June 26, 2009

So sad...

(image from newstoday.com)

June 24, 2009

My new study

Can you understand that all I want to do from now on is work?

Good timing because all I HAVE to do is work. I've got just a couple of weeks left to hand in reports, papers and essays so that I can graduate in August....

Psst... and when I don't work I play around with my new iPod Touch... I have like a little love triangle with my iMac and iPod touch....

June 22, 2009


Our local market has two stalls which sell mediteranean products: avocado's, mint, couscous, turkish bread, garlic olives and my absolute favorite: half-dried cherry tomaties. I love these little babies. I could eat them constantly. Unfortunately, that would become rather expensive.

But I have a solution to this problem.

I make my own.

You wanna know how? It's really easy actually.

The secret is getting cheap cherry tomatoes.

At my local market, the deals get better during the day. When you go there say around 3pm, many of the sellers will have pans which contents they sell for one euro ($1.40). These products are often on the verge of going bad but for some recipes - like this one - that is really no problem.

So last week one of the things I picked up at the market wasva pan with a bunch of cherry tomatoes (I'm guessing about 50 of these beauties). After washing them and generously sprinkling them with olive oil, salt and black pepper, all I had to do was pop them in the oven for a couple of hours and I had a batch of half-dried tomatoes to last me for a while. They go great in salads but I've also used them in an avocado soup I made the other day.

Half-dried cherry tomatoes

40-50 cherry tomatoes
4 table spoons of olive oil
sea salt
black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 250 F (120 C) .

2. Rinse tomatoes and cut them in two.

3. Place them on a baking sheet.

4. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and black pepper and mix everything with your hands.

5. Leave the tomatoes in the over for 3-4 hours, until they shrivel up.


June 19, 2009

First try

My Philips food processor arrived and after enjoying unpacking the giant box and installing the processor and all its zillion accessories in my kitchen, the first thing I made... was a good old drink for myself.

I mixed gin, tonic water mint, and ice in the blender and voila!

I promise more ambitious projects will follow soon...

June 17, 2009

Waiting anxiously for...

Really I am doing everything in my power to avert the economic crisis.

Yesterday I ordered both a 24" iMac and a Philips food processor online.

I know it's a bit extravagant, but I felt I deserved it because of my 1000Eu prize and almost graduating and having had my previous laptop for 6 years and finishing the internship and my time abroad! (Of course the 1000E does not cover this all. Sadly.)

I know I told you I wanted to buy a laptop and I did but then I realized I mostly use the computer at home and also since I have been suffering from back, neck and shoulder problems from stress and using the computer too much I felt a desktop computer would be the better choice for me. And of course, I admit, I swooned over the iMac design. It is gorgeous.

I ordered the iMac through the special Apple education store, which gave me a discount on the purchase but more importantly, the kind Apple people offered me an iPod touch. I only have to pay taxes for it.

Both the iMac and the iPod touch should be delivered here in 3 or 4 days I think. I can't wait.

But I'll have another toy to ease the waiting. Because I also bought a Philips foodprocessor which also functions as a blender and a juicemaker and it is supposed to be delivered already today! I've been eyeing it for a couple of weeks now and yesterday I just went for it. Maybe because its price tag wasn't so impressive anymore after just buying an iMac.... Check it out here (Oh and I got it a lot cheaper than it is selled for on this website... Yay!)

Isn't it a beauty?

I'll report to you as soon as my new loves arrive!

June 16, 2009

Raspberry-poppyseed muffins

I know I've been telling you how much I love baking and cooking and how little I've shared that with you here yet.

Well, hold on, here is my first recipe. I made these muffins last week and they were an instant hit.

They are not too sweet.
They are actually low cal.
They are easy to make.
Oh. Yeah. And they're delicious.

Raspberry-poppyseed muffins
(yields about 20 medium sized muffins)
adapted from Epicurious

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
big pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup low fat yogurt
lemon juice from one lemon
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
2 large eggs
1/8 cup poppyseeds
1 cup raspberries (frozen or fresh)

1. Preheat your oven to 350F (180C).

2. Butter and flour muffin pans or use paper liners.

3. Mix butter, sugar and lemon peel.

4. Add the eggs one by one, while mixing, until mixiture is light and fluffy

5. In another bowl, whisk flour with baking powder, baking soda and salt.

6. In a third bowl, mix yogurt with lemon juice.

7. Alternately, beat in dry mixture in 3 additions and yogurt mix in 2 additions to the first bowl.

8. Add poppy seed and raspberries.

9. Spoon batter into muffin pans by generous tablespoons full.

10. Bake muffins for about 24 minutes or until the muffins are no longer too moist.
PS Since I am used to working with scales, I am very grateful for the conversions table provided by Chocolate & Zucchini. If anyone needs help with volume-to-weight-conversion for these measurements, let me know. Next I'll include those in my post as well!

June 13, 2009

Something fun for your weekend

I was just cleaning the house when MrBee interrupted me to show me this video of dancers taking over Antwerp Central Station.

Oh MrBee knows me so well.... It totally made my day.

It was done by a Belgian TV channel as a promotion stunt for a new program to find a new musical star.

June 12, 2009


MrBee and I watched the Michael Moore documentary Sicko yesterday. I have to tell you, I was just baffled.

I am sure Michael Moore uses all kinds of editing tricks and strong rhetorics, but still I was so amazed by what is going on in the States. I feel lucky here in the Netherlands.

I especially liked the things British politician Tony Benn said.

MrBee and I cried, laughed and talked during the movie. I'm just so happy I'm back and able to share these things together.

June 9, 2009

Start of a list

Just the other day I asked your advice on writing life lists. You recommended me to be realistic and to be careful with big lofty goals and also to be accepting that my taste, my feelings and thus my goals can change.

After careful consiferation I still think writing a life list could be good for me. If only as an opportunity to contemplate what I really want and to discuss those things, for example with MrBee.

Have a look at the list here!

Your comments did lead me to take some precautions:

* I started with a list of 50 goals

* These goals are a mix of short-term and long-term goals but also contain some points that I cannot really tick off, but more things I would like to keep in mind, hopes for the future, mantra's to live by....

* One of the goals in my list is to keep reviewing the list

I'm just gonna see how it goes. See how I get on. I'll also make a button on the blog somewhere some time soon so it is easily accessible and I'll post about how it's working for me regularly I hope.

Any advice and comments are of course very welcome!

My version of a life list - Dreams and hopes

  1. Learn how to make sushi

  2. Start a book club

  3. Ride a limousine

  4. Go to a ‘blind restaurant’

  5. Buy ‘real’ art

  6. Become a mom

  7. Learn ballroom dancing

  8. Visit the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee

  9. Give a really, really great honest toast

  10. Never show up empty-handed

  11. Do something romantically cheesy

  12. Throw a cocktail party

  13. Always have a bottle of bubbles ready in the fridge and create reasons to celebrate

  14. Learn how to work with Photoshop properly

  15. Scuba Dive

  16. Get married

  17. Organize digital photos archive

  18. Print selections of photos and put them in albums

  19. Document my life

  20. Say more I love you’s

  21. Dance more

  22. Be kind to others

  23. Make pasta from scratch

  24. Try sculpting

  25. Accentuate the positive

  26. Buy a 1930s house

  27. Buy stocks

  28. Have more often fresh flowers in the house

  29. Bring old clothes to 2nd hand stores

  30. Volunteer

  31. Show my children the world

  32. Learn how to sail properly

  33. Teach my children to be open-minded, tolerant and kind to others

  34. Open up about what’s really on my mind

  35. Stop dieting

  36. Grow roses in my future garden

  37. Send out postcards and handwritten notes besides birthday cards

  38. Never be embarrassed when it comes to my health

  39. Trust my instincts

  40. Go to a drive in movie

  41. Keep having date nights with MrBee

  42. Name my child after my mom

  43. Buy more organic food

  44. Truly accept and love my own body

  45. Get a proper manicure and pedicure

  46. Learn how to sew

  47. Talk to MrBee about our dreams and hopes

  48. Visit Japan

  49. Learn basic HTML

  50. Review this list actively

June 7, 2009

Typical Dutch

One of the first days I was back home in Holland, I went into town on my bike to run some errands. On my way back I picked up these peonies which have been the eyecatcher of our living room since.

On my way back home I passed a boat with tourists enjoying a tour over the canals and then they started taking pictures of me cycling by!

I guess I did look like the prototype Dutch girl: long blond hair, Dutch bike, flowers under my arm, cycling on the bridge over the canal...

June 5, 2009

A very very very happy girl

Remember how I told you MrBee and I went to see Phoenix play before we got together and I was still with someone else?

Well Phoenix just released a new album, their 4th, which hasn't left my CD player since I got it (yes I still buy CDs).

You can imagine how bummed I was when I found out a couple of weeks ago that Phoenix was coming to play in Amsterdam but that the show had already been sold out.

But I put up an ad on marktplaats.nl, which is I think the Dutch version of Craigslist, saying that whoever could sell me two tickets to the Phoenix show was gonna make me a very very very happy girl.

And then on Wednesday night I got a call. Someone offered me his tickets for the normal price. I was so excited! He even sent me the tickets before the money was booked onto his account. I love it when people just trust each other... I love this guy. He made my week.

The show was at a relatively new club in Amsterdam in a building that is going to be torn down in a while. It looked really industrial. Very cool. They had all kinds of art projects going on and we actually saw the Phoenix guys hanging out there before the show. Had to contain myself not to go ask them for an autograph. Or a picture. Or a drumstick (I have a small collection of drum sticks from bands I've been to see. MrBee plays the drums...).

And the show was just awesome. Just awesome. MrBee and I were right in front of the stage and we danced and sang along and just enjoyed the music. MrBee later told me I was just beaming all night long. I probably was...

And our way back home we remembered how different everything was on our first Phoenix concert...

June 3, 2009


Go and enter!

Back home!

I am back home and really really happy!

MrBee came to pick me up in Lyon and we had a really romantic last weekend there.

Driving back to Holland went really well. Fortunately it wasn´t too hot. I don´t have AC in my car and when I drove back from Geneva a week earlier I felt like I was before a reallyh arm blow dryer all the way. Not very comfortable. When we drove through Belgium we had a really really bad rain storm. Somehow it always rains when MrBee and I drive through Belgium... I wonder what that is....

I am enjoying spending time in our home, I´m getting used to being back. Somehow the idea that I don't have to leave again in a couple of days hasn't really sunk in yet....

Even though it has only been my second day back home, already I've noticed I should be careful not too waste too much time doing nothing, resorting again to the "cheap entertainment" I referred to in my very first blogpost. And although I feel like I deserved a bit of off time, I feel I need to make sure I get into some sort of ¨rythm¨ or routine.

In the next couple of weeks I don´t really have work or classes but I do have tons of stuff to do. I have reports to write before I can graduate. I need to start applying for jobs. We still have a lot of stuff to do around the house. I feel like structure in my days is essential for getting things crossed off my to-do-lists.

Tell me, do you have suggestions on how to make most of your days?

PS The artwork I won in a Blog Giveaway a couple of weeks ago has arrived! It´s tiny but really really pretty. I´ll post about it later when we decided where to put it.