March 11, 2010

Starting The New Year Right, In Belgium

After returning home to Las Vegas after being in Europe for 3 weeks this past Oct/Nov 2009 for my birthday, I had only about 6 weeks to get myself ready to leave again!

And boy did December 28th come fast! This would be my longest trip ever as I was not coming home until February 27, 2010.

The minute I landed in Brussels, I knew my New Year was off to a great start. Even after a two hour delay in Las Vegas, there was Stijn standing there waiting patiently for me. Stijn always knows how to put a smile on my face and this time was no exception. Knowing how much I loved the Christmas Market last year during my visit, we headed straight to the heart of Brussels to get a glimpse before it closed for the night.

The Christmas Market has about 240 wooden chalets scattered throughout The Grand Place, The Bourse, Place Sainte Catherine and Marche aux Poissons. The exhibitors come from all over Europe to sell their crafts, food and drinks.

It's a bit chilly in December in Brussels so the first stop is at one of the MANY chalet's where they sell Gluhwein! That's hot wine people! And oooohhh that shot of Amaretto was perfect!

There are sooooo many chalets selling all types of food, that it makes it nearly impossible to decide what to eat. Since I am a big fan of eating dessert first, Stijn introduced me to these great little dough balls that are served hot in a paper cone and liberally sprinkled with powered sugar. Now these little gems go by three names, "Oliebollen" (Dutch), "Smoutebollen" (Flemmish) "Croustillons" (French).

Okay, now it was time to find something warm! I do love snails, but I was hoping for something a bit more hearty.

Tartiflette Savoyarde is just what I was looking for to keep the chill off. This is a great dish made in a creamy base with potatoes, onion and bacon.

Stijn had a little something different in mind for his meal. So we left the "Bourse" and walked through "Place Sainte Catherine" making our way to "Marche aux Poissons" (Fish Market) to a chalet where they grill up some great "Boudin Blanc".

There is so much to see..... and eat at the Christmas Market in Brussels. Since we had all that our stomachs could handle, we decided to end our evening by watching the light show back at the Grand Place.

And all this within just my first few hours in Belgium. It's going to be a great year!
To see more pictures just click here...."Where's Debbie" and then click on the album Brussels Christmas Market.

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