is January, it feels like spring. All of a sudden I am craving fresh vegetables and fruit.
I remembered the fabulous Green Smoothie that I was making regularly before winter set in. I decided to experiment with some different ingredients. I remembered a recipe with beets that just seemed crazy enough to try. The result? A fabulous red smoothie that I just cannot get enough of. It is fresh and fruity with a deep earthy undertone.
Sound interesting? Try it, you will not be disappointed
Sound too weird to be any good? Try it, you will be surprised
150g (1 cup) blueberries or cherries
1 medium beet, baked or cooked until soft
1/2 medium cucumber
handful of spinach
juice of 1/2 lime
splash of vanilla essence
250ml 1 cup rice milk (or hemp or almond)*
optional: 1 tsp chia seeds
optional: 1 tsp faxseeds
- For a wonderfully icy drink add frozen berries to the blender. Otherwise allow the berries to defrost first.
- Peel the beets and cut them into chunk and add.
- Cut cucumber into chunks and add.
- Add spinach, lime juice, vanilla and milk.
- Optional: add chia and flax seeds.
- Blend until smooth.
Tips & Variations
- Spinach can be replaced with 3-4 kale leaves
- Add a spoon full of protein powder or hemp
- Truth be told: variations are endless