Category Archives: Ethnic and Tasty

Check here for recipes, restaurants, and foodie penpal posts.

Homemade Scones

I fell in love with the flaky pastry that hails from Scotland while living in New York City. I would walk to this cute corner coffee shop owned by a Brit couple and order a scone and latte to enjoy while I journaled about my summer in the big city. While I’ve been a connoisseur of scones for quite some time, I’ve never attempted to make my own. So I added scone-making to my goals on my Thirty-One List.

While visiting my best friend in Chicago last week, she decided to help me accomplish one of my 31 tasks. Having a culinary degree from Argentina, I agreed that she would be the best person to guide me through the process. We used the Cook’s Illustrated recipe and my BF indicated it is the Bible of all things food. The recipe was precise but actually pretty simple and the scones turned out buttery and delicious…definitely a culinary splurge.

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Orange Cranberry Scones Recipe

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into small cubes (cut these quickly so they don’t melt in your hands)
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 cup heavy cream

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Place the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse 6 times to combine. (I counted 1 one-thousand for each pulse.)

3. Distribute the butter evenly over the dry ingredients, sprinkle the zest in, and then combine with a dozen 1-second pulses. Add the cranberries and pulse one more time. Transfer to medium size bowl.

4. Stir in heavy cream with rubber spatula or fork until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.

5. Transfer dough and all dry, floury bits to countertop and knead dough by hand just until it comes together into a rough, slightly sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds. Pat the dough into an 8-inch circle (we used a cake pan) and cut into 8 wedges. Put the wedges on the prepared baking sheet.

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6. Bake until scone tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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October Foodie Penpal and Aunt Ethel’s Enchiladas

Earlier this month you may have read my post about becoming a foodie penpal. Well today is the day that all the foodie penpals share about their boxes. My box came from a lovely woman named Emily from Midland, Texas and within it was all kinds of Texas delicacies like Texas Trash (a sweet concoction kind of like puppy chow) and Amazing Corn (kind of popcorn but kind of not). I was especially excited for the Hatch Green Chiles in the box because they were perfect for a Mexican-inspired dish that I learned from my Aunt Ethel. Aunt Ethel was my dad’s oldest sister and since she didn’t have any kids of her own, she loved to spoil her nephews and nieces with her amazing cooking. She made the best fried chicken, red velvet cake, and ranger cookies that I’ve ever had.  Another one of her great recipes were her enchiladas. With my Hatch Green Chiles, I had everything I needed to make them for dinner last night.

Aunt Ethel’s Chicken Enchiladas (yields 4)

  • 2 large chicken breast cooled and cubed or shredded
  • 1 cans of cream of chicken soup
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 4 oz. diced green chilies
  • 1/2 bunch of green onions, chopped
  • 1 pkg. large flour tortillas (I substitute whole wheat tortillas instead)
  • 1.5 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

  1.  Spray 10 x 15 glass baking dish
  2. Mix soup, milk, sour cream, chilies and green onions.  Spread one cup of mixture on bottom of baking dish.  Reserve 1 ½ cups for top.
  3. Add chopped chicken to remaining mixture.  Spread a roll of filling across the center of the tortilla.  Roll and place, seam down, in pan.  Cover with remaining sauce and cheese on top.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.

Thanks to Emily for all the great Texas goodies!

Becoming a Foodie Penpal

A few weeks ago I found out about a great program called Foodie Penpals. Started by Lindsay of The Lean Green Bean about a year ago, the program creates an opportunity for people around the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. to send each other foodie-type items. I thought the idea was great and though it is a State-side program, it is still a way to share and experience culture.

This month was my first time participating and I just sent off my box which was of a Latin American theme (chocolate is from Mexico). I had such a great time looking up foods and shopping, I figured I should share so you can become a Foodie Penpal too.

If you live in the U.S., Great Britain, or Canada, you can sign up on the Foodie Penpal Form to join the foodie-sharing in November. The deadline to sign up is November 4th at 9pm EST. And definitely be sure to check out my post on October 31st on what I got in my Foodie Penpal box (lots of deliciousness).

A Working American

Well, dear readers, I’m happy to say that I am once again employed in the field I love. In fact, I’m over-employed and working part-time for both a study abroad company and as a study abroad advisor at a small Christian college here in OKC. While the freedom of unemployment was somewhat enjoyable, I am thrilled to give it up in return for working with students again and helping them experience the world beyond. I’m also looking forward to blogging again about all the cultural events of a college campus. Hopefully the lunch series will be back up and running soon!

This week is Global Vision Week at the college I am working at and with that came the study abroad fair and international cuisine in the cafeteria. I spent the day meeting students and talking about their dream destinations. Unfortunately the international cuisine was nowhere near as good as the conversation. I would not recommend the college cafeteria as the appropriate place to try ceviche. I’m just hoping it didn’t scare anybody off the idea of studying in Peru!

Let’s just say that this ceviche needed a lot more chips to be enjoyable.

 

The Non-Fighting Irish

My Hubby loves American football. If his life weren’t so busy, I am sure he could watch games all of Saturday and Sunday. He even partakes in a game called Pigskin Pick’em with my brother and cousins. I, on the other hand, could take football or leave it. While I’m happy to watch a game in person, watching it on television just doesn’t excite me very much. However, I do like spending time with Hubby so this past weekend we decided to find a win-win solution.

I love cultural food and activities. Hubby loves football. We both love to hang out together. So we compromised and watched the Falcons beat the Redskins at Dan McGuinness, a local Irish pub here in OKC. While Roddy White made touchdowns, Hubby and I enjoyed fish and chips and a corned beef sandwich while traditional Irish music played in the background. While I sort of doubt the authenticity of Dan McGuinness, I still enjoyed myself and so did Hubby. Which in the end, I guess that’s all that matters.

The Kettle Question

I’m a coffee addict. I get up every morning, turn on the coffee pot, and sip my two cups. My mother, on the other hand, is a tea junky. If I ever want to show her I care about her, I could just go make her a cup of tea and she would be thrilled. She taught me how to make tea at a young age. Get out a cup. Drop in the tea bag and fill with water. Microwave for 90 seconds.

I think I may have just heard gasps from across the pond.

I remember reading a post from one of my students last year who was studying in the U.K. She had put her tea cup in the microwave and all of her British roommates looked at her like she had a second head. They could not believe she was not using a kettle. On the other side, Andy from Milk and Whisky faced a dilemma when he first arrived in the U.S. and discovered Walmart does not sell electric kettles.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that the choice between using the microwave or the kettle is a reflection of our cultures. As Americans, using a microwave is an indication of our values of ingenuity and efficiency. While for the Brits, the kettle is a symbol of quality and tradition. I’m sure both sides would argue which way is better, but in the end, I think I each society will choose the way that reflects what is important to them.

For me, who is attempting to be global from home, I’ve decided to start using the kettle. I tried it for the first time about a week ago and was so excited to hear it whistle when it was ready. Although it took a while longer, I have to say it was a delicious cup of tea.

What do you use? Microwave or kettle?

C is for Columbian Cookies

Well, I had another baking flop today. Not that the cookies I made were bad, but after I made them I realized just how un-authentic they were. I was attempting to make a dark sugar cookie hailing from western Columbia. But I failed to spend the time researching like I should have, and instead just went with the first recipe I found. I should have known better when I saw that recipe was from Pilsbury. (How much more American can you get?) Here is the recipe I used.

After I made them, I started researching. (I know, shame on me.) First I found out that I should not be using dark brown cane sugar but rather panela, a solid sugar cane substance that is then grated into the recipe. Second, the recipe called the cookies “cucas” but according to the Word Reference Forum and Local Spanish, cuca is a dirty word in Columbia. Eek!

It just goes to show that research is important and the internet is not always correct. But regardless, the cookies were pretty good if you’re looking for something a bit different and on the line of a Columbian cookie.

I don’t think the icing is authentic either but I figured I’d add it any way. Who doesn’t like a little extra icing, right?

Cookie, cookie, cookie starts with C.