Like I mentioned last year, I really wanted to try all of the special pastries this year. So rather than my normal curryrol and worstenbroodje from the Lints, I had everything – salmon and spinach, chicken and vegetables, sausage and Belgian endive, and vegetarian. It was fun to try, but the classics are still the best! And of course for dessert appelbollen!
Koyasan is a Buddhist community located on top of Mount Koya in the Wakayama Prefecture (just south of Kyoto and Osaka). We decided early on in our planning to make the trek up the sacred mountain and spend the night at Kongo Sanmaiin, one of the Buddhist temples.
I’m a bit reluctant to admit it…but it’s been forever since Koen and I have thrown a birthday party. We decided there’s no time like the present! So in honor of Koen’s birthday we threw a Chili Cookoff!
For my birthday I received The Green Kitchen from my sister-in-law Barbara. She knows that I am a fan of the Green Kitchen Stories blog, and surprised me with the cookbook. I am having a great time exploring the recipes – like the Marcarpone Beanotto with Mushrooms and Spinach, a riceless risotto, and the Amaranth and Halloumi-Stuffed Tomatoes. All are delicious! The best recipe by far that I’ve tried is the Sicilian Parmigiana Di Zucchine. Not only is it the best recipe from the book that I’ve tried, but Koen puts it in his Top 10 meals I’ve ever made. Can’t wait to make it again!
Fall is my favorite time of year – warm layered clothing, cooler weather, and of course squash and pumpkins! For my first official fall dinner I chose to make Naturally Ella’s Butternut Squash Pasta Bake. So deliciously creamy and cheesy! Although it takes a long time to prepare, it is an easy dish to make. On a cold day, I will definitely want to have this again!
Birthday cupcakes from Molly’s Cupcakes in Greenwich Village
For the second year in a row I was able to celebrate my birthday in New York City! Christina just happened to be getting married September 14th in NYC, so Koen and I made sure to plan my birthday (September 9th) into the agenda. Unfortunately I didn’t think it out very well, because we arrived on my birthday and we were exhausted. We still made it out to Cocoron, a Japanese soba noodle restaurant in Chinatown, for dinner and to Molly’s Cupcakes, the best cupcakes in NYC located in Greenwich Village, for dessert. After our cupcakes we headed back to Park Slope in Brooklyn, where we were staying for the week, to sleep off our jetlag. Unfortunately our hosts were sick and at their parents’ place most of the trip 😦
I love experimenting with soup and was excited to try the Watermelon Gazpacho from Green Kitchen Stories. It was a relatively warm summer day in Antwerp and a cold soup sounded refreshing. Although the soup tasted delicious, it was a bit much as a main course. I think it would be better as a starter – strained and served in drinking glasses for a party, perhaps with a shot of vodka.