Sunday, 26 October 2014

Paris part 1: The Laduree experience

Last week I was in beautiful Paris with one of my best friends. We stayed for four days, saw all the sights and walked the small streets of Montmartre and Le Marais. But there was one thing we both had on our bucketlist: a trip to Laduree en get the macarons from there! As a lover of sweets and pastries you just have to, right?! So we went from our hotel to Arc de Triomphe, and walked to the famous Champs Elysee. After a lunchbreak, we searched for the Laduree shop. And we found it! The outside already looked impressive.

When we came inside there was already a long line of people. We joined the line and had to wait to choose the flavours of macarons we wanted. There were so many flavours to choose from; mint, chocolate, caramel, gingerbread, pistachio, vanilla, raspberry and many more! There were also many gorgeous pastries for sale.

The inside of the building, where you can also drink tea, was also quite impressive. Overall it was a really cool experience, especially as a baker myself. Very inspirational! If you are ever in Paris and you live baking and pastries, I would defenitely recommend you to go to Laduree. Worth the trip to Champs Elysee!

Monday, 20 October 2014

A sweet dream

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a lovely weekend. Mine was spent in Paris...lucky me! I will dedicate a post about this very soon. I had a very nice time, saw all the beautiful sights Paris has to offer and I got the chance to buy the 'real' macarons at Laduree. Quite an experience I must say. More on that soon.

As you all may remember, I have a small business called Sweetie Pies. I sell cakes, cupcakes and all things sweet from my own home. It has been a dream of mine to be able to sell my sweets at a market. To see the people that buy my cakes and get instant response, that would be awesome to me. Well last month that dream came true. I registered for a local market here in my hometown of The Hague..and I got selected! I was beyond thrilled about this! I had lots of baking to do..I made brownies, cupcakes, madeleines and five cakes. 

Two of my friends helped me out during the day, which was great. It was my first time at a market as a seller, so I had no idea what to expect. But it went so well. I got a great response and lots of compliments on both my cakes and my decoration of the stall. And an hour before closing I had already sold everything! I know now that I have to bake even more next time around. It was a great experience and I am defenitely participating again next year.

Monday, 6 October 2014

New era of ESD coming soon!

Hi dear readers! Thank you all for staying with me here on Even Sweeter Dreams. I really appreciate you all!
I have been away for a while, but I am excited to start blogging again. I have new ideas and inspiration for posts. I look forward to share posts on my life, travels, ideas, and have fun here.
So look for this very soon! I will start to make a schedule for myself this week, with all my ideas for the blog. After that I have alot to share with you all, like a trip to the Sherlock Holmes museum in London. See you all soon! Have a sweet day.

With a Dr. Watson hat on!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Being gentle and follow your dreams.

Hi my friends! I have been absent for quite a while, but I really needed a break from blogging. As you may have read in my previous posts my health wasn't well, and I have had many hospital visits since. But I only have good news! My health is all good, and all the tests turned out great. I am really happy! The health issues were all due to stress, so I have to take it easy and be a bit more gentle to myself. Do you recognise the feeling that you are just never doing enough? Or that what you are doing is really never good enough? Well, that's me right there. And I have to stop thinking this way!

This quote is what I have to keep in mind. I was always hard on myself, and also finding it hard to be proud of myself. But I am doing the best I can! And if I have a bad day, I just take it a bit slower and do some thing that makes me happy. If only it is to read a book or see a movie I like, I notice it really helps. And I don't judge myself on having a bad day, we all have them right? With all this in mind I have started to focus more on realising my dream on having my own catering company Sweetie Pies. 

The website is starting to look better and better. And soon I will print some businesscards, exciting stuff! Ofcourse you will all be the first ones to see the website when it is all done! And after weeks of not baking, I have started to bake again. I really missed it and enjoy being in the kitchen again. I made these French Madeleine cakes, they were really nice! I am looking forward to sharing more on Sweetie Pies with you all soon. And remember:

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

So far so good!

Hi friends! I just noticed that it has been over a week since my last update here. The last week has been kinds crazy. Many visits to the hospital to see why I had the two black outs I wrote about. I have had a brain test, heart test and yesterday a ct scan of my brain. The first brain test results are good, so that makes me happy! The heart test was good too, but I need to do a second one just in case. Now just the result of the ct, but my neurologist expects the result to be good here as well. He thinks it is very likely that my black outs were just sheer bad luck. That I just slipped in the shower and the second fall I just tripped and hit my head to the table. That is also what I am hoping, but to hear the doctor actually saying that his is possible really helps! So far so good it is. This weekend me and my parents went to visit the famous Kinderdijk. We could use the distraction! Kinderdijk is about 30 or 40 minutes from my home, and it is so beautiful. It is on the Unesco world heritage list and visited by many tourists. It is a typical Dutch view, with all the mills.
It was so nice to forget about all the tests, hospital visits and so on and just enjoy the beauty of this place. I really needed that! Me and my mum have also been working on setting up a new webshop with some of her drawings. She is making some amazing art, with a sweet retro feel and pastel colours. We are now working on some more drawings, but this is the first in the series. What do you think??
Have a good day everyone! And please keep your fingers crossed for me that all the results will be good!

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Life lately.

Hi everyone! It has been a bit quiet here lately, but I am still around. Life just has been a bit hectic with hospital visits due to another fall/black out. I hit my head and needed stiches. Next week I have an mri scan planned to see if the black outs are caused by anything in my body or if it is a result of a stressfull period in my life. So yeah, not very fun or exciting things. In between the not so fun things, I did get around to doing some fun stuff haha. I took some snapshots of these happy moments. Hope you will enjoy!
Tried on this super cute outfit. Bought the skirt and going to buy the top!
Being woken by sunshine is the best way to wake up!
Got this awesome trolley at Ikea.
It's the most amazing blue/green aqua colour. Looks great in my kitchen.
Really enjoying all the Dutch success at the Olympics. The picture sort of shows iceskating haha.
Snail mail, isn't it pretty?! Snail mail really brightens up my day!

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

{Recipe} Chocolate cake with ganache

Hi everyone, I want to share a delish recipe with you for a cake that I have made loads of times. It's a big hit among friends and family. And I love it too! An amazing (and amazingly simple) chocolate cake. Because you just can't go wrong with chocolate right?! This recipe is for a 'plain' chocolate cake, for added flavour or texture you can add macademianuts, chocolate chips (white! oh yeah!) or cranberries, just a few suggestions that will make the cake even more spectacular. Enjoy!

Recipe for chocolate cake and ganache
Gram to cup conversion table

150 gr butter
180 gr flour
200 gr pure chocolate
4 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
250 gr sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar
pinch of salt
125 gr icing sugar
10 gr cocoa powder
200 gr cream cheese

Preheat the oven to 150 C/ 302 F (hot air oven). Chop 175 gr of chocolate into small pieces. Melt the chocolate with the butter. Let it cool for a few minutes. Whisk the eggs, set aside. Mix flour and baking powder together. Add the sugar, vanilla sugar and a pich of salt. Mix together. Then add the eggs and chocolate and butter to the flour mix. Whisk untill smooth. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes. For the ganache chop the rest of the chocolate into fine pieces. Melt it and let it cool. Mix the icing sugar and cocoa powder together. Add the cream cheese and mix untill smooth. Finally add the chocolate and gently mix. When the cake has cooled, cover with the ganache.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Winter in Paris

Hi friends! Did you have a good weekend? Mine was really nice, I did some shopping with my mum and yesterday I had a friend over. We did some baking and talked throughout the afternoon! That's what friends are for right?! As promised I would post some new pictures from my stay in Paris in december. I did not take many pictures, only some with my phone, so I had to wait for my friend to send me the pictures she took, and here they are! I hope you like them, it brings back many good memories for me.

Walking next to the beautiful Notre Dame!
Making new friends on a Paris terrace.
Pretending to be cold near a fake palmtree and fake snow.

Eating my first escargot (snail). It was gross!
This was much better: fried chicken!

At the Eiffel Tower by night.

The beautiful Sacre Coeur. And look at the pretty blue sky!

Enjoying a short lunchbreak at the Louvre.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

December in pictures

Hi friends! Luckily I am doing alot better than last time around. The pain is less and less every day, but long walks still tire me quite a bit. I still have to take it slow, but I am happy things are moving forward again.
Due to my long stop in blogging I still have lots of pictures to share that I took in the December month. Me and my family had a Christmas high tea, for which I baked lovely goodies: a carrot cake, jam cookies and vanilla/coconut cupcakes. I also brought macarons with me from Paris, perfect for this occasion! My attempt at a gingerbread house can also be seen on the picture below haha. It was hard! I also made some sandwhiches with cheese, pesto and ham. It was a really nice change to the usual Christmas dinner and defenitely worth doing again!
The High Tea table for Christmas!

Me and my sister, the xmashat messed up my hair though lol
The days after Christmas my mum got a severe flu, so me and my dad spend some time together and took some walks on the beach, near the dunes and woods. I took my camera with me ofcourse, it was really nice and the sun was shining. It was cold though, but the combination of sunshine and cold weather somehow makes for good pictures! 

And I was quite proud of my coconut cream cake, with stars and all. Also proud: my 8 year old nephew who took this picture with my professional camera! Isn't he awesome?! Next post I will share some more of my Paris pictures, think Louvre and eating escargot! Have a great day everyone!

Not my best picture, but hey, my nephew took it!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

I'm still standing...sort of!

Hi everyone!! Wow it has been a while but I am happy to be blogging again. I will give you a bit of an update as to why I have been away for such a long time. A week and a half ago I fell really hard in the shower. I was unconscious for about half an hour and woke up with an extreme pain in my entire back. I actually woke up on my couch, so I managed to get myself out of the shower and on the couch, and I still don't know how I did that to be honest, as I don't have any memory of it. I called my mum and she came to my house with my dad (they live in the same street which was a real blessing, especially now) we then called the doctor and she did some tests to see if my brain was ok. All went well and I got through the tests just fine. I did  have to take 9 pills(doctors orders you know) a day though to deal with the pain. A few days later I had to go to the hospital for an xray of my back and chest. Nothing was seen on the pictures thankfully. This friday I have to go to the hospital again for a brain scan, to be sure my fall wasn't caused by something in the brain. But the doctors say they are positive they won't find anything, so fingers crossed! So yeah, that is it. I am still super soar and stiff and walking is still not easy. But I get by now and every day I feel a bit better. My friends were totally awesome and I was spoiled with cards, flowers, cupcakes and many visits, all to cheer me up. 

And my parents were literally at my side for days after all this happened, walking me to the bathroom (oh boy),making me tea, cooking for me, doing my grocery shopping and so on. They're the best!
Now that I have a bit more energy I can't wait to blog more regularly. I still have some great Paris pictures to share, among many other things!

For now, I still have to take it easy and rest alot. That gives me time the drink looots of tea and so some colouring and letter writing. Isn't this owl cool? I love it. Have a great day everyone and 'see' you soon!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Follow your dreams

Hi friends! First things first: I want to wish all my followers and readers a wonderful 2014!! May it be the year where your dreams come true, or the year where you make steps (big or small) towards fulfilling those dreams. I have always enjoyed setting goals and having resolutions. It's a way for me to stay focused on what I want and what dreams I truly have. I have a few resolutions for this year that is ahead, but the main one that I have for myself is this one:
It's a good one right?! Like I said above, whether you take small steps or big steps towards your dreams, it all start with that one step. And keep your goals small at first. Have a big dream/goal? Split it up in smaller, easier goals, that way it is alot easier to do and you don't get discouraged by a dissapointment that easily. Keep the bigger picture in mind though, that's always great for motivation. 
I have big dreams, because what are dreams for if you can't dream big!? I dream of having a house in the country, with some small kettle like chicken, geese and such, maybe even a rabbit or two. I am a lover of nature so I would take lots of walks near my home with my camera in hand. And ofcourse I would have a small tearoom where people can sit for a tea and cake, freshly baked by me! Ow and while were at it, a small plot of land where I can grow my own fruit and vegetables, I would love that!
I have always wanted to live somewhere closer to nature, not in the city as I do now. So I know that I will leave here someday. And I have got the baking part down haha. I am getting there....small steps all the way!