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Sunshine in my kitchen

13 Jan


pinterest Food IdeasI haven’t been using my kitchen much the past year. But I have been collecting recipes on my pinterest. Spending time in the kitchen really got me through some tough times. Not the eating so much, but the making and sharing of baked goods is something I really enjoy doing. After being vegan for 12 years, I am trying to find a new way to deal with food. This has been a struggle for me.Knowing all the reasons why I should not eat some food haunts me often. But feeling free while eating and not being the only one that is vegan makes that I have been letting go of some of the strict rules that I have been living with. I do still want to be consious about my food, but those rules of being vegan made it way safer for me to make decisions concerning what to eat. Staying vegan has been a real hard for me now I don’t have any people around me that are vegan too because to me eating is about sharing and connecting to others. But when I stopped being vegan I also stopped baking and cooking.

But when I saw Sarah Britton from the food blog My New Roots talk at the TEDxAmsterdamWomen I really got excited again. Her positive way of approaching food really inspireed me to get back in touch with food.

The sun was shining in the kitchen, it looked so lovely. I took care of the dishes, which was all of a sudden not such a struggle to get through. I grabbed my Recipe Journal and decided to start with something quick and good. My 5 min. vegan pancakes!

5 min pancakes

Here is what you do:

1. Set out the ingredients
2. Set pan to medium heat
3. Combine dry ingredients
4. Add soy milk and vegetable oil to mixture
5. Mix until smooth
6. Spoon one pancake worth of mix in pan (I usually fit 3 pancakes at once)
7. Flip carefully when bubbles appear in middle
8. Enjoy!


cute tea

7 Jan

Kromland Farm Rooibos with VanillaI am a sucker for nice package designs! This one is from Kromland Farm, a South African Farm specialised in  Rooibos. It is designed by Pearlfisher designer Natalie Chung and illustrator Jean Jullien.

van der PiggeFinding this tea was an experience on itself. While visiting Haarlem (the Netherlands), we were looking for something specific and were send to the oldest drugstore in the city: Van der Pigge. It felt like we stepped back in time!

the best things come in wrappers of their own

12 Jan

Today I was told to eat more fruit. Colored fruit, that’ll make you feel happy! And vegetables too. Right, this is nothing new… But still it was good to hear. Sometimes you just need to be reminded of those little things. Happy colored fruit & veggies it is!

The illustrations of ‘Mr. Pear and friends’ by Yeoh Gh make me smile already! Love them… Exactly the feeling I was going for! He even gives some good advice at times. 1. Enjoy sunbaths 2. Mr. Pear loves cooking 3. and 4. speak for themselves ; )

I love this American ’80s commercial teaching kids that “the best things come in wrappers of their own’! That is just it. You know fruit is important ever since you were a kid. As a vegan I of course have been eating much fruit and vegetables, but when winter comes the fruit gets kind of out of my sight. Bringing color back in my life by eating colored food sounds really sweet…! I started baking to bring more fun in eating food. Being so conscious with food for 12 years, kind of made me stressful around food. I am looking forward to finding some great fruit related recipes!

Chocolate & nut greatness

12 Jan

What greatness this pie brought last week! I spend the afternoon with my friend Lien trying to figure out what to bake. You know how that goes… Hours in front of the computer going through all sorts of yummy recipes after having checked all the cookbooks. Than deciding on chocolate & nuts. Picked a recipe and while in the grocery finding out it was not really how you pictured it to be and than deciding on bringing different ingredients and needing to find a suitable new recipe to go with the new ingredients… Well, this worked out great! We found a chocolate cake recipe, decided to put in some apricots with the nuts and instead of covering the whole pie with chocolate we wanted to add caramel and chocolate stripes to the pie. The grocery didn’t have much interesting nuts we could add, so we went for the diy-nut-bag. Lien cracked the nuts with a wooden dough roller on the kitchen floor, which of course was hilarious.

I finally found an amazing recipe for caramel! I was looking for one that didn’t have butter and/or cream in it. This recipe is it! And it’s real easy, you aren’t allowed to touch it, just watch!

1/2 kilo sugar, 1 soupspoon vinegar, 3 dl water. (we we’re kind of confused by the soupspoon, but we just added a little more than a tablespoon but I think a tablespoon will work too). Combine sugar and vinegar in a small pan and add 1 dl of water. Heat it until it turns color without stirring!! Turn off the heat and carefully add 2 dl of water (sprinkle). Let boil for 2 more minutes and put in in an airtight jar. Enjoy on cake, ice cream or in coffee!

Acorn lovin’

9 Jan

On the advise of my other I bought this Acorn Cocoa. She said my grandmother used this often. I have been trying to find some information about it, but that is not very easy. It seems like it is not so much used these days. The package informs me that it is used ‘after illness, pregnancy and fatigue, or whenever the body requires an additional amplification. It is easily digestible and has a pleasant taste, for all ages. The light astringent characteristic of the Acorn Cocoa normalizes the digestive functions.’ It was used as an medicine for the latter around 1885, but was proved not to work in all cases.. I found a document on the net where they talk about cases in which this was used and how it worked.

Anyway, as an acorn lover I am enjoying this drink with my soy milk!

Cheer up, dark days

3 Jan

To cheer up these dark winter days I love to drink lots of tea and bake good stuff (all vegan by the way).

  1. Peanut butter, banana and chocolate chunk cookies
    Lets start with todays treat. Inspired by a recipe that I saw on the program ‘Bills Food’, I made a vegan version. Instead of egg I used banana and a bit of coconut milk. Perfect!!
  2. Coconut Panna Cotta, Chocolate Pumpkin Pudding and Chocolate Clementines
    New years dessert was a great combination of 3 recipes. It was ment to be served separate but it worked great together!
  3. Gingerbread syrup
    Since a year or two I learned how to drink coffee. Caffeine is not doing me any good, but decaf works fine. With some soy and homemade syrup it’s the best. After the vanilla syrup I made a new kind that is just amazing!
  4. Chai tea with vanilla syrup, a new heart shaped tea holder & my favorite cup.
    I used the vanilla syrup in my favorite loose rooibos chai tea and that suits very well. The new heart shaped was so cute, I had to take that home! My favorite cup is designed by my dear friend Lenneke Wispelwey. I am so proud of her. You should take a look at the gorgeous work she makes!

Vanilla syrup

26 Dec

This homemade vanilla syrup is a joy in your coffee, but I also used it in my tea. Just enjoyed it in my chai tea. Now I am thinking about it, it would also work in hot milk. We made that when I was working in the café Coffeegrounds that we still miss so much in Arnhem. Great fun is making the label too. This one is done by my love, Hans!

I was inspired by the recipe on one of my favorite blogs: a beautiful mess. Elsie says it works great as a gift, which I totally agree. It makes so much you can easily share and enjoy it yourself! She also has 2 other versions, caramel & raspberry, yum! (Elsie inspired me too to start my own blog! Thanks Elsie)

For the vanilla syrup you need: 2 cups water, 2 cups sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (the clear kind is much preferred here). In a small pot heat your water and sugar over low/medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved. Now stir in your vanilla extract and pour into your dispenser.

Hot apple cider (& waterskiing)

20 Dec


One of my favorite drinks for when it gets cold out is hot apple cider. This is not a common recipe in Holland. The first time I drank hot apple cider was when my friend Emily took me to her parents apple archard in Lake City that lays next to Lake Pepin, Minnesota, to pick apples back in 2003. As an exchange student at Minneapolis College of Art and Design, I was new to the area and traditions. It was fall and I was in awe of the beauty of the trees around there. The tradition of the family was to go out and pick apples, where they drank homemade hot apple cider to stay warm. Ever since I make this every fall and winter! Today I introduced it to my dear friend Kim!

It is easy: 4-5 cups apple juice, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, cinnamon sticks and apple slices to garnish!

Oh, if you think Lake Pepin…? Lake Pepin is a wide portion of the Mississippi River between Minnesota and Wisconsin. This is where waterskiing was invented in 1922 by Ralph Samuelson! This I never forgot!