Pad Thai

Never attempted to make this before, but surprised at how easy it is. We loved it so much that we had it two nights in a row. Easy and hilarious recipe here.

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Rosemary Lemonade

One of my favorite summer drinks was this rosemary lemonade. Since we don’t have Country Time (and maybe that’s a good thing), I decided to give it a whirl and make this fancier, adult version. Surprisingly easy. I made it for friends that visited and they were all impressed, so I knew I had a winner.

1. Create simple syrup. Combine 1 cup sugar with a 1 cup of water. Heat over a medium low flame until sugar is completely dissolved.

2. Add sprigs of fresh rosemary and chill overnight.

3. Strain the liquid to remove the rosemary. Pour into glasses, filling about 1/3 of the glass. Fill another third with vodka (or water) and the final third with tonic. Add fresh rosemary and lemon slices as garnish. Enjoy!

Chicken Noodle Soup

I’ve been really sick since Thursday. No idea why and just trying to rest so I don’t aggravate my throat more than it already is. Haven’t lost my appetite though. And (Thank heavens), haven’t lost my sense of taste. In my opinion, that is one of the very worse effects of a bad cold. Enough about that. This afternoon, Jaro made (I know, Jaro again! He’s been a busy chef this week.) Vietnamese chicken soup that I made way back here. But since he knows I don’t mind mixing flavors, (especially when garbage day is tomorrow and we want to use up everything we can), we also had prosciutto, arugula and, wait for it, raspberry jam on a baguette. I had seen something similar with fig jam on Pinterest recently, so figured this was a close enough substitute. You might think it’s crazy, but don’t knock it til you try it! So delicious. And that’s not my messed up, cold-ridden taste buds talking- Jaro gave it a thumbs up too.

So yeah, Jaro has basically been Iron Chef these days. I love that man.

And I’m getting used to the sound of him sharpening our knives every night…

xxx

Chorizo & Egg

Chorizo & egg is a traditional breakfast dish in many Mexican homes. My grandma would make it for us all the time when we were growing up. It was always one of my favorite meals. Still is. Jaro and I continue to share this spicy breakfast with our families and many, many friends. (Just ask anyone who spent the night with us back in Chicago). We make it “taco style” since I love my corn tortillas. We used to have them all. the. time. when we lived in Chicago because the chorizo and tortillas were always fresh. As you might expect, corn tortillas are hard to come by in Amsterdam. Maybe because we’re 4000 miles away? Luckily for me, Jaro has been rather ambitious in the kitchen lately… He made (!) homemade chorizo and homemade white corn tortillas. Check it out, they tasted amazing!

Chorizo recipe here and corn tortilla recipe here. Mix the chorizo with egg, throw some tomato and avocado on top, and give it a squirt of Cholula sauce. Just don’t get it in your eye. Trust me.

xxx

Tacos with homemade (blue!) tortillas

The other night, we needed something super simple to make for dinner and when that’s the case I always turn to my roots. My Mexican roots. Taco night it is. I had bought (bleh) flour tortillas just in case, but Jaro had the crazy notion recently to MAKE corn tortillas at home. He found a recipe that made it seem so easy. Yeah right. Anyway, we found the corn flour and he spun his magic. I think they turned out all right…

 

A little thick, a little rough and a little… blue. But they were good. We’ll He’ll be trying it again. Corn tortilla recipe here.

xxx

Homemade Trofie with Pesto

As promised, I’m going to get back into sharing some of the divine foodstuffs we create. And I have to tell you guys, we reached a new level in our kitchen today:

We were so inspired from the countless plates of trofie with pesto that we had in Cinque Terre, that we… that’s right, we made our own pasta. From scratch. For the first time. Ever. According to the recipe website, the only place you can get trofie is the Liguria region unless you make it yourself. So – We went from this:

To this:

Yeah, yeah. We decided to pull out the nice china and even had some champagne to celebrate this occasion. And why not? It looks good right?

Clearly, we are no food photographers (might be a worthy class to look into?), so I’m sorry if this doesn’t appear as mouth-watering as it was. Trust me, it was delicious. We even made the pesto from scratch and (unnecessarily) added shrimp to get some, you know, protein or whatever shrimp provide. Super straight forward but exhausting recipe here.

More soon. Much more.

xxx

Weekend Wrap Up

Hello! Another busy weekend here in Amsterdam. We are hosting some fabulous guests from the States and it has been the perfect excuse for us to take them around the city to our favorite places and, duh, eat our favorite foods.

We had a lovely dinner at home, evidenced by picture #1:

Dinner party

Those Nambe S&P shakers make the setting, don’t they?

We also, duh, strolled through some of our favorite street markets, Noordermarkt and Lindengrachtmarkt, like we do most weekends and indulged in some a dis (#2):

Hot Meat

How great does that sandwich look? More importantly, how great does that photo look? Jaro surprised me with a new camera lens (!!) and we’re having a blast taking some sweet (and savory?) shots with it.

We also tried out a cafe that we have been meaning to get to forever, Cafe Winkel. They are known for their gluttonous glorious apple tart. Can you see why? (#3):

Cafe Winkel's famous apple tart

We were also celebrating a special birthday for one of our guests (that’s you, Seweryn!) and even though he may not have wanted us to acknowledge his birthday in public, it still gave us a good reason to go to one of our favorite restaurants, Balthazar’s Keuken (#4):

Balthazar's. The decor is just as awesome as the food.

Our pictures of the food just didn’t do it justice in the low lighting, so you get this artsy shot of the cool bulbs in there instead. Where can I get these?

Chalk that up to another great weekend here in the ‘Dam. Now if only the temps would get back to where they were last weekend. …Actually, scratch that. We are about to head out this weekend for some exciting travel! Ukraine & Turkey, here we come!

xxx

Penne with goat cheese cream sauce

Image

Yum!

Made this looker recently based on a recipe I had talked about here. Instead of rigatoni, I used whole wheat penne. Much healthier and you can’t really taste the difference! I just notice the texture is a little different in whole-wheat pasta, but that is not a big deal. Also, I jazzed this up with some sauteed mushrooms & green beans and some shredded roasted chicken. Roasted chicken sounds fancy, but it isn’t. Trust me. All I did was throw it (“it” being three whole chicken breasts) in a baking dish, coat with olive oil, red pepper flakes, S&P, and lemon slices. Then, you bake it for about 45 minutes at 160 Celsius. Viola. Finito. This is a good meal to make a huge batch of and then eat for lunch for the next day rest of the week!

xxx