Terrific Thyme Crackers

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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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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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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Lemon Herb Couscous

Lemon Herb Couscous

If you can boil water, you can make couscous, it’s that easy. Rice and potatoes are pretty standard, but couscous makes a simple meal, just a little fancier! I’ve made this recipe with traditional couscous, but I think I like the pearl better. Just follow the directions on the box, and add these few ingredients to really wow your family, and your guests. Preppin’ 1 box Pearl Couscous (or 2 cups water and 1 ½ cups traditional couscous) 1 chicken or vegetable bullion cube 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 Tablespoon olive oil Zest from two large lemons ¼ cup

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Karate Chop Steak

Karate Chop Steak

Chopped steak, basically a pan-fried hamburger sans bun, is the ultimate man food. Salisbury Steak has been a Hungry Man frozen dinner option for decades. Simple, but tasty, I used to make this recipe years ago when my husband and I were first dating and he always loved it. Paired with Lemon Herb Couscous and Blue Green Beans, it transforms the meat patty TV dinner of our youth into something grown-up-dinner-party-worthy and female friendly. The meat is given a surprising flavor of soy sauce, to make this not only my husband’s, but one of my kids’ favorite as well. Enjoy

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Cool American Ranch Chicken

Cool American Ranch Chicken

I remember my first few months grocery shopping in the Netherlands. I’d peruse the stores, translating, hoping I’d find the right ingredients, and looking for familiar brands. The familiar brands were few and far between – but my local Jumbo grocery store stocked Doritos. Yum! I eyed each flavour (yes, spelled with a ‘u’). Nacho Cheese, Natural, and what’s this? Cool American? What the heck does that mean? Curious, I exchanged my Euros for a Cool American flavoured bag of tortilla chips and opened it upon entering my house. I reached in, grabbed and chip and took a bite. Ranch!

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Island Margarita Pie

Island Margarita Pie

Cool and salty, like an island breeze, describes this Island Margarita Pie. It’s one of my Mom’s most favorite desserts to bring to potluck functions, especially in the summer. I requested the recipe from her, knowing the re-creation in Europe would be the ultimate challenge – the key ingredient is Cool Whip! Cool Whip – not frozen, not watery, but that perfect consistency every time, is not available in Europe (that I know of anyway). I put my Google skills to the test and ran through a couple of trials with errors. The final result (I’m happy to say) is

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Texas Caviar

Texas Caviar

This one goes hand-in-hand with my Not Your Fergie’s Black Eyed Peas recipe. If you’re like me, I like to make my black eyed as a side-dish for a country meal (perhaps some savory pork chops or fried chicken) but then I have half a pot of beans left over! This is a great way to revamp those peas. I last served this cold as a side salad, but I’ve also served as a dip with a side of tortilla chips. Preppin’ 4 cups (about 650 grams) cooked black eyed peas (if you’re pressed for time, a couple cans of

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