Archive for March, 2013

March 28, 2013

Culinary events and festivals in The Netherlands 2013

For me, food should be enjoyed, experienced and shared…
I found some moments to look forward to! Here’s an overview of some of the upcoming  culinary festivals  in The Netherlands’ (& Belgium). Anything to add?

April 6 & 7 – Kom in de Kas ,Whole Netherlands
May 9 & 10 – Antwerpen Proeft ,Antwerp, Belgium
May 9 -12 – Proef Amersfoort , Amersfoort
May 17 – May 20  – Eindhoven Culinair , Eindhoven
May 22 – June 2 – Tong Tong Fair , Indonesian festival Den Haag
May 25 & 26 – Outdoor Eating , Almere
May 30 – June 2 – Proef Mei , Bergen op Zoom
May 31 –  June 2 – Italie Evenement  , Kasteel de Haar, Utrecht
May 31 – June 3 – Smaakvol Arnhem , Arnhem
June 6 – 9 – Taste of Amsterdam , Amsterdam
June 7 – 9 – Smaakvol Breda , Breda
June 21 -23- Lekker Venlo , Venlo
June 28 – July 1 – Leiden Culinair , Leiden
June 28 – June 30- Culinair Zandvoort , Zandvoort
June 28 – June 30  – Meppel Culinair , Meppel
August 1 – 4  – Haarlem Culinair , Haarlem
August 22 – 25 – Preuvenemint Maastricht , Maastricht
August 23 – 25 – Castricum Culinair , Castricum
August 28 – Visserijdagen Harlingen , Harlingen
August 30 – September 2 – Culinair Alphen , Alphen
August 30  – September 2 Proeven in Groningen , Groningen
September 13 – 15  – Texel Culinair , Texel
September 14 – 16 – Smaakexplosies Zaandam , Zaandam
September 26 – 30 – Tilburg Culinair  ,Tilburg
November 17 – Hoorn moet je proeven , Hoorn


HERE’s an old blogpost about my favourite food festival EVER.  



Will you let me know if you visit one of the food events or festivals? 

March 27, 2013

Naturally painted Easter eggs

Are you painting any this year? I’m going to try dyeing the eggs the natural way. Here are some tips:

naturally dyed onion skin Easter eggs

naturally dyed onion skin Easter eggs

Natural Easter Egg Dyes

Colored Easter Eggs Using Natural Dyes

By , Guide

It’s fun and easy to use foods and flowers to make your own natural Easter egg dyes. The two main ways to use your own dyes are to add dyes to the eggs when boiling them or to dye the eggs after they have been hard-boiled. It’s a lot faster to boil the dyes and eggs together, but you will use several pans if you want to make multiple colors. Dyeing the eggs after they have been cooked takes as many dishes and more time, but may be more practical (after all, most stoves only have four burners!).

Try both fresh and frozen produce. Canned produce will produce much paler colors. Boiling the colors with vinegar will result in deeper colors. Some materials need to be boiled to impart their color (name followed by ‘boiled’ in the table). Some of the fruits, vegetables, and spices can be used cold. To use a cold material, cover the boiled eggs with water, add dyeing materials, a teaspoon or less of vinegar, and let the eggs remain in the refrigerator until the desired color is achieved. In most cases, the longer you leave Easter eggs in the dye, the more deeply colored they will become.

Here is the preferred method for using natural dyes:

  1. Place the eggs in a single layer in a pan. Add water until the eggs are covered.
  2. Add approximately one teaspoon of vinegar.
  3. Add the natural dye. Use more dye material for more eggs or for a more intense color.
  4. Bring water to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. If you are pleased with the color, remove the eggs from the liquid.
  7. If you want more intensely colored eggs, temporarily remove the eggs from the liquid. Strain the dye through a coffee filter (unless you want speckled eggs). Cover the eggs with the filtered dye and let them remain in the refrigerator overnight.
  8. Naturally-colored eggs will not be glossy, but if you want a shiny appearance you can rub a bit of cooking oil onto the eggs once they are dry.

You can use fresh and frozen berries as ‘paints’, too. Simply crush the berries against dry boiled eggs. Try coloring on the eggs with crayons or wax pencils before boiling and dyeing them. Happy Easter!

Natural Easter Egg Dyes

Color Ingredients
Lavender Small Quantity of Purple Grape Juice
Violet Blossoms plus 2 tsp Lemon Juice
Red Zinger Tea
Violet Blue Violet Blossoms
Small Quantity of Red Onions Skins (boiled)
Hibiscus Tea
Red Wine
Blue Canned Blueberries
Red Cabbage Leaves (boiled)
Purple Grape Juice
Green Spinach Leaves (boiled)
Liquid Chlorophyll
Greenish Yellow Yellow Delicious Apple Peels (boiled)
Yellow Orange or Lemon Peels (boiled)
Carrot Tops (boiled)
Celery Seed (boiled)
Ground Cumin (boiled)
Ground Turmeric (boiled)
Chamomile Tea
Green Tea
Golden Brown Dill Seeds
Brown Strong Coffee
Instant Coffee
Black Walnut Shells (boiled)
Black Tea
Orange Yellow Onion Skins (boiled)
Cooked Carrots
Chili Powder
Pink Beets
Cranberries or Juice
Red Grape Juice
Juice from Pickled Beets
Red Lots of Red Onions Skins (boiled)
Canned Cherries with Juice
Pomegranate Juice
March 18, 2013

Where to eat in Amsterdam?

Dutchies are not foodies.

I sometimes do not feel at home in my homecountry, because I live to eat and the Dutch eat to live.

With my passion for good food I don’t think I live in the right country. Here for I try to import as much good stuff as possible and to escape as much as possible. I also generally do not eat the local snackfood anymore during or after partying, I even cook in the middle of the night…

But sometimes, one does want to visit a restaurant. To keep you from falling into the same trap as I have many times, for you to avoid the touristplaces, I hereby (in random order!) present you MY FAVOURITE restaurant recommendations in Amsterdam!

  • Restaurant Moeders
    Affordable (huge plates!), authentic Dutch food, Try a Stamppot! & Have the Old Dutch dessert combination!
    Perfect place to bring anyone’s mother. Do reserve! Quickly full.
    *Mon-Sun 17.00-1 (Kitchen till 22.30), Rozengracht 251
  • Restaurant Bazar calls itself a “world-eatinghouse”, it’s not a fancy restaurant. It’s in a former church. It’s really pretty inside. Dishes (Eastern, Turkish. etc. Good mix, something for everyone) come in all sizes, from Mezze, soups, to dayspecials etc. A maincourse is very big, (I’m a huge eater and can’t finish a plate.) I prefer to take more smaller dishes to try together. My favourite dish is the mercimek Corbas- Turkish lentilsoup. Ofcourse with sucuk (Turkish garlicsausage) and yoghurtsauce. Snacks untill 15 min before closing!
    *Albert Cuypstraat 182, Monday- Thursday 11.00- 24.00/Friday 11.00 -01.00/Saturday 11.00-01.00/ Sunday 11.00 -24.00.
  • Worst – sausage and winebar. Worst means sausage.
    My favourite newest discovery!  My favourite was the wild boar sausage with “Hete bliksem”, a typical Dutch-must-try and a good glass of Cava.
    * Barentszstraat 171, Tuesday-Saturday 16.00-00.00/Sunday 10.00-22.00. Monday closed.
  • Cafe Loetje– Worldfamous amongst the Dutch for the best steak. I have to say I had better in Croatia, Slovenia & Spain, but for Amsterdam standards it’s definitely very good and possibly the best. No-nonsense Dutch style & mentality (“Hey, you here again?” instead of “How can I help you,Sir/Madam, welcome”.) They have a few restaurants, the most central one is around the corner of the Museumplein, on the border of De Pijp and Centrum; on the corner of Johannes Vermeerstraat & Ruysdaelstraat.
  • De Culinaire Werkplaats. Not a restaurant! Vegetarian eating experience & concepts. Benelux best vegetable restaurant 2012, excellent concept, very special! An eat’inspiration consists of 5 dishes: an eat.cocktail, 2 savourish dishes, and 2 sweetish dishes. these dishes are an interpretation of regularly changing inspirational concepts, like black, honesty, flowers, or emotions.  Reservation very recommended! After you have eaten you decide on how much you will pay.
    * Next to Westerpark; Fannius Scholtenstraat 10.
    Here my blogposts about this place:
  • Sari Citra. Again an “eatinghouse”, no restaurant. NOTE: The dishes are made of plastic. BUT (also according to my Indonesian grandmom:) The best Indonesian food in Amsterdam!  Try for example a Nasi Kunin if available, a festive anc complete Indonesian “Rijsttafel”. If you’re not superhungry, try my favourite snack; Lemper. It’s a steamed rice roll stuffed with spiced & chicken. My childhood favourite snack ever. (And no I haven’t been brave enough to try to make them myself) *Ferdinand Bolstraat 52, Hours  Mon – Sun:14.00-21.00h. No website.
  • Amsterdam’s best Spanish restaurant; La Oliva Pinxtos y vino. From 17.00 freshly made Pinxtos will be on the bar for you to choose. You decide what you want, tell the waitress and she’ll warm it up if required and delivers nicely presented to your table.                                                                                                                                               *Mon-Wed 12.00- 22.00, Thursday-Saturday 12.00-23.00, Sunday 12.00- 22.00. Egelantiersstraat 122-124 

On my still-to-visit-list

  • Ams’ best Japanese restaurant in the Okura hotel; Yamazato, lunch: 14.00, dinner 18.00- 21.30. Ferdinand Bolstraat 333
  • Restaurant Red serves lobster, tournedos and not much more, 7 days a week, 18.00-00.00. Sounds perfect, right? Keizersgracht 594
  • Restaurant Marius has been chosen as (one of) Ams’ best restaurants, but I’ve never been there yet.
    They present themselves  as “small livingroom restaurant with a daily changing 4 course menu”. One of my favourites, Worst, is the little causin (and next door) of this place. Sunday & Monday closed. Barentszstraat 173
Worst Amsterdam

Worst Amsterdam

Please do let me know if you have visited one of the places, what did you eat and how was it? Do you know any other places I should definitely visit in Ams too?

March 18, 2013

My MOOC & The Science of Gastronomy

What’s a MOOC?

massive open online course (MOOC) is an online course aiming at large-scale participation and open access via the web. MOOCs are a recent development in distance education and often use open educational resources. Typically they do not offer academic credit or charge tuition fees. MOOCs originated about 2008 within the open educational resources (or OER) movement. Many of the original courses were based on connectivist theory, emphasizing that learning and knowledge emerge from a network of connections. 2012 became “the year of the MOOC” as several well-financed providers, associated with top universities, emerged, including Coursera, Udacity, and edX.

So I’m going to start studying again.

I found this MOOC that is totally ME! 

I’m going to study via Coursera, from The Hong Kong University of  Science and Technology by Professors Lam Lung Yeung and King L. Chow.

About Coursera

We are a social entrepreneurship company that partners with the top universities in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free. We envision a future where the top universities are educating not only thousands of students, but millions. Our technology enables the best professors to teach tens or hundreds of thousands of students. Through this, we hope to give everyone access to the world-class education that has so far been available only to a select few. We want to empower people with education that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in.

The Science of Gastronomy

Lam Lung Yeung and King L. Chow

This course introduces students to elements of science lying behind cooking and cuisine preparation. The ultimate goal is to help students recognize the importance of scientific principles being applied in everyday life, so that they will appreciate and be able to apply some of these principles in their future cooking practice.

About the Course

This course introduces students to a number of basic scientific principles underpinning cooking and cuisine preparation. Various topics with a strong basis in biology, chemistry and physics application will be covered. These include the consumption of cooked food, physiological and evolutionary control of the senses, geographic and cultural influences and the rationale behind cuisine preparation. Issues like coupling of senses to improve sense stimulation, altering flavor by chemical means, and modification of the coloration to improve the appearance of dishes will be discussed in the course. Through video demonstrations of the scientific principles underlying cooking practices, students are expected to recognize the key ingredients and their combination for preparing good healthy food. They will be able to:
(1) develop an appreciation of the scientific basis of various cuisine recipes;
(2) develop their own recipes by integrating some of the scientific principles into new dishes; as well as
(3) recognize the influence of the material world on human perception from the different senses, and thus
(4) be able to continually take on cooking and dining as an art of integrating sciences.

Course Syllabus

  1. Gastronomy: cuisine preparation, the chemical and physical principles
  2. Enjoyment of Food: parameter of excellence – the basis of taste
  3. The Basis of Flavor: the aroma and taste-aroma interactions
  4. Aroma and Coloring: coloring-association and improvement of perception
  5. Texture of Food: the highlight of contrast
  6. Fruits and Vegetables: properties, nutrition and enhancement of quality in cooking
  7. Meat: properties, taste, aroma and texture
  8. Meat: ways to modify the texture, enhance the taste and smell of meat
  9. Meat: precision cooking – how to cook a perfect steak?
  10. Sauce: modification of the viscosity and flavor of sauce
  11. Dessert: manipulation of desired texture: gluten formation and protein denaturing
  12. Examples of Dessert Making: ice-cream with liquid nitrogen and ginger milk curd

Recommended Background

No pre-requisite of any science background is required. Only high school level science is required.

Suggested Readings

This, Herve (2007) Kitchen mystery. Columbia University Press, New York.
McWilliams, Margaret (2006) Food Fundamentals, 8th Ed. Pearson, Prentice Hall, Inc. New Jersey.

Course Format

The course consists of lecture videos, which are between 8 and 12 minutes in length. Throughout the course, experimental video demonstrations and illustration will be included to illustrate specific scientific principles of cooking techniques and food preparation. Students will be asked to practice and try out specific cooking principles at home and make comparisons themselves. There will be some integrated quiz questions introduced intermittently in the course. Assignment, recommended practices and trials at home are encouraged.
The Science of Gastronomy

The Science of Gastronomy

Is there anything you would like to study? Are you already doing a MOOC? Did I get you interested too? Check out the links below for more info! 
March 8, 2013

Saving the culinary arts…

Really cool article, including a home- & handmade burek recipe

Burek,burek,börek,pita, strudla, savijaca

Burek,burek,börek,pita, strudla, savijaca


Thank you

March 8, 2013

Croatian gastronomy

Some of the reasons of my love for Croatia..

More information: Croatian National Tourist Board