Sunday, February 19, 2012

Photo Post (late posts for series 2)

We've gotten behind in our writing. Enjoy these pictures of our Scandinavian New Year's Eve dinner and look for an upcoming post about today's Tapas Dinner...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


For our Thanksgiving dinner, I made a baked, stuffed pumpkin. Not strictly speaking, an Around the World dinner, but I took the recipe from "Around My French Table" by Dorie Greenspan. I don't have the cookbook but the pumpkin recipe was featured when NPR interviewed Greenspan and is also on Amazon. M wasn't a huge fan but Steve and I loved it. Steve confessed later that he had been skeptical and was pleasantly surprised. Love to have my cooking be a source of a pleasant surprise! :)

I followed the recipe as given on Amazon, but with the following changes:
* I left out the bacon.
* I used pumpernickel and Gruyere for the bread and cheese.
* My pumpkin was smaller than the one in the recipe (2 lbs, rather than 3 lbs), so I only baked it for 1 hour, 20 minutes.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Preview to Series 2

This is M. I am here to tell you about Around the World Dinners Series 2. We'll repeat some dinners we've already made, but we also will have some new dinners. Series 2 begins on the continent of Africa. Some Series 2 posts will be from me, while others won't have as much from me.
In the dinners we are repeating there will be exciting new content. We are hoping that our first blog post will be released on November 27th. We hope you liked Series 1, and you will certainly love Series 2.

Mom's Addition
We took a break while on our other adventure. But we're excited to be back working on Around the World dinners. Yesterday, Amazon had a bunch of ethnic cookbooks available for free for the Kindle and I downloaded lots of delish recipes. I am especially excited to try out recipes from "Nile Style" and to share our French-inspired Thanksgiving main course.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Late Post: Viet Nam

We followed our New Year's dinner with a Vietnamese dinner on Jan 2nd. All of the recipes we used were from the cookbook "Cafe Viet Nam," which we borrowed from the library. We made:

* vegetable spring rolls
* fish congee
* coconut creme brulee

While everything was good, I didn't feel like any of it was outstanding. The fish congee was similar to, but not as tasty as our earlier Thai Rice Soup (which we have since made a second time and still loved!).

M's Interruption
The spring rolls were good but the crunchy shells are not as good as soft shells (as you will see if you try making them). The coconut creme brulee was good but not the best dessert ever.

Back to Mom
Good remembering, M. Yes, some of our spring rolls turned out crunchier than we had planned.

Tonight we making pupusas and curtido from El Salvador. After reading Rick Steves' recent post about his trip to San Salvador and, particularly about dining at a pupuseria near his hotel, I am excited to try making pupusas -- and we'll try not to wait a month to write about this one! :)

Late Post: Happy New Year 2011!

Yep, we're just getting around to writing our posts about meals we made the first week of January. Where did the last month go??

For New Year's Day we made hoppin' john, collards (using the recipe at my favorite food blog Cook for Good), and German chocolate cake. All were yummy!

M says
The German chocolate cake was one of the best desserts I've ever eaten! Try it!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas dinner: Scandinavia

We made a great Scandinavian dinner for Christmas. I took all the recipes from Scandinavian Cooking by Beatrice Ojakangas. I bought the cookbook for my Kindle a couple of months ago and have been enjoying reading the cultural background. I also love that Ojakangas has organized the recipes by suggested menus, rather than by course. Even as a Kindle fan, though, I didn't like cooking from an e-book, especially when I needed to switch between recipes, so I have ordered a paper copy.

Our menu:
  • Frikadaler Ojakangas calls these as fish balls, but I'd describe them as latkes made out of cod.
  • Deviled Eggs with Caviar Yum. And beautiful enough to be featured on the cover of the cookbook.
  • Jansson's Temptation Potatoes, onions, half-and-half, and anchovies baked together. We made a pan without the anchovies for M. We had made this once before for an Around the World dinner and I think that I liked the first recipe a little better than this one. The original recipe is here.
  • Christmas salad Apples, pickled beets, red cabbage, and lemon juice. Super easy and a perfect complement to the fish and potatoes.
  • Pumpernickel bread (from my favorite local bakery), crispbread, and cheese.
  • Dessert was gingerbread cookies and See's candies.
M's interruption
I really liked the frikadaler, which look like fish pancakes, and the potatoes.
Back to Mom, so I can keep building my Lego Burrow (the Weasleys' house from Harry Potter).

Back to Mom
It's always fun to work together to make Christmas dinner, and in this one, we had a winner: everything tasted great and were relatively easy to make. But, no, we didn't make M try the caviar -- I don't need him developing expensive tastes at age 8!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Thai Rice Soup

I told M last week that I wanted to start making more soups. Soups aren't M's favorite dinners, so I offered to let him pick the first soup. He said he wanted rice in his soup. We searched for recipes and, at the start, most of what we found were for chicken and wild rice soup. Not what we wanted. Finally, we settled on the search terms "vegetarian rice soup recipes -wild" and got some better choices.

As soon as "Vegetarian Thai Rice Soup" popped up, M knew we had a winner and he was right! The soup is called khao tom and is often served for breakfast. We coupled it with baked tofu and some store-bought kim chi and had a wonderful easy dinner.

M said that the ginger was a little spicy but the rice was perfect. And that the baked tofu is his favorite, high praise from him! This is a meal we will definitely repeat soon!

Thai Rice Soup (from
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 3cm ginger, cut into fine matchsticks
  • 1/2 tspn white pepper
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce, to taste
  • 1 spring onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander

1. In a very small amount of oil saute the garlic until golden brown.
2. Add vegetable stock and rice and bring to the boil.
3. Add the spring onions, half the ginger, fish sauce, soy and pepper, stir until it boils again.
4. Transfer to a serving dish, and garnish with chopped coriander/cilantro leaves and reserved ginger.

My simple recipe for baked tofu
1. Drain the tofu and set on paper towels in the fridge for several hours.
2. Brush top and bottom with olive oil and sprinkle Penzey's Sate seasoning.
3. Place on aluminum foil covered baking sheet.
4. Bake at 350oF for 20 minutes.