It Ain’t Easy Being Green

Well, here we go! It’s time for our next international adventure. This time we’re heading back to Africa for a culinary visit with Mozambique. Mozambique is in southeast Africa and borders the Indian ocean. Now what I was surprised to learn is that the official language of Mozambique is actually Portuguese; and like the language, the food is infused with Portuguese influence.

For our first recipe, we went with one that had a high chance of success around here – Shrimp Mozambique. Not only did it promise to be simple, but we’re all big shrimp fans. We started today’s recipe by melting some butter in a large skillet and then tossing in some diced shallots. Continue reading

Don’t Try This at Home

It’s our last night of Welsh cuisine, for this little stint at least, and you know what that means. It’s dessert time! We came across the recipe for an apple pastry in our Welsh cookbook. The description reads, “Although traditionally cooked on a griddle…this apple pie can be baked in the oven.” But that’s like a dare isn’t it?! At least it was to us, we weren’t about to bake this in the oven. We all know apple pies are fabulous in the oven, and we’re no strangers to them around here, but an apple pie on a griddle?? That’s a new one.

We began our Apple Skillet Pie by whipping up our all butter, double pie crust (the same one we used for our blueberry pie this summer). Then we mixed up our standard apple pie filling. This time we used a combo of Granny Smith apples and McIntosh apples.

We then tossed in some white sugar, dark brown sugar, lemon juice, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and a tiny pinch of ground cloves. Continue reading

It’s Dinner Time Honey

This week we’re wrapping up our culinary tour of Wales, and we’re going out in style. We haven’t done an elaborate meal in a while, so we took advantage of the gorgeous, lazy day with nothing on our calendar. We went back to our Welsh cookbook and found a recipe for Honeyed Welsh Lamb. Honey, rosemary, lamb and roasted goodness sounded perfect for this crisp fall Sunday.

We made lamb a while back, when we were sampling some New Zealand recipes and Mr. N ate his shank literally to the bone. Today he was on hand to help season our six pound leg of lamb with salt and pepper.

Continue reading

Speaking my Language

[By Mike]

So I haven’t had a turn at the blog for a while, and Kristy and I were trying to pick a good recipe for me to blog. We were searching for Welsh recipes a couple of weeks back and came to the recipe for Welsh Rarebit that’s featured today and I said, “Wow, that sounds like really good hangover food. I’ll blog that one.” To which Kristy replied, “You’re not going to tell some story about me being hung over, are you?” Of course not. I was planning on telling the story of my fluency in Welsh, but sadly she stole my thunder. I’ll add only one thing about her letter in Welsh–there was no way she wasn’t getting another date.

Rarebit is pretty easy to make, though it requires fairly constant attention. Begin by melting butter and whisking in flour over low heat.

Next comes a little Dijon mustard, a little Worcestershire sauce, and some salt and pepper. Continue reading

All Warm and Toasty

After our good and filling Welsh duck dinner last weekend, we wanted our next recipe to be a bit healthier, and a bit less labor intensive. After flipping through our cookbook, Favourite Welsh Recipes by A. de Breanski Jr., we came across this recipe for Monmouth Pudding and knew it would make for a great breakfast.

The recipe is described in the book as one that was often served in Victorian times and was ideal for children and adults with “delicate digestions.” It’s basically a bread pudding that incorporates strawberry preserves. Traditional Monmouth pudding will reveal red and white stripes when served; however we opted to pick health over beauty with this one. While using white bread crumbs would no doubt make this a striking dish, the whole wheat bread crumbs don’t have quite the same aesthetic effect. That said, despite its lackluster appearance, it’s really a more healthy alternative. Continue reading

Pass the Salt

Now that all the birthday festivities are over, we’re back to our international cooking adventures. For the next two weeks we’re going to be cooking recipes from Wales. It was my pick this time. Wales has a place close to my heart. Not because I’ve been there. I know very little about the country on the south-west side of the island of Great Britain.

My love for Wales goes back to when Mike and I were dating. On one of our early dates, we went to the Museum of Science and Industry to see the display of Christmas trees decorated from various countries around the world. While walking around, we came to the tree from Wales and leaning against the tree was a sign written in Welsh. Mike promptly began reading me the sign to which I was completely taken aback. This guy knew Welsh! I mean, who knows Welsh?!

We went on with our date and saw several more of the museum’s exhibits. It wasn’t until a few hours later that Mike owned up to the fact that he didn’t know Welsh. We both got a good laugh out of that one and enjoyed the rest of our date. Then I went home mortified – he must think I’m terribly gullible – but I hatched a plan. I went back to school (we lived several hours apart at the time) and composed a letter to him written entirely in Welsh. I painstakingly translated each and every word using an online Welsh-English dictionary. I’m sure the grammar was awful, but that didn’t matter. I sent the letter in the mail (yep – used good ol’ snail mail) and waited.

Mike received the letter, immediately knew what it was and ran right out to buy a Welsh-English dictionary. He spent hours deciphering the letter and called me instantly. The rest as they say is history… Continue reading