Thursday, 31 March 2011

Midweek Zucchini & Salmon Soup

Even though summer is almost here.... it's still ok to have a nice warm home made soup for dinner.
My favourite one: Zucchini & Salmon Soup

- 3 zucchini
- 1 shallot
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- one broth cube
- 200gr smoked salmon
- 3 slices of whole weat bread cut in big cubes

How to make it:
Slice all veggies in cubes.
Heat up the oil in a high pan and fry the shallot and zucchini until they let go of their perfumes.
Add water until veggies are nearly all under water - don't drown them as your soup will be too watery.
Add broth cube and stir.
Bring to a boil and boil until veggies are soft.
Mix the soup with a blender, or smoothie maker... and that's that for a Zucchini Soup.

To add a little crunch and make it a real dinner soup....
Grill the pieces of bread until nice and crispy.
Pour in cups and add the smoked salmon shred in pieces and the bread.

Outcome: Midweek dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes!
Zucchini & Salmon Soup
Buon Appetito
Chef Steph

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

The Curious Case of the Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal 'Brownies'

Sometimes you just feel like creating things or in my case of creativity: cook things, but you don't necessarily feel like going to the grocery store, so you need to be creative with what you have. And really sometimes you are just lucky enough to come across a recipe that has ingredients which are all waiting in your cupboards! This was my case of the Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Brownies, a recipe found on Foodbuzz (check right side Foodbuzz Top 9 recipes every day).

This easy to make cake/brownie/bake.... whatever you want to call it, makes a good solid breakfast or light lunch or is simply a satisfying snack! It has the moistness of a brownie, the taste of a peanut butter cookie and is sweet enough to please any sweettooth out there - while being packed with nutritious fibres and vitamin D that will keep you going for hours and hours and hours! Jackpot!!!

240gr Instant Quaker Oatmeal
55gr Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon of Baking Powder
0.5 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Vanilla
120 ml Milk
1 Egg
1 large Banana - smashed
64 gr Peanut Butter

How to make it:
Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celcius.
In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients: oatmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
After you add the vanilla, milk and the lightly beaten egg. Mix it all up.
Last you add the peanut butter and the smashed banana to the mixture.
Poor the mixture into a lightly greased 8x8 baking pan.
Put into the oven for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.

Outcome: Who needs brownies when you have these babies?? Well every one does, but they sure do their job well as a change once in a while! Serve plain or with fresh fruit, jam, greek yoghurt, whipped cream, chopped up nuts or simply some more peanut butter.. any topping will do.

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Brownies
Buon Appetito
Chef Steph

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Classic: Whole Weat Choc Chip Cookies

Chef Stephanie ..... I made em!!!!!! After 3 batches... they finally turned out good! Still not Chocolate Chip Perfection, but heck Rome wasn't built in a day right??? Guess it's going wrong in the substitution of normal flour with whole weat flour, but it's what I had at home at the moment of baking.
As they say here : 'eh beh pazienza'! aka: 'ah well, be patient!' This international Cooking Club might even become a language cooking school... ouh not to bad of an idea actually!!! What do you think??
Original recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookies Take Two


  • 125gr all purpose flour (I used whole weat flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 113gr Cream Butter
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 165 gr Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 200gr Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 60gr chopped Walnuts

How to make it:

Blend flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
Cream butter with vanilla extract.  Add brown sugar and continue to blend.  Add egg and blend thoroughly.  Then add dry mixture gradually.
Fold in semi-sweet chocolate chips and walnuts.  Drop by Tablespoonfulls onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake in a pre-heated 190° degree oven for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown. WARNING: DO NOT KEEP THEM ANY LONGER AS THEY WILL GET CRISPY WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OUT!!! 
Let rest on pan after removed from oven for 1-2 minutes. Transfer to wax paper or wire rack to cool.  ENJOY!!

Here is the outcome of my version of Steph's Beauties
'Healthy' Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chef Stephanie & Steph

A winner's Lunch: Eggs Cremose

Last sunday I ran my first 10k on a lovely and satisfied stomach thanks to my winner's breakfast. Such a good breakfast that I ran my 10k in 1h10, something I had not expected at all. Anyways so the breakfast kept me full till two hours after my run!!!! I know, it's bad to wait so long after a workout but I had an apple...and I wanted to wait for my super duper winner's lunch and post it upon request of the dearest and most lovely Russian lady: Katia!


  • one piece of Wasa Fibres
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 yellow pepper cut in cubes
  • 2 eggs 
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 slice of Sottilette Cremose --> Italy's most plastic but creamiest 'cheddar/creamcheese' kind of things that is just perfect in eggs, on burgers, in one pot casseroles... etc.
  • 50gr cooked Ham
How to make it:
Wasa speaks for itself and just needs to be put on a plate! ;)
Heat up the oil in a frying pan and fry the pepper for a couple of minutes to get the hard edge of of them. Take them out but keep the pan heated. Immediately add the two eggs and start stirring slowly. Flipping the eggs from one side to another. 
Add the salt, pepper and the Sottilette shred in little pieces to the eggs. 
Flip some more and when the cheese melted nicely you're done.
Place the egg next to the pepper and your wasa and add the fresh cooked ham.

Outcome: PROTEINS, Fiber and Healthy Carbs ... says enough!

Winner's Lunch
Buon Appetito
Chef Steph

Monday, 28 March 2011

Asian Cravings: Green Shrimp Curry with Noodles

In doubt what to make tonight?? Done with the usual Monday Meatballs...??
Why keep special recipes for the weekends only?!
Surprise your husband, wife, kids or housemates with this exotic asian Green Shrimp Curry with Noodles coming out of March's dutch Delicious issue.

Ingredients: for 3 servings

  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil 
  • one shallot
  • 1cm ginger grated
  • one garlic chopped up
  • one red pepperoni chopped without the seeds
  • 1 teaspoon kurkuma
  • 2 tablespoons green curry paste (to taste)
  • salt 
  • one can of coconut milk
  • 250 ml chicken broth
  • 450 gr of big shrimps (peeled)
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 250 gr of asian wok vegetables 
  • 100gr snow peas
  • 250 gr of noodles (I used egg noodles)
How to make it:
Bring a large pan of water to a boil with a fist of salt.
Heat up the sesame oil in a wok - or a deep frying pan - until well heated.
Add the shallot, garlic, ginger, pepperoni and fry until they release their perfumes. Add the kurkuma, green curry paste and salt to taste. Stir for a minute.
Add the can of coconut milk and the chicken broth. Stir and heat until the sauce is boiling.
Add the shrimps and bring down the heat in order for the shrimps to boil in a simmering sauce.
Heat up the second spoon of oil in another pan and fry the vegetables shortly in order for them to remain firm and crispy.
Once you get to this step, your water must be boiling. Cook the noodles in 3-4 minutes. Rinse them once their done.
Serve the noodles with the shrimp curry - and the vegetables aside. 
Green Shrimp Curry
Asian Vegetables

Outcome: Could this be your first baby step into Asian cooking?!!

Chef Robert

Saturday, 26 March 2011

A Winner's Breakfast!

Morning.... sunday morning 8a.m.... NOT my cup of tea!!
But today is a V.I.D. = Very Important Day.... it's Stramilano day! This is my first 10k run for which I have been training my little but (and legs) off for since October. Cross fingers for it to go well...
It calls for a winner's breakfast inspired by blogger friends over in the USA!


  • 3 tablespoons of apple sauce (home made... recipe later)
  • 1 glass of milk (circa 200 ml)
  • 3 tablespoons of instant Oat Meal
  • 1 tablespoon of flax seed
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
How to make it:
Apple sauce is made so that's easy and fast - put it in  bowl.
Pour glass of milk with oat meal and flaxseed in a pan - bring to a boil and cook down until you have the porridge consistency you like. 
Add cinnamon.
Stir all together.

Outcome: voila a hopefully WINNER's breakfast. Wish me luck!!! 
Winner's Breakfast
Buon Appetito 
Chef Steph

Friday, 25 March 2011

First Gelato of the Season: Gelato Biscotto

No recipes for you.... but had something so extremely good this afternoon after lunch with my colleagues at Adverteam that it had to be shared!
I live in Milan right.... so what is Italy famous for??? Except for pasta and pizza.... GELATO!!!

Today's flavour: BISCOTTO aka COOKIES!!!
Dana over at My Little Celebration would have enjoyed this one for shizzle!

Gelato Biscotto

Ciao for now
Chef Steph

Pasta alla Jules

Yesterday was my dearest friend Julia's birthday! It's not everyday a woman turns 25 again... so that calls for a little celebration.  Seen the fact that she lives in Amsterdam and I live in Milan, the actual present has to wait until we see each other, but in the meantime I am dedicating one of her bestest recipes for today's post.
(Also secretely hoping you guys will love it, and then she will feel OBLIGED - yes you know you are - to post some of her recipes; fish&mozza...lemon pangasius...tuna/cottagecheese sandwich...and many more...)

This recipe is a super duper simple and cheap recipe and is  also the perfect 'storage cupboard' recipe! Here we go..

Ingredients: 4 servings

  • 500 gr of pasta - any kind will do - I used whole weat spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • one shallot - chopped up
  • one garlic - chopped up
  • 750 ml tomato sugo
  • 2 cans of tuna (water)
  • 2 tablespoons of dried or fresh rosemary
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 100gr parmiggiano or pecorino

How to make it:
Bring a big pan of water to a boil and add a fist and a half of salt.
In the meantime heat up the olive oil and bake the shallot and garlic until they become 'trasparent'. Afterwhich you add the sugo and tuna. Stir until the tuna is evenly divided in the sauce. Add the rosemary, salt and pepper.
Pour the spaghetti in the boiling water and cook according to what the pack says.
When the pasta is done - so should be your sauce, nicely boiled down to a thick tomato sauce.
Drain the pasta and divide onto 4 plates - serving the sauce on top.
Add the cheese and top of that, and voila.... Dinner is readyyyyyyy!!!

Outcome: A good and healthy dinner in arms-reach at any time!
Pasta alla Jules
Buon Appetito
Chef Steph

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Classic: American Corn Chowder anyone???

A first contribution by our American Chef Stephanie! With many others to follow... 

Feeling just *this much* better about the winter weather after supper tonight. I made one of my favorite comfort foods. Corn Chowder.
Now the original recipe has been around since my Grandma was first married. My mother made a second draft of it, which is the bacon-grease spattered index card that I have currently in my possession (Grandma's recipe card is still in the family recipe box.)
Here's the recipe.....


  • 4 cups potatoes diced = 
  • 2 cups Water boiling =
  • 1/4 lb Bacon
  • 1/4 cups Onion, chopped
  • 2 cups whole Kernel Corn
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Parsley
How To Make It:
Cook potatoes in water for 15 minutes. Drain. Set aside.
Fry Bacon with onions in stock pot. Add potatoes and all remaining ingredients.
Bring to boil. Reduce to simmer. 

Outcome: What I do differently... I don't measure. I hardly ever measure (except when baking). So for me to give you my recipe... well I can't exactly. What I can do is tell you that I dice up about 4 potatoes, chop 1 medium sweet yellow onion, dice 1/2 package bacon and throw it all in my soup pot. I fry that all up and then I eyeball what looks to be enough corn and enough milk. I season to taste with fresh ground pepper, coarse sea salt, and garlic powder. Then I serve with a sprinkling of paprika and parsley flakes with toast or crackers on the side :). Makes enough to feed this family of four with some leftovers.

Corn Chowder
Chef Stephanie from Stephanie Evers Writes

An Edible Perspective: Almond Butter

Peanut Butter... or any kind of nutty butter is just to go NUTS for! Not only is it good during breakfast, snacks or in some cases for dinner (Eh Tina?), but it's also the BEST fat burner that exists.

Many many many people think: peanut butter = fat = gaining weight!
instead it's: peanut butter = good fats = losing weight. Weird eh? But it's true... thank god!

Living in Italy means not having direct and easy access to this 'superfatburning powerfood', so I have been looking for a way to make it myself. Over at 'The Edible Perspective' Ashley posted how to make an almond/coconut butter that is sure worth a shot!
For ingredients and How to Make It - go over to her blog!

Outcome: dunno yet, but it sure does LOOK good! Will let you know how it turns out! 
Are you just as tempted looking at this beauty like I am??

Ashley's Almond Coconut Butter

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Njokkie..... aka Gnocchi!

A special recipe for my brother's sweet girlfriend Cath!!
On her first time meeting me, and meeting Milan for that matter... I took them to this little lunch place near my office at the time - right in the city center (Turati).
September friday afternoons with massive amounts of sun are just another excuse for Italians to have super long lunch breaks with a good meal and glass of wine. And we all want to integrate into the culture as much as we can... don't we? So that day I suggested them to have Gnocchi Sorrentina: basically they are boiled potato balls with a creamy and gewy tomato sauce and cheeeeeeeese! And Cath loooooved it!

Hereby the recipe with a Chef's Steph's touch....

Ingredients - for 4 servings

  • a pack of fresh gnocchi (500-700 gr)
  • 750 ml tomato sugo with basil
  • one shallot 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 3 fresh peppers (red and yellow - whichever you prefer)
  • 2 handfulls of fresh basil
  • 125 gr mozzarella chopped up in little pieces
  • 100 gr parmiggiano or pecorino
  • salt and pepper to taste

How to make it:
First you have to grill the peppers - by placing them in the oven, grilling them until their skin burns off. This usually takes up to 30 mins, depending on your oven. Once they're done, take them out and wait for them to cool, as peeling them while still hot is a guarantee for burned fingers! Peel them and chop them up in cubes.
While the peppers are cooling down bring water to a boil with a fist of salt.
Heat up the oil in a pan and add the cut up shallot. Simmer for a minute until the shallot smells nicely.
Add the peppers and stir for a minute - after which you add the sugo, salt and pepper.
Once the water is boiling, put in the gnocchi. Cooking them, takes literally a couple of minutes. They are ready when they come floating up in the water. Immediately take them out of the water because overcooked gnocchi are not good at all! They become all mushy, instead you want them soft but with a firm bite.
At this point you add the mozzarella and parmiggiano to the sauce and stir until it melts in the sauce.
Last but not least - add the fresh basil.
Mix the gnocchi with the sauce and serve garnished with a leaf of basil.

Outcome: Italy's colours at it's best!!!

Gnocchi Sorrentina

Buon Appetito
Chef Steph

Monday, 21 March 2011

Turkish Maklube

The first recipe posted by a member of the International Cooking Club!!!!!
A big welcome to Oya Emerk who is writing a blog for some time - however in turkish, you can find some recipes in English and her plan is to have all of them in english soon! 

Let's get cooking some Turkish Chicken called MAKLUBE

1 Whole Chicken 
3-5 glasses of Chicken Broth
4-5 Eggplants
2-3 Cups of Rice
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
Salt and Pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons of Currants
50gr Butter
Shortening for frying the eggplants
Skinned Roasted Almonds

What to do:
Soak the rice: meanwhile peel the eggplants and slice them vertically, about half cm thick.
Place them in a deep bowl and salt them generously. Keep them for half an hour in the bowl until they give off their juice. Half an hour later, wash the eggplants and dry them thoroughly. Heat the shortening in a pan and fry the eggplants. Place them on a kitchen towel. 
Drain and wash the rice.

Boil the chicken in a deep pot with plenty of water. To add more flavour, peppercorns, carrots and onion can be added to the boiling water.
When the chicken is boiled, drain it and remove the bones. 
In a flat-bottomed pot, place the chicken meat first as the first layer, then the fried eggplants, and the drained rice. Press lightly with your hand.

When cooking pilav, my rice and water ratio is 1 to 1,5 (1 cup of rice - 1,5 cups of water) but for this recipe I add half a cup of water/broth more. Once the rice has absorbed the broth, decrease the temperature of the cooker and let it simmer until the rice is done. 

Before serving, turn it upside down into a platter and garnish with roasted almonds. Pour the chicken broth over the ingredients, adding currants, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Finally add the butter

Outcome: A beautiful Chicken 'Tarte Tatin' with rice.... Thank you Oya!


Afiyet Olsun
Chef Oya

Thursday, 17 March 2011

We need YOU!!!

It's been a couple of days but I haven't forgotten about our International Cooking Club.
Sometimes however, it happens that you can't blog about lovely dishes because you're traveling or doing other things or you are simply eating out. This has been my case the last three days, hence the need of being numerous to put up our recipes, ideas, tips or comments or cuisine thoughts.... But let's be honest, the other reason is simply cos it might get boring reading about the frantics in the kitchen of one single person, aka ME!

So, the basic idea of this blog = to create a real cooking club that shares recipes and stories from the kitchen right here on this blog. 

This can be done in two ways:
1. send in your recipe with comments and pictures and I will make sure it will get posted in the right way
2. you can post it yourself by asking the needed data to access the blog!

So, first of all, send me your interest in participating to:

In any case you need to provide:
1) Ingredients - for how many servings
2) How to make it
3) Outcome
4) Picture
5) A colour that belongs to your posts (ex: mine is green, and chef robert's is dark blue) --> this way it's easy to spot whose recipe you are reading

Voila... I await your numerous emails!

In the meantime of writing I am cappuccino! A nice purple Nespresso cup with foamed up fullfat milk! (the low fats don't foam up so much) Yummm....

Chef Steph

Monday, 14 March 2011

Fusion: Chickpea Tajine with a touch of Feta

Hey y'all, how ya doing??
Since the fellow members of the International Cooking Club seem to be busy.. hopefully cooking, I am just going to keep on adding my little treasures on here.
This chickpea recipe is a twist and turn of the Chickpea dish Albert Heijn (a Dutch supermarket) has on their site and it is my 'go-to' when in need of some healthy yet comforting food, as it is filled with veggies and healthy natural proteins from the chickpeas but with that satisfying creaminess of the feta!

Ingredients: (for 2 big servings)

  • one eggplant
  • one zucchini
  • one big red pepper
  • one can of tomato cubes
  • one can of chickpeas - rinsed
  • a couple of sjalots
  • garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 100gr of feta
What to do:
Cut the sjalots and garlic into tiny pieces.
Chop up all vegetables into similar cubes - they can be rather big.
Heat up the oil in your wok (or pan) and add sjalots and garlic until they give a nice smell and look 'trasparent'.
Add the eggplant, zucchini and red pepper.
Wok the vegetables for circa 5 mins.
Add all the spices and turn it all.
Add the chickpeas and tomato can. Stir the whole for a couple of minutes until it's steaming hot!
At the end you add the feta crumbled on top. Stir max a minute.

Outcome: From Super Healthy to Healthy and Creamyyyyy....MMMM

Chef Steph

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Another Shot At Muffins: Healthy Chocolate Chip Muffins

I never give up a battle!
My last muffins were good but there was definitely some space for improvement. So today I gave it another shot. This time however I gave them the good old fashioned chocolate/vanilla twist!
And guess what??.... I WON the battle!!!!

Have a look at this beauty


  • 50 gr oat meal 
  • 150 gr whole grain spelt flour 
  • 50 gr flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1,5 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 10 gr vanilla sugar
  • 50 gr brown sugar
  • 250 ml milk
  • 100gr crushed 85% chocolate
What to do:
Whisk together the dry ingredients : oat meal, spelt flour, flaxseed, baking soda, baking powder and vanilla powder.
Then beat up the eggs, add the oil and sugars (vanilla and brown), afterwhich you stir in the milk.
Once both mixes ready, stir in the wet mix into the dry mix. Make sure it gets a nice homogenous mixture and that you let in some air while stirring.
At the end you add the crushed chocolate and give it another good stir.
Put the mixture into buttered or slightly oiled muffin cups.... 20 min in the oven and voila!!!

Outcome: DUHLICIOUS!!!! Ask Chef Robert!! 

Chef Steph

Papa's Poached Eggs Breakfast

What a way to break the fast better than with my dad's wonderful Poached Eggs!!!

He uses this magic pan for them as, unfortunately the real poached eggs ( the one where you drop the egg into the water without its shell ...) have still not been mastered. However the hunger for the poached egg remained, hence the use of THE pan!

A Poached Egg Pan with steaming technique  
What to do:
Basically you pour a little bit of water underneath the cups where you hold the eggs. 
Then smear the cups with some corn oil, or any kind of oil that doesn't taste too strongly. Afterwhich you break the eggs into the cups (one egg per cup).
Put the lid on the pan and put it on your stove.
Based on how you prefer your eggs, cook them for 5-8 mins.

Outcome: always yum!!! Check it out...

Cheers from Brussels
Chef Robert

That was the first entry of one of our Cooking Club members. I proudly present MY DAD:
 Chef Robert!!!!

Thanks so much for this lovely breakfast recipe. I'm sure it will be appreciated!

Ciao Ciao

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Classic: Delicious Quiche alla Steph

Quiche alla Steph
This lovely and most of all tasteful quiche is unfortunately not all for my it has been based on a recipe I found in one of the Dutch Delicious's magazines. Think it was somewhere last year but can't give you a source on this one....However the addings of the different cheeses and the use of this pastry instead of puff pastry are 100% mine! :)

  • one 'pasta brisee' - which is paste for a crusty pie in Italian
  • one fennel bulb sliced in very thin slices
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 full hands of frozen peas
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 75gr of feta cheese
  • 50 gr of parmigiano or pecorino
  • pinch of salt and pepper

What to do:
Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius.
Put the pastry in an oven shape for cakes or quiches and just let it set for 10 minutes.
Bake the sliced fennel in a tbsp of olive oil until soft yet still crispy.
Mix the eggs, eggwhites, feta cheese, parmigiano and the peas together in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Once the fennel is done, spread it evenly on your baking shape. 
Pour the egg mix over the fennel. 
Put the whole thing in the oven for 30-40 minutes. The crust needs to be golden brownish and the interior firm. To test whether your quiche is ready, stab a knife in the middle and it has to come out clean.

Outcome: Serve it with a nice salad with a balsamic vinaigrette, and voila, a wonderful dinner for your family, friends or loved ones. 

Buon Appetito
Chef Steph

Friday, 11 March 2011

Open Your Eyes Too

Does this look normal to you????
Last summer I read a book that literally opened my eyes; Amber Albarda's 'Eet jezelf mooi, slank en gelukkig', in other words 'Eat what makes you beautiful, slim and happy'.

Amber Albarda, a Dutch young and successful business woman got terribly ill during her sabbatical in Argentina. The reasons behind her illness were living for way too long on sugar, stress and eating wrong foods which lead to a chronic lack of energy! Her body got so frail and weak it had to get sick. And it did. A bunch of Argentinian doctors opened Amber's eyes and made her have a completely new look on food, energy and vitality.

After a couple of months, full of energy and even a size smaller, she decided to quit her energy taking job and preach what she had learned to others. Others had to get to know what supermarkets offer to us is actually making us feel sick, weak and basically like s"{@#t.  That bloating feeling you have after each meal, normal? eh NO!!! Others have a right to discover how our bodies work and how we are supposed to fuel them.

I believe that foodies, such as us, who like to cook, already have a huge step ahead of all other people on how to fuel their bodies right. But do you know which products to choose?
And the real imporant question is: do you know how to fuel your body?? Do you understand the consequences of the foods that supermarkets offer us? Do you know what is healthy for you?

If you don't... then have a look at this documentary that I discovered on Teri's blog 'A Foodie Stays Fit' 

You will literally be SHOCKED!!! and you will definitely know what is NOT good for you, and what will NOT do right to whatever it is you are cooking tonight!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Healthy Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Oat Bran Apple Cinnamon Muffins
When sick, or when training for a marathon like I'm doing, you are always at the look out for good but healthy foods in order to fuel your body with things it needs.
My latest trend is to buy a big bag of apples that are on offer in my supermarket: peel them, cut them into pieces and make a nice apple compote out of them! Healthy, sweet without any guilt!!!

Last sunday, I thought to use this home made compote in some healthy muffins. So I looked for a recipe and found one on the, the site of Women's Health Magazine.

Oat Bran Apple Cinnamon Muffins - to make 12 muffins:

These baked beauties are a cardiologist's dream food--the pectin fiber in apples, the oat bran, and the vitamin E-rich canola oil are loved by docs because together they lower both total and LDL cholesterol and keep insulin and blood sugar levels under control. But protecting yourself against heart disease won't even cross your mind when this dessert-worthy combo of apples, cinnamon, and nutmeg hits your taste buds. Too yummy to be typecast as breakfast muffins, they can be popped anytime for a filling and satisfying bite.

  • 50gr oat bran
  • 150 gr whole weat flour
  • 50 gr flaxseed
  • 1teaspoon baking soda
  • 1,5 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tbs canola oil
  • 55 gr brown sugar
  • 100 gr apple compote
  • 30 gr walnuts or pecans crushed
What to do:
The trick of muffins is to mix the dry ingredients together and the wet ingredients together, and only then you gently stirr them in together before pooring them into the muffin cups.
So in this case:
Heat oven to 170 C.
Mix oat bran, whole weat flour, flaxseed, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon together in a bowl.
In another bowl whisk together the egg and the oil, after which you add the sugar and apple compote.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and add the crushed nuts.
Poor the batter in the muffin cups and put into an oven for 20-25 mins.

The outcome: the taste was good but they needed to get a little bigger. Any tips??

Chef Stef

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Classic: Vitello Arrosto

On a friday night, after a long week of working I prepared this romantic dinner for my man as we had a little something to celebrate. Never having made a vitello arrosto before, I consulted my dear friend Ste asking how to prepare it easy, yummy and especially fast!!  He suggested slow cooking it in red wine... here we go!

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 500gr Vitello arrosto
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (NOT extra vergine - for cooking you need regular pressed oil)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt
  • pepper
  • red cooking wine or use a nice chianti like I did

What to do:
Take a large and rather deep antiburning pan (how do you call these again?!), put on a big flame adding the 2 tbsp of olive oil and the clove of garlic chopped into small pieces. As the garlic is getting brownish, add the meat. Bake it golden brown on all sides for approximately 10 mins.
Then lower the flame and add the red wine untill half way of the vitello arrosto. Slow cook for 40-45 mins.It is done when you push it gently and it bounces back on its place.

Cut the meat into 1cm slices....
Add some (now yes..) Extra Vergine Olive oil of good quality...
Serve with a fresh green salad or grilled veggies and a tasteful red wine such as Barbera d'Asti - full of flavour and slightly dry

Chef Steph

A sunday chill results in a COOKING CLUB!

Hey there everyone,

While having my left overs from my romantic dinner with my man (vitello arrosto slow cooked in red wine accompanied by a yummy Barbera d'Asti) with a healthy salad made out of raddicchio (the red lettuce), tomatoes and avocado, I have decided to start an International Cooking Club.

Starting a cooking club was something I wanted for a while now, but being in the age-group 25-30 you can imagine that finding a group of people available x times a month/year, is quite tricky. On top of that, having my dear cooking lovin family and friends all over the globe it also made it hard to find some cooking fanatics in Milan - my current home!

Hence my - if I may say so - briljant idea: the International Cooking Club that is online!! This way anyone slightly in touch with his cooking skills and wanting to share them, can join us online. Whether or not we will do some live sessions somewhere, will show of the success (or not!) of this formula.

The formula I was thinking of is the following: if you want to join this International Cooking Club, just write an email to with your motivations etc (don't need to be a 5star chef to join... no worries!) and then you're on! You then too can share your recipes with the rest of us. If you prefer to maintain low profile, just comment or ask any question you have by responding to the recipes the current members post. Hopefully we will be numerous soooon!

Which cuisines? Really none in particular... rather every cuisine imaginable to humankind on the planet. Surprise us with your Maleysian, South American, Eskimonian or simply.. Italian specialties!

Ok... Let's get cooking!!!

Baci from Milan
Chef Steph