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I am an American married to a Belgian, and have lived in Belgium since December 1999. Cooking is my major hobby. I'm also an avid reader, but I have difficulty finding the time. I love to travel. Since moving to Europe I've been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to go a couple of times per year to Paris, as well as having visited London, Rome, Florence, Naples, Amsterdam, and of course Brussels and Antwerp. I've seen at least parts of most regions of France, as well as parts of Germany, Austria, a great deal of Switzerland, Slovenia, Croatia, Luxembourg, and Monaco. I'm absolutely in love with the Bay of Naples and Sorrento coast areas of Italy, which my husband and I recently re-visited on a trip that included Rome, Puglia, Umbria and Marche. I'm still looking forward to Ireland, Spain, Portugal, the Czech Republic . . . the list is too long ! One of the bonuses of travel is getting to taste the local cuisine, and afterward trying to figure out how to duplicate it at home.
I think cooking is one of the nicest things a person can do for someone they love (including themself!)
I had to submit a picture with me and my cat, Sophie, as she insists on sitting in my lap when I'm sitting at the computer. If you are wondering what all that stuff hanging on the wall behind us in the photo is, it is just a small part of my husband's military medal collection. He was appalled by my posting this picture-- Our study is the messiest room in our house (thank god!)
There really isn't much that I don't like . . . luckily, my husband is the same. I enjoy trying new dishes. I love to bake which makes me an oddity in Belgium as everybody here just picks up something delicious from the fabulous bakeries to be found in every neighborhood (my mother-in-law therefore thinks I've performed something akin to alchemy when I show up with a home-baked birthday cake at family gatherings). My favorite cuisine is probably Italian, but I also enjoy Cajun cuisine, Thai, Chinese, curries, Tex-Mex (anything hot and spicy). Yes, I've learned a few Flemish dishes as well, but generally I find "modern" Belgian cuisine a bit too fussy for my tastes, a bit too artificially engineered.