Greek Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes

Greek Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes

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What Makes this Recipe for Greek Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes Genuine?
Months ago my friend, Diamantis, described how his wife, Thomais, made the absolute best Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes (in Greek known as Gemista).  In fact, his accolades of his wife’s wonderful cooking and his invitation for me to come learn at her side first gave me the idea to embark on my Journey to Greece.

Why not spend time in Greece learning local and family recipes from such a good cook?  I’d enjoy some long-deserved vacation while gathering materials for my blog.  Ok, twisting my arm was  perh…

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Road from Brasov to Xanthi

Road from Brasov to Xanthi

Why the Rush to Xanthi?
Originally I planned to arrive in Xanthi (Greece) on 15 June, after visiting a few days some mountain villages in Bulgaria.  But as I drew closer to Xanthi and to seeing my friends there, I became impatient.   Wait a second, I’m jumping to the end while there are still some tales to share with you.

After a restful and restorative visit to Brasov, Romania, I headed south towards Bulgaria.  Not far from Brasov lies one of Romania’s most famous places, Bran, the home of Bran Castle, better known as Dracula’s Castle.  Although not far, I would have loved to have travell…

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Authentic Greek Pasticcio (Pastitsio)

Authentic Greek Pasticcio (Pastitsio)

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What makes this Pasticcio Recipe Authentic?
Greek restaurants all over the world prepare Pasticcio (also known as Pastitsio or Pastichio).  Not surprisingly, families and taverns all over Greece also make it.  Most families follow a recipe passed on to them by a dear family member and then adjusted over time to satisfy personal taste.

 
What is Pasticcio?
Those unfamiliar with Pasticcio may wonder what is this romantic-sounding dish.  The easiest way to describe it would be as a Greek version of lasagna bolognese.   This is not entirely fair as a comparison.

I…

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Musutu in Xanthi, Greece

Musutu in Xanthi, Greece

What Makes Musutu a Local Hit?

Musutu in Xanthi
  • Location
  • Atmosphere
  • Food
  • Service
  • Price / Quality Ratio

Summary

Musutu is a definite must-stop in Xanthi for fine food, coffee and drinks. The manager, Giorgos, will take excellent care of you. At the end of your meal you will feel as if you've made a new friend.

Musutu
Elpidos 7 | Elpidos 7 & Dagkli
Xanthi 67100, Greece

Tel: +30 25410 68988
http://www.musutu.gr/ (currently under construction)

4.5

Customers stop in all day and evening at Musutu, a cafe-restaurant located on a pedestrian street in the center of Xanthi.  During the off-hours they come to chat with friends and to enjoy coffee.  Greek coffee or espresso, cold or hot, however you enjoy it.  Although there are many other places for coffee nearby, locals seem drawn to Musutu by an invisible force.

In fact, however, what attracts people to this cafe – restaurant is the manager himself,  Giorgos Grammatopoulos.  He is like the conductor of an orchestra who you don’t notice until …

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Hungarian Goulash Soup Made at Home

Hungarian Goulash Soup Made at Home

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A Cooking Extravaganza with friends in Budapest
On my travel through Hungary at the start of my Journey to Greece, I spent three wonderful days with friends outside of Budapest.  My friends have twin five-year-old children so we planned to spend much of our time at home cooking traditional local dishes.

Little did I know how many dishes we would prepare on my second day there.  I say we but really all I did was watch, take notes, take photos and, of course, taste the final results.  You may think I did nothing, however, these elementary tasks constitute the main duties of…

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Becoming More Centered in Central Europe

Becoming More Centered in Central Europe

Rivers, Pastel Colors and Lots of Green in Central Europe
I always try to avoid generalizations or stereotyping when talking about countries visited.  How can a tourist really understand the depths of a country’s uniqueness or what makes its people tick in a few days passing through?  Even after living in Brussels for 26 years and becoming a Belgian citizen I try not to ruffle any feathers when asked to describe life in Belgium.

In the past 11 days I’ve driven more than 2000 kilometers (1200 miles) from Brussels to Brasov, Romania.  I have tried to avoid larger cities as well as major high…

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Join my Journey to Greece

Join my Journey to Greece

Bye Bye Belgium, Hello Greece!
I’ve been fairly quiet on my blog the past month or so.  As some may know, I’ve been preparing my move away from Belgium, my current journey to Greece, and my ultimate transfer to Los Angeles, California.  After 26 years in Belgium I have decided to return to my familial roots (and sunshine) in Los Angeles.

You’ll find more on my move to Los Angeles in a future post.  For now, suffice it to say that it’s definitely a time of big change for me, which will hopefully open up new areas of inspiration and creativity.

To get the creative juices flowing, I’m trav…

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Banana Muffin Bliss

Banana Muffin Bliss

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Why will each Banana Muffin bring you bliss?
We all have had bananas become overly ripe on our watch.  No one can blame us for letting their peel become covered in brown or even spots.  Having overly ripe bananas is, however, a test of character or resourcefulness.  It’s what we do with these golden brown gems that truly count.

In my household, we usually make banana bread, often with chocolate chips, because that is what my kids want.   We have several banana bread recipes that we follow.  There’s one with sour cream which has always been a family favorite and then ano…

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Tasty and Healthy Sesame Noodles

Tasty and Healthy Sesame Noodles

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What makes these Sesame Noodles my go-to dish for lunch?
 
The Ease of Making Sesame Noodles
Working at home has several benefits, including an easy commute to work and dressing sporty casual every day of the week.  My favorite benefit, however, remains being able to prepare tasty healthy lunches in less than 30 minutes.

Over the years I’ve tried many variations of salads, soups and pasta dishes.   They make wonderful one-course meals that fill me up enough to hold until dinner time, with only a few apples in between.   If I am in a super hurry, I’ll make a sandwic…

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Pasta with Fennel and Fresh Garlic – Yummy and Healthy!

Pasta with Fennel and Fresh Garlic – Yummy and Healthy!

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Pasta with Fennel and Fresh Garlic Makes a Quick Yummy Meal
Is Fennel an Acquired Taste?
Not everyone enjoys the strong-licorice flavor of fresh fennel.  It can be a bit overwhelming if you eat a lot of it in one sitting.

However, when it’s cooked, fennel’s pronounced taste becomes more subdued and quite yummy.  Cooked fennel is a good substitute for celery in many recipes.  In Belgium, some people replace fennel for Belgian endives (chicons / witloof) in the traditional dish of Chicons au gratin.

 
Recipes with Fennel
Full of good intentions, I often buy fen…

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Pizza Chic in Paris

Pizza Chic in Paris

Best Pizza Dough Ever!

Pizza Chic in Paris
  • Location
  • Atmosphere
  • Food
  • Service
  • Price / Quality Ratio

Summary

I'd travel pretty far taste Pizza Chic's super delicious pizza dough and their soft pillows of fresh mozzarella!

4.2

The name of the restaurant Pizza Chic is misleading.  You would think it’s all about appearances and style, while this could not be farther from the truth! The artisans behind the scene carefully prepare the dough at least 5 days in advance by letting it slowly rise and ferment to perfection! Never have I tasted better pizza dough! The same can be said of the mozzarella cheese which tasted so soft and creamy atop my pizza. Utter delight!
The atmosphere at Pizza Chic, in the 6th arrondissement, is nonetheless very chic. It has a hint of New York sophisticat…

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Pei & Mei

Pei & Mei

What made Pei & Mei Tasty yet Unexceptional?

Pei & Mei
  • Location
  • Atmosphere
  • Food
  • Service
  • Price / Quality Ratio

Summary

Pei & Mei offers fine uninspiring food without many vegetarian or vegan options. If you are visiting Brussels, the restaurant is centrally located on a pedestrian street near the Sablon Square. Pei & Mei is set up better for intimate meals for 2 or 4 persons than for large parties.

3.8

I chose Pei & Mei because it was included on a list of vegan-friendly restaurants in Brussels. I was searching for a restaurant to take a good friend to celebrate her birthday.  As it was a warm summer evening we planned on sitting outside on the terrace.

Pei Mei outside terrace

 

I was disappointed that there were no vegan and very limited vegetarian options on the menu given that its mention on the vegan-friendly list was one of the main r…

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Guest Contribution Submission Forms

Guest Contribution Submission Forms

Welcome to this Guest Contribution Submissions Page!
I am so pleased you have decided to share one of your favorite recipes on the Belgian Foodie® site.

Please use the two forms below to provide your biographical and background information (first form) as well as your favorite recipe (second form).  In the first form, you may also provide the story behind your recipe or any other text to introduce your recipe, as you would for any blog post.

While you are not obliged to fill out the first form, you are required to fill out the second form to add your recipe.  The personal information yo…

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Guest Contribution Submission Procedure

Guest Contribution Submission Procedure

Guest Contributors, Submit Your Recipes Here
What to Submit
The Belgian Foodie® site encourages you to share your own tasty healthy recipes.  Recipes inspired by family, local, regional or national traditions are particularly welcome here.  Guest Contributions will help build a recipe treasure for others to enjoy.

 
How to Submit
Use these two forms to submit your favorite recipes for publication on this site.  The moderator must approve all submissions before they can appear on the Belgian Foodie® site.  Only recipes that meet the Belgian Foodie® standards (i.e., tasty and healthy…

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Wild Garlic Pesto

Wild Garlic Pesto

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Wild Garlic Pesto on Pasta is a Springtime Favorite
 
Memories Triggered by Wild Garlic
The sense of smell can trigger strong memories, no matter how faraway they may be.  Wild garlic, also known by many other names, such as ramps, spring onion, ramson, wild leek, bear’s garlic, and wood leek, is probably my most faithful olfactory trigger.  Wild garlic is not actually a variation of garlic, but rather a variation of leek.

At 16 years old I lived on a farm in Belgium as an exchange student.  Farm life was different in almost every way from my life in Los Angeles….

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