Winter Wonders & Christmas Market

Winter Wonders & Christmas Market

Winter Wonders & Christmas Market

One of my family’s most favorite things to do and see is the Brussels Christmas market in the heart of the city.  We’ve spent the past three Christmases exploring the city and it never disappoints. This year we loaded up the front wheeled sleigh to partake in one of the most wonderful of Christmas traditions – the viewing of the lights and tree in Brussels’ Grand Place. The Grand Place has the most fantastic lights display. Last year the beautiful lights danced to a soundtrack from Belgian’s own Lost Frequencies, which was, inevitably, very cool. This year it’s SIA. The

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Terrific Thyme Crackers

Terrific Thyme Crackers

Alright, alright, alright. You know, as well as I do, that the holidays are upon us. And as any good hostess, gift giver, or daughter-in-law what do we want? To impress! What’s even better? When it’s Easy Peasy! I’ve made these little goodies all year round, and countless guests have asked for the recipe. I’ve hesitated, afraid to pull back the curtain on one of my most favorite appetizers, because of its simplicity. Four ingredients? Really? Well fans, I’ve heard your call. And here’s your Terrific Thyme Cracker recipe. Put them in a basket in the springtime or on a

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Antwerp Zoo China Lights

Antwerp Zoo China Lights

The first week my 5-year old son was enrolled in Belgian school, he went on a field trip to the Antwerp Zoo. “But Mama, we didn’t take the tram, we took a school bus,” he jumped around like a kangaroo when I picked him up from school that day. He loved the zoo – the animals, the playground, the bus ride. A few months later, as he blew out his candles for his birthday, he wished the whole family could go to the Antwerp Zoo. On a chilly day in December, Sinterklaas rang our doorbell and scurried away on Amerigo

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Snowballs

Snowballs

I used to make these with my Mom when I was a little girl. Last Christmas, my daughter and I made them together. We bundled them in little bags and passed them out to anyone who’d ever talked to us in our new Belgium neighborhood – my new mom friends at her school, the principal, the secretary, our babysitter, and the old man who always waves at us when we open our garage. This Christmas, we proudly displayed them at her Christmas Tea for her friends from school. These little goodies will bring a smile as big as a West

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Dirt Cupcakes

Dirt Cupcakes

Tasked with a Halloween cupcake bake sale I’m perusing websites looking for ideas. . . there are so many cute ones out there, which can take a lot of time and with ingredients I just can’t find around here (without a lot of effort or money, anyway) Reese Pieces? Uh no. Candy corns? Um. . .an arm & a leg at the American Store. . . I even saw adorable skeleton cupcakes using twisted pretzels for the ribs and a flattened marshmallow for the face. (Mine would end up looking like stick men – no pretzel twists around here!) Then

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Jeweled Cranberry Bread

Jeweled Cranberry Bread

Those red jewels are on display in grocery stores everywhere – yes, even the Netherlands and Belgium stock fresh Ocean Spray cranberries. Just as the fall leaves exchange their green hues for an explosion of color, nothing quite says autumn like those tokens of sweet and tart. With glee, I rushed home with the bag and placed it in my fridge, excited about the visions of turkey alongside blue-cheese mashed potatoes, and my to-die-for sweet potato casserole. But then I stop. It’s still October. It’s too early for my mom’s Thanksgiving cranberry jello mold! What am I going to do

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AWCA Gala Evening

AWCA Gala Evening

The Indian summer air shimmies through the wide boulevard of the Meir – leaves on the towering trees dance. Shop lights glow in the twilight as the final shoppers are deposited, hands full of bags and eyes wide with excitement – the Saturday evening beckons. My dress bounces around my knees and high heels click on the pavement I’ve so often passed over – always pushing a stroller laden with cups, snacks, and a discarded jacket, shoe, or both. Tonight, a tiny gold purse dangles from my wrist. Freedom. I grab my husband’s suited arm and we sashay towards the

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Grandma

Grandma

The day, thick and heavy with grey drizzle irritates like a soaked wool blanket. My restless children cling to my sides, whiny and needy from being inside all day. I shiver – trying to shake off the damp creeping from under the gap in my patio door. I shake – trying to free myself from the children. My task of the week – toilet training my 2-year-old – was a failure, cleaning up messes off the floor, dragging rugs out to the porch to be hosed off, and washing his hands after playing in his own pee. A true holiday

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LamberMontMartre

LamberMontMartre

The depressed clouds had been crying off and on all morning – their tears flooding our patio then drying just as quickly. Like a confused husband, we shrugged and decided to move forward with our plans. It was a once-a-month outdoor event (only occurring during the summer months, at that) and promises had been made to our daughter. We skipped the tram and drove into the city – to the free parking lot just a few blocks from the impressive but lonely museum. We’d seen the museum the week before – after a visit to Antwerp’s newest and (in my

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Blue-Green Beans

Blue-Green Beans

“Hum, so you add blue cheese to green beans in order to make me eat them?” my husband eyes the bowl and twists his lips. Visions of my mother smothering broccoli in velveeta to get my brother to eat them when we were young pop into my head. I shrug, cast a sideways glance in his direction. “I guess. Will it work?” and I raise an eyebrow as I chop carrots for the couscous. “Uh. . . yeah!” he says, and he loads up his plate. Just like the Lemon Herb Couscous, it just takes a few simple ingredients to

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