Restaurant: Lekkerr, Schoonhoven

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Last week, I spent two days at my aunt who lives in Schoonhoven. Schoonhoven is a very cute town between Rotterdam and Utrecht. It is known for the silver that used to be made here a lot. In the city centre, you will find a lot of old buildings, mostly from around the year 1600. I absolutely love to see this, as you won’t find buildings like this in Rotterdam, because of what happened here in the Second World War. It gives Schoonhoven such a charming feel. I also really like the canal that runs right through the town. On one of the sides of the canal, restaurant Lekkerr is situated and my aunt, brother and sister in law and I decided to go there for dinner.
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Recipe: Raspberry Pistachio Eton Mess

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I don’t really know why, but Eton Mess was something that I wanted to make for quite a while, but for some reason I didn’t. And it can be so easy to make, especially when you have ready made merengue, so the lack of time could not be my excuse. But now, I finally tried to make it! And I even baked my own merengues for it!

Eton Mess is basically a layered dessert with cream, merengue and fruit and you can make many variations on this dessert. Because we all love red fruits the most in my family and it gives the dessert a nice and fresh look, I decided to make a raspberry Eton Mess. To give it some extra color, I topped it with some vibrant green pistachios. And I can tell you it was a crowd pleaser!

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Review: Oreo icecream sticks

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I have a weakness for anything that has Oreo in it. It doesn’t matter if it is in a cake, milkshake, chocolate, dessert or just on its’ own. There is just something about the combination of the dark, chocolate cookies and the vanilla layer inbetween the cookies that is perfect! Sweet, but not too sweet, crunchy and soft at the same time. So when I heard about this Magnum-like Oreo icecream, I had to get my hands on it. Because, well, icecream is one of my other weaknesses (yep, I am indeed a massive sweettooth) and what could be better than combining the two? It took me a couple of months to find them unfortunately. I almost feared they wouldn’t make it to my local Albert Heijn, but then, all of a sudden, they were there! There was only one box left actually, which I took home with me of course.

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Restaurant: Elleniko, Markthal Rotterdam

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My father opted to go out for dinner on my birthday and of course I had to choose a restaurant for this occasion. I figured I wanted to eat at a Greek restaurant at a nice location, so the first one that popped into my mind was Elleniko in the Markthal. I walked by a couple of times before and it looked so nice that I really wanted to try the food here. So off we went to the Markthal. If you make a reservation for dinner at Elleniko, you are being seated in the upstairs area, as they offer the restaurant menu there. In the downstairs area they serve a streetfood menu, which is more suited for a quick lunch or a break.
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Inspiration: My Christmas dinner menu’s so far

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Christmas is approaching and it will be just two more weeks untill all the festivities in my family start. Actually, even less than two weeks, because we also host a dinner on Christmas eve with some of our relatives. Then we have first day of Christmas with my mothers’ side of the family and then second day of Christmas with my fathers’ side of the family. For the non-Dutch reader: we really have two official days of Christmas in the Netherlands. It can be convenient if you have multiple groups of people to celebrate Christmas with, like me. And then we still need an extra celebration on Christmas eve, because we can’t fit it all in two days. So I am planning the menu’s and dishes as we speak. I love to try new, delicious, crowd pleasing recipes, but sometimes it can be a struggle to find recipes everyone likes when you are cooking for larger groups. In fact, our numbers are: 8 people on Christmas eve, 15 on the first day and 19 on the second day. On the first and second day, we usually organise it in a way where every family member makes a part of the dinner and takes it to the host where it may be finished or heated before we actually eat. We haven’t discussed the menu’s for those days yet, but I have already seen some great recipes I would like to make.
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Recipe: Chocolate raspberry pavlova

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A pavlova is one of my favorite desserts for Christmas as they are light after a heavy main course. Pavlovas typically consist of a meringue base with a layer of cream and a topping of fresh fruit. This dessert was originally designed for the great ballerina Anna Pavlova. It is light, fresh and still sweet and a real crowd pleaser, just like the ballerina. A pavlova should be crisp on the outside and still a tiny bit moist and gooey on the inside. In this one, the chocolate chunks inside are a nice addition that give the meringue an extra bite. The raspberries create a fresh contrast with the chocolate base. Secretly, putting some fruit on top makes me feel like it is a little bit healthy. Even though it’s not.
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Recipe: Chocolate mousse

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I admit I am a chocolate (and caramel) addict. If I would allow myself to, I would have chocolate any time of the day. Of course, one of my favorite desserts involves chocolate as well. We often buy premade chocolate mousse from the supermarket, but today I wanted to make a fresh chocolate mousse from scratch.

As a matter of fact, I thought making this mousse would be easy peasy. It turned out to be a little bit more work than I expected, but it is still a very manageable recipe. You need 3 separate bowls to prepare the different components of the mousse. Don’t think you can just combine things in less than 3 bowls, because it is just not possible.
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