bits and bites - may 2012

Wow, May blew by in a blurr!  I have a little more to share from the past month, so here's some bits and bites - just in time for the end of the month.  The first couple pictures are from Madurodam - mini Holland.  We went when my family was here, and it was better than expected.  Worth checking out if you get a chance.

Mac & Cheese Cauliflower.  This recipe caught my eye on Pinterest and I just happened to have a head of cauliflower in the fridge and some shredded emmental cheese (a little substitute) from the market.  You can find the recipe here.  I think my head of cauliflower was smaller than the recipe called for, so if you're using a smaller head too, I'd recommend cutting the cheese sauce in half.  It turned out super tasty - I'm generally not a big fan of mac & cheese because I find it a bit bland, but the cauliflower added great flavour and the sauce was tasty too.

the start of my little garden
When my family was here we also visited Castle Muiderslot.  It looks like a perfect fairytale castle - construction started around 1285 and renovations over time resulted in the castle as seen today.  There's not really many castles in the Netherlands, so it was fun to see this one - it's also just outside of Amstelveen (where we live) so it would be an easy bus ride from Amsterdam.  
mom's taxi service - so cute

Here's another recipe I tried recently (and it's a super easy one): Roasted Chickpeas.  There's pretty much nothing to it.  Just rinse off a can of chickpeas and dry them on some sheets of paper towel - pick out the little bits of skin.  Preheat the oven to 400F.  Put the chickpeas in a bowl and toss with about two tablespoons of olive oil and some kind of seasoning (I used taco seasoning), spread them out on a cookie sheet and roast in the oven for about 40 minutes, until they're crispy...then try to resist eating an entire can of chickpeas!

One more thing: the weekend of May 12/13 was Nationale Molendag (National Mill Day).  Pretty much all of the windmills in the country had their sails out and blades spinning and a lot of them were open for public viewing.  We visited quite a few, including one that's being used to grind grains for flour - cool, huh?  If you're ever in the Netherlands and you want to get your fill of staring at windmills you definitely need to head to Kinderdijk - they have sooo many, dating from as far back as the 1300's. Seeing all the mills with their blades spinning along the canals was pretty neat - it felt quintessentially Dutch.

Alright, that's it!  I hope you had a great May too, and that you're enjoying the longer days and some warm spring weather :)