November 21st, 2010 § 7 comments § permalink

Can’t help it, the lazy gourmande has “Les yeux plus grands que le ventre” (literally, the eyes bigger than the belly). What can I say, eye-dropping on mouthwatering foodporn is one of my nifty pleasures and without saying a great source of inspiration…

Here ‘s my latest ‘foodielicious’ top 3 drools …


Picture by Mas Alla de 365 sonrisas

Marta’s mouthwatering gluten free Chestnut cake with chocolate frosting [inspired by yours truly… makes me feel so proud!] – check out her blog ‘Mas alla de 365 sonrisas’ (More than 365 smiles) for the recipe and many more droolworthy treats.


A spoonful of cheese!

My favorite cheese, the sexy ‘Mont d’or’ is in season again, and the cutest cheese lover ever, aka the cheesist, will tell you all about this creamy velvety pillowy cheese while I finish licking my spoon… and if you’re good she might even hook you up with the best cheese game ever!


Feasting like a sweet yankee!
Picture from Sweet Paul Magazine, holiday 2010- issue 3,Thanksgiving Treats

Lovely yummy Thanksgiving treats cooked up just for us by food and prop stylist Sweet Paul & friends in the third edition of his excitingly sweet and stylish online magazine.


Happy drooling!

*Warning: Eye dropping on mouthwatering foodporn may become addictive and occasion side effects such as the occasional drool, stomach growl or cooking crave… ūüėČ

While the cat's away…

May 30th, 2010 § 6 comments § permalink

When one of us is away for dinner, ’cause on a business trip or going out with the guys/gals we indulge ourselves in these cherished gourmandises that the other half just won’t give into…. For my dutchie, his lonely orgies range from KFC (one of my worst food nightmares) to more chicken wings, pork chops and other preferably over-sized meat cuts with minimum-sized veggie portions. I give into cheese (his worst food nightmare), veggies, more cheese and veggies, salads, soups, risottos, a good plate of pasta alla carbonara, or a homemade quiche with plenty of veggies and cheese just like this one…

Leek and Tome de Savoie Quiche

What about you… What are your secret and cherished gourmandises that you keep for the days when the cat’s away?

» Read the rest of this entry «

While the cat’s away…

May 30th, 2010 § 4 comments § permalink

When one of us is away for dinner, ’cause on a business trip or going out with the guys/gals we indulge ourselves in these cherished gourmandises that the other half just won’t give into…. For my dutchie, his lonely orgies range from KFC (one of my worst food nightmares) to more chicken wings, pork chops and other preferably over-sized meat cuts with minimum-sized veggie portions. I give into cheese (his worst food nightmare), veggies, more cheese and veggies, salads, soups, risottos, a good plate of pasta alla carbonara, or a homemade quiche with plenty of veggies and cheese just like this one…

Leek and Tome de Savoie Quiche

What about you… What are your secret and cherished gourmandises that you keep for the days when the cat’s away?

» Read the rest of this entry «


April 6th, 2009 § 2 comments § permalink

I had plans to post my favourite egg dish for you to enjoy during the easter weekend but something got in the way¬†and I didn’t¬†find the 8 minutes¬†to prepare them nor the many more minutes for¬†the photo session… But anyway, there will be plenty more occasions for brunches and I’ve got something at least as appealing and slightly magical¬†under my sleeve for this weekend brunch.

Caramelised whilte loaf tatin

» Read the rest of this entry «


April 4th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

The lazy gourmande has¬†once again been hibernating for a while (and so has her kitchen diaries). But winter is over and it’s getting hungry again.

I hope you guys haven’t lost faith in seeing me again around the kitchen? I’ll try to make it up to you. To start with, something green,¬†fresh, velvety and fragrant. Something like spring to cheer up your aperitif or a dish of fresh pasta with friends.


» Read the rest of this entry «

Chanterelle Mea Culpa

October 23rd, 2008 § 2 comments § permalink

Yep, the lazy gourmande is back. It’s been a long while. I missed you all.
I’ve been¬†wondering how I could make it up to you…
And then, I was drooling in front of the mouthwatering¬†automn specials of the duch¬†cooking magazine Wining & dining¬†when I found¬†this little gem… ¬†a tender mini-bite with chanterelles and old sheep cheese that will make you feel like going mushroom-picking next weekend.

Mini-cakes des sous-bois
Just for you… A personal interpretation of Wining and Dining automn proof mini-muffins*

Of course, I couldn’t help bringing in my personnal touch to the original recipe*, but that was mostly ’cause I missed part of the ingredients in my cupboards.


» Read the rest of this entry «

When the Easter bunny turns into Santa…

March 18th, 2008 § 2 comments § permalink

Since I’ve moved to the Netherlands, the easter bunny has always spoiled me with¬†one of the most precious gift ever (I see the smile on your faces already…¬†Don’t get me wrong:¬†the lazy gourmande is¬†not talking chocolate today):¬†for what I can remember, Easter weekends have counted in the warmest weekends of the year for the seven years I’ve lived around here. I had come to believe Easter to be the true beginning of spring,¬†the celebration of life and renewal (ok, that’s a bit ‘mushi’ but yep, that ‘s how far the easter bunny fills me with joy): The first brunch on the terasse with dear friends, enjoying the morning sun¬†while sipping tea and¬†nibbling the first asparagus and strawberries… Searching the shadow of the first leaves of the lilac tree after running around the garden to find the last chocolate eggs in the garden before they melt under the strong easter weekend sun. The first sun bath in the garden or on the beach (no really, I’m not kidding, I do really live in the netherlands)…¬†

Knowing that,¬†you can imagine how excited I was to take a peak at the weather forecast for the weekend. Let me put it like this: if you also live in the Netherlands and feel like me about easter, maybe you should just skip the weather forecast for this year. Maybe you should go to¬†a¬†last-minute website instead and book your tickets for somewhere sunny right away. It seems I must have been a very bad girl this year, because although the easter bunny will¬†probably bring me some chocolates (not that I really need¬†any with my winter protection layer)… It will also bring in SNOW!¬† Ok, I know easter is pretty early this year, but still this is just all wrong… Even the easter bunny starts to thinks he is Santa!

I guess that instead of sunbathing on the terasse while refreshing myself with a taste of heaven: 

mousse au fromage blanc
Triffle with ‘fromage blanc’ mousse, rhubarb, raspberries, and biscuits roses de Rheims…

… I will be under my blanket¬†watching Al Gore’s¬†documentary one more time, with a¬†fuming cup of tea and craving for a piece of that:¬†

Warm blueberry pudding (3)
When I tell you that something is wrong: It’s gonna snow but yet the market stalls ar full with blueberries… I got tricked last time (try this with rhubarb, I’m sure it will be at least as delicious and surely more seasonal).

Fresh and light triffle with ‘fromage blanc’ mousse,¬†rhubarb and raspberries¬†
Triffle leger et frais à la mousse au fromage blanc, à la rhubarbe et aux framboises

serves 6 pers.
prep: 15 min. rest: 1/2 hour + 1hour 

For the mousse:
400 g fromage blanc at 0% fat* (or dutch kwark or a mix from cottage cheese and greek yoghurt),
20 cl whipping cream,

3 sheets of gelatin,
2 to 4 Tsp sugar (I use 2)
According to taste: vanilla extract, lavender, cardamom, lemon extract… (I use crushed lavender and vanilla seeds)

For the triffle:
6 to 8 of your favourite cookies (biscottis, lady fingers, speculoos… here, I used ‘biscuits roses de Rheims’),
2 handful of fresh berries marinated in sugar and lemon juice and/or shortly stewed or caramalised fruits (here I used, caramelised rhubarb compote and fresh raspberries).

For the mousse: At least half to one hour before hand, set the fromage blanc to drain in a clean towel or in kitchen paper.
Soften the gelatin in a bowl of cold water. Reserve one tsp whipping cream to melt the gelatin and whip the rest of the cream until stiff. Whip the drained fromage blanc with the sugar and spices until shiny and relatively stiff. In a small pan melt the drained gelatin with 1 tsp of cream. Immediately incorporate to the whipped fromage blanc. Incorporate the whipped cream delicately to the fromage blanc mixture.

For the triffle: Pour the mousse in individual glasses in alternate layers with roughly crushed biscuits and fresh and/or stewed fruits. Refrigerate for at least 1hour before serving.

Bon appétit!

Warm blueberry pudding (2)

Warm blueberry pudding
Petit gateau tiède aux myrtilles

serves 6 pers.
prep: 10 min. cook: 20 min

250g + 50g¬†blueberries (for Easter, I’ll try this again with rhubarb… much more seasonal!),
1 lemon (juice and zest),

70g sugar (preferably cane sugar),
100g butter at room temperature,
100g flour,
2 eggs,
1/2 pack raising powder,
1 pinch of salt.

Preheat the oven at 180 degC***
Clean the blueberries and marinate with 2 Tsp sugar and the juice of the lemon. Set 50g aside to garnish.
In a small pan on high fire, sauteed 250g of the marinated blueberries for a couple of minutes until their juices strat to form a lovely red syrup.

The pudding dough is¬†inspired from a recipe in ‘Jamie’s dinners’**** from Jamie Oliver: In a bowl, beat the butter and¬†the rest of the¬†sugar with a wooden spoon until fluffy. Incorporate the eggs one by one. Then,¬†mix in¬†the flour, yeast, lemon zest¬†and salt.

Divide the sauteed blueberries and their juices evenly in 6 buttered individuals baking dishes. Spoon over the pudding dough and bake for 20 min at 180 deg C***. Serve warm, sprinkled with icing sugar and a spoon of the reserved marinated berries.

Bon appétit!

* I use fromage blanc with 0% fat √ßause that’s mostly what I have around. Although I’m usually¬†more for the real thing, I love it like that.¬†Of course, whole fromage blanc can only be smoother and creamier.¬† It’s up to you!
** Biscuit rose de Rheims are derived from¬† ‘biscuit √† la cuill√®re’ typically used for charlottes in french. They are a local produce from Rheims and fit particularly well with Champagne.
*** I always use the hot air option from my oven,  you might want add 10 deg C for a normal oven or extend the baking for 5 to 10 min.
**** The oroginal recipe is an oldfashioned english pudding with automn fruits and Jersey cream with whisky. Last automn, I turned this recipe into a crumble while keeping the pudding dough in the back of my mind for further experiments… good idea: this airy and rich pudding married perfectly with the blueberries.

Merry Christmas from Holland!

December 28th, 2007 § 4 comments § permalink

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones!

Sunset in Vondelpark

So far so good for my stressless Christmas… We do not know how to do without stress in the family! No worries, it ended up al well and we all had a great time and the Christmas dinner was a success. I’ll post about it later once I fully recovered from this week.

In the mean time, here’s a few photos from some of my favourite spots in Amsterdam I took after the Christmas eve rush on Christmas day…

Amsterdam1 amsterdam4

Couldn’t get to post the recipe for the cheese sabl√©s before Christmas. Here it is at last! The recipe is based on the recipe for the ‘Goudse Kaasmoppen’ from the famous dutch baker Kees Raat from the book ‘Koekje’. The shortcrust texture of these cheese bites sabl√©s is wonderful and Kees Raat uses Chick pea flour which gives a little nutty something to the taste. As a twist to the recipe I added some spices to the dough: I spiced half of the cookies with crushed pepper and chilipepper and the other half with slightly toasted and roughly crushed cummin seeds… Perfect!

Spicy Goudse Kaasmoppen

Spicy dutch cheese sablés
Petits sablés épicés au gouda

Makes about 40.
prep: 15min +1hr rest. cook: 15 min

160 g dutch gouda cheese,
160 g butter at room temperature,
140 g chickpea flour,

2g sea salt (~1/2 tsp),
pepper, chilipepper, cummin seeds… according to taste

Mix the cheese and butter together. Knead in the chick pea flour, the salt and spices until the dough is homogeneous. Roll the dough into two cilinders of ~2cm diameter en leave to cool in the fridge for at least one hour. Preheat the oven at 170 deg C. Cut the dough in 1cm thick slices and lay them on a baking tray covered with baking foil. Cook for about 15 min at 170 deg C or until golden. Watch out that the cookies do not get brown, they could get bitter. Leave to cool on a rack and store in a metal tin.

Bon appétit!

The Gourmande who was afraid of cheesecakes

October 30th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

Once upon a time, there was a lazy gourmande who loved cooking for the sake of gourmandise, entertaining loved ones and experimenting flavours. She was lazy but curious: she’d love trying new¬† ingredients, experimenting new techniques… In the kitchen, she could be very daring when she felt like it; she was not scared of getting dirty hands when it came to manipulating meat or fish; she loved trying rare ingredients she had never heard of before. Yet, she was cursed with a ridiculous fear for certain dishes and ingredients, mostly those she particularly cherished: macarons, pastillas, preserves,¬† cheesecakes, and many others. Some involved relatively complex techniques for a beginner, some where outrageously simple. It didn’t matter, she could crave for them, fantasize for years about creating them out of her own hands… she would always find an evasive reason not to cook them. You got it: our lazy gourmande could get extremely insecure in her kitchen.

And then, she starting blogging!¬† After intense blog therapy, she slowly managed to overcome one of her fears, opening the door to a whole new world of cooking sensations. A couple of weeks ago, she made another huge step towards recovery: shocked by the sudden defrosting of the precious contents of her brand new freezer, stigmatized by the urge of saving as much as could be saved, she baked a cheesecake, a “tarte au fromage blanc*”!¬† So simple… She blushed remembering her fear, she blushed out of satisfaction.


Tarte au fromage blanc*

serves 8
prep: 10 min cook: 10+30 min

1 shortcrust (~350g)
350 g ‘fromage blanc’ (Greek yoghurt or dutch kwark will do too)
10 cl liquid cream
5 cl milk
3 eggs, beaten
50g Maizena
4 Tsp sugar (or more if you have a sweet tooth)
1 pinch of salt
zest of 1 lemon
2 Tsp raisins soaked in alcohol** or warm tea

Preheat the oven at 180 deg C.Line the short crust in a spring mould (at least 5 cm deep) and bake blind *** for 10 min. Reserve.
Delay the maizena with the milk. Pour into a blender. Add the fromage blanc, liquid cream, eggs, sugar, and vanilla and blend until smooth. Then stir in the lemon zest and raisins and pour in the tart shell. Bake for 30 min until golden. Leave to cool at room temperature. Enjoy with friends on late sunday afternoons with a hot cup of your favourite tea.

Bon appetit!

* ¬† “Fromage blanc” is a typical french dairy product. A cross between thick yoghurt and creamcheese. The low fat version has become very popular as a replacement for cream in low-fat recipes. In holland the equivalent is Kwark,¬† you can replace it with greek yoghurt.
**¬† ¬†I used the dutch ‘boerenjongens’ -literally ‘farmer boys’- which are raisins marinated in Jenever.
*** Indicates baking a pastry dough without a filling (“cuire a blanc” in french). Prick the shell all over with a fork to prevent rising and line some baking foil over the dough. Fill with dry beans to prevent the pastry dough to retract. Remove the foil and beans after 5 min to allow coloring.

Spring, asparagus and zucchini

May 15th, 2006 § 0 comments § permalink

Last friday, in the end of the afternoon, I was just back from the local supermarket with an empty basket, depressed from the lack of choice and determined not to cook that night when my dutchie called: his father was paying us a surprise visit… He had something to celebrate! Good timing as I had prepared my dish for the next Blog Apetit event! It was perfect for a celebration and I would have two guinea pigs instead of one! I won’t get into details now (I will tell you all about it on the 23rd of may). However, I can tell you that it is a starter. The main dish was another story: the fridge was almost empty except from a few veal sausages and luckily some fresh zuchini and green asparagus. No way I would go back to the shop though… There was nothing inspiring to find there anyway! I first thought to keep it simple and serve the sausages with the vegetables sauteed and some plain rice. My dutchie is often complaining that I overdo it when we have guests! For sure I will prove him wrong this time… That was counting without the Champagne! After a happy and animated borrel* with the three of us I thought I would get started with the dinner. Starter ready to serve, oven on, vegetables cleaned and chopped, water for the rice… Maybe it was the golden champagne bubbles… a naughty little voice inside of me suggested I couldn’t just serve plain rice and sausages after such a nice drink and starter! I looked around my kitchen: rice, zucchinis, asparagus! And there was still some home made chicken stock in the fridge… There was room for a little twist in my cooking plans. Happy again, I got started. 20 minutes later dinner was on the table. My dutchie’s father served himself three times!


Spring zucchini and asparagus risotto
(risotto printanier aux courgettes blanches et pointes d’asperges)

3 pers. prep: 10 min cook.:20 min

2 white zucchini (light green in fact)
100 g green asperge tips
1 shallot
~300g basmati rice (risotto experts… do not scream: I had no arborio or risotto rice around!)
50 g parmezan cheese (grate it youself, it tastes so much better)
a few chive sprigs
1 Tsp. olive oil
a knob of butter
sea salt, pepper
2dl dry white wine (I used the chardonnay we started after the champagne)
5dl chicken stock
Chop the shallot and cut the zucchinis in small pieces. Warm up the stock. In a big pan, put half of the olive oil to heat. Add the shallot and after a few minutes the rice. Stir. When the rice is translucid, cover with the wine and some stock (my stock was well seasoned so I didn’t add extra salt). Stir and lower the fire. Stir regularly and add some stock whenever it starts to dry out. Cook until the rice gets tender (about 15 min). In the mean time, heat the rest of the olive oil in a skillet. When the pan is hot add the zucchini and aparagus tips, season with salt and pepper. Stir fry for 5 min. Set aside. When the risotto is about ready add the vegetables and stir. Then add the grated cheese, the knob of butter, the chives and season to taste with fresh grinded pepper. Stir energically and serve immediately.Bon app√©tit!

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