Stay on these roads

It’s like that quote “it’s not about the destination, it’s the journey”.
Some of you already know we just did an amazing three week road trip through southwest USA, starting in San Francisco and ending in Phoenix. Will definitely post some stories and pics of the wonderful places we’ve visited but today it’s all about hitting the road, literally!

As a chronic back-pain patient the miles to cover between each of our destinations had worried me a lot in advance…was not really looking forward to spending four, five and sometimes more hours in the car…but you know what, the driving part, or co-driving in my case, was so much more fun than I could have ever expected! We stopped a lot, we just had to, not only to stretch legs, back and neck, just too many jaw-dropping moments on our routes…many of those stunning views will be imprinted on my retina forever!

Here are some of my favourite road related pics of our trip, hope you enjoy the ride!

Ingrid

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State Route 1, Pacific Coast and Big Sur

 

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Our son Nick, Tioga Pass Road, Yosemite NP
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Artist’s Drive, Death Valley NP
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No roadtrip without wheels, right?!
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‘Straight roads do not make skillful drivers’ – Paulo Coelho
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Valley of Fire State Park
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Zion NP route to Checkerboard Mesa
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made my husband stop the car to shoot this one!
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we all need to refuel sometimes, even cowboys!
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must be wildhogs then if the sign says to watch out for animals!
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Could’t miss out on this one, right?!
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well, there may be something to tell about the balloon hanging here above the motorway in Sonoran Desert, Phoenix…another story 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Blueberries x Cheesecake

The other day I got inspired by a recipe in a German magazine called ‘Frau und Familie Ratgeber’. Well, I am a woman, I have a family and never say no to some good advice, especially if it involves desserts and some sweetness in life!

The article covered some desserts that didn’t need any baking: just your two hands, some time to spare and in the fridge it goes…sounds easy right?!

The cover showed a delicously looking blueberry layered cheesecake, well, had to test that one, being full berry season now!

If you’re thinking it might be just the thing for you to try, get your hands on the below ingredients and follow the instructions!

  • 5 slices of pumpernickel bread        (or use a mixture of cookies/chocolate or cookies/  speculoos like I did)
  • 60 gr butter
  • 2 tbsps honey
  • 6 gelatine leaves                                      (or 7 if you think your mixture is rather runny)
  • 1 bio lemon                                                  (orange is an option too)
  • 200 ml cream
  • 500 gr cream cheese
  • 250 gr quark cheese
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 120 gr Sugar
  • 4 cl Cointreau or another liquor based on oranges or just use oranje juice
  • 500 gr blueberries or a mixture of red fruits as to your own taste or like

 

Line a springform pan(24 diameter) with parchment paper, break the bread into pieces and mix it with the melted butter and honey. Replace the bread by cookies if you prefer a sweeter cake bottom. Press with your fingers or the back of a spoon so the mixture is spread evenly and set aside in the fridge.

Dissolve the gelatine leaves in cold water and whip the cream up until stiff peaks. In a separate bowl, mix the cream cheese, quark cheese, vanilla, sugar, lemon or orange juice and zeste until you have a smooth mixture. Heat the Cointreau in a small bowl or pan, just gently, it doesn’t need to boil and then press out any water from the gelatine and place it into the liquor mixture. Add two big spoons of your cheese mixture to the liquor, mix and then transfer to the big bowl with the cheese and sugar mix in it. At this point you can add the whipped cream, making sure you have a smooth mixture without lumps in it.  Transfer to your springform, spread evenly and set aside for at least 4 hours. You can add the fruit just before serving.

Note1: preparation time is about 35-40 minutes, quicker if you make the cake bottom the day in advance and you can start straight away with the filling and topping.

Note2: I used 400 gr Philadelphia light and 350 gr cream cheese, as that was what I had in fridge at that moment, works fine!

Note 3: fun too, instead of using a large classic springform, to use tiny cups, great if you’re hosting a party as no fuss about who’s to cut the cake and gets the yummiest fruit parts…

Enjoy, smakelijk, bon appétit, Guten Appetit!

 

Ingrid

It’s an Antwerp thing!

Every year on the 15th of August the historical centre of Antwerp forms the decor for the ‘Rubensmarkt’. More than 200 stalls with food, drinks, clothing, flowers, etc…so far nothing exceptional, I know, but what makes this Rubensmarkt so special is the traditional aspect linked to it: the stall owners are all dressed in baroque costumes and they seem to have just stepped out of one of Rubens’s paintings!DSC03905

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15th of August being a public holiday here in Belgium, celebrating Assumption of Mary you can expect big crowds, especially as Antwerp throws in a second celebration that day! Due to a pamphlet written in 1913 by artist Louis Van Kuyck declaring that day a ‘day of all mothers’. Over the years the rest of Belgium and Europe copied the Amercian tradition to celebrate in May, but here in Antwerp, well yess, we feel the need to be different, sorry 😉 In our Household we usually celebrate twice, you can’t have enough reasons to make your mum feel special and appreciated, right?!

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If you plan a trip to Antwerp in August one of these years, do try to enjoy one of the typical traditional markets like this one, add some sunshine and great company and you will have a fantastic day!

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Big, Bigger, Biggest

Yessss, we are starting off big! I know, bit ironic, on a blog with the emphasis on the joy in the little things, let me explain…we, that is my husband, son and me, just got back from a fantastic road trip cruising the Amercian southwest. We crossed four states, each having it’s own charm and around every bend another jaw dropping view…will save those stories and photos for later posts, so stay tuned!

What we always do when abroad and groceries are to be bought at some point, is visiting the local weekly market or supermarkets. I know, some people hate this part, but we actually love it! Drop us on a market in South of France or in this case the local Wallmart and you won’t hear us for the next hour or so! The abundance of new, to us unknown brands or other fragrances or varieties of well-known articles or, in this case, just be amazed by the size of the packaging!

I mean, who said size didn’t matter?!  

Do you like shopping abroad or is it just a necessity and do you keep your trips to the local deli, market or supermarket restricted to an absolute minimum when travelling?

Feel free to comment, send feedback or just say hello! Still in the process of starting up this blog, so thanks in advance for your patience with this newbie in blog town!

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