Coincidentally after I made cupcakes for my colleagues, I discovered a cupcake shop opened up around the corner from my apartment just off the Plein. I stopped in on my way home to see if they had red velvet and had a lengthy chat with one of the bakers about the whole cupcakes-in-Holland concept. For one thing, most of my coworkers had never had a cupcake and when I told them what they were, they said, “Aren’t they just muffins?” so I am assuming that cupcakes are not that big here. When I looked up Dunkin’ Donuts after seeing so many in Berlin, I read somewhere that Dunkin’ Donuts had opened some stores in Holland, but they were not successful. I found that a little counterintuitive because the Dutch seem to love sweets, cakes and pastries, but maybe they have enough of their own with no need for stupidly overpriced donuts?
Anyway, the cupcake guy was really friendly and when I told him it was my birthday, he gave me a free cupcake! He called it “pink velvet” because they don’t use artificial coloring and it was colored with fresh strawberries. While I did miss the optically juicy intensity of the super fake red velvet color, the pink velvet cupcake was good, but seemed to be missing some of the characteristic moist crumbiness of red velvet. Either way, I told him I’d be back to try the whoopie pies and maybe some macaroons even though I haven’t liked any macaroons I’ve had before.
I had some friends and coworkers over for dinner with the surprise inclusion of two friends from high school who are traveling around Europe right now. They happened to be in Amsterdam this week and I was really glad they took the time to come down for the evening. I prepared an uncharacteristically vegetarian meal of:
I’m not used to preparing food for 6+ people, so it was interesting to see the quantities that would feed that many and I certainly have more respect for chefs who are feeding a ton of people every day. As an exercise in vegetarian cooking, it proved challenging to prepare a large amount of non-carb food. I’m thinking more large vegetable dishes and stir fries?