#118: Haiti

Sa fe lon temps nou pa we!

That’s Haitian Creole for “Long time, no see!” — and we couldn’t mean it more sincerely here in Brovskyland🙂 We have genuinely missed you all. As the fall gears up, we have had some pretty busy weekends around these parts. Happy to report that it’s starting to settle in and we are off to the races for the holiday season. I’m not going to lie, for some reason, this week started to feel like the first real week of autumn and boy, did that get my feels right in the feels, if you know what I mean! ((Additionally, happy anniversaries are in order for the Sewczak’s, Allen’s and Meyer’s❤ all of whom celebrated their marriages in the the last week! If fall wasn’t in the air, it might be easy to say that love certainly is))

THE DINNER: Haitian Shrimp in Creole Sauce (Kribich An Sos) is a common dish for this stop on AW195S’s island nation. The ingredients in the dish vary from village to village, but luckily there is continuity in the base and it’s pairing is consistent with rice, plantains or corn meal (a lot like fufu from our African nations). I have also seen it paired with grits, but that might be an American South corruption so don’t take me at that one. Guys, this one is NINE ingredients– which on the heels of our curry adventure last week in Sudan it’s a welcome sight. Not to mention, one of those nine is a scotch bonnet. I’m one happy spice girl on that front.

Kribich an sos (Haitian Creole Shrimp) Recipe: http://haitiancooking.com/recipe/haitian-shrimp-kribich-nan-sos/



Ease of prep and cooking: ONE STAR out of five this meal!
So easy! Like I mentioned above, there were nine ingredients and only one spice. It was a piece of cake to put this one together after soccer this Sunday. The timing of the meal worked out perfectly, which we commented was a very infrequent sight for AW195S. All in all, the hardest thing you got on this one was the chopping. Along those lines, it should be mentioned that we could not come by the scotch bonnets– but we substituted habeneros (which for those unaware, are the same tier on the scoville scale).

Best dish of all time scale: FIVE STARS out of five for Meal!!
This girl is on fireeeeee! Alright, Alicia Keys, we get it. But real talk; this one was a five star, five alarm fire! It was so yummy, so please don’t panic. I’m a huge fan of the spice– this one got MY nose running! I mentioned that this was the first dish in a long long long while where I didn’t pour on the hot sauce following my initial tastings. All that being said, it was spicy but in a peppery way. It was not overwhelmingly spicy, but it was not for everyone. Even my dad, who can’t handle the heat gave this one a four– so the taste was there. The chili powder and the prawns. THE PRAWNS❤ those babies were tiger prawns and their sweet meat really played nicely with the tomato sauce. It was a win, win this week for Haiti.

Easy like a Sunday morning — or in this case afternoon — we can pick up #119 with Taiwan!! Rumor has it from the recipe pull I conducted that it will be another spicy one in the Mile High City😉 Prepare yourselves accordingly.

Cheers, Dears!!
– L & K

#117: Sudan

Cheers to GABF week!

When we were coming back from our attack on the Western Slope, the gal pals and I were remarking how the leaves were already changing. Now a few weeks removed from our Indian Summer annual girl’s weekend, it’s so much more brisk. There’s snap in the air and ginger in my snaps… COOKIES! Not to mention, the fact that we are ankle deep in October already. It’s totally astonishing. Time really does fly when you are having fun😉 Since we last saw you guys on AW195S, it’s been organized chaos in Brovskyland (color you surprised, I know) what with family reunions, friends moving into their first homes and soccer in full swing. This past week was the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) here in the Mile High City… and man, if that isn’t a week of Christmas in October, I don’t know what is! Like I said– Organized chaos!!

THE DINNER: We headed back to Africa this week to hit up Sudan. Now, logistically, I know very little about Sudanese culture and obviously food. From looking at a map of the continent, I can extrapolate that there is probably very little seafood, as they are land locked. Additionally it’s a large country, so I can also extrapolate that they have many regional transitions to their common meals.

We picked Karedok for our recipe originally- for those unfamiliar, to which I belong in part, this is a staple light meal fare in Sudan and several surrounding nations. It’s a raw veggie salad of sorts with a peanut dressing. It’s got other names when it’s cooked/boiled –> Gado-Gado is what it goes by when that’s the case. Karedok is widely served as DAILY food in the Sundanese family, usually eaten with hot rice, tofu, tempeh (which is still tofu, let’s be honest here…) and krupuk (The Google gods report that these are like shrimp crackers). This is literally the potato salad or side salad equivalent of the Sudanese people. So After doing this research, we were disenchanted with the whole idea of making a “potato” salad, and thus we switched gears. OMAHA!  Zighny is the Sudanese version of Ethiopian curry. It’s aromatic and deeply red. This was to be our new adventure. Zighny!

Zighny Recipe: http://mongoliankitchen.com/zighny-ethiopian-curry/




Ease of prep and cooking: TWO STARS out of five this meal!
This one was just a lot of spices. Shocking, I know. Kris– Curry? Spices? What madness are you talking about!? Okay, Captain Sarcasm, I get it. But honestly, it was a lot of measuring and adding at the correct times. It’s not a “set it and forget it” sort of meal. So, for that, we give it a two. It’s this incremental nature of curry that makes it tricky. Additionally, coming in on curry paste at your local grocers, you’re gonna wanna look near the Thai food items. Trust us on this one.

Best dish of all time scale: FOUR STARS out of five for Meal!!
Lovely tomato-y (not a word, but you’ll agree it should be) and onion based notes on this curry. Typically curry makes whatever meat that is stewing in it, so very moist and tender– which was exactly the case here. Chicken shined on the center of the dish. The most pleasant surprise was the eggs. Now, as you know, breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. Eggs are seriously a wonderful addition to any and all dishes, it was just unexpected in a curry but non the less delightful. The coriander was a little overpowering, but certainly upped the complexity. Not too shabby, Sudan!

That will bring us to #118!! To which end we have engaged the culinary services of the island nation of Haiti! 

Enjoy those PSLs like it’s your job😉
– L & K

#116: Uganda

And the Broncos are off!
This weekend in Brovskyland we were able to cheer on our Boys of Fall to a resoundingly exciting victory over the Panthers in the Thursday night football official season opener. It was a tight one point “W” for the Mile High Heros– but rest assured, with a little baby QB and the loss of a huge leader in PFM, it was not expected and we were actually the underdogs (even though we beat Carolina for the Super Bowl only months ago). So proud of my state in so many ways: Colorado sunsets are unparalleled, Fresh mountain air, friendliest people you’ll meet in a big city, great food, innovative ecology and world class sports. Having spent my weekend on my annual Girls Trip to Palisade with the loves of my life drinking wine and laughing way too much, Mom and Dad took off to have some Ugandan food for our 116th meal on this journey.

THE DINNER: I’m dubbing this recipe Sseko Ugandan Beans and Rice because of the owner of the recipe and their story about eating this particular meal 2-3 times daily while working at Sseko Workshop in the country… so I feel like this should bare that name in honor of that. This is basically what it sounds like though– it’s an open book recipe: Bean. and. Rice. Apart from what you’d expect, protein in the form of legumes is pretty big in many nations outside the Colonies and speaking as a partial (but very naughty) pseudo vegetarian, ALL hail the beans and rice. It’s filling and satisfying and economical. What’s not to love? What makes this one different though, you may ask. Well, I think it’s the Marsala and eggplant. Not a typical combo but wholly enjoyable from a creativity and textural eating viewpoint.

Sseko Ugandan Beans & Rice Recipe: http://blog.ssekodesigns.com/sseko-recipe-spotlight-ugandan-beans-and-rice/




Ease of prep and cooking: ONE STARS out of five this meal!
It was one of those set it and forget it, as far as I heard from the troops on the ground. I watched in amazement as I dropped off a bottle of wine for my parents upon my return from Girls Weekend and saw my mom’s new pressure cooker making short work of the beans. Damn, I love technology. All the ingredients are local market available and there were no conversions or translations needed to hit this one home.

Best dish of all time scale: FOUR STARS out of five for Meal!!
The report from ground control on this one was that it actually had a little kick back to it! I guess the masala was a great little helper with the flavor profile– which absolutely isn’t surprising at all. At the end of the day, four stars for “just beans and rice” seems incredibly generous to a foodie like me, so this really must have been lovely. Additionally, coming from my dad who is all over a meat-and-potatoes sort of dude this seems extremely promising. Let’s hear it for Uganda!

As we venture off into the first week of Autumn (officially) and PSL drifts through the air, we can also venture off to #117 which will be Sudan. Not sure what Sudanese food is like, but I’m intrigued by what I am finding in my weekly research.

– L & K

#115: Panama

Model citizen zero discipline…

Don’t you know she’s coming home with me? / You’ll lose her in the turn / I’ll get her! / Panama, Panama / Panama, Panama… I hope you’re life revolves around music the way Brovskyland does!! This week found us dreaming of Panama and working for the weekend. I could go on with these references, but its really been a hard day’s night😉 okay, that was the last one, I swear!! But man, I love the line in this Van Halen song that sparked this week’s country pick: “model citizen, zero discipline”– because ain’t that just the way?!

THE DINNER: Rock on, son. We took our sojourn to #114‘s neighbor, Panama for some more Central American food lovin’. We hadn’t done a drink since we hit up Ireland for some whiskey, so we picked the national sweet corn drink of choice for the Panamanians “Chicheme”.  It’s a drink that’s also a meal… think of it like a Panamanian version of the meal replacement shake😉 but better. Traditionally, it’s made from milk, sweet corn or cornmeal, cinnamon, and vanilla, and often also water. It’s served cold and beloved by many– much like it’s Mexican cousin horchata.We got super distracted though by the yucca at the super market and like the great PFM called an audible “OMAHA!” and picked the Mojo Yucca breakfast option. This is like home fries– but it’s cactus instead of potato! It’s traditionally served with chorizo and avocado but sometimes with rice or maize bread.

Yucca Mojo Recipe: http://www.cocinerita.com/yuca-mojo/




Ease of prep and cooking: ONE STARS out of five this meal!
It was basically just a fry up (and maybe I’ve been watching too much BBC these days to call it that). We got all the ingredients from our local down the street and even scored some Colorado Proud chorizo to boot! The whole thing was really easy.

Best dish of all time scale: FIVE STARS out of five for Meal!!
So, to be fair, the real score given was “ten” but that messes up my scale. So needless to write more, but this was awesome. Something strange and unexpected happens to cilantro when fried– it actually tastes like parsley. Additionally some hot sauce was added because after all, we are who we are. Brilliant introduction to yucca, by the way. That baby is a bitch to peel but boy did it come through in the end! He who wrestles the yucca, wins all.

So…  #116!! That puts us in Uganda for the weekend of Labor Day! Can’t wait to see what they have in store for us. I can already tell you there are no pop or Van Halen songs that are about Uganda. So that’s already sort of sad😉

To keep with the Van Halen vibe:
Living at a pace that kills / Runnin’ with the devil!
– L & K

#114: Nicaragua

How was that taste of fall, Colorado?

I’m not sure if you guys were around this weekend in the Centennial state, or if this blog catches you in another time zone, hemisphere or place– but the big CO got a taste of the fall weather Friday and Saturday… I mean, snow in the high country?! IT’S AUGUST. Rest easy though, the 80’s and 90’s are back and it was only a little snip it of autumn to wet our appetite for pumpkin spice everything and football. I’m sure we can all wait a little longer for that to happen officially, but it was a nice reminder to soak it in while we can. To paraphrase Game of Thrones: Autumn is coming.

THE DINNER: We hung out in Central America this weekend to enjoy what Nicaragua had to offer us– which was fish tacos, if you’re late to the party. Nicaraguan-style Repochetas  which are Quesadilla-Tacos. YES. HEAVEN is a place on earth. A quesadilla-taco hybrid? With this bitchin’ cabbage slaw from white wine vinegar? With grilled prawns?! Mouth watering yet? Yeah… It was just as good as you’d imagine. This is typical street food fare in the country, and you can see why immediately. It’s a grab an go meal that is the hybrid love child of two dearly adored comfort foods.

Now this particular recipe below does not have protein in it. We actually too a liberty there. Forgive us, but you’ll thank me for that one. The country has so many good fish and shrimp taco recipes that we meshed them into this dish. For the shrimp, we simply threw a small amount of fajita seasoning on them and grilled those bad boys up. It wasn’t a huge leap culinary wise, but made for a more sustainable and filling meal in the long run.

Repochetas Recipe: http://www.bitchincamero.com/2010/09/nicaraguan-style-repochetas-quesadilla-tacos/



Ease of prep and cooking: TWO STARS out of five this meal!
It was actually sort of hard to rate this week on a scale for difficulty. I mean, maybe I’ve been watching too much Olympics, but the elements of toughness were so varied. I mean, there was grilling of corn tortillas… which for anyone who has done this is deceptively tricky. Too short and they’re sort of gummy and too long and BOOM you’re having tostadas. So. To add to that, it was not JUST the tortillas but they were quesadillas. So the cheese dripping element came into play. The remainder of the meal was cake. Just making some slaw and assembly when you pass the shrimp grilling.

Best dish of all time scale: FIVE STARS out of five for Meal!!
Well, shoot, guys. This was just about the easiest five star we have come across in a while. We barely began eating when then “five” started getting thrown down with emphasis. So, all the elements came together and were just good. You start with good things and when you throw them together in a quesadilla shell of melted cheese, you can’t NOT love  the end product. So, the crema was really lovely. The slaw was bitter from the vinegar, but the sweetness of the seafood and the sour cream style creama cut it. We threw some hot sauce on them, and they would have been super amazing with avocado in place of the shrimp for a veggie version… or with the shrimp, because who are we kidding, we live only once.

So… in the words of my mother, “we should head to Panama next week so we can sing Van Halen’s Panama?!” ❤ so with that, I think two things– my mom is probably WAY COOLER than yours and we will be in Panama for #115!!

Oh, and Happy Anniversary, B + B Tileston!
– L & K

#113: Lithuania


Well, here we are– Olympics underway! America is kicking ass and taking names (unless you’re the USWNT… then you’re down and out). I think it’s the best to see how everyone gets into the spirit of the games, even people who aren’t innately competitive find themselves screaming and jumping when Phelps takes ANOTHER gold or watching in awe as Bolt lives up to his name and makes it look so easy to shatter records. It makes me wish that we didn’t have to wait every four years to feel this kind of national pride. I guess we will have to settle for the winter games next😉

THE DINNER: To the matter at hand, we picked Lithuania to tackle this week on AW195S! Whenever we hit up an Eastern European country, it’s any wonder that my whole family doesn’t just do cartwheels and jump for joy. It’s in our heritage and blood, but also… sour cream!? WHO CAN’T get on board with that!? and also cabbage and pork. Those are ALL givens whenever we are in that part of the world. So, with all that on the docket, I set out on my weekly sojourn to find a recipe that reflected the nation at hand… and came across this gem: http://matadornetwork.com/life/9-things-lithanians-explain-foreigners/?single=1 which is “9 things Lithuanians have to explain to foreigners”.

Entertaining read to say the least! This is one foreigner that actually learned quite a few things in reading that, particularly the last names bit. Had no clue, but also it makes for a little confusion I would imagine. As a foodie, I also was fascinated with the 12 meals at Christmas dinner! And as much as they love potatoes- we had those last week in Mali so we took a break and went for the cabbage rolls. Balandeliai as the natives call them are literally meat-rice-onion-bellpepper stuffed cabbage leaves that are then egg-rolled (yes, I made that word up) into a tomato sauce that then gets sour creamed. Lord, have mercy.

Lithuanian Cabbage Rolls (Balandeliai) Recipe:  http://www.10thkitchen.com/2012/03/lithuanian-cabbage-rolls-balandeliai/



Ease of prep and cooking: TWO STARS out of five this meal!
Okay. To be real with you guys, which we always are, we have been dancing around making these for a while now. We were scared. We were nervous. We were intimidated. THEY WERE EASY! The hardest part was the rolling, but even then, it was just so ridiculously simple that we almost feel silly for being such culinary chickens (See what I did there?? Chicken? haha, no it was pork. But you dig that I’m kicking). Regardless, the ingredients were handy and there were no translations or conversions. SCORE.

Best dish of all time scale: FIVE STARS out of five for Meal!!
Uh-Mazing. Simple ingredients– in fact, there were only two spices in addition to the obligatory salt and pepper: Garlic and bay leaves. That was all she wrote! And yet, it was so flavorful. I loved the cabbage/tomato/sour cream sauce… I might have eaten that with a spoon by itself and called it bisque. But honestly, it was simple and good and hearty. All the wonderful components of comfort food and Sunday cooking were there. We unanimously gave this one five stars– even from our tough Russian judge (my dad) who devoured four of these.

Where in the big wide world will #114 take us for our next country?? Central America for some time in Nicaragua!!

Keep on, Keeping on!
– L & K

#112: Senegal

Welcome to part two!

After a Saturday of mud volleyball and Colorado sunshine, it was time for some R & R at the brovskyland castle. Contrary to appearances, I am such a fangirl for lazy weekend days; particularly Sundays. Something about rolling out of bed, throwing on sweats that might as well be pajamas still, taking all day to sip my coffee, hanging out with my mom and dad, cuddles with the dog, maybe a run (maybe not. lol) and then the food! I think it’s only improved upon when there’s football involved, so let’s call it nearly perfect by that mark. Ahhhh, Monday’s are not so bad when you’ve recharged your battery this way. I’m beyond blessed. I don’t care if that sounds cliche.

THE DINNER: Continuing with our African adventure this weekend, we hung out in Somali today. It was actually a great day to sit about and cook! This one was pretty involved as far as ingredients. It was not a hard list to tackle, but it was long. For Senegal, we picked a rice and fish dish that was what my mother was calling “a one pot wonder” in a dutch oven. This super hearty dish is actually the national dish of Senegal, this boldly flavored combination of fish, rice, and vegetables simmered in tomato sauce. It’s stuffed fish and rice with veggies– what’s not to love. It’s called Thiéboudienne.

Thiéboudienne Recipe: http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Senegal-Fish-Rice



Ease of prep and cooking: FIVE STARS out of five this meal!
Don’t be scared! It’s difficult. I’m not going to sugar coat that– but it was not horrific. You have to chop a whole lot of veggies. You have to stuff and tie fish fillets. You have to make the stuffing for those fillets. You have to make sure the rice doesn’t boil dry (might be altitude specific problem #5280issues) but in all honesty, it was just time consuming and not hard. It was a meal we worked for though. No strange issues– save the problem with the yucca substitute and we had to sub the tamarind.

Best dish of all time scale: THREE and 3/4 STARS out of five for Meal!!
It was good!  At the time, we couldn’t really place why it wasn’t amazing… but upon a few days reflection it was decided that it was just a little blah. It was maybe bland? But it was not as flavorful as we wanted or expected. It was a hard followup to the super flavor-packed meal in Mali yesterday. That’s for sure. I loved the eggplant though and the fish was lovely. All in all incredibly hearty as promised (and also this recipe feeds a small village army, so be aware of left overs on this one. We might have quartered this recipe should we attempt again).

See you for lucky #113 on AW195S next weekend as we welcome back football Sundays with NFL preseason openers!!

– L & K