Monthly Archives: May 2013

Amsterdam a Mini City Guide

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I recently came back from a lovely trip to Europe and one of my stops on the trip was the lovely city of canals Amsterdam. One of the big reasons I went to Amsterdam was to celebrate the Dutch National holiday Queens Day (Koninginnedag) with some of my friends. When my friend and I booked the trip we did not know yet that it was going to be as amazing as it was because at that point the Queen has not abdicated the throne. When she announced the news we knew this day would be extra epic because it will be the last queens day for a while and the coronation of the king and epic it was. One of my friends invited us on his sister’s boat for the festivities and it was amazing. We had food, drinks, and music and a lovely time was had by all (see pic below) if you ever have the chance to enjoy King’s Day on a boat in the canals of Amsterdam do not let it pass you by. Another great thing about the now King’s Day is that people sell a bunch of stuff on the streets and it is like a giant flea market city wide. Regardless of when you go to Amsterdam it is a lovely city and is well worth a visit.

Queens Day 2013 4.30.13

While this is in absolutely no way a complete or even vaguely well researched city guide this is some of what I did while I was I was in Amsterdam and what I think you should do too.

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Rijksmuseum

Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands

After being closed for 10 years for renovations the Rijksmuseum finally reopened this past April. Holland is known for its famous artist such as Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Vermeer, etc. so the Rijksmuseum by proxy has a great collection of famous pieces. If you are an art lover the collection is great and well worth the visit. If you are not a huge art fan the museum is still a great stop as the building is amazing and the stained glass windows are fantastic as well.

When I went my friend and I had to wait about a half an hour in a queue before we were able to get into the museum because the museum had only opened one week prior. I would assume that after a bit of time the wait should be less if not eliminated.

Anne Frank House
Photo by Saadick Dhansay on Flickr

Anne Frank House

Prinsengracht 267, Amsterdam

The Anne Frank House is a very popular stop for tourists visiting Amsterdam and I do think that it is a great place to stop by and see. My family has quite a deep connection to WWII so it was bit of a more emotional experience than I had expected.

If you are planning to visit the Anne Frank House the Queue gets quite insane especially on weekends so it is best to buy tickets in advanced online. You buy tickets for a specific time and the spots fill up quickly so it is best to buy a month or more out from your trip. While I am not one to plan my trips too intensely I do recommend planning this one in advanced if you want to go or else plan a few hours for waiting in line.

Vondelpark

Vondelpark

Museumkwartier, Amsterdam, Netherlands

What can I say it is a lovely park, buy some wine, some cheese (preferably some lovely dutch Gouda), some bread and enjoy a lovely picnic on a nice spring or summer day. There is nothing better than soaking in the rays, having a picnic, and people watching which is also a great reprise after say visiting the Rijksmuseum.

EATING IN AMSTERDAM

While I love food and eating which is usually a very important part of my trips it took a bit of a back seat to catching up with friends this time. I had looked into a few places that I had wanted to try but timing and location just ended up not working out. That being the case though I did end up at a some nice places that I would suggest you check out.

BREAKFAST/ BRUNCH

Brunch time
Eggs Royale

Greenwoods
Singel 103
1012 VG Amsterdam

Greenwoods is a lovely little English style tea house on one of the canals in the center city area. My friend and I had a lovely brunch there before we went to the Anne Frank house. While I had the Eggs Royale if I were to go back and be a bit hungrier I would suggest going for one of the high tea options. One of the other tables had it and it looked great with so many treats and finger sandwiches to eat.

Apple Cake at winkel
Apple Cake

Winkel
Noordermarkt 43
1015 NA Amsterdam

Winkel is famous for it’s Apple Cake which is amazing. Earlier in the day there can be a line but if you do have to wait it is defiantly worth the wait. While I got the Apple Cake as a mid day snack it would make a good breakfast as well. Just remember to not miss Winkel when you go to Amsterdam.

DINNER

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Lieve Belgisch Restaurant
Herengracht 88
1015 BS Amsterdam

On my first night in town my friends and I went to Lieve which is a cool little restaurant that is split into 3 sections each with its own dining theme but with the same menu throughout. We ate in the front area called Huiskamer which means living room, this part of the restaurant is a relaxed atmosphere and has a nice view of the canals. One of the other areas is a family style setting and the last area is the more formal area where you have your meal in 5 courses. To eat I started with the Strudel of goat cheese, nuts and honey with a coulis of smoked beetroots, for my entree I had Baked John Dory fillet with a beurre noisette and spaghetti of yellow carrot and parsley, and for dinner Blackberry cannellone filled with a mangobaverois and a biscuit. Overall I was very happy with my meal but I wish I would have chosen a more chocolate-ly or cake-y dessert option. I like desserts that are a bit more heavy and not so light.

Tulip Feilds

Finally if you are in Amsterdam in the spring try to make it out to the Tulip fields they are fantastic to see in person. My friend took me and I am not exactly sure where we went but it was lovely and I recommend it.

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Asian Food New York Style PT 1: May 22, 2013

Vanessa's Dumplings

Vanessa’s Dumpling House, Lower East Side, New York, New York
Sesame Pancake with Peking Duck, Chive & Pork Dumpling, Taro Milk Bubble Tea

Gratuitous food
Vanessa’s Dumpling House, Lower East Side, New York, New York
Sesame Pancake with Peking Duck

Gratuitous food
Momofuku Noodle Bar, East Village, New York, New York
Duck Sausage Rice Cakes

Gratuitous food
Momofuku Noodle Bar, East Village, New York, New York
Momofuku Ramen

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Oat Bars: Episode Two

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Over the past few months since I made my first Snack Bars (Oat and Sesame Snack Bar) I have been obsessed with making them and tweaking my recipe every time. Making your own Granola bars is such a great alternative to the store bought ones not only are they better tasting they are way more healthy. This particular version is one of the more recent ones I have made and it was my favorite so far so I thought I would share the recipe here.

OAT, NUT, AND DATE SNACK BARS

Makes 16 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ squares

2 Bananas; When ripe freeze until completely frozen (overnight or longer) and then defrosted this creates a extra smooth banana paste that holds

2 Cups Rolled Oats

3 Tbsp Wheat Germ

2 Tbsp Flax Seeds

1/4 Cup Pecans Chopped

1/4 Cup Almonds Chopped

1/4 Cup Dates Chopped into small pieces

3 Tbsp Goji Berries

1/2 Tsp Vanilla

1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt

2 Tsp Agave

1 Tbsp Brown Sugar

Coconut oil for greasing the pan

6 x6 baking pan

Large Bowl

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TO ASSEMBLE

Pre heat oven to 350F degrees and grease your baking pan with the coconut oil

Mash up the banana in the bowl until it is a paste

Add in all other ingredients except for the brown sugar

Once all of the mixture is thoroughly incorporated pour out into the greased pan and pat down so it reaches the edges of the pan and is uniform in thickness.

Sprinkle the brown sugar on top of the oat squares uniformly

Place in the preheated oven for 30-45 minutes until the edges of the oatmeal squares start to brown.

Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Turn out the bars onto a cutting board and cut into 16 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ pieces.

Oat Squares_24

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Views from Germany

Cherry Blossoms and Buddist Prayer Banners

I came back recently from a trip to Amsterdam and Nürnberg, Germany and I have had a really hard time getting back into the swing of regular life which includes posting here. I have been working on making a mini city guide for Amsterdam but it has not gotten far.

View from Burg Pottenstein

View from Burg Pottenstein

Until I get my act together and actually get the city guide made and a few other posts I have on the back burner here are some pretty photos from Germany!

Burg Pottenstein
Burg Pottenstein

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Amsterdam & Germany: May 11, 2013

Breakfast in Amsterdam
Mini Pancakes for Breakfast

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Beers in the sun at Cafe Kalkhoven

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Brunch time
Eggs Royale
Greenwoods, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Apple Cake at winkel
Apple Cake and Coffee
Winkel, Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Gouda & Tomato Open faced Sandwich

Beurs Van Berlage Cafe, Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Pork Shoulder, Sauerkraut, and Kloss
Traditional Franconia Restaurant in Pottenstein, Germany

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