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Menu: Uganda

This week’s menu celebrates Uganda’s street food. With one recipe for the grill, and the other for your cookie jar, we’re bridging the gap between summer and autumn.  Which is about right, since school starts next week in Oklahoma. How.is.that.even.possible?? What about you? Are you already gearing up for the school year, or are your feet still firmly planted in summer, like our furry friend at the bottom of this post? All recipes and the meal review will be posted throughout the week. Rosemary & Lemon Harissa Kebabs [Recipe] Beef and vegetable kebabs marinated in a lemon, spicy harissa (as hot as you dare), rosemary, and peanut oil marinade. This recipe is packed with a zing that’ll make you fall in love with your grill all over again! This taste of Uganda is adapted from Marcus Samuelsson’s kitchen. Peanut Brittle with Cardamom & Coconut | Kashata [Recipe] Take everything you love about Peanut Brittle, and add a dreamy dusting of cardamom and a tropical heaping of shredded coconut. It’s just different enough for a fun housewarming gift …

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Menu: Tuvalu

Ever wonder how an island nation forms? There’s an old Tuvaluan legend  that claims the first inhabitants of Tuvalu were ladies named Pai and Vau. Pai and Vau held baskets of sand. The grains that fell out of those baskets are said to have formed the neighboring atolls (the tiny coral reef islands we learned about yesterday). I love this image. It really goes to show how a little carelessness – something as small as a slip of a basket – can have far-reaching effects. Of course, all this island-making leaves me wondering: what did Pai and Vau ate after making the islands? I’d like to imagine, something like this week’s menu… We’re celebrating the food of Tuvalu with a big bite of local Tuna and doughnut-like banana fritters. This is comfort food, meant to be enjoyed with the salt of the sea on your lips, and a smile in your heart. Even more, we have it on authority that the dessert is fit for the prince of England and his bride. So, it stands …

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How to throw a Central Asian Tea Party

  The best kind of party is a tea party. Even better? A themed tea party. This week we’re exploring the Central Asian Tea Party. As I read through many descriptions of teas in Turkmenistan (this week’s Global Table) and her neighboring countries, I realized there are just FIVE basic things you need for a Central Asian Tea Party. Anything else is icing on the proverbial cake. 1.  Green or Black Tea.  In Central Asia, people drink two main kinds of tea, green or black. Green tea is typically sipped in order to relax, while black tea is enjoyed for an energetic boost. Both are called “Chai,” which simply means tea. When serving, the tea should be poured from very high up into each glass… do this at least three times. This aerates the tea and makes tiny bubbles (more on this in a moment). 2. Fun superstitions Much of the fun of any global tea party is learning the superstitions that go with them. Here are two from Central Asia. a) If you can tap the …

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Watermelon Jam

Imagine living in a place that has a National Holiday called “Melon Day.”  You could be surrounded by more than 400 kinds of melon, including some 50 varieties of watermelon.* The cool, sweet flesh would fill your belly and spirit. Eating it would definitely make you smile. And spreading it on bread? Even better. If any of this appeals to you, you might want to consider moving to Turkmenistan. These lovely people have celebrated Melon Day since 1994, and they don’t plan to stop eating the sweetness anytime soon. When I read in The World Cookbook for Students that Watermelon Jam is a thing in Turkmenistan (particularly when served on toast with tea), I knew we had to try it. I made a nice batch of jam from half a regular watermelon. Tastes like jarred sunshine. What a great gift to share with friends and family! Perhaps with a spot of tea… NOTE: I used Pamona’s Universal Pectin because it allows me to add less sugar to the mix (just 2 cups). I found Pamona’s at Whole Foods, though …

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Menu: Turkmenistan

“Whatever you put in your pot comes to your spoon.” Turkmen Proverb We’re in the middle of summer. The sidewalk’s sizzling, but anyone from Turkmenistan can tell you; that’s no reason to turn off the kettle. This week we’re celebrating summer in true Turkmen Style. First, with a spirited watermelon jam, inspired by the 200 varieties of melon that grow in Turkmenistan. Second, with a central Asian tea party – a fun way to gather with family and friends. *Both recipes and the meal review will be posted throughout the week.   Watermelon Jam [Recipe] Boil up some watermelon, sugar, and lemon juice. Add a bit of pectin. Voila! The perfect Turkmen-inspired gift for someone you love. A yummy (and unusual) addition to any summer brunch. Central Asian Tea Party [Recipe] Invite a few friends over to experience a Central Asian Tea Party.  We’ll share seven ways to make the tea party as authentic and fun as possible. P.S. If you’re looking for something more savory, check out our recipes linked in our About the Food of Turkmenistan post.

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Menu: Turkey

“In a flat country, a hillock thinks itself a mountain” Proverb from Turkey Friends, let’s knock the hillocks of life to the ground. And let’s do it with Turkish food. This week, I created a fun party menu – a Turkish meal that can be enjoyed on a balmy summer evening, under starlight, with a few close friends and family.  It’ll inspire laughter, some much needed spice, and full hearts. After all, isn’t that what we all need? A little time to chill out with our loved ones, and get some perspective on the bumps and bumbles (and hillocks) of life? All recipes and meal review will be posted throughout the week. Lamb Flatbread “Pizza” | Lahmacun [Recipe] Lahmacun is an incredible spiced lamb pizza. There are so many flavors, you might not be able to see beyond the fireworks in your mouth. Somewhere in that explosion of deliciousness, I promise you, there’s tomatoes, onion, paprika, parsley, mint, and more. Not to mention the DIY toppings: red onion, parsley, mint, lemon juice, and sumac. Yessss. Turkish …

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Menu: Tunisia

“If the full moon loves you, why worry about the stars?” Tunisian Proverb I never thought I’d compare tuna fish to the beautiful moon. But here we are. This week, there were so many beautiful recipes to choose from; I had a hard time choosing what best represented Tunisia. But then I read the proverb posted above, and realized maybe it was more important to showcase what made my stomach crawl. So I scanned the dozens of recipes for two dishes that could make my stomach growl. The first one? A grilled salad topped with tuna. I know funky tuna is not for everyone, but man, oh, man I love it (am I the only one that loves a good bit of tuna?). As for the dessert, I found something just as tantalizing. In short, I found a glittering menu, or moon, so to speak … so I didn’t worry about the stars I couldn’t get to.  All recipes and the meal review will be posted throughout the week. Tunisian Grilled Salad | Salata Mishwiyya [Recipe] A charred, …

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Menu: Trinidad and Tobago

Keith and I just celebrated five years of marriage. There’s an old saying from Trinidad and Tobago that sums up the depths to which I love this man: There’s more in the mortar than the pestle. In other words, there’s more to this man than meets the eye. He’s not just a pair of jaw dropping hazel eyes. He’s not just the funny one. He’s sure. Stable. All things committed. And I’m so lucky to have him. What better way to celebrate my husband than two of his favorite things? Spicy food and orange juice. Sweet and hot. Please and thank you. These recipes will be posted throughout the week along with the meal review. Orange Juice Rice [Recipe] Take ordinary rice on a tropical spin; cook it up with orange juice! This pale orange, fruity dish is a must-have on the side of any spicy food. Caribbean Stew Chicken [Recipe] Stew chicken is a celebration of the Caribbean. There are so many seasonings in here – a true melting pot of flavor characteristic of the West …

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Menu: Tonga

Apparently the fine people of Tonga have quite the sweet tooth. Whether it’s the coconut caramel sauce (which they put on everything from boiled taro to dumplings), or the watermelon chiller, Tonga serves up sweetness in all they do. I for one can appreciate the natural sweetness, especially in the drink. Try the sweet potatoes as a snack or on the side of grilled meats. The drink is great any time of day, but is a perfect alternative to punch or lemonade at your next gathering.  Oh, and, yay for an accidentally vegan menu. Because… why not? All recipes and the meal review will be posted throughout the week. Sweet Potatoes in Coconut Caramel Sauce [Recipe] Gussy up your candied sweet potatoes like they do in Tonga -with a totally vegan coconut caramel sauce and a dusting of shredded coconut. Pretty and easy! Coconut Watermelon Refresher | ‘Otai [Recipe] Mashed watermelon blended with coconut milk and shredded coconut. Don’t forget the twist of lime! P.S. As you enjoy your meal, consider sharing the Tongan greeting, which is …

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Menu: Togo

The last three people I’ve told that I’m cooking Togo have asked me what kind of food Togo is, not realizing Togo is a small west African country. So, friends, let’s learn together. Let’s put the Togolese spirit on our tables… along with a bit of their food. We’ll get to the menu we selected in a moment. First, let’s discuss the ‘spirit’ part of the meal. This week, I sought out some inspirational words from Togo. I had no choice. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed lately. For starters, I’ll be speaking in front of 3,000 people at the World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon. No biggie (total biggie!!).  Second, I’m about to turn in the next 1/3 of my memoir (I foresee a few all-nighters to finish the pages up). Third, my daughter is about to turn four (when on earth did that happen?). Fourth, I’m about to celebrate my fifth year of marriage (seriously, where has the time gone?). Fifth, I just spent the weekend visiting with my BFF from high school. It’s been …

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Menu: Thailand

“Friends for a meal are easy to find, friends until end of life are difficult to find” (Thai Proverb) Summer is the time of easy friendships, where the only things that matter are cold drinks, fresh food, and a patch of shade. Dinnertime is less strict, and I find myself veering towards later, lighter meals. Like this one. So now all you need is to find someone to share it with (P.S. Speaking of which, I can’t decide if that Thai proverb is encouraging or discouraging, but there’s one thing I know for sure. Whoever you make this meal for will certainly be woo’d for the summer, if not for life.) The key to Thai food is balance. If you serve something hot and spicy, you must serve something sweet. Which is exactly what we did. All recipes and the meal review will be posted throughout the week. Green Papaya Salad | Som Tam [Recipe] One of the easiest Thai dishes, with an orchestra of flavor. Think spicy, lime-tastic, and salty. This is salad all grown …

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Menu: Tanzania

“The roaring lion kills no game” Tanzanian Proverb In honor of this all-too true saying from Tanzania, we’re going all veggie this week. Truth is, I’ve been doing my fair share of ‘roaring’, which leaves me with a deficit of time for anything but quick (but fun!) dishes. Veggies fit the bill rather perfectly. In fact, our menu feels like a bulletin from Smokey the Bear, but without fires… and lots of veggies… “Thanks to Tanzania, you, too, can prevent veggie boredom!”  Whether you’re tossing corn and peas in your mashed potatoes, or stirring peanut butter and coconut milk into your leafy greens, Tanzania definitely steps up with fresh ideas for your weeknight side dishes. All recipes and the meal review will be posted throughout the week. Greens with veggies & Peanuts | Kisamvu [Recipe] This vegan treat is inspired straight from the heart of Tanzania; enjoy spinach cooked with carrot, onion, pepper, and a creamy, tantalizing blend of peanut butter and coconut milk. Mashed Potatoes with Veggies | Irio [Recipe] Turn boring mashed potatoes …

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