type One-pot dish
servings 2-3 servings
preparation time 0:40
300g arborio rice
50 g butter
3 shallots, chopped
2 garlic
6 mushrooms
500g pumpkin, peeled, cut into 2 cm cubes (or bought frozen)
A few branches of thyme
Italian herbs mix to taste
1 liter vegetable stock
300 ml dry white wine
30 g Parmesan cheese
  1. Cook half of the pumpkin until soft and pure it in a blender. Roast the other half of the pumpkin.
  2. Melt half the butter in a big pan under medium-low heat and cook the shallots, thyme and garlic. When shallots become transparent, add mushrooms, rice and herbs.
  3. When rice becomes transparent, add the pumpkin pure and some stock and wine, stirring. Keep adding stock and wine as the liquid dries out.
  4. When rice is ready (not gooey but not hard either), remove it from the fire.
  5. Add the rest of the butter and cheese.
  6. Serve

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Posted by Thifa on Saturday, June 1, 2013

type Arab cuisine
servings 4 servings
preparation time1:00

This is the kind of recipe you can totally adapt to your taste.You can take your time cutting the vegetables beautifully and let the food sit in the fridge for a few hours to develop more flavors. Or you can simply use a food processor and don't wait any longer than necessary so that you can make sure the recipe will be ready incredibly quickly! If you're scared of eating raw meat you can also fry it. If you don't eat any meat at all, you can also leave it out and content yourself with the delicious humus and salad. You can also adjust the seasoning to your like, of course!

My inspiration for this was my favorite dish in an Arab restaurant chain I used to go and I am very happy with the results I achieved! If you, like me, appreciates varieties in your plate, you should try this! It is certainly a dish to impress. Not only for its flavors but its originality (at least to me). I will certainly be doing this one again in the future.
200g bulgur
3 tomatoes, seeded and cut into small dices 1/4 cucumber, seeded and cut into small dices 1/2 white onion, chopped finely or processed juice from half lemon 1 tablespoon zaatar (or oregano, thyme, basil, ginger powder blend) 1 pinch nutmeg hand full of parsley, chopped 6 leaves of mint, chopped olive oil, to dress salt and pepper
Kibbeh nayeh (raw kibbeh but can also be fried)

300g very lean ground beer (from a reliable butcher/source)
1/2 white onion, chopped finely or processed
100g bulgur
1 teaspoon zaatar (or oregano, thyme, basil, ginger powder blend)
a string of olive oil
parsley and mint to taste
salt and pepper
3 ice cubes

Serving suggestion
pita bread
sour cream

  1. First you need to soak the bulgur. Let it sit in plenty of water for around 15 minutes then drain the excess.
  2. Mix all the ingredients except for the tomatoes and let it rest in the fridge while you prepare the kibbeh.
  3. Add in the tomatoes before serving.
Kibbeh nayeh
  1. Soak the bulgur as explained previously.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl, making sure the meat does not warm up (otherwise it will change flavor and color). You can avoid so if put a couple of ice cubes while preparing the mixture. Dispose ice cubes when you're done.
  3. Shape the kibbeh according to your preference. I like diamond shaped kibbeh, even though I know it's not traditional.
Serving suggestion
  • Eat each dish separately or with pita bread, serve with humus and sour cream.
  • I personally think it's more practical to soak the bulgur in warmish water (warm enough just to keep your fingers under). Use twice the amount of bulgur for water. This way the bulgur will absorb the water and draining will not be necessary.
  • Ideally, I would let the tabbouleh rest for around 8 hours. The flavors are greatly enhanced when doing so!

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Posted by Thifa on Tuesday, February 28, 2012

type Main course
servings 4 servings
preparation time 1:20

Every fall/winter, I fill up the kitchen cabinets with canned soups. It's a favorite in this time of year because it's warm, comforting and easy!! However, I've always wondered how easy it was to make it myself and, to my surprise, it was almost as easy as opening the can! That might be partially due to the fact that my local supermarket provides a package for "DIY pea soup" but I am sure I will buy the vegetables separately next time (cheaper!). Here is my supermarket's (and probably lots of Dutch people's) recipe for pea soup. It tastes absolutely delicious! The celeriac and bay leaves add a very special taste to it.
400g dried split peas
2 bay leaves
1 medium carrot
1 leak
1 medium onion
1/4 celeriac
celery leaves
salt and pepper
optional (non-vegetarian version)
250g bacon
300g sausage or ham blocks
1. Cook the peas, bacon (optionally) and bay leaves in 2l of water for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally.

2. Clean and cut vegetables. Skim the possible bacon fat and add vegetables to the pan. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes minutes.
3. By that time you should have very soft peas and vegetables. Season with salt and pepper to taste, garnish with some ham or sausages (optionally) and serve!
  • If using bacon strips, remove them from the pan at step 2 and cut them into smaller pieces. Put it back in the pan afterwards.

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Posted by Thifa on Friday, February 10, 2012

type Pasta
servings 4 servings
preparation time 0:30

Many people don't like Brussels sprouts. From my experience, if you combine it well with other ingredients, such as lemon juice and butter, it can even be delicious! I recently bought a big bag of these so I've been eating them quite regularly. This is one of the successful recipes I made.
2 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoon butter (1 tablespoon should be kept cold)
4 chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1/4 yellow onion (or 1/2 red), chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
340g fresh Brussels sprouts, cut into quarters
240ml chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon dried chili pepper flakes
1 tablespoon lemon juice
100ml cream
1/4 cup chopped parsley
  1. Season chicken with 1/4 teaspoon of each of salt and pepper. In a frying pan, melt 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Cook the breasts until just done, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove from the heat and cut into small cubes.
  2. In the same pan, melt the remaining oil and another tablespoon of butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook it until soften. Stir in the garlic, Brussels sprouts, broth and chili pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package instructions.
  4. When the Brussels sprouts are ready, add the chicken, lemon juice, parsley, cream and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and stir in the cold butter. Toss the pasta with the sauce and serve!
  • Do not overcook the Brussels sprouts or it will exhale sulfur, which smell may not be appetizing.
  • Brussels sprouts are healthy, low in cholesterol and saturated fat, rich in vitamin C and K, contains vitamin A, iron and fibers.

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Posted by Thifa on Tuesday, January 25, 2011

type Dessert
servings 6 servings
preparation time 0:20 + cooling

It's always busy around the holidays here. We practically don't stop at home and we cook less than normally. If the holidays weren't enough, we also took a short vacation to Germany in beg-January. I might be posting some more German recipes whenever I feel like eating them again -- heavy stuff! This Tiramisu, however, was made during Christmas and I personally like it a lot. Though it looks super caloric, it feels very light (as long as you don't stuff your face, of course). So give it a try whenever you want something else than ice-cream for dessert!
Creamy layer
360ml double cream
350g mascarpone cheese
3 tablespoon caster sugar
Cookie layer
120ml cold espresso
75ml coffee flavored liqueur
14 sponge fingers
Cocoa powder
Dark chocolate (grated)
  1. Mix the mascarpone and sugar in a bowl until smooth. Whip the cream until thick and carefully fold/mix the mascarpone in it. Layer around a tablespoon of the cream in a dish.
  2. Mix the espresso and liqueur and deep the sponge fingers in it until just soaked. Layer them op top of the previously spread cream. Keep alternating between cream and sponge fingers layers.
  3. Top the dish with cocoa powder and dark chocolate.
  4. Cool it for at least 4 hours.

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Posted by Thifa on Sunday, January 9, 2011

type Appetizer/Main course
servings 6 medium pancakes
preparation time 0:50

Last year, I made Latkes and, though I liked it, I thought it was a little bit too simple.  I like it when food looks and tastes special. This week, Chef John from Food Wishes, brought me this idea which inspired me to give this recipe a second thought. I made a crispier version and paired it with salmon, sour cream and dill. This recipe turned out delicious and it can be served as an appetizer by itself or as a main course if served with salad. Perfect for impressing friends!
potato pancakes
7 medium potatoes
1/2 onion
Oil for frying
egg mixture
2 eggs
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon flour
80g smoked salmon
3 tablespoon sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh/dried dill
  1. Peel and grate the potatoes and half onion using a cheese grater. Soak them in a large bowl with water for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the egg, cayenne, pepper, salt, flour, until you achieve an even mixture.
  3. Rinse the potatoes and squeeze out the water. You can use a sieve for this.
  4. To make sure the potatoes are as driest as possible, lay them down in kitchen towel and dry them even more (the drier, the crispier).
  5. Mix in the egg mixture.
  6. Heat some oil in a frying pan. You want the oil just less than 1 cm high.
  7. Use a serving spoon for measuring the size and shape of the pancakes and fry them over medium heat.
  8. Keep the ready pancakes warm in the oven while you fry the rest.
  9. Top them with salmon, scoop sour cream on top and sprinkle dill.
  • You should soak the potatoes in order to remove the starch and make them crispy, otherwise you will get gluey pancakes.
  • Potatoes oxidizes quickly so you will not be able to make this recipe in advance.
  • Fry a small amount first and try the seasoning. You might want to add something else.
  • You can serve it with a lettuce mixture, friseé and cucumber salad. Dress it with olive oil, lemon juice and sprinkle salt. It should be enough!

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Posted by Thifa on Monday, December 13, 2010

type Side dish
servings 6 servings
preparation time 0:20

So it was Thanksgiving. I hope you had a good celebration! I don't usually celebrate it but this year I used it as an excuse to eat some turkey and get myself busy in the kitchen. It was worth it! Among other dishes, I made this cranberry sauce. It's a super easy recipe and it tastes so great! I know that that's a very American recipe but I highly recommend other foreigners to try it. It's a great side dish and it works well together with chicken, pork, mashed potatoes and, of course, turkey. This is definitely a recommend!
1 1/2 cup cranberry (fresh or frozen)
65g sugar (brown or white)
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup port wine (optional)
1/2 lemon
  1. Rinse the cranberries and pour them in a pan. Add in the sugar, orange juice and port wine and bring it to boil over medium-high heat.
  2. When it starts to boil and get a foamy look, turn the heat down and start to simmer. Simmer it until cranberries burst.
  3. Remove it from the heat and squeeze some lemon juice on top. Allow it to cool down and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.
  • Making this recipe a day in advance will help bringing the most of its flavor.
  • You can add more ingredients to this recipe such as pecans, cinnamon, blueberries, orange zest.
  • Although it's traditionally served with turkey, it can be served in different ways. Chicken, pork or even with mashed potatoes. It's delicious! There's a restaurant I know which gives you a portion of this sauce with every meal you order.

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Posted by Thifa on Sunday, November 28, 2010

type Vegetarian
servings 2 servings
preparation time 0:30

Another vegetarian Monday? Not really. I made this last week when I had left over tofu from our sushi evening. Like our sushi, this dish was incredibly fresh and also tasty! With the right seasoning, tofu can be quite delicious and the mushroom addition makes this dish very seasonal. Recommended!
1 tablespoon oil
150g tofu
1/2 onion, in cubes
1 garlic, crushed
125g mixed mushroom
1 red bell pepper, in strips
1 tablespoon tomato puree
75ml vegetable stock (I dissolved 1/2 cube stock)
1 tablespoon corn starch, dissolved in a little bit of water
100ml cream
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Fry the tofu in 1/2 tablespoon oil for a minute only.
  2. Fry the onion and garlic in the rest of the oil until it turns transparent. Add the mushroom and red pepper and fry for 5 minutes.
  3. Mix in the tomato puree and tofu, and the corn starch. Keep it for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Pour in the cream and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • When using tofu, seasoning is the key. My suggestions are ginger, ground red pepper, and/or paprika.

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Posted by Thifa on Monday, November 15, 2010
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