Guilt-Free Ice Cream

Both my parents are and were suffering from type 2 diabetes. With me passing 40 this year (oh please shut up, it's crazy) I'm getting a wee bit scared. I'm overweight and I don't exercise enough. I have the good fortune that I do have a dislike for junk food as I love healthy food. I don't smoke, I don't drink alcohol and I've always preferred to drink water. But I do need to get my sugars and exercises under control.

I've started last week to do a 15 minutes exercise routine in the morning, 50 times up and down the stairs in the afternoon and another 15 minutes exercise routine before I go to bed. Every other day I go for a walk and listen to audio books on my iPhone. So far so good.

I love anything containing E supplements and for a month now I've been cutting them completely out of my life. I'm snacking on nakd bars and natural sugar ice cream pops I make myself. Another, so far so good.

The Recipe for the Chocolate Ice Creams

Mix 125 ml coconut milk with 2 tablespoons of raw cocoa-powder, 1 tablespoon maple-syrup and a pinch of salt in a blender and freeze overnight.

The Recipe for the Strawberry Ice Creams

Mix 125 ml coconut milk with 1 tablespoon maple-syrup and 20 strawberries (chopped in small pieces) with a mixer and freeze overnight.

Each batch makes approximate 4 pops.

I'll keep you posted on my path to cutting refined sugars from my life and how I get my kicks from exercising without pulling my hair out and crying like a little baby. Oh the things I would give to be a sumo-wrestler living on pasta in Italy ... sigh.

Crochet Clothes Hangers

It's been way too long and I won't let that happen again. It just seems that everything I do is in a bit of a knot and I find it hard to get that knot untangled. I need to get things straight again.

Today I want to share a DIY I made for Dille & Kamille. They are selling these amazing cedar wood clothes hangers which I love as they are perfect for wool clothing and dresses. I've tweaked this pattern to fit around the sturdy Dille & Kamille hangers.

You need a 5 mm crochet hook and Annell Malmedy yarn form IDA Yarn Shop. I've used a beautiful soft alpaca yarn for the top hanger which I bought in Dordrecht and is one of a kind. The importance of this pattern is that you use that 5 mm hook!

You can download the pattern in English here and in Dutch here.

I often get asked where I got my pink scissors from. I bought mine ages ago from Sublime Stitching but she's no longer selling them. I found a pair on this website. It's one of those best lifetime buys.

Happy Monday x

At Mine

Have you heard of at{mine} already? No ... at{mine} is a community for home & design lovers - real home and real design lovers. It's a community where home-owners can display their own homes and tag photos with the links to the shops where they bought an item or a piece of furniture. It's like real time home peeping, something I miss about living in Belgium as all curtains are always shut.

You can click the button and become a member. I'm on there as well, find me after signing in under Yvonne Eijkenduijn.

See you there x

Maggi Moestuintje (Dutch Only)

Een paar dagen geleden deelde ik een filmpje waarin ik samen met Loran een servet borduurde terwijl de kip in de oven stond. Nu mag ik een MAGGI Moestuinpakket weggeven samen met het gemaakte servet en mijn nieuwe boek! Wil jij kans maken op deze prijs, laat dan hier (of op Facebook) een comment achter. 7 mei aanstaande maak in de winnaar bekend.

Myself and Maggi

Things are quite busy these days. Promoting books, working on another book (to be released spring 2016), writing my column for Sjiek magazine, doing lots of productions here and there and maintaining this lovely space. I love it, I have finally found my groove. On days that I'm not working on my own recipes I like to cheat a little by using something that makes cooking a bit easier and faster. I'm not a pot and satchel person myself so when MAGGI asked me to get creative with one of their products I took on the challenge.

I'm introducing one of their products today. Braadstomen is steamed chicken from a bag. You place the chicken with some fresh veg in a bag, tie-wrap it and place it in the oven for 40 minutes. It's sounds dangerous but it's not. It's like magic, delicious and super easy to prepare. The satchel contains a steaming bag, a tie-wrap and herbs to season the chicken. And after 40 minutes you have this amazing tender chicken.

MAGGI sent Loran to my home to shoot a video in which we demonstrate how to prepare the chicken and what one can do in 40 minutes. Watch the video of Loran and I preparing the chicken, embroidering the napkin and taking the above photo. Plus you get the see my home, it's all quite embarrassing - ha!!


Recipe

Preparation

Steam the chicken fillet with the chopped onion and peppers for 40 minutes in the oven, follow the instructions on the bag. When the 40 minutes are over toss the content of the bag in a large pan together with  the beans and corn. Cut the chicken in smaller chunks and heat until the beans are hot.

Serve with taco shells, fresh lettuce, sour cream and guacamole.

Quick Guacamole

  • 2 ripe avocados (mashed)
  • 1 large red onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 tomatoes (finely chopped)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of MAGGI Braadstomen Mexicaans
  • 600 gr chicken fillet
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red peper
  • 1 yellow peper
  • 1 can crispy corn
  • 1 can chilli beans
  • a pinch of smoked paprika

You can download the branch template for the napkin here. I've used a Chain Stitch for the stem and the Lazy Daisy Stitch for the petals. Use a transfer pencil to transfer the branch on to the napkin.

Happy long weekend x

Hibiscus Giveaway

There have been many attempts on growing Hibiscus in pots for my garden. I do not have the space to plant a massive Hibiscus bush in my garden so I thought pots would do but they don't. I failed miserably 3 years in a row and I have officially given up. So when I learned that there's also an indoor Hibiscus, I had to get one. Once at home I thought the plant was looking rather fake with it's super green, shiny leaves. But I'm embracing it and starting to grow really fond of it.

Did you know that the flowers of the Hibiscus are edible and are used in salads in the Pacific Islands? The flower is additionally used in hair care as a preparation. It is also used to shine shoes in certain parts of India. It can also be used as a pH indicator. When used, the flower turns acidic solutions to a dark pink or magenta colour and basic solutions to green. In Indonesia, these flowers are called "kembang sepatu", which literally means "shoe flower". Who knew ...

To raise more awareness for plants mooiwatplantendoen.nl is so nice to offer five of my Dutch readers a Hibiscus each! I know that commenting is so 2012 that's why I've decided that in order to participate you can leave a comment on any platform you like. Facebook, instagram or over here. You just have to find the Hibiscus photos and leave a comment, I'll draw a winner next week.

Redecorating Again

We've been living in this house for almost 7 years and we are still not done renovating and decorating. It's a large, old and worn down house. See it like this; you have a real deep cut and it needs stitches, like a lot of stitches but instead you put a plaster on the cut and you keep putting plasters on it. But under all those plasters the cut is getting worse and worse. Eventually you'll have to remove all the plasters, get the help of an expert and get it cleaned, sterilized and stitched up. Because you have waited so long the healing takes a lot longer and the cut will leave a really nasty scar. So you'll need plastic surgery. That's what our home looks like because the previous owners have been using plasters for the past 119 years.

Most of the plasters are gone, stitches have been made and plastic surgery has been undertaken but there's still a whole lot of healing to do. We took a break last year to work on some personal stuff but now we are back in swing.

There's this new cupboard in the dining room. I've been searching for it the last few months and finally found a perfect match. It's from an old school and now stores china, tablecloths and glassware. Nicely tucked away as I like it.

I love how this red bench raised so much conversation over on Instagram and on Facebook. It's really good to engage again, we need to do that more often.

Happy Tuesday, it's almost May!