January 6th, 2021

January 6th, 2021

January 6th, 2021

“Yes, today is the day that Congress will meet. And certify that Joe Biden will be President,” my colleague from the American Women’s Club concluded our ZOOM meeting mid-morning of January 6th, 2021. “Absolutely, exciting day in America for sure,” I responded and wished her a good day. It had been a typical Wednesday here in Belgium. My kids (as always on Wednesdays) were released from school at noon. We ate lunch at home, prepared their homework, and then dropped Holden off at Kung Fu. Brecht took a nap and Cosette and I read books in the car during Holden’s

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Kicking Cranberry Sausage Balls

Kicking Cranberry Sausage Balls

Growing up in Texas, there are a few staples I could always expect at my parents’ parties during the winter – homemade Chex mix, cheese straws, and sausage balls were just a few. But after moving overseas, I realized those lovely cylinders of Jimmy Dean sausages are impossible to come by here in Belgium.  And as the holidays passed, sausage balls became nothing but a wistful memory.  But then, I had a realization that changed my life. . . I could make breakfast sausage!!! (WHAAAAAAT?) I know. I know. While you are telling me to stop the crazy talk, I’m

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New Year’s Eve 2020 – Top 10 List

New Year’s Eve 2020 – Top 10 List

2020 has been the year of all years. And the heaviness of the events continues to weigh on our minds and hearts. We hope for a happy new year – full of excitement and reconnecting, but we’ve been through enough by now to set our expectations low. How will this year be remembered? What will the history books say? What will be the result of so much heartache, loneliness, and fear? The world is collectively dealing with the sudden loss of loved ones – what will be the psychological repercussions of such? But on a smaller scale, how will each

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Snow in Spa!

Snow in Spa!

With Belgium in lock-down, there are few options for entertainment during the Kerstvakantsie, but that didn’t bother us too much. After the complete and absolute mania of Christmas (and I was even prepared this year!) we spent a few days at home. Vinny took the kids and their scooters out to the neighborhood ‘square’, played a little soccer, and jump roped. In the meantime, we did a bit of a ‘throwback-to-March-2020-lockdown-routine’. I can’t say that staying at home with three kids is peaceful, (it’s not the gorgeous rainy-day postcard Norman Rockwell would have painted) but it was okay. I put

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Weird Moms

Weird Moms

Do you remember those ‘weird moms’? You know. . . You had those friends in high school who were totally cool, but then you visit their homes and the furniture seems to have come from a distant foreign land? Their house was filled with unfamiliar smells – perhaps perfumes or cooking, you couldn’t figure. Maybe before you threw your backpack on the floor, the mom bustles in from the kitchen to greet you into her wide happy arms, speaking to you in a funny accent? She offers you something you’ve never seen before as a snack and you greet it

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Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

“I want to talk to you about the subject of plans. . . life plans and how we all make them, and how we hope that our kids make good, smart, safe plans of their own. But if we’re really honest with ourselves, most of our plans don’t work out as we’d hoped. So instead of asking out young people, “What are your plans? What do you plan to do with your life?’ maybe we should tell them this: Plan. . . to be surprised.”   – Dan Burns (Steve Carell’s character, Dan in Real Life, 2007 movie) Christmas Eve, 2019

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Blue Christmas Cheesecake

Blue Christmas Cheesecake

Blue Christmas Cheese Cheesecake “You’ll be doing all right With your Christmas of white But I’ll have a blue, blue, blue cheese Christmas. . .” My husband loves blue cheese and there are plenty of excellent recipes out there for dressing this versatile cheese up or down. The following is one of the most beautiful presentations I have seen, and it is super-tasty to boot! It is best prepared the day before, to allow ample time to chill before serving. This recipe can be doubled for a crowd. . . maybe next year. Preppin’ 1/2 cup (75 grams) pecan or

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Days of Our Lives Cranberry Mold

Days of Our Lives Cranberry Mold

Cozy Coupe. Swing-set. An oak tree outside our breakfast nook. These are the images of my childhood. My mother, a full-time mom of three, would feed us lunch and catch glances of her favorite daytime soap from a tiny black and white television from the corner of the kitchen. As she served us macaroni and cheese with sliced hotdogs, Days of Our Lives would hum from a tiny T.V. next to the stove.   Come Christmas, my Mom would make this magical mix of spiced tea with Tang, red hots, and instant tea. . . but my most favorite dish

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How 2020 Stole Christmas!

How 2020 Stole Christmas!

Update: I’m happy to announce that the following poem was published by The Brussels Times on December 22, 2020. Click here to view: https://www.brusselstimes.com/opinion/145641/how-2020-stole-christmas/ 2020 has been a difficult year, to say the least. As my children and I unearthed the Christmas decorations from the basement and started to re-read all our favorite holiday stories, I found an alarming similarity between a familiar prose. . . and 2020’s “festivities”.   With a sarcastic, but yet enlightened heart, I wrote the following poem. Thank you, Dr. Suess, for your beautiful poem, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Who knew your message could be adapted

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European-Adapted Green Bean Casserole

European-Adapted Green Bean Casserole

One of my favorite things to eat for Thanksgiving and Christmas is the classic green bean casserole. My first batch was when I was fresh out of college and with canned green beans. Luckily, my cooking skills have matured since then and I’ve adapted that classic cream-of-mushroom soup recipe to the cream-of-mushroom-soup-less country. I’ve made it with fresh fried onions in the past, but the essence of this dish is simplicity, so you can jazz it up if you’d like – but I think this version gives you the balance of fresh and fast. I like using haricot verts, the

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