Honey Afternoon Tea (Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam)

IMG_6659

Last week, I went to the Waldorf Astoria in Amsterdam to try their Honey Afternoon Tea. When the name Waldorf Astoria comes to mind, I think of opulence and grandeur. And with a 2 Michelin-starred restaurant under its belt, I knew I was in for a treat. This was a especial afternoon tea, since we got to visit the beehives located on the roof of the restaurant Librije’s Zusje.

FullSizeRender (3)

The declining bee population is nothing new. Honeybee pollination plays an important role in the environment and our food supply. Their loss of habitat, climate change and use of pesticides are weakening their population. The hard working bees fly 150,000 kilometers and visit about 50,000 flowers in order to make one dessert spoon of honey. By having these beehives, the Waldorf Astoria supports the foundation Beelease.

FullSizeRender (1)

During the month of June, the afternoon tea gets a touch of honey. It includes a madeleine with honey & pecans, a honey canelé, a macaron with honey & lemon thyme, a pofiterol filled with swiss cream, strawberry, lavender & honey and a mini tart of raspberry, honey & caramel.

IMG_6661

FullSizeRender

Among the savory treats were a duck liver lollypop, a quiche with pine nuts, blue cheese, leek & smoked chicken, a cucumber wrapped sandwich with goat cheese, honey & walnuts, a cracker with smoked salmon, cream cheese and chives.

IMG_6660

Every treat was a pleasure to eat and the service was outstanding. To spend the afternoon enjoying some delicious tea and treats, while overlooking the garden on a beautiful spring day. That is hard to beat!

You can enjoy the Afternoon Tea daily from 15:00 to 17:00.

The Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam

Herengracht 542-556, Amsterdam

Print Friendly

Ficelle with Brie, Figs and blackberries

FullSizeRender

This is more an idea than an actual recipe but it is great when you don´t want to spend too much time in the kitchen. It is perfect for a picnic or to serve at a dinner party. This is one of those things that I could eat at any time of the day. If you have never had ficelle before, it’s type of French bread. It is smaller than a baguette. If you can’t find it, just use one baguette instead.

Ingredients:

2 ficelles, sliced in half lengthwise (Similar to baguette, but smaller)

200gr of brie, sliced into pieces

4 figs, thinly sliced

1 cup of blackberries

¼ cup of pomegranate seeds

150grs of arugula

2 tablespoons of olive oil

About 3 tablespoons of balsamic reduction

Salt

 

If you have never made balsamic reduction, is it very easy to make. Get a small bottle of balsamic vinegar (about 250ml). Since you are going to reduce it, just get the cheap kind. Pour the balsamic in a saucepan over medium heat and let it reduce to about 1/3 of the original volume. Then pour it in a glass container and allow it to cool down. As it cools down, it will harden a bit. This is something I always have in the house since I love drizzling it over salads.

Mix the arugula with a pinch of salt and the olive oil. Spread it over the sliced ficelles. Top with the figs, blackberries, brie and pomegranate seeds. Finally drizzle some of the balsamic reduction and enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Print Friendly

Frisée, Gorgonzola & Bacon Salad with Cherry and Port Dressing

frisee salad cherry

This past weekend, I saw cherries for the first time at the market and of course I had to get some. Besides snacking on them, I saved some for this salad. For the dressing, I used frozen cherries just because they already come pitted but you can also use fresh ones. I love the combination of the slightly sweet dressing with the bitterness of the frisée, the salty bacon and creamy gorgonzola.

This recipe serves 2.

For the dressing:

1 cup of frozen cherries, pitted

1 shot of port

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon of olive oil

2 tablespoons of honey

Pinch of garlic powder

Salt to taste

For the salad:

5 slices of crispy bacon, crumbled

½ a head of frisée, torn into bite sized pieces

80grs of gorgonzola, crumbled into small pieces

1 cup of fresh cherries, pitted and sliced

 

Start by making the dressing. Place the cherries in the microwave for about 1 ½ minutes to thaw. Then blend them and pass it through a fine mesh sieve. Pour the cherry juice into a medium saucepan. Add the port, balsamic, olive oil, honey and garlic powder. Cook for about 4 minutes over medium heat, until it thickens a bit and the alcohol evaporates. Add salt to taste. Then pour it into a bowl and allow it to cool down.

To assemble the salad, just divide the frisée among two bowls. Add the gorgonzola, cherries and bacon. Serve with the dressing on the side. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

Print Friendly

Restaurant Moon

FullSizeRender

If you live in Amsterdam, you’ve probably already heard about the A’dam Toren. It is the big tower next to the EYE film institute in Amsterdam Noord.

Restaurant Moon is located on the 19th floor and has a 360° panorama view of Amsterdam. Chefs Jamie Van Heije and Tommy den Hartog have created a modern menu that will surely make your taste buds happy. I was one of the lucky ones to be invited to taste their menu before it opened to the public.

I arrived a bit early and got a table with my friend Noor from Amsterspots.nl. Our first course was The Moon. Steak tartare with red beet, kaffir and a very subtle foie.

foie

Our second course was a scallop ceviche with radish, green apple ice cream and wasabi. A beautiful and well balanced dish.

scalllop

Then the eel came. Served over a thin layer of vichyssoise, crunchy brioche, avocado and green herbs.

IMG_6237

The main course was beef tenderloin with peas and a bitterbal made with rendang. I love trying different versions of the traditional bitterballen and this one was delightful.

beef

Our last course was the guardian angel. Blancmange (a milk pudding) served with yuzu, calamansi and caramel. A refreshing and light dessert.

IMG_6240

Overall it was a great experience. It is not every day that you get to enjoy a well thought out menu with a fantastic view of Amsterdam. It is perfect to impress a date, or to just enjoy something different. For dinner, you can choose a set menu of 3 courses (€40), 5 courses (€60) or 8 courses (€80). For lunch, you can choose à a la carte.

Restaurant Moon

A’dam Toren – 19th Floor

Overhoeksplein 3, Amsterdam

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

Print Friendly

Mini Cucumber with Greek Yogurt & Savory Granola

IMG_6224

A super healthy snack since summer is around the corner. It’s super crunchy, fresh and very easy to make. Great to take to a picnic too.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

2 cups of Greek yogurt

8 mini cucumbers, sliced lengthwise

Drizzle of olive oil

Chopped chives

For the savory granola:

½ cup of oatmeal

½ cup of nutritional yeast

¼ cup buckwheat

Pinch of celery salt

1 teaspoon of sumac

Pinch of salt

Pinch of cayenne

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of onion powder

¼ cup of olive oil

 

To make the granola, preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Mix all of the ingredients for the granola in a bowl and then spread it over the prepared baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring half way through. Then allow it to cool down.

Serve the Greek yogurt in one bowl, drizzle some olive oil and top with a bit of chopped chives. Serve the granola in another bowl. Dip the cucumber slices in the Greek yogurt and then coat them in the granola. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Print Friendly

Rhubarb & Citrus Mocktail

IMG_6056

The weather has been crazy lately. Friends were visiting from abroad and I had already told them how temperamental the weather can be here, so they came prepared. On Thursday and Friday, we had summer-like temperatures, and on Saturday and Sunday it was felt more like winter. Funny to see the pictures we took, because you would think they are from two different visits by the change of clothing. It was so nice to show them around Amsterdam and this trip ended up being extra special for them since they got engaged.

Going back to this recipe, this is a very refreshing drink. And of course you can add some liquor if you want, but it doesn’t need it. You’ll have enough rhubarb simple syrup to make about 3 batches.

IMG_6063

This recipe makes about 1.5 liters.

Ingredients:

For the rhubarb simple syrup:

3 large rhubarb stalks, roughly chopped

1 cup of sugar

1 ½ cups of boiling water

For the mocktail:

Juice of 4 oranges

Juice of 3 ruby red grapefruit

¼ cup of the rhubarb simple syrup, cold

Bunch of mint

750ml of sparkling water, cold

15 ice cubes

Edible flowers (optional)

 

Start by making the rhubarb simple syrup. Place the rhubarb, boiling water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Let it cook for about 25 minutes until the rhubarb is very soft and the liquid is syrupy. Then strain the syrup using a fine mesh sieve. Allow it to cool down.

Once the rhubarb simple syrup has cooled down, start juicing the citrus. Pour the grapefruit and orange juice into a pitcher. Add ¼ cup of the simple syrup, mint, sparkling water and ice. Stir. Top each glass with some edible flowers if you want.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

Print Friendly

Acai, Hibiscus & Banana Popscicles

popsicle

It’s been so nice and warm the last couple of days that I couldn’t help myself and made some popsicles. I actually had one for breakfast this morning. They are super easy to make and quite healthy too. I made a reduction with acai pulp, hibiscus tea and banana. Then I swirled it around with Greek yogurt. A guilt free breakfast that tastes like dessert!

This recipe makes about 7 small popsicles

Ingredients:

½ cup of dried hibiscus flowers

1 cup of boiling water

100gr of frozen acai pulp

8 tablespoons of honey

1 banana, chopped

2 cups of Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon of vanilla essence

For the chocolate shell:

300grs of dark chocolate, chopped

3 teaspoons of coconut oil

Dried coconut (optional)

 

Place the hibiscus flowers in a small bowl, add the boiling water and let it steep for 5 minutes.

Once the 5 minutes are up, pass the tea through a sieve and discard of the flowers.

Place the hibiscus tea, 6 tablespoons of honey, acai and banana in the blender. Blend until smooth.

Then place the mixture in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Let it reduce to a thick syrup while stirring so it doesn’t burn. This will take about 5 minutes. Then transfer it to a bowl to cool down.

Once the acai mixture has cooled down, start making the yogurt part. Whisk the Greek yogurt with the remaining 2 tablespoons of honey and vanilla.

Place a bit of the acai mixture in the popsicle molds, then add some of the Greek yogurt and then some more of the acai mixture. Use a toothpick or tip of a knife, to make the swirls. Insert the sticks and freeze overnight.

If you want to coat them in chocolate, microwave the dark chocolate with the coconut oil in intervals of 30 seconds. Stirring in between until it is completely melted. Dip the popsicles in the chocolate shell and immediately sprinkle some of the dried coconut. You can eat them right away. If you want to keep them in the freezer, wrap them individually in plastic film or a Ziploc bag.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

Print Friendly

Orange, Vanilla & Lavender Cheesecake

IMG_5715

This recipe is for a 19cm round cake mold with a detachable bottom.

Ingredients:

For the lavender cookie crust:

180grs of Bastogne cookies, you can also use graham crackers

3 tablespoons of butter

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 tablespoon of dried lavender

For the cheesecake:

400grs of cream cheese, at room temperature

100gr of sour cream

2 eggs

¾ cups of sugar

Pinch of salt

1 vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon of vanilla essence

2 tablespoons of orange zest

1 tablespoon of cacao powder, sifted

 

Preheat your oven to 160C/325F. Line the bottom and sides of your cake mold with parchment paper.

Start by making the crust. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat with the dried lavender.

Place the cookies and vanilla essence in the food processor, and pulse until you get crumbs. Then slowly add the lavender butter. Once everything is mixed through, put the crumbs into the bottom of your cake mold. Press with your fingers or the back of a spoon so that there is a nice even layer on the bottom of the mold.  Set it aside.

Using an electric mixer, whisk the sugar with the orange zest to release the oils. Then add the cream cheese, vanilla and sour cream. Whisk until everything is well combined.

Then add the eggs and salt. Whisk until everything is mixed through. Reserve about 1/3 of a cup of the cheesecake batter to make the swirls later.

Pour the rest of the cheesecake batter into your prepared cake mold.

Whisk one tablespoon of cacao powder into the reserved cheesecake mixture. Using a spoon, drizzle the chocolate batter over the cheesecake. Using a toothpick or the tip of a knife, start making swirls.

Bake the cheesecake for 30 minutes. The center should still wiggle a bit.

Allow it to come to room temperature. Then place it in the fridge for at least 4 hours, better if it is overnight.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

Print Friendly

Coconut Mojito Ice Cream

IMG_5654

It feels like summer today and I couldn’t be happier, especially since it’s supposed to last till at least Monday. That also means ice cream weather is upon us. I love the combination of coconut, lime and mint. The alcohol is optional but I used coconut rum to add more coconut flavor. Yum!

This recipe makes about 1.5 litters of ice cream

Ingredients:

For the lime and mint simple syrup:

½ cup of sugar

1/3 cup of mint leaves, packed

Juice + zest of 3 limes

1 cup of water

For the ice cream base:

400ml of coconut milk

250ml of whipping cream

½ cup of sugar

4 egg yolks

1 cup of shredded and desiccated coconut (optional)

½ cup of coconut rum (optional)

 

Start by making the lime and mint simple syrup. Place the lime zest, lime juice, mint leaves, sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes, stir from time to time so the sugar dissolves. Then transfer it to a bowl and let it cool down.

For the ice cream base, place the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.

Place the coconut milk and whipping cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk it to dissolve any solids from the coconut milk. Once it is simmering, very slowly start pouring it into the egg yolk and sugar mixture while whisking. It is important to pour it slowly and to whisk it fast so that the yolks don’t curdle.

Then transfer the mixture into the saucepan again. Over medium low heat and using a wooden spoon, stir for about 5 to 6 minutes. You know it’s done, when you draw a line with your finger on the back of the spoon and it stays. Transfer it to a bowl and allow it to cool down. If you want to be sure there are no curds, just use a fine mesh sieve and strain the mixture.

Once the ice cream base has come to room temperature, place it in the fridge to cool down completely.

Once the ice cream base is cold, strain the simple syrup and whisk it into the ice cream base. Add the rum. Whisk to combine.

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When the ice cream is nearly finished freezing, add the desiccated coconut into the machine and allow it to mix thoroughly.

Store in an airtight container for at least 2 hours before serving.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

Print Friendly

Soya Mince & Lentil Chili Tacos with Pico de Gallo and Avocado Sour Cream

IMG_5482

The other day while browsing through a supermarket, I found a package of frozen soya mince. I have always been very curious about it and this is the first time I saw it at a store here. When I was in University, I remember there was a healthy food shop next to it that would sell lasagna with soya mince and it was so good. If you didn’t go early, you would miss it since it would always sell out. That was pretty much my whole experience with soya mince. So now that I saw it here, I had to test it out. And I am quite happy with the results. So for this taco Tuesday, I made a chili with the soya mince and lentils; and served them on tortillas along with some pico de gallo and avocado sour cream.

This recipe makes 12 small tacos.

Ingredients:

For the chili:

2 tablespoons of olive oil

½ a red onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

200grs of frozen soya mince, thawed

1/3 cup of black lentils

1 sweet paprika, finely chopped

Pinch of cumin powder

1 teaspoon of paprika powder

Cayenne to taste

1 tablespoon of honey

1 teaspoon of onion powder

Pinch of celery salt

250grs of tomato puree

1 litter of vegetable stock

Salt to taste

For the pico de gallo:

1 ½ red onions, finely chopped

4 tomatoes, cored and finely chopped (no seeds)

1 bunch of coriander, chopped

Chopped chili to taste

Juice of 1 ½ limes

1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil

Salt to taste

For the avocado sour cream:

1 avocado

125grs of sour cream

Juice of ½ a lime

Salt to taste

Extras:

12 small tortillas

 

To make the chili, place the olive oil and onion in a large pan over medium heat. Cook until the onions become translucent. Then add the garlic, soya mince, lentils and spices. Cook for about 1 minute while stirring. Then add the honey, tomato puree and vegetable stock. Stir so everything is mixed. Let it cook for about 20 minutes till most of the liquid has been absorbed and the lentils are cooked through. Taste for salt.

To make the pico de gallo just mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.

For the avocado sour cream, blend all of the ingredients until smooth.

Warm up the tortillas in a pan. Serve with the chili, pico de gallo and avocado sour cream.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Print Friendly