Curried Sweet Potato Soup

I must be honest with you guys, it’s currently 10°C in Belgium and it just doesn’t feel like Spring to me. I would love to eat salads and enjoy all the fresh produce nature brings us this time of year, but after a few days into spring it’s still freezing at night. What to do about it?

So while I’ll keep my recipes for different salads still in my library, I’ll keep making soups until it’s warm enough out there to enjoy the rest. Here you can find one of my newer favorites. It’s a curried sweet potato soup. It’s flavorful, hot and the roasted sweet potatoes give it a fuller taste, without making it to heavy to enjoy. What I like most about this one is that you can make it as hot as you want. Adding some more toppings like extra curry paste will give this an extra boost, or just adding some lime or paprika will give it some extra taste without adding that much heat.

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Curried Sweet Potato Soup

  • servies 6-8 portions
  • Ingredients
    • 4 large sweet Potatoes
    • 3 tbsp coconut oil
    • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
    • 3 tsp Thai Red Curry paste
    • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
    • 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
    • 1,5 l vegetable stock
    • sea salt to taste
    • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • Directions
    • Preheat the oven to 200° C.
    • Wash the sweet potatoes and pierce all over with a fork. Wrap tightly in foil, place on a baking sheet, and roast for 45-55 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft and tender. Unwrap and set aside to cool.
    • Use a sharp knife to remove any bad spots on the sweet potatoes and then cut them into 5 cm pieces.
    • Heat a big pot over a medium-high heat. Add the coconut oil and then the onion. Sauté and stir often. Stir in the curry paste, spices and let it cook to really flavour the onion. Add the sweet potatoes and the stock. Bring mixture to a boil, and then turn the heat down and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
    • Give the soup a quick puree (in the pot, or in a blender). Make sure there’s still a little bit of texture. Return the pot to reheat to serve. Check the taste before serving, adding the lime zest and juice at the very end.
    • Ladle soup into warm bowls and garnish the way you like it with swirls of chili paste, yoghurt or a sprinkle of paprika or parsley, or all of them together. Serve each bowl with an additional wedge of lime on the side.

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This is an amazing soup recipe for a nice night out. It’s combination of the sweet potatoes with the heated red curry paste is just perfection and you can really adapt it to your taste. I added a little bit of paprika on mine the first time and the second time I added some extra curry paste on top to heat it up a little more, and both worked great. It’s so versatile. Try it out and let me know what you think.

I don’t remember exactly where I got this recipe from, but I found it somewhere online. So if you recognize it, please let me know so I can give credit to the right person.

Don’t hesitate to post some recipes you would like to share. I want to try all of them and learn some new ones. Even though I look through the internet every day looking for new recipes, I’m sure there’s a lot more out there that I haven’t even seen or heard of yet. Let’s share the love for cooking.

love

Anna-Lisa ❤

Healthy Snacks

There’s not one store that makes packages just for one person. Living alone, it’s sometimes hard for me to eat something different every single day, because of the quantities I have to buy. I do make my menus beforehand for the week to come and I always have to think about the fact that I’ll probably eat the same thing 2-3 times a week, just because in stores they always package the food for a family of 2 to 4. Why? No idea, there are so many people living alone in this world that this fact sometimes makes me wonder if they actually know their customers.

Anyways, I’m usually left with a lot of food, bit more bits and pieces: an apple here, some vegetables there… There’s always a little bit too much than my recipes call for. So, I started to look for some ways to use these vegetables and fruits I had left and I made chips out of them. I had some kale over from a smoothie I made on Sunday, some sweet potato and an apple. You can find my recipe for them right here.

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Kale Chips

  • Ingredients
    • some kale
    • some olive oil
    • some spices (cayenne pepper, paprika, salt, pepper…)
  • Directions
    • Pre-heat the oven to 150°C.
    • Massage the kale with the olive oil (so it’s evenly spread) and put some spices in it, as much as you want. you can absolutely, truly go wild here.
    • Put them in a single layer on a baking sheet with parchment paper. And bake for 10 minutes. Turn the baking sheet around and cook for another 15 minutes.
    • Do keep an eye on them, because the cooking time depends on the amount of kale, on your oven…
    • Leave them to rest for about 5 minutes before enjoying them.

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Sweet Potato Chips

  • Ingredients
    • a large potato
    • some olive oil
    • some spices (salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper…)
  • Directions
    • Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
    • Slice the sweet potato with a mandoline in thin slices. Toss them in a bowl with the olive oil and spices of your choice. I only used salt and pepper this time.
    • Put them in a single layer on a baking sheet with parchment paper. And bake for 10-15 minutes.
    • Take them out of the oven and let them rest. Drop the oven to a 100°C. When the chips are cold, put the baking sheet back in the oven for another 2-3 hours until they are crips and golden.
    • Do keep an eye on them, because the cooking time will depend on your oven and the thinness of your slices.
    • Leave them to rest for about 5 minutes before enjoying them.

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Apple Chips

  • Ingredients
    • 1-2 apples
    • some spices (allspice, cinnamon…)
  • Directions
    • Pre-heat the oven to 100°C.
    • Slice the apple with a mandoline in thin slices. Toss them in a bowl with the spices of your choice. I put some cinnamon on mine.
    • Put them in a single layer on a baking sheet with parchment paper. And bake for 2-3 hours, until they are crisp and golden. I put a tiny bit of coconut oil on them, but you actually don’t need it.
    • Do keep an eye on your chips, because the cooking time will depend on your oven, the thinness of your slices and your apples.
    • Leave them to rest a little bit before enjoying them.

These are all amazing, because they’re healthy, easily enjoyed and so, so easy to make. They do take a long time to make, but the actual work you put in them is nothing compared with the time you’ll take to enjoy them. (Actually, I ate my kale chips in like 5 minutes… but I took my time with the others to really enjoy them)

Try them out and let me know which vegetables of fruits you would love me to try next.

Don’t hesitate to post some recipes you would like to share. I want to try all of them and learn some new ones. Even though I look through the internet every day looking for new recipes, I’m sure there’s a lot more out there that I haven’t even seen yet. Let’s share the love for cooking.

love

Anna-Lisa ❤

Easter Cupcakes

Happy Easter everybody!

I don’t know about you guys, but I love this holiday. The chocolate, the spring that starts pointing its nose, the extra day off from work… Especially all the treats, chocolates and the family that comes back together.

This year I didn’t have the chance to go see my family, but I still wanted to make something special just to celebrate, because why the hell not. And then I found these M&M’s in my store and then I knew it, it just came to me.

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I wanted to keep it simple and give the entire attention to these beautiful little chocolate candies. I started with a simple vanilla cupcake with a cream cheese frosting, topped with some pretty M&M’s. I used both recipes from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. (You can buy it right here… It’s one of my favourites)

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Easter Vanilla Cupcakes

  • Makes 12 Cupcakes
  • Ingredients for the cupcake
    • 120 g self raising flour
    • 140 g caster sugar
    • a pinch of salt
    • 40 g butter, at room temperature
    • 1,2 dl whole milk
    • 1 egg
    • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • Ingredients for the frosting
    • 150 g icing sugar
    • 25 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 62,5 g of cream cheese

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  • Directions for the Cupcakes
    • Preheat the oven to 170°C.
    • Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a bowl and use a handheld electric mixer to slowly beat it together to a sandy consistency. Everything must be well combined. Gradually pour in half the milk and beat until the milk is just incorporated.
    • Whisk the egg, vanilla extract and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds, then pour into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated. Make sure to scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth. Do not overmix.
    • Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until light golden and the sponge bounces back when touched. Keep an eye on them, because every oven is different. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Directions for the Frosting
    • Mix the powder sugar and the butter with an electric handmixer until everything is well combined.
    • Add the cream cheese and keep on beating the mixture until everything is completely incorporated. Put the machine on the highest stand and keep on beating everything for at least 5 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy.
    • Don’t beat the mixture for too long, or else the frosting can become liquid.
  • Final directions
    • When the cupcakes are completely cool, top them with some frosting. (I like mine with a little frosting, that’s why I always divide the recipes by two.) To top it all, I put two-three M&M’s on the frosting to make it into a little nest.
    • Let it sit for a few minutes in the refrigerator to let the frosting harden a tiny little bit and then enjoy them with a some tea or coffee.

These are so light and fluffy and the M&M’s on top of them gives this recipe a bit of a kick.

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What did you do at Easter? Tried out any special recipes? Don’t hesitate to post some recipes you would like to share. I want to try all of them and learn some new ones. Even though I look through the internet every day looking for new recipes, I’m sure there’s a lot more out there that I haven’t even seen yet. Let’s share the love for cooking.

love

Anna-Lisa ❤

FACTS

The last weekend of September/begin October has always been my weekend. For a few years now, I’ve been going to FACTS, Belgium’s comic con, or at least one of them. There are so many of them right now that I lost count. But FACTS has been my first love, and my only one for the moment. Each time this event has been taking place, I had to go. Since last year they organize it two times a year (once around April, then in September/October). And the last one was last weekend. I went on the first of April and it has been the best day of this year so far.

This issue was bigger and better than ever. Loads of stands where you can buy things, several set pieces that have been rebuild, off course loads of Star Wars props and Harry Potter props. And off course you could meet several actors. This year FACTS welcomed Ben McKenzie, Nathan Fillion and Morena Baccarin, Amanda Tapping and Kristian Nairn (Hodor!!). Off course I had to go to some of the Q&A’s, but unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to get a signature or a picture with one of them.

There was so much to do that I didn’t get the chance to do all that FACTS could offer me this edition. Next time I’ll go the entire weekend, just to have time to enjoy all of it. Next appointment: 21-22 October. In the meanwhile, I’ll continue to enjoy all the pictures and go through all my favourite movies and series to see what I’ll cosplay next time…

What about you? Have you been to FACTS or any other comic con or other event? What did you do in your weekend. Let me know.

love

Anna-Lisa ❤

Recipe: Breakfast Bowl

I started this year with the challenge of eating healthier. That is taking care of myself and my body, but still enjoying everything the kitchen and cooking can offer me. So I won’t step away completely from sugar, because honestly I can’t, but instead I will try to substitute it in some recipes.  

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One of the things that spring in my mind when I think of eating healthy, are smoothies and I’ve been trying to find new ways to mix my fruit and get my vitamins. So when this new trend of Breakfast Bowl came up, I had to try it. And luckily, Gemma Stafford, one of my favourite cooks on Youtube, did a collaboration with PopSugar Food and came up with this lovely recipe! You can find it right here.

I changed it up a tiny little bit. I didn’t have any almond butter or nut butter in house at that moment, so I put in two dates instead of one and it worked just fine. I didn’t need it at all. I will try it one time with the nut butter though, because I do think it will give an extra richness to this recipe.

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Berries & Cream Smoothie Bowl

  • Ingredients for the smoothie
    • 240 ml unsweetened almond milk (or any other nut milk)
    • 1 frozen banana, cut into pieces
    • 150 g frozen mixed berries
    • (1 tbsp of almond butter)
    • 1 or 2 dates, pitted
  • Toppings
    • grapes
    • blueberries
    • pomegranate seeds
    • goji berries
    • granola
    • any other fruit, seeds or nuts you want to add…
  • Directions
    • This one is super easy to make
    • Into a blender, add almond milk, banana, mixed berries, dates and almond butter if you have some. Blend until smooth and pour into a bowl.
    • Top with everything you want. Ik used some granola, goji berries, grapes and blueberries. Basically all types of fruit and seed I still had in my kitchen.

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This was just perfection. Adding the dates helped with the creaminess of the smoothie. It made it thicker so it held better in the bowl. It’s creamy. The mixed berries gave this a rich flavor and with all the toppings you can choose, you can really be creative with your breakfast.

Give this a try. I’m sure you will be knocked away. Don’t hesitate to post some recipes you would like to share. I want to try all of them and learn some new recipes. Even though I look through the internet each day looking for new recipes, I’m sure there’s a lot more out there that I haven’t found yet. Let’s share the love for cooking.

love

Anna-Lisa ❤

Easy Sugar Cookies

I love baking. Just love. It’s one of my favourite ways to pass the time, but only negative thing is that I live alone and I just can’t eat it all by myself. So every time somebody comes by or I’m invited somewhere, I take to my kitchen and I whip up something small (or big).

The recipe I mostly go to and one I have so much success with every single time, is this easy recipe for sugar cookies. What I love about this, is that you usually have all the ingredients at home and you can easily put some extra chocolate in it or other spices to switch it up a little bit.

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I first found this recipe right here, but switched it a tiny bit over time, switching the sour cream for yoghurt. I do feel it gives these cookies a lighter touch and they stay as long as when you use sour cream. Don’t forget to add either if you want the cookies to stay good for a longer time. It definitely helps to add moisture to the cookies.

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Easy Sugar Cookies

  • Servings: a small batch (definitely double it if you want to have more) I usually get 30 small cookies out of it.
  • Ingredients
    • ¼ cup (60gr) unsalted butter (at room temperature)
    • ⅓ cup (65gr) granulated sugar
    • 1 egg yolk from a large egg (you can freeze the egg whites and then use it to make other delicious recipes)
    • 1 tbsp full fat yoghurt (or sour cream)
    • ½ tbsp vanilla extract
    • 1 cup (130gr) self raising flour
    • ⅛ tsp salt
  • Directions
    • Cream the sugar and the butter in a deep bowl. Then add the egg yolk with the vanilla extract. Mix until everything is well-blended. Scrape of the sides to make sure to incorporate all the ingredients.
    • Add the yoghurt or sour cream and mix again.
    • Add the flour and the salt. Mix everything.
    • The batter will start to look odd and curdle. That’s the point where you start using your hands to put the cookie dough together. Add some flour if you feel it’s not firm enough or not easy enough to handle.
    • When you have a sort of solid dough, roll it between 2 sheets of wax paper. Use your favourite cookie cutter(s) to cut out the shapes you want. Bake these at 180°C for 6 minutes and then rotate your tray and bake for another 3 minutes. Keep an eye on it. Your baking time may vary depending on the thickness of your cookies.
    • Let them cool completely before enjoying them.

Some variations I made here or Chocolate cookies (I just added some cacao powder with my vanilla) and Pumpkin Spice Cookies (here I added some pumpkin spice to the batter). They all tasted great.

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This is a super simple recipe for a small batch. So if you want more cookies, just double or triple it and enjoy. Honestly, these will rock your world.

Let me know in the comments if you made these and what you think of it. And don’t forget to share your favourite cookie recipe.  I’d love to learn and try some new recipes. Even though I look through the internet each day looking for new recipes, I’m sure there’s a lot more out there that I haven’t found yet. Let’s share the love for cooking.

love

Anna-Lisa ❤

New Kitchen Tool – Hand Mixer by KitchenAid

It has been so sunny the past few days in Belgium, that the need to meet with friends and to hang out in parks or gardens came up in force. Chilling with some nice cooled water or lemonade with some delicious treats next to it and just hang out and chat… That’s my favourite way to pass time.

Off course, since I moved to Brussels I had to start to build up my arsenal of kitchen tools, because before I used everything my parents had. Now it’s my turn to buy stuff for my kitchen and what a feeling of freedom did it give me! Looking on the internet to see what tools I needed, seeing all the possibilities finally gave me the feeling I’m a real adult. Seeing how much it all costs though, overwhelmed me a little bit. So I started making a list of what I wanted to buy and then I put it in the correct order I wanted to buy them in. (I love making lists and I had a blast making this one.)

The first thing on my list was a hand mixer, preferably by KitchenAid. My kitchen is mostly white and gray, so I want to contrast this with buying my tools in bright red. And I must say I’m in love with the ‘Empire Red’ colour of some of the tools by KitchenAid. I searched all the shops and internet shops around here to see which one of them sold the KitchenAid hand mixer, in Empire Red off course, and no one had it. It was either sold out or they only had it in black or gray.

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But then came an e-mail by CoolBlue. The hand mixer was back in stock! But only 4 of them! I had to make a decision really quick, because I had a birthday party coming up and I hate showing up empty handed, without some tasty gifts. So I jumped. I ordered it and I don’t regret it at all. I’m in love with it.

It only took them 2 days to get it to me and I off course immediately used it. It’s easy to use. There are only 3 buttons and the way it works is really logical. There’s nothing hard about it. The handle lays easy in the hand and the different accessories that came with it are really solid and so easy to clean.

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It has a powerful motor and can easily be used for softer or harder doughs. It’s one of my favourite tools and I feel it is a real step-up of other stuff I was using before. It made my baking so much easier. And the colour, I mean have you seen the colour? It’s such a beautiful red. It’s perfect. 

After this buy, I’m a happy girl and I can’t wait to get my hands on other stuff by KitchenAid. Which brands do you like to use in your kitchen? And what do you think are the top 5 tools you need? Hit me up in the comments! And share the love of cooking.

love

Anna-Lisa ❤