Pressies! And Much More

Remember I said I’d show you all of my pressies? (it’s on the previous post, in case you don’t). Ok, so I’ll show you today:

(psss, if you click on the pics, it’ll lead you to each pic on the gallery, and you can click for an even bigger version)


The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook, by Dave Myers and Si King. It’s a cookbook, a travel guide (the book is divided by countries), and a history book all in one. You won’t get everything from all three categories, but you’ll get nice recipes with loads of pictures, some tips on traveling (mainly by bike), and some history tidbits about each country.Oh, and lots of humour! It’s the kind of cookbook you can read from the first page to the last, it’s that good.


Amarantine, by Enya, and Come Away With Me, by Norah Jones. Both are very good! These two CDs will become part of my “quiet music” collection, as opposed to my “not so quiet music” collection. In any case, I can fall asleep listening to either ;)


A wooden tray with four small pots with four matching small spoons, that will most likely be used to serve sauces, spices, salt, etc at the table. Given to me by SIL. She knows I like to cook.


Sexy Sheepie, as already introduced on the previous post. Back then, it was New Years, and she was being geeky at my laptop. Today, I got sexy sheepie to pose for the camera, and the result is two more pics: this and this other. She totally seduces the camera, doesn’t she?

Bonus pictures:


`appy `ippo.


Fierce `ippo.

Family Pic

Family Pic: `appy `ippo, sexy sheepie, and fluffy doggy.

We’ve also gone eat out once during these past 10 days. We found a new italian place in Aalst, it’s called La Locanda, and sadly, they don’t have their own website. I snapped a couple pics at our main dishes:

Asparragus Rissotto Pappardelle with sewfruit

That’s one Asparragus Rissotto that melts on your tongue. And one dish of Pappardelle with Seafruit that sent Jan to heaven. The servings are huge, too. We had a nice evening dinning there, but we know for next time (because we sure as hell are going back) to order less. One starter, two mains and two desserts was too much for us two!

Also, some knitting, just for kicks. Seems I haven’t talked knitting in ages, doesn’t it? Anyway, I’m designing and knitting this scarf for Jan. The first I made for him, he loves it, but it’s very warm. So he wanted another, and I said I make him one (hopefully) completely original. The result so far is this:


And a close-up of the texture.

close up

The scarf is fully reversible, and fun to knit. The pattern is not complicated, and is easy to memorize. But it’s not so boring you’ll want to tear your hair before you’re half done with it. For those interested, I’ll be writing up the pattern in a nifty pdf, and putting it up for download, whenever the scarf is finished and I have modeled shots.

Recipe Box?

I’ve seen people out there showing out their recipe boxes on their blogs (sorry, can’t remember which, I’ve already seen it in a couple, at least), as Mason Dixon have a show and tell contest, where they asked to see your recipe box, and to share one of your favourite recipes in it. I really don’t have a recipe box, because it’d be hard to fit all the recipes I’ve “clipped” and wrote and modified into a single recipe box. However, I do have a nice method of collecting my recipes:

Recipe Folders

This picture shows the “hard copy” of all the recipes. The five red folders (3 in / 7.5 cm wide) on the right are my cook book / recipe box. Each recipe has exactly the same format, there is a nice index to browse alphabetically, and even better, they are all in a database that makes searching recipes easy. Also, I can access this database wherever I have internet access, which makes having my “cook book” at hand even easier.

Of course, this does not include my growing collection of cookbooks. Because those are not in the recipe binders!

Now, sharing a favourite recipe, that might be hard. I have too many favourite recipes. I will however give you one recipe I tried yesterday and that came out delicious. Sautéed Apple Pie with Short Pastry crust. Serve with Panna Cotta for an extra kick! (I went with the vanilla pod version, so very worth every cent of that pod!) By the way, if you click on that nice “Get this recipe as PDF” link at the bottom of each recipe, you’ll see the format all my recipes have in that bunch of folders.

On a very unrelated note to this post:


Never Too Early

It’s never to early in the holiday season to enjoy a nice sweet. The shops have been selling Roscón de Reyes (Kings’ Cake) for about two weeks already. And the traditional date to eat it is the 6th of January.

So today I baked one. It’s always better than the store bought, and you know what goes into it. Fifteen days too early, I present you: Roscón de Reyes.

Roscon de Reyes

I took two recipes, and made my own. You can find it here.

A Cooking Day.

Pre-Birthday, I spent the afternoon cooking. What did I accomplish? This:

  • A docen lemony vanilla cupcakes (from VCTOTW)
  • 15 (yes, fifteen!) chocolate ginger cupcakes (also from VCTOTW)
  • Made chocolate cointreau ganache for those chocolate ginger cupcakes
  • Baked breadrolls from the freezer – only mjummy bread while we get our bread machine back. Over a month and counting…
  • Baked about two cups of chestnuts. Autumn = Roasted chestnuts for me!
  • Roasted half kilo of pumkin, tomorrow I’ll make… Roasted pumkin soup with it (:

Oh, and I am actually going out for dinner to celebrate. Dessert is on me!


This recipe was requested by YarnTalk, and since one has to eat, one can as well take a picture and post the recipe, making someone happy at the same time. Good karma this way, please!

Green Beans with Potatoes and Carrots


and its recipe

Bon Appétit!

P.S.: Yes, I’m knitting, it still looks the same as in the previous post, only a bit taller. I’m not going to bore you to death with the progress of cables and calf shaping. Wait till I start knitting the fold over, that will be fun :) I promise!

Chickpea Salad

Chickpea Salad


  • 3/4 to 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1/5 cup pre-cooked couscous
  • 1/5 cup broth (or water)
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1 inch piece green italian pepper
  • 1 small carrot
  • 3 red cherry tomatoes
  • 3 yellow cherry tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Sherry vinegar
  • 1.5 teaspoons olive oil
  • salt and (freshly) ground pepper


  1. Prepare your vegetables: peel the carrot and chop in 1/4 coins, clean the pepper and cut in small pieces, chop the onion thinly. Cut the cherry tomatoes in 8-12 pieces (depending on size). Put all these ingredients in your serving dish, add vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, mix well and let marinate.
  2. Prepare couscous: heat broth in microwave till nearly boiling, add couscous and mix with a fork, let rest until all liquid has been absorbed and it’s fairly dry. Fluff grains with fork, then add to the marinated vegetables.
  3. Add chickpeas to dish, mix well, and enjoy!

Servings: 1 as full meal, 2 as starter.

Notes: I used dry chickpeas that I boiled, ’cause I don’t really like the canned ones (and the weird things they add to them). Take 250 grams (about 2/3 cup) dry chickpeas and soak overnight in at least twice as much water. In the morning drain the water, rinse with fresh water, and drain again. Put chickpeas in deep pot, add 1 teaspoon salt, 1 small bay leaf and 8-10 fennel seeds, add water until it doubles chickpeas’ volume. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for around 2 hours, until chickpeas are as tender as you prefer them.

Cooking (Book)

Did I mention I love cooking? And books? So cooking books are always appreciated. I’m also a vegetarian (ovo-lacto in case you wonder), so this cookbook is great for me.

Vegan with a Vengeance Cookbook

Vegan with a Vengeance, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

If you clicked on that link, you’ll notice my book is different from the one on the Post Punk Kitchen website. That’s because mine is the British edition. Sadly, the publisher Grub Street left out the few pictures that can be found on the original version. Will that keep me from cooking these delicious and vegan recipes? Nope! Will it encourage me to take pics of my finished dishes from this book? Definitively!

Clap to VCTOTW

Cryptic title? Yes, it’s intentional!

First things first. Today was my previous to last exam of the season, and it was about time to take a break after nearly a month non-stop of doing nothing for myself. So, I know at least I passed one of the five courses I had this semester, because it had partials, and I passed them all. Collective YAY! please. Now it’s waiting for the other four, and taking the last one, too.

So, what did I do on my break? I’ve been a very very lazy one. And then I decided it was time for a treat. So here it’s where VCTOTW comes into action. If you haven’t clicked that link yet, I’ll tell you it’s a baking book. A vegan baking book, even. And it’s called Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World (or VCTOTW for lazy people like me). And since I can’t cook or bake following a recipe to the letter, I modified one, and the result was:

Chocolate Mocha Cupcake

That is a lovely tender delicious flavourful Chocolate Mocha Cupcake. However, my version is not vegan, since I did not have soy milk on hand, and had to make-do with what was in the pantry. Maybe you want my version? Here it comes:

Chocolate Mocha Cupcakes
Adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World
by Isa Chandra & Terry Hope


  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar (I used rice, since it was the only white vinegar I had)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (or substitute your favourite oil, but it does taste good with olive oil)
  • 1 cup self raising flour, plus one teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder (this is ground vanilla bean, mixed with a bit of sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee


  1. Line a muffin tin tray with cupcakes paper cups. Preheat oven to 200°C / 400F.
  2. In a big bowl, mix milk and vinegar and let to curdle. Once it has started to curdle, add oil, sugar, vanilla and instant coffee.
  3. In a second bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder, until well blended.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients into the liquids in two batches, mixing well until no lumps remain (some tiny lumps are ok, but no big lumps!)
  5. Pour into cupcake liners carefuly. About 2/3 full. Put in the oven, lower temperature to 175°C / 350 F, and bake for 18 to 23 minutes. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean.
  6. Let cupcakes cool down in tray for 10 minutes, then move to cooling rack. Enjoy slightly warm with a mug of tea, a cup of coffee or a nice glass of milk.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

And now, you can clap! And also, you can enjoy my half done clapotis:

Clapotis, 45% done

It’s my de-stressing knitting this semester, it’s doing its job very well, and I hope to have it finished by the end of exams. That gives me till the 27th of june!

On a random note, if you remember this post where I showed a pile of books, four of them were cooking books, and three of them were novels. I can recomend all three novels: The Secrets of Jin-Shei by Alma Alexander, In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant, and Empress Orchid by Anchee Min. I loved them all.