Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Spicy Sausage Pasta Sauce

Last week I made dinner ahead of time, something I never do.
A spicy sausage pasta in a tomato based sauce.
I added a lot of chili and peppadews.
Not sure why, guess the red colours seemed appealing at the time.
It was quite a treat to just heat the sauce up and not have to bother with cooking anything except the pasta. Easy peasy. And it tasted good too ;-)

Finely slice and dice one onion and one clove of garlic. Heat up a tablespoon olive and add the onion and garlic to the pan, sauté a few minutes on medium heat until the onion becomes translucent. Slice up two pork sausages (or similar sausage) and add to the pan. Cook for a few minutes until the sausage gets a nice colour - not too long since you'll be adding the sausage to the sauce later to cook through. Remove from pan but leave the onion and garlic behind. Add a tin of whole tomatoes and let it simmer for 5 minutes in the pan. Season with salt, pepper and a teaspoon of sugar. Finely slice a red chili (with or without seeds) and a few peppadews and add to the sauce. Also add a dash of balsamic vinegar. Smash the tomatoes with your wooden spoon and add the sausage pieces back to the pan. Now let it all simmer away for 10 minutes or so - you might need to add some liquid if your sauce reduces too much. The sauce is ready when the tomatoes are very soft and the pork is cooked through. Add to the pasta of your choice and mix well. Should be enough to serve two hungry people - not really for kids though unless they like chillies.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Looking Back at King's Day

What a weekend!
We had a lot of fun and managed to get rid of some stuff in the process.
It was also exhausting because let me tell you that getting a spot to sell your stuff is quite a mission. You have to be there early and you have to be quite tenacious. With the help of my friend and neighbour we were successful in our mission.

The kids had fun running around and spending the profit of their sales. We had fun standing around, chatting, drinking beer and eating snacks whilst trying to sell our junk for as much as possible. It was a good evening.

The next day my sister in law arrived and I went to the vrijmarkt twice. Yes, twice.
Once with the kids and once with the whole family and our guests. We walked a lot, ate a lot and bought new junk which we will inevitably sell or donate. You will be amazed at what people sell. For now the kids love their new toys and we just try to contain the mess :-)

Hope you have a great week!

Friday, 25 April 2014


We went to a fair at the Griftsteede a week ago.
It was cloudy but not too cold and we were lucky enough to get home before the rain started.
The kids loved it. They wanted to go on every single ride... I even went on a giant octopus ride and quite enjoyed myself.

The only problem with an afternoon like this is the fact that every ride cost money and they certainly milk the parents. But hey, you only live once and I'm sure the kids will have some really good memories :-)

Tonight we're celebrating King's Night - I'm hoping to sell a lot of stuff so wish me luck!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Easter Breakfast for my Love

Yesterday morning the kids woke up early and I struggled down the stairs with them where we played for a while while their father slept in. As a treat we made him breakfast to be served in bed - a simple feast of croissants, boiled egg, cheese and jam with tea. We carried it all the way upstairs to the bedroom where he had the good sense to realise that croissants are not to be eaten in bed due to their general messiness, pastry flakes tend to go everywhere.

Today will be a busy DIY day at our new house - time is racing past us so we better get cracking!

Have a great week!

Friday, 18 April 2014

Happy Easter!

It is that time of the year again where we (over)indulge in chocolate eggs and quite frankly I cannot wait for it to be done. My supermarket had a lot of Easter eggs half price this week and to my shame I bought some... But it was for a good cause!

I finally used the glass jars which I've been saving (my husband calls it hoarding but we'll agree to disagree on that one). A quick trip to the hardware store for pink spray paint and superglue. Then some toy farm animals that were lying around became the centrepiece! Although I'm not sure I'm gifted as such with the use of spray paint but it turned out OK after a few layers of paint. Good thing there is lots of paint left so I can practise spraying stuff pink.

I'm saving these for the kids for Sunday morning :-)

Happy Easter!!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Breakfast for Dinner

Bacon and eggs tend to be classified as breakfast but in my opinion it is good any time, any place.
Since I stopped at the Mark & Spencer's on the way home from Woerden and just happened to have English muffins and cheddar cheese I figured it would make a great dinner. Bacon, eggs, cheddar cheese (yes, the real thing!) and a big salad to make sure we eat our greens... yummy yum yum.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Easter Egg Hunt

Yesterday we went to the IWCU annual Easter egg hunt for the kids.
The weather was about a million times better than it was last year! The sun was shining and it wasn't particularly cold - in other words the perfect morning to go running around outside.

The kids loved hunting for eggs and of course they loved eating them even more... unfortunately it is rather hard for the husband and I to resist them too so their stash is disappearing at an alarming rate.

My cute little bunny:

Hope you have a great week ahead!

Friday, 11 April 2014

Dancing Queen

Stella had her last dance lesson this week.
It was a little bittersweet since all her friends will go on to the next set of classes and she will not because we are moving. I guess I better find her something similar in our new town.

Here she is, having the time of her life.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Spicy Sausage Pasta

Sometimes you need a little bit of heat.
A subtle hit of chili to wake up the senses.

That is exactly what my spicy sausage pasta did. Merques sausages, jalapeno peppers, mushrooms, tomato frito, onions and garlic. With the obligatory olive oil, balsamic vinegar and some cayenne pepper. Add a dash of cooking cream to the sauce and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. Delicious and very spicy indeed!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Monday, Monday

Here we are again.
The start of a new week.
I booked our move date (the end of May) and already have boxes arriving this week... I need to start packing because I'm obsessing about it. I also want to either trash, donate or sell a LOT of stuff.

But first I'm heading out to visit a friend whom I have not seen in ages. Yay!

Here is Stella, devouring a cucumber.
To say she is not fond of vegetables is an understatement.
My silly little girl.

Friday, 4 April 2014


We have a million things to do.

OK, I know everyone has a million things to do but it feels a little overwhelming right now with the new house and everything. I have long lists...

This week I:
- got quotes from moving companies;
- ordered grass for the new house;
- confirmed a delivery week for our floors;
- gave notice for Stella's playgroup;
- gave notice for Heidi's dance class;
- gave notice for my sewing lessons;
- went to two different schools in Doorn and found one that can take both kids;
- enrolled Heidi in her new school;
- gave notice to her current school;
- made an appointment for Heidi to spend a morning at the new school in May;
- had a disagreement with the current school principal due to an 'administrative error' on their side and I'm still waiting for an apology from him which will probably never happen;
- measured all furniture in our house to see if they will fit in the new one;
- checked whether my library card is valid in our new town, and it might be the same province but no, I have to cancel and reapply;
- went looking for a bargain on curtains but so far no luck, the search continues.

My husband also gave notice to our Internet and television provider and got our new house linked to our current energy and gas provider.

Big sigh.

Little by little we do what we can. This weekend we will start the DIY work on the house so wish me luck.

On a brighter note - the weather has been glorious and we spent yesterday afternoon outside drawing on the courtyard.

Hope you have a lovely sunny weekend ahead!

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Tuna, Courgette and Lemon Pasta

I'm sure I've mentioned this tuna pasta before... it is becoming a weekly favourite in our house.
For me and the husband, but not so much for the kids.
The best thing about it is the fact that it a quick dinner with very basic ingredients.
I tend to make enough pasta for all of us and then divide it with a tuna sauce for us and something else (like cheese!) for the kids.

You need one or two courgettes, a lemon, two cans of tuna (in oil or water), a clove of garlic, a dash or two of olive oil, 125ml creme fraiche (low fat) and the pasta of your choice.

Start with cooking your pasta - you will make the sauce while the pasta cooks which with dried pasta should take 12 - 15 minutes. Halve and then slice the courgette into thin slices, sprinkle some salt over and let it sit aside while you heat the olive oil and crush the garlic. Drain any water from the courgette and add it with the garlic to the pan. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Zest the lemon and add it to the courgette with the juice of half the lemon (I'm assuming a small to medium lemon). Once the courgette is almost cooked add the tuna to the pan and heat it through for a couple of minutes, also add the rest of the lemon juice. Now add the creme fraiche, mix it well and heat it up for about a minute. Add to the pasta and mix well - serve immediately with a bit of parmesan cheese.


Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Sausage with Polenta and a Tomato, Mushroom and Aubergine Sauce

I love polenta.
It is tasty, easy and most importantly: cheap!
You can slow cook it or it can be cooked in about 10 minutes depending on the type you use (I'm not that patient so you know how it went in my kitchen).
Cook it with milk or with water or with stock or a combination of all three. And here is the kicker, you can even let it chill and then grill it later!!
Lots of potential for experimentation :-)

I served my polenta with a basic beef sausage and a hearty tomato and mushroom sauce. Basically a lot of mushrooms, tinned tomatoes, one aubergine peeled and diced, one big onion and a clove of garlic with a bit of pepper, beef stock and a dash of sugar. And grate some parmesan cheese over the polenta once you've served it if you have some!

The kids are still a bit wary of polenta but at least they have been tasting it without spitting it out and that is the first step..

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