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!

Nasi Goreng with Chicken and Tjeplok


Traditionally, nasi goreng is made with shrimp (not chicken) and sambal oeleck terasi…..but I felt like chicken today 🙂  And, as always, must have a “tjeplok” which is a “fried egg” or sometimes called “telor goreng….but my family always says tjeplok. For me it’s important that the yolk run all over the rice!


1 lb organic chicken thighs, cooked and diced*

1 1/2 cups white jasmine rice

1 lb bacon

1 tbsp sunflower seed oil

5-6 shallots, chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tbsp sambal oeleck

3 eggs

3-4 scallions


-Cook rice

-Cut bacon into 1 inch pieces and saute in large pan or wok over medium high heat.

-Cook until crisp (5-10 min) and remove from pan and let drain on paper towel

-Leave bacon grease in the pan and add about 1 tbsp of sunflower seed oil (you could easily leave this out)

-Add garlic and shallots, saute about 30 seconds

-Add sambal and stir ingredients together

-Crack 3 eggs into the mixture and mix until eggs are cooked (you can whisk the eggs before if you want but I never do and neither does my Oma)

-Add rice and stir ingredients together really well, the rice should be a light orange color

-Add cooked chicken and stir

-Add scallions and stir well

While the rice is cooling, fry yourself up some eggs to go on top of your rice.  Selemat Makan!

*To cook chicken thighs, I marinated them in samba, salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon.  Cook in the oven at 350 about 45 minutes.



Very Vanilla Cupcakes with Swiss Merengue frosting

This recipe is adapted from Crazy for Crust



1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

1 cup cane sugar

3 large eggs

1 tbsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup buttermilk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line cupcake tin (makes 12 – 15 cupcakes).  Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl.  In a large bowl, beat sugar and melted butter with a hand mixer for about 30 seconds.  Add eggs, one at a time, to butter and sugar mixture until each one is incorporated into the mix.  Beat in vanilla extract to wet mixture.  Add dry ingredients and buttermilk to the wet mixture alternately starting and ending with the flower mixture.

Pour batter into cupcake tins about 3/4 of the way full.  Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Now, onto the frosting!


Seriously, this is like the best frosting I’ve ever tasted and pair SO well with the vanilla cupcakes.

Vanilla Swiss Merengue Frosting


5 egg whites

1 cup cane sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened at room temp

1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine egg whites and sugar in a medium sized sauce pan.  Heat on medium high, whisking constantly, until sugar is completely dissolved.  Transfer mixture to the bowl of a mixer and beat on high until mixture triples in size and comes to room temperature, about 10 minutes.  Mixture should be white and glossy.

Lower your mixing speed to medium.  Cut up butter into small cubes and slowly add to the mixture, one at a time, until it is completely incorporated.  Remove whisk attachment and add paddle.  Beat on high speed until buttercream comes together, about 5 minutes.  Lastly, beat in the vanilla extract.

Sambal Goreng Telor



This dish is one of my absolute favorite dishes my Oma makes.  Often times they fry the hard boiled eggs as well so they have a crisp, brown coating but I did not fry mine (and my Oma normally doesn’t either).  Hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do!  It pairs well with Nasi Kuning or just regular white rice as it is very flavorful.  This recipe serves 4-6 people.



8 hard boiled eggs

2 tbsp oil (I use sunflower seed oil, my Oma uses canola oil)

2 cloves garlic

5-6 shallots

2 full tsp (or more to your liking of spiciness) of sambal oelek terasi

2 slices galangal root, pounded to express flavor

2 salam leaves (Indonesian bay leaf)

2 tsp sugar

2 tsp salt

Juice from 1/2 lemon

1 lb shrimp, raw, peeled, and deveined

1/2 can coconut milk


Boil eggs.  Over med/high heat add oil into wok and swirl around.  Add garlic and shallots and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add sambal, galangal, salam, salt, sugar, and lemon juice.  Let simmer over medium/low heat to bring the flavors together, about 5 minutes.  Add shrimp and cook just until it turns pink, do not over cook the shrimp!  Mix ingredients together.  Add coconut milk and mix again.  Put eggs in a serving dish and poor ingredients from wok over the eggs.

Selamat makan!


Dutch Mocha Cupcakes



4 eggs, room temp

4 egg yolks, room temp

3/4 cup organic cane sugar

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

Mocha buttercream frosting ingredients (its ALL about the frosting in these cupcakes):

1 stick unsalted butter, room temp

1/2 cup powder sugar

1 tablespoon coffee syrup (mix 1 cup strong coffee with 2 heaping tbsp organic cane sugar, simmer until it reduces to 2 tbsp and has a syrup consistency)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/8 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions for the cupcakes:

Whip together eggs, yolks, sugar, and vanilla on high speed for about 10 minutes.  Mixture should triple in size and be a light yellow color.  Sift flour.  Fold sifted flour into the batter.  Line a cupcake pan with cupcake tins and pour batter about 3/4 of the way full.  Bake for 18 minutes at 350 degrees F.  Makes 12 cupcakes.

Directions for the frosting:

Whip together butter, powdered sugar, coffee syrup and vanilla extract on high for about 5 minutes.  Slow down mixer speed and add heavy cream.  Continue whipping a few minutes, adding more coffee and/or powder sugar to your liking.

Once cupcakes have cooled, frost the cupcakes.  If you like, you can top them with chocolate muisjes (which is what I did, yum!)  Enjoy with a strong cup of coffee and good company!

**This recipe was adapted from