Christina in the Netherlands: Friesland and Rotterdam

Back together!

Back together!

I’ve said it before, but I’m so happy my best friend is also married to a Dutch guy! This means that from now on she will be headed this way on a fairly regular basis to visit Rafaël’s family. The first being now to celebrate the wedding in the Netherlands with Dutch family and friends.

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Pirashki Stuffed with Ground Beef

Pirashki!

Pirashki!

Although I have been experimenting with many different regional cuisines, it was pointed out to me that I’ve yet to make any Persian food. After reviewing a list of Persian dishes, the Persian Pirashki caught my eye. But I was a little confused because pirashki sounds really Russian. So of course I looked it up and it turns out that there are many dishes in Iran that have roots in Russia. I had to brush up a bit on my geography and realized that the two countries are really close together, so it isn’t really that surprising that a few dishes overlap.

This was my first time making bread dough! Luckily I have seen Koen make it millions of times so I had an idea of what I had to do and what to expect my dough to look like. The result was a bit like naan, because it’s yogurt based. The combination of the yogurt dough and ground beef filling – yellow from the tumeric, was so delicious! From the recipe I was able to make 10 pirashkis, so Koen and I are having the rest for lunch today! Yum! Continue reading

Kofta b’siniyah

Kofta b'siniyah

Kofta b’siniyah

Kofta b’siniyah is hands down one of my favorite new recipes I’ve tried this year! The flavor combinations are so new and interesting – nutmeg, cinnamon, pinenuts, chilli pepper, etc. This recipe was recommended by a colleague who has been trying out recipes from the cookbook Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. I had never had Israeli/Palestinian food before, but now I want to try more! Many of the ingredients for this dish I had in my kitchen from the Roasted Eggplant Pizza (tahini) and the Lentil “Meatballs” and Lemon pesto (pinenuts, parsley). I will definitely make this dish again!

 

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Roasted Eggplant and Za’atar Pizza

Roasted Eggplant and Za'atar Pizza

Roasted Eggplant and Za’atar Pizza

When I initially browsed the Sprouted Kitchen website, I bookmarked the Roasted Eggplant and Za’atar Pizza as a recipe I wanted to try. I love eggplant, onions, and herbs. Finding za’atar was impossible, but luckily on My New Roots there is a recipe to make your own. But even with the make your own, I didn’t have any sumac on hand, so I basically just added a lot of dried oregano and thyme over the tahini spread.  I was a bit lazy and bought already made pizza bottoms, but the results were really delicious, especially with the fresh thyme sprinkled on top!

 

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Oma’s 85th Birthday Party!

Oma's 85!

Oma’s 85!

For Koen’s Oma’s 85th Birthday Party, the family hosted a get together catered by the children and grandchildren! As my blog can attest, we all love to cook and eat well! Koen and I made savory dishes, chicken legs and chicken salads while the rest of the family made sweets and other delicious treats!

 

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North African Meatballs

Yummm!!!

So many wonderful flavors! I did a search on the Food Network for couscous and wanted to try the North African Meatballs after browsing the almost 500 positive reviews. The meatballs are made with tomato paste, freshly grated ginger, fresh cilantro, cinnamon, and cumin with a delicious sauce of tomatoes, olives, lemon zest, white wine, cinnamon, and red peppers (I used Sambal Oelek instead of dried flakes). This is served with couscous and fresh dates! I realized when reading the ingredients that I had never eaten fresh dates. Better late than never! It took so much willpower not to eat them all, so that I would have enough for dinner!

 

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North African Meatballs served with Couscous and Fresh Dates