Monday, 30 June 2014


We had ourselves a little party last week. Just the husband and myself.
Lots of snack type food.
Melon with Parma ham.
Hot little peppers stuffed with creamed cheese.
Garlic bread.

And we even opened the champagne, the good stuff we've been saving.
All to celebrate our new house.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Stella the Artist

She loves to draw and paint.
And of course as her mother I love everything she produces, same as with Heidi's artwork. Except Heidi produces a LOT of artwork whereas Stella is much more controlled in her production process. She'll make one piece and it will be really good and then she's done.

I love how she creates and enjoys the moment. My sweet little artist.

Hope you have a sunny and productive weekend!

Monday, 23 June 2014

Carrot Salad with Tahini and Chickpeas

We're doing our best to be healthy, eating a lot of vegetables.
I'm also trying to eat more vegetarian meals.
When I saw this salad on SmittenKitchen I knew I had to try it.
Mostly because it contains ingredients which I have in the house and it looked pretty easy.

It really is delicious and I love the tahini dressing. Definitely a good salad for warm summer days!

Here is a link to the full recipe on and here is a copy with my comments:

1 3/4 cups cooked chickpeas, or 1 400gram can, drained and patted dry on paper towels
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

500 gram carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley
1/4 cup shelled, salted pistachios, coarsely chopped (I used cashew nuts instead)

1 medium garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons well-stirred tahini
2 tablespoons water, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons olive oil (I reduced it to 1 tablespoon olive oil)
Salt and red pepper flakes to taste

Roast chickpeas: Heat oven to 220 degrees C. Toss chickpeas with one tablespoon olive oil, salt and cumin until they’re all coated. Spread them on a baking sheet or pan and roast them in the oven until they’re browned and crisp. This can take anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size and firmness of your chickpeas. Toss them occasionally to make sure they’re toasting evenly. Set aside until needed.

Make dressing: Whisk all ingredients together until smooth, adding more water if needed to thin the dressing slightly. Taste and adjust seasoning; don’t worry if it tastes a little sharp on the lemon, it will marry perfectly with the sweet grated carrots.

Assemble salad: Place grated carrots in large bowl and toss with parsley. Mix in 2/3 of the dressing, adding more if desired. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Sprinkle with a large handful of chickpeas and pistachios and enjoy.

I served it with pita bread and a green salad for dinner - yummy!

Friday, 20 June 2014

Cherry Season

It is that magical time of the year when cherries are in season.
All of a sudden you see farm stalls everywhere.
Some are pretty basic with only fruit on sale but others have everything including coffee, tea and cake!

I took the girls for a little outing and stopped at a farm stall on the way to Wijk bij Duurstede.
They loved it. Especially the trampolines. And the home made ice cream.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Couscous Salad

The weather has been nice. Hot in fact.
On days like these I like to eat something cold and a couscous salad is perfect.
I can get a little carried away with the ingredients... like in this one I must have added everything I could find in the house. I'm talking canned sweet corn kernels, tomatoes, onion, cucumber, feta cheese, carrots, peppadews and a basic olive oil and lemon vinaigrette.

In my opinion anything goes... don't you think?

Hope you have a great week!

Friday, 13 June 2014

Into the Woods

We have a beautiful forest near our house.
It is amazing to just walk into the lush green forest and explore.
The kids love it.
They see elves and fairies everywhere.
I hope the magic stays with them for a very long time.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, 9 June 2014

Pasta Again

I'm not sure why but lately I've been cooking a lot of pasta dishes.
It is easy and cheap and it feels like I can go on for a very long time before I run out of ideas when it comes to pasta sauces.

Of course I made tuna pasta last week, it really is a staple in our house. At the risk of boring you to tears I am posting a photo of the pasta being cooked in my new kitchen. One of the very first dishes to be made here. And happily I can report that the light in the new kitchen is good for my photos! (yes, light to me is everything!!)

Hope you have a great week!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Pasta with Tomato and Blue Cheese Sauce

My new kitchen is huge.
It is just enormous.
I love it.

It is a little strange because we decided to buy exactly the same oven as we had in our old house so when I cook it feels like home. I know how my oven works and it makes me just as happy as the old one did. Except this one is all new and shiny. (Which it won't stay for long...)

Last night I made a very basic pasta dish. It went a little like this:
Take one big clove of garlic and an onion both finely diced and add to a pan with a tablespoon of olive oil which has been heated up. Let it cook on medium heat for a couple of minutes. Now add a tin of chopped tomatoes and a hand full of finely chopped basil (fresh if possible but a tablespoon of dried basil will do just fine). Stir together and let it simmer, make sure to add some water if the sauce becomes too dry.

While the sauce simmers away add enough pasta for two persons to a pot filled with boiling water. Cook as per the directions - my dried wholewheat spaghetti took about 12 minutes to cook. I added some of the pasta water to the sauce, about a third of a cup during the time the pasta was cooking.

Once the pasta is cooked and drained it is time to get back to the sauce which should be ready and smelling very garlicky by now. Simply dice about 150 grams of blue cheese and add it to the sauce. Now add the pasta to the sauce and mix it all up. Enjoy!

Monday, 2 June 2014

Home Sweet Home

It is done.
Over and done.
We packed up our lives.
We cleaned like maniacs.
And we said our goodbyes to our friends and neighbours.

Now we start a new adventure!

I haven't actually cooked anything in my new kitchen due to the fact that I was surrounded by boxes and didn't quite know where to start... but the kitchen is now unpacked and I shall start by cooking something tonight. Hmmmm.... I wonder what's for dinner?

Here is Stella eating breakfast in our old house surrounded by boxes.

Here she is in our new house, still surrounded by boxes!

I hope you have a great week ahead :-)

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