I will never eat again!!!

>> Thursday, December 27, 2007

I said after the two days of Christmas that were spent eating all kinds of yummies... then I went and ate and oversized soup with just about a loaf of black bread.

Oiiii-oiii oi


Christmas season in Holland

>> Monday, December 24, 2007

As a part of my Sinterklaas present from Vito's parents, this Saturday we all went to a CASTLE! I'm such a sucker for beautiful castles with mots and mysterious gardens and roaring mighty lions that guard the entrance... aren't you?

The day could not have been more perfect. It was sunny and the cold was crisp, and there was even some frost covering the ground and trees. Perfect weather conditions for visiting a mysterious castle!

And perfect timing as well because I'm reading a book (also part of my Sinterklaas present) The Boleyn Inheritance by Philipa Gregory, which talks about Anne of Cleves who became the 5th wife of King Henry VIII of England. Incidentally.... Cleves, right on the border of Netherlands and Germany, was a very important place in the mid 1500, and this castle was given to a manservant of the Bishop of Utrecht around that time. (Not a bad present for being someones maid?)

What a fantastic day! I know Europe doesn't have Grace land, home town of the king, but it got some pretty castles which is cool too! :)

MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone!!!!


Writing Contest! Calling all

>> Saturday, December 22, 2007

For: Cook Book

What: A story of about half a page to set up "the scene" were you on a beach in Italy? Were you at your aunts house for Christmas? Were you cooking dinner for your guy/girl for the very first time? Just a brief story to let us get in the mood for your dish. Then of course follow with a recipe: ingredients and preparation instructions.

Publishing: It will be 'self published' each recipe will have a copyright: your name on the bottom of the page of your recipe.

Contributors: Send in a one or two sentence "bio" and a picture if you like!! If you are a blogger and would like your blog link included, cool too.

The book will have a bout 30 recipes, 10 starters, 10 main courses, and 10 deserts!

Send your entries to email: alegolden78.gmail.com

I will let you know immediately if it's IN! If you have a similar entry in your blog that you'd like to send in, that's perfectly fine!

So far... 5 recipe's are in... 25 to go!

Oh yeah... what do you get? Well when we're done we'll have a fabulous brand new cook book, our moms will be proud! :) And I guess the people we feed will be happy too! But most importantly it'll be a project completed and perhaps an inspiration to go on and complete all these other "projects" and creative goals we all have...


Show me the yummies!!!!!!!

>> Thursday, December 20, 2007

Well I suck, it's official... NEEDLESS to say I did NOT write a cook book in November. Booo!! I did start it... but still... booooo! I'm obviously not capable of doing anything by myself, I NEED to do it together with others.

BUT! Never admit defeat! But when in danger of failure ask for help. Heeeeelp! Anyway I've decided to put out a recipe contest! You guys are all lovely and talented people and from what I see and read, you also like to cook! :) So Tomorrow I'll outline the "rules" and the recipes that rock (and are easy) will be included! But of course nothing is THAT simple muuuaaahahhaha

We are going to have SO MUCH FUN!

Speaking of fun... I just had DE-licious sesame encrusted tuna stake.... mmmmyyuuummmyyyy!! Now i'm going to go have some vito for desert.. excuse me...


Every day!

>> Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I guess I don't write enough about my everyday life in here... Well partly because you'll all just dieeeeee of jealousy- nah just kidding :) - really it's like this:

6.32am- wake up
7:09 - leave the house walk to the train (usually sipping coffee from my traveling coffee mug that I got at Target! that's right some American habits are excellent)
7.22 - Train takes off I read various books
8:01 - Change from Train to outdoor Metro- take an opportunity to jab people in the ribs unnecessarily hard (this is where I remember the good old days commuting in NYC)
8:22- Arrive at the office
work work work blaaablaaa
5.23 - leave work
reverse commute above-
7:42 - arrive home
8:00 - Vito plays chef and makes deliciousness that is eaten up immediately - I cook too- but usually on Monday's Vito, the knight in shining armour that he is, saves me from "life" and cooks, Mondays are not exactly my favorite days.
8:30 - perhaps a movie?

And there you go a picture, this is what I see outside my office windows. There is always a rainbow after the rain isn't that the deal? :)

I'm having friends (over) for dinner on Friday. What shall I make!? (Keep in mind Vito does not eat vegetables, they're not manly.)


La ensalada Russa!

>> Saturday, December 15, 2007

Or in Russian it's called "Salat Olivie", think of it as a salad cocktail since to prepare it you mix a whole bunch of ingredients together.

I remember this salad was the "nail of the table" (the dish that stands out) at every family party. Also the hostess was judged by this salad and no one would even DARE to go buy it in the store. This salad had to be done from scratch.

I remember the happy buzz in the kitchen when every single pot was being used and all the dishes were standing and awaiting to be filled with some kind of delicatessen. I would always want to help, but the privilege had to be earned. And many a times my mom would just send me off to sweep the floor somewhere because food preparation was left to the 'professionals'. If I'd get lucky then I'd be allowed to peel stuff.

I remember one day my mom allowed me to chop the vegetables for the grand Olivie. This is just about THE most important task of preparing the salad since everything has to be chopped in perfect little squares so that the salad comes out looking beautiful. I would just NOT breathe as I sliced the potatoes.

In the end I was SO careful that my mom approved my job and later during the party when Grandma (the ultimate authority) complemented my mom on the beautiful Olivie, my mom announced that it was in fact I who made it. Especially as an eight year old I was beyond proud of myself.

Well skip a "few"years and here I am STILL proud :) hehe The salad I made could in no way be places on the party table because I did not hold my breath this time as I chopped and you can see the definite irregularity in size of the sorta-squares, BUT it is definitely yummi!

ingredients: potatoes, carrots, pickles, ham, and pees + pepper and mayonnaise


peel the potatoes and boil them

do NOT peel the carrots, boil them, let cool and then peel them

chop all the ingredients in perfect squares - most important task

add the pees and stir in mayonnaise (preferably home made, if you can't be bothered store bought is ok too!)

some pepper and it's all ready

**If you can grab a kid to help you with the salad do! the kid will be forever thrilled I promise.


>> Thursday, December 13, 2007

I'm so excited!

Today I came home to find something greeeeeeen in the living room! AAaaahhhh yes! We got our christmas tree!!

Now I can't wait to decorate it, but since Vito and I are going to a... ahem... Gala tomorrow night, the darling tree will have to wait till Friday for our attention.

ta-ta dahlings


In search of he exotic...

>> Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Last weekend at a party some one asked me if I was still enjoying living in Holland. Since I've now been here 8 months the "honey moon" period should definitely be over, and I should now be seeing my surroundings not through sweet strawberry haze but as they really are.

This made me think, and actually, I don't think I ever looked at Holland as being super sweet and rosy. In fact, I was a bit disappointed that it WASN'T really exotic. I was all pumped to deal with "issues" and "dilemmas" and "strange foods" and "weirdo people"... and well, honestly non of these came up.

My biggest issue so far was that supermarkets are closed on Sundays and I refuse to make my dinner decisions a day in advance since it totally ruins the suspense. My biggest dilemma was the fact that I have to GO to a bank in order to get my credit card when this is the country that produced ING bank which is an exclusively ONLINE bank in the US.

"Strange foods"? Well apparently Dutch people think that eating herring should be considered "strange" by the foreigners. Sorry to disappoint you kids, but in my family herring is on the table at every gathering (and then some, and a whole lot stranger too!)

Weirdo's? Nah! In one our of commuting on the NYC public transportation I'd pretty much see as many weirdo's as there are people in the entire country of Holland.

But to answer our original question. "Am I still enjoying Holland?" I absolutely am! But has Holland ever surprised me? Or has it ever disappointed me? Nah and hah.. But I would like to say that every day I see more and more quietly good things about Holland. How everyone's homes are wonderfully cozy and cute. How everyone enjoys their friends. How people work hard but still go home at a decent hour. How everyone still has fun and goes out to do sports, shop or to dinner even though it's pouring rain. How everyone comes out for a walk on the weekend. I'm sure as time goes on I will find more of these, and that makes me happy.

...Or... maybe Vito is just really hot!... and exotic ;)


Map-schmap, show me the pictures!

>> Sunday, December 9, 2007

How cool! My photo was included in the Schmap.com guide! It's in the Jordaan neighborhood section. I'm famous, I'm famous!!! :)
I think amstardam is so cool looking, I'm surprised that more movies are not filmed here. They should be! Though I imagine it's expensive... It's not like Paris, sorry Paris, I think you're beautiful but somehow people get away with filming you in Prague. But Amsterdam is very unique, you can't film it anywhere else and say it was in Amsterdam.


Everyone is Baby-loony!

What a week!

Wednesday: Celebrate Sinterklaas get lots of presents!

Thursday: Concert Billie Ocean

Friday: Party it up at an all 'adults' party

...pictures to follow

I emphasized the word ''adults'' because this Saturday and Sunday it's all about the baaaayyybeys!

Here is one super adorable 2 yr old chowing down on some delicious good ol' dutch apple pie!

and tomorrow we are of to visit another baby! Yes people WELCOME to Baby-Loony! So what do I feel being among all these babies!? Well, I feel a minority! They're taking over! Not to mention all "the pregnant ladies" they're everywhere!!!! Aaahhhhh! (Here I go showing my OBVIOUSLY high level of immaturity, please don't mind me).


They are kinda sweet... and could potentially be very useful! I remember the days when my little brother, at two, would spend HOURS vacuuming the ENTIRE house! The kid would turn over all the cushions of the couch and get all the crumbies! He would lift the rug corners, he was the vacuuming king!!! But the only thing is that you can't stick your kid back in the closet after the vacuuming is done...

Ok, I better quit cus my immaturity levels are about to hit the roof.




>> Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A: Hmm... so Prince Reineir married Grace Kelly and they had a kid Albert?

V: Right...

A: So Prince Albert of Monaco is half American?

V: ...right...

A: So I must be half PRINCESS!!!!!

V: ..?????????


Côte d'Azur... how faahbulous dahling!

>> Monday, December 3, 2007

Nice and Monte Carlo were absolutely stunning!!! Both definitely "wow" cities! And the food... and the yachts... and the sea... and the views... and the SUN!!!! Ahhh.....

Here is some "mood" music for you :)

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A blog about finding something beautiful in everyday. Lots of time we forget to do that.

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