The time goes by so fast that I often forget how many cool things I actually did, the new things I tried, and the places I visited. So this is my first month-log. Fermentation, lots of baking, and more. So sit back, take a nice drink and enjoy March my month!
Fermented Kimchi & Japanese Ramen
Since I worked from home in the last weeks of March because of the Coronavirus, I got some spare time I normally spent commuting. I figured I might as well spent my time the right way and planned my weekly groceries to buy ingredients for two dishes I wanted to try to make for the first time: Kimchi and Ramen. I was inspired by Asia this month, mainly because I binge-watched the Netflix series ”Ugly Delicious”.
My stepdad gave me some beef shank from their farm which was still waiting for me in the freezer. I never make a soup that often but when you receive such a wonderful piece of meat you should make something special. So that’s what I did. Time for beef ramen! I made a broth with the beef shank, onions, garlic, scallions, and ginger and mixed it with a Japanese Tare sauce of miso, soy sauce, and oyster sauce. The cooked meat I baked in fresh garlic, ginger, sambal, ground pepper, and a little bit of dark brown sugar. Alongside with the baked beef, I served the broth with ramen noodles, a soy-marinated boiled egg, mushrooms, scallions, carrots, chili pepper, and Chinese cabbage. Besides, I wanted to make my own Kimchi for ages already. It is like ramen a mindful slow-cooking experience. It is now resting in my fridge for 2 weeks to create the right fermented flavor balance.
The Ultimate Friendship Bread baking project
I had nostalgic memories of the friendship bread and thought it would be nice to revive this old baking tradition of sharing and passing along a sweet fermented baking starter. So I shared the recipe for the ultimate friendship bread, the recipe for the friendship bread starter, and developed a recipe to make crispy waffles with the same starter batter. It was super cool to see my friends baking with the started I made. And it was a good opportunity for my test team to check the recipe on any errors.
Cookies, bread, and Mergpijpjes
I baked my favorite egg yolk chocolate chip cookies for my boxing peers because my trainers kept asking me to bring some of my bakes. They were very popular amongst the people who were not on a diet. The gym is maybe after all not the go-to place for sweet bakes. People like to lift weight there, not gain it… To get in the mood for easter I made a recipe for super cute chocolate chip cookie Easter baskets. My little nephew was happy to taste test. After I lost my patience on the sourdough baking process again I tried baking a yeast bread again and I was very happy with the end result. I could have bought it in an artisan bakery, even if I say so myself. And last but not least I finally made the pastry which I wanted to make for a couple of years now, but kept putting off: Dutch Mergpijpjes. It is a pastry made of layers of sponge, vanilla buttercream and jam, covered with marzipan and dipped in chocolate. They were gigantic and worth the effort. Homemade marzipan is a real gamechanger.
Let’s get real with you all! Pastry is my favorite breakfast, lunch, diner, and in-between snack. I think I got pastry for lunch and breakfast around 10 times this month and apart from the Mergpijpjes there were 2 cases that stood out. On a Sunday (when we thought Corona would not hit the Netherlands as hard as it did) we drove to Bij Robèrt for some pain du Chocolat, a tart au citron (Oliver’s favorite), a Millefeuille, an apple macaron, and a raspberry-pistachio pastry. But when the shit really hit the fan corona-wise Pinkie patisserie came with the genius and heroic plan to do patisserie home delivery. We ordered a Bapamanga (apparently an abbreviation of banana, passion fruit, and mango), a forest fruit pastry, once again a tart citron and a peanut-caramel tartalette. Great success!
One of my bucket list dreams came true: a photoshoot with a professional photographer. I was a little anxious but in the end, it was so much fun. Loretta-Delores really made me feel comfortable and respected a style of shooting that suits my personality. It is a super cool experience and I am super happy with the end result.
After the photoshoot, I treated myself on lunch at my go-to spot Bonnie in Arnhem. It is a super cozy and relaxing place where nobody gives strange looks when you like to have lunch accompanied by yourself only. The same day I went to the Down Town Gourmet Market in Eindhoven. It is a super cool food market where you can order at many different food corners with a variety of cuisines and specialties. The best thing is that you don’t even have to leave your table. You can just scan the QR code on your table and order your dishes in an app. You can take as much time you need to choose your favorites and it will be brought to you when it’s done. One of the dishes we chose was a big tapas platter full of pinchos, all based on potatoes. Because one of my favorite ingredients are potatoes!
Offline quality time
I got invited by Homemade baking mixes for an offline event. I was so excited that I could be a part of this. Although I love to bake from scratch, baking with baking mixes in the kitchen with my mom is where it all started for me as a little girl. It was an afternoon full of non-planned baking, games, and getting to know new people. The only condition was: no phones allowed. The worst nightmare of many food bloggers but it actually felt so laidback that a photographer was walking around taking pictures and the only thing we needed to do is having a good time. Because after all, that is what baking is all about.
I hope you enjoyed March my month log. If you have any questions about the recipes I made or the places I visited, feel free to ask me via the comments below. So what should I dive into next month?