September 1, 2015

a white salad for dinner: cauliflower and feta

Whatever veg i buy on the Sunday Flagey market and whatever is in the fridge when i open it; i throw together and … voila, dinner.
This salad is simple and full of flavour.

Need: 1 small cauliflower, feta, fresh lavender flowers, olive oil, vinegar (I used my mango one) and agave syrup
Slice the cauliflower and drizzled with some olive oil season well with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Bake at 180C for 30 minutes until soft but still with crunchy center.
Layer the cauliflower and feta .
In a jar add the olive oil, vinegar,  agave syrup and shake till smooth.
Pour over the salad and sprinkle the lavender flowers .


August 24, 2015

Keep calm and adjust your Tiara - a summer bash at my place

It was grand, magical, and a jolly summer party last Saturday at my place, an EPIC night really.

The invite :
Girls and Boys,
it’s time for a Summer Bash
at HRH
bring your fave bubbly and
of course your tiara
or ‘stach

20 or so of my close friends dusted off their tiaras to sparkle brightly and trimmed their mustaches to perfection, to party all night long at HRH’s castle. People were inside, outside, moving about, some helped with food prep, some did dishes, some served bubbly: it was all very gregarious.

Everyone at some point crammed themselves into the garden, very snug indeed: passing glasses and bottles aroundEvidently there were some casualties amongst the glasses, just enough to bring good luck and one ended up in the “pond”, haha. (That’s is why God invented Ikea glasses )

Cleaning up the next day, bottles everywhere ( we did kill 25 of them) and amongst the plants some abandoned tiaras and ‘staches found a new home.

My tiara however beautiful it was, also extremely heavy ( how do they do it, the royals) it stayed on most of the night. (THANK YOU Wendy for sending it from DC) Especially cooking in heels with a tiara on, banging my head against the hood in the kitchen, was challenging. But I only had one bruise on my right thigh (?), I think it was from trying to get in and out of the crammed garden, no other major injuries, apart from painful cheeks from laughing so much! ( switching to water at 1am was helpful)

I did serve food, not just bubbles: I started with home-made dips, veg and chips. I made a beetroot-yoghurt lemon-thyme dip, a pea-parmesan dip and hummus with coriander. I served them with non-wheat tortillas, carrots and radishes. I made a fresh red and green tomatoes-red onion salsa too.

Followed by 2 salads: summer spinach, zuchinni with feta, duck and pomegranate salad – and a quinoa, green beans with radish and smoked trout salad.  

As main I served pasta with home-made pesto.(Thank you lovely friends who helped at the assembly line)

Dessert was s’mores : marshmallows, Belgian chocolate and speculoos biscuits – but of course! There were fruits too, oddly enough plenty leftover.

As always I decorated with self-made garlands in gold, black and white that I strung up across the room and I decorated the wall behind the food station: makes it instantaneously festive. And candles everywhere ... ( who doesn't love craft time - channeling Martha)

The weather was super mild ( actually hot in my world) and permitted me to set up the bar outside. I bought as much ice as I could store and had a friend bring more, I think I can safely say we had chilled drinks ( mortified if I would ve served lukewarm bubbly)

Party favors: I love giving my guests something on the way out. For this party I made a little hangover kit – I printed a "keep calm label" for the water bottle, filled little brown bags with 2 paracetamol pain meds, detox green tea and a mint – next day essentials …

I planned and prepped several weeks in advance but took a day off to ready the food. So on the day off I had time to go ve my hair and makeup done. Everything was  ready, I was relaxed to receive my friends... and before they arrived practised drinking bubbly with my tiara on... ( bring the glass to the lips, don't drop the tiara!)

Having a big party does not need to break the bank. If you source your ingredients seasonal and local you can strech your euros; love going to my local markets and making up the menu as I go. My food cost was only 10 euro per person. Of course drinks are the large cost but you could ve people bring a bottle or have them chip in. Making your own decorations, such as garlands are very economical. I bought large sheets of colored paper and some string, instant party vibe for a few euros only. Ikea is KING in cheap glasses and bowls, I save the crystal for sit-down dinner parties and bring out the Ikea stuff for the nomadic parties. Candles are a cheap and superb moodsetter. It is all about being creative with a little help from pinterest ...

Her Royal Highness is very grateful for such fab friends - 
love y’all - 
thank you guys for the Emergency Pink Kit, LOVE it!

August 13, 2015

dinner in 5 minutes: zucchini, tomatoes and feta

About a year ago i bought a kitchen gadget: a "pencil sharpener" tool to make veggie 

spaghetti shapes. It doesn't really work with carrots but brilliantly with zucchini. 

This dish goes out to all my vegetarian friends.

How to?

Turn the zucchini into spaghetti, add a few cut up cherry tomatoes, some crumbled feta and a few pin nuts.

In a jar shake olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice, cut chives, salt and pepper.

August 11, 2015

a fresh salad on a Michel & Sebastien Bras plate

A perfect way to present a tasty salad is on this ultra thin voile of porcelain created by Roos Van de Velde for Michel and Sebastien Bras. I recall Michel Bras talking about how art in tableware are in perfect symbioses with his dishes. I agree: a plate is not simple a vessel for the food but part of the experience, the pleasure and the visual tasting if you like. You eat with your eyes, so i pay a lot of attention myself to not so much on presentation as i like to keep it simple but also on what i serve the food on or in. It really matters to me.

"Cooking is a vision of the world composed on a plate, 

thus forming a fragment of the universe."

For the salad: i layered slices of yellow heirloom tomatoes, figs, cherry tomatoes, feta, smoked trout, sunflower seeds, fresh lavender flowers, fresh capucine flowers and verbena leaves. 
For the seasoning: In a jar i mixed olive oil, raspberry vinegar, chives, salt, pepper and agave sirup.

August 9, 2015

Frankfurt: Magarete Restaurant

A quick business trip to Frankfurt, not much time for a lot of culinary adventures so i booked restaurant Magarete, a great favourite of mine. 

We were seated outside in the very quite back courtyard and once 23H we moved to the front street side and well, had more wine till closing time.

We took the tasting 4 course menu and it was delish; especially the main course was divine!

Potato vichyssoise soup with crisp leeks and grapes

Gin soaked grilled watermelon with goat cheese and olives

Iberico porc honey glazed with polenta and peppers

Lemon cake with white chocolate glaze with cucumber and blackberries