Luckily I was able to see Christina one more time before she headed back to the States. It doesn’t matter where we are – America, the Netherlands, Belgium – nothing beats a girls’ day. This time we were in Amsterdam!
The past few years we’ve been taking turns hosting Easter. This year Barbara invited us out to Tilburg for a delicious brunch and a walk amongst the more than 10,000 year old dunes!
Two of our best friends live in Rotterdam, so going to visit Chris and Hannah is also a great excuse to see a bit more of the city!
2015, what a year! Time for a look back…
I’ve said it before, but I’m so happy my best friend is also married to a Dutch guy! This means that from now on she will be headed this way on a fairly regular basis to visit Rafaël’s family. The first being now to celebrate the wedding in the Netherlands with Dutch family and friends.
I love celebrating Easter – the colors, the food, and of course family! We gathered together in Roosendaal to do some grilling and spend time catching up.
Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year! This year Sofie hosted Christmas dinner in Breda. We ate gourmet – which is tiny pieces of meat, fish, and vegetables, that you prepare yourself on grillpans and mini-woks that are setup on the table. After dinner we ate delicious cheese served with my nut and seed bread, followed by Sofie’s dessert of meringue with mango-mojito sauce!
Sinterklaas is a special holiday celebrated in the beginning of December in the Netherlands and Belgium. I love drawing a name and writing poems and creating the “surprise”, or handmade gift that embodies some attribute of the person. It makes it that much more special than just giving a gift because of the time and effort spent.
For the third year in a row Koen and I celebrated Christmas Eve at the De Feijter home. Everyone – all the parents and children – create and bring delicious food to share while catching up and playing games. In 2012 Koen and I made mini tomate aux crevettes with grapefruit, 2013 we made meatballs, and now for 2014 we took it to the next level with: parma ham wrapped smoked duck and Belgian endive on top of nut and seed bread with quince peer jelly. Koen smoked the duck and made the quince pear jelly and I made the nut and seed bread! Mmm mmm mmm. The nut and seed bread recipe comes from My New Roots and I’ve already made it again because it was so delicious!
For Els’s birthday this year, we celebrated in Amsterdam. We started out at our favorite café in Amsterdam – Beter en Leuk – for a delicious and healthy lunch. Beter en Leuk just so happens to be owned by Koen’s cousin Hanneke, and you can find organic vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, etc dishes and drinks for breakfast, brunch and lunch, as well as great cookbooks, clothing, jewelry, and other treasures! If you are in Amsterdam, Beter en Leuk is a definite must-visit!
After our feast, we took Els on her first metro ride to the center of the city to Dam Square. We visited the History & Royalty: Journey In Time exhibit at De Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) where I learned a lot about the history of De Nieuwe Kerk and its relationship with the Dutch Royal Family. After the exhibit we walked a bit more through Amsterdam before heading home. What a fun day!