Monday, December 31, 2012

A touch of snow

The last day of the year has arrived and we've only had a touch of snow here in Amsterdam! 
You won't hear any complaints from this Florida girl,
but a little snow always sets a nice tone for the holiday season,
which has all to quickly come and gone. 

Earlier in this month, we had some snow flurries so, I headed over to Vondelpark with a friend
to snap some pictures during our afternoon winter walk.
Later, we warmed up with a few glasses of mulled wine over at the Blauwe Theehuis.

Good thing we did we took our chance,
 since this turned out to be our only snow for the entire month of December!

The last day of the month (and year!) seemed a fitting time to share a few snowy photos...

It's been so balmy lately, that I'm even a bit worried for whats to come in the following months...
maybe frozen temperatures and tons of snow like a few seasons ago??

I'm so curious for what 2013 has in store!
  Happy New Year + Gelukkig Nieuwjaar everyone!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Around Town: Marits Huiskamer Restaurant

The Marits Huiskamerrestaurant is a quaint, neighborhood spot that has been on my to-list for a while, after discovering it through the blogging grapevine (thanks for the suggestion Amanda!)

I quickly embraced the idea of a lovely home cooked (vegetarian) meal with family and friends... without having to do any of the preparation or dishes!

When November rolled around, this was the perfect place to take my mom and my Dutchman in celebration of their autumn birthdays.

With a set menu that changes seasonally, the delicious vegetarian dishes are prepared with locally sourced, organic ingredients.

We relaxed in Marits' cosy living room restaurant, with a bottle of organic red wine and good conversation. It was the perfect combination of a friendly atmosphere, good company and of course, fresh, tasty food!

Marits was such a friendly and gracious host and as a testament to her cooking, still I can't seem to get the sage ravioli off my mind, yum!

Marits Huiskamer Restaurant
Andreas Bonnstraat 34H
1091BA Amsterdam

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Weekend Wanderings: Kröller-Müller Museum

Nestled deep within the De Hoge Veluwe, a 5,500 hecter woodland, the Kröller-Müller Museum is home to a vast collection of 19th and 20th century artworks.

My mom chose a visit to this museum for her birthday outing so, along with my friend Kate (another Floridian expat) we made the hour-long trek from Amsterdam east towards Apeldoorn.

We proused the forest grounds, snapping photos of autumn leaves and if the weather hadn't been so drizzly, we would have definitely taking a spin on the the white bicycles available for visitors to borrow.

Instead, we captured leaves and pinecones for our (then) upcoming Thanksgiving party and then once the cold started to bite our fingertips, we headed inside to browse the gallery. 


The three of us were really looking forward to viewing the huge Van Gogh collection.
Actually, this private collection boasts the most Van Goghs in the world! 
It was unbelieveable how many well recognized paintings were part of this collection.
If only I had millions to support a massive art collection...

Helene Kröller-Müller collected more than 11,500 artworks and in 1938 she and her husband open the doors to their museum-home. The grounds also come complete with a gorgeous hunting lodge that, unfortunately for us, was under construction at the time.

Oh Mama, you sure do make me smile!

The autumn colors were absolutely stunning despite such dreary weather (thanks, a lot Holland),
here are a few more photos of the surrounding forest...


Although I love the convenience of living in Amsterdam's city center,
and the added perk of cycling just about anywhere,
there's just something special about taking a road trip.
Maybe that's the American in me?

 I'd really like to check a few more museums around the Netherlands off my list
and thanks to my museum card most of the are free to enter!
Plus, staying inside finding inspiration in artwork is a great excuse to avoid cold weather.

Do you have any recommendations? I'd love to hear them!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Weekend Wanderings: Autumn Apple Picking

You may have noticed through instagram or twitter that I spent the last Sunday of October
with a few of my favorite American ladies picking apples fresh from the orchard...

Carly and I were hoping to go strawberry picking over the summer (which completely flew by!)
so, apple picking was an equally fun, delicious alternative.
 Plus, when there's actually a sunny day in Holland the best thing to do is get outside!

We were lucky enough to have a gorgeous autumn day for our apple hunt.
Full of sun bursts, laughs and a few handfuls of crunchy apples freshly zelfgeplukt by yours truly.
A perfect fall day!


Just as expected for a group of bloggers,
we all snapped away taking photos our very hard work in the Olmenhorst orchard.

Go on and have a look at tales from a few of my fellow Amsterdam bloggers as well!
Carly ::: Ellen ::: Liz ::: Mandy ::: Jana

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Weekend Wanderings: A Day in the Middle Ages

We chose a brisk, cloudy Saturday to venture out for a quick time warp. 
Our day of history was actually my Dutchman's idea and it led us all the way to the province of Noord-Brabant. After 3 trains and a ferry, we finally found ourselves at Loevestien Castle

In celebration of the castle's 651st year, organizers held a weekend long medieval festival, complete with falconers, lute players and of course, a few knights on horseback. 

We wandered all around the castle grounds, caught glimpse of gorgeous owls and other birds of prey, enjoyed a few bock beers and even watched a jousting tournament!  


Fun fact: Built to fortify the point where the provinces of Gelderland, Brabant and South Holland meet, this castle also happens to be where Hugo de Groot escaped from imprisonment.

We love discovering historical (kind-of-nerdy weekend activities, what about you? 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sweet Corn Chowder + Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Autumn is definitely upon us here in Amsterdam.
Leaves are changing to a range lovely burnt auburn colors and
this weekend was full of clouds and chilly autumn winds.

It's putting me in a snuggly, indoors mood,
perfect for making slow cooked stews, soups and chowders. 

This corn chowder recipe was inspired by checking a few recipes on pinterest.
Then, I decided to just head to the kitchen, turn up the new Avett Brother's album and get cooking.

The results were kind of spectacular, actually.

Here's a tip: invite a few friends over because this makes a TON of soup.
As in, even my constantly hungry Dutchman and I are soup for a few days.
Yay for leftovers!

The last bits of chowder ended up as savoury topping for my Dutchman's homemade stamppot
Go ahead and make this for dinner, you'll be glad you did.

Do you have a favorite chilly weather meal? I'd love to know!
Check out my recipe after the jump...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Odds + Ends: Hello, autumn!

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
- Albert Camus

Summer has left us, and so has my relaxed schedule.
I'm slowly settling into this crazy 40+ hour work week.
But I do plan to make another attempt at getting back to regular blogging.
(or something kind of like it)

Life is best when it's busy... but sometimes, woah.
Time has passed so quickly, I've been living back in Amsterdam for a bit over six months
and now here we are on the cusp of autumn!


Leaves are changing to lovely colors.
Amsterdam has a new color palette and I like it, a lot.
We visited the Pure Market on a sunny fall day. Delicious.

I'm definitely sure that the best way to stay warm
is by dancing around the kitchen, listening to the new Avett Brother's album
while baking sweets (and eating them hot out of the oven!)

So, I baked a banana cake...
it was gone in two days thanks to my hungry Dutchman.
Cinnamon scented kitchens are so cosy.

Then, Carly found this wonderful pear spice muffin recipe,
and we baked a few together.
Seriously, please bake these muffins, they will make your day magical.

If you have yummy autumn inspired recipes please share them!
(I'm dying to get my hands on some pumpkin puree)

I love the listening to the leaves crunch under my boots!
What about you?

PS. Maybe you recognize some of these photos from instagram. If you're keen, follow me over here.