Chocolate almond thumbprint cookies with almond paste

Chocolate almond thumbprint cookies with almond paste. Perfect for Valentines! | in my Red Kitchen

I’ve been wanting to make thumbprint cookies for a long time now, but I promised myself and my friends that I wouldn’t bake cookies for a whole month after the holiday season 😉

But when you say Valentines Day, you say chocolate right? And roses, but no way I’m making roses out of chocolate 😉
So even though my husband doesn’t like chocolate I wanted to make thumbprint cookies filled with chocolate.

Spritsen for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

I didn’t had to think about it when I read about the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. Of course I’m participating in this! Who doesn’t like cookies? I love every part of it: baking them, eating them (still warm out of the oven? yes please!) and handing them out to friends to surprise them.  fbcookieswap2013_white

And of course I’m participating in this cookie swap with some typical Dutch cookies!

Pepernoten – tiny Dutch spiced cookies


Yummy, pepernoten!
While we in the US are busy preparing for Thanksgiving my fellow Dutchies in the Netherlands are also preparing for a national holiday: Sinterklaas’ Birthday. Sinterklaas is a very old man, a very very old man. I mean like, hundreds of years old! Sinterklaas has a long white beard, wears a red robe and has a large golden walking stick. He also rides a white horse called ‘Amerigo’ and Amerigo likes to eat carrots. Every year at the end of November Sinterklaas arrives by boat in the Netherlands from Spain, where he lives. On board are also his hundreds of helpers, they are called Piet. Each Piet has his own task, like navigation, baking pepernoten, carrying around the Big Book of Sinterklaas or wrapping the gifts for all the children in the Netherlands.

Yay! Gifts and presents for all children in the Netherlands!

Slow cooker Pumpkin butter


So even though I live 5,555 miles (!!) apart from my family and friends we’re still in almost daily contact. Without outrageous phone costs for calling overseas or getting RSI of typing long emails. That’s because we use Whatsapp, a free mobile texting service.

With my mom, brother and sisters we have a group chat and also my 82-year old granddad is on Whatsapp! How great is that?
This way it doesn’t take much effort to say hi to each other, send pictures or share locations to let each other know where you are or what you’re doing. You can even send voice memos, wow I laughed my ass off when introducing these voice memos to my granddad! He was like:

Green Monster Pandan Cakes

Green Monster Pandan Cupcakes 2


I’m not sure we will celebrate Halloween now we are living in LA. I don’t know why, maybe because we’re not used to dressing up with costumes for a holiday. Okay, I exactly know why: to be honest I don’t like dressing up in costumes… Sorry… 😉

But what I DO like is to see everybody excited for this typical American holiday. I DO like to see the excitement of the girl at the craft store when her mother told her she could choose a new trick or treat container this year. And I like

Dutch egg cakes

– Click here for this recipe in Dutch -> Heerlijke luchtiger eierkoeken

Those egg cakes (“eierkoeken“) are very popular in the Netherlands. Especially since a famous weight loss guru prescribed them in her menu’s. This woman is also known as Sonja Bakker, she is blond and always smiling (of course, she has to sell her diet!) and she is from West-Friesland, an area North of Amsterdam known for its huge greenhouses. So she also has an accent which I find very annoying.

Egg cakes p2

I’ve never followed her diet, I mean… it is a crash diet! I don’t believe in that! Sonja wrote books with weekly menus and she sold a lot of those books. For some reason these Dutch egg cakes where part of the diet.

Tompouce – a Dutch treat!

Next week I will experience my first ever 4th of July, how exciting is that! Of course, in Europe we know about the fireworks, the picnics, the barbecues and spending time with your family on Independence Day. But to actually be here on the 4th of July is different.

Tompouce p


In the Netherlands we also celebrate some national holidays but they don’t include fireworks or parades. The biggest national holiday would be Queens Day where everybody gets a day off and people go out on the streets, dressed in anything that they can find in orange, to sell their old junk and drink beer. And eat orange ‘tompoucen‘, normally the tompoucen have a pink icing but for Queens Day they get an orange icing.

Tompouce l3