Cheese. A visit to France is not complete without tasting some of the gorgeous French cheeses. After the main meal in France, a course of cheese is often served with the salad before the dessert. In fact, even French school lunches often include a cheese course (drool over samples of French lunch menus here). When we were in France, we were told that there are so many types of French cheeses that you could try a different variety every day for a year and not ever repeat. We decided to hold our own French cheese taste test! Continue reading
It’s that time again! This month for “Around the World in 12 Dishes” we visit the green island of IRELAND!!
When I was very pregnant with Maya, and Vivi was 2.5 years old, our family took an unforgettable trip to the gorgeous country of Ireland. We toured up and down the west coast: from County Mayo and Achill Island, through the Cliffs of Moher, down to Killarney National Park- with a quick trip to the east side to visit Dublin. It was an amazing trip of emerald green landscapes, grey stone castles and churches, and dramatic shorelines looking over the Atlantic. Continue reading
Fast, easy, delicious. When I was asked to share a simple family dinner recipe, I immediately thought of Chicken Tinga. Tinga de pollo is a Mexican dish that came about after the Spanish conquest. The kitchens of the many religious convents in Puebla, Mexico (near Mexico City) began to mix new ingredients (chicken, onion, olive oil) with the traditional and indigenous foods (like corn, beans, tomato, and chiles) to create a new fusion of what now constitutes Mexican food. Because of this, Puebla was considered the “Centro Culinario del País” (Culinary Capital of Mexico). Continue reading
Creative commons use; author Simm 2009
This is our 3rd post as a part of the “Around the World in 12 Dishes” series! This month we visit GREECE! Can you find Greece on a map? What is the body of water next to Greece? Let’s look at the terrain and weather of Greece:
- more than 250 sunny days per year
- 80% of Greece is mountainous
- No point in Greece is more than 85 miles (137 kilometers) from water. Greece has about 9,000 miles of coastline, the 10th longest in the world
- the wild olive tree originated in ancient Greece, and it currently is the 3rd largest producer of olive oil in the world
- Greece has between 1,200to 6,000 islands, depending on the minimum size taken into account
Today’s delicious borscht recipe and guest post comes from Varya, author of “Little Artists.” Varya is originally from Russia, but currently lives in China. She is the mother of 2 beautiful little girls, and also is an ESL teacher and Montessori teacher.
I am from Russia, and even though I don’t cook much traditional Russian food, I like that your cuisine offers a variety of soups and salads. The most popular soup is borscht. It is good for any season and can be consumed in hot or cold form. I would like to share a recipe for vegetarian borscht. There are many versions and this is the one I use. It is always a huge hit with friends and family, and even my picky 4 year old eats it! Continue reading
We are so lucky to have an amazing public library system where we live, with lots of interactive and educational programs for children. This week we attended an event to learn more about Diwali, the Festival of Lights in India that celebrates the triumph of good over evil. One of the activities that drew the attention of all of the kids was making easy Indian sweets (mithai) called Doodh Peda or Pala Kova. Not only can the kids make these popular Indian sweets themselves- so easy!- they are delicious, don’t require cooking, and are often served during Diwali (plus they are egg-free and gluten-free!). Continue reading
I am so happy to announce that I have joined the fabulous team of bloggers who bring you “Around the World in 12 Dishes,” a culinary journey that chooses a different country each month. I have been following this series, linking up my own recipes- and now I get to feature the project here!!!! Some very kid-friendly Brazilian recipes are pão de queijo (cheesey bread), brigadeiros (amazing chocolate candy) or the dish we made a couple of night ago, feijoada (meaty black bean stew).
Today’s article comes from Laura Najma in Morocco. Laura is an Italian woman, married to a Moroccan man, and homeschooling mom of a 10 year old girls and a 7 year old boy. Their multilingual house is filled with Italian, French, Arabic and English! Lucky them:).
Tajine is thick and richly spiced stew named for the round, clay dish with a cone-shaped cover in which it is prepared. It’s very common for families to eat tajine: it’s a daily recipe, not only for holidays or festivals. You can make tajine with a variety of vegetables, meats, and spices… it’s a matter of taste and everyone has their own combinations and recipes. Continue reading
Looking to bake something new with your kids, that they are guaranteed to love? Try this simple recipe for pão de queijo, a delicious Brazilian, gluten-free cheese bread with a unique, chewy texture that is made from tapioca flour. In fact, it is believed this starchy root (called cassava, yuca, tapioca, or manioc) was originally domesticated in Brazil more than 10,000 years ago! In the 16th century when Portuguese explorers came to Brazil, they brought back the cassava plant to western Africa. It spread throughout the continent, growing successfully in poor soil and drought-ridden areas, and since has become a staple in many countries.
The world has two fields of thought about avocados: sweet or salty. When people in Mexico, the United States, and Canada think of avocados, we think “guacamole with chips.” In Brazil, Morocco, and Ethiopia, the avocado is usually mixed with sugar in creamy drinks. Whichever side of the debate you’re on, you have to try this layered juice drink from Ethiopia, known as “spris.” Continue reading
Preparing food from another culture is armchair travel at its finest: instead of looking at pictures or passively hearing a story, your family can eat their way through the globe. From another perspective, those who eat a specially prepared meal from their homeland can be a nostalgic experience- one that stirs up happy memories. For my husband, who was born and spent most of his life in Mexico City, tacos al pastor will always remind him of hanging out with friends and stopping with them at a street vendor to eat the juicy pork tacos, topped with pineapple, cilantro and onion. Fried quesadillas remind him of evenings when his parents would spontaneously take him and his siblings in their pajamas to grab a quick bite to eat on the weekends. The smell of mole verde transports him to his grandma’s house, and warm family dinners around her dining room table. Cochinita pibil, an achiote-rubbed, tender pork dish, reminds my husband of a wonderful road trip he took with his family throughout the Yucatan Peninsula (where his grandfather is from, and where this dish is famous). Here is our recipe for cochinita pibil: real tacos from southeast Mexico. Continue reading
The other night we were invited to have dinner with some friends from Spain. I volunteered to bring dessert, and was planning on bringing my mother-in-law’s Mexican flan, a popular custard. I couldn’t find her recipe, and we couldn’t get in touch with her so I resorted to asking my friends on facebook.
Flan is a sweet, baked custard made from eggs and cream. It is common in Spain, Latin America, and the Philippines. Here's how mine turned out!
Cricel Molina de Mesa, a friend from my high school, graciously shared her mom’s original recipe. Her mom, Cristina Molina, grew up in Manila, Philippines eating flan for special occasions. Because the Philippines was a colony of Spain from 1565-1898, they share many cultural, religious, and culinary traditions. Continue reading
Mangoes have been growing in India for over 5000 years, and in fact the name in Hindi is aam, which means “common.” The fruit and leaves are used in Hindu rituals, and also play a role in Buddhist folklore, where the fruit is considered sacred. In fact, one of Buddha’s followers gave him a mango orchard, so that he could rest and meditate in the shade of the mango trees.
In the US, we gets most of our mangoes from Mexico, Haiti, Peru, and Brazil, while the EU imports from India, South Africa, Pakistan, and Thailand. When you find the countries on the map, notice their distance from the equator. What conditions do mango tree need to thrive? Can they grow where you live?
Mangoes are one of our favorite fruits: they are as sweet as candy, packed with antioxidants, and high in vitamin C and A. Their soft and juicy texture allowed them to be one of my babies’ first solid foods that I didn’t have to mash, and my kids have enjoyed this high-fiber, low-calorie fruit ever since. Recently I was buying a box of ripe mangoes in the supermarket, and someone asked me how I would serve them. Here’s how my kids love to eat mangoes.
Today’s recipe for docinhos is written and shared by Neide Rigo: Brazilian chef, nutritionist, and author of award-winning food blog “Come-Se,” or “Eat Up.” If you want to learn about Brazilian cooking, please visit her amazing blog! Her original post in Portuguese is posted here below the English translation. Neide Rigo says “I am a nutritionist, but today work more writing about food and giving cooking lessons. I like to show on the blog forgotten or unknown ingredients, where they come from, and how to use them. With the blog I hope to encourage people to recognize edible plants in the city where they live, to consume local foods, and go to the kitchen to prepare your own food. I like to showcase Brazil and its enormous biodiversity (which, of course, is not just Carnaval and football!).”
Image credit: Neide Rigo
I knew on Wednesday that I would have a child here on Thursday and bought some organic ripe bananas in the Tendal Lapa farmer’s market. I wondered how to give my guest something more attractive than the simple sweet paste that I had in mind. I thought of docinhos, of bananas combined with chocolate, so I also picked up some organic cocoa (Eco Tree brand), since mine is not a home of cookies, candies, sweets and delicacies beyond fruit.
If you’re looking for a simple pho recipe, you’ve come to the right place… and if you’ve never heard of Vietnamese Pho, be prepared to be impressed. The unique, rich, aromatic broth is what makes this dish so amazing, but this noodle dish is much more than just a soup: it is a hearty bowl of chicken, noodles and vegetables that adults and kids enjoy. Continue reading