My Rainbow Cake

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Baking from Scratch : My first Rainbow Cake

I will tell you something about what happens when you celebrate your Birthday in Germany :

Did you know that for Germans, it is considered as bad luck if you greet someone ahead  of their birthday? Oh yes, there is no such thing as advance birthday greetings ! By extension, a birthday party can never happen before the day itself, unless it’s a certified case of Reinfeiern, or “partying into your birthday” at midnight. The reason behind never saying happy birthday before the event is the superstitious worry that the person might die before their special day if you do. I told you, its kind of bizarre.

Also, the moment you give the present to the person celebrating the birthday, He or She will immediately open it in front of you, there’s no such thing as piling the gifts as customary in the Philippines. There are no lavish birthday bash either, heavily decorated-themed parties or costume party for the little ones,  nor food-coma. In short, no stress.  Sounds like the perfect birthday party after all, right?

 

It is not very common that someone give you a cake on your birthday.  Nope, you are the one who needs to buy it from the shop or make it by yourself. There’s not much bake shop here where there are arrays of ready-made cakes to choose from. On the first year of my daughter, we bought her a cake every single month! Yes that’s how vain I was, actually I did it all for her monthly photo sessions! Here in Bavaria, more often that you find those frozen cakes in the supermarkets like the infamous Black forest cake . I remember that in Kuwait and Philippines, it’s quite normal to give a cake as a present, more like a surprise, and a personalised present to the celebrant. On the other hand, Here in Germany,  expect to bring the cake once your colleagues drop the bomb “Alles gute zum Geburtstag “! Or better, bring on some few bottles of beer and curry wurst!

But we prefer, Bring on the Geburtstag torte! There’s no getting old about blowing some candles on top of your cake, especially if it’s on top of a RAINBOW CAKE!

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Easy 6 Layer Rainbow Cake

Mind you, for the past months, these are just one of the things that I have observed here in Germany about birthday celebrations. Germans love to give best wishes on birthdays and will reward you with warm greetings, hand-made cards which I absolutely adore, and gifts. They are serious people but also very sweet. Different, but nevertheless good. Anyways, going back to my Cake talk, for the record, 4 days ago was my birthday.

Hooorraaahhh for another year!

So I thought it might be a great idea if I made a  post about the cake that I’ve bake, after all, what is  birthday without a cake???

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It’s a heavy thing!

I was really  looking forward to make my first “Rainbow  Cake”, YES, for the reason that when I asked my daughter what she wants on her 3rd Birthday, she blurted out to me in her sweet voice : “Rainbow cake! “ and so I searched how to do it. She’s very into colors nowadays but still I wonder where did she got this idea! I had a hard time looking for the baking ingredients especially the food coloring here, but finally I got what I needed from REWE .  I indulge myself in making this colorful, artsy, delicious cake. Quite challenging but then I enjoyed making this one since my little girl helped me out.

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Baking from Scratch : Rainbow Cake

The soft, delectable buttermilk cake with vanilla frosting is perfect for a birthday treats and sure it was a hit for my family and friends. The layers of different vibrant colors in one fluffy cake  is such an attractive centerpiece and my daughter is so happy when she saw the pre-baked cakes in red, orange,yellow, green, blue and violet shades. She just kept on singing “yummy , yummy ” when she was spreading the frosting on each layer. After I’ve made this cake, I realized that everyone deserves to have at least one rainbow cake in their lifetime! Birthdays are such a happy occasion of celebrating life and looking at rainbow colors made me happy.

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Mama Challenge : Easy 6- layer Rainbow Cake

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Don’t get intimidated, it might looked so complicated but  something that I’ve never done before so I was determined to try it. You just got to have the right ingredients and equipment and you’re all set. Easy-peasy. The reason why I wanna share the recipe of my Rainbow Cake because I find it really good and anyone can make it, especially for busy Mamas out there who wants to make a surprise to their kids. It is not complicated as it seems to be. I have received comments like “Did you really make that?”or “How did you make all those layers? “ Isn’t it too complicated ? I’m going to give you an answer — It’s worth to try this cake, it is so good that I think I’m a convert now to a Rainbow Cake maniac!

If you have time and want to try making this colorful cake, Here is my own version of an easy 6-Layer Rainbow Cake.

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The Final touches, whipping out with heavy sprinkles and jelly beans!

A sidenote: If you wanted a tall cake or depending on the size that you want, you can double the amount of ingredients to create the size and thickness of the cakes that you are going to make.

EASY 6- LAYER RAINBOW CAKE

INGREDIENTS :

2 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup butter, softened

3 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract ( I used vanillin sucker)

1 cup Buttermilk

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

3 cups all-purpose flour ( I used Type 405 Weizen mehl)

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

Food coloring : Red, Yellow, Blue, Green and Purple

For the vanilla frosting:

12 oz. cream cheese ( I used Philadelphia, classic)

1 1/2 cups butter ( softened)

6 cups powdered sugar ( I reduced the amount to 3 cups only)

1 tsp. vanilla extract ( I used 2 packs of vanillin sucker)

INSTRUCTIONS :

  1. Preheat oven  325 deg. F. ( or 162 C).
  2. Grease and flour 6 pcs. cake pan ( 9″ (23cm)  cake pans ). I only have 3 pans so I did two rounds of baking the cakes.
  3. In a bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until all blended using a hand mixer.
  4. Mix eggs until thoroughly incorporated.
  5. Add vanilla, buttermilk and the heavy cream.
  6. Mix  the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl.
  7. Put into the sugar /butter mixture half of the flour mixture and mix well until all ingredients are well blended. Add the remaining half of the flour mixture gradually.
  8. Divide the batter into 6 bowls ( 1 cup each).
  9. Add the food color to each bowl starting from red, yellow, green, blue and purple. Tip : To create a vibrant rainbow cake, make sure to put a good amount of coloring to create a lively color. For orange, add a vibrant yellow and add drops of red. For purple, combine red and add drops of blue.
  10. Pour each colored batter into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
  11.  Bake for 10-15 minutes in the preheated oven. Do not over bake.
  12. Cool down the cake in the cooling rack.
  13. While cooling down, make the cream cheese vanilla frosting.Cream the cream cheese and butter using a hand mixer.Add gradually the powdered sugar and vanilla.
  14. Spread the frosting on the cake, first on Purple,blue,green,yellow, orange and finally the red cake.
  15. Place a thin coat of icing to create a crumb coat and decorate as you please. You can add some colored rainbow sprinkles, jelly beans.
  16. Chill the cake for a few minutes to hold the cake together with all the frosting.
  17. For the icing, just whipped egg whites and powdered sugar until forming stiff peaks and spread out evenly to coat the cake for decorations. You can also coat it with colored icing as you please.
  18. Don’t forget to give yourself a pat on your back for a job well done! Enjoy!

 

Just in case you are wondering about the Calorie content,  I must answer: What are you talking about? 

I leave you with a virtual piece of this fabulous cake. Thank you for reading and wishing everyone a great week ahead!

So tell me, do you have any weird Birthday traditions?  or have you ever made your own Birthday Cake? Feel free to share it in the comments!

 

 

 

 

 

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Smakelijk! traditional Dutch Apple pie

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Traditionl Dutch apple pie with cinnamon crumble

Koffee met appeltaart “, or coffee with apple pie is the Dutch’s way of celebrating..well, of everything! It’s sold in every bakery , bars and featured on every café menu, sometimes being the only sweet option listed. Now, as I am married to a dutch guy, I discovered that Dutch cuisine is not the most celebrated cuisine in the whole world , nor it is something you can say as unique- but it has a character, especially in their baked goodies and pastry. My personal favorites amongst all other delicious Dutch pastries are Gevuldekoek, kozakken, the Roomboter staaf , and of course, dutch authentic Stroofwafels. You haven’t fully experience Dutch’s culture unless you tasted one of these. I gave in to this treat when we were in the Netherlands. It’s a good thing that my generous parents in law are bringing us these Dutch goodies whenever they come for a visit.

Appeltaart is Holland’s magnificent national pastry. It dates as far back as the Middle Ages and it is said that during that time, because ovens with temperature control didn’t exist, baking time was measured by the number of prayers a person had to say until the pie was ready.

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Where it all started – Last 2014 , my first taste of the delicious Dutch Appeltaart that I devoured during our visit in the Netherlands.Warm, gooey, with rich cream on the side, paired with my favorite coffee and I’m good.

Here in Germany, it’s almost similar where in I fully  integrated as well  to their “Kafee und Kuchen” habit. Germans have a sweet habit of cofee-ing & cake-iing,  in the coziest way. To tell you, I was surprised to see Germans having a slice of cake and coffee for lunch, dinner & as early as 9 am.

So I dedicated myself to baking , and making apple pie is my favorite. My  version of Dutch apple pie crumble is proven crowd pleaser when I serve it. Once in a while, I opt for my simple recipe since it’s so easy to make with all the ingredients that can be found already in our kitchen, no special ingredients!

My daughter eats apple like crazy, she can down 2 pieces in a day! Before, she only eat parts of it, gnawing on them. I don’t throw the apples,I peeled off the good part and use them since I don’t want to waste. Since  the sight of apples always make me think of a warm gooey apple pie, with lots of crumble, and I mean those soft, slutty cinnamon crumble, the mere thought makes me wanna bake. Our house smells heavenly that my neighbors sniff the smell from 10 meters radius. Now that it’s still officially a snuggle season and everyone loves comfort food, there’s always a  reason to indulge from time to time. Last Fall, I started making my own apple pie from scratch. Making my own pie crust was a success, with the little help from my Google friend and thought why I didn’t make this before.

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The cinnamon crumble topping that I add-on every pie I made. I also made a pie lattice once but I love how these crumble melts into my mouth.

The Dutch’s Gezelligheid and their love for appeltaart is just so wonderful, and sometimes it is  contagious. This recipe is for Mamas on the go,  super easy  to make that you’ll find yourself baking your own pies. I tell you, I forget and stop buying ones from the store.

To create a flavorful, deep-dish apple pie recipe worthy of recommending to others, I used the old-time trick that I’ve learned. I am used to making this filling for topping in our weekend pancakes. My husband loves them so much. I sautéed a combination of  apples ( or whatever is in your local grocery shop) in  brown sugar, cinnamon,nutmeg, pinch of salt, raisins, add some chia seeds (optional)  and butter. Once they were softened, I removed them from the pan and added heavy cream to reduce and deglaze the pan. Combine the apples and cream mixture in a prebaked pie crust and topping the pie with a crunchy streusel and crumble heaven for the finishing. The more crumble on top, the better!

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Juicy gooey and soft apple cinnamon filling of my Dutch apple pie crumble.

If you’re interested in making an apple pie the Dutch way, here I wanna share with you how to make one.

Traditional Dutch Apple pie crumble

Prep  time : 30~45 mins., serves 10.

For the crust
1½ cups [360 g] unsalted butter, cubed, room temperature
1 1/3 cups [240 g] brown sugar, packed firmly
Pinch of salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
5 cups [600 g] all-purpose flour ( type 405, the one I used here in Germany)

For the filling
5 firm apples or 3 soft apples (such as Golden Delicious or Pink Lady)
Finely grated zest of ½ orange and ½ lemon
Juice of ½ lemon
1/3 cup [80 ml] brown sugar (plus more for the crumble)
2 tsp [10 ml] speculaaskruiden (I use Verstegen Koek & Speculaas)
2 tsp [10 ml of cornstarch ]

Dash of cinnamon (zimt)  and nutmeg (muskatnuss gemahlen)
½ cup [125 ml] sultanas (or raisins )
½ cup [125 ml] chopped walnuts (optional)

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Traditional Dutch apple pie with cinnamon crumble

To make the crust:
In a medium bowl , mix the butter and brown sugar together until creamed. Sprinkle with the salt and add almost all of the eggs, keeping a tablespoonful [15 ml] to brush over the pie later. Pulse until the eggs are well-incorporated. Pour in the flour while incorporating it gradually. Add the remaining flour and pulse just until the dough comes together into a ball. Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

Preheat the oven at 375°F [190°C].

To make the filling:
Peel and core the apples, then cut them into bite-size pieces. In a very large bowl, mix the apple pieces with the orange and lemon zest, lemon juice, brown sugar, spices, cornstarch, dash of cinnamon & nutmeg, sultanas (if using), and walnuts (if using). Add a pinch of the spekulaas spice. Sautee in medium heat until it starts to steam a bit. Remove from the heat and add the heavy cream & let it cool while you make the crumble. Set aside.

To make the crumble :

175g all- purpose flour

110 g brown sugar

110g cold butter, cut into cubes

In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar and flour.Mix in butter with a fork or stand mixer ( I prefer to use my hands ) just until the topping is crumbly. Top your pie with this before baking.

Assemble the apple filling in your pie crust and top it with the crumble. Bake for 40-45 minutes and check once the crumble turns golden or brown. Serve with dollop of  whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on the side. Enjoy!

 

Are you a pie person? What is your favorite comfort food?

 

 

 

 

Goodbye Oktoberfest, Hello Lebkuchen!

Today was the last day of  Volkfest here in Ingolstadt and although the weather was  grey, it didn’t stop us from visiting once again the Volksfestplatz.  This has been my first taste of Bavarian  Oktoberfest and so far, it’s really good. It’s really more than just   Beer, sausages and huge Pretzel, it’s one of a kind festival , for all ages &  family oriented, cozy and Gezellig as the Dutchie may call it.

Before we say Auf wiedersehen to Oktoberfest, I grab something that really interests me, the German Lebkuchen-the original Gingerbread! Now who wouldn’t be captivated by this yummy looking  heart-shaped cookie? Hmmm Lebkuchenhertz

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Bavarian Lebkuchen, with writing “I like you”

I had my first taste of Lebkuchen when my husband brought some from his business trip in Munich last year. Here in Bavaria, Fall season comes along with abundance of these threats which is clearly seen in the shelves of local supermarkets, along with German baked cakes and pies in food stalls in the city center, and of course, a crowd pleaser in every Volksfest. There’s something very festive when you see these Lebkuchen hearts hanging in Fruhshoppen. You just got to grab one!

The one country that takes gingerbread making to a whole other level, especially for the holidays, is Germany. Of all the countries in Europe, Germany is the one with the longest tradition of flat, shaped gingerbread. Christmas season is when gingerbread makes its most impressive appearance. The German practice of making Lebkuchen houses (gingerbread houses) has caught on worldwide and is a fun and festive tradition in numerous countries around the world.

They range in size from small saucers to large platters and are strung with a ribbon for easy wearing. Of course they are decorated with the obligatory messages of love: “I love you” (Ich liebe Dich), “You’re my sweetheart” (Du bist mein sußes Herzchen) and “I think only of you” (Ich denke nur noch an Dich) and of course, since we lived in Bavaria, the famous Bavarian phrase,  I like you “I mog di”.

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Lebkuchen, the original Gingerbread cookie

Nuremberg, Germany is considered to be the mecca of gingerbread. Each bakery keeps its recipe a secret. The Lebkuchen (gingerbread) has a Protected Designation of Origin and must be produced within the boundaries of the city. In 1643, the city officially recognized the Lebkuchen-Baker profession by creating the “League of Lebkuchen-Bakers.” In 1645, the league created strict guidelines that commercial bakers had to follow in order to sell their lebkuchen.

Did you know that in Nuremberg, Germany, the quality of the lebkuchen gingerbread was so high that it was used as currency?

Leaving the Oktoberfest grounds without one of these for your sweetie is against the rules. So if you’re in Germany and have seen these yummy threat hanging in one of the stalls and bakeries, go ahead, indulge and have a bite. It is Goodbye for now for Oktoberfest but definitely a warm Hello to Lebkuchen season!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Going nuts over chestnuts

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Chestnuts in the ground during Autumn

Aside from the sight of dewy cobwebs, pumpkins and dried leaves, Autumn is definitely the season where chestnuts come in the show ,and the best way to find them is by looking down to the ground.Today while I’m with my daughter in the park, and while running after her in the playground, I noticed that some of the kids are hovering around the trees. All of them have a bag and they kept on picking out something from the ground.

They’re picking chestnuts from the ground!!

Way back in Philippines, chestnuts are expensive and only available during Christmas season. I remember in Kuwait, I’ve seen these dark brown nuts in the supermarket and although I wanted to have some, I’m in doubt how to cook them.So I decided to join the hustle and pick some and to my delight, we gather a handful, almost a bowl. My daughter had fun picking up the chestnuts and playing with it.

Now what to do with it? The ever-curious in me runs high so after googling out how to cook it, I decided to try it.

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The bowl of chestnut as my first haul today.

Here are some important points if you wanna try the Caveman-way, I did it by roasting in the oven for 210 deg C  for about 25~30 minutes. The chestnuts will crack & turn brown once they’re done you can smell the delectable aroma .

(I call it caveman way because If you don’t like sweating out & hurting your thumb, then just buy the ones in the supermarket, it taste the same anyway )

1. Carefully cut an X into the flat side of each nut with a sharp, pointy knife, cutting through the shell.

2.Spread the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet for the oven or directly on the grill, cut side up

3.Roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until they’re tender and the shell comes off easily.

4.Wrap the hot chestnuts in a towel and squeeze them to crush the skins. Leave them wrapped in the towel for five minutes afterwards.

5.Peel while nuts are warm. Remove the inner skin along with the shell. Reheat briefly if the nuts become hard to peel.

Step # 6 is Enjoy which I omitted and I will tell you why.

Before you devour those chestnut, make sure it’s safe to snack on!!

Evil  Horse chestnut impostors are, in a nutshell, making you wanna vomit. Which means it’s a good time to remember that not all chestnuts are what they seem: Some, turns out to be fake,they are Horse chestnuts — similar in appearance and much more common, but inedible. Horse-chestnut poisoning is rarely fatal, ( as per Web site of Canada’s Nova Scotia Museum )  though effects can include vomiting, loss of coordination, stupor and occasionally paralysis.

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Horse Chestnuts that are poisonous ( Aesculus hippocastanum)

Raw Horse Chestnut seed, leaf, bark and flower are toxic due to the presence of esculin and should not be ingested. Horse chestnut seed is classified by the FDA as an unsafe herb. The glycoside and saponin constituents are considered toxic. Aesculus hippocastanum is used in Bach flower remedies.

The moment I’ve tasted these nuts, it tasted bitter and I knew something is not right. I immediately throw all of it in the bin. Again, there’s really nothing wrong about Googling. But sure thing that your taste buds will warn you, unless anything bitter is delectable for you.

So next time you wanna experiment the same way that I did, make sure you are harvesting the right kind of chestnut,and not the ones who can make you ill. Thanks to this incident or else I wouldn’t know that there is such a thing called “Horse Chestnuts”. Here are some for you to look just in case you are harvesting chestnuts this Autumn. These are based on a home-and-garden information center operated by Clemson University Extension distinguishes good nut from bad nuts.

*Edible chestnuts are like woodsy sea urchins, sporting very prickly burrs with one to several nuts inside. Horse chestnuts are less prickly, more easily handled (and thus, more sinister).

*Chestnuts have long, narrow leaves; horse chestnuts have big, compound ones composed of five to nine leaflets sharing a common stem.

* Chestnuts are starchy (and edible). Horse chestnuts taste horribly bitter. Taste buds description :  INEDIBLE.

*Horse chestnuts, have a nasty scent. Unlike edible chestnuts, their covers don’t pop off easily, which makes them, literally, a tougher nut to crack.

Do you like chestnuts?

Have you ever tried eating something and then it’s just too foul to taste?

 

 

 

Why Adobo wins the heart of one Dutch guy?

Yes, it’s still true!

The old adage “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” { De liefde van de man gaat door de maag} is a definite win-win way on how to win someone’s heart and appetite !

Well, I’m not generalizing but I can only speak for myself.My husband loved Adobo the first time he tasted it and from then on, He was a convert. He said he never misses the Dutch threats like  Frikandels, Bitterballen, or even Gehaktballen but He sure misses Adobo if we don’t have it for a straight 2 weeks!

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Serious Love-Affair with Chicken -Pork Adobo !

So why does one native Dutch guy go crazy over Adobo?

And what is Adobo by the way?

The answer is simple. Because Adobo is delicious and its tangy flavor is unique. Period.

But someone needs to taste it so they can have the experience. Every adobo dish has its own distinct flavor depending on how they have been prepared & cooking styles. It’s no secret anymore that Filipinos are scattered all over the world. In every continent there are Filipino Expats and for sure, Adobo, their cultural marker is tagged along with them. If there’s any dish that can never be taken away from Filipinos,its Adobo and of course, this dish can be better enjoyed with warm steamed rice. Adobo is considered as national dish of the Philippines so you can expect that in every household, Adobo is the star of the table for family lunches & dinners.It is made of very simple ingredients and pantry essentials .

Its typical to make chicken, pork and sometimes the combination of both. But there are many variations that veggies and seafood are cooked as well in Adobo-style.Its ingredients are pantry basics like soy sauce, white vinegar, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaves. the standard way to prepare it is by marinating the meat first overnight then cook it the following day. My childhood favorite is the Chicken Pork adobo that my Mother  cooked deliciously. She sometimes garnished it with pineapples, potatoes and string beans. Our house is filled with its aroma the moment it starts to simmer and we wait for anticipation until the meat becomes tender. It’s always a hearty meal when we have this dish.

My husband is actually a veeerryyy picky eater & I was really surprised that He loved it, and He grew fond of it. He said that the best way to enjoy it is by using his fingers because even the sauce, he devours.On the first year of our marriage I  tried many things for him. Some he liked, some he just don’t get why I am eating those.The same reason why I asked myself why Dutch loved Potatoes on a serious level !

When my parents-in law came by to visit after I gave birth to my daughter, I prepared chicken Adobo in one of our family dinner. I really love making this dish because it’s so easy and I can never go wrong with it as long as I have my favorite brand of soy sauce & vinegar and my spices. The moment it simmers, my mother-in-law immediately inhaled and says “Lekker “ ( or delicious) and the rest was history.

If you are curious and wanna try how to make this dish, Here I wanna share with you how to make it. It’s quite simple.The ingredients can be bought on any Asian store or aisle in any supermarket.

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There’s nothing more special than a home cooked meal  like this.

This Recipe is from my Mother. I learned it from her so I give her the whole credit to my cooking skills :

1 pound pork loin, butt or shoulder, cut into 1-inch chunks (same if you would have chicken, choose your best parts like the breast, thighs & wings )

1 head garlic, cloves peeled, crushed

1/2 cup white vinegar ( my  brand is Silver Swan )

1/4 cup soy sauce (my brand is Silver Swan)

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon vegetable or corn oil

2-3 pcs Bay leaves

1. Place pork/ chicken, garlic, vinegar, soy sauce , bay leaves and pepper in a medium-size pot; let stand at room temperature 2 hours or better marinate overnight.Then  Cook slowly over low- heat in the same pot until pork is tender, about 30-45 minutes.

2. Heat oil in large skillet. Transfer pieces of garlic from the pot to the skillet; fry until brown. Add pork pieces to skillet; fry until brown. Drain. Add soy-vinegar broth to fried pork and garlic in skillet; simmer 10 minutes.Add salt if desired to suit your taste. You can garnish it with potatoes or pineapples  as desired.

3. Serve along with hot steamed white rice.

When you are in an interracial marriage, you took time to discover the things that could make your lives even closer ,just like for example cooking something for them. I am happy every time my husband devours Adobo as He is ecstatically glad when I devour Spekulaas, Gevuldekoek and Poffertjes.These Dutch threats that I fell in love from the first time I sunk my teeth on them. It really makes sense when you go an extra mile to put a smile into someone.

Do you have foreign dishes that you eventually got addicted to?Have you ever tried cooking your native dishes to your friends & love-ones?

 

Iranian Bread & Zubaidi Fish

 

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Warm & delicious Iranian Bread

If there’s anything that is a MUST in every Kuwaiti household for a weekly groceries,that is a bunch of Iranian Bread and Zubaidi fish (or Silver Pomfret).

While in Western culture ,the  bread ( loaf or any other type )  is the queen of every table and for Asians, it is rice, then here in Kuwait, this is every family’s staple. For  Kuwaitis, Iranian bread is as  almost as important as oil. They have eaten Iranian bread since they were born and start solids. Their grandfathers also did the same. Every morning after prayers, people dash to the Iranian bakeries and queue to get their stock. Since Kuwait became richer, maids and drivers now queue up instead, but still there are a lot of people waiting. They eat it with almost anything. With grilled fish, kebabs, chicken, hummus, tahini or just as it is. Its simply delicious.

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An Expat’s  favorite meal : Kebabs, shish tawook, Hummus, fries & Iranian Bread

The Kuwaiti nation eats also rice, and other things but you cannot compensate them with something else. I love Arabic bread (smaller pita bread or Kubz) that you can usually find in packs at the co-op). It’s very nice, but it cannot replace warm Iranian bread. Sometimes when I go to buy the bread, I eat one on the way back because it’s so warm and fresh and tasty, especially if you pay a bit extra like 5 fils and get sesame seeds on them. As an Expat, I have grown fond of eating this especially when its fresh and I used it to make home made shawerma. My Dutch husband taught me an very awesome trick to preserve breads, and that is putting it in the fridge and just take it out to defrost when I would like to eat it. It tastes as fresh as it was & surely, we don’t have stale & wasted bread anymore! This is how I preserve Iranian bread & Kubz.

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Local sightings : Local bakers using old-fashioned oven in making Iranian bread.

When I visit the Mubarakiya, I still see locals who make Iranian bread in a very old fashioned stone ovens. Normally you can find these small bakeries tucked in any governorate but mostly in nearby Co-op. One place I visited before was the one in Shamiya where I really love the taste of it. The smell and the sight of it is very interesting and every Expat should try this. Whenever you eat out in a restaurant ( or locally called as Matam ) they normally served hot & freshly baked Iranian bread along with any meal, while in any other fancy restaurant they also served different types of bread like the one we have tried in Leila’s ( a Lebanese restaurant ) which is more of hot  buns. I could finish the bread while waiting for our orders!

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Leila’s hot delicious hot buns
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A sumptous Zubaidi meal with rice

Although Kuwait is  abundant in all types of food, having a home cooked meal of Zubaidi & rice is always special. This very tasty fish with rice is often served in homes in the Arabian Gulf.  Zubaidi (Silver Pomfret) fish is Kuwait’s national fish that is local but can be found in the frozen section of many Middle Eastern or Asian shops. (You may have to degut them yourself). While some prefer to eat them with rice alone, others  make Kuwaiti Tomato Sauce (Dukkous Al-Tamat) to serve as an accompaniment.

Have you tried any Arabic  dish with Zubaidi or the Iranian Bread? How was your experience?

Read more on my Expat guides & tips in my Life as an Expat in Kuwait section and learn to embrace the Arabic culture to beat your culture shock.

Qout Market : More Than Just a Market

Have you’ve been to the Qout Market lately?

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When i read about Qout Market last year i was a bit skeptical about it. I thought it was just another event in Kuwait for people to see & be seen . Knowing how Kuwaitis love food, and the hundreds of restaurants in Kuwait, i thought this was another addition. I presumed that its just one of those  event that people gather to simply  socialize & have a legal excuse to eat & indulge. I was totally mistaken! I didn’t know that I was in for a big surprise this year because i had the chance to see it. Now i know why Qout Market is the face of modern culture of Kuwait. It’s amazing! Here’s Why ;

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The courtyard of Pearl Marzouk at its best for the Qout Market

” Nourishing the Mind as well as the Body”. 

Yes, you read that right. This is not just an ordinary  Market. It is a market with a cause, with passionate goals .This is the reason why Qout Market is probably one  of the best thing happening in Kuwait nowadays. Running now on its Third Season (November ~April )  Qout Market becomes Kuwait’s  most-awaited event that redefined its  culinary diversity within the local community. This is by far the strength within this concept that created such a Buzz and nationwide patronage among the Locals, Expat community & visitors. Nourishing the mind as well as the Body is just one of their initiatives in their 2nd season . This group of farmers, Craftsmen & Women, Food & Culinary Enthusiasts gather together to create a perfect setting for locals and visitors to enjoy a cozy atmosphere together.

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“The Amazing Flavor of Diversity “

So many yummy and delicious threats to feast your eyes on. From pastries, Homemade breads, pies, cakes and goodies are arrayed in catchy tables that will leave you confused enough to choose. Do you want an organic Ice cream? The Vermilion ice cream Or you just want to haul from the locally-produced veggies & fruits? There is so much diversity that caters to all appetite. If you are on a Kuwaiti spin of an Eggs Benedict that will make your taste buds sing, you will for sure not go home dissapointed after a visit in Qout Market.

My attention was caught by the amazing Booth of Flame Candles. They have these beautiful hand made candles displayed on their stand. With its unique shapes and intricate designs, it’s for sure a head turner. If you want to add your collection of a one of a kind carved candles and totally hand made, you  check them out on your next visit to Qout Market.

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Flame Candles

Qout Market  kicked off this season with their  wonderful choice of venue. Particularly  right now located in Pearl Marzouk, a legend and iconic architecture beacon of Kuwait. A visit to Qout Market is indeed not to be missed if you want to take a peek of this beautiful architecture.

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Little Miss N sitting pretty & enjoying the Qout Market

My daughter Natalie who excitedly walked around & immediately smitten by the beautiful outdoor feel of the Market. The place is packed with beautiful people from different nationalities. I though for a minute that i was in a festival in Europe since i see a total modern look that is not so typical in Kuwait. The outdoor seating was filled with gorgeous people chatting while enjoying the traditional Kuwaiti sounds and performance. If you are a newcomer to Kuwait, this might be a threat for you. There is a fusion of Culture. Beautiful flowers & fresh market produced adds the organic feel to the overall mood . I recognized the big vase full of gorgeous Dancing Ladies immediately as soon as I entered the courtyard.

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Dancing Ladies

For a touch of Kuwaiti Culture, the booth of the Al-Sadu Arts & Crafts demurely displays its beautiful textiles and woven bags, wallets,traditional camel rags,wall hangings and other furnishing items. I always find it fascinating that Kuwait is so passionate about promoting the cultural & their Textile Heritage. There are more Arts & Crafts booths where you can see talented Artists showcased their masterpieces like accessories, gems, & paintings.I didn’t know that this country has a pool of talented artists!

What I loved about the Qout Market is that it’s a total Family thing. Its not just for single women or men. Families with their kids can toddle around them. They have a Kids Zone for the Little Ones. As an Expat, it is very important to feel welcomed in community such as this. Its very heartwarming to know also to see that Kuwait has a lot to offer and has a rich culture to share.

When we visited the Market, it was late in the afternoon so as expected, the car park was already jam packed. It was a bit crowded inside and not much seating is available since the it was already a full house. You can really feel the warm vibes among the crowd. Fun, food,music, conversations & more smiles stands out . There is this Celebrate Kuwait feeling all around.The event was well organized and put up and people leaving the place already looking forward for the next event.

If you love food, organic produce and the whole concept of outdoor market like this, then don’t waste the chance to have this kind of experience.I  highly recommend for you to check out Qout Market’s next event on March 5, Saturday.Its conveniently located in Pearl Marzouk, just a stones throw away from the side of Scientific Center in Salmiya.

Or if you are interested to join the Qout Market you can browse more on their Website and join the fun!

7 Arabic Foods I have learned to Love

When i moved to Kuwait 8 years ago , one of the culture shock I’ve faced is the Food . Like for example , I have never seen a Kubz in my life before , or a Tahini , Kofta and Samossa but seeing it here almost everyday have really transformed my food preferences &  taste buds . I have come to love the  authentic Arabic flavors and the aroma that comes with it .

There are so many delicious food to choose from , but these 7 Arabic foods have become my instant favorites &  that  have learned to love them , and  on sidenote ; this post makes me hungry !

 

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Fattoush Salad

1.Fattoush Salad – I discovered Fattoush by accident , it’s one of those times i don’t know what to order but i wanna try it  and since then ,this is my favorite salad .Fattoush is a delicious salad made from toasted or fried pieces of pita  bread  (khubz ‘arabi) combined with various greens and other veggies  such as radish and tomatoes. Fattoush includes vegetables and herbs according to season and taste. The vegetables are cut into relatively large pieces .

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Shish Tawouk

2.Shish Taouk -This is a traditional  Arabic marinated chicken .Normally comes either as a sandwich or on a platter with some salad, sometimes with french fries or rice . The Turkish version is generally served with rice, yogurt, and skewer-grilled vegetables. My favorite was  with Toum (a garlic paste sauce), or Hummus.

 

 

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Chicken Biryani

 3.Biryani-If i am really hungry , then i could really devour a Biryani . This hearthy dish is typically Indian but here in Kuwait you can find so many variations of this. I love the mix of the traditional spices , rice & the meat /chicken . It’s really a must in big celebrations here.

 

 

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Shawerma

4. Shawerma -With hundreds of Shawarma food outlets here , everyone has their own version of this famous Arabian dish . I consider this as Arabic version of Hamburgers . My favorite ones are from the quaint restaurant Wadi Rum & Kurdo . They’re so good and reasonably priced .It’s  really an all around to-go food!

 

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Falafel

5. Falafel – The first time I saw Falafel ,i thought they are  fried Kiwi fruit !Falafel is tasty  & delicious  deep fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas , Fava beans  or both. Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern food. It commonly served in a Pita which acts as a pocket, or wrapped in a flatbread . This can be enjoyed as toppings to salad or an appetizer .

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Kebab Sandwich

6.Kebabs – Kebabs are typical Arabic food made from either chicken , beef , and other regular kebab platters which is usually served with french fries ,grilled tomatoes ,hummus & other dips . Almost every joint in Kuwait has a Kebab diner .Most of them offers home delivery & take away .

 

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Uhm Ali

7.Uhm Ali – Uhm Ali is my favorite Arabic dessert .Umm ali (Ali’s Mother) is a scrumptious dessert originated from Egypt. It can be served with a  dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on top.  After a big meal ,It’s always great to finish up with this delicious dessert . I like the one loaded with pistachio and served warm .

 

 

What about you ? Do you have any liking on Arabic foods ? How was your experience ?

Thank you for stopping by !