>Giveaway-update, 12 Days of Christmas Cookies and Cinnamon Sweet Potato Cookies

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I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!! Here in The Netherlands we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but I really enjoyed looking at all the tastylooking dishes that everyone made!
With the help of my mom I was finally able to narrow down the 25 recipes I really liked for my 12 Days of Christmas Cookies to 11. Yes, that’s right: 11. As I already mentioned here I would like your help to pick the 12th cookie! If you’d like to win a Rookworst, please go to this post and leave a comment telling me what cookie you think I should bake! Deadline of the Giveaway is November 30th!!

So without further ado, I now present you the cookies my mom and I picked for 12 Days of Christmas Cookies in no particular order:

  1. World Peace Cookies
  2. Snickerdoodles
  3. Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops
  4. Mexican Wedding Cakes
  5. Brutti ma Buoni
  6. Chocolate Crinkles
  7. Stained Glass Christmas Cookies
  8. Butter Pecan Slice and Bake Cookies
  9. Chocolate Cornflake Cookies
  10. White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
  11. M&M Cookies
  12. ?????
So I had some sweet potatoes laying around, waiting for me to do something with them….. But what to do??? I had a craving for cookies and went looking on the Internet. Over at One Frugal Foodie I found one particular cookie that used cinnamon. This recipe was vegan and that intrigued me as I never made a vegan cookie before.

I was very curious as to how these would turn out as the recipe is vegan, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free and nut-free. The cookies were a bit sticky and had a cakey feel to them, they were soft. As for the taste: I was pleasantly surprised!! The cookies were really good, my coworkers gobbled these down so fast that I wasn’t even able to salvage one for my parents to try! The recipe can be found here, Alisa even gives several options for toppings and add-ins!

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>Rookworst Giveaway + recipe for Banketstaaf

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So, it’s time for another giveaway! Nothing to big, but it is typically Dutch: Rookworst!!! (source: wikipedia)
Rookworst (“smoked sausage”) is a type of Dutch sausage in which ground meat is mixed with spices and salt and stuffed into a casing. Rookworst is a traditional ingredient in stamppot.
Contrary to what the name suggest, the modern rookworst is rarely smoked. To achieve the smoked flavour typical to the product, smoke aromatics are added to the product alongside the spices. The genuine old-fashioned rookworst is smoked over woodchips.
There are two types of rookworst:
  1. Raw rookworst, which contains raw meats and has to be prepared properly. With the raw rookworst there is a distinction between coarse and fine variants
  2. The most common form of rookworst is a vacuum packed cooked sausage. This sausage leaves the factory already cooked and only needs to be reheated in boiling water. This comes in three variations: Gelderse rookworst (porc), rookworst light (porc) and runderrookworst (beef).

I’m going to give away one of the nr.2 rookworst (250/275 gram) of choice: Gelderse rookworst, rookworst light or runderrookworst. All you have to do to to have a chance to taste this dutch meat is…… Tell me what cookie I should definetely bake for my 12 Days of Christmas Cookies, tell me in a comment under this post about rookworst and banketstaaf or just tell me what you think of the rookworst and banketstaaf! Deadline for this giveaway is November 30th, on this day I will pick a winner and I’ll post about the winner on December 1st. This giveaway is open to all international contestants!
Now on to Banketstaaf: the banketstaaf is a traditional Dutch pastry made of almond paste (amandelspijs) and puff pastry usually served at Sinterklaas and Christmas. This time I used storebought amandelspijs, but you can find a recipe to make almond paste here.

Banketstaaf
360 gram puff pastry
300 gram amandelspijs (almond pastry)
1 lemon, zested
2 egg yolks
apricot jam or orange marmalade
Preheat the oven at approxiamately 392 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius)

Defrost the puff pastry, I used 8 pieces of 45 grams

Mix the almond paste with the lemon zest and one egg yolk.

Stack the puff pastry

Roll out the puff pastry into a rectangular shape

Take the almond paste,

wet your hands and shape it into a log

Put the almond paste on the puff pastry and wrap the pastry around the paste

Tuck in the ends and apply some pressure so they will stay in place

Brush the banketstaaf with the second egg yolk and bake for 45 minutes.
When the banketstaaf is almost done, warm some apricot jam (for a sweet layer) or orange marmelade (for a bit more bittersweet layer) in a pan.

Take the banketstaaf out of the oven and brush the warm jam/marmalade on top of the banketstaaf. Let it cool down and cut it into pieces.

>A very late update on my Gift Exchange…

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!! Please do not forget to let me know which cookies I should bake for my 12 Days of Christmas Cookies here (and if possible leave a link to the recipe) !!

This update on my gift exchange is long overdue….!!! Way back in July I thought it was a great idea to host a gift exchange and I asked whomever wanted to participate to leave me a message. Luckily a few other bloggers agreed with me and I got a little group together to swap gifts. I used Elfster to draw the tickets and asked everyone to send their gift by the end of August.

So about one week later I received a package in the mail from Marie of A Year From Oak Cottage, co check out her blog as she has the most amazing collection of recipes on there!!

Now on to the contents of my package… My cat Senna was very interested in the content of the box too!

The first item I found in my parcel was this box of chocolates, I liked them a lot! I almost forgot to share them with a fried that was visiting ­čÖé

Up next was this wonderful Earl Grey Tea

Then I took out these gorgoues items, I love the packaging as it is pink: my favourite colour! Great soap, bath powder and hand cream. The hand cream actually travels with me wherever I go now: it smells like roses and moisturizes my hands ultrafast without leaving some sort of film over my hands!

Marie also sent me the cutest little book on cooking I ever saw

But the biggest surprise of them all were these Rhubarb and Custard Sweets, I somehow imagined these to me soft sweet like a winegum of sort. Instead these were hard candies. I loved them!! The sweetness of the custard and the tartness of the rhubarb are balanced to perfection!!

Again I would like to thank all of the participants of my Gift Exchange and especially Marie for sending me such an amazing spread of gifts!!

>Request for Cookie recipes!

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Last week I have been busy for my blog: although I haven’t been posting much , I have been quite busy preparing some posts that will be going up the next couple of days.
They will be about:
  • A review of my Smulwebdiner @ Librije’s Zusje
  • A very late update on my Gift Exchange
  • Fast Chicken Stroganoff
  • Pasta with Balsamic Crushed Tomatoes
  • Blueberry Crumb Cake
  • Maple Syrup, Oats and Pecan Muffins
  • Banketstaaf, a Dutch treat we usually eat at Sinterklaas and in some cases at Christmas as well

I am also going to do a series called ’12 Days of Christmas Cookies’, inspired by LunaCafe’s extravaganze of Chistmas Cookies in 2008, where I will be posting a recipe and pics of cookies on twelve consecutive days. I’m going to bake 12 types of cookies and gift these to coworkers, family and friends. These cookies need to be tasty and not have a list of ingredienst that will cause me to go bancrupt. I already have some cookies in mind, but am open to suggestions. So please let me know if you have a recipe that you think I should definitely bake for my Christmas Cookie Extravaganza! Ow and links to the recipes would be highly appreciated!

>Pumpkin Curry with Naan Bread

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I’ve been such a slacker lately, I’ve been slacking all over the place: blogging, cooking, baking, cleaning etcetera…. Had a lot on my mind. But everything’s okay now: the work situation has been sorted. On November 2nd I started my new old job… My contract at the job agency ended and was not prolonged due to the economic situation. However the company I was temping at was so content with my work that they offered me the position I was temping at for the last year. Big Yay!

On to todays dish: Pumpkin Curry with Naan Bread. This dish was featured on the recipe display at Albert Heyn, the supermarket I shop at. It’s a vegetarian dish and I thought it would be perfect for this time of year, the recipe can be found here (in Dutch!).


This curry is quite easy to make and actually one fo the first dishes in which I got to use the stalks of coriander. The pumpkin I used had thin husk and it wasn’t necessary to peel it, because the husk gets soft when you stew the pumpkin

This is a delicious vegetarian dish, it tastes really smooth and subtle. I expected it to have a bit more of a kick somehow. This dish contains 430 kilocalories per portion and 8,5 WW Points

Pumpkin Curry with Naan Bread
(4 portions)

1 small pumpkin (AH puur & eerlijk biologisch)
30 gram butter
2 onions, quartered
2 tbsp currypowder
200 ml water
15 gram fresh coriader, leaves finely chopped and stalks finely chopped but kept seperated
450 gram frozen peas
300 gram greek yoghurt
1 package Naan Bread Garlic & Coriander (Patak’s 4 pieces)

Cut the pumpkin in half, remove the threads and seeds and cut it into pieces. Melt the butter in a pan and cook the onions for 3 minutes. Add the currypowder and pumpkin and stir fry for 5 minutes.

Add the water and coriander stalks, cover the pan and stew the pumpkin for 10 minutes. Add the frozen peas and yoghurt and bring to a boil untill the peas are warm.

Prepare the naan breads according to the packaging and cut them into long slices.

Serve the pumpkin curry with the naan bread and top with the finely chopped coriander.