Halloween – Carving a pumpkin!

Lumpy Space Princess (LSP) Pumpkin!

Lumpy Space Princess (LSP) Pumpkin!

Koen and I decided this October to carve a pumpkin – only my 2nd while living in Antwerp (my 4th Halloween). I saw everyone’s pumpkin carving parties and felt the need to have my own private party with Koen. We weren’t sure what to carve, but then Koen found a lot of stencils from Adventure Time and we decided to carve one of our favorite characters – Lumpy Space Princess! We kept the jack-o-latern for 3 days and then realized why they’re kept outside in America; they really start to decay and smell awful!

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Barbeque Chicken with Jalepeno Cheddar Cornbread and Green Beans with Carmalized Onions and Almonds

Barbeque Pork Chops with Jalepeno Cheddar Cornbread and Green Beans with Carmalized Onions and Almonds

Barbeque Chicken with Jalepeno Cheddar Cornbread and Green Beans with Carmalized Onions and Almonds

I’ve decided to quit my new year’s resolution! Now that I’m back in school, I have less time to tryout recipes and make posts. That’s not to say I’m quitting trying new recipes, but I am relieving myself of personal pressure to try 2 new recipes a week (104 in a year).  With that in mind, here is one of my favorite recent new recipes – Jalepeno Cheddar Cornbread and Green Beans with Carmalized Onions and Almonds. I was craving a taste of home when I decided to try making cornbread for the first time and a new green bean side dish. Yum!

 

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Tristan und Isolde in Antwerp

Vlaamse Opera, Antwerp

Vlaamse Opera, Antwerp

For my birthday, Koen bought special box tickets for Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde! Because it was opening weekend, there was also a 45 minute lecture before the opera began with dramaturge Luc Joosten, who went into detail explaining the history, development/inspiration, and theme.  Koen and I both thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon and if you’re close to Antwerp or Ghent, you should definitely try to find tickets before it closes!

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Venezuelan Arepas

Venezuelan arepa with black beans, grilled banana, avocado, and goat cheese

Venezuelan arepa with black beans, grilled banana, avocado, and goat cheese

While Koen and I were in New York, we tried a lot of different multicultural food, including Venezuelen arepas. They are basically corn pancakes that you slice open and stuff with delicious ingredients. I decided to prepare a vegetarian version with black beans, grilled banana (I couldn’t find plantains), avocado, and goat cheese. While we were in New York at Arepera Guacuco, there were also a lot of different sauces to use with the arepas, so I found a recipe for a mango pepper arepa sauce. I was really proud of how the areaps turned out! It was a lot of work, but worth it!

 

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