>Two of my favourite places to visit….. And the winners of the Pay it Forward Giveaway!!

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Now it’s time to let you know a little bit more about me and the things I like…..
I love to travel, if I could I would do it all the time!!! I like all the places I’ve visited so far, among them Berlin, London, several places in Spain, Germany and Italy. But ofcourse I have some favourites….. My favourite city to visit is Paris and my favourite province/country is Ontario, Canada. It’s been so long since I’ve actually been to them, but with a little luck I’ll be making trips to both of them in 2009…. !!!

My love for Canada started 11 years ago: I was 18, turning 19, and visited Ontario, Canada for an International Youth Exchange Camp of the Lions. My I turned 19 during my visit and my hostfamily was so sweet: they had actually ordered a birthdaycake for me!!

Since then I have been back twice, the last time was about 7 years ago shortly after Lisa moved to Waterloo. Then 5 years ago Lisa came to visit me with her friend Andrea.

Now I have booked my plane ticket and I will be visiting them in June 2009!

I’ll be going to Canada for two weeks in which I would like to stay one week in the proximity of Waterloo, where Lisa lives, and for the other week I want to rent a car and drive up to Montreal.

On the way there I want to stop at a small place called Sainte-Marthe…

I have already visited the beautiful Niagara Falls all the times I’ve been in Canada,
but probably will go there this time too!!!
If you have some suggestions of places that I should visit, please feel free to mention them here!

My other great love is Paris….

I lived very near to Paris for 6 months when I worked as a hotel receptionist at

Disney’s Sequioa Lodge Hotel at Disneyland Paris. During this time I lived in Magny-le-Hongre and tried to visit Paris as often as possible.

It’s been almost 7 years since I came back to Holland and I haven’t been back since.
I am however planning on going to Paris for a long weekend this year, so when I saw this list of things to do in Paris over at Dorie Greenspans’ blog I printed it out immediately!

Again for suggestions feel free to leave me a message!! I have already done the touristic things like visiting the Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur, Montmartre, Notre Dame, etc.

Now on to the most important part of this post: the winners of the Pay it Forward Giveaway.

I used the Random Integer Generator to come up with 3 lucky winners…..

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:3 13 1
Timestamp: 2009-02-21 00:35:18 UTC
Congratulations Marie, Peggy and Steph!

>TWD Rewind: Black and White Banana Loaf plus a Pay it Forward Giveaway

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First of all let me apologize to those of you that came here today looking for
Devils Food White Out Cake that was picked as this weeks recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie
by Stephanie of Confessions of a City Eater. I didn’t make it….


I hope to be making this recipe someday in the near future, as it is featured on the cover of Baking from my Home to Yours, but for now I couldn’t.
I was missing one essential tool for this recipe: a thermometer that reaches up to
180 degrees Celsius and my budget was too tight to buy one this week.
So I asked our allmighty TWD-leader Laurie if I could please do a rewind.
Lucky for me her answer was:

Marthe,

Feel free to do a rewind. No worries there.
Thanks for asking in advance though, I appreciate it!

xo~ Laurie




So this week I made the Black and White Banana Loaf (pages 232 of ‘Baking from my Home to Yours’ by Dorie Greenspan) that was made by my fellow TWDers earlier and picked by Ashlee of A Year In The Kitchen for the 5th of August 2008. The recipe can be found here.

I substituted the nutmeg with cinnamon and added 1/3 cup of
toasted pecans to the chocolate mixture.

I accidentally ended up with a bit more than half of the batter mixed up with chocolate,
which is why my loaf is so dark.

Also I had way too much fun swirling and got carried away,
so the marble effect is a bit lost due to over-swirling…

O well… At least it tasted great! Can´t wait to let my coworkers try this one tomorrow!


A while ago I saw a post over at Natalia’s blog about a giveaway called Pay it Forward.
I entered, thinking I would never win since I never do win anything, but guess what… I won!

I thought Natalia’s explanation of the giveaway was perfect, so I just copied an pasted it here…..
I did change the dates 😉
There are so many lovely giveaways in blogland, bloggers eagerly commenting and abuzz with the excitement of winning an unexpected gift, but that’s it. Someone wins, and then the generosity comes to a screeching halt and we go on with our lives. Nice, but lacking in momentum.

This giveaway is a little different, however, because the “receivers” are also to become “givers”, if you will. In fact, that’s the most important rule of the game…

The rules are simple: I will send three people who leave a comment on this post a handmade gift within the next 365 days. I am willing to post anywhere in the world, so don’t let that stop you from commenting.

The catch is that you must have a blog and be willing to do the same thing….
The original rules stipulate that it’s to be the first three to leave comments are to win
a little love, but I don’t so much like that because it makes it seem all “rush rush”
and “hurry” and “let’s be in a race to be winners!”, and this isn’t about competition or running
to beat anything or anyone.

So I’ll randomly select three winners out of the ones who will answer to my post by February 20st at 23.59 Amsterdam time and I’ll announce the winners February 21st.

P.S. Check out my new blog: My Sewing Adventures….

>Awards…..

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A while ago Shelby of The Live and Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch bestowed the honour upon me of giving me another award: Triple Award! Upon reading her post I felt extremely flattered that a warm an friendly person like Shelby wrote such nice words about me!

Yesterday I was lucky enough to receive two awards from Peggy of Pantry Revisited, the first one being the Triple Award and the second one is the Über Amazing Blog! Award.

So here are the rules for both awards:
1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

There are a lot of great blogs out there who also already received these awards. Therefor I tried to pick 10 people out of my favourite blogs (and whom are also regular visitors to my blog) who hadn’t already received these!!

And the nominees for the Triple Award and the Über Amazing Blog! Award in no particular order are…… (I know, very corny but I just couldn’t resist using this line!!):

P.S. What do you think of my new look???

>Milky Way Brownies

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While still working at the insurance company one of my coworkers approached me. He really enjoyed sampling my baked goods on a weekly base and wanted to share a recipe with me that was featured in his local newspaper: de Leeuwarder Courant.

Well, it took me a while, but I finally got around to making it today! I intended to make the Floating Islands for last Tuesdays with Dorie, but upon reading the recipe I found out I lacked two crucial things: a) a (candy) thermometer that reaches up to 180 degrees and b) sufficient funds to buy previously described thermometer. Said thermometer is also needed for next weeks recipe: Devils Food White Out Cake, so I won’t be making that one either….

This one’s for you Marcel, thank you so much for the recipe.
These brownies are a real treat. They look cute heavy and dry, but in fact
they are nice and light. Instead of Milky Ways you could also use a different candy bar,
such as Mars.

Milky Way Brownies
125 grams butter (about 1 stick)
4 Milky Way bars
60 grams sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar
2 eggs
110 gram flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven at 175 degrees Celsius. Line a square pan with parchment paper.

Cut the Milky Way bars into pieces and melt them in a pan on lo heat with the butter. Keep an eye on the mixture and keep stirring to avoid lumps. Don’t let the mixture get too hot.

Take the mixture of the heat and mix in the sugar and vanilla sugar. Mix in the eggs, one egg at a time, the flour, the baking powder and the salt.

Pour the brownie mixture into the pan and bake for about 25 minutes.

Let the brownies cool down, cut into sqaures and serve with dusted with lots of confectioner’s sugar or a drizzle of caramel sauce. Enjoy!!!!

>Italiaanse kip in bakpapier (Hip Kip and Vitatas)

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Last week I got lucky: chicken breasts were on sale!! So I bought a kilo and popped them into the fridge. Finally a chance to try out a recipe from my cookbook Hip Kip!!
After long deliberation I decided on Italian Chicken in Parchment.

This recipe is supersimple and perfect for a dinner party, because
the packages can be prepared in advance!

I don’t really care for black olives and decided to leave them out. Instead I used the fennel
from my Vitatas. Whilst baking the kitchen filled with the wonderfull smell of pesto, courgette, tomatoes and fennel….
The chicken thighs were cooked to absolut perfection.
The chicken was still moist, not dry at all. I never thought of combining pesto with lemon juice,
but this was soooooo nice!!!

Italian Chicken in Parchment (4 servings)

1 lemon, scrubbed clean
1 courgette
4 chicken fillets
250 grams cherry tomatoes
4 tbsp black olives (I substituted these with the fennel)
4 tbsp pesto

Preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius. Put the sheets of baking paper on the counter. Zest the lemon and squeeze it.

Slice the courgette into thin slices, cut the fennel into quarters and slice thinly. Mix them with the lemon zest and some pepper and salt. Place the courgettemixture in the center of the baking sheets and divide evenly over the four sheets.

Cut the chicken (schuin) into four pieces (I did 5 pieces….), top with salt and pepper on both sides. Place the chicken over the courgettemixture. Divide the cherry tomatoes and olives over the chicken and spread one tablespoon of pesto over each chicken (I left out the olives). Drizzle some lemonjuice over the chicken

    Fold the paper into a package and place the packages onto a baking sheet. Slide the sheet into the center of the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Place the packages on a plate. Open at the table. Great in combination with gnocci.

    >Vitatas #3: Contents….

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    Stay tuned for this weeks recipes!!

    Posted in Vitatas. 1 Comment »

    >TWD: World Peace Cookies

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    So, today’s game is….. guess what this is…. No, it’s not dirt….. It’s cookie dough!!! In fact, it’s the dough that will make the most delicious cookie you have ever tasted: World Peace Cookies!

    Yeah, so guess what I did….
    I mixed up the dates and recipes due for Tuesdays with Dorie and only discovered this after I finished the cookies and didn´t have enough ingredients left in the house for
    this weeks actual challenge Floating Islands, or Îles flottantes as they are called in France.

    No worries: I’ll attempt to make them wednesday on my day off and blog about them Thursday, so I can actually still call it TWD….. 🙂


    In this recipe I used 3 different kinds of chocolate next to the cocoa: I used 2 ounces of milk chocolate, 3 ounces of bittersweet chocolate and I used up the remaining ounce of chocolate chips my parents brought me from the USA after their visit in October 2008.

    The empty bag above is all that remains 🙂

    Now I present to you the recipe I made this week: World Peace Cookies, picked by the lovely Jessica of cookbookhabit. The recipe can be found here.

    I must say this is my favourite Dorie-cookie so far and my parents and coworkers agree.
    I took a batch to work today and my colleagues (only 8 people were in the office today)
    totally cleaned me out!!!
    The cookies themselves are nice and crumbly and the sea salt balances out
    the sweetness of the chocolates and sugars
    Dad’s verdict: 9,5 out of 10 points!!

    Chocolate Chips on Foodista

    Posted in TWD. 9 Comments »