My Trip to Brussels!!!

October 31st, 2010

My opportunity to go to Brussels came out of the blue… I had a few hours to make the decision…

took a quick look at my schedule… had nothing that couldn’t be rescheduled… I booked a flight… packed in fifteen minutes and went off to the airport…
It was worth it! I spent a week eating delicious food, exploring the Belgian countryside and viewing some of my favorite Northern European artists.
How can you not love a country that considers a small breakfast- croissant, chocolate cake and coffee!  Besides the traditional, chocolate, beer, mussels and waffles, Juan and I found some places that had excellent food, although untraditional. My favorites included: t’oost in Bruges (I loved the Juan’s smoked salmon sandwich), Switch and L’Entre des Artistes.

I also visited the famous paterssiere Wittamer… The Raspberry Tart was my favorite!

One day I took a day trip out to Geraardsbergen in the flemish part of Belgian.  Although I don’t speak Flemish and no one speaks English, I managed to order their famous Mattetaarten pastry (yes, I went there just to try the pastry!).  It was good but not my favorite.  It was filled with a ricotta like filling.  They also serve coffee with a very strong liquor Advokaat.  It was custardy and pretty good.

of course, one can’t go to Brussels without having some cheese. This was a Chimay cheese. Strong but good! ok, I’m sensing a pattern…

Finally, you have to see the Mannequin Pis when you go to Brussels.  Juan and I did not get the hype but we did find the use of it on the Coke machine entertaining.

Everyone should go to Brussels… trust me!  You will like it!

Simple Chocolate Cake and a Giveaway!

October 8th, 2010

Last Saturday, I had a dinner party. Even though there were not enough dining chairs to go around, I believe everything was a hit!

But, every time I sit down to tell you about it, I’m reminded of how tired I was afterwards… so instead, I’ll give it to you in pieces… starting with the best course… DESSERT!

I made Crack Pie and Chocolate Cake.  The Crack Pie didn’t come out well…It was good but hard as a rock… the Chocolate Cake was great and very simple to make!

Now for the giveaway… CSN has again given me a $35 gift certificate for their sites…personally, I would get the immersion blender or the Le Creuset baking pans… but pick whatever you want…

Now how to enter… Each of the following will give you an entry but you only have to do one…

1. Leave a comment below.

2. Tweet the giveaway linking to @ginnygetsfloury and leave an extra comment letting me know.

3. Follow me on twitter and leave an extra comment letting me know.

4. Like me on Facebook and leave an extra comment letting me know.

5. Be my 200th twitter follower, get an extra entry and a foodie prize (to be determined!).

I’ll pick a winner next week on October 18th at noon.  Sorry but we can only ship to the US and Canada.

15-Minute Chocolate Cake
(from Chocolate Bliss)

1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup boiling water

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 10-in round cake pan.
2. In a large bowl, stir the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking sodea and salt until combined. Add egg, milk, oil, and vanilla to the flour mixture for about 5 minutes. Beat in the hot water, the batter will be thin.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Unmold and let cook completely.
4. Top with a chocolate ganache (I heated about 1/4 cup cream until slightly simmering and added to 1/2 cup chocolate chips with a splash of vanilla).

PPQ: My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

September 26th, 2010

It is that time again… Project Pastry Queen…  For this week, Kalyna picked the Chocolate Chip Cookies… I’ve been craving them lately so I was excited to try…

Honestly, I was disappointed with this recipe.  They ended up being little rocks… I do not know if I messed up the recipe but I found there to be too much flour.  My friends loved them and they were gone quickly but… not my favorite.

Hopefully, the other members Project Pastry Queen had more success…Check out the recipe.