Category Archives: In the Kitchen

Amsterdam’s NeighbourFood Market

In an attempt to lift us out of our post holiday slump, we ditched our usual lazy Sunday routine and headed out for a long cross town bike ride to the NeighbourFood Market in Amsterdam’s Westergasfabriek. The lovely weather, delicious food and cozy atmosphere definitely helped boot out our end of summer blues. 😉

First stop, burgers and beer :)

First stop, burgers and beer – with some stuffed Greek grape leaves on the side 🙂

Hazelnut, Limoncello & Honey and Thyme truffles for dessert :)

Hazelnut, Limoncello & Honey and Thyme truffles for dessert 🙂

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The market is open one Sunday per month and offers enough sweet and savory treats to please almost any palate.

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Post food stroll through Westerpark

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To keep the spirits lifted as the cooler weather undoubtedly approaches, we’re determined to fill the calendar with as many fun activities as possible for the next few weeks. This weekend we’ll be heading to the popular Grachten Festival (canal festival) in Amsterdam.  With boat filled canals, live music and a fabulously festive feel- it’s quickly become one of our favorite summer send offs. 🙂 

Easter Sunday

This year on Easter Sebastiaan and I woke with a little extra ‘spring’ in our step so we decided to take advantage of a rare plans-free day out on the town.

We began with an extravagant and delicious 5-course brunch at Quatfass. It was our first time there and definitely won’t be our last. With the friendly staff, delicious food and reasonable prices, I think it’s fair to say we’re likely to frequent this one!

After 2 hours of eating, drinking and chatting, we left completely stuffed satisfied and headed out into a brisk but sunny (!) Amsterdam. We began with a stroll through a little neighborhood festival, then headed to an organic street market followed by some delicious wine and cheese at this chique little wine bar downtown.

And, because we obviously hadn’t eaten enough for the day, to top off  the evening we headed for Ethiopian food here. (surprisingly messy when eaten with the hands!)

Although today my pants are feeling a tad more snug than I’d like to admit, it was definitely worth the splurge for the picture perfect Easter Sunday in Amsterdam! 🙂

Amsterdam <3

Amsterdam ❤

Little Collins

This Sunday Sebastiaan and I woke up with a taste for a good old fashion American brunch. Although Amsterdam is home to many of Europe’s great restaurants, I have to say, the brunch scene is lacking a bit… Coming from D.C and NYC, brunch capitals of the US,  this has been pretty hard to do without.

So, on Sunday, without anywhere in particular in mind, we decided to just grab our bikes and stop off when we found something that looked appealing. While usually this is a pretty good strategy around Amsterdam, luck was not exactly on our side to start. When hunger got

The food looked about as old as that tablecloth...

The food looked about as old as that tablecloth…

the best of me us, we finally stopped off in what looked like a cute corner bakery/café. One glance around the “restaurant” I knew there was no way in hell I was going to eat anything prepared within the confines of this god forsaken place (ok, maybe I was in a bit of a mood at this point…).

For some reason we felt compelled to order a cup of coffee, which I sipped (while occasionally shooting daggers at Sebastiaan) and proceeded to look up nice places for brunch on my phone. Thank goodness (for everyone involved) I came across Little Collins. I called them immediately, made a reservation and told Sebastiaan to chug his cappuccino and meet me outside.   

Little Collins is fairly new Australian owned restaurant in the heart of Amsterdam, and although it’s picked up some great reviews around town, we’d never had to a chance to check it out. Wow, I am glad we finally did!

As soon as we walked into Little Collins (well, after I had a delicious bloody Mary in my hands) I knew we were going to be in for a treat.The friendly (albeit slightly hungover) staff quickly made us feel at home as we  drooled watched mounds of food leave the beautiful open kitchen. We both threw our new “healthy habits” to the wind and splurged on some much needed comfort food.

The Original Bloody Mary

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Stan’s Bangers and Mash

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Coriander and Corn Fritters

The food was absolutely delicious and definitely worth the drama wait. Although we were rushed out a bit at the end of our meal, we’re already looking forward to our next Aussie inspired brunch! 🙂 

 

Pasta e Basta

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Happy 21st Birthday Kai! ❤

This week Sebastiaan and I celebrated his little brother’s 21st birthday. Aside from making us all feel really really old, it gave us a great excuse to go out and try a new restaurant in the city. I’d heard great things about Pasta e Basta, most notably that the staff is actually filled with professional singers that will break into song at various points of the evening. Although this sounded slightly cheesy, I’m always a fan of a good sing along so when Sebastiaan’s mom told us that’s where we were eating, I have to admit, I was pretty excited.

We arrived at what looked like an old Italian wine cellar decorated in just enough gaudy fabrics to make the place teeter on the line between overdone and cozy. We sat down, ordered a delicious bottle of Chianti and toasted to what turned out to be a wonderful evening. The food was wonderful and made even better accompanied by a sudden aria, pop song of musical number sung by a member of the incredibly friendly staff.

 

While I wouldn’t exactly say that it was Broadway quality entertainment, it definitely made for some great mid-week fun! 🙂

Rolling Kitchens

This weekend, in an attempt to live up to my goal to get out and do more in Amsterdam, I was determined to plan a nice fun-filled Saturday for Sebastiaan, me and two of our closest friends. After conducting a bit of research, I found the perfect activity to give us a chance to do something a little different and enjoy the far too rare “warm” Amsterdam weather.

Saturday the Rolling Kitchens food festival took place in Amsterdam’s Westerpark. The event featured mobile kitchens from chefs, caterers and restaurants around Holland. We spent nearly five hours roaming the event, enjoying the live music and tasting everything from freshly shucked raw oysters, BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, black bean and beef burritos and spicy chicken roti rolls. We ended the night completely stuffed  satisfied stopping for a drink in our favorite neighborhood bar on the way home.

Although we were exhausted and had a bit of a lazy day yesterday, it really is amazing how getting out and doing something fun together really helped to get us energized for the week ahead. As I head into my last week of graduate school classes (EVER!) and the last day at my current job, I can’t help but feel uncharacteristically optimistic for the upcoming summer months.

I can’t wait to see what fun activities will be next  on our agenda! 🙂

A nice little Saturday

This weekend Sebastiaan and I finally had a chance to spend some much-needed time together, put some finishing touches on our apartment and enjoy an evening out.

After yet another few hours navigating the interminable IKEA showrooms we returned home exhausted and with little energy left to cook. Because our schedules  have been so busy lately it felt like we were well overdue for a date night out. We decided to treat ourselves to our favorite neighborhood tapas restaurant, Pata Negra. It was just what we needed. The relaxed atmosphere, great music, friendly staff and excellent food make it well worth the price; lamb chops, grilled asparagus, green olives, bacon wrapped dates, and calamari were among the picks for the night.

We scored our favorite spot on the bar, sipped on Spanish beer, enjoyed a delicious selection of tapas and picked up some frozen yogurt on the way home.

A few years ago the idea of spending Saturday night on the couch eating frozen yogurt and watching Law & Order would have sounded pretty dull but I have to say, to me, it was the perfect Saturday night.

Pata Negra in East Amsterdam 🙂

Confessions of a wannabe foodie

I love good food, make that great food. I love treating myself to dinner at the best restaurants, trying new dishes and have even been known to take a few health risks in the name of culinary delight. I was raised with a very diverse diet from a small age ranging from sushi, indian and Moroccan food to italian and french delicacies. I have to admit, I’ve been a pretty brave eater from the start.

My mom is an excellent cook. Unfortunately, I inherited my mom’s taste for excellent food but not her culinary talents. Now, I’m not a bad cook per say. I can make a nice and healthy meal and have even mastered a few more complex dishes. It’s more that I don’t have the patience to test out new recipes knowing that more often than not I will end up setting off the smoke alarm, dumping my failed creation in the garbage and ordering take-out. Seems like a lot of trouble if you ask me. So why bother? (Especially since Sebastiaan is such an amazing cook, I’m a lucky girl :))

I’ve been reading a lot of different food related blogs lately, many of which talk about the joys of cooking, the satisfaction that comes from tasting that first perfect bite and the almost therapeutic nature of the process. Let’s just say I’m not quit there yet…

Sebastiaan and I have recently become determined to get healthy, and as many of you know, one of the best ways to do so is to cook more of your own food. For me, knowing exactly what is on my plate really makes me think twice before taking that first bite. I’ve always been a very healthy eater especially dating back to my days as a ballet dancer, but let me tell you, living with a guy for the first time can quickly put a dent in some of your healthy habits. (Sebastiaan once tried to convince me that putting a half-inch of butter on a dinner role is good for you… need I say more?)

So after taking some inspiration from my favorite food blogs and doing a bit of research I’ve made a list of a few seemingly feasible dishes that I am committed to trying in the upcoming weeks.

This Spring Salad with asparagus, fingerling potatoes, snap peas and spring onions.

 These Crispy Black Bean Tacos.

 This delicious looking Tilapia dish.

This sesame crusted salmon

So maybe it’s not exactly the art of cooking that has inspired me to take this first step in my culinary journey but hey, it’s a start. Now let’s see how the dishes turn out… (Fingers crossed!) 🙂