by Andrea ( Bea )Vonk • 19/06/2014

Photo: Andrea ( Bea ) Vonk  Styling: Andrea ( Bea) Vonk

For a glorious summer lunch you could do no better than by making a staple that the Dutch people often order in their cafes and restaurants for lunch: Russian Eggs.
I decided to make this yesterday for my birthday when I had some friends and family over and although the dish has a certain seventies appeal, it really is rather tasty ( but not very slimming) and it went 
down very well! 

Your ingredients 
for the potato salad:

1.5 kilo's potatoes
1 pot of mayonaise,
 1 pot of chopped gherkins, 
10 small pickled onions ( sweet /sour )
 a small bunch of parley and
 2 table spoons of Dijon mustard .

for your deviled eggs :
4 eggs,
1/3 pot of mayonaise
salt and pepper

Remaining ingredients :
fresh asparagus( 2 bunches) freshly boiled/prepared and chilled
baby tomatoes
boiled ham
cold roast pork
Italian Prosciutto

Here's how to make your potato salad:

Make some potato salad by boiling 1.5 kilo's potatoes that you have peeled and cubed. test if done, then drain and cool.Mix with one pot of mayonaise, 1 pot of chopped gherkins, 10 small pickled onions ( sweet /sour ) a small bunch of parley and 2 table spoons of Dijon mustard .Season to taste and arrange in the middle of a big serving dish.

Next, make your devilled eggs.
How to make devilled eggs: 

Boil 4 eggs till they are hard-boiled ( about 10 minutes ), then cool under running water, peel and half.Scoop all the egg yolks out of your halved egg whites and put them in a bowl.Mix the egg yolks with some mustard, salt and pepper, mayonaise and parsley according to taste .Fill the egg-white halves with scoops of the egg-yolk mixture.Set aside .

Remaining ingredients for your Russian Eggs Dish:

fresh asparagus( 2 bunches) freshly boiled/prepared and chilled
baby tomatoes
boiled ham
cold roast pork
Italian Prosciutto

How to put your Russian Egg dish together:

Place the potato salad in the middle of a big serving dish.
Place some rolled up Prosciutto on the edge of the serving disg , and arrange some of the devilled eggs on top, and the rest of the eggs on the 4 corners of the dish as you can see on the picture.Wrap your cooked chilled asparagus in the boiled ham slices and place at the edge of the dish , half on top of the potato salad ( use the picture for guidance how this should look ) Fold your salami like a little cone and place a few on the top , in the middle of the potato salad.
Arrange the cold roast pork slice by slice between slices of cucumber on the edge of the dish.
Use the strawberries, grapes and baby tomatoes to decorate the rest of the dish to pleasing effect.

by Andrea ( Bea )Vonk • 09/06/2014

Photo: Andrea ( Bea ) Vonk  Styling: Andrea ( Bea) Vonk


If you are looking for a cute baby sized plant that carries lovely berries for your breakfast cereal, you may want to get yourself some wild strawberry plants.
 Wild strawberries flower from April to June and you can grow them in a pot on your
balcony or in your garden.I think it's a great plant as it covers acres of soil that would otherwise be covered in weeds, what's not to love ?
Plus add the benefit of those cute little strawberries and I think we're in business.
Sweet Paul has just done a great summer berry pie, and you can easily translate that into a wild strawberry tart.

Here's the recipe below

1.Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.
2. Stir flour, baking soda and baking powder together in one bowl.
3.Cream the butter and sugar together in a second bowl.
4.Beat in the egg and vanilla in the butter/sugar mixture.
5.Blend in the dry ingredients into the buttery/egg mixture
6.Roll out the dough onto a layer of baking paper, then turn this upside down in a baking tin that you have buttered.
7.Bake dough for 10 minutes or till golden.Cool.
8.Separate the eggs and whisk the eggwhites to a soft peak.
9.Whisk yolks and sugar till light sand creamy, then add the mascarpone
10.Add vanilla and egg-whites and mix.
11.Pour mixture into piecrust.
12 Add wild strawberries and serve.

by Andrea ( Bea )Vonk • 07/06/2014

Photo: Andrea ( Bea ) Vonk  Styling: Andrea ( Bea) Vonk

Nothing says " Summer" like some fresh elder flower cordial made with your own fair hands.
Those elder trees that are frowned upon by many gardeners as they seed themselves easily in every bit of space where they are not wanted, transform themselves in early summer.
Then they are covered in beautiful lacy flower heads that have a fabulous tangy scent .
Those flower heads can be picked everywhere right now .Make sure you get yourselves some before they are gone to transform into cordial (and keep some champagne handy )  !

Here's how to make your cordial :
1.Pick your elder flowers .
2. Shake the flower heads over the sink so that eventual small insects that are on the flowers, fall off.
3.Take all the stalks off the flower heads so you have a bowl full of flowers.
4.Boil the water, then pour it over the sugar in a big bowl, so the sugar dissolves. Let it cool down.
5.Slice your lemons, then take a big pan, and put the lemon slices and the flowers in the bottom and add the cooled down sugar water .Add the citric acid- in my case 4 tablets of fizzy vitamin C tablets which have citric acid ( this does really work ! ).
6.Cover with a lid or plate and let it stand for 24 hours in the fridge.
7.The next day, strain the cordial through a fine sieve.

Serve with ice and chilled fizzy water , or even better, with champagne and a spring of mint .

Elder flower cordial with champagne.
25 ml Elder flower cordial
25 ml Gin
50 ml Champagne
Mint sprig.
Add gin, lime and elder flower cordial to glass.Top with champagne and garnish with mint.

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