Showing posts from September, 2018

Cactus Invitations

As you will know by now the theme my oldest daughter chose for her birthday were Cacti. All birthday activities are bit spread this year, because on her birthday she was on survival camp and after that we were on holidays, so it was only this week that she could treat her class mates (more about that in a later post) and give her friends a party invitation. 
After drawing lots of cacti for her Friends & Family Party I didn't feel like doing the same for the party for her friends from school. I thought it would be a great idea to buy a couple of small cacti with small terra cotta pots, hang a card with the invitation from them and give that to her friends. Very simple, but it was a great success!!

Made It #30

This week I made the Pumpkin Bread not once, but twice. The first time I found the bread so delicious that I only wanted more. The second time however, the bread didn't come off as well as the first time. Also delicious, but less delicious. A bit dry or something. Maybe not enough mashed pumpkin in it.
It's time for something hearty after all the sweetness of the last weeks, so I want to make a Spanish omelette. I tried this lots and lots of time, but the omelette never came out of the skillet in one piece. But I'm stubborn and will try again this week!

It's Fall!

This weekend, while the rain was falling hard and the wind was blowing fast, I made this drawing on my kitchen door. After four months of ongoing summer I was so looking forward to Fall, that I'm really early this year with my decorations and Fall recipes. Normally I wait until October. 

 September is my favorite month of the year: you can smell Fall in the air a little, but there are still a lot of beautiful, sunny days. A sort of extended summer actually. But I've had enough summer, so Fall begins now in my house. 
My favorite Fall recipe is the one for speculaas. I think I've shared this recipe here many times before, but I of course I grant you this delicous cookie also because that's how I am, so here we go again.
What you need:  300 grams flour 175 grams butter 150 grams brown sugar 4 table spoons speculaaskruiden (a mix of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, pepper and cloves)   1/2 teaspoon salt 2 table spoons cold water
What you do: Preheat oven at 170 degrees Celsiu…

50 Cake

As told in my previous post, last week my parents celebrated fifty years of marriage. My brother, sister and I organized a family day for them, but my parents also threw a little party for family and friends. At first they want it all catered by the people where they hired the party location from, but I asked them if I could make the cake. 
Maybe you remember the Heart Cake. A cake like that was what I had in mind and I used the Heart Cake to practice, because I wanted the cake for my parents as perfect as possible. 
I baked a number 5 four times, because two of them broke in halves when I lifted them to put on top of the filling and went to the supermarket three times to get more ingredients. In the end the cake still wasn't as perfect as I wished, but nobody noticed that the filling was a bit sinked in during transportation without cooling (how does Cake Boss transport its ingenious cakes undamaged all the time?)  and that the roses weren't evenly divided over the cake. Mos…

Made It #29

Fall = Apple Pie, that's a fact since my youth. In two months my whole family had their birthday and every time my mother baked an apple pie. When I was young I didn't particularly like them very much, because my mother put raisins in it and that spoiled the whole pie, in my young opinion. Now that I'm an adult I still don't like raisins in apple pie, but the good thing is that I can decided to leave them out now. 
The Classic Dutch Apple Pie Recipe below is perfect! And because I like the crust the most, I made extra dough for a thick crust that covers the whole cake.


Next week I would like to make a Pumpkin Bread, so my daughters can take some to school. They're not allowed to eat sweets and cookies at school. but when we name it bread, we can play dumb.

Family Day

Last week my parents celebrated their fiftieth wedding day! Can you imagine that? Fifty years of marriage! I'm only just at the beginning of that. 
My brother, sister and I organized a family day as a surprise. Early in the morning we went to my parents with our husbands and wife and the four grand children and woke them up with tooters, whistles and whoops. They were totally suprised (which surprised me in return, because which children would silently let pass by a day like this).  We first drank coffee and ate the apple pie that I baked (at six in the morning I was busy in my kitchen already, so the pie would be fresh and still a bit warm, which is best for apple pie as we all know).
After coffee and after my parents had dressed we went to the city of Volendam, a little place where people still dress in folkloric costumes, well, at least the older people. Actually the main feature of the city is to let you immortalize in these costumes on photo. There are more than just a coupl…

Moss Stitch Cushion

Although the weather is still good around here, in The Netherlands, the nights become a bit chillier and it's raining more often. Fall, my favorite season, is definitely in the air. After the long, hot summer we had here this year (I think it was the hottest summer of my entire life actually), I'm longing for sitting on the couch under a blanket, watching movies, burning candles, husband, kids and cats beside me on the couch and coffee with fresh baked speculaas.
To get prepared for the Fall and Winter, I'm updating our house a bit. New decorations, new cushions on the couch, new blankets for cocooning on cold winter nights. This week I made this one. 

 It's made of two strings of yarn, one black and one with different shades of blue, that I knitted together in moss stitch. The lower cushion is store bought.


My Crocheted Rope Basket is featured by Creative Jewish Mom and by Scrapality!

Thanks, Sara and Andrea!

My Metal Wire Jars are featured by Creative Jewish Mom

Made It #28

This week I tried the Date Nut Bread. It was good, delicious even, but not the sort of thing that I will make as a regular snack to take to school. Too sweet. More something I would serve with coffee.

Fall is coming and although I like cooking and baking in general, Fall recipes are my favorite. In Fall I spend many hours in the kitchen. This week I found a recipe for Classic Dutch Apple Cake. You can eat apple cake the whole year through, of course, but when I was young the apples from the orchard around our house were gathered around this time and we ate lots of dishes, cakes, desserts with apples in it. In my mind Apple Cake will forever be associated with Fall. 

Heart Cake

Weeks, even months, ago I saw what's called a lettercake on the internet and I wanted to make it myself ever since.  Today was the day and here it is!
The original cake is made of cookie dough, but I guess cookie dough will easily break when cut, I chose to make the cake of biscuit mix.
What you need for the cake: 360 grams flour 4 teaspoons baking powder pinch of salt 150 grams of butter 60 ml vegetable oil 30 grams of vanilla sugar 170 grams of sugar 4 eggs 160 grams of fat yoghurt 80 ml milk
Mix all dry ingredients. In another bowl mix butter, oil and sugar until smooth. Then add 1 egg and mix in before adding the next egg. When smooth mix in yoghurt and milk. Then add the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt mix) and mix until smooth.
Smear the batter out over a flat baking tin. Bake for about fifteen minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean.Then cut the letter or form you want out of the cake twice.
What you need for the filling: 400 gram of mascarpone 30 grams va…

Crocheted Rope Basket

When we were on vacation in Ruurlo, The Netherlands last week (how fast time flies when you're back to work, it seems like three months ago!) my daughters collected chestnuts, acorns, pinecones and such, as children do when fall comes. Normally it's roaming around the house in a plastic bag for a couple of week to be tossed away in the bin in the end, but this year, after my experimenting with plant pots crocheted from rope, I made a small basket for it, which is now standing by the front door, between the pumpkins and the heather.

My Crocheted Plant Pots were featured by My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies

Thank you very much, Laurie!

Made It #27

Now that holidays are over and everything is back to normal, I'm ready to keep up with Made It and post weekly, mostly on Fridays. 
This week I had planned to make the Thai Green Curry Noodle Soup, also called Ramen. My husband and I are big fans of Thai food, but my children aren't, because of the spicyness, or prickly food as they call it. But every once in a while I make what my husband and I like and my daughters have rolls with peanut butter. Before we finished our bowl, we decided that this dish definitely had to be transferred to the 'Recipes to Keep-list'!

My daughters eat lunch at school everyday. Most of the time my husband packs lunch for them, because I leave much earlier for work than he does, but on the days that I'm off I make their lunch box and I always try to put something different in it. Cookies, Italian Ciabatta, French Croissants, muffins, you name it. This week I want to make a Date Nut Bread. Delicious, I hope, but also healthy…

Metal Wire Jars

Before I went on vacation my friend and I went to Loods5, a lifestyle store not far from where I live. Sometimes we buy stuff there, but most of the time we go just for inspiration. One of the things I saw there were glass jars covered in metal wire instead of rope, like a sort of macrame. I really loved it, but thought I could make these myself. So I bought green wire and here they are!

Travels: Ruurlo, The Netherlands

This summer vacation I could only get one week of days off, due to lack of human recourses at my job (which is in the OR, I'm a scrub and circulation nurse) and this week happened to be last week. As usual for the last past years we planned a holiday in our own country because I just can't stand the heat around the Mediterranean nowadays. This time we went to Ruurlo, a small town near the border with Germany.  Although a small town there were enough attractions and activities in the neighborhood to easily fill a week.  
Some of the things we did were:
Visiting the Cactus Oase. Of course this was something my daughter really, really wanted to do. The so called 'Cactus Oase Arrangement' came with paiting a little plant pot for a later to choose cactus and a Cactus Quest. 

We also visited Zutphen, a so called 'hanzestadje' (Hanze being a treaty between Dutch and German cities to  work together and by this protecting their commerce). The city has lots of beautifu…