Butternut Squash Cakes with Ras El Hanout and Pistachios

When I used to tell people I lived in London (and then in Rome), people would tend to squeal in excitement and tell me how lucky I was. Now that I live in Brussels, I don’t get quite the same reaction when I tell others where I live. Brussels is a good place to live, but it is certainly not the most exciting capital city Europe has to offer (heck it isn’t even the most exciting city Belgium as a country has to offer). Yet after growing up in Germany and having lived in a tiny village in Austria, London and Rome, there are plenty of things I really appreciate about Brussels. Rents are low, the city is very walkable, there are plenty of green spaces and the airport is within easy reach from the city centre. But you know the best part about living in Brussels? The markets. Sure, I used to go to the farmer’s market in London

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Lemon Curd and Pinenut Bakewell Tarts – Goes Well With Coffee – 4th Edition

My company’s London office is snuck right between St Paul’s and City Thameslink Station. While the options for lunch (Leon, Pret a Manger, Pod, Crush etc) are pretty much the same as for most of Central London, the office has the benefit of being close to a number of decent coffee places. One cafe I had been meaning to try for a while is Alchemy Coffee. So when I found myself working in our London office a few months ago on a rather hot September day, I decided to make a little detour on my way back from lunch and stop by Alchemy Coffee to get an iced cold brew coffee with milk. Cold brew coffee, which is typically made by steeping coffee grounds overnight in cold water (straining the coffee grounds before serving), has been around for a while now but over the last 12 months or so, cold brew coffee suddenly became trendy and sales really took off

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Chickpea Flour Gingersnap Cookies

I started back at work this week and as things have been quieter than expected these past few days, I have had some time to think about the year ahead. While I used to be a firm believer that New Year’s resolutions were a waste of time (and, in the case of gym memberships signed up for on 1 January, likely a waste of money too), the older I get, the more benefit I see in them. I am all in favour of exercising regularly, feeding yourself nourishing food with the odd feast thrown in for special occasions and generally being kind to ourselves and others, but I also know that life has a habit of making all these good habits rather difficult to keep at times (whether through stress in the workspace or at home). These days, I embrace the New Year as an opportunity to take stock of where I am in my life and where I want to be

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Miso Teacakes with Buckwheat and Kinako Graham Crackers

  Food envy is real and it starts early. For me, it started in primary school. Looking back, I am not sure what I thought I was missing but whenever I caught a glance of the contents of my classmate Victoria’s lunchbox, I was green with envy. Instead of sandwiches made with thick slices of wholemeal sourdough bread, her sandwiches were made with white bread rolls, a once in a while weekend treat at our house. In place of the small Cox apples my mum picked up at the weekly apple stand just around the corner from our paediatrician’s office, Victoria’s lunchbox had candy bars. For Victoria, lunch was washed down with Capri sun orange juice instead of my homemade ice tea (half fruit tea, half apple juice).  At my primary school swapping lunch boxes wasn’t really a thing, but I certainly came very close to considering it when Victoria brought in a sandwich that took my food envy to

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Chocolate Chip Cookies with Chickpea Flour

Chickpea flour, also known as gram flour or garbanzo bean flour, is nothing other than dried chickpeas ground to a flour-like powder. It’s been a pantry staple of mine ever since I discovered what the Italians call ‘farinata’ – thick, pancake like slabs of chickpea flour batter, flavoured with rosemary and salt and that have been cooked (well, practically deep-fried given the amount of oil used) at a high temperature on well-oiled baking trays. Street food at its finest (and simplest). Chickpea flour is also great to have on hand when making veggie burgers as it helps absorb excess moisture. And, chickpea flour is a nutrition powerhouse, containing at least double the amount of protein than regular wheat flour while being rich in vitamin B6, iron, magnesium and potassium. Why should you care you ask? Because baking chocolate chip cookies with chickpea flour yields what are possibly the most delicious chocolate chip cookies ever (and that just happen to be gluten-free). Moreish,

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Cherry Crumble with Orange Blossom Water and Mahlab

    After a month of plenty of work I was particularly excited about a short trip to London last weekend. Staying with my sister Helena in her little cottage overlooking the Regent’s Canal always feels a little bit like going home and I had carefully scheduled my entire weekend to be able to see as many friends as physically possible in a 48h window while at the same time trying to visit at least a handful of new cafes, restaurants and bars in London. Yet in the end, my weekend in London lasted 5 days and turned out rather differently from what I had planned. When I woke up on Friday morning I noticed a slight rash on my face and upper body. A quick trip to the pharmacy during my lunch break confirmed my initial suspicion – according to the pharmacist I was likely having an allergic reaction to something. I picked up a light anti-histamine and eventually made

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Kinako, Sesame and Muscovado Financiers

While some people seem to struggle to get their head around Japanese sweets, I fell head over heels in love with mochi, matcha and black sesame anything and everything when Alessandro and I went to Japan 5 years ago.  Unlike matcha or black sesame, kinako was never the star of any of the sweet confections we tried yet it was still present, dusted over glutinous rice flour dumplings or ice cream, adding a deliciously nutty flavour. Kinako, better known as roasted soybean flour outside of Japan, means ‘yellow flour’ in Japanese and that is exactly what it looks like.  It is made by pulverizing roasted and skinned yellow soya beans (although you can also buy kinako made from whole soya beans).  Apparently you can also buy kinako made from green soya beans which has a greenish hue.  Although you can make your own kinako, it is much easier to pick up a small bag at a Japanese supermarket (especially as

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