Author: Sasha Martin

corn around the world

Around the world in corn ~ 20 recipes to celebrate the harvest

I can get behind a holiday in which corn on the cob is the star. The Green Corn Ceremony (a.k.a. The Busk) is just that – a Native American celebration marking the first corn harvest of the season… which usually occurs in August or September. Not only is The Busk a time to feast on corn in a variety of forms, it is a time to right old wrongs, clean the home, and purify the mind. Mind. Belly. Spirit. In honor of the harvest, I’ve gathered the dozens of corn recipes we tried when we cooked our way around the world. I invite you to try one of these recipes and share your photos on Instagram with #GlobalTableAdventure (be sure to include the people and food pics).  Let us know how it went! I’ll regram the yummiest ones! (And be sure to leave a comment below with what you’d most like to try!) No passports required – by trying one of the recipes below, you can be where ever you’d like in… a… forkbeat!   …

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Mexican corn on the cob | Spiced Elote

A well-roasted corn kernel is smoky.  Chewy. Juicy. Irresistible. This much, Mexicans know. Some elote are cooked for hours inside clay ovens. They sit over shimmering coals until their bright yellow kernels turn deep, toasty brown and their husks turn brittle.* More simple recipes speed up the roasting process, but have triple-decker toppings: salty cotija cheese, rich mayonnaise (just enough to make the cheese stick), and smoky ancho chili powder. Then the whole cob is sprinkled with cilantro and a good puckering of fresh lime juice. The end result is an ear of corn that is practically a meal in itself. Ultimately, the lime juice is what sold me on elote. Even a single, tart wedge does wonders to bring the richly spiced corn into relief… though I found myself squeezing much more on each cob. One bite satisfies me almost as well as a good margarita does. My version of elote takes extra limes into consideration as well as an interesting technique from America’s Test Kitchen – adding the ancho chili powder before grilling in order to bloom the flavor. …

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5 Global Recipes to dress up watermelon this summer

Thump the bottom of a watermelon and you thump millenia of history. The sound might be hollow, but the content is ripe. Origins of this hefty fruit trace back to Southern Africa, though fandom is widespread: even Egypt’s beloved boy Pharaoh Tutankhamen (a.k.a. King Tut) stashed away some watermelon seeds in his tomb to ensure an abundant (and refreshing) afterlife. Today, watermelon can be found all over the world and is especially beloved in Africa, Asia, and Oceania. While the simplicity of a fat slice is always welcome, here are a few foolproof ways to add a touch of elegance to your watermelon experience: 1. Watermelon lemonade [Recipe] Watermelon and citrus grow abundantly in West Africa. When the fruit is in season, piles of melons line the streets. This naturally pink lemonade is a great, easy way to use up extra watermelon (or even that not-so-perfect specimen).  But, be warned this drink is hard to resist on a hot day – it’ll be gone before you know it! Try the recipe. 2. ‘Otai [Recipe] Here’s anther …

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How to throw an Egyptian themed birthday party

Walk the aisles of any party store and the selections are the same: overpriced plastic renditions of the latest Disney craze. But what would happen if I helped my child see there’s more to the world than someone else’s fairy tale? What interests your child? Start there. Ava’s Egyptian-themed birthday party came about in a round-about way… but it’s always been about what she loves. About six months before her 5th birthday, I noticed she would often ask to read a book on gemstones that her Grammie gave her. She poured over each drawing, asking me to list which gemstone was which. Soon, she knew our birthstones by heart – ruby and moonstone. Looking to build on her interest in Geology, I introduced her to Archaeology… the art of digging up artifacts from historical sites. We took several books out of the library about ancient Egypt in particular. Observing her continued fascination with the “dig,” I asked her if she would like to do some sort of dig for her birthday party and she enthusiastically …

pickled-figs

Homemade Balsamic Figs | Entertaining the Italian way

A daydream worth dreaming

Cobblestone alleys flanked by weathered walls. Hilltop churches. Sunlight warm on fig trees and grapevines.  This is the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy.

Deep in the cellars there’s Parmesan, balsamic, and prosciutto aging. They slumber in the dim recesses, the nuttiness and salt growing bolder, rounder. Waiting for the perfect moment to shine.

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If your part of the world was a burger, this would be it. (ASIAN EDITION)

Photos: Afghan girl, by Capt. J. Severns; Filipino girl by V. David, Nepalese child by Steve Evans.   What’s cooking in Asia? Asian food might have you thinking stir-fry and noodle soups, but I’m in the mood for a little imaginative play … I’m in the mood to make Asian-inspired Burgers. But first. A warning. Asia is HUGE. Not all the flavors are soy sauce and sesame oil! A road map to flavor We’ll start with a burger characteristic of the Middle East – yup – the Middle East is part of Asia, too! Then we’ll travel north through central Asia, onto the more “standard” Asian flavors, at which point we’ll make a SHARP turn south to hit Oceania… a bonus continent for this round! As always, these burgers are mere teasers. If any of them inspire you to explore the continents in more depth, check out more than 650 recipes I made from every country in world. There’s something for everyone! Also, check out the two other editions of this series: Part 1 (Burgers of the Americas & Europe) and Part 2 …

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If your part of the world was a burger, this would be it. (AFRICAN EDITION)

Photos: Moroccan girls by M. Osmenda, Bhutanese girl by C. Michel, & children in Ghana by K. McCormick. The heart of African cooking… I’m so excited about today… because today  we’re diving into the heart of African cooking. I’ll be sharing four burger creations inspired by four distinct regions of Africa. It’s not all the same… Next time someone tells you all African food tastes the same (or that they know nothing about African cooking), send them here. I know firsthand how much they’re missing. You see, when I first began cooking the world, I could fill a thimble with what I knew about African cooking. But there is enormous flavor, history, and creativity in Africa. Consider these four African-inspired burgers a teaser. Once your appetite is whetted, go on to the hundreds of recipes for each of the 54 countries in Africa that my family tried when we cooked our way around the world. Let this celebration of Africa’s culinary diversity be a reminder: Africa is not a country. The North African | Tagine Burger Inspired by the sweet and savory tagines of Morocco …

Swedish girl wearing a Midsummer crown. Photo by Bengt Nyman.

22 Campfire & Scandinavian Recipes to celebrate Midsummer’s Night

Midsummer’s Eve – the longest day of the year – is celebrated in dozens of countries with huge bonfires, maypole dancing, and glorious food. In Scandinavia, the sun never fully sets. But even if night falls where you live, you can still celebrate. To get into the spirit, simply drop out of big city chaos and into nature. This is a time to make flower crowns, swim in clear streams, sing hymns, and laugh more than is wise. Some say Midsummer is also a time for love. After long, dark winter the cheerful sun naturally warms hearts. One famous Swedish proverb states: “Midsummer Night is not long but it sets many cradles rocking.” It is also said that, if a woman is to pick seven flowers in silence and places them under her pillow on Midsummer Night, she will dream about her one true love. For me – already fully in love and married with a child – the main purpose of Midsummer is to enjoy the light with my family. Camping is a fantastic way to do …

The world in 12 burgers.

If your part of the world was a burger, this would be it. (AMERICAS EDITION)

Photos of children by Tabea Huth, Rod Waddington , Christopher Michel.   In honor of father’s day, and in consideration of the fact that I hardly ever make burgers despite my husband’s passion for them… I give you the world in a dozen burgers – a three part series to be presented throughout the month of June. First up? Europe and the Americas.   Next week stay tuned for PART 2 several African burgers (I’m SO excited about these ones). Finally, we’ll complete our world tour with PART 3… burgers inspired by parts of Asia and Oceania… yum and yum.   1. The Caribbean | Jerk Chicken Burger Good Caribbean cooking goes hand in hand with scotch bonnet peppers (a.k.a. Habeneros… a.k.a. a little heat mon). For this burger I took inspiration from the Jerk Seasoning we enjoyed when we cooked Jamaica. This muddy green blend contains enough habenero to make a firefighter sweat, tempered with mild bell pepper, green onion, garlic, ginger, a garden of herbs  (think thyme, basil, and parsley), plus a host of spices (say ‘yow‘ to allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and black …

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Spicy Vietnamese Slaw + Extreme Compassion

Extreme Compassion Stopping to move a wandering worm off the sidewalk. Helping a baby bird that fell out of it’s nest. Not walking by with indifference. This sort of extreme compassion is a thing that some of us – with our busy, distracted lives – strive for imperfectly. But there are others – startlingly kind souls – who live and breathe extreme compassion. Last week I went to the tailor – a big deal for me since I know how to sew. But I have a dress – a dress with lace, three layers, and a hidden zipper. I love this dress but it needs to be 2 sizes smaller. This project is totally out of my league. Wendy’s tiny, crowded shop is located in a remote basement shop of an art deco building in downtown Tulsa. Little Ava and I circled the whole property 5 times before we phoned Wendy, defeated. Two minutes later she appeared: a bespectacled Vietnamese woman in cherry lipstick. As she led us down to the basement she crooned “So pretty” in …

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21 of the World’s Best Grilled Eats

Have you fired up the grill yet? In honor of Memorial Day and the start of this year’s heat wave, here are some of the best grilled foods from our family’s around the world cooking adventure, including several vegan and vegetarian dishes. For more than 600 other recipes from every country in the world, check out my Countries I’ve cooked page.  P.S. The recipes below may be enjoyed in multiple countries, but the countries identified below indicate at what point in our adventure we sampled the dishes.  1. Carne Asada | PARAGUAY (Recipe) Oh man. Steak marinated in garlic, oregano, fresh lime juice, and black pepper? Then sliced and served in a tortilla with avocado, tomato, cheese, and more? Yes, and yes!   2.  Barbecue Ribs | USA (Recipe) These ribs are fall-off-the-bone good and blasted with paprika, brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic, cayenne pepper, and cracked peppercorns. After a low, slow grillin’, they’re brushed with a lick of sweet barbecue sauce at the end. Need I say more?   3. Beef Suya | NIGERIA (Recipe) If ever there was a recipe that surprised me with …

DIY Teacher's Gifts for under $3

18 Meaningful DIY Gifts for as little as $1.22 each for teachers, friends, & more!

What do you see when you look at several boxes of tea? I see opportuni-tea.  I’m so, so sorry! But it’s true: with just six boxes of tea, I can create a world of flavor for up to 18 people (some boxes only hold 16 bags) for hardly any money.  It’s so easy I almost feel guilty for making a step-by-step post about it. A little background first. There’s no end to the occasions that require thoughtful gifts. But it’s hard to find thoughtful gifts that are affordable. While these gifts would be great for Valentine’s Day, Office Christmas gifts, or party favors… School is almost over so we’re doing them as a teacher’s thank you. Ava will give one to each of her four teachers, as well as the preschool director. She’s had an amazing time these last few years, and we wanted to put care into thanking them. We accompanied the gifts with a little Q&A about Ava’s favorite memories and messages she wanted to pass on to make it even more personal. I chose …