The first Monday of the month means  it is time for our secret recipe club reveal. I always look forward to sharing my recipe choice with the group. Keeping a secret for a month, sneaking around your assigned blog, looking for inspiration is fun but sharing your creation with the others and finding out what the person who was assigned to my blog made is the part I love the most.

I love cauliflower.I know many people hear the word cauliflower and turn up their noses but believe me, if you are one of those, you are seriously missing out. Cauliflower on its own can be bland, I agree, but with the right spices and herbs it becomes irresistible! If you don’t believe me, try my cauliflower fritters or makloubeh or cauliflower sushi salad or stop by Sally’s blog and try her amazing cauliflower creation. I can guarantee any  of these recipes will ensure that cauliflower will be at the top of your shopping list in no time.

For the January daring cooks challenge we got to make snow :)

Being an expat in the UAE, I dearly miss winter! It is now mid January and the temperatures during the day are still in the late 20s C! I am told this is as cold as it is going to get! and as enchanting as the phrase “eternal summer” may be, actually living through it eventually gets to you. Especially if you are someone who loves the rain and enjoys going for a trip through the seasons even if it happens in the space of one month.

So when this month’s challenge was announced with the promise “oeufs a la neige will ensure that you have a bit of snow wherever you are in the world” I was more than excited to give it a go.

I love recipes that feature a blend of spices. There is something about the smell and the combination of flavors that I simply can’t resist.

For the month of December, Andrea from 4pure took us on a trip to the Netherlands. She challenged us to take our taste buds on a joyride through the land of sugar and spice by baking three different types of Dutch sweet bread. I chose to make the lightest: peperkoek.

Dutche peperkoek

Peperkoek or Kruidkoek is a Dutch sweet quick bread made with a wonderful blend of warming spices like cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Many recipes also feature succade (candied citrus peel) . Peperkoek is traditionally served at breakfast in Holland with a thick layer of butter on top, as a replacement for regular bread. However due to its sweet taste it is also served as a snack or packed in the kids’ lunch boxes

My son loves pancakes! If it was up to him we will have them every morning! and although I do have quite a few pancake recipes ranging from vegan pancakes to carrot cake pancakes and Arabic Atayef pancakes, I am always on the look out for new and interesting pancake recipes.  Dutch baby pancakes have been on my list of recipes to try for quite some time.

Dutch baby pancakes, sometimes called a German pancakes, or a Dutch puff, are  sweet baked pancakes that are very similar to a popovers. They are derived from the German pfannkuchen and they are made with eggs, flour, sugar and milk, and usually seasoned with vanilla and cinnamon. Occasionally fruit or another flavoring is also added.

Despite not having any leavening agents, they do puff up beautifully in the oven, watching them bake is really fun, especially for an excited, hungry 5 year old :) Sadly they do deflate quickly when you take them out of the oven

Strawberries

The November Daring Baker’s challenge took us for a ride! Luisa from Rise of the Sourdough Preacher challenged us to make Paris-Brest, a beautiful pastry celebrating the Paris-Brest bicycle race.

A Paris–Brest is a French dessert, made of choux pastry and a praline flavoured cream.The pastry was created in 1910 to celebrate the Paris–Brest–Paris bicycle race which began in 1891. The Paris brest is always shaped like a circle. The circular shape is supposed to represent the bicycle wheel.