foodie

Balthazar

Balthazar

Balthazar

Balthazar

Balthazar

Balthazar

Balthazar

Balthazar

Balthazar

Balthazar

Balthazar

Earlier this year we had a dinner at Balthazar. It’s a cafe annex bistro located in the city center of Kortrijk. I love the way they decorated the place, it’s quite cozy, thanks to the use of dark hues and wood. It has a great menu offering a variety of dishes that could be found in your (grand)mother’s recipe book. During summer (when we went) most of the people hang out outside the cafe as it’s located alongside the canal. The bistro space isn’t that spacious though, so it might be a good idea to make a reservation before heading there.

Pumpkin galore

When my dad brought two 30-pound pumpkins into our house, I could not help but browsing the internet for recipes including pumpkin. Not long after, I decided to serve a pumpkin-inspired menu on Halloween night. The hubby and I opted to stay in, have dinner and watch a scary movie.
Pumpkin soup and pie were the obvious dishes on the menu. I was a bit clueless about the main course, but eventually decided on the penne with roasted butternut squash, pancetta and sage I found on the Martha Stewart website. I had made this before, only now I used a pumpkin instead of butternut squash. I also added some carrots as they go well with it.
The recipes for the soup and pie are in Dutch, but I’m sure it’s fairly easy to find a similar recipe in English, if you’d like to try your hand at this.

(on a side note: I left out the goat cheese and ham in the pumpkin soup. I cooked the pasta with a chicken bouillon cube and used half a cup of the pasta liquid to prepare the rest of the meal. I also stirred the pumpkin and carrot instead of roasting them in the oven.)

(Recipes: 123)

Balls & Glory

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First of all… you must know I’m all into winter food. I just love the winter vegetables, I can’t help it. So, imagine this: a pop-up store in Ghent that servers glorious meatballs. Of course I had to try this. I might not have chosen the best timing ever, but since they’re only open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (10am-3pm), I had to go during my vacation. Mind you, I booked our table 2 weeks in advance. It proved not to be necessary as it was 30 degrees outside when I had that famous glory ball. Delicious minced meat, seasoned to perfection, stuffed with leek and ham, accompanied by the best mashed potatoes ever. Oh, and I must not forget about the sauce, mouth-watering, I tell you!
If I have pretty much convinced you by now, I’d suggest you hop into your car, on your bike (basically whatever transportation you need to get there), head to the Sint-Jacobsnieuwstraat 103 in Ghent and experience that glorious ball.
Hurry up, it’s a pop-up store, so this story won’t last forever (well, until September 1st, that is).

For more information, visit the Balls & Glory website.

Happy Things

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You know what they say about enjoying the little things in life… That’s exactly what I’ve been trying to do over the last couple of weeks. They include having a relaxed homemade dinner, having Hiro over in our bed in the morning (only in the weekends, though) and visiting my buddy Joey at my parents’ house (he still sits under my chair in their kitchen).

Girls Day Out

I dare say it has become a yearly tradition that the girlfriends and I are headed to a Belgian city to indulge in some serious shopping & food experiences. A couple of weeks ago the six of us (minus one) headed to Antwerp to do just that.

As per usual we took the train (with the obligatory Starbucks visit) and strolled around the Meir among others. Since we like good food and like to try out some different venues, we made reservations at Mint. We were seated outside at quite a large table, since one of my friends’ boyfriend and their baby joined us for lunch. I ordered the veggie burger which was served with (warm) seasonal vegetables. I’ve never seen a burger served liked this, but since I prefer warm vegetables over any other kind of vegetables, I didn’t mind at all. The burger was good as well, though a guy would probably prefer a side dish, such as french fries, to go with it. While I really liked the terrace of Mint, I couldn’t help but being disturbed by the cars passing through both sides of the terrace at close distance of customers’ chairs and the fact that we had to wait over an hour for our order to be served. When you visit Antwerp for the day this is a total waste of time.

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Mattentaart

Last Sunday we attended the Ronde van Vlaanderen at 3 different places : the start in Bruges, the cobbles of Doorn (Oudenaarde area) and of course we were present when the riders climbed the famous Muur of Geraardsbergen.

Mattentaart

Mattentaart

I’m not going to bore you with the events of the day (basically driving, getting out of the car, take photos/watch the race, back into the car, etc etc), but I did have to share the delicious treat we brought home from Geraardsbergen, or Giesbaargen, as the locals pronounce it.

Yes, the city is not only famous for its Muur, there’s also the Mattentaart. Basically, it’s a puff pastry containing milk, eggs and almonds. The word matten actually refers to the main ingredient : a mixture of buttermilk and whole milk.

One assumes that the origin of the Mattentaart dates back to the Middle Ages. The oldest known recipe is by Thomas van der Noot in his book Boeken van Cokerijen (1510).

The Mattentaart was granted the Protected Geographical Indication status by the European Union back in 2006, indicating that they can only be made in Geraardsbergen or the nearby municipality of Lierde.

If you’re planning on visiting the city, don’t forget to taste the Mattentaart, they’re absolutely delicious! No wonder everyone stocked up on a bunch of Mattentaarten after the race finished…