Archive for the ‘Food Files’ Category

Food Files: Rhubarb Yoghurt Upside-Down Cake

July 23rd, 2016

It’s been so busy these last few months I’ve strayed a bit from the pages of this blog. While my days start with vigour and enthusiasm, deadlines loom, projects demand my focus, emails keep streaming in and the days just slip away, silently rolling into weeks and then I realise I have so much to share and so little time. Remember I shared my kitchen with Ingrid from Let’s Talk Evergreen? In the midst of crazy work schedules we decided to press pause and share food, our love of photography and laughter for a day, each cooking something of our own with the goal to come away with new inspiration, renewed energy and a couple of recipes for you guys to try. I made my favourite lime infused lentil and roast veggie salad and Ingrid made this beautiful rhubarb yoghurt upside-down cake, which I know you are going to love.

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Ingrid’s cake is soft, dense, and moist and it’s the subtle sweetness combined beautifully with the tartness of the rhubarb that makes it so very delicious. The perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee, and even suitable for breakfast too. Ingrid first developed this recipe in my kitchen, and then returned home to perfect it. I spied some rhubarb in the supermarket this week, so I’ll be snapping some up and giving her recipe a try this weekend!  Get the full scoop

Food Files: Lime Infused Lentil and Roast Veg Salad

May 4th, 2016

I’ve been wanting to share this recipe with you guys for so long. I made over the Christmas and New Year’s break for the first time and have had friends literally beg me for the recipe. So when Ingrid, my sweet friend and the talented soul behind Let’s Talk Evergreen, came to hang out with me in my kitchen last week to cook and photograph together – each making our own recipe and shooting as we went along – I gathered the ingredients I needed to make my very own lime infused lentil and roast veg salad and got to work. It was such a heavenly day. We chatted, nibbled on scraps, swapped photography secrets and laughed. We made a mess and worked in the chaos and it was the very best.

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This recipe is an adaption of one that I spotted in the cookbook Nopi, which my husband gave me as a Christmas present. I wanted to make something special to take with me to our New Year’s eve party – which was at the home of my food stylist friend Ajda Mehmet in Amsterdam so it basically had to be VERY good. I wanted to make a roast pumpkin dish with lime yoghurt dressing but I thought it would be a bit challenging for people to eat while mingling, so decided to adapt the flavours to a lentil salad to serve in small bowls and be eaten in a more civilised fashion. The results were so good I have made it several times since, and every time I do I get begged for the recipe. So here we go. Get the full scoop

Collaboration with Friesche Vlag

February 2nd, 2016

Friesche Vlag is an extension of the Dutch dairy giant Friesland Campina and is the world’s largest dairy co-operative, responsible for the production of various milk products including coffee creamer, long-life milk and milk froth which are sold in more than 100 countries world wide. So you can imagine my excitement when I was asked to create the brand images for their new website, designed to coincide with the launch of their latest Latte product. Wanting to branch out in new directions and target a younger audience with their attractive new packaging, Friesche Vlag needed some fresh imagery for their site, enlisting founder of Blogstreet Esther Buitendijk to pull together the right team for this exciting project. And what an honour it was that she deemed me the perfect person to work with web and graphic designer Merel de Neve on what is now the new Friesche Vlag website, and I couldn’t be more proud or grateful for this creative collaboration.

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I thought I’d show you a bit of the process behind this shoot, as it’s always fun to peek behind the scenes a bit on a project like this. It’s a different experience entirely working a commercial project because the stakes are high and in this case there was a marketing team to insure the right message was sent though the images, so it was not just me and my camera this time, but a challenge (which I love) and I am pleased with the results.

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A Charming Bakery in Delft

January 22nd, 2016

Just before the holiday break I was asked to shoot a centuries old bakery in the centre of Delft that has recently changed hands to a charming couple, Thomas van Bavel and Patrick van Holsteijn, who are energetic and passionate about their line of work and the craft behind baking. The bakery has been around since the sixteenth century and it’s new owners are keen to breath fresh life into it while maintaining it’s nostalgic and historical charm.

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I created a series of images for the new website – created by the lovely Merel de Neve, who I hired to rebrand my blog recently – both of the bakery itself and their staff, as well as the products. And yes, I ate a LOT of carbs that week. And yes, it was worth it. Get the full scoop

The Sweetest Christmas Fudge

December 17th, 2015

Whenever I vist my friend (and amazing food stylist) Ajda Mehmet at her place in Amsterdam, she’s got something amazing going on in the kitchen. Whether it’s an incredible three-tiered cake she’s baking for an event or a delicious dinner she’s preparing for friends, it always smells amazing in her apartment and there’s always something yummy to taste. I actually think about her scrambled eggs every single morning when I wake up after she made me some for breakfast when I stayed at her house a year ago. While I was visiting her this week for a project we’re working on, she showed me the sweetest little edible Christmas gifts she’d been making – tiny tahini, cacao and chestnut fudge stars dabbed with delicate gold glitter. I had my camera in my hand, so without any further persuasion I shot these few images, tasting the fudge between shots and decided that I HAD to share the recipe with you guys because they are sooooo good and surprisngly healthy too!

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Ajda adapted the recipe from one she’d tried by Susan Jane White and loved, so when it came to making Christmas gifts (being a food stylist an edible gift seems only fitting) she thought she’d use ingredients she had on hand to make her own adaption of the recipe, resulting in these beautiful little fudgey stars for her lucky Christmas recipients. Not only are they simple to make but they make a beautiful gift, such a sweet idea! Get the full scoop

Creamy Coconut and Cardamom Oats

December 14th, 2015

Breakfast in our home is a bit of a ritual. We are a porridge family, particularly during the winter. My more spontaneous self likes to mix it up a bit in the warmer months with eggs, fruit and cereals but I can’t deny it, a bowl of warm oats is worth waking up for. Which is just as well for my routine-loving husband who is usually on breakfast duty while I make the beds and get Lola ready for school, because it means he doesn’t have to think too hard about what to make each morning. But that doesn’t mean I don’t get bored with the banana or pear porridge varieties we usually eat, so this creamy coconut and cardamom oats recipe created by Ajda Mehmet is a welcome diversion to our standard morning ritual while easy enough to slap up sleepy-eyed first thing in the morning, and is just so delicious!

creamy coconut and cardamom oats | avenue lifestyle & ajda mehmet

If you asked me my favourite flavour I would say it is coconut. No matter how exciting and pretty all the flavours in the ice-cream window look, I always order coconut without fail. Usually combined with something else (I’m a two-scoops girl) but always coconut first. So when Ajda and I were playing around with ways to flavour these oats and she casually dropped coconut into the conversation, I got so excited because I knew this was a porridge I could get behind, and on a daily basis too! Enter sweet stewed apples, roasted sesame seeds and aromatic cardamom and these creamy oats will having you returning to the pan for seconds! Get the full scoop

Mornings Like These…

October 13th, 2015

Sometimes the most uncelebrated, ordinary activity can be so beautifully fulfilling that we wonder why it is that we don’t do it more often. The cold, fall air is official here in The Netherlands and the so is the windchill, and all I feel like doing on the chilly mornings we’ve been getting is snuggling up in bed doing very close to nothing. It’s hard though, to do nothing. To savour the smallest moments pr activites and be OK with them, as they are. Without reaching for our phones. In the fast paced lives most of us lead, simply taking the time to slow down and just be, to linger a little longer in the comforts of bed with a warm but simple breakfast, fresh brewed coffee and a newspaper can feed the soul in a thousand different ways. In the quiet of the morning, during those first hours of the day, time stands still. After spending a couple of days doing pretty much what you see below after a little adventure in the operating theatre at my local hospital (nothing too serious, not to worry), I thought it was a good time to share this editorial I styled and photographed with food stylist Ajda Mehmet a few months ago because those moments in bed have healed me immeasurably.

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“Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like…ordinary life.” – Brian Andreas

This editorial is all about celebrating simplicity, doing something very ordinary but taking the time to savour the moment, enjoy each heavenly sip of coffee after each bite of warm, citrus infused French toast. No hurry, no deadlines, no noise. Just the calm, quiet still of the early morning.

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Yvestown in the Kitchen

July 8th, 2015

My good friend Yvonne, a wonderful photographer, stylist, chef and the author behind the lifestyle blog Yvestown (mostly about Yvonne’s home and her life in Belgium), wrote a beautiful book last year all about food and living in the kitchen. As a foodie and someone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen, I’ve had my eye on the book for a while now so was delighted to see that the book is now available in English. This week I finally got my hands on a copy of the book, ‘Yvestown in the Kitchen‘ and it has left me utterly inspired and in awe of the work that Yvonne poured into this gorgeous book. Here’s a peek inside at some of my favourite bits.

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In the book, Yvonne goes inside the homes of her closest friends and family, including her own home, showing us their different styles, pantries, crockery and favourite recipes. It’s a ‘nosy glimpse into someone else’s kitchen’, as Yvonne writes, and is both entertaining and inspiring, and packed with delicious recipes that I am looking forward to trying. The little vegetarian pizzas above will be making their way onto our dinner table this week.
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