Friday, February 25, 2011

Bronwen counting

She's been counting for a while but she stops everytime I pull out the camera to capture it of course.  She can also count in Spanish and is learning to count in Dutch with me.  She switches to Dutch after "15" in this cute!  We are so proud of our little smarty pants! 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Je T'Aime Paris

We just back and I'm beat so I won't write much for now.  I just wanted to get some pictures out because I think they're pretty awesome:)  We had a great time!!!


Arc de Triumph

Champs Elysees/Louvre

Eiffel Tower in the foggy distance

Always running!

Alex's first visit to a Parisian cafe

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The North Sea

We went for a drive to the ocean since I hadn't seen it yet and I was craving the smell of salty air. We didn't use a map, just headed in the general direction and figured we hit it eventually. Along the way we stopped in a town called De Haan where we found this great little pastry shop with beautiful desserts. We bought a few sinful snacks and then loaded up in the car to continue on to the ocean. I took Bronwen's shoes off so she could take a little nap and about 1 1/2 minutes later we were there-ha ha! Turns out De Haan is a coastal town and we were already at the beach. It was a huge beach, reminded me of ocean shores, WA with big sand dunes. We beached combed for a little bit but it was freezing so we didn't stay long. There were these interesting shells, they looked like long, square-ish clam shells. I thought maybe the marine biologists in my family might be able to identify them from the picture. The important question is "are they good eat'n?"

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

This week's pictures...

Alexander in his University of Florida gear (Uncle Todd's favorite team).  Thanks Aunt Lorie!

Bronwen's first "Boxbury" house

Citadel Park

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Seafood Pastilla & other Moroccan dishes

Our friends, Sofie and Joris went to Morocco a few years ago and while there they spent a day with their hotel chef learning how to prepare several Moroccan dishes.  Sofie made these recipes for us on New Year’s and what an amazing Moroccan meal it was!  I finally tried making the seafood pastilla and it turned out delicious but not so pretty.  I think with practice I’ll improve.  The great thing is you can prepare it the day before which is great for entertaining, especially considering I used about 6 pots and pans.   I also made the eggplant rolls and goat cheese briouates (they are supposed to be triangles but I never was good at geometry).  I used brick dough or feuilles de brick which is difficult to find in the US so I’ve read that filo dough works really well too.  Also, I found a blog with a video demonstration for making the pastilla which I found very helpful having never made them before.  I hope this blog intrigues someone enough to try these recipes. 

Pastilla video link:

Steaming the cod & shrimp

Mise en place

The critic.

eggplant rolls

Goat cheese briouates with a fig & port wine sauce.

The recipes:

(I've included my recipe which varies only slightly from the original and I translated it with google translate so the language may be a bit strange...)

Seafood Pastilla:

Steam the fish with the lemon piece in 5 to 10 minutes until tender.

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the crushed garlic with the lemon juice, parsley, salt, pepper, ginger powder, pepper and the spicy sauce. Remove the pan from the heat and add the steamed fish (in pieces), the tomato sauce and olives.

Soak the glass noodles in hot water for 5 minutes, verknip into smaller strands and add to the fish mixture.

Put some oil in a roasting pan and place the first sheet of dough in it. Transfer the fish mixture in the middle, sprinkle with 1/2 of the grated cheese and add tomato sauce and any remaining at. Fold the dough around the mixture and close brush with a little oil. Now lay the second pastry sheet on top and fold the pastilla closed downward. Lubricate again with a little oil and bake in the preheated oven until the pastilla golden.

100-200 g white fish (I used cod)
1 lemon (sliced)
4 clove garlic
1 tsp Harissa ( I didn’t have)
1 / 2 tsp salt
½ green pepper
1 tsp fresh ginger (grated)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsps lemon juice
3 tbsp tomato sauce (see recipe tomato sauce)
glass noodles (rice noodles)
handful of chopped green olives
2 sheets pastilladeeg / pastilla (brick dough)/filo dough
2-3 tbsp shredded cheese (I used Gruyere & Gouda)

Moroccan salads:

Tomato sauce:
1 can (400g) crushed tomatoes
3 cloves garlic diced
1 tsp Salt
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
4 tbsp olive oil
1 mild green pepper

Peel the tomatoes and cut into large chunks. Add the garlic, spices and oil and cook over medium heat, simmer 5 to 10. Meanwhile, fire the head of the green pepper and put it in a black plastic bag. Once the pepper has cooled, the skin very easily removed. Also remove the seeds and use water, because then the taste is lost. Cut the pepper into 1 inch cubes and set aside.

Crush the tomatoes with a wooden spoon and add the parsley, let simmer a little and take the pan off the heat and the most liquid has evaporated.

The base of this sauce is now ready and can be used in recipes for eggplant rolls and pastilla.
Eggplant Rolls:
2 small eggplants
Sunflower oil
Basic tomato sauce

Peel the eggplants and cut them lengthwise into slices ½ inch. Fry the slices in oil until golden brown. Put a little tomato sauce in each slice and roll up. Just before serving, heat a little.

Number of sheets brick dough (same dough as pastilla)
Soft cheese (kiri, goat cheese ...)
Spicy sauce
Sunflower oil

Cut the dough into strips of 3-4 cm. Mash the cheese with the sauce and add a little of the mixture on each strip. Fold diagonally into triangles, using a wide strip of dough per Briouats. Bake in a pan with the briouates much sunflower oil or frietpot.

Other versions: minced meat (bake with onion, parsley and spicy sauce) or chicken leftovers.

Can be frozen.