New Year’s Eve 2015

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Herring caviar and cream

 

Koen and I use New Year’s Eve and Day as an excuse to eat very luxuriously and indulgently. Every year we try to top the year before.

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White Gold aka White Asparagus

White asparagus ready to be peeled

White asparagus ready to be peeled

In Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and France, late April to late June is white asparagus season. During this period I always try to eat as much white asparagus as possible – we’ve already had them 4 times! Compared to green asparagus, the white ones are more tender and less bitter. Normally Koen and I always eat them the Dutch way, with Hollandais sauce, ham, smoked salmon and a boiled egg. This season we’ve been experimenting. A few tips from Jeroen Meus to keep in mind when preparing asparagus:

  • Poke the bottom of the asparagus with your thumbnail; if moisture comes, they’re fresh
  • Rub the asparagus together; if they make a squeaky sound, they’re fresh
  • Rather than cutting the end off, break it off with your hands; that way you don’t accidentally cut off any of the tender asparagus

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Christmas 2013!

Opening my Christmas gifts from my parents!

Opening my Christmas gifts from my parents!

Koen and I celebrated Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Roosendaal, first at his Aunt Maartje and Uncle Sjaak’s house and then at the Brörmann house for Christmas. Unfortunately Nikki, Brigiet, and Sofie could not make it to Roosendaal to celebrate with us – Nikki and Brigiet were in Friesland and Sofie was surfing in Spain! Christmas Eve, we all made special dishes – Koen and I made two types of meatballs – and enjoyed an evening with lots of laughter and delicious food. The next day began with Christmas brunch. The entire afternoon we took turns in the kitchen preparing for dinner. I made macarons for the first time! Oma joined us for our delicious dinner which included a game where we guess what Dook is thinking. Koen and I were the winners guessing Roy Donder’s huispak and Oma’s pearl necklace! After dinner we facetimed my family in the States where they were also enjoying Christmas dinner! Also, special thank you to Barbara for the beautiful photos from Christmas!

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Homemade Almond Milk

The almond milk process

The almond milk process

I love checking My New Roots for new ideas to try in the kitchen. This time I was inspired to make my own almond milk after watching her video and seeing how simple the process is! It is really unbelievable how easy it is to make your own nut milk – I think next time I am going to try oats or another sort of nut, maybe I’ll even go a little crazy and try combinations, who knows. I was surprised by how strongly the almond milk smelled and tasted like amaretto. Delicious! The only difference I could really taste between the homemade milk and store-bought milk is that mine isn’t sweetened. I don’t think I’ll add any sugar in the future, because I always use almond milk in my breakfast smoothies that already have fruit, so natural sweeteners.

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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!  I will definitely make this dish again!

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Pesto

Pesto

Pesto Process

After using the pestle and mortar for the Gado Gado dressing, I realized I don’t use it enough! When I think of the cooking tool, the first dish that comes to mind is  pesto – and I’d never tried it before. Surprisingly, maybe just to me, pesto is easy to make. Really. I served Jamie Oliver‘s basic pesto recipe with white fish and pasta. Delcious and simple flavors!

Chilled Parsley and Pea Soup

Chilled Parsley and Pea Soup, topped with bacon

Chilled Parsley and Pea Soup, topped with bacon

Normally when I’m on My New Roots, I search the site for a vegetable or grain I’d like to try. But this time, the Chilled Parsley and Pea Soup was a new entry on the home page. I had never tried pea soup and wanted to give it a try! The recipe is super easy and full of flavor. Koen came up with great addition of the bacon pieces! Yum!

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