February 24, 2017

Friday Flavours: #RecipeShowdown – Sage-Infused Feta & Potato Gratin

Category: Recipe Showdown

If you love cooking, fun, and a challenge, this free recipe and cooking game is for you!

Recipe Showdown - All that's Jas
Credit: Jas @ All That’s Jas

So says my lovely, multi-talented culinary dynamo friend Jas Brechtl who picked me to host February’s instalment of Recipe Showdown

Armed with SAGE as my chosen ingredient, I decided to experiment with a dish of potato gratin that’s infused with fresh sage and Pepperocino olive oil. I then stack the taters up and layer them with feta cheese in between.

The insides are all packed up but crumbly soft at the same time. The feta cheese snuck in between the ridges and the infused sage in Pepperocini Oilive Oil gave it such a willful taste so to speak. I can’t resist scrumptiously scattering chopped beef salami all over it with grated parmesan on top of it.

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Sage-Infused Feta & Potato Gratin

Drooling yet? I hope you would be by the time you get to the bottom of the recipe! Here’s my creation for #RecipeShowdown without my usual Recipe Card Plugin (still trying to figure out why!) which I’m complementing to weekly  Friday Flavours:

Sage-Infused Feta and Potato Gratin

Serves 4

The insides are all packed up yet crumbly soft at the same time. The Feta Cheese oozes out of the ridges and the infused sage in Olio con Pepperoncino gives it a wilful personality. A very hearty dish that’s good as a side-dish or even breakfast!

Prep Time      Cook Time        Total Time

10 min                   25 min               35 min

 

Ingredients:

  • 350g par-boiled scalloped potatoes (or thinly sliced with mandolin)
  • 3 tbsp Olio con Pepperoncino
  • 3 pieces of fresh sage, chopped finely
  • 250g Feta Cheese
  • 2 gloves garlic, pressed
  • Half a cube chicken bouillon
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • Half a cup skimmed milk
  • Haf a cup chopped parsley
  • Beef salami, chopped
  • Half a lemon
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Grated Parmesan for topping

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degree celcius
  2. Mix garlic, chopped sage, chicken bouillon, Olio con Pepperoncino and black pepper in a bowl and heat it in a microwave oven for 30-40 seconds
  3. Mix it to the taters and set aside. Then arrange the taters in a deep baking bowl
  4. In a separate bowl, mix egg and milk
  5. When all the taters are used up, pour the egg and milk mixture all over the taters. Make sure it covers almost to the top Squeeze the lemon
  6. Sprinkle the beef salami all over followed by the leftover Feta cheese (if any)
  7. Sprinkle grated cheese on top along with chopped parsely
  8. Pop it in the oven for 25-35 minutes till the top turned brown

Notes: I saved a lot of time by using fresh already par-boiled taters from the supermarket. Just make sure you buffer for a longer time if you use uncooked taters.

The rules of the game “Recipe Showdown”

    1. The host site (in this case my site) for a particular month sets the key ingredient/food product that participants must use. The ingredient is given on the 1st of the month. 
    2. Any time during that month, participants make a dish with the given ingredient and publish the recipe on internet with a link to the homepage of the game (this page), and a link to the post in which ingredient is given (host site). 
      • The participant who has already published a recipe with a given ingredient, regardless of the date, can use it to share, following the same rules (link to the host site and the game homepage).
      • Participants have to e-mail the host page the following information:

               – Name
               – URL of the page where the recipe was published
               – Photo of the finished dish

    3. The host site will publish all submissions with links in a post at the end of that month and select a winner/new host site for the next month. The host site can, if they wish, send a small gift to the winner.
    4. The host site will share the post on their social media.
    5. Re-entering the same recipe and repeating the host site is allowed after 2 years (subject to change).

 
Here’s the deal:
The game homepage (this page) will keep a running list of all host sites and ingredients, hence the rule to link here (so we can keep track).

To more success from #RecipeShowdown! Don’t forget to submit your recipes to ann at grubbsncritters dot com with the subject line Recipe Showdown February 2017 and share your creations on social media using hashtags #RecipeShowdown & #allthatsjas

 

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February 22, 2017

Trippin’ on Tulips

Here is an insider’s secret on the best way to buy fresh flowers in the Netherlands:

  1. Look out for them “langs de weg” (on the roadside, usually placed in a cart just outside the house). You’d find them already packed in bunches and a sign with the price on them. You can’t miss it.
  2. Pick up what you need. Or as many as you want to
  3. Leave your money in the tin/box/next to the flowers/in between the cart/mailbox. Cash only.
  4. Depending on your mode of transport as and when you decide to stop by to pick a bunch or two, drive or just walk away with your spoils

 

tulpenlagsdeweg
Credit: Google Image

These would be commercially home-grown flowers from green-houses and the bestest news I’m goign to share with you is that the prices tend to be cheaper than those you’d find in the supermarkets. Be prepared to pay a couple of Euros. Yes, a couple.

Quality wise, they are not at all inferior.

Just remember to keep a look-out for them as you drive along residential areas, otherwise known as the houses in the villages. 

What  to do when you get home:

  1. Place them in a vase filled with water
  2. Particularly with tulips, cut off about 2-3 inches off the stem. (They bloom and grow longer fast and usually within a few hours!) 
  3. Watch them bloom. 

 
These were our spoils from last week which we got by langs de weg. The price: €1.25 for a bunch of  about 10 stalks. Tulips are now in season alright!

 

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From the source, into the vase
20170220_205227
2 days later

Aren’t they just too beautiful? I like how just the mere presence of them brighten up our home. Plus, unlike in Asia, we don’t have to spend silly money just to get a bunch of nice flowers that would rot and die in a matter of days.

By silly money, I really mean stupid silly like costing 10x more for a bunch of perhaps only a few stalks of fresh flowers (you pay much, much more for tulips!) versus  what we pay here. That was easily one of the reasons why I used to find buying flowers unnecessary and wasteful.

Now that we are living in the Netherlands where flowers are bred in abundance, my appreciation for them has grown exponentially. Particularly with tulips – one of my favourites. I think I’m going to be trippin’ on them for a little while. 

Not to mention that this entire exchange by langs de weg as I described above is purely build on trust. It would be very hard-pressed that people won’t pay up.

Like the flowers, it’s more than just refreshing. I think it’s brilliant! Welcome to the Netherlands. 

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February 20, 2017

A Re-Blog: February 2017 Share and Inspire Others! BREAD – Sweet and Savory

Category: Challenges

The start of this week comes with a feature in the form of a re-blog of a recipe exchange program I participated a few weeks back with The Recipe Hunter.

Don’t be confused – this is different from the February’s Recipe Showdown which I’m hosting for this month (and this month only!) and of course, the Monthly Mystery Munchies which has been running for almost 2 years (!) now.

While my blog is not exclusively about food and recipes, I love participating in cooking games.  They are inspiring challenging and most importantly, fun. For this particular one, I sent in 2 of my bready recipes: Banana Bread Perfection and Kaas Uien Brood.

Both were featured in The Recipe Hunter’s blog rather pre-maturely…along with others as the author just can’t wait to share her compilation. Looking at a little snippet of her post below, I am not at all surprised for there are plenty of wonderful bread creations out there!

 

February 2017 Share and Inspire Others! BREAD – SWEET AND SAVORY

trh-feb-share-bread

I know, I know, I am early in releasing this post, but look at all the wonderful recipes we received for our Februay 2017 Share and Inspire Others!  BREAD – SWEET AND SAVORY Recipe Exchange.  I just had to share this immediately with you all!!  Thanks again for all the awesome entries.

Remember to check  The Recipe Hunter Blog as the new theme for March will be released on 1st March.

Hop on over to Cook and Enjoy Recipes to view the original post.

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February 19, 2017

Sunday Humour: 9 Ways

As I have recently discovered from one of my social media feeds, there are  9 ways to look at the Netherlands:

9ways

Source: FB Newsfeed

For the uninitiated like myself who is still trying to recognise the areas in the map of the Netherlands, this is quite enlightening. And funny! 

I’d love to pop by the “Not Holland” area and mingle with the people with the funny accents – they seem to be like the fun bunch to be with during Carnival!

Here’s to 9 wonderful ways to enlighten your week.  

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February 18, 2017

Kindness Doesn’t Cost a Thing

So many thoughts floating through my head. So many things I want to write about; Posts I’ve been wanting to follow-up on. One of which is a reminder to call-out for participation for my Recipe Showdown…amongst other things!

Saying I’m busy is just a lame excuse. So I’m going to go with having to prioritise the madness of life as I try to party along in the hamster’s wheel and away from blogging in the last one week. 

There was however a constant recurring theme. I see it more often in my kids (despite their occasional temper-tantrums) and people around me; even if it only means to make other people’s life a tad better.  It makes my heart swell. 

kindness

Source:FB Newsfeed

We really should be sprinkling such shit more often than often. In every nook and cranny you could find.

Since we are on the topic of kindness, could you ever be so kind to spread a little kindness in letting people know of our Recipe Showdown Challenge? I’m still looking for more recipes with SAGE to feature at the end of this month and I’ve been on a prowl to collect submissions!

Mucho Gracias. Dankuwel. Terima Kasih. Shukryah. Xie Xie Nie. Danke. Merci. Khop khun kah. Thank you. 

 Rules are outlined here and I do hope to see you soon! 🙂  

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