Trying (and not trying) New Foods in Northern Thailand

Veg! So many interesting, new, and intriguing vegetables at my local farm stands. And being the lover of fresh food, and background as a chef, I am so excited to try them all. My favorite farmer encourages me, and is patient while I browse and ask questions. She doesn’t mind me taking a nibble of…

Winter in North Thailand

A week in January in rural Thailand Chocolate sago pudding with fresh coconut. Dried coconut is not something one can commonly find in stores in my part of Thailand. Locals use fresh coconut, as it’s widely abundant, affordable, and quite versatile. Wanting to expand my dessert repertoire, I picked up a fresh coconut at the…

Non-Traditional Home Cooking in Rural Thailand

Tonight I’m making green curry vegetables, using what I have on hand. Living in rural Thailand, I only have access to the foods sold at the mini mart and local veg from farmstands on the side of the road. Yes, I could go out to eat, as it’s very affordable and more authentic, but I…

Costa Rican Fruit: Cashew Apple

I had read a few years ago about the interesting way that cashews grew, but never thought i’d get the chance to experience it in real life. Walking the pup the other morning, a blush-colored fruit caught my attention in the driveway. Focusing my attention, I couldn’t believe my eyes! Cashews growing right here, nonchalantly…

Visiting Feria Sámara/ Sámara Farmer’s Market

Rolling into my third and final week in Costa Rica, I didn’t need a whole lot at the market. Time to use up that which I have already stocked up the fridge and pantry. Looking for some peppers, cherry tomatoes, potatoes and, hopefully cacao. Need a replacement for my fresh cacao tasting, as the one…

Costa Rican Fruit: Granadilla and Maracuya (Passionfruit)

I can’t recall the first time I met her, the fruit of my dreams. For as long as I can remember, i’ve been deeply in love with the aptly named passionfruit. Living in Southern California, she grew wild on fences and along the side of the street, the most beautiful flower I had ever laid…

Costa Rican Fruit: Soursop (guanábana)

We first met in the Philippines. My Navy ship was doing a liberty tour in South East Asia, and we had a few days leave in Manila. Browsing the grocery store for snacks and drinks(one of my favorite activities in a foreign country), I passed over the familiar juices of mango, coconut and papaya, to…

Exploring Costa Rica through local food

Eating in Costa Rica is different than anywhere I’ve been in the world, and not what one would expect. Way less cheese, salsa(in the traditional sense) and spicy foods than our North American perspective expects. The typical plate is quite simple with humble additions. Most meals include plainly-seasoned black beans and rice, with a choice…

Springtime in Piemonte

The grey cloudy days change to bring warm sunny ones and everything is in motion. The brown barren trees fill with lush green foliage and flowers burst seemingly overnight out of their winter hiding. The sweet melodies of the birds outside our window awaken us from nocturnal slumber and insects buzz about, working the newly…

Making Traditional Swiss-Italian Chestnut Torte

In planning and dreaming about this year off traveling in Europe, I was inspired by the thought of cooking traditional recipes with friends, family and people I meet along the way.  I did some research, of areas we knew we’d visit, and the typical local dishes and foods.  Thinking of the Ticino region of Switzerland,…