Friday, 24 July 2015


Dear all,

apologies for my absence of late. But with a new job starting I have just not had the time, or the will, to write anything. Though I have descovered a fun new restaurant I want to blog about and made my brother the ultimate birthday cake and plenty more.
This weekend I have little plans aside from one hell of a house clean up, and apparently we are getting a summer storm, so no chance of hanging out in the sun, so there will be blogging!

See you on the weekend!

Sunday, 31 May 2015

A lunch worthy of royalty

Last thursday my parents and I hopped in the car and took a rather long drive to have lunch. We traveled to Veere. A small little town in the provence of Zeeland (yes, New Zealand was named after this Dutch province).
Veere only has 1632 inhabitants, but the small number of inhabitants is more than made up for by the rich histroy. In 1600 the city had 3000 inhabitants, but 300 were Scottish due to trade treaties and a royal wedding. Veere has many very old, well maintained buildings. The 'Grote Kerk' (literally Big Church) was built in 1348 and the old city hall is from 1579.
The tower and facade of the Grote Kerk
City Hall

However, aside from a stroll around, we came for lunch. But lunch wasn't just anywhere, it was at restaurant 'De Campveerse Toren' in well.. The Campveerse toren (tower). The tower was built as part of the city defensive wall in the 1400s, however it is also said the oldest inn in the Netherlands was housed here and that the father of the nation, William of Orange, would stay here on occassion.
Much effort has been put into preserving the building and atmosphere. You walk up very old, worn, stone steps to the restaurant, which is beautifully decirated

Your cuttlery is silver (poor soul who has to polish it all) and our main was served with a cloche! 
I felt, that I was treated like royalty! 
1, 2, 3... Decloche!!

The room has three windows, with tables so you can sit practically in the windowsill, and it's lovely, views of the water on all sides!

They also have some hints to the royal past, with a classy showcase full of royal Delftware.
And there is a big plate of William of Orange on a prime position as well!

Now all these royal surroundings are awesome, but if the food sucks, then you still have nothing. But fret not, the food was amazing.
From amuse bouche to friandise with the coffee and tea, my mouth was spoiled with delight!

The food was actually so good, I only managed to take photos of the first amuse and the main, the rest got eaten too quickly!
A mini sandwhich with asperagus creme and an arrancino. 

Lobster 'a la nage' (cooked 'as it swims')

From start to finish all the ingredients were used very purely and well balanced, it was a delight.

If you ever want to combine great food with a bit of history, the Campveerse Toren is the place to be!

Monday, 25 May 2015

A Tale of Two Cities: Groningen - a city of students

At long last, a post about Groningen. For a while I did not know what to write about, without just ending up writing restaurant and bar reviews. Those might happen at some point, but not now.
Groningen is a student city. It is a big aspect of life in the city. It means the city has a certain vibrance (yes, I too have stumbled out of a bar at sunrise) but also room for stores that sell things cheaply. Of course there are the 'dollar store' type shops, but there are also shops that are slightly nicer, but still have almost anything you need, from arts and crafts to sports to traveling at a decent price.

One of these shops is 'Flying Tiger' ( the Vismarkt. 

I hadn't stepped inside before but decided today, to take a look. It's quite similar to Søstrene Grene ( on the Grote Markt and has truly almost anything you can imagine. I managed to contain myself and only buy some candles.

They have quite a collection of different colours and models of candles.
In the kitchen section these cutting/serving boards caught my eye, but I managed to contain myself ;-)

The prices are more than decent, perfect for a student or a tourist passing by!

A bit down the block is another fairly new store, even more focused on sustainability than Flying Tiger, Waar (

Selling sustainable gifts. Truly nice things, that you can gift (or keep for yourself) without any guilt as they focus on using recycled materials, fairtrade and so on. 

Tomorrow, hopefully I will stop by a chocolate shop, as well as a candy shop that definitely deserve some of my attention. Groningen has tons to offer!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Happy Birthday, dear knee!

Yesterday, 4 years ago, I underwent my last surgery (to date). Counting 3 injections in my shoulder and one major operation, a screw in my right hand thumb, countless MRIs, CT scans, a very painful steroid injection and four operations to my knee, a 'birthday' is a nice time to look back. 

A little over four years ago, I could barely walk 100 meters before my knee would give up on me. Now many hours (many hours) of physio therapy later, ups and downs, I can walk. Not great distances, but at least I can walk to the supermarket without much trouble. On occasion that might be with a limp, and recently it has been with perma tape on my knee, but walk I can. And do. 

So here is a little photo essay (spam) of my joint adventures. If you have any questions regarding hyper mobility, dislocation/(sub)luxation of joints, please do not hesitate to ask me.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015


Zandtaartjes are.. Extremely Dutch cookies. Their name literally translates into 'sandpies'. Because they look like the sandpies you make in the sand pit. You can buy them in the supermarket, or make them at home. However, coming across zandtaartjes tins is not that easy. My mum has a few, but I have been unable to find new ones anywhere. Until I went shopping at the Markthal in Rotterdam (see my post earlier).

With my new tins, of course.. I had to bake. I use a recipe from an old cookbook from my mum (with some adaptions) which has been used so much, it is falling apart and we've had to copy seperate pages.

Ingredients (with my 4cm(bottom)/7cm(top) tins makes about 14)

Flower: 225 grams
Salt: 1 gram (really NO MORE)
Sugar: 112 grams
Butter (COLD): 169 grams
(optional cinnamon to taste or some vanilla sugar)

Mix the flower, salt and sugar together. Cube the butter and add it to the bowl, either use your kitchen machine with the dough hook or quickly kneed with your hands until you get a firm ball. (with your kitchenmachine you may need to kneed the last bit with your hands to create a ball).

Grease your tins (you can use any kind, even a cupcake tin, just make sure you use tins not silicone!!). Fill them with dough for about 80%. Bake in a 160C pre-heated oven for 24-27 minutes (until golden brown). Take out of the oven and leave to cool in the tin for a couple of minutes then gently tap them out and leave them to cool on a rack. 

Bossche Bollen

Bossche Bollen. How to explain them. Basically they are ginormous profiteroles, filled with cream and covered in chocolate. Their origin lies in 's-Herogenbosch, and they are balls so.. Bossche Bollen.

The best Bossche Bollen come from bakery Jan de Groot in 's-Hertogenbosch (or Den Bosch). Take the train, walk out of the train station (main entrance), keep walking and after some 150 meters on your right hand is the bakery. These bollen are legendary, they bake gazillions every day. But since I'm hardly in Den Bosch these days (and no one bothers bringing me one..), I decided tobake my own.

The dough is not that hard, it is fairly similar to profiteroles.

Ingredients (makes 3 bollen):

Water: 125 ml
Butter: 45 grams
Flower: 64 grams
Egg: 1egg and 1 egg beaten.

Cube the butter and place it in a small sauce pan together with the water. Over medium heat, melt the butter and bring to a boil. Keep stirring the whole time, use a wooden spoon. Once it boils, take the pan off the heat. Add the flower and keep stirring until you get one dough ball. Add in 1 egg and whisk until incorporated, then keep on adding egg and incorporating it, u til the dough comes off your whisk in long strands (about half the egg).

Heap three balls of dough onto a baking tray covered with baking paper. Put in apre-heated oven (200C) and bake for 25-30 minutes (until they feel light when you pick themup and are nice golden brown). Remove from the oven, gently prick a hole in the bottom using a piping tip and return to the baking tray, bottom side up and return to the oven (make sure the temperature is turned off). Leave the bollen to dry for about 20 minutes. Then remove them from the oven and leave them to cool on a rack. 

In the meanwhile, you can make the filling. I don't like just using whipped cream (and bakery de Groot uses something else as well, not sure what though). So, I made white chocolate mousse. Yes, you read that right.

Ingredients (more than enough for 4 bollen):

White chocolate: 150 grams 
Cream: 250ml
Egg white: 125 ml
Sugar: 75 grams

Melt the white chocolate (au bain marie, in the microwave, whichever you prefer). Leave to cool slightly. Whip the egg whites with the sugar until stiff. Whip the crem until stiff. Fold in the chocolate. Gently fold the egg whites into the cream-chocolate mixture. Don't add all the egg white at once but about four portions. When done, place in a piping bag with a regular tip. Place in the refridgerator for about half an hour.

When the bollen are dry and cool, take the piping bag out of the fridge and fill your bollen, use the hole you made earlier. Just keep filling until the filling comes out. Place them upside down (hole up) on a plate and put them in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.

You can now make your glaze

Ingredients (enough for 3):

Cream: 50 ml
Dark chocolate: 100 grams

Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a sauce pan together with the cream, on gentle heat melt the chocolate. Be careful to not let the cream boil. Let cool slightly (about 5-10 minutes).

Take your bollen out of the fridge and gently pour the glaze over them. A good cover is required.
Place the bollen back into the fridge to let the glaze set.

ENJOY! (Fair warning, eating Bossche Bollen leads to a mess. The good things in life are always a bit messy, right.. ;-))

A Tale of Two Cities: Gouda - Located near.. Everything

Ok. Technically this post is not about Gouda. It's about Rotterdam, more specifically the Markthal in Rotterdam. But.. It is linked to Gouda as it has to do with how centrally Gouda is located. 20 minutes by train away from Rotterdam, Den Haag and Utrecht and it's  40 minutes to Amsterdm. By car it depends on how busy the roads are, but I like going by train, you're in the city centre and no parking troubles.

To go to the Markthal, my mum and I took the train to Rotterdam Central station and hopped on the train to Rotterdam Blaak. You can also take the metro or walk. But by train it's a 3 minute ride. And I do have bum knees ;-).

Anyway, when you exit Rotterdam Blaak and glance over your right shoulder, there it is, the Markthal.
It's a marketplace, combined with living space and restaurant and store space. And quite frankly, it is the bet thing to happen to Rotterdam in a long time! Thelocation is magnificent! Right next to the 'kubuswoningen'

And 'the pencil'.
So not only can you satisfy your culinary cravings, sniff a little architecture while you're at it.

Inside is an oasis of food stalls, foodie stalls, foodie stores and restaurants (and there is even an Albert Heijn, an Etos and a Gall and Gall for your more regular needs). It can be a little overwhelming, because there is just SO much! My mum and I just started on one side and worked our way up and down the aisles. And still I feel I may have missed some spots.

There is a little bit of everything. There are the things you would expect at a food market: veggies, flowers, cheese, fish, meat. But it's not just your regular stalls. Schmidt Vis has a stall (one of the best fish mungers in the Netherlands, in my opinion), the meat vendors have some A class pieces of meat, Wagyu anyone?, and the cheese stalls vary from extremely touristy to more specialised with odd cheeses. 

I won't discuss ALL the stalls, simply because there are too many and I may go back quite soon and I'll leave some for a future blogpost. But.. A few are worth mentioning straight away!

Monsieur Saucisson. 

As the name and the photo give away, monsieur Saucisson sell sausages. Good sausages, in the most amazing flavours. They are not shy in letting you try different flavours and actively encourage you to do so. 3 sausages cost 10 euros, which is not a lot for that quality. We took home: duck and pepper, wild boar, and pheasant cognac. DELICIOUS. Definitely worth a stop, if only to have a slice for tasting.

Bakery van Vliet

I mentioned van Vliet before, as they are the bakery with the original Goudse siroopwafelen. I was pleasantly surprised to see they have a stall in the Markthal, the prices are the same as in the store in Gouda, so don't hesitate to buy some siroopwafels or (my current fave) a siroopwafel lollypop! (2 on 400ml cream and two egg yolks, makes for delicious ice cream, but more on that in a lter post).


Habitas is a foodie heaven. No food, but everything you might need in the kitchen. So if you get so inspired you want to experiment, you needn't go far to buy the things missing from your kitchen to conduct your experiments. Cook books, kitchen appliances, baking accessories etcetera. They also have a websghop:

There are also some candy shops, bakery stands and even a patissery stand of sorts, which I oddly kept myself away from. One of these stands has a gazillion type of doughnuts. And to be honest, they looked really well made, not too greasy. Haven't tried one yet, but it looked so so good.

Plenty more to go back for. I haven't even tried one of the restaurants or cafés, and there is a Basque restaurant that is high on the list!!

I'll leave you with an overview of the Markthal inside.

Last but not least, Rotterdam Central station is quite the architectural highlight itself, so if you're in the area anyway..