International Blog of Food

Glorious Cuisine From Around the World

Friday, March 30, 2007
Cinnamon Coffee Cake
I have a great appreciation for cinnamon because it can pretty much make any dessert taste oh so yummy. While I was still unemployed, I took it upon myself to be a good little housewife and cook and clean. This included making one of my favorite treats; cinnamon coffee cake (and no there is no coffee in it).

It was bit more difficult to make than back home because I didn't have a mixer at all so a bit of muscle power, and finding the right consistency of brown sugar, or any brown sugar at all was close to impossible. But I prevailed and the results were delicious.

Here is the recipe, don't remember who gave it to me:
1/4 cup margarine
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 tablespoons margarine
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, finely chopped (I used crushed cookies)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray or oil an 9-inch square baking pan.
In a medium bowl, cream margarine and sugar; beat in egg.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Stir in vanilla extract. Pour blended mixture into prepared pan.

To make topping: In a small bowl, mix together sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in margarine with pastry blender or fork. Spoon half over batter and swirl. Spoon remaining topping over batter and sprinkle with nuts. Bake for 30 minutes.
posted by Blanka at 1:18 AM    3 comments
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Sorry, I missed those comments on my post on german cheesecake oh so long ago. Here is my friend Iris's recipe for quark which actually has a few more differences to making paneer than were mentioned in the comments. Since the post is so old, I thought I'd better make a new post that people would actually see. Sorry I don't have a picture.
  1. Take a litre of milk (any kind), add the juice from one Indian-sized lemon (like half a North American lemon) and one spoonful of yogourt as a starter.
  2. Leave the mixture in a warm place overnight (not too warm though otherwise the milk won't turn into yogourt and you'll just have a weird paneer-tasting thing that just won't do for cheesecake. That's what I got the first time I made it.) If your oven has a setting for 50 degrees Celsius, then that'll work nicely.
  3. Put a cheesecloth in a large bowl and pour the mixture into it. Hang the cheesecloth with the mixture inside for 1-2 hours and let the liquid drip out. If you want a more solid quark (but less of it), then leave it hanging for longer.
  4. After that, it's done. It should taste like plain yogourt (with a touch of lemon) and should have the texture of a soft cream cheese.
posted by Samantha Lee at 7:54 AM    0 comments
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Some French delicacies…
Whilst in France the other weekend, I thought I should take the opportunity to try some typical French food…

Don’t they look good!

They tasted pretty good actually, not at all slimy and wriggly as I was expected. Cooked in garlic butter, and still sizzling on the plate, they are quite firm and are almost like eating mussels.

The most interesting thing about them was the tools you get to fish the little buggers out of the shell. There are some crazy tongs that are counterintuitive, so you look like a fool trying to manoeuvre the shell around to get the open bit in the right position to use the not-quite-long-enough fork to get a grip on them.

I also had some Alsatian food in Strasbourg (as in from the Alsace region… not dog food), home cooked no less – there was a vegetable soup with dumplings whose name I don’t know, and a filo pastry/cream cracker type base with crème fraiche and local cheese and vegetables on, called flammenkuche (tarte flambée). Neither of which I have a photo of thanks to a temperamental camera.

And finally, on the way out of Paris, I picked up some l’eveque cheese from the Normandy region. It has texture not unlike brie, and quite a mild taste, but with a smell that still occupies the kitchen. It goes perfectly on oatcakes, and slightly melted over bacon, it makes an amazing sandwich.

posted by ryan101 at 5:12 AM    1 comments
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Maple Glazed Salmon
Sorry, Jeremy, but I had to post something to bump that hot dog atrocity off the top of the page.

Coming from a land-locked rural area, where fish comes only in blue boxes adorned by a dude in a yellow slicker by the name of "Captain Highliner"- cooking fish seemed quite intimidating. In a fit of Sunday-afternoon boredom, I decided that the day to learn had arrived.

As it appears that I lived to tell the (delicious) tale- I present to you my success.

Feast your eyes on Maple Glazed Atlantic Salmon, served with baby potatoes and steamed asparagus. Yum!
posted by Meg at 9:56 PM    3 comments
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Adventures in Prepared Food
I don't believe we've had a post about North American prepared food yet and this is one of the most horrible things you’ll ever see: a first-hand account of preparing spray cheese-filled, bacon-wrapped hot dogs. “If syphilis was a food product, this is what it would look like.” Sorry if I ruined your appetite.
posted by Jeremy at 10:22 AM    1 comments
Monday, March 19, 2007
Blanka, Don't Look at This

This was a feast of ridiculous proportions. Two people. We inhaled half a kilo of giant prawns, half a kilo of calimari, and 2 giant fish filets. The calimari was like butter...mmmm. Oops, now i'm drooling.
posted by kent at 9:22 AM    2 comments
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Homely Egyptian Food
Beshemel (Yellow plate), Ba'amiya (Red Stuff), Chicken, and Salad

Rice Pudding topped with Cinnamon

Beshemel is like Egyptian lasagna, but with less cheese and more congealed milk. Ba'amiya is an okra soup-like mixture. Rice pudding is a classic here...made of rice, sugar, and milk.

posted by kent at 6:46 AM    1 comments
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Bento Boxes

These two bento boxes (Japanese lunch boxes) belong to a fellow AIESEC member whose mom prepares for him every morning. The first one has a pickled plum in the middle of the rice to make it look like the Japanese flag. It looks like a lot of work is put into this type of lunch since there is so much variety packed into a small box. I am sooo I stare at my peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Yes, peanut butter and jelly, apparently it's not the thing to do in the UK or the states.

Shopping for a bento box is hard if you are in a department store basement and there are about a million choices for you to choose from. The store opened at 10am and right away, it was flooded with people looking to buy their lunch for the day. You can get cheap ones that come in foam boxes made to look like wood, or you could buy more expensive ones where the box is actually made out of wood and it's wrapped in a nice piece of cloth. The food is also more detailed, you get your vegetables carved into pretty things like flowers and leaves.

My bento box was a simple one that came in a foam box, but I chose one with lots of variety. I really love that wagon wheel looking thing. It's crunchy and absorbs flavour really well. Actually, I loved everything in here!
My friend chose a nicer meal that came in a two tier box. Ooo fancy. I got to keep his pink cloth though.
posted by ~diana~ at 8:28 PM    2 comments
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Can you ever have enough Seafood?
A meal on a boat.

Fish from the oldest lake in the world (ironically, it's in the desert).

Glorious fish served at a great seafood place on one of the islands in Cairo. I will be going back there.

posted by kent at 11:03 AM    1 comments
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Guest Blogging From Mexico
My recently retired school-teacher parents are currently RV'ing their way through Mexico. My mom asked me to post a link to an entry she has written specifically for this blog- using inspiration from one of Kent's recipes!

Check out Snowflake and Senor Ping at RV-Having-Fun! for the goods, including a good-looking photo of something Mom never made when I was growing
posted by Meg at 3:36 PM    0 comments
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Too much camembert, oh what to do...

Been awhile since I’ve posted any of my food escapades here but then again I spent the last two weeks roaming from buffet to buffet in what essentially was a giant hotel while on training with my company.

On the weekend I set out to remedy my lack of cooking and headed to the market to stock up on tasty ingredients to inspire the week to come. In the cheese shop I was seduced by a sign that said 2 wheels of French brie for $5 but when I asked for it the chubby cheese man informed me they were out. His recommendation, 2 wheels of camembert that he would also part with for $5. A little further down at the produce store I found some slightly beat up pears on sale. Not being one to pass up a sale I got them and then headed to the bakery for a focaccia.

All these things came together last night when rummaging through my fridge I realized I have way to much cheese. Next thing you know I created a new recipe I will be revisiting.

Open Face Pear and Camembert Sandwich (sorry forgot to take a photo so just imagine and drool)

Core and slice a pear
Cut camembert in slices (I think brie would be nice for this as well)
Chop a handful of almonds and add with the sliced pear to a warm pan with a touch of olive oil and sauté. Add a shake of nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and pepper and sauté until soft. When finished add a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar,
Lightly toast pieces of focaccia and then while still warm place the camembert on top.
Top the bread and cheese with the sautéed pear and almonds and enjoy.

The sandwich turned out to be a warm and silky pleasure with sweet pears, a little tang from the vinegar and luscious half melted camembert. The rosemary on the focaccia worked perfectly with the flavours and brought it all together.

posted by nicholas at 8:26 AM    2 comments
Sunday, March 04, 2007
What You Would Eat at My House
From the top....

In for a closer inspection...

I think I did pretty well with this. What you see is a simple bed of basmati rice, a brilliant tomato/onion/garlic puree, lemon-thyme chicken, and brocolli strewn about. But let's focus on the puree...

Fry up onions, garlic, and tomatoes in plenty of olive oil. Add some chili pepper powder, salt, and pepper. When the onions are clear and your kitchen smells ridiculously good, transfer the contents of the pan into a blender. Add oil (remember, oil thickens purees) and lemon juice, then commence blending. When the taste is right and the consistency is smooth, take out of the blender and do whatever you want with it.

It makes a great sauce for rice, and I imagine it to be a great sauce for white fish or chicken. Heck, you could just eat it on its own.

posted by kent at 9:20 AM    2 comments
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Japanese Curry

A couple days ago, I went for Indian food and had some curry that I thought was spicy. The conversation turned to Japanese curry and I remember trying it so I thought, why not blog it to make Kent happy? My boss took me to one of the curry fastfood chains called Coco Ichiban Curry House...actually, not sure if that is the one I went to and I can't read the Japanese on the plate...but, my curry was just right. As in, not spicy but tasty. I got shrimp in mine, my boss had calamari in his. Just a simple meal.
posted by ~diana~ at 7:59 AM    1 comments
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Siwa Desert Feast

Getting this kind of food out in the middle of the desert is always a pleasure. We were treated to chicken, potatoes, rice, and salad...Siwa style. The final touch was little bits of sand that had attached themselves to the food. Gave everything a crunchiness not seen in a while.
posted by kent at 9:33 AM    0 comments