Friday, October 29, 2010

Lasagna fixin'

The weather is getting more chilly and just getting at the doorstep with my jogging pants and running shoes becomes harder each day.

As a fix, HT couple decided just to have salad once a week.  We always made sure there's a lot of ingredients and good portion of meat so we can satisfy our tummies...nice and full. (But, those vegetables really digest fast and before we hit the bed, we started opening bags of chips...there goes our healthy eating!).

With weeks of religiously eating a plate of greens...somehow it lost its touch for HT hubbie.  As guilty as I am who brought up the stuff-ourselves-with-greens idea...I thought of making it up for HT hubbie.

I have mentioned how I adore Kayotic Kitchen on how she motivates me being HT hubbie's kitchen queen. 

Again, i pick up this nice but simple recipe from her blog.

a light but delicious lasagna!

This layered pasta casserole dish suits the weather that this country is slowly embracing.  With dashes of chilis on our plates, we almost find the heater useless.

I followed the recipe as it is, by using ricotta cheese with eggs and parmesan to provide its white creamy sauce instead of using ready-made bechamel sauce. 

Made with love...that's what you called the "lasagna fixin' ".  (and it did work for HT hubbie)

Click here for the recipe.  (I added mushrooms but i sauteed it first so it won't be watery and next time i'll get a better can of diced tomatoes for sure)

Prettig weekend allemaal! (Happy weekend everyone!)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The first battle of HT couple

HT couple had been very busy these past couple of weeks due to deadlines at work and finishing up of making more space at home (yes, we're still trying to touch up the bachelor's pad to make it more homey for 2).  With the little time we have, it's difficult to sacrifice the time in cooking dinner as we take our meals seriously (with conviction :D)

With that, HT hubbie and I thought of playing a game of cooking a dish each and taking note of the how long the preparation and cooking would be.  The shorter time wins this battle.

First is HT hubbie's dish...
using all of these ingredients...(though he cheated in using ready made dough, tsk tsk)

sauteíng and putting them all in this baking dish...he said it was a piece of cake (brushing off his palms together) time before it hopped into the oven...12 minutes.

Tick tock tick tock, after 40 mins in pre-heated (200 C) oven...ta dah!
Hubby's version of Quiche Lorraine!

look at this heavy-looking, chunky-licious slice...well done HT hubbie.

Now it's my turn....I love to eat but cooking is not YET my forte due to being spoiled by Singapore food scene.  but take note of the YET...i'm a chef-in-the-making (disclaimer: according to HT hubbie).

And besides, losing this game is not in my

2 cups of dry white wine, big stalks of leeks, bacon bits (chorizo sounds good as well), onions, garlic and 2 kg of mussels...sautee'd, then boiled until the shells open up!  After 15 minutes...the mussels were ready.

Oops, frites shouldn't be forgotten with this dish...
Ok..i cheated as well, i bought those frozen potato balls that can be cooked in the oven for about 15 minutes.

The results...

Quiche Lorraine : 52 mins.
Mussels in White Wine: 30 mins.

Wuhoo i won!!!!

And what's the prize??? HT hubbie would wash the dishes for a full week.  *bliss*

Now...HT hubbie, when is the next battle???

Happy weekend everyone!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

TIME OUT: What's up?

What's up with HT wife lately?

Aside from being pretty busy with work which wouldn't be a part of this post (lucky you)...I went to the other 2 big cities (aside from Utrecht) here in the Netherlands.

The Hague (Den Haag)
where the parliament is situated, where the Queen lives and where most expats reside.  It has its own charm and plus's near to 2 beaches (Kijkduin and Scheveningen)

We stopped by at Kijkduin  and just enjoyed the serene waves while sipping on our glass of wine and enjoying Dutch finger food.  Sorry, no pictures of bikinis, only ladies in boots and jeans for practical reasons. :)

Gotcha mix! - a smaller version of Dutch snacks (remember Dutch Snacks 101)?

To wind up our day, one of my blind dates in The Hague, RJ, cooked the perfect national dish of the Philippines!
nothing beats using Philippine soy sauce and vinegar...for authentic taste! 

And for dessert, RJ whipped up 2 batches of chewy and moist brownies with a piece of Venietta ice cream (this is Wall's in SG, and Selecta in PH).  And i was able to take home a big piece which HT hubbie and I finished in one go.  It was addictive.

I was amazed how RJ is so experienced in the kitchen in making all of these yummy items in less than an hour!  Thanks again RJ!  You know who you are!

Amsterdam, the busiest city in the Netherlands, was the next stop.  I've done sightseeing in this city 3 years ago and I'm not a fan of very busy cities so Amsterdam is not really my favorite place to hang out.  But this slanted house never lost its uniqueness and dutch-y architecture.

And whatever the owner's reason was to glam up his/her scooter, whether to make a statement in a city like Amsterdam, or to make it distinct to find his scooter easily in the busy parking spaces or to camouflage it like grasses so nobody steals was indeed, an eye catcher.

Aside from going around NL, I've started carrying books again instead of laptop.  Yes!  I'm going back to school but not to do further studies...
but to start learning to speak like locals (nothing is more important as learning their language).  I wouldn't want to be doing sign languages when I go for a haircut :)

picture courtesy of english mass utrecht
And last but not the least, I joined a choir here in Utrecht so I can meet more people (it's not that i have a very great voice to begin with).  We sing, we drink, and hang out.  It was a nice way to be part of a community (just like the food blogging community in SG) *hi everyone*

And to end this post, HT hubbie and I together with RJ and friends met up for dinner in this hole-in-the-wall korean restaurant in Den Haag.
Seoul Garden - Bagijnestraat's hidden but once you get into the small alley, just follow your sense of smell to bring you to the right place.

We love how the meat was marinated and it brought us back to our wonderful foodie times in SG.  Everything tasted authentic and HT hubbie is very particular with his kimchi and this one didn't fail him.  And with a complete meal of rice, pancake, vegetable sides and a generous plate of sumptuous meat, I consider this a value for money (17 euros).  Great choice, RJ!  

Yes, I do agree, HT wife had been very busy...exploring and making steps to become a Netherlander...but she never forgets to eat good food!  Doei! (Ciao or bye)

Monday, October 4, 2010

TIME OUT: "BER" months here and there

We Filipinos love when the "BER" months hit the year. "BER" months are SeptemBER, OctoBER, NovemBER and DecemBER.

In the Philippines, christmas carols will be played in the radio as early as September.  Department stores would start selling christmas trees so every family can put up their own as early as they can.  When i was a kid, the streets would be burning with christmas lights 3 months before the actual holiday (but i think nowadays, the lights are put up quite late due to the  cost cutting of electricity).  You can really smell that the holiday season is in the air.

Another thing that we are enthusiastic in a "BER" month is the Octoberfest.  We love celebrating this together with the Germans (not because of their influence in our country), but we (most of us) love drinking beers, so what's a better excuse than a festival like this?

In Singapore, the creative and lovely decorated Christmas log cakes start making a scene in bakeries and pastry shops (most of the time they're too beautiful to be eaten).  Christmas sale would be on and Orchard road is always busier during the "BER" months (not sure if you notice, but i did) :D

How about here in the Netherlands?  The 1st "BER" month has passed by and...
We can't help but switch on the heater!  It's getting colder and colder everyday.  And we knew it's "BER" when pussy spent more time sleeping in front of the heater instead of roaming outdoor. 

This electric blanket was on top of our shopping list.  Nothing beats having a warm, cozy bed for good zzzzzz's ( we don't want freezing our b*tt off)

Foot spa is out of the picture and this pair of pantoffels becomes our feet's best friend.

Speculaas  starts popping out in most supermarkets.  This biscuit is traditionally baked for consumption on St. Nicholas' Eve (Sinterklaas - Dec 5th: wikipedia) which is widely celebrated here in NL.  Though, i heard from a few friends that this can be available throughout the year.  But, we, HT couple, only started having this at home with our cup of coffee when "BER" hit so we have something to look forward to every year. *wink*

Autumn here in NL falls in a "BER" a sign, mushrooms start sprouting everywhere...

And the most important preparation we are doing at the start of the "BER" period?

nothing...just savoring the remaining days of nice weather. 
Happy "BER" everyone!

P.S.  Do you have anything in particular that you do only during "BER" months?  Share it with us! :)