bits and bites - june 2012

Well, my first block of time in Europe is coming to an end and I'm heading back to Canada for a few weeks on Saturday.  Three months sure has gone by quickly, but I'm totally amazed by how much Trev & I got to see and do.  We definitely have an "active" vacation-style and I think my feet can vouch for the many, many kilometers I've walked!

I am sad to leave Amsterdam (especially because Trev will still be here while I'm back home) but I'm looking forward to seeing my family, my friends and my cat. I'm also looking forward to spending time in my own kitchen.  Oh, how I've missed my KitchenAid mixer!  And Edmonton has a lot of great 'foodie' stuff to offer - I love the markets and I have lots of favourite restaurants that I've been missing.  Other Edmonton bloggers have been writing about new places that have popped up and I'm looking forward to trying those too - thanks for keeping me in the loop Loosen Your BeltOnly Here for the Food, In My ElementDine and Write and a few others!

Caprese Sandwich
Ok, now I know this is super-simple... But delicious can be simple, in fact, simple is often delicious.  We've been making these caprese sandwiches fairly regularly since Trev tried one from our favourite pizza place on Queen's Day.  There are a couple things that will make this sandwich really special:  use good-quality fresh buffalo mozzarella, if possible, and use a fresh baguette with a nice crispy crust and soft squishy interior.  You can stack it up however you like - mozzarella, fresh basil leaves, slices of garden-fresh tomato and a sprinkle of salt & pepper all topped off with a drizzle of olive oil...oh, it's heavenly.  

Last week my sister was here visiting.  We spent a few days in Paris and a few days here in Amsterdam.  One of the things we did together was visit EYE Film Institute.  I had been once before and I thought Jill would like it.  EYE is located across the IJ (the body of water, pronounced 'aye') from Central Station, so you need to hop on one of the free ferries headed to 'Buiksloterweg' to get there.  It's seriously the shortest ferry ride ever, but you do get a good view of EYE as you're crossing.  The architecture of the building is unique and beautiful, both outside and inside.  

The first time I visited I was pleasantly surprised by EYE's restaurant.  It has wonderful views of the harbour AND good food.  When Jill & I went we saw a film, checked out the Stanley Kubrik Exhibition then grabbed some lunch.  We both ordered the vegetable quiche.  The crust was buttery and thick and the filling had lots of pieces of zucchini, baby tomatoes, mushrooms and onion, all topped with melted slices of fresh mozzarella.  It was really good, and along with a side salad it really hit the spot.  If you're visiting Amsterdam and you're interested in either film or architecture I'd recommend a visit to EYE (and it's nice to be able to bring your cappuccino into the theatre with you).

I've also been up to a bit of baking...although I have to admit...this cake wasn't from scratch.  My mom bought me this cute Zuiderzee button cake pan and a Dutch cake mix when my family was here visiting.  I baked it for brunch on Sunday morning.  The cake had little bits of spice cookie & chocolate chips in it and it tasted pretty good - almost more like a loaf than a cake.  I also thought it looked adorable.  I can't wait to use the cake pan for another recipe.  

Do you like yogurt?  I really like yogurt and the tiny little to-go yogurt cups back in Canada can be frustrating if you're actually hungry.  There is a wide variety of yogurt container options here in the Netherlands: yogurt comes in large tubs, single serving, cardboard, even 1L. cartons that require you to pour it out...I like them all, but these little cups are the perfect size for breakfast.  It's just enough yogurt, and the shape of the container has a wide mouth, perfect for mixing in granola.  See this Canada?  We need yogurt cups like this.    

Okay, so that's it for now.  There's probably going to be a bit of a wait for new posts because I'm jumping back into work as soon as I get home, then my brother in law is getting married!  I'm looking forward to a week full of parties with my favourite people, but time spent celebrating seriously cuts into blogging time.  I still have some fun stuff to share from Mallorca, Paris and Amsterdam :)

Tot ziens Amsterdam!  See you in August.