Tonight was originally going to be the last night of our 2014 Olympic cooking experience.  However, I realized last night that the kiddos have activities that provide dinner for them and I didn't want to make my last dish for only two of us.  So, I quickly found another country and looked at some recipes that might be good.  I decided, since Chip and I both have Dutch heritage, we'd have a dish from the Netherlands.  So, I made Groentesoep met balletjes (vegetable soup with meatballs) and citroencake (lemon cake) for dessert.

The Verdict:  I had the kids sample the soup, while Chip and I were eating.  Boo loved it, Ebabe and Bug were not thrilled.  Both Chip & I thought it was very tasty, reminding us of a crockpot sausage tortellini soup I've made before.  Groentesoep met balletjes was significantly faster to make and very easy.  The cake was not as sweet as I thought it would be, but very good.  Chip thought it tasted like he was eating lemonade, a positive thing.  The girls loved it and asked for more!

Groentesoep Met Balletjes (original recipe from Holland)
You will need:
1/3 lb of ground pork
1/3 lb of ground beef
1 TBSP breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
34 oz of chicken stock
4 leeks, chopped
2 carrots, sliced 
3 stalks of celery, sliced
1/2 head of cauliflower, separated into small pieces

Put chicken stock in a medium pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, add vegetables, and simmer for at least 20 minutes.

While the broth is simmering, combine the ground pork, ground beef, breadcrumbs, nutmeg, salt, and black pepper.  Form into marble size balls.

Drop the balls a few at a time into the liquid mixture.  Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes.  They will start to float when they are fully cooked. Add more meatballs, stirring in between batches.  Continue this process until all the meatballs are in the soup.

Citroencake (original recipe from The Dutch Table) altered for Dairy-free

You will need:
1 cup of softened Earth Balance Spread (2 sticks)
1 heaping cup of sugar
1 1/2 cups of cake flour
5 eggs, warmed to room temperature
1 tsp lemon extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
4 TBSP powdered sugar
1 TBSP almond milk
1 medium lemon (zest & juice)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

If you are like me, make sure you are fully paying attention to the directions while you do this.  I was distracted with the US vs Canada Hockey game and was battling some major head congestion.  Because of that, I read that I needed 1 lb of butter, not 1 cup.  Thankfully I realized this in time to rescue my dessert by doubling the recipe!

Cream the butter and sugar together. Add one egg at a time to mix.  Next add the flour and mix until blended (about 30-45 seconds).  Add the lemon and vanilla extracts, the salt, and about a TBSP of lemon juice, squeezed from the lemon.

Transfer the batter into a greased and floured 9x5 loaf pan.  Bake for 50 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out cleanly.  The top should be a golden brown.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool on a wire rack until completely cool.

While cake is cooling, mix powdered sugar, remaining lemon juice, and milk to form a glaze. 

If you run out of measuring spoons (mine were all in the running dishwasher), you can always use a medicine cup.  1 TBSP = 3 tsp

When cake is cool, place on a plate or parchment paper and pour glaze over the top.  Sprinkle with lemon zest before glaze dries.

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