Thursday, April 28, 2011

Queens Day 2011 (Koninginnedag, 30th April, Amsterdam)

Em portugues leia aqui.
Last year I posted about my Queen's Day in Amsterdam with lots and lots of pics  in an orange overdose.

This year it will becelebrate on the Saturday but probably will be posting fewer photos - if any at all. I will go to the Vondelpark with another family and our kids will be selling some of their toys, books and other stuff. Yes, the Vondelpark is completely reserved for the kids selling their stuff and playing tricks !

Here below, an agenda of what to do in Amsterdam on the Saturday 30th of April:

(from 11am to 8pm)
AIR and American Hotel will bring a podium to the Leidseplein where you can enjoy house, electro and tecnhno music. Free entrance. Line up: Freddy Spool, Tettero, Rubix, Bart B More, Riptide, Prunk, Sjonnie Disco, MC Dan Stezo. Free entrance.

Museumplein / Museumsquare:
(from noon to 9pm)
Radio 538  promises the performance of many topartists and the famous 538's dj's (Edwin Evers, Jeroen Nieuwenhuize, Ruud de Wild, Lindo Duvall, Niels Hoogland, Tim Klijn, Jens Timmermans and Barry Paf).
Programme/Line up:
3J's, Afrojack, Alain Clark, Ben Saunders, Bløf, Dazzled Kid, De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig, Di-rect, Eva Simons, Finalisten X-Factor, Frans Duijts, Gebroeders Ko, Gerard Joling, Glennis Grace & Xander de Buisonje', Guus Meeuwis, Inna, Jacqueline Goveart, Jeroen van der Boom & Leonie Meijer, Jurk!, Krystl, Lasgo, Lawineboys, Quintino & Mitch Crown, R.I.O., Racoon, Sander van Doorn, Sidney Samson, The Opposites, The Partysquad, Vader Abraham & De Mosselman, VanVelzen, Waylon, Wolter Kroes, Armin van Buuren

* Cubanse Son   The band is called "Septeto Trio Los Dos" and it brings to the area of Jordaan many dancing rythms, latin power, trompeta Cubana, tumbao en percussions. In their site they claim to be "one of the most popular latin bands in Holland". Come to the Jordaan and decide yourself !

* Cafe' de Blaffende Vis:
Address: Westerstraat 118, Jordaan
Patrick Verheij 12:00
Katrin Koegel 13:00
Guest performance of Miss Sherry Daynne 13:30
Ella Wonder 14:00
Handsfreet/m 15:10 - 16:50
Los Zandt/m 17:00 - 20:00

Oranje Nacht Straat Festijn  (live entertainment) from 7pm to 9 pm
Address: Reguliersdwarsstraat 108-114 (corner of Rembrandtplein with Thorbeckeplein)
Line-up: DJ Bart, ZRobert Leroy & Friends, Henk Dissel & Mike
Loveland Queensday Afterparty  (8pm to 5 am)
Entrance:  € 22,50
Address: WesterUnie (Klönneplein 4-6)
Westerliefde: Michel de Hey, Arjuna Schiks (LIVE), Marnix, Michael ‘Ille Bitch’ von
Westergasterras: Presetone, Marcus Gehring, Ken Abel
WesterUnie: Sébastien Léger (FR), Ramon Tapia (BE), Secret Cinema, Remy, Egbert (LIVE), Juan Sanchez.

Of course there is much more to see and do than I have listed here above. But hopefully this post can give you some ideas. Below, some videos to give you an idea of Queens Day, if this all seems new to you. I have to laugh when on the Dutch press it is said that "Queen's Day is the largest street party in the world with one million tourists coming to Amsterdam" (Hahahahahahaha! Hellooooo ! Have you ever heard about Carnival in Brazil ? One million tourists ? Oh, really ? Actually that's peanuts ! In an Eurocentric view of the world probably one million vistors is a lot  though. Only Salvador, in Bahia, receives for the Carnival 2 million people everyday during one week). Well, enjoy the vids and have a nice weekend !

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter ! (Vrolijk Pasen) [Feliz Pascoa]

(Leia como os holandeses celebram a Pascoa clicando aqui.)

My Easter celebration was like that :
A friend who lives in Alkmaar passed by on Friday and brought me daffodils. I love splashes of yellow in my living room !

I have bought these flower arrangements at the local supermarket. The box with chocolates was a present from another friend who had passed by last week.

This afternoon we visited my in-laws. In their backyard pie and ice tea were served...

For those following my blog for a while, my sister in law is not new around here.
And her husband arrived later, during the end of the afternoon bringing his mother. Yep, just in time for some caipirinhas as apperitif. My in laws will drink caipirinhas all year long, before a Christmas dinner, during parties and barbecues. During formal and informal occasions. (Actually, Brazilians people will not do that !)
His mother has passed the 90 y. old. Her first impression with a caipirinha: "Mmmm... lekker fris, hoor ! Mag ik straks nog meer ?" (Fresh & delicious. May I have some more ?). She dispensed the straw and drank it all at once.

While the kids were looking for chocolate eggs hidden in the backyard, the grown ups started preparing the table for the early dinner.

What's on the Easter menu ? After a cold velouté d'asperges (asparagus soup) I have prepared and served in small glasses we inaugurated my in laws tepanyaki grill plate with courgette and fish/shrimps. I marinated the salmon and the cod in sesame oil, garlic, lemmon juice, mustard and some parsley.

My father in law pauses for a caipirinha.
And my mother in law finds such an occasion an opportunity to use her French vintage plates. Sooo cute.
My s.i.l prepared a salad with mango and wine sauce that made the perfect side dish. Some more aioli, bread and rose' wine please !
There were still some spare ribs in the fridge but my mother in law started saying: "Should we go for more ? There is also a dessert brought by Anna". To which I replied: "To the hell with the dessert, bring the real food to the table ! Yes, spare ribs please !" But then the rest started saying: "Er... it is okay." It is always like that, I have an impression that Dutch people prepare too little food for guests. On the other way, when they go to Brazil they get extremely happy and satisfied from seeing so much is served and offered.

The weather has been great for this time of the year. Almost a summerish sphere !
Well, that's how the Dutch celebrate their Easter (or sort of): a discreet brunch or late lunch with the family. The eggs are tiny and brought by the Easter bunny - but also chickens are a strong symbol during this time of the year. My in laws are not religious - so no mass or rigid rituals.

How was your Easter ?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dutch Pastries (Zoete Koeken)

Texto em português clique aqui.

Pastries and pies are not my thing- definitely, I am no cookie monster. I easily prefer hearty small fast food, canapes or sandwiches.

Anyway, I think it is important in a blog about all things Dutch to bring here something about sweet delicacies. The Dutch patisseire is very vast - therefore impossible to cover this topic in one or two posts. Although the strong French influence, there are also MANY typical Dutch creations. In another post I can talk about Dutch pies and desserts. Here I give you some examples of everyday cookies and pastries:

SPECULAAS: a thin and crunchy biscuit, its main ingredients are brown sugar and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cardamon and white pepper). It can have the shape of a windmill, a doll, a tower, or an animal. There is the version for kids called speculoos, also very nice. Speculaas is great with coffe or tea.  Highly addictive according to this gentleman.

TOMPOUCE: the ones found at any filial from HEMA department store are the most popular. A tompouce basically consists of two layers of mille-feuille with a vanille chantilly cream in between. It is topped by a pink icing - that can be orange during and after the Queen's Day festivities. Very difficult to eat tompouces: you bite the hard rectangle and the soft filling goes out into the sides - very irritating. Because of that, I have made a fool of myself a couple of times. Read more here. I have already published a pic with mini tompouces (made of marzipan) here.

GEVULDE KOEK: It is a large round pastry - 10cm diameter -  stuffed with a mix of sugar and almonds. It can be flat but also a small high cake (rondo) or flat and long (called then kano). More pics here.  Always decorated with a half almond. I do not know why but for me gevulde koeken are only for winter/Christmas time...  Note: “koek” means “sweet pastry, or cake”. The short form “koekje” originated the word in English... “cookie” !

BOSSCHE BOL: a very large profiterole (12cm diameter) stuffed with cream and dipped in pure chocolate. Almost impossible to be eaten with the fingers. When ordered in a cafe you will have it on a plate, accompannied by fork and knife, thanks. City of origin: Den Bosch. It is difficult to be found in the rest of the country - but no impossible. You should definitely give it a try.

STROOPWAFELS: Originary from Gouda, consists of two layers of baked batter with a caramel-like filling. They can be big enough to cover your cup of tea, or very small - like coins. I personally like to pop them for some seconds in the microwave and enjoy my stroopwafels with coffee. Suzanne loves it too ! Fact: kids & adults love them, foreigners & cloggies love them. Extremely easy to be found in supermarkets in all the Netherlands.

To be continued...