You Are Viewing Personal Events

Recipes I Want To Keep

Posted December 11th, 2010

I finally took the time to go through a big pile of neglected papers in our closet today.

As I was sorting, I found several recipes that caught my eye at one time or another. I still want to make them, so I’ll type them out here to archive them.

Winter Apple Cake

This recipe comes from my great-aunt Gerda, who lives in Germany. I’ve tasted this delicious cake but I’ve yet to make it.

  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 pack of vanilla sugar
  • 1 pack of baking powder
  • 1 cup walnuts (chopped)
  • 3-4 apples (peeled and sliced)

Preheat the oven to 175°C. Mix together the oil, sugar and vanilla sugar. Add the flour and baking powder. Stir in the sliced apples, walnuts and cinnamon. Put in a cake pan lined with baking paper and bake for 1 hour.

Drumstick Cake

Drumsticks are a type of ice cream sold in North America and this desert somewhat resembles the ice cream. That’s important to clarify because some people hear the title and think this is a cake made with chicken drumsticks!! That would be rather different…

  • 2 1/4 cups crushed vanilla wafers
  • 3/4 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 3 tbsp peanut butter
  • 8 oz package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 large package cool whip (when I make this, I’d like to try making it with whipped cream instead of cool whip)

Mix the first 4 ingredients and then press into a 9″ x 13″ pan. Cream the cheese, sugar and 1/2 cup peanut butter in a large bowl. Add vanilla. Blend the eggs one at a time at high speed. Fold in the cool whip and pour over the base. Drizzle on chocolate sauce and marbilize the top with a knife. Sprinkle any extra crumbs from the wafers on top. Freeze. Remove about 10 minutes before you want to serve, to make it easier to slice.

Salmon Tangy

A recipe I clipped from a magazine in Idaho.

  • 6 oz salmon fillets
  • 1 tsp tamarind sauce
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp cooking wine
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

Grill the salmon over a char grill. Mix tamarind, garlic, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, wine and 1/2 of the ginger together and heat in a sauce pan until boiling. Remove from heat. Place salmon on a plate and pour the sauce mixture over the salmon. Sprinkle with ginger and sesame seeds. Serve with vegetables and rice.

Avocado Quesedillas

While cycling the backroads of NZ, we came across a farm stall selling avocados. They also had this recipe to give away.

  • 250g spinach leaves
  • sea salt & pepper
  • 250g young goat’s cheese
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 small lime, juice only
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped

Cook the spinach very quickly in simmering, salted water until wilted. Drain and squeeze dry. Thinly slice the goat’s cheese. Place a flour tortilla in a pan, scatter with cheese, add a quarter of the spinach and season to taste. Place another tortilla on top to form a sandwich. Cook over a medium heat until lightly browned. Turn once and cook on the other side until the cheese has melted. Meanwhile, peel, stone and chop the avocado. Toss with lime juice, coriander, sea salt and pepper. Serve the quesadillas on a plate, cut in half and with the avocado on the side.

Deep Omelette of Feta, Spinach & Onion

A Nigel Slater recipe. I love his food.

  • 3 medium onions
  • 40g butter
  • a little oil
  • 150g spinach leaves
  • 400g feta cheese
  • 4 large eggs
  • 220ml double cream

Set the oven to 220°C. Peel the onions and slice thinly. Melt butter in a large, heavy frying pan with a metal handle. Add the oil and onions. Cook over a low heat until the onions are really soft, sweet and golden. Wash the spinach leaves and add them (still wet) to a large pan. Cover with a lid and cook over a moderate heat so they steam. As soon as they are wilted, squeeze out any extra water and chop. Add the spinach to the cooked onions, crumble in the feta. Break the eggs and beat them in a bowl with a bit of pepper, then mix in the cream and pour the mixture over the onions. Place the pan on a low heat and leave it for 10-15 minutes. Transfer to the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes or until the omelette has puffed up and is lightly set. Leave to settle, cut into wedges and serve.

Baked Feta with Beetroot and Chickpeas

Another Nigel Slater recipe.

  • 2 medium beetroot
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 small shallots
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint
  • 1 400g tin of chickpeas (drained)
  • 2 blood oranges
  • 400g feta
  • sprigs of thyme
  • a little extra olive oil

Trim but do not peel the beetroot. Boil in deep water (or bake wrapped in foil) for about 40 minutes. Peel, cut into thick wedges and leave to cool. Meanwhile, set the oven to 200°C. Put the feta in a small baking dish, add the thyme leaves and drizzle over some olive oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is soft and wobbly.

For the dressing, put the vinegar in a bowl, stir in a touch of salt and the shallots (finely chopped). Add mustard and sugar and beat in the olive oil. Stir in the chopped parsley, mint and chickpeas. Season with pepper.

Peel the blood oranges and slice thinly. Divide the dressed chickpeas between 2 bowls. Add the oranges and beetroot. Divide the warm feta between the dishes. Pour over any juice from the baking dish or drizzle with a bit of olive oil.

Baked Quince

I made this recipe in a Greek cooking class. I think it would also work well with pears.

  • 750ml water
  • 400g sugar
  • 4-5 quinces
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 large tub Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp honey
  • orange zest
  • 1-2 tsp lime juice
  • garnish with skinned lime wedges

Wash and peel the quince. Cut in quarters. Careful as it’s a hard fruit. Cut out the seeds and core.

In a large pot, boil the water and sugar for 2 minutes, then add the quince to the syrup along with the cinnamon, bay leaf and cloves. Cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Put the pot covered with the lid in the oven and bake for 60-90 minutes at 180°C. Stir every 1/2 hour to make sure the quince stay basted with syrup.

Meanwhile, make the yogurt dip. Stir the honey and yogurt together. Stir in the lime juice and zest. Put in a serving bowl and garnish with peeled wedges of lime.

Once the quince is done baking, let it cool a bit. Serve on a plate or in a shallow bowl with a dollop of yogurt cream.

Fasolia Gigantes

The person who taught me this insists it’s important to use dried (not tinned) beans.

  • 500g butter beans
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into rounds
  • 3-4 celery stalks, with leaves, chopped
  • 2-3 onions, chopped
  • 3-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • 500-700g chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp old spice
  • spicy sausages

Rinse soaked beans under cold water, then add more cold water in a pot with a beans and bring to a boil. Do not add any salt. Skim the froth off the beans as they come to a boil and after 10 minutes drain the pot. Put more cold water in a pot and repeat for an additional 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare all the vegetables and heat the oven to 200°C.

Once the beans have been boiled twice, rinse the pot and then tip the beans and tomatoes  back in together along with the onions, garlic, half the olive oil and spices but still NO salt. You can add a chili pepper if you like for extra heat. Cover with a lid and boil slowly for 30 minutes. Add a bit of water if the mixture gets dry and stir occasionally.

Now you can add some salt. Place the soup in a baking tray and place in a pre-heated oven for 30 minutes. Slice the sausages and quickly fry them for 3-4 minutes in a bit of olive oil. Add them to the beans in the oven. Add more water if required. When the beans are soft, add the parsley and olive oil (if there’s any left). This dish should be more dry than soup-like in texture.

Piperies Florinis

Another great dish from a Greek cooking class I took.

  • 4-6 red peppers
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • 3-4 tbsp vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Heat oven to 250-275°C. Wash the peppers well and put on a tray with baking paper. When the oven is very hot, put the peppers inside to roast. After 7 minutes check and turn them over. It’s okay if the skin gets black. Leave for another 7 minutes, then take them out and put them in a bowl which you cover so they sweat and the skin comes off.

After they cool a bit, you can take the skin off. Cut each pepper into 2-4 pieces lengthwise. In the serving bowl, put olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix well, then add the slices of pepper. You can add some raw garlic if you like as well.

In addition, these online recipes look pretty yummy.

Zucchini Bechamel

Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Posted in Personal Events

A Weekend Trip To Eastern Holland

Posted November 22nd, 2010

This weekend we had a lot on our “to do” list and most of it was happening in the far east of Holland, so we rented a car and headed out to see what fun we could get up to.

A lot, as it turns out!

First, we drove to Nijmegen and visited the Velorama bicycle museum in Nijmegen. We spent about an hour wandering past some 300 bicycles; everything from 200-year-old models to recent Americana kitsch bikes.

Next it was off to the Veluwe National Park. Before we got there though, we ran into Sinterklaas arriving in a small town.


All the kids were rushing to see him, and some were dressed up.

Going to see Sint

When we got to the Veluwe it was nearly dark, so we headed straight for a “Nature Campsite” (less developed camping spots, run by an organisation) and set up our tent. It was dark by 5pm, so we made an early supper and then did some “hibernating” (that is to say, we got 12 hours of sleep because that’s the joy of camping in the winter – you’re forced to sleep, a lot!!).

Andrew cooking dinner

The next day, we went to the gorgeous Veluwe National Park. They have a fleet of 1,700 white bicycles. Anyone can just grab a bike for free and go cycling over the moors, so we did.

cycling in the veluwe

cycling in the Veluwe

cycling in the veluwe

Next we went to the famous Kröller-Müller Museum. You’d never imagine it anywhere but in Holland: a museum in a national park, just full of Van Goghs, Picassos, Mondrians, Renoirs… it’s an amazing collection in a stunning setting.

Beautiful masterpieces
The Thames in London, as it was

Outside the museum is a sculpture garden, which is as impressive as the inside of the museum.

Sculpture Garden outside the Kroller Muller Museum

This quick visit to the east of Holland definitely has us planning more trips back!

Posted in Personal Events

The Joys of Writing A Book

Posted November 16th, 2010

I (Friedel) am in the midst of writing a book.

So far I’ve had at least 10 “breakthroughs” and I’m now re-writing it for the second time. It is both an emotionally exhilarating and draining experience. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever see the end of the road?

12 months without winter

While wasting time, trying to think of the book but not think of the book, I was reminded of this great quote, which I originally saw on Rob Lilwall’s blog.

“Writers don’t make any money at all. We make about a dollar. It is terrible. But then again we don’t work either. We sit around in our underwear until noon then go downstairs and make coffee, fry some eggs, read the paper, read part of a book, smell the book, wonder if perhaps we ourselves should work on our book, smell the book again, throw the book across the room because we are quite jealous that any other person wrote a book, feel terribly guilty about throwing the schmuck’s book across the room because we secretly wonder if God in heaven noticed our evil jealousy, or worse, our laziness.”

“We then lie across the couch facedown and mumble to God to forgive us because we are secretly afraid He is going to dry up all our words because we envied another man’s stupid words. And for this, as I said before, we are paid a dollar. We are worth so much more.”

Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller, p. 187

Posted in Personal Events

Fig Pizza

Posted October 11th, 2010

Last week, we bought 8kg of figs at the market. We made fig jam, a fig balsamic syrup, fig ice cream…

By last night, we were almost figged out. But there were just a few left to use up. I washed them, diced them and put them on pizza with brie and ham. Divine!

In case you’re wondering, this is our super easy pizza dough recipe.

Posted in Personal Events

Light And Fluffy Scones

Posted August 13th, 2010

We’re just getting ready for our summer vacation to Denmark, and I’ve baked some scones to take with us.


I love this recipe because it’s so easy (it takes less than an hour from start to finish) and the scones are good for at least a couple days. That means we will have a very tasty start to our bike trip!

This recipe is also versatile. You can omit the raisins, and instead make a savoury version, with olives or cheese and rosemary, to go with soup.


350 g self-raising flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar (optional, omit if making savoury scones)
50 g butter, cut into pieces
1 tbsp oil
150 g raisins
300 ml milk
1/2 cup flour, for kneading
1 beaten egg, to glaze
2 tbsp sugar, for sprinkling
2 tbsp cinnamon, for sprinkling


Pre-heat the oven to 220 C.

Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar, then rub in the butter and oil with your hands until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.

Stir in the raisins, then make a well in the centre and pour in the milk.

Mix with knife, using a cutting movement, until everything is roughly pulled together. The dough will be very sticky at this point.

Flour your counter and your hands. Scrape the dough onto the floured surface.

Knead very lightly to help work some of the flour into the dough, while shaping it into a round about 3cm thick. The “kneading” shouldn’t take more than a minute. The dough will still be sticky when you cut it.

Cut into 8 wedges and place on a greased baking sheet. Brush each scone with the beaten egg, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and bake for 15-20 minutes until risen, golden and springy to the touch.

Cool and then cover with a tea towel or put in a tupperware container to keep them soft for 2-3 days. These are delicious served warm with butter.

Posted in Personal Events