Monday, August 27, 2012

Addicted to Tiramisu


I love walking inside the supermarket. Do you think that's strange? It doesn't matter which supermarket it was or how many times I've been there but I always feel excited like a little girl in a toy store. When I was in Netherlands, I saw this Tiramisu dessert in a cup at C1000 supermarket. From then on, I was hooked. Everytime we  go to there, I'd always get a box of 2 and stuff my face each day with a cup. Luckily, my boyfriend liked the other Limoncello flavor so I had the Tiramisu ALL TO MYSELF. They were so good, every pound I gained was totally worth it!

I've never been a big fan of any liqueur and I hate the taste of any alcoholic drink but there's just something so addictive about Tiramisu. The blend of coffee with just a small amount of coffee liqueur soaked in a sponge cake topped with whipped cream with just a slight hint of cream cheese dusted with grated chocolate or cocoa powder sends me to heaven. I have a confession. I'm embarrassed to admit that I've never ever tried mascarpone cheese. Traditional tiramisu recipes use mascarpone but since a small imported tub here is insanely expensive at 500 pesos (about 11-12 dollars or so), one has to look for more practical options.

I stumbled upon this recipe at Chef Chloe. Though her recipes are vegan, you'd never tell from the taste and look of it. I've used her recipes many times and if you follow the measurements and directions carefully, they're pretty much fail-proof too.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

I Amsterdam

Amsterdam Central Station

We took the train from Amersfoort to Amsterdam and 45 minutes later, arrived at the Central Station, which was pretty convenient since it's  located close to most tourist attractions. I quite enjoyed those train rides, passing by farmlands, cows grazing lazily and getting glimpses of other cities along the way. 

THE VENICE OF THE NORTH
What used to a small fishing village along the banks of the Amstel river is now the largest city and the capital of The Netherlands. Amsterdam is famous for its many intersecting canals. A canal cruise is a perfect way to explore a beautiful city and it is surely something NOT to be missed when you are in Amsterdam!

 1 hour canal cruise for 8 Euros. 

Amsterdam has more than 100 kilometers of canals and about 1,500 bridges. Three times a week, they flush the canals clean by opening the locks and allowing seawater from the North Sea to flow in.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Back from the land of the wooden shoes, tulips and windmills

Hello everyone! I know I haven't posted anything for a long time and I apologize for that. I will be writing more blog posts from my trips to the Netherlands and Paris in the next few months and if I have enough time to bake, I'll put in a recipe or two. =) Since I got back, I've been spending most of my free time studying Dutch language so I hope you will bear with me.

It feels so strange to be home again. Even though I was only away for 3 weeks, I have a feeling of being "misplaced". Home almost feels unfamiliar to me like I don't belong here. My life in Cebu is the complete opposite of the what I experienced when I visited my boyfriend for 3 short weeks in the Netherlands.

At home, I pay rent that is a bit too high for an old apartment with a broken toilet that the landlady refuses to fix so I have to manually fill it with water to be able to flush it. EVERY SINGLE DAY. The only thing that I really love about it is the location, being near to supermarkets, restaurants, pharmacies and malls. But in the Netherlands, I was living in a nice apartment that was comfortable, spacious and very clean. I felt safe walking in the middle of the night from the cinema in Amersfoort.

I never thought that I'd be able to visit Europe. I was hoping that maybe someday in the far future I can but not this year. Funny how the universe works. You ask for something you really want and when you least expect it, it happens! It was truly a wonderful blessing from God and I will cherish those memories forever.

Before I left for my vacation, I didn't know much about the Netherlands except for wooden shoes, tulips, weed and windmills. I was so busy at work that I didn't have time to think much about my vacation. I didn't expect much.
wooden shoes from a souvenir shop in Utretch
All my life, I've always dreamed of going to Paris. I even made a vision board about it after watching The Secret and many times, I used to fantasize standing in front of the Eiffel Tower and saying to myself, I am going to visit Paris in 2012. Funny enough, my dream came true on this trip. Ironically, I wasn't as ecstatic as I thought I would be when I was there. Yes, Paris is a very beautiful city, big and majestic with all its glory. But I saw that it's not just all that. There was also a bad and dangerous side to the city.

If you were to ask me which I love more a few months ago, Paris or Netherlands, I might have given a different answer but now, I know without a doubt that I prefer the beautiful cities in the Netherlands more than Paris.

Netherlands may be small compared to its neighbors in Europe but I fell in love with it. It is such a beautiful country and I would highly recommend anyone to visit it if they can in their lifetime. The  Dutch people are also polite and kind.

I miss a lot of things already. The fresh clean air, the clean streets, the nice safe neighborhood  warm greetings from friendly people you pass by on the street or you meet in the elevator or even people just sitting on their balconies, kind drivers who stop to let you cross the road, strawberries and blueberries (since they're very expensive in the Philippines, I never buy the better, imported ones.), beautiful crooked houses (or apartments) standing next to each other and a perfect weather that feels like autumn in the summer.
These houses in Amsterdam remind me of the shops in Diagon Alley.
I never had to break into a sweat, not one day that I was there. In the Philippines, however, my clean shirt is already a bit damp with sweat 10 minutes after a cold shower.