bits and bites - april 2012

Whew!  It's been a busy AND fantastic month!  I've been here in Amsterdam for almost a month and I've been busy seeing and doing a lot (as well as catching up on reading and other little projects).

looking across Museumplein to the Rijks Museum
Cooking around here has been more basic than at home...I'm feeling a bit disorganized and underprepared without all of my regular kitchen stuff at home.  Also, grocery shopping is different.  I know, I know, excuses, excuses but I'll start working on my 100 list again soon.  Here's one of the dishes I made a little while ago: tortellini with sausage, pesto and wilted spinach.

It's pretty simple, remove the casings from 2 Italian sausages.  While you're cooking some tortellini, fry the sausage with about 1/3 cup pesto and one leek, thinly sliced.  When the sausage is cooked add in a few large handfuls of spinach and toss it around to wilt it.  Drain the tortellini and toss it all together, then grate a bit of parmesan cheese on top.  Pretty satisfying, and really easy to make.

Trev and I bought annual museum passes, which I've been putting to good use.  I loooooved the Van Gogh museum (I've been twice so far) - it's great and does a really good job of showing his evolution as an artist.  You can't take photos in the galleries, so I don't have any photos of paintings, but here's one of my lunch: mushroom soup and a latte.  The flavour of the soup was good, but it was waaay too salty.     Oh well, it's not like it ruined my time at the museum.

Ok, so I've been doing some baking as well.  I made these chocolate chip cookies last week for the folks at Trev's office (here's the recipe).   Actually they were chocolate chunk cookies, because it's next to impossible to find chocolate chips here.  I found a bag of chocolate chips at a specialty import store and it was, like, 6 euro so I chopped up some chocolate bars instead.  They turned out pretty good - chewy and chocolatey.  The people in his office were calling them "American-style" cookies - I guess their cookies are more on the crispy side.  I got a thank you note from all the "cookie-eaters" at Trev's office.  

Okay, one more thing: I found this dino-sandwich cutter at a grocery shop, and I just couldn't resist.  Who wouldn't want a grilled cheese sandwich cut into awesome dinosaur shapes?