Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Militaire Luchtvaart Museum in Soesterberg

If you find yourself with nothing to do on a Sunday afternoon and the kids driving you a little nuts, well then I have an excellent suggestion.

Go to the Militaire Luchtvaart Museum in Soesterberg!

It has lots of interesting things to see and all kinds of cool activities for the kids.
But the best thing about it is that it is free!
(I L-O-V-E free things)

I must admit though, that boys might find this way more fun than the average girl (me), but Heidi had a blast running around the air planes and playing in the flight simulation area.

All in all a very good afternoon out with the kids.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Kids Food #7 - Pasta Gratin

This is pretty much my usual pasta with some melted cheese on top :-)
You know, for a little variation.

Boil the pasta, add some frozen peas a few minutes before it is done.
Drain, mix in a little tub of creme fraiche and diced slices of ham.
Pour into a oven proof dish.
Scatter grated cheese on top and place in a hot oven under the grill for about 5 minutes until the cheese melts.

Serve to kids with tomato ketchup on the side.

Sunday, 26 February 2012


We have lived in Utrecht for about 7 years now... and for 7 years I've looked at the 'Vlooienmark' banners near the Veemarkthallen, always wondering what on earth they sell there.

Today we solved that mystery.

It is really one giant antique and second hand flea market, filled with some gorgeous old stuff and a whole lot of junk too. There is a 5 euro entrance fee for adults, and of course they sell the usual fried food, sweet treats and soft drinks in a grimy little food court area.

We didn't buy much (well I bought a very pretty ring but only that!) and we sure got some exercise walking along rows and rows and rows of stalls.

Definitely worth a visit once a year or if you are in search of something special for your house or as a gift. Or even if you feel like some people watching, trust me there were some interesting characters around!


Friday, 24 February 2012

DWZI - Highs and Lows

This week was a week of highs and lows.

I had some really good days at work, and some really bad days.
I got to give a presentation and I forgot how much I like doing that.

Stella vomited all over me on Wednesday evening.
She also didn't sleep much on Tuesday night, Wednesday night or Thursday night.
I'm a zombie.

We heard that our plans for a kitchen extension were rejected by the city council... all because of a few minor things. 
(thank you Gemeente Utrecht)
But hey, maybe that is a good thing since we couldn't actually afford to build anything.
I was really looking forward to having a kitchen bigger than a doorway.
We are now negotiating with the neighbour but I'm not sure what will happen.

The best part of this week is that I am finally starting to feel thinner and the scale agrees.
It's nice to be able to fit in clothes that I wore before my last pregnancy!

Here's wishing everyone a lovely weekend with lots of time to relax.

You can find more 'Deze Week Zag Ik' participants here.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Crustless Milk Tart

We had a lot of milk in the fridge and I couldn't decide what to do with it. 
My mom suggested making a milk tart.
It is a traditional South African tart.
There was only one problem... I have never actually made one.

So I started searching for recipes online and finally found one that seemed simple enough.
The best part was that it did not need a crust.
I figured why not.

Heidi was my assistant as usual and we had lots of fun baking.

Since I am still on a diet, I was not able to taste the milk tart.
That left me in a predicament.
Heidi had two slices and begged me for more, so how bad could it be?
I think I will probably try a more traditional recipe next time.

But if you do try this, then please let me know how you liked it!

I found the recipe on a blog called Food and Family by Kit.
Here is a copy of the recipe:

Crustless Milk Tart Recipe
¾ cup / 185ml self-raising flour
2 cups / 500ml milk
2 eggs
¾ cup / 185 ml sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 oz / 25g melted butter
pinch salt
½ tsp cinnamon
Put all the ingredients together into a bowl or food processor and beat to a smooth batter. Pour into a buttered pie dish (approximately 23cm/9" in diameter, but it doesn't matter if it's not exact, the finished tart will just be either a bit deeper or shallower). Sprinkle the cinnamon over the top. Bake for 45 minutes at 175C / 350F. Serve warm or cold. It sinks and becomes denser as it cools. If you eat it hot you'll need a spoon to scoop up the soft custardy tart but cold you can pick up the slices in your hand, if it hasn't vanished long before then.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Stir Fry in a Wrap

Yes, we eat a lot of wraps.
It even came to the point where we decided to put the stir fried vegetables in a wrap.

Was this a good idea?
The jury is undecided.

It was edible, but I don't think I'll be repeating this....
That's why I'm posting the photos but not bothering with more details.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Kids Food #6 - Broccoli Soup

Do you want to know the easiest way to get vegetables into kids?
Just make a soup!

Well it works for my kids :-)

Heidi likes 'green' soup so my favourite is broccoli soup.
Combine onion, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli and any other vegetable that you might find in the house.

Add a litre of vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Then let it simmer away gently for 20 minutes or so.

Blend and then add a tablespoon or two of cream cheese.

My secret ingredient is a sliced vienna sausage.
Just stir it through the soup before serving to the kids.

As usual, I use hardly any seasoning in the kids recipes, and the soup is no exception. I've added no salt since the vegetable stock already has sufficient salt in it.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Sunday Morning Baking

We got up early today. Way too early.
I had one ripe banana and decided that it was enough to justify baking a banana bread.
As I type this the banana bread is baking away in the oven...
I'll definitely let you know how the one banana bread recipe turned out!

Friday, 17 February 2012

DWZI - Love Mosaic Workshops!

I held a very successful beginners mosaic workshop for some ladies of the IWCU on Saturday.

It was amazing to see the development of their own individual styles.
Their different choice of colours, the different designs...  just wonderful!
I've been looking at their pieces all week, waiting for the glue to strengthen so I can grout them this weekend.

Happy weekend everyone!

You can find more 'Deze Week Zag Ik' participants here.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Kids Food #5 - Sausagess

I am not such a big fan of sausages myself, but the kids really like them.
So, who am I to stop them from enjoying the odd sausage every now and again!

Add some pommes duchess from the freezer, a chopped up carrot or two and the kids' dinner is served.

I usually pop the potatoes into the oven and then start cooking the sausages in a pan over a medium heat. The carrots I boil for 10 minutes with a tablespoon of sugar, just for a little additional sweetness.
Everything should be ready in less than 20 minutes.
Slice up the sausages, let it cool down slightly before serving to happy kids.

P.S. Today is the birthday of my wonderful husband.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Cheat Birthday Cakes

My daughters celebrate their birthdays within a week of each other.
We decided to have one birthday party while we were in South Africa.
Lots of family and friends joined us for the party in Zita park on a beautiful sunny morning.

I had every intention to bake the cakes.
But somehow I got wrapped up in a million other things and I realized that I had to cheat.
Cheat, cheat, cheat.
Buy the cakes...

So, off to the supermarket we went and returned with two big cream covered cakes.
Once we returned home I scraped off the cream and placed my icing designs on top of the cakes and off to the party we went.

The icing was ordered at De Leukste Taartenprints -  an excellent web shop. I simply uploaded the designs which I made on my laptop and within 3 days they sent me two A4 sheets of icing, ready to be cut out and placed on a cake.

It worked wonderfully.

Definitely a cheat worth repeating!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

A Pretty View

I took the girls for a little walk in the neighbourhood.
It was cold, but bearable and Heidi had a lot of pent up energy.
While she was running around, I took a minute to admire the view.

Friday, 10 February 2012

DWZI - Cold!

This week it was cold... very, very, very cold.

I also found the trip reset button in my car, after driving it for a whole month!

Have a very happy weekend everybody!

You can find more 'Deze Week Zag Ik' participants here.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Kids Food #4 - Shepherds Pie

I do like a good Shepherds Pie.
It is simple, filling and makes me think of home.

Kids love it too.

I adapted this version to be more child friendly by limiting the seasoning quite a bit, and just simplifying the whole thing.

Both of my children pretty much finished their plates and that my friends is a very good sign.

Start by boiling 300 gram finely chopped potatoes, while it boils you can cook the mince.
Sautee half a finely diced onion in a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add some diced carrot and sautee for a couple of minutes. Now add about 250 gram beef minced meat. Brown the mince for a few minutes and then add a dash of worcester sauce and a dash of tomato ketchup. Add a handful of frozen peas just before the mince is completely cooked.

Remember to check the potatoes - you want them soft enough to smash but not completely falling apart. Once the mince is cooked through, set aside and serve up with smashed potatoes.

I mixed it all together for the kids since that is how they prefer it.
Serve to happy and hungry kids!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Milkshake Dinner

Yes, I am not kidding.
So stop laughing.

This was my dinner....

A milkshake.

But the fact that I'm losing weight and feeling better more than makes up for the sad dinner!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Kids Food #3 - Vegetarian Pasta

This pasta dish is a real hit with the kids.
It is ever so simple and they get lots of veggies in this way!

All you basically have to do is make a pasta sauce with a little bit of olive oil, a diced onion, a diced courgette and sliced mushrooms. Add some sieved tomatoes and let it simmer away for 15 minutes. I usually add a little bit of salt and a teaspoon of sugar as seasoning.

In the meantime go ahead and get the pasta going.
I use Dora pasta since the kids love the little shapes... either way, it takes about 10 minutes and the pasta is done.

Now the big trick is to blend the sauce with a hand blender until nice and smooth.
Cover the pasta with the sauce and mix well.
Dish up and sprinkle a tablespoon or three of grated cheese on the top.

Serve to hungry kids.

The pasta sauce is in principle enough to serve four people so I decided to freeze the remaining sauce. I am sure it will come in very handy!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Cup of Tea

Sometimes all you need is a nice warm cup of Rooibos tea.

Friday, 3 February 2012

DWZI - The Cutest Little Blocks

I don't often buy second hand toys, but this week I found an absolute treasure.
At a garage sale.
For 2 euros.

The most adorable little kids blocks.
I love them.
The kids love them.

You can find more 'Deze Week Zag Ik' participants here.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Frozen Broccoli Soup - Part 2

In December I made a healthy broccoli soup which I froze.
It simply waited for us in the freezer compartment.
For about a month.

And then the moment arrived when Heidi asked for 'green' soup.

I started off by placing the rock hard frozen soup in the microwave on defrost.
For a very long time.
At least 35 minutes.
Probably longer.
It took a while for the iceberg to melt away.

Eventually I heated up the soup and served it like I usually do with some fresh wholewheat bread.

It tasted fine... maybe a little watery.

Not sure if I will be freezing soup in the near future again but that's just because I do like my soup fresh. And since it took so long to defrost, I might as well have made the soup from scratch.

You live, you learn.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Kids Food #2 - Chicken Nuggets

Yes, yes, I know.
It is not really original feeding the kids nuggets, oven fries and peas.
But it is so easy... and I am a sucker for easy.

Pop the nuggets and fries in the oven, boil some frozen peas for a couple of minutes and the kids dinner is served.

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