Recipe: Blueberry Bublanina | Bubbly Cake

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From early springtime all the way into the deep heart of fall, Slovakia's mountains and hills burst with nature's bounty. For those who search, a perpetual harvest reveals herself. Here, trees swoon with the weight of delightfully sour cherries, juicy, grapes, apricots, and apples. There, bushes bloom with blueberries, woodsy and sweet. This land, surely, is magic. When there is more fruit than can be gathered in an apron, Slovakia makes Bublanina, a.k.a. Bubbly Cake. Just one … [Read more...]

Recipe: Creamy Coconut & Banana Tart

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Imagine sitting by the sea one lazy afternoon, focused on the tattered nets of nearby fishing boats, when something big and hard bumps against your foot. When you look down, you see a giant, two lobed coconut has washed up, onto the sand. From end to end, this coconut is as long as your forearm, with tufts of hair poking out between the brown, oblong lobes. She would have traveled hundreds (thousands!) of miles to reach you, all the way from the Seychelles. And you'd know she came from … [Read more...]

Recipe: Easy Banana Mousse with Chocolate Curls

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When I first read that bananas are popular in West Africa's island country São Tomé and Príncipe, I envisioned them eaten raw on the surf-swept beaches... or perhaps sold battered and fried with a cloud of powdered sugar. While all this certainly does happen, I never imagined I'd see them folded inside of a fluffy mousse, decked out with indulgent curls of dark chocolate. But I'm sure glad I did. In my reading I learned that this mousse could be made any number of ways - with or … [Read more...]

Recipe: Fig & Honey Apple Polenta Cake | Bustrengo

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Sometimes life calls for  a little something extra-ordinary. A toothy smile on a cloudy day can be enough. A favorite pair of fuzzy, polka-dotted socks can even do the trick. But on other days I want something a smidge bit ... well... gourmet. I want something that says this day - this meal - this time - is more special than you know. That you're more special than you know. And so, it's not without a little irony that Bustrengo fits the bill. You see, this Fig and Honey Apple … [Read more...]

Recipe: Caribbean Black Cake

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Sometimes I think the holidays would go a lot smoother if everyone was handed a shot of rum and a slice of cake. How could conversation not go smoothly after that? Turns out, that's what they do in the Caribbean... with great success. Black cake is a cousin to the British Plum Pudding and is made with an expensive array of dried fruits, like cherries, raisins, and prunes and topped off with a bit of nutty crunch (almonds for me). Before baking  - sometimes for months - the fruit soaks … [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: Cinnamon Buttered Dates | Al Rangina

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I'm not a particularly picky person, except when it comes to dates and men. I lucked out in the man department when I married my best friend 4 1/2 years ago... but I'm still working on learning to love dates. While I certainly love going to dinner and a movie, taking long walks on the beach, and enjoying romantic hikes in the forest... I don't much care for date dates. The black, oblong super sweet kind of date that one eats. Dates are one of the major foods grown in Qatar, so the time has … [Read more...]

Recipe: Polish Apple “Pie” | Szarlotka (with poll)

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We don't always do what's expected in my family. We laugh in the face of drama. We cry whenever happy. We eat pizza for breakfast. And we're generally 10 years out of fashion (note: I'll never slip into skinny jeans, so don't hold your breath on that one). P.S. We never had normal birthday cakes. I liked to have the unusual and highly troublesome (in the best possible way) German Tree Cake on my birthday. Half the time my brother Damien requested apple pie for his. If we were Polish, … [Read more...]