Cook a “5 senses” Valentine’s Day Dinner with these world-wise tips

A older couple in love

While I love my husband dearly, there are times that our love feels so comfortable I'm at risk for taking him for granted. But then I smell some garlic frying in oil, maybe some tomato sauce bubbling on the stovetop, and I know he's making me pasta for dinner. It's nothing complicated - a simple gesture, really - but I know in that moment he loves me. Food, prepared with care, is the meaningful gesture that can fix  just about everything, especially an in-the-rut relationship. To me, … [Read more...]

Recipe: Cream & Current Scones

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The first time I had a scone - a real British scone - I almost lost my mind. The small disc had a tender crumb and tasted of lightly sweetened cream. A speckling of currants brightened the flavor, giving it just a hint of color, too. The giving texture of the scone is worth further mention. I think much of the lightness stems from the fact that  real scones are made with good quality European butter. European butter is richer (averaging 85% fat instead of just 81%), so there's less water, … [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: West African Peanut Bites | Kanya

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If there's one thing I've learned from this Adventure, it's that my family's unfaltering love of peanuts inexorably links us to the fine people of West Africa, where this little legume is  enjoyed in both savory and sweet concoctions. Peanut soups and cookies are both fair game, but today we explore Kanya, an altogether new delight. Kanya are naturally gluten free and beyond simple, made with just three ingredients: peanuts, sugar, and toasted rice flour. That's it! Kanya remind me of … [Read more...]

12 Romantic Recipes from Around the World, Just in time for Valentine’s Day

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Valentine's Day is almost here, and there's no better way to show love than to bump hips in the kitchen, or, at the very least, to deliver an edible prize to the champion who stole your heart.  While you're at it, why not take your love on a mini vacation, via stovetop travel? Without leaving your own global table, they can experience Egypt, Belgium, Morocco, Malawi, and beyond. And you can go with them, in the most sensual way possible: with your taste buds. It's all here, for the ravishing, … [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...]

Recipe: Sweet Semolina Cake with Lemon & Rosewater | Basboosa

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Love's every whimsy can be found in the tender, fragile curve of a rose. Arab cooks must know this in their hearts, as they imbue many of their desserts with the essence of this great flower. Rose water is made from hundreds (thousands!) of rose petals and I'm convinced there is magic in every drop. Today's cake, called Basboosa, is heavy with such magic. This incredibly moist cake is conjured up with durum semolina, then soaked in a pool of syrup made with sweetened rose water and fresh … [Read more...]