Terrific Thyme Crackers

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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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Strip Mall Salsa

Strip Mall Salsa

Any true Texan knows the best Mexican restaurants in town aren’t off the highway, but tucked into those strip malls in your neighborhood – next to the Kroger, the dry cleaners, and/or the nail salon. These restaurants – with their neon signs and ceiling tiles (painted black, if they’re fancy), rubbery booths and plastic tablecloths – aren’t out to win any decor awards. It’s the fantastic food, always served hot in ridiculously large quantities, the house special margarita, and the salsa that brings the neighbors coming back again and again. I made salsa before. Using a fork, I’d dangle fresh

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Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Spinach & Artichoke Dip

The majority of the members of my bookclub in Leiden were vegetarians and I brought this dish to one of our first meetings. The girls were so impressed. “Oh my, did you boil the artichokes yourself and use fresh spinach?” the hostess asked. I laughed, flattered that she thought I’d go to so much effort, and I had to admit – “Uh, no. . . I used frozen spinach and canned artichokes,” and in between mouthfuls she nodded. “Well, it tastes fantastic,” and we agreed. This recipe is so easy, but tastes like a million bucks. Preppin’ 1 package (8

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Jalapeno Ranch Dip

Jalapeno Ranch Dip

Shannon is an old friend from college who’s lived in the U.K. for what seems like forever. She visits Texas often and last summer I hosted her and a two of our close college girlfriends for dinner. After popping champagne to celebrate the momentous occasion of the four of us actually being in the same country at the same time, the conversation turned to her ‘must dos’ in Texas. “Oh, I have to go to Chuy’s,” she exclaimed. I cocked my head. “Really? Chuy’s is your Tex-Mex of choice? I’m more of a fan of Pappasito’s, Mi Cocina, or rather

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Tex-Mex Layered Dip

Tex-Mex Layered Dip

I recently made this dip for my daughter’s birthday party during our visit back to Texas. As always, it was devoured and my Canadian friend requested the recipe. As I typed it, I was having trouble converting everything to European ingredients. . . I knew I’d made it in the Netherlands. . . but where are refried beans in Belgium?! I first tried making my own refried beans (fail!). So I was just scratching my head. . . until last week. I noticed the Albert Heijn Mexican brand now has refried beans stocked. Game changer!! I bought a can and

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Celeste’s Guacamole

Celeste’s Guacamole

“I have to buy new cowboy boots and a molcajete,” I tell my husband. “Boots, sure but – A what?” he shakes his head at me. We’re in San Antonio, at the Mercado just a few months before our departure for Belgium. The smell of fresh churros permeates the air. Girls in frilly colorful dresses and boys in sharp black suits decorated with silver buttons perform for an equally sweaty audience. Tejano music has attracted the audience like moths. They sit watching the show and fanning themselves in their t-shirts and shorts. During our previous expat experience, I had left

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Benchwarmer Beer Dip

Benchwarmer Beer Dip

My good friend, Tess is originally from Minnesota and she gave me this recipe years ago when I got married. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made it – but Texans, Dutch, Cajuns, Belgians, Estonians, Chicagoans, Romanians, and Italians have munched on this cheezy goodness with pleasure. Of course, it took me a while to figure out a substitute for Velveeta in the Netherlands – “What IS a substitute for Velveeta?!” Tess gasped when I told her my dilemma – but once I did, I’d stock up when I found it. Preppin’ 8 oz. (180 gram) cream cheese,

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