“No fuss” Mothers day

A cup of tea, an apple and a banana, served as ‘breakfast in bed’ at 7 am.

Handmade little gifts and  a crushed chocolate heart we shared together.

Sweet notes found at random places throughout the house.

Sisterly quarrels, as usual. Today is just another day.

Sunshine, kids playing out in the park.

Two bruised knees, one torn pair of pants. Red cheeks and shiny eyes.

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Time to read a while, Dave Eggers “Heroes of the Frontier” it is.

Daydreaming a little of packing up my bunch and travelling through Alaska in a Camper too.

Early dinner, kids helped to clean up and ran off to play some more in the evening sun.

Not so bad, not so bad at all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terschelling

Who needs overcrowded airports, traffic jams and endless flights to find that perfect holiday, when all this is just a train – and ferry ride away?

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*An evening beach, that is all yours*

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*A boat, to take you to the seals*

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*Seals, actually, on a sandbank in the Waddenzee*

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*A place to roam*

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*A deserted forrest to cycle through*

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*cycling trips under a grey sky, seawind in your  hair, open space all around*

And that, really, isn’t even half of it……….

Why travel far when happiness really lies just around that corner?

Cauliflower & sweet potato soup

Last July, I promised you more culinairy cauliflower adventures…….

so, after a little break…here we go!

How about soup? Cauliflower soup?

Nice? Yes. Tasty? Yes, definitily. Pretty? Well…..if you like pale…..

I’ve been experimenting a bit with recipes, but somehow the looks never match the taste. Plain cauliflower makes a pale, white soup, adding curry makes it, well, OK, yellowish…..but still.

And then, yesterday somewhat by accident I came up with a recipe that’s both tasty, and pretty (if you like orange). It was one of those, let’s see what we have lying around in the kitchen kind of days. and well – surprise- I had a cauliflower lying around, and a sweet potato ( another thing I’ve started experimenting with lately). Et voila!

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If you’d like to give it  a try, here’s what I used:

  • one medium sized cauliflower
  • one rather small sweet potato
  • an onion
  • a cube of vegetable stock
  • 120 ml coconut milk
  • half a spoon of red pepper paste
  • a teaspoon of curry
  • a teaspoon of ground coriander
  • a teaspoon of ground cumin
  • a teaspoon of kurkuma
  • black pepper

And here’s what I did:

  • heated the oven to 230 degrees Celsius and roasted the sweet potato in its skin for about 30 minutes
  • cleaned, cut and boiled the cauliflower
  • chopped and fried the onion, added all spices and pepper paste
  • allowed sweet potato to cool down, then peeled it
  • drained the cauliflower
  • added all ingredients to the cauliflower in the pan
  • blended it smooth
  • and let it boil for a little while
  • filled my bowl and sprinkled on some more pepper – black and red
  • let the rest cool down and stored it in my fridge
  • reheated what was left the next day ( today) and had a warm and tasty lunch

 

This recipe was enough for a dinner & lunch for one (no my kids don’t do cauliflower soup), and it was really thick. You can add more coconutmilk or even a bit of water to make it thinner.

And, the larger the cauliflower and the potato/potatoes, the more soup you will have. Ofcourse. Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

2016 what happened ?!?

Oh oh oh 2016, what happened blogwise? After several months of happy cooking, baking, reading, crocheting and – don’t forget – blogging about it , all went silent in the summer.

Health and everyday live took all my time and attention, and blogging became just about the last thing on my mind.

I did a little crochet, made two lovely baby blankets but took no pictures. I cooked a meal everyday, but stopped experimenting. I hardly baked a thing, but fortunately, I did read another book or two.

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source: Pinterest

 

Some of the loveliest ones where books I read with my eldest daughter: the Dutch ‘Gips’, by Anna Woltz, and ‘The thing about Jelly Fish’ by Ali Benjamin.

For 2017, I did not make many resolutions, other than ‘going with the flow’ and trying to be gentle, with myself, the people and the world around me.

Oh and yes, to keep reading ofcourse, to be a bit more creative, and to try and blog again every once in a while . Let’s see how that goes.

To keep track of my reading ‘history’ I started a new list of books.

Let’s see if I’ll be able to add some recipes and crochet projects to my lists aswell this year.

Crochet baby cardigan

Yes again, another crochet baby cardigan.

…..Because handmade is fairmade

…..Because this pattern calls for endless colourful variations

…..Because babygirls are born all around us ( boys, where are you?) and these cardigans make such a sweet little gift

…And just….well……because…………..

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You can find other variations of this pattern here, and here, and here….

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Reduce plastic waste #2

Slowly slowly we are getting used to a different way of consuming. And slowly slowly the plastic pile is decreasing.

More and more I try to buy in bulk and make my own.

Really, once you’ve remembered to pour some water on your beans or chickpeas the night before and let ‘m soak, making your own burgers or falafel is hardly any more difficult than tearing open a package of ‘vegan burgers’.

And, promising the kids to make them popcorn once we get home after a trip sounds ( and probably is) a lot more cosy than proposing to open up a bag of crisps. And no, I don’t mean plastic wrapped microwave popcorn. I mean actual corn, bought in big packages, sprinkeled in a pan, and popped. Do you know a little handful of corn easily makes four servings? And a jar filled with corn, means about ten cosy snackmoments, popping corn?

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I’m  a happy person since I’ve discovered our local Turkish supermarket sells big big bags of basic products such as corn, rice and flour.

And I’m an even happier person since we’ve got our own pop up package free store in town. Here, you bring your own bags and jars, and fill ‘m up with mostly organic products. My daughter and I went here for the first time this week and filled up our jar with organic chickpeas and had a nice chat with the guy running this place. Hopefully this fall Leiden will finally have it’s own big, real, permanent package free store! So, lets start saving up our jars, and sew our own cotton bags ( to be continued!)

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Lately I’ve been experimenting with falafel and hummus recipes. Pinterest, and ‘blush’ videos on Youtube have been my rescue! why not give it a try too?

And if you have any succes recipes that include amaranth, let me know. That jar in the picture just doesn’t get emptier since I don’t really know what to do with it …..’blush’, again…..

 

 

Roasted cauliflower

Lately I’ve become quite addicted to cauliflower. In Dutch cuisine cauliflower used to be the equivalent of ‘boring’: plain, no colour, all taste cooked out of it, and served with a plain white sauce…..

But wow! The things you can do with cauliflower! It’s so tasty in curries, crispy when fried, silken when turned into soup. All of these I’ve tried and enjoyed, and made over and over again. Just search for ‘cauliflower’ on Pinterest, and a whole new world will open up !

And then there are the recipes I haven’t tried yet: cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower couscous and yes, even cauliflower risotto. This just so might not be my last ode to the cauliflower…..

My favorite? Roasted cauliflower. wash, chop up, mix with oil and spices (Cumin!) and roast. Or, if you’re looking for a pretty and tasty way to bring your cauliflower to the table, try this:

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Heat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius and wash your cauliflower  (you do not need to remove the leaves), place in a heat proof dish. Add about 2 cm of water.

Brush some (olive) oil on the entire cauliflower, and cover the cauliflower in a mixture of black pepper, salt and cumin (a lot! make sure it’s fully covered in  crispy, tasty layer). Then sprinkle some more oil on the spices, and place the entire cauliflower in the oven. Bake for at least one hour. The larger your cauliflower the more time you’ll need.

Place on a pretty plate, cut and serve, eat and enjoy!