Jumat, 19 Desember 2008

Cookie Lovers and Homesick New Yorkers Rejoice: Venetian (Rainbow) Cookies

You can spot a homesick New Yorker from a mile away. No matter where they live, when they refer to going to "the city" they mean a flight to Manhattan, not a trip to the nearest metro center. Mentioning the words "bagel" or "deli" provokes at least a 15 minute diatribe about how those things don't really exist outside of New York. But recently I was introduced to one of New York's better kept

Sabtu, 13 Desember 2008

Alton meets Martha: Classic Cutout Sugar Cookies and Icing

I was incredibly pleased with the traditional yet delicious taste and crisp texture of these cookies. I loved eating them plain perhaps even more than I liked them iced, which is a true testament to the quality of the cookie. Most of all, I loved making them. I made up a batch of these traditional treats with a very good friend of mine, and they helped me remember that a nostalgic holiday task,

Senin, 08 Desember 2008

Healthy Meets Indulgence: Cheddar and Gruyere Broccoli Soup

This soup is warm and indulgent. It has a big flavor that is true to the classic character of broccoli cheddar soups while adding a hint of sophisticated imported gruyere. But unlike most other broccoli cheese soup recipes, this one strikes a delicate balance between health and taste. With a full flavored cheddar taste, this soup packs half the fat and calories of traditional broccoli cheese

Senin, 01 Desember 2008

Seven Tasty Ways to Transform Thanksgiving Leftovers: From Potato Soup to Mexican Pot Pie

This year my husband and I slow roasted a 27 pound turkey for 18 hours (take that government regulations for food safety!) and then served it up to 25 of our wonderful friends amid a spread of other succulent food choices. Which all means that the aftermath of this great feast left tons of leftovers in our fridge. While we enjoy a reheated Thanksgiving meal as much as the next guy, it doesn't

Selasa, 25 November 2008

Buttercup Squash Ravioli with Parmesan Butter Sauce

Some folks hear the term "hand-made" next to pasta and started heading for the hills. I can appreciate the convenience of store-bought ravioli, particularly now that grocery stores have started carrying good quality fresh raviolis. Even still there is something magical about the experience of making ravioli at home. I suspect the magic resides not only in the enhanced taste, but also in the

Jumat, 14 November 2008

Double Chocolate Biscotti

It is finally that time of year where the weather forecaster has started to use the dreaded four letter word: snow. I can enjoy the winter just as well as the next gal, but for me the key component to snuggling down in cold weather is a cup of steaming cocoa. And what goes better with that steamy drink that a delicious double chocolate biscotti? True to the balance between taste and health that

Senin, 03 November 2008

Election Night Party: Menus Built Around Battleground States

Sure, you could just order pizza for the American election night, but what fun would that be? Instead, check out my suggestions to assemble your own fun election night menu of foods based on traditional food from key battleground states. Because if you are an American, chances are you are thinking of attending or hosting an election night party. There is so much energy around this election that

Selasa, 28 Oktober 2008

Ina Garten and the Best Pesto You'll Ever Make

For weeks now my darling husband has been eyeing my basil plants. He wiggles his eyebrows suggestively and whispers that magic word: "pesto." This afternoon he finally got his wish. I took a scissors to my beloved basil. A little bit of time in the kitchen with industrious sounds of whirring and grating and then there he was, offering me a spoon with a touch brilliant green pesto. I like pesto

Selasa, 21 Oktober 2008

Olive and Artichoke Savory Quiche Muffins

These savory quiche-style muffins are bursting with Mediterranean flavors, handy enough to serve at a buffet or grab on the go, and packed with a powerful dose of hunger-fighting protein. That protein, along with a good dose of calcium, comes thanks to a secret ingredient: cottage cheese. The taster reviews on this little recipe are through the roof, and it is being fast-tracked to a "SG Best of

Minggu, 19 Oktober 2008

Inexpensive, Healthy, Sustainable Eating Week: Wrap Up

We started this past week with a new guest contributor -- Butter Vixen -- who was taking up the challenge to eat healthfully and inexpensively for the week while generating a minimum of waste. It all started out with a mouth-watering Latin-inspired Citrus Chicken, the bones became stock for a delicious broccoli soup and the leftovers just keep rolling from there through a week of good eats.

Kamis, 16 Oktober 2008

Easy Healthy Broccoli Soup with Rosemary Flatbread

We are checking back in with our new friends Butter Vixen and Sugar Daddy as they continue in their epic quest to eat healthfully and cheaply for a week with a minimum of waste. Part of Butter Vixen's commitment is to eat a great big serving of cruciferous vegetables every day. These vegetables have health benefits (like cancer fighting) that routinely help them score in those endless lists of "

Selasa, 14 Oktober 2008

Nutritious, Inexpensive, and Sustainable: Latin-Inspired Citrus Chicken with Rice and Beans

Greetings all! With apologies to my regular readers, my day job as a PhD student working on a dissertation and teaching college classes has been consuming a lot of my time lately. In an effort to bring you all more regular updates of the healthy delicious food you've come to expect, I've invited my friend Lynn to contribute to Skinny Gourmet. When we agreed to collaborate on a few foodie projects

Rabu, 08 Oktober 2008

Apricot Ginger Cream Scones

Let these memorable apricot ginger cream scones rescue you from the monotony of blueberry scones. Come take a walk on the wild side.If you are a regular reader, it probably is no big secret that in the last four months I've become an absolute scone fanatic. But this time, the scones aren't for me, I swear. I'm putting together a little food care package for a couple we are friends with who just

Senin, 22 September 2008

Ethiopian Berbere Potatoes, Carrots, and Green Beans

I believe that Ethiopian cuisine makes a credible claim to be considered an equal among the world's many diverse and celebrated culinary traditions. Yet many people have never experienced the succulent rich blend of flavors that characterizes Ethiopian cuisine. Even better, Ethiopian cuisine, when prepared at home with methods that conserve on oil, offers a flavorful and interesting set of tastes

Selasa, 16 September 2008

Pulled Pork with Apricot Bourbon BBQ Sauce

In further confession of my not-so-secret love of lists, I have to admit that I have been compiling a list of food 'forms' that every foodie (and aspiring top chef contestant) should make at least once. And that led me to the realization that I have never made my own BBQ sauce. Growing up as I did, BBQ wasn't something one made, it just appeared from on high in bottled form. And like a good

Jumat, 12 September 2008

Reality TV Cook-off: Hell's Kitchen's Rock Harper vs. Top Chef's Stephanie Izard in Chicago

For fans of reality TV cooking shows, Chicago is about to dish up a unique opportunity to see, up close and personal, two of the hottest new reality TV chefs face off. If you are a fan of reality TV cooking with a little cash to burn, this is a really fun opportunity. It is being hosted by the Chopping Block, on Monday the 29th of September from 6-8 PM. There are only 60 seats available, so if

Jumat, 05 September 2008

The Omnivore's Hundred

I have to admit that the inner geek in me loves lists. There is something so completely satisfying about a list. It can represent a vast amount of information in a fairly tidy way. It is often the final product of a thought process that carefully considered what belonged and what didn't make the list. And man, who doesn't love to check things off a list? That little tick mark is the indelible

Jumat, 29 Agustus 2008

Improve Your Kitchen Prowess: Upcoming Chicago Cooking Classes

Chicago is a city that provides world-class dining opportunities. But locals know it is also a city that offers a wide variety of learning opportunities to experienced foodies and kitchen newbies alike. I'm sort of a cooking-class geek; I can't get enough of them. While perusing through upcoming classes to satisfy my own inklings, I was excited to see that there is really an embarrassment of

Kamis, 28 Agustus 2008

Chicken Tortilla Soup

The combination of the subtle adobo heat with the bright flavors of lemon and cilantro make this Chicken Tortilla Soup an ideal way to savor those increasingly cool late-summer evenings. This is a soup that I have been making for more than 8 years now. That fact should tell you two things: first, it has stood the test of time. This is one of a small number of soups that are so good that we make

Kamis, 21 Agustus 2008

What the world eats each week...

What we eat speaks volumes about who we are and how we live. If you are anything like me, you often pass the time waiting in those grocery store lines peering into the lives of those around you as the evidence chugs by in carts and on checkout conveyors. Hot dogs, beer, frozen pizza? Bachelor. Diet muffins, diet soda, chips and kool-aid? Mom is trying to lose weight but the kids aren't having any

Senin, 18 Agustus 2008

Gourmet Italian Pasta Salad

In this dish, pasta salad, that iconic American summer food, grows up and goes gourmet. I bring in high flavor touches like sun-dried tomatoes, hot marinated artichoke hearts, and creamy Asiago cheese to create a high-taste, low fat pasta salad that is bursting with well-balanced Italian inspired flavors. This is a dish that everyone raved about, and had many of my friends eagerly asking "Where

Minggu, 10 Agustus 2008

Irish Chicken Salad Sandwich on Soda Bread

Summertime always seems like the perfect time for chicken salad. It is a medium that offers endless possibilities for creativity to bring an unusual gourmet touch to a lunch or picnic. However, after a series of more innovative chicken salads, I found myself craving something a little closer to traditional, but not so traditional as to be boring. In that spirit, the idea of importing the flavor

Kamis, 31 Juli 2008

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Raisin Scones

In a busy world, where more and more families spend increasing amounts of their budgets on eating out and commercial food, sometimes you just want home baked goodness. It is a form of love embodied in flour, sugar and butter. It can be self-love when you deserve a treat, love for your neighbors, or love for a friend. But no matter how you slice it or slather it in butter, baked goods are always

Senin, 21 Juli 2008

Healthier Fruit Crisp Topping (with a hint of ginger!)

There is perhaps no dessert more perfect for summer than a seasonal fresh fruit cobbler or pie. My husband is a fresh fruit dessert fanatic. There is no quicker way to that man's heart than to surprise him with a pie or cobbler made from fresh seasonal fruit. And if you buy seasonal fruits at the peak of their ripeness, the fruit itself has almost all the succulent sweetness you need, with very

Rabu, 16 Juli 2008

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (and they're healthy too!)

Lately I have been craving oatmeal raisin cookies like they were a force of nature. But the idea of nibbling at tempting cookies was not exactly in line with my summer "shape-up" plan. Or so I thought. Then I found this recipe by David Lebovitz for all natural, chewy oatmeal raisin cookies. Folks, I may never try another oatmeal raisin cookie recipe again. I'm willing to believe there may be

Rabu, 09 Juli 2008

Kung Pao: Reflections on immigration and food

My husband and I visited my parents in Wisconsin last weekend. As we often do when we visit my hometown, we got Chinese take-out for lunch one day. And so I found myself glorious slurping a bowl of Hot and Sour Soup, and reflecting on one of life's greater mysteries. I grew up in Racine, Wisconsin. It is the first county south of Milwaukee. We are a town trying to grow past its industrial roots,

Jumat, 04 Juli 2008

Jarlsberg French Bisto Sandwich...for American Independence

As this Fourth of July loomed, I found myself increasingly taken with the idea of doing something French to celebrate American Independence Day. Why? Do I have some perverse desire to infuriate legions of freedom-friers? On the contrary, I think it is because most Americans have either forgotten, or were never aware, of the debt we owe the French for our success in the Independence struggle.

Kamis, 03 Juli 2008

Blogaversary Recap and a Look at SG's Top Content

I tried whispering sweet nothings to it and I got no where. I batted my eyes and winked suggestively, but still nothing. And try as I might, my blog just didn't pick up on the idea that for once I wanted it to cook me dinner. It only seemed like a fair way to celebrate the blogaversary. But as it turns out, I am having a somewhat one-sided yet time-consuming love affair.I thought about baking a

Selasa, 01 Juli 2008

How Should I Celebrate My One-Year "Blog-aversary"?

I just realized (with a startle) that today is July first. Among other things (the summer is going by so fast, deadlines loom etc), this means that tomorrow is the one-year anniversary of my first ever blog post. This makes it my "blogaversary," which is a word I have only recently discovered.This also makes me feel strangely a little old. I still think of myself as the new kid on the food

Kamis, 26 Juni 2008

Mexican Chocolate Meringues

There is something about summer that draws me to the airy, cloud-like delight of meringues. They are a wonderfully satisfying sweet treat that stands up well to the summer heat. They can be rich and satisfying, like this recipe, or the perfect light foundation for the natural sweetness of summer fruit. Every kitchen should have one go-to meringue recipe to show off during the summer.Last summer

Kamis, 19 Juni 2008

Orange Anise Biscotti with White Chocolate

I'll let you in on a little secret: biscotti is actually absurdly easy to make. This was a dangerous revelation for me because going to the store to buy them was the only thing standing between me and regular delightful biscotti consumption. But now I carry that heavy knowledge with me. With just a little bit of time and a little bit of effort, and a tiny touch of knife skills, I can whip up

Senin, 16 Juni 2008

Marc Jacobs for your Food: A Fashion-Forward Take on Summer 2008 Foodie Trends

Photo from AP, as hosted on Haute concept Haute concept called it "a study in symmetry." In a move that shook passive watchers our of their visual lethargy, the Spring/Summer 2008 Marc by Marc line for men paired half a blazer with half a motorcycle jacket. In other pieces in the line two different tones of the same material came together as two halves of the same blazer. Fashion classics from

Jumat, 13 Juni 2008

Iced Mocha: Mud in the Eye of the Little Guy Coffee Shop

Normally a fairly happy person, sometimes I just feel the urge to rant. On this blog I've ranted against Starbuck's efforts to brand coffee as the new wine and against the ridiculous marketing of Wolfgang Puck's crappy wrapped sandwiches as airport gourmet. And everyone feels happy, because both those target Goliath, and give him a little spit in the eye. Well, I'm sorry to say, but today is

Kamis, 12 Juni 2008

Lemon Cherry Scones with a Sense of Humor and a Purpose

Have you ever had one of those moments where you say, "Oh my God, this is all I have ever wanted in a scone" and it has scarcely more than 100 calories? Yeah, me neither. Until now. This recipe became an instant classic in our home. And if that scone looks a bit strange, perhaps a bit suggestive to you, no need to adjust the dial on your internet. It is supposed to look suggestive. This is a

Senin, 09 Juni 2008

Rainier Cherries and Chevre Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

This is a sweet and tangy summer salad topped with a naturally fat free dressing that will have you licking the bowl. The dressing gets its thickness from the pectin in natural raspberry preserves and omits oil from the dressing all together. The fats you need to maximize nutrition from all those fruits and greens comes in the form of creamy and smooth soft chevre cheese. The sweetness of Rainier

Jumat, 06 Juni 2008

Wine Festival this Weekend at Chicago Botanic Gardens

This weekend all the foodies in Chicago will be flocking to the city's beautiful Botanic Gardens for a big wine festival. Tickets for adults are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. That ticket gets you entrance to the gorgeous grounds, 10 tastings (out of more than 200 that will be available!), wine seminars, cooking demos, and live music. They also have a special designated driver ticket price that

Rabu, 04 Juni 2008

Kumquat Madeleines

You should, under no circumstances, make these madeleines. Put down the scalloped pan and step away from the stove. Why? Because they are good. They are good in that "oooh, can't I have just a little bit more?" kind of way that can be very dangerous. For me, this is dangerous because, while I have made some health improvements, they aren't exactly super healthy. And because if they are within

Minggu, 01 Juni 2008

Quick and Easy Cucumber Tea Sandwiches with Chevre Herb Spread

If you already have an eye to the summer season of picnics, chances are you know how tough it can be to find something that is tasty, healthy, easy to put together and a breeze to pack. These little cucumber tea sandwiches are just that. You can put the spread together in under five minutes. Then it is just grab and go. Leaving you plenty of time to worry about the more important things. Like

Jumat, 30 Mei 2008

Spring Tea Party Roundup

There is something indescribably "spring" about a tea party. Perhaps it is the way the warmth of tea staves off the lingering chill of winter. Perhaps it is the tendency to top sweet morsels with pastel colors that evoke the lightness of flowers. Either way, I have had tea and tea treats on the brain in a major way. The decision to focus on tea for the month of May lead me to a number of

Selasa, 27 Mei 2008

Souffle Confessions: How I lost my kitchen virginity to a French madame

It all started with the sort of daring that borders on hubris: I've never made souffle, I've never even (gasp) had souffle, so probably a smart thing to do is to have a friend over on a Saturday morning and just try to make it, right? So there we were, two souffle virgins, two aprons, and a world of food blogs to fuel the fire. A little poking around lead me, like a lamb to the slaughter,

Kamis, 22 Mei 2008

Five Quirky Food Facts About Me

I wrestled with whether or not I wanted to do this for a while. I started this blog with a very "website" based mentality, in which the author isn't usually a presence. But over the last few months of experiencing the wide world of "blogging" I've come to appreciate that one of the wonderful things that separately this new media revolution from older journalistic media forms is precisely the more

Senin, 19 Mei 2008

Taste and Create: Old Fashioned Irish Raisin Spice Scones

If you are looking for a healthy scone, it doesn't get much healthier than this. It isn't fancy, and if you are accustomed to those big butter, big calorie scones sold at American cafes, you may find this old fashioned scone a bit humble. This is the brawny, salt-of-the-earth peasant scone to Starbuck's high maintenance cosmopolitan diva. It is a dense scone when compared to its butter-rich

Kamis, 15 Mei 2008

Almond Crusted Shrimp Tacos with Raspberry Pico de Gallo and Spicy Lime Mayo

This is a seafood taco that is dressy enough to impress guests, unique enough to dazzle your foodie friends, and still fast enough to whip up when pressed for time (20 minutes or less from start to finish). There is no other way to say it: this is is absolutely the best thing I have made in a long time. It was unexpected bursts of fruit dancing through crisp and crunch and tangy spice. It was

Selasa, 13 Mei 2008

Ten Mistakes New Herb Gardeners Make (and How to Avoid Them!)

So you're thinking of herb gardening, or maybe you tried it last year and it was an utter disaster? Have no fear. There are a few simple mistakes that many herb newbies make (and I know, because I made most of 'em myself). Master these simple and practical tips for herb gardening and you'll be using your own fresh herbs like Mario Batali in no time.Fresh herbs are one of the greatest ways to

Sabtu, 10 Mei 2008

Pasta Alioli with Lobster

To me, pasta alioli is like a more elegantly simple, and healthy, version of fettucini alfredo. People will go to great lengths to reduce the fat and calories in traditional fettucini alfredo, and along the way it becomes a sort of franken-sauce with all sorts of odds and ends and quirky substitutions. So before you reach for the partially hydrogenated defatted cream cheese for some franken-fredo

Rabu, 07 Mei 2008

Food Blogger Event: Spring Tea Party!

Gird your pinafores, artfully cuff your kimonos: you are cordially invited to a tea party.Tea is a global industry with a thousand local faces. It is also a really tasty excuse to get together with some friends on a Saturday afternoon and have a good time. So I'm getting in the mood for warm saturday afternoons in the garden and smart picnics with an annual food blogger event: a spring tea

Senin, 05 Mei 2008

Against Risotto

For a while I've been carrying a guilty secret around with me: I don't like risotto. I mean, I would eat it if it were the only thing standing between me and starvation, but I would really never order it by choice. And with foodies all around talking up risotto, risotto appearing on all sorts of fine dining menus, I couldn't help but feel a bit, well, estranged. So I brought a little wisdom from

Rabu, 23 April 2008

Balsamic Baked Apples

I love balsamic with cherries, and balsamic with strawberries, so why not apples? This is a sort of deconstructed apple pie that gives the tartness of apples a little punch with some acidic, earthy yet sweet balsamic vinegar. This all came about because I am participating in Taste and Create a wonderful food blogger exchange hosted by For the Love of Food. It is something like the food blogger

Selasa, 22 April 2008

Orange Fig Buttermilk Bran Muffins

One of the things I love about bran muffins is that they are so choke-full of good things it almost seems disingenuous to call them "muffins." These muffins have a rustic, hearty taste that is a far cry from the sugary, buttery, over-sized muffins being pimped to us from every coffee counter. On the other hand, this version of my bran muffins has a subtle orange that plays off the chopped figs

Minggu, 20 April 2008

Jane's Restaurant: Adorable Decor, Mediocre Food

Jane's Restaurant1655 W Cortland StChicago, IL 60622(773) 862-5263Jane's Restaurant offers an intriguing decor that is both urban and cozy, making it a great place to take a date. This is a particularly good brunch spot if you like sweet brunches, with the banana bread French toast the star of the brunch menu. They make an effort to offer healthier brunch options and they keep the Intelligensia

Jumat, 18 April 2008

How To Host a Wine Tasting Party

I am a big fan of tasting parties. At the wine tasting party we hosted recently, I caught myself standing at the island in our kitchen just smiling and taking in the scene of our living room filled with people we love. The sound of that many people having fun is the greatest blessing on any home.The world is too full of people telling you what you should like, giving you intimidating rating

Senin, 14 April 2008

Lemon Tart for LiveSTRONG: A Taste of Yellow

Finding out my mother had cancer was an experience that forever changed my life. Today, as we gratefully count off the years of her survivorship, our always close relationship has grown even closer. Now, I am filled with thankfulness, but I can still remember what it was like to first find out. For the first time in my life I understood what it meant to say that you literally could not stand up.

Kamis, 10 April 2008

"Proper" Chili: Shh, there's turkey and veg in it!

If you are someplace cold and dreary, chances are that tasty bowl just got your attention. But it might surprise you to know that meaty bowl of chili is actually quite good for you. In general I am not a fan of "sneaking" things into food. I might even go so far as to say I am categorically opposed to it. But now that I have been so unequivocal about my objections to trying to sneak healthy bits

Senin, 07 April 2008

The Flavor Saver: Solving the Homemade Stock Problem

No, it's not a moustache. Many recipes, like my Pho soup, call for broth or stock. And in almost every cookbook you are likely to see a little note reminding you that home-made broth or stock is always superior to purchased broths or bullion. So I won't beat you over the head with that one again. I myself like to make it at home so I can control the flavors and make my own perfect balance of

Jumat, 04 April 2008

Vietnamese Pho Soup

Skip to recipe.Skip to nutritional information.In our household, we are on the constant hunt for foods that are delicious and healthy. If it is also easy to prepare, then it is more or less the perfect food. Such "trifectas" of taste, health and ease are likely to make it into frequent rotation in our home. This healthy and super flavorful broth-based soup has recently become one of our favorite

Selasa, 01 April 2008

Five-Spice Sesame Crusted Pork Chops with Asparagus a l'Orange

I recently discovered that the fun thing about having your friends randomly stock your kitchen is that it simulates a sort of Iron Chef competition: what delicious food can I make by combining what is on hand? Inspired by what we found, this afternoon for lunch my husband and I put together five-spice sesame crusted pork chops with asparagus in spicy orange sauce on the side. Not only was this a

Jumat, 28 Maret 2008

Bucktown's Riverside Cafe: A neighborhood spot worth skipping

Riverside Cafe Deli*Bucktown1656 W Cortland StChicago, IL 60622(773) 278-3354*(not to be confused with the Riverside Cafe in downtown that serves low carb and is located in a hotel)Atmosphere: Adorable (perhaps a bit too adorable)Service: RudeFood: MediocreOkay, now that I've given away the punch line, let me tell you about the unfulfilled promise of an adorable little cafe discovery in Chicago's

Kamis, 27 Maret 2008

Basic Beans Recipe

Beans are a bit of a quandary. They are an excellent source of fiber and protein, both of which are a powerful way to keep hunger at bay. But they can be sort of a pain to cook. I first learned to cook beans while living in rural Costa Rica. I lived in Manuel Antonio, and in that area "Gallo Pinto" is the national dish (rice and beans). Twice a week I made a huge batch of red beans. Although I

Sabtu, 15 Maret 2008

Beans, beans the wonderful...

Many cultures around the world use beans as part of their culinary repertoire. They are a wonderful vegetarian source of protein. In Ghanaian food beans are used in two very popular dishes: Red-Red (fried plantains with spicy bean stew) and Waakye (pronounced "waa-chay" a mixture of beans and rice). I recently realized that I have taken beans for granted, more or less assuming that one bean was

Kamis, 06 Maret 2008

Happy Independence Day!

Today is the 51st Independence Day celebration for Ghana, the first former colony in sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence. The newspapers are also calling this an historic celebration. It is historic not because of the number of years (that was the big Ghana @ 50 celebration from last year). It is historic because this is only the second time a democratically elected President will have served

Rabu, 05 Maret 2008

MacGyver Banana Breakfast Bars

It all started with the desire to bake. Someone once told me you are either a baker or a cook, but no one is both. This moment somehow marks the end of my innocence in the kitchen, like the moment the older you forever becomes separated from the grade schooler who knew confidently that she was good at everything. But the question perplexed me. I loved both tasks. I love cooking because there is

Rabu, 27 Februari 2008

On the importance of Roquefort: Or Seeing Accra Through New Eyes

Sometimes we all need a little perspective to appreciate how lucky we really are. After living here for some time, many expats find themselves in the trap of focusing more on the things that irritate or inconvenience, without appreciating all our blessings. For example, we see clearly how hawkers on the street go out of their way to aggressively try to sell to us because we are foreigners, but we

Sabtu, 23 Februari 2008

Ghanaian Oto: The Breakfast of Brides and Birthday-girls

If you are looking for a simple and classy way to incorporate an African tradition into your birthday or wedding day, this is a great place to start. Oto is a hearty and tasty Ghanaian dish that is quite easy to learn to prepare. I recently celebrated my birthday, and so in true Ghana style I asked one of the women on our compound to teach me how to make traditional oto.Oto is boiled mashed

Senin, 18 Februari 2008

What is Food Porn?

"Profiteroles” is used with permission from Rick Poon.If the casserole is missionary style, food porn takes its devotees into the foodie kama sutra.It glistens. It drips. It uses props. It is both lusty and intimate. For those who partake, it is an obsession. But just what is “food porn” anyway? Here it is, not for the faint of heart. Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about food porn but were

Weekend Herb Blogging Roundup

Weekend Herb Blogging is a blog event where people have a chance to showcase a favorite vegetable or herb in any dish. What a bounty of delicious recipes from around the world! This week we have something for every palate. We have spicy and sweet, hot and cold. We have items for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We have great things to whip up with what you probably already have in your house, and a

Rabu, 13 Februari 2008

Troubleshooting Cinnamon RollsOr the flattening of my dough and ego

Sometimes it is said, “Love means never having to say you are sorry.” Whoever said that is a chump. In my book, love means being ready to admit to the litany of your mistakes, most of which originate from being stubborn, pigheaded, and/or egotistical. Love means standing up and being willing to admit when you were wrong. And so, dear readers, because I love you, I am here to admit that I was

Kamis, 07 Februari 2008

Chicago-area Foodie Events for February

What I think I love best about my fellow Chicagoans, is that we are a hearty people. We are also unusually friendly for folks in a big city; but even that, I think, stems ultimately from our heartiness. We are a people who willingly endure punishing cold and prodigious mounds of snow, which means that when we get out in the middle of all that traumatic weather, the triumph of the exodus adds a

Selasa, 05 Februari 2008

A Swanky February Playlist

Terry, the mix-master, is at it again. This month he's offering a delectable selection of tasty morsels inspired by February themes of love and chocolate. Looking for something swanky and romantic, whether for a dinner for two or a larger dinner party, without breaking out the Barry White? We got your playlist right here.February: Chocolate1. “Satisfaction ” – The Rolling Stones2. “I Put A Spell

Rabu, 30 Januari 2008

Food for Thought: Wrap Up

All of the time I have spent living in Africa over the past few years has given me a special appreciation for those things that tie you to memories of home. So this January I decided to dedicate myself to recipes that were vehicles for memory. I was having a pretty good time at this myself, so I invited some other bloggers out there to join me and submit the recipe that made them feel nostalgic.

Caramel Popcorn Balls

As the holidays in Accra drew near, I found myself fixating on the idea of making popcorn balls. And so I began my nearly anthropological foray into the weird and wonderful world of strategically heating sugar. As a novice sugar-heater I learned to decode (perhaps a bit too late) the secret language of expert sugar-heaters. I develop techniques for shaping popcorn balls (again, perhaps a tad too

Rabu, 23 Januari 2008

Christmas Cinnamon Rolls

Let’s just get one thing straight. Is there anything more delightfully, sinfully, homey than warm home-made cinnamon rolls? I think not. They are, perhaps, the perfect vehicle for food-induced nostalgia (and are my contribution to Food for Thought). In fact, I had been doing a lot of thinking about cinnamon rolls in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Growing up, my mom often made cinnamon rolls

Minggu, 20 Januari 2008

Soccer Fever Sweeps Ghana!

There is a palpable energy on the streets of Ghana. I awoke on Friday morning not to the customary sounds of roosters and goats but to the trumpeting sounds of soccer fans blasting noisemakers. When I traveled down to the Ministries, where I was doing some interviews for my dissertation, every car seemed cloaked in Ghana's red, yellow, and green. Flags waved in the wind. In the downtown

Senin, 14 Januari 2008

A Memorable Playlist

My husband is a music fanatic. When we first started dating we would often wrap up dates sitting around while he played songs on his guitar. Sometimes, if I thought the neighbors couldn't hear, I might be brave enough to sing along. I always sing poorly but with gusto, so singing in front of others means I really like you. That was probably one of the early indicators that I was hopelessly in

Kamis, 10 Januari 2008

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies for My Father

Yesterday I went to great lengths to bake peanut butter kiss cookies to reminisce. Sometimes the weight of what we remember seems to dictate and equally weighty act of commemoration. But memories don’t always conform to this neat little formula. More often than not the most absurdly mundane things get embodied with special significance in the stuff of memories. My father died two and a half years

Senin, 07 Januari 2008

Mango Salsa Sushi Fusion

I recently agreed to participate in a food blogger exchange of sorts, called Taste and Create. You are paired with another blogger and then challenged to look through their site, pick a recipe, make it yourself, and blog about the experience. I have been impressed by all the high quality blogs out there, so the exchange sounded like a perfect way to get my feet wet. I hesitated, only for a moment

Kamis, 03 Januari 2008

Food for Thought: A Blog Event for Food Nostalgia

The roundup has been posted here.Proust had his madeleines, but we all have something. Food is evocative. It has the power to transport us, to connect us to times and places past. It has the ability to recall to us lost loved ones. I have never been more aware of this than when I am living far from home. In particular, celebrating this past holiday season with my husband in Accra, Ghana has

Rabu, 02 Januari 2008

The Skinny Gourmet 2008 In-Out List

It is that time of year. I have always been a sort of introspective person. Most birthdays I like to spend a little down time contemplating what the last year is like and what I want to work towards in the coming year. New Years always winds up being some sort of giant, often hectic, moment of introspection for us all. So this year I am turning my swami-like powers to the topic of food. I don't

Selasa, 01 Januari 2008

Into the Wine "Way-Back" Machine

The New Year is always a time of looking forward to upcoming trends. My husband and I have recently been having fun constructing and "in-and-out" list for Skinny Gourmet, which we will surely post soon. But sometimes we get so focused on being hip and trendy enough to predict the future, that few of us take time to look back on predictions past. My mother-in-law has a prodigious collection of