Eritrean Spiced Bread | Hembesha

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This year Ava and I brought a loaf of Eritrean Hembesha bread to the annual Martin Luther King parade. It's a random sort of thing to bring to a parade, but I'd just pulled batch #3 out of the oven and couldn't stand the thought of the bread cooling down without being able to enjoy a still-steaming, soft wedge. There are few things better than a steaming-hot piece of homemade bread.  Hembesha is no exception: the east African bread is soft and earthy with whispers of garlic, coriander, … [Read more...]

Why I’m terrified of telling you about my memoir

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My dear friend Becky and I had been chatting over drinks for more than an hour when I suddenly mumbled "I'm terrified of telling my readers about my memoir." The admission took me by surprise, as did the tears that spilled down my cheeks. I added, almost self consciously, "I don't know how to tell them ... isn't that crazy?" I darted my eyes around R Bar expecting to lock eyes with frowning onlookers, but the only other patrons were engrossed with each other, the flush of new romance in … [Read more...]

Feast of the 7 Fishes | Linguine with Baccalà Sauce

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A lump of salt cod (baccalà) just might be everything. To use the tough, leathery fillet - more hide than flesh - the cod must first be soaked in fresh clean water. Gradually the salt leaks into the water and clouds it. A change of water, then more salt comes out. Several more water changes. A couple of days go by. The cod becomes soft. Mild. Tender. Italians know: these steps cannot be skipped or the meal will be ruined. I find myself sifting around for meaning this year. Did you notice … [Read more...]

5 Jaw-dropping books for international food lovers

In Her Kitchen: Stories and Recipes from Grandmas Around the World

Every once in a while I browse through my scattered but immense cookbook collection, thumbing for ideas like a hungry hitchhiker: Take me somewhere different. Take me somewhere new. These five books represent a selection of my favorite go-to cookbooks as well as several incredible coffee table books that make excellent gifts for loved ones with an international food obsession. 1. Ripe: A Cook in the Orchard Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch by Nigel Slater The best cookbooks … [Read more...]

How cold is too cold for recess? 24 parents across the globe weigh in.

How cold is too cold for recess? 24 parents around the world weigh in.

As a family we've always been big on eating and playing outside - even when the weather dips below freezing. Ava's school is remarkably progressive in this regard - they'll go out in snow, even if its just for a few minutes. But most schools in Oklahoma keep the kids indoors during recess for one simple reason - we're more used to heat waves than snow storms. Our closets prove it: I don't buy Ava a snow suit or snow boots unless a big storm threatens(otherwise it may never get used … [Read more...]

10 Global Takes on Classic Thanksgiving Dishes

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Sure, Thanksgiving is an American holiday but most of us can trace our ancestry back to some other part of the world. Which is why every year I like to bring you a selection of globally-inspired dishes for your Thanksgiving feast. Case in point? While mashed potatoes are classic components of the Thanksgiving table, there's no reason you can't add a bit of global flare to your recipe... and you'll get a couple of ideas how to do so below! Here are 10 global takes on classic Thanksgiving … [Read more...]

Indian Curry for Lunch

An Indian lunch for kids or work

Ava's school encourages outdoor play - even when it snows. For this I am  SO grateful (if kids in northern climes like Alaska, Sweden, or Canada can go out to play when it's cold outside my daughter can handle it, too). But if she's going to face the elements, she also needs a hearty lunch to keep her furnace running. Curry is great for taking the snarl out of the winter air. This vegetarian chana masala warms with tomato cooked down into a bed of spices - cumin, coriander, turmeric, … [Read more...]

Sweet & Spicy Korean Braised Turkey

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You've had roast turkey and deep-fried turkey... but what about turkey with real international flavor? This Thanksgiving let's honor our melting pot culture with a recipe worth talking about. This Korean stuffed turkey breast is perfect for a smaller gathering of curious epicureans, happily feeding 4-6. I can't decide if the best part is the sweet and spicy glaze (made with soy sauce, mirin, ginger and garlic)... ... or the butternut squash stuffing (complete with chestnuts, … [Read more...]