Monday, 25 January 2010

2 more weeks to Spring Holiday

I'm counting the days. I cannot wait for our holiday:-D

Flowers of the week

Apple cake a.k.a. Giant Disappointment. I followed the recipe (from Good Food magazine) and I already had my doubts after seeing how much apple chunks I had in my bowl. The cake looked nice enough but when I tried to turn it over, it fell apart (could be my fault) but the insides were like ... a rosti. An apple rosti! What a waste of my grain fed organic eggs -Size L-, my apples ,my pecan nuts and the washing up I had to do
after! Grrr

Rogan Josh

Chicken Madras (sorry about the grains of rice heh!)

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Spago's Chocolate Chiffon Cake

I love chiffon cakes. I grew up eating Pandan flavoured chiffon cake from the 'pasar malam' (night market). Never made them though as I did not have a chiffon cake pan (I do now, Mum brought her old pan in July) and it seemed a little fiddly (cream of tartare which I can only buy from speciality shops. Finally found one in Utrecht), but I would think of it all the time. The texture is gorgeous, I love the airy-ness and would also ,just for fun, squish them before putting it into my big gob.

No fresh pandan here and I've heard that pandan essence is disgusting. Initially, I wanted a vanilla/fruit flavoured chiffon cake but whilst researching, I kept coming across praise for this chocolate chiffon cake so I decided to make that instead!

The verdict? A nice, moist chocolate cake but... not the chiffon cake, I'm looking for. If you're Malaysian, you might know what I'm talking about! This cake doesn't keep well so try to eat it on that day itself/day after.

Recipe here

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Bistro de Bok

Last Friday, the Dutchman and I had dinner at one of our favourite restaurants in the city. A few years ago, we were on a mission to try every restaurant in Arnhem but we seem to be failing! Once we found a few places we really liked, we just started sticking to those choices. In general, we tend to go to Bistro de Bok for meat, Mona's for shrimps, Humphrey's for when we want a cheap meal in a pretty-ish setting (3-course meal there is only 23 euros or something!), Proeflokaal de Waag for its ambience, Rung Thai (for Thai food obviously!) and Kwong Chow when we feel like Cantonese. We still go to different restaurants when it comes to expensive meals though (but this doesn't happen very often so the Mission Try All Restaurants is progressing very slowly).

Bistro de Bok is casual, very 'brown', quaint and the meat is excellent. Wine is cheap (1 liter for about 18 euro), service is great (not in-your-face, very easy-going but efficient) and it's not a place you have to whisper because it's always lively with conversation.Bistro de Bok is Dutchman's favourite restaurant (one of my favourites as well. I feel the desserts are lacking). While it is not the cheapest (a 3-course meal for 2 with wine will cost about 100 euro), the quality of meat (especially the beef and game) is well worth the price. 

Free bread


 Lamb Chops

Bok Spies (probably mixed grill?)

Wednesday, 13 January 2010


No fun, I tell you. I haven't done anything yet. Yesterday, I sat on the couch with my unopened Law textbook at my feet for 3 effing hours, playing "Words With Friends". At this rate, I'm going to fail which I musn't unless I want to wave goodbye to my semester abroad!

Oven-baked Salmon Pasta

Black Pepper Steak with Creamed Leaks and Garlic Potatoes

Red Cabbage Pie

Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Monday, 11 January 2010

Just Pictures

Snert/ Ertwensoep

Nasi Goreng

Chicken Schnitzel 

These 3 meals all cost less than 3 euro for 2 ! Unbelievable;)

Friday, 8 January 2010

Beef Stew

Europe is facing a rather severe winter this year. It is 11.19a.m. and -7 degrees here in Arnhem.

When it's cold, there's nothing more comforting than a pot of beef stew. The smell envelopes you like a hug an when you're done eating, it's like a hug from the inside.

This is a very easy stew but it's really tasty! I generally make 2 kinds of stews. The one I made yesterday is sort of Dutch (with French origins). What I really like about it is the vinegar-ish bite. It's really good. I bastardized it anyway by adding some carrots and leeks (only because all these vegetables were on the verge of rotting in my fridge) but it tasted good anyway. It's normally served with braised red cabbage.

Bastardized Haché

500g stewing beef, chopped into 1-inch blocks
2 large onions, sliced
4 carrots, chopped into about 4-6 parts
1 fat leek, sliced into rings
3 tablespoons winevinegar
200ml beef bouillon
3 bayleaves
4 cloves
1 small slice of gingerbread cake, crumbled
salt, pepper
Rub the meat with the salt and pepper and leave for 30 minutes (or overnight or whatever). Then, brown the meat in butter. After about a minute, add the onions, carrots and leek. When soft, add the cloves, bayleaves, TWO tablespoons of vinegar and the bouillon. Leave it to simmer with lid close for about 3 hours. The meat should be very tender.

When done, sprinkle the gingerbread cake (this is too thicken and deepen the flavour of the gravy). Add the last tablespoon of vinegar before serving.

Usually eaten with mashed/boiled potatoes and braised red cabbage


My other fool-proof stew recipe is by Jamie Oliver (the Guiness one!). Will post the recipe when I make it next time!

Flowers of the week

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Back to Food!

All pictures were taken with the one lousy Iphone feature- the camera! Everything about this phone rocks- you can even use it as a flute for goodness sake but the camera...

Tzatziki Tart (stars are adorable)

Glazed Carrots with mustard and beef marinated with orange juice

Peking Duck

Mussels with lots of garlic! Yummy



Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Happy 2010!

Somewhat belated;)

Hope you spent New Year's Eve the way you wanted to.

Mine was rather boring. Had dinner at Dutchman's friend (and his girlfriend)'s apartment. After the countdown, I went to the city with friends from school but the place we bought tickets for wasn't really all that interesting. I guess that's what you get when you buy a cheap ticket (only 13 euros which is ridiculously cheap for New Year's Eve. It's quite common to pay 25-65 euro))- you end up at a bar with 16 year olds (legal age for drinking here) OR with really old,poor losers. It was entertaining in some way: this old man kept trying to pick me up and I can't think of a worse way to pick anyone up ( "Hey Chinese Girl. You know, I lurvveeee Chinese girls....) and we just had a good laugh about the kids, in general (because we were once like that as well :) ). I think I might just stay go abroad or stay home for New Year's Eve next year.

Back to the daily grind. Not fun. Exams. Our holiday in February is looming and that's probably the only thing really, really positive in the next few weeks! I know I sound all gloom and doom but there's something about winter-especially after the festivities in December- which just gets you down. I truly do not mind the cold (I'm not someone who lazes at the park all day long in summer) but other people might (grumpy faces) and THAT (the general grumpiness) affects my desposition;)

If anyone is interested in watching a Dutch movie, I'd recommend "De Hel van '63". It's not the first Dutch movie I watched (that was Ja Zuster, Nee Zuster heh!) but it's the first one I ever paid for ;-) It definitely exceeded my expectations (Frisian sounds adorable. It's like a Scot speaking English) and I really enjoyed watching that with the in-laws.

No food pictures because my camera decided to play hide and seek with me. Mostly take-outs (Peking Duck, Indonesian, Pizza, delis) and prepared foods like 'snert' (also known as 'ertwensoep'/ split pea soup) with Frisian rye bread ( roggebrood). Will start cooking again tomorrow!