A 5-day week menu

Cod a la Svenska with shrimp
(Recipe inspired by here)
750 grams of codfish (preferably without skin) - 2 eggs - 500 grams of shrimps - 1 onion - butter - Fresh green herbs: dill (a lot!), chives, purslane, parsley...- 1 lemon - 1 piece of fresh horseradish - Fleur de sel
Preheat the oven at 90°C. Boil the eggs (soft). Peel the shrimps. Wash and chop all the herbs, except for the purslane. - Peel the eggs. - Cut the fish into the amount of portions you need (skin first if necessary). Melt some butter in a skillet and use it to grease your oven tray. Place the portions of fish on the buttered tray, add some more melted butter on top and season with pepper and fleur de sel. Put the tray in the preheated oven 90 °C  for 15-25 minutes
When the fish is ready, put it on a plate, decorate it with half a boiled egg, the chopped herbs, the purslane and the horseradish and add a little bit of lemon juice (and maybe a little melted butter, just for the taste).

Quick and easy corn chowder
(Recipe inspired by here)
6 pieces bacon - 3 large potatoes, peeled and chopped - 1 medium onion, chopped - 2 cans corn - 2 cups vegetable stock - 2 teaspoons salt - Freshly ground pepper to taste - 2 cups cream
1.Place the bacon in a large pot over medium-high heat, and cook until crisp. Drain and crumble, reserving about 2 tablespoons drippings in the pot.
2.Mix potatoes and onion into the pot with the crumbled bacon and reserved drippings. Cook and stir for 5 minutes. Pour in the water, and stir in corn. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, and cover pot. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until potatoes are tender.
3.Warm the half-and-half in a small saucepan until it bubbles. Remove from heat before it boils, and mix into the chowder just before serving.

Mussel pasta e fagiolo
(Inspired by Save with Jamie)

6 smoked streaky rashers - Olive oil - 1 large onion -
3 cloves of garlic - ½ a bunch of fresh parsley -
3 carrots - 1 good pinch of dried chilli flakes -
1x400g tin of chopped tomatoes -
1x400g tin of cannellini beans -
1 lemon - 300g mixed dried pasta shapes -
1kg mussels, washed and debearded -
extra virgin oil

1 Chop the bacon and place in a large pan on a medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil to get golden, stirring occasionally, while you peel and finely chop the onion and garlic with the parsley stalks, and peel and slice the carrots. Add these to the pan with the chilli flakes and cook for 15 minutes, or until softened, still stirring occasionally.
2  Add the tomatoes and beans (juice and all) to the pan, then pour in 1.2 litres of boiling water. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes, or until fairly thick, stirring occasionally.
3 Taste the sauce, add a squeeze of lemon juice, then season to perfection. Add the pasta and cook for 7 minutes (possibly a little longer to make sure it’s almost cooked otherwise you may over cook the mussels while trying to get the pasta right, they cook v quickly - AG). Then pile the mussels on top of the sauce (take any that are open and if they don’t close, throw those ones away). Pop the lid on and cook for a further 5 minutes or until all the mussels have just opened (throw away any that remain closed) and the pasta is cooked through. Toss the mussels through the sauce, then chop the parsley leaves and scatter over. Finish with a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and serve right away. Nice with a crisp green salad.

Goat cheese and red onion quiche with a walnut salad
(Inspired by Jeroen Meus - Dagelijkse kost)
short crust pastry - 200 g goat cheese (fresh, without crust) - 4 red onions - 6 sprigs of thyme - 6 eggs - 3 dl cream - pepper - salt - 2 dl red port
80 g rocket - 2 tablespoons walnuts - dash of walnut oil - dash of balsamic vinegar - salt

Preheat the oven to 180 ° C.
 Rub the cake pan with a little butter . Dust the greased surface with flour .   Wrap the dough gently lap around your rolling pin and drape it gently on top of the form .   Cut off the excess dough with a sharp knife .Put a (round ) sheet of parchment paper on top of the dough and put some baking beans in.  Slide the quiche in the oven at 180 °C and bake the pastry ' blind' for about 20 minutes . (Keep the oven hot afterwards.
Peel the red onions and cut them lengthwise into two . Then cut each slice onion into rings.Heat a casserole or saucepan over medium heat, melt some butter .Bake the onion and stir occasionally in the pot .
Pick the thyme sprigs and zip the delicate leaves. Chop the thyme as fine you can.
Stir in the thyme with the onion rings . Pour also the red port and stir frequently. Let the alcohol evaporate . let the onions bake for about 10 minutes until tender and almost all the liquid has boiled away .Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl and beat them loose .
Measure the correct amount of cream and pour to the last drop in the eggs . Add a pinch of salt and plenty of pepper. Mix with whisk . This mixture is the glue of your quiche .
Take the pre-baked quiche bottom and remove the sheet of parchment paper with the baking beans from it.  Spoon the onions into the pie crust . Divide the mixture evenly .Divide the soft goat cheese in small portions over the quiche and pour the egg mixture on top. Make sure the egg mixture divides into all the nooks and crannies .
Reduce the oven temperature to 170 ° C.Bake the quiche for 30 minutes. Cut the quiche into wedges and serve preferably hot. Rinse the roquet salad.
Chop the walnuts coarsely .Drop an efficient amount of walnut oil and balsamic over the salad. Season the salad with salt and pepper.
Mix the leaves gently.

Beef Sirloin with avocado salsa
(Inspired by Delhaize magazine)

600 g beef sirloin bio - 2 cloves garlic - 2 ripe avocados - 100g mix of green salad leaves - 1/2 lemon, juiced - salt - pepper - chili flakes

Cut the avocados into cubes. Add the lemon, garlic, chili flakes, olive oil and salt.
Season the steaks with pepper and salt.
Place an empty pan on high heat. Once the pan is hot, put the steaks in the pan and cook them 1:30 min per side. Put them on a hot dish and keep warm. Divide the lettuce on the plates. Cut the meat into thick slices and place on the salad. Serve immediately with the avocado salsa.

Bon Appetit!


Sunday in the woods

Lazy Sundays always feel that little bit better when you do get out and actually do something. So instead of staying in our pajamas all day we got into the car and drove to a nearby wood to go for a little early spring walk. I did not count on so much mud and I did forget about O's 'little' tantrums lately, where she throws herself on the ground, kicking her little legs in the air, like a sweet little snow angel gone crazy (see last picture). Well, let's say the first half of the walk was a dream, with her running through the fallen leaves and playing with us and being happy. Then I jinxed it, I said: well, this was a good idea for a Sunday morning. It was, but not for much longer - her mood changed and the angel did what she likes to do - throw herself on the ground with a lot of noise, which resulted in a very muddy kid with black hair and clothes.
Welcome to The Terrible Two!


Saturday Night Dinner

This weekend our friends came to dinner and we decided to try a few things we had never cooked before. My wonderful man and myself spent the afternoon in the kitchen, cooking together, which was very nice :).We had a lovely evening with friends we don't see enough.(although we live so close by)
And I got the most beautiful white flowers!

Stolen dates

I love stolen dates. The other day my man had to be at my work for a meeting, so we decided to have a quick coffee date beforehand. It was so lovely, although it was 8.30 in the morning (usually not my time of day). A stolen half an hour, to talk and to see each other in another environment than usual (read: already in my comfy gear when he comes home). Holding hands, sipping coffee. More of that, please! It's the little things that make life beautiful.


Too cool for school

Last week we went to the school we want to inscribe Petti to for a first introduction.
I must say, it is a bit confronting to think that your baby that was once 46cm and 2,4 kg has to be starting pre-school soon. Because school means another step in letting her go and preparing her for her own life. The school principal insisted on doing this tour during school hours, since he wanted to show a school in action and not a building. I thought that was a good starting point. So last week we visited all the kids from 2,5 years old to 12, so we could see the evolution and how their educational programmes work. I was positively surprised by the positive vibe as all kids seemed happy, they were dancing, drawing, listening to a story, learning with things adapted to our modern times. Petti was a little shy, holding her daddy close but she was interested in what the kids where doing. I am happy we made the decision when she was born to put her into daycare for 3 (half) days a week, so the shock will be less when she goes to school. She knows that mommy & daddy go away in the morning but she also knows that we come back and in the meantime she plays happily with other children and she learns with them and from them.
My baby is not gonna be a baby much longer.
Not easy for a moms heart. Enjoying every minute and every afternoon I have with her (although she can be a handful sometimes), and capturing these moments forever.

7 Breakfunch ideas

Breakfast - Brunch - Lunch is a big deal at our place on weekends.
We don't get up very early on weekends, so we combine breakfast and lunch, so it can be a little more elaborate than a little cereal, right? 
I thought I'd share some of our favourites with you. So here we go:
Welcome to our breakfast table!

1. French toast

2. Mushroom on toast with a soft boiled egg

3. Avocado-omelette-bacon-cheese sandwiches

4. Lolo's French ultra thin pancakes (with rum and lime zest) &    nutella

5. The Americano (too much bacon, too many eggs)

6. Cheese and bacon bread soldiers (that's how we call them) to dip into the soft boiled egg and on the healthier side: granola and Greek yoghurt with pear and honey

7. A Scandinavian brunch platter

Vive les weekends!
All photos by The 3L Syndrome