Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Queen, I mean King's day!

We're getting a King.

That's pretty special.
Plus I really love princess Máxima who will soon be the new queen.

Besides baking cupcakes and taking a stroll around the vrijmarkt we will probably be watching television most of the day to see the ceremony.

Last night there was a fancy dinner with all kinds of important people from the all over the world.
Don't you love this photo of Willem Alexander, Máxima and Queen Beatrix?

Photo source: Het Koninklijk Huis

Have a wonderful last Queensday everyone!!

Monday, 29 April 2013

Camera, oh my Camera

I'm trying very hard to improve my general photography skills but I get the feeling that I pretty much suck at it.

I have an old Canon DSLR and my dad bought me a new lens: 50mm f/1.8
It's really good when the lighting is not so good.
But I'm not so good at operating the camera in manual mode.
I keep getting blurred photos which I hate.
And occasionally I get some brilliant shots.

Of course I'm a complete novice but it is frustrating.

Yesterday after months of debating I bought a new camera.

Now I have a new camera and a new lens... so maybe things will improve?
I almost fainted when I switched it on, the screen is so big and the camera is so fast!
Why on earth do I have to go to work today when all I want to do is play with my camera.

But first things first - work and then time to get ready for the Queensday festivities which starts tonight!

Shall I bake some cupcakes with orange icing for Heidi?

Friday, 26 April 2013

DWZI - Fancy Dinners!

It was a busy week at work and home.
I cannot believe how time flies...
My parents are leaving soon and I don't want to think about it.
I'm very good at denial.

We had some excellent meals this week though.
I went to Vis & Meer in Utrecht with my parents and it was great.
Plus I so love Utrecht at night.

Last night my husband and I joined some good friends for an 8 course dinner in Eindhoven.
Yes, 8 plates of food... beautiful, fancy and delicious food!
Good thing I had my camera with me this week (even though it weighs a ton).

Have a great weekend everyone!

You can find all the DWZI participants here.
Deze week zag ik is iedere vrijdag een blik op de afgelopen week.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Cake Pops

I don't need much of an excuse to bake.
If it was up to me I would bake every day of the week.
But then I would probably eat everything I bake...

A good friend's son turned four and we were invited to the party.
I offered to bake some cake pops and they turned out pretty good.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Garlic Bread

Where I come from a barbecue is not complete without a garlic bread.
A french loaf, butter, fresh garlic and parsley from my own garden.
Wrap it in aluminium foil and place on the barbecue for about 10 minutes, turning regularly.
Unwrap and enjoy!

Monday, 22 April 2013


The weather was so lovely on Saturday.
After a busy day of children's parties we sat outside on the terrace to have our first barbecue of the season. I finally managed to clean up the vegetable patch. After a whole winter of pretty much ignoring it you would be surprised to hear that parsley and chives still thrive there.

Finally I am ready to start again.
Let's plant some seeds!

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Apartment Diet - New Course

The folks I know from the Apartment Diet blog are launching a new online course and since I'm a big fan of theirs I decided to share it with you. Here's a little bit from them:

"What’s an apartment diet? Well, it started out as a joke that every now & then your home could use a bit of a diet. But it grew into a concept. A way to confront our mess. Our ever-changing needs. Our embarrassments. Our new spaces. Those to-do lists that never got done. Rather than be overwhelmed we say ‘start with a corner’…you never know what will happen next!"

"The course runs for 5 weeks, includes weekly exercises and tips, as well as inspiration and a great community of people sharing the experience with you in a private online space on Flickr. We are there with you the whole way and give you tools to start…and finish."

The next course starts on April 29th and runs for 5 weeks until May 31st.

If you're interested, use the "FRIENDS" discount code at the check out and the course will cost you £75 (instead of £97).

You can find more details about the course on their blog.

Friday, 19 April 2013

DWZI - Tea Parties

My parents are visiting for the next two weeks.
They provide me with support which I dearly appreciate and need.

We've had a few tea parties in our house lately.
Isn't that what grandparents are for?

Have a great weekend!

You can find all the DWZI participants here.
Deze week zag ik is iedere vrijdag een blik op de afgelopen week.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Caprese Salad

The basil I have growing on in my kitchen is so lovely.
Even though I seem to neglect it ever so slightly (yes, I either give too little or too much water) it always bounces back to give me the most tasty, fragrant leaves.

This past weekend my husband pointed out (again) how disorganised I am. Of course he is right but I do so hate to admit it. I buy groceries without any real plan and then I find things in the fridge which I had better use or throw out. Like a ball of mozzarella which I bought ages ago. Why did I buy it again? Oh yes, it was on special... good reason, right?

Luckily I had my trusty basil and some ripe tomatoes which of course go really well with mozzarella.

I love the combination and what I love even more is eating it while in Italy but since that is not really an option right now I'm happy to enjoy it at home.

Remember to drizzle extra virgin olive oil over your salad just before you serve it :-)

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Noodles with Beef, Leeks and Courgette

The mystery box always provides lots of opportunity for being inventive.
It's almost like being on Masterchef, but without any pressure.
And yes, I probably watch way more Masterchef than I should...

The box I received two weeks ago had some beautiful beef and gorgeous leeks. I figured the best way to use the beef strips were in a stir fry. Throw in a courgette, some noodles, lots of spices and dinner is served.

Friday, 12 April 2013

DWZI - Falling

It feels like I am falling.
And I cannot seem to get back up.

But I've made my decision to stop work and all I have to do is survive the next two weeks.
Unfortunately it will be a very tough two weeks.
Two weeks of hand overs and finger pointing.

I can handle it.

What I love most of all is the idea of being there for my children one of these days, sharing the ordinary moments.

My parents arrive today for a visit - I cannot wait to meet them at the airport.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Risotto Dinner for One

My husband was not eating at home and I had to fend for myself.
I decided that a hearty risotto was just what I needed.
My trusted pumpkin and feta risotto recipe nevel fails.
Halve the recipe, add some mushrooms to the mix and dinner for one is served.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Fennel, Broccoli and Potatoes

I refused to go to the grocery store until I used up the broccoli.
It's like punishment.

So I made up a dish to serve to the husband when he came home from work.
Basically it involved sautéing the fennel, garlic and an onion. Then slicing and cooking the potatoes until they were nicely browned. Boil the broccoli for no more than 5 minutes and then combine all of this in a dish.

Make a gravy of sorts with vegetable stock and maizena or a roux if you prefer and pour it over the veggies with a hand full of grated parmesan cheese on top. Place into a hot oven for 30 minutes and serve up.

I actually quite liked it... definitely not a bad combination!

Monday, 8 April 2013

Weekly Menu

To tell you the truth I don't actually know what I'll be cooking this week.
Mostly because I am recovering from a bit of food poisoning (will the suffering never end?!) so it is hard for me to think about food.

One thing I know for sure is that I have quite a bit of ingredients to use up from my food crate courtesy of the Streekmolen. In fact I am browsing through their suggested recipes right now.

Friday, 5 April 2013


I recovered from the throat infection and then ended up getting a cold.
How does that work???

Tissues, lots of tissues is what I saw this week.
And more major decisions about my career or soon to be lack there of.

And of course my lovely girls, being as sweet as ever.

Have a great weekend!!

You can find all the DWZI participants here.
Deze week zag ik is iedere vrijdag een blik op de afgelopen week.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Bananas and Hagelslag

Stella will pretty much eat anything as long as she makes it herself.
That includes a fruit snack.

Don't ask me how the combination of banana and hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles) happened.
I have a sneaky suspicion Heidi is to blame.

I just stepped back and let her carry on with the mess.
At least she ate it all!

Monday, 1 April 2013

Easter Egg Nest Cake

We were invited for an Easter brunch that turned into an Easter lunch because we had some trouble getting up in the morning. And I decided to bake a cake.

To be specific, it is called an Easter Egg Nest Cake from a recipe by Nigella.

Clearly I did not have all the right ingredients... well, actually I just missed one ingredient and that was the sugar coated Easter eggs. I figured I can improvise with some chocolate Easter eggs that we had in the house.

Did I mention that this recipe does not actually contain any flour?

It was quite a mission whisking all the eggs but in the end it was well worth the effort. This cake is simply delicious, with or without Easter eggs!

Here is a link to the original recipe from Nigella's book called Feast.
Here is a copy:

For the cake
250 gram(s) dark chocolate chopped
125 gram(s) unsalted butter softened
6 medium egg(s) 2 whole 4 separated
175 gram(s) caster sugar 75g for yolk mixture 100g for whites
1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract

For the topping
125 gram(s) dark chocolate chopped
250 ml double cream
1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
1 packet(s) egg(s) (small)


Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C.
Line the bottom of a 23cm springform cake tin with baking parchment, or better still, Bake-O-Glide but do not grease the sides of the tine.
Melt the 250g chocolate with the butter in either a double boiler or a microwave and then set aside to cool slightly.
Whisk the 4 egg whites until firm, then gradually add the 100g of sugar and whisk until the whites are holding their shape and peak gleamingly - but not stiff.
Remove this bowl and set aside while you whisk, in another bowl, the 2 whole eggs and 4 yolks with the 75g of sugar and the vanilla extract, and then gently fold in the chocolate mixture.  Lighten the mixture with some egg whites - just dollop a large spoonful in and stir briskly - and then fold in the rest of the whisked whites gently, in about three goes.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake is risen and cracked and the centre is no longer wobbly on the surface.  Cool the cake in its tin on a wire rack;  the middle will sink as it cools and the sides splinter.  You want this to look like a cake with a crater in it, so do not panic at the vision of imperfection in front of you.  That's one of the reasons this cake is so unstressful to make.
To finish the cake, carefully remove it from the tin and  place it on a plate or cake-stand, not worrying if bits fall off here and there.  Put them back in a loose fashion.
Melt the chocolate for the topping and leave it to cool a little.  Whip the cream until it is firming up and aerated but still soft, and then add the vanilla and fold in the melted chocolate.  Fill the crater of the cake with the chocolatey cream, easing it out gently towards the edges of the cake with a rubber spatula, and then arrange the little sugar Easter eggs on top.

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