Christmas Dinner


This year we made a traditional Christmas dinner, with Beef Wellington as the star. This year Nikki wasn’t able to join us, which meant that for the first time we could have meat at dinner. Koen and I have a tradition of eating Beef Wellington every Christmas Eve and it seemed like a fun idea to make altogether at our place in Antwerp. For the starter Barbara made her famous pear and butternut squash soup with fried sage and bacon. Yum!

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Sinterklaas gifts and surprises!

Marrying into a Dutch family means getting to celebrate Sinterklaas every December. I love how much effort goes into writing poems and creating surprises for everyone! This year we celebrated at Barbara’s place in Tilburg to exchange gifts and surprises.

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Cooking with my Grandparents: Brunswick Stew


Brunswick stew, brisket, and biscuits

One of the recipes my grandmother was most excited to pass down to me is her recipe for Brunswick Stew. I think every Southern family has their own version, and this is ours (although the exact steps I won’t tell!). To accompany the stew, Koen grilled a piece of brisket on the Green Egg and made biscuits!

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Cooking with my Grandparents: Chicken and Dumplings


Chicken and dumplings, butter beans, and fried okra

Learning Grandma’s chicken and dumplings was also requested by my brother. It wouldn’t okay for Grandma to make it without him also being able to enjoy the meal! So this really was a Grandma and grandchildren effort – even Edward helped!

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Cooking with my Family: Grilling


Grilling with my helper

There were a few times the whole family was together. So what better than grilling as a family? I made my favorite grilled vegetable salad, my dad grilled steaks and corn, and my mom baked a fresh loaf of sourdough bread along with potatoes – both regular and sweet.

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Christmas 2016


Family together on Christmas


For Christmas this year, we gathered in Breda for a potluck Italian dinner at Sofie’s apartment. Everyone prepared a different dish to bring for dinner. Koen made sourdough focaccia and I prepared pasta lazio, a penne dish with chicken, artichokes and sundried tomatoes.

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