Month: September 2010

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Millet Balls for Sauces & Stews

Serves 2-3 Millet flour tastes like wheat flour on steroids. These dense, rather pasty balls are traditional in parts of Africa, particularly central and eastern. They add body and substance to any number of stews and sauces. Ingredients: 1/2 cup flour 1/2 cup millet flour (available at some health food stores and African markets) 1/2 cup water Method: Combine all ingredients in the top of a double boiler. Once everything is mixed together, it will be pasty and sticky. Cover and cook over double boiler for about 30 minutes, or until it looks somewhat dried out, but still pasty and sticky. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to boil. Drop in balls of dough and simmer until they float, about ten minutes. They’ll be dense – perfect filler for a hungry tummy. Serve with sauces or stews, like this Lamb Stew from Chad. 12345 Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! Millet flour tastes like wheat flour on steroids. These dense, rather pasty balls are traditional in parts of Africa, particularly central and …

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Menu: Central African Republic & Chad

This week we’re eating a double feast from two neighboring countries – Central African Republic and Chad. I had a lot of time to ponder our menu, as there is little else to do while tossing in feverish delirium.  Thank goodness we have a good African market in Tulsa, where I can find casssava leaves and ground melon seeds… and really explore the flavors of Africa. CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC Stewed Cassava Leaves [Recipe] Dark green leaves from the cassava plant stewed with tomato, onion, and peanut butter. Egusi Sauce [Recipe] Ground melon seeds cooked into a sauce with onion, tomato, and chili pepper. We served it with grilled chicken, but this sauce can be served over rice, vegetables, or other meats. Sweet Peanut Butter Rice (Bouiller) [Recipe] White rice sweetened with sugar and natural peanut butter. CHAD Lamb Stew with Okra [Recipe] Pieces of lamb slowly simmered with onion, bell pepper, and okra. Millet Balls [Recipe] A blend of white and millet flour cooked in a double boiler, then formed into balls and simmered. Spiced …

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About the Food of Chad (TChad)

What a difference a few miles can make. Chad is divided into three main geographic zones – steamy Sahara dessert in the north, the central Savannah, and semi-tropical south. As the landscape changes, so too does the diet. From the north, to the south, very few cultural similarities connect the people of Chad. Northern Chad In northern Chad the people enjoy a diet rich in meat, particularly lamb. Savory pieces of meat might be grilled or stewed with vegetables, such as okra, peppers, onions, and tomatoes (recipe). Many dishes in the north are prepared with yogurt, butter, and milk. In fact, milk stands line the streets in Northern Chad – where busy shopkeepers blend tropical fruits like papaya and mango with milk, into refreshing beverages (recipe). Southern Chad Central and Southern Chad enjoy great quantities of fish, thanks to the plentiful waters of Lake Chad and the Chari River. Meat is not readily available and, with less emphasis on dairy products, lemonade stands dot the countryside instead of milk stands. General Food & Drink A …

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About the Food of Central African Republic

The dusty, rolling plains of Central African Republic (CAR) lead to fertile river beds in the south, and sandy desert in the northeast. Many people live on stewed greens, cooking whatever is available, including cassava (recipe), spinach, or kale. Groundnut butter (a.k.a. peanut butter) is used to add flavor and protein to food when meat is unavailable. Most often, greens are served with rice or foutou – a pasty mash of plantain or cassava. Groundnut butter is also used to add flavor to local desserts. Sometimes the creamy spread is cooked into sweetened rice for a particularly addictive treat which looks like tan rice pudding (recipe). Egusi, or melon seed, is particularly popular in Central African Republic. When finely ground, combined with hot chili peppers, tomato, and onion, the seed makes a thick sauce (recipe) to add interest to plantains, yams, rice, fish or grilled meat.

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Getting started again!

Hello All! Thank you for your warm wishes and concern. Although I spent 7 days with a fever – always over 100F, and often 102-103F – I am fully recovered and feeling great! We’ll be starting up our Adventure again tomorrow. Yay! Ava and Keith took wonderful care of me – stepping in with hugs, kisses, and cool wash cloths as needed – especially while on our mini vacation in Beaver’s Bend. In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have gone out of town but I was just…. itching for a vacation! Here we are – Keith, Ava, my stepson Andrew, and I. Ava is plotting her escape – to go play with some pebbles (she wiggled free seconds after this photo was taken). Who knew rocks could be so much fun!? I’m the crazy one with a hoodie on in 90F weather! Did I mention I was sick? And… here’s my favorite picture from the weekend – so much joy … I could just eat her up! Lots of love and smiles to you and your family! Sasha P.S. …

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Doctor’s Orders

Greetings Adventurers.  Mr. Picky Eater here.  Sasha is down for the count with a virus of some sort.  She’s running a temperature off and on up to 103° and not able to participate in any activity other than rest or delirium.  Hopefully we’ll see you next Tuesday where we’ll be doubling up to make up for lost time. Please take a tour through our archives this week. You can use the calendar on the right to read all the posts we’ve written, from the beginning of February! You can also look at our recipes by country. (Insert pic of the greatest Doctor of all Time:  Doctor Who)    

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Monday Meal Review: Cape Verde

My mom used to slather up dates with cream cheese for us kids. I hated the roach-looking things and never could stomach one. So, what exactly posessed me to try the avocado and date dip is beyond me. I suppose I’m trying to keep it real. Stretch my horizons. Expand my palate. Well, guess what? It worked. The sweet hint of dates actually works inside avocado! Hurrah. Score one for team Sasha. But no way I’ll ever eat a date with cream cheese. That battle’s long been lost. Peasant’s Cachupa [Recipe] What I liked most about this dish: The beauty of Cachupa is that you can use whatever ingredients you have on hand to make your own version – don’t like acorn squash? Fine, put in sweeter pumpkin. Wish it had some collard greens? Sounds wonderful – go to town! Too vegan for your tastes? No problem – you can make this stew a meat-lover’s delight, by adding in smoked and traditional Portuguese sausages. As for our version – the flavor of the hominy and …

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Coconut Milk Chiller

Serves 2 Intended to be drunk cool, but not cold, our creamy Cape Verdean chiller will transport you to the islands. A favorite with Cape Verdean children.  The coconut is a common ingredient in the Cape Verde islands -in the 1600’s the coconut was already being transported to America via west African and Cape Verde… (source)  NOTE: If you add ice or refrigerate this drink the coconut milk will congeal. Ingredients: 1 cup coconut milk 2 cups milk cinnamon, for garnish Method: Swirl together coconut milk with milk. Sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy. Let the dance begin! I don’t know about you, but these pictures make me insanely happy. All drinks should be this fun to make. 12345 Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! Intended to be drunk cool, but not cold, our creamy Cape Verdean chiller will transport you to the islands. A favorite with Cape Verdean children. The coconut is a common ingredient in the Cape Verde islands -in the 1600’s the coconut was already being transported to America via west …

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Creamy Avocado and Date Dip/Spread

Serves 2-4 as a dip 4-6 as a sandwich spread This dip/spread is a happy blend of sweet and creamy. In Cape Verde, they call this a salad and serve it with shrimp or prawn nestled on top. Personally, I like it spread on a hot turkey panini. If you want to add a kick of flavor, splash in a capful of brandy. (We omitted this step so that Ava could sample the dish). According to Duffy in Cape Verde: “Cape Verdeans put sugar on [avocados], and not just a little bit of sugar but so much sugar that you can’t even taste the avocado.” In this recipe, natural dates (a popular north African ingredient) provide a similar sweetness. Ingredients 2 ripe avocados 1-3 dates, minced Capful of brandy (optional) Method: Scoop out the buttery flesh of two avocados and place in a mixing bowl. Reserve the shells. Remove the seed from each date, then mince it up. Dates are incredibly sweet and sticky, so the minced dates clump together. Add the dates to the …

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Coconut Milkshake

Serves 2 Slurping this Cape Verdean inspired coconut milkshake is a lesson in the happy things sugar can do for us. The cinnamon sticks are the best part – as you dunk them in the milkshake and lick them clean, the cinnamon flavor fills your mouth. Try it! Please note:  this recipe is just for fun – inspired by the authentic recipe from Cape Verde for Coconut Milk. You’d be more likely to find this at a resort on the island than in someone’s home. Ingredients: 3 cups ice cream 3/4 cup coconut milk 1/4 cup milk (optional – depends how thick you like your shakes) cinnamon or cinnamon sticks for garnish Method: Scoop your ice cream. Keep going until you have 3 cups! Add the ice cream to your blender… Pour in the coconut milk… And the regular milk – if you like your shake on the thinner side… Blend and serve immediately. Make sure you garnish with cinnamon sticks or the whole recipe is ruined. I’m not kidding. 12345 Votes: 0 Rating: 0 …

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Drowned the Doom with Cape Verde (with poll)

We’re shipping off to Beaver’s Bend for a much desired, talked about, planned, dreamed about, already paid for … long weekend. There’s only one problem – the entire trip reeks of doom. Here are three reasons why: 1. Ava loves her crib and room. This, in turn, means that Ava does not love any other cribs or rooms. Upon placement in a foreign crib, she immediately morphs into insomniac zombie baby. 2. Ava is teething and has been waking up shrieking bloody murder several times a night, for the last three nights. Each time she does, my heart stops dead its tracks and I have to ask Keith to restart it. He’s a very patient man. 3. I have the flu. I spent all week trying to deny it, but the fever, chills, aches, and coughing fits won’t be ignored. Oh, if only things could be like this photo all the time, every day: But they aren’t. Last night I got a little overwhelmed. There I was thinking about these three sad facts and wringing my …

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