Sunday, 3 March 2013


Anybody who knows me, knows I'm a sucker for cookery books. As my collection is expanding and expanding I lean towards those that have a story to tell, or those which have pretty pictures. If there is just 2 or 3 recipes I want to try and the rest looks appetizing to just look at, I'm happy with the book. I can be fed on eye candy alone :). As I live in Italy and as my Italian is not good enough to buy books in Italian, I rely on Amazon's reviews by other people and the bookpreview etc. The first Hummingbird Bakery book was not received too well. There were too many people complaining about incorrectnesses. The second was received quite a bit better I thought. For prettiness they get an A from me. Pretty pictures, pretty lay out. There were indeed 2 or 3 recipes I wanted to try. One of them was the Pistachio Loaf. I'm so happy I tried it. I was very curious as to whether I would like it or not. Pistachio nuts can be a little bit of a hit or miss. Especially in savory dishes it can easily become too much. And in sweet dishes I've really only tasted it in icecream, although that is without fail the taste I always choose when I go for Italian gelato.

Pistachio Loaf

Pistachio Loaf

Pistachio Loaf

Pistachio Loaf

Recipe Adapted from Cake Days

For Sponge
190gr unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
190gr selfraising flour
190gr brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 tsp salt
50ml soured cream
1 tsp vanilla essence
100gr shelled pistachios, roughly chopped

For the glaze
120gr icing sugar
40gr ground pistachios, roughly chopped
2 tbsp water

1 rectangular loaf tin

Preheat oven to 170C
Grease the Loaf tin with butter and lay a piece of greaseproof paper. I always put one piece which covers the longer sides and bottom. Not necessarily the shorter sides. Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add one egg at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add nuts, soured cream and vanilla essence to the mixture. Make sure it's well incorporated, but not necessary to mix thoroughly. Fold in sifted flour and salt into mixture. Put batter into loaf tin and then bake 55-60 min in oven. Allow to cool in tin for 5 min. Turn out on to a wire rack, when cooled down completely add the glaze, which is the water and icing sugar mixed together till a runny paste. If necessary add a little more water at a time. Sprinkle pistachios over it.


Saturday, 2 March 2013

Accidentally fallen chicken

I remember a holiday when I was much younger where we went to Austria (although the picture below was taken in France, it was around the same time. I am the youngest in the front). If I think carefully, really the only thing I can remember from that trip is the Wiener Schnitzels we ate. They were so delicious. Becoming older I realise it is a dish which is popular in many countries. In Japan it is called Tonkatsu, when we moved to Italy it is a typical regional dish of Milan called Cotoletta alla Milanese. Having children of my own, it is not surprising it is one of their favorite dishes. Of course it has been made popular in a slightly less healthy chicken nuggets. Less healthy because of the processed meat. I like to make my own version with chicken. Especially my daughter likes this dish a lot. This was before we had moved to Italy, so if asked for a name I would call it Wiener Schnitzel, but with chicken. One day, my daughter was 7 at the time. She first asked me what went in the dish. Then she asked me how somebody had invented this dish. I thought I didn't have a clue, and as I wondered that it is the same question I ask about a lot of dishes, especially cakes. How come somebody thought it would be tasty to beat eggs for 10 minutes add some flower, melted butter and sugar, bake it for a certain amount of time and it would become a delicious cake. Anyway as I contemplated these things, my daughter came with her own answer.

I think once there was a blind man. He wanted to cook some chicken, but he accidentally knocked some flour over it. Followed by some egg (I hadn't told her it needs to be beaten first) and then some breadcrumbs. He then just cooked this like that and it was so delicious.


So ever since whenever the kids ask me what's for dinner. If we are having this dish, I say Accidentally fallen chicken. Although of course technically according to my daughter's story it wasn't the chicken that accidentally fell.

Accidentally fallen chicken
So the recipe:
Chicken 5 chicken breasts
1 cup flour
3 large or 4 medium eggs, beaten
Breadcrumbs 1,5 cup

Slice chicken breast in halves. Flatten the chicken breasts with a "spiked kitchen hammer" If you don't have one of these, a kitchen roller will do. The reason to flatten is, is that it tenderizes the chicken and because it is flat, it will cook easier and more evenly. Coat it with flour. Put it through the beaten egg. Make sure it coats all over. Then put it through the breadcrumbs. Preheat the pan. Make sure it's hot then put the chicken in and put it on a medium fire, so the chicken cooks through thoroughly. Cook till cooked through and it has a nice brown coating.

Enjoy, will feed 5

I quite like it with rice of potatoes and beans



Friday, 1 March 2013

Cookery beginnings

Kaas and Kimchi

I already have a blog, but I've had the idea to write a cookbook for a long time. I thought it would be nice to have all the recipes in a seperate blog. I've named it Kaas and Kimchi. I was born in Korea. If you think Korea and food, the first thing that should pop up in your head is Kimchi. It's the national dish. One can survive as long as one has rice and kimchi is a saying in Korea. My husband is Dutch. Think of food and Holland (the Netherlands to be politically correct) and you'll think of cheese. Gouda, Edam, Dutch hard cheese. We have three beautiful children (as a mom I have the prerogative to brag) and they were all born in countries where English is spoken. That is why I put the "and" in English, but left the Kaas in Dutch. I contemplated to put the Kimchi in Hangul, but I thought that might be a bit too difficult to read for most.


My husband came up with the title and when he did it brought back memories of real kaas and kimchi. When I was younger if we were a little peckish, this would be something which would be a favorite for us to eat. The combination is not an apparent one, but it melts in the mouth. A simpler snack than this would be hard to find. Just take a bit of cheese, it can be a slice or you can cut them in small blocks. Add some kimchi and enjoy.