Recipe: Honey Almond Samsa with Orange Blossom Water

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Every wedding, every baby shower, every birthday... every party... needs a smile. And by that, I mean, something that is delectable, not just to the spirit, but to the heart. Perhaps it's an epic DJ known for Bollywood Dancing. Or perhaps it's something as simple as a platter of Tunisian cigars, filled with crushed almonds, honey, orange blossom water, and cinnamon...Oh, and there's a fair kiss of melted butter on them, too. These cigars are rather like baklava, but the orange blossom … [Read more...]

Recipe: Caribbean-Style Orange Juice Rice

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In Trinidad and Tobago they say "Don't pick fruits after 6 p.m., the tree is sleeping." I'm not exactly sure what the tree would do to retaliate if you interrupt its sleep ... but I do know that when I don't get my sleep, I'm not only gruffy, but I can' t focus on anything. I'm so tired that my work suffers. I pout. I play with my hair. I pace rooms. I can't bear fruit, so to speak. So. Let's avoid picking fruit from the tree after six, both literally and figuratively. Instead, … [Read more...]

Recipe: Trini Stew Chicken

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Many a good thing requires we throw our all into it. Swimming, for example. If we don't swim with our all, well... we sink. Fast. When it comes to food from Trinidad and Tobago, adding a ton of flavor goes a long way to making unctuous and irresistible stew chicken. And when I say a "ton of flavor", I mean, we're going to throw our all into it.  Just about everything your market (and your herb planter) has to offer goes into stew chicken. The basis of Stew Chicken is … [Read more...]

Recipe: Sweet Potatoes in Coconut Caramel Sauce

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I love necklaces. The bright stones add a splash of color and fun to my generally plain-Jane outfits. Seeing as I don't general have time to put on makeup, necklaces are the one and only way to brighten up my look. To make it look like I tried. Well, today, we're getting a taste of how the islanders in Tonga dress up dinner. In short? Sweet potatoes meet coconut caramel sauce - a vivid display of orange, white, and golden brown. Sweet potatoes and coconut grow easily in the Pacific, … [Read more...]

Recipe: Tomato Cornmeal Cakes | Djenkoume

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Even grownups need to build sandcastles from time to time. The urge comes from deep within our hearts - some far away love for fantasy, perhaps formed in childhood. Today, we're listening to our inner child; we're making edible sandcastles... from Togo. At least, that's what I'm calling them. If you want to be a serious adult, you can call them cornmeal cakes. In Togo, corn is everything, ever. Sometimes it is served as porridge. And sometimes it's served as Djenkoume, a.k.a. cornmeal … [Read more...]

Recipe: Green Papaya Salad | Som Tam

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Whomp. Womp. Womp. Everything worth doing takes a little bit of work. And so it is with Som Tam. The mortar and pestle crushes the garlic, mashes a Thai bird chili peppers,  and wooshes the fish sauce and lime juice into the green beans and papaya. I put the bowl on the table, dotted red with tomatoes. Ava thinks the papaya is spaghetti. The pale green shreds curl around her fork. "It's something like that..." I say, hoping she believes me. She takes a bite, then another. Soon … [Read more...]

Recipe: Mashed Potatoes with Veggies | Irio

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  I'm a little like mashed potatoes; I'm stable and sure, but I avoid wearing colorful makeup. The last time I wore blue eye liner was the nineties, and it was already a decade too late. I'm destined to recede behind more vibrant individuals - individuals of style. But imagine what good things could come from a splash of color? The jury is out with me, but consider the mashed potato. Must she remain the unadorned, pale wallflower in a buffet of color? Tanzania teaches that this … [Read more...]

Recipe: Yogurt Naan/Non

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Any woman worth her salt is an incredible, complex specimen which takes time and love to fully understand. But even when you think you know a woman, she remains - at her core - mysterious. And so it is with today's Tajik naan recipe. She's made with a blend of wheat and all purpose flour, a healthy glop of yogurt, and not much else. She gets her shine for a quick milk and egg wash. The flavor is rustic, thanks to the wheat flour, and there's a slight, yet definite tang, thanks to … [Read more...]