Recipe: Okra Stew with Beef & Eggplant

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"WE YU YεRI PIKIN SE "MAMA DE KUK כKRכ", PAPA BIN DכN TכK AM. If you hear a child say "Mama is cooking okra," it's because Papa said it."*  When I read this old proverb from Sierra Leone, I get goosebumps. The truth is, children pick up everything from their parents, from what's for dinner to more serious considerations, like world views, either loaded with prejudice or full of grace. While sipping soup or nibbling rolls, they overhear snippets of conversation; verbal jabs … [Read more...]

Recipe: Senegal’s Black-eyed Pea Salad | Saladu Ñebbe

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This New Year, I'm making room for sunlight to lay across the floor. No more discarded shoes to trip over. No more stacks of books or useless tchotchkes. Senegal inspired me. I saw photo after photo of her beautiful waters... vast expanses where sunlight runs free, unhampered by clutter. Less stuff in general, with more of the right stuff - friendship, laughter, love. This is how I want my home and my life to be.  I want to eat fresh and right. I want sunlight in my … [Read more...]

Recipe: Weeknight Cod Fish Feijoada

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One of our readers, Annabelle, suggested we try today's Cod Fish Feijoada. This filling, yet healthy Portuguese stew made it's way to the islands of São Tomé and Príncipe during colonization. Things have evolved quite a bit since then. While most Feijoada's involve black beans (even as far away as the one we made for Brazil), the islanders favor this white bean version and make it with readily available fish (and sometimes pork). The entire principal is a slow-cooked, tender meal full of … [Read more...]

Recipe: Sweet Potato Frittata

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Ava grabbed the small, purple step stool and placed it squarely in front of the kitchen counter. She's gone through a growth spurt lately and yet my little girl still stands on her tippy toes to see into the mixing bowl. On days like today, when I see her eyes peep over the top of the bowl and grow wide with delight, I hope she never grows up. With quick jabs of her whisk, she pops the yolks and helps stir together the frittata mixture. In the background we hear the delicous sizzle of … [Read more...]

Recipe: Samoan Coconut Creamed “Spinach” | Palusami

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Oh, boy. I honestly never thought this would happen. Me. Canned meat. Together at the table. At the Global Table. When I decided to cook a meal for every country in the world, I had visions of exotic spices laced throughout grand feasts of epic proportions. I imagined a variety of fresh herbs, carefully plucked from a garden somewhere. Canned corned beef, never really popped up in these daydreams. But, when Soraya the Samoan suggested I try Palusami, I quickly learned the time … [Read more...]

Recipe: Caribbean Pumpkin & Coconut Cream Bisque

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I know three things for sure: this Caribbean soup cannot wipe out old college debt, or go gift shopping for us... or even stop that dog from barking a few houses over (unless that particular dog likes soup?). That being said, I have personal proof that this soup can help you bring love into the kitchen and give your family just a little escape from the ordinary.As you whip it up, the house will fill with the scent of pumpkin, ginger and coconut cream - that's when it'll start. Your family will … [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: Transylvanian Cauliflower Casserole with Cheese

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I don't usually give a lot of thought to Dracula, except for that one era in the nineties when several movies came out and I read "Interview with a Vampire" in two and a half late-night sittings. For a long time afterwards my brain bore the imprint of fear. Do not leave the windows open in the glittering, eerie night,  a little voice told me. Whatever you do, sleep with garlic in close proximity - preferably around the neck, the voice added. (I would have done so, if it hadn't been so … [Read more...]