Thursday, April 29, 2010

Orange @ The Openluchtmuseum

A few months after I moved to The Netherlands, Martijn took me to the Nederlands Openluchtmuseum (open air museum) in Arnhem. If you haven't been, I HIGHLY recommend it. It gives you a glimpse back in time to the olden days and it's a good place to see a pretty good example of most places around the country in one place.

My favorite thing in the museum was a section of four rowhouses from Tilburg. Each house was dedicated to a certain time period from 1860-1970. If you know me at all, you'll figure out that the BEST one was from the 70s because it was full of orangey goodness!

1970's Kitchen rack

This visit also began the nearly three year long quest for the sewing machine of my dreams. For starters, this is the sewing machine model that I learned to sew on so it was a bit of nostalgia. Secondly... it's ORANGE! Seriously, how could I not desperately want one for my own?

Orange Viking Sewing Machine (3)

I begged Martijn to let me steal it, but he's a bit of a party pooper so he told me no. I think he was just having his revenge because I'd told him he couldn't steal a Commodore 64 from a museum we'd gone to in the US.

They're seriously tricky to find, and after a seriously botched attempt to buy one from a crazy flaky lady I finally finally found one for my very own!

Orange Husqvarna 6430

It doesn't have the orange extension table like the one at the museum did, but I can live with that. JOY!


When we were trying to think of a good thing for the "O" post, Martijn was reading the dictionary and came across oelewapper, which is a rather outdated term for nincompoop. I think it's absolutely hilarious!
I'm participating in Mrs. Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday! Click the link below to see what other outstanding things people have posted about.

Jenny Matlock

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Boring to Awesome Hat

I don't have much hair so if I'm not careful I end up with a mighty sore sunburned scalp. I had an awesome hat once upon a time that I wore everywhere, but it started having one of those "You wore me way too much" smells that just wouldn't die. So, I gave it up. I've been on the search for a decent hat ever since. I have patterns to make hats but sometimes it's just less work to keep looking!

On Tuesday the weather was GORGEOUS so I went to the market and popped into a couple of stores while I was in the city center. I think I tried on about 30 hats and since none of the mirrors were higher than chest level, I had to do a lot of knee bending to see my head. It probably looked rather comical to anyone watching, but I was not impressed! I finally found this plain white cap. Amazingly boring, but it was a cute style and I figured I could do something about the boringness.

Some ribbon trim and a button later, and boring turned into awesome!

Hat Makeover

I think it turned out pretty cute.

New Hat- Transformed

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Chicken Teriyaki with Ginger Rice

I had a bit of a tricky time choosing a Sandra Lee for this weeks Food Network Chefs Cooking Challenge recipe because she uses so many pre-made ingredients. I have nothing against using pre-made stuff but it can be hard to track down here! I had some drumsticks in the freezer so I decided to make the Chicken Teriyaki with Ginger Rice.


Chicken Teriyaki with Ginger Rice
Courtesy Sandra Lee

  • 1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (2 tbsp brown sugar Splenda)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 (1-inch) piece peeled, fresh ginger, divided use, 1/2 grated the other half thinly sliced
  • 2 pounds skin-on boneless chicken thighs (I did drumsticks)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil (skipped this)
  • 2 cups conventional white rice (I don't eat much white rice so we did brown instead)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 bunch scallions, ends removed

In a large plastic resealable bag, add the soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and grated ginger and mix until the sugar is dissolved. Put the chicken thighs into the bag with the marinade. Seal and refrigerate at least 2 hours or as long as overnight.

Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. (I cooked these in the Turbo but followed the grilling instructions)

Remove the chicken from the marinade and set aside. Put the marinade in a pot over medium heat and reduce by half. Oil the grill grates with canola oil, arrange the chicken on the grill, skin-side down and cook for 8 minutes per side. Brush the chicken liberally with the reduced marinade before turning.

In a medium pot combine the rice, sliced ginger, salt and 3 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and cover. Let cook until the rice has absorbed all the water and is fluffy, about 15 to 20 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, put the scallions on the grill. Cook until wilted, about 2 minutes per side. I forgot to do this, oops!

Transfer the rice to a serving platter, discarding the sliced ginger. Top with the cooked chicken, garnish with grilled scallions and serve.

The Verdict: The chicken was good. I think that I still prefer my other chicken recipes over this one, but it did have less ingredients and went together pretty fast. The rice was just boring so I won't keep that recipe around.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Menu Plan Monday- April 26, 2010

I got to everything on the menu last week except the speklappen so that'll carry over into this week.

The Italian-American style tuna melts were quite good. It was a nice change from the norm. I posted about the Chicken & Chorizo Sandwiches with Fried Peppers. This is a good one too!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

N is for Necklace

This week, N is for Necklace. N is also for NEED, as in I NEED to start making jewelry again.

Pink Celebration


Spring Flowers

Picture 1841


I'm participating in Mrs. Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday! Click the link below to see what other nice things people have posted about.

Jenny Matlock

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Chicken & Chorizo Sandwiches with Fried Peppers

This week will be my thirty-first Food Network Chefs Cooking Challenge post! I had no idea we'd been doing this quite so long already. I've managed to make & post something from every single chef so far (minus one... I made the recipe and didn't post it, oops!). This week brings us to Robin Miller. She has a lot of great looking recipes and I love that they're so fast to make!! Lately I haven't been feeling like spending quite so much time cooking so these quick recipes I'm finding just make me feel HAPPY! I made Chicken and Sausage Sandwiches with Fried Bell Peppers (uh, longest recipe title ever?).

Sausage, Chicken, Peppers & Onion Sandwich

Chicken and Sausage Sandwiches with Fried Bell Peppers
Courtesy Robin Miller

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided (skipped this and used the grease from frying the chorizo instead)
2 medium red bell peppers, seeded and sliced into thin strips
1 cup onion sliced into half-moons
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pound cooked shredded chicken
1 cup diced chorizo, andouille, or other cooked spicy sausage (I used chorizo)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 long rolls (submarine or hoagie rolls)


I fried the chorizo first and then set it aside until it's added later

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat (again, just used the grease from the chorizo). Add the bell peppers and onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the vegetables from the skillet and set aside.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the sausage and vinegar and cook for 1 minute to heat through.

Using tongs, arrange the chicken mixture on the open rolls, top with the fried peppers and serve.

The Verdict: The title of Robin Miller's show is called Quick Fix and this was most certainly a quick fix. If I would've had cooked chicken on hand I would've had dinner done in 15 minutes so I was quite happen with that! The flavor of the balsamic really set this off from anything else similar that I've tried. We both really liked it but also thought the bread needs -something- before the meat goes onto it. It's a little dry otherwise. I also think that this would be good over rice or just by itself too!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Menu Plan Monday- April 19, 2010

Ahoy! It is yet another Monday. The weeks feel like they're just FLYING by. I'll be in Utah in less than 2 months and I think that's wildly exciting. Until then I still need to make sure to feed Martijn... not that I'll stop feeding him when we get there. Though he might be too busy drinking rootbeer to eat any real food. ANYHOW... the menu for this week!

Should be a pretty easy week! What sorts of goodies are you making for dinner?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mijn Man Martijn

Today I shall talk about the mysterious Martijn that I speak about so often (I know he's not REALLY mysterious but just play along, it's M week).  He's rather modest and gets embarassed if I brag too much about how marvelous he is, so I'll try to keep my mushy comments to a minimum!

Every now and then I get a comment or e-mail asking what sort of name Martijn is and how you're supposed to pronounce it.  It's a name Dutch people use to make non-native Dutch speakers feel like idiots.  Okay, that isn't entirely true, but unless you are Dutch or have had a tongue transplant from a Dutch person, you are more than likely going to have problems saying my husband's name.  I'm lucky that there wasn't a question on the marriage license application that said "Can you actually pronounce your soon-to-be-spouses name properly?"  It has taken years of practice and I still say it wrong half the time.  There is no English equivalent to how the "ij" is pronounced so I am going to let you listen to this nifty mp3 file of how Martijn says his name and his online nickname which is "Tijntje."  This is an older file and I think he has a far less pronounced Dutch accent when he speaks English now that I've been corrupting him with my American speech for the past 3 years!  Go ahead and click the "play" arrow on the embedded player below (if you're reading this in a reader you'll need to click through to the actual post... sorry). 

Moving on... Martijn is a rather musical fellow.  He plays the bass.  He can play the piano too but he'll usually tell you he can't do it well because he's too out of practice. 

Cute Bass Playing Husband

His first car was a Subaru Mini Jumbo which he lovingly referred to as the "dinky toy."  If my legs weren't long to the point of being ridiculous we might still have that car!

Picture 216

I made him a new bathrobe a couple of years ago and here's him modeling it for all to see. 


He and Mr. Jummy are good mates.  Mr Jummy is kinda naughty sometimes but I think he learned all of his tricks from Martijn.

Picture 1805

At work, he and his co-workers made an M&M sorting machine so here he is busy doing market research for his project.

Market Research

Over the past few years we've had many misadventures.

There is a miniature Dutch city called Madurodam.  Here's Martijn in Madurodam.


Somewhere in Utah (I THINK Vernal) Martijn had a run in with a mammoth. 

roadtrip 011

Of course, living in The Netherlands, we've been to many mills.  You see lots of photos of the outside, but how many do you see of the inside?


I am hopeful that I din't manage to mortify mijn man (English: my husband) too much with this post! 


I'm participating in Mrs. Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday! Click the link below to see what other marvelous magical things people have posted about.

Jenny Matlock

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Brie Stuffed Blackened Chicken

The Food Network Chefs Cooking Challenge has made it's way to Robert Irvine. His show, Dinner: Impossible, looks like it's probably interesting but since I'm not awesome and within the borders of the US, I can't even watch the streams on Food Network! Lame.

Brie Stuffed Blackened Chicken
Why yes that is the biggest chicken breast you've ever seen. We shared it because it was so massive!

Brie Stuffed Blackened Chicken
Courtesy Robert Irvine

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 ounces chilled Brie cheese, divided into 6 wedges, skin-on
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
  • Pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut a 2 to 3-inch pocket in each chicken breast, and insert a wedge of Brie deep into each pocket and is covered with the top of the pocket.

In a large mixing bowl, add all the dried herbs and spices. Add the chicken and gently toss the in the mixture, coating evenly (keeping the cheese in the pocket). In a large skillet over high heat, add oil and sear the chicken on both sides until dark brown, but not burned, normally 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Put the skillet in the oven to bake until cooked through, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven to a cutting board and let rest for 3 to 4 minutes.

The Verdict: I was able to make this recipe exactly as written which doesn't always happen so I was quite pleased! We both liked it a lot and I've added it to my recipe file. I have access to absurdly cheap French cheeses here, but I think mozarella or even blue cheese would be good if you can't get your hands on brie!

Monday, April 12, 2010

De Vergeten Tuin

A few weeks ago the part of Eindhoven we live in had a bit of an “open house” that showcased some of the unique businesses and places in the area.  It was a neat thing to be able to go and explore some new places that we might not have otherwise seen. One of my new finds was a neat garden called De Vergeten Tuin which translates quite literally as “the forgotten garden.”  De Vergeten Tuin is a small bit of nature in an urban setting.  It’s smack dab in the heart of the city and I cycle past the area on a very regular basis, but I had NO idea that it was there!  I had Google make you this lovely little map so you can see!  If you look to the north and slightly to the east of the A you can see the railway station which is pretty close to the center point of Eindhoven.  The A indicates the garden.
For most of the 20th century the garden was an empty “green” space surrounded by homes.  Between 1959 and 1978 a factory that manufactured machine components took the space.  The factory was torn down and a field with a lot of debris and polluted ground was left behind.  Residents around the space started planting and maintaining the area.  In 2001 the city began plans to clean out the garden and there were rumblings that the surrounding houses would also be demolished.  The homeowners started an association to save the garden and the houses.  They visited many “urban gardens” throughout the country and drew up plans of what to do with the land.  In 2002 the demolitions were postponed and the plans for the garden were made a reality. The entrance for De Vergeten Tuin is between two houses on the Palingstraat.
De Vergeten Tuin
You walk down a long hallway and then continue on the path into the garden.
De Vergeten Tuin
There are three vijvers (ponds) in the garden. We went at the beginning of mating season so there were tons and tons of frogs all over!
De Vergeten Tuin
De Vergeten Tuin
When the ponds were being dug, a lot of building debris came out of the ground. Instead of throwing it away they built a wall.
De Vergeten Tuin
The crevices and holes serve as overwintering shelter for the small animals like mice, toads and salamanders that live in the garden.
De Vergeten Tuin
In addition to being a shelter, the wall is also a growing place for various types of moss and a wall plant that has snapdragon-esque flowers.
De Vergeten Tuin
They made these bee houses for solitary bees and hung them in a sunny place of the garden.
De Vergeten Tuin
I love this twisty gnarly tree.
De Vergeten Tuin
I hope to go back when things green up a little bit more. It's a really lovely place! I love the detail that they put into everything there. Everything is done quite deliberately and for a purpose to keep the wildlife and plants in the best shape possible.
De Vergeten Tuin
They're open on the first Sunday of the month from noon until 4 pm.
De Vergeten Tuin
Visit Unknown Mami for more Sundays in My City.
Unknown Mami

Friday, April 09, 2010

Looney L's

I am being lazy route this week and just making a list of L words. If I was really naughty I'd recycle my Elevator of DOOM post and retitle it Lift of DOOM since elevators are called lifts here. However, I don't want a lashing from the teacher for cheating!

I love lion monkeys. I'm pretty sure they'd try to eat my face off if I were to somehow kidnap one from the zoo, but I love them anyways.

Lion Monkeys
This is the mating pair at Hogle Zoo in Utah. There are wee babies crawling on these two, but taking pictures through glass is crappy and you can't see them very well.

The Dutch word for spring is Lente. It's also called voorjaar, but that messes up my L groove so we're not going to discuss that. In Eindhoven there are landing strips of grass inbetween a lot of the roads. One of the first signs of lente is the massive amount of daffodils that start shooting up!



Next I shall show you a very old picture of my livingroom with it's shiny laminate floors. I ought to update some of these pictures, we've made some mad wild changes around here! Okay, maybe not MAD WILD changes, but there are some differences.


What L post would be complete without Las Vegas?

Welcome to Vegas!

Lastly, a photo of my loyal lovable husband who is logging a geocache on the island of Texel.

Picture 1680

I kept trying to work the word lackadaisical into this post because it's such a great word but gosh darnit I am enthusiastic about EVERYTHING and I couldn't make it fit anywhere but as a note down here as to why I couldn't make it work. So I guess I sorta succeeded? Maybe? Ehh....

I'm participating in Mrs. Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday! Click the link below to see what other lovely things people have posted about.

Jenny Matlock
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