Thursday, August 30, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Holland has good bakeries, but the Dutch are not home bakers. Flour and sugar are only available in 1 kilo packages, baking powder comes in small envelopes, baking soda is not sold at all, and the rest seems to be box kits. And chocolate chips are unknown. On the plus side, you can buy ready-made  amandelspeis (somewhere between marzipan and frangipane), the almond filling used in a lot of baked goods here.

For chocolate chip cookies you need to either chop a chocolate bar in pieces (we do have good chocolate here!) or rely on visitors from across the pond. So when one of my colleagues emailed me from Vancouver that he could pick something up from the grocery store, I asked for chocolate chips.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Shortcuts are Good, or The Thrifty Cook

"Shortcuts are good" and "who's got time for that?" These are common expressions adopted from a friend of my sister. She must be a practical, busy woman.  I use it to explain why, despite my cooking hobby, I do not make everything from scratch. I use commercial pasta sauce,  canned beans, bagged salad greens, frozen potato croquettes, bouillon blocks, jarred fond, and lots more convenience foods.

But I also make some of my own convenience foods, usually just trying to be less wasteful. Or I try to prepare things in the weekend ready for lunches and quick suppers in the rest of the week.