Friday, 28 September 2012

DWZI - Dust

This week I felt pretty sorry for myself.
The house is chaos.
Renovating is not a joke... 
Microwave dinners.
Dust everywhere.

I have a cold.
The kids are sick too.
And really, the dust is simply driving me nuts.

I wash the floor.
I vacuum, I wipe things clean and yet it does not end.

Keep your eye on the prize... that is my new mantra.
Just think about the finished kitchen.
This too shall pass.

Have a great weekend everyone!
You can find all the DWZI participants here.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Scone Experiment

Before we went to South Africa we stopped by my friend Tip's place one lazy Sunday afternoon.
She is always experimenting with different kinds of flours and cool ingredients.
That day she had made scones with a different flour than usual (I forget what she used but it certainly is not standard stuff) and we were allowed to taste the experiment.

I thought it was pretty good, but she was of the opinion that the dough was overworked and it should have risen more and it should have been baked longer...
She served them with whipped cream, lemon curd and strawberries.

I was not complaining.
In fact I will gladly sit in her beautiful kitchen and taste her experiments any day!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Tuna Lemon Ricotta Pasta

I found this recipe in the Albert Heijn Allerhande magazine a couple of months ago. Although it is essentially marketing the supermarket, they have quite a few good recipes in there which I think are well worth trying.

This recipe for a pasta with tuna, lemon and ricotta cheese was very easy and quite tasty.
Don't you just hate it when there is a but?
Well, for me there was definitely a 'but'.
My finished dish did not quite look like their photo of the finished dish.
I don't know... might be that I am not a food stylist and probably did not try very hard to make it look pretty. Might be that they tried too hard to make it look pretty.

Either way, I liked it and will most definitely make it again.

Here is a link to the original recipe.

Here is a copy, translated into English:

300 g farfalle (pasta)
1 lemon, wiped clean
2 cans tuna pieces in sunflower oil (a 185 g)
2 courgettes, peeled into thin ribbons
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tub ricotta (250 g)
some flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions until al dente. Grate the lemon peel and squeeze out the juice. Drain the tuna into a bowl and save about 3 tablespoons of the oil.
2. Heat the tuna oil in a pan and add the garlic. Cook for about 1 minute. Now add the courgette and cook for 3 minutes more. Add the lemon rind, juice, tuna, ricotta and season with salt and pepper. Turn down the heat. Let it simmer away for about 5 minutes.
3. Add the pasta to the sauce, add the parsley and serve immediately.

Credit and thanks to Maybemej Photography for the frame template and all the other cool freebies she makes.

Friday, 21 September 2012

DWZI - Kitchen Progress

We started working on our kitchen extension in the beginning of May.
It is now the end of September.
Progress was slow, to say the least.

It was deliberate because quite frankly, we have a cash flow problem.
Big dreams and no money.
Luckily we figured out that we could save a fortune by doing the work ourselves.
There was only one catch... we had NO experience in this area.

I have mentioned it before but we are very lucky to live next to two very experienced handy men.
They build houses and kitchens and pretty much anything for a living.
They agreed to help and teach us as we went along.

This week we finally broke down the last walls and now it feels real.
We are going to have a much bigger kitchen and lots of light.
The progress this week has been amazing.

It started on the weekend with our neighbour, Rene, helping my husband demolish walls and ceilings. Then Rene spent two full days working for us, all by himself, and let me tell you that man can make things happen.

I am starting to really look forward to cooking in my new kitchen!

Have a great weekend everyone!

You can find all the DWZI participants here.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Pretty Things

Sometimes I take such pleasure from beautiful things.
Like this pretty coffee cup and saucer.
It contained a delicious cappuccino with a gingerbread cookie on the side.
Loved it.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Decadent Treat

Now this is a red velvet cake.

The first one I ever tasted and it was good.

Unfortunately it was in a restaurant so I cannot claim to have baked it myself, but rest assured that I will be looking for recipes and hopefully experimenting soon...

P.S. I didn't actually eat it all by myself! But I easily could have.

Friday, 14 September 2012

DWZI - Time for a Change

This week I made a very big decision and followed through on it.

Time for a change.

Time for something new.

Yes, after 7 years I have found a new job.

I'm pretty scared, and I think fear of change is normal, but at the same time I am excited.

Things can only get better, right?

Have a great weekend everyone!

You can find all the DWZI participants here.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

End of the Vegetable Patch

The season is turning and the vegetable patch is going to be closed for business...
We had a good run and I've had the joy of growing my own food.
Pretty awesome stuff which I plan on repeating next year.
If you need guidance (like I did) then remember to sign up at the Moestuincoach!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

My Cherry Tomatoes

I am so proud.


The cherry tomatoes went crazy while we were away. 
Last week I enjoyed harvesting them all.

They were bright red, ripe and ready for the eating.

My very own cherry tomatoes, grown from tiny seeds on my balcony.
Hopefully there will be a repeat performance next year.

Friday, 7 September 2012

DWZI a Wedding Ring

After reminiscing about my brother's beautiful wedding, I could not help but looking down at my ring finger often this week.

My new wedding ring proudly on display.

We've been married for 8 years and in all this time I always only ever wore my engagement ring. Simply because we never got around to buying me a wedding ring. And that was fine, I really love my engagement ring.

In South Africa everyone just wears their wedding rings on their left hands. However, in the Netherlands most people wear their wedding bands on their right hands.  So that left me with a empty ring finger on my right hand. Better to wear a ring on each hand, right? 

So finally, finally, finally we found a beautiful ring while on vacation and I now wear it day and night. 


Have a fabulous weekend!

You can find all the DWZI participants here.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Wedding Stories - Cousins

The wedding gave us a chance to reunite with family and friends.

It seems only fitting to end my wedding posts with a few photos taken of the cousins, sitting in the wheat field at sunset.

They had a fantastic time playing, dancing, running, laughing and screaming.

These are memories which I hope will stay with them, even though they are still too young to appreciate the special event which they took part in.

Luckily I have these photos to share with them.

The photos were taken by our talented friend, Pierre.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Wedding Stories - The Reception

While the bride and groom were off on a photo shoot the guests enjoyed a lazy sunset with cold drinks and delicious snacks.

Typical South African treats like biltong and droƫ wors, chicken liver pate, hummus and delicious cheeses with all kinds of condiments.

The setting was beautiful with mountains in the distance and bunting waving around in a gentle breeze. The kids were already dancing around festively, while big bonn fires were about to be lit. Warm blankets were on standby for the chill the darkness would bring.

The happy couple entered and broke tradition by starting the reception with a dance.

Speeches, laughter, tears and toasts followed by a delicious buffet.

It was a party that could have gone on forever... but then the kids started getting tired and for me it was time to head to bed with a head full of happy memories.

Most of the photos were taken by our talented friend, Pierre.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Wedding Stories - The Menu

Of course a wedding won't be complete without fabulous food.
And as you should know by now, I am completely obsessed with food.

Here is my interpretation of the menu served at my brother's wedding.


Monday, 3 September 2012

Wedding Stories - The Ceremony

We went to South Africa for my brother's wedding.
It was wonderful.
So wonderful that I'll be sharing my memories with you all week.

The ceremony took place on a farm, surrounded by wheat fields in the warm afternoon sun.

Little kids were running around, white parasols kept the sun out of our eyes while we were seated on straw bales.

My brother, Marius, looked dashing and his beautiful bride, Jeani, was a vision.


Most of the photos were taken by our talented friend, Pierre.

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