My Little Chequered Kitchen

About Me

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My name is Monique and I’m a Kiwi living with my Dutch husband here in the Netherlands.  I’m passionate about simple home cooking, whether it be savoury or sweet.  This passion was instilled in me whilst growing up in Wellington, New Zealand with a mother who took pride in cooking the most scrumptious meals for my father and two big brothers, but who above all was a terrific baker and who would constantly research and update her recipes in the search for perfection.  Some of my most vivid and happiest childhood memories revolve around my magnificent birthday parties.  My mother would spend days in preparation, making the most incredible array of delicious snacks and treats that would crowd the dining table which was surrounded by a group of wide-eyed little girls with mouths salivating at the feast laid out before them.  My birthday parties and I were the envy of all my friends!

These days, I like to show others that it doesn’t have to be difficult to create a fantastic meal from scratch, and that it is in fact much healthier to use natural ingredients to create your own dishes, rather than using packet mixes or prepackaged foods that contain unhealthy preservatives or additives – and this even applies to our time-poor day and age when we often rush through the front door running late and tired after a long day of hard work, and the last thing we want is to spend another hour cooking in the kitchen!  There are healthy meal solutions for every circumstance – and all can be made from scratch!

Cooking is my expression of love. It’s my gift to friends and loved ones and now to you.  I hope you enjoy your time here discovering the recipes on my blog.  And don’t forget to leave me a message!  I promise I’ll try to reply.

Monique xx

 

How to use this blog

This blog showcases all of my favourite made-from-scratch recipes, the discovery of which is of course a continual journey of exploration.  I make a point of never publishing a recipe that I’m not completely passionate about, and often I spend time perfecting a recipe until I think I’ve found my ideal combination of ingredients.

As I mature and grow older, healthy eating has become ever more important to me, and so I strive to use fresh, natural ingredients, with an emphasis on fruits and vegetables.  But I should stress that this blog is not intended to be a showcase of healthy recipes, as I also believe that a sweet treat every now and again is also important for your sanity!  But to help my readers make wiser nutritional choices, I also include with every recipe the approximate value per serve using the WeightWatchers ProPoints system.  

Finally, each recipe is categorised to fit into a certain type of recipe:

Busy Work Day Meal Solutions - these recipes include ideas for sides to serve with the main dish as I find from experience that planning a full nutritional meal is oven a chore when you are short of time.  Above all, these recipes are very simple and quick to make, using ingredients that are for the most part easy to source and are ideal for those evenings when you want to prepare and eat a meal as quickly as possible.

Simple Desserts - these recipes are quick and simple to make, and ideal for a last-minute whip up for when you have unexpected visitors turn up after dinner!

Entertaining & Weekend Meal Ideas – these recipes, both savory and sweet, are for when you have a bit of time on your hands and you want to make a special meal for friends or family.

Desserts for Special Occasions - mouth-watering desserts that take a little extra effort and time and so ideal for impressing friends and family for those extra special occasions.

Filling the baking tins – I believe all things are good in moderation, and I try to keep a little bit of home baking at the ready instead of snacking on chocolate or chippies.  Above all, the recipes in this category are a delicious and inexpensive ideas to give as gifts to loved ones for birthdays, Christmas, or just to say “I care”.