Monday Meal Review: Cameroon

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I've said it before, but this time I mean it. I'm never buying catfish again. Ever. Not in a million, billion years. Store-bought catfish has to be the fishiest, funkiest, stinkiest fish on this planet - which should be a crime because I know catfish is perfectly capable of being sweet and tender. You see, my father-in-law, Rick, catches catfish from deep within the lakes of Oklahoma. Before the water has a chance to drip down the fish's fins, he fillets, salts, and bags them. … [Read more...]

Fun Fact Friday: Cambodia (with 2 polls)

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Fried tarantulas are a delicacy in Cambodia. For 8 cents a spider, you can eat your very own. But watch out for funky spider breath (they cook it with garlic)! (Source: Woman's Day). Photo courtesy of Paul Mannix via Flickr. If you aren't into spiders, you might prefer Amok - a cooking method common in Cambodia, specifically food steamed in banana leaves. Mmm, now that sounds more like it! :) . Feel like taking a quiz all about Cambodia? National Geographic has one! Have … [Read more...]

Recipe: Iced Fruit Drink (Kompot)

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Makes 3-4 liters Many eastern European countries enjoy Kompot all year round. This sweet, chilled drink is refreshing on a hot summer's day and, in the winter, Bulgarian children enjoy kompot as part of the Christmas celebration. Feel free to use your favorite fruit to make this recipe your own. Mint could even be added for fresh flavor. When serving, be sure to give everyone a few bits of fruit at the bottom of their glass! Ingredients: 10 cups water 1 cup sugar 6 oz prunes 4 oz … [Read more...]

Recipe: Roasted Eggplant & Bell Pepper Dip (Kyopolou)

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Serves 4-6 Kyopolou melds roasted, sweet peppers, eggplant, and ripe tomatoes to make a dipping sensation. Serve with pita bread or alongside white fish. Be sure to prepare a day ahead (or at least several hours) so that the flavors can properly distribute. Otherwise the garlic will be too sharp and bitter. If you simply must serve this dish right away, use less garlic. Ingredients: 3 eggplants 4 red bell peppers 3 tomatoes (I used roma) 2-5 cloves garlic fresh parsley, … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Brazil

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Things that make you go "Mmmm."  The food of Brazil is simple and decidedly non-fussy. Many dishes have a short list of ingredients, however they pack intense flavor into each bite. This food practically assembles itself, allowing the hostess to enjoy the fruits of her labor and dance at her own party. Speaking of dancing, Ava LOVES music. This weekend we played some Brazilian music and she did a cute baby dance while holding on to the coffee table (I call it the diaper-butt bounce). I. … [Read more...]

Recipe: Iced Brazilian Mocha-Cola (Iced coffee)

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Serves 4 Brazilian iced coffee has the spirit of a root-beer float. Rich chocolate milk and fizzy cola sweetens the drink, while the coffee gives it a nice kick (although decaf is a great option, too)! Kids will love the novelty of plain old chocolate milk with cola, without the coffee. Feel free to top with vanilla ice cream, instead of whipped cream. Mmm.... Ingredients: 1 cup double strength coffee 12 oz can cola 3 cups chocolate milk Whipped cream or vanilla ice … [Read more...]

Recipe: Brazilian Romeo and Juliet (Romeu e Julieta)

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Makes 10 servings This unusual treat can be served either for dessert or as a snack. The sweet and salty combination is shocking to my sheltered palette, but Brazilians serve this beloved treat up in many forms. For less of a salty/sweet contrast, try spreading a dab of cream cheese on top of the Guava paste. This mild spread is more suited to the sweet guava. Also, consider using queso blanco, a less salty cheese.   P.S. Here's a related recipe, called the Martin Fierro, which we … [Read more...]

Fun Fact Friday: Brazil (with poll and video)

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Honeybees fight cavities? Brazilian honeybees make a sticky substance called propolis to patch up their hives. This mixture of beeswax and local tree secretions has the potential to reduce cavities in humans up to 60%. A sweet invention... The sweet, seedless navel orange was first recorded in the mid-1800's on a sour orange tree in a Brazilian monastery (according to National Geographic). This happy accident was then developed and bred into the sweet navel orange we enjoy today. The … [Read more...]