Archive for the ‘Pleun’ Category

Our Favorite Reads: Pleun, Martijn, Jilles

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

It’s time for this blog’s favorite posts of the year: the ABC Staff’s Favorite Reads of 2014! We hope these books, magazines, games, and more will help you start your new literary year with a bang.

We want to know about YOUR favorite reads, too.  They don’t have to be books published in 2014, just read in 2014.  Please mail your Top 5 reads, and your reasons for enjoying them so much, to by Christmas Day.  Your favorites will kick off the new year for this blog, as they have done for the past 7 years, and you will receive a € 7,50 ABC Gift Certificate as a thank you!


Gift Ideas for Chefs

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Ready or not, the gift-giving season is upon us! Whether you celebrate Sinterklaas, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or any other opportunity to give presents during the dark days of the winter solstice, we’ve got ideas aplenty. As in previous years, the ABC Staff has looked through their sections and hand-picked various choice literary jewels for your gift-giving pleasure.

We will present these titles in a series of blog posts and recommendation lists throughout the coming month. We hope you will find some inspiration in them, but please remember that these titles only represent a tiny fraction of the books on offer in our stores. Be sure to stop by to see what else there is in the area of your interest!

In this post you will find some delicious gift ideas for the food nut in your family or group of friends with books from our Cooking and Nutrition sections.

You can find our gift ideas from previous years here (scroll down a bit to 2013 and beyond), and be sure to have a look at our ABC Favorites, too.


Ebook available for Plenty More, Huckleberry and Crazy Sexy Kitchen.


Pleun’s Spotlight on Cookbooks

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

By Pleun

For me, autumn and winter is the time of the year to stand in the kitchen for hours on end and cook up a feast. From pies and cakes to grand lunches and spicy meals. I love to try out new recipes and when approved, by me and friends and family, they go into my cookbook journal and will be used again for years to come.

The cookbook market is now overflowing with new books so here is a small selection of some recent favorites I wanted to share with you.  Treat yourself to one, or surprise a loved one this holiday season.

Let’s start off with our lovely Jamie Oliver and his Jamie’s Great Britain cookbook. I have three Jamie cookbooks; two of them I use frequently and the last one (Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals) I found somewhat disappointing. For me the layout was just too messy and it was lacking the clarity I like while cooking from a recipe. So when I got a look at his new cookbook I was pleasantly surprised that the layout was back to normal! Similar to his America, Spain and Italy cookbooks, this one features a lot of original classic dishes and dishes with Jamie’s own personal twist.

I think a lot of people still think of British cooking as inferior but let’s be honest, the days when that you got  - at worst – only a bit of limp lettuce and slice of grainy tomato, or -at best – a dollop of coleslaw with lots of mayonnaise as a side dish are long gone. British cooking is now an inspiration too cooks and chefs everywhere. Jamie in particular is adamant on using local and seasonal products.

The book is organized in themed chapters, including Breakfast, Pub Grub, New British Classics, Afternoon Tea, Sunday Lunch, Condiments and many more. You might wonder if it doesn’t feature a lot of the same recipes also used in Gordon Ramsay’s Great British Pub Food – well, there is some overlap but the books are both perfect on their own and actually really complement each other. For me the recipes that I can’t wait to try are the Root Vegetable Crisps, Earl Grey Tea Loaf and Highland Mussels with Whiskey!

Do you remember, when you were younger, your mother would tell you to eat your veg and that it would be the hardest chore you could possibly imagine? The veggies were cooked till they were light green and had the consistency of milky porridge. Thank goodness we have evolved from that point! Vegetables are back! And back in a good way. Cooked to perfection and seasoned to complement and not disguise the wonderful flavor of the vegetable.

Last year it was Ottolenghi and his masterful Plenty cookbook; this year it is River Cottage Veg Every Day! by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall that has me salivating over the pages, 415 pages of inspiration!

What I love about this book is that the vegetables take on many different roles. From dips and side dishes to delicious mains.  Many people are still of an opinion that vegetables are only complementary to, for instance, meat and that a whole dish containing only vegetables is boring. This book proves them wrong! I can’t wait to try out the Roasted Beetroot Soup with Horseradish Cream, Pasta with Fennel Rocket and Lemon, the Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry and the Cannellini Bean Hummus.

I have a penchant for baking. It is like meditating and it eases my mind. Oh, and as for the end product; well something sweet is always good in my book. So with The Great British Bake Off just reaching its finale on BBC 2, I got my baking itch again and these two books really got me all exited.

The spin-off baking book The Great British Bake Off: How to Bake the Perfect Victoria Sponge and other Baking Secrets is, in my opinion, a real gem. It features a lot of sweet and savory dishes, both classic and contemporary. I mean Mary Berry’s (queen of baking) Chocolate Roulade is something that you have to have eaten at least once in your lifetime; a technical challenge but very rewarding. The recipes are very easy to follow and some have a lot of pictures explaining every step of the baking process.

Last year’s winner of the show, Edd Kimber, has written his own baking cookbook, The Boy Who Bakes, and what a lovely book it is
. Every recipe has a short intro on why he likes and loves it so much. This makes it much more personal than the average cookbook. Soon I will be trying out the Nutella and Banana Bites and the Coconut Cream Cheese French Toast.

If you are interested in baking you can always have a look on my baking blog: (in Dutch).

ABC’s Favorite Books of 2010, Part The First

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Whew, we made it to December 6th!  Sinterklaas is on his way home to Spain to enjoy his well-deserved rest, which means it must be time for us to start posting our colleagues’ Favorite Reads of the past year.  We hope you enjoy reading about what we enjoyed reading the past 12 months, and hopefully we’ll give you some ideas to boot!

This year we would again love to hear from you what your favorite reads were.  Please send us your top 5 (they don’t have to be books published in 2010, just read in 2010).  You can mail them to, and be sure to include your mailing address so we can send you an ABC gift voucher as a thank you.  We’ll publish your lists at the beginning of 2011 so you have all month to mail them in.

Without further ado, here are the first three lists, sent in by Paul, Simone, and Pleun.  Who discovered new authors?  Who met the scariest fictional person ever written?  And who laughed a lot?


Top 5 recent thrillers

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Pleun picks five recent book from the Amsterdam Crime section for us.

1. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Probably the best crime novel to come out so far this year. Because of Libby’s testimony 20 years ago her brother Ben was sentenced to prison for murdering the family. But did he really do it?

2. Missing by Jane Casey
I love a good psychological thriller and this one is topnotch. A young girl is gone missing which brings back memories for Sara and it is not only memories that come back.

3. The Killing Place (aka Ice Cold) by Tess Gerritsen
Tess Gerritsen is always a favorite beach read of mine and this year she does not disappoint. Jane Rizzoli finds herself in cold and snowy Wyoming in search of her lost friend. What happens there will have your temperature rising.

4. Scent of a Killer by Kevin Lewis
In London three men are found with their heads cut off and  torsos mutilated. DI Stacey Collins gets on the job and finds out that these three men themselves all been heavy criminals and predators. A real page turner with a big moral dilemma.

5. The Lion by Nelson DeMille
We had to wait a decade for this followup of The Lion’s Game but The Lion is worth the wait. A truly exciting read that will put you in a whirlwind of adventure and emotions. John Cory is back but so is Khalil!!