Holidays with a Dutch Girl

Although you’d never know it by looking at me, I am one half Dutch. My tan and coloring are courtesy of my other half, Native American.

My mother and grandmother are full dutch and of the many important things they’ve taught me over the course of my lifetime, one of those things is that we Dutch have quite the sweet tooth and the means to satisfy it with some of our delicious recipes!

One of my favorite times of the year to be Dutch is December, for our delicious Christmas and New Years traditions. I’ll start with Christmas and Jan Hagel! (Pronounced “Yawn Ha-Hul”)  Even the sound of it makes my mouth water a little bit! It’s an incredibly delicious cookie that we bake this time of year and I always seem to forget just how much I love it until that first bite.

These are photos of the batch I baked this year at my apartment (before slicing them into small bars). And yes, as you’ll see in the second photo, I enjoy sipping on a gimlet while I bake and listen to Christmas music!

photo 1

It’s basically shortbread cookie on the bottom with sliced almonds and Christmas colored sprinkles on top! It tastes a lot better than you’d think! It’s like magic! 🙂

photo 2

And after Christmas comes NEW YEARS!

The Dutch have a fantastic New Years Tradition – it’s called Olliebollen and it takes like heaven in your mouth!

If I had to reduce said magic to the nuts and bolts, Olliebollen is dough that you make with raisins and deep fry then serve with powdered sugar. It’s ridiculously good, but not the best for your waistline so it is only made once a year, at New Years.

This photo is from the batch I made at my apartment last year, and does a good job illustrating the full baking process.


This year I made them with my mom at my Oma’s house. Oma is the Olliebollen queen, but at 92 years young this year, we thought we’d let her hang up her wooden spoons and retire after what is probably 80 plus years of making them, and she passed the baton to us.

It was a fun  and special experience, bonding with mom over this family tradition, while the pro (Oma) supervised our every move making sure we were doing it right! haha! Followed by the Olliebollen Master herself trying and (more importantly) loving our finished product! (Big sigh of relief!) It was a Success!! And a great day I will remember every time I make these in the future.

Below is a photo of some of the ones we made at Oma’s house this year.

photo 4 Sooooo delicious! Now I just have to wait 12 more months to taste them again!


Holy Magnum. I’m in love.

It’s no secret that I love ice cream and just when I thought I couldn’t fall any deeper in love – I met this little guy.


Magnum Double Caramel

If that looks like the interior of my car to you, you’d be correct! I was so excited I couldn’t wait until I got all the way home to get my hands on this little baby! It may only be 2 and half miles from the local Fresh & Easy to my place, but I’m not exactly what you would describe as a patient person. That being said, one thing I NEVER do is eat groceries on the drive away from the store, but I rationalized this by reflecting on the commercial for Magnums where Rachel Bilson ate hers on the road. If Rachel Bilson promotes it, who am I to say it’s wrong! I blame them for planting the idea in my head.

Anyway – I did not regret breaking this cardinal rule of “no grocery snacking” in the car. Holy Amazingness!! It’s premium vanilla ice cream hugged in chocolate, cuddled by smooth creamy caramel then wrapped in another crunchy layer of chocolaty goodness. Divine!!

Do yourself a favor and next time you’re at the store and see this box beckoning to you from behind the cold freezer glass – answer the call!


Magnum Double Caramel

Walk over and make it yours! Sooo delish! (Just don’t look at the nutrition facts!) Everyone deserves a little sweet treat every once and a while, but for your waistline’s sake don’t make it a habit – such splendor shouldn’t be an everyday thing anyway!