vrijdag 30 november 2012


Finally! My grading work is done! I am closing my bag for the weekend.

Still, lots and lots and lots of other stuff happening and trying to catch up with me....

What did I accomplish today?

- finished a new design
- finished grading
- got my two fourth year classes being all ears and explaining lots and lots about hemoglobine and oxygen saturation
- prepared the amylase practical class for my fifth year class, everything is at hand for Monday
- freshened up my knowledge of calculating chemistry stuff such as molarity

O, and of course did some teaching, running around, etc.

What I want to do this weekend?

- finish up on Sinterklaas preparations
- work on a BIG project (surprise!)
- work on a new shawl design
- do some housekeeping
- go out with the kids
- cuddle with Big Man
- cuddle with the cats

And last but not least:

Cut and sew about 120 four-patches and start on 126 geese triangles with wings. O dear. I dived into Quiltvilles Mystery Quilt (see right bar on my blog page) "Easy Street". It will be my first time using these small bits of fabric, a first time of using the Easy Angle Ruler and the Companion Angle Ruler, and a first time every Mystery Quilt. What is the fun? I really have absolutely no clue how it is going to turn out. Joy!

Have a great weekend!

woensdag 28 november 2012

Lactosefree Cooking: Hmmmmm Pumpkin Cookies!

Over the past few weeks I have been pinning like mad on Pinterest, but I am getting the feeling I really need to do something with my pins.

I had lots of recipes. Most of them are cookies and pies. I just love them. Easy to make, delicious to eat!

During Autumn season I have a soft spot pumpkin. Eating pumpkin is not really very Dutch, but pumpkin soup is getting more normal nowadays it seems. Typically American bites such as pumpkin pie and pumpkin cookies are not part of the normal Dutch kitchen.

I knew some pumpkin recipes, and I make pumpkin soup for years and years, but I did not know how to work with pumpkin for sweet treats such as pie. We do not have the tins with pumpkin puree ready-to-go, only fresh pumpkins are available in the store.

Last year I made pumpkin pie from a Dutch recipe for the first time and it was a winner. And after making that pie I knew how to make pumpkin puree from a fresh pumpkin, so this year I was really eyeing and drooling on the pins with pumpkin pie and pumpkin cookies.

Last Sunday was the day.

I made these : *click*

Absolutely delicious.......

This recipe is "double" lactosefree. I used ricemilk chocolate and plant based butter for these cookies.

First of all, get a pumpkin. The recipe calls for a can of pumpkin puree, but this is how you make fresh pumpkin puree:

Clean your pumpkin by removing the skin and seeds, and cut it up in pieces
Lay the pieces on a baking tray (covered with baking paper) and drizzle some olive oil over the pieces
Grill the pumpkin in a preheated oven (190 degrees Celsius) for about 35 minutes
Mash the pieces to make puree

Now, for the cookies I converted the measurements to the metric system and used some other stuff than called for in the recipe:

You'll need
280 grams all purpose flour
227 grams butter
200 grams sugar
425 grams pumpkin puree (buy a small one)
2 eggs
1.5 tsp pumpkin pie spice (a mixture of 1.5 tsp cinnamon, 0.5 tsp nutmeg, 0.25 tsp cloves and 0.5 tsp ginger)
1 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp baking soda
0.5 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 chocolate bars, grated (I used Maitre Mathis from Albert Heijn and Bonvita from the reform shop)

Follow the recipe and bake the cookies at 190 degrees Celsius.

Here is the recipe in short, I did not do the glazing:

COMBINE flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in pumpkin, eggs and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets.

BAKE for 15 to 20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Drizzle or spread with Vanilla Glaze.

These cookies are a bit cake like, a bit spongy, a little bit sweet and I love love love the bits of chocolate in these.

I can really recommend them!


donderdag 22 november 2012

Seasonal Crafting: Sinterklaas Window Hanging

Once November comes along, all small children in the Netherlands are suddenly extremely nice and obedient. Well, most of them.

Mid-November is the time that our country is visited by a white-haired longbearded man with red priest clothing on a white horse and a blackfaced helper who gives children candy and toys.

Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet.

Sinterklaas (or St Nicholas) was a saint who secretly gave gifts and especially gave gifts in shoes of other people. Right now, he is the man whose name is on the lips of every small child right now. Little Man cannot stop talking about him.

This year he really really believes in Sinterklaas. He believes that he came from Spain with the steam boat, that he is walking on the roofs during the night, that he gets candy and toys from him in his shoe (he and Little Lady were allowed to put their shoe in front of the door twice in the past few days) and well, he thinks Sinterklaas is "lief" (very kind).

As parents, we really enjoy our second time of Sinterklaas festivities. The secrecy, the storytelling. It is amazing how a little kid can believe.

For a while I am pondering the whole seasonal changing things and how to incorporate them into our household. Mostly I am pondering where to put something seasonal, and what to make.

This week, something clicked, and here I am presenting you:  The Sinterklaas Window Hanging!
For this hanging I recycled things I had laying around. The whole making cost me about an hour. Great kid's craft object!

You will need:
Boxes/gift bags
Scotch tape
Sharp long needle
Sinterklaas wrapping paper

1. Cut your boxes if they are too big. You want them to be about 4 cm or 2 inch wide max.

2. Wrap them up nicely into Sinterklaas wrapping paper. Tell your kid this is a "leftover from the presents Sinterklaas gave us last year. I saved this piece of paper" if they ask questions.

3. Take a piece of yarn (I used goldcoloured yarn) or ribbon and wrap it around the boxes and tie a bow.

4. Fill the gift bags (mine were unbleached cotton, but you can easily make your own little bags) with fiberfill and close them up with yarn or a ribbon and make a bow.

5. Take a length of yarn and thread it onto the long sharp needle.

6. Pierce it through one side of a box and push it through the other side. You may want to use a thimble for this and maybe a tong to pull the needle out from the other side (it was a cheap needle).

7. Alternate the gift bags and the boxes until you are satisfied.


8. Hang your hanging before the window you want it and adjust the distances between the boxes and bags.

9. Make a tassle at the end of the hanging (optional).

Admire your hanging!

Ofcourse you can use this tutorial for a Christmax boxes hanging, or one with birthday presents.
Have fun!