Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies

June 19, 2014

Deciding to make these cookies was one of the best and worst decisions I have made in the kitchen. I am being completely honest when I say they have become my new favourite thing to bake and eat…ever! The combination of cake batter and cookie dough is a brilliant invention, and I must give all credit to Sally's Baking Addiction. I got sucked into the beautiful vortex that is Sally's blog, and let me tell you, it is dangerous! I want to make everything! But, what to know what is even more dangerous? Deciding to bring these cookies to a bon fire and coming up with the amazing idea to use them in place of graham crackers for s'mores. YEAH. Think about that one for a second. Jeeze, they are so chewy and cakey and are really the perfect cookie. Just go bake them already!! But first a few tips:

  • Do not over look the dough chilling aspect of this recipe. I know it's tempting but it is necessary! I chilled my dough for 2 hours. 
  • I tested out Sally's "tall cookie" trick and I was so surprised how thick they came out. When putting the cookie dough balls on a baking tray simply make the balls more tall instead of round (see picture below). 
  • Also, 10 minutes and 30 seconds in the oven gave me the perfect, thick, lightly under baked, chewy, buttery, delicious cookie. 
Find the recipe here




The Keukenhof

June 18, 2014


Talk about tulip heaven! The Keukenhof gardens were absolutely stunning. Any kind of tulip you can think of, they were there, and in the most beautiful colour combinations. Our morning at The Keukenhof was grey and raining, like the majority of our time spent in Amsterdam, but the flowers were so bright and uplifting. We walked around under our little umbrella for hours taking them all in, and wishing we could bring home some bulbs to plant. The Keukenhof is much more than just a garden. It is home to a hedge maze, a mini farm, a windmill, trade shows, they offer boat tours and you can even rent bicycles to ride around the town of Lisse. We did climb to the top of the windmill to see the fields, that were more or less finished blooming, and fed some excitable swans. Plan accordingly if you wish to see The Keukenhof on your trip to Amsterdam, as it is only open for a few months a year (typically late March to mid May), and as it is in a neighbouring town, Lisse. They have many great transportation options, however the classic combi-bus requires you to get to the airport and transfer busses. It's around an hour trek but absolutely worth it! Here are a few snap shots of my favourite blooms (guess I'm a fan of the pink?). 











Canals and Stroopwafels

June 16, 2014


Getting off the plane at Schiphol was one of the most exciting and thrilling moments of our trip. "Finally, we're here" is what I kept thinking. It's such a strange feeling to be alone, in a new country, without any sort of internet connection, but exactly what we needed. We jumped on the Schiphol express train to Amsterdam Centraal and made our way to our AirBnB apartment. It was 6 am on a Saturday morning and the city felt deserted, like we were the only ones around! We walked all over town and made it to Pancakes!, which was recommended by Now What's The Plan. We explored the beautiful canals, and walked all the way to de 9 Straatjes (which was my favourite area!). The windows of the little shops, which were all unfortunately closed, were bursting with gadgets and clothes that I could have spent hours browsing through. We made it over to Leidseplein for some Chipsy King (yummiest fries ever!). We also got a chance to visit the Heineken Experience, do a canal tour, venture out to the Keukenhof gardens, hit up the Rijksmuseum, and eat stroopwafels after every meal! Although it was extremely cold and raining, Amsterdam is truly beautiful and the people are so friendly- as long as you stay out of their bike paths! Here is a mini photo diary from our quick stay in Amsterdam and a few travel tips!

  • Save money for attractions, not food. The food in Amsterdam is just okay (I feel bad even saying that, but it's true!). There are so many museums and attractions to get too, we basically ate from the Albert Cupmarkt, Chipsy King (best fries), the Febo machine (I know it's strange, but you have to try it at least once!), and the grocery store for the duration of our stay. If was perfect for being on a budget! 
  • If you are travelling to Amsterdam when the Keukenhof Gardens are open, GO! Depending on the season, the gardens are only open for a short time (end of March to end of May), it is a beauty you do not want to miss. We managed to get their a week before they closed for the season, and although the fields were pretty much empty the gardens were just magical! 
  • Use the street cars. The transit system in Amsterdam is so easy to follow. Get a 2 day pass and travel around the city! 
  • Eat a stroopwafel after every meal. You will crave them when you can't have them (trust me).  
{hot & fresh stroopwafel- heaven}

{view from inside the Rijksmuseum}
{amazing Dutch pancakes from Pancakes!}



{yes, that is a vending machine for hot food}



Next up are pictures from our morning at the Keukenhof!

Refresh

June 13, 2014


Where do I even begin… Europe was a complete and utter dream come true. Not only was I with my best friend whom I love, but we got to explore some of the most magical and beautiful places I have ever seen (more on that later!). I know I have been home over a week, but there was/is so much catching up to do! Not to mention sort through the 2000 pictures I took (literally). As crazy happy as I was to get away, I was so happy to return home. Of course I miss the European lifestyle, but coming home really makes you appreciate friends and family even more, and as cliche as it sounds, find the beauty in the simpler things that were once overlooked. It offers a sense of revitalization and refreshes your mind, body and spirit. I feel so much more inspired (probably due to the thousands of year old art and architecture I was witness to), and am ready to begin the next phase of my life.

So, what can we look forward too!? Well, a travel series is most definitely on its way, but I have also officially begun the job hunt. It's scary and exciting all at the same time. In-between all the applications I am taking time to get a little inspiration from two powerful ladies, Sheryl Sandberg and Sophia Amoruso. They both are ridiculously honest and witty, and I recommend anyone in a similar boat to give them a read.  

*Try infusing your water with strawberries, basil and lemon!