Foodie Bucket List

Hello, blog, I have missed you. I have been busy working, being pregnant, and battling sugar levels. Staying healthy is more important now than ever. The little one is healthy though and we are looking forward to the new addition by August.

I had an awful first trimester, but the good news is that I am starting to feel so much better. I am back to cooking more often and it feels great! I am hoping to have some energy to write and post some recipes in the near future.

I need to just drop this right here, so I don’t forget about it. This article is called, “21 Things All Foodies Need to Eat Before They Die”.

Since my dude and I are big on traveling, I can see myself making this list happen (or at least the majority of it). I have already had beignets in New Orleans, authentic tapas in Spain (not San Sebastian), bad ass pizza in New York City, and (of course!) hill country BBQ.

We were in Paris, France in early January and, unfortunately, I was not able to drink any wine at all. Being pregnant will do that to you, also, there is a funny thing about cheese — so I ate the kind that I could. We’ll make it back there one day, and I will be sure to not be pregnant. One of our next big trips will be to Japan, and I am so freaking excited to go there.

Cheers to many more culinary adventures in the future!

 

Europe, French Fries, and Mussels – Oh My!

Back in September, my mom and I went to Europe to visit with some family friends. My parents were newlyweds when they met Tammo in Houston, Texas (circa 1981), and they all worked together. Tammo was homeless, because of some unfortunate circumstances upon his arrival in Houston from The Netherlands. My mother asked Tammo to come stay with them in their one-bedroom house.

Long story short, they helped Tammo get back on his feet and he eventually went back to The Netherlands. When he returned, he got married and had two boys. The boys are four years apart and the oldest is just a year and some change younger than me. At a very young age, I remember when Odji and Gitchy would send us drawings and Tammo always wrote letters and sent photos.

During the summer of 2006, I had the privilege of meeting our life-long pen pals when I was in Europe for my study abroad in Spain. After the 5-week long study abroad, I took my friend Michelle with me to The Netherlands to meet them. The visit was short, we spent one night and day in Amsterdam and stayed with Tammo and his family in Warffum for four more days.

1927719_512536865147_4123_n[Left to Right: Gitchy, Tammo, Me, Michelle, and Odji – Amsterdam, June 2006]

I often laugh that my website is called “Dutch Lovin’,” because it works for many reasons. I definitely love my Dutch friends, but I also love Dutch ovens, as in the cooking utensil. Clarification is nice sometimes. 😉

IMG_0477[This is Tammo preparing breakfast in Wimereux, France. That’s fresh-squeezed orange juice he made for us. Thanks for spoiling us, Tammo. September 2014]

Making the trip to Europe with Mom this past September was long overdue. It was 33 years since Mom and Tammo had even seen each other. Obviously, they had a lot of catching up to do.

The trip was a culinary experience for me, because FRANCE!!! Ready to indulge in the culinary treasures of France, we spent about a week in The Netherlands and a week in North France. Having Tammo there was the best! One day, in Wimereux, he made “Suquet” and called me a pussy (I laughed my ass off), because I couldn’t help him finish off the rest of the soup. Sorry, Tammo, I was too busy filling myself up on French fries beforehand, or as they call them in France, “frites”.

IMG_9924[Second day in France, we were about to check-in to our apartment in Wimereux. First time I ever ate French fries in France. September 2014]

Tammo always told my mom that he wanted to take her to France. Not only did she love it, but she also made me so proud. Mom ate so many things that she had never tried before, including duck, veal, mussels, African food, and the list goes on. There were a few times where I had to tell her, “Don’t be a wimp, Mom.” This is also why Tammo called me a pussy, because I kept calling Mom a wimp.

Now, let’s talk about mussels and French fries, better known as “la moule-frite” in France. Before we got there, Tammo told me that in Lille, France they love their moule-frite. Already a fan of mussels, trying la moule-frite was one of the things I anticipated the most.

IMG_0568[September 2014]

First of all, let me admit to how much I just love mayonnaise. Tosh.O has a joke where he makes fun of people that dip their fries in ranch dressing. He says that it’s disgusting, because it’s one step away from dipping with just straight mayonnaise. I am guilty of this, I love dipping fries in ranch dressing and if it were socially acceptable in the U.S., I would dip my fries in mayo all the time. No shame here!

Needless to say, I was hungry and seated at an Italian restaurant in Lille on my third day in France when they placed my moule-frite in front of me with a side of mayo for dipping my fries. I was in heaven! Seriously, look at that face and the sun was shining through like I was Jesus.

foto (27)[Me with my first moule-frite. September 2014]

IMG_0040[Here is my view of the feast! September 2014]

I am positive that this was Mom’s first time trying mussels. I need to get her out more, because it was tasty and she didn’t seem to object.

IMG_0624[Here is another moule-frite I had on my last night in Wimereux, France. September 2014]

IMG_0248[Finally, here is a photo of a salad that came with fries at Restaurant de la Haute Ville in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France. September 2014]

It’s no wonder that as Americans we call them “French fries.” The French really do love them and will serve them with just about anything. It’s funny, because Bob (my boss) told me that he was at a U.S. airport restaurant and the salad he ordered came with fries in the salad. He and I both talked about how that was a strange concept. It wasn’t until I got this salad in France that I realized it’s just a normal French thing to do and not a bad idea at all. This was a decadent salad, it had herring and a citrus dressing that just worked so well with the fries.

I have a lot more food photos to share from my trip to Europe. We ate out a lot, but I feel like we definitely did our fair share of cooking as well. I enjoyed cooking with Tammo, because I learned a few things from him and everything was so delicious. One thing is certain though, you can take the girl out of Texas, but you can’t take Texas out of the girl. After being there for two weeks, the only thing I really missed was breakfast tacos.

NYC Food Porn

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This is Dan; he got that smoker from Austin’s favorite BBQ guru, Aaron Franklin of Franklin’s Barbecue. Dan meant to bring Texas style brisket to NYC, he even hauled a bunch of post oak wood back with him!

Delaney Barbecue in Brooklyn, NY

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Pretty awesome pizza from Di Fara Pizza.

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One of the best things we ate; an authentic pastrami sandwich from Mile End Delicatessen.

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Marinating our egg yolks in beer for the Brooklyn Lager Eggnog.

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Turning our egg whites into peaks. This mixer was pretty big.

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Heavy cream turned into whipped cream for our Beer Eggnog.

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Brooklyn Winter Ale Candied Bacon for the Beer Eggnog.

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“The Brooklyn Breakfast”

Dutch Lovin’ Beer Eggnog with Candied Bacon. Our take on eggs and bacon.

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Pork flame pot in Chinatown, NYC. It was so hot the flame looks purple. I don’t know the name of this place, because it wasn’t in English. It was somewhere in the Chinatown in Manhattan.

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Asian Pickled Cabbage, somewhere in the Chinatown in Manhattan.

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Banana Pudding Cake at Sylvia’s, Queen of Soul Food.

I will make a cake like this soon, it was amazing.

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Fried Chicken and Waffles at Sylvia’s, Queen of Soul Food.

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Corned Beef Hash, so delicious, from Sylvia’s, Queen of Soul Food.

Don’t mind the shadow. I could have taken another photo, but that would have meant waiting just that much longer to eat.

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Cooked up some of that Salmon the Swedes gave us; we had it for brunch before we left the condo to see the tree at the Rockefeller Plaza.

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Interesting combination restaurant. We didn’t actually eat there, but we thought it was funny. We were somewhere in Harlem.

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Shake Shack, my burger was amazing!

That beautiful friedness is a portabella mushroom, stuffed with cheese, battered and fried. I hope you’re jealous.

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I saw this cool poster at a coffee shop. It splits up tastes and aromas.  So cool!

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Steamed Clams in black sauce at East Lake Seafood Restaurant in Flushing, Queens. (The Real Chinatown.)

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Asian Fried Calamari at East Lake Seafood Restaurant in Flushing, Queens.

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Frog and Preserved Meat Casserole with Rice at East Lake Seafood Restaurant in Flushing, Queens.

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The cool little dish our rice came in at the East Lake Seafood Restaurant in Flushing, Queens.

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Black Bean Tapioca Dessert, so yummy! At the East Lake Seafood Restaurant in Flushing, Queens.

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Many many spices at the Chelsea Market in Manhattan.

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Fresh and very tasty Lobsters at the Chelsea Market in Manhattan.

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Arthur Avenue Retail Market in Little Italy in the Bronx, NY.

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Arthur Avenue Retail Market in Little Italy in the Bronx, NY.

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Arthur Avenue Retail Market in Little Italy in the Bronx, NY.

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So much sausage and so very cool. Calabria Pork Store in Little Italy.

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Calabria Pork Store

I can really let these photos speak for themselves.

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Calabria Pork Store

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Calamari from Emilia’s Italian Restaurant in Little Italy, the Bronx, NY.

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Best Osso Buco I have ever had in my life, hands down.

Emilia’s Restaurant in Little Italy, the Bronx, NY.

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Homemade Manicotti and so absolutely amazing, the best thing we ate that day.

Emilia’s Restaurant, Little Italy

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The biggest piece of naan ever.

Bukhara Grill in Manhattan

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Sikandari Raan: Tandoori leg of lamb delicately marinated in rum and spices.

Bukhara Grill in Manhattan

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Great way to end our night. At this point, we had a few drinks. I apologize for not getting a photo of the pizza.

Trust me, Artichoke Pizza, had the best pizza I have ever eaten. I will attempt to duplicate it. That is all.