Blast from the Past

Hi all! While we’re on our little siesta, we thought we’d share a few of our older posts that some of you may not have seen or may have forgotten. I also thought it would be a good time to share with our new subscribers and readers what we’re all about here at Eat, Play, Love. Basically, our journey started out as a way to teach Mr. N and Miss A (our kiddos) about various cultures and traditions around the world while opening all of us up to new foods and cooking techniques. It’s always a whole family affair. We take turns picking a country our U.S. state and then we find traditional or popular local recipes to try. Often times the kids will be involved in the cooking which gives us a chance to share some facts about the particular country or culture, and have some fun along the way. logo-final

We don’t claim to be experts either in culture or in cooking, but we do put forth our best efforts to make the recipes authentic and to review them honestly. You can read more about our spoon rating system here. You’ll notice as we go along that Miss A’s spoon ratings tend to be the most subjective ranging from 0 to 514 at times. We really don’t mind as long as she’s giving the different foods a chance, which is something both kids have been amazing at doing. From time to time, we’ll also share special occasion recipes, travel adventures and random recipes we just happen to love, but the majority of what you’ll see here is all about cooking around the world.

So here’s an old post from back in May 2011, shortly after we started the blog. This recipe just happens to be one of our favorites and has been made more than once. Enjoy! Continue reading

Boo-Yeah! Baklawa!

Ever since last month when Dawn over at First Look, Then Cook posted her recipe for baklava, it’s been on my mind. I instantly thought of an ice wine we have that would match this dessert perfectly. Not to mention I’ve never worked with phyllo before and it sounded like a challenge I needed to tackle. So when we were looking for Egyptian desserts and came across the recipe for Baklawa, the Egyptian version of the dessert, I knew it was time to get to work.

The main differences between Greek baklava and Egyptian baklawa are that the Greek version uses honey in the syrup and almonds in the pastry. The Egyptian form of the dessert uses sugar and orange blossom in the syrup and omits the almonds. Either way, the dessert sounds intriguing to me and dad, and one that we thought even Mr. N and Miss A would enjoy.

Miss A helped me out early in the process. She was very excited to see the mallet coming out again and was eager to crush the walnuts. Continue reading

Seafood Pasta with Cloves? You Bet!

This weekend we are wrapping up our Egyptian adventure with another winning recipe. When dad first picked Egypt a few weeks ago, we knew little about the local cuisine. We figured we would come across some traditional Middle Eastern dishes such as falafel or babaganoush – and we did. But we also discovered that Egyptian cuisine has influences from the Mediterranean, Europe, Africa and the Middle East and offers a lot of healthy, flavorful cooking options.

Tonight’s recipe is one of the first that we came across for the region and we instantly knew we had to try it. This recipe for Egyptian Seafood Pasta is very similar to an Italian dish that dad and I used to eat a ton of when we were dating. So going in it already had a lot to live up to.

We began our pasta dish by sauteing a chopped onion with some olive oil. Once the onion was softened we added bacon, garlic and ground cloves – yes cloves! This was new to me. Continue reading

Dessert for Breakfast and Other Infidelities

We wanted to try an Egyptian dessert this week. We also wanted something healthy so that our waistlines didn’t explode after that Georgia Peach Cobbler. We found a recipe for a strawberry dessert on Tour Egypt and while it’s fairly healthy, I have to say that I’m not really convinced it’s an authentic Egyptian dessert. I’m also uncertain whether it’s a dessert or if it’s breakfast. I think it can easily be both; and if not, well then we just ate dessert for breakfast. I suppose there are worse things that could happen.

The recipe is easy – combine raspberries and sugar in a sauce pan and heat, stirring gently, until a syrup forms.  Continue reading

And to wrap it up…

Last but not least, here’s the final recipe from last week’s Egyptian meal – the Ancient Marinated Chicken. We intended to grill the chicken on dad’s new grill, but within five minutes of putting the grill together on what was a sunny afternoon, it started to pour. So the grill must wait for another day – which no doubt will be soon as dad is quite anxious to get it going. Maybe we’ll have to venture to Australia next on this cooking adventure. Shrimp on the barbie anyone?!

Now that I’m salivating over the possibilities of Down Under grilled goodies, back to Egypt. We began by cutting the chicken breast into one-inch pieces.

We then added an onion, garlic and cilantro into the food processor and created a puree. Mr. N helped me to combine the puree with the olive oil, cumin, coriander and cayenne pepper. Continue reading

Quick Cumin Couscous

I just returned from a girls’ getaway weekend with my best friend. It was a fantastic, relaxing weekend – just what the doctor ordered. So since I’m stuffed from a weekend of wining and dining on some really good eats, my camera is still broken and I’m in need of some quality time with the family (Oh, how I missed Mr. N and Miss A – dad too of course!), I’m going to keep this one short and sweet.

This is the recipe for the Cumin Couscous we made and used to fill our pitas alongside the chicken (which I’ll post tomorrow). I found the recipe at Tour Egypt and adapted it slightly due to the fact currants aren’t available right now. The couscous would also stand on its own and is a wonderfully sweet complement to a spicy dish.

Continue reading