Recipe: Guatemalan Hot Cocoa (Central America)

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Serves 1 When I don't have time for a bubble bath, I like to slip my dreams into a steaming hot cup of cocoa. Imagine my surprise (and joy) when I found out Guatemalans don't make their hot cocoa¬†quite like we do here, in the USA. Like their neighbors throughout Central America, Guatemalans make hot cocoa out of bars of pressed cocoa. Dry and crumbly, these hot cocoa bars are nothing like the creamy bars of chocolate we snack on. The good news? You can find them in your local Latino market … [Read more...]

Recipe: West-African Inspired Watermelon Lemonade

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Makes 1.5 quarts Gulp, gulp, slurp. A quart and half of homemade Watermelon Lemonade lasts 13.3 minutes in this house. When served out of half a melon? It's gone quicker than a cat's meow. As the pitcher empties, our bellies swell - Mr. Picky's most of all. He loves the stuff. He's been known to drink an entire cup in one long draw, his eyes grinning over the rim. Today's recipe is inspired by the flavors of Ghana, where heavy watermelons pile up in the markets all summer long. This … [Read more...]

Recipe: Lover’s Lemon Ginger Tea (Gingembre)

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Makes about 3 cups concentrated juice Want to fall in love vigorously? Ease a nasty stomach bug immediately? Wake up cheerfully? Drink a giant glass of spicy, cold lemon ginger tea. It's like a big punch in the face, but in a good way. This drink is so strong, you'll do the post-whiskey-shot shudder. Our recipe is a concentrated blend - be sure to water it down to taste. Special tip for the flu season - add a splash of hot water to dilute for a great, cleansing drink. Perfect if your … [Read more...]

Recipe: Finnish Blueberry Milk

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Makes about 1 1/2 quarts The Finns are a healthy bunch. Between foraging for berries and milking cows, it is no wonder that they also enjoy slurping blueberry milk - an antioxidant rich powerhouse of a drink. Not to mention - it's blue - an underutilized color in cooking. Pretty cool in my book. This recipe is adapted from The Best of Finnish Cooking. They used half as much milk than I did - which would make a thicker and much bluer mixture. Play around and see what works for … [Read more...]

Ethiopian Inspired Coffee Ceremony (Bunna Ceremony)

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Coffee is said to have originated in Ethiopia. Today Ethiopian coffee ceremonies are common after large meals, even at restaurants. Women will roast beans in front of the guests. Then she'll grind the beans, perfuming the room, and brew them in a clay coffee pot, or jebena. The coffee is served in small cups called si'ni. Diners have their choice of salt or sugar. Traditionally, every guest is offered 3 cupfuls- the same grounds being brewed each time, making each consecutive cup weaker. My … [Read more...]

Recipe: Creamy Sweet Corn Drink (Atol de elote)

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Serves 3 In El Salvador, Atol is made with fresh corn kernels, milk, cinnamon, and sugar. My version is simplified for the home cook - but if you have the time, and if it is in season, cut the corn straight off the cob. Do it while listening to Salvadoran music, just because. Ingredients: 1 lb frozen corn, thawed 2 cups milk 1 cinnamon stick 1/4-1/2 cup sugar extra milk, as needed ground cinnamon for garnish Method: Add golden nuggets of goodness to a medium pot. Balance a … [Read more...]

Recipe: White Coffee (a.k.a. Rose water Tea)

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Makes 1 cup Want to drink a rose? White Coffee is the fabulous way to be romantic. Just boil a pot of water and 15 seconds later you'll be sipping on a hot cup of romance, relaxation and restful enjoyment. Although called white coffee, this popular Middle Eastern drink is really a caffeine-free blend of hot water with floral essences, spices, herbs, or aromatics. Our version is made especially for Valentine's Day with one of the most popular variations, rose water. Psst, it helps to serve … [Read more...]

Recipe: Grapefruit & Avocado Smoothie

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Makes a quart Want a smoothie, but tired of all the "normal" options? Try this Domincan treat - a tantalizing blend of grapefruit juice and creamy avocado. The "ice" green color will have you cooled off in no time. (Thanks to the¬†Facebook Fans who voted in this recipe) Ingredients: 3 avocados 2 1/2 cups grapefruit juice 1/2 cup sugar water (or extra grapefruit juice) for thinning to desired consistency Method: Take yourself to that special place, where the sun is shiny … [Read more...]