Monday Meal Review: Canada

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I poured the thick, grade A dark amber maple syrup into the pot and reluctantly added a cup of water to thin it out. Even still, the liquid was viscous, sluggish, sweet. Perfect for simmering dough until tender. I clicked on the range and watched as the syrup shimmered, swirled, and eventually bubbled up. Time to make the doughnuts. I mean... grandpères. One by one, I dropped small, sticky balls of dough into the simmering syrup and watched them dunk, then bob back up to the … [Read more...]

Recipe: Butter Roasted Tomatoes

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Serves 2-3 Cherry tomatoes are sweet bursts of summertime. Their flavor deepens when roasted with creamy butter and fresh thyme - a juicy side dish that forgives even the driest chicken and wild rice, while bravely complimenting perfectly cooked meals as well. If that isn't enough reason to try this vegetarian recipe, these tomatoes actually made my picky husband exclaim "pretty good!" That's quite the milestone considering the tomato is one of his major food nemeses. Like Batman's Joker … [Read more...]

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...]

Monday Meal Review: Burkina Faso

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"The smell is making my eyes water. One bite, and I can't get the flavor out of my mouth! It's like I'm still eating it. That counts, right?" Keith looked at me with his best puppy dog eyes. And, since his eyes are hazel, he didn't look much like a puppy. "Just eat half of it," I said. "I can't," he replied, turning his plate so the Babenda was as far away as possible. I kept eating, thinking about how fishy the Babenda tasted. Maybe he would eat some more of the unusual West … [Read more...]

Video Saturday: Burkina Faso

The making of a Christmas Feast in Burkina Faso. Part One: Shows the preparation of the meal on the outdoor fires. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiCUc_UL25k http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiCUc_UL25k Part Two: The finished dishes are presented to the camera. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkzgxdNlfW0&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiCUc_UL25k … [Read more...]

About the Food of Burkina Faso

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Burkina Faso is a dizzying landscape of dusty red plains and grassy savannas, broken up by stunning rock formations that tower above the ground. The culinary landscape of Burkina Faso is similar - plain, sparse even - with the occasional burst of unexpected flavor. Let me explain. Most meals are centered around pieces of Tô, a firm ball of white starch made with millet, sorghum, or corn. These bland balls are wonderfully adaptive because they take on the flavor the broths, soups, and … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Bulgaria

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"Where's the beef?" said Keith's dad, wide eyed. In all his sixty-plus years on earth, this was probably his first vegetarian meal. Ever. What can I say. He's Oklahoma, through and through. Six months ago, I would have been nervous about putting this feast in front of him. I'd probably have served a platter beef on the side. Heck, I who am I kidding. The entire meal would have been a meat-lover's delight. I'm a people-pleaser, to the max. But eating food around the world has changed … [Read more...]

Recipe: Savory Cheese Pastry (Banitsa)

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Serves 6 My husband is officially in love with Bulgaria. To be fair, he didn't stand a chance. Second only to pure sugar, Keith loves anything that includes butter, pastry, or cheese. This recipe boasts all three, and in eye-popping quantities. Not to say it was love at first sight. It wasn't. After all, my pastry skills are minimal. But, hey, we can all use a little forgiveness in the kitchen, from time to time. Especially when it comes to pastries. Thankfully, phyllo dough spreads, … [Read more...]