Umamido

If there’s one thing Gillian and I like to do, it’s try new places to eat. Especially meals that I wouldn’t normally cook at home or that are really hard to recreate. Umamido is one like that, as it’s a Japanese noodle (ramen) restaurant. I’d driven past here a couple of times on my way to work and last week we finally got to try it. My favourite bits were the edamame and the gyoza! There’s plenty of locations too, if you’re interested in your own bowl of asian goodness. You can find their menu here.

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Grandma’s Apple Pie

One of my ultimate favourites, I’d have to say, is a classic apple pie. I love that there are so many different types and that it’s one for all seasons. You can have it hot with ice cream or cooled with a nice glass of iced tea in summer. Yum!

Ingredients

  • 375 g or 2 ½ cups of flour
  • 4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 225g or 1 ½ cups of melted butter
  • 200 g or 1 cup of caster sugar
  • 20 g of sugar
  • 1 bag of vanilla sugar
  • 3 spoons of soy milk
  • 6 big apples
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 teaspoons of cinammon
  • 60g of raisins
  • 1 pie tin
  • 1 rolling pin

Steps

Making the dough

  1. Mix the caster sugar, baking powder and flour
  2. Add the butter and soy milk
  3. Blend until a smooth dough that doesn’t stick
  4. Put a towel over the dough and put it in the fridge

Making the filling

  1. Peel the apples and cut them into little pieces
  2. Regularly add lemon juice and stir
  3. Add in the sugar, cinnamon and raisins
  4. Put the filling in the fridge

Making the pie

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C or 350°F
  2. Put some baking paper to fit the pie tin
  3. Roll out ¾ of the dough and spread it across the pie tin to fit
  4. Fill the pie crust with the filling
  5. Use the rest of the dough to decorate
  6. Put some soy milk on the dough on top
  7. Bake in the oven for +- 1 hour

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Banana Oat Cookies

I’m always looking for EASY, healthy recipes that are hassle-free and taste good. I’m especially into finding easy breakfast options, so when I stumbled across this one, I had to try it. Seriously, it’s the easiest cookie baking I’ve ever gone through. And whereas the basics are easy, you can mix it up a little by adding in different spices or toppings (raisins, nuts, chocolate, peanut butter, jam, etc). If you like them to be sweeter, you can perfectly add some honey too. It’s all up to you!

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • +- 1 cup of oats

Steps

  1. Mash the two bananas
  2. Add in the oats
  3. Stir until the mixture becomes one
  4. Divide into flat balls on a cooking tray
  5. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 200°C

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Forcado Pastelaria

Everytime I take tram 92 to the city centre from our house, it goes past Forcado. It’s one of the few café-like places that looks cozy from the outside looking in. It’s a Portuguese pastelaria that has specialised in pasteis de nata, the national pastry. The places has been there since 1982 and still, it’s extremely popular. And with reason! One bite of the pastry took me straight back to Lisbon; if heaven were a pastry, it’d definitely be this! For those that like experimenting with flavours, they have different variations of the traditional pastry, ranging from speculoos, chocolate, praliné to lemon and coffee.

Where? Charleroise Steenweg 196, Brussels (close to tram stop Janson)

When? Every day from 10am till 6pm, except for Mondays

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Vegan Pancakes

On the weekends, I love a sweet lunch or snack idea, and when I have the time for it, baking pancakes is my favourite thing to do in autumn and winter. Because I try to avoid lactose, a vegan alternative is always great. Here’s how I make vegan pancakes.

Ingredients

  • 1 liter soy milk
  • 325g or 2.3 cups of flour
  • 1 tea spoon baking powder
  • 1 bag of vanilla sugar
  • A sniff of salt
  • Olive oil

Steps

  1. Mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, vanilla sugar, salt)
  2. Gradually add the milk and stir until there are no more lumps (you can also use a mixer)
  3. Use the olive oil to grease the pan
  4. Et voilà, perfect pancakes to top with whatever fancies your liking! :)
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© Liubov Lebedeva

ZOET

Zoet calls itself the tastiest candy shop in Mechelen, and I have to agree! My girlfriend and I stumble across this too cute for words sweets shop on the hunt for cool clothing shops. What we found was better! Zoet is a bright and colourful candy shop that wants to go back to the roots of the little corner candy shop with glass jars and unique products. The sweets they sell are authentic and original. What’s even cooler is that they also have an online shop so you can spoil someone you love or miss or even yourself if you are craving something sweet, without having to venture out to Mechelen. (Would recommend though!) Seriously, I get happy just looking at their website.

Where? In Mechelen, at the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwestraat 108 or online

When? Mondays-Tuesdays from 11am till 5pm, Wednesdays – Saturdays from 11am till 6pm. Closed on Sundays. Online: always open!

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