Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Kourtney Kardashian's Avocado Pudding

Kourtney Kardashian's Avocado Pudding

After almost a year of hiatus, I wanted to share a simple recipe that I've been making so much lately. Advocado pudding. The recipe is from Kourtney Kardashian's lifestyle website Poosh.

Yes, I watch the Kardashians.

Anyway, this recipe is so delicious! Kourtney Kardashian says "you either love it, or hate it". Since I'm not the biggest avocado-lover, I expected to hate it. But it is sooo good!

You can make variantions with the plant-based milk. I've tried almond, rice, coconut-milk. But unsweetened almond milk is my favorite with this recipe because almonds have a natural sweetness that really goes well with avocado.

It's super delicious and super healthy. Did you know one avocado has 3 times more potassium than a banana? Avocados are a superfood! They are brimming with essential nutrients. Which is why I'm so glad I came across this recipe because I don't eat them enough otherwise.

Try the recipe and let me know what you think!


Avocado Pudding: Poosh

- 1 avocado
- 1 cup of coconut milk, or other plant-based milk
- 2 tablespoons of honey

Peel and pit the avocado. Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth.

Kourtney Kardashian's Avocado Pudding

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

How Has Your Year Been?

 Dear readers,

I know, I know. I haven't written in a while.

Let me explain why, with where I last left off: the first 2,5 months of this year I was crazy busy, next to my full-time job, planning our wedding. You can imagine that takes some time.

Mid-way March, the corona-virus was getting closer and closer to home (the Netherlands). It had already spread to Europe, and Italy was in complete lock-down. At the time I thought we were lucky it did not reach us. But it did...

As it reached you.

Three weeks before our wedding (our wedding was planned on April 11th), we made the heartbreaking decision to postpone our wedding because my American relatives couldn't travel from the U.S. to the Netherlands. At that time, they were still allowed to travel, but my dad is an emergency room doctor in New York and couldn't possibly leave as the virus had reached NY in full swing.

One week after postponing the wedding and informing all of our guests, the Netherlands went in complete lockdown. Thankfully, we both have jobs where we can't work from home, so for us the coming few months seemed somewhat normal.

We postponed our wedding to September, thinking (back in March), that was more than enough time for everything to turn back to normal and give us some time to start planning again. Also, we love the month September because we got engaged on September 5th.

Who would have thought this would drag on still today? (obviously people who study infectious diseases)

I hope you all are well. That you are safe, healthy, with an income, and that your loved ones are still well. Things we took for granted a year ago.

As for me, of course I have endured the effects of the pandemic with friends, family members, and co-workers falling ill. But I am well.

And we did get married.

On September 5th 2020, exactly 2 years after our engagement, we said "I do" in Maastricht.

Unfortunately, a lot of our family and friends weren't able to make it. My dad can't travel from the U.S.. Nor my brothers who live there. But we had a lovely day. An intimate, small ceremony and a dinner afterwards. We are looking to celebrate it again once all of this is over.

Wedding Opreij

The last few weeks, my hands have been itching to start blogging again. I have missed it immensely. The baking, the writing, connecting with people all over the world online. I wish I had more time to do it. But I will start again, slowly. Fall is such a wonderful season to bake.

So stay tuned for the upcoming recipes and news!

Much love,


Wednesday, December 18, 2019

The Best Christmas Dessert Recipes!

Hi there jolly folks,

It's that time of year again for the best Christmas dessert/cookie recipes!

Have a very merry, happy, & cosy Christmas everybody!

Enjoy my favorite Christmas recipes:


Santa's Brownies

Cream Puff Cake


Baci di Ricotta


Colored Christmas Spice Cookies

Red Velvet Christmas Cupcakes

Christmas Peppermint Mocha Fudge

Chocolate Marshmallow Surprise Cookies

Chocolate Marshmallow Surprise Cookies

Swirled Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mickey Mouse Cookies

Almond Crescent Cookies

Pepernoten and Advocaat Liqueur


Chocolate - Rum Christmas Cupcakes


Snowflake & Candy Cane Cupcakes


Chocolate Christmas Cookies by Nigella Lawson


Home-Made Christmas Gift

Ultimate Ginger Cookies

Ultimate Ginger Cookies

Santa's Trash Cookies

Santa's Trash Cookies

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Homemade Pretzel Bread

Homemade Pretzel Bread

One of my recent cravings are pretzels. There's a chain-bakery across my work (I say chain-bakery because it's not a very good chain bakery), and the only thing I really like from them are their pretzels. So once I week (I only allow myself once a week), usually on Monday, I get a pretzel for lunch.

I was watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians, and they mentioned pretzel bread. Pretzel BREAD? I thought to myself. I immediately went in search for a pretzel bread recipe and it didn't seem that hard to make. You only have to rise the dough once, and the dough is cooked in a baking soda bath. Which might seem daunting, but I assure you it's pretty easy.

The pretzel bread came out great! Dense, soft, chewy, and very salty - I think I added a little too much salt for effect. It's been a few weeks since I made this bread, but typing about it now makes we wanna have a pretzel again!

Taste: 4.5 out of 5
Consistency: 4 out of 5
Overall appeal: 4 out of 5

Homemade Pretzel Bread

Homemade Pretzel Bread: Joy Food Sunshine

Pretzel Bread Dough
2 ¼ tsp yeast
1 cup warm water 105-110 degrees F
2 TBS whole milk
3 TBS brown sugar
4 TBS butter melted
1 tsp sea salt
3 cups all-purpose flour

Baking Soda Bath
4 quarts water
½ cup baking soda

1-2 TBS coarse sea salt
2 TBS butter melted

Combine yeast, water, and brown sugar in the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the dough hook. Let stand for 5 minutes (until foamy).
While yeast is proofing…melt butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Mix in milk and set aside.
Once yeast is proofed, add milk/butter to yeast mixture and mix on low speed with dough hook until just combined.

Add salt and flour and mix with dough hook until flour is fully incorporated.
Knead in a mixer until the dough forms a slightly tacky, but firm ball, you may need to add a little more flour 1 TBS at a time, but be careful, you want your dough a little tacky but not too sticky to handle.
Oil a large bowl, place the dough ball in the bowl, and cover with a damp towel in a warm place to let rise for one hour or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. When the water is boiling, slowly add the baking soda a little bit at a time (Be careful not to add too much at once or you will have a baking soda/water explosion)!
Remove the dough from the bowl and gently press out the air bubbles.

Make two balls of dough the same size (NOTE: The total weight of the dough comes out to be about 800 g, so each loaf should weigh about 400 g), forming them into the shape you want (Do not let it rise at all here! Straight from forming the ball into the water).
Drop one of the balls into the boiling baking soda water. Boil for 60-90 seconds on each side, turning it once to guarantee both sides covered. Drain the excess water from the dough and place it on an oiled baking sheet.

Immediately sprinkle coarse sea salt over the bread to your specific tastes, and use a knife to cut a small "X" on the top of the bread.
Repeat with second ball of dough. (Do not let it rise at all here! Straight from boiling into the oven).
Bake the bread for 22-25 minutes, rotating the baking sheet once.
Once removed from the oven, immediately brush the melted butter over the loaves to guarantee a soft crust. Transfer to a wire rack to cool just enough to enjoy!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Maple Brown Sugar Cookies

Maple Brown Sugar Cookies

As I enjoy these last days of September and last rays of sun, I am gearing up to start on Fall baking. First stop: Maple Brown Sugar Cookies. Whenever I read a food blog and the author writes "best thing I've ever made", my attention heightens. What would be your "best thing you've ever made?" I honestly couldn't name just one recipe, but I definitely know a few go-to recipes that never fail me.

'Sally's Baking Addiction' writes that these are the best cookies she's ever made. I was so curious, I tried the recipe, and they are amazing! Such an easy Fall baking recipe. The cookies were so flavorful, that I omitted the icing on the cookies. I don't like things too sugary. Yes, I said it. You probably thought I have a sugar addiction, didn't you? Be noticed that the dough needs to be chilled for 2 hours so plan in that extra time.

Maple Brown Sugar Cookies

Taste: 5 out of 5
Consistency: 5- out of 5
Overall appeal: 5- out of 5

Maple Brown Sugar Cookies: Sally's Baking Addiction

- 2 and 1/3 cups (290g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (115g; 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) packed dark brown sugar*
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup (80ml) pure maple syrup*
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon maple extract*
- 1 cup (130g) chopped pecans*

Maple icing:
- 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup (80ml) pure maple syrup
- 1 cup (112g) sifted confectioners’ sugar*
- pinch salt, to taste

- Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar together on medium speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Add the egg and beat on high until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the maple syrup, vanilla extract, and maple extract, then beat on high speed until combined.
- Pour the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, then mix on low until combined. Add the pecans, then beat on low speed until combined. Dough will be creamy and soft.
- Cover and chill the dough for 2 hours in the refrigerator (and up to 3-4 days). If chilling for longer than a few hours, though, allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before rolling and baking because the dough will be quite hard.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
- Roll cookie dough into balls, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough per cookie. This cookie scoop is helpful. Bake each batch for 12-13 minutes until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look very soft.
- Remove from the oven. If your warm cookies look puffy, lightly bang the pan on the counter when you remove it from the oven. That will help slightly deflate the cookies, creating lovely cracks as you see in the pictured cookies. Cool cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make the icing: In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and maple syrup together, whisking occasionally. Once the butter has melted, remove from heat and whisk in the sifted confectioners’ sugar. Taste. Add a pinch of salt, if desired. Drizzle over cooled cookies. Icing will set after about 1 hour.
- Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Maple Brown Sugar Cookies

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

You vote. I bake!

I think that used to be my motto when I started this blog over 10 years ago. Back then, I had a new voting poll every week! It's actually quite hard to come up with 3 new recipes every time. This morning I tried to find 3 recipes that I wanted to try out. But I found a recipe for "Pretzel Bread", and I honestly don't even want to put it in a poll because I'm afraid it will not win! I want to bake that pretzel bread!

Anywho, I'm so glad the Irish Soda Bread won the poll because I've been wanting to bake one for ages! Every year when St. Patrick's Day comes around, I think to myself "I should make an Irish Soda Bread". I'm fascinated because of the name: Irish? Soda bread? I still haven't figured out if and why it's an Irish recipe, but the recipe uses soda, so hence, Soda Bread.

Irish Soda Bread

I love baking yeasted breads, but I like making a quick bread because it cuts time in thirds. Ina Garten uses dried currants in her recipe, which I substituted for dried cranberries because currants are not available in the Netherlands, and substituted the oranges zest for lemon zest. The bread came out as this wonderfully yellow colored loaf with red cranberries. I skipped buying bakery bread for the last few days and eaten this Irish Soda Bread with cheddar cheese. Such a nice lunch-recipe.

Irish Soda Bread

Taste: 4 out of 5
Consistency: 4.5 out of 5
Overall appeal: 4.5 out of 5

Irish Soda Bread: Ina Garten

4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
1¾ cups cold buttermilk, shaken
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 cup dried currants

- Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour.
- With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk, egg, and orange zest together in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Combine the currants with one tablespoon of flour and mix into the dough. It will be very wet.
- Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times into a round loaf. Place the loaf on the prepared sheet pan and lightly cut an X into the top of the bread with a serrated knife. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. When you tap the loaf, it will have a hollow sound.
- Cool on a baking rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Irish Soda Bread

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Vote for which bread I should bake next!

You can't call yourself a baker, if you don't bake your own bread every now and then - I've been told.
So for my culinary self-image, this is obligatory and I need your help on deciding which option to go for.
I'm leaning towards an Irish soda bread, because I've never made one before.

panel management

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Lemon Pie

Lemon Pie

My last recipe was 2 months ago. I was on a baking failure streak that lasted for months. I have thrown out so many bad recipes that resulted in bad food. I've thrown out a carrot cake, lemon - poppyseed cake, sugar cookies... the list goes on. This is the down-side of internet recipes; they are easy accessible but can be real failures!

I was seriously started to doubt internet recipes and myself as a baker when I stumbled upon a delicious looking lemon pie on Instagram. Can I just say that Instagram is the new Google?! I come across so much baking-inspiration through Instagram. This recipe is from a blog called "Live Well Bake Often".

It features a homemade Graham cracker crust, creamy lemon pie filling made out of condensed milk. I substituted the Graham crackers for Dutch bastonje-koeken, because Graham crackers are only available in the US. By the way, I'm hearing that some Dutchies have trouble finding condensed milk in Dutch grocery stores, but I always buy them at Albert Heijn. They have two kinds, and are usually found in foreign food sections.

Lemon Pie

This lemon pie is tangy and sour, yet sweet. The taste reminds me of a key lime pie. It's an overnight recipe, so it's great to make it for a dinner party. I'm taking it with me to work tomorrow because it's very filling and very large. I would say it feeds about 12 people.

I'm so happy it turned out great! I really needed a home-run recipe for my confidence. Also, I haven't made a pie recipe in years. The taste of the lemon pie reminds me of eating pies on my vacations in the States.

Lemon Pie

Taste: 5 out of 5
Consistency: 5 out of 5
Overall appeal: 5 out of 5

Lemon Pie: Live Well Bake Often

For the graham cracker crust:
- 1 and 1/2 cups (180 grams) graham cracker crumbs, 11-12 full sheets of graham crackers
- 1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

For the lemon pie filling:
- 1 cup (240 ml) fresh lemon juice (about 5 large lemons)
- 2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
- 5 large egg yolks

- Whipped topping or homemade whipped cream (I always use homemade whipped cream)

To make the graham cracker crust:
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a mixing bowl and mix until well combined. Add the melted butter and stir until fully combined and all of the crumbs are moistened.
- Scoop the mixture into a 9-9.5 inch pie plate and firmly press it down into an even layer on the bottom and up around the sides of the dish.
- Bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes or until the crust is lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes while you make the filling.
- Keep oven temperature at 350°F.

To make the lemon pie filling:
- Combine the lemon juice, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolks in a large mixing bowl and whisk until fully combined.
- Pour the filling into the slightly cooled graham cracker crust and spread it around into one even layer.
- Bake at 350°F for 18-22 minutes or until the top of the pie is set, the pie will still be jiggly.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature for about 2 hours. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 5-6 hours or overnight. Once chilled, top with whipped cream, serve and enjoy!

Lemon Pie