Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mooi Klompen

Clogs are iconically associated Dutch culture, despite the fact that hardly anyone wears them anymore (although, I must admit to loving my pair of fuzzy clog slippers). While visiting the open air museum at Zaanse Schans we had a peek into the clog gift shop and caught a glimpse of these beauties! I imagine they're not all that comfortable, but the carved detail is so lovely. The room was filled with all kinds of wild styles like clog rollerskates and Mondrian inspired clogs and this pair especially made for a bride.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Lately, I'm Loving...Summer Reading

In the last few months, I've been blessed with some extra-special additional reading time, and made my way through some fantastic foodie books. Whenever there's a glimpse of sunshine I like to head out to the park and lay in the grass. But with all the rain here lately, it's been more a case of sitting on our balcony to read under the pitter-patter of rain drops with a warm cinnamon tea latte, which isn't a bad consolation prize.

Here's a few reads I'd recommend for anyone interested in food and travel... it'd surprise me if you lacked those interests since you've come all the way to my blog.

This book is a delectably fun read is chock full of funny expat anecdotes and a even few sweet and savory recipes. I'm fan of his Parisian life/food blog and subsequently, can not stop dreaming about taking a long weekend south to savor mountains of French pastries. Maybe I can finally get a little trip planned once tourist season dies down a bit...

I'm so enchanted by Julia's love affair with French life and cuisine (although, most of the recipes are not at all vegetarian friendly). Her story tells a tale not only of a budding chef but also the love story of Julia and Paul and their ups and downs of their curious life abroad. So naturally, this book has been on my list for quite some time...and I couldn't put it down!

I picked this one up at the train station en route to the beach. Thankfully, I'm not experiencing the same struggle to get through Eat, Pray, Love with this story, which, picks up where the last book ends. It's just a fascinating discussion on the spectrum of relationships around the world which I haven't finished but would recommend despite not knowing the final outcome.

I suppose it's no surprise that my reading list has been loaded up with stories of life abroad and yummy food! If you have an recommendations for my reading list then please, let me know!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chocolate Berry Torte

I had an insaciable craving for rich, dark chocolate and a free afternoon. So, naturally I headed over to a friend's house to borrow her oven and bake up something delicious, this time a chocolate torte...with berries...and fresh whipped cream! I used Green & Black's Chocolate Berry Torte and Green Kitchen Stories' Vegan Chocolate Blackberry Cake for inspiration and ended up with something amazing.

We basically followed the Green & Black's recipe but I added a spicy, nutty crust. Just combine a few handfulls of almonds, cashews and hazelnuts and crush with a mortar and pestle. Add a dash of cardamon, a pinch of cinnamon, and one twist of + about 1 tablespoon of melted butter (or the vegan substitute), stir and then press into the cake pan. You'll probably have to play around with that depending on the crust thickness you prefer.

And yes, we definitely did use a heart shaped cake pan! This torte is very rich, so invite some friends for tea or share it at a summertime picnic. Top off a slice with some fresh whipped cream and more berries if you dare!