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Posts Tagged ‘food’

Who doesn’t like cake?

I’d like a show of hands.

Just as I thought. Not a single hand was raised. Everyone loves cake. We pig out on it at least once a year when our birthday rolls around. Whether you are blowing out candles or taking your mum out for a treat (yes, my mum loves cake too) or cheering yourself up after a downer day, cake is the solution to many of life’s problems. I don’t mean this to be an ode to cake. Just an introduction to one city who knows cake, really really well: Amsterdam.

Who is the king of the cake castle?

The two gents behind De taart van m’n tante. Siemon and Noam don’t make just any kind of cakes, they make pieces of art. Their tasty creations have actually been on exhibition before at the Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk, Van Gogh Museum and Utrechts Museum. It’s serious business, cakes.The pair opened the café in 1990 and since then have exploded with success, locals aren’t the only ones apparently who love cake. It’s a special spot to visit if you’re in Amsterdam. I know at this point you’ve already searched for flights to Amsterdam

I already can’t wait to get my hands on a slice of their magic. What’s more, the cake shop is also a Bed & Breakfast. There are three rooms upstairs, each with its own theme. There is a communal kitchen, living room and wireless internet. Who wouldn’t want to wake up to the smell of delicious cakes being baked just underneath? Mmmm…. sweet dreams indeed!

Where can you find them?

Ferdinand Bolstraat 10
1072 LJ Amsterdam
Open: 10:00-18:00 daily

In their own words, “A life full of cake – how magnificently delicious!”

In your opinion, which culture does the best dessert? Which sweet have you tried abroad that you just wish you could eat everyday at home?

For more info, check out their website.

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My trips don’t usually take me outside of Europe but this time I’m making an exception. Recently a friend of mine took a job in Singapore, relocated herself to a new country and a totally new culture in another corner of the world. Of course I can’t give up the opportunity to go and visit her! Today I’m hoping to find a few minutes to compare cheap air tickets London – Singapore, from what she’s told me it’s actually quite cheap!

What has she been raving about since she arrived?

The food… and mah-jongg.

We’re quite big foodies, her and I. Like in other countries around the world, Singaporeans love to eat, and my friend also is having no trouble fitting in at the local hawker centre.

Hawker centres starting popping up in Hong Kong and Singapore during the industrial revolution of the 1950s and 1960s and they’re large open-air complexes full of food stalls. This is where the cheap eats are easy to find. Cafeteria-style, this is where the people eat together.

Sundays is the best day to indulge. It’s the day when many of the city’s up-scale hotel restaurants offer brunch for a mere S$80 per person (£35). A bargain for a lavish buffet spread of gourmet food in the middle of a quiet afternoon.

High tea is also something I could definitely get used to, served usually on weekends for S$25 (£11) at only the nicest hotels, the Ritz-Carlton or Raffles. These aren’t places to wear blue jeans, that’s for sure! A little touch of England, it’s actually quite cool that this tradition has stayed in Singapore, complete with scones, garden sandwiches and little cakes. Of course they don’t neglect the local favourites like dim sum and curry puffs.

It’s easy to spend on these gourmet luxuries because the street food is incredibly cheap, and outstandingly delicious. Recipes have been passed down through generations and cooking traditions are just as old. Chinatown is one of the best places to go where you can find eats that represent every one of China’s different regions. Geylang serves up Indonesian dishes at traditional hawker stalls and Little India is the best place for curry in town. Just thinking about it all puts a grumble in my stomach.

Now I just need to master the chop sticks!

If you’ve been to Singapore, please share some tips on what to see… and eat!

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I know how much the post on tortilla in Spain attracted all of you, I mean, who doesn’t love reading about travelling and food? So I thought about adding another recipe to a dish I loved to eat while travelling through the south of Spain and into Morocco. Felafel is a staple if you’re travelling in the Middle East and Norther Africa, especially if you’re vegetarian like me. If you’ve never tasted the glory that is felafel, it’s a ball of fried ball of chickpeas or fava beans and some herbs and spices. These balls are put into a pita with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickled vegetables and drizzled in tahini (or my favourite, tzaziki). You can also eat felafal with a meze or just on its own as a snack.

I can’t talk about a food without a little bit of history… Felafel originated in Egypt and some believe it was eaten initially by the Copts to replace meat while Lent was going on. When the dish migrated to Levant, the fava beans were replaced by chick peas. Now its a staple in street food and fast food in the Middle East… did you know that you can even find it at McDonalds in some countries?? “One McFelafel, please!” I can just imagine.

What you’ll need:

  • a blender or food processor
  • 2 bowls
  • 1 spoon
  • 1 tray
  • 1 slotted spoon
  • 1 sauce pan
  • paper towels or napkins

Ingredients:

  • 250 g chick peas, pre-cooked or cook them beforehand
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 handful of coriander, chopped
  • 1 chili, chopped
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • salt & pepper

1. Put the chickpeas into the blender and pulse it a few times and then on full to make a bread-crumb like texture. Transfer it into a bowl. Then purée these ingredients: parsley, coriander, chili, and 2 spoons of the chick pea mix. Mix until well combined.

2. Mix the two together then add the flour, cumin, crushed coriander seeds, baking soada and 1 1/2 tbsp of salt (approx). Add finally a bit of pepper and combine at all with a spoon. If it’s too dry, add a little water.

3. Preheat the oil in the pan. Then form balls out of the mixture and drop them in whe the oil is hot enough to fry. With this size batch, you should be able to make around 25 felafel balls. Fry in batches for 2 minutes until they are golden brown and then place on a tray with kitchen towels to absorb the oil. Once all of them are done, you’re ready to build your pita.

Take a look at this video for the step-by-step:

Middle Eastern:
How To Make Falafel

Let me know if you try the recipe and how it turned out! I’d love to hear about your gastronomy travellers too, what are your staples while on the road? In Spain I can recommend Granada for Moroccan food, it’s very cheap and super delicious, including Felafel. As for Morocco, you’ll find great food just about anywhere!

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