All posts filed under: Entertaining Ideas

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A Japanese Sushi-rolling Birthday Party

A Japanese birthday party is a fabulous alternative to the standard princess or pirate birthday party. A couple of years ago my good friend and artist Annie Ferris had a Japanese-themed birthday party for her daughter and was kind enough to share the photos. The girls are 4 years old, proving there’s no age limit to having a fun and educational birthday party. I love how Annie managed to throw together a totally immersive experience while maintaining a down-to-earth vibe. Here are some of my favorite features of her daughter’s Japanese Birthday Party. Sushi Rolling station Ava still asks to make homemade sushi and this party is one reason why. How to set up a Sushi Rolling Station: Set up several low tables – kids craft tables or coffee tables work well – and use cushions for seating. Not only is this set up very Japanese, but it’s also easier for wiggly little ones to manage. At each child’s place you’ll need: a placemat to catch spills (hers were Japanese flags) a bamboo rolling mat a set of children’s chopsticks (plain or zoo animals) a bowl …

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New-Years

10 New Year’s Food Traditions from around the World

Before the confetti and the fireworks glitter through our skies, our global neighbors teach that we must first take a little time to dream. You see, if we imagine our futures as bright and as shiny and as real as the stars above us, we come that much closer to realizing our dreams. It’s called positive thinking. And all around the world, people accomplish this through a brilliant collection of New Year’s food traditions. These food traditions aren’t just another nice meal with a game attached; they’re a way to represent everything we want for ourselves and our loved ones. When we eat symbolic meals, it’s the best kind of positive thinking (hello, happy tummies and hearts). Here are my favorite New Year’s food traditions from around the world, with recipes pulled from our archives. Try one this year to make your very own Global New Year. 1. “RING” in the New Year Rings are a symbol both of continuous love and of “coming full circle.” Any food made in a ring shape is a great choice to celebrate …

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saint.vincent.grenadine.img_3726

10 Global Takes on Classic Thanksgiving Dishes

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 dishes. Try one out and add a touch of adventure to your Thanksgiving feast. You’ll be glad you did! 1.  Sweet & Spicy Korean Braised Turkey 2. Zimbabwe’s Peanut Butter & Butternut Mash (Nhopi) 3. Zimbabwe’s Corn and Cheddar Stuffed Squash 4. Mealie Bread (Corn Bread) – Southern Africa 5. Sweet Potato Biscuits (Mbatata) – Malawi 6. Mashed Potatoes with Veggies | Irio – Tanzania 7. Caribbean Pumpkin & Coconut Cream Bisque 8. Pumpkin Olad’yi – Russia 9. Maple Glazed Rutabaga – Finland 10. Honey & Pistachio Stuffed Quince – Uzbekistan And if all that goodness whets your appetite, check out more Thanksgiving roundups …

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Around the world in apples

Around the world with Apples ~ Celebrating the first day of Autumn

When the air bites. When my cheeks turn pink. These moments sing autumn. But now that I live in Oklahoma the first day of fall – September 23 – is almost always balmy. Sometimes it’s actually hot. Which means Ava can do this: The only surefire way I know it’s autumn is to watch the apples. There’s nothing like the crisp taste of a freshly plucked apple enjoyed while still standing in the orchard. The fruit is almost chalky on the tongue, the skin tight, the flesh sweet. When apples spring to life like this… well, that’s how I know it is autumn. As you fill your fruit basket with the season’s bounty, I invite you to play around with these apple recipes. They’re plucked from three continents and will make a great addition to your next around the world party or international night! In fact, I’ll be making one or two of them this week myself! Join me on Instagram so we can share our adventures! APPLE RECIPES FROM AROUND THE WORLD 1. Fig and Honey Apple Polenta Cake | Bustrengo (San Marino) …

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World Peace Day Recipe Challenge #EatInPeace #WorldPeaceDay #GlobalTableAdventure

Official World Peace Day Recipe

Look up recipes for world peace and you’ll find one of two things – a moral diatribe or Dori Greenspan’s chocolate chip cookies. While the former is on point, and the latter is undeniably incredible, I’m looking for something a little more… grounded… in the holiday. So I went back to the source for inspiration. Turns out the United Nations came up with “International Day of Peace” in 1981 and the first celebration occurred in 1982. Lots of people – myself included – simply call the September 21st holiday “World Peace Day.” What’s World Peace Day all about? World Peace Day is about having one day. One day without weapons. One day without killing. One day of treating each other with compassion, kindness and humanity. I get turkey fatigue on Thanksgiving and go chocolate bezerk on Valentine’s Day, but World Peace Day is one holiday I wish could last forever. OFFICIAL WORLD PEACE DAY RECIPE Serves 7.25 Billion Ingredients: 1 large heart 1 recipe from a country in conflict 7.25 billion friends Method: STEP 1 Imagine how mealtime would change in a …

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doro-wat

Celebrating the Ethiopian New Year with Doro Wat

There’s been a movement to make Enkutatash – a.k.a. Ethiopian New Year – as popular as St. Patrick’s Day or Cinco de Mayo.  But instead of wearing green or dancing to a mariachi band you’re invited for a much simpler, down to earth sort of celebration. Wear white. Pick yellow daisies. And enjoy traditional Ethiopian food. Waaaay back when “Enkutatash” literally stands for “gift of jewels.” As the story goes, several thousand years ago the Queen of Sheba delivered more than 4.5 tons of gold and as many spices to King Solomon. King Solomon was quite the host as he, too, showered her with gifts: …in return, King Solomon had assembled an array of gifts for her arrival. Great caskets of sticky Nubian millet beer awaited her party. The gifts were staked on mules outside Solomon’s palace, ready for her people to take to their camp and enjoy. Silks and linens from Gaza, Assyria, and Lebanon. Tapestry from Ma-Wara-Mnar. Dresses, sweet fruit from Iraq, Mongolistan winter melons. And basins of water from the spring at Siloe. Following …

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40 DRINKS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Celebrate Labor Day with 40 Cold Drinks from around the world

  Hi friends! When someone asks how you are doing, do you reply “Oh, SO busy”? I recently read that being ‘busy’ is the new norm. Turns out that’s how many people are measuring their self worth and even asserting their status as an “important” person. Ugg. This makes labor day an even more important holiday in my book.  A time to slow down, enjoy the bounty the world has to offer, and just… be… with your family and friends. I’ve compiled 40 cold drinks from your global neighbors for you to enjoy this weekend (perhaps not all at once, eh?). Bonus challenge? Vow not to say you’re busy for the entire month of September. Even if you are. #letsbanbusy xxoo Sasha NOTE: These recipes are enjoyed in their particular countries, but not necessarily exclusive to the countries.   The African drinks we’ve tried on our cooking adventure include a lot of fresh, tropical fruits like mango, pineapple and papaya. There’s also a good deal of ginger (think ginger beer and ginger tea), hibiscus, and earthy spices like cinnamon. …

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Cold soup recipes from around the world.

Chill out with 7 cold soups from around the world

A few things have changed since the early days of this blog (namely the photography), but one thing is certain: I love a good, chilled soup in the summer. Here are seven awesome cold soup recipes from around the world that aren’t gazpacho – because, my goodness, there are other cold soups besides gazpacho! So, without further ado, summer’s almost over – let’s skip the heat and chill out. 1. Mul Naengmyeon | Korea [Recipe] This Korean recipe is the most recent addition to our collection – a soup so cold, it is actually served with ice. It’s claim to fame? The balance of flavor between earthy buckwheat noodles spicy cucumber, sweet Asian pear, and tart vinegar. The best part? This soup is DIY, so everyone can add exactly what they like (and leave out the rest) – perfect for picky eaters who want to stovetop travel to Korea! 2. Rye Bread Soup with Homemade Rhubarb Raisins | Iceland [Recipe]   A soup made with bread? Yup. It’s thick, heavy on the rye, and just odd enough to get …

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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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recipes-and-ideas-to-use-up-watermelon

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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egypt-birthday-party

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 …

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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 …

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