About Me

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Antwerp, Belgium
Welcome to the new, and improved version of Heaven in Belgium. I am Jientje. "Jientje", like the boys name Gene, followed by "chu"? "Gene-chu", that's how you pronounce my name. Yes!!!!That's it!! So now you know huh? I am an addicted blogger. I was born and raised and am still living in Belgium. Yeah, the "this-is- Tuesday-so-this-must-be-Brussels" kind of Belgium .. There, you see? Maybe you couldn't find it on the map, but at least I'm trying to change that a little by sharing lots of pictures. I really love to cook and create new things, like this blog for instance. I am a mother, not a grandmother,I don't know if I'll ever be, but I'll let you know in due time! Oh and um ... I am a wife too! They say I'm a traveler, and a photographer. Well that's just what they say, I love to make pictures, but I am far from professional ... If my English is not perfect, that would be because it's my second language. I do hope you'll forgive me any possible misspellings or strange vocabulary ... Now, as a result of all of the above, I get way too little sleep and my days are always much too short!

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Heaven is in Belgium

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Weekly Winners, Textures and Reflections


Weekly Winners is brought to you by Lotus, AKA Sarcastic Mom.
She makes us grab that camera during the week and post our favorite pictures from it!

I didn't take all that many pictures this week but I did manage to scrape together a random selection! So here we go, my favorites this week ...



Before ...



After.


Juicy


Empty plates



Rusty

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday's Favorite Five, Sunshine and Rain



Friday again, time to reflect on the week that has passed and post about five favorite things from your week. Friday's Fave Five is hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story, if you're looking for the rules, they're here.





1. The visit from my parents. Due to the operation my mother had last year and other circumstances, it' s been more than two years since my parents have been over for a visit to our place. At last we set a date and they came over by train last Saturday.We picked them up at the station early in the morning, and I served them breakfast. We've had sunshine and the occasional showers all day, but the sky cleared long enough for us to be able to visit the weekly market. After that we could eat outside on our patio and really enjoy some sunshine. No need to say the day went by way too fast!

2. The Mojito cocktail we had as an aperitif. Crushed ice, 50 ml of white Cuban rum, the juice of half a lime, some sprigs of fresh mint and two teaspoons of sugar. Very refreshing!

3. Black cherries I bought at the market. Juicy, sweet and so shiny I could see my own reflection!

4. Empty plates. I made a Moroccan lamb stew and it was delicious. Nothing but empty plates when we finished dinner!

5. Pancakes and fruit salad for breakfast. A real treat!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Street views in Provence, Bonnieux (2)




Over the years, on the many walks through small villages in Provence I took photos of street views. Some of the houses, windows and doors are beautifully decorated with flowers and plants, and I can never get past them without taking pictures.
Over the next couple of weeks, this is what I intend to share on Thursdays ....


This is the same street where I photographed last week's "number thirteen."
Looking down...


Number eleven ...

Climbing upwards towards the end of this street ...

... there is a house with a fountain.



Last year I even photographed their cat. Cats in Provence are always so photogenic!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Midweek Blues, The Scent of Lavender




Midweek Blues is hosted by Rebecca at the Dusty Cellar.

Play along with Midweek Blues! Link your post of any interpretation of blues. Colors, moods, music, poetry ... be as creative as you like! Oh, and don't forget to visit the others and leave a comment!

The vendor of this lavender stall at the market in Carpentras was not too happy about me taking this picture. I have no idea why. Maybe he was afraid the scent would disappear?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Weekly Winners, Gourmet Dinner




Weekly Winners is hosted by Lotus AKA Sarcastic Mom. All you need to do is post your favorite photos of the week that has passed. It's a great way to look back at the past week.
Today I'm sharing food photos of the gourmet dinner my friend Annie and I prepared last week.


Appetizer number one, a cold pea soup with mint.

Scampi with roasted egg plant and a Provencal Ratatouille.

As a starter we had a little herb salad with smoked trout, cucumber and sour cream.


Main course is Atlantic cod with courgette, a red pepper sauce, pesto and quinoa.


For dessert we had grilled peaches with a port sauce, pistachio caramel and Greek yogurt, a recipe by Ainsly Harriot.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday's Fave Five, Good Food, and a Good Book





Friday again, time to reflect on the week that has passed and post about five favorite things from your week. Friday's Fave Five is hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story, if you're looking for the rules, they're here.






1. Cooking with my friend Annie. Annie and I spent all Saturday afternoon cooking up some nice and challenging recipes and then later that day our husbands joined us so we could all enjoy a lovely dinner.

2. Reading a good book with the cat on my lap. Lately I've read a Dog's Life and Hotel Pastis by Peter Mayle and the Gypsy Madonna by Santa Montefiori, which I devoured in only one day!

3. The new cups and bowls I bought. I love the the gingham and dotted patterns and the cheerful pinks and greens to match the color scheme I used for my patio.

4. New doormats for my patio, they look very ... welcoming!

5. My husband painting the ceiling of my patio. I love how neat it now looks!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Street views in Provence, Number Thirteen







Over the years, on the many walks through small villages in Provence I took photos of street views. Some of the houses, windows and doors are beautifully decorated with flowers and plants, and I can never get past them without taking pictures.
Over the next couple of weeks, this is what I intend to share on Thursdays ....

This is another street view in Bonnieux, Provence.




Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Midweek Blues, Lavender Fields



Midweek Blues is hosted by Rebecca at the Dusty Cellar.

Play along with Midweek Blues! Link your post of any interpretation of blues. Colors, moods, music, poetry ... be as creative as you like! Oh, and don't forget to visit the others and leave a comment!


This time I chose some breathtaking views of the lavender fields in bloom in the region of Sault.




Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ruby Tusday, Strawberries from Carpentras




Strawberries from Carpentras are a real delicacy in Provence.
Not only do they taste great, they made a pretty picture as well!

More Ruby Tuesday participants at Mary's Work of the Poet.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Scampi Diavolo Fuoco AKA Devil's Fire Shrimps

For four servings you'll need:

24 scampi
2 shallots
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon of curry powder
1/2 a tablespoon of mild paprika
a pinch of cayenne pepper
100 ml ketchup
100 ml white wine
150 ml cream
2 tomatoes
chives
olive oil
a knob of butter
salt and pepper


- Defrost the shrimps, remove the shells and the veins.
- Cut the shallot and the garlic into small cubes, heat some olive oil in a saucepan and cook the garlic and the shallots until transparent.
- Add the curry powder and the mild paprika, stir and let it fry for a short while.
You can also add a little (or a lot) of cayenne pepper, that depends on how spicy you want it.
- Stir the ketchup in and allow the flavors to mingle. Careful not to burn it!
- Pour in the white wine and allow the alcohol to vaporize.
- Add the cream and reduce the sauce while stirring.
- When the sauce has the right creamy texture, set it aside on a low heat.
- Peel, remove the seeds and dice the tomatoes, chop the chives and add to the sauce at the very last minute.
- Serve with tagliatelli pasta.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Weekly Winners, Pastis and Flowers ...


Weekly Winners is hosted by Lotus, AKA Sarcastic Mom. It's all about posting your favorite photos of the week that has past. Well, I took many, even if I didn't leave the house this week!




aperitif time


juicy


piece of cake


bubbly


after the rain


fuzzy



reds and greens


sunshine

Visit I am Lotus to see more Weekly Winners participants or - even better - join in on the fun!


Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday's Favorite Five, It's Good to be Back!






Friday again, time to reflect on the week that has passed and post about five favorite things from your week. Friday's Fave Five is hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story, if you're looking for the rules, they're here.
Now, all I need to do is look at the pictures I've taken throughout the week to discover my favorite five things, so here we go!




1. We got back from France almost two weeks ago now, and I needed some time to get the laundry and some household chores done. We had a wonderful time in France and I came back well rested and full of energy.
I get up two hours earlier than I used to, just to be able to get some extra blogging time. I love the early hours when the house is quiet and my head is clear! The weather was lousy last Sunday so I took the time to post some pictures of my holiday in France. I was stunned and overwhelmed by all the lovely comments from all of you welcoming me back, telling me you missed me. I really had no idea how much this blog means to all of you and I want to THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for your friendship and kind words. I promise I will continue to make time and try to be a better blogger in the future!

2. While we were away, we had the plumber over to do some work on my patio. Now that that's over and done with, I could finally rearrange the flower pots and decorate my patio again.

3. We bought some new hanging baskets and flowering plants

4. and two lovely coral red bistro chairs to go with the small table on my patio.

5. I had a lovely day out with my friend Nana last week. It was her birthday three weeks earlier and she bought me lunch. We had a lovely time catching up on the latest things in our lives. After lunch we made a little photo walk and photographed wild flowers. A day out with her is always such a treat, I'm already looking forward to the next time we meet!



6. Speaking of treats, I made Devil's Fire Shrimp ( Scampi Diavolo Fuoco in Italian, doesn't it sound better in Italian?) and my husband licked his plate with his fingers. Need I say more?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Street views in Provence, Bonnieux




Over the years, on the many walks through small villages in Provence I took photos of street views. Some of the houses, windows and doors are beautifully decorated with flowers and plants, and I can never get past them without taking pictures.
Over the next couple of weeks, this is what I intend to share on Thursdays ....


This is a street in Bonnieux, a village in the Luberon, Vaucluse department.
Population: 1 363 people (2004)

Bonnieux is one of the most beautiful villages perched north side of the Luberon. The territory stretched from the ridges of the Luberon to the Clapar├Ędes plateau and to the shores of Calavon river.






Click this link for a virtual visit and more photos.


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