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: Russian “Egg, Egg & Caviar”

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The scrambled eggs in Russia are so moist and creamy, you'd swear there's cheese folded up inside. To achieve this texture, the eggs are never whisked or salted at this stage, but broken directly into a pot (not a pan), then cooked over gentle heat in a "on again, off again" game that makes Ross and Rachel's relationship on Friends look stable. Finally, a generous swoosh of heavy cream and a sprinkle of seasoning finishes the eggs off right. Then, while they're still steaming hot, you … [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...]

Recipe: Frankincense Ice Cream

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I like a little mystery in the midst of routine. A drizzle of scented massage oil makes the evening fly by. A simple puff of incense fills every crevice of my home with glorious serenity. And of all possible aromas, Frankincense reigns supreme. Ever since I was a little girl, poised with wonder under the glittering Christmas tree, Frankincense has captivated me. My little brain could never quite grasp what on earth Frankincense was or why it was so special, but that didn't stop me from … [Read more...]

Recipe: Dill & Lemon Pepper Gravlax | Gravlaks (with poll)

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I can be so wimpy. Sometimes I need a little push. A little motivation. Like that time I wanted to dive off the tall board at the pool. It was seventh grade and I was so scared my heart was in my ears. Thump, thump, thump. I could hardly see. Even my knees were woozy. I held hands with a friend and, after a thirty-minute long giggle-hesitation, I actually jumped in. Unfortunately, the force of jumping 15 feet did things to my bathing suit I still don't want to talk about. I never did jump off … [Read more...]

Recipe: West African Peanut Kebabs | Suya

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My pantry's name is Patty.* She's actually just a shelf in the laundry room, above the vacuum cleaner and mop, but I love her all the same. Right now she could use a diet - she is packed with boxes upon boxes of noodles, rice, 8 kinds of oils, soup, 4 bags of coffee from around the world, 4 kinds of dried chili peppers, and fishy bouillon cubes I bought 2 years ago for one of our Global Table meals and promptly forgot to use (I'm going to go ahead and presume they aren't good any … [Read more...]

Recipe: Pavlova with Summer Berries & Kiwifruit

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Summertime means running barefoot through sprinklers, nibbling fresh fruit, and shining your smile all the time, even when you're sleeping. It means laying your back, watching bubbles of clouds dot through the sky. And today we're eating one such cloud. Pavlova. Named after a Russian ballet dancer, this meringue "cake" takes center stage, topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit, like berries, kiwifruit, mango, or even passionfruit. Both New Zealand and Australia lay claim to inventing this … [Read more...]

Recipe: Dutch Potato Salad | Huzarensalade

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If I were to make a potato salad, it would not be loaded up with mayo, nor would it be heavy as a brick 0r as fresh as Frankenstein. No. My picnic table would have something far more glorious: I would make this Dutch potato salad. She's full of bright, juicy apples, smoky cubes of ham steak, sweet corn, and tiny, salty gherkin slices. She's an entire meal, surrounded by tender lettuce, hard-boiled eggs, cucumbers, tomatoes, more gherkins, and whatever else you'd like to nibble … [Read more...]