Recipe: South Africa’s Bobotie

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Are you ready for a big bite of everything, ever? South Africa's Bobotie (ba-boor-tea) reminds me of when I was a little girl, playing in the kitchen next to mom. I'd dump every possible ingredient into my little inventions, hoping they'd come out amazing. While chopped apples and pickles didn't pan out when I was a kid, bobotie most decidedly does. But don't worry - there's no apple or pickle in it. So what is in it? Some people call Bobotie South African Moussaka, but I'm … [Read more...]

Recipe: Beef Suqaar

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Sometimes we need a meal that can fill every corner of our heart, one that can bump out those rough and tumble emotions that bog us down... the ones that keep us from being happy. Carefree. Enter Suqaar, from Somalia. Suqaar (pronounced sooh-car) is one of Somalia's most beloved dishes and can be made with any meat, from lamb, to chicken, to beef. Generally the meat is cut into very small pieces, about 1/2" cube or smaller. The meal is then rounded out with an assortment of veggies … [Read more...]

Recipe: Cassava Pudding

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I secretly love it when a word like "pudding" takes on a whole new meaning than "the sweet chocolate goop  found in the refrigerator cases of American supermarkets" (although I do enjoy that sort of pudding as much as the next sugar crazed mom). I love surprises like this because they teach me not to take so much for granted. They remind me that there are people all over this beautiful world who have different ways of doing things. And, in case you didn't get the memo, different is a … [Read more...]

Recipe: Braided Heart Bread | Pleteno Srce

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We are closing in on spring ...  that special time of year, when weddings and baby showers sprinkle our calendars, and everything is awash in the promise of new love. In Slovenia, such times are marked with Pleteno Scre - an ornamental, braided, tender loaf of bread, shaped into a heart. Pleteno Scre is an honored gift. The slightly sweet loaves are painstakingly decorated with edible tokens, like wedding rings and flowers (as I have done), or even astonishingly detailed birds, or paper thin … [Read more...]

Recipe: Blueberry Bublanina | Bubbly Cake

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From early springtime all the way into the deep heart of fall, Slovakia's mountains and hills burst with nature's bounty. For those who search, a perpetual harvest reveals herself. Here, trees swoon with the weight of delightfully sour cherries, juicy, grapes, apricots, and apples. There, bushes bloom with blueberries, woodsy and sweet. This land, surely, is magic. When there is more fruit than can be gathered in an apron, Slovakia makes Bublanina, a.k.a. Bubbly Cake. Just one … [Read more...]

Recipe: Singapore’s Beloved “Chicken Rice”

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The minute Anthony Bourdain said he got boo'd in Singapore over Chicken Rice, I knew the recipe had edged out all other contenders for a place on our Singaporean Global Table. It's true - when the world-renowned food star admitted that, after 7 visits, not only did he not have a favorite Chicken Rice joint, but that he'd never even taken a bite of this national favorite, the apparent transgression was enough to send the crowd in an uproar. I can't even imagine. Talk about food love. … [Read more...]

Recipe: Okra Stew with Beef & Eggplant

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"WE YU YεRI PIKIN SE "MAMA DE KUK כKRכ", PAPA BIN DכN TכK AM. If you hear a child say "Mama is cooking okra," it's because Papa said it."*  When I read this old proverb from Sierra Leone, I get goosebumps. The truth is, children pick up everything from their parents, from what's for dinner to more serious considerations, like world views, either loaded with prejudice or full of grace. While sipping soup or nibbling rolls, they overhear snippets of conversation; verbal jabs … [Read more...]

Recipe: Creamy Coconut & Banana Tart

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Imagine sitting by the sea one lazy afternoon, focused on the tattered nets of nearby fishing boats, when something big and hard bumps against your foot. When you look down, you see a giant, two lobed coconut has washed up, onto the sand. From end to end, this coconut is as long as your forearm, with tufts of hair poking out between the brown, oblong lobes. She would have traveled hundreds (thousands!) of miles to reach you, all the way from the Seychelles. And you'd know she came from … [Read more...]