Saturday, December 4, 2010

Homemade Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Soup

When winter comes, I love to stay warm inside, look out the window at the snow, and eat... a lot! As any of my friends will tell you, I always have room for a little something.

My husband and I like to cook big portions so that we can store away some for the days when we don't feel like cooking. One of our favorites is this soup recipe, which also happens to have lots of comforting winter flavors (and it's pretty healthy, to boot!). I don't have a concrete recipe, so you can add or subtract wherever you like; it almost always comes out tasting great!

So, here goes:


1 butternut squash (flespompoen), or two if they're small
3 sweet potatoes (zoete aardappels), peeled and chopped (more if they're small)
2 small red onions, chopped
1 liter vegetable stock (bouillon)
balsamic vinegar
butter or margarine
ginger syrup (Thais/ Indonesian food section)
cinnamon (kaneel)
chipotle pepper sauce (Mexican food section)
pepper (I like white pepper)
fresh ginger, minced, 1 tablespoon or more to taste

fresh cilantro (koriander) and goat cheese (chevre) for garnish


1. Bake the squash on a baking sheet at 180°C (350°F) for about half an hour. Once it's cool enough to touch, cut it in half, remove seeds, and peel. Cut into chunks.

2. In a large soup pot, melt butter on medium heat. Add onions and sauté with balsamic (about 2 tablespoons) to caramelize.

3. After a few minutes, add enough ginger syrup to just cover the onions, then add sweet potatoes. Sauté together for about 5 minutes, adding cinnamon and pepper to taste.

4. Add the squash, plus the fresh ginger and a spoonful of chipotle sauce. Stir everything together, then add vegetable stock. If it's not enough to cover everything, add a little more water or stock until the vegetables are just covered.

5. Let the whole pot simmer on medium heat until the sweet potatoes are cooked through and break apart when you poke them with a fork.

6. Blend it all together (I usually wait till it's cooled off a bit, because this is the step where I usually burn myself). Add more spices to taste.

7. Top with goat cheese and cilantro.

And voila! You're done.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What I'm thinking about right now, part 2

I spent yesterday morning with Annet and Sandra getting ready for the Diezijnleuk Christmas market this upcoming Sunday.

After a tour of Annet's beautiful home and workspace (of which I'm mildly jealous), I presented them with their gifts: little hand drawn paper doll portraits! Kind of weird, yes, but they seemed to like them.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What I'm thinking about right now.

I guess this is a once-a-month kind of blog. I had big plans for it - tutorials! studio tour! calendar of events! I was going to have lots of followers and sell ad space to earn a little cash on the side...

Turns out, I get so wrapped up in the day to day of thinking up new things to make and chasing my now-crawling-and-never-sitting-still 9 month old that it's hard to take a breath and let people in on the process. Even to my husband, who usually gets a snippet of mid-brainstorm speech, a lot of what I'm doing turns out to be a surprise.

So I thought, why not write down what I'm thinking about before I actually do it? It could even have hidden benefits (one example off the top of my head: I won't forget what I wanted to do). Here's my idea:

During Noorderzon, a fine arts, theater and music festival in Groningen, I worked with a lovely group of women (and some male companions), giving workshops, taking pictures, and selling our handmade goods. Since then, we've been meeting every Tuesday to discuss our future crafty plans (as well as occasionally bitch about said males).

These Tuesday gatherings have come to mean a lot to me, and I wanted to make each lady a little something to show my appreciation. I won't say yet what it is, on the off chance that they read my blog. I will, however, post some pictures when I'm done (thereby breaking my once-a-month streak - huzzah!).

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Jewelry coming soon...

Just finished up a bunch of earrings and brooches. Each one is illustrated by hand, so they're all one-of-a-kind. Now as soon as I get some nice little boxes to ship them in, they'll go into the shop!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Great Shrinky-Dink Experiment

So, today I was perusing the local craft store (always dangerous... and amazing how many things I can justify as "business expenses"), and I came across this cool plastic that you can draw on and bake in the oven. I decided to give it a try, and while it came out looking pretty cool, it definitely shrinks a lot! Back to the drawing board I guess. Also, my hand looks weird in photos.