How to throw an Egyptian themed birthday party

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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 … [Read more...]

Entertaining the Italian way with homemade Balsamic Figs + $50 GIVEAWAY

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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. Waiting to become the perfect bite. And by perfect I don't mean fancy. I mean perfectly un-fussed. The Art … [Read more...]

If your part of the world was a burger, this would be it. (PART 3)

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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 … [Read more...]

If your part of the world was a burger, this would be it. (Part 2)

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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 … [Read more...]

22 Campfire & Scandinavian Recipes to celebrate Midsummer’s Night

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

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, … [Read more...]

If your part of the world was a burger, this would be it. (PART 1)

The world in 12 burgers.

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 … [Read more...]

Spicy Vietnamese Slaw + Extreme Compassion

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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 … [Read more...]

Celebrate the Harvest with Filipino Garlic-Fried Rice | Panlasang Pinoy

Filipino Garlic Rice

  A Labor of Love I have a garden. It's small - an L-shaped  raised bed built with heavy stones. In it I have a few tomato plants, basil, thyme, parsley, chives, and lemongrass. There's also an abundance of mums; they come back every year and explode with burgundy, gold, and white in the autumn. Just next to the wall is my terracotta strawberry planter, perched atop a pedestal of chubby cherubs. It's about as idyllic as my corner of the world gets. This is the first year I've … [Read more...]