Cranberry Salsa

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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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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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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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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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