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Verona, Italy

Verona2

The weather forecast for the weekend Lugano and surrounding wasn’t really that great. I would arrive on Thursday and from Friday onwards it would start to rain endlessly until I came home on Tuesday at which point the weather man predicted sun… Yes, really… And the Friday did start rather gloomy; it was dry but it didn’t look like it would stay dry for very long. Hermin had to work on Friday so I had the time to myself but in the evening it was time to start making some plans for the weekend.

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  • RosaApril 24, 2014 - 10:46 am

    A wonderful place and lovely pictures!

    Cheers,

    RosaReplyCancel

  • Maureen | Orgasmic ChefApril 24, 2014 - 12:21 pm

    I’m going to tell John that I’ve taken a mini-vacation by telepathy to Verona and if he touches my boobs he’ll get eternal love. Maybe I’ll get lucky. If I do, I’ll report back.

    Seriously, these photos are FANTASTIC!ReplyCancel

Salad with grilled courgette and feta

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The first time the foodblogswap was organized I played along, but after that it kind of didn’t happen. Stupid because I love the concept, but as it happens, there are so many things I like that sometimes choices have to be made. But… you guessed it; I will be participating this month!

The blog I got assigned this time is the blog named Kookmeisje (cooking girl) and I have to confess that I didn’t really know her very well. But that is the fun part about the foodblogswap; you discover new blogs and it gives you the opportunity to test out recipes. The funny thing is that her blog reminded me of the one by reismeisje (travel girl) and I thought for a minute they would be related but it doesn’t look that way..

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  • Laura (Tutti Dolci)April 23, 2014 - 6:26 pm

    I love salads with grilled vegetables, this is perfect for the warm months ahead!ReplyCancel

  • MelanieApril 24, 2014 - 6:58 am

    Wow, your food pictures look eye popping on your blog! The food looks scrumptious too. Do you have any tips on becoming a better food photographer for a beginner like me?ReplyCancel

  • Holly | Beyond KimcheeApril 24, 2014 - 3:16 pm

    What a beautiful salad! Colorful, vibrant, and appetizing, this should be the official salad of spring.ReplyCancel

Risoni salad with cucumber and tomatoes

risoni salade met komkommer en tomaat

So… Back from Lugano.. What a gorgeous area and what gorgeous food and what a lot of icecream… That just about sums up the last couple of days. Ofcourse you will get an extensive report on the travel but for now I really need to get back to work. Lots of recipes to make this week, emails to answer and in general lots of stuff to finish. And it is also about time to start getting my act together and get back on the healthy eating track. Summer is around the corner, our garden is ready but I am no where near it yet…

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Styling in the remake – Quinoa salad

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I’ve had it for a while now… That nagging feeling when it comes to my styling skills… I’m not a stylist by any means and while it would be lovely to have my food styled by either Alexandra or Caroline every day, in real life that is just not an option and I have to do it mysef ofcourse.

And I learned quite a bit over the years. Mostly by doing it a lot and by looking at the work of people I admire such as Meeta or Peter of Souvlaki voor de soul. Totally different in style from me but you can learn lot from someone elses work by looking at it and not necessarily by copying their style. That is not what this is about. But looking at other people’s work you get a sense of how they play with props, placement of cutlery, texture of backgrounds and such.

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  • Eva @FoodVegetarischApril 21, 2014 - 11:12 am

    What a fabulous idea to challenge oneself! But I guess you already knew that I would love this idea :-) And what I really love about your results is that you even used the same dishes and cutlery but still the images look so different and I just love them both!
    Hugs, EvaReplyCancel

    • Simone van den BergApril 21, 2014 - 6:27 pm

      Thanks so much Eva! Yes I think it’s always fun to challenge one self as much as possible. ReplyCancel

  • RosaApril 21, 2014 - 11:14 am

    Beautiful salad, pictures and styling! I wish I had better stylling skills (I try my best). It is an art in itself and it demands a lot of work…

    Cheers,

    RosaReplyCancel

  • Sonia! The Healthy FoodieApril 21, 2014 - 11:58 am

    What the hell are you talking about, Simone? That first picture is absolutely brilliant! I stared at it for at least 5 long minutes, in total awe and admiration before I even started to read your post. And then I spotted the 3rd pic. Beauty! Got stuck for another 5 minutes…

    I think you have amazing styling skills, my friend. I wish I had only half of them…ReplyCancel

    • Simone van den BergApril 21, 2014 - 6:32 pm

      Ooo thanks so much Sonia! I guess I still feel that styling is my weak point even though I can see I have improved over the years but I do lack a bit of confidence in that area definitely. I even sometimes wonder if I have my own style ( people tell me I do so I guess I do…)ReplyCancel

  • Maureen | Orgasmic ChefApril 21, 2014 - 1:34 pm

    I took a class with Peter G two years ago in Adelaide. What a wonderful man he is. So down to earth, friendly and helpful.

    I think your photos are brilliant. They aren’t Donna Hay, they aren’t the delightful Meeta nor are they moody like Peter’s. They are you – you do have your own style and I love it.ReplyCancel

    • Simone van den BergApril 21, 2014 - 8:19 pm

      How i would love to do a workshop with Peter!! Love his style and I’ve been following him for so long I kind of feel I ‘know’ him a bit… And thanks so much for the lovely comment Maureen! ;) ReplyCancel

  • Wendy ReadApril 21, 2014 - 1:58 pm

    I have never had the opportunity to take a class, so I would love to. Both of the photos are wonderful really, they each tell a bit of a different story, but your salad so bright in both. I love your style :) ReplyCancel

  • A Canadian FoodieApril 21, 2014 - 5:02 pm

    Ditto on Maureen’s comment to you!
    The first photo, I could NEVER do. It held me – and I came back to it a few times.
    XOXO
    ValerieReplyCancel

  • John@Kitchen RiffsApril 21, 2014 - 6:26 pm

    You actually have a pretty distinctive style, IMO. One that’s pretty good. It’s fun to play with other ideas, of course, and I don’t do that nearly often enough. And your “kitchen” photo looks great! But I really prefer your “normal” style.ReplyCancel

    • Simone van den BergApril 21, 2014 - 8:25 pm

      Thanks so much John. I guess it’s hard to say from yourself that you have a certain style really. Other people apparently see that better than I do! Glad to hear your prefer my regular style though!ReplyCancel

Inspiration on Saturday – Marleen from Eten uit de Volkstuin

My question in the facebook group with Dutch blogger as to who could not be missed in this series Marleen’s name passed by a couple of times. And rightfully so as her photos are gorgeous as you can see below. Marleen blogs on her site  Eten uit de Volkstuin

tomatentaartjes

How long have you been blogging and did you start taking foodphotos straight away or did that come later?

I’ve been blogging for five years now about my vegetable allotment. It used to be a large piece of meadow. Full of bumbs and holes. And with too many weeds to count! I started with blogging to keep track of the changes in my garden. To see if all those little efforts in the end made a big difference. So when I came home, rather discouraged, I would look up old photos on my blog and I would notice that I did actually do an enormous amount of work already. now that the garden is where it is meant to be, the blogging has moved more towards thinking and photographing dishes with vegetables and fruits from my garden.

 What kind of equipment did you use in the beginning and what do you use now?

In the beginning I used a finepix compact camera. About 1,5 years ago I inherited the digital SLR from my dad, a Canon 350D from 2003. Most of the photos on my blog are made with that camera. A few months ago I bought myself a new camera. A Canon 70D and I am very happy with that! My favorite lens is a canon 60mm 2.8 macro lens.

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Yogurt and pomegranate dessert with honey

Pistachio dessert

This delicious and easy dessert is one from the old “box”. From 2011 to be exact and it’s actually quite funny to see how my taste in photos has changed over the last couple of years. In 2011 I put the below photo on top of the post; yes the one with that pink piece of fabric (sorry Alex!). I was in my colorful fase; the brighter the better. Boy I can still remember the discussions Alex and I had! Lol… Anyway, over time it has changed and I am now much more inclined to use natural colors and natural background for most everything. A lot better for the eyes and so I find the above photo now my favorite. Regardless of the photo, this dessert is quite good and simple to make. Leave out the cream and it will be even better for you.

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  • John@Kitchen RiffsApril 18, 2014 - 7:43 pm

    I think both photos are fine! I like the light shining through the honey in the top one, and the pink actually helps the topping pop a bit more in the second one (although it looks like the topping is lit maybe half a stop brighter, too — at least on my monitor). I’d have been delighted to have taken either one of the photos!ReplyCancel

  • Maureen | Orgasmic ChefApril 19, 2014 - 9:06 am

    I like natural backgrounds too but every once in a while it’s lovely to see a splash of colour. This dessert is pretty colourful on top too!ReplyCancel

    • Simone van den BergApril 20, 2014 - 12:09 am

      A bit of color is still something I use once in a while but I was overusing it at the time.. :) ReplyCancel

  • Chocolate ShavingsApril 20, 2014 - 11:19 pm

    I always love the pistachio/pomegranate combo — delicious and looks so beautiful!ReplyCancel

Bread pudding with lemon curd and blueberries – Donna Hay #10

lemoncurd en blauwe bessen broodpudding

Lemon curd and blueberries bread pudding

You might think that I picked the Donna Hay issue I am cooking from for the pure reason that it has a lot of bread pudding in it… It would have been an excellent reason but sadly it isn’t why I picked it… Well maybe until I tasted the first one… Insanely good! But I am a breadpudding fan so maybe that doesn’t count.

As usual I had made way too much and brought a part over to the neighbours. I received the empty bowl back with the note that the two neighbourly girls didn’t like it, but their mother liked it all the more. Can it be the lemon curd? It is quite soury/sweet ofcourse but that is the exact flavor I love.

The recipe states that it needs to be made with brioche and that is – by itself – already quite sweet. Maybe it is better to make it with regular bread, because the lemoncurd adds more sugar to it. Whatever bread you will use it’s gonna be delicious anyway.

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  • RosaApril 17, 2014 - 11:19 am

    Heavenly! This combination is simply perfect. A great spring/summer dessert.

    Cheers,

    RosaReplyCancel

  • Maureen | Orgasmic ChefApril 17, 2014 - 1:37 pm

    This dessert was made in heaven and should be delivered post haste. :) I love blueberries and lemons.ReplyCancel

  • John@Kitchen RiffsApril 17, 2014 - 4:59 pm

    I love lemon, and lemon and blueberries are such a terrific combo, aren’t they? This looks super. Really like the top picture, BTW. Specifically, great composition, and wonderful angle. Good stuff — thanks.ReplyCancel

  • Sabrina - A Spoonful of PhotographyApril 17, 2014 - 10:45 pm

    I love recipes which connect several favourites of mine! In this case you already had me at breadpudding, but the addition of lemon curd and blueberries is what takes this over the top just by reading the instructions! I’ve still got some lemon curd sitting in the fridge, so as soon as I get my hands on some fresh blueberries this dessert is what will be turned into the oven. Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Lokness @ The Missing LoknessApril 17, 2014 - 11:32 pm

    Oh my, this bread pudding looks divine! I love the sounds of the lemon and blueberries. Comforting but with a bit tartness. Pinning!ReplyCancel

  • Hannah (BitterSweet)April 18, 2014 - 3:14 am

    So fresh and lovely! This is the kind of dessert that seems deceptively light, but is really incredibly decadent, through and though. ;) ReplyCancel

Travel: Komodo – Indonesia

One of the highlights of our trip to Indonesia in 2009 was the two day boattrip to the Komodo Islands. Everyone (I think?) has heard of the worldfamous Komodo dragons and how dangerous these prehistoric creatures are. If you don’t know how a Komodo dragon looks than check out the little youtube film (from national Geographic) which shows you a bit more of their nature.

Komodo eiland, onderdeel van de Sunda eilanden

Komodo island, part of the sunda islands

While the ultimate highlight was meeting the Komodo dragons the entire boattrip was not too bad either. it was gorgeous weather and the trip from Bima (Sumbawa) till Komodo showed beautiful sights and we stopped a few times along the way on a little deserted island or at a place we could go snorkeling. (I saw Nemo!)

 

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  • RosaApril 16, 2014 - 11:07 am

    An interesting island. I’d love to visit Indonesia and see Komodo Dragons for real.

    Cheers,

    RosaReplyCancel

  • John@Kitchen RiffsApril 17, 2014 - 12:54 am

    Never been to that part of the world — would so love to go sometime. Really fun post — thanks.ReplyCancel

  • Maureen | Orgasmic ChefApril 17, 2014 - 3:13 pm

    I’ve heard and read about this place but I’ve never been there. Aren’t you the lucky one to get to see and photograph them.ReplyCancel

  • Holly | Beyond KimcheeApril 17, 2014 - 3:32 pm

    I have been to Bali, Indonesia a couple of times but never been to Komodo island. What a miss! Your post make me miss our trip to Indonesia very much.ReplyCancel

    • Simone van den BergApril 18, 2014 - 1:01 am

      I’m in love with Indonesia. Such a gorgeous country with so many different sights. Maybe you go again sometime and you can visit Komodo… :) ReplyCancel

When to leave a comment and a roti kukus

Roti kukus cake

Roti kukus cake

Apart from the fact that I am addicted to blogging, I also try and visit as many blogs as I can. That doesn’t always work but my favorite moment to do that is early in the morning when I’m having my first coffee of the day. It’s like reading the newspaper but instead I am browsing through Bloglovin. If I do visit a blog I always try and leave a comment. Because we all like comments, right?

One time it might be a comment about the recipe, the other time it might be about the story. And when going through all the blogs you will find blogs that have hundreds of comments per post and others that have non. I realize part of that is to do with the total amount of visitors to your blog, without visitors no comments obviously, but there must be more to it than that. So I wonder when do people comment and when do they not? I figured the best place to ask is where the action is..;)

When do you leave a comment and when do you move away? On some posts I get tens of comments and on others I get non.

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  • MeetaApril 15, 2014 - 8:53 am

    Like you I try to read through all my favorite blogs and leave comments. I do not get around to doing this as often as I would like to I admit and try to keep a routine 15 minutes in the morning 15 minutes in the afternoon and 15 minutes in the evening. It does not always work though. I leave comments when a post has moved me or that I find evoking or when the images / recipe is great. Sometimes I leave comments as encouragement especially to the new bloggers out there.
    This is a good question that I have asked myself too – so keen on reading what people have to say.
    Interesting looking cake!
    xoReplyCancel

    • Simone van den BergApril 15, 2014 - 7:21 pm

      Thanks Meeta. It is a challenge with so many wonderful blogs out there to keep up to date and to involve yourself into those blogs too, but I do try and keep it up as best I can. Some days better than others!ReplyCancel

  • Regula Ysewijn (@MissFoodwise)April 15, 2014 - 9:20 am

    I usually always comment, unless if it’s a blog from a very big blogger who already has 120 comments, or a blog with many comments but when you see the blogger doesn’t ever come back to those comments I feel it is no use.
    I like to answer my comments, it”s a community thing. You can’t really answer a comment saying ‘oh that’s great’ but when it is more personal I always answer.
    That said, I really don’t read enough blogs! I should make time really. Still owe you an email too!ReplyCancel

    • Simone van den BergApril 15, 2014 - 7:22 pm

      Ha. Yes I have the same when I want to comment and than scroll down only to see that the blogger in question already has a gazillion comments. It would just not make sense to repeat what has probably already been said. And I do like to answer to the comments to as I think it is just a nice thing to do. I remember way in the beginning when I had no clue how it was supposed to work, I never replied back to anyone! So rude really… And yes you do! ;) ReplyCancel

  • Maureen | Orgasmic ChefApril 15, 2014 - 10:29 am

    I try to leave as many comments as I can but some days are just busier than others. I think if someone visits my blog I should return the favour and if I visit a blog and read through the post, it’s only courtesy to let them know I’ve been there.

    I’m not swooning over this cake. If you have to butter it after you cut it in order to enjoy it, I’d rather have a real cake. :) ReplyCancel

    • Simone van den BergApril 15, 2014 - 7:23 pm

      I’m always amazed at how well you are in commenting Maureen. You’re one of my most faithfull commenters really! I do also try and return the favor whenever I can to all my commenters. and yes I think I gotta agree on the cake!ReplyCancel

  • Karine KeldanyApril 15, 2014 - 1:42 pm

    I leave a comment when I am moved by the recipe, the style of the blogger, the content of the post or anything that spoke to me. I do it often to encourage new blogger like myself. It has been a year I have my blog and I did not get lots of comments. It saddens me as I put so much love in my blog and as you must know it takes lots of work to prepare a post. Please visit my blog and let me know what you think. I would ‘love your input. I have been a followers of your blog for four years now. I like the new changes you did on your blog. Very cool features. I have to change from Google Blogger to another blogging program as it is not that friendly for users. Any suggestions? Here is the link http://www.aromasoftime.com
    Thanks Simone.ReplyCancel

    • Simone van den BergApril 15, 2014 - 7:28 pm

      Thanks so much Karine! And I can highly recommend you move to WordPress although I have a few friends who love the blogger features too, so I guess it depends on what you really need. I’ll browse around your blog a little later (almost dinner time here!) Thanks for your thoughts!ReplyCancel

  • Maria @ Box of Stolen SocksApril 15, 2014 - 1:48 pm

    I agree with both Meeta and Maureen. I leave comments when a story moves me and I cannot keep myself from sharing my opinion and feelings. I am fairly new to blogging and I do not have many visitors to comment back but I try to visit as many blogs as humanly possible during the day and comment.ReplyCancel

    • Simone van den BergApril 15, 2014 - 7:26 pm

      It’s weird really how it works with the commenting thing. I so remember in the beginning when I would get entirely frustrated when I visited blog with 100 comments on all posts and I would get zero… I don’t know when it started but I do think that involving yourself into the whole blogging and visiting blogs helps immensely!ReplyCancel

    • Simone van den BergApril 15, 2014 - 10:30 pm

      And I’m sure that will eventually lead to more people commenting on your site.. It just takes time! And patience…:)ReplyCancel

  • AshaApril 15, 2014 - 9:37 pm

    Hey Simone,

    Kudos to you for leaving a comment on every site you visit!

    This is something I have been trying to understand as well. And, you know, funnily, your asking the question made me realize that people visiting my blog are probably mimicking my behavior which is being sporadic on commenting! duh!

    So, I typically comment, if there is a direct question in the post, like this one. Or, if the i related to something in the writing. Rarely, i comment on the recipe because it is harder to make a connection through something that is either new or not blow-your-socks-off different. That doesn’t mean the recipe isn;t interesting. It can be but I don’t like saying “interesting recipe”. Saying that would make me feel insipid.

    I wonder if I get the same reaction on my site! :) ReplyCancel

    • Simone van den BergApril 15, 2014 - 10:27 pm

      People do tend to do the mimicking thing I suppose… :) And you’re right it is hard to comment on the 20th version of chocolate chip cookies (to name just something you can find everywhere…) but if I really cannot think of anything to say I will not say anything. I’m not gonna go for the interesting recipe route… I’d rather not say anything in that case… ReplyCancel

  • AshaApril 15, 2014 - 9:39 pm

    Also, just realized I haven;t received any of your latest posts in my feed and missed them! I think I may have to refresh the RSS link. will do that.

    Also, wanted to say, I am glad you are bringing your “how I shot that” series here. I need to learn more about outdoor and low-light photography. So, great to have that!ReplyCancel

    • Simone van den BergApril 15, 2014 - 10:29 pm

      My English feed is a bit of a tricky one. The correct URL for the feed is under the RSS button in the sidebar. The bloglovin one works correct too!ReplyCancel

  • HannahApril 16, 2014 - 3:07 am

    The comment dance is a difficult one to master! I read hundreds of blogs but comment on almost none. I just don’t have many thoughts to share and would rather enjoy the articles silently. I read most of them at morning, with breakfast like you, but am more likely to comment in the evening when I have more spare time. Even then, I tend to only exchange comments with bloggers who comment on my stuff as well. ;) ReplyCancel

    • Simone van den BergApril 16, 2014 - 10:23 pm

      Yes and it’s fine to just read an not comment too… I was just wondering what triggers people to leave a comment or not.. And I do always appreciate your comments!ReplyCancel

  • John@Kitchen RiffsApril 16, 2014 - 4:23 am

    I try to read most of your posts, and I always comment on the ones I read. But I definitely miss a few! That is an interesting cake, but like you, I find it odd to omit the butter then add it when the cake is baked! Fun recipe, though.ReplyCancel

    • Simone van den BergApril 16, 2014 - 10:24 pm

      Thanks John! And I’m pretty sure it’s hard to keep up sometimes with my posts so no wonder you miss a few sometimes… ;) ReplyCancel

  • JennApril 17, 2014 - 11:19 am

    If I have a personal connection to the post, I comment. I comment a lot less now though than I used to. For me it’s important to see that the blogger replies/acknowledges the comments, else I feel like my comment will just hang in space. But when it comes to particular posts, something needs to resonate with me, or if I have questions about a recipe, or if I made it and want to tell the person how it came out, etc. etc.ReplyCancel

    • Simone van den BergApril 18, 2014 - 1:22 am

      Thanks Jenn, I agree on the replying part… Although if you don’t get a notification it’s hard to find out if someone replied to your comment. If it’s a question I asked I might go back to the blog to check if there is an answer but it’s sometimes hard to remember which blog it was!ReplyCancel

Warm asparagus salad with bacon, egg and hazelnuts

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A few days ago I received a note via facebook from Maaike… If I could give her the recipe of the warm asparagus and bacon I posted on De Glazen Vork about a year ago but wasn’t on this site yet… Ofcourse I thought, I don’t throw away stuff so I should still have the recipe somewhere. Well it turns out I didn’t. And I hate it when that happens so I started the search for the original recipe which I figured could be on the BBC website where I find a lot of inspiration and good recipes. It’s my favorite recipe site so if you don’t know the site, have a look.

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