Food

FOAM Easter brunch (Or: A mix of savory and sweet)

This year’s Easter brunch by FOAM was delicious, not that we expect anything different by now. Both photos were taken by Marco, who has a better eye for food photos it seems.

Let’s see. Some of the savory items include: a scone with salted butter and chia jam, an avocado sandwich, a mini spinach quiche and a scrambled tofu sandwich. (Note: that seems to be the only way I like tofu. So tiny it tastes and looks like scrambled eggs. Although oddly I also only eat eggs every 2-3 years, so who knows.)

Some of the sweet items included a coffee hazelnut milkshake, a huge chocolate chip cookie, banana bread, and a fresh fruit salad. My favorite was the chocolate chip cookie (of course) but the banana bread was a close second.

See also the 2020 edition for FOAM’s Easter brunch. That was one of the first FOAM meals we had in corona – pre-FOAM@home on Fridays. I can’t believe it’s been a year already!

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Pretzel time (Or: A tasty lunch)

Since Marco had to work today and I didn’t, I decided to treat him to some soft pretzels from a nearby Austrian shop, Wiener Konditorei. They recently expanded their pretzel options to include sunflower seeds and sesame seeds, so Marco asked for a pretzel with sesame seeds on it. In theory I ordered a salted pretzel but as you can see, there wasn’t much salt on it when I got home. (No matter – I broke out the sea salt grinder at home and was good to go.)

My favorite dipping sauce with soft pretzels is yellow mustard, purchased either at the local expat store (Kelly’s) or the local Asian store, Amazing Oriental. It is a bit cheaper at Amazing Oriental however the stock is hit or miss. You might not see it for a few months. Luckily the expat store almost always has it.

Marco’s dipping sauce of choice with his sesame seeds pretzel was Frank’s buffalo wing sauce. Original and buffalo wing Frank’s have been available at Albert Heijn (the local grocery store) for a few years now. They don’t have my favorite extra hot variant anymore, though. I miss that one a lot! It is great on burgers.

Have a great weekend, everybody! Roger, Marco and I will be enjoying gourmetten tomorrow (gourmetten is traditionally done for Christmas, New Year’s and Easter – and any other time of the year you want it, of course).

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Comfort food (Or: Spanish stew from FOAM)

Here is a look at a recent meal from FOAM here in The Hague (via the FOAM@home service on Fridays). Spanish stew with butter beans, tomatoes, olive, parsley and lemon, with bread on the side.

The taste was subtle, in a home comfort kind of way where no one thing dominated at the expense of other ingredients. The butter beans (large enough that you can easily see them in the photo above!) provided a great texture to the dish. It definitely reminded me of the chili that we ordered from FOAM earlier in the year; that was also comfort food. I really liked the bread too – I could taste a hint of salt in the background. Good stuff.

Eurovision to be event experiment; Half of audience welcome from nltimes.nl. Back in 2019 the Netherlands won the Eurovision Song Contest with Duncan Lawrence’s “Arcade” (YouTube link), which gave the Netherlands the right to host the competition in 2020. After a long search the Rotterdam Ahoy was chosen as the venue. …and then corona happened and the event was delayed a year. Opps. So here we are, in 2021, hoping to finally hold the event. Should be interesting.

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The Dutch really like pancakes (Or: Options at Albert Heijn)

While shopping at the local Albert Heijn (grocery store) I decided to take a photo of the pancake options. There are a lot after all…

Let’s see… the second row is pancake options from Koopmans. Original, complete, whole wheat, custard (? Opps. Someone put that back in the wrong place – should be 6 grain whole wheat pancakes), “Grandma’s pancakes” with cinnamon, multigrain pancake and biological multigrain pancakes. The second row is mostly the store brand options – original, complete, multigrain pancakes, spelt pancakes, biological pancakes, and pancakes with extra egg whites. The last three options are the liquid pancake options – natural, original and complete pancakes.

That is a lot of pancakes, but where are the boxes of waffle mix? Those are much harder to find, unfortunately!

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Time for some healthiness (Or: Broccoli salad with spectacular cashew dressing)

Tonight’s meal was a broccoli salad with smoked almonds, grapes, dates, baby tomatoes and peanuts (to name a few ingredients). The star of the dish was hands down the smoked cashew dressing. Of course it came from FOAM in The Hague. It tasted quite healthy but so delicious at the same time.

It was interesting to have sweet elements like dates and green grapes in a dinner, but everything meshed well together.

I will admit I peeked ahead at the options for this coming Friday – the first option is a sushi bowl and the second option is Spanish stew. Definitely leaning towards the Spanish stew myself… However the sushi bowl sounds intriguing because it includes “watermelon tuna”, aka watermelon that is prepared with Japanese ingredients to make it look and taste like tuna. Here is a recipe for watermelon tuna from bhg.com, Better Homes & Gardens. Quite interesting!

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That’s a big bag of fries (Or: Value bag at Albert Heijn)

This evening Marco and I had a hamburger and fries for our Friday meal. Think of things like: burger, jalapeños, onions, lettuce, habanero tabasco sauce… (oh, and cheddar cheese for Marco). It was so good I forgot to take a photo!

While purchasing crinkle cut fries for this dinner–yum, yum, yum–I noticed a large bag of fries at the bottom of the freezer at Albert Heijn, a Dutch grocery store. It was so huge it didn’t even fit on the shelf anymore.

The bag on the right, krokante friet (crispy fries). It is apparently 2.5 kilos of fries. That’s 5.5 pounds. Yikes! It was a “value” bag that only cost €2.

On the other hand, if it had been 2.5 kilos of crinkle cut fries… yum yum yum?

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The weekend has arrived! (Or: Are you ready to party?)

Happy Friday, everyone! We made it. Pat yourself on the back, even if you have to work tomorrow. It is still one day closer to your personal weekend, whenever that is.

Here is a look at Marco and I’s meal from last Friday:

That is Sayur lodeh (English Wikipedia), an Indonesian vegetable soup. In this case vegan, since we ordered it from FOAM Catering here in The Hague. Even my auto spellcheck is having trouble with typing out Sayur lodeh! The homemade sambal (pictured above the dish) was very interesting – it had a slightly sour, pleasant taste. I did find the overall dish a bit “earthy” tasting, although I would not be able to tell you which vegetable caused that. It was pretty good, though.

Who would have thought 10 years ago that I would eat stuff like this? I can say that because I didn’t move to the Netherlands until the end of 2012. It has been one wild culinary ride since then…

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Himalayan restaurant (Or: Waiting to pick up dinner)

It has been a while, but Himalayan is open again! Himalayan is an Indian / Nepalese / Bhutanese restaurant in The Hague’s city centre. We admittedly don’t go there often enough, considering how tasty the samosas are. We noticed that there were on Thuisbezorgd (literally = “Home delivery”) so we picked some up late last year. Unfortunately right after that there was a small fire in the kitchen which meant they were closed for the last few months for remodeling (article at regio15.nl in Dutch). So no samosas for us for a few months…

Luckily I noticed last week that they were opening again, so I quickly told Roger and Marco that we were going to get that for our Saturday meal. And it did not disappoint! I don’t have any photos of the food (dal curry for me, lamb vindaloo for Marco, chicken tikka for Roger) because it was too delicious to wait and take photos. Or maybe I forgot in my excitement of digging into the samosas…

But I do have photos of the new interior:

And another photo:

The restaurant is a bit on the small side, which isn’t helpful in these corona times – they already had to get rid of some tables to adhere to the 1.5 meters rule. Also they are down to just the owner and the wife; the owner does all of the cooking at this point. So since they are open again I need to try and remember to order from them more often. The food is definitely worth it!

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Butter flavored…? (Or: Curious possibilities at the Asian store)

Sometimes I like to go to a local toko, which I usually just call “the Asian store”, to see what odd things they have on the shelves. Next to the awesome things Marco and I can’t live without, of course. I’m back on my faja lobi peanut butter kick (orientalwebshop.nl), which is Surinamese peanut butter mixed with Madam Jeanette peppers. So awesomely spicy.

Anyway, today I spotted these crackers:

The yellow Magic creams product is apparently “butter flavored cream cracker sandwiches”. Who wants cream that tastes like butter? Probably a lot of people, but I can’t wrap my mind around it. The chocolate version on the right looks pretty decent, though.

And sticking with the subject of crackers, check out these Fita crackers:

Does the logo and packaging remind you of anything? They are definitely going for the same branding as Ritz crackers (English Wikipedia), down to the color scheme and the amount of holes on the crackers. I haven’t tried the Fita crackers but they will probably disappoint. Marco and I purchased similar crackers at Xenos (xenos.nl) last year but they weren’t that good. So we still get our Ritz crackers at Kelly’s expat store (kellys-expat-shopping.nl). And since I am on a spicy peanut butter kick, as mentioned above, we usually get two boxes at a time…

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Valentine’s Day box from FOAM (Or: Two roses)

Marco ordered the Valentine’s Day box from FOAM for the two of us. How cute!

The two extra roses were a nice touch. The box contained fruit salad, an avocado and smoked almond sandwich and a beetroot wrap with black pepper cream cheese, tempeh bacon and cress. On the sweet side we had French toast, banana bread and a chocolate/coffee cupcake. Oh, and juice made of beet/apple/ginger/blueberry. Yum yum. The only thing that I personally didn’t like as much was the black pepper cream cheese, perhaps because I didn’t know the cream cheese had black pepper in it to begin with. It was an interesting flavor either way! The unexpected star of the dish was definitely the fresh toast.

Marco likes to take the artistic photos. I benefit from getting to post them on my blog!

After half a day of rain, the snow and ice has begun to melt. Tomorrow we’re looking at highs of 10C/50F and the weekend might (if we are lucky) get up to 16C/60F. Oh course I read my parents back in the US are facing another snowstorm today… brrr.

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