Berry Popsicles

When I was pregnant with our little Monkey (not a real monkey, mind you – although sometimes her 9.5month mobility activities do have me wondering…), I developed such a sweet tooth! I couldn’t finish a day without having an ice-cream or a piece of chocolate before bed. Sadly… this habit has extended into my post-natal life as well. Which means that I need to get savvy when it comes to sweet things, otherwise my jeans will never fit again…

And of course, with the mini heat wave that Brussels has had over the past weekend… Ice-cream seems to the be preferred choice. (Don’t worry – I am not complaining about the heat – only making the statement that we have had it:) and hopefully this is just the beginning of summer!) I had previously make a “fake” cheats berry ice-cream, so this a bit of a take on this … but in popsicle format!

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Simple, healthy and tasty… no more guilt! hurray! The addition of the banana’s and the yoghurt give it a more creamy texture and this time, there is no need to freeze the fruit before hand! I used baby yoghurt (found in the local Delhaize) so that I could share this treat with her without worrying about additives, sugar, etc. She pulled a funny face with the first mouthful – probably because it was a lot colder than she anticipated – but she still managed about a dessert spoon full (brain freeze face with each mouthful… hee hee… but that didn’t stop her from baby-bird mouth open for the next morsel!).

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I got these moulds from Ikea… cheap, colourful and cheerful… and trust me… every shop in Brussels seems to be selling something similar at the moment!

Berry Popsicles

100g raspberries
100g blueberries
100g yoghurt
1 banana

  • blitz everything with a hand held blender (or whichever method you prefer)
  • Pour into popsicle moulds
  • Freeze for a few hours
  • In order to get the popsicle out of the cover, hold the cover under warm running water to melt it a little bit (just enough to loosen the cover)

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White chocolate chip cookies

Just before I was knocked down with a 2nd bout of tonsillitis (don’t even ask – but I was seriously not a happy camper) – I managed to whip up a batch of these delicious white chocolate chip cookies!

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Firstly – I found the recipe in the Olive magazine (July issue) – but theirs called for caramelizing the white chocolate. Now, anyone with a mobile 9month old is not going to be working with hot chocolate for an hour while their Monkey is crawling around their feet … right? So I didn’t do this – but followed the rest of the recipe and they turned out great.

My only negative (and my own fault for not caramelizing the white chocolate) is the cookies looked a bit bland and colourless (even if they tasted great!)

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Would I make it again? Yes – the recipe is easy and quick – but next time I would use milk chocolate chips OR colourful sprinkles – maybe nuts & cranberries… Hmmm! The opportunities are endless!

White chocolate chip cookies

100g white chocolate, roughly chopped
150g butter, room temperature
150g sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon milk
220g self-raising flour

  • Beat butter & sugar until light & creamy
  • Beat in egg
  • Add vanilla extract & milk
  • Mix the flour in
  • Add chocolate chips & mix in
  • Line & grease a baking tray (or 3)
  • Place a teaspoon ball of dough on the tray (evenly spaced). Don’t worry about flattening out, as they will do this while baking
  • Bake for 10min at 190C
  • Rest for a few minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool

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Bran Berry Muffins (SRC)

It is Secret Recipe Club (SRC) reveal time again!

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This month – I got Cheese Curd in Paradise blog – a fellow mommy (of 2 little tykes Rowan & Kellen). Ashley has shared her pregnancy experience along with some amazing recipes! And I love her *weekly meal planning* ideas!

I particularly wanted to try out her Creamy basil & tomato risotto, lunch lady brownies, mini lemon muffins and this one pot chicken feta alfredo

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but finally decided up on her Big Sky Bran muffins – probably because we have bran… and blueberries… coincidence, eh? But also because I love the combination and I was getting tired of having either cereal or toast for breakfast! The only adaption that I did was to add one mashed banana…. Otherwise – all is the same. And really yummy! (I made a rookie mistake – I didn’t leave them in the oven for long enough – so a few were a little soft in the middle! But still soooo good)

Bran Berry Muffins

1 1/3 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups  bran
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cup berries
1 based banana

  • Whisk  egg, oil & sugar in a medium bowl.
  • Then add buttermilk, mashed banana and vanilla and continue to whisk.
  • Placed bran, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
  • Stir wet mixture into dry until just combined and still a bit rough.
  • Add 1 spoon to each greased prepared muffins cup.
  • sprinkle in fruit
  • Top with remaining batter
  • Bake for 16-18minutes at 180C

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Introducing… Breakfast Delivery Brussels

When people decide to pursue their love of food and start up their own business serving their local community – I am definitely one of the first people to stand up & help support (crowd funding, kiss kiss bank bank or whatever might make the most sense)

So when I saw a new concept in Brussels of having breakfast delivered to your front door… I thought the idea novel and quaint.

Don’t get me wrong – sometimes, the highlight of my weekend is going out with HIM and the monkey for breakfast/brunch somewhere… but sometimes, just sometimes – you also want to laze about in your pj’s while still enjoying freshly baked goods, soft boiled eggs, freshly squeezed orange juice and steaming hot cups of ** (whatever your heart fancies)… without actually having to go to the shops or even enter your kitchen.

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Which is where Breakfast Delivery Brussels comes in.

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A simple concept… either a Simple or Deluxe breakfast…

Simple 15€

  • coffee/tea
  • orange juice
  • pistolet (a bread roll)
  • croissant or pain au chocolat
  • Jam & chocolate spread OR ham & cheese
  • Hard or soft boiled eggs with toasted bread soldiers

Deluxe 22.50€

  • All the above
  • yoghurt with granola & fruit OR chia-coconut pudding with fruit
  • Toast with Avocado & Salmon

you always have the option to add (for an extra euro): pistolet, croissant, pain au chocolat, jam/chocolate spread, ham & cheese. And you can make it extra special by including some bubbles too! Either in 35.7cl or a full 75cl bottle

I had supported the concept via Kiss Kiss Bank Bank – and therefore got 2x Deluxe breakfasts… (suppose to include a bottle of champers but I think that this must have been mislaid – but that really didn’t matter and a delicious pot of home made rhubarb & strawberry jam)

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What do you think? Pretty impressive eh?

There was SO MUCH food – that we ate off it for 2 days! I loved the yoghurt with home-made granola & fruit (so much so – that I “stole” HIM’s for the next days breakfast) and the salmon/avo toast was left for the afternoon.

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Why we loved it:

  • Our delivery slot was 9-10am and I got a phone call at 8h50 to say that it would be delivered in 5minutes (which it was!)
  • Everything was fresh and tasty – even the coffee was still hot on delivery
  • So much food – real value for money!

Future improvement suggestions

  • Time slots should be in 30minute intervals… HIM starts at work at 11h00, so I would have preferred a 10am delivery time, but if I chanced it and took the 10h00-11h00 slot, I couldn’t be guaranteed that our food would arrive in time. Instead I took the 09h00-10h00 slot and it was delivered at 09h00 sharp.. which was actually too early
  • an option to add the yoghurt/granola/fruit parfait to the simple breakfast…

What you need to know:

  • Deliveries are only on Saturday & Sunday: 08h00-13h00
  • Deliveries only possible in a 4km radius from the Bourse Area
  • Payment: cash, bankcontact, bank transfer – but remember to put your proof of payment in email format
  • You can order in advance online or even phone/email on the day
  • the more you order, the cheaper it gets!

Would I use them again? DEFINITELY – but I would opt for the simple breakfast going forward! Show your support and order for this weekend!

BREAKFAST DELIVERY

email: info@breakfastdelivery.be

website: http://www.breakfastdelivery.be

phone: +32 493 06 78 24

Bourbon Biscuit Brownies

Everyone who knows me, knows how much I love trying out new recipes… which is why my food magazine addiction keeps publishers in business…

So when I saw the picture of this recipe on the front cover of the Olive Magazine (May 2016 issue) – I knew it was a *must make*

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I made one fatal mistake… I left them in the oven too long .. so the middle wasn’t as squishy as it should have been. Taste wise… they were awesome and I would definitely try them again… especially the level of chocolate (which is SUPER high). I even threw in a handful of blueberries… Mmmm

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Bourbon Biscuit Brownies

16 Bourbon Biscuits
100g butter
200g chocolate (they say dark, but I used a mix of dark & milk)
4 eggs
250g caster sugar
100g flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
30g cocoa powder

  • Keep 5 of the biscuits to one side. Using a sharp knife, cut down the middle to separate the side. Roughly chop the reminder of the biscuits
  • Melt butter & chocolate together over a water bath and leave to cool to room temperature
  • Whisk together eggs & sugar until mixture is pale & double in volume
  • fold in the chocolate mixture
  • Sift in the dry ingredients and fold in
  • Stir in the chopped biscuits (and a handful of blueberries if you are adventurous like me)
  • Spoon into a greased baking tin
  • Bake for 20-25min at 180C

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Rhubarb Cake with Dr Oetker

I was recently lucky enough to receive a goodie box of Dr Oetker baking supplies for World Baking Day (17 May 2016)

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What did I do with them?

Well – firstly – I used the Glaçage Pâtissier (aka icing) to make my office birthday chocolate brownie cake look pretty…

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And then I pimped up the Biscuit Génoise Cake Mix with some roasted rhubarb… easy? Damn right. Tasty? Without a doubt! Would I do it again! YES! The cake mix sponge texture is really delicious and HIM has already mentioned that he would happily eat it again (although this time with blueberries instead of the tart rhubarb…as he likes things SWEET!)

one note – the rhubarb although prettily arranged on the raw cake mix actually disappeared when baked, as the cake batter rose over it…

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Rhubarb Cake

1 box Biscuit Génoise Cake Mix
4 Eggs (as per box instructions)
50ml Milk (as per box instructions)
500g Rhubarb
1 Tablespoon Sugar
Squeeze of lemon juice

  • wash & cut your rhubarb into chunks (or long slices like I did)
  • Place on a baking tray with lemon juice & sugar
  • Bake for 15-20minutes at 180C
  • Remove from oven & cool
  • Prepare the Dr Oetker Cake Mix as per instructions (with eggs & milk)
  • Place rhubarb & cake mix in a greased, lined cake tin
  • Bake for 30min at 160

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Roasted butternut and blue cheese frittata

Using up leftovers is a new recipe is always fulfilling – even more so when the meal turns out tasty. However,  I must point out that HIM wasn’t a huge fan as he said the frittata was actually too sweet… owing to the fact that I used deliciously sweet roasted butternut – but I enjoyed it…

A frittata is essentially a crustless quiche… and because there are times when I don’t have store-bought ready-made pastry in my fridge (in fact… almost never) and because I was too lazy to whip up my own pastry on a week night – I figured that a frittata would be perfectly acceptable as a mid-week meal.

Right?

My inspiration came from Woolworths Taste Magazine (online) recipe for a roasted butternut quiche – but I didn’t use the puff pastry or the grana padano… but rather used up some leftover blue cheese (from my birthday afternoon tea).

Would I make it again? yes… but I might add some bacon or something really salty to balance the flavour combinations of sweet (the roasted butternut) and the creamy (the blue cheese). This recipe makes 3 decent sized portions.

butternut frittata

Roasted Butternut and blue cheese frittata

1 peeled butternut, cubed (~500g)
150g blue cheese, crumbled (more or less depending on your own personal taste)
3 eggs
200g cream cheese (room temperature)
Olive Oil
salt & pepper

  • Place cubed butternut on a roasting tray sprinkled with olive oil and salt/pepper – and roast in a preheated oven (230C) for 15-20min, until cooked
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool
  • Place into an oven-proof baking dish with the blue cheese
  • Beat eggs with the cream cheese & pour over the butternut & cheese
  • Place in an pre-heated oven (180C) for 20-30minutes (slightly brown and set)

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Apricot Jam

While my mommabear was visiting us in December – she helped me make up some plum jam and a quick berry jam… and it has been so satisfying to give some bottles away as gifts, but also to be able to slather some onto toast in the comfort and pride that *I made this*

While dad was visiting us earlier in the month, I spotted a wonderful selection of apricots at the Flagey market. And since I had recently seen this apricot jam recipe from Chef in Disguise (a fellow blogger in our Secret Recipe Club) – I knew that this was something that I wanted to try out!

apricot jam 1

Would I make it again? Good question… it smelt amazing, but the taste was a bit tart (not that I mind, but it is definitely different to the store bought variety) and I think I might have needed to let it cook for a tad bit longer to get it to set thicker. But all in all – a good effort, I think!:)

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Apricot Jam

500g Apricots (cut in half & pip removed)
250g sugar
Tablespoon lemon Juice

  • Place all the ingredients in a pot and over a medium heat bring to the boil
  • Reduce heat and leave to simmer until 1/3 reduced (or more if you want it thicker)
  • Ladle into jars and leave to cool

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Courgette Fritters

We have been so blessed in Brussels with some beautiful sunny spring/summer days. And because of this – I haven’t felt the need to settle down on the couch after putting Little Miss to bed and finishing up the chores… because the sun is still up and shining at 8/9pm at night!

Therefore, I have made a few more recipes and been able to blog a bit more – yippee!

We had a glut of courgette and I am trying to find some different recipes to try out … so when I saw this Courgette Fritter recipe on the BBC Good Food Website – I knew it was going to be on the list!

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As simple as 1-2-3 and delicious served with a side of sweet chilli sauce (I used the bottled variety as I don’t have THAT much energy:) ) – and I added 50g of grated parmesan to the mix as well.

Would I make it again – yes, it took about 5-10minutes to make the batter and the same amount of time to cook the fritters – so if you are looking for a quick and easy snack/side/starter – this is it!

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Courgette Fritters

1 courgette (grated)
50g flour
2 eggs
50g parmesan
50ml milk
seasonings
oil (for frying)

  • Place flour in a mixing bowl
  • Whisk in the eggs
  • Gradually whisk in the milk to make a smooth batter
  • Stir in the courgette & parmesan and season well
  • Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan
  • Cook spoonful’s of the batter turning after 2-3minutes until golden

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Carrot and Banana Cake

Vegetables in a cake means it is ok to have more than one slice, right? Right???

carrot and banana cake

I had a few banana’s that were starting to ripen quicker than we could eat them (I mean, I can only eat one a day… and soon as they get ripe & soft, I am immediately put of) and of course… carrots. We always have carrots – for dipping in hummus, for the base of soups, to boil as a side vegetable when I am really lazy… etc

I found this recipe on the Good to Know website (my first time visiting) and I have to admit it was a really easy recipe to make. Instead of using mixed spice – I used half a teaspoon of cinnamon.

Would I make it again? Yes.. Yes…Yes

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Carrot and Banana Cake

280g Self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
60g raisins
170g sugar
2 ripe banana’s (peeled & mashed)
220g carrots (peeled & grated)
3 eggs (beaten)
170ml sunflower oil

  • Sift flour, baking powder & cinnamon
  • Stir in raisins & sugar
  • Beat eggs with oil and add to dry ingredients along with carrots & banana
  • Bake in a greased cake tin for 50minutes at 180C
  • Leave to cool on a wire cooling tray

Cream cheese Icing

50g Butter (softened)
300g Icing sugar
150g cream cheese

  • Beat butter with icing sugar until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs
  • Beat in the cream cheese until smooth
  • Cut cake in half and sandwich together with half of the icing. Use the rest of the icing to cover the top of the cake

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