Romania (Part 1)

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Cheese Dumplings

Romanian dumplings made from cottage cheese.

Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 500g cottage cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour (plus additional as needed)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Use a colander to strain the excess liquid from the cottage cheese, leaving just the curds behind.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the cottage cheese curds, 3 eggs, and one tablespoon of sugar.
  3. Slowly add flour, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, while stirring until the consistency of the mixture thickens enough to allow the formation of small balls. If the mixture crumbles, continue adding flour to thicken. (We used approximately 1/2 cup of flour total).
  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a gentle boil.
  5. Wet your hands and shape the cottage cheese mixture into small balls (2-3cm diameter). Drop the balls into the boiling water (they should sink to the bottom of the pot). Avoid stirring as this may break apart the balls.
  6. Boil the dumplings until they rise and float on the surface of the water. Gently scoop the dumplings out of the water and set aside.
  7. Serve with pepper to taste.

Family Ratings

  • Mama: 4/5, these are better than most traditional dumplings!
  • Papa: 3.5/5, would be even better by substituting some of the cottage cheese for more flavorful cheese (such as grated Parmesan, chunks of sharp cheddar, or crumbled blue cheese).
  • Girlie: 1/5, I really didn’t like these.
  • TW: 4/5, would be even better using different types of cheese.
  • McM: 3.5/5

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Original recipe: http://www.romanianfoodrecipes.com/recipe/cheese-dumplings-galuste-cu-branza

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Kitchen Map

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We use this blog to keep track of our worldwide recipe progress. We also use a large wall map in our kitchen to track our progress. Each week after dinner, our kids locate the new country on the map. This is a great way to discuss geography as a family and it helps the kids become more familiar with interpreting maps! As you can see, they have also decorated the map with their artwork.

Finland (Part 2)

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Punajuuripihvit

Finnish beet steaks.   

Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 400ml cans sliced beets, drained
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • fresh parsley (for garnish)

Directions

  1. Dip beets in beaten egg. Coat with breadcrumbs.
  2. In a skillet, melt better over medium-low heat. Saute beet slices, turning once to brown each side (3 minutes per side).
  3. Place on serving platter, sprinkle with lemon juice, and garnish with parsley.

Family Ratings

  • Mama: 3.5/5
  • Papa: 3.5/5
  • Girlie: 3/5
  • TW: 3.5
  • McM: 3.5/5, great way to serve beets, but would be even better with fresh garden beets (baked and sliced) instead of canned beets!
  • AC: 3/5

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Original recipe:  http://www.food.com/recipe/punajuuripihvit-finnish-beet-steaks-373374

Finland (Part 1)

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Porkkanasosekeitto

Finnish cream of carrot soup.   

Total time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 500g carrots, peeled, sliced into 1cm rounds
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons brandy
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups 1% milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
  • nutmeg (for garnish)

Directions

  • Combine beef broth and brandy in a small pot and bring to boil. Add carrots and simmer, covered, until carrots are tender (about 20-25 min).
  • Mash the carrots in the broth. Set aside.
  • Heat the butter in a large pot. Add the flour and stir until blended.
  • Gradually add the milk to the pot, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil, then simmer (3-5 minutes).
  • Add the mashed carrots, broth mixture, and sugar to the boiling milk. Stir thoroughly.
  • Serve. Garnish each serving with parsley and a dash of nutmeg.

Family Ratings

  • Mama: 4/5
  • Papa: 4/5, a little on the sweet side but very tasty!
  • Girlie: 3/5
  • TW: 4/5, this is very sweet so I would recommend not adding sugar next time.
  • McM: 4/5, excellent soup!

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Original recipe:  http://www.food.com/recipe/cream-of-carrot-soup-porkkanasosekeitto-274678

Mexico

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Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

A healthy Mexican baked dish with quinoa and lots of vegetables.    

Total time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 2 415ml bottles of Old El Paso mild taco sauce* (see notes below)
  • 1 cup canned corn kernels, drained
  • 1 cup canned kidney beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 avocados, halved, seeded, peeled, diced
  • 3 medium tomatoes, diced
  • small tortillas and lettuce to serve* (see notes below)

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, cook quinoa according to package instructions. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375F.
  3. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, taco sauce, corn, kidney beans, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, 1 cup shredded cheddar, and 1 cup shredded mozza. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
  4. Spread quinoa mixture into a large baking dish. Top with remaining cheese.
  5. Bake in oven until the casserole is bubbly and the cheese has melted (10-15 minutes). Serve immediately.

Notes

  • The original recipe specified Old El Paso mild enchilada sauce, however this product was not available in our local grocery store. We substituted with Old El Paso mild taco sauce. Mild sauce (half the amount) or tomato sauce (increase cumin and chili powder) could also be substituted if taco sauce is not available.
  • Our kids enjoyed eating the casserole wrapped up burrito-style in small tortillas with lettuce and additional tomatoes.

Family Ratings

  • Papa: 4/5, this recipe would be even better with more spice (medium or spicy taco sauce) and substituting half of the quinoa for ground beef.
  • Girlie: 4/5, this is great burrito-style!
  • TW: 4/5,
  • McM: 4.5/5, very light and healthy recipe, I love the quinoa!

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Original recipe: http://damndelicious.net/2014/07/07/quinoa-enchilada-casserole/

Thailand (Part 2)

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Shrimp Pad Thai

Classic Thai meal with shrimp and tofu.    

Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 250g thin rice noodles
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 2 large eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt
  • 600g cooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup firm tofu, cubed
  • 5 scallions, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup bean sprouts plus additional for garnish
  • 1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts, crush, plus additional for garnish
  • 1 lime cut into wedges for garnish
  • spicy peanut satay sauce for serving
  • Sriracha hot sauce for serving

Directions

  1. Put the noodles in a medium bowl with hot water to cover. Soak until tender (30 minutes). Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the sugar, fish sauce, and vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of peanut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Pour in the beaten eggs, tilting the skillet as you pour to make a thin even coating of egg. Cook until just set (1-2 minutes). Invert the eggs onto a cutting board and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.
  4. Heat another 1 tablespoon of peanut oil over high heat in the same skillet. Add shrimp, red pepper flakes, and salt to taste. Fry until shrimp are pink (2 minutes).
  5. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons peanut oil, garlic, and shallots and cook until shallots are lightly browned (2 minutes).
  6. Add tofu and cook (2 minutes).
  7. Add noodles and cook, tossing, until lightly coated with garlic mixture (1 minute).
  8. Add fish sauce mixture and scallion pieces and heat through.
  9. Stir in cooked egg, 1 cup of sprouts, and crushed peanuts and toss until hot.
  10. Serve with additional sprouts, peanuts, and lime wedges as garnish. Add peanut sauce or Sriracha sauce to taste.

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Family Ratings

  • Mama: 4.5/5
  • Papa: 4.5/5
  • Girlie: 5/5
  • TW: 4/5,
  • McM: 4.5/5, excellent meal!
  • Kid Cairo: 5/5

Original recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/shrimp-phad-thai-recipe.html

Thailand (Part 1)

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Thai Green Curry Chicken Stew

Hearty chicken stew with green curry and coconut milk.    

Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 tablespoons green curry paste
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 400ml cans regular unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 400ml cans “lite” unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 250g thin rice noodles, broken into pieces
  • 3 medium chicken breasts, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 100g shredded carrots
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 3 scallions, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • fresh bean sprouts (for garnish)

Directions

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned (8 minutes).
  2. Add garlic and curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant (2 minutes).
  3. Add chicken broth, coconut milk, and fish sauce. Cover and bring to a boil.
  4. Add bell peppers and noodles and simmer, uncovered, until the noodles are al dente (3 minutes).
  5. Add chicken and carrots and simmer until chicken is cooked through (3-5 minutes).
  6. Stir in lime juice, cilantro, and scallions and simmer (3 minutes).
  7. Add more fish sauce and lime juice to taste. Serve with bean sprouts as garnish.

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Family Ratings

  • Mama: 5/5
  • Papa: 5/5
  • Girlie: 5/5
  • TW: 4.5/5
  • McM: 5/5, amazing! So flavorful! One of my favorite recipes so far!
  • Kid Cairo: 5/5

Original recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/thai-chicken-soup-recipe.html