Chim Chim Cher-Ee

Whenever I hear the word chimichurri I always think of the song from Mary Poppins. It’s such a happy little song and who doesn’t love Dick Van Dyke – the man exudes happiness.

But chimichurri obviously has nothing to do with sweeping chimneys, rather it’s a sauce used with grilled meat that originated in Argentina. It can also be found in Uruguay, Columbia, Mexico and…Nicaragua!

So for our last Nicaraguan recipe we bring you a delectable steak recipe featuring the chimichurri sauce for what we’re calling Nicaraguan Tenderloin. We started by preparing the sauce using Italian parsley, olive oil, red wine vinegar and garlic. Continue reading

Cool Beans

We’re all running a bit behind this week and things have gotten a little hectic. Thankfully it’s almost the weekend, and fortunately we’ve had some fabulous beans to use throughout the week in various dishes.

We first whipped up this recipe for the popular Nicaraguan Gallo Pinto last Sunday with our Nicaraguan steak and Mormom Johnnycake, and the leftovers have graced our table ever since. Gallo pinto is a traditional Nicaraguan dish of rice and beans cooked together.

For this particular version, Mr. N selected black beans – his favorite. We soaked our beans according to the package directions and then simmered them for an hour and a half in a sauce pan with about 8 to 10 cloves of garlic and water.  Continue reading

The Non-Dessert Dessert

Happy Saturday everyone! We hope your weekend is off to a good start. We got our first snow of the season this week, so today we’re headed off to sled! While I prefer warmer temperatures and clean sidewalks, I have to admit that sledding makes the snow a bit more tolerable. I’m not a skier, but I LOVE to sled. And of course, the kids are loving it too!

Incidentally this next Nicaraguan recipe,Maduros, would be a great meal or snack to serve after coming in from the cold. It’s technically a dessert recipe, but I ate mine for lunch, the kids ate theirs for an after school snack and Mike had his for breakfast the next day.

Maduros is a sweet dessert featuring the plantain, and it just so happens the plantains we picked up at the store are actually from Nicaragua. Miss A was very excited about that. Continue reading

Gender Divide

Tonight we bring you another easy and healthy Nicaraguan recipe. We’ve been exploring Nicaraguan recipes for the past week or so and it’s fairly varied with heavy indigenous, Creole and Spanish influences. According to Wikipedia, the Pacific Coast cuisine makes use of local produce with the most common being corn. The Caribbean Coast tends to use more seafood and coconut. Our first Nicaraguan recipe, Curry Seafood Stew, clearly comes from the Caribbean side of Nicaragua. So tonight, we head to the opposite coast and have a recipe with a bit of Spanish influence.

I’m really diggin’ how simple and fast these meals have been so far, especially after our cooking marathon the past few weeks. I’m also lovin’ that Miss A and I have gotten to spend some quality time in the kitchen together. Cooking earlier in the day for that much-needed natural light has its benefits. And so, Miss A and I bring you the Ensalada de Jicama y Naranja (or Jicama and Orange Salad). Continue reading

All’s Quiet on the Home Front

Last night was an unusual occurrence. Mike was working in the city for most of the weekend while the kids and I were busy keeping busy. Then yesterday evening the kids went to visit Mike’s grandma with their Nana and Papa and I escaped to a yoga class. When I came home it was just Mike and I for dinner – and at a normal dinner hour!

Now it’s not unusual for us to put the kids to bed and have an at home cooking date night, or to even drop the kids off at Nana and Papa’s for a night on the town, but to find ourselves at home, alone, at the dinner hour – unheard of. So we decided to launch our next international adventure alone, with a recipe we knew we’d enjoy, and eat it in our dining room. (I don’t know that we’ve ever sat down to eat in there aside from Christmas Eve or a random dinner party.)

So where are we venturing off to now? We’ll get to that in a minute, first we bring you “Bloggers Unplugged,” a fun little game of questions in which we were tagged by Charles of Five Euro Food. Charles as you may remember is the creator of this delicious baba ghanoush that we made for Christmas and have enjoyed for lunch over and over again. Thanks for the recipe and the tag Charles. Here are the questions fielded by both Mike and I.

1. What, or Who, inspired you to start a blog?
Mr. N was our inspiration. We had talked for a long time about exposing the kids to different cuisines from around the world. Mr. N, who was really excited about our “experiment” thought we should write a book about the experience. Well, it’s not exactly a book, but I think he approves. ;)

2. Who is your foodie inspiration?
Well, first and foremost, Mike expanded my horizons with food exponentially very early on in our relationship. Many of our early dates revolved around fantastic restaurants or cooking at his apartment. One of our favorite dishes to this day came from those early dating years. We may get around to sharing that one of these days. Other foodie inspiration – well the many food blogs we read. They’re always inspiring us. And of course Chopped. :) Continue reading