Monthly Archives: October 2016

Enjoy these with coffee (Or: Halloween themed cookies)

homemade-halloween-cookies

Halloween themed cookies, made by Marco. Pumpkins, ghosts and skulls. And the skulls were spicy! A bit of haberno powder, while the pumpkins were made of marzipan.

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Categories: Food, Holidays | Tags: , | 1 Comment

10 year anniversary (Or: Hamburger and fries dessert)

Marco and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary on Wednesday. This was the anniversary of us meeting (October 19, 2006). We actually met each other after Marco went to a hockey game — Nashville Predators vs New Jersey Devils — in which the Predators won 4-3. It makes the date rather easy to remember, as you just need to look up the hockey game if you forget.

Marco surprised me with this on Wednesday night:

dessert-posing-as-hamburger-and-fries

Trust me, this gesture was sweeter than you think.

Hamburger and fries, right? Wrong.

The fries on the left are actually pieces of waffle and cake. The lower right is strawberry, kiwi and mango with yellow sauce made to look like mustard. And the hamburger itself is made of two donuts for buns and with chocolate “mug cake” posing as the hamburger patty and strawberry sauce as ketchup.

What a creative surprise! 🙂

Categories: Food, Marco&Niki | Tags: , | 2 Comments

As we enter autumn (Or: Stroopwafel cake)

Over the weekend Roger made stroopwafel cake. Yum!

stroopwafel-cake

Here’s a closeup of one of the slices:

piece-of-stroopwafel-cake

And, for randomness, here is a look at the fall mural for Eat Company, drawn by Sophia den Breems:

eat-company-the-hague-fall-2016-mural

Spring 2016 mural || Summer 2016 mural

Categories: Food, The Hague | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Time to vote (Or: American presidential election)

Next month (8 November) is the American presidential election. But early voting has already started – early voting in person is allowed in 33 states and early voting by mail is allowed in 27 states (English Wikipedia). And that isn’t even counting absentee ballots for citizens living overseas or in the military.

I am a bit late to the game but this year I decided to register to vote for the first time :). This entails filling out an absentee ballot and sending it back to the county of one’s last official U.S. address. For me, this means sending it to Rockland County, New York as my last American address was in Pearl River, NY. A county is made up of a group of cities that work together under the same administration, and an American state is generally made up of these counties. So state -> counties -> cities.

For voting information, you can visit fvap.gov, or the Federal Voter Assistance Program. They have articles there like 5 things you need to know to vote absentee.

Step 1 is to download the FPCA (Federal Post Card Application) and mail it in to get into their system. You have to do this at least every few years – mine says it expires at the end of 2018. Also in New York you have to declare your party about 5 or 6 months in advance (Democratic or Republication) if you want to vote in the primaries. The primaries were earlier in the year, and are used to determine who will lead the Republication and Democratic tickets. You can read more about it here.

The only drawback at the moment is that New York state hasn’t fully embraced the digital age. So I can download the FPCA from the website, but I need to send it a hard copy (even if I also email it).

Step 2 is waiting for the actual ballot to arrive. Mine arrived last week, and I filled it out and put it in the mail yesterday. Like the FPCA, you need to mail it a hard copy, not just vote online.

Here is a look at what arrived:

ny-federal-election-ballot

The actual ballot is open in the middle. Above that, you have a smaller envelope which you date and sign. You then place the ballot inside. It’s a security envelope, so you can’t look through it. Below, you have a slightly larger envelope which you put the smaller envelope inside. You put your return address in the upper left and (since I am not in the US) appropriate postage to get it back to the US. Postage is only paid for if mailed from within the US.

And a close-up of the actual ballot:

ny-federal-election-ballot-closeup

On this ballot, you had three choices: President and Vice President (column 1), US State Senator (column 2), and not pictured, the House representative. The last race featured Nita Lowey, who was running unopposed.

A bit interesting – you can see that the race for President/Vice President had some duplication, as both the Republications and the Green party supported Trump/Pence. Similarly, there was some duplication for Clinton/Kaine (Democrats, Working families, and Women I believe).

This ballot is from Rockland County, NY. The format probably varies with each county, so this isn’t indicative of all ballots. And in a week or two I can check back online to see if my ballot was received and counted.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | Leave a comment

A different kind of workshop (Or: Making a gin and tonic)

Last Thursday some coworkers and I were invited to a cocktail making workshop. The cocktail in question – gin and tonics! Not something I drink very often. Upon entering, we were given a choice of red or white wine:

wine-glasses-red-and-white-wine

After we were told that we would be making gin and tonics, we were shown three mystery gins. There was obviously a difference in taste – some herbal, some floral. Not something I would have expected.

choice-of-three-mystery-tonics

Sampling each of the three gins – a small shotglass of each

And here’s a look at the three gins used:

three-gins-at-a-gin-and-tonic-making-workshop

Hendrick’s, Bombay Sapphire and Gordon’s (my favorite was Gordon’s).

After that we sampled three tonics, still mystery style like the gins. One was Mediterranean, another Indian, and I don’t remember the third. The Indian tonic was my favorite as it had a bit of carbonation behind the flavor.

After we had chosen our gin and our tonic, we could add either wet or dry ingredients.

gin-and-tonic-making-workshop

the table with wet and dry ingredients (not everything was shown here)

I kept my drink rather simple, opting for only the slightest hint of basilic basil syrup in an attempt to give it a bit of color and red peppercorns for a bit of spicy after taste. Also a lime wedge, but that was just garnish.

gin-and-tonics

A coworker and I’s inventions – mostly the same, except that she chose the Mediterranean tonic and a lemon wedge. Unfortunately the color from the syrup didn’t really come through, but I was trying not to make it too sweet.

I never drink gin and tonics, but I might have to give it a try after this workshop!

Oh, and a bit of final trivia: the prevailing theory is that gin originally came from the lowlands (Netherlands and Belgium). All gins use juniper to some degree. The Dutch word for juniper is jenever, which became genever in old English, which was later shortened to gin.

Categories: Working & Volunteering | Tags: | Leave a comment

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