Recipe: Mauritian Banana Tart

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Don't let the startling geometry fool you. Today's Banana Tart is for those who like mellow desserts. Big bites of health. An entire banana tree in the belly, topped off with delicate lattice goodness. I know. It's craziness. You can thank the dreamy island of Mauritius, way out in the Indian Ocean, for teaching me this ingenious way to use up ripe bananas. The ingredient list is so simple and pure, I almost can't believe it. Bananas, barely a smattering of brown sugar, a pinch of salt, … [Read more...]

Recipe: Baked Papaya with Sweet Coconut Cream

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When Ava says it, Keith comes running. "Pa pa pa pa yapa" Even for me, papaya is fun to say. Beautiful to behold. But here the thing. I never, ever buy this tropical fruit because I cannot figure out what on earth to do with it, aside from enjoying fresh, cool slices. Preferably poolside. Enter our week at the Marshallese Global Table, where I learned that these easy, breezy, island people bake papaya with a bit of sugar and enjoy with warm coconut milk. Hello. Okay. Let's just say … [Read more...]

Recipe: Vanilla Bean n’ Tropical Fruit (w/ poll)

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Vanilla beans might as well be jewels. The insides are full of teeny, tiny black caviar - the likes of which I can't help but want all over my ice cream and baked goods... I even like to dab vanilla extract on my wrists when baking. Suffice it to say, I'm a fan. Now, imagine yourself in a country like Madagascar, where there are enough vanilla beans to pave the streets. There, thanks to such quantity, the people use vanilla bean caviar much more whimsically than I can ($8 per bean, … [Read more...]

Recipe: A Dainty Apple Cake (Äppelkuch)

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In the southern reaches of Luxembourg, in an area called Gutland, live a happy collection of orchards where apples, plums, cherries and berries ripen in the sun. Now... I knew, without a doubt, that I absolutely, positively wanted to make a plum cake when we got to Luxembourg, however the seasons were against me. Since it is January and not a plum in sight, I somewhat grumpily resigned myself to making a traditional apple cake, a.k.a. Plan B. One bite in and I knew this was a fantastic … [Read more...]

Recipe: Wooden Spoon Applesauce (with poll)

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Sometimes I buy fruit and it just... sits there. Life takes over. I go for hikes, I play catch with my daughter, I eat the candy from my stocking, and... before I know it, I just forget to eat them. I do this a lot with apples because they last so long and are so forgiving. Eventually, the time comes when they lose a bit of shine and a few bruises pop up. If this should happen to you, applesauce is the way to go. I didn't realize how easy it would be to make until I did it this week. … [Read more...]

Recipe: Snuggly Warm Mango and Cloves (w/ poll)

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Welcome to my weakness. The mango. If you've been paying attention, you may have noticed I make a lot of recipes with this heavenly fruit. Quite possibly I've made more mango recipes than anything else. Everything about the mango is perfect. Sweet. Golden. Juicy. And, right now, totally in season. So, go find one (or five hundred). Rain or shine. Market in Liberia. Photo by Kipp Jones. In Liberia they like to chop them up and cook them with cloves. About four cloves will give the … [Read more...]

Recipe: Plantain Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake

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  I'm not really a dessert person, so it's all the more surprising when I come across a recipe which makes me want to lock the doors, draw the curtains, and eat until every last crumb is gone. I mean, seriously. Plaintain Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake??! If this isn't the perfect holiday recipe, I don't know what is. And of all the places for it to come from... Denmark is known for gingerbread. Germany. Even the United States. But I was genuinely surprised to find gingerbread … [Read more...]

Recipe: Golden Coconut Dream

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I have a problem. Mangoes. I ate an entire crate of mangoes when I was pregnant with Ava. Ten mangoes in less than a week. Or was it twenty? Mangoes are so outrageously good right now. I can barely stop eating them long enough to let them soften up on the counter.  I have trouble sharing. Thankfully Laos has a dessert that showcases this crazy fruit in a fun and simple way. Remember that sticky, sticky rice? The staple of Laos? That's your ticket. Let's whip up a heaping bowl of warm coconut … [Read more...]