Monday Motivation

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Just wanted to share my motivation for today with you guys :)

I totally forgot to tell you how lovely the last 2 weeks had been; big bad R. was on holiday! And work has never been so much fun. But as of today he’s back and ruining everybody’s mood again. Hence the reminder to use those muscles wisely!

There’s a story to the sparrow in the pic too; here in the Netherlands, there’s a saying “iemand blij maken met een dode mus”. Literally translated it means “to make somebody happy with a dead sparrow”, meaning… Putting something awesome in prospect, which turns out to be a huge disappointment (a.k.a. the dead sparrow). However, when you mix up the saying, you end up killing somebody with a happy sparrow. This once happened during lunch break (mixing up the saying, not the actual killing ;)), and has been an inside joke between us girls. N. (the one I mentioned had a stick up her ass back when I started on the job) worked a little Paint magic, and our happy sparrow, as you can see in the pic, was born. And I couldn’t have wished for a better illustration to the text!

Now let’s hope he’ll pick up the hint… ;)

Thank you for reading :)

Love,

ML-X

Football/Soccer: UEFA EURO 2012 Finals

Tonight’s the night! The Euro 2012 finals will be played by Italy (surprise!) and Spain (not so surprise!). I think the key word for this year’s Euro’s is in fact “surprise”. Some really great teams didn’t make it into the quarter finals, others were just one hell of a disappointment (can you say Dutchies?), and I still can’t believe that Germany lost from Italy in the semifinals.

There’s one thing that has made me very, very happy: Portugal is exit! Don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against Portugal in itself, but that self-obsessed, arrogant Cristiano Ronaldo has annoyed the living hell out of me. I think he’s spent more time rolling on the field in acted anguish than actually running. And then there’s the changing hairstyles every damn time… Ugh! If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, or just want to have a laugh, check out this “ode” to Ronaldo HERE.

I do have to admit that Ronaldo isn’t the only strange guy out there… In fact, there’s one in Italy as well: Mario Balotelli. Seriously, that guy is insane! But hilarious at the same time. Check this out:

I showed this video to my dad last week, and he laughed so hard, kind of waving his arm, that I thought he was going to hit me! And there’s lots more crazy shit he does. Either way, it promises to be very interesting tonight :)

As for Spain… Well, they weren’t my favourites ever, but they can play so beautifully, in that typical Barcelona style. It’s such a delight to watch them. Well, at least, most of the time. Their game against the aforementioned Portugal wasn’t all that good, in fact, it was rather boring, so I’m very curious if they’ll step up against Italy.

Despite that I’d never expected Italy to make it to the finals, I’m totally rooting for them tonight; not only because Balotelli is hilarious and Spain has won the last Euro AND World Championships, but because I have a strange fondness of the Azzuri. Whatever happens, with both of these teams I think we can expect a great match.

Will you be watching, and if yes, who’s your favourite of the two?

Thanks for reading!

Love,

ML-X

Football/Soccer: UEFA EURO 2012

After having to wait for almost two years (or four, depends on how you look at it), it’s hardcore football time again. The European Championships have finally started!

Let the games begin!

I am quite the football fan, and whilst having followed the earlier mentioned Eredivisie, the prospect of the EURO’s got me even more excited. I’ve watched them (and the World Championships) ever since I was a little girl, but 2010’s World Championships were extra special; they’re the reason me and le man are an item.

I still remember what happened; we were out in town with the company, watching The Netherlands play against Brazil on the biggest TV I’d ever seen. It was hot outside, and I couldn’t see anything because of all the people so I was standing on some kind of ledge and he was standing in front of me so I didn’t fall off. The funny thing is that despite thinking he was cute, we’d never talked all that much. Hell, I even hated his butt when he first came to work for us, because I figured he’d steal my job (long story). But he didn’t, and gradually we’d started exchanging words every once in a while.

Anyway, back to the point. As I said, it was scorching hot out there and I had my beer-cooled hand on his neck to cool him off, the game was great and against all odds… We won! Holy shit, we won from Brazil! Everybody was extatic, yelling and hugging random strangers and we… We just kissed. And that’s how everything started.

Obviously, football has been extra special after that, for the both of us. Some might find it boring, but we watch games together whenever we can and want. And when we can’t watch together, we watch seperately and text about it. It’s also our little inside joke; the other day there was a show on TV where the participants had to answer, “What’s the best place to fall in love?”, and he simply said “During a football match”. Of course, that wasn’t the right answer, but I loved it!

We’ve watched the first two games together (Poland vs Greece and Russia vs Czech Republic, although I missed the last bit of the second one), but unfortunately couldn’t watch The Netherlands against Danmark (which the idiots lost!) and Germany vs Portugal together because he had to work. Tonight we’re both off and the third pair of games will be played. There may be war; I’m an Italy fan (my current hair colour is red with black, like AC Milan!), while he’s more into Spanish football, and that’s the first game scheduled for tonight.

I do hope The Netherlands will pick up their pace after yesterday’s game, because it would be a shame if they wouldn’t go to the quarter finals. The atmosphere here back in 2010 when they did so well was simply undescribable. Yep, football beats the shit out of Queensday! And for the last few weeks, there’s been orange everywhere, and supermarket and drugstore chains have dealt out all kinds of football-related goodies with every x-amount spent. Yeah, it’s great to be here when the football craze is on!

So to all of you watching the EURO’s I’d like to say: Enjoy, and may the best country win! And to you who might want to start watching but don’t know how to; check Fiction In Crazy Mode’s post here on how to enjoy these games at their fullest.

Until next time!

Love,

ML-X

Easy & Yummy: Cheese Rolls

Today’s recipe is one that I always used to make for my younger brother every time my parents would go on holiday (giving me the chance to play around in de kitchen as much as I liked), and they never lasted for longer than a day! I believe they’re pretty Dutch (they don’t call us “cheeseheads” (kaaskoppen) for nothing), so if you don’t like cheese, you might want to look away now ;)

It’s going to be a little more complicated than my previous recipe, but I promise they’re worth the trouble. So what do we need?

oil (any vegetable oil should be fine, but you can use butter instead)
25 grams of flour
2dl milk
150 grams of grated cheese, preferably slightly matured
10 sheets of puff pastry
1 egg (optional)

So first, we have to start off with making the filling for the puff pastry. I’m by far not a chef, but I believe this method is fairly common for making all kinds of sauces. First, heat up some oil in a sauce pan, and add the flower. Be sure to keep stirring (I usually use a whisk to avoid clumping), flour tends to burn quickly, and it’s not a fun job to clean your pan afterwards. Let this simmer for approximately 3 mintues, then little by little, add the milk while stirring. The mass will turn into a clump now, but that’s supposed to happen, and it should liquify again after you’ve added all the milk (and if not, little by little add more milk). The texture has to be a bit creamy at this point, like this:

Sauce

This is what your sauce is supposed to look like now.

The next step is to add the cheese to the mixture. You can do this all at once, but I recommend adding the cheese little by little, to give it a chance to melt in properly.

AddCheese

Adding the cheese, one little bit at a time...

And of course, don’t forget to keep stirring. When you see the old clumps of cheese have disappeared, add more and repeat this until you’re out of cheese. The filling should be done now! Leave it to cool.

Finished adding the cheese... Creamy cheesy goodness!

Take the puff pastry out of the freezer, and put all the sheets on the counter. Make some slices in one half of the pastry, like this:

If you're right-handed, it's best to slice up the left side. I had to learn that the hard way ;)

When the filling has cooled down, it’s time to put it on the “intact” half of the pastry. You can use a spoon for this, but because the cheese mixture is a bit sticky, using your fingers to spread it is the easiest option. Be careful not to overstuff them, cheese tends to leak out if you do. Fold the sliced side over the filling, press the edges of the pastry together (you can use a little water to make it stick better). You can brush some beaten egg or egg yolk over the top part to make the colour a little more golden-y. I’ve put some grated cheese on top of them as well, but that might be a bit of an overdose for some.

All yolked up and good to go!

Pre-heat the oven up to 180°C (hot air oven) or 200°C (electric oven), line a baking tray with non-stick paper, bake the cheese rolls for 15-20 minutes, and… We’re done!

Mmh... Golden and yummy, enjoy!

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s recipe, thanks for reading!

Love,

ML-X

Crazy Dutchies: Part III

Tomorrow is a special day for us Dutchies: Queensday, or Koninginnedag, as we call it. It’s one of my personal favourites, since it’s pretty much one big ass nationwide party, and the atmosphere is great. Actually, every “real Dutch” holiday/event has an amazing atmosphere. Everything’s orange (that’s “our” colour), everybody’s having a good time (except for the unfortunate ones who don’t get a day off on Queensday), it’s just great.

Now, I could try and explain to all of you outside the Netherlands what Queensday is, but that would be a really long and complicated story. So instead, I’ve decided to let somebody else do that for me:

I just love the way this guy explains Queensday. And hell, he’s not even that far off! It’s the queen’s mother’s birthday (only because our current queen’s birthday is somewhere in the winter, not so convenient for an outdoorsy kind of party), and yeah, we like to move it around a little if that suits us better. Trying to sell your shit is a very important part of Queensday, I’ve even seen people sleep outside to get a good selling spot the next day! And then there’s the parties… Koninginnenach (derived from “nacht”, which means “night”) in The Hague used to be a lot of fun, but they’ve changed up some things, amongst which is the name, and I’ve pretty much lost interest. Amsterdam and Eindhoven are other places to be tomorrow, but too busy for my liking.

My favourite thing to do on Queensday is to just be outside and enjoy the atmosphere, watch people sell their shit, maybe even buy some shit off them, that kind of thing. And the weather is supposed to be very good this year, so I’m really looking forward to it! Just hoping that the crazies will stay far away again this time; in 2009 there was an idiot who attempted to drive his car into the bus that held our royal family, killing 7 people and wounding a lot more while doing so. He came off pretty easily himself; he died shortly after the attempt because he was severely wounded. Too bad, if you ask me.

Anyway… Enough negative stuff for now. Queensday’s fun, and that’s the way it should be. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and John Fealey’s explanation of Queensday, and to all my Dutch readers; have a great day tomorrow!

Love,

ML-X

Song Of The Day: Anouk – For Bitter Or Worse

Today, it’s time for another Song of the Day! And this time, it’s not a happy song, but a sad one. Despite that, it’s a beautiful one, sung by what’s in my opinion one of the best Dutch singers out there: Anouk. Take a listen for yourself:

And? What do you think? Is that girl talented or what? I’m actually wondering if y’all have ever heard of her, because according to my stats the Dutchies visiting are a minority… Must’ve offended them in the Crazy Dutchies post haha :)

Anyway, gotta run, woke up this morning thinking it’s Saturday, which it unfortunately isn’t yet :( I hope you’ve enjoyed the song!

Love,

ML-X

 

Football/Soccer: Here’s Johnny!

I love football (what some of you know as soccer), and I spend a great part of the weekend watching the Eredivisie (the Dutch Premier League) with my man. I don’t watch every game because not all of them are interesting to me, but since the man is a huge Feyenoord (Rotterdam) supporter, I’ve taken over some of his “hooliganism”, and we’ve seen pretty much every game they’ve played. And oh, what a difference to last year it is! Not only is 2011/2012 in itself probably one of the most exciting Eredivisie seasons I’ve ever seen, but Feyenoord has been playing insanely well. Where they finished last season somewhere near the bottom, right now they’re in the 5th place with 7 more games to go! Which means they’re still in the running to become America’s Next Top Model this year’s champion!

One of the reasons of their sudden awesomeness is… John Guidetti! Feyenoord loaned him from Manchester City for a year, and by god, I don’t remember seeing somebody play as passionately as he does. And with result; Feyenoord hardly ever lost a game, partially due to John’s talent for hattricks.

Guidetti, a.k.a. Driedetti, since "drie" is the Dutch word for "three".

For a long time, things were going great for Feyenoord, until Guidetti got suspended a few weeks ago for taking off his shirt (I still disagree with the fact they punish the players for that). Long story short, he missed only one game, but when he played again he just… Well, sucked. For a few weeks in a row. No more goals, no more hattricks, no more nothing :(

But yesterday that changed; he scored again! Only once, but hell, it’s better than nothing, and it’s a good sign, right? This is gonna sound really lame, but my eyes filled with tears after that goal. Ladies and gentlemen, Johnny’s back! Unfortunately, it’s also been announced that after this season (the remaining 7 games), he’s going back to Manchester City :( I really hope he’ll get his original groove back now, so that we can at least enjoy his brilliance for these few games left!

Thanks for reading!

Love,

ML-X