March 2, 2018

Monthly Mystery Munchies #33: B&B Sliders with Caramelised Onions

When my pal from the other side of the world suggested beef and bacon for this month’s theme, I said why yes! Of course, we can! I mean I just made it the week before the theme was revealed.  It was just the perfect thing to do.

Only, I was bummed out that I did not take any photos as I did not think it was anything “theme-worthy”. Then Gen suggested this and I thought what the hell! So beef and bacon it shall be. 

Since we are pretty much a pork-free household, my natural instinct is to substitute the bacon with turkey bacon instead. I’m sure Gen doesn’t mind with my choice of substitute and with that I decided on something super simple in the form of sliders.

Yep. Sliders. The burger-like sort of meal…mini sandwiches so to speak. The kind that can be served as snacks, as a prelude to dinner or dinner itself. I call it the B&B sliders.

What’s in a bun?
There’s more to the buns than the bun itself

B and B. That’s Beef and Bacon (turkey) for you.

The only extra ingredient I added into this slider was a generous serving of caramelised onions. Sweet, yummy and mojofied onions caramelised and sandwiched in between soft buns, deliciously seasoned beef, turkey bacon and cheddar cheese.

Ready to roll? Here’s the recipe:

B&B Sliders with Caramelised Onions
Serves 8
The Bs and Cs of mini sandwiches made with beef, (turkey) bacon and buns. Stuffed with cheddar and caramelised-onions.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
  1. 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  2. 1 tbsp brown sugar
  3. 1 tbsp butter
  4. 500g-800g minced beef
  5. 2-3 tbsp taco seasoning
  6. 1 tbsp dried sage
  7. 2 tspn dried oregano
  8. Salt and Pepper to taste
  9. Turkry bacon
  10. 8 soft buns
  11. Cheddar cheese
  1. Heat up pan and melt butter
  2. Add in onions with sugar. Saute and let it caramelise for about 5 minutes. Set aside
  3. Mix the minced beef with taco seasoning, oregano, sage, salt and pepper
  4. Flatten the meat into a flat pan and shove it into the oven for about 10 minutes to brown.
  5. Once browned, set aside.
  6. Slice the buns into 2 halves. Assemble the bottom half into a baking tray.
  7. Place the baked minced beef on top of it and layer the turkey bacon
  8. Continue to grill till the bacon strips turn a little brown and let the juice seep through the meat
  9. Remove the bacon and fry in the pan without oil. This makes the bacon crispy to be used as toppings
  10. To complete the assembly, spread cheddar and caramelised onions on top of the meat
  11. Cover with the other half of the bun
  12. Grill the bun into the oven for another 5-10 minutes before serving
Grubbs n Critters
This takes no time at all. Perfect for when you don’t have the time to serve elaborate meal for the family, but need something filling. Also perfect for when you have unexpected guests and you don’t know what else you can make on a fly. 

Need I say more? This has once again been a real pleasure to make. So satisfying to layer it all up, one at a time!

Let that juice seep in
Layer the cheddar
Cover it with caramelised onions and bacon
Slice it through

Just when I thought I’ll be running out of ideas, Gen is there to give me a big nudge. Never mind the simple ingredients, MMM is brilliant, I tell you! 

Now that that’s done, click away and come with me to check out what our South African Cheftress is up to with her beef and bacon. She’ll whet your appetite with her #33 Monthly Mystery Munchies for sure and offer you with additional idea as to what you can make for dinner for the weekend, too.   

If you please, I’m bringing along my B&B Sliders to  to #FiestaFriday so make sure you make it there for more bites, too.

Monthly Mystery Munchies features every first Friday of the month in collaboration with Gen, Author of Eat, Play, Clove. Stay tuned with next month’s edition from the Grubbs ‘n Critters’ Kitchen!


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February 26, 2018

It’s Been A While!

Two more days! Two! That’s 48 hours before February is over. Sheesh!

This really has been while since I popped a post. Jan came and gone…of which I managed only 6 posts in the entire month. February saw half of that. I’m pretty bummed but I hope to be able to write post again soon. 

It’s not normal given that I have never, ever in my entire blogging career before have I not written this many posts (or the lack of)  in a month. So many reasons as to why I haven’t, and so many reasons as to why I could have but didn’t.

It all boils down to priorities.

Priorities and time. Priorities that sucked up my time and then time that I did not have which sucked the life out of me. It has been some pretty tough times too in the last few months. It came to a point where I could barely cope trying to juggle the never-ending demands of life. 

What baffles me is that after almost 2 years in the Netherlands, we are still “settling in”. As a new “settler” in a new country, things are always never quite what it seems. The struggles, the confusion, the expectations, the unexpected…it was all getting too much to handle.

Blogging took a backseat because I just couldn’t anymore. Woe is me –  I even forgot my password to wordpress.

Between kids, work, Dutch classes, driving lessons, theory tests and trying to find a new job, there has been barely any time to think. My thoughts have been anything but coherent. My mental state a little wacked up. I’ve abandoned FB for more than 4 months now. I still don’t miss it.

I needed to regroup: to breath, to think and to inject some sanity back into my chaotic head. 

As if on cue, we all also took turns to fall sick. First it was Spud, then it was Squirt. And in the last 2 weeks, it was me on and off. On top of that, I’ve been surrounded by grumpy, ultra-negative people at work which did not help with my state of being.

Something must have been in the air. Something will have to change.

Speaking about change, it’s looking like change will start with the weather this week: a bitterly cold, winter snap, thanks to the chilly Siberian wind coming through our way. Brace up!

Scenery on the train ride home


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February 9, 2018

Friday Flavours: Wild Mushroom Risotto @Monthly Mystery Munchies #32 with Gen

Got a thing for something wild, something earthy and something mushroomy?

No, I didn’t mean those kind of shrooms. Not the slightest insinuation to magic mushrooms! What were you thinking?! 

Rather the shiitake and the oyster mushroom kind. The organic, healthy, non-hallucinating kind. The kind that  I would usually pass; only because I am not the biggest fans of mushrooms. But! There’s always a but! I might just change my mind about mushrooms because. THIS:

Credit: Eat, Play, Clove


That looks oh-so-good, isn’t it? I thought so too! 

That my friends is the Wild Mushroom Risotto dish baked…yes BAKED! by our Cheftress over in South Africa in respond to this month’s challenge of our Monthly Mystery Munchies #32. See how she works it all up with risotto as the theme?  

According to Gen:

It just works. I use shiitake and oyster mushrooms because they have a cool earthy flavour. Parmesan brings the extra, and remember to save some of the white wine for cooking. And there is butter. Need I say it again? It gives me life. Reserve the liquid you use for soaking the mushrooms. It has lots of flavour, and it’s such a waste to toss it. In this recipe, I use 600ml liquid – please note that this is the combined total. It includes the mushroom-soaking liquid, wine and stock.

Just looking at her plate filled with risotto makes me hungry.  Plus, I love that she used leeks in her risotto as well and all the no-fuss ingredients with all no-fuss cooking makes this such a delightful dish. It’ll be a sin if I don’t give this a go.

What are you waiting for? Come and click away from my site for a little while and mosey over to Gen’s kitchen with her fab  Wild Mushroom Risotto 


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February 2, 2018

Monthly Mystery Munchies #32:Artichoke and Goat Cheese Risotto

Who is up for some creamy, flavourful and oh-so-good risotto that would make you go weak in the knees? Luckily for you readers, that’s exactly the theme we have for this month’s mystery munchies: a good-great risotto dish. 

Now, I’ve always thought that risotto is a bit of a pain to make – but turns out that this recipe which Silver Bullet concocted is pretty easy to do. He has combined the basic “risotto bianco” recipe from Jamie Oliver with some ingredients from another risotto recipe he found on Jul’s Kitchen.

It’s also a pretty dynamic dish since it can be served in various ways. Who’d have thought mixing artichoke and goat cheese to a celery-based base can be so good?

So so good such that this now become our family’s favourite!

Add broth and keep on stirring
Let’s throw some turkey bacon as well
Done! Let’s plate it up. 
I’ll have another plate with a piece if fried chicken too, please Mama!

The only thing about making risotto is that you have to pay attention to the stirring and mixing of the broth which has to be done continuously. That means you’ll be on your feet for a good half an hour (at least!). 

Then you decide it if you want to serve this as it is, or add some other stuff to it on the side. You a piece of fried chicken or turkey bacon…or pieces of veal, perhaps?

Here’s the secret recipe (I have to kill you if you ever share this with anyone else! :p):

Artichoke and Goat Cheese Risotto
Serves 4
Elegant comfort food that's classic, creamy and rich guaranteed to lift your spirits.Vegetarian friendly recipe.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
  1. 1.1 litres organic stock , such as chicken, fish, vegetable
  2. 1 large onion
  3. 2 cloves of garlic
  4. 2 to 3 sticks of celery
  5. 90 g Parmesan cheese
  6. 50 g Goat cheese
  7. 4 to 5 artichoke hearts
  8. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  9. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  10. 400 g risotto rice
  11. 2 wine glasses of dry white vermouth (dry Martini or Noilly Prat) or dry white wine
  1. Heat up the stock (you can use basic stock cubes) and leave this on a low heat to keep it warm
  2. Finely chop the onion, garlic and celery. Chop the artichokes and keep separate. Finely grate the parmesan cheese.
  3. In a separate pan, heat up the oil and butter. Fry the onions, garlic and celery over a low heat for about 5 minutes until the onions start to turn translucent (make sure they don’t color. Add the artichokes and keep frying over a low heat until the artichokes are softened.
  4. Increase the heat and add the rice. Keep stirring until the rice turns slightly translucent (1 or 2 minutes). At this point add the wine or vermouth to the pan. Keep stirring until the wine has been cooked into the rice.
  5. Add your first ladle of stock and a good pinch of salt, then turn down the heat. Keep stirring until the stock is absorbed by the rice. Keep stirring and adding the stock one ladle at a time, allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next. You can’t really walk away at this point, you have to keep stirring to ensure the rice is cooked slowly and evenly in the stock, allowing the starch to come out and create this creamy texture.
  6. Keep doing this until the rice is cooked al dente (it should still have a slight bite to it). This can take anywhere from 15 to about 30 minutes depending on the heat and the type of rice. If you run out of stock, add some boiling water. Make sure it’s properly seasoned.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining butter, parmesan cheese, and crumble the goat cheese on top. Give it a good stir to allow the butter and cheese to melt into the rice. Now place a lid on the pan and leave for a few minutes to get the really creamy texture that makes a risotto so wonderful. Serve immediately while it’s still hot and creamy.
  8. If you like you can sprinkle on some sliced chicken ham, turkey bacon, or some other sliced meat, just before serving
  1. For a vegetarian-friendly risotto, replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock instead and leave out all the meat. Do not leave out the celery, for it is one of the key ingredients that brings out the taste of the risotto.
Adapted from Jamie Oliver and Jul's Kitchen
Grubbs n Critters

The only problem with this risotto was that it was gone too soon. I mean the whole pan of risotto was gone at one sitting. ONE sitting! No left-over or whatsoever. We had seconds and third helping. The kids loved it!

Remember that a good risotto is a labor of love, and while not difficult, does take some care and attention to cook properly. Once you have started to cook the rice you do have to keep a close eye on the dish and keep stirring in that lovely stock until the rice is properly cooked. But I promise you, it’s worth the effort!

This has once again been a wonderful discovery in the world of risotto. I bet you that Gen would double the pleasure with her creation for this month. Let’s pop over to check what’s risotto-ing at Gen’s #32 Monthly Mystery Munchies  that’s made with this crazy, little twist. 

Monthly Mystery Munchies features every first Friday of the month in collaboration with Gen, Author of Eat, Play, Clove. Stay tuned with next month’s edition from the Grubbs ‘n Critters’ Kitchen!

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January 28, 2018

Sunday Humour: Pearls of Wisdom

Category: Entertainment

Here’s a little something we all *could* ponder on: 

Credit:Google Image


On Wisdom #1, my reality of us living in the Netherlands means that we’d better get used to crying on a bicycle in.the.rain. because that’s pretty much the main means of transportation to just about anywhere. Forget Porsche!

As for the rest, well…they are kind of funny. I hope this ushers you into the week with a smile on your face.


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