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    Expat in Holland

    Member since Jul 2005

    Chef #229137

    From United States

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    About Me


     The last year has been an emotional roller coaster with many trials and tribulations, however life is still good. When a door closes, the good Lord makes sure to open a new window.  I feel blessed to have such a wonderful family, and many long-time friends, around the world.  Now I am making a new life in my new state, Arizona, with lovely new friends, that I am adding to my life and table.  As always, cooking remains a constant passion that brings joy to my life and I have re-started my aviation career, another life long passion.  As the old old saying goes, and no truer words have been spoken..... Good food, good wine, family and friends truly are the spice of life!  Cheers.



     This Expat has just moved back home to the good ole USA. Praise the Lord! I am now living in Arizona and so happy to be back in my country, culture and much better weather. Arizona is a state I have not lived in before, so it will be fun to explore all it has to offer and experience yet another area of the US. 



    I lived in the Netherlands, for 8 years. It was a big adjustment in country, culture and weather. It has been a big learning lesson in cooking as well; fahrenheit to centigrade, ingredient translation and substituting ingredients.  I think it was a great experience to live abroad. You learn so much and it helps make you a more rounded person who appreciates difference. Nothing like moving away from one's culture for a good reality check and firm appreciation of home! I guess absence makes the heart grow fonder!


    I love to cook and I believe it is in my genetic makeup. I started as a small child helping my mother in the kitchen. She was a fabulous cook and delighted in baking. My grandfather was a baker by trade and made fabulous baked goods. I acknowledge, though I am able to bake well, it just does not bring me joy. I prefer to cook a meal, with multi courses.


    I grew up with mostly Spanish and Italian cuisines, taught to me by my mother, aunts  and cousins. My immediate family is still living in Florida.  I am fortunate enough my family has always stayed in contact with the 3 generations of family still living in Northern Spain!  I love visiting my family in Spain, frequently, whilst living in Holland. I sit in their spanish kitchens and listen intently, watching all the women closely as to how they make those fabulous dishes.  After, the celebration of the meal with many of the generations of the family attending.  Many of the same dishes I grew up with in Florida have been served on those spanish tables!!!  My family may have an ocean between them, but their culture, foods live on!  It is such a joy!


    I grew up in Florida, surrounded by many of my relatives and extended family members. Many living on the same block. I was always in one kitchen or another, listening, helping, & learning about all the cuisines and the different languages being spoken! Mealtime was always a celebration with lots of family, friends, food, and wine, as well as many languages being spoken. Mom's saying was 'the more the merrier'. Now carrying on the tradition of these mealtimes, to be shared with my friends and family, with much conversations, love and laughter! I do try to replicate the tradition in my life that have brought me such joy. Cooking and meal time is truly a celebration of togetherness.  I enjoy having family and friends, from around the world, over for a dinner. They are invited anytime and I try to carry on my mother's motto 'the more the merrier'. Though many of the women, who were so inspirational to me, have now passed on, they live forever within my heart and in the recipes they passed along to me. I try to follow those wonderful traditions, keeping them alive in my home. My mother will always be the voice in my head and heart. She was a truly fabulous role model and I miss her dearly.


    I have had a wonderful career in aviation. I worked for an airline for 25 years, and loved every minute of it. With much contemplation I took an early retirement when I married and moved to the Netherlands.  My (ex) husband, was in management of another airline, and we traveled almost monthly.  Though I was connected to aviation, I still missed my career.  So when I returned back to the USA, I decided to start chapter 2 in my aviation career.  I now work for another airline and gained another pair of wings!   Working in this industry, for so long, one becomes an airline 'nomad'.  I have lived in 5 different states (Florida, Minnesota, California, Nevada and now Arizona) and also a foreign country in Europe. While living in different cities, one of my favorite hobbies has been taking classes from different cooking schools. I adore learning different types of cuisine and having themed dinners in my home. To name a few, I have taken Spanish, French, Italian, Greek, Mexican, 3 types of Chinese, Thai, Swedish and American Bistro classes.  It is lovely to learn so much about a country and culture through their cuisines!

    Favorite Foods

    My poisons of choice are good chocolate (Lindt), raw oysters and French champagne. Love them!  Can never get enough of them!


    Favorite cities; Minneapolis, Seattle, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Boston, Montreal, Vancouver, Paris, Amsterdam, London and  Barcelona. I thought I would provide a list of some of my favorite restaurants in cities I have lived.

    Kincaids, Palominos, Forepaughs, Oceanaire, Manny's, Fuji Ya, The Vintage, Zanders Cafe, St.Paul Grill, JD Hoyts, Sawadi, San Pedro Cafe(Hudson Wi.) Goodfellows was a favorite, although sadly it has now closed.

    Etta's, Dahlia Lounge, Lola's, Wild Ginger, Anthony's Homeport, Chez Shea, Salty's on Alkai, Metropolitan Grill.

    Reno/ Lake Tahoe/ Truckee;
    LaStrata, Rapscallions, Cafe De Thai, Louis Basque Corner,
    Lone Eagle Grill, GarWoods, Jake's, The Passage, Rainbow Inn, The Squeeze

    Berns Steak House, Columbia Restaurant, La Teresita, Donatello, Colonade.

    Napa Valley/Sonoma;
    Mustard's Grill, Bistro Don Giovanni, Domaine Chandon

    Montreal;   Mikasa, Baton Rouge, Au Pied de Couchon, Cavalli's, Gibby's, Le Keg,

    Jamie Oliver's Fifteen Restaurant, Song Kwae, Zushi, Japanese Restaurant Ans, Molenaarsbrug (Alphen a/d Rijn), Alfreds Dinner (Alphen), HongKong City (Alphen), De Jong Dikkert (Amstelveen), Tijdloos(Groningen).

    Favorite California Vineyards;
    Domaine Chandon, Domaine Carneros, Roederer Estates, Rombauer, Clos du Val, Ferrari Carano, La Crema, Ravenwood.

    French Champagne;
    Bollinger, Louie Roederer, Laurent Perrier, Ruinart, Veuve Cliquot

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