40

On Saturday I turned 40, the big four O! That age doesn't bother me that much as I think I'll start to freak out in 10 years. I'm quite a happy four-tier and as my friend told me, so well preserved. I think nowadays we are all very well preserved. If I look back to when my parents were forty, I thought of them as very old people. Dressed in stuffy old fashioned clothing, with dull grey hairstyles. I must say that my mother at 75 looks rather hip and healthy these days. She shops at COS and H&M, she eats well, she's up to date on most current affairs and she also looks very well preserved for her age.

We are all going to live forever - I guess eventually.

To celebrate I made a many-coloured-cake. Because I like my colours and will embrace them throughout my forties.

The Cake Recipe

For 2 cakes in a 18 cm cake tin (do this twice to make four cakes)

  • 225 gr unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 225 gr golden caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 225 self-raising flour
  • 4 different food colouring colours

Preheat your oven to 180°C

Mix the butter and sugar with a mixer in a bowl or use a KitchenAid until smooth.

Add the eggs one by one.

Add the vanilla extract and baking powder.

Add the self-raising flour and mix until the batter is smooth.

Divide the batter over two separate bowls and add a different colour to each bowl. Mix it very well until the colour is dissolved.

Pour the batter in two 18 cm cake tins and place in the oven for 20-25 min.

Let the cakes cool down and make your other 2 cakes to get a total of four.

The Frosting Recipe

  • 230 gr unsalted butter
  • 1 kg confectioners sugar
  • 120 ml milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix all the ingredients at once until super smooth.

Pasta a layer of frosting between each cake and when all cakes are piled up, paste the rest of the frosting on the outside of the cakes. Sprinkle some disco-dip on the top for an extra festive touch.

Happy Monday lovely people. In 2 weeks it's Christmas!!!

Banana Cakes

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I'm not a raw banana lover by nature. I don't really like bananas as a fruit as they are rather filling. I do however love the smell and I like them stuffed in anything. I also love banana chips, Haribo banana sweets ... gosh bananas are actually really bad if they are not raw.

Bo does however like to eat bananas but he sometimes forgets about them and they will stay put and form a smell. It's then when I get a bit excited, when I find a bunch of overripe bananas in the top of the fruit rack. Overripe bananas means banana cakes.

Ingredients

  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 125 g butter
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 180°. Fill a cupcake tray with cupcake liners (I've used a 12 cupcake tray and a 6 one)

Mash the bananas with a fork, set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then add the vanilla extract and mix.

Gradually add the flour and baking powder to the batter and beat well.

Add the mashed bananas to the mix.

Pour the mixture into the cupcake liners (3/4 full)  and bake in the centre of the oven for 25-30 minutes, until skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Raspberry Brownies

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No new year's resolutions for me, instead I give you something really bad to eat so we can celebrate that we've passed the horrible year of 2013. I do not want anybody to get ill or die this year.

The Recipe

  • 200g dark chocolate (the darker the better)
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 225g golden (light) brown caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 175g plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon  of good quality cocoa powder
  • a handful of fresh raspberries (no frozen)

Instructions

Melt the butter and chocolate in a pan above medium heat. Keep stirring until melted. Mix the sugar and eggs in a bowl. Add the melted chocolate and butter and all of the other ingredients, always very slowly one by one. Grease a sallow tin with butter (I always use a 18 cm square loose based cake tin) and pour the mixture in the tin. It will be fast so you'll have to divide it over the tin with a spoon. When all is nice and flat, push the raspberries down the mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes in a pre-heated oven on 190°C

Christmas House Part 2

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A Happy New Year!!

I didn't like 2013 that much, but Christmas was lovely.

We had Bo's family over for dinner on the first day of Christmas. This is something we normally do at Bo's parents home but as we've had to say goodbye to Bo's father earlier this year I offered to host Christmas instead.

I love to host Christmas. I have to say that the only one thing I'd love to have children for is for Christmas. I love that the whole family is at home, gathered at the table with good food, laughter and warmth.

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I did almost all of my cooking in the oven, combining large trays with veg, potatoes and 3 different sorts of meat so everyone could pick and mix.

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An Instagram impression of Christmas.

I hope all of you had a good Christmas. On with 2014, it's going to be great I feel it!!

Riess Enamelware Giveaway

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Happy Friday!

I'm so excited to host this giveaway today as Riess is one of my favourite brands to work with. I love their enamel pans and saucepans because they are so easy to use. They don't stain, the colours are everlasting and come in PASTEL, you can use them on any hob and even pop them in the oven. Most of all enamel is made of steal, quartz, clay, borax and soda which means that enamel is recyclable.

For my upcoming cookbook, Yvestown in the Kitchen, I'm collaborating with Riess. The pans are featured quite a lot in the book as they are super photogenic.

The Giveaway

From bottom to top as seen in the above image:

You can get all this by just leaving a comment before Friday the 29th 12:00 CET. I'll draw a random winner and Riess will mail the pans to you.

And good news!! This giveaway is open to readers WORLDWIDE!

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I'll leave you with a hearty Saturday afternoon soup. Served in the 0,5 L mug/jug.

The Recipe

  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 3 medium sized turnips
  • a handful of fresh parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 500 ml water
  • ground salt and peper (to taste)

Instructions

Chop de cauliflower and turnips and toss them in a pan with the ground salt and olive oil. Put the lid on and let it shimmer on low heat until the cauliflower and turnips are soft. Add the parsley and garlic. Turn of the heath. Mash the ingredients with a hand mixer. Turn on the heath and add the water.

Serve with a large dollop op seeded mustard.

This giveaway is closed. The winner will be announced Saturday 30-11-2013

Hummus

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There are days when there's not much in the house but fresh veg from the garden. I currently have a tomato explosion in the greenhouse, I'm ever so proud. So when I had to come up with something to make for dinner yesterday I thought about something I could eat with tomatoes and I didn't feel like doing a proper grocery shop.

Doing a proper grocery shop for me consists in getting in my car, cross country borders to drive 12 minutes for the nearest AH as I'm a AH junky, there you have it. So I wanted to shop locally and with locally I also mean all the great shops that people set up who travel miles and miles to supply people like you and I with their country's food.

I love "The Turk", as we call it, in my town. We have a Turkish bakery and a Turkish greengrocer and I both love them equally.

I went for Lebanese flat bread as it goes very well with home made hummus.

Hummus Recipe

Ingredients 

  • 200g canned chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1  crushed garlic clove
  • 1 tsp ground Ras el Hanout
  • a few pinches of salt (to taste)
  • 3 tbsp Tahini 
  • 4 tbsp cold water
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp mild paprika powder

Preparation

  1. Drain the chickpeas and rinse.
  2. Combine all the above ingredients in a food processor, and blend to a thick creamy purée.
  3. Sprinkle with mild paprika powder.

The Salad

  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 100g spring onions
  • 150g flat parsley
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh ground salt en pepper

But you can add as much of this as you want.