From Gouda to Leiden: Chapter 12

Well, we’re slowing down and heading home for a few weeks to be closer to Lutz’s 96 year old mother. So I’m only posting one chapter this month. BUT, still filled with some of my tasty desserts! The cool thing about these two recipes is that I use already posted recipes to CREATE something new! They make super-easy, quick desserts for when the sweet tooth calls.

Enjoy one today while you read Chapter 12 of our travels!
Easy Peasy Chocolate Mousse Pie
Rhubarb Crumble

Here’s my best translation of Lutz’s Newsletter (plus my own impressions):

Melinda and I spent some days alone in Gouda until our friends, Gabi and Erich joined us. A culinary week lay ahead of us all. Gabi and Melinda worked wonders in the kitchen, I grilled and Erich did the drinks and washed the dishes (thank you Erich!!!). Delicious, delicious, delicious! We didn’t drive too many kilometers with the boat, but we enjoyed our trip from Gouda, crossing the Braassenmermeer to Leiden. We peddled a lot with our bikes, passing an enormous amount of windmills (used as pumps to gain land). We also passed fields of cows (whose only fence was a trough of water on all sides…(I thought cows swim?). Leiden was a remarkable city with canals throughout and small bridges, restaurants and shops. We drove to the North sea to Katwijk and road our bikes along the sea (yes, it was so great for me to see the sea). On this trip, Lutz found, by accident, the small beach town Noordwijk where he spent a vacation 55 years ago with his family. (By the way, the purple lounger is filled with wind and is amazing).

Ophoven to Gouda: Chapter 11

We are off again and still married after all the company and trials! It’s been so fun to visit so many places and still eat gluten, soy and dairy free! BUT I have to say…Gouda is Cheese country, and my taste of cheese. So…I sought out a factory that made goat cheese from raw goats milk. So tasty! But I’m back on the saddle now.

Check out these tasty meals we prepared on our trip, and give them a try. Love to hear how you adapt them and use your creativity to infuse them with your own bright ideas!

Grilled Pocket Pesto Chicken & Veggie Pockets
Grilled Steamed Veggie Pockets
Grilled Asian Meatballs & Veggie Pockets

Here is my best translation of Lutz’s newsletter (I do add my own impressions):
We returned to our home harbor in Ophoven near Maasbracht and headed out down the Maas passing Roermond to Venlo. This little town is overloaded each week with German shoppers (and I know why!!). It’s a cute little town with unique shops. Further down the Maas we made a few stops on different Plassens. These are lakes which were created by digging up sand (to keep Holland afloat I think!). After a day on the canals we reached Hertogenbosch. This is where we toured a cool museum and learned about Hieronymus Bosch, the artist. We also received our guest, Andreas. The next highlight was the De Biesbosch. This is Europe’s largest natural preserve of sweetwater river created from the tides. The depth of the river was so low at some points we were only able to tour portions. After this area, we visited the lovely towns Heusten and Gorinchem. Through the Merwede Canal we reached the most breathtaking scene, the Hollandische Ijssel Canal. This led us through Oudewater and on to Gouda. Oh my God we saw so many beautiful sites: nature, pleasure lakes, canals, romantic cities and middle-aged protected cities. In Gouda along the city canals (from the 1600’s) or Grachtens there were cafes, restaurants, and shops (can you believe I didn’t buy a thing?). Our guest, Andreas departed by train to return to Germany. (We cleaned, washed sheets and prepared for our next visitors who are arriving today!)


Alone Again, Naturally: Chapter 10 part 3

Still cruise’n and cook’n on the canals. This is part 3 of our trip through Belgium alone. As usual we spent our days grilling in the sun and enjoying the great scenery and people of this land.

Check out these cool grill packet recipes I’ve been doing. They’re so easy and can be prepared a day in advance. Since the wether is nice I’d rather spend the day above board instead of in the kitchen. The nice thing about these super meals is the clean up! No dishes except your plates and silverware!

Grilled Pocket Pesto Chicken & Veggie Pockets
Grilled Steamed Veggie Pockets
Grilled Asian Meatballs & Veggie Pockets

My best translation of Lutz’s newsletter below: (…) are my impressions!
We had to stay one day longer in Brussels due to heavy rain and a storm. The next day it was over but the wind was a level 5! Didn’t matter. We took off (and braved the storm). Lots of difficulties this trip: a bridge that did not open (or did not understand Lutz’s French over the radio), 2 defective locks caused us to miss the tide time in the bay of Schelde, so we had to wait for the next tide. After a long day, we finally reached the romantic town harbor of Mechelen. We continued our tour on to Lier (the clock tower was so beautiful). Both cities were well worth the visit. In Belgium we had to fill up the boat with over 400 liters of diesel! Amazing no sales tax when you pay cash…LOL. A few romantic stops in the nature and our tour was complete! Then, we had a 2 week break at home taking care of business…(yes we do return to the real world now and then).

Alone again, naturally: Chapter 9 part 2

This post shares the second week of our 3 week journey alone.  Just imagine riding in a bathtub down a canal 67m high along side a double tanker. YIKES! We visited so many museums, UNESCO exhibits, and even the Atomium!
My best translation and impression from Lutz’s message below:
Ok. It is finally summer and water, water everywhere but not a drop to swim in! No way am I going to take a dip in these canals. I’m waiting for a marina with a pool! But you know those Germans, they swim in anything from ice water to saunas so jumping in the Maas canal was a refreshing experience for one of us! Afterwards Lutz’s swim we took a right turn pass the castle into the river Sambre. In this direction we passed the city of Charleroi. In it’s days it was a booming center for steel production and was instrumental in building the canals in the 1900. Now it’s the “rust belt” which recycles steel (they look like something from the future). The name of the next canal, Charleroi, reveals the secret of the direction we are heading, toward Brussels! We made a stop In Senefe and visited the castle from 1700 (the picture was taken from the castle yard & our boat is harbored in the canal below) We rode our bikes to visit the UNESCO ship lifting lock from 1888. The next day we headed for the 1960 replacement boat lifting lock and rode 67 m down to the city of Ronquieres in a bathtub with a double tanker (this picture is our lift coming up to get us with one small boat. The picture on the right is the UNESCO lift). We arrived at the Yacht Club of Brussels just behind the Royal Palace to spend two days (I think the Royal Family ought to take a peek at how neglected this harbor is, very run down). We visited Brussels and the smell of the waffles were addicting. Yes, I had a bite…The notorious Pissing Little Boy from 1619 was everywhere. Our City tour took us by the Atomium. What a site, amazing engenering!

Here are two super recipes we enjoyed a lot! The Grilled Basil Chicken is marinated in my B&B Pesto all day! The Rustic Pasta is amazingly creamy and flavorful. You can use gluten free pasta or zucchini noodles! I whipped up these Luscious Lemon Coconut Bars using my Cassava Butter Cookie recipe as the crust. Holy moly so easy and great on a hot day!
Grilled Basil Chicken & Rustic Pasta
Luscious Lemon Coconut Bars

Alone again, naturally: Chapter 8 part 1

Alone again, naturally and literally naturally. This time out we planned a four week trip around Belgium so this is part one for your viewing pleasure. We were able to spend some time in “nature, naturally” and rough it…well almost except for my gourmet cooking in the wild!

My best translation and impression of Lutz’s message below!
We left Maasbracht following the Julianna Canal and the Maas Canal upstream to Lattich (Liege) then to Huy up to Namar. The first stop was in an artificial sea made for recreation. We landed on a beautiful shaded island in the middle of the sea. We were all alone with nature and no electricity. The next day we headed for a MEGA lock 14 meters high (thank goodness I do the driving and Lutz does the ropes, yuck). We arrived at Luttich (Liege) for a wonderful visit of the city with a bus tour. The rebuild homes after the war were run down houses from the 60’s but the old downtown was beautiful. One picture shows over 374 steps that lead to a hill top panarama view of the city and the canal (no I did not do walk them!). On the way to Huy you could see the remains of many abandoned industries along the canals. Huy was once a little city and has been there since prehistoric man. Once in habited by the Romans, Belgium and then taken over by the SS as a prison. Heading up stream to Namar was a better view of quaint homes and beautiful scenery. Once again we discovered that the castle here also served as a SS prison camp during WWII.

Here are two super recipes we enjoyed a lot! The grilled basil chicken is marinated in my B&B Pesto all day! The Rustic Pasta is amazingly creamy and flavorful. You can use gluten free pasta or zucchini noodles! I whipped up these Luscious Lemon Coconut Bars using my Cassava Butter Cookie recipe as the crust. Holy moly so easy and great on a hot day!
Grilled Basil Chicken & Rustic Pasta
Luscious Lemon Coconut Bars