Happy New Year!

Happy 2015!  Wow, it has been WAY too long since I’ve blogged.  Since July I have made all kinds of delicious foods that I’ve failed to post, probably because I was too interested in consuming the foods soon after cooking or baking….so as many people after the holidays, I need to lose some LBs.  Now, just because I’m “watching it” does not mean I will sacrifice my taste buds, no no no.  Any fad “diet” (ie paleo, gluten free, juice cleanses, etc) are against my religion (my religion is love and happiness).  For me, it’s everything in moderation and I really need to emphasize on the moderation!  You will be seeing less baking posts because that has been my problem area.  Any who, here’s a recap of all my food happenings July – December!

So what have I been up to since July…..well, to start we had our annual McVicker camping trip in July.  This year we decided on Fort Bragg and it was so beautiful and amazing!  I highly recommend camping at Mackerrichter State Park!  An added plus, someone caught some fresh fish and decided to leave it hanging on our campsite…score!  We grilled those suckers up and dug in!  I also made my Campfire Nasi Goreng on this trip.


Son Devours Fish

Soon after the camping trip my husband and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary in Sonoma.  It was beautiful and peaceful.  On our way up we stopped in Petaluma for the Lagunitas Brew tour….wow was it worth it.  I mean how could it not be…its delicious Lagunitas beer and it was free!  We stayed at the Old Crocker Inn in Cloverdale, hit up some wineries off Dry Creek Road, and stopped at our favorite little restaurant in Geyeserville called Diavola Salumeria.

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Once we got back from Sonoma the kids started school so that consumed much of my time which is part of the reason I haven’t posted in a while.

In November we did manage to get in a pretty kick ass rijastaffel (Dutch Indonesian feast).  We BBQ’d satay, made nasi goreng, kroepoek, cucumber salad….it was amazing!  And of course the people and the company are the most important ingredient :-)  All the love we put into the food (especially the satay pricking which I did not do but did delegate the task and micromanage lol), the conversations…I just love my family!

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In the beginning of December my Godmother, Mom, and God sisters had a holiday bake day and it was deliciously sinful.  Shots of fernet, too much sugar and carbs, old school Christmas records, it was so fantastic!  This was the first year we did this and I hope we can make it a tradition!

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For Christmas Matt and I hosted our 3rd annual Pho Christmas and I can’t even believe I took NO pictures of the amazingly delicious Pho!  Darn!  However I did snap a pic of my festive white holiday cake topped with candied cranberries and edged with fresh rosemary.


And finally we have New Years.  We had my cousin and her husband over.  I made classic cheese fondue from a cook book my husbands late grandmother gave me (she used to make fondue every Christmas Eve).  We also had plenty of fernet and champagne!

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Happy 2015!!!

Organic Chocolate Chip Plumalicious Ice Cream


I’m a huge ice cream lover, but it’s been a while since I’ve had ice cream in a cone.  We were in Fort Bragg last week and stopped at a place called Cowlicks where I got black rasberry chocolate chip ice cream in a waffle cone.  When we got home and I did my weekly shopping I just had to get some cones but could not find a flavor comparable to what I had at Cowlicks……so naturally I made my own.  In this recipe I use local Brentwood Plums and all organic ingredients.  It tastes just as refreshing and heavenly as it looks.


2 cups plum preserves

2 cups organic heavy cream

1/3 cup organic cane sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp honey

1 cup chocolate chunks or chips


1. Stir together cream, sugar, vanilla extract and honey to a saucepan and cook on medium until sugar is dissolved.

2. Add plum preserves to a blender and add 1/4 cup of cream mixture in with the plums

3. Blend on high until it is a smooth, creamy consistency

4. Add blended ingredients into a large bowl

5. Add cream mixture into bowl with plum preserves and mix together well

6. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refridgerate at least 4 hours

7. Once refridgerated at least 4 hours, remove from fridge and mix in chocolate chips

8. Poor into your ice cream maker and mix according to your ice cream maker directions (mine is about 25 minutes)

9. Store in a sealed container in the freezer or devour it right away, your choice ;-)

Campfire Nasi Goreng

We just got back from camping and I decided to attempt making nasi goreng over the campfire….it came out awesome! Here is the recipe.


2 cups cooked rice (I cooked at home before hand and stored in a freezer bag)
1 lb applewood smoked bacon
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
8 eggs
2 tbsp sambal oeleck terasi
1 lbs shrimp (mine was already cooked)
salt and pepper


Place pan over the campfire. Cut bacon into pieces and cook in pan. Once bacon is cooked add garlic and onion, cook for 30 seconds to a minute stirring constantly. Add sambal and stir. Crack 3 eggs over the pan and stir eggs in (no need to scramble before). The liquid should be thick and orange in color. Add shrimp and stir, cooking for about a minute. Lastly, add rice and stir ingredients together well.


I always like to have a fried egg (tjeplokt) over my rice and since we were camping and had limited dish wear I just cracked 5 eggs over the rice, put the lid on, and cooked it into the rice but not too long because you want the yolk runny. Enjoy!

Oma’s Macaroni and Cheese


Tonight for dinner I made my Oma’s mac and cheese recipe.  Normally when I make mac n’ cheese I start with a rue for the cheese sauce but Oma’s technique is easier and tastes great!  I used a combo of gouda and asiago cheeses but you can get creative and use your own combinations :-)  Now, I can’t say this is exactly how my Oma makes it, I always have to cook with her to get it right but I went off the directions she texted me.  There are no measurements and very vague directions, but good cooks never measure and good cooks also know how to interpret vague directions ;-)



1 package macaroni noodles

1 package asiago cheese

1 package gouda cheese

panchetta, cooked

1 cup milk

4 tbsp unsalted butter

3 eggs whisked

1 cup breadcrumbs

salt and pepper




-Liberally salt a pot of water and boil.  Once boiling add macaroni and cook according to package directions.  Set cooked pasta aside.

-Add butter to a large pot and melt over medium low heat.

-Once butter is melted add milk and heat until simmering (not boiling)

-Add shredded cheese to milk one handful at a time while whisking it in.

-Once cheese is all melted and incorporated add macaroni and stir together.

-Add eggs and stir.  At this point lower the heat to low.

-Lastly, add pancetta.

Top macaroni and cheese with breadcrumbs.  Enjoy!




Apricot and Plum Preserves

I am so lucky, my Aunt and Uncle live locally on an orchard so I always get a ton of plums and apricots from them!  Too many to eat, so I can them.  It’s really easy, here are the steps:

-Wash, cut and pit fruit

-Place in large pot over stove


-Add sugar.  For me, I filled an entire pot and only added about a cup of sugar.  Other recipes I found added up to 6 cups…WAY too much in my opinion but it’s up to you.  For the apricots I also added about 2 tbsp honey

-Add the juice of 1 lemon

-Bring to a soft boil and boil for about 3 minutes.

-Pour preserves into sanitized (I just run mine in the dishwasher) mason jars with fresh never before used lids.  After sealing you should hear the lid “pop” which means it’s officially sealed and no air is getting in.


Store preserves in cupboard.  Once opened store in refrigerator.  Enjoy!




In our family, there is nothing better on a rainy day than a nice, big pot of home made erwtensoep. Commonly referred to as “hot dog soup” by the kids (that’s what Bella calls it and what I called it as a child), it has been a favorite of the Modderman/Maagdenberg family for decades (My maternal side of the family)! I decided to make it last night because I figured for the next few months it’s going to be hotter than Satan’s mouth so this was my last chance for a while!  When my husband got home from work he walked in the house and exclaimed, “It smells amazing, you can smell it all the way outside!”….ya, it’s a family favorite and you will understand once you make it.  Another great thing about this recipe, it’s super in-expensive and it will yield tons of leftovers.  It tastes even better the next day.  Here is our version…

6 stalks celery, chopped
2 leeks, chopped
1 onion chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 smoked ham hocks or 1 large one
generous amount of sea salt
1 bag split peas
handful chopped parsley
pinch nutmeg
pork kielbasa, sliced
black pepper



Drizzle olive oil in large pot over medium flame. Add onion, celery, and leeks and saute for about 3 minutes. Add about 12 cups of water to the pot and a generous handful of sea salt or kosher salt.  Add ham hocks to the water and simmer about 2 hours.

Add the bag of split peas to the water and simmer another hour, stirring occasionally.  Take out the pork shank, shred the meat off and add to the soup. Once it has become a soup like consistency add the chopped parsley, a pinch of nutmeg, and black pepper to your liking.

Finally, slice the kielbasa and add to soup only moments before you are going to eat it.

You can serve this over rice if you like, but it is fantastic all on it’s own! Smakelijk eten!


Hibiscus Cooler


What you’ll need:

Glass gallon drink dispenser
1/2 cup dried organic hibiscus leaves
1/2 cup chopped mint (I used pinnapple mint)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup sliced organic strawberries
1-2 organic oranges, sliced
1/8 cup honey
5-6 whole cloves
5-6 whole green cardamom, crushed


Place all ingredients into glass gallon jar. Fill jar with filtered water. Let it brew in the sun for about 4 hours. Enjoy!

*You can also add chopped apple, dates, raisins if you’d like your drink sweeter.

Cherry, Almond, and Fig Energy Bites


Cherry, Almond, and Fig energy bites


1 cup dried cherries
1 cup almonds
1 cup (12-15) figs
1 tbsp honey
dash of cardamom
dash of cinnamon


Place all ingredients into a food processor. Mix until ingredients clump together into a large ball. Lay out a large piece of saran wrap and place ball on the saran wrap. Form into a square shape, about 1 1/2 inches thick. Cover completely and refridgerate for 4 hours. Cut into square and enjoy!