food & health

Dairy-Free Cooking: Fruit Sorbet in Champagne
Dairy-free cooking: Sorbet ice in a champagne bath with a hint of mint

After successfully completing our first two courses while still having smiles on the faces of our guests, we could see the finish line of our very first dairy-free dinner party. One more thing: dessert! What about a fresh fruit sorbet in a champagne bath with a hint of mint? Sorbets are a simple combination of fresh or frozen fruit with sugar. They’re also the perfect dairy-free alternative for ice. We’ve chosen honey strawberry sorbet with a touch of mint.  Here’s what you need to feed eight little dessert fans: – 1 kg of frozen raspberries – 1 cup of sugar – 1 cup of water – 2 tea spoons honey – a handful of mint – 2-3 leafs of galantine – 1 bottle champagne  About one kilo of fruit is perfect to make one liter of sorbet. A little more or less is fine. Puree the raspberries, add two tea spoons of honey and a handful of mint, chopped into small pieces. Finally you add a little sugar, and that’s already everything that needs to be done.  The easiest way to add sugar is to make a simple sugar syrup upfront. Cook one cup of sugar and water together until the sugar is dissolved and let it cool. Remember, though, that freezing dulls sweet flavors, so you want the base to taste slightly too sweet before freezing it. Last but not least: put the sorbet in the freezer and let it cool for some hours before serving. For the bath of champagne, all you need to do is to fill one bottle of champagne in a bowl and mix it with two to three leafs of galantine. Stir until the galantine has dissolved. Then divide the champagne evenly in your serving glasses and let them cool for 3-4 hours in the fridge to get a more solid mass.  Before serving, cut balls of sorbet and place them carefully on your champagne bath. Add a mint leaf, maybe even a small piece of dark chocolate, et voilà. Smakelijk! Guten Appetit!

The Perfect Dairy-Free Dinner Party
Perfect dairy-free dinner party

More and more people lately discover they have a food allergy. Does that mean you can't enjoy the pleasures of delicious dining anymore? Oh, hell no! Mid last year I've gone in a state of constant tiredness, pretty much always being nauseous, having headaches, even crawling on the floor from incredible stomach pains and ending up in the hospital. Turned out I have a lactose intolerance, an allergy for milk products. Which nowadays seems to be quite common, though still quite an obstacle for cooking and going on a restaurant. My god, milk is in everything: E-VE-RY-THING. Good thing we have really great friends that are open for some creativity in the kitchen. We decided that every one or two months we'll come together for a dinner that makes nobody feel bad. Also, it's the perfect occasion to drink wine together. Because: what's a dinner party without? :-) Meet: The perfect dairy-free dinner party. The party kicked-off at our place. What the hell should we cook for eight people? Well, we actually really quickly found some inspiring recipes in books and the WWW. Here's what made it to the very first dairy-free diner party menu (click on it to get to the recipe): Starter: Cucumber lasagne with a paprika cashew paste and avocado filling Main course: Codfish with creamy zucchini white wine sauce and pine nut rice Dessert: Sorbet ice in a bath of champagne with a hint of mint Nobody went home hungry, nor thirsty and the whole night was dairy-free. Just the way we like it. Enjoy!  

Dairy-Free Cooking: Cucumber Lasagne
Dairy-Free Cooking: Cucumber Lasagne

Since Jeroen found out he has a pretty nasty lactose intolerance (he’s allergic to milk products) we started to become experts in cooking dairy-free. For one of our dairy-free dinner parties we made this delicious starter that we discovered in the ‘Vegan for Youth’-book from Attila Hildmann. Here’s all you need to put it on a plate yourself: Cucumber lasagne with a paprika cashew paste with avocado filling What you need for two as a main course (times two in our case as a starter for eight): – 1/2 cucumber – 1 tablespoon walnut oil – a pinch of seasalt For the paprika cashew paste: – 100g red paprika – 1/4 chili pepper – 180g unsalted cashews – a pinch of kurkuma – seasalt – black pepper For the avocado filling: – 2 avocados – 1 tablespoon of chopped dill – 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice – 1 tablespoon walnut oil – seasalt – black pepper For decoration: – some dill – roasted pine nuts How to? Wash the cucumber and cut in thin slices (around 2mm thick). Put walnut oil and seasalt on it. Wash the paprika and chili. Remove pits. Next, put all ingredients for the paprika cashew paste in a blender. Mix till you get a creamy paste and spice it up with salt and pepper. Slice the avocados in half. Remove pit and cut the avocado in small cubes. Add the other ingredients for the filling and add salt and pepper. Now start building your little lasagne tower! Place cucumber slices on the plate, cover it with some of the paprika cashew paste, put cucumber slices on top and cover that again with some of the avocado filling, … you know the drill. At the end: decorate with a bit of dill and roasted pine nuts (we like to put a LOT of them on top). Finish! Bon appétit!

JAF bites dust at the Reebok Spartan Race

If you put us in front of a sporty challenge, chances are high we won't say no. So when a few friends invited us to join their sprint team for the Reebok Spartan Race, we were all aboard! March this year, I received a text message with "You guys should join our team for the Reebok Spartan Race. It will be cool. You have to sign-up today!". Little did we know what we were getting into but we quickly signed up, assuming it's some kind of marathon. Not. A few weeks later we discovered the true nature of the Reebok Spartan Race, an obstacle race. Let's show you... Yeah. We were a bit excited as well after seeing that a few days before taking part of the race. It's probably no surprise when we say we were slightly nervous at the starting point. But hey, together with our great team we took on all the obstacles, ran our ass off and all covered in mud did we get to that burning finish line. Our team Les Spartans even finished as the fastest - and let's just say BEST - sprint team of the day with a time of 01:16:29. Let's do that again!

Polo Ralph Lauren: Workout Monitoring T(ech)-Shirt.
Polo Ralph Lauren Tech Shirt

Polo Ralph Lauren is going to launch its newest development in the area of technical sportswear. The newly developed tech shirt is able to monitor the wearer's biological and physiological information. Edge-cutting or nice to have? Upcoming US tennis player Marcos Giron is testing the shirt at this years US Open in New York City during his trainings. The shirt has sensors knitted into it. The sensors work with Bluetooth, record the data and send them to a cloud where algorithms are applied. The outcome can then be accessed through the matching app for Android and iOS. The shirt from Polo Ralp Lauren features electrocardiogram, breathing sensor, gyroscope and accelerometer. It can measure stress levels, energy output, heart- and breathing rate, heart rate variability, breathing depth, intensity of activity, steps and calories burned. Next to all those technical information, the shirt is tight-fitting and looks great. Of course not missing, the Ralp Lauren horse logo in bright yellow colour in contrast to the black shirt. What's next? JafJaf!

SMS Audio BioSport Headphones are tracking your heart rate.
The SMS Audio BioSport In-Ear Headphones powered by Intel

Usually going for a run with your music in-ear? Well, these biometric headphones bring your running to a whole new level: they are monitoring your heart rate. Discover the SMS Audio BioSport Headphones. SMS Audio has recently launched their sports collection. But now they are going to introduce the SMS Audio’s BioSport In-Ear Headphones. These headphones are a collaboration between Intel and SMS Audio, which was founded by the rapper 50 Cent aka Curtis Jackson. 50 Cent's aim was to create headphones with top-quality audio, style, fit and functionality. A Headphone is a headphone? Not these ones. The SMS Audio BioSport Headphones have sensors to measure the heart rate of the user. There is no need to wear a chest strap or a wearable and there are no batteries required. The headphones take their energy from a smartphone or MP3 player through an audio jack. Open the box, put them in your ears, plug them in your phone and it just works. “With the introduction of the SMS Audio BioSport In-Ear Headphones powered by Intel, we’re now the first to provide this level of integrated, seamless and helpful biometric information to inspire customers to advance their fitness experiences.” said Brian M. Nohe, president of SMS Audio, in a press release. To us this is a product we are now really waiting on to be released. It is easy to use and creates an extra value due to heart rate monitoring. Waiting to see what the pairing of SMS Audio and Intel will bring in the future. From what we know today, the headphones will work together with the popular fitness app RunKeeper for Android and iOS. It will be water resisdent, it will be available in the fourth quarter this year and the price should be around $150 according to the German newspaper Handelsblatt(approx. €112). JafJaf!

Mission 20-FIT: The morning road to hotness.
Mission 20-FIT: The morning road to hotness

Here's J. A few weeks ago, Mission 20-FIT started with the goal to get in top shape for my 25th birthday. With the right music for running via Fitradio and motivation to hit the gym with Bodyjam, a lot of progress has already been made. Let's take it to the next level! Okay, the first three weeks were a good way to get warmed-up by saying no to sweets, crisps, alcohol and... bread. Gently onwards I started going back to the gym to do cardio and my running shoes also saw daylight again. It's great to have a goal (mine: to be in my best shape on September 21st) but you have to stay realistic and build-up wisely. Last week, I decided to take the next step, based on the cool Six-pack program of the German Men's Health magazine. Six of their employees took on the challenge to train eight weeks long to get their six-pack pumped. Really motivating to see how they managed. And so I started this week by also doing cardio every day, every damn day. But you know what? It's not that bad, on the contrary. For me the trick is to plan a routine in the mornings by preparing my sports outfit in the evening and putting my alarm half an hour earlier. It's just a matter of getting up, get dressed, drink a cup of coffee and wake-up while doing a half an hour morning run. Trust me: you feel way more active during the day.   By doing so, I managed to get faster every day without it taking me to my ultimate limit. On July 28th, it took me for example 30:42 for 6,22km. That's an average of 4min 56sec per kilometer. Compare that to my run of August 15th where I had an average of 4min 16sec for basically the same distance. That's 40 seconds per kilometer faster in just three weeks time. What I'm going to add to my running, cardio at the gym and healthy eating/drinking is the one thing I don't like so much: strength training. Wish me good luck! JafJaf!

Yummy! Selfmade German cinnamon rolls “Franzbrötchen”.
Selfmade Cinnamon rolls Franzbrötchen recipe

One of the many things Germans are good at: delicious selfmade cake and pastries. Esspecially in the northern part the so called 'Franzbrötchen', comparable with swedish cinnamon rolls, are a yummy specialty.  Back from Berlin we needed to try our very own receipe. YumYum. This is what you need for about 12 pieces: For the baking sheet: baking paper Yeast dough: 250 ml milk 70 g butter 500 g of wheat flour 1 pack.  Dry Yeast 70 g sugar 2 tsp vanilla sugar 1 egg (size M) a touch of salt Filling: 100 g soft butter 100 g sugar 3 tsp. cinnamon To glaze: about 2 tablespoons of milk And here is your manual: 1.Preparing: Heat the milk in a small saucepan and melt the butter in it. 2. Yeast dough: Fill the flour and yeast in a mixing bowl. Then add all other ingredients including  the warm milk-butter mixture and mix everything with a mixer (dough hook). Start shortly to mix on the lowest level, then process at the highest level in about 5 min until the dough is smooth. Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm place until it has grown visibly. (around 30 min) 3. Preheat the oven. Top / bottom heat: about 180 ° C Hot air: about 160 ° C 4. Filling: Blend the butter, sugar and cinnamon with a mixer (stirring rods). Knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll it out to a rectangle (about 70 x 25 cm). Afterwards spread out the cinanamon filling evenly and roll everything up from the longer side. Finally cut the role in about 12 equal trapeze-shaped cuts. Now place the cuts with the elongated side down on the baking sheet and press with a wooden spoon handle from the top to the narrow edge.. Let the rolls stay for another 10 min. 5. Sprinkle the buns with milk and then bake them. Oven inset: center Baking time: about 20 min. When finished, let the 'Franzbrötchen'  cool down on a wire rack or serve them warm. Enjoy your freshly, selfmade 'Franzbrötchen'. JafJaf!

Next-level ice-cream.
Next level ice-cream
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Though August is the time to think of your Summer body and though J is sweating to get in his absolute happy-25 top shape with Mission 20-fit, we're suckers for ice-cream... Discover: six ways to level-up your sweetest fantasies. JafJaf! Healthy (?) chocolate chip blizzards - Recipe on Minimalistbaker.com Creme brûlée ice-cream - Recipe on Completerecipes.com Cake batter milkshake - Recipe on Cookingclassy.com Chocolate dipped ice-cream taco - Recipe on Yourhomebasedmom.com Waffle ice-cream sandwiches - Recipe on Passthesushi.com Fried ice-cream - Recipe on Overtimecook.com

Mission 20-FIT: motivated with the right tunes.
Mission 20-FIT: Fitradio

Hola! Already three days far in my Mission 20-FIT and still on track! Proud already? It's actually really easy to work on your fitness by just going for a run while waking up in the morning or directly after work. The only thing: without the right music for running it can be such a bore... That's why I'm happy to have discovered this great music app, called Fitradio. Supporting Android, iPhone and Blackberry, it provides you daily updated music mixes in different genres. My personal favorite mixes are the TOP-40- and Electro House mixes, both with a constant energetic 128 BPM. Try it out and get your groove on together with me. J from JafJaf!