// Vegetable lentil soup – this is so good and filling and warm. Hands down the best lentil soup I have ever had.
// Spinach date and almond salad – a summertime favorite, but it’s good in fall as well. Shutterbean is one of my favorite resources for good recipes. We have tried a lot of her recipes and she has never let us down. All of her recipes are tasty.
// Coconut rice with peas and more – holy crap. I could eat this everyday. It’s comfort food at it’s best. It has loads of veggies, no crazy calories and the feeling of indulgence.
I don’t know about you but I get really angry when I’m hungry. Sometimes after a long day of work, I don’t want to think about what to make for dinner. I just want something to eat. For those days, I like to have a few recipes I can fall back on. The only condition is that they are tasty. I switch up recipes every other month or so, but some recipes stick. These are four of my current favorite fallback recipes. There is one more recipe that I really really love. It has the best pasta in the world, gnocchi. Full recipe including pictures coming soon!
What are some of your go-to recipes? Let me know and I’ll try them!
The last time I shared some of our work, you all seem to like it and asked for more. So here is another project we are working on.
When Anouk and Simon of Dear Wendy approached us a few months ago, we knew right away we would hit it off. They come from the same island as Nick and they all share the same love for the sea.
Dear Wendy is Anouk and Simon on their guitars making dreamy folky music and we knew we wanted to capture that feeling in their website somehow. We also knew we wanted to do something with the fact they both come from an island, surrounded by sea. As you can see in the moodboard. We’re now in the final stages of designing their website and it should be online soon.
Dear Wendy landed a gig in Holland’s biggest coffee chain Coffee Company (think Starbucks, but Dutch). They asked us to design a poster for the occasion.
Because we couldn’t decide and got carried away, we made four poster designs and we’re sharing two of them with you. The first one is in the style of the moodboard and website design, the second one is my personal favorite. A poster that will stand out between all the other posters.
With the design of the posters, Nick and I really worked together as a design team. Something we’re always looking to improve. It’s easy to get lost in the your own process and forget to work together. This time we brainstormed, bounced designs around and both posters are the fruit of our coöperation.
My dearest Sparrow in Space readers, it’s weekend! Hooray!
We found this building while we were walking around at last month’s Dutch Design Week. I don’t know what it looks like from the inside, but from the outside it looks like one of my dream houses (yes I have several dream houses. I like to dream big). I love the windows, the brickwork and the location which you can’t see on the photo but trust me on that. I bet it has a big garden for my pet goat to roam freely.
In my dream garden I have a goat, some chickens, a small pig, an alpaca and a donkey. And three children, running around. Perhaps one is riding around on the donkey. Not sure if my future donkey likes that kind of shenanigans.
I believe dreams are plans waiting to happen. These dreams of my garden probably need some tweaking, but it is going to happen. I’m strong of will and if I want something, I will make it happen. As should you. If you want to quit your job and work as a freelancer, work towards that. If you want to have children, well start… you know what. If you want to have the best wardrobe in the world, stop buying cheap clothes and start buying quality stuff. If you want something, anything, go out and get it. Don’t wait for the world to hand it to you. This weekend I’m going out and I’m getting what I want. For this weekend, it’s coconut milk yogurt, because I also like to dream small.
Last Saturday was my birthday. I turned 28 and I find it hard to believe. I’m no longer in the younger part of my twenties. I don’t mind getting older, but it does feel weird. It doesn’t feel like I’m 28 at all. But I am. This 28th year of my life is going to be the most awesome year so far. I have nothing planned, but I’m absolutely positive it will be spectacular.
Last week was quiet on the blog. We moved house, sort of. We’re staying with friends until we can move in to our new house in the beginning of December. Sometimes I wonder how we do it. We’ve been living like gypsies the last couple of years. Three years ago we started saving to fund our travels. We moved house 5 times in 1,5 years, each time to a cheaper house. Then we left to travel the world for a year. We never stayed anywhere longer than a month, most of the time only staying for a week. When we got back to Europe, we lived with a great family in Vienna for a week and a half, before moving in with Nick’s dad back in Holland. And now we’re sleeping on two mattresses on an attic without a door or shower. I would lie if I said it’s easy. But I also would be lying if I said I hated it. Maybe because I know it’s not forever.
Back to my birthday: Nick made me a pretty bad ass cake and gave me this book I’ve been eyeing for months. I picked out a recipe and got baking today. It’s not my birthday anymore but it’s not like you need a birthday to eat cake.
For all the Dutch people reading this: you can try this cake today at the awesome Meneer Paprika in Haarlem (where we also work!). Their new website will be online soon, made by us. We’ll share it with you once it’s ready.
Orange and Polenta cake
adapted from Home Made
for the cake
juice of 1 lemon
100 grams of polenta
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar
100 grams of almonds, finely chopped
250 grams of light caster sugar
for the garnish
100 ml of apricot marmalade
The baking of the cake
Pre heat your oven to 180°C.
Put two of the oranges in a pan with enough water and boil them for an hour. When they’re done let them cool completely.
Get out your food processor and put the two oranges in whole. Add the lemon juice and pulverize. Stir in the polenta, baking powder and vanilla sugar by hand. When it’s mixed, add in the almonds as well.
Get another bowl and whisk the eggs with the sugar until you have a white foam. This takes a while so I suggest you don’t do this manual. Make sure the bowl is fat-free before you start.
Gently mix the polenta mixture with the airy egg foam and pour it into 26 cm cake pan.
Bake the cake for 35 minutes. Let it cool for 5 minutes, put it on a cooling rack, and let it cool completely.
Now start with the oranges for the topping.
Cut off the top and bottom of the orange, making sure you cut off the white part. Now you can cut off the sides from top to bottom easily. Slice the oranges into neat slices.
Cover the cake with the slices overlapping. Heat the jam in a small pan on medium heat and when it’s warm gently smear it over the oranges. Put the cake in the fridge for a couple of hours before eating.
We first made this recipe a couple of weeks ago and even though it was tasty, it wasn’t as good as the Pho we had in Vietnam. So we made it again. And again. Until it was just right. It looks like a lot of work and it isn’t the easiest recipe in the world. You need to put aside some time to make this, but you won’t regret it.
I remember ordering Pho for the first time. It was in a small restaurant in Ho Chi Minh/Saigon. We went there early in the morning, as we heard they had good wifi. We really needed to finish a project for a client. All day long I had been eyeing the Pho on the menu. As you can imagine, I was super excited when dinner time came around. Pho taste unlike anything I have ever tasted before. It’s salty, fatty, full of spices, light, warm, refreshing, filling. I wanted to share this Pho recipe with you because it started my love for Pho and I hope it starts yours too. Next time I’m making this, I’ll try to control myself and make a picture before I eat it.
Ingredients For the broth
2.5 kilo of beef leg bones. We got them for free at our local butcher
5.5 liter of cold water
2 medium onions, cut in quarters
a 10 cm piece of ginger, cut in half lengthwise
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon of coriander seeds
1 tablespoon of fennel seeds
6 star anise
6 whole cloves
1 black cardamom pod. You can buy this at most Asian stores but if you can’t find it, leave it out.
1,5 tablespoons of salt
1,5 tablespoons of sugar
60 ml of fish sauce
Soup ingredients 700 grams of pho noodles. You should be able to find these at your local Asian supermarket.
450 grams of beef sirloin (entrecôte)
1 onion, sliced in very thin slices (see-through thin)
a load of cilantro leaves
Garnishing Fresh mint and Thai Basil sprigs
a handful of bean-sprouts
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
2 limes, cut in quarters
Pre-heat your oven broiler on the highest setting and line a baking sheet with aluminium foil. Take your quartered onions and halved ginger and place them on the baking sheet and put it in to the oven. Make sure to turn them occasionally so they become charred evenly on all sides.
While your onions and ginger are in the oven, boil the bones to remove impurities. Add the bones to a large stockpot and just about cover the bones with cold water. Bring to a boil on high heat and boil for 5 minutes. Skim off the scum and foam that rises.
Drain the bones into a colander and rinse them well with warm water. Scrub the pan with soap to remove any residue and fat. Place the bones back in the pan and add 5.5 liters of cold water. Bring to a slow boil.
Put a dry frying pan on low to medium heat and add cinnamon sticks, cardamom seeds, fennel seeds, star anise, cloves and the black cardamom pod. Leave it to roast for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the spices are starting to smell really good, place them in a cotton muslin bag/herb sachet/piece of cheesecloth and tie it up into a bundle with butchers twine.
Add the ginger, onions and the pouch of herbs to the boiling bones. Add the salt, sugar and fish sauce and let it simmer for about 3 hours. If any foam rises to the surface, scoop it off with a skimmer.
In the meanwhile, put your beef sirloin in the freezer for about 15 minutes. It will harden a little, making it easier to slice. Thinly slice the beef across the grain into thin slices and put them in the fridge.
Take the onion you sliced and place it in some water for about 20 minutes. This will tone done the raw flavor of the onion.
After 3 hours, get pliers to take out the bones, onions, ginger and herbs. Take your pan and strain your broth through a fine mesh strainer, optionally lined with a cheesecloth. Skim the fat from the top of the broth with a spoon. This is easier if you let the broth cool, as the fat will solidify. Nick is not too bothered with fat, so he just left it because it adds a lot of taste. Put the broth back on the stove and let it simmer on the lowest heat.
Get your pho noodles out and let them soak for as long as needed according the instructions on the packet.
Fill each bowl for about 1/3 with noodles. Add some slices of the raw sirloin. Top with hot broth and add some sliced onions and cilantro. (I like a lot of onions in my Pho).
Serve with well stocked plates of garnishing. Squeeze over the lime and enjoy this perfect soup.
If you’re really hungry, make these as a side dish