Auteur: vera@gtc

A soup of toasted parsnips with porcini

I have 2 large jars of porcini. Have I just made you jealous? Dried porcini mushrooms cost a fortune in the shops, I know. But mine were for free. We picked mushrooms in the summer, cut them in thin slices,…

Gingerbread chocolate cookies

You know what the Dutch national sport is? Speed skating! Less than 2 weeks have passed since my post in which I complained about the parody on winter we were having and all has changed: it’s freezing so much that…

Carrot, apple and walnut muffins

A vegetable, a fruit, nuts, grains and seeds – sounds like a breakfast designed by a dietitian, doesn’t it? Well, let me assure you: it’s not what it tastes like. Because it’s a recipe from the first Ottolenghi cookbook and…

Brussels sprouts with wild rice and walnuts

When my children started school, they often brought home little “friendship books” from their classmates. The point of these books was apparently to gather confidential information and everyone was supposed to paste in a passport photograph and answer tens of…

Winter vegetable stew

I don’t know about your winter, but ours is no winter at all. It feels rather like an unpleasantly wet autumn. We have hardly had any frost, let alone snow. Plenty of rain and wind though, that make cycling a…

Blood orange custard tart

Couple of years ago, the teachers at my daughters primary school decided to promote healthy eating and asked all kids to bring some fruit which they would then share in the class. It turned out there were 2 kids who…

Purple potato salad with lemony vinaigrette

Today I was all set up to make a parsnip soup. I went to our local organic food store – and they did not have any parsnips. My disappointment dissolved quickly, however, when I spotted the sign “purple truffle potatoes”.…

Open face sandwiches with home made potato salad

So, we made the potato salad to eat on Christmas Eve and then we made another batch to make open face sandwiches for New Year’s Eve. As we do every year. And the sandwiches that are not eaten on New…

Potato salad with peas, carrots and celeriac

Because a marriage is not only a union of two individuals but also two different culinary traditions, it is during the high holidays, when “laws” and “in-laws” meet around one table, that culinary conflicts are likely to escalate. The traditional…

Vanocka, the sweet Czech Christmas bread

Czech Christmas would be no Christmas without Christmas cookies. And “vanocka”. Vanocka is a sweet bread studded with raisins and traditionally made for Christmas. The taste is not much different from other braided sweet breads such as challah, but it…

Star-tower cookies

My husband discovered this recipe when leafing through a German cookbook, thought they looked “cool” and asked if I could make them. Since he almost never looks into a cookbook and rarely makes a request for me to make something,…

Linzer cookies

It might seem from this blog that in December we mostly live on cookies, but we don’t. Just yesterday we had a very healthy split pea soup for dinner, I swear. But yes, we do bake a lot of cookies…

Chocolate pretzel cookies

Just about two weeks to Christmas and I’m baking a batch of cookies almost daily. I am rather a slacker as far as decorating the house for the jolly season is concerned. We will be leaving anyway to spend the…

Gingerbread cookies

Because of the mixed heritage in our family (me being Czech and my husband being Dutch) our kids not only speak 2 languages, but they get to celebrate 2 major holidays every December. Since the good saint Sinterklaas has sailed…

Cauliflower soup with Gorgonzola and pickled pear relish

Much in cooking is about finding the right balance – the elusive point when all the components of a meal are complementing each other while none is overshadowing the others. Only then does a meal taste “just right”. But there…