Sofie’s Birthday Party

The birthday girl, me, and Barbara

The birthday girl, me, and Barbara

My parents happened to be in town for Sofie’s birthday. Also in the Netherlands was Koen’s cousin Andrea and her boyfriend Ethan from Canada – so my parents didn’t have to worry about people speaking English. I always love getting together for family birthdays because it gives me the chance to catch up and see everyone! We celebrated at Sofie’s apartment in Breda and enjoyed delicious cakes and frietjes!

 

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My Parents Visit Antwerp May 2014

Enjoying fresh fries in Antwerp with my parents!

Enjoying fresh fries in Antwerp with my parents!

My parents made their annual visit this May! We had an eventful start – I fractured my elbow when I fell off my bike on the way to pick them up in Brussels. But who better to have around than your parents? The first week I had to wear a cast to let my bone begin healing, and for the remaining 5 weeks I have to wear a compression sock – otherwise I won’t have any range of motion. So we were in and out of the hospital and doctor’s office a lot! For the rest of the trip we took it easy, taking walks around the city, eating fries, and enjoying Belgian beers. I will make separate posts about Sofie’s birthday party, Dinant, and Düsseldorf. This is a post about our time in Antwerp!

 

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Cannelloni al Forno – Casalinga Style

Cannelloni al Forno

Cannelloni al Forno – Casalinga Style

Sometimes when I’m looking for inspiration for dinner, I first have a look to see what I have at home. When I searched my kitchen I found cannelloni tubes. I have tried different recipes, but Mario Batali’s Cannelloni al Forno (Casalinga Style) is my favorite. Casalinga is Italian for “housewife”, so you know that this is a comfort food recipe. The only change I make is not adding the bechamel sauce on top. I don’t love dishes that are too creamy or too cheesy (which is weird because I love cheese), so I just grate parmesan on top of the tomato sauce before baking. This recipe was again a success and made enough dinner for 2 evenings!

 

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Tomate aux crevettes

Tomate aux crevettes with baguette and garlic butter

Tomate aux crevettes with baguette and garlic butter

Tomate aux crevettes is one of my favorite Belgian dishes! It is not difficult to make and the simplicity of the flavors is what makes it so great. Hollowed tomatoes are filled with a mixture of North Sea shrimp, mayonnaise, Worstershire sauce, lemon juice, and tabasco – or at least that’s how Koen and I make it. You can use store bought mayonnaise, but for last night’s dinner, Koen made it fresh from scratch and you can taste the difference! Traditionally tomate aux crevettes is paired with french fries, but we were in the mood for bread. To top the bread, I made a garlic butter made of butter, garlic, shallots, and parsley. Perfect combo!

 

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