Recipe: Traditional Dutch Pancakes

Have you already tried the Dutch pancake? This whole-pan size pancake is much thinner than the traditional American pancakes (but not as thin as the French crepes) and tastes amazing! You can use both sweet and savory toppings to make your Dutch pancakes even more delicious.

Buy the following cheap ingredients for the batter (2-3 persons):

  • 2 eggs
  • 500 ml milk
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 250 grams of flour
  • Butter, for cooking
  • Toppings of your choice

Examples of sweet fillings and toppings:

  • Apple, raisins, and cinnamon
  • Red fruits and mint

Examples of savory fillings and toppings:

  • Cheese, bacon, chorizo

Follow these 4 easy steps to make the perfect Dutch pancakes in only 30 min:

  1. Beat the egg in a large bowl until slightly foamy. Add the milk and salt and mix these ingredients all together. Slowly add the flour and mix again until the batter is smooth.
  2. Heat a 10-inch cooking pan over medium heat. Add a little butter to the pan.
  3. Add 0,5 cup of batter to the pan and swirl it around to coat the pan (now add any filling you like over the batter). Cook the pancake over medium for 3-4 min until it is just getting dry on the top and releases from the pan.
  4. Remove the pancake from the pan and place on a platter. Tip: Keep your pancake by placing them in a warm oven.
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Sinterklaas has something to say to all the internationals!!

Sinterklaas

My lovely internationals, great to meet all you guys.
listen to me closely, for I am old and very wise

Last Saturday I once again stepped foot on Dutch ground
I am very famous in the Netherlands, heroic and profound

My name is Sinterklaas aka the good Saint.
I’ve came with a steamboat from the country called Spain
To spend three weeks in the land of cheese, grass and rain

You might have already seen me, in the stores or on the street
Probably with my helpers, they are all called “Pete”

At night we roam the rooftops, and go down every chimney
and bring presents and sweets, I’ll have all those with me

Now don’t mistake me for that amateur Santa Claus
Just so you know it: I am the real boss

If you haven’t behaved, you better do it quick
Or else you won’t get any presents and Pete will beat you with a stick

And when you’ve been really bad, Pete will put you in his bag.
We’ll take you back to Spain, and it won’t be relaxed

Cause Spain is very nice but you will never see
You’ll be stuck in a factory, wrapping gifts for me

Besides sweets & presents, I’m the bearer of gossip
The next three weeks, You’re all the hottest topic

I know all you’re secrets and if you’re naughty or nice
I know if you’ve been studying or have been drunk during the nights

I know who is dating and I know who hustles
I have my eye out on you, even when you’re in Brussels.

I have done this for centuries, and am still going strong
Believe me when I say that I know what is going on

We are everywhere and we’ll definitely take notes
And share it with the public, all your secrets and quotes

Now go live your life but be sure to remember
That the secrets will come out on the 5th of December!!

Sint en piet

 

 

6 Dutch foods you need to try during your stay

We all know that the Dutch cuisine isn’t as famous as the French or Spanish cuisines, but there are many Dutch foods which are absolutely delicious! During your stay in The Netherlands, you need to try the following foods at least once. You will be surprised about how tasteful everything is!

  1. Poffertjes

Poffertjes are small, fluffy pancakes which are typically served with powdered sugar and butter. Most Dutchies eat this tasteful treat in fall and winter at outdoor markets. Here several stands usually serve poffertjes on a little paper plate with a tiny fork. Sometimes you also find a poffertjes stand at the market on Vredenburg square on Saturdays!

  1. Stamppot

Stamppot is a savory Dutch winter meal. Traditionally it’s made out of mashed potatoes and vegetables like kale or carrots, served with smoked sausage (‘ rookworst’). The kale version (‘ boerenkool’) is the most popular version of this filling meal. Other versions of stamppot are with onions and carrots (‘hutspot’) and raw endive (‘rauwe andijvie’). Do you don’t know any Dutchie who wants to cook this tasty meal for you? Then try out this following boerenkool recipe, it’s very easy to make stamppot!

  1. Saucijzenbroodje

This very tasty snack is made out of puff pastry and has a filling of spiced minced meat. Most Dutchies eat this snack on the go, because you can buy it at several places (Kiosk, Broodzaak and Albert Heijn) around central stations.

  1. Limburgse vlaai

This is a delicious pie with a light crust, often filled with fruits like cherries or apricots. This type of pie is originally from Limburg, in the south of the Netherlands. In this area you can taste the best Limburgse vlaai, especially in Maastricht. Are you not planning on going there any time soon? Then go visit Multivlaai in Hoogcatharijne. Here they serve also all different types of vlaai.

  1. Bitterballen

Bitterballen are small crunchy snacks, with a savory filling. The filling is a gooey mixture of chopped beef broth, flour, butter and herbs (‘ragout’). Order this typical Dutch snack during a round of beers at Bar Walden or Café Hofman, or any other café in Utrecht. Be careful when you bite through the crust, because the ragout filling is often very hot!

  1. Kibbeling

Kibbeling is the Dutch version of English fish and chips, but without chips and vinegar. The white fish has a fried crust made out of flour, eggs and milk. Usually kibbeling is served with ravigotte sauce. This sauce is also a must try, because it’s a perfect companion for kibbeling! You can buy kibbeling in any fish shop or fish stand at markets.

Which of these foods are you going to try first? Let us know in the comments below!

A bucketlist for international students in Utrecht

Utrecht is a beautiful city. It is cosy and lively at the same time. There is so much to see and do that even locals get overwhelmed sometimes. That’s why we decided to make it a little bit easier for you. We made you a bucket list with five things you should have done by the end of your abroad period!

 

  1. Enjoy the view from the Dom Tower

This first bucket list item is kind of an obvious one, we know. But it’s the proud of Utrecht, so it would be weird not to mention it in this list. The Dom Tower is several centuries old and 112 meters high. If you manage to climb the 465 stairs to the top, you will be able to enjoy the beautiful view over the city. Don’t worry, you don’t have to do it in one go. During the climb, your guide will take a break on several floors, to tell something about the history of the Dom Tower (and so you can catch your breath).

 

  1. Eat ‘Domtorentjes’

After the climb, you’ll probably think you deserve something sweet. Thankfully, you’re not the only one who thinks that. At Theo Blom’s bakery, you can buy chocolates that are named after the Dom Tower: Domtorentjes. They don’t exist as long as the Dom Tower itself, but they’re definitely legendary in Utrecht!

 

  1. Boat trip

The Netherlands is famous for its canals. Utrecht is one of the cities that’s characterized by them. The canals give the city a cosy look. Instead of looking at the city while you’re walking or riding your bike through it, you should definitely go and see what the city looks like from the canals. There are several places where you can rent a boat or book boat trip with a guide. Especially when the weather is good, it’s lovely to spend a few hours in a boat with your friends.

 

  1. ‘Broodje Ben’

There are a lot of nice places in Utrecht to get a good lunch, but there’s one place locals are particularly fond of: Broodje Ben. This is a stand at the Oudegracht where you can buy fresh, delicious buns with a range of several different fillings. Do you fancy a nice lunch but are you too lazy to get out of your house? No problem, Broodje Ben also delivers!

 

  1. The Black Slope

Last but not least, the Black Slope. This is a nickname for a pub crawl in the pubs along the Nobelstraat. In the Nobelstraat, there are a few pubs next to each other, which makes it a really fun place to go out. When you’re not really enjoying yourself in one bar, you can walk to the next one in less than a minute!

8 amazing facts about The Netherlands you probably haven’t heard of before

The Dutch culture could sometimes appear a bit strange to you, because you are probably not used to all the habits of the Dutchies. Don’t worry, because as soon as you recognize some of these habits, you will discover that they are actually fun (and sometimes make sense). In this article we have summed up the 8 most amazing facts for you.

  1.       Dutchies are the largest consumers of licorice in the world.

The whole population eats more than 32 million kilos per year of this chewy stuff called “drop”.

  1.       On the 5th of December the Dutch celebrate a winter holiday named “Sinterklaas”.

This holiday is centered around St. Nicholas, the same figure around whom the holiday of Christmas is based. Make sure to eat lots of “pepernoten” (small Speculoos bites), “chocolade letters” (letters made out of chocolate) and “gevuld speculaas” (speculoos filled with almond paste).

  1.       In Lisse you find the largest flower garden of the world called “De Keukenhof”.

In the gardens you can see more than 800 different tulips. A must visit in spring! When are you going to plan your visit to see all these tulips?

  1.       Spring officially has sprung when women can wear skirts again on Rokjesdag (skirt day).

Every year in the early spring, the Dutch decide when Rokjesdag will take place. This is always on one of the first days in spring when it actually feels warm outside (around 20 degrees). On this day, women will start showing off their bare legs by wearing skirts.

  1.       The Dutch say hello to each other with three kisses on the cheek.

This is an informal way of greeting each other. Friends mostly give a hug and/or one kiss on the cheek.

  1.       French fries are always served with mayonnaise.

The Dutch love to put a lot of sauce on their French fries, preferably a mix of different sauces. The most common mixes of sauces are mayonnaise, peanut sauce and onions (known as “patatje oorlog”) or mayonnaise, ketchup and onion (known as “patatje speciaal”).

  1.       Dutch men are the tallest men in the world.

Girls, do we need to say more?

  1.    The Dutch have the lowest incidence of lactose intolerance.

An actual reason why they eat lots and lots of cheese.

How fast will you be able to adjust to the Dutch culture? Let us know which of these facts are new to you!

Were you there? These were the greatest moments of the Mentor Week

What a week! From 11th to 14th of September, new internationals in Utrecht had a chance to participate in the Mentor Week, when they join two mentors and a group of other internationals to partake in several fun activities throughout the week. Since different groups did different things in different days, and the rain was a not welcomed guest, I will go through some of the highlights of the week. See if you can spot someone you know in the pictures!

Borrelboot

Unfortunately, the rain didn’t allow for a nice canoeing activity on Monday. But that didn’t stop anyone! Instead, internationals and mentors were able to still get on a boat and enjoy a few drinks on water.

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Bowling

Also due to the rain on Wednesday, some groups had to go play bowling, but that was far from boring!

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Pool

Everyone likes to play pool once in a while, and it makes you feel fancy! Some internationals went to poolcafé t’ Hart and experienced the competitive sides of their mentor group members, while enjoying a couple of drinks on the house.

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Lasergaming

In Lasergaming you have to shoot your opponent with – you guessed it – harmless lasers. At Ozebi the mentour groups could enjoy this activity, which helped with bonding, making  some sort of exercise and having loads of fun!

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International Kitchen

In this activity everyone brought some food from their own countries to share with fellow internationals, so people could taste a little of somewhere else. Take a look at how delicious all of this food looks!

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Karaoke

Personally, I find Karaoke one of the most fun, entertaining and ice-breaking activities, there is nothing like the impending public humiliation associated with it to make friends immediately! And I think internationals agree, because they seemed to have a great time, and didn’t have any voice left on the next day!

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Cantus

The Beer Cantus is a Dutch tradition that consists of making people drink and sing, and there is a series of rules that, if broken, have very special penalties. These penalties can be drinking more, or maybe go on stage and play a fun game (for the punishers, of course). It is one of the most expected activities. It took place in Club Poema, and it did not disappoint!

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Partyyyyy!!!

Reaching the end of the week and that heart breaking feeling that an amazing week is coming to an end, partying in Tivoli was the best way to let loose. People partied all night long, on the edge of starting what we hope will be a great semester!

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Welcome to Utrecht, everyone!

For some, it will be just one more year. For us and for you, it will be an extraordinary year.

I still remember trying my first stroopwafel, riding my first bike in the middle of the city, the first time I ran away from the rain when just five minutes before I was bathing in the sun; it was September of 2015 and it was the premonition of a great year, a complete contrast with what my life had been so far in Portugal. Now I am almost finished with my Master’s degree in Theoretical Physics. But as with you, the new international students starting right now, I am too just embarking in a new journey.

This year I am President of the Journalism Committee of ESN, responsible for bringing you great content in this blog! Last year I was also part of ESN, in the Pubquiz Committee, and was in the Project Committe the year before that. When I am not “sciencing”, I am a bookworm and you will always find me with my Kindle. Two of my favorite books are The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera, and Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brönte. I also love TV-shows, and this past year one of my favorites was This is Us (highly recommended if you are in need of a soul-cleaning roller-coaster of emotions).

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Me (left) in my UU Orientation Day in 2015, already totally Dutch!

In our committee we are excited to help make your life in the Low-Lands a little bit easier: we will give you tips, report on ESN events, tell you interesting facts from the city and the Netherlands, explore current themes in Dutch culture, and so much more!

Let us have a sneak peek at the other committee members:

Marjolein is the responsible for the Abroad Magazine, and what a job that is! She is always enthusiastic and ready to get the next great story, which is why she just started her Master’s degree in Journalism and New Media at Leiden University. She was in exchange in Viena in 2016 so she is excited to give back to the exchange community. She loves travelling, food (sushiiii), dancing, fashion, writing, Gossip Girl, James Bond and Phil Dunphy from Modern Family.

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Marjolein visiting a friend in Malta (2016).

Next we have Robin, the lively secretary of the committee! She is our student life expert. Born and raised in Rotterdam, she moved to Utrecht three years ago and has now completed her Bachelor’s in Information and Communication Studies. She also spent some time in exchange, more precisely in Belfast. She is a die-hard fan of Harry-Potter, and I’m not exaggerating: her room even has a secret closet under the stairs where she sometimes goes to and, she swears, closing her eyes hard enough, she is even able to do some magic!

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Robin (back, right) with friends in Scotland (2017).

Now we have Iris, the PR of our committee. She is sometimes a little shy, but she is fearless! She has been in Utrecht for three and a half years and just finished her Bachelor’s in Corporate Communication. She is now going to start a traineeship in Digital Content Creation, in Amsterdam. She attended a summer school “Cambridge English” in Manchester. Her guilty pleasure: 80’s music, because who can resist a good disco ball ? 

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Iris in the day of her Graduation (2017).

Uff, so many committee members! Let me have a little rest and let Lara describe herself:

Hello there! My name is Lara. I am 20 years old, which makes me the puppy of the Journalism Committee this year. I was born and raised in Frankfurt (Germany) and moved to Utrecht last year to study ‘International Communication and Media’ at the HU. Besides my studies I am working as a Content Marketer for a Start Up in Utrecht.
I am absolutely passionate about writing, photography, travelling and exploring new cultures. One of my favourite destinations, however, will remain Australia where I lived and worked for over 8 months, closely followed by New Zealand and Bali. I also consider myself as a serious foodie and coffee addict. Honestly, it feels like I am sponsoring half of the cafés in Utrecht. So stay tuned because I am going to share my secret spots and favourite recipes with you! I am mainly responsible for the layout and design of the Abroad Magazine but, on top of that, I will take you with me to all sorts of exhibitions throughout the Netherlands and show you Utrecht out of the eyes of an International on the ESN blog.

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Lara (back, left) hiking in New Zealand (2016).

Now for our boys. Jeroen is pursuing his Master’s degree in Economic Geography, and he is also pursuing the World! He just got back from a seven-month trip to the Asia-Pacific region (up until a week ago he was helping us out directly from the jungle) and previous that he did an internship in Australia. He did a semester abroad in Nebraska, USA, and he loves to meet people from various parts of the world to get inspired by the cultural differences and the (unexpected) similarities.

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Jeroen in Indonesia (2017).

Our second gentleman is Jelle, whose birthday is today! He studies Journalism in Utrecht, and, like myself, is not new to the backstage of ESN Utrecht, having been part of the Activities Committee last year. He is a virtuoso saxophone and piano player, and you might just find him at his favorite place, ‘t Oude Pothuys, where he likes to perform at the jam sessions. He enjoys the simple pleasures of life, and he can’t say no if you invite him for a beer (wink wink).

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Jelle playing his sax (2014).

I also want to mention our coordinating Board Member, Beaudine, who came back as well from a long South-Asia trip, with an enviable amount of tan and fun stories to tell. She won’t be writing with us, but without her none of this would be possible.

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Beaudine (left) leaving for her two-month trip (2017).

Our most heartfelt hope is that you make the best out of your time abroad in Utrecht and we wish you all of the luck.

Do you have suggestions for the Blog or the Abroad? Please let us know in the comments, we are always receptive to your ideas!

Like our page on Facebook and don’t miss an article: ESN Utrecht Blog FB

See you soon!

PS: We have a challenge for you: if you spot us on the street, we will feature you in one of our blog articles. Keep your eyes open!

 

How to maintain a long distance relationship with a Dutchie?

As summer is approaching, so is the time for many of you to say goodbye to your new friends, Utrecht and perhaps even a Dutch lover. Saying goodbye can be hard, especially when you’ve fallen for a special someone from another country. Nobody says it’s gonna be easy;  that’s why we’re providing you with some tips to help you maintain a long distance relationship with your Dutch lover or just your Dutch friends!

Make sure to bring home frozen bitterballen

This snack is one of the most typical Dutch foods. A yummy fried meatball with some mayonnaise, accompanied by some cold drinks on a terrace… That’s the image that pops into my mind when I think of Dutch summer. So what better way to bring home a bit of the Netherlands than bringing some frozen bitterballen? Of course, this tip is only for those of you who don’t have to travel home too far. You can easily fry them at home and share them with your family and friends. This way, your family and friends at home will fall in love with the Netherlands immediately (and indirectly with your newly found lover or friends). The old saying ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’ is definitely applicable here.

Communication is key

As you might have noticed, the Dutch are not known for their communication skills. We’re famous for our directness and don’t share our emotions and feelings too easily. That makes communicating with your Dutch partner or friends even more important. In today’s world it’s easy to stay in touch via Facebook or Skype, but in order to truly make your friendship or relationship work, you have to dig a bit deeper. Try talking to each other on a regular basis, talk about your expectations and don’t be afraid to tell the other how you feel. However, be careful to not overdo it since too much planned talking or texting can take the spontaneity out of your relation and ruin it.

Seize the opportunity to travel

Having friends abroad is the perfect excuse to travel more often. Plan visits to each other, so that your Dutch friends can also see your home country. But visiting each other shouldn’t be the only travelling for you; try to explore new countries together, so you can create long-lasting memories and make the times you see each other even more special. Check out the new Abroad magazine (arriving on your doorstep within two weeks) for more information on travelling with Erasmus friends.

Keep up your Dutch vocabulary

As said above, communication is key. Even though many Dutchies have an excellent level of speaking English, you can easily charm us if you’re able to speak some Dutch tous. You might have learned a few words or sentences here and there, but try keeping up your Dutch skills even when you’ve returned home. But how can one do that when no one around you speaks Dutch? Try watching Dutch movies with subtitles on Netflix, or practice your Dutch using the DuoLingo app.

Believe in your relationship

You might enjoy the idea of staying together despite the distance, but after a few months apart you will probably both start to realize the difficulty of a long distance relationship or friendship. If you want to make it work, it’s crucial to keep reminding each other of your love for one another. Confirmation of your commitment to each other can make or break your relationship. Both parties have to be willing to work through the problems that inevitably will arise, instead of dropping the relationship at the first sign of difficulties. Believe in your relationship or friendship, and I assure you: everything will work out eventually.

For more tips on saying goodbye, check out the coming edition of the Abroad magazine, filled with must see’s and do’s for your final weeks in the Netherlands.

 

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