Smoky & spicy paprika mayonnaise smoky and spicy paprika mayonnaiseI am a big fan of homemade condiments, for many many reasons. You see, having this smoky and spicy mayonnaise in my fridge makes me feel excited about even the most mundane kind of food. Such as, let’s say, thinking of having a boiled egg and a slice of bread for dinner. Mwahhhh.
But when I think of adding a spoonful of this mayonnaise to the equation, all of a sudden I’m cycling home a bit faster.

And that is exactly what a homemade condiment does for me – bringing normal food to a level of awesomeness. Which is also what I remind myself of when I go through the motions of making this mayonnaise (or this pesto,  labneh or fig mustard), as it does not give the immediate satisfaction of having a meal ready.  

I love serving (and obviously eating) this mayonnaise next to a grilled burger, roasted paprikas, with polenta fries (and yes, I really need to reshoot these photos *hiding face in hands*) or on top of said sandwich with some boiled eggs.

In case you are a little intimidated by making your own mayonnaise, feel reassured, as I think pretty much everyone is. You might not get it right the first time, but I am sure it will all work out the second time (at the latest :)).
I will admit that I have a success rate of around 90%, and I have given some tips in the recipe notes on how to fix a ‘troubled’ batch of mayonnaise. In any case: enjoy!

Smokey & spicy paprika mayonnaise


  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 250 milliliter of neutral oil
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon of chili flakes, or more depending on how spicy you like your mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon of salt, I use pink himalayan salt, but you can use any
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon of smoky whisky such as Laphroaig, if you chose to do so reduce the lemon juice by half. Another tasty addition could be 1 teaspoon of crushed & finely chopped garlic


  1. There are (roughly said) two methods to make mayonnaise.
  2. The conventional way would be to whisk the mixture into emulsion by hand, demonstrated here by Jamie Oliver.
  3. The method I prefer, however, is less biceps-heavy and uses a hand-blender, and is accidentally also ready within minutes. Here is a very handy description with useful photos, and Kenji Lopez description is gold. 
  4. By all means, I find that I have the highest success rate when all ingredients are cool, rather than on room temperature. 
  5. With this method you place the egg first in a larger cup (for example the measure jug that comes with your hand blender) or large mason jar, together with the mustard and lemon juice (wait with adding the salt until your mayonnaise is ready, as it might cause it to not firm up). You then place the hand blender in this mixture without turning it on. You then pour the oil on top of it. Only now you start the hand blender without moving, in short intervals (to ensure that you don’t incorporate too much oil in one go).
  6. Once you can see the egg, mustard and oil binding on the bottom of the glas, start moving the blender slowly upwards until you have a homogene mayonnaise.
  7. Once your mayonnaise has come together, turn of the hand blender and mix in the salt and spices (and optionally a spoon of smoky whisky) by hand. 
  8. To lighten the mayonnaise up, you can add a little more lemon juice (be careful in case you already added extra liquid by means of some whisky) and eventually also some thick (Greek) yoghurt.
  9. What do if your mayonnaise turns into soup?
  10. By all means, do not throw away and be reassured that it can still be rescued. 
  11. The way to save your mayonnaise is by practically making more (or starting over, just how you want to see it). You restart the whole process (one egg, teaspoon of mustard, juice of a lemon) in a jug, and instead of pouring oil on top, you slowly add the 'soupy' mayonnaise while having your handblender on. 
  12. Good luck and enjoy!


Homemade Gin

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We have moved! And although this is no exciting news by any means, for anyone else except for me and the one person that moved with me (!), there is something interesting about changing places. The change of environment makes me feel like the normal routines and habits have fallen away, even though we have only moved two kilometers away from our former apartment (I know, it really does sound ridiculous, even more when I write it down). Other than the flood of self-help that scarily enough started to show up on Google once I tried to figure out whether it is normal to feel a little lost, I realised that Gretchen Rubin mentioned in her podcast (I really like this one – Happier) that changing environment or jobs often makes it easier to change habits.Thing is, I wasn’t planning on changing any habits. Whether I eat too much cheese or chocolate, I am by no means ready to admit that.

The part that is exciting however, is that I started to browse my Feedly for dinner inspiration yesterday. This might mean that there is space to try new things (or finally start the list I made with things I’d love to make). My first project in our new place is making gin. Yes, making gin at home!

While I was in Amsterdam recently, I saw a really beautiful gift set, holding an empty bottle, a spice mix and the instruction to add vodka to make your own gin. And I thought: we can do this ourselves!

Recipes to make gin vary greatly, to my large surprise. I’ve taken different recipes and simply decided on the ingredients I like most, but please feel free to amend as you like. As this small blog celebrates its first birthday tomorrow (!), I’m happy to say cheers! View Full Post

Roasted Garlic Rosemary Salt

Photo 23-08-15 13 28 54We are moving!
Whereas I am mentally already living at our new place, fact is that physically almost all of our stuff is still acting like it is belonging to our old home. The place is not boxed up, but still things start to get missing and move around.
This also implies, very contra-intuitive, that there is a need to empty the cupboards and fridge.

In ways I feel blessed (for a good laugh, please do look at this Instagram Account #blessed) with such a stocked freezer as we are still having proper meals. For two weeks straight, I know, I am ridiculous.
Also, it turns out, I have a thing for spices and salts. Instead of packing boxes I have decided to make things to empty our cupboards and to fill up the jars and bottles we would move empty otherwise.

Starting off with this Tomato-Chili Salt, moving on to make more Limoncello (I don’t have any excuse for that, sorry), making even more Vanilla Essence, I decided to take a turn and make this Roasted Garlic Rosemary Salt.
It completely surprised me and I think it might be one of the best things I’ve made in a long time. The salt is super aromatic, the roasted garlic cloves dry up to become a little leathery, rather than hard, but still blend in perfectly with the salt.

The project does take a little patience and will take up a bit of space on your kitchen counter but you will be super happy to have done so. Also, and I know this is coming a little early, but I can imagine this to be beautiful gifts in holiday season, divided in little pots or small pouches.
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Strawberry Vanilla Marmelade

This weekend I gave in to my need to relax and to really do nothing. It resulted in a blissful schedule of sleeping, reading (this book), rummaging around on the internet (to find this really cool IKEA kitchen of the future for example), running, coloring (yes, really this is the best new thing) and simply enjoying getting a little bored.

Having said that, even though I stepped back, I did make something in our kitchen (who am I kidding, I can’t be stopped;)). But instead of making one hundred things at the same time, I simply focused on these strawberries. And to be honest, I couldn’t have been happier with both the process and the end result. Not only does our place smell like heaven (or a cookie dough factory), it also feels like saving a bit of summer for later (read: dark autumn days).
Considering that we are heading towards the end of strawberry season (!), I am making sure to get my hands on the last bits (and yes, this is just enough to trigger my hamster instincts), to make sure there is enough to take us through winter, even though it is really tempting to simply eat my way through this batch right away.I already mentioned this blog, and I will tell you again what a master piece it is. It made me yearn to make marmelade, even though I have never made jam before.

Considering the abundance of cherries, strawberries and even of Redcurrants and Goose Berries on the market, I am happy to figure out how to preserve at least some of it in time.

I was very happy to cook this marmelade with Marisa’s instructions on hand. I have found her descriptions very comforting, especially because I feel a little hesitative to make preserves (I can’t remember which novel it was, but I am sure I read a book where a guest of one of the main characters drops head-down after being served spoiled canned beans at her place).

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Lemon-Mint Syrup


After coming across this amazing blog, I couldn’t help but be really excited about preserving all the things. Which is – in my opinion – also one of the best things a blog can do to your imagination: inspire and make you want to try things you didn’t know you could want in the first place, talking about role models.:)

So, of course, at the moment I am dreaming of strawberry marmelade (with vanilla?!) and buying all the mason jars I can find, even though our kitchen cupboards ‘might’ explode just the tiniest bit (it might have been a sign from above that the elderflower blossom was already grown into little berries when I went out for a little hunt last week, armed with scissors and a large bag).

What I did make instead was something very attainable in almost any season: I made a lemon-mint syrup, using up all of the lemons, even the skins, which added a small bitter note.
This syrup is really good when added to baked goods, especially when added to simple loaf cakes or cupcakes just after they come out of the oven (think of around half a cup of syrup poured over the hot cake).
This syrup also makes a great homemade lemonade with some fizzy mineral water or even a very posh cocktail when topped with dry sparkling wine (talking about summer evenings:)).
The fresh mint leaves already dried a little in our June kitchen, but were just as aromatic.
I can imagine this syrup to be awesome with a sprig of rosemary or even a vanilla bean as well. In any case: enjoy your summer evenings! View Full Post