Week 8: Belgium

Stroopwafels warming over coffee
Stroopwafels warming over coffee

Originally we were going to skip this Sunday, being the Sunday before Thanksgiving, but we had been on a roll. The night before we celebrated “Friendsgiving” with a little bowling and dinner at Tommy’s Joynt. So we decided to roll the fun into a Brunch! Brunch = waffles = Belgium. Easy. Done. Everyone meet at 10AM. Continue reading

Advertisements

Week 7: Sweden

Swedish treats
Swedish treats

Sweden was to-date my most fun country to research. My first real introduction to the Swedish culture was in college through one of my favorite families, the Brevicks. The Brevicks are a farm-raised, 7 children family, all blonde, all towering over me by at least a foot, and as nice as they come. I was fortunate enough to go to college with four of them and watch the other three grow taller and kinder as they aged. My “domesticated” education really began with the Brevicks, with Karin teaching me how to bake apple pies from scratch. The best part of fall for me were the days laying in their hammock, eating the leftover crust that we’d bake with cinnamon and sugar, while the sun was setting over the Palouse. Continue reading

Week 6: France

French Baguettes
French Baguettes

Go big or Go home. That was our attitude towards taking on our next country- France. We had been putting off France for a while because we really wanted to dedicate all our efforts towards it. So when we found a whole weekend free, the challenge was on. Sergio began studying Julia Child’s The Art of French Cooking and Ashley asked for our menu in advance. She printed out individual menus and perused her local wine store for the perfect pairings. My preparation began on Friday when I took on the challenge of making my first soufflé. Continue reading

Week 5: Greece

Fresh Salad!
Fresh Salad!

After four Sundays in a row of a LOT of food including pasta, a meal of entirely fried food, cheese on cheese on cheese, and several alcoholic beverages, I was ready for some salad. So for our fifth meal we chose a country known for their love of fresh ingredients, vast use of spices and vegetables and Goddess-like bodies, Greece!  Our guest of honor was also vegetarian so I was looking forward to a meal that was finally healthy. Or so I thought… Continue reading

Week 4: Ireland

Beer Floats
Beer Floats

Although I didn’t grow up over celebrating all things Irish, my parents gifted me with an unmistakably Irish name- Kelly O’Brien. Everywhere I went my friends parents and grandparents would ask in various accents “are ye Irish?”. I loved it. It gave me a connection to my ancestors and an identity that I was proud of. For the holiest of Irish holiday’s, St Patrick’s Day, my dad used to cook Corned Beef and Cabbage. He didn’t cook it every year, but he did cook it often enough to know it’s not my favorite Irish dish. When we set out to cook traditional Irish food I knew I wanted to go with the dish that is comforting, uncomplicated, and family style; Shepard’s Pie. Continue reading

Week 3: England

Grease fest
Grease fest

“Oh shoot 1 gallon of frying oil isn’t enough to do this right. Do you think you guys can get another gallon of plain old vegetable oil?” -Sergio

OH YES, yes we can. Week 3 and we’re on to England where I hear the food usually comes in one color- fried. I’m going to realllly tip my hat to Sergio this week as Bill and I were driving down from Tahoe and didn’t have time to prep something ahead for dinner. BUT we were able to pick up some very important and very British sustenance- beer. Bill and I stopped in two Tahoe Breweries to fill up two different growlers. In case you are my father and don’t know what a growler is (even after showing it to him he was still confused), it is a vessel to hold the magic potion of beer. Please see picture below for clarification. California actually has had but it’s hazy, an odd law stipulating that breweries may only fill beer in a growler bearing their own logo. This leads to certain people hoarding numerous growlers in their home. I’m not naming names or anything. In Truckee, at 50/50 we found a nice, thick English style beer called Donner Party Porter. Seeing as we were about to stuff ourselves silly, I believe the name suited the occasion. Just up the road at their tasting room, we picked up a seasonal IPA from Tahoe Brewing Company. Both styles of beer originated from England. Continue reading

Week 2: Spain

Adding the final touches
Adding the final touches

For our second week we moved to Spain. Sergio was set on making a bomb Paella and I was excited to make one of my favorite dishes- Gazpacho. There are certain foods and dishes that I absolutely love and I always want others to share in that love. I understand that sometimes I get overzealous and end up sounding like I’m being paid by that food’s foundation. But hey, I love what I love. Foods that I’m particularly fond of are beets, burrata, and gazpacho. I understand these may not seem appealing to everyone at first, but I think they are life changers. Continue reading