About the food of the Czech Republic

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There's only one reason to go outside when temperatures drop below freezing: to enjoy the thrill of hot food thawing you out when you come home. Otherwise, I vote for staying in bed all day, snuggled under a comforter, watching chick flicks... or dude flicks (do they even make those?). Thankfully, the Czech Republic has many wonderful foods for bitterly cold winter days.  This means that I'll be able to leave the house this week. Hurrah! The Czech Republic is in eastern Europe … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Cyprus

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Sick babies are the worst. Poor miss Ava came down with croup not long after we cooked Cyprus (purely coincidental, mind you). But... croup... gah! If you don't know, croup is a nightmare of epic proportions. Here's how it works: in the still of the night, babies who seem a little sick, suddenly wake up really, really sick. With violent coughing fits. And I don't mean just any cough. You'll think a nasty poltergeist - or a barking seal - has taken over your sweet baby. You will not be … [Read more...]

Recipe: Mediterranean Roast Veggies (Briam)

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Serves 4 This simple layered casserole is vegan, rich, and addictive. The vegetables cook down into a soft casserole, but can be uncovered half way through cooking to reduce the effects of steaming. Ingredients: 1 zucchini 1 small eggplant 1  potato 1/4 tsp pepper 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp oregano 1/4 cup olive oil 2/3 cup tomato sauce 1 1/2 quart casserole Method: Preheat the oven to 375F. Meanwhile, slice all the veggies into thin discs. Resist the urge to see if … [Read more...]

Recipe: Roast Lamb from Cyprus (Ofto Kleftiko)

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Serves 2-4 This completely fuss-free roast lamb dish, Ofto Kleftiko, maximizes the rich, succulent flavor of lamb and is so tender it literally falls of the bone. A great dish for holidays, festivals, or even pot luck dinners. Serve one shank per person, unless appetites are small. Ingredients: 2 lamb shanks, about one pound each 1/4 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp ground coriander 4 bay leaves salt pepper olive oil Method: Get the oven nice and toasty - set it to 375F. Meanwhile, … [Read more...]

Recipe: Brandy Poached Apples (Firikia Glyko)

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Serves 4 Sweet and spiked with cinnamon, Firikia Glyko is wonderful warm with vanilla ice cream, or cold with nothing more than a spoon and a smile. (Ice cream is my addition and, while not super authentic, is extra lip smacking) Ingredients: 4 small, firm apples (I used honey-crisp) 2 cups sugar 2 cups water 2 sticks cinnamon 4 whole cloves 1/4 cup brandy (optional) Method: Put on a frilly apron and a pair of fuzzy slippers. Add sugar and cinnamon sticks to a … [Read more...]

Fun Fact Friday: Soapy, Soapy Cyprus?

You may or may not be afflicted with "soap mouth" when you eat coriander (a.k.a. cilantro). To avoid the experience, you may painstakingly pick pieces of the offending plant off of your plate. You might even send your plate back. You might scream out in agony. Or not. Listen... I have a secret. Even if you think coriander tastes like soap, you should give the plant's seeds a try. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. To me, the flavor lacks any soapy aftertaste.   I ate bunches of this … [Read more...]

Recipe: Red Wine Potatoes (Potatoes “Afelia”)

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While Afelia commonly refers to a pork dish, the term can also refer to any number of ingredients stewed/roasted in red wine and sprinkled with coriander seeds. Yum! In Cyprus, the most popular variants include mushrooms, potatoes, and artichoke hearts (all of which are vegan). Most recipes add a sprinkling of coriander seeds at the end of cooking (ground or cracked is best). Serves 4 Slowly roasted in olive oil and red wine, these potatoes are so rich you won't need butter. A typical … [Read more...]

2010 Global Gingerbread Contest

I'm a sucker for the holidays. I wish I could live in a gingerbread house. One weekend a year I *almost* live out my dream... our dining room table spills over with candy, cookies, and frosting. I love the creativity. The fun. The family bonding. Being covered in sugar. This year I'd love it if you would join us... virtually. I'd even like to give away a nifty prize to the best gingerbread house. Are you game? Here's how the contest will work: Make a Global Gingerbread House. It … [Read more...]