Recipe: Samoan Steamed Spice Cake | Puligi

Puligi

When Samoans want to bite into the holidays, their kitchens fill with the warm scent of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. If you try to peer under the lid to see what's cookin', you'll more than likely get a full steam facial, so watch out. Within that foggy cloud of vapors, you'll find cocoa brown puligi, a steamed bundt cake made dark with the unusual addition of "burnt" sugar. The cake is traditionally steamed in an underground oven known as an imu, although many now steam it on the stovetop, or … [Read more...]

Gifts for the Stovetop Traveler

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Hi, friends. This year I've put together a lip-smacking collection of gifts with the stovetop traveler in mind. You'll find everything from kids chopsticks to a boozy liquor cabinet of global proportions. All of it will help you eat the world better than ever. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! xo P.S. Be sure to FOLLOW THIS LINK to see if you won any item on this list in the first giveaway... and follow THIS link to enter our second giveaway! 1. Cookie cutter shaped like the world (I hope … [Read more...]

Recipe: Cocoa Tea

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When I told Ava that the fine people of Saint Lucia like to wake up in the morning and drink Cocoa Tea, she squinted her eyes, titled her head, and said "what mama?" "It's like hot cocoa," I smiled, "but richer, and seasoned with cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg." Her eyes instantly popped open in recognition and the corners of her lips curled impishly. I showed her my mound of chocolate chips and added that in Saint Lucia they use cocoa sticks and balls to make their Cocoa Tea, but we'd … [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: 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...]