Thursday, August 20, 2020

At Home with Covid-19: Breakfast - Lunch - Snack - Dinner

Covid-19 aka Coronavirus has surely changed our life, our working habits, and our lifestyles at home!

I haven't been on holiday this year. I mean seriously, this is taking a big impact on my sanity. We were supposed to go skiing in the Alps last January but since I started with a new job, we let the holiday slip for the time being. Instead, we were planning of going somewhere far around March timeframe, like to another continent, but then the merciless Covid-19 struck, and we got helplessly stuck at home.

That's right, we have been longing to go on holiday now for months, and this Friday (tomorrow!) we will be flying down to the south of Europe! Yes, with disinfectants and masks and all, ready in our luggage.

Lunchbreak at home.

So during this working from home, the new normal of Covid-19 life, Dutchman and I, apart from the dinners we normally have together in the evenings, are cooking more during the day and are sharing plentiful of breakfasts, brunches, lunches, and snacks.

Some people say that being together 24x7 can drive each other nuts and perhaps may result in the relationship going south. Hmm, so far we are surviving. For 18 years already.

I have to say that I am getting used to staying and working from home. I also love fixing and cooking meals throughout the day. It relaxes me to get away from the computer and use my hands for something else, such as making a meal. It is a challenge though not to overeat, and this is something we are trying to work on.

Before I go on holiday, I would like to leave you with some of the dishes we've had in the last months and weeks. I am loving the home life and would like to better my food preparation, cooking, and baking skills. I am also busy with the house and would actually like to talk more about it. It's just that I have been so buried with work that it's draining my energy. You'd think that working from home will offer flexibility and nice lifestyle trade-offs. It does, but I realised that there is a thin line between work and private life. It can be very easy to work late in the evenings and even during weekends. Discipline is critical.

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

 Here are some of the dishes I prepared, but a bit of warning though as this is quite a long post. I took so many pictures in the last months documenting some of the food we ate. 

Well, what can you do when you are in a semi-quarantine situation, and when it was lifted, the government strongly advised to stay home and restrict outdoor activities? When life hands you lemons, make some limoncello!

Speaking of lemons, I baked a lemon cake and made some cream icing to go with it. This turned out really well. The cake was moist and a bit fluffy. This was one of the weekend afternoon tea. oh, I bought the silver teapot in Marakkesh. I am thinking of replacing this with a new one but don't know what yet. I do need to buy a small teapot for two.

This was a Sunday brunch. I like my eggs, bacon, and the rest separate from each other or side by side on the plate. Bread on the side of course.

Dutchman, on the other hand, prefers them as an open-faced sandwich or piled on top of each other.

This was an interesting dinner as I was craving for some ramen, so I made one for myself and cooked some pasta for the Dutchman. He eats ramen but pasta is more to his liking. I bought these bowls last year in Lesvos, Greece. The fishes were a signature of the local artist there. I wanted to buy a complete set but very difficult to find as they are sold in limited quantities to local boutique stores. Luckily, I found these bowls complemented with 2 sauce bowls for dips and 2 aperitif drinking cups which can be used as egg cups as well. 

And I made a delicious sauteed mix of vegetables which is inspired by the Japanese dish, Yasai Itame. It is just lacking with tauge here.

This is how we eat our beef burgers at dinner. Yeah, we devour a lot of vegetables. Produce probably takes 50% of the space in my fridge after a trip to the grocery store. I don't store potatoes and onions in the fridge though.

Dinner time here with aubergine with ground meat and cheese melted on top. We like having green salads sometimes to go with our dinner meals. And I love spring onions. Lots of them.

It was a rainy day so we sat inside for dinner. Marinated chicken skewers and brown rice with fried onion flakes. The highlight is a lovely fresh salad of sorts and then glazed with my signature dressing.

I baked another cake and we had them for dessert with vanilla bourbon ice cream and Greek yoghurt. This was very refreshing as it was so hot outside. As part of the thickening waistline challenge, we are trying our best to make the portions small.

Dutchman's brunch. You might not see it directly, but those are sunnyside up eggs under that bacon and sausages and tomatoes.

Ah, I have been crazy about these lovely perennial white daisy-like flowers growing in the wild in our area. The flowers are usually small but some can grow big as 5-10cm. I love them. I just take my basket with me and cut a few and voila! Flowers for free.

The Dutch mother came to visit. I prepared meatballs with veggies on the side and pasta for dinner, and a large green salad to go with it.

I am having a gin tonic here while pruning this lavender plant. These gin tonics are a great idea on a warm Saturday or Sunday afternoon. I have Gordon's at the moment but would like to try some other brands another time.

Here is a lazy afternoon weekend with the Dutchman. We are enjoying our Aperol spritz aperitif and some small bites to nibble. Delicious! Life is good.

Flowers for free from the wild! I love them. Can you see I am obsessed, they are everywhere in the house, haha. They do last a long time, like 2 weeks but the yellow stigma they do fall off and make a mess.

More like a balanced diet dinner here. I am loving these charger plates I found at the Kringloopwinkel (Thrift / Charity shop). I have been wanting to buy them new but couldn't find a simple and elegant design online. The ones I liked were going at 20 euros each, then there was one that was around 50 euros. Can you believe I bought these for just 80 euro cents each? I actually visit thrift shops frequently now. Love to search for interesting goodies for almost no money. I managed to get 7 plates, not bad at all.

One of our lunch breaks during weekdays working from home. We try to break away from our computers, screens, and telephones and focus on having quality lunchtime. It really helps.

Sometimes I crave for my ramen. My favourite right now is the Mama instant ramen, Tom Yum flavour. Love the zingy touch of the lemon. I always add a lot of spring onions, hot peppers, both fresh and dried, and nori (seaweed).

Decided to work in the garden terrace. I only do this when I do not have online meetings and not working on a massive excel file.

We sometimes check out the moon and the stars. The crater of the moon looked like scars and potholes. I will post some of the pictures we took another time.

Another one of those lunch breaks at working from home days.

Refreshing yoghurt and ice cream dessert. I bought this red tray at the Kringloopwinkel and I painted it in anthracite grey to match the house and garden terrace. You will see the result in the below pictures if you scroll down.

Another delicious dinner to be served together with Aperol cocktails. 

And the usual dessert suspect, our favourite yoghurt and bourbon vanilla ice cream topped with crunchy muesli and corn flakes. Berries are great to add to the mix too.

This is a Sunday brunch. We eat bacon and eggs on Sundays only, well mostly. I like the butter and jam combination with the bread as well.

Ah, another one of those dinners. Dutchman gets more potatoes, of course, then he gets half of my meat as well. He is well-fed.

Having an afternoon tea with again my favourite flowers from the wild. This rattan tray is another item I scored at the Kringloopwinkel for almost nothing. I can't tell you how many wonderful and great finds I have had!

A burger dinner with grilled aubergine, courgettes, and roasted chickpeas. Oh, and an Asian-style side salad too.

Chilled afternoon tea.... blackberry rose flavour. This tray was originally coloured red. I sanded it a bit and painted it in anthracite grey to match the house and garden terrace. Small trays are essential helpline items in the house.

Pasta dinner served with all grilled veggies.

This bird sat on top of the roof for half an hour. We are hoping though that birds are not nesting on the roof!

Bubbles because it's crazy hot in the Netherlands. We've had a more than a week heatwave here which is a rare phenomenon in this country. We need to cool off with some sparkling drink. Those ice cubes are plastic, hence reusable. So handy, love them.

We have been spending our evenings in the garden terrace. We have also been experiencing 30C and up temperatures which is a double-edged sword really. We love it that it's warm, but hate it as well because it's too warm. 

Another brunch time! I sometimes like to fry my cheese. Love its crunch.

These are delicious roasted chickpeas. I like it with lots of spices and red peppers. They are a great snack but also to go with meals as a side dish. I think they are popular in the Levant region.

We invited the Dutchman mother for dinner and had some omelette for starters and barbecue for our main and some grilled veggies and potatoes as well. The salmon is mine though.

Lunch break salad with goat's cheese and salami. I can eat this every day.

Dinner time again. Dutchman had a burger wrapped around with a strip of bacon while I settled for a salmon fried to goodness. Delish.

My ramen craving again and I managed to tear the egg here... it is still runny. Reminds me to visit the Asian shop and stock up with my favourite goodies. I tend to buy Korean and Chinese stuff and some Thai snack brands. In Utrecht, they do have the Chippy corn snack which reminds me of my childhood days.

This was hovering above us while we were having lunch.

Brunch time again here with a refreshing pitcher of lemonade drink. We ate our salads sometimes raw or only with olive oil, salt and pepper. Sometimes, we add balsamic vinegar. 

One of our weekend brunches... I believe a Sunday.

Pasta with pesto and spinach for dinner. I am not a big fan of pesto so need to experiment more on this. I also love eating spinach raw in my salads.

This was our lunch break yesterday. Burrata cheese with tomatoes, basil, and chickory. We love Burrata and eat this on a weekly basis. It is a staple food for us.

So far that's it guys and gals. I will try to update while I am on the island holidaying.

Adios, hasta luego!

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

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