Supu Viazi (Tanzanian Coconut Potato Soup)

Bowl of Supu Viazi (Tanzanian Coconut Potato Soup) on a wooden tabletop.

Soup-er Summer
I know. It’s 150 degrees outside and I’m talking about soup. Yep. I get it. Soup is not the first thing that pops into your three-in-the-afternoon brain in late July when it’s time to think about dinner. Most people opt for something cooler.

But, when you think about it, soup isn’t much more than a thinner curry or pasta sauce, right? Right? Ok, I’ll work on my sales pitch. But, maybe this recipe will change your mind. Because, for some reason, the flavors scream summer to me.

I found this Eastern African recipe for Supu Viazi while doing my deep dive into all things foodie and African. It intrigued me for a few reasons. This recipe comes from Tanzania which is not a cuisine you hear about with regularity. That in and of itself makes this recipe interesting.

Also, you might find my lack of knowledge about food in Tanzania a bit odd considering my Mother-in-Law lived there for multiple years right after my husband graduated from high school. It would be logical to assume that there would be a few recipes that she had picked up along the way and passed down. Alas, you would be wrong.

Lastly, when reading the ingredients, it just sounded so good in my head. It reminds me of a Thai yellow curry, just without the meat.

The best part? Assuming you have the ingredients, it’s fairly quick to prepare which makes it a good choice for some mid-week flavor…

The green banana is traditional, but you can swap it for a green plantain or leave it out altogether if either is hard to find. Just toss in a few more potatoes.

Supu Viazi (Tanzanian Coconut Potato Soup) Recipe
Adapted from Flavors of Africa by Evi Aki
Yields 4 to 6 servings Read more…

Artichoke Dip Slab Pie

Photo of Pie Squared book cover for Artichoke Dip Slab Pie

Dip Squared
When I sat down to think about a tasty recipe to suggest for your Fourth of July get-togethers, I was definitely leaning towards pie. After all, a friend of mine had just dropped off a significant amount of rhubarb from his Garden That Overfloweth. And, I had pie on the brain.

But, then I got to thinking that pie would be the easy route. Everyone does pie for the Fourth. Who cares about another cherry pie, ya know?

So, I turned to the realm of appetizers. I attended a party over the weekend where I ate my weight in spinach dip so I figured that might be a good way to go. (Though I don’t recommend eating that much spinach dip—no matter how good it is…)

But then, the fates shown down upon me (Shown? Shined?…I have dip brain.) The only thing I love more than a good spinach dip is a good artichoke dip. And this one comes in pie form. You read that correctly. Pie form. I know! Mind blown…

While thumbing through one of my pie cookbooks, Pie Squared by Cathy Barrow, I found this amazing-looking Artichoke Dip Slab Pie that you can cut up into little pieces for bite-sized noshing while waiting for the hot dogs and hamburgers to finish on the grill. Or you can go with bigger slices for the vegetarians in the group…

Artichoke Dip Slab Pie Recipe
Adapted from Pie Squared by Cathy Barrow
Yields 24 small servings

In this recipe, our favorite artichoke is dip nestled in a delicious cream cheese pie crust. The filling is easy to prepare and completely vegetarian. The cream cheese dough is sturdy enough to hold the filling, but still flaky and tasty. Be certain to select artichokes that are packed in water, not marinated or in a vinegar brine.

Do Ahead: Combine the filling ingredients up to one day ahead.

Note: The crust needs about 4 hours to set up in the fridge before assembling the pie. Read more…

Grilled Chicken Satay

Photo of Grilled Chicken Satay Skewers with peanut sauceWord on The Street
I love to travel. With my kids getting older and moving out, I am looking forward to having more opportunities to explore what lies beyond our windows. Of course, for me, that means trying new foods as well as new cultures. The world is full of really great places to eat but not all of them include white tablecloths. To really get to experience a different culture you need to try the street food.

I am sure that there are people who will disagree with me when I say that the U.S. does not really have street food. We tend to bring other cultures’ street food to us. (Boba tea, anyone?) I mean, I guess we do have street food to a degree. The hot dog carts in New York for example. And sure, the folks selling cut fruit at the corner sprinkled with Tajin (so good!) count also. We have plenty of regional specialties but, in my opinion, and I would be pleased to be proven wrong, the closest we come to true street food culture here in the U.S. would be the rise of the food trucks.

Some of the best things I have tasted came from a vendor selling their fare on the side of the road. From Kabobs to Al Pastor Tacos to Churros to Yada Pav there is a world of flavor waiting to tempt your taste buds.

Not all street food is on the street though. The hawker centers of Singapore are world-renowned and have been on my travel bucket list for some time. Remember that food scene in the movie Crazy Rich Asians? That’s my idea of heaven. And, since my calendar seems to be opening up, hopefully, we’ll get there soon. I’ve heard you can find almost anything you could desire in Singapore, though my first stop would be the grilled chicken satay as a warmup for later rounds. You can never go wrong with grilled meat on a stick.

Grilled Chicken Satay Recipe
Adapted from recipetineats
Yields 13 to 16 skewers Read more…

Tarte Tatin

Photo of a Tarte Tatin on a tableUpside Down You’re Turning Me
Let’s be real, France has created and produced some of the best sweet stuff on this earth. From flakey pastries to smooth chocolate, you can find something crazy-delicious to soothe your current craving. If I had to choose one dessert that screams France though, it would be the Tarte Tatin.

Tarte Tatin is the O.G. of upside-down desserts. Apples and caramel are combined with puff pastry in a trifecta of perfectly matched classic flavors. Flip it over onto a platter, add a little vanilla ice cream on top and it becomes mind-blowing. Mastering the caramel can be tricky but once you have it down the results are the greatest reward for your hard work. Of course, even the “bad batches” are pretty good too…

Tarte Tatin Recipe
Yields 5 servings Read more…