Local Heart, Global Soul

June 27, 2013

Indian Cooking Lesson, Giveaway: YOU Could WIN Some Of The Ingredients…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’ve come to the end of my Step-by-Step recipe series from my Indian cooking class lessons…

I realise fully that not everyone who reads this blog has easy access to an Indian Specialist shop in order to obtain some of the  recipe ingredients.

Since I hope that some of these step-by-step tutorial posts might hopefully entice you to try the recipes yourself, I am offering you the chance to win some of these hard(er) to find ingredients.

All you have to do is to make a comment on any one of the “Step-by-Step Indian Cooking Lesson” posts.

Having sent Himself out to the  Indian Specialist shop,  I have a selection of ingredients here ready to post to the winner. Alternatively, should the winner decide that there is a specific recipe they would like to make, (or set of recipes) then I could also send you more of a specific item in place of ones you might not think you will ever need for instance.

Of course, if you can get any of these items easily in your supermarket or local area (maybe the Ground Ginger?) then you could save me the postage in sending that item to you and again, I’d be happy to pop something in extra that you need instead.

Himself goes to the Haagse Markt regularly and the Indian Specialist is just metres away so packing a parcel “made to measure” is no problem.

I’ll include some photographs here to remind you of all the ingredients we have been using …

I’ll get an unbiased and independent adjudicator (a.k.a. Himself, who has no idea who you all are LOL) to pick what he thinks is the winning comment without any influence from me (he’s guaranteed to be impartial because he doesn’t even know he’s been signed up for this task yet !!!) and then one lucky person will be receiving an Indian Ingredient goodie box in the post.

You have until (until midnight) of July 5th 2013 to comment on as many of the posts as you wish,  …to write something that tells Himself why you’d like to win, something about the recipe, possibly a link  with photos if you have made the recipe, why one or more is your favourite, something you loved learning during the series… or…?  Stand out from the crowd… get creative and be in with a chance!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Looking forward to seeing your entry!

October 15, 2011

And the WINNER is…..

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A few days ago I  invited you to enter a very cheesy competition…  To win some cheese!

To my surprise,  I got  only two comments, and one of them was from Raymund in New Zealand who very sadly we both know I can’t send any cheese to (even if I took it myself on the plane it also wouldn’t get in).

So… Hedwig It’s your lucky day!  You are my winner!

I don’t know if Ed has the Beppino Occelli cheese in stock at the moment, but if he has, there is some with your name on it!

Do you like Blue cheeses?  Since you will already be familiar with Oud Dutch Kaas, I will send you some of the other speciality cheeses that you might not be familiar with. I’ll need your address please 🙂 … I’ll email you.


Just a note… the cheeses in the photo here is just the remnants of what’s left over in our cheese drawer before grocery shopping day, it’s NOT the prize LOL.

Question for all of my readers though… don’t any of  you like  the possibility to win some of this  fabulous cheese?  200  people viewed the post but only two  made comments,  seriously: did I do something wrong???

Update:  Himself is back from the cheese shop, I put Beppino Occelli on a list but for the rest, just told him to be adventurous since you said you would probably like everything… and we’ve opted for cheeses that  it’s highly unlikely your local cheese shop would have, so hopefully you will have some big taste surprises in all of these.

I had literally 5 minutes to get these packed before he had to dash off to deliver some urgent work to a client,  get the kids to scouting, run errands for Oma, (it’s one of those Saturday’s…) so sorry Hedwig for the rushed packaging job…  The cheeses you will be getting soonest are called “Ulivo, Cruttin Occelli, Cabrales los Picos, Camembert Calvados and Galet du Mas” …the camera was sitting next to the bed so I grabbed a speedy photo for you… Enjoy!!!!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 6, 2011

Stroopwafels explained and you could be in to WIN!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Today I am introducing you to a firm Dutch favourite: Stroopwafels.

These are made with a batter that is cooked on a specially made and patterned hot griddle, then they are quickly sliced in half horizontally to produce two very thin biscuits (cookies)  which are in turn spread with stroop and the two halves are rejoined with the stroop holding the two halves together.

But what is Stroop?

hmm… it’s a syrup, kind of caramel in flavour but different… it’s definitely not the same as Karo syrup, or Maple syrup, Corn Syrup, Golden Syrup or Molasseses (Treacle).

Each of these has a taste all of their own… and so too does Dutch Stroop.

The resulting stroopwaffel is a  thin biscuit that’s a sweet treat full of flavour. You can get them in different sizes, they come in the regular sizes and in mini’s but generally fresh ones made on street market stands are even larger than the regular sized ones pictured.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Standing on the footpath, eating a freshly made stroopwafel literally hot off the press is definitely something that you need to do in order to complete your cultural experience if you ever have the opportunity to visit the Netherlands.

My personal favourite is not really the most traditional of stroopwafels, the filling is the same but the outside biscuit is far thicker and whilst there is a lattice pattern on them, it’s not the same as the waffle “look” of the more traditional versions.

I prefer them to the others simply because they  they keep the great caramel flavour but are a little  less sweet than their traditional counterparts.

There are two schools of thought on the “best” way to eat stroopwafels:  some say that cold is best, the caramel syrup is more solid, but the other camps swears that the only way to eat a stroopwafel is to place it on top of a cup of hot tea, cocoa or coffee, and to let the heat of the steam soften the stroopwafel  and it’s inner stroop, to eating perfection.

Me? I prefer them cold. (….But what that actually means is: “They never last long enough to make it to the cup“) (sigh) Don’t  be fooled by the photo,  it’s a demonstration model only, the cup is empty and the stroopwafel lived not after the shutter clicked closed.

So… now that I have annoyed your tastbuds with a glimse,  I was suddenly reminded by my 101 Task list:

“80. Run 10 Give-a-Ways on my blog.”

…So here’s a chance to get a taste some of these for yourself.

Yes!!! A  competition and  chance to win some Stroopwafels Dear Readers! 

All you have to do is to write a comment to this post and I will put your name on a piece of paper. Entries close Midday Friday 12th August.

Then, on the evening before my post of  Saturday 13th of August  one of my kids will win the fight to draw one of the names out of the hat and  you might be that lucky winner! So…  Stroopwafels are added to the shopping list next week, who’s going to be the lucky one to get them in the post?!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 10, 2010

Flowers for Elizabeth Contest results…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Regular followers and crafters will know that I  recently won a copy of Embroidered Flowers for Elizabeth by Susan O’Connor.


Due to a mishap in the Country Bumpkin offices, and a six week arrival time for the post, and no record of it being sent to me,  it was eventually assumed that they’s forgotten to send it, so posted a copy they found in their offices.

Ten days later it arrived in the post, and I mentioned immediately that it had arrived. Then to my shock, a second copy arrived a week later so clearly the first book walked part of the way LOL. (coughing up volcanic ash? who knows? .. whatever happened there is a mystery).

Now I inadvertently ended up with two copies. Of course I notified Country Bumpkin  immediately and asked if they wanted it sent back to them or if I could “pass-it-on”. So the long and the short of it was that Country Bumpkin donated the book and I’m donating the postage to send it to one lucky winner from a draw made from the “Comments” of the above-linked  book review.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Soooo, as to make things fair, the names went onto little papers, were folded and refolded, put into a little bowl, swirled around and then one was picked at random. Equal chance for all.

We crossed our fingers for all the entries and picked out one… Who will it be?

I can now announce that the lucky winner IS….. (drumroll………)  

Radka (tower93) of comment 6 !!!!

A BIG Congratulations to Radka, and a Big Thanks to everyone else who entered !

Radka, I’ll be emailing you soonest 🙂

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 1, 2010

Announcing the “A to Z” of Winning….

Filed under: LIFE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This post continues my post of 23rd of March, https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2010/03/23/are-you-crafty-im-offering-you-a-chance-to-win/ where I am celebrating my good fortune of winning a wonderful embroidery book, by in turn giving away two copies of Country Bumpkin’s “A-Z”  Books.

I’m a firm believer that we must all be thankful for everything we have, and not be of the attitude that ” when I have (more money, a better job, more free time,  a particular car, a holiday, a big house,  lost some weight, a new hairstyle, better skin, a more understanding partner, any partner at all or any other material item or wish) that then I will be happy…

I’ve come to realise that yes, especially at some times of my life, many things on my “wish list” might well have made my life a little (or a lot) easier, but they might not have made me happier.

When in the past I have had literally just a few pennies to rub together, I might have wished that times were not so hard, but I learned in these times the true value of money and that giving  (and receiving) can involve donating more valuable things than cash… like Time, Energy and Skills.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I have learned that when you don’t have “stuff” , and when you have nothing to loose that you are often more fulfilled then when you have possessions that you have to lug around, make space for, keep secure and fret over. That’s NOT to say that all “stuff” is bad, it’s not, it’s just that I am slowly learning about the stuff I collect and that sometimes when you have outgrown it, or never use it that it might be time to “pass it on” to someone who can…

I’m learning to reflect every single day on the Wonderful things that I have, ok, my health is often less than perfect but many people have it worse… but I can look at my wee family and say Thank You God, each day, I can delight in things like a little boys hugs and kisses and a little girls proud artwork, their excited stories and pleasure in small wondrous things of life. I have a wonderful husband who’s a brilliant Papa to our kids and who is a soul mate in many respects.

I’ve learnt that opening my eyes to see a need and to help out if and when I can, brings a joy that is different to all others. I’ve learnt that in “passing-it-on” that which you hand out to others in life often makes it way back to you in deed and kind and in a multitude of unexpected ways from totally unexpected people.  This circle often takes years to complete, but complete it does… “cast your bread unto the waters and it shall come back to you tenfold” are wise words that do come to pass.

I’m no Saint, far, far from it, but sharing little joys is one of Life’s pleasures… if I need any Thanks at all, the best way to express it is to “pass-it-on” … invite someone who lives alone for a meal, they will value your company and chance for a chat  beyond measure. Babysit for free, couples with young kids usually never get enough decent moments to themselves. In busy traffic, make a gap and let someone stuck in a side street into the flow with a smile and a friendly wave, find some little way to make someones day brighter.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

These books offer a brilliant instruction on a whole range of embroidery, handwork and sewing techniques and are my personal favourite because of  the clarity of the step-by-step photographs what accompany each of the techniques being illustrated.

Sooo Who are our lucky winners?

To make it fair and to give everyone an equal chance, I wrote the name of each entrant on a piece of paper, folded it into four, popped them into a bowl and then got an independent  adjudicator (Himself) to draw out two.

There was high drama as the papers were throughly “mixed” around in the bowl, A drum roll of anticipation and some excitement as we waited for the papers to be unfolded… Who will it be?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

…. and the Winners are: Linda A of comment 8 ) and Kathleen of comment 14) Congratulations!!!

… and the next good news is that I have two small runner up prizes (Not a book but a little surprise Dutch gift)  to also give away so the next two names drawn were: zara_bear of comment 17) and Elizabeth of comment 3)

I will be contacting you all shortly by email to get your postal addresses etc.

Congratulations everyone! To be honest I have had so much fun with this I will certainly be doing give-a-ways again… watch the blog and be in to win!!!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 23, 2010

Interested in Crafts? I’m offering YOU a chance to WIN …

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m a detail freak, I love embroidery, counted cross-stitch (usually done  half normal size) felt work etc.

I get great pleasure from stitching, being creative and seeing needle, thread and fabric evolve into a finished project that I have had immense pleasure in producing.

A few days ago, as a new member of the Country Bumpkin  stitching website (forum) I was one of two lucky winners of an amazing book called “Embroidered Flowers for Elizabeth”  that the Country Bumpkin team were giving away and Wow! what a great surprise that was!!!

I’ve been SO delighted with my win (and the book hasn’t even arrived in the post yet ! LOL) that I decided to pass on a bit of the good feeling to my blog readers.

I can tell you that after years of seeing embroidery books that did little or nothing to advance the skills of a self taught stitcher like myself, it has been a refreshing delight to see outstanding craft books like the “A to Z”  Books.

I work full time, so day-time classes are not fitting into my schedule,  evening classes are difficult when you have dinner,  kid activities and homework to organise, and weekends are full of family commitments.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Books offer a great alternative, and over the years  I’d exhausted the library and second hand shop shelves filled with craft books that maybe inspired me with a finished article but gave me no clue of how to get there.

The one day I discovered  the “A to Z” series. Brilliant books for stitcher’s,  beginner to advanced, young and old,  with  little stitching background or none, these books are (for me at least) the path of least frustration way to learn to stitch.  They also inspire me to pick up cloth, needle, thread and to start something new, make something special for someone I love and to spend time in a creative pursuit that lets me de-stress, relax and unwind after a busy day.

So. If you are maybe wanting  to extend your knowledge of the stitching craft you are in,  fancying  branching out into something new, or interested in picking up something crafty for the very first time, then I’m offering you a chance to win one of these “A to Z” books for yourself. Nooo, I’m not affiliated with this company in any way, but I am a keen stitcher and want to give a good review when a company IS  listening to what stitcher’s need and want.

All you have to do is to tell me ( via Comments to this post) which one of the A to Z books you would like to win and why.

On May 1st ( yep, you have a good several weeks to enter and I want to allow time for Easter Holiday’s /Spring breaks etc ) I will post  two winning names  in my May 1st Blog post and the two lucky winners may each choose one of the books  from the list below to receive from  moi, Kiwidutch. (I’ll order the book of the winner’s choice from the website, contact you privately via your email address in comments and and get it sent directly to your address)

Here’s a look at the website:


…and the books in the series (so far) are:

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A-Z of Bead Embroidery,

A-Z of Bullions,

A-Z of Crewel Embroidery,

A-Z of Crochet,

A-Z of Embroidery Stitches,

A-Z of Embroidery Stitches #2,

A-Z of Embroidered Flowers.

A-Z of Goldwork with Silk Embroidery,

A-Z of Heirloom Sewing,

A-Z of Knitting,

A-Z of Needlepoint,

A-Z of Quilting,

A-Z of Ribbon Embroidery,

A-Z of Sewing,

A-Z of Sewing for Smockers,

A-Z of Smocking,

A-Z of Stumpwork,

A-Z of Threadpainting,

A-Z of Whitework,

A-Z of Wool Embroidery,

So… No matter your stitching pleasure, there is sure to be an A-Z book to delight  and inspire you too.

If you want to be in with a chance to win one of these books,   then please tell me in a “comment” to this post before May 1st,  2010 Which  one of the books you would like most to win and  Why!

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