Top three: chefs on youtube

The past year I have spent a lot of time soaking in my bath tub. What I like to do then, is get recipe ideas on youtube. I have discovered some personal favourites. The great thing is that there is inspiration for everyone online, from beginner to professional chef. Why don’t you start by giving my top 3 a try?

  1. Akis Kitchen – This channel has so many things going for it, that I have to break it down in bullets. His pastichio was an instant hit with my family.
    • This Greek chef makes tasty Greek recipes, which happens to be one of the cuisines I like very much
    • Akis makes these dishes simple to make for anyone, anywhere on the world.
    • Akis speaks English with a cute Greek accent, and he is easy on the eyes to boot!
  2. FoodTube – Jamie Oliver introduces you to many great recipes, but he also manages to find the best online chefs for you! One of my favorite recipe ideas is Butternut 3 ways.
  3. Donal Skehan – Donal’s recipes are just what I look for. Different and inspiring enough to impress my family and guests, yet simple enough for me to want to try them on a weekday! I haven’t tried these baked meatballs yet, but they are just the kind of thing my family would enjoy.

My Vichyssoise or Delicious & creamy cold soup

VichysoisseSWhen the weather is getting hotter, I recommend you spend an evening making a large batch of this beautiful soup. It is both healthy and tasty, and well loved by all family members. I like to use vegetable stock, this means the dish is completely vegetarian and all my friends can enjoy it as well.

The soup can be served hot or cold. I would cool the soup for at least 4 hours before serving. That’s why I like to make this dish a day in advance.

This soup is also beautiful als a small course at a dinner party or for a high tea. Just serve the soup in a dainty tea cup or a small glass instead of a large plate.

Vichyssoise (6 portions)

  • 2 leaks, sliced and thoroughly cleanVichyssoiseMed, including the green part
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
  • 4 medium potatoes, diced
  • 500 – 750 ml vegetable stock
  • 150 ml cream
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • To serve:
    • Greek yoghurt or sour cream
    • Chopped spring onion or chives
  1. Fry off the potatoes, onion, leaks and garlic until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add vegetable stock until all ingredients are submerged.
  3. Simmer until the potatoes are cooked.
  4. Blend the soup to a smooth puree, add stock if you want a thinner soup.
  5. Stir in the cream and season to taste. Remember that cold soup will need stronger seasoning.
  6. Serve your soup with a dollop of Greek yoghurt or sour cream and some chopped chives or spring onions.

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On hot summer evenings I enjoy a plate of this cold soup with some fresh bread. The best thing is that all you have to do is serve it up, no mess or fuss, just a cooling and healthy dinner.

Fabulous five: thrift store treasures

Thrift stores are my favorite place to go shopping. Me and my toddler each go on our own treasure hunt. My son looks for the best toy car, I look for supplies for a project or dinner party!

I believe everyone can score in the thrift store. Anyone can benefit from these items and ideas:

ThriftStoreTreasuresS

vaas1. Vintage porcelein – I have a soft spot for kitch china. My grandmother had such beautiful old teacups, they made every cup of tea special! I like using this china for:

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  • Use tea cups or pretty glasses for serving a soup starter or for a high tea.

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  • Use serving dishes as a gift wrapping for chocolates or home made cupcakes!

2. Vintage clothing – I like looking for dresses and tops. If they don’t fit nicely, I cut pieces of, or add some waist line with a belt.

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The result of a recent thrift store treasure hunt.

3. Accessories – When you find that great dress, try finding accessories to match. After watching a documentary about Iris Apfel, I decided to have more fun with dressing up. This senior fashionista has so much fun and personality with using accessories, that it inspired me to stock up on necklaces, scarves, broches, sunglasses and more.

FondueSketchM4. Kitchen utensils – The thrift store is full of items people got bored of, or maybe the hype passed. I am thinking of fondue pans and bread makers. Use your fondue pan for cheese fondue or surprise your dinner guests with a chocolate fondue with fruit for desert.

5. Supplies for parties like:

  • High tea supplies – tea pots, cups, cake stands and beautiful table linnen.
  • A color themed party, just get table wear in your chosen color! Like getting pink or blue supplies for a baby shower!
  • Christmas dinner or Easter brunchHappyEaster2016.
  • Serving dishes, decorations and outfits for your seventies, eighties or nineties party.

Sweet potatoe and lentil salad

Have a tasty lentil salad for lunch! This salad is full of healthy and teasty ingredients. It is well balanced in so many ways. The crunch of the oninons against the soft cheese and potatoes, the fresh mint contrasts beautifully with the sweet flavors.

This salad would make a great lunch, a starter or a side dish with a barbeque.

Sweet potato and lentil salad ( 1 person lunch, or a great side dish)

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 150 gr (puy) lentils, tinned or freshly cooked
  • 100 gr goat cheese
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 handfull of fresh mint, finely sliced
  • Optional:
    • 1/2 red paprika, in small squares
    • 1 pepper, finely sliced
  • Honey mustard dressing:
    • 1 tbsp honey
    • 2 tbsp mustard
    • 3 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 tsp dill (optional)

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  1. Preheat your oven to 220 degrees C.
  2. Peel your potatoes and slice them into rustic chips. Coat them in oil, season them and bake them in the oven for 25 minutes or until they are tender.
  3. Combine with the other salad ingredients for a great lunch dish!

Fabulous five: stews

In cool weather there is nothing better for winter than a stew. The other thing I love about stews is that they are easy to warm up and prepare in advance. I understand that to some people a stew seems way to much work, please consider that the stove top does most of the work, usually the actual preperations and cooking only take around 20 minutes. I also like to make large quantities of a stew, as they are a great dish to freeze or to serve to a group of people.

  1. Greek lamb stew – warm flavors and soft meat, what more could you ask for. GreekStew1
  2. Chickpea stew – even though my family thought a good stew always needs meat, with this recipe I proved them wrong.Pita
  3. My mother’s Malaysian chicken curry
    KipCurry_ZW_1
  4. My mother-in-law’s oxtail stew
  5. South African tomato bredie

The recipes to the last 2 stews will follow soon.

Lemon & Nigella seed salad

If you have never tasted these lovely seeds, go out and find them. Don’t be fooled and buy black sesame seeds, get the real stuff. Ironically, I learned about this lovely seed through THE Nigella, but there is no real connection there, just that I really like both of them.

They are very aromatic and they make any simple salad or dip sing with flavor.

Lemon & Nigella seed salad 

  • 1 quarter iceberg lettuce, in fine slivers
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 red onion, in thin slivers
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Pepper & Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp of nigella seeds

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This salad combines very well with a Greek stew.

Add some chicken to make this a lunch salad.

 

Tasty chicory boats

I like making this salad as a starter for a dinner party. It is full of strong flavors, but very well balanced. There is also a great variation in textures. I can guarantee you that this will definately intrigue your dinner guests.

This dish also makes a great lunch salad. When combined with a piece of leftover chicken it is very filling.

Chicory taste explosion

  • 3 chicory
  • 1 apple, finely sliced (no need to remove the skin, this adds color)
  • 1 handful of walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 75 gr blue cheese
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Olive oil, generous sprinkling
  1. Remove the 4 outer leaves of each chicory. Keep them whole for serving the salad.
  2. Remove the cores and slice the rest of the chicory in 5 mm strips.
  3. Mix your chicory strips with the other salad ingredients. Dress the ingredients well as both the apple and the chicory will discolor without the dressing. Season to taste.
  4. Devide your salad over the chicory leaves for perfect tasty boats.

Tea and Cake

Recently my husband celebrated his birthday. For me this was the ultimate excuse for using my new bundt tin, thank you Santa! I made a banana cake and a chocolate cake.

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This silicone mould was actually a great succes. I always get nervous about that moment where the cake has to come out of the tin, especially when it is a bundt tin. With my new mould this was no problem.

With some candles on top, the chocolate cake looked great. It sure made a great birthday surprise!

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Find more baking ideas here.

Chocolate Cake

This is an indulgent cake recipe for fanatic chocolate lovers. It stays nice and moist. The cake will serve many people, a slice of this is very filling!

Tea_n_Cake4

Chocolate cake

  • 150 gr butter
  • 150 gr sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3 eggs
  • 150 gr flower
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 75 gr dark chocolate
  • 75 ml cream
  • Chocolate icing:
    • 75 gr dark chocolate
    • 50 gr butter
    • 150 gr icing sugar
  • For the baking tin: 25 gr butter and bread crumbs
  1. Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. Measure up all your ingredients. Combine the dry ingredients and mix them with the fork. This makes the flour light and airy.
  2. Preheat the oven at 170 degrees C.
  3. Coat your baking tin thouroughly with butter and bread crumbs.
  4. Mix the sugar, butter and vanilla essence.
  5. Mix the eggs in one by one.
  6. Fold in the dry ingredients.
  7. Pour the batter in the baking tin.
  8. Bake the cake for 45 minutes or untill it is golden.
  9. Let your cake on a wire rack before turning it around on the serving tray.
  10. Make your icing:
    1. Melt the chocolate and butter.
    2. Mix in the icing sugar.
  11. Decorate your cake.

Find a banana bundt cake recipe and more baking ideas inspiration here.

Homemade burgers

Nothing beats a good home made burger. You can pick the best meat and spice it just the way you like it. The same goes for all the other components, when you make burgers at home, get the best ingredients your money can buy. Burgers are actually a very honest recipe, where all the individual ingredients should shine.

Another advantage with making burgers at home is that it is good family fun. I like to make a platter with all possible toppings and sauces, and everyone builds their own favorite burger.

For all you busy parents out there: you can make your patties in a day in advance and keep them in your fridge. You can even prepare all the veg, and store these in an air tight container or a ziplock bag. When you want to eat your burgers all you still need to do is fry the patties.

Burger

Burgers ( for 4 burgers)

  • Patties:
    • 500 gr. minced beef
    • 1 tsp HP sauce
    • Salt & pepper to taste
    • 1 tbsp oregano
    • Optional: 1 tsp of paprika
  • 4 burger buns
  • Slices of good cheese, cheddar or dutch cheese will do
  • Ketchup and mustard to taste
  • Onion, sliced in rings
  • Tomatoslices
  • Crunchy salad leaves
  1. Combine the pattie ingredients in a bowl and mix gently with your hands. As this is beef, I recommend tasting to test if your have seasoned it properly.
  2. Devide the mixture into 4 portions and mould these into burger patties. They should be less than 1 cm thick and match the size of your buns.
  3. Now you can let your burgers rest in the fridge for 15 minutes to 24 hours. I like to coat my patties with a thin layer of oil to prevent them sticking to the plate. I cover the plate with cling film.
  4. When your table is set and your side dishes are ready, fry your burgers in a pan or griddle on high heat. Thanks to the layer of oil, you don’t have to add oil to your pan.
  5. You can test how well done your burger is by pressing it in the centre, when it is more firm, it’s more cooked. I recommend experimenting a little here and find out what your favorite cooking time is.

We like having oven baked chips with our burgers.

Need a good vegetarian alternative? My beetroot burgers taste just as good on a burger bun.