When I read Beccy's post yesterday, it immediately triggered a memory from my college years--well, my second round of college years. I had originally gone to college right after high school, but in my sophomore year, it was required that we declare a major, and I had NO idea what I wanted to focus on as my major. So, rather settle for 'whatever,' I left school, and didn't return until I returned to that same college town with my two young children, to work and to finish my degree. That small college town was home to many international students, and over the course of our time there, several of these students came into our home, some to share the living space for a while, some just to visit and share some home cooked meals. Some of them also introduced us to some of their favorite foods from back home, and one of the favorites that we have carried with us is Mandazi, an East African fried dough.  I remember standing with Patrick, a student from Kenya, in my small apartment kitchen as he walked me through the recipe from beginning to end. He and his wife and children, along with me, my children and a few others, happily munched through the evening on this fast and frugal treat from his home. I've made these several times over the years since then, and one of the wonderful things about them is their flexibility--they can be a breakfast bread, a snack, and even as a dinner bread made with less sugar and without the confectioners sugar topping. Since I had not made them … {Read on...}

Dabo Kolo


The boys and I are members of a homeschooling co-operative group in the area.  I peel the baby off of my leg, then teach a baking class to the teens, and assist in an "American Political System" class.  The boys take World Geography, Physical Education, Hands-on Science, International Cooking and Exploring the World through Art.   They're always excited to tell me what they've learned in their classes when we meet up again at the end of the day.  They've been especially proud of sharing their recipes with me from the international cooking class.  The teacher in there told me that Ty actually ate coconut, grapes and strawberries.  Oh heck yes!  I don't care who gets my son to eat fruit.  I'll take it.  Thank you Ms. Kathy!   This week, the boys brought me the recipe for what they made with Ms. Kathy along with a sample.  Dabo Kolo.  Have the rest of you tried this before?  Am I the only one who hadn't eaten this Ethiopian specialty before today?  They're crispy little fried bread snacks that have just enough spice to make them seriously addictive.  I glanced over the recipe and realized that not only was it delicious, but it was also incredibly easy.  We ran home to make a bigger batch.  Let's be honest.  I'm good at sharing, but I wanted to eat a pile of Dabo Kolo by myself, so, comme d'habitude, we doubled the recipe.    The boys set right to work showing me their impressive kitchen skills.  They scooped and levelled the flour, levelled the spoons of … {Read on...}

Time for a Cuppa?


We have had a couple of cold, sleety, rainy, dreary days here recently, and I know Rebecca's working hard at getting the site in order and could probably use a little warm comfort herself, so I thought I'd throw in a good word for one of our favorite go-to's at times like these--hot brewed black tea, with some sugar and cream, please! I also thought I would take this occasion to mention a couple of my favorite places--a place where I have purchased a good amount of tea and all the fun things that go with it, as well as a small pottery, both places in Pennsylvania where we lived before moving to Michigan.   First, the tea--I've spent many happy hours at a small coffee and tea shop in Camp Hill PA, by the name of "One Good Woman." Owned and operated by Holly O'Connor, this is a small business that started out very small, literally from the back of her Jeep, and has grown into a lovely shop that sells coffees, teas, gourmet food items, tea and coffee wares of various kinds, and now offers mail order service, which means I can still get my favorite teas even though we are 900 miles apart! Some favorites: I remember a plum tea I especially enjoyed, and a green tea with mango, tea with coconut, an herbal tea by the name of Once Upon a Tea--a wonderful combination of tea, chocolate, mint, orange and spice--to die for! English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast, and always, ALWAYS, my Earl Grey.   Just walking into Holly's shop was a joy--the smell of the coffees and teas mixing … {Read on...}

Stick with us… We’re getting there…

Okie dokie.  Let's call what's up on the blog now a sneak preview.  Of what?  I couldn't say exactly...  It sort of depends on how many brain cells I have left after banging my head against the wall for hours on end trying to learn this dratted code and css gobbledygook.  Bear with us.   Back to food tomorrow! … {Read on...}

F.R.U.S.T.R.A.T.I.O.N. Technology style!

Okie dokie.  We have what you might call a bit of a problem.  A technological problem.  This blog 'make-over' is temporary only.  Hopefully we'll have our little code issue resolved by tomorrow.  In the meantime, enjoy our new and transient zen look.   Rebecca and Val … {Read on...}