Category Archives: International Cuisine

Fantastic Dutch Cuisine and Goodies

I am the lucky girl who gets to live in a city with a relatively large Dutch community. This means they have an actual store that caters towards those who miss their homeland as much as I do. This means I get to have all the Dutch goodies in the world.

Like when was the last time you had pepernoten or hagelslag since having left the Netherlands? Are any of you actually Dutch? Well I haven’t had pepernoten since last November when mom and I flew back to Holland while renewing our visa’s for in South Africa. We stocked up on pepernoten, kruidnoten, stroopwafels, Pickwick tea, and Wilhelmina mints and brought a whole bunch home to SA.

Well this November we went to the Dutch bakery in the city. Yes, it isn’t as amazing as going to the Netherlands, but instead we just went to our local store. I felt the great need to introduce my boyfriend to what I call delicious treats from the Netherlands.

I’ve now introduced him to hagelsag and he loves it. He says he prefers the dark chocolate hagelsag over my childhood favourite, the colorful one.

So having just introduced him to the goodies of my country, I thought I should do more.

Growing up my favourite dish was stamppot. Stamppot is best described as a potato and vegetable casserole which is mostly paired with meat.

My favourite was stamppot zuurkool, this being sauerkraut casserole. When I was a kid it was with delicious meat sausages but as I do not eat red meat anymore I’ve altered the recipe a bit.

Ingredients:

  • 10 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¼ cup non-dairy sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 package of sauerkraut, drained
  • 6 rashers of turkey bacon
  • 3 chicken sausages, chopped

Instructions:

  1. In a large pan, boil your peeled and chopped potatoes for at least 20 minutes until potatoes are easily poked with a fork.

  2. Drain water and beat potatoes with an electric mixer or potato masher. Add sour cream, salt, and pepper until potatoes are at desired flavour.

  3. Spoon mashed potatoes into an ovensafe glass container and set aside.

  4. Take three of the rashers of bacon and slice into pieces and begin to cook in an oiled frying pan. As bacon begins to brown, add sauerkraut to the mix and cook until heated through.

  5. Once sauerkraut is cooked, spoon onto potatoes.

  6. In same frying pan, cook last three rashers of bacon and chicken sausages and cook until both are browned.

  7. Once cooked, spread onto sauerkraut and pop dish into the oven to heat stamppot thoroughly.

  8. Remove and enjoy!

The recipe that I followed wasn’t one from an online recipe, but from my own recollection (with the help of my mother through questions) of my favourite dish.

I am so glad I made this as we both loved it so much. He had up to three servings! Completely finished whatever leftovers I was hoping to have! Oh well, he was a happy camper after supper.

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We’ve been indulging in all sorts of Dutch goodies now. We actually feel the need to return to the Dutch bakery soon and getting more pepernoten and hagelslag!

Although stamppot is very Dutch, we also enjoy nasi and pindasaus, this being an Indonesian inspired rice dish with peanut sauce. I also got a package of a nasi seasoning and pindasaus package. Can’t wait to try it!

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How fantastic is this all?

Well we both were happy having had stamppot the other day and we cannot wait to keep experiencing new meals together!

I hope you all give this a try and enjoy it as much as we did!

 

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Ghoulish Peppers say Hello

Hello everyone!

It feels like forever since I’ve written. Though you know what? It probably has been forever!

I’ve just been preoccupied with other things like rating restaurants and such. Which is good, I mean it means I am still writing, however it just means I am not writing and working on my own pride and joy. I’ve been going to restaurants like crazy! All because the new man in my life feels the need to satisfy my belly with good food. Thank heavens that he too is a food enthusiast and finds joy when eating food. Best of all he has a sweet tooth and seems to like the idea of getting fat due to my baked goods! Love it!

Anyway it is my favourite month of the year! The month of Halloween!

Actually I spoke to a woman in line at Starbucks earlier in the month and she said that her five year old daughter said that it was the month of Halloween. She thought it was cute that her daughter said such a thing but  I am pretty sure she thought I was a weirdo for thinking the same thing! Oh well! October rocks!

Now because of this special month I have done all sorts of wonderful things like paint my nails to certain Halloween themes as well as making some Halloween themed suppers!

Spider Nail Art

Tonight was one of those nights!

I made jack-o-lanterns out of bell peppers!

I’ve actually been meaning to buy two pumpkins. One for the beau to do as its been a very long time since having made a jack-o-lantern and the other for myself as I do them annually. Only hard thing about it is carrying them from the grocery store all the way home! Having a car would have made things that much better. Oh well, guess we will be getting our exercise for the day if we buy some pumpkins!

So I ended up making stuffed peppers which I used to strongly dislike when growing up. I remember mom having made rice outside the pepper for my sister and I. Well now I make them inside the pepper!

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I got the recipe from Ceara’s Kitchen, a website on the well-being of living and eating in a happy life. The direct link to the recipe can be found here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups (285g) 7 grain rice
  • 3 cups (750ml) low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups (150g) mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup (150g) red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ (340ml) cups tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon herbs de provence
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 can kidney beans (275g) rinsed and drained
  • 1 can corn kernels (115g), rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup (225ml) tomato sauce 
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoon herbes de provence
  • 3 orange bell peppers, deseeded

Instructions:

  1. In a medium pot on high heat, combine rice and broth and cook until rice has absorbed broth and is fully cooked.

  2. In a medium pan, sauté onions and garlic until fragrant. Add mushrooms and sauté until soft. Add all seasoning and mix until combined. Combine rice with vegetables and pour in tomato sauce, beans, and corn. Mix well and set aside.

  3. If you do not have a deep casserole dish or a glass dish wash out your medium pot for the rice and prepare for your bell peppers.

  4. Preheat oven to 350ᵒF or 180ᵒC.

  5. In the casserole dish, pour tomato sauce and combine with garlic powder, cayenne powder, and herbes de provence. Mix well. Grab your bell peppers and cut out little jack-o-lantern faces with a small paring knife

  6. Fill each of the peppers with the rice dish and place in the tomato sauce. Cover casserole dish with tin foil and place in oven to cook for approximately fifty-five minutes.

  7. Once peppers are cooked, remove tin foil and place the pepper lids on top of the stuffed peppers and on broil for five to ten minutes.

  8. Enjoy once browned.

Best of all I had so much leftover rice that I decided to make a burrito! Perfect for breakfast!

Breakfast Burrito

I love being able to utilize the right leftovers for another type of meal!

When I make burritos (or just breakfast wraps) I make a scrambled egg but before scrambling it in the pan, I just let it cook on a the flat surface until it’s a pancake. I then place that flat scrambled egg-like pancake onto a wrap, add some sliced marble cheese (as I can’t just have plain cheddar), and top that with the leftover rice.

Breakfast Burrito Before WrappingBreakfast burrito after

I do the same tortilla wrap and egg thing with normal breakfast wraps, though I add some sort of leafy green, feta cheese, and sriracha sauce. Also all my scrambled egg pancakes are made without milk and with za’atar. Za’atar is an Arabic spice that I was introduced to by my older sister. She married a Leb and due to his family knows so much about Lebanese and Arabic cuisine! Not that I mind! Love it.

My using of the rice is like Bubble and Squeak but better! Well maybe not as I do not refry everything together, but I do reuse it one way or another!

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See! Even this guy agrees! Look at his cute smile!

If any of you give this puppy a go, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Happy eating!

Chicken Tortilla Soup and a Whole Bunch More!

It is a soup sorta day don’t you all think?

Although today wasn’t all that cold. But it still felt like the day to enjoy a Mexican inspired meal.

Today started off with a somewhat cool morning and ended with bright sunshine and warmth. The high of the day was about twenty-two degrees centigrade. Can you believe that tomorrow is said to be twenty-seven?! Yeah, both Friday and Saturday is pretty much bikini weather days! The following day however will end up being thirteen degrees.

Kind of sounds like April in the Netherlands.

Not been to the Netherlands in April? Well around the end of the month right around Koningsdag (King’s Day), we get like three days of really nice and hot weather. It goes up to thirty a lot of the time. Only thing is that the days before that it is like sixteen degrees and the days afterwards it is like nineteen degrees. Both pre and post Koningsdag are rainy days while during it is perfectly wonderful.

That honestly is like it is to be this week. It is even rumoured that we are going to have snow this coming Tuesday!

Speaking of snow and cold, a woman told me something very very interesting today!

The more berries on a tree, the more severe the winter will be!

What tree you may ask? Not a mulberry tree, but a Mountain Ash tree!

Mountain Ash Tree

Apparently the Mountain Ash trees are very much covered right now. So all this talk that it will be an Il Niño type of winter doesn’t seem t actually apply. Or does it? Can one actually tell the forecast for the upcoming winter?

To be or not to be a warm winter, that is the question.

Well back to my soup! Sorry for blabbing on about everything else but the food!

So I made a very simple and quick Chicken Tortilla soup. I’m someone who has made a good few of these soups and thought I would try for this one. I definitely saw why it was a twenty minute soup! I also saw that I am lacking some serious herbs and spices in my kitchen. I mean I have a whole bunch of them but I am missing two of the most critical types of spices!

  • Chilli powder
  • Red pepper flakes

How do I not have these for a soup such as this one is beyond me!

I got the recipe from Nutritionist in the Kitch, the direct link for the recipe can be found here. I added a few more ingredients that I feel really needs to be in every tortilla soup. I also removed a few ingredients.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 breast of chicken (283g), cooked and shredded
  • 1 medium yellow onion (150g), chopped
  • 1 large bell pepper (175g), chopped
  • 1 small jalepeño, sliced and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1 can (398ml) stewed diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups (940ml) chicken broth
  • 1 can (398ml) red kidney beans
  • 1 can (199ml) corn
  • 1/3 cup (15g) cilantro, chopped
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • 1 lime, quartered and squirted in each bowl (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small tortilla, sliced

Instructions:

  • In a large deep pot, sauté garlic, onion, bell pepper, and jalepeño in olive oil until soft and fragrant.

  • Add stewed tomatoes to vegetables and mix. Add cumin and paprika powder. Mix well before adding chicken broth to the tomato mixture. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for five minutes.

  • Now add shredded chicken, kidney beans, and corn and reduce heat and allow to boil onwards for five minutes.

  • While soup is simmering, in a small frying pan heat oil up and fry tortillas until chip-like in consistency.

  • Stir through cilantro and ladle into individual bowls.

  • Top with three strips of the tortilla chips, top with several cilantro leaves, and top that with three slices of avocado. Now squirt some lime juice into soup if doing that.

  • Enjoy!

I love love love this sort of soup. But I love anything with shredded chicken such as a normal chicken soup, an arepa, an epanada, avocado chicken salad, etc. Love it all.

Anyway, I ended up enjoying the soup with a very cool and almost luminescent looking juice! One of the best things about being in North America are having those frozen Minute Maid juices! Like this one!

Almost Glowing juice
Almost Glowing juice

And to go with this Limeade I am also enjoying this Limoncello scented hand cream. I now live in a very dry part of the world (however Johannesburg was also very dry), and I am in constant need of creaming my hands. I recently went to Bath & Body Works and bought about three hand creams for just $12. So beside every sink in my apartment (and luckily there’s only three) I have one of these cream bottles to soften your hands up! This is the one I have in my personal washroom.

Limoncello Hand cream
Limoncello Hand cream

By the way, this Limoncello hand cream smells A MILLION times better than the actual Limoncello liquour. A couple years ago I tried to make a Limoncello cocktail for my little sister and I and well…. it tasted much worse than medicine generally tastes! Blegh!

And before I am done, have you all heard of the amazing story that archaeologists found the another humanoid creature that may change history as we know it? They found it just outside of Johannesburg in a cave! This creature being part Neanderthal and part cro-magnon! While watching the news they said that these humanoids had long hands like ours, however instead of being straight in length like ours, they were longer and curved to be able to climb! How cool is that!

I am just amazed by all that is discovered in this fantastic world we live in.

Anyway I am so sorry for just going on and on like crazy today.

Guess I had just so much to say! Hope you all have a fabulous rest of the day and enjoy your meal!

Happy eating… and learning!

Cold Weather Food means Pie!

I hate the cold. I really do.

In the Netherlands, winter is generally just under ten degrees centigrade and very very wet. Well it isn’t even officially autumn here and it is like a Dutch winter as it is only six degrees and super duper rainy. It is so wet and cold that I actually had to turn up the thermostat from fourteen to nineteen! So if this is the temperature for a Dutch winter… want to know what a Canadian winter is like?

You know it is cold when you actually feel the need to touch your thermostat! Usually I can brave the cold though that wasn’t the story today.

So with this ridiculous cold I thought to make an almost-winter meal!

Plus I bought two boxes of pie crust with two individual rolls of pie crust in them. So I was thinking of using those up rather than freezing them.

What better way to utilize pie crust than to make a pie? Better yet a chicken pot pie!

How wonderful is that?

Chicken Pot Pie Before Baking

This was the first time I have ever made such a thing. I was speaking to dad on the phone this morning and he told me to use seasoning and herbs to make the pot pie flavourful! So I did that and it smelled AMAZING but I have a feeling I used just too many herbs. Oops.

I got the recipe from Pip and Ebby, but the direct link for the recipe can be found here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (50g) carrots, chopped
  • 1 ½ cup (225g) frozen peas
  • 4 asparagus stalks chopped in ¾ inch length
  • 1 yellow onion (150g), chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ cup (190g) chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 1 cup (240ml) chicken broth
  • 1 can (284ml) cream of mushroom soup
  • ¼ cup (60ml) almond milk
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
  • 2 rolls of refrigerated pie crust

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ᵒF (176ᵒC)

  2. In a large frying pan, combine garlic and vegetables in olive oil at medium heat and fry until soft and fragrant. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. Add shredded chicken, chicken broth, cream of mushroom soup, milk, and flour and mix until combined.

  4. Mix well adding herbs and seasoning until you’re happy.

  5. Now place one sheet of pie crust in a pie plate and pour chicken mixture into pie crust. Top with second pie crust sheet and seal sides. With a sharp knife, cut slits to allow pie to breathe when cooking.

  6. Place pie plate on a cookie sheet and put in oven for forty minutes or until golden brown.

  7. Remove from oven and enjoy!

I’m happy to have accomplished this for the first time! But I did over season. Too much thyme!

But it was pretty good for a first time!

I mean generally pot pies are under seasoned with a complete lack of flavour but I just slightly over did it! At least for my taste buds. I am sure my father would have loved it! Though he has a love for sauces and seasonings…

Chicken Pot PieHow does one prevent a pot pie from oozing out the sides though? It makes things very very messy looking.

And does a pot pie ever not look messy? You know how when you slice a cake it looks whole? Well do pot pies always look so blegh?

Chicken Pot Pie

I would think there would be a more solid consistency but that wasn’t quite the case. Is that normal? I am sure it is but I am not a fan of mess. And this is surely extremely messy!

I can say that I feel really warm now! Whether it is that the heat has now been turned on or due to the meal, I don’t know, but I feel good!

No longer cold! But speaking of the cold, I was told that there is meant to be snowfall in southern Alberta one of these days. I was also told that just last month there was snowfall down there as well. How crazy is that? It is meant to be colder in central Alberta, not in southern Alberta! Geez.

But clearly I’m in the right area if I haven’t seen the snow as of yet!

Anyway, this is it for me! Hope you all try this out… maybe with less thyme and rosemary! You won’t regret it!

Happy eating!

Spaghetti with Fa(LOVE)el

Falafel is a wonderful word. At least when pronounced as a North American. If you say it a certain way it sounds like the word “love” is in it. And I certainly love falafel.

I decided to make pasta with falafel. Yummy!

Spaghetti with tomato sauce and falafel

There isn’t much for something special going on in this dish but I have really missed making food for myself so I had to make a simple little pasta. Plus I need to get to know the electric stove top. Going from a gas stove to an electric one with the snap of ones fingers is a hard adjustment!

It took far too long to get my water boiling actually! And how does one thoroughly clean their electric stovetop? I looked it up but I don’t know what a stove cleaner is! I guess I should thoroughly look at the cleaning aisle at the grocery store…

So this was honestly just your basic pasta and tomato sauce. Though I much prefer homemade sauce than the store bought stuff so here is my recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz (114 g) spaghetti
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup (75g) yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 can (398ml) crushed tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon basil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 falafel balls, halved
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot cook spaghetti as directed on box. Once spaghetti is near al dente, prepare sauce.

  2. In a small frying pan, heat olive oil to sauté garlic and onion until fragrant.

  3. Add can crushed tomatoes to the garlic and mix well. Add herbs and salt to tomato mixture.

  4. Once bubbling, allow to simmer for two minutes or until at desired consistency.

  5. Add halved falafel and cook until warm. Beware that falafel soften to a mush-like consistency if over cooked in sauce.

  6. Plate up and top with pepper.

  7. Enjoy

Like I said, my sauce is very basic. But it is fabulous. I quite enjoyed it. It has been a good while since I’ve had falafel. Now I just need to successfully make it from scratch. I tried once and thought it looked too dry and added water. Big big mistake. Never again.

So yeah, that was my dinner for the evening.

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Sorry it wasn’t all that impressive.

But I can tell you that I like to snap my spaghetti in half when I make a pasta. Less splatter when turning the noodles on the fork and smaller bites! It is perfect!

Anyway, hope you enjoyed the generic recipe and if you make it enjoy the meal!

Happy Meatless Monday all!

Homemade Mac n Cheese with a Spicy Red Twist

Everyone, lets raise a glass to my successful meal today!

Raise your Glass
Raise your Glass

Officially I’ve been living on my own for two days and a bit. This past Thursday my mom flew back home. Though I really shouldn’t be saying home as Canada should qualify as home to me now. Anyway I’ve now cooked up three suppers and 2/3 were absolutely god awful. Okay, maybe not that bad but bad enough that I couldn’t even post a photo let alone blog about them!

Anyway today was a very successful day! Also a last minute meal decision if I might add. Thank you FoodGawker!

Before I continue, how has everyone been? I feel like it has been such a very long time since writing on here. I mean I know I wrote once while at my sister’s house but other than that? Nada! I almost couldn’t get back into it but then I remembered just how much I like writing. And then there is my pathetic new age love for taking photos of food. My brother-in-law has commented on this a few times even.

So back to food.

What are two things that all North American’s seem to like? From my understanding the first love of all North American’s is definitely Mac & Cheese while the second food love for all is definitely Sriracha. So what can one do with these two food items? Well combine them of course!

Macaroni & Cheese and Sriracha
The American Staple

I got the recipe from Life as a Strawberry and although I didn’t completely follow the recipe, my outcome was still incredibly fabulous. Not only in looks but also in taste! The original recipe for my meal can be found here if you feel the need to cook it!

Mac & Cheese Spaghetti with Sriracha

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz (113g) spaghetti
  • 2 Tablespoons butter (salted)
  • 2 Tablespoons white flour
  • 1 cup (236ml) almond milk
  • 1 cup (115g) Monterey Jack cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon Sriracha, plus 1 teaspoon as garnish
  • ½ teaspoon dried cilantro
  • Pinch of parsley

Instructions:

  1. Cook spaghetti in salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.

  2. In same pot, spoon butter and allow to melt. Spoon in flour and mix continuously to form a roux. Slowly add milk to roux and whisk constantly until smooth.

  3. Allow sauce to thicken. Remove from heat one at desired thickness and add cheese. Stir cheese until completely melted. Add salt and pepper and ½ teaspoon of Sriracha sauce and mix well.

  4. Add cooked spaghetti to cheese sauce and mix until all spaghetti is coated.

  5. Spoon spaghetti into serving bowls and sprinkle with Sriracha, dried cilantro, and a couple of leaves of parsley for a touch of green.

  6. Enjoy!

Although parsley wasn’t the herb of choice, it tasted quite good with the spaghetti!

Also, why on earth doesn’t Monterey Jack cheese exist in other continents besides North America? I always read about this cheese when reading North American blogs or food related things and have always wondered what it tasted like. I thought it would be spicy. Boy was I wrong, it’s just sharp.

Cheesy Goodness

Delicious though! This cheese really does need to become an international thing!

It would make for a fabulous cheese on an International Cheese platter at some restaurants! Mmm mmmm!

Basically this was an excellent meal and I cannot wait for more deliciously executed meals.

Happy eating y’all!

Homemade Mushroom Stroganoff Heaven

Well hello all! It has been so long since I’ve cooked my own meal, but it’s been even longer since being on here! I honestly miss being in the kitchen! Luckily I got to be in it today!

So, last time I posted something on here I was still in South Africa. That isn’t the case anymore! I’ve since been in the Netherlands for two weeks at the end of May and for the last three or so weeks been in Canada!

If you haven’t noticed yet, well, I travel a lot. It isn’t always traveling even, it is more that I move a lot. Though before it was just part of my dad’s career, now it is for me to search for the place to settle down. Well sort of. I still lust to one day find a man who travels for work and move with him. You know, like mom did with daddy. Lucky lady!

Well now I’m here in Canada, looking for work and a place of my own. Though for the last while I’ve been living with my older sister and her family. Which reminds me:

Happy first day of Ramadan!

For those of you who don’t know what Ramadan is, here is a link containing the information on it. Basically it is a time when you fast for 30 days from sunrise to sunset. Although I do not fast, I respect those who do fast and know how hard it is.

Anyway, today’s dish is pretty great. When I was a kid my mom would make beef stroganoff often. I remember disliking it at first and then as the years went on I started to like it more. Just before I gave up eating beef I did really enjoy it, but now four and a half years later I craved some stroganoff and thought I would make some!

Mushroom Stroganoff

As I am living with my sister and her family we cook large meals to feed all seven of us and as my sisters family doesn’t eat pork and I don’t eat red meat our meals are limited to poultry and fish. Now I am not sure about you, but in my opinion eating chicken all the time can get a bit boring so I brought up the idea of making a beef stew for the kids and everyone else while I would make a vegetarian dish for myself. The idea was great, however everyone else left the house so stew wasn’t made, but I did get to do my stroganoff! Yay.

Gosh how I missed being in the kitchen.

I got the recipe from Amuse Your Bouche, the direct link to the recipe can be found here. This website/blog that I got my recipe from is an amazing place to get recipes. Great options and it makes me so happy to find fantastic food from them.

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup (139g) white basmati rice
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup (160g) red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cups (150g) mushrooms, sliced
  • ¼ cup (60ml) vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons plain yoghurt
  • 4 Tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 6 parsley leaves for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Cook rice as directed on package. Once cooked, drain and set aside and begin with the stroganoff.

  2. Heat a medium saucepan with olive oil and sauté garlic, onions, and mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are soft and garlic and onions are fragrant. Add vegetable stock to mushrooms and garlic, add smoked paprika powder to the pan and mix. Season with black pepper (and salt if needed).

  3. Remove stroganoff from heat and add yoghurt and parsley. Mix well.

  4. To serve, spoon some rice into serving dish and pour some sauce into the rice, top some mushrooms on the rice and use a few parsley leaves as a garnish.

This was a great great great dish! Even my mom who is a little ill with a common cold liked it!

Mushroom Stroganoff
Mushroom Stroganoff

If any of you like mushrooms as much as I do, you must try this! It was superb! I even went for seconds! DELICIOUS!

I honestly cannot wait to make this again once I’m on my own. Actually I can’t wait to return to Amuse Your Bouche to find other spectacular meals.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Happy eating!

Spana-what? Greek Spanakopita for Dinner!

Happy Sunday everyone!

Hope you all have had a lovely weekend! Was yours also a long weekend with Mayday – international labour day?
Well all weekend long I’ve been thinking about making Spanakopita, but I got lazy. Thankfully my mom knows when I’m getting lazy and asked whether I am up to making dinner. If I don’t give a proper response or make a certain face, she then pipes in that we should have takeout. For this I am glad that she knows me so well.

Thankfully I was able to make the Spanakopita today! Have you ever heard of Spanakopita? If not let me explain it to you. It is a Greek pastry made with spinach and feta, wrapped in phyllo pastry and then baked. You can find it at any Greek restaurant worldwide. If not, you should really wonder what sort of restaurant you are at!

Spanakopita

So I got the recipe from the wonderful website Budget Bytes, a great food website for uni students who want to eat proper food besides KD Mac n Cheese or ramen and want to keep it rather cheap. The direct link to the Spanakoptia recipe can be found here.

Ingredients:

• 1 Tablespoon olive oil
• ½ yellow onion, chopped finely
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 cup (225g) cottage cheese
• ¼ cup (25g) parmesan cheese
• 1/8 teaspoon allspice
• Pinch of salt and black pepper
• 2 large eggs
• 16 oz (453g) frozen spinach, drained and dried
• 1 sheet puff pastry
• 2 Tablespoons flour
• 1 large egg, beaten for egg wash

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 190ᵒC (375ᵒF).

2. In a small frying pan, sauté yellow onion and garlic cloves on low heat until fragrant and soft. Remove from heat.

3. In a medium bowl, mix together cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, allspice seasoning, salt and pepper, and two eggs.

4. Once mixed well, combine onion, garlic, and spinach with cheese mixture and set aside.

5. Dust a clean work space with flour and roll out sheet of puff pastry. Roll out pastry to be a 30 cm by 30 cm square (12”x12”). Drape the rolled dough over 9 inch pie dish.

6. Spread spinach mixture inside pastry-lined pie dish. Spread corners of the pastry back over top of spinach filling. If they do not reach each other it is okay.

7. Brush egg wash over pastry and place in oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

8. Enjoy!

I don’t know about you, but for my family we can’t enjoy any Greek food without tzatziki! Tonight wasn’t any different. The spinach pastry tasted absolutely FABULOUS with the tzatziki, actually it made it TEN times better. Mom even told me that I may have made the best tzatziki she has ever had. Even better than a restaurant? She said yes!

Spanakopita and tzatziki

Now that is some tzatziki if mine is better than any restaurant grade stuff!

Interested in this fabulous recipe? Just look below!

Ingredients:

• ½ large cucumber, unpeeled
• 1 cup (245g) plain Greek yoghurt
• 4 large garlic cloves, minced
• 2 Tablespoons olive oil
• 1 Tablespoon vinegar
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon ground pepper
• 1 Tablespoon dried dill

Instructions:

1. Grate cucumber and drain through a fine mesh sieve, preferably overnight in the fridge. (I drained it by hand in a half hour and then squeezed the last bits of liquid from a paper towerl)

2. Combine the yoghurt, garlic, oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and dill in a large bowl and cover. Refrigerate overnight, (or until needed as I did)

3. Transfer grated cucumber into yoghurt mixture and stir to combine. Serve chilled.

Heaven in a bowl is this.

Anyway, I didn’t quite follow the tzatziki recipe, well I did, I just utilized a whole other yoghurt type. Usually I would prefer to have the basic Greek yoghurt, but I got Bulgarian yoghurt. Have you ever heard of that before? I sure haven’t!

Plain Bulgarian Yoghurt

I got the recipe for the tzatziki recipe from the Wanderlust Kitchen, however the direct link for the recipe can be found here.

It is a real hit and you all should truly try it. You can enjoy tzatziki with bread, pitas, or any specific Greek treats!

I hope you all make this entire dish and enjoy it thoroughly just as we have!

Happy eating!

Craving for a Cajun Favourite

It is bloody cold.

I mean it.

Each person feels the cold differently, we are all effected by the lower temperatures in different ways. For me my nose feels it. It gets so incredibly cold and even starts to hurt. I never noticed the sharp pain until today when I noticed the one side of my septum aching. If I still had it pierced I would understand but now? Weird.

Well today was very cold. Winter is officially here. I thought I could rock a thin sweater when I went out with my friend but I was very wrong. I should have worn a wool sweater or something. It is ridiculous how cold I was today!

Cold weather (Don't judge, I know most of you will say this isn't cold)
Cold weather (Don’t judge, I know most of you will say this isn’t cold)

Anyway, it is these types of days that we should enjoy something hot to warm our insides. Heat helps whether it is spice or temperature doesn’t really matter, just as long as it warms you up!

So today I wanted to make a gumbo. Now I had no idea it was going to be such a chilly day, but I am still very happy to have made a gumbo.

Gumbo comes from Louisiana, though it was first made in the mid 1700’s when the African slaves would cook a French soup combined with fish stew. Talk about an ancient food!

When I first was introduced to gumbo I was fifteen and we were invited to a get-together with a couple of daddy’s colleagues. I’m pretty sure the lad who cooked up the gumbo wasn’t even Cajun himself. BUT the meal was spectacular!

It seems that everyone in the oil industry is an expert in something that isn’t originally from their place of origin or passport country. For example dad has a colleague who is Scottish but has a Spanish accent and is far more Venezuelan than he is Scottish. Dad also knows a lad who is Dutch and also is far more Venezuelan than Dutch. So if the non-Cajun whipped up a fantastic gumbo it is pretty normal. At least to us.

Well, I got the recipe from The Housewife in Training Files – LOVE that name! Makes me think of the X-Files but girly, gosh what a nerd I am. The direct link to the recipe can be found here though. I followed mostly everything perfectly except I used fresh okra.

Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo
Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 (130g) green bell peppers, chopped
  • ½ cup (115g) celery, chopped
  • ½ cup (75g) yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 (large) clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (100g) okra, chopped
  • 1 can (410g) diced tomatoes
  • ½ Tablespoon dried basil
  • ½ Tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ Tablespoon dried thyme
  • ½ Tablespoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika powder
  • Small pinch of dried red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups (750ml) chicken broth
  • 2 breasts (566g) of chicken, diced
  • ¾ cup (400g) frozen shrimp, slightly thawed with tails removed
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with 1/8 a cup cold water – this makes a slurry

What is a slurry? Well it is a semi-liquid mixture such as cement, manure, or cornstarch and water!

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot heat olive oil at a medium heat and mix in flour to make a roux. Once like a paste and fragrant, turn heat to low and mix in vegetables and stir well until vegetables soften. Add diced tomatoes and herbs and spices and cook for an additional five minutes.

  2. While gumbo is cooking, cook your side dish. This usually is rice, however you can also use quinoa as I’ve done.

  3. Add chicken broth, diced chicken, and frozen shrimp. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for ten minutes or until chicken is cooked. Add slurry and bring to a boil until gumbo has thickened. Serve with your choice of starch.

  4. Enjoy!

So for some weird reason my gumbo was more of a soup consistency than a stew. Kinda annoying if you ask me. But it tasted good. AND it warmed us all up. Though I am back to my cold state. If you guys could feel my nose you would all shiver too! It is like ICE!

Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo

To try and thicken the consistency we mixed our multicolored quinoa into it. That definitely did the trick.

The biggest issue I had making this was definitely my inability to open up the tin can! Do you ever have the issue where you cannot open a can? I definitely did. Dad actually had to run out to the grocery store and buy TWO more can openers because we were both unable to open my can of diced tomatoes. Ridiculous right?

Assortment of Can Openers
Assortment of Can Openers

So now we have an army can opener – does anyone know how to use it? We have a normal one that cuts around the inside of the circumference of the inside of the lid, and there is the can opener that cuts the entire top of the lip off. The first two from the right are the new ones. That last left hand one is the one I couldn’t work. I feel like an idiot.

But I guess we all have our failures in the kitchen. For some people it is forgetting to put flour in brownies, for others it is sprinkling your breakfast with cumin rather than cinnamon (my friends son does this), and then there is me who is unable to open the can with the can opener.

Cold Trees
Cold Trees

Back to the cold, yesterday I learnt that for the winter the gardeners tend to warm the trees up by wrapping them with the long grass. I guess it really does get cold. This 15ᵒC weather is really cold. Everyone says it. So I guess the trees feel it too. These trees are from the western Cape (closer to Capetown) where it is much warmer, so that is when they wrap ’em in long grass. Interesting right?

Alright, I’m done blabbering. I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as we have!

Happy eating!

My Mexican First – Vegetarian Mushroom and Black Bean Burritos!

“If you are not from Mexico, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you talk about Mexican food?”

Well according to this blog I just read, its burritos. But really? Burritos is what you think about?

I think about beans. Though that may be due to the fact that I know what Mexicans-Americans are called when you want to be rude and disrespectful. In Spanish that word we used to be offensive is “frijolero”, this translates to beaner. It is the Spanish version of the horrible word Chink for a Chinese-American person or Gringo for an American or white person.

Anyway, if I am being fully honest, when I think about burritos I think about Americans. Although I know burritos originally come from Mexico, I think about Americans and how all my American friends love Taco Bell and burritos and all that other good stuff.

I actually don’t think I have ever had a burrito. I can recall most of what has gone in my mouth, but a burrito may not have ever been something I’ve ingested.

So yesterday was the first time I ever got to eat a burrito! Boy are they filling! But now I see why Americans like them so much. The recipe I followed was meant to make the burrito a Sriracha rice infused wrap, but A) I can barely handle spice and B) what exactly is Sriracha? Besides this thing all the Americans are raving about!

I got the recipe from Amuse Your Bouche though the direct link to the recipe can be found here.

Vegetarian Burrito with Chipotle Dipping Sauce
Vegetarian Burrito with Chipotle Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 cups (210g) basmati rice
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 can (425g) diced tomatoes
  • 3 teaspoons paprika powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon Tabasco sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (100g) mushrooms, sliced
  • 5 large flour tortillas
  • 1 can (425g) black beans
  • ¾ cup (86g) cheddar cheese, grated
  • ½ cup (25g) cilantro, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 190ᵒC (375ᵒF)

  2. Boil rice as directed on package, approx. 15-20 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile in a medium wok heat up olive oil and pour in diced tomatoes and begin to cool. Mix in paprika powder, cumin, Tobasco sauce (you can add more if desired), and salt and pepper.

  4. Once rice is cooked, mix tomato and Tobasco sauce mixture into rice and set aside.

  5. In another frying pan (or reuse wok) sauté garlic and sliced mushrooms until fragrant and soft.

  6. To assemble the burritos, place large tortilla on a sheet of tin foil just a bit larger than wrap. Spoon three heaping tablespoons of rice in centre of the tortilla, spoon a couple tablespoons of black beans on rice, one tablespoon of mushrooms on beans, sprinkle with cheddar cheese, and top with chopped cilantro.

  7. Fold tortilla wrap into a large roll and fold tin foil around tortilla roll tightly. Place in preheated oven and cool for twenty minutes.

  8. Serve and enjoy!

Assembly of Vegetarian Burrito
Assembly of Vegetarian Burrito
Rolling of Burrito
Rolling of Burrito

You can also freeze the burritos if you do not want to cook them yet! But I’d cook them – as they are delicious! Though I’m sure they’d be better with Sriracha infused rice, but as a non-American I do not know what that truly tastes like. Though someone recently told me (and I’m quoting him) that it is so hot it makes you shit yourself. He however used less words and more emojis.

Well the recipe that you read above here is on the bland side if you like a kick in your meals, so in case you may feel it is kind of boring so I did make a dipping sauce (which is also a salad dressing)! My dad likes to add some pimiento to his meals, whether it be Sambal bajak or like last night, this dipping sauce. I got the recipe for the salad dressing/dipping sauce from here. Notice that this person has the same background/layout! I’ve not seen it on another persons blog before until now!

If you are wondering how large each of the burritos look like, here is a picture of each of the burritos when laying on our baking sheet before I baked them!

5 Burritos on Baking Sheet
5 Burritos on Baking Sheet

If this is what all burritos taste like, I am hooked. Anyway, I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as my family and I have.

Happy eating!