St Valentine candlelight dinner, with love…

Love graffiti from the Body Worlds museum

What is love? The eternal question! Sometimes, love is a life journey and the longest road to home. We enter it timidly, with carefully measured steps. Time, when love is all about romantic gestures and surprises, the best time to be in love!

So even if you’re older and more mature now, let’s agree, that there’s no classier way to surprise your loved ones, like a nice candlelight dinner, prepared with a secret ingredient, called love 🙂

Find time to lose yourself in what you love
A little sign, that I snapped in the Body Worlds museum in Amsterdam
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Harvest time

Autumn, this beautiful season, when everything in the nature is meant to die…. only to be resurrected in the spring.

The season might be the best time to find a great variety of seasonal products and herbs. These are the days, when  we go around muddy forest and leaf covered paths, searching for wild mushrooms and the last forest fruits.

The time, when we collect oysters along the coast, at tide, or  just searching through the farmers markets, to sense the smell of baked apples, marinated pickles and dry charcuterie. My favourite time in Autumn  is to walk there with a pack of roasted chestnuts in my hand, choosing the best pumpkin for soup,  or just nourishing  my  senses through the eyes. I want to present you two of my favourite autumn recipes for something fast and sweet:  Pumpkin mousse and Stuffed apples with Marzipan.


How we got here…

In the season of the cinnamon-orange memories, full of warm wine aroma, star anise and cardamom, Chef Iva was born.

It’s time to cook all the scents, tastes and delights, that remind us of winter, the snow,  the warmth of home and the Christmas stars, because it’s not just a holiday, when miracles happen, but it’s a magical moment, in which I become a kid again.

I close my eyes and imagine the smiling faces of the people around the fireplace, a Christmas tree, covered in countless colorful toys, reflecting the light, flickering playfully… and flavours, I imagine flavours. From the kitchen, a scent of freshly baked Stollen, mulled wine, Raclette, roasted chestnuts, gingerbread cookies, I can go on forever, because each Christmas memory inside of me has to it an emotion, shape, smell and taste.

It doesn’t matter how old you are, since the beginning of time, care and love come hand in hand with cooking, because “there’s no greater act of kindness and humanity, as to cook for someone”.

Meanwhile the restoration of Christmas tastes around the Globe, I would like to tell you the story of Klaus, the gander living on the canal passing by our Amsterdam home, who, because we’re buddies, will not be eaten for Christmas! I’m on a mission to take care and protect him.

There was this funny German joke, in which they asked the Dresden geese, what should people choose from Christmas dinner, to which all the geese replied in one voice “Carp, carp”… therefore a classic Christmas meal would have either goose, duck or carp.