Happy Birthday to the most amazing woman, my MOM!
A few sights and eats from the week.
Wednesday, a friend and I went to the recreation park De Lilse Bergen, less than a 30 minute drive from Antwerp. We drove back into the woods to find the parking area, and quickly realized we weren’t the only people wanting to take advantage of the nice weather. The place was packed! Apparently they have camping and lots of family activities on site too. We found a grassy spot amongst the other sunbathers, laid out our towels and soaked up some rays for the afternoon. It was hard to believe we were still in Belgium!
Preparations for a fantastic cold zucchini soup. And a knife from my new set that Garrett gifted me! This soup is super easy. Just melt 4 TBs of butter (you could use olive oil) over low heat in a large pot. Add one sliced onion, and 8 or 9 thinly sliced cloves of garlic. Let them sweat for about 10 minutes, don’t let them burn! Peel and chop 4 medium zucchinis. Add to the pot, cook until soft. Add 4 cups of chicken stock (or vegetable stock) and let everything simmer over low heat for 45 minutes. Let cool, then blend with an immersion blender or transfer to a standing blender. When soup is pureed, add 1/2 tsp of ground ginger and salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate. Find the original recipe at thekitchn.com.
Garrett and I are obsessed with tomatoes right now. They are so good! This week I mixed chopped tomatoes with feta, fresh basil, a little olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper. I served this “salsa” over grilled chicken breasts and we sat out on our terrace to enjoy it. So fresh and a great way to utilize all these bright tomatoes in season.
Can’t get enough melon right now. I haven’t even thought to buy watermelon this summer because the weather hasn’t really called for it. But, since it’s been in the 80s this week, I’ve been eating TONS of watermelon (especially after my training runs!). I was shocked at how sweet this melon was, but I guess that’s what happens when you buy in season.
There is a little market right by us that I go to for produce when I’m not making a large grocery run. The prices are good, and the people who run the shop are so nice. I am definitely learning how to buy in season produce here in Antwerp, it’s cheaper and the quality difference is unreal. I’m trying to build recipes around an ingredient, like whatever looks good at the market, instead of going in with a plan. It keeps me creative, and my dishes feel more authentic.
So glad it’s Friday! We don’t have much planned, besides a much anticipated birthday dinner cooked by Garrett tomorrow night! Last Saturday was a National holiday and even the large Saturday market was closed, which meant Garrett couldn’t do his grocery shopping for his planned meal. Fine by me! Something to look forward to! I’ll let you know how it turns out, and if he was able to keep me out of the kitchen…
Have a great weekend!