Eat the World Showcase

I’m home! WOO!!!!

Was that convincing? No?  Probably because I didn’t really mean it. While the adult part of me craves the routine of home, the kid that won’t grow up wants to stay in Neverland forever.

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Aren’t they amazing? Flower and Garden Festival this week.

Since I already wrote you a long love letter to Disney a few months ago, I’ll keep my thoughts on the subject brief this time.

I was down in Orlando for the Food Blog Forum and it was so fun. The funnest. A big shout out to all the folks that made the weekend magical by going above and beyond anything I could have expected, particularly Scott and Jaden from Steamy Kitchen, and Diane and Todd from White on Rice.

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Buddha Break: My Life in Pictures

My life lately.  

I wake up and my mind scrolls through a seemingly endless to-do list, all while my post-it note social calendar continues to fill. My back starts to reach the end of its tether from too many yoga classes from which, despite the occasional stabbing pain, I can’t seem to stay away.  Cooking becomes a chore, lunches fail to be packed, and dinner becomes little more than apples and crackers.  

Work has been busy and life have been busy and I’ve been busy and when I start to get cranky about all things that are not my bed, reading for fun and Netflix I know it’s time to go on a vacation. So, I am.

I echo the thoughts of so many when I say Old Man Winter is really getting me down. It’s a big deal for me to say this since it’s atypical for me, Little Buddha or Mama Buddha to complain about the cold because we spend three months a year crying about the heat. Seventeen years of living south of the Mason-Dixon does that. However, each one of us has cracked, and while we leave Little Buddha behind, Mom and I are looking for a fix of Vitamin D, stat.

I apologize to all my Midwest/East Coast/Canada friends, but I, like many of the huddled frozen masses, am heading to Florida. Disney World, to be exact. For the Food Blog Forum. Talking about food 24/7 at my second favorite place on earth is probably the most fun thing ever for me at this point, so I’ll take it.

To show you that I haven’t been completely slacking in terms of kitchen exercises, I figured I’d do something a little different and show you my life lately through the lens of my Samsung.

Frozen tundra…

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…requires Chocolate Cobbler.

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I attended a pot luck and went bearing S’mores cupcakes, mostly so I could use my blow torch and feel like a bad ass.

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I played around and made some tasty coconut candies,

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And treated myself to a lovely lemon poppy seed brunch.

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I made orange carrot cupcakes for Oscar,

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And tonight for dinner, a pre-trip clean out the fridge buffet of random.

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However, I think all the food groups have been covered.

I’ll be back in action next week to finish up Northwestern South America with some arepas, which I’ve thus far neglected despite being quite excited to try, before moving south down the coast. And, I have a special St. Patrick’s Day treat filled with booze and chocolate and more booze. I’m excited already.

Have a good week!

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Mote Pata: Pork, Hominy and Peanut Stew

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Sometimes I make things, and I think, “meh.” Sometimes I make things and am wrong about the “meh.” Sometimes, all a dish needs is a little green, a little citrus and a little time.

That was this dish. Mote Pata. Sorry, mote pata, for being prematurely judgmental.

Mote Pata is an Ecuadorian peanut and hominy stew typically eaten to celebrate Carnival. Sorry it’s a little late, but I was too busy shoving paczki in my face to make real food for Fat Tuesday.

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Let’s Be Fatties: Paczki Day

Today is Fat Tuesday. Let’s be fatties.

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I have just the thing. Donuts. Special donuts. Paczki.  Have you heard of them?

Well, I hadn’t until we moved to Michigan from Florida my freshman year of high school. As we were going on with our day, the whole town seemed to be freaking out about these donuts. What’s the big deal?

Unlike your corner Dunkin’ sour cream glazed variety (the best kind, IMO), turns out these Polish delicacies come around only once a year.  Starting on Fat Thursday, the Thursday before Lent, Polish families chose this day to start cleaning out the pantry of all the good things before the church-sanctioned forty-day diet began on Ash Wednesday, and would make these donuts. Traditionally filled with either prune or rosehip jam, they are definitely worthy of the day.

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Beef and Memories: Lomo Saltado, or Peruvian Stir-Fry

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Well, Hello Peru.

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It’s been almost three years since Tomato, Lettuce and I hiked the Inca Trail. In some ways it seems like twenty, but then I look at pictures and it seems like yesterday.

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Unfortunately, I was only in Peru for the week it took us to hike the Trail.  It’s a shame, but that’s usually how it goes with these adventure trips. Both trips to Nepal had me in and out with time to do little else than climb and Peru was no different, with merely a day before and a day after for cushion.  However, we did have enough time to learn about and make Peruvian chocolate.

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This One’s for the Lovers: Chocolate Cheesecake Cups

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Happy Friday the 13th!

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Is that bad luck day? Depends on who you ask. If you ask Little Buddha, he’d probably disagree since 13 is his favorite number, and it served him pretty well those years playing basketball and soccer. However, for all you triskaidekaphobics out there, here’s something that may make today not so scary.

Chocolate Cheesecake Cups

It doesn’t really fit into South America, but I did promise something chocolate for tomorrow (Valentine’s Day, in case you were keeping track) and I always keep my promises. I took the opportunity and my lack of direction on the subject to tap into the cookbook stores.

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Salty and Sweet: Cinnamon Poached Pears with Dulce de Leche and Queso Fresco

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Alas, ‘tis Wednesday.

Cheer up! You know why?

Pears and sugar and cheese. That’s why.

 

 

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I found a recipe for this fantastic sounding Colombian sweet treat, Brevas con Arequipe, or Candied Figs Stuffed with Dulce de Leche, topped with queso fresco. I like all of those things, and was all set to make it and then…no figs. I guess it’s not fig season.

The original recipe actually calls for figs in syrup and I couldn’t really find those either (though, full disclosure, how hard did I look?). Whenever I think of fruit preserved in any kind of syrup, I hear Hugh Grant awkwardly describing apricots in honey to Julia Roberts in Notting Hill.*

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Northwestern South America

Yeaaah Monday!

Who’s excited??

me

Bueller? Bueller?

Okay, honestly me neither.

But let’s forget about Monday and think about happier things like traveling and food. Or the combination of the two.

Central America was dandy, but now we head south. South to South America where it’s currently summer and everything opposite what I’m experiencing outside these days. Perhaps by channeling some of that South American flava, we here north of the equator can warm up from the inside out.

Let’s try anyway.

Much like I did with Africa, I think of taking a very broad regional approach to the continent. Who really knows though? Once I get in the thick of it, it’s likely the conviction of previous statement will have flagged. Either way, the food will be amazing.

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Papas con Chorizo; Terrifically Twisted

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Happy Saturday peeps!

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Lettuce, Yam and I were just emailing that spring is definitely in the air (despite whatever that silly groundhog said). Chicago is thawing and has become one big soggy mess. However, people are filling the streets, the sun is out, and I just made the most delicious dish for brunch. Life is good.

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Before I continue the journey into South America, one last stop in the center parts, namely, Costa Rica. I actually had a long list of Costa Rican dishes to make but in the interest of moving forward, I think I’ll dole them out for some future #TBTs, so stay tuned for that.

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Hot Buns, Comin’ Through: Belizean Powder Buns

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So it dawned on me that I forgot to cook this week. It’s weird. I’m usually so planned about everything. Make food, photo it, post it, eat it. Somewhere between the Super Bowl and the Blizzard and all that jazz, I came home last night to no prepared food. Whoops. Eggs it was, but that just won’t do for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Though, they are incredibly edible, aren’t they?

Therefore, needing a quick breakfast for today, I threw Flour’s Belizean Powder Buns in the oven, filling my apartment with an orange cinnamon coconut aroma perfect for this cold, snowy day (Will it stop? No one knows…) where luckily, I get to work from home. I just couldn’t wait to tell you about it, so it’s a working lunch.

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