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Monday, October 26, 2015

Chorizo and Pumpkin Pasta

It’s October and I love pumpkin.  Even though it’s not autumn here (it’s spring, quickly approaching summer), I feel a need to have pumpkin dishes in October. I really enjoyed this dish!  The chorizo and pumpkin go really nicely together. This is an easy, quick dish perfect for a weeknight meal.

Chorizo and pumpkin pasta

1 package cured chorizo sausage
2 -3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, finely chopped
2  teaspoons dried sage
1 bay leaf
2 cups chicken stock
1 can pumpkin puree
½ cup milk
1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lb bow tie pasta
Parmesan (optional)

Brown sausage in a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet.  Remove sausage and drain on paper towels.  Drain oil and rinse out pan then add a tablespoon of oil and saute onions and garlic until translucent. Add bay leaf, sage, chicken stock, nutmeg and chipotle powder to the pan. Let it cook down for a minute or two then add the pumpkin. Add the sausage back to the pan and then add it the milk.  Allow the sauce to cook 5-10 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste. While the sauce is cooking, prepare the pasta.  Remove the bay leaf from the sauce, drain the pasta, mix together and serve.

I also added a few shavings of parmesan to the finished dish.  

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Gorgonzola egg salad

I saw some pictures of gorgonzola egg salad a while back and decided that I needed to try to whip up a batch for my family.  I think it turned out really great.  Some people may need to lower the amount of gorgonzola but we love it so, there is no such thing as too much. If you believe egg salad must have  mayo, you can substitute it for the yogurt.

6 hard boiled eggs, roughly chopped
3-5 oz Gorgonzola, crumbled (I used 5oz but we are gorgonzola fanatics)
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt 
3-4 scallions, chopped
1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder
Zest of one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix together and chill. Serve on toasted rolls with toppings of your choice (bacon, avocado, tomato slices are my favorites)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Delicious Dumplings

Dipping sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon roasted sesame seeds
big squirt of Sriracha (optional)

1 lb ground beef (or pork)
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon salt

Dumpling wrappers
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup cold water
1 1/4 teaspoon salt

First prepare dumpling wrappers. Mix all wrapper ingredients together. Place on lightly floured surface and knead  until smooth.  Divide into small balls of dough.  Let rest 30 minutes.   Roll out into small (or large if you prefer) circles.

Prepare the dipping sauce.  Mix all sauce ingredients together and then set aside.

For the filling, mix everything together.  Then place a small amount (maybe a tablespoon for small dumplings) of filling onto the center of the wrapper.  Wet edges and the fold the wrapper in half.  You can use a fork to make pretty edges or you can just skip that part.

Once all the wrappers are filled, bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add a few dumplings at a time but don't overcrowd the pot.  Give them a gentle stir so they don't stick together.  Once they start to boil, add a little cold water.  Do this at least twice (boil, add cold water to stop the boil).  Test a dumpling to make sure the filling is done.  Move to a large platter and repeat with the next batch.

Serve with the dipping sauce.

I didn't have ground pork, so I just used ground beef.  They turned out really good but I'll probably make with pork next time (if I can find it at the store). 
You can always use store bought wrappers.  I don't have that option where I live, so I made my own.  They turned out great and really weren't that much work.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Salmon Quinoa Patties with Lemon Tahini Sauce

I made these salmon patties for dinner on Friday night and they were really good!  You can easily make them after a long day at work, without having to spend much time in the kitchen.  One thing about the salmon.  It's canned.  I know that some folks hate canned salmon.  You are welcome to substitute nice smoked salmon but I live in Luanda, Angola and smoked salmon is 1. hard to find or 2. so expensive that it would probably be cheaper to fly out of the country to buy it.  So, I used canned salmon (that I order through Amazon).

1 1/2c cooked quinoa
12-15 oz canned salmon
1 1/2 tablespoon cilantro
 zest of one lemon
1/2t lemon pepper
2 eggs
oil for sauteeing

Lemon-Tahini Sauce
1 1/2 Tablespoon tahini
2 large garlic cloves, pressed
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Juice of one lemon
⅓ cup extra virgin olive
1/2 teaspoon cumin

First, I prepared the sauce and then stuck in the fridge to chill while the patties came together.  Mix the tahini, garlic, salt, cumin, and juice together then whisk in the oil. Chill.

Gently combine all the ingredients (except the oil) for the patties together.  Depending on your salmon, you may need to add a little more quinoa to it to make the patties stay together.  Heat a skillet over med then carefully  add the patties (I had six patties but it depends how big/small you make them) and brown (about 5 minutes) then flip and repeat.

Top with sauce and enjoy!


Serve for breakfast/brunch

I had leftovers the next morning for breakfast!  I topped a reheated (in the oven) salmon patty with an over-easy egg, sauce, tomato slice and avocado slice for an amazing twist on eggs benedict.

Sunday, April 12, 2015


We went to Namibia during Easter break and had an amazing time!  We visited four cities and made a  couple other fun stops along the way.  The cities were gorgeous, the food was amazing, the people were friendly, and the activities were a blast! I'd love to go back again and again and again.

In order to have some kind of organization and not overwhelm one blog with tons of pictures, I've done separate posts for each city.

Also, anyone that is planning a trip to Namibia and wants more information or has questions, please don't hesitate to ask!



But I can't post something without pictures so here are a few of my favorites

Etosha, Namibia

Happily, the entire drive from Swakopmund to Etosha was paved roads!

Etosha was fantastic!  We did a guided game drive in the morning and then relaxed by the pool during the heat of day.  Once it cooled down, we went back to see a few more animals before heading home for dinner under the stars.

Ready for our safari!!


a little closer to the cheetah

Pretty springbok.  There are springbok than any other animal at Etosha

White Rhino

Springbok and ostriches

We were so happy to get close to this big beauty

Black backed jackals



Here are several pictures of a group of lions (at least 8 but probably more) that we happened upon at the end of the day.  We sat there (in our car with the windows partially down) and watched them wake up from their afternoon nap.  It was an amazing experience that I'm sure I'll never forget.

They start to wake up 
Lioness and baby watching the lion sleep

He awakes!

 After a lovely trip around Namibia, it was time to leave and head home.  These cute little baboons came out to say goodbye to us on the way back to Windhoek.

Swakopmund, Namibia

Our drive from Sossusvlei was long and slow (a majority of the trip was on gravel roads). We saw a lot of wildlife along the way (mostly  springbok, oryx, and wildebeest) 

We stopped at Soltaire for gas, coffee, and snacks.  I think it's the only gas station between Sossusvlei and Walvis Bay (which is next to Swakopmund).  It was such a cool little place that we had to take a few pictures.

the general store

Population sign with the crossed out numbers

Back on the road, we passed through some pretty amazing sights as well as seeing more wildlife

Next stop Swakopmund!  This is a beach resort town with lots of little coffee shops, art galleries, antique stores, and restaurants.  We had a great time here too.  We went sand boarding, visited the aquarium, ate lots of delicious seafood, had a family run, and hung out on the rooftop of hotel and read books.


Rooftop reading

View of the beach from our hotel

View of the town from our hotel

Writing a card to her penpal 

Riding up the sand dune

Getting ready for the ride down

So fun!

Next up - Etosha


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