Recipe: Swallow’s Nests | Nidi di Rondine

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What being a grown up has taught me: There's no way to turn couch surfing into exercise. I cannot be a mermaid for a day, no matter how hard I will myself to grow a tail. Superman isn't going to swoop down out of the sky and carry me away with him. Heck, he can't even find a phone booth these days. That being said, there are lots of good things I've learned as a grownup. Making my daughter guffaw makes my heart happy Eating around the table with loved ones is worth a pile of … [Read more...]

Recipe: Chocolate & Coconut Rice Pudding with Sweet Orange Peel | Koko Rice

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I used to say I wasn't a chocolate girl but, as the year's go by, I'm realizing that it's really more about finding the right time to eat chocolate. After dinner? Certainly. At 3pm? I'm game. For lunch? Maybe. Midnight? Definitely. 3 am? No way. I'm sleeping for goodness sakes. But breakfast? Am I game for a chocolate breakfast? Let's just say it's an arrangement I'm willing to get out of bed for and I know of at least two other people who are as well. After all, who couldn't use … [Read more...]

Recipe: Caribbean Fry Bakes

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This week I've completely given up: - shooing the cat off our bed - working so hard, I can't see straight. - being in a hurry - doing the laundry - eating boxed cereal Instead, I'm now: - snuggling my cat - not-so-accidentally forgetting my phone at home - dancing with my daughter with the curtains wide open - playing board games with family - gobbling up bakes Thanksgiving week is a time for a little closer look at what matters. It's about family, not work. It's about … [Read more...]

Recipe: Peas n’ Rice

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There's a tall, skinny window, in a full-of-love kitchen in Brooklyn, where one can set a giant pot of rice to cool. Under the icy winter sun, steam rolls up and fogs the panes. With a swipe of the hand you can peer out at the city below, but the glass now clings to a dream of sauteed peppers, onion, garlic, celery, and thyme.  This special place is my friend Marina's kitchen, where I cooked our Global Table this past week while I was in NYC. There's nothing to this recipe. And yet it is … [Read more...]

Recipe: Rum Glazed Coconut Bread Pudding

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It's a fact of life: when the wind howls, children everywhere refuse to wear their coats. They arch their little backs, squeal-whine and assert "I don't need a coat, mama." In this situation, we have two choices. We can hunker down and try (struggle) to put their coat on, until one or both of us are crying. Or. (Or is that beautiful word that keeps life bearable and tantrums at a minimum.) Or... we can stand outside with them, coatless in the wind, just for a moment. We can feel … [Read more...]

Recipe: White Sweet Potato Fries

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Sweet potatoes are up there with a good hair cut, purring cats, and sunlight through fiery autumn leaves. The simple sweetness is all I need on a chilly evening. But it's not all about the coppery hued variety, which litter my counter tops like fallen leaves. There's such a thing as white sweet potatoes, too. Rwandans love sweet potatoes, especially white sweet potatoes which they boil, mash, and even fry. I first saw this in action on the a Peace Corps blog En Route Rwanda: With help … [Read more...]

Recipe: Rwandan “Agatogo” with Collard Greens

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There's an old Rwandan saying "The most extensive land is the human belly."  I like to think there's mountains and streams in there, glorious sunsets and easy, glimmering sunrises. Is that somehow unsavory? I don't know. I do know I want this land to be vast, and include as much variety as possible. I want to fit the whole world in there. And this, my friends, includes the plantain. Plantains have been an issue for my family from the beginning. Ava isn't really keen on them (or bananas). … [Read more...]

Recipe: Russian Potato Salad | Olivier Salad

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Winter doesn't just bite in Russia. It eats you alive. In the far east of this great nation, temperatures can actually drop to -95F. In the west, things are nearly so dire - winter might only drop to -22F (!), with occasional warm spurts in past years reaching 50F. 50F isn't so bad. But the rest? Yikes. By the time New Year's Eve comes, Russians are ready to break up the monotony with a blast of soul-warming comfort food. Major. Everyone tells me New Year's Eve in Russia wouldn't … [Read more...]