friends

All posts tagged friends

Food and Friends, the Perfect Combo: Tricolere Tiramisu

Published March 9, 2015 by The Feminist

IMG-20150308-WA0009

Whenever my friends and I organize a get-together, food is always involved in one way or another. And I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t be! I mean, what better way to express your friendship and love for one another than by devouring some delicious dishes together, right?

No matter whether it is a birthday party with lots of chocolate, a girls’ night in with homemade pizza, a Fifty Shades of Grey-theme night with sushi or just a regular hour of gossip over some cake,  my friends always end up eating food, and my food always ends up being eaten by my friends.

And I wouldn’t want it any other way!

Yesterday, one of my friends threw a belated birthday party and I –as always- was happy to bring some food to give the already very “palpable” party mood another celebratory dimension. I made these cute, awesome and absolutely delicious savory tricolere tiramisu glasses. The combination of a refreshing yellow pepper salsa with two mascarpone mousses is sheer perfection. The basil mascarpone is fragrant yet mild in flavour, whilst the sundried tomato mousse kicks you in the taste buds with an explosion of spicy sundried tomato. A couple of rosemary and sea salt bread sticks serve as the perfect edible spoon.

Like I said, food doesn’t get more celebratory than this!

tricolere

Tricolere Tiramisu with Basil and Sundried Tomato Mousse:

Ingredients:

For the basil and mascarpone mousse:

  • 150gr mascarpone cheese
  • 1 entire bush of basil
  • 1/2 clove of garlic
  • salt and black pepper
  • 30gr grated parmesan cheese
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • For the sundried tomato and mascarpone mousse:
  • 100gr mascarpone cheese
  • 70gr sundried tomatoes in oil
  • 1/4 tsp harissa paste
  • For the yellow pepper salsa
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Method

  • 1.Put all the ingredients for the pepper salsa in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Set aside to infuse.
  • 2.For the basil mousse, mix the garlic, parmesan cheese and basil together in a blender until fine. Add a tablespoon of olive oil, seasoning and 1 tbsp of the mascarpone. Mix again until you get a lovely, bright green paste.
  • 3.Stir the basil mix under the remaining mascarpone cheese.
  • 4.Spoon a tablespoon of the yellow pepper salsa in each champagne glass. Divide the basil mousse over the six glasses.
  • 5.Put the glasses in the fridge, while you make the second mousse. Mix the sundried tomatoes in a blender with the harissa until smooth. Stir the sundried tomato paste through the mascarpone.
  • 6.Remove the glasses from the fridge. Spoon a tablespoon of pepper salsa on top of the basil mousse. Now spoon the sundried tomato mousse on top. Finish with a leaf of basil, some parmesan flakes and serve with bread sticks.
Advertisements

The Great Vegetarian Thanksgiving

Published November 23, 2014 by The Feminist

thank

Usually, I’m not a very jealous person. Jealousy, in my humble opinion, is simply time wasted. Time that you could have spent actually doing sh**, instead of being envious of other people doing sh**. Jealousy brings out the worst in people and that is why I always try to live a jealousy-free life.

There is only one moment every single year that I am truly jealous. And that is when all you Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. To me, a girl who has been living in Belgium her entire life – a country where there is no such thing as Thanksgiving, boohoo! – Thanksgiving seems to be the most decadent of holidays with an (over)abundance of food, family and friendship.

It seems wonderful.

It seems brilliant.

And most of all, it seems like a whole lot of food.

809728

So yes, I am genuinely jealous.

However, instead of letting myself be consumed with jealousy, I decided to tackle the green-eyed monster and turn a negative emotion into a positive one. I decided to get busy and started cooking myself. My very own vegetarian Thanksgiving!

I know that it must be hard to be a vegetarian on Thanksgiving. Especially if you are the only vegetarian in your family and everyone else is digging into a turkey the size of a Kim Kardashian butt.

friends_The-one-with-the-flashbacks-of-thanksgiving

But if you are a little bit creative, you can enjoy a marvelously decadent, vegetarian Thanksgiving  as well. Forget the turkey. Forget the gravy. The following recipes are heartwarming in their own right.

Ps: If you are one of those vegetarian Americans (or American vegetarians), and just had a Thanksgiving with a family who weren’t exactly animal-friendly: take pen and paper and write down the following recipes. Next year’s Thanksgiving will be one big, delicious vegetarian bash, I promise!

Brussels Sprouts Risotto with Stilton and Pecan nuts

What could possibly be more comforting than a risotto? A risotto with fragrant roasted Brussels Sprouts and pungent stilton cheese of course!

risotto

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, one minced and the other one just bashed
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 lemon
  • 300gr risotto rice
  • 500gr Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 200ml white wine (the good stuff)
  • Vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 250gr stilton cheese
  • 2 handfuls of pecan nuts

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Heat a knob of butter in a pan and add the Brussels sprouts and the bashed clove of garlic. Season with salt and pepper and some nutmeg. Let them fry for a couple of minutes, until they have a nice colour. Remove from the heat and put the Brussels sprouts in an oven-proof dish together with a couple of strips of the lemon rind. Put in the oven for 20-25 minutes. The Brussels Sprouts should be al dente: tender enough to be enjoyable to eat, but not too mushy.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan. Add the onion and minced garlic and let it sauté for a couple of minutes. Stir in the rice and let it fry for a couple of minutes on a medium heat.
  3. Pour in the wine and let the rice absorb all the moisture. Stir in the thyme. Now spoon in the vegetable stock, one ladleful at a time, until the rice is tender.
  4. Remove the Brussels sprouts from the oven and stir those lovely roasted gems into the risotto together with the cream cheese.
  5. Finish with a good squeeze of lemon juice. Spoon the risotto onto your plate and scatter some pecans and crumble stilton cheese on top.

Spiced Sweet Potato Mash with Peanut Butter and Ginger and Chili Sautéed Kale

An exotic twist on sweet potato mash. The zingy flavours of ginger and chili kale marry beautifully with the warmth of all the spices in the sweet popato mash. Add to that some good oll’ peanut butter and you just know that this dish will be an instant family favourite.

DSCN4226

Ingredients:

For the sweet potato mash (serves 1):

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1tbsp honey

For the sautéed kale (serves 1):

  • 2-3 large kale leaves, sliced into thin strips
  • 2cm piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 large chili pepper, finely sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp terriyake sauce

Method:

  1. Boil the sweet potato in some salted water until tender. Drain and mash together with the peanut butter, spices and honey. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remember: it should be a rather sweet and spiced mash, but if it tastes like a dessert, you’ve been a bit too generous 😉 It’s all about a balance of flavours. That is why the combination with the peanut butter works so damn well.
  2. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a pan. Add the kale, ginger, garlic and chili. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté the kale on a medium heat for about 15 minutes –don’t forget to stir, otherwise it will burn – until your kale is tender.
  3. Stir in the terriyake sauce.
  4. Serve the sweet potato mash with the fragrant kale.

Spiced Lentil and Pumpkin Stew with Maple syrup and Pecan Brussels Sprouts … and some Feta Cheese

You can’t have a Thanksgiving party without serving at least one pumpkin dish. This lentil and pumpkin stew is spicy and sweet at the same time and works brilliantly with the Brussels sprouts. Even if you are not really a Brussels sprouts fan, you have got to try this recipe. The sprouts were fried with some fragrant pink peppercorns and are coated in a lick of maple syrup. The pecans add extra crunch and all these ingredients together make one explosive Brussels sprouts dish. The stew and the sprouts were finished with a crumbling of feta cheese. This tangy and salty kick lifts this already incredible dish to unseen culinary heights.

thanks

Ingredients (serves 1):

For the Brussels sprouts:

  • 2 handfuls of Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • ½ tbsp. maple syrup
  • ½ tsp pink peppercorns
  • Handful of pecan nuts, chopped

For the lentil and butternut stew:

  • Handful of lentils
  • 1 shallot, finely sliced
  • 200gr butternut, cut into large chunks
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of chili flakes
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • Vegetable stock

To finish:

  • Feta cheese

Method:

  1. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a small pan, add the shallot, lentils, chili and cinnamon. Stir and cover with vegetable stock. Let it simmer for 10 minutes before adding the butternut chunks.
  2. Add some more stock and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the butternut and the lentils are tender. Add vegetable stock once and a while to make sure your lovely stew doesn’t burn. The end result should be “oozy” not “runny”.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a tbsp. of oil in a frying pan. Add the Brussels Sprouts and the pink peppercorns. Season with salt. Let it fry until golden brown. Turn down the heat and let it fry on a low heat until the sprouts are al dente. Stir in the pecan nuts and maple syrup and stir.
  4. Serve the stew with the Brussels Sprouts and scatter some feta cheese over the top.

Pimp Your Pump! My latest Fashion Obsession: Shoe clips

Published April 25, 2013 by The Feminist

shoe clip
I don’t do normal. I don’t do plain. And I have no desire whatsoever to be a natural beauty. Don’t get me wrong: I truly admire women who simply put on a pair of jeans and sneakers, wear no make-up and still look absolutely fabulous. However, I just know that being that woman is not for me. I guess that this character trait often gets on some of my friends’ nerves. “Why don’t you ever wear something low-profile?!” They never say that to my face of course, I can just hear them think it. It is fashion telepathy.

Whatever. I’m not going to change simply because it makes some people feel uncomfortable. I’ve always been like that. I don’t want normal and familiar. I like weird and unknown. When I was on a holiday to Italy, I spent a lot of my time eating gelato. There was one gelateria where they had the most awesomely weird flavours. People were queuing outside to get a cone of ice-cream but literally ALL OF THEM ordered Vanilla/chocolate/strawberry/straciatella. I mean, come on! I opted for the Greek yoghurt-nougat- honey ice-cream… with dried lavender.

Anyway, enough about gelato because it is making me really hungry. 😉 This post is after all about Fashion! To celebrate my refusal of all things ordinary, I discovered the most amazingly decorative trend. Shoe clips! I am truly obsessed about it at the moment. It is perfect for pimping a simple pair of pumps. Simply clip them on and –tadaaa! – you have one jazzed up pair of dramatic shoes!

Pearl brooches, small or giant bows, flowers, feathers,… anything goes really! So move over natural looking beauties, because this Cinderella is ready to bring some pizzazz to this world!

shoe clip3shoe clip2

shoe clip1

shoe clip4

I’m spending Valentine’s Day with Bruno Mars! … Well, sort of

Published February 8, 2013 by The Feminist

Unless a very handsome, charming and single gentleman pops up out of nowhere on my doorstep, it is most likely that I will not be going on a romantic lovey-dovey date on Valentine’s Day.

Do I care? Not in the slightest! Instead of spending V-Day with an average guy, wearing average clothes, who will be telling not so funny jokes and creating very awkward silences (Waaaay too many women spend their Valentines like that! Why do you keep torturing yourselves, ladies??!!) , I will be spending mine with my best friends. Drinking booze, eating chocolate and talking about girly stuff: now that is what I call the perfect (anti?) Valentine’s Day!

What my friends don’t know, however, is that I will be spending V-Day with Bruno Mars as well! …. Ssssh, don’t tell anyone!

But before you start putting your thumbs up to show your approval and before you start giving me a virtual high five, unfortunately, this is not entirely true. (Duh!) Bruno Mars has just released the official music video of “When I was your man”, which is not only the most PERFECT SONG ON THE MOTHERF***ING PLANET, Bruno looks very sexy and gentlemany (I don’t know if that is even a word, but humor me for a second 😉 ) as well!

So instead of spending V-Day with a guy who will never be able to sing you a beautiful serenade, I’ll be watching this video. If my best friends want to take a peek as well, no problem, I’ll gladly share Bruno with them. (I’m not a possessive fan 😉 )

How will you be spending Valentine’s Day, dear readers? Conventionally or Unconventionally? That is the question…

My awesome healthy and vegetarian twist on a classic moussaka

Published January 28, 2013 by The Feminist

DSCN2444
I still have to meet the first person who doesn’t like moussaka. I mean, what’s not to like? Potatoes, aubergines, lamb mince, tomatoes and a beautiful blend of spices. ( and depending on which variation you opt for, it is often topped with a rich white sauce.)
But this is me we’re talking about. I don’t do classics. I shake things up and create new twists on otherwise familiar dishes. So I decided to swap the heavy white sauce for pungent feta cheese to lift the dish to a whole other level.

To those who may not know it yet: I try to eat vegetarian as much as I can, because it is better for your health and – more importantly – the environment. So OUT with the lamb mince and IN with seitan! Seitan is the most brilliant thing on the planet since sliced bread. It has a “meaty” texture and loads of flavour! (in contrast to quorn, which can often be a bit bland)

So please forget the idea that vegetarian food is bland, unoriginal and boring! If you could all just come over, I would prove you otherwise!

Or you could just make this dish. 😉 Just follow the instructions of your old traditional moussaka recipe (I’m sure you have it lying around in your kitchen somewhere 😉 ) but instead of the mince use a spicy tomato sauce with grilled peppers, seitan, sautéed onion and garlic. Don’t forget to add lots of spices like chili, smoked paprika powder, cinnamon, cumin and oregano. Your sauce will have never tasted this good, I promise!

What do you prefer? Boring meat or funky vegetarian?

moussaka