Belgetarian Dinner Party

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Belgetarian Dinner Party

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 while back I was contacted by the wonderful Julie from Why Not Monday to host a dinner party together. Not just any dinner party, but a Belgetarian dinner party! Carrefour had contacted Julie to cook a lovely meal with local, Belgian products, and she in her turn thought we could maybe host it in my home. As I love entertaining very much, I didn’t hesitate one second and told her I’d love to join in on the fun.
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Dairy free Blood Orange & Meringue dessert

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Elisabeth chocolatier Brussels

When Stephanie invited me to a lovely food workshop with Belgian chocolatier Elisabeth, I was a bit torn. I’ve never really discussed this on the blog, but I’ve had myself tested for food intolerances for over two years ago, and since then, I’ve been following a diet without dairy, chocolate, tomato and peppers. I made the decision after years of stomach problems, and instead of trying to fix the situation only by taking medication, I wanted to change something at the base of my problem.

Elisabeth chocolatier Brussels

So I signed up for yoga to help me calm down and de-stress, and I committed to those dietary restrictions. I’m proud to say that till this day, I’ve stuck to both my yoga practice and my diet. I’ve even stuck to it so well that my doctor informed me recently he no longer found any reactions from my body to tomatoes and peppers, so I was quite happy to discover they could go back on the menu. My stomach will always be my weak spot, but I’m definitely pleased that I’m no longer nauseous 90% of the time.

Elisabeth chocolatier Brussels

Ok back to the point. I told Stephanie that sadly, I had to pass on this offer for this reason, but she happily informed me that Elisabeth offers far more than only chocolates and they would be happy to provide me with some suitable options. Now we’re talking! And I thought it might be interesting to share these experiences from my point of view.

Elisabeth chocolatier Brussels

I was happy to discover the wide options in store for me ranging from meringue to nougat and cuberdons, and I was pleased to learn all about Elisabeth’s approach to food. Their offerings are almost all Belgian and very high in quality, all products they sell are made with love. Only the nougat was made outside the country if I remember correctly, but it was well worth making an exception for, it is crazy good (go for the one with salted caramel, drool).

At Les Filles, I made two delicious sweet treats that both contained no dairy or chocolate. Nice options for when you have an intolerant dinner guest or you’re looking for a dairy free option yourself. The first recipe I’m sharing today is made with meringue and blood orange. The second is a pear compote with gingerbread, I’ll post that recipe later this month!

Dairy free Blood Orange and Meringue dessert

Dairy free Blood orange & Meringue dessert

Makes 2 desserts

3 blood oranges
1/2 regular orange
1 passion fruit
3 tablespoons of sugar
Two handfuls of Elisabeth chocolatier’s tasty meringue, broken into little pieces.
A few fresh mint leaves

Juice 2,5 blood oranges and heat the juice in a sauce pan with about 2-3 tablespoons of sugar (or to taste). Do this on a medium fire and let simmer for about ten minutes.

Peel and slice the rest of your regular and blood oranges into thin pieces. Slice your passion fruit in half.

Take two medium sized glasses and layer a slice of regular orange on the bottom. Next, add the sauce and the meringue. Add the seeds of half a passion fruit to each glass and decorate with a slice of blood orange. Finish by adding a couple of mint leaves for a fresh touch.

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 Dairy free Blood Orange and Meringue dessert Dairy free Blood Orange and Meringue dessert

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All images of me by Stephanie. Thank you Elisabeth for the lovely afternoon.

Homemade Christmas Treats

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Merry Christmas you guys! I hope you’re having a lovely time with family and friends! And I hope you’re still in your PJs, with a good bad Christmas movie. I’m getting ready to watch Bridget Jones and The Holiday while preparing my house for our guests. I can recommend it to anyone.

A while back, I was invited by UGG for a night of cooking with Marta Majewska a.k.a Princess Misia. One of the cosiest events of 2014, without a doubt! Over at Nomad, we actually got a few tips from Marta on how to make food Christmas Gifts, but since it’s december 25th already and I’m guessing you already have your gifts, that’s not going to happen. That’s why I’m telling you: make this as a treat for yourself, or as a little hostess gift when you’re entertaining! I’m doing that for a few dinner parties this week. They’re easy and perfect for the season!

Here are my three favorites of the night: Homemade granola, Mango Tea blend and Herb Salt.

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Homemade Granola

This is the perfect thing to have in the oven on a morning like this because the smell will absolutely enchant you.

For 1 jar:
160 g of nuts (walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds)
280g rolled oats
100ml maple syrup
some dried fruits if you like.

Preheat the oven to 150 ° C. Mix all ingredients in a bowl except for the fruit (you can coarsely chop the nuts first). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the mixture evenly over the plate. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool and put in a nice glass jar.

Check out the other granola recipes on Martha’s blog here.

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Mango Tea Blend

For 1 bag:
50 g loose tea (I prefer green but you can use black)
4 pieces of dried mango
2 tablespoons coconut shavings

Grate the coconut shavings on a dry pan until lightly colored. Cut mango into small pieces. Mix tea with mango and coconut and put in a bag.

Another homemade Tea blend idea on Marta’s blog here.

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Salt with mushrooms and pepper grains

For 1 big jar or 4 small jars:
4 tablespoons coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons dried mushrooms
2 teaspoons pepper colored grains

Put the mushrooms in a food processor and grind them to a powder. Mix the salt with the mushroom powder and the pepper grains. Put the salt mix in a glass jar or 4 small jars.

More herb salt ideas on Marta’s blog here!

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Thank you UGG for the lovely invitation, Marta for the tips & my fellow bloggers Gilles, Marijs, Paulien, Kim, Elien, Julie & Valerie for the lovely time.

All images by Filip De Smet