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Dagboek van December

 

Nadat ik vorige week terugkeek op 2015, is het nu tijd voor een overzichtje van wat ik in december deed.

December was de maand dat ik mijn cursussen hier afrondde en de eindessays moest inleveren. Best wat stress, maar ik ben blij te kunnen zeggen dat het op tijd af was en ik al mijn cursussen gehaald heb. High Five & Happy Dance!

Het was ook een hele leuke maand, want mijn Nederlandse vriendin Siglinde kwam naar Stockholm voor een paar dagen en ik ginb met mijn Zuid-Afrikaanse vriendin Ancia naar Lulea in het noorden. Allebei heel speciale en gezellige momenten en ik laat je het allemaal in foto’s zien hieronder.

(meer…)

Free Knitting and Crochet Resources I Use All The Time

10 knit-crochet resources

A few days ago I was looking for a knitting pattern that would perfectly fit the yarn I had + the idea I had in my head.
When this situation occurs, I have some websites I always visit to get inspiration for patterns and instructions on how to use them.
I guess you recognize the situation above, so I’ve compiled a list of my favorite resources for knitting and crochet patterns and techniques. Continue reading Free Knitting and Crochet Resources I Use All The Time

Not-Too-Much-Fuss Christmas Dinner 2014 (+ soup recipe)

(Background image from Mrs. Magic)

Every year both Christmas days (yes, in Holland we have 2 days of Christmas) are filled with family and eating. So the day before Christmas we have a Christmas dinner with my parents, my sister and her husband. Unfortunately my sister and her husband won’t be there this year, they will be missed.
I’ve offered my parents to cook the dinner this year. It’s not going to be very big and luxurious, because the days after we’ll eat more than enough.
So I’ve designed a dinner that is easy to prepare and not too much food. But still special and appreciated.
Recently I bought an amazing cookbook. It’s Dutch and translated the title is ‘simply what a student eats in the evening’. A really fun cookbook with easy recipes that every student can make. It’s made by foodblogger Leonie ter Veld who shares on her blog what she makes for dinner every day.
The book is in Dutch, but don’t be sad. I asked Leonie permission to share a recipe and she said YES! More about that later.

Let me tell you what I’ve planned for Christmas dinner this year.
We’ll start the dinner with a lovely soup made from spinach and avocado and that’s the recipe I’ll share below. I’m really curious how it will taste, but it sounds great.

Main course will be salmon in puff pastry with herb cheese (also from Leonie’s cookbook), cooked rainbow carrots and an oven dish with potatoes and figs.
To finish the dish I’ll make vanilla custard with apple slices, raisins and cinnamon in the oven. I think it’s very Dutch. You can find the recipe here.

So now on the the recipe for the spinach avocado soup from Leonie’s cookbook.

Ingredients (for 1 person)
1 red onion
1 clove of garlic
olive oil
150 grams washed fresh spinach
2 cubes vegetable stock
10 fresh mint leaves
1 avocado

Instructions
1. Cut the onion and garlic in small pieces and bake them with some olive oil.
2. Add the spinach
3. When the spinach has shrunken enough, add the stock cubes and 2 glasses of water
4. Add the mint leaves and let simmer for 10 minutes (don’t cook it).
5. Cut the avocado in pieces and add to the soup
6. Blend the soup and you’re ready!

I hope the Christmas dinner I planned will inspire you to make a special dinner that doesn’t take too much effort to prepare.

I’m wishing you all a warm and relaxing Christmas.
I’ll probably share some pictures from the dinner on Facebook and Twitter. See you soon!

Love,
Jacolien

The Best Christmas Hamper Ever!

Yes! I have a little job besides my studies, which means that around Christmas my employer gives me a little gift!
In The Netherlands it’s a tradition to receive a box  filled with food and non-food stuff from your employer to thank you for the effort you’ve given in the past year.
The last few years people also get a coupon with which they can pick a gift of their favor online.
This year I chose a giftcard for Xenos, a shop with fun home decoration, supplies for creative outings, kitchen supplies and a food section.
I went shopping for about 2 hours and this is the result: THE best Christmas Hamper I’ve ever had!
If you’re Dutch, I can really advise you to do the same. It’s fun and you’ll be sure you will have the things you really like for your Christmas hamper.

This is what’s in mine:

A garland with snowflake lights, so cute!
A spool of grey polka dot ribbon.

Fun straws with patterns. I already have a bunch in my collection, but you can never have enough.
A small tray, on which I will serve tea and biscuits when I have visitors.
A vase with the text ‘Happiness is not a destination, it is a way of life’.
A snowflake hanger, to add a bit more Christmas and winter feeling to my room.
A clipboard with a nice pattern of which I will clip nice texts or pictures that catch my eye.

And what is a Christmas hamper without some food stuff. There’s two curry pastes and a mix for pizza and foccacia bread. Yum!
And to help me cook all of it, there’s a spatula.

And besides all the ovely stuff above, there’s a little casket from wood with two heart shaped holes on each side. I’ll hang this on my wall to serve as shelves on which I can place some decorative stuff (so that my ferret can’t reach it and break it).
 
I hope you enjoyed it and I didn’t make you too jealous if you don’t receive a Christmas hamper.
Eitherway, I hope you’ll have a lovely Christmas this year!

The Perfect Cup of Tea

It’s getting colder and it’s way too early when it gets dark.
It’s about time to light some candles and lounge on the couch with a lovely cup of tea.


Besides tea tasting good, it’s also healthy. Tea has anti-oxidants that support your immune system and, compare to other food, there’s a lot of fluoride in it that strengthens your teeth and bones.


And what is better than a cup brewed from loose leaf tea?! A teabag consists of the same tea leafs ofcourse, but there definitely is a difference! The leafs in loose leaf tea are more coarse, full and fresh than the leafs in a teabag. Tea leafs used in teabags are also called tea dust because of that.
So you might be able to imagine that the flavor of loose tea leafs si much more intense and rich than tea from a teabag.

But I hear you asking it: How do I brew the perfect cup of tea with loose leafs?

Well, this is how to do it:
1. Boil the water and pour it in a glass. For black tea you use boiling water, for Oolong tea the water should be just off boil and for green tea the water should be about 80°C.

2. Put the loose leafs in a tea egg. For black tea you need about 2-2,5 grams for one cup, for green tea you need 1-1,5 grams and for Oolong tea you need 3 grams for 200 ml. When you brew tea with loose leafs more often, you’ll discover which amount of tea is perfect for you.


3. Put the tea egg in the water. And NO! Don’t stir or do anything with it. Loose leaf tea is best when you let it at rest for a bit. Brew black tea and Oolong for about 2-3 minutes and green tea for a maximum of 2 minutes.

4. Take the tea egg out of the cup and stir the tea gently.

5. Your tea is done. Light some candles, pick a good book and curl up under a blanket with your perfect cup of tea. Enjoy!