Usually, Nick does all of the baking. He’s really good at it and enjoys doing it. But there are days where I crave something sweet and Nick isn’t around to bake me something magical. On those days I get out my rolling-pin and try my hand on a recipe. This time I tried making Sticky Cinnamon Scones. The recipe I used didn’t have any measures for the filling, so this is roughly what I used. If it doesn’t work out the first time, experiment a little. Once you get it right, it’s really good.
Sticky Cinnamon Scones
350 grams of self-raising flour
100 grams of cold butter
150 ml of buttermilk
a bit of salt
1 egg, beaten
80 grams of melted butter
4 table spoons of brown sugar
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
a hand of raisins
a hand of any kind of nuts you have lying around. chopped roughly. I used walnuts and almonds.
Heat your oven to 180°C.
Melt the butter for the filling, and mix it with the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside
In a big bowl, mix the flour with the butter and salt until it looks like coarse sand. Now add the buttermilk bit by bit until you get a supple dough.
Roll the dough into a ball and flour your surface. Roll out the dough until it’s about half a centimeter thick, while trying to keep it square. The thinner your dough is, the better.
Brush the melted butter/sugar on the dough. Cover the dough with the nuts and raisins.
Now roll up your dough so that it resembles some sort of sausage.
Grease up a baking dish. Cut the dough sausage in six equal parts and snuggle them together on their sides in the baking tin. Brush with some beaten egg and bake your scones for about 25 minutes or until they are golden brown.
Serve the scones with cold butter, whipped cream or unsweetened crème fraîche. They are also very yummy when you eat them piping hot straight out of the oven (totally burned my mouth on one).
This oversized wintercoat has been keeping me warm
We took some pictures for our friend who owns a vintage furniture shop
This store is great. Good food, awesome branding.
Somehow this bread took four hours in the oven before it was done.
Nick taught our dog to walk without a leash. Best thing ever. Hands free dog walking!
The ceiling of the National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam and the National Maritime Museum.
Last year when we skipped winter because we were traveling in Asia, we missed it. The cold weather, the snow, staying indoors, short days. When winter came around we were incredibly excited, we bought winter coats, hats and gloves and we were ready to take this winter and love the hell out of it.
We waited and waited but no winter came. And now spring is already upon us. I can’t believe this was it! I didn’t even get to wear my gloves and the temperature went below zero on no more than two days. Not a single flake of snow!
And yet, spring feels like an awakening. The days are getting longer and when I ride my bike I hear birds singing their songs all around me. Nick said to me the other day “Babe, you’re like an excited puppy whenever there’s a sunny day” and I guess I am. I can’t wait for spring and summer and I’m already looking forward to next winter. Because who knows, we might get some snow next year.
One of the things we wanted to do differently when we got back from our trip was to spend more time growing and making our own food. We haven’t been able to grow anything yet because it’s winter but we’ve been busy making most of our food from scratch. Our favorite home-made recipes so far are tortillas and this yoghurt.
The recipe for this yoghurt comes from Home Made Winter, where we also got the recipe for the Ontbijtkoek. For our first batch we followed the recipe, for our second batch we experimented a bit. For our next batch, we’re going to try adding some flavors. We’ll keep you posted.
1 liter fresh organic milk (you can use goat milk to make goat yoghurt, or raw milk from a friendly farmer for extra thick yoghurt)
200 ml of fresh organic yoghurt. You will need store-bought yoghurt for your first batch. Make sure it has live bacteria cultures.
Disinfect your containers by boiling them or putting them in the oven at a 120°C for over 10 minutes. Do not do this with plastic containers. We used Weck jars because they’re the standard for this kind of stuff in the Netherlands and readily available.
Heat up 1 liter of milk in a pan until it reaches exactly 40°C. Use a cooking thermometer to make sure you get the temperature right. Turn off the heat.
Add a little of the warm milk to the yoghurt and mix until it’s fluid, making sure there aren’t any lumps.
Mix in the yoghurt mixture with the warm milk.
Fill the jars with the yoghurt mixture.
Heat the oven to 40°C and put the jars in without their lids. Let them sit in the oven for about six hours. Resist the temptation to open the oven door. The yoghurt needs some quiet time to make love to those live bacteria cultures you put in there, so leave it alone.
After six hours you can take the jars out. Cover them with a lid or plastic wrap and put them in the fridge over night so the yoghurt can cool down and stiffen.
Our first batch was pretty nice, but it gets better every time you make new yoghurt with your previous batch.
Now this recipe makes about 1,2 liters of yoghurt, but when you try to make Greek yoghurt you will end up with less. To do this, strain your batch through cheesecloth for an hour or three while it’s cooling down. Mix well when you think it’s thick enough.
Slowly but surely this house of ours is coming together. We’re focusing on the top floors at the moment. One of which will be our home office. I’m so excited to move our mattress to the attic and start decorating our office. It will be the first time we will have our own office. At the moment we’re working from the couch, which is cosy but not comfortable.
I don’t know about you but I’m having a hard time finding furniture I really love. Desks are so ugly. I’ve looked everywhere but I just can’t seem to find a desk we really love. We’ve designed furniture before so for our home office we’ll be designing and making our own desks. It will be a learning process but I can’t wait to get started.
On another note, I’ve been thinking about getting some chickens. Here’s the pro’s and con’s list I made today while I should have been working on a client’s website.
they eat leftovers, reducing our waste
they start out as chicks
they fertilize the garden and eat snails
eggs. Who doesn’t love eggs!
I’d like to find out if you can train chickens
they fertilize the garden with poop
our dog likes to hunt anything bird-like so I’m afraid she’ll constantly harass the chickens
the chicken coop will take up a lot of the space in our small garden
no more cons, chickens are awesome
Do you have some good home office inspiration resources? And how do you feel about chickens? Let me know!
A dear friend gave us this cookbook Home Made Winter for Christmas and we love it. It’s not just a bunch of recipes, it’s a collection of things you need to know when making everything from scratch. We also own Home Made which tells you how to Home Make just about everything. It’s by a Dutch woman so it includes a lot of typical Dutch recipes. Such as this Ontbijtkoek-recipe.
Ontbijtkoek (click here for pronunciation) or pain d’epiche is literally translated breakfastcookie and it’s a lot like gingerbread. In Holland, people eat it for breakfast, lunch or as a snack. Because it’s kind of sticky, people eat it with butter.
We’d never made ontbijtkoek before, but we like how it turned out. Here’s our version of Ontbijtkoek. We altered the original recipe a bit. I like my ontbijtkoek spicy.
400 grams of self-raising flour
2 teaspoons of ginger powder
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 teaspoons of coriander powder
a pinch of allspice
a pinch of salt
200 ml of whole milk
100 grams of brown sugar (see note)
75 grams of honey
75 grams of maple syrup
Heat up your oven to 150°C. Butter up your baking tin.
Get out your mixing bowl and add all the ingredients. Mix it with a whisk until the batter is smooth. Pour it into your baking tin. When your oven is ready, put your Ontbijtkoek in the oven for about an hour.
When done, let it cool on a rack. Cooled down? Wrap it up to make sure it stays nice and sticky. As with most cakes, it’s better the day after baking so control yourself!
Note: This recipe calls for basterdsuiker. Basterdsuiker is a typical Dutch product. It is made by adding invert sugar and caramel to fine white refined sugar. This mixture helps to achieve certain textural structures and keeps baked goods moist. There are three varieties, white, brown and dark brown. Although there is some discussion about this, I’m of the opinion you can use muscovado sugar to replace it.
I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who loves to see how other people live. So , here are some pictures of our new house and of how we are living at the moment. We’ll keep you updated as we settle down and make this house our home.
When we left home to travel, a year and a half ago, we sold everything we owned. Thinking we would never come back, it seemed like the best thing to do. And it was. It still is. Letting go of all of your belongings is incredibly freeing and knowing you’re carrying around everything you own is scary and amazing at the same time.
A while back I wrote about starting over and how excited I was to invest in some great stuff for our home.The furniture you see in the living room pic is not ours, we only have a mattress at the moment. Turns out, you don’t need much. We don’t have plates and eat every meal shared on a big cutting board. It’s one of my favorite moments every day and we would never have had this moment if we would have had plates. Maybe I’m scared of buying a lot of stuff, because it makes the rooting-process so real. I believe that once you’ve traveled you will never live without travel anymore. It’s always there, that small voice in a tiny part of your brain. And when I feel stuck in life or work, it tells me to start looking for cheap tickets to one of our dream destinations (Mexico! I say. Skiing! says Nick).
When I started writing this blog post I was planning to write about our new house. So I’ll end with that. Here’s some quick info:
Six years ago, we walked by this street one day and I remember telling Nick ‘I wish we could live here’ and now we do.
Because of the skylight, the kitchen is flooded with light and I love being there.
We have enough space to transform one of the bedrooms to a home office! No more working on the floor! My back will be so grateful.
Our bedroom will be up in the attic. It’s going to be romantic as fuck.
Bathtub. ‘Nough said.
This house is a rental, so we won’t be doing any mayor renovations
Any thoughts? Anyone else who is sort of freaked out by how serious it feels to go shopping for a couch?
After a month and a half-long hiatus, we’re back! And we’re so glad to be back! What have you been up to this last few weeks?
In the time we were gone, we: moved twice, lived in a tiny attic above a store with no door or bathroom, celebrated Christmas twice, drank champagne on New Year’s Eve, both worked two full-time jobs, painted most of our new house, are trying to decorate our new home and we’ve even been trying to squeeze in some hours of sleep here and there.
We’re not done, not even close and this storm we’re in, it’s not calming down any time soon. But we’ve found balance together within this storm and I quite like it. It’s been windless for far too long.
There is so much we want to share with all of you, but for now we’ll keep it short. Happy New Year, we’ve missed you and we’re hoping to connect with you soon!
Last Saturday was my birthday. I turned 28 and I find it hard to believe. I’m no longer in the younger part of my twenties. I don’t mind getting older, but it does feel weird. It doesn’t feel like I’m 28 at all. But I am. This 28th year of my life is going to be the most awesome year so far. I have nothing planned, but I’m absolutely positive it will be spectacular.
Last week was quiet on the blog. We moved house, sort of. We’re staying with friends until we can move in to our new house in the beginning of December. Sometimes I wonder how we do it. We’ve been living like gypsies the last couple of years. Three years ago we started saving to fund our travels. We moved house 5 times in 1,5 years, each time to a cheaper house. Then we left to travel the world for a year. We never stayed anywhere longer than a month, most of the time only staying for a week. When we got back to Europe, we lived with a great family in Vienna for a week and a half, before moving in with Nick’s dad back in Holland. And now we’re sleeping on two mattresses on an attic without a door or shower. I would lie if I said it’s easy. But I also would be lying if I said I hated it. Maybe because I know it’s not forever.
Back to my birthday: Nick made me a pretty bad ass cake and gave me this book I’ve been eyeing for months. I picked out a recipe and got baking today. It’s not my birthday anymore but it’s not like you need a birthday to eat cake.
For all the Dutch people reading this: you can try this cake today at the awesome Meneer Paprika in Haarlem (where we also work!). Their new website will be online soon, made by us. We’ll share it with you once it’s ready.
Orange and Polenta cake
adapted from Home Made
for the cake
juice of 1 lemon
100 grams of polenta
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar
100 grams of almonds, finely chopped
250 grams of light caster sugar
for the garnish
100 ml of apricot marmalade
The baking of the cake
Pre heat your oven to 180°C.
Put two of the oranges in a pan with enough water and boil them for an hour. When they’re done let them cool completely.
Get out your food processor and put the two oranges in whole. Add the lemon juice and pulverize. Stir in the polenta, baking powder and vanilla sugar by hand. When it’s mixed, add in the almonds as well.
Get another bowl and whisk the eggs with the sugar until you have a white foam. This takes a while so I suggest you don’t do this manual. Make sure the bowl is fat-free before you start.
Gently mix the polenta mixture with the airy egg foam and pour it into 26 cm cake pan.
Bake the cake for 35 minutes. Let it cool for 5 minutes, put it on a cooling rack, and let it cool completely.
Now start with the oranges for the topping.
Cut off the top and bottom of the orange, making sure you cut off the white part. Now you can cut off the sides from top to bottom easily. Slice the oranges into neat slices.
Cover the cake with the slices overlapping. Heat the jam in a small pan on medium heat and when it’s warm gently smear it over the oranges. Put the cake in the fridge for a couple of hours before eating.
My little maniac, running around on the beach and eating seaweed
I love signs like this
Yes, there is a giant papa smurf in the background
Our friends came over for a weekend of fun
We’ve been doing a lot of hiking in between work lately. We’re enjoying the amazing nature of the Frisian island of Texel until we move back to the city in a few weeks. We visited the beach, the dunes and the forest this past week, and the calm this island radiates works wonders for our creativity. Texel has a unique ecosystem in the Slufter, a dune valley where sea water comes in on the tides. All kinds of rare plants grow here, including statice and glasswort. If you visit in the right season, you can pick it and eat it right away, or use at home in a salad. Make sure not to stray too far, or you’ll disturb some nesting birds, and get yourself a fine to boot.
We’ve been super productive lately, and one of the reasons for it are these moments of blissful recharge. Also, we just got Basecamp, and it’s awesome. If you do any project-based work we can highly recommended it! (not sponsored by Basecamp, just really loving it).
Have a great weekend, take a walk, eat some plants and enjoy.
When I first told Nick I wanted to shoot this dish for the blog he straight up laughed in my face. ‘You don’t even like it’. He was right. But I had a plan. ‘What if we make a better, tastier version’. Nick, who is always up for a challenge, looked at me and said ‘Challenge accepted’.
It took us a whole day in the kitchen, but I think we did it.
As soon as it gets cold, Dutch people huddle together and cook winter classics such as Boerenkool stamppot (kale with mashed potatoes, bacon and smoked sausage), Hutspot (Carrots and onions with mashed potatoes, bacon and smoked sausage), Zuurkool stamppot (sauerkraut with mashed potatoes and you guessed it: bacon and smoked sausage) and of course Andijvie stamppot (endive with mashed potatoes, bacon and sausage). As you can tell, the Dutch kitchen is quite boring and I’ve never really liked it. But there is something about local cuisine. It should be preserved as it is part of our heritage.
We proudly present: Endive with mashed potatoes, the tasty version.
An original Nick & Angie recipe
For the hotchpot
400 grams of Endive, cut in small strips
1.5 kg of potatoes
a gulp of milk
a large piece of butter
red wine vinegar
For the leak
4 tablespoons of mustard
a large piece of butter
For the caramelised onions
10 medium-sized onions
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
For the poached egg
regular white vinegar
The cooking of the food
We’re going to start with the caramelised onions since they take the longest. Cut the onions in rings or half rings. Put a heavy pan (I used a big, cast iron pot) on the lowest heat on one of your medium-sized burners. Melt the butter, but don’t let it brown. Put in the onions. Stir regularly. Caramelising onions can take up to an hour. If they’re nice and brown, deglaze them with a few lugs of balsamic vinegar. You can alternatively use red wine vinegar.
Put the oven on 180°C. While the oven is heating up, peel your potatoes. Cut them in pieces of equal size. Put on some water and as soon as it’s boiling, throw in the potatoes. Parboil for about 6 to 7 minutes. Drain them in a colander and leave them for about 3 minutes.
Cover a baking tray with baking paper and toss the potatoes on the tray. Spread them out evenly. Pick your weapon of choice and crush the potatoes. Don’t completely mash them, you want them to break into pieces, not purée. Mix about 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of vinegar and a handful of roughly torn sage in a bowl, toss it, and spread it over the potatoes. Put some pieces of garlic between the potatoes. No need to peel the garlic. Slice some butter into small cubes and put it on the potatoes. Place the tray in the oven for about 40-45 minutes.
In the meanwhile, fill up your kitchen sink with ice-cold water. Cut your endive in small strips and put it in your sink. Let the endive sit in your sink for 15 minutes to half an hour, giving the sand and dirt time to sink to the bottom. Take it out without disturbing the dirt, put it in a colander and put it aside to drain.
Don’t forget to stir your onions. If they aren’t getting any darker, you can put the heat a bit higher.
Take your leaks, wash them and cut them into fairly big pieces. One leak should become 4 or 5 pieces. Put a skillet on medium heat and heat up some butter until browned. Put in your leaks. Place some cubes of butter and all the mustard on top of the leaks and cover the skillet. Let it stew for about 10 minutes. No need to turn or stir, just leave them be.
When the potatoes are finished, put them in a big pot. Get out your masher or ricer and mash them. Add milk and butter until it becomes a smoothish mixture. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Don’t forget to taste! Mashed potatoes usually need a lot more salt than you think. Now add in the endive bit by bit and mix up. Make sure to keep a good potato:endive ratio. Too much endive and it becomes a weirdly starchy salad, too much potato and it’s too soggy.
Fill half of a medium-sized saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Break an egg in a little bowl, making sure the yolk stays intact. Add about 2 – 3 tablespoons of vinegar to the boiling water. Make sure the water boils lightly and stir it to form a little whirlpool. Carefully pour the egg into the water while it still swirls slowly. Let it softly simmer for about 3 minutes and take it out with a skimmer. Let the excess water leak off on a piece of paper towel. Serve while still hot.
Put the hotchpot on a plate, put a poached egg on top and add caramelised onions and leaks. Enjoy a Dutch classic!