Although this is still Amsterdam.



menu planning.

So I just put a lot of thought into a menu that I made all of the components for but didn't really serve all at once. It's really good vegetarian Mexican food though:

New Mexican red chile sauce, caramelized onion, goat cheese quesadillas and fire-roasted habanero salsa
roasted pumpkin (with or without Mark Miller's black beans) and smoked mozzarella enchiladas with chile verde (first time doing this from scratch in Amsterdam, using Turkish peper sivri as poblano emulators)
Mark Miller's black beans with tomato-orange-mint salsa

And then yes half a kilo of pistachio baklava for dessert.




I Googled "best baklava in Amsterdam" and ended up at Seyidoğlu. Pretty undisappointing.


hawt maple.

Above: an attempt at Nouf's Hawt Maple (a reduction of maple syrup, dried red chiles, apple vinegar, and sea salt, though my version was missing her version's bourbon element). For use on buttered cornbread or in chili or both. Below: a gift of Groningse homemade kimchi, so authentic it was fizzing like freshly-poured tonic water when I opened it. For use on buttered basmati with a little soy sauce.


barbie q.



Dennis made fiadunes yesterday, really good ones. I only ate three, quite a feat.




Yes I baked my own birthday cake this year, at my insistence. I wanted to feel good about eating more than one piece of it, so I made this gluten-free business pictured below, it's a flourless chocolate cake with a raspberry something, coulis maybe? The cake recipe is from Cook's Illustrated, it should've been a tah taha hajt a (this is the new way to indicate a psychotic mandible-chomping fake laugh) "piece of cake", but I am the shittiest baker ever, so I overmelted my chocolate and things ended up the tiniest bit grainy.

Nonetheless! This much good chocolate can never really be bad. Recipe forthcoming someday if I'm ever bored again.