Sjiek and Fish Finger Wraps

For those of you who don't follow me on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter (why don't you?) you might have missed the big news. Since the first of January I'm the new culinary columnist for Sjiek magazine. Sjiek is the weekend glossy supplement people in Limburg, Belgium get with their newspaper. It's big, I have two full pages to share my food adventures with 270.000 readers each weekend. It's scary but I love it!

Here's one of my quick (fast food) recipes I did for Sjiek.

Fish Finger Wraps with Yoghurt Dressing

For 4 wraps

Ingredients

  • 16 fish fingers
  • 4 tortilla wraps
  • 150 gr iceberg lettuce
  • 20 gr fresh chives
  • 8 tbsp yoghurt
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp liquid honey
  • ground salt en pepper

Preparation

Cut the chives in small pieces. Toss them in a bowl with the yoghurt, lemon zest, honey and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and set aside.

In the meantime cook the fish fingers in the oven (don't bake them in a pan) follow the instructions on the box. I always cut a hole in the bag the tortillas come in and place them for 50 seconds in the microwave.

Add 2 tablespoons of the yoghurt dressing in the centre of the tortilla, add some of the lettuce on top and place 4 fish fingers on top of the lettuce. Fold the bottom of the tortilla up and wrap the tortilla shut from left to right. If you don't have fancy bags you can use silver foil to hold the wraps together.

I hope you enjoy it. See you tomorrow with a fun Dille & Kamille post.

From Tray to Bird Feeding Table

Because it's currently very cold outside and the birds in my garden are busy searching for food, I came up with the idea to turn a tray into a feeding table.

This is what you need:

1. Beech tray, square, 40 x 40 x 4 cm
2. Oven dish white, porcelain, Ø 20 cm
3. Peanuts
4. Peanut butter for garden birds
5.
Tit energy food in a coconut

You also need:

wooden pole
1 plank of approximately 30 x 30 cm
4 screw hooks
4 short screws
1 long screw
1 small pot (or leftover) of varnish

Tip: You can also use peanut butter from the supermarket to feed to the birds. I always buy the peanut butter with the extra crunchy nuts to spoil them.

Drill four holes in the corners of the tray. Rotate the tray and place the plank on the wrong side of the tray. Rotate the tray again and screw the screws into the holes. Varnish the whole lot, about 3 coats of varnish will do.

When the varnish is dry, you can screw the screw hooks into the far corners of the plank.

Take the tray outside. Bang the wooden pole into the ground and screw the long screw through the centre hole of the tray into the pole.

Tip: Leave your garden as messy as possible. When you clean and prune everything before winter there's hardly no natural food left for the birds and other animals. Begin to clean up and do the pruning in March instead.

You can hang peanuts and tit fat balls on the hooks. Beware of peanuts in your garden because jays love peanuts but the little birds are not so fond of jays. If you don't want jays in your garden don't use peanuts.

Tip: if you have a lot of squirrels in your garden and they eat up all the bird food? Throw some chilli flakes between the seeds. Squirrels do not like chilli and birds don't mind.

And remember to keep feeding the birds. I feed the birds in my garden all year round. They know that there's always food at Eijkenduijn and that's why we have a lot of birds to enjoy.

This blog post is sponsored by Dille & Kamille.

To read this post in Dutch, head over to their website.

The Christmas Dining Room

There's something about a dining room that I can't explain in words without using my hands to make grand gestures. I've always dreamed as a little girl to own a dining room. Growing up in The Netherlands I sort off lacked the sense of a proper dining room as most Dutch homes always have L or I shaped floor plans with windows in the front and back of the house. My childhood home had a T shaped open-living floor plan with the living room at the front of the house and the kitchen and dining area at the back of the house, it's complicated. But the areas lacked doors, and I love doors. I love "rooms".

My home has lots of rooms. And one of them is a proper dining room. It's 25 square meters with a non-working fireplace (I do love fires but I do love my white walls even more), a large window that overlooks the street and soon to be flower garden, an original ornamented ceiling dating back to 1896 and two china cabinets stuffed with vintage Johnson Brothers and Wedgwood flatware. I love it!

In the non-working fireplace I've stacked acacia logs that we each year have to trim down as they grow on the empty lot next to us. If we don't maintain them they will overgrown our home. But the logs of acacia trees are just so perfectly beautiful.

TIP! If you're planning on doing this make sure to check them regularly for woodlice.

I've made a simple wreath out of eucalyptus for over the mirror and punched circles out of gold cardboard and stitched them together under my sewing machine. I love gold for Christmas.

Ever since Bo's father past away I've been hosting the family Christmas dinners. Mostly we are with too many people to actually fit them all in the dining room but this year there will be 8 of us. I have all the meals in my head and I can't wait to start shopping and cooking.

I use a white linen tablecloth and vintage Wedgwood Queen's Plain plates as I like how they match my walls and woodwork - seriously people the thought I put in this progress is really insane, I am aware of that. I make mini wreaths with wild thyme that's growing in my garden to lay on the linen napkin. This way the napkin will smell lovely when you use it.

Ah Christmas, can one ever have enough of it?

Vase Villages

Christmas decorating is in full swing. The decorating progress always starts at the end of November and ends at the 24th of December. It's not that I'm slow, I just can't stop.

These vase villages are really simple to make. Use any clear glass vase that's wide and high enough to hold at least a couple of trees, a paper house and a Schleich animal. I've used decorative white sand which I bought at a garden centre. It looks so much more like real snow instead of the fake snow you can buy in bags. You can read about the bottle brush trees I've used right here.

I bought the vintage Putz paper houses years ago on eBay. You can still find quite a lot of Putz auctions online. I have my eye on this lot!!

Have fun! More Christmas stuff until it's Christmas ... just 1 week left!!!!

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!!!

The Yvestown Winter Fair - a few days after

It was bitterly cold but oh so cosy. With fairy lights and A Very Ally Christmas and Michael Bublé blasting out of the speakers. It was a quiet fair but the company was wonderful. And although we were all freezing cold we kept each other warm. Wrapped in blankets, snuggling up with hot chocolate.

I really love the invention of the hastag as it's such an organised way to see what's been going on. If you click on #yvestownwinterfair you'll get to enjoy all the photos made by the stall holders, visitors and me.

Eline's Doll house was present, beautifully equipped with lights and Christmas decorations. Eline was so lucky to be able to make this doll house assigned by her publishers.

Also Erika's doll shop made it's début.

It was a good day and it was definitely the last fair in this format as it takes too much from Bo and myself. It's hard work, not just on the day but the day before and the day after. I'm still cleaning, doing laundry and defrosting. I'll think of something new to do, I might even take it abroad - I'm not sure yet.

Please consider to shop small this Christmas, to promote small and independent shops and stay the hell out of Primark.

Below a gift guide of my favourite fair products.

1. Eline's Poppenhuis (in Dutch) 2. Wood & Wood x-mas tree and Waldorf Angel by Stella by Rosa 3. Tray by Miinti 4. PVC vase by Mauk 5. Dongri/Kiko by Mondaysmilk 6. Souvenirs de Paris Tea towel by Mikodesign 7. DIY tote bag by Mondaysmilk