November 2018 Cook’n & Camp’n

Back in the USA!

I think I’m getting too old for all this moving about! The thing that keeps me going is my grandkids and spending time with them. This year I missed Eva’s birthday but I brought her gift with me from one of the castles we visited while cruising the canals in NL. A crown and coloring cape was a hit for both girls!

We were lucky enough to make it to the USA for Holloween. We spent time with my mom, the “artistic Greatgrandma” making masks and creating a very unique pumpkin. Each of us drew a feature and Opa cut it out!

Halloween costumes were very unique as well!  Of course, it takes a wizard (my daughter) to manage these two beauties!

We are so grateful that Ruby attends one of the most amazing schools in San Diego, Albert Einstein. Eva will be attending next year. This school is a German immersion school and I have to say she is far surpassing me in this challenging language. Opa and Oma were fortunate enough to attend her Saint Martins parade and program. Eva knew most of the songs as well and did a super job with her lantern! Thanks, Opa for the cool German dresses!

What would fall be without a trip to the pumpkin patch!

Luck was on our side this camping trip. We were able to secure our favorite campsite at Admiral Baker. It’s the perfect spot for entertaining grandkids and family.

Of course, it’s Eva’s turn for bike lessons and Opa volunteered for the challenge. He figures one more week and she will be on her own!

It’s great to have readers in the family and both Eva and Ruby enjoy hearing a German story from Opa (well some of us stayed awake for the reading). Occasionally Eva gets to hear a story from Ruby now and then!


Lutz and I are doing what we love most, exploring the beach by bike and on foot!


My mom is still going strong at 88 and we brought her along to do some painting while we raced to walk the beach before high tide.

Of course, I’ve been cook’n and serving up some yummy dishes for Lutz and  and my family.

While I’m here enjoying the sun and barbeque days I think of all my friends and family in Germany bundling up and digging out their soup recipes! So this month I’m sharing two recipes, one for the grill and one for all those needing a warm bowl of soup! Check them out and let me know how you enjoyed them!

Bacon & Zucchini Wrapped Chicken Kabobs

Sambal Oelek Asian Soup

Resources & More: The People’s Pharmacy

This site is amazing and such a great find for those interested in home remedies and traditional options for healing. Great research on new medications and alternative options. It’s great for exploring the pros and the cons of new treatments for everyday medical challenges.


October 2018 Cook’n & Cruise’n the Canals

This summer went so dang fast! Seriously… it’s hard to believe we’ve been on the boat for almost four months. At the beginning of September, we ended up leaving Virus in one of our favorite places, Maastricht NL.  

This is the coolest little harbor and gave us a chance to have friends come to visit and explore the city with us. Marcus and Anneliese are our next door neighbors who have graciously watched over our mail and home while we hit the canals. They came for a few days and it was so great to seek out streets and locations we’ve never seen in Maastricht, plus share some good time and meals together at this amazing gluten, dairy, soy, and nut free broth bar!.


Of course, our stay would not be complete without a final visit with Terri who also delivered us to our doorstep to regroup! We had some appointments and picked up our car and eventually headed back to Maastricht to close up shop for the winter.


After driving back up to Maastricht a few weeks later, we drove our car to Ophoven (thirty minutes away by car) and unloaded our bikes and road three hours back to Maastricht to drive Virus six hours to Ophoven. Lots of logistics when traveling by boat!

The six-hour boat ride back to Ophoven was amazing…the sun was out and not too hot. We kept the top down and enjoyed our last ride for the season!

  Well, thanks for following me this summer on our 2018 Cook’n & Cruise’n the Canals of Europe Tour. I hope you’ve enjoyed the trip, recipes and, the new section on Resources and More. I’d love to hear from you. Heading back home to Kaiserslautern to pack our bags for another adventure of 2018 Cook’n & Camp’n in the USA. Hope you stay with me this season, I plan to do a lot of open fire cook’n and new recipes. So goodbye for now and see you in November. “Goodbye Virus! Sleep tight, don’t let the algae bite”.

NOW Off to the USA and 2018 Cook’n and Camp’n with Johnny and Cash!

Resources & More: Working My Magic

This month’s Resources and More is about how I make magic!  Really, people say “how in the world do you…

Click here to find out my secrets! I have to say most meals are your every day, bio meat, salads, and veggies! The thing I try to do is use a robust variety of herbs and seasoning to make each dish a bit different. I like to create something new each day, so I’ll experiment by combining flavors and this brings our everyday dishes to a new level. Check out these two yummy meals you can whip up and make your everyday breakfast a new creation! Spice it up with a Mexican twist or take your taste buds to Italy. Both of these creations will make a lasting impression with family and friends.

Pizza Eggs

Wake Me Up Poached Eggs






September 2018 Cook’n & Cruise’n the Canals of France

Last month’s report I sandwiched in Ghent and Brugge with visits from family and friends. These last few weeks we’ve left Belgium and started toward our main destination, Dunkirk, France. Leaving Belgium and entering the canals of France was greeted with massive green algae due to the heat.

The Dunkirk museum was well worth the trip and very insightful. Small but filled with lots of information. Be prepared to do some reading. Every exhibit had quite a dissertation on the subject. It’s crazy to think that in 1940 this same beach was filled with death, fire, ships at sea and destruction. Looking over this same beach today you’ll see windsurfers, modern bridges and further to the right and left, shopping, cafes, and vendors.


Of course, a tour through the town of Dunkirk was in order plus a visit to a large old training vessel museum.


We were fortunate to have been in the harbor when a newer training ship came in with a group of young trainees. It made a beautiful sight watching them train. Especially in the evening.

So Far we’ve had good luck with our boat Virus but sometimes luck runs out or old parts just break! The cooling pump broke and the water stopped cooling the engine. What a fortunate place to break down, Dunkirk! Harbors everywhere and repair shops on each side of the dock. Got the part but needed expert help and tools to replace it. Ha!…all workers were on vacation. Thank the heavens above for Wem. He is our mechanic in Ophoven and was there the next day (2 hours by car, 8 hours by boat).

That evening we had the biggest thunderstorm I’ve ever been in. Thunder hitting all around us!  I made a video but am not skilled enough at this point to embed it into my newsletter. I tried but it doesn’t play so just check out the pic and imagine. Holy Moly!

Our motor was ready and our time in Dunkirk was slipping away as well as our summer. We had planned to head south on the Maas River to Trier to leave our boat this year. Unfortunately, lack of water in the canals due to the heat prevented us from fulfilling our original plan…but as fate would have it something else was in store for us this trip.

We headed back to Ophoven by way of Seneffe. This time ascending instead of descending the huge lift. Pretty amazing engineering if you ask me.

We arrived in Seneffe and met up with two other families heading our way through 10 locks to Namur! Best to travel in a group for this long adventure. The lock keepers are not really excited about opening a huge tanker lock for one little travel boat so we made good time and good friends.

What a fun trip back. Our wrong direction turned into a great direction with lasting friendships. We parted in Namur after 4 days of sharing food, fun, and company. With our new friend’s suggestion and time on our hands, we headed to the city of Dinant, Belgium, one hour by car, 4 by boat! What a treat. This little city was filled with history and beauty. The harbor was on the main canal and cafes, shops, museums and just a great place to spend some time. The Citadelle (museum) built into the rock at the top was so amazing. A tram ride up and 408 steps down I went!

Our trip is slowly coming to an end and now we are in Maastricht. My “happy place” with the best Belgium Fries around! Plus the coolest harbor in Belgium.

We’ll be celebrating this Labor Day weekend on our boat with Terri Kriner, a truly good friend. She’s taking us home!!! I’ve planned a meal just for us and will be making my fresh Quinoa Tabbouleh and using my homemade Rub-a-dub-dub on our flank steak. Try them both this holiday. I promise you won’t regret it and neither with your guest!

Resources and More: Barlow Herbal

Are you interested in herbal healing treatments and research? You’ve got to check out this new site I found. These folks are real people and have taken over their botanist fathers business when he died. All their supplements are gathered and produced themselves. Click here for more info on this fabulous site!


August 2018 Cook’n & Crusin’n The Canals of Belgium!

Well, folks, I’m back in wifi and thought I’d get August post ready to roll. We said farewell to Terri and began our 2-day trip to Ghent. We took a 2-hour ride through a small canal that basically drove through the backyards of some of the most elegant homes in Belgium.

We ended our day in Beernem a very cool harbor with an exceptional restaurant and a lounge for watching the end of the soccer tournament. Plus they had a washer and dry, which we were in desperate need of.

This harbor was so nice we decided to stay for a week and enjoyed touring the area by bike and checking out more castles and museums.

After a week of lounging in Beernem, we made our way along the canal and landed in Ghent before 3 pm. We choose the inner city harbor which was perfect and so well maintained. Brand new bathrooms and showers, yeah for us (Terri eat your heart out)!

Ghent is a great city filled with museums, shops, and food! One impressive thing about Ghent is the care to which this city takes in maintaining original facades of the homes and shops. They are so detailed and beautiful.

In addition, many of the unused churches, which there happen to be tons of, are used as art museums.

One super thrill was a 4-day visit from Lutz’s oldest son, Philip and his wife Anne and their two amazing boys, Fredrick 3 years old and Alexander 1-year-old. It was so great to have them on board. Super visit and great horsedrawn buggy tour around Ghent. It was sad to see them go.

We headed to Niewpoort, Belgium and did some cleaning and washing and of course a bike ride to the sea, just to check on my dad! He died in 2000 and his ashes were spread in the sea in Del Mar Beach in California where he was the Captain of the Lifeguards since 1965. At every new river, sea, lake, steam I have a chat with him about the water and his travels.

Then we took a 2-day trip to Diksmeide, Belgium with some friends, Marcus and Annelisa, from Kaiserslautern who happen to be nearby. We stayed in the harbor for a couple days after they left us and took a tour in the museum which was 22 stories high and housed relics and had an amazing digital history of the war between 1914-1918.

You can see our boat from the top floor. We are the fifth boat from the left. Diksmuide played a heroic part in stopping the Germans advance by opening all the canals and flooding the area.

Back to Niewpoort for a few days to collect groceries and wash, then off we went to Veurne, Belgium. A Very beautiful little town with more museums of the war and a quaint center of town that overnight turned into a circus…literally! The two-night stay was enough for us.

Then it was off to Brugge! Where the homes and facades in the city greatly resembled Ghent but less tourist. Plus, my wonderful husband surprised me with an herb garden for our anniversary. He’s no fool, he knows where his next meal is coming from! If there is a will there is a way and so I am finding my way in the kitchen with a mighty will. 

Oh yes, for sure I’ve been cooking! One thing I’ve got to say is that if I can create these yummy meals using a toaster oven and an emersion blender, with the attachments, you can manage these recipes in a snap with your fancy gadgets and real ovens (which I also have at home)! I needed a rolling pin for one recipe and ingeniously came up with my own bright idea…yes a bottle of wine, full is better but if all you have is an empty one, fill it with water and roll away. Pretty cool trick right? 

So as a farewell to Belgium I’m posting three of my delicious raspberry roll recipes that I created in this beautiful country. Remember, if I can do this with minimum tools and appliances I know your creation will be just as delicious or better!

Raspberry Medieval Compote
Raspberry Belgium Sweetie
Raspberry Cassava Crapes

Resources and More:
One more amazing site to share with you. I made one of Sonia’s recipes from her last post…want to see which one?        Click here

July 2018 Cook’n & Cruise’n the Canals of Belgium

What a great month of traveling.  This month we had another guest along for a ride through Tournai, Belgium. Terri hopped on board and spent four super days exploring the area.

Together we cooked (cassava flour Flammkuchen)…

Toured (Tournai Castle)…

Almost bought a time share (Natural Forest of the Duke of Tournai Castle)…

Bathed (yes in the street)…

and relaxed (on Virus our boat)…

Oh yes, our captain, Lutz was with us all the way. Hated to see her leave but time moves on for us all.

We’ve landed in Gent and plan to tour the city. If you’ve been here before, send me a note as to what we should see, eat and do while here. I’m looking forward to this weekend. The Gent Jazz Festival is happening! Hope I have some good suggestions for your next music selection in my next months post.

By the way, July is upon us! It’s hot and sticky here but I’m not complaining. I’ve got my go to meal already while I’m off touring. Check out these two ridiculously easy 4th of July delights! Belgium Ribs in a Tub and Coconut Raspberry Lemon Cake.