Archive for September, 2011

September 30, 2011

Own a colour and help save a child’s life – DLCS green

I generally don’t do charity.
I’m not affluent  all and most directors & managers of charitable organisations seem to be so.


DLCS green

DLCS green



UNICEF did something cool now. Everyone knows UNICEF, right? UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation focusing on children and child rights, with a presence in more than 190 countries and territories.


I just bought a colour and helped save a child’s life!

CHECK :    Take  a look – and why not buy one yourself ? You can even name your colour!

It only costs 1 GBP – or as much as you can afford – and all the money raised will go directly to help save children’s lives. So why not pick a colour for yourself, or send a colour as a gift to a friend?

To find out more about UNICEF’s work, visit

September 27, 2011

Nelumbo Nucifera – health benefits & roots-recipe

Nelumbo Nucifera (Holy Lotus)

The lotus plant grows in ponds with the flowers, stems and leaves above the water and the root below the water. The roots are rhizomes; plant stems that grow horizontally under or along the ground and often send out roots and shoots. New plants develop from the shoots. The lotus plant is in full bloom in summer. The roots are typically harvested from autumn to winter. Every part of the plant (flowers, stamens, seeds, leaves and the roots) can be used in cooking.  In Asia, the petals are sometimes used for garnish, while the large leaves are used as a wrap for food, not frequently eaten (for example, as a wrapper for zongzi). In Korea, the leaves and petals are used as a tisane. Yeonkkotcha (연꽃차) is made with dried petals of white lotus and yeonipcha (연잎차) is made with the leaves. Young lotus stems are used as a salad ingredient in Vietnamese cuisine. The rhizome called ǒu () in pinyin Chinese, ngau in Cantonese, bhe in Hindi, renkon (レンコン, 蓮根 ) in Japanese, yeongeun (연근 ) in Korean, is used as a vegetable in soups, deep-fried, stir-fried, and braised dishes and the roots are also used in traditional Asian herbal medicine. Petals, leaves, and rhizome can also all be eaten raw, but there is a risk of parasite transmission it is therefore recommended that they be cooked before eating.

Some cool lotus (root) facts & health benefits of lotus (root):

  • In Japan, renkon is one of the root vegetables used in tempura and kinpira style cooking. Its slices are sautéed in soy sauce, mirin (rice wine) and chili peppers. Lotus root chips are popular snacks in Japan.
  • The root, popularly known as kamal kakari or bhe in India and Bangladesh, is features in variety of curry, stews, and stir-fries.
  • Chinese use the root in soups, stuffing, stir-fries, etc. especially in Cantonese style cooking.
  • In China, lotus seeds are eaten as snacks, in condiments and as candied.
  • Lotus root is often added to a dish to help balance the oiliness and richness of fatty cuts. It is crunchy even after long hours of cooking and it does not have a strong flavour.
  • The root can also be juiced raw together with radish to make a vegetable juice mix that help to alleviate internal bleeding in the stomach.
  • The lotus root stops diarrhea, clears heat and improve appetite.
  • Lotus roots contain much iron, vitamins B & C (100 g root provides 44 mg or 73% of daily-recommended values).
  • The rich fibre content of lotus roots stimulates peristalsis and relieves constipation. Drinking 2 to 3 glasses of lotus root juice a day can stop bleeding of the esophagus an stomach (vomiting blood); bleeding of the rectum, intestines or stomach (blood in feces); nose bleeding or gum bleeding. Lotus root soup also serves similar purposes.
  • Patients with high fever can drink lotus root drink cold, while those with steady temperature should drink it warm
  • Lotus root is one of low calorie root vegetables. 100 g root provides 74 calories.
  • Lotus rhizome is very good source of dietary fibers; 100 g flesh provides 4.9 g or 13% of daily-requirement of dietary fiber. The fiber, together with slow digesting complex carbohydrates in the root help reduce blood cholesterol, sugar, body weight and constipation conditions.


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As you know, I had a lotus root, to be spend quickly. Too lazy to make chips out of it (and not really a lot of oil in stock), I checked all my cooking-books and none of them had a lotus-root-recipe in them! I continued my search online where I stumbled upon lots of beautiful recipes but I challenged myself to make something filling, simple, with all the ingredients I did have in stock, without having to buy anything. Online I figured out that as long as you precook the root in some acidulated water, you can basically do anything with it,

  • Peel the lotus-root and cut into slices. Aren’t they beautiful?
  • To avoid the root from getting dark, immediately place the slices in a pan of water to which  you’ve added 2 teaspoons of vinegar. I immediately turned the fire on so the water could heat, while cutting the rest of the slices.
  • Cook for about 20 minutes (Some recipes say 2 min., but this root was a few days old and was still crunchy after 20 min) and don’t throw the water after draining it.
  • Bring a liter of water to the boil in a separate pan or in a water-cooker
  • Clean 3 cloves of garlic, 2 small or 1 big onion(-s) and 2 “thumbsizes” of ginger
  • Chop the onions in small pieces and fry them in sunflower oil & a bit of real butter
  • when the onion is almost done, add the garlic cut in thin slices
  • dd the ginger, while grating it roughly into the pan, lower the fire for the garlic not to burn, stir the spices, breathe in well. (If you have a cold, this beautiful smell should open you up!)
  • Add half a teaspoon of sugar, a little bit of salt and grind some pepper roughly into the pan
  • Add 4 cups of rice (for 3 or 4 people. I generally don’t measure much in the kitchen, but guess on feeling, you can change the recipe on feeling to your own liking), stir well so all flavours mix with the rice, make sure nothing burns
  • Add the liquid the lotus-root has been cooked in, stir well, add the cooked lotus-root slices
  • Add some of the boiled water, stir well. Turn the fire low and guess if the pan has enough liquid, stir every once in a while, try a grain or rice (Ever made a risotto before? It’s all about feeling & practise! I can’t guide you too much here, just try!), the object is to get the rice done without burning and without getting too mushy. Mushy rice is not tasty. You might not need the full litre of water. Make some tea of the rest.
  • The last bit of water will dissolve when you shut off the pan, close it with the lid and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then you should have the perfect al dente texture, with a beautiful bouquet of Asian flavours.
  • Sorry, forgot to make a pic, but please send me yours!

F.Y.I.; My improvised Lotus-root-rice has been tried by a Thai lady who approved it. She said it tasted Thai because of the flavours, although in Thailand she never tried Lotus root as or in a main dish, only sweet as dessert. Looking forward to her recipe!

Oh yeah and by the way;
From ancient times the lotus has been a divine symbol in Asian traditions representing the virtues of sexual purity and non-attachment.

ThX 2:

September 22, 2011

Pure Pact by Veggie in Pumps at De Culinaire Werkplaats

As announced, Lisette Kreischer of (amongst others) Veggie in Pumps (, invited me to the official presentation and Dutch product- launch of Pure Pact; a new organic haircare productline ( Last Tuesday this happening took place at De Culinaire Werkplaats in Amsterdam (


I can’t give you my opinion on the products yet, I’ll take my time to test them and will keep you posted. Everyone who I’ve met who tried the products though, was super-enthusiastic, amongst which Dianne te Mebel, director and owner of Instituut Haar en Gezondheid (, a hair-saloon in Amsterdam which specialises in working with (and particularly painting with) natural products. They are one of Holland’s first saloons to use Pure Pact.

If Pure Pact is as good and honest as they say (100% purity allows raw material to activate long after application. 100% pure organics – from herbs, plants, flowers and fruits – extracted with the newest technologies for the purest result, preserve the maximum from nature’s gifts for cosmetic use), I’ll become a fan. I’ll let you know! My comment so far is that I wonder what is the meaning of all those ingredients on the packages… is it all truly biological and ecological? Minus; I want to know what’s in the products I use and I’m not a scientist.


Lisette, now I’ve met you live, I’m even more impressed with your style. You know how to market a product and organise an event. No, to create an experience! Of course she didn’t do it alone, so big up for the whole team of Veggie in Pumps; I also had the pleasure to meet Amadea, Dieke and Marloes.

As expected, I love the location the event took place at; De Culinaire Werkplaats is a beautiful experience on its own, their team made very good vegan snacks to trigger all senses, with flavours connecting to the Pure Pact products. For example;a “cocktail” of black carrot, lime and cres, a “spoonfull” explosion of chocolate, strawberry and mint, or vegan “bitterballen” with quinoa and sesame and soy-yoghurtsauce- very impressive! This has been the first time I liked a soya-“dairy”-product. My favourite snack was chips made of lotus root. I’d never seen a fresh lotus root so I asked Eric Meursing (together with Marjolein Wintjes he is creator of de Culinaire Werkplaats), where I could buy one and he gave me one. I’ll also let you know what I did with it soon! Also I would like to thank the beautiful “Kleine Medewerker” of De Culinaire Werkplaats, because she seemed to put passion and love in the lovely snacks she was making. They turned me on!

I met some interesting and inspiring people at this excellent networking event ; June, with her stylish blog on tips and ideas on ethical fashion, eco beauty, fair food en eco travel;   ( , Liv, a “beautyblogger”, who blogs about natural cosmetics, ethical fashion and pure food; (, I also met two lovely ladies from Den Haag & Rotterdam (forgot your names, sorry!), one of them is working together with Lisette to develop an innovative and unique concept, I’ll see if they’ll allow me to write about that when the development hits a next stage. And last but not least, thank you Dieke for the nice head & shoulders massage! Very relaxing and very recommendable(

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September 19, 2011

False marketing & customer-unfriendliness

A Sunday in Amsterdam.

There were 4 people in the line at the cigarette counter and 4 people in line of a register,1 register was closed.

I mentioned loud enough for all customers & the 2 girls behind the register that I was the 5th in line so I should get my shopping for free. I just read this on a poster. The 2 girls heard me, the lady behind me agreed, the 2 girls whispered something to each other after which the Somalian-looking-and-usually-very-friendly-girl working behind her register used the mic to call for another register to open.

I was first at the new register and asked the 3rd girl if I would get my shopping for free. She called her manager D. (I shouldn’t mention his name here, right?), who explained me I’m wrong & called the boss because I disagreed with him. This grumpy old man (The “boss”) tried to fight me why I was wrong. He  said there were people together and theres a 3rd register open now, no-one is going to get free shopping now, so “why are we even talking about this?” … Ofcourse I counted the couple in front of me as 1, as well as the woman with the small child. He said I shouldn’t care about a few cents while they are working hard. It wasn’t about the money for me, I  know what working hard is, but this store promotes itself with the fact the 5th customer gets his shopping for free and even positions himself with it’s client-friendliness. I don’t know how the other subsidiaries work but if they do what they promise, they should be ashamed of their Amsterdam subsidiary. I was not planning to get my shopping for free so ofcourse I paid for the stuff I was intending to buy. I did tell the old man he’s a cheater and wished him a lovely day.

Next time I’ll visit a supermarket, it might not be the Jumbo.












After checking their rules, see here (in Dutch) , I came to the conclusion that not the 5th  but the 4th customer should get the shopping for free! What does this pic from their website up here tell you?

September 9, 2011

Musicheta about food II

Remember that clip I showed you before?

(Check here

I found another cool one. These ladies promote themselves by saying they can cook and clean too.

Off the record; I’m looking for the perfect burek-recipe. Burek is heavenly when prepared well. Do you have THE perfect burek recipe? I’m a sucker for meat but the Mr is for cheese, so all is welcome. Oh yeah and only once in my life I’ve had the pleasure of tasting an amazing potatoe-burek. So ANY recipe is welcome (and please include your grandmom’s secret!)

Oh yeah; And do YOU KNOW ANY MUSICHETA ABOUT FOOD? Which? I wanna make a complete list with your help!

September 1, 2011

Hot and Spicy Food Festival 2011

Hot and Spicy Food Festival 2011.

 That sooooo sounds like my thing! Another reason to visit Toronto, wish I could make it this wknd!


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September 1, 2011


Sometimes I’m proud to be part of such a multicultural society.
Sometimes it all doesn’t make sense… like now! 

FunX  RADIO (Check & listen here !) is a Dutch radio station which is in fact the most popular radio station in the biggest cities amongst youngsters; Amsterdam (96.1 FM), Rotterdam (91.8 FM) , Den Haag (98.4 FM) and Utrecht (96.1 FM).
They play a lot of international music, address the youth of the 190 nationalities that The Netherlands house, bring up sensitive and important topics, educate, inform and they are more than just a radio station, more than a medium, they are a platform,  a way to reach the most important group of inhabitants, the youth. Note that they don’t only play “mixed” or international music, (online) they also offer FunX Arab, FunX Dance, FunX Desi, FunX Fusion, FunX Hiphop, FunX Latin, FunX Reggae, FunX Slow Jamz, as well as local stations for the big cities mentioned above. So the music they offer is almost something for everyone, right? Face it; the Dutch future does not only consist of native Dutch youth anymore, a multicultural society is our present, our future…  So without mentioning names but looking to the right; since we created the mass-immigration, let’s deal with it. So let’s embrace all the different cultures, try to understand them and communicate together! FunX is the melting pot of all the mixed beauty in The Netherlands. Let’s keep it that way!

The cabinet has decided that FunX will no longer receive subsidies from the government. The whole cultural sector is actually f#cked by the new rules. “So what’s the problem?” I can hear you think. “If FunX is so popular, they don’t need any subsidies?” Yeah well fine, I think FunX could find a way to financially manage, they claim to have 500.000 fans and are trying to prove that now (Read on to see how YOU can help!) , but it is not fair that the government is taking away their FM frequencies! Because of this, it is impossible for FunX to even become an independent commercial station.

In the period of upcoming elections, when political parties needed votes, many ministers found their way to FunX, to promote themselves to the listeners, to pretend they cared about the issues the youth in The Netherlands care about, but now, when the government decided that FunX is not important, where are those politicians? FunX was good enough to be used as a promotional tool during political campaigns, why don’t those politicians come up with a way to keep FunX? Is there for example any other way in the Netherlands to simply reach so many youngsters? And how come much less popular stations for elderly can continue their existence and get subsidised? Are the elderly more important than the youngsters, the future? Or is this because FunX is for and by MULTICULTURAL youngsters?

Support FunX! Download the FREE app on your smartphone to show you care!
Go to with your smartphone or to the app store (available for IPhone/IPad/IPod/ Android/ Blackberry/ soon also for Nokia) to download the FunX app. No smartphone? Download the FREE online app over here;


(Dutch) Promo@ Youtube;