Recipe: Caribbean Fry Bakes

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This week I've completely given up: - shooing the cat off our bed - working so hard, I can't see straight. - being in a hurry - doing the laundry - eating boxed cereal Instead, I'm now: - snuggling my cat - not-so-accidentally forgetting my phone at home - dancing with my daughter with the curtains wide open - playing board games with family - gobbling up bakes Thanksgiving week is a time for a little closer look at what matters. It's about family, not work. It's about … [Read more...]

Recipe: Peas n’ Rice

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There's a tall, skinny window, in a full-of-love kitchen in Brooklyn, where one can set a giant pot of rice to cool. Under the icy winter sun, steam rolls up and fogs the panes. With a swipe of the hand you can peer out at the city below, but the glass now clings to a dream of sauteed peppers, onion, garlic, celery, and thyme.  This special place is my friend Marina's kitchen, where I cooked our Global Table this past week while I was in NYC. There's nothing to this recipe. And yet it is … [Read more...]

Recipe: Rwandian Fruit Salad

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We may be in the heart of autumn here in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but no celebration of Rwanda is complete without a sliver of tropical fruit. This is the most popular way to end in a meal in Rwanda. Varieties include mango, pineapple, papaya, passion fruit, banana, and even buttery avocado: Although Mukamana says she and her husband cannot afford to purchase all the fruits needed to make a salad every day, they buy enough produce to make sure everyone at home eats a banana, an orange, or a piece of … [Read more...]

Recipe: White Sweet Potato Fries

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Sweet potatoes are up there with a good hair cut, purring cats, and sunlight through fiery autumn leaves. The simple sweetness is all I need on a chilly evening. But it's not all about the coppery hued variety, which litter my counter tops like fallen leaves. There's such a thing as white sweet potatoes, too. Rwandans love sweet potatoes, especially white sweet potatoes which they boil, mash, and even fry. I first saw this in action on the a Peace Corps blog En Route Rwanda: With help … [Read more...]

Recipe: Rwandan “Agatogo” with Collard Greens

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There's an old Rwandan saying "The most extensive land is the human belly."  I like to think there's mountains and streams in there, glorious sunsets and easy, glimmering sunrises. Is that somehow unsavory? I don't know. I do know I want this land to be vast, and include as much variety as possible. I want to fit the whole world in there. And this, my friends, includes the plantain. Plantains have been an issue for my family from the beginning. Ava isn't really keen on them (or bananas). … [Read more...]

Recipe: Cumin Seed Potatoes | Batata b’kamun

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When I look up at the turmeric-colored leaves that dangle in our now somewhat skeletal trees, I know I need a change. I crave something warm, comforting and full of spice. But I need it to happen quick, so I can run back outside, lay on my back, and watch those leaves shimmy and shake on their way down to the ground. Unless, I can find a compromise. A quick recipe I can bring on a picnic. One that can stand up to a chilly autumn afternoon and a toddler who recently got a big girl … [Read more...]

Recipe: Stuffed Grape Leaves | Warak Enab

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Time and time again I've failed to entice Ava with stuffed grape leaves. I tried back when we cooked Armenia, when the grape leaves were laced with an intoxicating blend of cinnamon, allspice and currants and she was an innocent, unquestioning 8-month old. Let's just say she wasn't ready - neither for the somewhat chewy outer "skin," nor the mystery of what was inside. Little kids like to know what mom is feeding them. Not one to give up easily, I spent the last 3 years casually pushing them … [Read more...]

Recipe: Tapioca & Jello Sipper | Sago at Gulaman

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It's Friday. We all need a little love. A quick fix to carry us into the weekend, Filipino-style. Also, we're on our way to October, which means we're on our way to Halloween... The answer? <gulp> Sago at Gulaman, a.k.a. Tapioca and Jello Sipper. This drink hardly even needs a recipe. First step, make some jello. For brownie points, make agar agar "jelly." Agar agar is seaweed based and sets up at room temperature. Very cool. You can find it on the international aisle of Whole … [Read more...]