A snack fit for a camel ride (w/ poll)

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Say "camel" and the first word that comes to mind is hump. Please tell me I'm not alone in this. I don't even have to be in the desert - I could be standing in a pool with a large, cold drink in my hand - but just thinking about camels makes me incredibly thirsty. And jealous. A camel doesn't need to hold their drink. They don't even need to use their mouth to hydrate.  They just stand there, continually refreshed by their built-in portable hydration hump. Camel humps are huge … [Read more...]

Recipe: Pistachio Date Balls

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As far as I'm concerned, the best - and quite possibly the only way to time travel is to cook. Reading gets us only partway there - we dream ourselves into other times, other lands. But they remain just that - dreams. Visiting ruins gets us a little closer. But, at the end of the day, ruins are simply ruins - fragments of the splendor that what once was. But, when it comes to cooking food from ancient times? Instant time travel. In my mouth. When I cook I am potentially eating … [Read more...]

Recipe: Tart Rhubarb Soup (chilled)

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Serves 2-4 Friends, when rhubarb season calls, you must answer. This cold rhubarb soup from Iceland is like a big sip of sunshine. It tastes like lemonade. It tastes like rhubarb. It tastes like "good." We only have a little more time in rhubarb land until next spring, so hop over to the grocery store and get some! Ingredients: 4 cups chopped rhubarb (cut into 1" pieces) - about 1 bunch 2 cups water 3/4 cup sugar, more as needed 2 tsp lemon juice Method: Rhubarb, rhubarb, … [Read more...]

Recipe: Blueberry Cardamom Ice Cream

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Makes 2 quarts There's an old Icelandic saying: "Even though you are small, you can still be clever." Teeny weenie blueberries, fresh from the bush may be small, but they make the most adorable and extraordinary purple ice cream. And, as you drown in bite after bite of cold, sweet, glorious goodness, you also consume a quarter ton of antioxidants. Clever, indeed. So, churn up a batch. Stick around to watch as it freezes in the belly of your ice cream maker - you'll be all smiles as the … [Read more...]

Recipe: Chilled Cherry Soup

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Serves 2-4 Relaxing has never been so easy. Dive into this cool bowl of deep violet cherry soup and feel the blissful calm of Hungary overtake you. It only takes 12 minutes to make, 10 of which you'll be daydreaming in a lawn chair with your sunglasses on. That's the kind of cooking I can get behind on a hot summer's day. If you can get your hands on fresh tart cherries (a.k.a sour cherries), the soup will be even better. In fact, if you do, you'll be able to float some whole cherries on top … [Read more...]

Recipe: Blancmange (Haitian Coconut Fruit Jello)

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Makes a 1 1/2 quart, large molded dessert There's something about jello that's so 1897. So Victorian. So old-school. So... over-the-top-retro. You see, 1897 is the magic year gelatin and fruit syrup were first combined to make the wobbly dessert we're familiar with today.  Fast forward through several decades and continents and you get today's recipe, blancmange. It's loaded up with evaporated and coconut milks, making it jello's creamy counter part. It's the reason Haiti's get up in the … [Read more...]

Recipe: Chilled Coco-Mango Soup

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Serves 4 Hello summer, nice to see you again. This year let's stay cool, no overheating, no frustration, no sweaty t-shirts. I have to admit I don't think you're playing fair - soaring above 100F in June, but I'll take drastic measures to keep the peace, if need be. I can curl up in an ice bath. Thankfully, however, there's something better and tastier: cold soup. Inspired by the Guyanese in South America and their love of Caribbnean flavors, today's special is mango and … [Read more...]

Recipe: Papaya Chutney

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Fills about 2 mason jars - 1 for you & 1 for a friend Have you seen the papayas at the market lately? They're gorgeous. Sweet. Giant. Exotic. Plus they're fun to pronounce: pa-pa-ya. Gotta love anything that ends with an affirmative. Since papayas are beloved in Guinea and Guinea Bissau, I really wanted to make papaya jam for you today. Unfortunately, jam making all but requires a chemistry major. I'm too footloose for that, so I made chutney. The cool thing about chutney is that it's … [Read more...]