Dutch Janhagel cookies for the Great Food Bloggers Cookie Swap | in my Red Kitchen #fbcookieswap #cookies #cookie #dutch #almondcookie

Dutch Janhagel cookies

Dutch Janhagel cookies for the Great Food Bloggers Cookie Swap | in my Red Kitchen #fbcookieswap #cookies #cookie #dutch #almondcookie

– Click here for this recipe in Dutch -> Janhagel koekjes

Last year I had a lot of fun participating in the annual The Great Food Blogger Cookie swap. Yes, that’s right. That’s a cookie exchange among food bloggers.

The rules are simple. You sign up. You will receive the addresses of three other food bloggers. You bake three dozen cookies. Cookies that you wrap up well and that you send by post to the other three food bloggers. In return, you get three boxes of 12 cookies sent home, by random food bloggers. So much fun, and also very delicious!

But the best part of this cookie swap?

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.

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:

Chinese Pulled Pork

I had a dream.

Well, not actually a dream, it was more like a day dream. I was day dreaming of a soft steamed Chinese bun filled with tender pulled pork.

I had the dream about this delicious meal after having lunch at Take A Bao in the Century City Mall. I had a bao with hoisin pork and it was good! After my bao lunch I went to see the Jennifer Aniston movie We’re the Millers, the lens of my camera was ‘kaput’ so I decided to take a day off. And I knew P didn’t need to see that movie so if I wanted to see it I had to go alone. And I could do that during the day!

chinese pulled pork

I liked the movie, I was laughing my ass off but all I could think of was baozi and Chinese pulled pork.

Bali meatballs

– Click here to read this recipe in Dutch -> Oma’s Baliballetjes

This recipe is a winner. You will make friends with it.

This recipe is one of my grandma’s recipes to start with.
My grandma is 81 years old and she is a tough cookie. She lives with my 82-years old grandpa in an apartment building with really nice neighbors. They like living there and that makes me happy.

Bali balletjes

At their birthday parties in the Summer we sit on the balcony. But the balcony is small so we expand easily to the corridor.
The neighbors don’t mind 🙂

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.

Coconut fudge popsicles

You can barely call this a recipe. It’s so simple, just 3 ingredients in popsicle molds and a few hours in the freezer. I always liked chocolate but weird enough I don’t like chocolate ice cream, chocolate pudding or chocolate sauce.

No, give me a box of quality bonbons or a cup with hot cacao on a cold winter day and I’m a happy girl 🙂 But nobody is giving me a box of chocolates nor is it winter at the moment. Even better! It’s summer and I’m enjoying it. So I grabbed my bike and bought dairy-free fudge popsicles at Wholefoods. They were only 80 calories (yep, I started counting those again) but they also screamed ‘ASPARTAME’ all over them. Yuk!

Popsicles p

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

French toast

Growing up in the Netherlands meant an open sandwich for breakfast. And for lunch. My mom made us eat a whole wheat sandwich first, with something ‘healthy’ on top. Healthy was slices of cheese or meat. After the ‘brown’ sandwich we could have a ‘white’ one, topped with something sweet.

Peanut butter, jam, ‘hagelslag’ (the famous Dutch chocolate sprinkles), hazelnut spread or ‘appelstroop’. We all had our own favorites. One of my sisters still can’t live without appelstroop. You can compare it with molasses, only slightly firmer and it’s made of apples so it tastes sweet and sour.

Wentelteefjes p

After the white sandwich we had to have a brown one again and so on. If we could decides ourselves what to eat we would only eat white sandwiches with sweet toppings.
We could also be creative with combining the toppings.