Summer Nachos with Mango & Nectarine salsa

I love fruity salsas and now that summer is in full swing, it is the perfect excuse to make it with all the wonderful produce out there. This is a vegetarian recipe which can easily be made vegan if you skip on the sour cream.  You can either fry or bake the tortilla chips. I ended up doing half of them baked and the other half of them fried, since I had a little problem with my oven.

For the tortillas:

About 12 tortillas (I used 3 different colors)

Vegetable oil

Pinch of salt

For the mango & nectarine salsa:

1 medium mango, very finely chopped

1 nectarine, very finely chopped

1 medium red onion, very finely chopped

1 medium jalapeño, very finely chopped (without seeds)

1 medium red chili, very finely chopped (without seeds)

Juice of 1 lime

1 ½ tablespoon of olive oil

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

Salt to taste

Black pepper to taste

3 tablespoons of chopped coriander

Extra toppings:

The kernels of one ear of corn, cooked

4 radishes, thinly sliced

1 avocado, thinly sliced

Extra jalapeño slices

Extra red chili slices

125grs of sour cream

 

You can either bake or fry your tortilla chips.

If you bake them, preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush each tortilla with a bit of vegetable oil. Then using kitchen scissors or a knife, cut each tortilla into small triangles. Spread the small pieces of tortilla in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle a bit of salt. Bake them for about 10-12 minutes, till crispy. Repeat for the rest.

If you fry your tortilla chips, place about ½ cup of vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Fry the pieces of tortilla till golden on both sides. Do it in batches without overcrowding the pan. This will only take about a minute or two, so keep an eye on them. Once fried, place them in a plate lined with some paper towels and sprinkle them with a bit of salt.

To make the salsa, just mix the finely chopped mango and nectarine with the remaining ingredients. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Set it aside.

To assemble the nachos, first place the tortillas in a sheet pan or plate. Add small dollops or quenelles of sour cream all over. Then spread the mango & nectarine salsa. Sprinkle the corn kernels over the chips. Top with some slices of radishes, avocado, jalapeño and chili. Serve right away and enjoy!

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Picking your own bouquet of flowers

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It’s the simple things in life that make me happy. I love going to the market and getting flowers every week. My flower lady knows to give me some time, no rush while I browse through all the different kinds she has to offer. Two weeks ago we grabbed our bikes, hopped into a train and went to Hillegom. It is a town not far from Amsterdam, known for its tulip fields. We love going there in spring when the flower fields are in full bloom and the scent surrounding the area is deliciously intoxicating.

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But what I recently found out is that there are also fields where you can go and pick your own bouquet yourself. We arrived at Annemieke’s Pluktuin, we were given a bucket and scissors, and we were off to the fields. Such a simple yet fun experience. I felt like Charlie at the chocolate factory.

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When we got to the dahlia garden, I was going nuts at the different varieties and the size of some of them. They were the size of a small watermelon. The weather could have also not been better. Sunny and warm, it was perfect to spend some time outside. When you are done, you just go to the register and pay depending on how big your bouquet is. We definitely want to return again!

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Grapefruit Rosé Popsicles

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I was reading an article the other day about how rosé wine mixed with grapefruit juice became so popular in France. And I thought to myself, that actually sounds delicious! So I created this popsicle recipe using rosé, freshly squeezed ruby red grapefruit, tonic water and elderflower cordial. Now this is not a very sweet popsicle but you can always add more elderflower cordial or simple syrup if you like it sweet. It’s perfect for a summer gathering and I just love its lovely pale pink hue. It would also be great for a bachelorette party! And you can also serve it with a glass of rosé. I added some edible flowers to add a contrast in color.

Now please summer come back! It’s been rather cold lately.

This recipe makes 10 popsicles.

Ingredients:

½ littler of rosé wine

Juice of 1 large ruby red grapefruit (pulp discarded)

1 cup of tonic water

2 tablespoons of elderflower cordial

Extras:

½ a grapefruit, thinly sliced for decoration

Edible flowers (optional)

 

Mix the rosé, grapefruit juice, tonic water and elderflower cordial in a pitcher. Taste it. If you want it sweeter, add more elderflower cordial or simple syrup.

Add a piece of grapefruit in each popsicle mold. Also add some edible flowers if you wish.

Then carefully pour the cocktail mixture into each popsicle mold. Insert the sticks and freeze overnight.

The next day, carefully remove them from the mold and enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and my Snapchat: cravingsinams.

 

 

Mini Brownie Cookie Sandwiches Stuffed with Salted Caramel Ice Cream

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It’s taken me ages to post this recipe. If you follow me on Snapchat, you’ve probably already seen it last month. I love the combination of the salted caramel in the ice cream with the brownie cookies. They make great little treats which would be very welcome in this heat.

While I was testing this ice cream recipe, on the first batch I didn’t add enough salt but that (not salty) ice cream was great to make affogato. So if you feel like making normal caramel ice cream, just skip on the salt and enjoy it with some espresso.

This recipe makes about 20 mini ice cream sandwiches.

Ingredients:

For the salted caramel ice cream:

For the salted caramel:

1 cup of sugar (212grs)

2 teaspoons of sea salt like Maldon

2 tablespoons of butter

1 cup of cream (250ml)

For the ice cream base:

2 ½ cups of whole milk (470ml)

1 cup of cream (250ml)

1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

¼ cup of sugar

4 egg yolks

For the cookies:

100grs of dark chocolate, chopped

113grs of butter

1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

¾ of a cup of brown sugar, packed

½ cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

2 teaspoons of cornstarch

1 teaspoon of baking soda

Pinch of salt

¼ cup of cocoa powder

 

Start by making the salted caramel. Melt the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it becomes amber in color. Swirl the pan around to avoid the edges from burning. This will take about 9 minutes. Off the heat add the butter, salt and cream. Over medium-low heat, stir until the caramel dissolves again and there are no lumps. This will take about 10 minutes. Then carefully pour the caramel into a large bowl. Be slow so if there are any chunks of caramel, they will stay at the button of the pan and then discard them. Allow it to cool down while you make the ice cream base.

To make the ice cream base, place the egg yolks in a bowl and whisk them with the sugar.

Place the milk, cream and vanilla essence in a saucepan over medium heat. Once it comes to a simmer, slowly pour it into the yolk mixture while whisking. Then transfer it back to the saucepan over medium heat and stir for about 5 minutes until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. You know it’s ready when you draw a line with your finger on the back of a spoon and it stays.

Place a fine sieve over the bowl with the caramel. Carefully pour the ice cream base over the caramel. Remove the sieve. Whisk so that the caramel is well combined with the ice cream base. Allow it to come to room temperature and the place it in the fridge until it is completely cold. Once it is cold, freeze it in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and freeze for at least 4 hours or better overnight.

To make the cookies, place the butter and chopped dark chocolate in a small bowl. Melt it in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring in between until the chocolate has melted completely. Then allow it to cool down.

Mix the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, salt and cocoa powder in another bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolk, sugars and vanilla. Then slowly whisk in the cooled melted chocolate.

Then add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture in batches. Mix until everything is combined.

Then allow the dough to chill in the fridge for 2 hours.

Once the cookie dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 180C/350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take the cookie dough out of the fridge and grab about 1 tablespoon of cookie dough and roll it into a ball using your hands. Place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat for the rest, leaving some space in between each ball. Bake the cookies for 9 minutes. While a batch is baking, keep the remaining cookie dough in the fridge.

Let the cookies rest in the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

Once your cookies are cooled, start making the ice cream sandwiches. To store them, just wrapped them separately in plastic wrap and freeze them. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow me on Snapchat: cravingsinams.

 

 

Mint Fudge Ice Cream (All natural color)

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Mint chocolate chip ice cream is one of my favorite flavors, unfortunately for some reason it is not very popular here. So now that I finally have an ice cream machine, this was one flavor I was very eager to make at home. Instead of chocolate chips, I mixed it with fudge ice cream. It is such a delicious combination. And the best part, it has no artificial coloring. By placing the sugar and fresh mint leaves in the food processor, you get this wonderful natural green color.

This recipe makes about 2 liters of ice cream.

Ingredients:

For the mint ice cream:

1 ½ cups of whole milk

2 cups of cream

1 1/2 cup of sugar

5 egg yolks

1 bunch of mint, leaves only (about 1 cup of packed mint leaves)

For the fudge ice cream:

3 cups of whole milk

2 cans of condensed milk (total of 800grs)

1 cup of sifted cocoa powder

1 tablespoon of vanilla essence

 

Start by making the fudge ice cream. Place the milk, vanilla and cocoa powder in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until the cocoa powder has dissolved into the milk. Then add the condensed milk and stir with a wooden spoon for about 15 minutes. You know it’s done when you draw a line with your finger on the back of the spoon and it stays. Allow it to cool down to room temperature.

In the meanwhile, start making the mint ice cream base. Place the mint and the sugar in the food processor. Pulse until the mint has been incorporated into the sugar and you have a nice even green colored sugar. Place the mint sugar in a large bowl and add the egg yolks. Whisk until it is well combined.

Place the milk and the cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Once it comes to a simmer, slowly pour it into the bowl with the mint and egg yolks while whisking fast. It is important to add it slowly so that the egg yolks don’t curdle. Then transfer it back to the saucepan and stir for about 8 minutes until it thickens. You know it’s done when you draw a line with your finger on the back of the spoon and it stays.

Then pass it through a fine mesh sieve. Allow it to cool down to room temperature.

Once both ice cream bases are at room temperature, place them in the fridge overnight for the flavors to develop or at least till both mixtures are complete cold.

Freeze the fudge mixture in the ice cream maker according to the manufactures instructions. This ice cream will be a lot softer than normal ice cream, so transfer it to an airtight container as fast as possible. Place it in the freezer.

Freeze the mint ice cream base in the ice cream maker according to the manufactures instructions. Once it is done, remove the fudge ice cream from the freezer. Get a large airtight container ready, add about ¼ of the fudge ice cream and then ¼ of the mint ice cream. Continue doing this until you have no more ice cream left, this will create a marble effect. Freeze overnight.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow me on Snapchat: cravingsinams.

Lucuma & Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

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Lucuma is one of those things that bring me back to my childhood and Lima. It reminds me of going out for milkshakes and ice cream when I was little. It is a Peruvian fruit which is high in vitamins and it is a natural sweetener. Considered a super fruit, you can now find it at most health stores. It is easy to add to any smoothies for an extra nutrient kick. The taste is hard to describe for me, but some people say it tastes of a mixture between sweet potato and maple syrup. I love going to the market in Lima and picking some ripe lucuma to make milkshakes at my mom’s place. The smell of it is just divine!

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This recipe makes about 2 litters of ice cream.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups of milk

2 ½ cups of cream

¼ cup of honey

1 cup of sugar

2 vanilla bean or 2 tablespoons of vanilla essence

1/3 cup of lucuma powder

5 egg yolks

 

In a large bowl, whisk 1 cup of the milk with the lucuma powder. Set it aside.

Whisk the honey and sugar with the egg yolks in a large bowl.

Pour the remaining milk, cream and vanilla (seeds scraped and pod) in a saucepan over medium heat. Once it starts simmering, very slowly start pouring it into the egg yolk 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 back into the saucepan. Over medium-low heat and using a wooden spoon, stir for about 6 -10 minutes. You know it’s done, when you draw a line with your finger on the back of the spoon and it stays.

Then put a fine mesh sieve over the bowl with the lucuma and milk. Pour the vanilla mixture into the lucuma bowl.

Allow it to cool down to room temperature. Once it is at room temperature, place it in the fridge until it is cold. Preferably leave it in the fridge overnight to give it time for the flavors to develop.

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Store it in an airtight container for at least 2 hours before serving. Enjoy!

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

Acai, Hibiscus & Banana Popscicles

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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.

 

Coconut Mojito Ice Cream

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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.

 

Heirloom Tomato, Goat Cheese & Greek Yogurt Tart with Basil & Almond Pesto

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I’m taking advantage of summer produce as much as I can. Every time I go to the market and see beautiful heirloom tomatoes, I can’t help myself and have to get some. For this tart, I first oven dried them to keep them from getting the filling moist.

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The filling is a bit lighter since I used Greek yogurt instead of cream. I swirled some pesto into the filling for extra flavor and to add a different texture.  I added grated parmesan and freshly ground pepper to the crust for extra flavor as well. I ate it with a baby kale salad with a simple vinaigrette.

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Ingredients:

For the tomatoes:

3 big heirloom tomatoes, sliced about 1.5 to 2 cm thick

5 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

1 teaspoon of sugar

Salt

Drizzle of olive oil

For the crust:

1 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons of grated parmesan

Freshly ground black pepper

100gr of cold butter, chopped

Pinch of salt

¼ cup cold water

For the goat cheese filling:

1 cup of Greek yogurt

200gr soft goat cheese, at room temperature

2 eggs

Pinch of salt

Pinch of pepper

For the pesto:

45gr peeled roasted almonds

1 bunch of basil, reserve a few small leaves to decorate the tart later

30gr of grated parmesan

1/3 cup of olive oil

Pinch of garlic powder

Pepper

Pinch of salt

 

To oven dry the tomatoes:

Place the tomato slices on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with salt, sugar and drizzle some olive oil. Dry them for 2 hours at 130C/270F. Once the 2 hours are up, remove them from the oven and set aside to cool.

To make the pesto:

Place all of the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until everything is mixed. Cover with plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge until ready to use. You will only need 5 tablespoons of this pesto; you can use the leftover for something else.

To make the crust:

Place the butter, flour, parmesan, salt & pepper in the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix on low speed for a few minutes until the pieces of butter get smaller.  Then add the cold water and mix on low for a few extra minutes, until you get an even dough. Form a ball with the dough, flatten it a bit with your hands, wrap it in plastic and let it sit in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Once the dough has rested in the fridge, preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease and flour a 9 inch – 23cm pie mold. It is better if it has a detachable bottom, just makes it easier to slice the tart later.

Lightly flour your working area and roll out the dough in a circular shape, enough to cover the pie mold. Line the pie mold with the dough, pressing firmly on the edges. Place it in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Take the pie out of the fridge and pinch the bottom with a fork.  Line it with parchment paper and fill it with uncooked rice or pastry weights. Bake for 10 minutes. Then remove the rice and parchment paper, and bake for 5 more minutes. Remove it from the oven but the keep the oven on.

To make the goat cheese & Greek yogurt filling:

Just blend all of the ingredients until evenly combined.

To assemble the tart:

Pour the goat cheese filling over the partly baked crust.  Just don’t pour it up to the edges, because it still needs the pesto and you don’t want it to overflow.  Separate 5 tablespoons of the pesto and spoon it over the filling. Then grab a knife and swirl it around, be careful not to touch the crust. Bake it for 20 minutes.

After the 20 minutes are up, remove the tart from the oven. Spread the oven dried tomatoes over the top and bake it for 10 extra minutes.

Allow the tart to cool down for 1 hour before slicing it. You can decorate it with some fresh basil leaves. I like to serve it with a simple salad.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Roasted Tomato Soup with Zoodles & Mozzarella

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It’s cold and wet today. It’s been raining nonstop since yesterday, so a warm soup was in order. I roasted the tomatoes, onion and garlic in the oven to add more flavor. This is the first time I made zoodles and I am a fan. Plus by adding them raw to the soup, they still keep a nice crunch.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

8 tomatoes, sliced in half

1 red onion

4 cloves of garlic

1 ½ litters of vegetable stock

2 bay leaves

125ml of cream

1 zucchini

10 mini mozzarella balls

Pepper

Salt

 

Slice the tomatoes in half, place them in a baking tray skin side up. This will make peeling them later easier.

Add the onion (with the skin on) to the baking tray. Wrap the garlic cloves(with the skin on) in foil and drizzle some olive oil. Close the foil and place it on the same tray. Drizzle some olive oil on top of the tomatoes and onion. Roast them at 180C/350F for 1 hour.

Once the tomatoes are roasted, let them cool down enough to handle.

Then peel the tomatoes, onion and garlic cloves. Place them in a pan. Add the vegetable stock and bay leaves. Let it cook for 20 minutes on medium heat.

Remove the bay leaves, and blend the soup. Pass it through a sieve and place it back in the pan. Add the cream and let it reduce for 15 minutes on medium heat.

To make the zoodles, I just used a mandoline with the julienne attachment. I stopped when I got to the core. You can also make them with a spiralizer or a potato peeler. If you use a potato peeler, just slice it into ribbons and then using a knife, cut it into julienne. Set aside.

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Once the soup has reduced, taste it for salt. Divide the soup in between two bowls. Add a handful of the zoodles in the middle. I added them raw because they will end up cooking in the hot soup anyways. Add the mini mozzarella balls and sprinkle some pepper on top of the zoodles.