Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Fragments- July 29, 2011

It's time again for Friday Fragments! I don't feel like I did very much this week but let's see what I can come up with to tell you about!

After completing my goal of a 30km bike ride I decided I would set my next goal a little higher... and bike to Belgium!


This may be slightly less impressive than it sounds because I live within sneezing distance of the border but I was still impressed with myself for doing it.



I came home from my bum-numbing ride and bought a new bike saddle with a little stubby nose. I had to order it online because the only one in that style that I could find locally was a gel seat and I decided "gel" is slang for "you're gonna regret buying this seat if you take any rides longer than 10km."


I'm going to a tapas party tomorrow hosted by two of my lovely friends here. I am bringing teeny one-bite cranberry cream cheese muffins and some phyllo pastry with cheese and ham rolls. I am excited to see what other people bring.


There is some really unclever person who thinks that my e-mail address actually belongs to them. I know it's not stuff I've signed up for because it's a very slight variation on the address that I actually use (periods on Gmail addresses can be omitted or extra ones added and the e-mail all goes the same place). I get weird e-mails from family members that I know I am not related to! Every now and then I get bombarded with password recovery e-mails at my secondary e-mail address while she tries to retrieve "her" password. I get bank statement notifications and I know what's on her Netflix queue. Today she signed up for and part of me wants to do evil horrible things to her profile. Honestly, wouldn't you start to wonder why you couldn't ever log into your e-mail and why you never got the e-mails you thought you signed up for?

I don't really know what to do other than shake my head in wonderment and keep deleting the e-mails.


I'm so mad. I've been wearing my cute hat that I fancied up and it's been a little rainy and I've been sweaty so it's gotten damp. The darn button on the top is a fabric covered METAL button that's rusting. So now my pretty white hat is all marred up with rust spots.

Go visit the amazing Mrs. 4444 at Half Past Kissin' Time for more Friday Fragments Fun (oooh alliteration) I hope everyone has a fun weekend. I think I will!
Mommy's Idea

Monday, July 25, 2011

Menu Plan Monday- July 25, 2011

Last week:

We both really liked the Curried Chickpea Salad but the Mushroom Quinoa Stew wasn't very memorable and it actually tasted yucky as leftovers so that means a big fat FAIL in a soup/stew recipe if you ask me.

The Sticky Sausage & Sweet Potato Salad was quite tasty but we both thought I should've used slightly leaner sausages than I did. You need them to have a little fat though because you don't use any oil on the sweet potatoes to roast them.

As for the Nutty Chicken Curry... well I'm not going to make it again. It tasted okay but there are certainly way better curry recipes around.

Sloppy Joe Bake- I'm going to add in a can of kidney beans like it suggests in the "All-American" version. Seems a bit strange to me though as I've never once added beans to my real "all-American" sloppy joes!

Thai Coconut Soup- I love this stuff. I'll post the recipe on Tuesday!

Split Pea Soup- Yes, in July. Unlike the rest of the northern hemisphere we are not having an absurd heat wave at the moment... plus I have a little ham in the fridge that I really ought to use.

Baked Corndogs- I love corndogs. I hardly ever eat them but they're so so good. I'm going to try this and see if they're any good but I think I'm going to change the flour/cornmeal ratio to 1:1. If I'm going to eat a corndog i want it to be CORNY not floury... hah!

Bacon and Egg Casserole with Tomatoes- I'm not sure we'll actually get to this meal this week but it's usually stuff I have in the fridge anyways so if I don't make it it's okay.

What's your menu looking like this week?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Monkeys Monkeys Everywhere!

Some might say that Disneyland is the "happiest place on earth" and while I do find it a wonderfully fun place to visit I can tell you it's not the happiest place on earth. I discovered a few weeks ago that the happiest place on earth is actually the Apenheul. The primate zoo where monkeys roam free and there are teeny monkey babies everywhere.

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There was a brand new baby gorilla born the night before we went so that was pretty exciting too!

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The gorillas live on an island in the middle of the park and there is a "feeding show" every few hours where they'll come for treats like apples and cucumbers. We were really lucky because ALL of them showed up for our show and the hosts said that doesn't always happen. I learned a couple of interesting things during the show. Gorillas can't swim and they have round potbellies because their intestinal track is larger and set up slightly differently than in humans.

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This little orangutan was so funny. He kept hiding under his blanket and then popping out and jumping and waving... then crawled back under to hide for another minute before popping out again. Orangutan peek-a-boo!

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If you're ever in Apeldoorn, take the day and go to the Apenheul! They're open from March 30 to October 31st and entry is €18,50 for adults (which I think is plenty but we did have discount cards and now that I've been I would still recommend it even if you have to pay full price).

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

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Fragments- July 22, 2011

I miss doing Friday Fragments so I'm going to make an effort to participate regularly again.

Martijn bought me a fietscomputer (bike computer) a few weeks ago so that I could track my mileage and speed. It's totally a psychological motivator because I can see how far I went and say "Oh, I can go FURTHER today!!" Counting my 32km trek on Wednesday, I cycled 129km this week!


In other cycling related news, I am considering a noseless bike saddle... and maybe some cycling shorts with a nice padded bum.


I am so pleased with the progression of technology. I have to get pictures of my eyeballs done once a year and every time they dilate my eyes it makes me want to die for the next 24-72 hours while the drops wear off. I get the letter for the appointment about 6 weeks beforehand and then I spend the next 6 weeks moping about it. Well this year I went in and she said "We got a new camera and with your light eyes we shouldn't need to use the drops." I almost hugged her. Seriously!


My mom loves me a lot. I already know this but she sent me some new socks for my birthday to remind me just how much!

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Have a good weekend! We're headed to Belgium tomorrow for a family BBQ. Hopefully the weather will be nice.

Be sure to swing by Half Past Kissin' Time for more Friday Fragment fun!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Go on a 30km bike ride without dying

(Alternate title: Why my bum is going to hurt tomorrow)

I don't drive in this country which is okay because it's the flatlands and being in a rather big city gives me pretty easy access to things by bike or if I'm really desperate, public transportation. I go pretty much everywhere by bike but most of my normal treks don't take me more than 5-6km (3 and a little bit miles) away from home. That's why I figured a good challenge for my 101 list would be to take a 30km (18.64 mile) bike ride without dying. The without dying part was especially important because what good is a great accomplishment if you die in the process or before you can brag about it!

I've been working my way up and have done several 20km rides but today I got a wild hair and decided it would be the day to make the longer journey! I got on Google Maps and plotted a route that would get me 29.3 or so and I figured I could just loop around the block once more to get me that extra 700 meters. Thanks to my winning sense of direction it turns out I didn't even need to make another loop around the block because I took a wrong turn somewhere and extended my journey a little.

My handy dandy bike computer tells me I did 32.79km (just a hair over 20 miles).

30 km ride!

And I lived to tell the tale!!

Proof I'm not dead

Monday, July 18, 2011

Menu Plan Monday- July 18, 2011

Alright, this was a mixed week. The Sizzling halloumi with fava beans and mint wasn't bad but I don't think that it was as good as I'd have hoped. I think if you cubed up the halloumi and tossed it in with the beans and served it as a side dish it would be better.

I thought that the Steamed pork and shrimp wontons were quite tasty. I decided to steam the broccoli for the stir-fried broccoli with cashews and I think there was serious potential for good until I boiled the pan dry and killed the broccoli... and my pan.

As for the eggplant curry... I grilled the eggplant on my contact grill instead of frying it in the pan but otherwise I followed this recipe pretty well. It was good, I will probably make it or something like it again in the future!

This week:

Curried Chickpea Salad with Mushroom Quinoa Stew-- I think I'll serve the chickpea salad on top of arugula or something green to stretch it out a little bit.

Sticky Sausage & Sweet Potato Salad-- I have some sweet potatoes to use and I think this looks yummy! I might cut down on the honey a bit. According to the reviews it's a little too sweet but we'll see what happens when I make it.

Polenta Pizza-- Last time we had this we both quite liked it but I think I'm going to tweak the toppings a little and make a slightly thinner crust this time.

Nutty Chicken Curry-- We're having curry weather here right now. I think this'll be a nice tasty warming dish! I'm going to toss in some other vegetables to stretch it out a little and maybe add another chili like the comments suggest.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Menu Plan Monday- July 11, 2011

We ate well last week.

I made the roasted tomato, halloumi, and quinoa salad twice because we liked it so much. I suggest adding some chopped up cucumber to the mix.

We both liked the egg foo yung with chicken and mushrooms but I need to figure out what to serve with it next time because we both had an attack of the "I'm still hungries" a couple of hours later. It's kinda weird though because I would've thought the protein from the eggs and chicken would've made it stick around longer. One thing with this recipe is I don't think you need NEARLY so much oil as it calls for. Use the full amount of sesame oil but cut down on the canola/veg oil.

I didn't make the potatoes in the BBQ Chicken Salad and instead served it with baked sweet potato fries. It's a really good salad but I decided next time to just chop up an avocado and add it to the mix instead of bothering with the avocado vinaigrette. I loved the combo of BBQ sauce and blue cheese though, it's really good!

BBQ Chicken Salad-- Yes, again. It's actually a pretty fast meal to throw together so I'm all over making it again!

Steamed pork and shrimp wontons & Stir-fried broccoli with cashews-- I was looking for recipes to help use up some of the bottle of oyster sauce I bought for the egg fu yung last week and this looks rather delicious.

Sizzling halloumi with fava beans and mint-- I like all of the ingredients in this so I hope they'll be good add mashed together!

Eggplant curry with lemongrass and coconut milk-- I don't make a lot of curries and I'm not really sure why since I quite like them. I'm going to give this one a go and see what happens!

What is on your food agenda this week?

Monday, July 04, 2011

Menu Plan Monday- July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day to all my American friends!

I still haven't made tamales like I wanted to. It got so hot here that the thought of having something steaming in the kitchen for almost an hour nearly had me in tears so I ditched that plan for now. I will revisit it again in the less hot future.

This week:

Turkse Dürüm (box mix)-- We don't tend to eat a lot from boxed mixes but there are a couple I really like. This is one of them and they were on sale last week!

Roasted tomato, halloumi,& quinoa salad-- This is hinging on me finding halloumi. I have an idea where to buy it but I'm not 100% sure. This sounds really good though so I'm rather determined to track it down!

Egg Foo Yung with Chicken and Mushrooms-- I think this looks yummy and it should go together pretty easily.

BBQ Chicken Salad-- I might leave the potatoes out of this, it looks like it'll be pretty filling without.
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