Baby Went to Amsterdam

12 Jun

(And Rotterdam).

And boy did we eat well.

After a few glorious and decadent days in Paris, a nine hour bus journey to Rotterdam followed, where Scott and I connected with my bestie, Christina. She has been living in Holland since 2008, and it was high time to visit. In fact, this whole trip was based around finally making the trip over, and seeing her European life with my own two eyes! The Paris and Berlin trips just happened to book-end our Holland visit very nicely. Rotterdam is about 45 minutes away from Amsterdam, and made for an excellent home base for the next 8 days or so. It was heavily bombed and destroyed during World War Two, and has a more modern feel to it than most European cities. The bike culture in Holland is very impressive, with bicycles and pedestrians having been granted the right of way before cars. Rotterdam is a small and very livable city, that is easy to get around. It was so nice to stay in a comfortable home-y apartment where we could cook! Thank you again CG!

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Quite adorable, isn’t she?

Like sister wives, the first night Christina and I cooked dinner for Scott, as he relaxed and enjoyed a scotch .Breaded Dijon drumsticks and sauteed veggies with garlic and thyme that Christina yanked from a city garden.(please excuse the poor-ish photo quality). He loved it.

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I used a technique very similar to this past recipe with pork. It was lovely to share a home cooked meal together!

The following night, Scott and I decided to prepare a Middle Eastern feast for Christina. We had falafels with tabouli, hummus, pita and mint iced tea with Rose.

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Scott, chopping parsley. I’m so lucky to have such a diligent sous chef, who seems to love to do things I despise, like finely chopping anything. Image

In the tabouli- tomato, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, cous cous, sauteed onion, mint, red pepper, salt, pepper, cumin.

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We had a feast, then somehow got quite drunk and went to sleep. Success.

Amsterdam awaited in the morning. It was my first time visiting, and I was completely blown away by the beauty, relaxed pace, style and charm of the place. We had a lovely day lost among the canals (it is seriously easy to get very, very turned around)

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The ubiquitous Dutch waffle cookies, with salted caramel. These were seriously lekker (delicious) and for someone who doesn’t have a huge sweet tooth, I definitely indulged. We ate about a pack a day, We’re pack-a-day stroopwafelers. Don’t judge.

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Speaking of having no sweet-tooth, I stumbled upon this adorable chocolate shop called Puccini. The flavours were interesting…black pepper, rhubarb, thyme, pomegranate, chai. I picked up three- the rhubarb was my favourite.

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Bikes galore outside this ancient corner pub overlooking a square. Naturally it required a pop in for a beverage. Like stepping back in time, there were both dogs and cigarettes inside.

Dinner was Indian. I researched a place on Yelp, and was pleased with the result.The food was out of this world delicious. The place was quirky, and seemed to inhabit a (false?) sense of grandeur, with the first two pages of the menu explaining the meticulously thought out decor, the chandelier being somehow very special, the fact that each chair had been hand carved for 60 hours or something like that. No matter, the food delivered. We had a great dinner of paneer tika masala and malai kofta in some sort of divine onion-y korma sauce with naan. Image

Maurya, Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 49A, Central Amsterdam. If you find yourself with a hankering for Indian, go here!Image

We rolled out of there, onto a train and home to a nice warm apartment in Rotterdam, where Christina was busy baking scones at 11:30 pm for the morning. Despite being stuffed, we couldn’t help ourselves to the fresh scones. About half the batch didn’t see the light of day. Yummo!

Day one in Amsterdam was a huge success. I instantly fell head over heels. It is pretty without being too pretty, it has a cool edgy-ness about it that does not feel contrived.Oh, and the bikes. How fabulous.

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More about Holland part 2 to follow, including a recipe for The Best Dessert I’ve Ever Made (i.e Scott’s birthday cake) and a fantastic musical experience with new friends and Woodkid at the Paradiso.

Have you had any adventures in Amsterdam? Know of any hidden gems? Please share if you do! I can’t wait to return!

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5 Responses to “Baby Went to Amsterdam”

  1. someguywithabag June 12, 2012 at 6:30 am #

    Let’s move there! Also, you’re delicious!

  2. Mum June 12, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    Great blogging! Remind Scott that we will go to the BBQ Hut for Malai Kofta when he gets home! xxxx

  3. Walter Purdy June 14, 2012 at 8:18 am #

    Nice work! (If you can get it.) I want more Amsterdam, please.

    • food,mostly June 17, 2012 at 11:31 pm #

      Thanks Walter! There’s a little more Amsterdam for you, just posted!

  4. fig and the wasp June 28, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    Ah… Amsterdam! I always stock up on chocolates from Puccini – they’re the best!

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