Monday, October 7, 2013

Easy-Pleasy Rice

This is a regular feature of the Cuban weekday menu, perfect when you're pressed for time.  It is easy to make and a very satisfying dish.  It's also a good way to sneak some vegetables into a meal for picky eaters.

Arroz Con Salchichas

Description: A tasty, colorful, and super-easy meal to prepare on busy days.

NOTES (Before you get started): 

* The traditional recipe calls for Vienna sausages (the kind you get in the little cans) but we prefer the taste of hot dogs.  

** FOR THE MIXED VEGETABLES I put my own together using frozen peas, carrots, corn, and pearl onions.  These are all pretty essential to the dish, but if you don't have pearl onions on hand, simply chop some onions and sauté those in the pan until they are translucent and soft, prior to adding the rice.  You can also chop some red pepper and sauté that along with the onion, if you'd like.

Use a pan for which you have a lid, as you will need to keep the lid on while the rice cooks down.  If you don't have such a pan increase the liquid slightly, to adjust for evaporation, and cover the pan with a sheet of aluminium foil while it cooks down.


1. Coat the bottom of the pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. 

2. Put the rice into the hot pan and stir the rice around to coat evenly with the olive oil.  Allow the rice to cook in the oil until it turns slightly more a solid white than a translucent white.  About two minutes.

3. Toss in the sausages and stir them around with the rice for a minute, then add the two cups of liquid.  If the temperature is right, this should sizzle a bit.  If it does not, allow the water to bubble before adding the seasonings.  

4. Add turmeric and stir to distribute it evenly.  

5. Add salt and pepper as needed. 

6. Add mixed vegetables and cover with the pan lid, lower the heat down to a simmer and allow it to rest untouched for twenty minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed by the rice.

Easy Metric Conversions:

6 Hotdogs = approx. 180 grams 
4 tsp Olive Oil = 60 milliliters
1 cup long-grain rice =  185 grams
1 tsp turmeric = 2.3 grams
3 cups mixed vegetables = approx. 500 grams

Budget Factor
It's always good to know what a plate costs you to make.  Restaurants keep this in mind, why shouldn't we?  

These are only estimates for reference.  Your local ingredient costs may vary.  Currency converted at DKK5.00 to the Dollar and DKK7.50 to the Euro.

Another Great Recipe from:

Did you make it?  Did you enjoy it? Did you improve on it?  I'm eager to hear whether you found this dish as tasty as we did.  Please comment below with any remarks, critiques, or alternative suggestions you have to make this recipe even better!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

¡Olé! Encore..Spanish Savory Rustic Mash

This recipe is featured as an Encore dish for left over Rustic Mashed Potatos, but it can easily be prepared from scratch.  It is guaranteed to transport your taste buds to Toledo.

Patatas Revolconas with Scalded Eggs
Paprika & Time 2013
Description: This is a great Encore Dish for any extra you have left over from your Rustic Mashed Potatos with Caramelised Onions. Or you can easily make it from scratch.


1.  If you're going to make this as an Encore Dish and use Rustic Mashed Potatos as your base, then all you have to do to start with is chop the onions into fine pieces, and bring them to a boil them in enough water to cover, along with three of the garlic cloves and the two bay leaves.  Add a pinch of salt to the water.  Lower the temperature to medium heat and cook covered until the onions are tender and clear, the garlic is softened but not mushy, and the water is infused with the aroma of the onions, garlic, and bay leaves.  Once the onions and garlic are ready, remove them from the heat and set aside.  Keep them covered.

OR..If you are making this from scratch, cut each potato into four large chunks. (You can peel them first or brush them thoroughly with a vegetable brush and leave the skins on.) Put the potatos in the water with the onions, three garlic cloves and two bay leaves.  Add a pinch of salt and sufficient water to cover all of them, and boil as above, until the potatos are tender.  When they are done, remove the bay leaves, drain the liquid reserving one cup, and mash the potatos with the garlic using a potato masher.  Set aside.

2.  While the onions and potatos and garlic above are cooking, in a large frying pan, place enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan and sauté the remaining three cloves of garlic at medium heat.  You want them fried golden but do not allow them to brown as they will become bitter.  Once they are ready, place them in a small bowl or a small dish and set aside.

3.  In the same pan, without removing the oil, fry the strips of bacon which you have cut into slivers.  Allow them to become crispy, but not dry.  Once they are ready, set aside.  Remove any excess oil from the pan and set aside.  

4.  Take the pan off of the direct heat and place the potato mash in the pan, add 1 tsp of the paprika, 1 tsp of the smoked paprika, and ¼ tsp of the cayenne.   Blend so that the paprika mixture is evenly distributed throughout the mash.  If you are using the left over mash from a previous menu, then add the onions and garlic at the same time, and put in enough of the reserved water to warm up the potatos more quickly and make the mash moist.  Add half the crisped bacon and blend into the potato mixture.  Return the pan to the heat source and at medium heat, turn the mixture so that it continues to blend and heat up.  Once the mixture is heated through, lower the temperature of the pan to just keep warm without burning.  Sprinkle with the chopped parsley, if you have it.

5.  Add the remaining paprika to the oil you have remaining and blend thoroughly with a fork.  Set aside.  (You will probably have to blend it again before pouring as the paprika has a tendency to sink and settle.)

To scald the eggs:

6.  Boil water in a medium sized pot, enough to fill it three quarters of the way.  Pour in a good stream of vinegar, about one quarter cup, and a pinch of salt.  Bring the water just to a boil (don't let it bubble too much) and crack the eggs into the water, two at a time.  Using a slotted spoon, gather the whites around the yolk gently in a rolling motion.  Once the whites are cooked and while the yolk is still liquid inside, gently lift the eggs from the pot with a slotted spoon and place aside on a plate with a little bit of hot water on it so that the eggs won't stick to the plate.  Once you have cooked all the eggs, serve the potatos and place two eggs on top of each plate.  Alternatively, you can serve the potatos mixture onto warm plates and place the eggs directly on top of the potatos as they come out of the pot.

7.  Sprinkle the fried garlic and the remaining bacon on top of the plates and drizzle with the paprika/olive oil mixture.  I have put a lot of garlic into this recipe because we find it tasty.  If you do not, you can certainly reduce the amount of fried garlic you prepare.  Give it a chance, though.  If you fried it to just the right point, it will be a lovely salty-sweet and will add a lot to the dish.  Patatas Revolconas just aren't the same without some fried garlic.

Paprika & Time 2013

If space is limited in your kitchen, you can place the potatos in a large serving dish and place all the eggs, crisped bacon, and fried garlic on top.  Drizzle with the oil, and serve at the table so each person can serve themselves.  

Most Spanish cooking takes quick response time at the stove, and constant attention.  I recommend pre-measuring and preparing all ingredients in advance of starting the cooking process, to avoid troublesome delays.

Easy Metric Conversions:
1/3 Pounds of bacon = 150 grams of bacon
2 tsp Paprika = 4.6 grams
1/2 tsp Cayenne = 1.3 grams

Budget Factor
It's always good to know what a plate costs you to make.  Restaurants keep this in mind, why shouldn't we?  


This cost is for the recipe made from scratch.  As an Encore, the cost for the recipe is lower.

These are only estimates for reference.  Your local ingredient costs may vary.  Currency converted at DKK5.00 to the Dollar and DKK7.50 to the Euro.

Another Great Recipe from:

Did you make it?  Did you enjoy it? Did you improve on it?  I'm eager to hear whether you found this dish as tasty as we did.  Please comment below with any remarks, critiques, or alternative suggestions you have to make this recipe even better!

A Steak Dish That Is Sure To Please

Southern Style Chicken Fried Steak

Description: This is one of my favorite comfort foods. It's a relativelly easy meal to prepare and the flavor is out of this world 

Marinade the Steak for at least 40 minutes and no more than an hour prior to proceeding with the recipe.  For best results, seal steaks in a plastic freezer bag with the marinade, turn the bag to ensure all the steaks are well covered and place in fridge.  Turning the steaks over every twenty minutes helps to ensure they marinade evenly.

For the breading:

You want to crush the crackers by hand, not put them in a food processor.  This doesn't take a lot of effort and it gives you a nice mix of fine and larger bits which gives the breading a much nicer texture and crunch.  The easiest way to prepare the breading is to place the crackers inside a freezer bag, crush the crackers inside, put the dry breadcrumbs over that, followed by the flour, baking powder and seasoning.  Close the bag, crush it all together, so that you break up whatever over-large chunks remain of the crackers, then shake it all thoroughly so that it is blended.  

1. Pound the steaks vigorously with the spiked side of a mallet meat tenderiser until the steaks are about 1/4 inch thin.  Turn over as you are pounding to be sure you tenderize both sides evenly.  

2. Beat the eggs with a fork until they are thoroughly blended and they froth.  Place these in a plate that is slightly deep so that the eggs don't splash around as you coat the steak.  Pour half the Breading mixture onto another plate and distribute it evenly for coating.  Dip the flattened steaks into the egg mixture turning them to coat evenly, then place the steak on the breading mixture.  The best way to ensure an even coating is to sprinkle the top with a little bit of the reserved breading so that you can gently press down on the steak to thoroughly coat the part underneath then turn the steak over and repeat, pressing down again until all the breading is firmly incorporated into the egg.  The coating should be dry to the touch, not sticky.  If it sticks when you touch it, you need to sprinkle more of the reserved breading on top and distribute it again, pressing down gently again.  Place the breaded steak on a third plate you have set aside.  Repeat with the remaining steaks.  NOTE: You want to layer the steaks on the plate when they are breaded but you don't want them to stick after sitting, so I recommend sprinkling some breadcrumbs between the layers.  You'll find you have plenty of breading to do this, and some will remain on the breading plate when you're finished which you can sprinkle over the steaks before you refrigerate them to protect them.  I don't cover the steaks before I put them in the fridge.  I suppose you could, but I find it helps to dry and set them a little more if they are uncovered.  Chill the breaded steaks for at least ten minutes before frying.  

3. Pour oil into a frying pan large enough to hold 2 steaks at a time, and deep enough to hold the oil with enough space remaining at the top so that it doesn't spill over when the meat goes in.  A 12 inch pan should be just about right.  Turn the stove to maximum heat, and allow the oil to rise to a temperature of approximately 360 degrees Fahrenheit.  When the oil is hot, remove the steaks from the refrigerator and place in the frying pan, two at a time.  I find it is good to listen to the oil in order to know when to turn the meat.  When the steaks first go in, they should sink, froth slightly and have a low-pitched frying sound.  As they reached their done point for one side, they begin to float and the pitch of the frying sound rises slightly.  It should take 1 ½ to - 2 minutes per side.  You'll want them to be a rich golden brown.  Turn the steaks in the frying pan with tongs and then remove them to a plate which has a layer of paper towels to absorb any excess oils which remain.  You may want to keep the steaks in a warm oven (225 degrees Fahrenheit), especially if the weather is cool.  If so, be sure to place them on an oven-proof dish when they come out of the pan.

To make the gravy:

4. Whisk together milk and dry ingredients until a nice froth forms.

5. Melt butter in a 10 inch pan until it is clear and starting to bubble, but not browned.  Pour in the milk and flour seasoned mixture and whisk to blend thoroughly, cooking at a medium-high heat so that it bubbles nicely, until it thickens.  This needs constant watching as the milk in the gravy may cause the whole thing to froth over and burn.  Stay with the gravy until it is done and ready to pour.  Because the gravy can form a thin film on top, it is probably best to leave this step for very last in all your meal preparation.  In other words, have your side dishes ready with the steaks before you go to make the gravy.  You want the gravy to have a nice body and flow smoothly.  It thickens a little more as it cools.  If you reduce it too much, it might get too thick as it sits on the table.

[Purists will tell you that you should prepare this gravy by draining bulk of the frying oil, reserving about two tablespoons of drippings, and prepare the gravy in the same pan as the drippings and the cooked bits which fell to the bottom of the pan.  I like the gravy made separately with butter better, but you're welcome to try it the old fashioned way too.]  

Pour a little gravy on the steaks when you serve them, and serve the rest in a gravy dish for your diners to lavish on as they please.    

I served this with a side of Rustic Mashed Potatos with Caramelized Onions, and some simple peas and carrots.  I can't see serving Southern food without Biscuits or Corn Bread, so I chose Lazy-Day Whole Wheat Biscuits.

Easy Metric Conversions

(4) 5 ounce steaks = (4) 140 gram steaks
2 cups crackers = 100 grams
1/2 cup = 118 ml
1/4 cup = 60 ml
1 tablespoon = 15 ml
1 teaspoon = 5 ml
1/2 teaspoon = 2.5 ml
4 cups = 1 liter
1/4 inch = 2/3 centimeters
12 inch pan = 30 cm pan
10 inch pan = 26 cm pan
360 degrees Fahrenheit (for the oil) = 180 degrees Celsius
225 degrees Fahrenheit (to keep the steaks warm as you prepare gravy) = 107 degrees Celsius
4 1/2 tablespoons of butter = 63.75 grams of butter

Budget Factor 

It's always good to know what a plate costs you to make.  Restaurants keep this in mind, why shouldn't we?  

Recipe Cost


These are only estimates for reference.  Your local ingredient costs may vary.  Currency converted at DKK5.00 to the Dollar and DKK7.50 to the Euro.

Another Great Recipe from:
Did you make it?  Did you enjoy it? Did you improve on it?  I'm eager to hear whether you found this dish as tasty as we did.  Please comment below with any remarks, critiques, or alternative suggestions you have to make this recipe even better!

Quick, Easy, and Delicious Homestyle Mash

Rustic Mashed Potatos with Caramelized Onions

Description: Garlic and Caramelized Onions make this textured and tasty spin on mashed potatos unbelievably delicious!

For the mash:
1.  In a large pot, boil potatos with the salt and garlic.  Use a pot large enough to cover the potatos and garlic with sufficient water so they have plenty of room to float around as they cook.  I used a six quart stock pot which I filled with water to the five quart line.  Don't wait for the water to boil before inserting the potatos, salt and garlic.  Instead put them in before you put the pot on the burner, turn heat to the maximum and leave them alone to cook.  At the thirty minute mark, pierce the potatos with the tip of a sharp knife or a fork to test whether they are softening properly.  Different potatos cook faster than others.  You don't want them splitting and becoming mush in the pan.  They should be very tender but still holding together.  As soon as you note that the potatos are tender, turn off the heat and leave the potatos in the water until you are ready to mash them.  (You want to wait to mash them shortly before serving so that they stay nice and hot for the table.)
2.  Drain the bulk of the water from the pot, reserving 1 cup of the liquid to mash in with the potatos.  If you wish to peel off the skin, this is the time to do it.  Do this carefully as the potatos will be very hot to the touch.  If you want to keep the skin on, like I did, then just put the potatos with the boiled garlic cloves and the reserved water in a large bowl for mashing.  
Paprika&Time 2013
3.  Use a potato masher to break up the potatos, mashing in the garlic cloves at the same time.  With other mash potato recipes you're looking for a creamy consistency, not with these.  You want it to be somewhat chunky.  Since the potatos will be soft, mashing them by hand will be a cinch and any small chunks will be tender and pleasant.  You can use an ordinary potato masher for this, though I use my Joseph Joseph masher, which has a nice spring action to make pressing down on whole potatos easy.  Because of its multiple slots, it mashes evenly.  When you've broken up the potatos and just before they are completely mashed, put in the softened butter, mix it around with the potatos and mash again.  If you're not quite ready to serve, cover the mashed potatos with a dish on the bowl to keep them warm and moist.
For the caramelized onions:
People will tell you that you can caremalize onions in a pan.  I don't agree.  In the pan they tend to loose too much moisture and become tough and unpleasant.  They don't taste like candy, which is the whole point.  To get ideal results, I prepare caremalized onions by cooking the thin strips of onion as if I were making French Onion Soup.  (I'll give you that recipe another day, when I'm inclined to make it.)
I use a small crockery pot I have from Emile Henry (it's 1.8 liters or 2 quarts, depending on how you measure), but you can use any small pot (a clay pot, if you have it) with a lid.
1.  Melt the butter with the onions, leaving the lid on and heating at a medium-high heat.  Try to keep the lid on for most of the duration of the cooking process, so that the steam keeps the onions soft as they cook in butter, but do check them a couple of times during the process to be sure they are turning the right shade of rich caramel, without burning.  
2. You may want to use a wooden spoon to stir the onions around a bit, but resist the temptation to mess with them too much.  The less you do, the better they turn out.  Once they've turned from clear to a mix of golden and maple, they are ready.  Don't let them burn or they'll become bitter, but some of them will be darker than others and that's just right.  You can see from the picture that a few of mine came out nearly coffee in color, but they didn't burn and those bits tasted wonderful, like molasses.  I cook the onions right along side with the potatos as they take just about as much time to be ready.  If you note that the butter is bubbling too much when you lift the lid for a peek and a stir, then feel free to turn the heat down a bit so they don't burn as you do other things.  Reduce to medium heat if you have to, but don't put them on low as the higher heat is what turns them into candy.  
3. They are a garnish, so you will want to wait to place them over the mash as you prepare the plates.  Keep them in the pot, swimming in the clarified butter produced, until you are ready to take them out with a fork and decorate your mash with them, but remove the pot from the heat source.    
NOTE:  There's a good amount of clarified butter remaining, but resist the urge to pour this over the mash and don't serve the onions swimming in it.  It will make the whole thing greasy and will take away from the pleasure of the onions themselves.  I don't like to waste anything though, so I used the clarified butter from this recipe as the melted butter to pour over my Lazy-Day Whole Wheat Biscuits when they came out of the oven.  That worked great, as it gave a nice sheen to the biscuit crust and added a bit of the oniony buttery flavor to them.  
I made these as a side for my Southern Style Chicken Fried Steak with Creamy Gravy, but it's a nice side dish for any main.  
Serve and Enjoy!  Believe me, you'll want second helpings.
Easy Metric Conversions
2 Pounds Potatos = 1 Kilo Potatos
1 teaspoon = 5 milliliters
1/2 cup butter = 125 grams butter
2 cups of sliced onions = 320 grams
Budget Factor 

It's always good to know what a plate costs you to make.  Restaurants keep this in mind, why shouldn't we?  


These are only estimates for reference.  Your local ingredient costs may vary.  Currency converted at DKK5.00 to the Dollar and DKK7.50 to the Euro.

Other stuff you may want to know:

Paprika&Time 2013
 I got my Joseph Joseph potato masher from, which has reasonable shipping rates to Denmark (many items ship Free with Super Saver Discount and those are the generally the ones I choose.)  I later saw it for sale on, which has a wonderful selection of items at incredible discounts, updated from week to week.  Their Member Offers (Medlemstilbud) are sometimes irresistible good deals, and I keep an eye out for their sales when I know I'd like to have something.  Becoming a member requires a small fee, but you make it up quickly with the savings and you're able to use your card to get additional Plus Points when you shop at any Coop store like SuperBrugsen, Dagli'Brugsen, Kvickly, and LokalBrugsen.  You can use the Plus Points to pay for items you want from their site, instead of cash.  You don't have to become a member to shop on their site.  You can take advantage of their other sales instead, which are also very good prices.  

I love a good deal, and don't like to pay full price for anything unless I absolutely have to.  If you can suggest other sites you've come across which offer bargains, let me know.  I'll definitely check them out.

 As far as this masher is concerned, I can't decide which I like better: the spring action on this thing or these wonderfully designed slots.  Actually, I think it's both.  It's a sturdy piece of equipment, so far I've had no trouble with it, and it looks nice too!

You certainly don't need to have this kind of masher.  It's one of those things which are very nice to have, but you can do without.  With other recipes for mashed potatos you will want to use a blender to create a smooth creamy texture.  If you're in the habit of doing this, as I am for other recipes, DON'T do it for this one.  That's why they're called "Rustic" mash.  It really is better just mashed by hand.

Paprika & Time 2013

Paprika & Time 2013
I got my Emile Henry clay pot from too, but in Denmark you can buy a wide selection of Emile Henry Products from which has a very nice selection of their products.  Not every budget stretches that far.  In fact, my own doesn't, and these were bought as special birthday gifts, but having a good sturdy clay pot (of any kind) in the house is something to consider.  There's a quality in fired clay that makes certain foods cook better, especially ones which need to soften over time.  Making beans and chick peas in clay pots yields amazing results.   

The truth is that, when you want to or need to, you can make great food with the most basic of cooking equipment.  In my grandmother's house we had only what was absolutely necessary.  It was very rustic equipment and sometimes it took a little extra time and effort to prepare the ingredients, but the food was still delightful and we had the time and leisure to sit at the kitchen table sharing the load of the preparation along with stories, jokes, and traditional songs.  Those memories are among the happiest in my life, and I feel fortunate that I could spend my childhood splitting peas and sifting flour through a strainer in the company of those indomitable women.

Don't let the lack of a clay pot, or any equipment I mention, keep you from making this or other great recipes.  Improvise, prepare, and savour!
Another Great Recipe from:

Did you make it?  Did you enjoy it? Did you improve on it?  I'm eager to hear whether you found this dish as tasty as we did.  Please comment below with any remarks, critiques, or alternative suggestions you have to make this recipe even better!


Easy and Tasty Whole-Wheat Biscuits


Lazy-Day Whole Wheat Biscuits


Picture by Paprika & Time 2013
Description: Lovely crumbly whole wheat drop biscuits, perfect to accompany any meal or to eat alone with butter and jam.

1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, or 230 degrees Celcius (Gas Mark 8)

2.  Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Blend all together with a whisk in order to distribute them evenly.  

3.  Place cut butter or vegetable shortening pieces in the flour and toss around to cover.  Using your hands, break up the butter or shortening in the flour, continuously keeping the pieces covered in flour until you form coarse crumbs.  Alternatively, you could use a pastry cutter to blend or cut two knives at opposite angles across the butter or shortening, to break them up inside the flour.

4.  Add buttermilk and stir until mixture is evenly moistened and has formed a soft and sticky dough.  Using the heel of your hand turn the dough and knead it in the bowl about five times, until all the ingredients are blended and the dough takes on more body.  It will still be somewhat sticky.

5.  Grease a baking sheet and lightly dust it with about a tablespoon of cornmeal.  

6.  To make small biscuits, drop them by the spoonful onto the baking sheet.  To make large biscuits double the quantity of dough for each.  To make jumbo biscuits, divide the dough into four equal quantities and drop all four onto the baking sheet. 

7.  Sprinkle tops of biscuits with poppy seeds.

8.  Place biscuits in pre-heated oven and allow them to bake for 10-12 minutes or until they are a rich golden brown.  

9.  Melt the butter while the biscuits are baking, and when they are out of the oven, drizzle the butter evenly over the warm biscuits.

Serve and enjoy!  

Picture by Paprika & Time 2013

If you have any left over, you can store them in an air-tight bag to enjoy for breakfast the following day with butter and jam.  Just warm them up in a toaster oven for about five minutes; you may want to cover them loosely with aluminium foil so the tops don't burn.

Easy Metric Conversions

1 cup All Purpose Flour = 125 grams
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour = 120 grams
½ cup Cornmeal = 80 grams
2 tablespoons sugar = 25 grams
1 ½ tsp baking soda = 7 grams
½ tsp baking powder = 2.5 grams
¼ tsp salt = 1.5 grams
4 tablespoons butter = 56.75 grams
1 cup buttermilk = 237 ml
½ cup melted butter = 120 ml
2 teaspoon poppy seeds = 5.75 grams

Budget Factor


These are only estimates for reference.  Your local ingredient costs may vary.  Currency converted at DKK5.00 to the Dollar and DKK7.50 to the Euro.

Another Great Recipe from:

Did you make it?  Did you enjoy it? Did you improve on it?  I'm eager to hear whether you found this dish as tasty as we did.  Please comment below with any remarks, critiques, or alternative suggestions you have to make this recipe even better!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Spicy Life

I've created this blog after years of traveling, writing, and generally avoiding my kitchen.  What?  How can a person who claims to have avoided the kitchen think to write a blog about cooking?  Well, I'll tell you.

I come from a long line of cooks.  My great-grandmother and my grandmother, my aunts, my mother, all played a part in getting me interested in the kitchen.  From the large family kitchen in Muros, Galicia (Spain), where my main job was splitting peas, to my mother's kitchen in Miami, to the kitchens of friends and acquaintances all over the United States, food has been an integral part of my life.

Preparing great meals has always been one of my secret pleasures.

So why have I avoided the kitchen?  Well, for over fifteen years I worked around the world, traveling every week from airport to airport, visiting new lands, enjoying a wide variety of experiences, but never settling down long enough to have a kitchen of my own.

Virginia Woolf said that every writer needs a room of her own in which to write.  That is certainly true, and I am pleased to say I finally have one in lovely Midtjylland, Denmark where I live with my marvelous and inspiring painter husband and our amusing kittens.  The room may not be just my own, but it is certainly a great place to write.

In the same manner, I think that every adventurous cook needs a kitchen of her own.  For many years I did not have that, so instead I enjoyed varied fare from all kinds of restaurants representing a wide range of international cuisines in each city I visited.  I consider those experiences a great influence on my cooking habits today.

I don't like to repeat the same recipes over and over again.  I like to experiment.  I like to try new things.  I want to stretch my abilities to the limit.  That means that somedays I produce Franken-plates instead of lovely dishes, but that's all part of the fun.

I'm certainly no Martha Stewart or Nigella Lawson.  I am MOST DEFINITELY not up to Julia Child's high standards.  I don't pretend to be.  I'm all-right with that.  (In case you're in the mood for something they've cooked up, I've placed helpful links to their sites and cookbooks in their names.)

This blog is about the thrill of cooking.  It shouldn't just be a chore.  I really should be fun.

You'll find a wide variety of recipes, some which I've picked up along the way, some which I've invented from my memory of eating the dish, some which I've borrowed from my dozens of cookbooks and the cooking websites to which I've subscribed, and many which are old family favorites.  With very few exceptions, I will have made my own personal adjustments to any recipes I've found in books or on the net, and the recipes I'll put here will include those changes.

I live abroad so many times I can't get the ingredients the cookbooks or cooking websites specify, but I've figured out some nice substitutions and I'll share with you what those are.

If you enjoy good food, don't mind taking risks, like trying something new, and generally enjoy having a laugh or two, then this is the blog for you.

I'd like this to be a conversation between us; a roomy and cozy multinational kitchen where we all gather, share ideas and tips, have a good time.

Pop-in and have a peek.  Stay a while and share a dish.  Put on your apron and make yourself at home. Mi kitchen es su kitchen.  Enjoy!