Thursday, November 18, 2010

I is for... Ice

Today for AlphabeThursday I'm going to choose the easiest I word I can think of (besides "I" itself)... because I'm exhausted... and I might be lightheaded from blood loss after stabbing my fingers a thousand and fifty times with pins, my needle, and eventually my scissors (don't do that, by the way, it hurts like the dickens).

I is for... ICE! I took this in January of last year and I just think it's a rather nifty photo.

Melting Ice


This week I is for my Ice! Make sure to go check out the other participants by clicking on the picture below!

Jenny Matlock

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sundays in My City- Alkmaar

Just a few shots from Alkmaar, a city in the north of The Netherlands, this week.






Be sure to visit Unknown Mami for more Sundays in My City.
Unknown Mami

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Who wears short shorts?

I thought since everyone got to see how adorable Martijn was as a kid, I'd share a picture of me too!

Hot Chick

I don't even know where to start... the sunglasses or the shorts... or the awesome velcro shoes!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Fragments- November 12, 2010

  • The monkey project continues. We're going to the store tomorrow to purchase eyes. Five are done and waiting for the eyes and I'll just pick up some that I think will work for the others!

  • On Wednesday we went out for dinner and had pannekoeken, which translates as pancakes... however, they're REALLY not like thick fluffy American pancakes. They're flat and more crepe-like and you sortof choose toppings like you do a pizza. I had ham and pineapple pannekoek, and Martijn had salami and peppers. You can also get the sweet ones, but since I was dinner we went for something a little more savory. It was a nice treat.

  • At my volunteer job today we decided to do an "art" project. I drew a tree trunk on a piece of posterboard and gathered up some of the fallen leaves from outside. Then we helped the residents stick the leaves on to make a tree. It actually turned out pretty cute, though it did reaffirm my belief that I'm not meant to be a master artist in the field of drawing.

  • I've been pretty uninspired in the cooking department lately. I think maybe I need to join up in some sort of challenge like when I did the Food Network Chefs Cooking Challenge. I had fun with that and it made me try new things! I might need to poke around the internets and see if anyone is doing something like that.

  • I got a letter from the IND saying that they were processing my application for citizenship. They say they hope they'll have an answer for me by the end of July. JULY?! Really?! I hope I'll have it on my birthday in June cause that would be an awesome present.

  • As usual, I FORGOT my 5 o'clock Friday picture. I'm so ashamed. But go check out my pal Lori's blog and visit the people who DID remember!

Enjoy your weekend and make sure to swing by Half Past Kissin' Time and tell our wonderful Mrs 4444 how awesome she is, because she IS! I'm going to carry on monkeying around...
Mommy's Idea

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Huge Head

Martijn's parents have been remodeling their house so we've been getting a few things here and there from them that they didn't want anymore. One of the things we brought home was Martijn's huge head...

martijn 006

We both absolutely LOVE the picture, but it's a little... humongous... and slightly hilarious.

martijn 007

Martijn isn't sure exactly how old he is in this photo, but he thinks somewhere between 2-3 years old. He was a handsome fellow even back then!


This week H is for my Husband's Huge Head! Make sure to go check out the other participants by clicking on the picture below.

Jenny Matlock

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pile 'o Monkey Bits

I've been stuffing monkeys for the past two days. Luckily I have a friend here who either loves me a lot or takes great pity on me and has been helping (thanks Nancy!).

Pile 'o Monkey Bits

Now I need to attach 36 arms, 36 ears, 18 tails, and 18 faces... then make a mad dash to the button store. Think I can finish in a week? I'm not so sure...

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Split Pea Soup

Picture 3154

There is no doubt in my mind that fall is in the air! With the colder weather I think it's nice to sit down to a bowl full of a nice hearty soup. Pea soup is pretty popular here but I haven't had any that quite tasted like "home" so I had my grandma send me the recipe. This is one of those recipes that's even better as leftovers.

If you're here in The Netherlands looking for a hambone, ask the slager (butcher) for a hamschijf.

Split Pea Soup

(use this basic recipe for Lentils and Whole Dry Peas too)

For 10 hungry appetites, you will need:

1 pound (2 1/3 cups) green or yellow split peas or lentils, washed
8 cups cold water
meaty ham bone
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup diced celery
3/4 cup diced raw carrots
1 large bayleaf
1 teaspoon salt
1 fat garlic clove, if desired

Combine in heavy kettle with a tight-fitting lid. Bring water to boiling point. Cover. Reduce heat. Simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Split peas and lentils require no soaking. Dry whole peas should be soaked. Sometime try 2/3 green and 1/3 yellow split peas.

Remove ham bone. Take off meat; cut in pieces and add to soup, not sieved but stirred well. These are very thick soups which need a bit of thinning. But use them "condensed" if to be frozen. There will be about 8 cups of the thick soup. Thinned to the desired consistency, count on 10 to 12 servings of a bit more than acup each. To thin: for Split Pea Soup, stir into the slowly-heated soup a small amount of hot water, light cream or undiluted evaporated milk. For Lentil Soup, chicken broth, tomato juice, diluted cream of tomato soup or water may be used. Lift out the bay leaf before freezing or serving.

To serve: pour into heated tureen, heated soup plates or over-sized coffee cups. Garnish-toppings may be bits of the ham cut from the ham bone, sliced Vienna sausage or thin slices of frank-furters which have been cooked gently in butter, snippets of cooked bacon, crisp hot croutons. With Lentil Soup, alongside the tureen have bowls of snipped parsley mixed with minced raw sweet onion to stir into the individual serving, slivers of salami, buttered croutons of rye bread, thick dairy-sour cream for toppings. And a bottle of sherry wine for those who may wish to add a bit to the serving, a good flavor addition for both soups. A tray of Take-Your-Choice-of-Toppings is fun. For a Supper Buffet, and a fruit salad bowl, a crusty loaf of French bread. Good coffee of course!


Check out more yummy Tasty Tuesday recipes at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Chaos and Mayhem

I always feel a little jealous when people post pictures of their amazingly emaculate craft rooms. Because my crafting space usually looks like this...

Chaos and Mayhem

It might not be so bad if I could just shut the door and hide it away but living in a 1 bedroom apartment has it's disadvantages in that regard. On the other hand, I've never seen anyone post an awesome craft room with an orange sewing machine, so maybe I actually have it BETTER than you guys with LOTS OF SPACE!

In slightly related news, I have approximately 20 new monkey carcasses (that really sounds horrible, doesn't it?) sewn together and ready to stuff! So, I'm monkeying around all day so I can get these babies made by Thursday next week... If I stop blogging for awhile it's probably because I've suffocated on monkey fluff.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Sunday Stroll Along the Canal

We recently discovered that there are quite a lot of houseboats on the canal nearby. Houseboats in Amsterdam are pretty common, but I didn't realize there were so many within spitting distance of our house down here!


Several were hidden and completely out of sight.


There were some with garden sheds too, which struck me as kinda funny. I wouldn't expect to have a garden if I was living on a boat, but some of these folks did!


The further down the canal we wandered, the more industrial the area became.


Eventually we found this giant scrapheap and decided to head back home.


Too bad the map we found was for the WRONG PART OF THE CITY!


Be sure to visit Unknown Mami for more Sundays in My City.
Unknown Mami

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Mysterious Map


A few weeks ago Martijn and I went wandering around a little bit and found this nifty map. We were a little confused though as it is a map from nowhere near where we were in the city! Still though, I loved the style of it.

Most of the streets are named after food.



The map legend shows single family homes, multiple family homes, stores, public & special buildings, gardens, bike paths, water and so on and so forth. It seems quite detailed! Too bad it didn't give any detail about where we actually were!


Friday, November 05, 2010

Five-Thirty O'clock Friday

This is Five-Thirty O'clock Friday! My friend Lori does Five O'clock Fridays on her blog where you take a photo at 5 o'clock on Friday each week. Even though I've asked her about 16 times to impliment some sort of SMS reminder service to text me at 5 on Friday, she hasn't done it. Therefore, we have Five-Thirty O'clock Friday this week! And just be glad I actually remembered at 5:30 and not 11:30 like I usually do.


It was actually pretty dark when I took this but I set the exposure time as long as it would go and it turned the sky this gorgeous purpley-blue color. I love it!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Peeling & Grating Fresh Ginger

Many gadgets make things far simpler than they might be otherwise, and I'm going to share with you a really nifty kitchen gadget that will peel your ginger like a charm!

Picture 1589

Okay, I know what you're thinking. "Kim, that's a regular teaspoon, not a gadget." You're right, but I will tell you it's the best way to peel ginger that I've found! If you use a knife you end up losing a layer of ginger with the skin. Trying to use a regular peeler in all the bumps and nooks and crannies isn't worth the bother. With the teaspoon, you can get into the little cracks without worrying about chopping off your fingers by accident, and it just peels off the outer layer of skin like a dream!

Scrape the ginger with the inside of a spoon like so:

Peeling and Grating Ginger

When you've gotten your ginger peeled, then you can use a little ginger grater to grate it up. If you have a mega sharp knife and a lot more patience than me, you can mince the ginger that way too.

Peeling and Grating GingerPeeling and Grating Ginger

Or you can skip grating it all together and make some yummy crystallized ginger!



This week G is for Ginger! Make sure to go check out the other participants by clicking on the picture below.

Jenny Matlock

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

New Assistant

The monkey production line is back in business and it seems I have a new assistant.

Sewing Mrs Yummy

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Newest Victim of European Hotel Beds

I mentioned my concerns about what sort of sleeping arrangements Martijn and I would have on our little weekend away. Mr Jummy discovered that those fears were not unfounded.

Everything always starts out fine. You're laying in bed watching the television...

Jummy Watching a Movie in a Hotel While Hanging Out in a Bed Nomming on a Pretzel and Holding the Remote Control

But at some point, disaster ALWAYS strikes!

stadskanaalvacation2010 099

Why is it that hotels here don't think you should actually sleep in the same bed as someone without the fear of falling into a cavernous ditch in the bed!?

I suppose it is just one of life's great mysteries.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Nook Thief

We bought a nook this summer while we were in the US. I haven't used it a lot because someone keeps stealing it.


He claims he's trying to learn how to read, but Martijn installed Far Side cartoons as the screensaver, so I think we all know what he's REALLY doing!
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