Sunday, November 14, 2010

The last few days...

We've been perfecting our "cooking with electric" skills and I have failed to mention all the awesome meals that we have prepared in our own little happy kitchen.  Steve has nailed chicken curry, chateaubriand, and any kind of soup.  I am the master of all things salmon, chicken cordon bleu, and snickerdoodles.  Bronwen is our pre-prep cook, she "handles" the food before prepare it :)  She can also be found sitting and crawling around on our kitchen counter feet and all...who wants dinner at our house??? Ha ha!!

I went to Gent's city hall on Friday and they were closed for Veteran's day making it a 5-day holiday- just the way it should be!!  We had fun in the park around city hall anyways...

In front of the central library fountain

We went to the Sunday food market today to see what it was about. It was much smaller than the flower market but had really good looking food. It was divided into sections: meat, cheese, bread/pastry, produce, and prepared food. We tried dim sum and a pastry that was a cross between a tart and a popover filled with custard, yummmmm! The meat counter had everything imaginable including what I think was a rabbit, eyeballs and all. There was a Costco size rotisserie with awesome looking chicken and ribs that we’ll try next time.

After perusing the market we wondered around town again and I took a ton of pictures of course…

Sunday food market at St. Michielsplein

"The pastry"

A medieval covered meat market.  The building originated in the early 1400s and was restored in 1912. 

 Pictures from our walk home today...

Thanks to cousin Natty, Bronwen loves splashing in puddles and wearing her rain boots-hurray!

Bye Bye for now.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I forgot what an awesome city this is!!!! It's like Gent on steroids. Such a lively and interesting place and the people seem pretty friendly too. We went out to dinner with Steve's boss at Dubble, a pub like atmosphere with a really friendly wait staff. Bronwen flirted with our waiter all night and earned herself a free dessert...cream puffs that she wouldn't share.  I'm not sure I like this life lesson-ha-ha! It was so nice to have a relaxing dinner out (even with the kids, amazing!). The only casualty was Alex's blowout onto my dress-of course!

We only spent one night, but we covered quite a bit of ground. We walked all over the city, through the main shopping areas and the red light district. I wanted to find the crazy hostel/bar that I stayed in 13 years ago but it is no longer a hostel and the bar moved to a different part of town. The red light district was as strange as ever, so hard to imagine this way of life but it has been a part of Amsterdam since the 14th century. It is really a beautiful part of town and a must see. I can appreciate the incredible tolerance of this beautiful city.

My camera finally died so these pictures are from my phone which really does the city no justice. Amsterdam has incredible architecture but I didn't bother trying to capture it on my phone camera.  Next time I go I will bring a working camera but for now...

The floating flower market (on the right)
One of the many beautiful canals


and again...

I didn't remember much of the area but as soon as I saw this statue I remembered eating a baguette and cheese on these steps with my friend 13 years ago.  Funny how things come back to you in a flash.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

In Bruges...

Saturday we went to Brugge Culinair 2010, an event for both professional chefs and hobby cooks to enjoy. There were vendors from all over Belgium & France providing samples of their finest goods and food demonstrations by locally renowned chefs.  For just €5 we sampled different cheeses of all ages, a variety of salamis, olives, chocolates, and crepes just to name a few.  We also tasted Belgian beer & French wine (note for wine lovers: 2007 & 2009 were both very good years for French wine).  We all had a good time & Bronwen is proving more and more to be a foodie herself.  She tried everything that we did including the strong cheeses and spicy mustards-LOVE IT!

We walked around the city center before the event and took a few pictures although the camera I used has “issues” so there weren't many good shots to post, guess we'll have to go back :)

This was the first canal we crossed going from the train station to the city center
Making our way to the center
Another canal in the city center

All the stores on both sides of this street are chocolate shops

They're a little far away, but the guys in blue are a brass band that marched down the street & then stopped and played in this plaza-so cool!

Same plaza, other side

More canal pics
And for the finale...Bronwen somersaulting onto her brother.   Check out her cute new wallpaper.  I thought I could live with white walls but it turns out I can't :)


Monday, November 1, 2010

Today in Gent...

Today was All Saints Day and everything was closed but it was a great day to walk around the city and take tons of pictures. I love the architecture here!!! Almost every building is photo-worthy to me. I posted a few of my favorites today. Hope you enjoy...

Fun with black & white...