Monthly Archives: January 2013

Roasted Brussels Sprouts


Like everyone else that I know, one of Seyfi and mine`s new years resolutions is to eat more healthy.  It`s not that we have a very unhealthy diet, but we have days where we can get a bit lazy, and eat anything, not thinking about the health benefits of it.

On this same track, we have decided that we should eat more vegetables, less meat, and try out as many new recipes as we can.

So far it is going really well.  We both feel so much better, more energetic, and the girls are eating everything so far as well.

Part of the new foods we have been eating is brussels sprouts.

I have never really liked brussels sprouts, the are a bit stinky, and have an odd taste.

Growing up my brother and I used to share one, just to be able to say that we had at least tried one.

I decided to give them a try, they do seem to be very trendy right now, and we are so close to Brussels, and they are in season…

However, I decided that I would not cook them the way my mother does… she boils them, and calls them delicious…

I found this recipe for them roasted with a Honey-Dijon sauce on them, they are so delicious!  I swapped out the honey for agave syrup so that Ela could have some as well.

If you think you don`t like brussels sprouts, give this recipe a try, it just may change your mind!

Honey-Dijon Brussels Sprouts

Adapted from Parents Magazine

1/4 c. dried cranberries

1 c. boiling water

2 Tbsp. agave syrup

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. dijon mustard

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/2 kg. trimmed and quartered Brussels sprouts

1/4 c. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 C.  Soak the cranberries in the boiling water for 5 minutes and then drain the water.

In a large bowl, mix the agave syrup, oil, mustard, salt and pepper.  Add the cranberries, brussels sprouts and walnuts.  Toss well.

Spread the dressed brussels sprouts in a single layer on a baking sheet.   Roast for 30 minutes or until the brussels sprouts are tender, and the leaves are just beginning to brown.


Winter in Belgium…

A rare sunny day in Brugge....

With all the snow that has been falling in Turkey, and in Canada, I am really missing my white winters.

Our first winter in Belgium was a weird one, there was actually snow, and not just a little bit, but a lot of snow, it was wonderful.  It also happened over the Christmas break, so we had a white Christmas.

It is also the first Christmas that Alara really remembers, so now, she finds it so strange when there is no snow at Christmas (poor kid…)

Our landlord told us that it wasn’t normal, that in the past fifty years he could only remember one other winter like that one.

And for the past two years the winters we have been living the ‘real’ Belgian winter.

It’s cold, not freezing, but cold.

It’s damp, and often there is rain, and the rain is cold.

Worst of all, it is grey.  There is a real lack of sun.

Now sometimes, like this weekend, the call for snow.

And sometimes, that snow comes!

And then within a few hours it quickly turns to rain, and we are back to our typical Belgian winter.

Now, I’m not complaining about living here in Belgium, I actually really love it, but one does get tired of the rain.

So, while you are sitting in our house, with the snow falling outside, thinking about having to shovel your drive way, or dreaming of a snow day…

Think of me, getting out my rain boots and umbrella to walk to Alara’s school to pick her up.

She never has a snow day!

A grey day in Ghent....

A grey day in Ghent….

Gone Girl… A Review

Everyone is talking about this book, and I mean everyone!

All the book blogs that I listen to, Books on the Nightstand, Literary Disco, the Readers…
Joy the Baker mentioned it on her podcast a few months back…
My friends and my sister…

Like I said, everyone is talking about this book, and now I am.

I’m going to start by saying, that I don’t typically read thrillers. I don’t like surprises, I don’t like plot twist that I can’t predict.

I don’t like dark books or mean characters.

Having said that, I loved this book.

I couldn’t put it down, I read it in three days (Ok all you people who read books in a day, I have two kids under the age of four, and I had a huge assignment due for my Masters course… otherwise I probably would have read it faster.)

So what is this amazing book about…

It is about a couple who have fallen on many levels of hard times. Hard times in their relationship, hard times financially, and even hard times mental. Basically they are pretty unhappy people.

On the day of their five anniversary, the wife Amy, who is a bit of a ‘celebrity’ goes missing. The story is told from two points of view, hers and her husband’s, Nick.

I don’t want to say anything else about the plot for fear that I will give something away.

I do want to say that this book was a real page turner, I would recommend it to anyone who is in the mood for a good nail-biter/read.

Since reading the book, I have now recommended it to just about everyone that I talk to, and now, my friends, I am recommending it to you!

I think the sign of a good author is that after reading one of their books, you want to go on and read more of their books, Gillian Flynn must be a great author because I have just bought her first two books, and can’t wait to get into them!

Happy Reading!