Sarah's piña colada popsicles

"I like to compare it with cooking. You know, everyone knows how to make an egg or prepare a sandwich. It's the chefs who do fancy things. But that's becauce they practice a lot. Or are just weirdly obsessed with food." 

I am listening to a presentation by Brian Boyer, head of visuals at NPR, public radio in the US as most of you probably know. He is the guest a the weekly speakers' corner at my work. Every Monday we have a speaker who tells us journalists more about a certain topic. Sometimes it's about heavy subjects like war conflicts, other times it's about innovation like this week. 

Brian referred to cooking as a metaphor for writing code. He thinks every journalist can and should learn it. At least the basics. It can make a website more interesting, more distinctive or more appealing. I don't know how to write code. Couldn't care less to be honest. But he does make a point. I love the NPR website, in part because of the visuals. 

I will miss these speakers' corners when I leave this job in a week. Only a few shifts left and then I am off to Lisbon for a couple of days with two good friends. I am so excited!

Last week wasn't all about work because my evenings were filled with a few wonderful food related events. 

On Friday a friend and I had dinner at Rens Kroes' pop up restaurant in Amsterdam. Rens is one of the most famous foodies in my country and the sister of international super model Doutzen Kroes. She published her second book Powerfood: van Friesland naar New York last week. In the book you'll find recipes based on both her roots, she grew up in the northern province of Friesland just like I did, and her time in the US.

The menu was splendid: summer rolls, sesame crackers and hummus, and cauliflower soup as appetisers, chicken masala and pumpkin curry for mains, and pie and brownies for dessert. Rens walked by every now and then to ask if everything was OK, and if we liked her food. Before we left she gave us her new book and we left as two happy fat kiddos.

Thursday evening I attended the My New Roots cooking class in Amsterdam. I was there last fall too and was so happy to meet the lovely Sarah and her team once again. This time the topic was "flavour town". Sarah explained that people who don't know much about vegetarian or vegan food often think it's not as flavorful as 'normal food'. Not true of course, but you just need to know how to make it tasty. Herbs help a lot, just like spices and the method of preparing can make all the difference as well. I had an amazing evening and learned so many new things again. I posted a short video on my Facebook page. Go check it out if you're interested! These events make me so happy. I meet with other food & health minded people and often also see people I know like Diane from Cuisine de Clementine. She also went to Sri Lanka with us last winter and is one of the nicest people I know. 

The rest of my week consisted of a visit to in-laws up north, binge watching Orange is the New Black with Rob and picking elderflowers (more on that later). For now, let's stop talking and get to the recipe. This recipe is from the My New Roots cookbook.

I love how Sarah dived her book into 5 seasons. Winter, Spring, Early Summer, Late summer, and Autumn. To me that feels much more normal that looking up recipes by their 'nature', i.e. dessert, mains, soups etcetera. I had a hard time choosing a recipe to share with you, but I ended up with these piña colada & passion fruit popsicles. They are to die for. Like a frozen smoothie that melts in your mouth. Mmm-hmm!

Piña Colada & Passion Fruit Popsicles

Recipe from the My New Roots cookbook (p. 110)
|makes 10 popsicles|

You need:

8 medium passion fruit
3 cups/375 grams of fresh chopped pineapple
1 can (14 ounce/400 ml) of full-fat coconut milk
2 tablespoons of raw honey or pure maple syrup

How to make it:

1. Scoop out the flesh from the passion fruit into a small bowl and set it aside.

2. Add the pineapple, coconut milk, and honey to a blender, and blend on high speed until smooth.

3. Into each popsicle mold, pour a small amount of either the pineapple-coconut mixture or the passion fruit pulp. Then alternate between the two until you've almost filled the molds. Leave a small amount of space at the top to allow the liquid to expand a little in the freezer. Using a popsicle stick or skewer, stir the liquids a little bit to create a marble effect.

4. Insert a popsicle stick in each mold, and freeze for at least 4 hours. 

5. To serve, run the molds under warm water until each popsicle slides out.