If a classic evening or an indoor picnic don't have enough adventure for your liking, take a culinary tour of the world with your Valentine's Day date. Serve up dishes and cocktails from around the world and create a music playlist to match each course. By the end of the night, you and whoever you've shared this experience with will have bonded over all of your "travels." Here are some ethnic dishes that we recommend.
It took some patience researching ingredients such as dendê oil and locating the most reliable and affordable places to buy them online. But ultimately, my efforts paid off, because there's nothing more rewarding than getting acquainted with unfamiliar cuisines.
This traditional stew is a staple in Brazil's Bahia, a northeastern coastal state that's heavily influenced by African and European cultures. Moqueca is typically made with seafood, but this milder version has plantains and chicken that's been slow-simmered until it's fall-off-the-bone tender. Don't be afraid of Bahia's most comforting dish; continue reading for the recipe.
Traditionally, the potato pieces are deep fried, but I skipped the frying to keep this tapas recipe a touch healthier, and so my house wouldn't smell like a fast food joint. Instead, I achieved a crisp and golden potato using a hot oven and potatoes coated in olive and canola oils.
While the spuds cooked, I made the dipping sauce, which is a piece of cake if you employ the food processor. To present this dish, either drizzle the sauce over the potatoes, or serve it as a finger food, with a plate of golden potatoes and the sauce in a small bowl on the side. Get ready for a taste of Spain when you read more.
It's National Grilled Cheese Month, and while I've made my fair share with two slices of bread, I wanted to celebrate with a traditional Salvadoran dish, the pupusa. Essentially a pancake-like corn cake, pupusas are stuffed with a thin layer of cheese, beans, or pork. I was a little nervous, but preparing the masa is easy — you just add water and stir.
I tried a couple of different techniques to get the perfect pupusa and found the best way was to use my hands. I lightly oiled them, flattened the masa ball, placed the shredded cheese in the center of the masa, and pulled the edges up around the cheese. Once the masa sealed the cheese, I patted it into a small, flat disk.
With this process, the pupusa doesn't crack or let the cheese leak out while cooking. Serve these cheese-filled corn cakes hot topped with spicy slaw and a touch of sour cream. Now that I have the method down, I can't wait to make pork- and cheese-filled pupusas. To skip taco night and surprise your family with pupusas, keep reading for the recipe.
In starch-heavy Northern Chinese cuisine, the Lunar New Year wouldn't be complete without shui jiao, or boiled dumplings, which signify wealth and prosperity because of their resemblance to ancient Chinese currency. Savor them simply with a side of soy-vinegar dipping sauce and a drizzle of chili oil. Enjoy abundance in the coming year with this recipe.
Muhammara is a Syrian roasted pepper and walnut dip often served with crackers, on kebabs, or over meat and fish. The longest part of preparing the dip is roasting the bell peppers. Of course you could just buy a jar, but they are so much better fresh. If you have never roasted your own, check out this how-to slideshow. Once you have the roasted bell peppers, the dip is incredibly simple to make with the help of a food processor.
The sweetness from the pomegranate molasses and roasted bell peppers is balanced by the tart lemon juice and spicy kick of jalapeño. I served it with pita chips, but it would be great as a veggie dip or a sandwich condiment. Skip the hummus and the onion dip and give muhammara a try. Curious about the recipe? Keep reading.
So, in a new series, I'll be exploring new dishes from around the globe, beginning first with a wildly underappreciated dish: chicken adobo. The term adobo can mean many things, but in the Philippines, a Southeast Asian country that's heavily influenced by Spanish and Chinese cultures, it refers to the process of stewing chicken or pork in a vinegar- and soy-based sauce. I can't get enough of the succulent result, which has an intoxicating sweet-and-sour aroma, and the sauce, which is phenomenal with rice. Make a new chicken dish when you read on.
The gift-giving holidays are just around the corner and to spare you some of the last-minute shopping stress the Sugar sites are creating ever-helpful gift guides.
I'm sure you've got a cousin, sibling, or other relative who spends more time on the road than at home. One thing that is difficult to do is stay fit while traveling, so here are a few ideas to make it a little easier.
- FitDeck is a deck of custom playing cards that contains "body-resistance" exercises (so no fitness equipment is needed). Each card has three fitness levels to accommodate different abilities (beginner, intermediate, advanced). You can do them anywhere, anytime.
- When I am on the road and have some down time in my hotel room, I wish I just had a set of dumbbells to use for 20 minutes. Since bringing your own set is not really an option, Aquabells fill with water when you want to use them and deflate when you don't.
- One of the hardest parts about working out on the road is having the space in your suitcase for all your gear. Reebok's Travel Trainers collapse, leaving more space in your bag for all your other necessities.