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Restaurant Review Travel

Where to Eat and Drink in Amsterdam

As I mentioned in my last post, I think that Amsterdam’s food scene is way underrated. It’s difficult to define the city’s cuisine in just a few words because they’ve gathered influence from many different countries, so I guess I’d just call it global.

From cheap eats to fine dining, we loved every meal we had in our four days there. If I really had to narrow it down, here is my top list of where to eat and drink in Amsterdam:

Where to Eat and Drink in Amsterdam ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com


De Biertuin

De Biertuin ll Where to Eat and Drink in Amsterdam ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

We found De Biertuin on a whim the day we arrived. Travis wanted a good beer and I was craving something relatively healthy…and luckily for us, De Biertuin had both. I can’t think of another beer garden that puts the same level of care into their vegetarian dishes as they do their burgers and beer selection. We went twice, and both times the restaurant was packed. It’s the perfect spot for a casual meal, and there is something on the menu for everyone (including wine for the non-beer drinkers like me!).

What to order:

The spit-roasted half chicken. It comes with a variety of delicious house-made sauces.

The Veggie Burger with Mango Chutney, which was without a doubt the best veggie burger I’ve ever had.


Restaurant De Kas

The One Restaurant You Must Visit in Amasterdam: Restaurant De Kas ll Amsterdam Restaurant Review on www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I wrote a full review here, so I won’t go into too much detail in this post. If you’re looking for a unique culinary experience in Amsterdam and appreciate farm-to-table dining, go to De Kas.

What to order: The menu is fixed, but the chef is able to accommodate food allergies and dietary preferences. Make sure to opt for the wine pairing, you won’t be disappointed.


Restaurant Blauw

Where to Eat and Drink in Amsterdam ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Image source

An Indonesian rijsttafel is a must in Amsterdam. The Dutch word literally translates to “rice table” and a traditional rijsttafel consists of many (in this case 16) small dishes accompanied with rice. Most restaurants will offer both a meat and vegetarian rijsttefel, and in some cases there is a fish option as well. Restaurant Blauw was our second rijsttafel experience, and while it provides a more high-end dining experience, the quality absolutely matches the price. One tip: go hungry! Each dish is remarkable in its own way and you won’t want to pass up on a single bite.

What to Order:

Soto Ayam: a soup with turmeric and lemongrass

Chicken Spring Rolls: NOT your average fried spring roll. These were so fresh and flavorful.

Selera Blauw Rijsttafel: includes 16 different small dishes with chicken, beef, and vegetables.


Foodhallen ll Where to Eat and Drink in Amsterdam ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com
Foodhallen is an indoor food market located in De Hallen, which originally was where the first electric trams in Amsterdam were serviced. Today the building has been given new life, and now it’s a center of music, film, culture and food.

There are a wide variety of food exhibitors in Foodhallen. I’d recommend dedicating a couple of hours to your visit and splitting a few dishes among friends. That way you’re able to try more of what the food hall has to offer.

What to order:

Hanoi Chicken Banh Mi from Việt View

Foodhallen ll Where to Eat and Drink in Amsterdam ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Mezze Plate from Maza

Foodhallen ll Where to Eat and Drink in Amsterdam ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

The Dutch Ginger from The G&T bar.

Look at all these cool gin and tonic combinations!

Foodhallen ll Where to Eat and Drink in Amsterdam ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Ask for bartender, Sjo. He can tell you all about Amsterdam and the history of Foodhallen while mixing you a mean G&T.

Foodhallen ll Where to Eat and Drink in Amsterdam ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com




Pho 91

Pho 91 ll Where to Eat and Drink in Amsterdam ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Pho 91 was recommended to us by a local and it really hit the spot on a rainy night. The restaurant is small, so get there early to avoid a wait. The staff is very friendly and the kitchen is fast, which is nice if you’re looking for a quick meal in between sightseeing.

What to order: The Grilled Aubergine Salad and Pho 91 with beef, chicken, and meatballs.


The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club ll Where to Eat and Drink in Amsterdam ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

The Breakfast Club has a couple locations, and we visited the one in Amsterdam east. The portions are large, which is great if you have a busy day ahead. We chose one sweet and one savory dish to share and loved both.

What to order: Buckwheat Pumpkin Pancakes with Pecans, Blueberries, and Blackberry-Sage Jam. Unlike American pancakes, these were not overly sweet, and with the delicious jam there was no need for maple syrup.


The Cold-Pressed Juicery

The Cold-Pressed Juicery ll Where to Eat and Drink in Amsterdam ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

After loading up on carbs and protein, you’ll begin craving something green. We came across The Cold-Pressed Juicery at the perfect time. Travis was trying to get over a cold, and he swore that the Reset Juice from the Cold-Pressed Juicery is what cured him.

What to Order: The Reset or The Pret a Protein. Both are easy drinking and perfectly balanced.


Up next: what to eat in Vienna! Stay tuned…and in the meantime, make sure to follow my latest travels on Instagram.




Disclosure: In some cases, I received a complimentary or discounted meal in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. These restaurants are all places I would immediately visit again in Amsterdam, and I hope you have the chance to visit them, too.


Whole Wheat Lemon Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberry Compote

It took me a couple of tries to perfect these Whole Wheat Lemon Buttermilk Pancakes and I was excited when I finally nailed them last week!

Whole Wheat Lemon Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberry Compote l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I am a big-time lover of anything lemon + blueberry (like my Whole Wheat Lemon-Blueberry Muffins), and if you are too, you’re gonna LOVE these pancakes.

Whole Wheat Lemon Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberry Compote l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

At first I tried making these pancakes with vanilla almond milk and non-fat Greek yogurt, but I’ll be honest, the texture was weird. I was trying to make them as low-fat and low-cal as possible, which I should have known was a recipe for disaster. I realized that in order to get that true fluffy pancake texture that we all crave (I’m lookin’ at you, IHOP!), I was going to have to add some fat to the recipe.

Whole Wheat Lemon Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberry Compote l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

So in this version, I used low-fat buttermilk and a teeeeensy bit of organic unsalted butter, and it turned out SO WELL.

The blueberry compote is a must.

Did you hear me? You gotta, gotta, gotta make it. And you can’t make the excuse that blueberries aren’t in season, because you can absolutely make this compote with frozen blueberries.

The sweet blueberries pair so well with the tang from the lemon. The combo really is a match made in heaven.

Whole Wheat Lemon Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberry Compote l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

So there you have it. Your weekend brunch just got upgraded. You’re welcome!


Lemon Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberry Compote
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2-3
Lemon Buttermilk Pancakes
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup skim or 1% milk
  • 1.5 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 egg
  • 1.5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Blueberry Compote
  • 1.5 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • ⅛ cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ Tablespoon lemon juice
Lemon Buttermilk Pancakes
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the milk and 1 Tablespoon of the lemon juice to make the buttermilk. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl combine the whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. After the buttermilk has sat for 10 minutes, whisk in the remaining half Tablespoon of lemon juice, lemon zest, egg and butter. Stir well.
  4. Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir well to combine, but be careful not to over-mix.
  5. Heat a large non-stick skillet or griddle over medium-low heat. Spray with cooking spray. Spoon ¼ cup batter per pancake onto the pan. Cook for 3 minutes or until the edges begin to bubble and the bottom browns. Flip and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the pancakes are done.
  6. Serve hot with the blueberry compote.
Blueberry Compote
  1. Combine all compote ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 10 minutes or until the blueberries break down and the liquid reduces. Stir frequently to ensure that the bottom doesn't burn.
Whole Wheat Lemon Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberry Compote l www.littlechefbigappetite.com
Eats Lately

What I Ate Thursday

I love when bloggers share their daily eats because I always get inspired with new meal and snack ideas. Today, I am jumping on that bandwagon and showing you what I ate Thursday!

Yesterday morning, my alarm clock went off at 5AM and I forced myself out of bed. After quickly getting ready, I ran to the gym and conquered a tough back and bicep workout. By the time I got home, my body was HUNGRY, so after a speedy shower I rushed to the kitchen to make this delicious protein shake:

Protein Shake

In the mix was: 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 3 large ice cubes, 1/2 frozen banana, 1 scoop chocolate egg-white protein powder, and 2 teaspoons of instant coffee. I love adding instant coffee to my morning shakes now because I get a good dose of protein and caffeine all at once! I chugged half of the shake and brought the rest in the car with me to finish on my way to work.

Protein Shake - Little Chef Big Appetite

A few hours later, my tummy started rumbling, so I grabbed a Kind Bar from my desk drawer (where I stash all my snacks!) I am hooked on this flavor, Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein = YUM!

Kind Bar - Little Chef Big Appetite

For lunch I had a delicious salad that I packed and photographed the night before. I combined pulled chicken breast from the slow cooker, sliced strawberries, apples, toasted pecans, and a delicious new balsamic vinegar to create this bad boy. (All of this was thrown into plastic tupperware to transport to work).

Lunch Salad - Little Chef Big Appetite

As I was taking these pictures on Wednesday evening, I found the best lighting was actually on our living room floor, so Bessie ran over to get in on the action. She was incredibly well-behaved. Instead of lunging at the chicken, she just sat patiently waiting for me to pet her. I was shocked! What dog sees chicken in a bowl on the floor and doesn’t think it is for them? Little Bessie is getting pretty darn smart…

Salad and Bessie - Little Chef Big Appetite

Around 4 o’clock on Thursday my usual hunger rolled in, so I grabbed a quick snack of plain Greek Yogurt with blueberries and my Cardamom Granola. I pretty much eat this combo every day now and I am far from sick of it!

Greek Yogurt - Little Chef Big Appetite

Travis was out for a work event last night and by the time I got home I had no desire to cook myself a “real” meal, so I ended up having breakfast for dinner. I made my favorite protein pancakes and topped them with Justin’s Maple Almond Butter. No complaints here. I was a happy camper!

Protein Pancakes - Little Chef Big Appetite

Looking back on it, almost everything I ate yesterday was “breakfast” type food. Not that I care because that is my favorite meal of the day!

Well, that about sums it up. What was your favorite meal you ate yesterday?



Please note: I am not a registered dietitian. What works for my diet may or may not work for yours. Please consult your doctor with any nutrition or diet concerns.

Breakfast Gluten-Free

Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pancakes

I am finally unpacked and I am ready to rock ‘n roll in my new kitchen. This kitchen is a dream. All of the appliances are new and there is beautiful granite countertop with plenty of space for prep work.  The natural light is amazing and it leads onto a little deck where we finally have room for a grill! Oh the possibilities.

This past Saturday was my birthday and my birthday morning started off on a sweet note with these amazing buckwheat pancakes.

Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pancakes Recipe

Have you cooked with buckwheat before? It is a wonderful flour with a unique taste. Despite it’s name, buckwheat is not actually wheat (so for those of you avoiding gluten — it’s safe!) Soba noodles are also made from buckwheat. It has lots of fiber and protein, so these pancakes stay with you much longer than ones made from simple white flour.

Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pancakes Recipe

I added fresh bananas into the batter to sweeten up these pancakes a bit.

Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pancakes Recipe

Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pancakes Recipe

And I served them with real maple syrup, of course. Now I talk a lot about how fantastic the produce is here year-round in California, but one thing that I REALLY miss about the East Coast is real maple syrup. Vermont Maple Syrup. Maine Maple Syrup. Yummyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pancakes Recipe

This recipe makes about 8-10 pancakes and serves two very hungry people.

Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pancakes Recipe

Or it just serves one if you’re the birthday girl. You should never have to share on your birthday.

Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pancakes Recipe

I am loving buckwheat these days. Next time I may try to make these with blueberries instead. And I may sub in almond milk for the buttermilk. If you adapt them in any way, let me know how they turn out!


Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pancakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2-3
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour (I found mine at Whole Foods)
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk*
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large banana (optional)
  • Maple Syrup
  • Butter or Cooking Spray for the skillet
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, mix the buckwheat flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Measure out the buttermilk in a liquid measuring cup. Whisk in the egg and vanilla. Once well combined, slowly pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix together to form the batter (some small lumps are fine here).
  3. Preheat a non-stick skillet or griddle to medium-low heat. Add the cooking spray or butter to the pan. Scoop slightly less than a ¼ cup of batter at a time and pour onto the skillet. Cook until bubbles begin to form on top of the pancake and the edges appear less wet than the center, then flip to the other side and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes and each side is golden brown.
  4. Optional: Preheat oven to 250 degrees and place the pancakes on a baking tray in the oven to keep warm until you are ready to serve them.
  5. Serve with real maple syrup and extra bananas.
* To make buttermilk, pour 1 Tablespoon white distilled vinegar in a liquid measuring cup. Then, pour milk (I used skim, but reduced-fat is fine as well) into the measuring cup exactly to the 1 cup line. Stir and set aside for 10 minutes. Then use as you would use buttermilk.