An AWESOME food blog, inspired by "Julie & Julia."

52 weeks, 52 countries
I'm cooking across the world because I can't afford to travel it! Every week, I will randomly select a country, do a little research, do a little cooking, and do a lot of eating. So read, laugh, travel, eat, and enjoy!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Week 10: Chile

I always put this off until forever. But I figure it doesn't really matter because nobody besides my family actually reads this. But that's ok. I'm not doing it for the fame and fortune that is supposed to accompany a blog. Although that would be nice.

Back to business. Last week I made Chilean food in honor of my dear friend Elder Pierce who is serving his mission in Concepcion. I've been thinking a lot about him lately because of the earthquake and everything (he's ok, no worries) so I thought that I would bring a piece of him home. I made the meal at Alexa's because Justin and Spencer and I were fighting and couldn't be in the same room together. So my testers this week were Holly and Alexa and then some Polynesian boys who tried to convince me to make dog. Anyway, it was strange working in an unknown kitchen. I didn't really like it and am excited to cook in my own kitchen tonight.

For an appetizer I made Cold Avocado Soup. It was just avocados, chives, and milk. The avocados I selected were not the ripest and so this soup had a strange texture but when eaten with fresh tortillas (the kind you buy raw and cook yourself) was actually quite nice. We ended up using it as a dip for our main dish which was Chilean Carbonada. This was really really tasty. It was this steak stew type thing with potatoes and butternut squash and rice. Oh my goodness! It turned into this really thick gumbo-like thing. I really don't know how to describe it but I loved it! We ate this with the tortillas and dipped it in the soup and it tasted divine! For dessert I made Que Que. Now this was quite funny to me because it translates to What What in English. :D Anyway, it was this lemon pecan loaf. It tasted really good but was really crumbly because Alexa and Holly did not have any proper butter and I was not about to go back to the store. I liked the cake loaf what thing. It was just too dry.

Chilean food was good. A success I would say. Elder Pierce will be proud. Now I just have to get around to writing him a letter. We'll see when I get time for that.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Week 9: Greece

This week I had a fabulous Greek picnic in. . .


It was great. We wanted to go to the Grand Canyon but it turns out that the North side (the side that's only a 2 hour drive) doesn't open until May. So instead of driving 8 hours, we went to Zion. And we (as in Justin, Spence, and me) did all of this because my little brother Eric's class is doing "Flat Stanley." They send this little drawing of a boy to their friends and family that live in other places and everyone takes pictures and it's really cute so yes.

Because we were going to be outside this Sunday, I decided a picnic would be best so I made Greek food. My favorite! At least my favorite this week. I love gyros! Always have, always will, so that is what I made. I looked for lamb but it doesn't seem to be available in St. George, so we had chicken. I cooked the chicken in olive oil, made a cucumber yogurt sauce (yum!) and chopped some onions and tomatoes and bought some shredded lettuce. All we had to do was pack this in a cooler and assemble it in pita pockets when we were ready to eat. They were delicious! Except that the pitas got soggy in the cooler because I was dumb and put them on a plate in plastic wrap instead of leaving them in the bag. Yeah, I'm slow. We devoured them so quickly that I didn't have time to take a picture so you must use your imagination. I loved them, but I am biased because I love gyros.

Now for dessert, I made a combination of two things. I wanted to make baklava because I love it! But Justin hates nuts, so I didn't. But I wanted some sort of fillo dough dessert. I found a recipe for Myzithropita which is a fillo dough and sweet soft cheese fried dumpling but it required making my own fillo dough which was not happening. And also I needed a fryer. Then I found a recipe for Galaktoboureko rolla which is a custard filled fillo roll. But we had custard last week and I did not want it again. So I made the sweet cheese filling (ricotta, yogurt, cinnamon, sugar, lemon juice) and rolled it in fillo dough and drowned it in cinnamon infused honey. And life was good. Love love love love love. I'm planning on making variations of this dessert with pumpkin, custard, maybe even chocolate. I just love fillo!

I love Greece. I hope to go there someday. Mediterraneans are so beautiful. And all the relics and art and brown skin and azul oceans and white sand. And gyros. And fillo desserts. Yes, Greece should be expecting me.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Week 6, 7, & 8: Russia, Norway, and England

I swear I haven't disappeared off the face of the planet! I have just be uber busy. Life is hellish right now with Miss Saigon, mid-terms, work, and money. This whole being a grown up thing is strange. I turned twenty 3 weeks ago. How strange that I am an adult. I can no longer tell people I am technically and teenager. Crazy, yes. I know. That is why I didn't cook then. I didn't cook the week before because I was visiting American Fork. But I did cook the week after, February 28. And I made food from 3 countries! As I posted earlier, February is Elsa month. So I celebrated my heritage by cooking a side dish from Russia (possibly where my dad is from. . . we aren't sure because he is adopted but he certainly looks Russian), a main course from Norway, and a dessert from England.

The Russian dish I made was Pskovsky Hot Vinegret. It was GOOD. It was made with turnip, potato, carrot, mushroom, and vegetable stock. Pretty simple and straightforward. The only problem was the turnip. None of us (Alexa, Justin, Spencer, I) had ever eaten a turnip and we were scared. I kept thinking about Wallace and Grommit, which really is beside the point but that was my thought process. We smelled it first and it smelled like a dirty sour potato. Yum. But I stayed true to the recipe and added it in. Turns out Turnips are delicious. It added this really earthy flavor to the veggies and I quite enjoyed it.

Next up we have Norwegian apple pork chops with caraway seeds. I loved this! And that is saying a lot because I hate pork chops. Now to be honest, I was planning on making a fish dish for Norway because that is pretty much all they eat but I chickened out. I hate fish. Always have. Can't eat it unless it's covered in batter and fried and smothered with tartar sauce. So I wasn't prepared to make that leap. Perhaps in the future. But these chops were another huge step for me. I seared the meat and then put it in a pan with sliced apples, apple juice, and lots of caraway seeds. Now I know the seeds kind of look like fruit flies but I loved the seeds and so did Spencer. They had a kind of floral and musky and I don't know what flavor but they were tasty. Alexa on Justin on the other hand. . . not huge fans. Alexa doesn't like rye bread and caraway seeds just happen to be the main flavoring component of rye bread. But the combination of the meat with the fruit was splendid and I would like to have it again.

English trifle! YUM! This dessert will always be good no matter who makes it! And I made it so it was especially good. I made my own lady fingers and I took a picture of one as proof. I also made my own custard and my own whipped cream. I did not make my own raspberry jam though which would have been awesome. I made little mini trifles for everyone because I don't have a big fancy trifle dish. I layered the lady fingers with raspberry jam spread on them, the custard, defrosted frozen raspberries and whipped cream, refridgerated it and voila! Dessert.

Good week. Tasty food. I should stop getting so behind. I have to do two countries this week because of another trip to American Fork. Blarg, so much work. But I love doing this project and it's not a chore. Cooking relaxes me. It is my escape from all the aforementioned woes of daily adult life.