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Just add whipped cream…

May 30, 2009

Just add whipped cream...

All this needs is a cup of heavy whipping cream with a spoonful of sugar and vanilla… maybe a vanilla bean scone (mmm…) and brunch is served!

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Baked

January 30, 2009

On my wishlist… the new cookbook ‘Baked’ featured in this month’s Oprah magazine (Feb. 09). I read some mixed reviews re: the new frontiers matter but really… who cares. new frontiers. old world. whatever. The bottom line: it’s a modern, funky and stylish book featuring fantastic photo’s with mouthwatering bites of delicious-ness. really. (although I wish the pages were a little more textured and less glossy ..but I think that is my own personal issue).Baked

Sabbatical

January 29, 2009

Well, after a one year (almost!) hiatus from thewritefood.com, I am back to blogging… with a renewed committment to writing about food & practicing my photography. I am no wiser about food. I am no wiser about blogs, my cooking has not really improved (unless you count following recipes to the T in cookbooks.. I don’t really), BUT my interest in food has not subsided. I am trying to pinpoint exactly where this interest seems to be going … and it seems that it mostly resides in food photography, food-related magazines (i.e. Donna Hay, Delicious, Dish, and more..) and cookbooks. an ever growing cookbook collection (still in infancy, mind you) is one of the few things that enables me to wind down and just relax. What I have figured out… I like to eat, I like the idea of cooking, I love cookbooks and all things food – LOVE the spectacular food photography you see in some of the magazines (Donna Hay, especially) and all things food. BUT. I don’t love to cook.  C’est la vie. Stay tuned.

Dutch basics

March 14, 2008

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I had my usual lunch today – milk, cheese, and some bread. To some, this may seem a little on the basic side and probably a little boring.  I suppose it is a little boring. Yet, these are my three main staples in the fridge and I maintain a steady supply of these three items all year round. Come to think of it, in my 33 years I don’t think I have ever turned down a cheese & bread lunch. This, I am sure, is proof that I am a Dutch native through and through.

Anyway, as I was eating my lunch and reading the Real Simple travel edition (Machu Picchu, Peru, anyone?), I was thinking back to a time in school when I was about 5 years old or so and just been given the exciting assignment of making a supersized Mother’s Day card.  Putting my paints, crayola’s and bright sticky blue glue to work, I proudly declared that: I love my mum because… [this was a fill-in-the-blank assignment]…she gives me bread.  Well! This prompted an immediate response from my mother who made sure to share quite clearly to the teacher that her daughter also gets plenty of cheese.

And so a tradition is passed on, from mother to daughter, outside on the school playground on our bycicles (I am sure it was raining, too).

The Dutch (not all…but most of them) love cheese – so I couldn’t resist picking up a little Dutch cookbook at a store that had the quaintest little cheese recipe.  From “The Art of Dutch Cooking” (2001) by C. Countess van Limburg Stirum, here is a little Dutch appetizer:

  • Butter
  • 4 slices black rye bread
  • 3 slices creamy cheese

Indeed, the Dutch basics.

A blueberry day

March 12, 2008

Deliciously rich organic blueberries…  

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In my world, there is nothing better than a blueberry pancake served with a side of freshly whipped cream sprinkled with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon sugar.  Maybe some warm maple syrup on the side and a bowl of thinly sliced bananas mingled with oven-baked pecans. Delicious. A vase of brightly colored tulips set on the table with bursts of tart pink, creamsicle orange, and sunny yellow, a favorite magazine or read on the side, and you are off to a great weekend! For my all time favorite blueberry pancakes, I have taken and adapted the basic pancake recipe from The Joy of Cooking (2006). 

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (the good stuff makes a difference & I am quite liberal w/ this measurement!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon disoronno (optional! but oh so yummy!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest

Mix all dry ingredients.  Mix all wet ingredients. Stir wet ingredients into dry then throw in about a pint of blueberries. Let sit for a little bit (don’t mix this too vigorously – keep the blueberries whole!) and off you go!  I like to put some butter in the pan (medium to high heat) then wipe the butter with a paper towel each time before adding the pancake batter (about 1/4 cup).  Turn down stove to medium heat. Enjoy!

Pasta! Pasta!

March 10, 2008

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I have an odd love & hate relationship with pasta. I love the whole idea of pasta – big pasta dinners, glasses of red wine on the table, bruschetta or garlic bread, maybe a simple salad, and some Dean Martin in the background. Sounds terrific! But, I just have one tiny problem – I am incapable of making a good pasta sauce. It seems so simple; throw in some olive oil, fresh herbs, tomatoes, and maybe a raw egg in piping hot – just off the stove ‘el dente’ pasta – and Bob’s your uncle!  Now, as an avid reader of most things food, I am aware that there seem to be two camps in the world of pasta sauce: 1) the bare bones camp and, 2) the ‘can’t get enough’ camp. I seem to have missed the boat to both of these camps. I have tried full on sauce, lots of meat, no meat, lots of veggies, no veggies, you name it. No matter what, total sauce failure. The camps are closed – I apparently did not get the season pass. Instead, some pictures.

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fresh mushrooms from the co-op.

A toast to bread

March 8, 2008

Imagining a perfect Saturday, I am whisked away to a cafe in Amsterdam. It would be sunny (again, I’m imagining!) and I would sit at a little dinky table on cobblestones overlooking the bridges and canals in the heart of the city.  We would see trams go by, byciclists, and lazy boats floating along the canals – everyone is enjoying that rare day in Holland where it’s sunny, warm and just gorgeous.  In good company of course, we would be served freshly baked french bread right out of the oven with warm butter and plenty of Gouda. A side of coffee and some desert to finish, we would continue to wonder through the book and flower markets spread throughout the side streets and along boutiques and rare art stores. Maybe if the appetite so desires, I would stop for a late afternoon snack of poffertjes (mini Dutch pancakes) brushed with butter and a dusting of powdered sugar.  Mmmm…..  perfect!

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