These past few days were spent preparing our Italian villa for the
NL vs USA TONIGHT AT 19:00, SHOW YOUR GIRLS THE FEMALE FACE OF VOETBAL/SOCCER!
There is nothing more sacred in the Netherlands than Voetbal Oranje, unless we are talking possibly about the Dutch Royal Family of Oranje themselves. But let me be crystal clear, the Dutch voetbal fanaticism is reserved for the male version of voetbal! According to Wikipedia, the description of “Football in The Netherlands” is all about the male dominated sport:
In many South American and African cultures the coffee bean is sacred. In many western cultures it is also sacred! Coffee brings us together to talk, laugh, cry, celebrate, grieve, and enjoy life! It is certainly an easy way to meet up with someone in order to get to know them better…and for this we have our monthly EXPAT/REPAT Coffee mornings.
One Wednesday a month, 20-40 strangers gather at La Buena Vida to celebrate their common thread, being a foreigner living in The Hague or reintegrating back into their native Dutch land…either way it takes an effort to connect, and we enjoy a nice Italian coffee while reaching out. The best thing for me as the owner, is I get to meet a group of highly engaging, warm, friendly people while celebrating my love of great coffee.
Please feel free to join us, this Wednesday the 10th of April from 9-12, for more information: Expat Coffee Morning
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First and foremost a BIG THANK YOU to all our participants in our first seasonal recipe contest (stay tuned for more!). The best thing about these contests is Everybody is a winner, since we all receive some tried and true fabulous recipes! (Be sure to like our facebook page at Living La Buena Vida for future contest opportunities).
The Winter Crockpot Recipe contest was a big success, and the winners (with their recipes are below).
1) THAI CHICKEN CURRY submitted by Jamie Claire Wilson
This is such a fantastic recipe for spicy, flavorful comfort food.
It tastes better than takeout and smells great when you walk in the door!
3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger root
1/2 lb. to 1 lb. bell peppers and onions, sliced into strips (use lots of colors, they’re so pretty)
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
2 1/2 tablespoons yellow curry powder
appx. 1/2 tsp. each (to taste): salt, pepper, ground coriander, ground cumin, paprika
1 cup water
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 tablespoon Sriracha or garlic-chili paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup fresh mung bean sprouts
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, to garnish
1 can coconut milk
In a large crock pot, combine all ingredients, except the mung bean sprouts, coconut milk, and fresh cilantro, stirring together.Set the crock pot to high and cook for four hours, covered, opening to smell stir occasionally.
After four hours, stir in the coconut milk and bean sprouts. Reduce heat to low and let cook for another hour.
Stir in the cilantro, serve, and delight.
2) RUSTIC WINTER STEW submitted by Christie Gronauer
1.5lb roast (beef or pork)
0.5lb (approx. 1 dozen) mini potatoes, whole with skin-on
0.5lb carrots, chopped in large chunks
0.5lb brown and/or wild mushrooms, whole (suggest swiss and shimeji)
1 onion, diced
1/4 cup port wine or brandy
2 cubes beef bouillon
4 cups water, boiled
3 bay leaves
1 garlic clove, minced
6 whole cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp brown sugar
salt & pepper to taste
handful of fresh herbs (I use basil with beef and rosemary with pork)
2 slices spice bread (or similar moist, dense cake/bread)
You can simply complete all preparations, put everything in the crackpot and let in cook on low for 4-6 hours or more. Mix once or twice if you can. If you have a bit more time to prep… Start by putting the water, port, bouillon and meat in pot first to begin the cooking process. I like to saute the mushrooms and onions in a pan with oil/butter for about 10-15 minutes. Then I prep the veggies and put them into the pot. Add all other ingredients (except bread) and then add mushrooms and onions. Let it slow cook for a total of 4-6 hours or more. I like to let it all cook for an hour or two before crumbling the bread, but its not necessary. (Another good tip… If you really want some juicy meat, brine the pork/beef in sugar-salt solution at least 2 hours prior or over-night.)
3) CROCK POT PORK TACOS submitted by Lily Julow:
Makes 6 to 8 servings
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (10-pound) bone-in pork shoulder, picnic cut
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 cup orange marmalade
20 corn tortillas
Prepared cole slaw
Place the onion in the bottom of a 5-quart crock pot. Place the pork shoulder, fat and skin side up in the crock pot. In a medium bowl stir together soy sauce, garlic, salt pepper and orange marmalade. Pour mixture over the pork. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Remove shoulder to a serving platter and let rest for 5 minutes. Break up some of the meat with a fork and arrange on platter. Leave the rest of the meat on the bone to keep it warm and moist and let your guest pull it off the as they need it. Wrap the tortillas in damp towels, 10 to a towel and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Set out pork and tortillas with Cabbage Slaw and have guests assemble their own tacos.
1 head red cabbage, shredded
4 medium carrots, coarsely grated
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Combine shredded cabbage and grated carrots in a large bowl. Add vinegar, salt, and pepper and toss to combine. Cover with a damp towel and let sit in refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours. Use as topping for pulled pork tacos.
Congratulations to our three lucky winners, you have a lovely surprise coming to you via mail. Please email us your address at: email@example.com
For those of you still not familiar with the infamous slow cooker called The Crock Pot, you will want to read these two related articles: