How to Make Authentic Speculoos Cookies

How to Make Authentic Speculoos Cookies

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Seasonal Traditions Help Mark Time
My family has several recipes that help us celebrate the passage of seasons and holidays.  We feel bound by tradition to make theses dishes each year.  For instance, we prepare Speculoos cookies for Thanksgiving and St. Nicholas Day.  Below are other seasonal traditions in our home:

In the winter, we prepare French Onion Soup and Belgian Beef Carbonnade.  In Belgium and France, French Onion Soup often helps celebrate the New Year.  It’s perfect in the middle of winter after a night of celebration.  The soup is served in the wee hours…

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Beef Stir Fry for a Quick Vibrant Meal

Beef Stir Fry for a Quick Vibrant Meal

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What makes this Beef Stir Fry Quick and Vibrant?
This Beef Stir Fry is easy to make, is full of flavour and features so many beautiful colours and contrasts.

I have done my research and had my own experiences with stir frying. This is what I have learned. A stir fry is quick and easy to make IF you are organised and have everything chopped and ready to go.  Preparing the ingredients takes a bit of time but the moment you start cooking you won’t believe how quickly it’s ready to serve.

Cooking a stir fry is a great way to boost your confidence in the kitchen, especially…

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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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Vegan Pumpkin Dumplings

Vegan Pumpkin Dumplings

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What makes Vegan Pumpkin Dumplings a Fall Favorite?
A couple years ago when I started my Vegan Before 6:00 diet I was looking for new fun ways to prepare vegan main dishes.  Around that time I was practicing how to make homemade dim sum.  I kept trying new dim sum recipes so I’d get the techniques down.

As many of you know, I love pumpkin during the fall, especially in savory dishes.  So creating a new fall favorite with pumpkin put a smile on my face.  When a friend came over for lunch I prepared these Vegan Pumpkin Dumplings and instantly fell in love!

The filling is…

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Pumpkin Latke Waffles

Pumpkin Latke Waffles

Why make Pumpkin Latke Waffles?
This Hanukkah season I wanted to create a new kind of latke (potato pancake) with some leftover boiled potatoes and a wedge of fresh pumpkin.  As many of you know, I love using pumpkin, especially in savory dishes.  For more pumpkin recipes follow this link or this other link.

Autumn is also my favorite season of the year.  I adore the various hues of yellow, red, orange and brown everywhere as well as the abundance of harvested vegetables and fruit.  All kinds of squash, nuts, apples, and pears are among my top choices during autumn.  

Adding pumpkin to …

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Succulent Sweet Potato Casserole

Succulent Sweet Potato Casserole

Why is this Sweet Potato Casserole Chunky and Juicy?
Most sweet potato casseroles at Thanksgiving are overly sweet with marshmallows and candied pecans and blended into smooth puree.  My Succulent Sweet Potato Casserole leaves the sweet potato, carrots and fruit in chunks, allowing each ingredient’s true flavor to shine.  Very little sugar is added to this casserole, making it more healthy for you to eat.  A naturally light version of this traditional dish should be welcome at your Thanksgiving dinner table to help your guests enjoy their food without feeling guilty or overly stuffed.

The …

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Speculoos Pumpkin Pie To Die For

Speculoos Pumpkin Pie To Die For

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What Makes This Speculoos Pumpkin Pie Worth Waiting an Entire Year?
For more than 30 years I’ve been making pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.  I have always considered pumpkin pie to be one of my specialties.    Truth be told, I’ve basically followed the same recipe for the filling all these years, initially inspired by the Joy of Cooking (6th edition).

However, from time to time I’ve tried different crusts.  This year I tried a new Speculoos Pie Crust and found it to be easy and delicious.  Follow the link above to discover the recipe for this amaz…

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Autumn Oatmeal Porridge

Autumn Oatmeal Porridge

How do you make Autumn Oatmeal Porridge?
Most mornings I make hot oatmeal porridge for breakfast.  I love how everyday you can make your oatmeal porridge differently through the fruit, nuts and spices that you add to it.  For some suggestions on how to make a tasty and healthy bowl of hot grains for breakfast read this post from last April.

A bowl of hot grains is an ideal way to start your day.  You’ll get a good dosage of fiber and anti-oxidants which will help reduce your cholesterol levels, enhance your immune response to infection, and stabilize blood sugar levels helping to lower you…

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Pumpkin Tomato Lentil Soup

Pumpkin Tomato Lentil Soup

What are some ways to use pumpkin?
During the autumn months I tend to buy and use a lot of pumpkin.  Although a wide range of squash is available at the grocers and the farmers markets in Belgium, muscat pumpkins are my favorite.  Muscat pumpkins are different from the pumpkins generally sold in the US.  I now prefer their texture and taste over the US variety.  They also seem to have more flesh, making them a wonderful source for many recipes.

Once I start using a pumpkin, I try to find other ways to use the rest of the pumpkin during the week.  Chopped raw pumpkin added to my morning oat…

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Open Wonton Soup

Open Wonton Soup

How to innovate Wonton Soup?
Sunday is my favorite day to cook.  I usually start Sunday supper in the early afternoon before exercising and then finish it up afterwards.  Last Sunday I was planning to make one of our favorite dishes:  the Tastiest Carnitas North of the Border.  However, since we were all feeling run down with a cold I decided to make wonton soup with homemade dumplings.  At the last minute I changed my mind about the dumplings and chose to use the filling of the dumplings to prepare meatballs and to add egg noodles into the soup to replace the wonton wrappers.  Not having to …

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Ginger Syrup Made at Home

Ginger Syrup Made at Home

What is the difference between ginger syrup and ginger beer?
Ginger syrup is made by cooking ginger with water and sugar until you obtain a syrupy consistency (see recipe below).  Meanwhile ginger beer is traditionally a fermented beverage created by mixing ginger syrup (once cooled) with a mother culture (ginger beer plant) and leaving this mixture to ferment for a few days.

The process for making ginger beer is very similar to the process for making other popular cultured and fermented drinks, such as Kombucha and water kefir.  Once you learn to make one, it will be easier for you to start …

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Pickled Ginger: Gari

Pickled Ginger: Gari

Why is making your own pickled ginger more healthy?
Everyone has seen the thin pink ginger slices at a sushi restaurant. Bright glow-in-the-dark pink? This pickled ginger is called gari in Japanese and is usually eaten after sushi or sashimi to enhance the flavor and cleanse the palette. Ginger generally aids digestion, eases nausea and reduces inflammation.

What makes pickled ginger so pink? Most likely it’s artificial coloring (E124) added to the gari to make it look more attractive. Beet juice is more rarely also used to make the pickled ginger more pink.

Why bother making the ginger…

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