Friday, October 28, 2011

The last couple of weeks have been a true rollercoaster; work has been really busy, I have had a couple of catering assignments (and some more coming up), family coming over from Switzerland and of course my trip to Paris.
In the meantime I have also started a pop-up time-share café together with six other women. We have this café at a shop called the HubShop. This is a shop which sells eco-friendly and handmade goodies from small entrepreneurs.

We (the ladies from the café) are all food-lovers who now get the chance to promote ourselves and, own a little restaurant once a week.

Tuesday is in general my day. This means everything is made with spelt flour, the sweets are all lactose-free and the savoury dishes are cow’s milk free. I try to use organic and fair-trade products where possible.

Tuesday’s menu consisted of:

- Roasted pumpkin soup with black peppercorn and pecorino biscotti
- Leeks and goat cheese tartlets with a green salad
- Lemon poppy seed and almond cakes
- Chocolate chip peanut butter cookies

I will try to share my recipes every week with you...the photos probably won’t be of the best quality, but I’ll do my best :)

If you are in Rotterdam and would like to visit me or one of the other women at the café, this is the address: HubShop, Nieuwe Binnenweg 195B

Hope to see you soon!

Roasted pumpkin soup

1 pumpkin or squash, seeded, cleaned and cubed
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ to ¼ tsp nutmeg
8 sage leafs, finely chopped
Olive oil
3 onions, finely diced
½ bulb of garlic
1 liter vegetable stock (homemade of with 2 tsp. Of Marigold Swiss powder)
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Scatter your pumpkin and garlic on a baking tray and sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes until cooked.
Meanwhile; fry the onion, cumin seeds, sage and nutmeg in a little olive oil until softened.
Add the pumpkin and garlic (you can just squeeze it out of its papery skin) to the union mixture and fry for about 5 minutes on a low heat. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Leave to simmer for another 10 minutes.
Take the soup of the heat and puree with a hand-held blender until you end up with a silky smooth texture. Finish off with a little salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pecan biscuits and Paris

Lately I haven’t been as busy with the blog as I wanted to. I have had a well earned vacation and trip to Paris though...and it has been amazing! The weather has been great: sunny and not too cold. What else could you hope for? We stayed at the cutest apartment ever, in the Quartier Latin area and around the corner of Rue Mouffetard, which is a foodies’ paradise. There were bakeries with freshly baked baguettes, butcheries with the best dried sausages and spit roasted chickens, fresh fruits and vegetables everywhere and every other day a great market....

The breakfast ensemble in the picture is bought at ‘Le Petit Atelier de Paris’. A lovely little shop with a workshop inside; it is founded by two designers who make, design and sell their products in this little shop at the Marais district. They have wonderful products for a pleasant daily-life...and the cutest dog ever!

I will post some pictures and addresses of must-visit shops and restaurants sometime soon...

When I came back from Paris I immediately felt in need of baking something sweet, since it is almost impossible to find something sweet I am able to enjoy. Especially since the French love their cream and butter.
I just love nuts, and these pecan biscuits have a really nutty-flavour and aren’t too sweet.

Pecan biscuits

220 gram margarine
150 gram pecan nuts
50 gram fine Demerara sugar, plus 1 tbsp
300 gram spelt flour
Icing sugar, to decorate
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Place the pecans on a baking tray and roast them in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Finely grind them with the tablespoon of sugar in a food processor. Leave them to cool completely.
Beat the margarine with the rest of the sugar until light and fluffy.
Fold in the flour, salt and ground pecans. Break of pieces of dough and shape into 3 cm balls. Place the balls onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until lightly golden.
Transfer the biscuits immediately to a wire rack and dust them with icing sugar.