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Baseball Theme Cake Topper - Birthday Happy Special sale item for Sale price Birt

Baseball Theme Cake Topper - Happy Birthday Cake Topper for Birt


Baseball Theme Cake Topper - Happy Birthday Cake Topper for Birt


Item specifics

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Baseball Theme Cake Topper - Happy Birthday Cake Topper for Birt

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Friese Uiensoep (Fryske Sipelsop)

The Frisian language is such a unique language, and so different to Dutch. Just look at the name of this dish. Ui, meaning "onion" in Dutch, and "sipel" meaning the same thing in Frisian. Where do these differences come from? Well, I am glad you asked! According to the etymology of the words, "ui" has its origins in the French language, "oignon", where also the more old-fashioned word "ajuin" comes from, another Dutch word for onions. In Friesland, however, they veered more towards the Germanic side of things, hence "sipel" which stems from "zwiebel", the German word for onion. 

Fortunately, the soup doesn't care where the words come from, as it's as tasty made with "uien" as it is with "sipels". This is a thicker soup with a slight tangy flavor, and warming qualities: perfect for this cold weather we're experiencing here! The traditional cheese used for the toasted bread slices is Frisian cheese, a delicious gouda-style cheese flavored with cloves and cumin seeds. If you have access to it, great! If you don't, I've adapted the recipe so that you have the same flavors. 

Use a heavy bottomed skillet to caramelize the onions. Caramelizing the onions is a task of patience - browning the onions is slow, but it's so worth the effort as it gives a great color and fantastic flavor to the soup. I use this time to listen to Dutch podcasts or NPO Radio 1: it's a great distraction!

Friese Uiensoep

2 lbs (1 kg) onions, peeled and sliced in half moons

2 tablespoons (30 grams) butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup (50 grams) flour

4 cups (1 liter) vegetable or beef stock

2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce (optional)

4 cloves


Black pepper

Toasted bread rounds or croutons

2 oz (50 grams) Gouda (-type) cheese, grated

Pinch of cumin seeds

Melt the butter and the olive oil in a heavy bottomed skillet until hot, and stir in the onions. Keep stirring frequently, until all the onions are golden brown. This will take at least a good 20 to 30 minutes on medium low heat. When they're golden, sprinkle the flour over the onions and give it a good stir so that the onions are coated, and continue to brown for a minute or two. Stir in the stock a little bit at a time, making sure that it's incorporated well, until it's a thick soup. Add the cloves and simmer for about twenty minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the cloves and stir in the two tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce (optional). 

Top the bread rounds with grated cheese and melt the cheese under the broiler (I give it a quick 30 seconds in the microwave if I don't want to heat up the oven). Add a pinch of cumin seeds on top and serve with the soup. 

Serves 4. For a more substantial meal, dice a hardboiled egg and stir in the soup, right before serving.

Puma Future 4.3 Netfit Fg / Ag Jr 105693-01 football shoes grey

Eierbal (egg ball), or aaierbal in the Groningen dialect, is a treat like no other. It's similar in looks to the Scotch egg, but whereas a Scotch egg has a wrapping of ground meat or sausage, the eierbal has a thick gravy coat, seasoned with curry spices and fresh parsley. Both contain a whole boiled egg, and both are breadcrumbed and deep-fried until they're golden and crispy, but where the Scotch egg gives a solid bite, the eierbal is creamier, much like a bitterbal or a kroket. The egg in the Gronings specialty is also soft boiled so that the yolk is still a little liquid. Heaven!

Contrary to other snacks, like the frikandel, the eierbal can not be found everywhere and seems to be specific to Groningen and surrounding areas. There is one place, in Venlo, Limburg, that claims to have been the originator of the treat, but the proprietor lived in Groningen for a while so possibly got her inspiration there. 

So how did this deep-fried egg ball happen to be in Groningen? I am glad you asked! During WW1, the Netherlands was neutral and provided a safe location for many English soldiers who were fleeing from the Germans in Belgium. They were interned in a camp in Groningen, named Timbertown. Up to 1,500 soldiers were housed here at one time. 

Crystal Gayle 2 Press Kit Photos
Photo source: Friends 
As the war progressed, the men became restless but as they were unable to leave the camp, they entertained themselves with theatre, music! A couple of lads opened up a chip shop on the premises. They named it the Timbertown Chip Shop, and were open every night from 4 PM - 8 PM. 

It is very, very possible that these men also made Scotch eggs, seeing as how the Scotch egg was already known for several centuries in England. As they were also in contact with the locals, it is easy to see how the idea of wrapping boiled eggs would have stuck. 

Since then, the eierbal has nestled itself so deeply into the local tradition and culture, that the golden snack was added to the inventory of Immaterial Cultural Heritages in 2017. As it appears to have been around since the early 1900s until now, you can imagine that the recipe has developed: almost everybody has a favorite snackbar to get their eierbal fix, or makes the recipe slightly different, but they're all considered eierballen, and they're all considered a Groningen tradition. 

I decided to make these after working on videos from Groningen for our YouTube channel. Many of you have commented on how much you enjoy the nostalgic throwbacks to older times, and see how our parents and grandparents lived. I was also making dinner at the time and decided to serve mine as a meat alternative with spinach stamppot. Not traditional, but delicious nonetheless! 

I chose to make the most traditional version, those with a curry ragout, but if you're making kroketten or bitterballen one of these days, you may try it also with a meaty ragout to see if you like it or substitute the curry powder with Mediterranean herbs, or something else you favor. I can also see where falafel seasoning would go well. You can also brush the egg with flavorings (sweet chili sauce, or mustard), so this recipe is perfect for turning it into a family exclusive! 

Groningse Eierbal

4 eggs

3 1/2 tablespoons butter (50 grams)

1/2 cup flour (100 grams)

2 cups vegetable or chicken bouillon (450 ml)

2 1/2 teaspoons curry powder

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 egg

1 cup breadcrumbs or panko (50 grams)

2 tablespoons flour

Oil for frying

Melt the butter in a skillet and stir in the flour, until it looks like wet sand. Slowly stir in the bouillon until you have a thick sauce, about four minutes. Add the curry powder and the parsley (or other flavors) and keep stirring for another two more minutes. Line a shallow pan with plastic film, pour the ragout sauce over it, and tap another piece of plastic on top, touching the sauce. This will keep it from drying out. Chill the ragout overnight, or for at least four hours, until solid. 

Boil 4 eggs for 5 minutes, then shock in cold water and peel. Divide the cold ragout into four pieces, and wrap each piece around an egg, shaping it into a round ball. This does not have to be precise, so do the best you can! Roll the wrapped eggs in a little bit of flour. Beat the 5th egg, and roll each egg in the egg wash, let the egg drip off a little bit, and then roll it in breadcrumbs or panko. Pat together and shape into a ball again. If you want, you can repeat the egg and breadcrumbing for a thicker coating. If you feel that these are too big, or want more of a small snack, boil the eggs one minute longer, and cut in half before wrapping.

Heat the fryer to 350F (170C) and carefully drop the eierballen in the fryer, one or two at a time. All at once may overflow the fryer, or drop the temperature too fast. Fry for five to six minutes, or until all sides are golden brown. Drain on a tray with kitchen towels to soak up some of the grease. Serve cut in half, cold or hot. 

Sources: Sikkom, Friends

Drentse Turfkoek

This week, I spent some time editing and posting videos on our YouTube channel about the province of Drenthe and its role in turf production during the last two centuries. Commercial turf logging started in the second half of the 19th century and lasted until the middle of the 20th century, but as early as the 16th century, the people in the Netherlands used dried peat (turf) to heat their homes. 

Logging the raised bogs caused the landscape to change drastically, as you can imagine, as several canals were dug to benefit the transportation of the fossil fuel. For a short while, people from all over the country moved to Drenthe to try their luck in the industry, but life as a peat laborer was tough. When newer sources of fuel emerged, such as the Limburg coal, the peat industry dwindled quickly. Fortunately, it prevented the province from losing all of its natural beauty, so if you find yourself in the Netherlands with some time on your hands, it is an interesting destination to visit. 

And when you do, you will see that Drenthe embraces its turf history with gusto. A typical product that you will find at local bakeries, and slices of it offered with your cup of coffee, is the Drenthse turfkoek, a turf cake, so called because of its appearance. Its shape, elongated and rounded at the edges, is said to mimic the shape of a peat log. This is a fairly new invention, which results in different bakers using a variety of approaches, all tasty and delicious. The main ingredients are koekkruiden (a mix of herbs and spices), brown sugar, milk, and dried fruits and nuts. I used brandied walnuts, raisins (boerenjongens), and apricots (boerenmeisjes) from my oliebollen baking on New Year's eve, but you can also use apple, chocolate chips, or anything else that you fancy. You're looking for a sturdy cake with lots of chunky fillings, much like a peat log, but better tasting :-)

If you don't have an oval tin to bake in, you can easily use an 8 x 4, or a 9 x 5 cake form. 

Drentse Turfkoek
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (250 grams)
3/4 cup dark brown sugar (150 grams)
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
3 teaspoons koekkruiden*
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (75 grams)
3/4 cup dried fruits (currants, raisins, apricots...)** (100 grams)
1 egg
1 cup milk (250 ml)
1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Mix the dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, spices, walnuts, dried fruits). Beat the egg with the milk and pour the liquid into the bowl with the dry mix. 

Grease a baking form, pour in the batter, and bake at 325F for 40 minutes, or until the cake is done. Test for doneness with a toothpick or metal skewer: if it comes out dry, the cake is done. 

Cool on a rack for five to ten minutes, then take out of the form and wrap in clingfilm. As the cake does not have any fat, it will dry out faster, so keep it wrapped. 

Dust lightly with powdered sugar, and slice in thick slices, slather with butter (or not) and serve with a cup of coffee or tea. 

* For koekkruiden, mix 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon with 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/8 teaspoon cardamom, 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander, 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper, and, if you have it, 1/8 teaspoon of dried orange peel. If you like the flavor of anise, add a 1/8th teaspoon of ground anise to give it a special twist. Smell and decide if you like it.  You are welcome to make it your very own, but make sure you write down the quantities and ingredients so you can replicate your personal recipe. Store in an airtight jar. You can also use speculaaskruiden which have the addition of 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves. 

**soak your dried fruit in warm water for thirty minutes, then drain and pat dry before folding in the flour


Happy New Year!! Today is January 1st, the first day of a new year. After a whole month of eating, visiting, partying, and coming up with all kinds of good intentions for the new year, today is a good day to go "uitwaaien", to let the wind blow the cobwebs from our brain, to air out the stuffiness from too much sitting inside and being cooped up with other people. (Our Calvinistic upbringing is probably reprimanding us that we've done too much indulging and that it's time to get back to normal) So get your coats on, bring hats and mittens, and let's go for a brisk walk: on the beach, in the forest, or in the city parks. 

It doesn't matter where you go, as long as you go. If you're out and about today in the Netherlands, you'll see that many with you are "uitwaaien"- it's traditional to seek out nature, and the country has many places where we can get out and about. Several brave souls even venture out into the North Sea for a quick New Year's dip in its icy waters! 

And after a long, chilly, brisk walk (or swim), there's nothing more gezellig than to come back to the house and have a warm glass of slemp, a flavorful hot tea drink made from milk, cinnamon, cloves, saffron, and sugar. It's traditionally a new year's drink: its warm spices and milk nourish the body and the brain (and is said to restrain regurgitating reflexes for those that partied a bit too hard last night). It's also the perfect drink to finish the leftover oliebollen from last night with :-)

Wrap your cold hands around a warm mug, sit back and put your feet up, sip slowly, and let's make a plan to get the most out of the new year that we can. We have 365 days of adventure, miracles, new directions, and excitement ahead of us - let's make it count! 

2 cups milk (500 ml)
3 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 heaping teaspoon tea leaves, or 1 tea bag
Pinch of saffron
2 tablespoons sugar (or sweetener of choice)

Simmer the milk with the cloves, the cinnamon stick, the tea leaves, and the saffron until warm and flavorful, about fifteen minutes on low. Stir in the sugar until it dissolves. Makes 2 cups.

Happy Easter!

It is amazing to me how fast time goes. It seems only yesterday that I was getting ready for our family Easter brunch, and here we are again. A year further, perhaps a bit wiser, but definitely a year older! 

The Dutch Table's Paashaasjes
The Netherlands celebrates Easter in a similar way as it does Christmas, spread over two days. In the case of Easter, First Easter Day is always on Sunday, Second Easter Day is on the Monday following and is often a holiday.

The gathering of family and friends around the breakfast, lunch, or dinner table is key on First Easter Day. Stores are closed, children are dressed in their "Paasbest" (Easter Best) with new clothes and shoes. Eggs are colored, hidden and if lucky, all found. The breakfast or brunch table will be laden with different types of bread (multigrain, tiger rolls, Easter breads). To the right, you see our own traditional Paashaasjes, Easter bunny rolls, but you can always come up with your own design! 

The breakfast or brunch table will also have various bread toppings, deviled eggs, a couple of warm or cold egg dishes, and large amounts of coffee. Lamb is a traditional dish served for Easter.

And if you're skipping brunch or have friends and family over for coffee or tea later, you can also serve something sweet: a Boyesen Power Reeds 664, or Easter cake, a variation on our traditional slagroomtaart, whipped cream cake. Decorated with fluffy whipped cream, a light biscuit batter and an adult amount of advocaat, this Easter cake will put a smile on your face. 

Have a wonderful Easter weekend! 


I've listed the recipes below as well:

Paastaart, Easter Cake

Coffee Time:

And there are many, many more recipes - it doesn't have to be egg or Easter-related to be good!