Monday, October 23, 2017

My dinner date at Jamie's Italian


Dating. I don't date a lot but when I do most of my dates are good if not a great lesson learner. Let me tell you about this dinner date I had a while back at Jamie's Italian, a restaurant created by the one and only Jamie Oliver, also one of my favorite tv-chefs and author of all time. Anyway, my date whom I met at the one and only Tinder also loves Jamie Oliver and loves food and would love to try out this black ink pasta that they had at Jamie. Great! He was a foodie just like me which is, by the way, a bonus.

He was also a teacher just like me but he teaches high schoolers while I teach elementary kiddos but that doesn't really matter. Wowie so many clicks already! Before you guys jump into conclusion, let me first put out my own conclusion: no, we are not dating to this very day, and yes I'm still single. I kind of lost contact and interest in him anyway. The reason was quite clear at the very beginning: he works abroad and wasn't looking for a relationship only a mere company.

However that still didn't stopped us from going to Jamie's Italian. And I was quite excited because I always wanted to try out Jamie's food and now I finally I can! Dating doesn't need to lead to something or another and it can be a fun one timer or two. Again dating can be good and if not a great lesson learner and basically you are just looking and searching. And if there's food involved, then count me in!     

Daten. Zo nu en dan doe ik het en de meeste daarvan zijn wel positief en anders een goede les. Laat ik me je vandaag vertellen over die ene diner date bij Jamie's Italian. Een restaurant van de welbekende en absoluut een van mijn favorite tv-chefs: Jamie Oliver. Mijn date die ik op Tinder heb leren kennen was ook fan van Jamie Oliver en wilde dolgraag de zwarte inkt pasta uitproberen bij Jamie. Hoe leuk, mijn date is dus ook een foodie net als ik! Bonus!

Daarnaast was mijn date ook een leerkracht. Net als ik! Wel gaf hij les aan middelbare scholieren en ik basisschool kinders maar dat gaf niet. Klinkt als een goed begin met veel kliks tussen ons, nietwaar. Voordat jullie gaan speculeren: nee, wij zijn geen koppel en ja, ik ben nog steeds single. De contact en interesse ben ik ook trouwens verloren. De reden was eigenlijk duidelijk van begins af aan: hij werkt in het buitenland en was niet opzoek naar een relatie maar meer gezelschap.

Dat weerhoudt ons niet om alsnog bij Jamie's Italian te eten! En ik keek er erg naar uit want ik wilde altijd al eten bij Jamie. Daten is dus leuk maar ook spannend, leerzaam en niks moet. Gelukkig maar want als het bij die ene keer blijft, hoe jammer of opgelucht je ook bent daten is gewoon puur zoeken en aftasten. En als er lekker eten bij komt kijken dan is dat een leuk extra. Genieten dus!


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We Arrived
We arrived at 6:21 PM according to my SD memory card, which means dinner time in Holland and the restaurant was packed and busy as expected. My date thought that you can`t make reservation but guess what it turns out you can! Hence the many tables I saw with RESERVATIONS signs. Anyway while we were standing there hoping a table will be set free soon, I was examining the interior which was nicely cluttered, industrial themed with lots of showcasing of ingredients hanging here and there and everywhere.
We Sat
Throughout the busyness there was this jolly service who spoke British offered an improvised seat at the bar where they offer to remove some of the kitchen props and make space for us. I want! I looked at my date and luckily he agrees as well and so the next thing we sat at the bar next to each other.

Usually with dates you kind of always sit face-to-face but since there were no tables available any soon and we were offered to sit at this improvised seat, I kind of like this way. Because that way I have an excuse of not making eye contact all the time and just naturally rest my gaze at somewhere else. Not because I lost interest in someone if you may think, no, but sometimes all the focusing of eye contact is sometimes so tiring.
And I wear lenses as well and they were so dry at the end of that afternoon so yeah I was glad we were sitting side by side.
And it gets even better, because we were sitting in front row for that matter at a kitchen were they prepare first courses & desserts! Seeing the chefs work, the food prep and all the jazz were great inspirational topics for conversation starters too.
We ordered:
1 Earl grey martini // 1 Espresso martini // 1 crab spaghetti // 1 mussel & squid spaghetti nero // 1 ice cream dessert
We Drink
We kicked our date off with fancy alcohol. Gosh, am feeling such an adult. This earl grey martini of mine was nice. His espresso martini was even better.
We Eat
Ok time for me being a foodblogger here at the moment and snap food pics. Luckily my date didn`t mind me with the camera at all. He was pretty aware I was a foodie anyway seeing all the #foodporn at my IG. If you were really interested in me you would have done some background research on me (not in a creepy way of course) and so I snapped away with carefree acting I was a professional foodphotographer/foodstylist/foodcritizer. I need to impress you know! As I was done I put down my camera and we digged into our food.

So my crab spaghetti was yum and for eating here at Jamie, I thought the portion and price ratio was quite reasonable. My date enjoyed his pasta dish too as he was so looking forward to eat black inkt squid pasta for the very first time as he mentioned before.

(do you guys share food on first date? I kind of always do)
Then we end this quite successful dinner with my favorite... ice cream! We were allowed to pick 3 scoops of ice cream and picked the flavour: blood orange, chocolate and biscotti and shared it.
I Peed
These are by the way toilet tiles at Jamie`s which are super hilarious! Anyway, here in the restroom I messaged and updated my friends through phone about my well being knowing how curious they are about my date. And perhaps worried too because I`m honestly I`m a dork when it comes to dating and any tips and tricks are welcome.
ADDRESS: Grotemarkt 90-92 Rotterdam - THE NETHERLANDS

FOOD: •••• 4/5
INTERIOR: ••••∙ 4,⁵/5
SERVICE: ••••∙ 4,⁵/5
PRICE: ••• 3/5

Monday, October 16, 2017

Spicy Orange Polenta Cake // the perfect Fall cake


Awhile ago I have made this incredible moist polenta cake with homemade spicy sweet syrup. Not only it looks great on pictures making it totally IG-worthy it is also gluten- and sugar free too! Woo! This proofs again that healthy baking and eating can be super colorful and fragrant as well. And speaking of colorful, this cake was so beautiful contrasted in colors that I barely need to adjust and edit in Photoshop.

Thanks to the spicy fragrant this cake is absolutely a great treat for Fall and the upcoming colder days.  

Een tijd geleden heb ik deze heerlijke smeuïge sinaasappel polenta cake gemaakt met huisgemaakte zoete kruidensiroop. Niet alleen ziet het er tof uit op foto's en natuurlijk IG-waardig, het is ook nog eens een gluten- en suikervrije cake! Triomf! Dit bewijst weer dat gezond bakken en eten niet saai is maar juist heel kl(g)eurrijk kan zijn. Hij was zo kleurrijk dat ik de foto's weinig hoef te bewerken in Photoshop.

De kruidige aroma in deze cake maakt het een perfecte traktatie voor de herfst en natuurlijk voor de aankomende frisse knusse dagen. 

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The Ingredients
2 oranges (skin on + washed)
150-200 gr honey
5 eggs
100 ml vegetable oil
170 gr ground almond flour
50 gr polenta flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. orange zest
pinch of salt

1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 cardamon pods
1 cinnamon stick
1 anise star
200 ml honey or other sweetener
200 ml water

GARNISH (optional)
candied oranges & fresh mint leaves
Hey! I am gluten- and sugar free!
This stuff smells incredible goooood!
Cake is served, let the Fall
This moist spicy orange polenta cake is great on it`s naturel self but if you`re like me and you want to spice the cake even more with topping such as candied oranges (see recipe at my Facebook!) and mint please go ahead! I also have heat up the cake and put it back again the oven for a min or 5 at 100C degrees. Hence the pretty scorched mint leaves you`ll see down below.
The Steps
1. Add everything in a small pot and bring it to simmer and let it simmer for about 5 minute before removing from heat. Strain the syrup and set aside.

1. Preheat oven to 190ºC and grease and line a 23cm ⌀ springform/cakepan with baking paper.
2. Place the oranges in a pan with roughly about 2 cups of water and let it simmer for an hour. Then remove the oranges and let it cool down for about 30 min. Once cooled down place them in the blender and blitz them into pulp & puree.
3. In a large bowl beat up eggs and honey until foamy and thick.
4. Then add in the rest of the ingredients along the orange puree and mix and combine well.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 45 min until there`s a golden brown crust formed on top. Let it cool in the cake pan for about 10 min and then remove it to cool down completely.(I have left mine in the cake pan which is ok too)
6. Grab a toothpick and start poking holes in the entire cake.
7. Pour bit by bit the spicy syrup in to the cake, allowing to absorb through the cake before adding more. You can safe 30-50% of the syrup for the extra garnishing when you sliced the cake. Garnish it with candied oranges and mint and enjoy!

Monday, October 9, 2017

My recent favorite food // 3

These favorite munchies of mine

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EDO Hello Kitty biscuits
In strawberry flavour. I bought these adorable HK cookies in Hong Kong last year and they were really a great treat for my kids at work too! There are 16 individual packets inside which is very handy. These HK biscuits are also very similar to my other childhood biscuits `Koala’s March Chocolate Cream Biscuits` from the brand Lotte.
For men? Wow how discriminating no? Yet me being a woman that didn`t stop me because I ate the whole thing by myself ha. The chocolate has a tad darker taste than the original Pocky which is quite nice. This is also bought in Hong Kong.
Yakso organic black rice noodles
These noodles were on sale at my local organic shop and so I chuck a pack into my shopping cart. Even though they were still pricier than the normal rice noodles I usually get but hey, these are organic + it`s black rice which means extra fiber to the body. All win-win right?
Anyway I like to turn them into noodle soups on lazy days and the noodles taste nuttier and yum!

This brand also comes in the normal white rice noodle version. Of course organic as well.
De Guijt // Spelt Cinnamon Biscuits
Also bought in the same organic shop like the rice noodles from above, I bought these biscuits because I can`t help myself. But these biscuits are not just biscuits because these are made by people with a disability of hearing impaired or visually impaired. The biscuits are organic and claims to be homemade and you can really taste the homemade-ness because there are no additives added to it. Awesome company!
Flying Tiger Tarallini
I love knick-knack shop Flying Tiger that is a Danish brand and I love love their food section. Here I bought these tarallini snacks in the flavor garlic & chili which are by the way Italian styled rolled up breadstick. I love garlic & chili and this one was a tasty one. There`s also another flavour available if I remembered correctly.
Cooke`s Chip Strips // bacon
I found these at a French supermarket last Summer and o boy I was excited about these chips! Chips in the form of strips which I have not seen in my life before. They were 1 buck per packet which is quite pricey but better having it experienced it than regretting it later on for not buying them. And so I bought two packets at the end ha. And I have no regrets because these chips were super crunchy and delicious
Yes it is `bacon` flavoured and yes it is suitable for veggie folks. Hurray!
Tony`s Chocolonely // orange & rosemary
And lastly but not least a chocolate bar by one of my favorite brand Tony`s Chocolonely in the odd flavor combination orange + rosemary which I end up loving it very much! I like Tony`s Chocolonely because of their vision and mission in creating fair labor of cacao production with no (child) slavery being involved in their chocolate makings.
Also I love how broad their flavours and flavours combos are. I once had their `cola` flavoured onces before!