April 6, 2018

Monthly Mystery Munchies #34: Savoury Cake

You read that right: Savoury. Cake.

Whoever says cake has to be sweet? Because if you are anything like my mother-in-law, baking a sweet cake would just be a waste of sugar, butter, flour and eggs as she doesn’t like sweet stuff. Typically cakes. Which automatically means that a typically sweet, spongy, creamy birthday cake would be lost on her.

So how?

That’s when we thought about making a cake savoury. She loves cheese – lots of it, though cheese cake is a no-no. We somehow have to use real, hardcore cheese. Ironically,  that has actually inspired the theme for this month’s mystery munchies where the challenge is to use berries and pistachios. 

All wrapped up in filo, glazed with butter and blueberry sauce
Right out from the oven!

Sold yet? No? you will be after this because what you see in the above picture is only half complete.

What you don’t see is the soft, gooey Camembert cheese sprinkled with crushed pistachios underneath layers and layers of filo delicately brought together with melted butter.  It is then topped again with blueberry sauce before crinkling the filo together at the top, drizzle it with more blueberry sauce and pistachios.

You cannot go wrong with this. It’s fail-proof  and I  highly recommend it:

Savoury Cake: Camembert in Filo topped with Blueberry Sauce & Pistachios
Serves 5
Cheesy, savoury, nutty and gooey alternative to sweet cakes!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
  1. 1 block of Camembert cheese
  2. 5-8 sheets of filos
  3. Melted butter
  4. One cup of blueberries
  5. 1/3 cup sugar and some water
  6. 100g crushed pistachios
  1. Mix fresh blueberries with sugar and water in a hot pan. Reduce the mixture into a sauce. Cool and set aside.
  2. Layer 5-8 sheets of filo one on top of the other with melted butter in between each sheets
  3. Place the camembert in the middle of the filo sheets
  4. Glaze the top of the cheese with blueberry sauce and top with the nuts
  5. Cover the cheese by crinkling the filo sheets together.
  6. Spread melted butter around the filo
  7. Top it wth the leftover sauce and sprinkle more pistachios
  8. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the filo turns brown
  9. Serve hot!
  1. Feel free to layer with more cheese on top or substitute with a different type of cheese such as brie.
Grubbs n Critters https://grubbsncritters.com/
This has been the easiest and fastest, no-fuss birthday cake I have ever made. For cheese lovers, I bet this is must be a real treat and there is room to wriggle by adding another layer of cheese on top of it with all sorts of nuts to go with it.

A great substitute for those who are adverse to sweet cakes.

This has once again been a good exercise to stretch the creativity of what’s possible with simple ingredients such as berries and pistachios. Knowing Gen’s affinity for berries and nuts herself (pun on nuts intended!).  I have no doubt that Gen would double the pleasure with her berry-nutty creation for this month.

Let’s pop over to check what’s on her plate at Gen’s #34 Monthly Mystery Munchies  she’ll be making 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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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.
Write a review
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 https://grubbsncritters.com/
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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