11.30.2015

Monthly Music

11.30.2015



SAVEUS – Levitate Me
Moglebaum – You & Me
PVRIS – Mirrors
Phoenix – 1901
Vance Joy – Riptide
Sia – Chandelier
Neon Trees – 1983

Xx

11.29.2015

Foodies' Fun

11.29.2015
Hello there, today I do have a Foodies' Fun to share with you. Last month there wasn't one, but I hope you liked reading my find of Pumpkin Spice Latte or tried the Pepernoten recipe I shared on my blog in the past couple of weeks. Now, let's get into the yummy goodness...


The day after the great Halloween party started with a nice brunch with the family, something we used to do every Sunday in the past, but as my siblings and I gotten older and started having jobs, this kind of fell away. The energy boost given with this brunch was needed for the rest of the day which we spent taking all the decorations off.


Sorry for the blurry photo (I only had my phone with me and it had low battery), but I had to share this delicious mango chutney dish at the Aquis Plaza in Aachen. The Aquis Plaza is a mall in Aachen, and one I completely missed for some reason even though I have spent my fair share in Aachen in the past couple of months. We're planning a trip to Aachen the next weekend and I kind of want to go for this dish again, if the opportunity for dinner arises whilst visiting this city.


 Taking a day off by myself, I decided to visit Roermond and instead of having dinner there I decided to get a goat cheese salad at the HEMA and a baguette with filet american and marino dressing at Doedels to take home with me. Delicious food and catching up on my TV shows on my laptop whilst sitting relaxed on the sofa and a cup of tea is one of my favourites things to do to relax.



My mom was in the mood for a full selection of different (shell)fish to balance all the meat that is eaten regularly at home, and so we had this full buffet of mussels, prawns, fish fingers, squid rings, salmon, roll herring and more.


 Next to a big Sunday breakfast, another tradition is pancakes and soup that my mom would prepare for my siblings and I when we were in primary school and came home early on Wednesdays. Now, not all of us are in any type of school any more and the one that does, doesn't have half the day off on a Wednesday, but that doesn't mean we can still have this as our dinner every once in a while.


What's this you may ask yourself. Well, it is a vegetarian lasagna - something my mom made up on the spot -  and it is delicious.


Okay, I am going to admit it. I have a new favourite burger at McDonald's. Meet the Maestro burger. A shiny bun with two beef patties, bacon, bacon, red onions and other good stuff. Too bad it is a limited edition one, but oh so good.


Part of today's breakfast and the first time I tried it: pumpkin soup. It's nice and sweet and I bet even tastier with a dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche to balance it all out.


In the afternoon my parents came home with a bag of baked goods. For me? A "bananenbol" a deep-fried baked good with banana in it. Soooo goood.

That's it for this month's Foodies' Fun. Until next time!
Xx

11.22.2015

Pepernoten│Recipe

11.22.2015
We are getting more and more in the festive spirit. First Halloween, soon Christmas, and currently Sinterklaas in the Netherlands. In my previous post I was delighted to share my find of Pumpkin Spice Latte in the supermarket and today we'll continue the autumn appropriate niceties by baking Pepernoten!


To make a batch of Pepernoten you will need:

150 grams of butter
250 grams of self-raising flour
125 grams of brown sugar
10 grams of speculaaskruiden 
4 tablespoons of milk
a pinch of salt  

Now the speculaaskruiden are essential to this recipe, and although mine was store-bought - a mix to use when baking cookies or speculaas (quite similar to gingerbread cookies) - but you could also make this spice mix yourself. All you need is ground aniseed, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon.

  • Preheat your oven to 160°C or 320°F - in case you are making the entire batch on your own, you might wait until the mixture is ready before preheating the oven, as making the little pepernoten takes up more time than you think.
  • Cut your butter in chunks and put them in a bowl along with all of your dry ingredients.
  • Knead until it is all nicely combined. You can try to mix with a mixer or a wooden spoon as I did in the beginning, but kneading with your bare hands is the fastest way to get the mixture ready.
  • At the milk a bit at a time to make the mixture smooth and supple. 
  • Make little balls from your finished mixture, about the size of a marble. Either one at a time, or make strings first to cut up in smaller pieces that can then be rolled into little balls. 
  • Put the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and press them down to give them that signature pepernoten shape.  Leave room between the pepernoten. 
  • The general rule is to bake each batch for about 15 minutes until they are light brown. However, this depends on your oven and the amount and size of pepernoten. For example: the oven I use at home always needs less time than is suggested to bake things, so I put them in for about 10 minutes.  

And that's the recipe done! Naturally you can do a lot of different things with this recipe. Make a gingerbread type house or cookies with it. You could also make pepernoten and dip them in chocolate. At the supermarkets there are all kinds of different flavours to find such as caramel, yoghurt, and cappuccino, so you can go all the way and give your own twist. 

Now, I couldn't make a post related to Sinterklaas and not address the discussion surrounding these festivities about Zwarte Piet (Black Pete), but I will keep this note short. I am utterly baffled and sadly disappointed knowing that there are so many people out there who are not willing to see or do see but not minding the way Zwarte Piet is portrayed - not just the blackface makeup, but the entire attire of bright red lipstick, earrings, and curly hair that highly resembles offensive slave caricatures - and ignoring that in this day and age we can make a progressive change about the matter that will serve as an example of acceptance and equality, no matter how small or big. For more details on this matter and why we can make this absolute positive change in the way this character is portrayed whilst keeping the tradition and let everyone enjoy this national event, check out this post written in Dutch by Esther and Bonnie. If you are not able to read Dutch, Google Translate or your browser's toolbar can translate it for you, and I bet there are numerous sources out there to read about this subject if you are interested. 

Xx

11.15.2015

Pumpkin Spice Latte

11.15.2015

Now you may think I'm crazy, but I was very very excited when I spotted this box as I was wondering through the supermarket to get some sweets for a relaxed day in with friends. Whilst some people might be bored out of their minds about the pumpkin craze that happens once autumn is about to start, there are also people like me who indulge in it. It wasn't until last year when I first tried the well-known Pumpkin Spice Latte by Starbucks - late to the party I know, but at that time Starbucks wasn't a nearby opportunity for me  (until I found out I could easily go to Aachen) and two, here in the Netherlands the pumpkin craze isn't or never really was a thing. We are big on gingerbread and all the other baked goods and sweets due to Sinterklaas (more on that in a post in the next weeks), but not so much on anything else, and it seems supermarkets are tapping into more than just this national event for the colder months. Exhibit A: box by Buisman containing eight sachets filled with instant Pumpkin Spice Latte.



According to the box warm up 200ml of milk in a pan or in the microwave - however you please - and put the instant mix in a cup. Add the milk and stir until everything is dissolved. I also tried this with water from the kettle instead of milk and it works just as well. It's up to you to go for the full-on milky latte experience or want a stronger taste of the spices and the coffee. Finish with sugar or honey, some cinnamon or a nice big dollop of whipped cream on top. Enjoy your autumn in a cup!

Xx

11.08.2015

Monthly Music

11.08.2015


You may be wondering how is there a Monthly Music on a Sunday? As I was going through the photos I took last month I noticed I did not capture any of the food I had this month. Crazy! I apologize to my fellow foodies out there and promise to pay extra attention this month to share some of the delicious dishes and snacks I have come across. For the music lovers on the other hand, I have another playlist that I hope you enjoy. Have a great Sunday!

Xx

11.01.2015

Halloween Party

11.01.2015

Good evening!

I hope you've had a happy Halloween, I sure had. My family and I love celebrating Halloween. Ever since my siblings and I were little I remember dressing up and watching spooky films such as Caspar, The Addams Family, and Hocus Pocus. This year we decided to throw a party and it was a success. There was lots of food and beverages, Halloween decorations all around, and a lot of friends to enjoy the party.







For the party, we made use of the entire ground floor of the house. Fake cobwebs and spiders, skeleton-shaped bunting and other creatures, books of witchcraft...the list goes on. Two of my favourite decorations that we got for this party were the skeleton sticker we placed on the living room window to greet our guests upon arrival and the haunted house hall Scene Setter that we placed on one of the doors in our hallway. 

In our cozy garden we lit a firepit where marshmallows could be roasted and ghost stories could be told. Booze-wise we had vamp tears, black widow venom, smurf snot (all very creative labels don't you think? Let your imagination run wild) and a lot more. As for my costume, I went with a classic: the skeleton. Though I will say if I were ever to recreate this look - I probably will - I will need to schedule more time to get the details and shadows just right and never to use cheap dollar store white face paint again. Or maybe to be smart enough and look at the ingredients, because it was a oil or grease-based one, meaning difficult to get opaque and of course it would not dry up. I felt like a greaseball, but was happy with the result within the time frame that I got. My outfit was based on the skeleton/steampunk styled pocketwatch a friend got me last year that I wore over my dress and this photo for which I assembled a long skirt from Primark with some clothing items I had in my closet but haven't worn since high school, and it made the look complete.

Today it was time to clean up everything that wasn't done last night and take all the decorations down. The house feels pretty empty without all these decorations and the lovely people who attended. Let's hope we can do something like this again next year!

Xx