Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Tough Chicks

I'm a bit of a softy these days, sometimes I wish I was more of a tough chick. Check out these tough chicks in a video I found via Design*Sponge.

I think I have a girl crush...

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Burning down the house

Yesterday it was my sister-in-laws birthday BBQ and I promised to make her a cake. She hadn't told me what sort of cake she wanted so as I got to choose...chocolate!!

While I was googling for a recipe I stumbled across this recipe for a double chocolate layer cake. It has over 1000 reviews which apparently makes it the most popular recipe on epicurious, so I thought it was definitely worth a try.

As I have a small oven I had to bake the 2 layers separately. All started off well, the first layer went like a dream, and then I popped in the second. About half an hour later my sister-in-law came running out of the kitchen yelling "FIRE! FIRE!!". The smoke alarm was bleeping and smoke was bellowing out of the oven - my 2nd layer was a disaster! It seems the oven must have automatically switched back to its maximum heat (which I dint't see) and I then was baking my cake at 250 degrees rather than the 150 the recipe called for - not so good. To say the least I was not a happy chappy.

That was enough baking for one night, so I got up early the next morning to attempt layer 2 for the second which actually ended up turing out better then the 1st (you can see in the bottom pick the top layer was much more moist). Then it was time to make the ganache which had almost half a kilo of delicious Callebaut chocolate....mmmmmmmmm...and then had to wait for what felt like forever to cool it down in order to ice the cake.

I have to say, despite the close call with setting the kitchen on fire, I am very proud of the end result. I would not say it was the best chocolate cake I have eaten, but it was damn good. Everyone else seemed to enjoy it too!

But now, 2 days later, you can still smell the burnt chocolate cake throughout the house.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Budget Breaking

I put myself on a tight budget last year and I have to say I am very proud of myself. I've never been a good saver and it meant curbing two of my biggest addictions: shopping and eating out. Ok well every now and then I do buy things or go out for dinner but believe me its minuscule compared to before.

When starting my budget shopping and eating out were not the only things I reduced, another thing I stopped was my magazine subscription to VT Wonen (amongst others - only Martha Stewart Living made the cut). It's a Dutch interior design and style magazine which I absolutely LOVE. When I'm in the super market I make sure to walk past the magazine section as swiftly as possible to ensure I don't go weak at the knees when I see all the covers teasing at what's to be found inside.

Yesterday my college pulled out his copy of VT Wonen to show me something and I almost squealed. I asked if I could flick through it and he said why not sure borrow it for a few days and give it back once your done. Well as soon as I got on the bus to go home I ripped it open and poured over all the pretty images.

When I first starting buying this magazine I was so proud I was reading a Dutch magazine! Who was a kidding - all I wanted to do was look at the pictures!!

So it seems I have reignited my love for VT Wonen. Out of sight was kind of out of mind but now that I have seen it again, I don't know if I can miss it again. At the end of the day it's not even €6 a month! I'm sure that'll fit in the budget. Maybe I can skip a few coffees (oh but can I?) or text a little less; either way VT Wonen is here to stay.

Here some images for you kids, I'm off to read my magazine...

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The Book Launch

Yesterday was the book launch for Griselda's latest book, Oog van de Naald. My cheesecakes were a hit and I was getting complements left, right and center (just what a girl wants to hear).

The book launch was at a tattoo shop, which was very fitting as the book is a crime thriller which follows a reporter investigating a serial killer who tattoos his victims. If you can read Dutch you should check it out.

After the official business, we had a guerilla style BBQ in a park in Amsterdam - a lovely way to spend your Tuesday night.

In order to celebrate my first successful cake order, I used some of my earnings and spoilt myself with some new shoes!

Monday, 23 May 2011

Baking Weekend

It's been a baking weekend! A friend of ours, Griselda, asked me to make her 10 cheesecakes for her book launch and since I have an oven that only fits one cake in at a time, I spent the weekend baking away.

To celebrate my first "order" my boyfriend surprised me with these cool calling cards and stickers - isn't he the sweetest

...and the best part of baking, getting to lick the bowl of course!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Birthday Cupcakes

Here are some snaps of cupcakes I made for my birthday last year, red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing....mmmm mmm they were delish! In Holland when its your birthday you have to "trakteer" which means you bring cake to your work or school for your birthday, rather than them arranging it for you. 

Monday, 21 March 2011


Today Spring officially began.

For an Australian living in Holland, this is pure heaven - sunshine! In order to celebrate I rode my bike to work. When ever the sun is shining I try to ride to work, which is almost an hours ride away.

It feels like it takes forever, but when I thought about it (walking to the bus stop, waiting for the bus, getting on the bus, sitting still in traffic, walking from the bus stop to work) it works out to be about the same amount of time on the bus as it is on the bike. Plus on my bike, I get to wake up with the sun in my face and the wind in my hair. I pass meadows which are all shades of green, I hear the birds singing and smell the fresh air. It's a wonderful way to wake up.

Now heres hoping the Spring is here to stay.