Cozy mornings with Eve Sleep

Pieter & I have been testing the Eve pocket spring mattress since the Christmas holidays and we both love it. The mattress has great suspension and support without being too firm. We have been sleeping like babies since we got it. This mattress has layers of wool, silk, cotton and polyester, which are tied together to keep the springs in place. One of the things we noticed is that it does keep us warmer. Our bedroom is the coldest room in the house because we have large windows, and this mattress maintains the heat much better, making it a cozier sleep.

They deliver the mattress to your bedroom which I think it is great. It comes packed in two layers of plastic which might seem irrelevant, but the outer layer comes with some dust due to transportation. Once it arrives, they take that first layer of plastic off, leaving the other layer which is clean. So while it is being moved to your bedroom, the dirt is not being dragged into your house.

You can check out the Eve website here.

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Crab & Quinoa Sliders with Wasabi Mayo, Sesame Cucumber and Potato Chips

These sliders come together fairly quick since I buy the crab meat already prepared. If you want to save even more time, you can cook the quinoa in advance and have it in the fridge.

When I make sliders, I normally make my own buns. I have only been able to find one kind of slider buns here and even though they taste just fine, I don’t love the way they look. They are quite pale and a bit boring. So for when I am pressed for time, I buy them but I pimp them up a little bit. This is my 10 minute bun hack: I brush them with some egg wash. Then sprinkle them with sesame seeds (or poppy seeds) and then I bake them in a 180C/350F preheated oven for 10 minutes. You can see the before and after below:

This recipe makes about 8 sliders.

Ingredients:

For the patties:

1/3 cup of white quinoa

360grs Crab meat (I used canned crab), make sure to press off any excess water.

1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 ½ teaspoon of onion powder

½ teaspoon of celery salt

½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper

Pinch of salt

2 eggs

1 egg white

¼ cup of breadcrumbs

1/3 cup of panko

For the wasabi mayo:

½ cup of mayonnaise

1 ½ teaspoon of wasabi (more or less to taste)

Juice of half a lime

For the sesame cucumber:

½ a cucumber, thinly sliced (I used a mandoline)

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

1 teaspoon of honey

1 teaspoon of soy sauce

Extras:

Slider buns

Potato chips

Vegetable oil for cooking the patties

Garden cress for decoration (optional)

 

To make the sesame cucumber: To make the dressing, just whisk together in a small bowl the sesame oil, vinegar, honey and soy sauce. Set it aside.

Thinly slice the cucumber, I used a mandoline to be faster. Place a few paper towels in a medium bowl and place the sliced cucumber on top. You want to get rid of extra moisture. When you are ready to serve, then mix the cucumber with the dressing.

To make the wasabi mayo, just whisk the mayo with the wasabi and lime juice. Set it aside.

To make the patties:

First cook the quinoa. I use white quinoa because it binds better with the rest of the ingredients. Rinse it under cold water and then boil it for 12 minutes. Drain it and set it aside to cool down. Once it is cold, start making the patties.

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Shape each burger using your hands. I used about 1/3 of a cup of the crab mixture per burger. Pour some vegetable oil (I used about ¼ of a cup) in a large pan over medium heat. Cook the patties until golden, about 3 minutes on each side.

To serve, just place a few slices of the sesame cucumber on the lower part of the bun, then add the burger. Top it with some wasabi mayo, crumbled potato chips and garden cress. Serve straight away.

For more foodie inspiration, travel & lifestyle; you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and Youtube channel.

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Venice in the Fall

I’ve dreamed of going to Venice since I was a little kid. And finally in late November we did. For two days we just got lost through little streets and just wandered around. We ate artisanal gelato at Suso.

We went to T Fondaco dei Tedeschi, a department store close to the Rialto bridge. It has a roof terrace where you can get a view of the Grand Canal.

We visited Libreria Acqua Alta. A peculiar library where the books are piled up in the walls, a bathtub and a gondola. They are even used as stairs that overlook the canal in the back. I read that this library is home to some cats, unfortunately we didn’t run into any kitties.


We had an amazing lunch at Osteria Alla Staffa (thank you Jen for the tip). Not only was the food delicious, the prices were also very reasonable.

We also took a boat to visit the Island of Burano. A fisherman’s Island known for its colorful houses. It was definitely worth the trip. We were thinking of visiting Murano too but the weather got worse, so we decided to just head back to Venice.

We stayed at the NH Palazzo Barocci. We had the junior suit with a view. And what a spectacular view it was. We arrived at night so we couldn’t see much, but the next morning we opened the doors to the balcony to see a gorgeous view of the Grand Canal and the Rialto bridge. The hotel has a great location, as one of the boat stops (Vaporetto) was right outside.

 

For more foodie inspiration, travel & lifestyle; you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and Youtube channel.

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Roasted Grape & Brie Crostini, with Honey Roasted Walnuts and Pumpkin Seeds

This is such an easy recipe for entertaining. You can make the roasted nuts in advance and just store them in an airtight container once they are completely cold. I also bought the baguette the night before and froze it. There is one really good French artisanal bakery here (it is called Le Fournil de Sebastien). Even though it is not very far from my home, it is out of my usual route and very often I just don’t have the time to go there. So now I just stock up when I am less busy, and keep it the freezer. I just sprinkle some water over the baguette. Then I bake it for about 15 minutes at 180C/350F and voilà, perfect baguette as it was just freshly made. For this recipe, I like the grapes to still keep their shape. So when you bite into them, they just burst open in your mouth. I roasted them in a bit of balsamic vinegar and port to add a bit more of a complex flavor to them. So good!

This recipe is for two medium baguettes.

Ingredients:
For the honey roasted walnuts & pumpkin seeds:
100grs of walnuts
60grs of pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoon of vegetable oil
3 tablespoons of honey
Pinch of salt
For the roasted grapes:
500grs of red seedless grapes
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of port
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
Sprinkle of salt
Extras:
2 baguettes, sliced
400grs of Brie
Fresh thyme leaves to decorate

Start by making the nuts. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the vegetable oil, a pinch of salt and honey in a bowl, mix well with a fork. Then add the walnuts and pumpkin seeds. Mix well until they are evenly coated.

Spread them in a single layer and bake them for about 15-18 minutes, stirring half way through. Check that they don’t burn. Once the nuts are done, set them aside to cool down.

Raise the oven temperature to 220C/420F and line your baking sheet with parchment paper.

Remove the grapes from the vine. Add the olive oil, port, balsamic vinegar, thyme and sprinkle of salt. Add the grapes and toss to coat them. Spread the grapes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Don’t forget to also pour the sauce.

Roast the grapes for 20-25 minutes until they begin to burst. You want them to still keep their shape.

To serve, place a slice of brie over each slice of bread. Top with some roasted grapes and a bit of the juice. Then add some of the honey roasted nuts and a few thyme leaves. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, travel & lifestyle; you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and Youtube channel.

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Treating the Winter Blues with an Energy Lamp

I’ve never been a huge fan of winter. I’m just not a cold weather person. But it wasn’t till I moved to the Netherlands that winter actually took a toll on me. Right now the sun rises at 8:33am and the sunset is at 4:28pm. That’s not many hours of daylight in a day and it can have a big impact on some people, including myself. It is only while living here that I learned of SAD (a type of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder).

They say that the lack of sunlight upsets your biological clock (sleep patterns) and causes hormone problems which affect your mood. Some of the symptoms include feeling lethargic, getting easily irritated, wanting to sleep more, and craving carbs.

I feel it the most on the days in which I work behind my laptop. On some occasions, at around 4pm, I just can’t keep my eyes open anymore. Once it is dark, I don’t want to go out anymore. When I have something to do in the evening, I really have to push myself out of the door.

I’ve been very curious to try light therapy for a while, and to see if it actually makes a difference. These kinds of lamps simulate the exposure to sunlight. This past week Pieter and I tested the Medisana LT 480 Daylight lamp. We always have breakfast and dinner together, and nowadays it is dark at that time. So we just sit in front of the light while we eat. And we really feel a difference. Now, we don’t feel hyper as if we had taken an energy drink but we do feel more awake. In the morning, it helps me get the day started and in the evening, it helps me to stay awake till we go to bed. I am the kind of person that can very easily fall asleep on the couch, or anywhere for that matter. So I am really happy with this lamp. It makes these dark days more manageable.

For more foodie inspiration, travel & lifestyle; you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and Youtube channel.

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