Crawfish Étouffée

Crawfish Étouffée

Crawfish Étouffée

This American college football season has been a celebration of crawfish (rivierkreeftjes) in our home. Every LSU gameday, we’ve enjoyed both Crawfish dip and Crawfish Étouffée (and as I native Texan I admit I’m still trying to learn how to spell that word, but that’s less important than knowing how to cook it, I suppose.) I’ve tweaked and perfected the recipe throughout the season. Now, with the LSU-Clemson National Championship a mere few days away. . . I’m proud to present my game-winning recipe. My Dutch-born, Louisianan-raised husband assisted and approves. You know I’ve got the rivierkreeftjes ready to go

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Crawfish Dip

Crawfish Dip

“Geaux Tigers!” our three children shout from the living room. Our family has lived in Europe for over six years, but I still love meshing American traditions with Belgian culture. After a busy day of grocery shopping in the Netherlands, errand-running in Belgium, and art and gym lessons, my husband connects his computer to the television. By some magic (his information systems degree comes in handy in professional and personal realm) the TV roars into action at 4:00 p.m. We have successfully made the kids fans of College Gameday and Lee Corso’s revealing of his favorite team by putting on

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Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Last February, the American Women’s Club of Antwerp celebrated its 89th anniversary at our annual Founder’s Day luncheon. An elegant affair, as always, we traveled through the decades celebrating fashion and the history of the club. We were invited to dress in the decade of our choice, applauded the women of the club who were celebrating significant anniversaries, and concluded the already-sophisticated meal with a luscious slice of red velvet cake. The cake was homemade by our Activities Director, Ariadna and I messaged her afterwards for the recipe. Months later, my son turned 7 and he requested red velvet cupcakes

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Cranberry Salsa

Cranberry Salsa

It’s that time of year again. When my local SPAR grocery store stocks Ocean Spray cranberries in that familiar packaging, making my heart flutter. I’m not sure what the Belgians do with the cranberries, but this Texan knows quite a few ways to prepare them. (Jeweled Cranberry Bread, anyone?) I buy a bag every time I go to the store and put the ones I don’t use immediately in my freezer. I started experimenting with cranberry salsas in October. I took a batch to my writing group in the Netherlands and while the guys in the group gobbled it up,

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Yummiest Yams Ever

Yummiest Yams Ever

I first ran across this recipe years ago when I was prepping for Thanksgiving dinner in my home in Texas. I’m pretty sure I was pregnant with my first child and hosting my parents, my husband’s dad, sister, and a few rowdy nephews in the mix. It’s so sweet and fabulous we had dessert leftovers before we had leftovers of this. It’s become a Thanksgiving staple ever since. My printed sheet has gone across the ocean three times, is all stained with water droplets, and now graffitied with metric measurements. So. You know. This one’s a keeper. Preppin’ 3-4 large

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Pecan Pie Cookies

Pecan Pie Cookies

One of my best friends from Texas sent me a Southern Baking magazine this year for Valentine’s Day. I’ve worked my way through lemon pound cakes in the spring and blackberry cobblers in the summer, but I’ve been keeping my eye on the pecan pie cookie recipe for the past few months. Waiting. Anticipating. For the day when it would be perfect. I whipped these little jewels up on Thanksgiving Eve and I’m pleased to say, they were the perfect addition to a simple, but sufficient Thanksgiving. I halved the recipe because 60 seemed too exuberant a number (and 4

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Garden Noodles

Garden Noodles

  So this takes the traditional idea of plain pasta and makes it something special. A bit of olive oil and whatever herbs you have in your garden, fridge, or growing on your windowsill – make these noodles fabulous. Tuck them under my White Wine Coq A Vinny or Belgian Beer Stew to complete the meal. Preppin’ 10-12 ounces (300-350 grams) wide egg noodles (or Italian tagliatelle works too) 1 cup (25 grams) loosely packed fresh Italian parsley, minced 1/2 (15 grams) cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves 2 Tablespoons minced fresh chives 2 Tablespoons butter 2 Tablespoons olive oil

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Beef Stew – Belgian Style

Beef Stew – Belgian Style

Snow in Rome, frozen canals in Holland, and just a general-OMG it’s SO cold in Belgium feeling. . . winter seems to have a tight hold on us in Europe. How in the world can you cope with the coldness of winter? With beef. And beer. How about beef and beer, slow-cooked in the oven for hours? Yes. That’s the ticket. Eat it by the fireside for an extra special winter treat. In March. I’ve taken the traditional pot roast and stew recipes from the U.S. and combined them with my Belgian favorite – stoofvlees – to create this one.

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White Wine Coq Au Vinny

White Wine Coq Au Vinny

The best part about wintertime is the food – just how the world around us has drawn hearthside, slowed down, and warms up with blankets and fuzzy socks – my favorite foods slowly cook in the oven for hours and warms my family’s insides with each bite. (My favorite recipes also make enough to freeze the leftovers, which is handy for those really lazy winter days when I just can’t be bothered to do more than defrost.) My kids lovingly titled this one White Wine Coq au Vinny, after their Dad. In Belgian and Holland, most grocery stores sell pre-sliced

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Sunshine Lemon Tea Cookies

Sunshine Lemon Tea Cookies

I hosted a Christmas Tea party this past weekend and out of all the goodies I prepped, these seemed to be one of the favorites. Tart and sweet, small and light, they were like sunshine on the cold winter day. If you want them to balance on the saucer of your tea cup, make the dough dollops tiny before sliding them into the oven. Preppin’ 1/2 cup (115 grams) butter 3/4 cup (150 grams) sugar 1 teaspoon lemon zest 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1 large egg 1/3 cup (80 ml) milk 2 teaspoons lemon juice 1

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