Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

An Earthy Christmas at Mine

December 19th, 2015

Well, this is it guys, the last post for the year! It’s been another amazing year filled with travel, family gatherings, incredible friends, exciting work opportunities, milestones and so much more. A whole lot to be grateful for, despite one or two heartaches. This year, we will be spending Christmas together, as a family and with friends. I am not really into Christmas as I find it to be a bit commercial and I am certainly not big on Christmas decorating. I always feels as though my house has been taken over by sparkly things and a giant tree and usually can’t wait to get my home back to normal by the time December 26 hits. Come to think of it, I find the act of cutting a tree down to hang shiny things on it, only to watch it slowly die and then chop it not little pieces so you can fit it in the garden container, to be a very strange pastime. Am I the only one? Nonetheless, we do it every year because try as I might, I can’t shake that tiny but of magic that Christmas time brings with it each year, and in any case, a Christmas tree certainly excuses having the Michael Bublé Christmas album on repeat for four weeks straight. So I thought I’d show you how I’ll be decorating our Christmas table this year – earthy, natural and simple, with pieces brought back from our recent travels to South Africa and a tiny bit of sparkle.

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For Christmas dinner this year, we’ll be doing a roast chicken with an African spice mix I’ve been wanting to try, some steamed baby green beans and asparagus, new potatoes tossed in butter and herbs, and crusty bread with cheeses and chutney. I am doing a simple meal because I plan to relax these holidays and take it very easy. It is nice to make the table look and feel a bit special but I don’t really do cheesy Christmas scenes, so I decided to give our Christmas setup an ethnic twist for something a little different, while keeping everything very simple and natural.  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

Family time at Olmenhorst

November 7th, 2015

Hi guys! How are you? It’s been a super busy time over here behind the scenes for the last few months and I worked almost every weekend throughout October, making me miss a bit of family time. A couple of weekends ago though we managed to squeeze in some quality time together and went to the lovely Olmenhorst apple orchards for hot chocolate and a bit of apple picking.

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It was a delightful day, watching my two loves share a hot chocolate and have a giggle. They have so much fun together, those two. It’s a truly beautiful sight, and something I am looking forward to witnessing much more over the next three weeks because on Tuesday we are all off to visit my family in South Africa! Some down time will be food for the soul, for all of us, and we just can’t wait.

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Featured in Magnolia Rouge Magazine

November 3rd, 2015

Last fall I collaborated with photographer Anouschka Rokebrand and food stylist Ajda Mehmet on a beautiful styled shoot centred around the apple and pear orchard and the kitchen. You can get the full scoop of images here, but I’m delighted to see the shoot in print, featured in Magnolia Rouge lifestyle magazine (issue four). I thought I’d drop in quickly to share a few pages from the spread:

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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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Food Files: The Best Scones Ever

January 28th, 2015

The other day I took you on a tour of Yvonne Eijkenduijn’s lovely home in Belgium, telling you all about how she spent the day baking while I was photographing away. I was treated to a delicious lunch followed by the most heavenly, melt-in-your-mouth scones fresh from the oven. Soooo good, were Yvonne’s scones that I thought it almost unkind to not share the recipe with you. So folks, whip up a batch of amazing with Yvonne’s easy recipe below!

Food Files: Yvonne Eikenduijn's Best Scones Ever // Avenue Lifestyle FRESH SCONES FROM YVONNE’S KITCHEN

400 gr plain flower
25 gr white caster sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
50 gr unsalted butter (softened)
250 ml low fat yoghurt
200 gr raisins
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 200 C

With a spoon stir the flour, sugar, bicarbonate and salt until it’s one mixture.

Soften the butter in a microwave. Add butter, yoghurt and raisins to the rest of the mixture until it’s a fast and sticky dough.

Scoop the dough on a well floured surface, dust the top of the dough with flour. Pat the dough about 4 cm high and push a 6 cm scone cutter firmly through the dough.

Place on a baking tray (with baking paper) about 2 cm apart.

Beat the egg and lightly brush the tops of the scones with the egg.

Place for 12-14 minutes in the oven. Get the full scoop