Thursday, 31 July 2014

Bloggers Meet in Brussels

Photo Courtesy BxlFF    

I have been wanting to write a post about the Blogger Meet we had in Brussels on June 21st which was Organized by Brussels Food Friends , and it got delayed as I wanted to make something really special with the chocolate which was in the Goodie bag.

But then Hans was off in June for a while and Shyama didn't come home from Leuven as it was exams for her then now in Jully is gone also for 2 weeks ( ok he is coming back from Malta tomorow) and then Shyama also left to Egypt for 2 month as you all know ( if you are a regular reader)

To make a dessert just for me , that is a big no as I woudn't do that not because I don't like desserts just that I am afraid I will eat the whole lot.

Now to the blogger meet Ananda and I decided to meet up at Brussels Station so that both of us could go together to the venue which was
Bloom Hotel.
The guest speaker was Miss Foodwise and she was so lovely wearing her signature dress and she did give plenty of tips for blogging.

Miss Foodwise talking to the bloggers

I shared this picture in my Facebook and my friends commrnted we three can go for Tooth Paste Add :-)

The meeting was by 2:20 pm so we had cakes, waffles with variety of topping plus plenty coffee /Tea etc.
It is the first time I go to a fully English speaking blog meeting which was really good, almost every one spoke English, which was so easy as one could talk to every one.
We got to know each other much better as it was like a game, we had to fill in some 12 oe 15 questions and for that we had to go to other bloggers and talk which I thought was such a wonderful idea otherwise I would just stick to your own bunch of few people one knows and now we could mingle with every one as one wanted to fill these questions, 
I am giving a idea what these questions were , we had to ask another blogger what their favorite blog was, what is the food they would never eat or what was their comfort food .... which I thought was so good and which able eveyrone to mingle easy.

Goodie Bags

This was inside the goodie bag too - Photo Courtesy BxlFF 
Photo Courtesy BxlFF - While going back home I coudn't resist so I ate my cookie on the trian whch was super delicious.

All in all it was a fun afternoon and they are planning in October/Novermeber another meet which I am so looking forward for going.
And one of these days I will make something with the chocolate which was in the goodie bag.
Facebook Page from BxlFF

Photo Courtesy BxlFF 

Photo Courtesy BxlFF 

I would like to thank the Maxine,Alison,Andrea and Michelle for organizing this meet.
Of course all the sponsors too.

Berry Almond Tarts

The moment I saw this Delicious Berry Tart in Bakedbree I know I will be going to make them.
And if you are planning to make this go to Bree's blog and check the beautiful pictures of the tart and also the beautiful step by step pictorials.

But then that time the berries were just not in full season and they were still a tad expensive, so I waited till they were fully in season then I know they will be cheaper.
And anyway I am a sucker for anything frangipane, and this one resembled like that and I knew I would make it sooner or later.

Of course when I served the tarts, for hubby I served with chipped cream as he loves to have it with fruit tarts.
We loved the tarts and I am sure I will be making them again as it is so easy to make plust they are so good.
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons (130g) butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 Tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 cups berries
  • Method:
  • Put the butter, sugar, zests, and vanilla bean in the bowl of an electric mixer. Cream for 6 to 8 minutes or until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally.

  • Whisk together almond meal, flour, and baking powder. Set aside. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Take the bowl off of the mixer and fold in the almonds
  • Scoop the batter with an ice cream scoop into 6 paper tart pans or an 11-inch fluted tart pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Add the berries and gently press into batter.

  • Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown. (If you bake in a large tart pan, it will be closer to 45 minutes. (Mine was baked in 25 minutes. So i thing it depend on your oven and your tart shape)

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Komaj - A Persain date bread with cumin and Turmeric

This bread was supposed to be baked last month from the group I am We Knead to Bake but June was a very busy month and knowing me if I don't lake the bread in the first two weeks when the recipe is given I get lazy to make them.
Anyway yesterday I thought I will just cheer me up ( that is what I do take or cook something when I am a little bit down) as I was missing Shyama and Hans.
Usually Shyama comes for the weekend when Hans is out of the country but now she is in Egypt it is the first time I don't have both of them here.
So I was feeling a little down I know I know silly Indeed.
I didn't sprinkle the crushed cumin on top of the bread as I wanted to give my FIL also and I thought he might think it is weird cumin on top of a bread so I sprinkled black seasame seeds.
When I make the filling for the bread I would double up the filling ingridients otherwise you won't have enough filling.
The bread is best on the day of baking, I had 2 left over and I ate them for breakfast next day then they were not as good as the fresh ones ( but then I think all buns are like that)

Komaj (Persian Date Bread With Turmeric & Cumin)
(Adapted from Saraban – A Chef’s Journey Through Persia by Greg & Lucy Malouf)

For the dough:
1 tsp active dried yeast
1/8 cup warm water
3 3/4 cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour)
2 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 to 3/4 tsp salt
1 egg (optional)
2/3 cups warm milk
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
For the filling:
12 to 15 dried dates, pitted and cut into chunks (the slightly soft kind)
25 gm unsalted butter, soft at room temperature
4 to 5 pods cardamom, powdered

Milk/ cream for brushing dough
icing sugar, for dusting (optional)

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and keep it aside for 10 minutes and it will have bubbled up a little.
Put the flour, 2 tsp of the crushed cumin, sugar, turmeric and salt in the bowl of your food processor and run a couple of times to mix. Then add the yeast mixture and the egg and run the processor again, till it is incorporated.
Now add the milk and olive oil, and knead until you have a smooth and pliable dough that’s not sticky. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a well-oiled bowl, turn to coat the dough and then cover loosely and let it rise till it has doubled (about an hour or so).

When the dough has risen, deflate it and then shape into a round. Put it back in the bowl for a second rise till it has doubled (an hour or so).
In the meanwhile prepare the filling by mixing together the chopped dates, soft butter and cardamom together in a bowl.
Divide the dough in to 4 equal portions, and divide each in half so you have 8 portions. Working with one portion at a time, roll each one out into a rectangle that is about between 1/4" and 1/8” thick. Choose a cookie cutter that is about 8cm at the widest. Press it down lightly n one half of the rectangle to guide you to put the filling.

AT this point, I brushed a little water over the entire surface to make sure the dough would stick well when folded over.
Then place about 1 tsp (more than this is not necessary) in the centre of the cookie outline and then fold the other half of the rectangle over the filling so that it’s now a covered square. Using the cookie cutter cut, with the filling in the centre, cut out the bun making sure the sides are neat and well sealed. If the sides are not well sealed, the bun will swell and open up during baking. It will taste good but look weird!

Repeat with the remaining portions of dough, then reroll the scraps and you should be able to make two more buns making a total of 10 buns. Place them on a lightly greased baking tray leaving space between them because they will puff up on baking. Let them sit for about 15 minutes.
Then brush them with a little milk (or egg wash if you use it) and sprinkle the remaining ½ tsp of crushed cumin on top, pressing it down a little with your fingers. Bake the Komaj at 200C (400F) for about 8 to 10 minutes.
Let them cool on a rack a little and dust with icing sugar if you like. Serve them warm with tea or coffee. These are best eaten the day they’re made. Leftovers can be reheated and eaten the next day.
This recipe makes 10 Komaj. (Depending on the size you make) I made small ones so i got more.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Bacon Burger

I know it is a while I posted something on my blog.
Reason is same as usual, busy, lazy , summer etc....
Plus Shyama left to Egypt a week ago for 2 months as she was accepted to join a Excavation team to her delight ( we knew couple couple of months ago)

They say third time lucky as twice her trip got canceled because of the the political situation there and she was really hopping that nothing will go wrong this time.

Any way she is doing very well there she is staying in Luxor in the West bank and yesterday I skyped with her for the first time as she didn't had internet connection till two days ago.
And got a virtual tour of the house she is staying and heard from her how everything is there etc... and I feel much better as I was really not feeling that good about the idea she beeing there etc... ofcourse normal I think for a mom to be worried.

Now to the recipe , I made this burger a while ago and I thought I better blog this before the summer is gone.
I wanted to take a picture of the burger for the blog so in the hurry to take picture I totally forgot to add most of the garnish, but I have a pic in the post with all the garnish which I took before I ate mine :-)

For 4 people:

600 gram pure beef mince
2 tbsp of fried onions ( the one we get from the asian store)
Pepper and salt to taste
1 tbsp of butter or oil
8 slices of bacon ( used 2 slices per person) ( I fry them in a little oil till cisp)
4 slices of cheddar cheese
1/2 red onion finely sliced
4 tbsp of fried onions
4 slices of tomatoes
Few slices of pickled Jerkins
4 burger buns ( I used pistolet which we get here)

Ingredients for the sauce:
3 tbsp mayonaise
2 tbsp mustard
3 tbsp of sour cream
1 tbsp of chopped chives
Salt and pepper to taste
( Mix all the ingredients for the sauce )

Mix the beef mince, with 2 tbsp of fried onions with salt and pepper and make 4 burgers.
Heat butter/ oil in a pan and fry / grill the beef burgers both the sides till they are cooked inside.

This is how I serve them.
Preheat the oven  slice each buns into half, and heat them up in the oven the same time on top of each burger I keep a slice of cheese and keep under the grill in the oven to slightly melt the cheese.
When the buns are hot and the cheese is melted. Assemble them topping them with slices onions, tomato, jerkins, fried bacon and then sprinkling the fried onione and add a tbsp of the sauce. Close the burger with the other slice and serve with friets ( french fries)

Friday, 4 July 2014

Meat balls with Brown Beer

I have not made anything new recently as it has been good weather and summer holiday started from July 1st.
When it is good weather I tend to cook less as we tend to go for cycling or to the beach ( even though we are not sun worshipers like lot of the people here, we go to a place where it is not allowed to swim ( even though people swim there ) they say it is prohibited to swim there as no gaurds to keep a eye on the swimmers and no professional people is there to help you when something goes wrong.

But we go there as it is so quiet and no tourist ( not that much)
And we site there for a while enjoying the quietness and the coolness or the hotness :-) always wearing a cap .
So as I was saying ther eis no cooking, I make sandwiches or something like that for lunch and then we go after that for cycling etc....

So this is something I made when it was much cold weather and If I remember buying this magazine Libelle lekker months ago specially as I saw this meat ball recipe.
I did made the same week, but then the magazine got lost ( yeah in my small place) I didn't know where I kept them and as end of June Hans was gone for a week, I decided to clean up my book shelf and there it was in between piles this magazine.


2 white slice of bread
100 ml milk
2 onions finley chopped
1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
1 egg
A pinch of nutmeg
500 gm mixed mince ( I used beef and pork)
1 tsp of salt
Freshly ground pepper
70 gm butter
2 shallots finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic very finely chopped
2 tbsp of flour
500 ml belgian brown beer I used Chimay
1 tbsp Apple or pear syrup


Soak the bread in milk doe 5 minutes/
Squeeze the milk out and add into a bowl together with the mince meat, onions, thyme,egg and thyme. Add salt and pepper for taste and mix everything well and make meat balls.

In a pan heat 20 gm of butter and brown the balls all sides brown ( this will take 4 to 5 minutes)

Add the rest of the butter in a another pan, and saute the onions and garlic for 3 minutes.
Add the flour and fry for 1 minute.
Add the beer and whisk till ther eis no lump.
Add the apple /peer syrup. Add pepper and salt to taste and pour this mix into the pan were the balls were frying.
Cook the meat balls in the sauce for 20 to 25 minutes till the balls are cooked.
Stir once in a while.
Tip: If you think after the meat ball is cooked and the sauce is a bit runny you can thicken it up by adding a bit of conr flour mixed with water to thicken the sauce.
Serve with potato mash and enjoy.