Bored of winter produce? Here is the brightest pasta salad!

This pasta salad has become such a staple in my routine, that it is easy to forget how awesome it is. And I can assure you that this pasta salad is like summer in dark winter days.
For this salad I usually raid our cupboards, which makes it extra convenient on weekdays. I have used jarred (marinated) artichokes, frozen avocado cubes (!), dried pasta, feta cheese, loads of lemon juice, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin oil and green herbs to make the shiniest and sunniest salad possible. The best part is that you make the dressing in the salad bowl, which means less dishes! As an extra note on the frozen avocado, I was hesitative at first (and rather afraid that they would be a little mushy), but am really enthusiastic at this point, especially because it makes me feel like less cooled air freight was needed to Europe. For all the Dutchies among us: you can buy it at the Albert Heijn (!).

I’ve made a bazzilion variations and in case you do not have some of the ingredients, I can comfort you that you can easily make swap in raw spinach leaves, juicy black olives, lime juice or braised celery stalks with great succes.

I find that it really pays off to use the best pasta available (I always buy DeCecco), and cook it really al dente, as the pasta tends to soften a little in the dressing (especially if you leave leftovers overnight, which I usually do).

I’m looking forward to find this in our fridge any day. 🙂

Bored of winter produce? Here is the brightest pasta salad!


  • 500 grams dried pasta, such as conchiglioni or any smaller shape (preferably good quality)
  • 2 large ripe, soft avocados, cubed (or 260 grams frozed cubed avocado)
  • 1 jar of artichokes, drained (around 180 grams)
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons of pumpkin seed oil (or high-quality olive oil)
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of mild mustard
  • Optionally: a handful of chopped fresh green herbs, such as chives, parsley or mint
  • 75 grams of pumpkin seeds (or alternatively you could use choped pecan nuts, or pine nuts)
  • 200 grams of soft feta cheese


  1. This serves 4 hungry adults, with likely quite some leftovers.
  2. Boil the pasta all dente, and in the meanwhile drain your jar of artichokes in a colander. There is no need to clean the colander before you drain your pasta in it.
  3. Juice the lemons and pour this into a large salad bowl. In this bowl, add the mustard and pumpkin seed oil. Give this a quick whisk with a fork and add the cubed avocados.
  4. Make sure to cover the avocado in the dressing immediately to prevent them from turning brown.
  5. Add the artichokes, hot pasta, pumpkin seeds and feta cheese and mix everthing up properly. The heat of the pasta ensures that all aromas get mixed even better.
  6. Serve luke-warm or cold. Enjoy!

Happy Friday!

Hello, how are you doing? I’ll be spending the weekend in Amsterdam with friends and I coulnd’t be happier.
I’m happy to report that the resolution I made for 2017, eliminating cooking as a chore and taking things as easy as they come, is working! We are eating loads of simple meals such as roasted vegetables with a cheese platter or mayonnaise, soups and pasta salads.
This in contrast to a lot of last-minute cooking that I did last year, which – I suppose – just crept in over the course of a couple of months. Having reset the button makes it even better to enjoy slow, easy evenings when possible.

Before signing off, I am happy to share the links that made me smile this week.

How beautiful are these underwater photos? Or these stunning visions of our planet?

Advice to my younger self. “And for heaven’s sake, let yourself really fail once in a while — not some tiny little mistakes here and there, but big, glaring, confidence-shaking, dark-night-of-the-soul-inducing failures.”

It’s true, setting music for a good dinner party is a science! I loved reading these professional suggestions.

I’m usually not too excited when there are pieces of fruit in my dinner, but this grilled salmon with avocado & blood oranges looks pretty enticing.

These healthy chocolate cookies seem perfect to try out soon.

Also, I finally know what to make for next year’s valentine’s: a beer cake!

I love to snack on dates, and this recipe – calling for tea-soaking and mascarpone – sounds delicious.

This spring, I’m planning to make ravioli (or caramelle) again. This recipe involving parmesan broth and burrata literally makes my mouth water.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Happy Friday!

Hello! How are you doing? How is your week? I suppose it is the last stretch of winter that is getting to me a bit. Bicycle lanes were icy this week, there were buckets of rain and my cycle-commute was everything but glamorous (although, question is when it ever is of course).
This weekend, we are driving south to spend time with friends and I’m looking forward to wind down and relax.

Before signing off, I am happy to share the links that made me smile this week.

Yesterday I published a post on all tips & recommendations on getting married in Frankfurt (or Germany in general). I thoroughly enjoyed going through all photos of our wedding. Thinking of all the memories we made together with our closest family and friends makes me incredibly happy. And again (forever) credit to the most wonderful bridesmades who let me drink coffee and pretend it was just another day. 🙂

These kitchen hacks are good!

And this honest post on how to read more books is so endearing (and relatable).

I’m not one to exercise every day, but this article got me at “I’m not a professional athlete/superhuman. I’m a regular human who wants to live a good life“.

This chocolate-fudge bundt cake looks delicious!

And this banana cake with dulce de leche sounds divine. I’m plotting to try this recipe for my father and am considering how much more dulce de leche I can add. If you’re looking for a way to make your own dulce de leche, you can find it here.

Talking coffee, this mocha-chocolate mousse sounds delicious!

I’m looking forward to start a new project in the kitchen, and this home-made chorizo (!) is high on my list.

And talking about my cycling commute, I love listening to podcasts (recommendations here) and I after reading all the positive reviews, I am excited to start listening to this one: Pod Save America.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Happy Friday

[photo via]

Hello, how are you doing? How is your Friday? I am finishing up a hard week full of work and I am happy to indulge in a weekend full of reading, coffees and taking it slow. I would secretly (or not so secretly) love to start a two-person book club, and how cozy does this sound?

Below I am sharing some of the links I truly loved reading this week, hope you like them too.

How cool is it to design your resume like this? How many of you have done something like this? I am tempted but also feel verrrry conservative.

And the opposite of daydreaming of a shiny resume, what about retiring before your thirties?

How little things make up the big part of life, a good read to remind one self of what’s important.

And talking about important things, how beautiful are these Winnie de Pooh quotes? “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.

My secret wish to be a little more stoic… Especially the suggestion to ask yourself ‘what would Batman do’ seems brilliant.

And how amazing does this Lumberjack Cake look?

In case you are looking for some breathtaking videos, go and check out Sweetambs. I am not kidding, you might be stuck watching videos until you collapse. Yesterday evening I went ahead and tried to make these Latte Art Cookies, and I can’t believe how much fun I had with it. Tonight we are bringing a plate of them to friends and I’m hoping to tuck in. 😉

These weeks we are eating loads of roasted vegetables combined with grains, such as millet. This recipe of farro with mushrooms sounds really good!
These Kofta Meatballs sounds incredibly tasty and would make a wonderful addition.

And in case you hoping to see some recipes, I’ll soon be back with mascarpone buttercream, Russian pastries called ‘Kartoshka’ and this Tiramisu Cake

Have a wonderful weekend!

Happy Weekend!

[photo via] Hello! How is your weekend? Here in Frankfurt it is sunny and freezing cold, and I am truly enjoying it. Friday and yesterday I have had my fair share of friends, big breakfasts, pancakes and loads of coffee and I couldn’t be happier to hunker down today to read and recharge for the week ahead.
Over the course of this week I really enjoyed reading the following links, and thought you might like them as well.
This Bridget Trump Twitter diary makes me laugh out loud.
And so does this announcement of the Sunday’s Herald of Trump’s inauguration as an episode of the Twilight Zone.

This guide is point on. I really think that you can recognize a good restaurant / bar / cafe by considering whether you would be able to feel comfortable being there on your own.

And these life lessons, summed up by game designer Elizabeth Sampat are perfect. “Mallory Ortberg’s “what an odd thing to say!” is the world’s best polite response to someone saying something insulting.”

And these hacks on making pizza (dough) at home remind me that I would really like to be able to pull this off. The tip to let your dough age is really cool.
Talking things homemade, I would love to make my own marmelade. This recipe seems ridiculously easy!

And this riff on both lasagna and moussake is brilliant!

This bun is a cross between croissant and cinnamon roll (!) and would be perfect for weekend-breakfasts.
These lemon-poppyseed muffins sound good! (and look at those photos!!)

My soup-repertoire is fairly limited, and I would be happy to try this version out with farro, spinach and mushrooms.
It’s not often that I make dessert (as in, something else than cakes), but this chocolate mousse with bourbon might make its way to our table!

Other than that, I made mascarpone frosting to top chocolate cupcakes (made with this chocolate batter) and I might never look back. It is just a mixture of 2 parts mascarpone, 1 part icing sugar, a good pinch of salt and a tablespoon of vanilla extract, mixed together until smooth. The texture is unbelievable and the taste is wonderfully tangy. I’ll let the batch be tested this weekend and *might* come back with a post on it really soon. 😉

Have a wonderful week!