Friday, 22 April 2016

One year and one month! Vegan banana bread repost.

We're a month past Baby Bear's first birthday so I decided it's about time to post some of his birthday photos.

We had a fairly low-key party with some snacks, pizza for dinner and of course birthday cake made completely from scratch by yours truly.

Yay! Balloons!

Pardon the mess please.

All natural, all "healthy".

The unhealthy part of the day.

At the end of the day our lovebug was spoilt rotten.

Our plan for the day was really just to make everything as fun and simple as possible while also keeping the cake and most snacks baby appropriate. To us that meant a "healthy" cake, vegetables on the pizza and of course some delicious cucumber and tomatoes to snack on. Preferably I would have made the pizza dough from scratch with wholegrain spelt flour but I sadly ran out of time so we had to bust out some pizza kits instead. Luckily the most important thing, the cake obviously, was a success. It was my first time ever baking and decorating a birthday cake without any help and I'm pretty proud of the results. I used my own recipe for vegan banana bread, added some fifteen minute chia-raspberry jam and iced the cake with a mix of mascarpone, vanilla and organic, no sugar added applesauce.

Egg-free banana bread. 

  • Two tablespoons flaxseeds soaked in six tablespoons water for at least fifteen minutes 
  • Four small bananas 
  • Two tablespoons coconut oil 
  • Three tablespoons maple syrup (or honey if you're not vegan)
  • One and a half cups flour (I used wholegrain spelt flour this time) 
  • One and a half teaspoon baking powder 
  • One quarter teaspoon baking soda 
  • One quarter teaspoon salt 
  • Optional: half a cup of add-ins such as chocolate chips, chopped nuts, dried fruits etc..
How to do it? 
I started off with soaking the flaxseeds in water, they replace the two eggs found in a traditional banana bread recipe. 
After this I measured and mixed my dry ingredients before turning my oven on to 175°C. I don't turn my oven on before starting because ours heats up in no time.
I then started off the wet ingredients by melting the coconut oil in a big bowl and breaking my bananas into the same bowl. I prefer not to mash the bananas beforehand but rather go to town on them with a whisk gradually breaking them down further as I add in the other ingredients.
First I add in the flaxseeds, stomp everything with my whisk, then the dry ingredients and mix everything gently with my whisk. For the birthday cake I tripled the batch so I used the Kitchen Aid to make my life easier. When making a single batch of cake I usually add in a small handful of dried Asian pear chunks and two small handfuls of extra dark chocolate chips which I fold in gently.

When the batter is done, pour it into a bread pan lined with some greaseproof paper and bake for forty-five minutes. The cake should come out looking golden brown and it should pass the toothpick test. For the birthday cake I used a roasting pan and didn't have to adjust the baking time but it's always good to check.

Well, that's Baby Bear's birthday for now, but I will leave you with this little side treat that I whipped up for anyone with an extra sweet-tooth: vegan toasted coconut chocolate chunk brownies seriously THE best brownies I've ever made and I can't wait to try out some variations!

Monday, 18 April 2016

Get ready, it's coffee time!

Mama Bear's favourite coffee shop: Koffie&Ik

Calm, cool, creative, coffee.

Love my large double latte to go!
It seems lately that the only time I have to write something is whenever Papa and Baby Bear head out for a Daddy day. So today on their trip to the zoo, I finally have a few hours to myself which means ample time to blog up a storm so I'm hoping to get a few posts written and ready to post for another month or so.

Today I'll start off with another hotspot post as the last one was so well received and this one is absolutely one of my favourites: Koffie&Ik.

First off, a quick list:
Pram and wheelchair accessible
High chair
Kid's toys
✗  Not always enough space to store a pram
✗  No changing table, but they do have an extra changing mat if you need it

Kids' amenities:

First things first: the Bambino. It is just the cutest thing to watch a toddler spoon frothed milk out of an espresso cup just like their parents do with their cappuccino or latte machiatto. It's like you're watching an imaginary tea party but this time there's actually something in the cup and at €0,70 it's definitely a bargain!

With that out of the way, let's get down to business. This place is usually full with people in their mid twenties slaving away behind their laptops and about two tables with parents (or friends) and their babies, including Baby Bear and myself. So for a place frequented by babies and young children it's a shame that there's only one high chair and no changing table. The high chair usually works out just fine, but the changing table is a bit of an issue when "someone" has dropped a deuce. I'm not asking for much, a foldaway desk/table would already be amazing.
They do however have a chalk board and some toys so that's always great to play with and most parents will travel with entertainment for their own baby anyway so baby toys really aren't that necessary.

Baby Bear putting himself in front of showing off the shop


Coffee!!! Hooray! 

Coffee is truly a celebration when it's done right and owner Robby always manages to procure and brew the stuff that hits the right spot. Every. Single. Time.
Personally, I am quite addicted to a large double latte to go, yet for some reason whenever I have lunch here I just go for a small single latte with lunch and another one for the road. It's weird how different situations call for different habits. The one thing Papa Bear doesn't let me change is taking home four Pastéis de Nata (Portugese custard tarts) those are a must and I am only allowed to deviate if they're already sold out.   

Now, lot's of coffee shops will also offer some sort of breakfast/lunch menu and the same goes for Koffie&Ik. The offerings are straightforward and simple but good. And while I sometimes wish there were more (vegetarian) variety, I'm a sucker for a hummus sandwich and Baby Bear loves it too.
The yoghurt with muesli and honey is magical. I mean unicorns and rainbows with golden pots magical. It cures jetlags when paired with coffee and was one of my pregnancy cravings without coffee. So simple, but sometimes it's exactly what I need as a delicious pick-me-up. 

Magical yoghurt, muesli and honey.

Overall experience:

Really everything about Koffie&Ik is just simplicity done right. It all hits the spot every time and the space feels calm, cool and creative so it's perfect to catch up on work and with friends which shows in the crowd. 

The creative environment, beautiful flowers on every table, amazing coffee and food; for me, this comes pretty darn close to perfection. There are only two things missing to make Koffie&Ik perfect to me: a changing table and a change in the menu every once in a while. Maybe a good suggestion for the latter is to have a frequently rotating menu with two or three specials?

Papa Bear's Parma Ham sandwich and the oh so addictive Hummus sandwich.

Well, if you're as excited about coffee as I am, head on over to:

The Netherlands

Open daily from 08:00-17:00