Simpel Starters : Brussel sprout cappuccino

SpruitjesCap1I learnt this recipe at a cooking workshop. It was such a simple recipe, but it is a major showstopper for dinner guests. It celebrates the flavor of the sprout, complementing it with fluffy cream, crunchy salty bacon and zingy fresh spring union. It’s secret for me is the diversity in flavors and textures.

What I like most of all is that this luxury treat is easy to make for any starting cook.

For a vegetarian option replace the bacon with homemade garlic croutons.

You can serve this starter in a cappuccino cup, or a stylish glass cup.


Brussel sprout cappuccino (serves 4)

  • 250 gr brussel sprouts
  • 500 ml vegetable stock
  • 150 ml (whipping) cream
  • 75 gr bacon cubes
  • 2 spring unions

Clean your sprouts. Boil the sprouts in the stock for about 10 minutes, until tender. Turn of your heat. Place a lid on the pan while you prepare the other ingredients.sprouts2

Fry your bacon cubes until they are crispy while the sprouts are cooking. Slice the spring union in thin slices. Divide the bacon cubes and spring unions over your cappuccino cups.

Whip the cream into stiff peaks.

Blitz the sprouts and vegetable stock until smooth.

Add a spoonfull of whipped cream to the smooth sprout soup. Add the soup to the whipped cream and fold the mixture in until combined.

Gently spoon your fluffy soup in each cup and let your guests dig in.

My mighty Moussaka

One of my favorite restaurants to visit is a Greek restaurant. I love the Mediterranean spices, and the hint of the orient. It is one of the few types of restaurant where I can choose tasty freshly grilled meats as well as seafood, or a jummy slow cooked lamb stew. I am also partial to their yummy yoghurt sauce, tzatziki!

I have always loved Greece’s answer to the lasagna: the moussaka! Recently it occurred to me that I could easily turn this recipe into a vegetarian dish. My meat loving husband was nearly finished with his dinner when he realized there was no meat in his food. He had enjoyed the texture and flavor too much to notice what was missing.

On the practical side of things, this recipe has plenty of upsides too. I made the actual dish a day in advance. The next day I baked the moussaka, which made for a nice fuss free evening for me and my toddler. This dish will definitely be on a family favorite list for a while.



  • Sauce:
    • 1 tin of depuy lentils ( 310 gram )
    • 1 tin of diced tomatoes ( 400 gram )
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • 2 tsp thyme
    • 1 tsp oregano
    • 1 tsp mint
    • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 3 tbsp of olive oil
    • 1 large union, diced
    • 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
    • 1 glass of white wine
    • Half cube of vegetable stock
  • 1 aubergine in slices
  • 3 medium large potatoes
  • Topping (you substitute this with bechamel sauce, this is my lazy cheat version):
    • 2 tbsp cream cheese
    • 1 tub of cottage cheese ( 200 gram )
  • 150 gram of grated cheese

You will need an ovenproof dish, I used one of  27 by 18 cm.

  1. Before you do anything else. Boil your potatoes until they are soft.
  2. Prepare the sauce;
    • Fry your union in some olive oil until soft.
    • Stir in the garlic, paprika, cumin and thyme. Add the wine and let it simmer for a few minutes.
    • Stir in the rest of the sauce ingredients.
    • Bring the sauce to a light simmer. Leave it to simmer for about an hour.
  3. While the sauce is simmering, prepare your other ingredients;
    • Slice the aubergine length ways. Drizzle the slices with olive oil and generously season with salt and pepper. Fry the slices in a griddle pan on each side.
    • Let your potatoes cool, then slice them.
    • Wilt the spinach down in some oil in a really hot pan. Let the spinach cool and slice it roughly. The spinach needs to cool in a collinder now. Drain as much of moisture out as you possibly can.
    • Mix your topping ingredients.
  4. When all your components are ready, you can layer your moussaka in an oven proof dish:
    • One layer of sauce
    • One layer of spinach
    • One layer of potatoe slices, don’t forget to season these.
    • One layer of sauce
    • One layer of aubergine
    • Spread out your topping
    • Sprinkle with the grated cheese
    • Season with some freshly ground pepper
  5. (You can keep the dish overnight before this step) Bake the moussaka in a 220 degree C oven for about 30 minutes until bubbly and golden.
  6. Let your moussaka stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Simpel starters : Bruschetta


We love eating dinner al fresco. But not every food is equally appropriate for this. This snack makes perfect finger food with a glass of wine in your sunny garden.

Combined with a pasta salad and some veggies it makes a lovely summer meal or a great starter at a barbecue.

You can make the garlic oil by simply finely slicing the garlic and covering it with olive oil. After half an hour the oil will have a lovely garlic flavor. You can keep this oil for a few days.

Rockin Bruschetta (about 12 servings)

  • 1 jar of Rockin Rocket pesto
  • 12 slices of mozzarella
  • Cherry tomatoes in different colors
  • Slices of old bread
  • Garlic olive oil
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar


Brush the bread slices with the garlic oil, then grill or toast them. Season the slices generously with salt and pepper while they cool. I quartered all bread slices to create the right bruschetta size.

Halve the tomatoes, dress them with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season the tomatoes and toss to dress them.

Spread the Rockin Rocket pesto on each slice. Layer the mozzerella and a few tomatoes on each slice. Take your bruschetta and enjoy.

Fabulous five: Cooking with toddlers

My toddler is always exploring the world and bursting with energy. From the moment he was born he has been observing me in the kitchen. From the moment he could, he has been my most eager little helper. I always indulge him and find a way for him to help me. I find it important he understands what he eats and he learns to appreciate how much work goes into making his dinner.

My toddler surprised me with his cooking. He loves to help create something, and he loves eating his creations. However grown-up I thought the recipes were, my son knows what he likes.

If you are wondering what your toddler can do in the kitchen here’s some things my toddler can do:

  • Knead, shape and roll out dough (as he has plenty of practice with play dough)
  • Cut soft food like mushrooms, cucumber, cheese with a table knife
  • Add ingredients and sprinkle seasoning
  • Pealing your boiled eggs
  • Stirring (although this does require lots of practice, my toddler toppled over the pancake batter once!)
  • Cleaning up afterwards, my toddler can really enjoy washing up, drying and placing utensils back in their right place.
  • Tasting and testing

A last and final warning for all young parents: lower your expectations. With their short attention span, toddlers help you for 5 minutes and leave a mess that might take you 10 minutes to clean up. Ironically, they will tell everyone they made this food (with no help what so ever, haha). With time, this will improve, and I promise you the pride on their faces when they get to eat their creations makes it all worth while!

These are our favorites recipes:

1. Pizza – my toddler gets to pick his own toppings. When his creation is done, he can’t wait till the pizza has finished baking. Find the recipe for pizza dough or our favorite topping.


2. Cookies – I make the dough beforehand (without my busy toddler slowing me down). The dough rests in the fridge until my son and I have a moment to make cookies together. We still want to make funfetti cookies together some day!

3. Pancakes – my toddler loves helping me mix the batter and we break eggs together, doesn’t any toddler love breaking stuff? He is in charge of ladling the batter in the pan, I am in charge of frying and flipping the pancakes in the air. Find my pancake recipe here.

4. Sushi – making simple sushi is perfect toddler fun. My toddler eats the (healthy) ingredients before they are even made into sushi! Molding the rice and placing the ingredients in the roll is his task and mommy rolls the sushi and we eat them together.

5. Bread – my toddler loves kneading dough with me. He gets to mold his own rolls, brush them and sprinkle them with his favorite seeds. You could also let your toddler make bread sticks.

Fabulous five! Mothersday

Mothers day is in exactly 1 week (in the Netherlands). My mom is getting a homemade gift, from the heart. Here are my top 5 picks;

  1. My mom loves reading. A personalized bookmark would be a good idea!
  2. A heartfelt sweet message on a board or a card
  3. Make an egg cosy with some felt! Perfect combined with a surprise breakfast in bed!!

    through Ariadne at home

  4. Say it with food! Bake a special apple pie
  5. Make a simple and personal card

BBQ favorites : Carrot soda bread

I love making soda bread. It makes the perfect dipping material with a freshly made tzaziki or with plain olive oil and vinegar. I inspired this bread on a recipe by Lorraine Pascale. I was out of olives at the time. Which meant adding sweet carrots to the mix, and a matching herb; caraway.

Remember this is a soda bread: Which means no kneading, just mixing and combining! This creates that light and cake-like texture.

carrot soda bread

Carrot soda bread

  • 450 grams self raising flower
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup of finely grated carrot
  • 2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 225 ml water

Preheat your oven at 200 degrees C.

Combine all the dry ingredients and the carrots. Combine the olive oil and water.

Mix all ingredients with fork. When it all seems combined, tip the bowl on your counter and combine into a ball. Place the ball on a baking tray which you dusted with flower against sticking.

Flower the handle of a wooden spoon. Push the handle into your loaf to create, halves, quarters and then 1/8 wedges.

Bake your loaf in the oven for 35 minutes. Leave to cool for 15 mins before eating, bon apetit!


Pizza Angry Monkey

AngryPizza2My husband named this pizza and it is his idea of food heaven. You can make this pizza using the dough I described in the Perfect Pizza Peluzza. Angry is a reference to the chilies used in this pizza, giving it a kick. And monkey is a reference to the primal state your husband will be in while he waits for this pizza.

Please remember not to put to many ingredients on your pizza, it should be a thin slice of goodness that cooks in a short amount of time. This recipe is for 1 pizza, feel free to make many more and discover your own favorite pizza.

Pizza Angry Monkey

  • Pizza doughAngryIngredients
  • 1 cup of tinned, diced tomatoes
  • grated cheese (I use Gouda because I’m dutch, but any hard neutral cheese would do)
  • 3-5 slices of mozzarella
  • 3-5 slices of tomato
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 5 sliced button mushrooms
  • half an onion in rings
  • 3-5 slices of salami
  • 2 chilies (jalapeno or regular red chilies) in rings
  • 1 finely sliced garlic clove
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

Preheat your oven to 220 degrees C. Make sure it is well and hot before placing the pizza in, as this guarantees the best crust.

Combine the olive oil and garlic and set aside for after baking.


Roll out your dough to a 30 cm diameter. Prick the bottom thoroughly with a fork. This prevents the dough from puffing up under the topping, and pushing your topping of.

Place your pizza base on the oven plate. Spread the tinned tomatoes over the pizza. Generously season this sauce. Sprinkle with oregano, then with cheese.

Evenly spread out layers of Mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, salami, onion and chili slices.

Bake your pizza for 10 to 20 minutes. Brush your pizza crust with the garlic oil and crack fresh black pepper on top….. and enjoy!

AngrPizza2By the way, pizza’s are a great recipe to make with your toddler.


Fabulos five! Edible flowers…

I love flowers and I love eating. In my garden, I try to combine these loves. Here are my favorites.

  1. Pansies – Make these lollipops, or use them in a salad
  2. Nasturtium (Oostindische kers) – This stunning garnish is so easy to grow! Use it in this salad.
  3. Chive flowers – a real pungent tasty treat, your can make your own chive flower vinegar. I like mixing them into garlic butter. The purple specks are tasty and pretty.
  4. Lavender – makes for a subtle flavored sugar for baking
  5. Borage – this used to grow in my mum’s garden, lovely in this salad and such a beautiful blue color!



Posh Fish & Chips


The title of this blog post is misleading, this posh dinner is easy to make. All you need is an oven and some patience. The recipe describes how to make a fancy but delicious salmon in a crust and delicious sweet and salty chips. As a side dish you can mix the suggested sauce. I also recommend making a simple green salad on the side.

I think this makes a great family meal. My son loves the sweet potato chips! It also makes an impressive dish if you have guests. Make a whole piece of salmon in a crust and cut lovely slices. Baking in the crust means your salmon will be moist but cooked, so enjoy!

Fish & chips (serves 2)

  • Salmon:
    • 300 gram salmon filet
    • 4 squares of ready made puff pastry
    • 4 tbsp herbed cream cheese
    • 1 beaten egg
    • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 large regular potatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • rock salt
  • Sauce:
    • 1 tsp mustard
    • 1 tbsp mayonaise
    • 3 tbsp greek yoghurt
    • 1 tsp mint
    • 1 tsp dill
  1. Take your pastry squares out of the freezer and preheat your oven to 220 degrees C.
  2. Prepare your chips:
    • Clean and peel your potatoes.
    • Slice in long strips about 1 cm thick.
    • Lightly coat them in olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
    • Place on a baking sheet.
    • Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, the salmon can be added after 10 minutes.


3. Prepare the salmon:

  • Connect the 2 dough squares.
  • Spread the cream cheese under the salmon.
  • Place the salmon filet on the cream cheese.
  • Season the salmon.
  • Make a few paralel slashes in your top dough squares.
  • Cover the salmon with the slashed squares.
  • Connect the bottom and top squares by pinching the dough together.
  • Brush the salmon package with egg.
  • Sprinkle with sesame and sea salt.


  • After the potatoes have been in the oven for 10 minutes, you can place the salmon in the oven for 20 minutes.

This way all ingredients will be ready to eat simultaneously.


While the sweet&salty potato chips are cooking, mix your sauce ingredients and prepare your salad.

Bon apetit!

My tips for easter

Easter for me symbolizes new beginnings. It is also another occasion to relax and have a good time with people you love. Here’s my new and older suggestions for your Easter preparations:

  • Decorate some branches for Easter. Just trim any tree or shrub you like.


  • Make your own bread, it’s easier than you think. Read about baking bagels right here. By making the dough on Saturday evening, and doing the first proofing in your fridge, your timing will be perfect for brunch on Easter Sunday.


  • Decorate Easter eggs, a fun activity for the whole family. Boiled eggs will keep for a few days in your fridge. Make them a few days in advance. For an even easier alternative: buy boiled eggs.


  • Make pancakes for your Easter brunch. The batter can also be made a day in advance and kept in your fridge.
  • Bake some yummy cupcakes and ice them in easter colors.
  • After hunting for Easter eggs, hand out home made bags to take your treasures home.