Cookbooks are recipe suggestions and authentic is just an interpretation. My favorite recipes are listed below each cookbook and it just means that, MY FAVORITE and the ones I go back to time and time again. I’m still working my way through these cookbooks myself. Poke around, have fun, and hope you end up adding some of these delicious recipes to your menu. Here are the cookbooks that scratched my travel itch during quarantine.

Making an affogato is fast and easy! The De’Longhi EC702 15-Bar Pump Espresso Machine is simple to use. You can be your own damn barista at home!

Gazpacho is a cold soup in Spanish cuisine specifically from the Andalusia region. The word gazpacho is said to be driven from the Arabic word for “soaked bread.” Still, if you do some research there conflicting stories on how the word gazpacho came to be, although the old dish is mentioned in Greek and Roman literature.

I hadn’t given myself enough time to enjoy Brussels to the fullest. Three days was shortchanging myself and disrespecting Belgium. Hashtag BXLOVE.

Even as the sun was setting Saint-Gilles roared on. It was loud but fun. “So, besides frites what else do people here around here?”, I asked.

Belgium is more than just frites, kip (that’s chicken), and Bier, but it’s one of the easiest ways to introduce even the most finicky eaters to Belgian flavors. Sadly, when I attempted to make waffles the Belgian way, my waffle maker decided it didn’t need to cooperate and I ended up angrily making pancakes. *sigh*

Surprisingly a lot has changed since I lived there and the East Bay, a place usually overlooked by tourists and locals alike, has brought its food scene to rival that of its neighbors in the Wine Country, Peninsula, and South Bay. You’ll need your walking shoes, an open mind, and an empty stomach. You never know what you’ll find when you become a backyard tourist!

I kept seeing people with large, bright blue shopping bags with the initials OH, or so I thought they were OH. A group of girls almost got impaled by a BMW driving too fast right in front of me, and my stomach was less than sympathetic. The store location was about the size of a typical liquor store back in the States; however, it had Whole Foods quality items at Trader Joe’s prices.