Life in Photos 51/52

Photo above: 25th of December – Second course of the Christmas dinner. Pineapple carpaccio.

 

19th of December – Poffertjes for lunch!

 

22th of December – Thesis!

 

23th of December – Jummy pizza for dinner.

 

 

23th of December – Unwrapping Christmas presents.

 

24th of December – Baking brownies…. gonna be soo good. 

 

24th of December – Tortillas for dinner. 

 

25th of December – Merry Christmas. Breakfast with champagne.

 

25th of December – Chocolate salami!

 

25th of December – First course of the Christmas dinner. Pulled salmon spoon. 

 

25th of December – Third course of the Christmas dinner. Soup with mushrooms. 

 

25th of December – Sixth course of the Christmas dinner.

 

Awesome gift idea: Hot choco in a jar

This Christmas I wanted to make a couple of gifts myself, so of course; I went straight over to Pinterest. I searched and found A LOT of Do-It-Yourself ideas, but I was really busy, so I wanted to make something that was quick and easy. I found several gifts in a jar and absolutely loved the idea. At first I wanted to put all the ingredients for cupcakes in a jar, but I was only going to make 3 jars so that meant spending a lot of money on ingredients, but only using a little. Eventually I figured I wanted to put chocolate milk in a jar. Here's what I did to make it look festive in an easy, cheap and quick way!

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What you need:

  • Hot chocolate
  • Little pieces of chocolate (I used white chocolate)
  • A big jar

Optional:

  • A small jar
  • Small chocolates (or other small yummie things)
  • 1 Candy cane, a red straw and a cute printable tag

 

How to make this:

Step 1 (optional): Put the small chocolates in the little jar.

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Step 2: Pour the hot chocolate mix in the jar, but keep in mind that you need some space for the little pieces of chocolate! 

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Step 3: Pour some small chocolates on top of the hot chocolate mix.

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Step 4: Top it off as you like! I used a candycane, a cute printable tag and a red straw.

Step 5: Write the instructions on the printable, so the reciever knows how to make some delicious hot choco. I wrote down how much hot milk 2 tablespoons needed (it was the direction that was on the original package).

We also had some walnuts from our own garden, so I gave a little bag of those as well!

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I hope you enjoyed this easy DIY (Christmas) gift!

Christmas Dinner – Duck breast with orange marmalade

Christmas dinner 2015, first course, amuse; Duck breast with orange marmalade!

Every year my uncle and me cook Christmas dinner for the whole family, this year 14 people.

This amuse is very little, super easy and very quick to make.

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4 People

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 pieces of duck breast
  • Orange marmalade
  • Package of cress

 

PREPARATIONS:

Apply a small layer of marmalade on top of the duck breast. Scatter the cress on the breast. Place on the spoon or small plate and ready is your Amuse.

This is also a great recipe as a bite, during a party when you are serving a lot of people.

Christmas Dinner – Garlic Soup

Christmas dinner 2015, second course, Garlic Soup!

A recipe with a whole lot of garlic and French booze!

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4 People – recipe can also be found here(in dutch).

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 floury potato
  • 20g butter
  • 1 liter vegetable bouillon125 ml cream
  • 3 egg yolks
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tbsp pastis
  • 10 semi-dried tomatoes, cut into strips
  • 2 spring onions into rings
  • 2 sprigs parsley,the leaf

 Extra: blender

 

PREPARATION:

Peel the garlic and chop coarsely toes. Peel the potatoes and cut into pieces. Melt the butter in a (soup) pan and fry the garlic on low heat. When the garlic begins to color add the potatoes and vegetable bouillon. Bring to a boil, turn the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Beat the egg yolks in a bowl and pour a dash of warm vegetable bouillon. Whisk well until blended. Stir the yolks with the whipped cream and pour it back into the pan. Heat through and puree the soup with a blender. Season to taste with pastis, salt and pepper. Mix tomato, spring onion and parsley. Divide this into mounds on 4 deep plates. Scoop (at the table), the garlic soup gently around the garnish.

Christmas Dinner – Cockles

Christmas dinner 2015, third course, Cockles!

Mini clamps that taste amazing! They are fun to prepare and even more fun to serve to your guests.

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4 people

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 kilo cockles
  • Quarter bush parsley, washed
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • black pepper

 

PREPARATIONS:

Rinse the shells well under cold running water.

Pick the parsley and chop the leaves coarsely.

Chop the garlic coarsely. Heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan with a thick bottom. Put the clams in the pan. Make sure that the bottom of the pan is covered with one layer shells (otherwise, use two skillets). Fry them until they open up.

Add garlic, rosemary, thyme and black pepper. Shake the shells, until the moisture evaporates. Note: Only cockles moisture just evaporate by half; the meat from the clams must remain globe.

Add the butter and shake the shells together well, so that moisture and butter stick to all shells.

Finally, add the chopped parsley and shake everything one last time.

 

Christmas Dinner – Wild mushroom Tortellini with mushrooms sauce

Christmas dinner 2015, fourth course, Wild mushroom Tortellini with mushrooms sauce!

Amazing, tasteful dish with tortellini and mushrooms. We had never done pasta during the Christmas dinner before. Also a great recipe for your everyday dinners.

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4 people

INGREDIENTS:

  • 400 grams wild mushroom Tortellini
  • 200 grams mixed mushrooms
  • 1 onion, in dices
  • 200 ml cream
  • 2 tablespoons chives
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pistachio nuts, chopped
  • Salt and pepper

 

PREPARATIONS:

Clean the mushrooms and cut into big parts. Bake the mushrooms with the onions. Deglaze with the cream and let boil for a few minutes. Mix with the chives and nuts and flavour it with salt and pepper. Boil the tortellini according to instructions on the package. Serve the tortellini with the sauce. Enjoy!

Christmas Dinner – Perestroika spring cocktail

Christmas dinner 2015, fifth course, Perestroika spring cocktail!

Christmas and spring don’t totally match, I know, but this sounded like a fresh drink so we decided to go with it any way. We had spring weather during Christmas so the combo wasn’t that wrong.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 75 ml pear juice (2.5 parts)
  • 30 ml vodka (1 part)
  • 15 ml champagne
  • Fresh lime juice

PREPARATIONS:

Use a shaker with ice. Put here vodka, champagne and pear juice and squeezed juice for a hint of fresh lime. Shake well and pour into a martini glass. Garnish with a slice of pear or drop in a white spring flower.

Christmas Dinner – Venison steak and mashed potatoes with rucola and apple

Christmas dinner 2015, sixth (main) course, venison steak and mashed potatoes with rucola and apple.

The main course of our Christmas Dinner was the venison steak with mashed potatoes.  I had never eaten deer before, but it tasted very good and not that different from regular steak at all. The mashed potatoes with rucola and apples tasted great, the rucola really turned it into something special.

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4 People

INGREDIENTS:

  • 10 potatoes
  • 250 gr celeriac
  • ½ liter milk
  • 2 leeks
  • Butter
  • 2 apples (Elstar)
  • Sea salt
  • White peper
  • 200 gr rucola

PREPARATIONS:

Peel the potatoes and boil them in enough water.

Skin the celeriac and cut in dices. Boil the celeriac in the milk until they are well done. Get the dices out of the milk and save the milk.

Remove the green form the leeks and cut into small rings. Put butter in the pan and bake the leek rings on a low fire until they are soft and brown.

Peel the apples and cut them in dices from around one cm. Put some butter in the pan and bake the apple piece. They have to attain their bite. 

Drain the water from the potatoes, add the celeriac and add the left over warm milk. Add a piece of butter, salt and pepper and mash the whole to a smooth whole. Add the pieces of apple and the leeks. Right before serving add the rucola.

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4 People

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 venison steaks
  • Salt and pepper
  • Aluminium foil

PREPARATIONS:

Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Let them rest for a few minutes. Bake them in a good amount of butter. Bake both sides for 7 minutes. Then wrap each steak in a piece of aluminium foil and let it sit for 5/10 minutes. Then unwrap and place on your plate.

Serve with a ready made sauce.

Christmas Dinner – Caramelized bananas with rum

Christmas dinner 2015, zeventh (and last) course, caramelized bananas with rum.

Great recipe! It sure is something different and it takes some patience, making caramel is never easy. But it worked out and tasted delicious.

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4 people

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 large, firm bananas (ordinary, no plantains)
  • 1 tbsp. rum
  • 125 gr. dark brown sugar
  • 50 gr. Butter
  • Lemon juice (bottle)
  • 200 gr. Ice-cream

PREPARATIONS:

Measure the ingredients off. Melt the butter, add the sugar and cook over a low heat (this took very long, so we turned up the heat) to melt the sugar. Add a dash of lemon juice along with rum. Let this simmer a few minutes. Divide the banana into pieces, cut them lengthways and put them in the casserole. Let these few min. Firing process.

Remove with a slotted spoon banana pieces into the pan and arrange on 4 plates. Spread the remaining sauce with creative panache on the board. Add a generous scoop of ice-cream to it and voila!

 

Christmas tree-shaped brownies

What is better than serving something that everybody likes, which is really easy to make and which looks absolutely adorable and festive? Right, nothing!

Scroll down to see how I made these cute and festive brownies.

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What you need:

– Brownies (I recommend making the brownies yourself)

– A small sharp knife

– Colorful straws (or some other kind of round thing you can use as the bottom of the tree)

 

What to do:

1. Separate the brownies in sections. I made three sections, as you can see below.

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2. Make tree-shaped brownies by slicing one section in a triangle/tree-shaped manner. Repeat this until you run out of brownie to cut.

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3. Put the tree-shaped brownies on a plate (I directly put them on the plate I served them on, because the brownies kept falling apart). Cut the straw in little pieces and carefully push them inside the bottom of your tree-shaped brownie.

If you have some spare time or want to make the brownies really look like Christmas trees: decorate your trees with little eatable ‘Christmas’ balls, put a little sugar (as snow) on the brownie or zigzag marzipan across the tree, you can make it as crazy and as festive as you like!

And you’re done, enjoy!

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