660 curries – most underrated cookbook!

This recipe for stuffed okra from 660 Curries combines a handful of simple ingredients to create something unforgettable! @raghavaniyer is an absolute genius and I can't recommend 660 Curries highly enough.

This recipe for stuffed okra from 660 Curries combines a handful of simple ingredients to create something unforgettable! Raghavan Iyer is an absolute genius and I can’t recommend 660 Curries highly enough.

Brussels sprouts with browned butter and black garlic (from heaven)

I never imagined I would go for multiple helpings of brussels sprouts – especially when there were no bacon bits involved. This was so good we even debated over whether we should leave some for Oggie! Made a few substitutions – used fennel seeds because I didn’t have caraway seeds at home. Used dried thyme because I didn’t want to spend an eternity picking thyme leaves .

Who buys a pill box as a souvenir?

When I bought this pill box two days ago I had no idea I’d be reaping it’s benefits so soon. Note to self: Next time buy a lottery ticket Added bonus: It even has a mirror so you can see how much worse you look with each passing day.Also, have you ever walked into a gift shop and wondered who the hell buys a pill box as a souvenir? Well, now you know!

Kantien, Utrecht

A few years ago we kept seeing ads for a new restaurant in our neighborhood which we wanted to check out but just couldn’t find. We even walked around the neighborhood with Google maps for assistance but the restaurant stayed elusive.

And suddenly one day we spotted this hidden gem and have been frequenting Kantien ever since.On their website they proudly claim that they love everything that has to do with the Netherlands! The lunch menu, therefore, is also very Dutch – a selection of sandwiches and my choice for lunch every. single. time. – the twaalf uurtje (see picture) I must add that the gluten-free variant kicks the regular twaalf uurtje’s ass (not something I get to say very often). The composition of the twaalf uurtje varies very often and some are better than the others; wish they were more consistent.

It’s a kid-friendly place with plenty of room inside and outside and a couple of arcade machines to boot. The staff is very friendly and they work with locally sourced produce. Their dishes are clearly inspired by a love for vegetables and even in items featuring meat it’s very often the vegetables that steal the show.

The dinner menu keeps changing and though we’ve had a few dishes that were meh there have been enough extraordinary ones to make us want to go to Kantien over and over again.

Sticky Pineapple Tarts for Chinese New Year

A couple of days ago I attempted to make pineapple tarts for our cooking club meet-up. This wasn’t part of my original plan because I’d never made pineapple tarts before, let alone gluten-free ones. My original plan was to make Fuchsia Dunlop’s Yangzhou fried rice which seemed quite easy (read lazy).Then I asked myself the question – what would Ratna make? The answer I got was – definitely not just fried rice. So I decided to give pineapple tarts a shot.
The tarts were easy to make albeit labour-intensive and it was fun to try something new.However, when I bit into the tart I was extremely disappointed. Even though it was tasty I wasn’t expecting the tart to be as crumbly as it was. After spending some time fuming and fretting over what I thought was an epic failure I googled ‘why are my pineapple tarts so crumbly?’ and it turns out that’s how they are supposed to be. Even my friends, who are pineapple tart connoisseurs, confirmed that the tarts are supposed to be crumbly and quickly gobbled up a few. So I guess things were not as bad as I made them out to be. All’s well that ends well.
Happy Chinese New Year – hope the year ahead is full of happy surprises.

Ottolenghi’s pumpkin soup – any good?

The two other soup recipes I tried from Simple were amazing so I had high expectations of this pumpkin soup. The soup has flavourful ingredients like saffron, orange zest, coriander leaves but the end result tastes ordinary – almost like the flavors cancel each other out. But, this is an Ottolenghi recipe, so I’m inclined to blame the pumpkin for the disappointing result. I will try this recipe again just to make sure I wasn’t wrong to blame the pumpkin. The crunchy, sweet, spicy and salty toasted pumpkin seed topping though is awesome! #ottolenghi #ottolenghisimple #icookedottolenghi #soup #pumpkinsoup #glutenfree #vegetarian

View on Instagram http://bit.ly/2CwCDrl

Dogma Utrecht and the quest for a gluten-free hotdog

Over a year ago when Dogma Hotdogs , Utrecht’s very own hotdog bar, opened its doors I remember writing to them to check if they had glutenfree hotdogs on the menu. Imagine my excitement when they said yes and I made up my mind to go there as soon as possible.

One year and zero hotdogs later Rohan and I found ourselves at Dogma. The decor is pleasant with a touch of spookiness which I liked. The restaurant is located on Voorstraat and if you manage to snag a table by the window you can watch other people going about their daily business and do more important stuff while you munch on a hot dog and sip wine.The restaurant is run by really friendly people passionate about… Hotdogs!

The hotdog itself was nice and they are quite creative when it comes to the toppings. But at the end of the day a hot dog for me is nothing but a glorified sandwich so I won’t be rushing to get another hotdog anytime soon.What I really loved though was the service. Since the ‘low-gluten’ bun was smaller than the regular bun I got an extra portion of the toppings on the side. This is a far cry from restaurants whose idea of a glutenfree dish is to remove the items containing gluten from the regular variant of the dish and replace it with nothing. Like the time I was served glutenfree peking duck which was just slices of duck meat without the sauce!!!

So, if you’re in Utrecht and in the mood for a hotdog you know where to go. If you have 1:50 minutes to spare (I know you do)check out the video above that Rohan made of our visit to Dogma.