#189: Sierra Leone

confession: still trying to not listen to Christmas music… and if I’m confessing that, I should just go ahead and confess that I possibly already did listen to some Christmas music on Monday. But in my defense, it was snowing a few weeks ago and it just felt like the true and right thing to partake in. SO YES, I AM A TERRIBLE HUMAN. But no, I don’t feel bad about it. It was a single day to get it out of my system…. and isn’t that what they say is healthy? Indulge a little here and there so you’re no binge-ing (and in this case it looks like putting up your decorations before the turkey gets center stage). So really, I did a huge favor to society. You’re all so damn welcome 😉

So now I will watch some scary movies and get in the spooky mood for Halloween tomorrow ❤

THE DINNER: It was all fun and games this weekend… in that J and D came over for game night Friday and then we played some soccer and watched some football on Sunday. It was a tad more seasonal than last weekend, weather wise, so thank our luck dog paws for that.  For Sierra Leone, we picked this luscious stewed chicken situation.

Sierra Leone Chicken Stew Recipe: https://www.africanbites.com/chicken-stew-african-style/

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OVERALL COUNTRY SCORE:

Ease of prep and cooking: 2 STARS out of 5 STARS for this meal!
This was a tricky one to judge for difficulty. It wasn’t hard but L did have me helping cut veggies and take pictures this weekend– so solo it might range to a 3 star. More or less everything goes into the pot and stews till it’s falling apart. It wasn’t hard on the back end of the execution.

Best dish of all time scale: 5 STARS out of 5 for this meal!! 
Another five star meal here. It was just THAT good. It has all the elements one might want and to be 100% honest, we ate it all and were so damn stuffed but it was hearty and warm and soccer was cold and hard. So I’m not sure we feel badly about eating it all. Monstrous portions (but we halved it and it was still a whole lot). There was a metric shit ton of onion to this one- and topped with green onion at the end. The carrots were lovely but really the star of this show was the rice soaked in all the saucy goodness. The oil and drippings from the chicken with the rice stopped the presses and the show. What a great meal for a chilly Sunday in the Rockies.

For #190 we head to Kiribati for some cuisine and family time.

Trick or Treat Yo Self, 
– L & K

#188: Belgium

It was nice to have a weekend of pretty much nothing for a change. Still did some packing and unpacking but overall it was just soccer, football and cooking with mom. The weather was pretty supportive of this agenda and my body needed the extra sleep after the last couple weeks found me burning it down at both ends of the stick. It was a quiet one around here… easy like a Sunday morning.

THE DINNER: Belgium is most famous for it’s junk food. Read: Beer, fries and chocolate. Some fun facts about Belgium? You know i’m always game for some useless trivia!

  • Technically called “The Kingdom of Belgium” as it’s official name. Still to this day.
  • Brussels comes in tied with DC for the most amount of diplomats and foreign press correspondents in the world
  • Most castles per square kilometer in the world
  • Brussels’ airport sells the most chocolate of anyplace in the world (yes, that includes Hershey, PA)
  • in 1990 the king of Belgium was dethroned for 36 hours so that parliament could pass a law he was opposed to. They signed it and then put him back on the thrown.
  • Had the first openly gay PM
  • Belgians invented fries…. so that’s really the note we should end on here.

We picked Boulets Liegeois. Which by my last note you might extrapolate that it’s meatballs in apple and onion gravy served poutine style over FRIES. This is one of the most beloved and popular dishes in the country and should make for some comfort food coupled with the chilly Colorado weather.

Boulets Liegeois Recipe: https://cookingwithcurls.com/2014/10/13/boulets-liegeois/

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OVERALL COUNTRY SCORE:

Ease of prep and cooking: 3 STARS out of 5 STARS for this meal!
This one wasn’t “hard” per say, but it wasn’t easy, you dig? It was a lot of assembly and it was probably a good thing that L had an extra set of hands on deck for the process. The ingredient list was cake– and apple butter is sold by the pound.

Best dish of all time scale: 5 STARS out of 5 for this meal!! 
A solid FIVE sparkly ones on this week’s board, ya’ll. Freezing cold soccer was happily followed by yummy meatballs. The most beautiful thing happened when apple butter met pork drippings and onions…. the gravy this gave birth to was spectacular. I mean, the meat itself was delicious (and kudos to the exponential use of onion up in here, people) but this gravy situation would have tasted good on a phone book. The meatballs were so filling and comforting– they called for “half cup” meatballs, but we used 1/3 cup and they were still enormous. Despite the chow down, we managed to salvage some leftovers for Ned when he returned from camping.

#189 throws us into the land of Sierra Leone!!

Trying not to listen to Christmas music yet, 
– L & K

#187: Ghana

Which countries are left!? I thought long and hard about whether to let the suspense kill you or dish on the remaining. I settled on dishing, because I am just as stoked as you all are, who am I kidding? So drum roll pleaseeee (in alphabetical order): Austria, Belgium, Gambia, Grenada, Kiribati, Sierra Leone, Suriname and Solomon Islands. There’s your final 8 countries AW195S followers! When asked how we pick each week, generally it’s a point at the map scenario– though occasionally it has to do with what area of the world we haven’t been to in a little while.  Even more occasionally, it’s when something is happening in that country in the media or sports. So there’s the magic equation that allows us to pick each week from several hundred countries… it boils down to our gut letting us know what she wants to eat.

THE DINNER: Ned and I moved this weekend into a house!! We are both so excited and it was pretty painless all around. Can I get an AMEN!? While that was underway, mom and dad took to the kitchen for Ghana. Mom made Red-Red which are stewed black-eyed peas. These affordable and hearty lil guys are just what the doctor ordered for nutrition and ease. This Red-Red stew can be a side dish with meat or take center stage. The Mama Bear chose to pair this super star with some crawfish (crawdads, crayfish– whatever you heart desires).

Red-Red (AKA: Stewed Black-Eyed Peas) Recipe: https://www.africanbites.com/red-redafrican-stewed-black-eyed-peas/ 

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OVERALL COUNTRY SCORE:

Ease of prep and cooking: 2 STARS out of 5 STARS for this meal!
This was easy peezy. Nothing was converted or translated. The ingredient list was a dream. The crawfish were doubled and added though optional.

Best dish of all time scale: 4.5 STARS out of 5 for this meal!! 
All around it was like having red bean chili almost. It was a cold day and the weather was perfect for a hearty stew. Those darling little crawfish were sourced at a local place in Wheat Ridge named Edward’s Meats (see our 153rd post on Dominica for the last time we were there grabbing frog legs). Welcome to Colorado fall, everyone, it’s time for chili! This almost tasted Cajun in it’s flavors but wasn’t “burn the house down” spicy.

#188 will find us spending the first Sunday in October in Belgium!! N is camping with his dad this weekend, so that means it’s some mom and Kris time in the brovskyland!! 🙂 No traces of Indian Summer here, buckle up for rain and 30’s overnight on Sunday this week

Singing along to some Tom Petty, 
– L & K