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Posts from the ‘Food’ Category

Coconut Mango Popsicles

We have mangos! In the last two weeks, our mango tree has finally started to produce ripe fruit.  We must have arrived right as the last mango season was ending, because we’ve been in our house for 8 months (wow, time is flying by) and these are the first mangos we’ve seen.  We have plenty to eat ourselves, and to share with our housekeeper, gardener and friends. We’ve eaten them plain, in smoothies, and this week I made coconut mango popsicles that turned out deliciously.


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Here’s the very simple recipe I used:

1 ¼ cups diced fresh mango

¾ cups light coconut milk

juice from 2 limes

 Mix in a blender, pour into your popsicle molds, freeze, and enjoy.

You could add sugar if it’s too tart for you, although our mangos are plenty sweet without the sugar. And of course, you could add some Haitian Barbancourt Rhum for an “adult” version.

coconut mango popsicle

The one area for improvement would be that our mangos are a bit pulpy and have these tiny hairs that I don’t know how to remove. I’ve tried pushing the mango flesh through a fine mesh sieve, but it was pretty time intensive, and the hairs are so fine that most got through anyway.  Any ideas on how to deal with those tiny mango hairs would be much appreciated!

Portland, je t’aime

Portland was like Brooklyn, but with nicer people and more rain. All the beards, bikes and small-batch local breweries you could want, except everyone was so friendly and the prices were incredibly cheap.

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Happy (belated) Crêpe Day

Last Saturday I went to a cooking class to learn how to make crêpes - in French! I don't think that crêpe-making will be on the final exam, but it's much more delicious.

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Cure for duck cold – Vietnamese pho

I learned a great phrase this week in French class: Il fait un froid de canard. Translation: It's duck cold!

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One week in Jakarta

I got the chance to take a week trip to Indonesia earlier this month for work. You'd have to be a city person to like Jakarta. But I am. And I do.

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Dupont Farmers Market

Every Sunday the Dupont Circle Farmers Market brings all sorts of vendors together, from local meats and cheeses to fresh fruit, from orchids to mushrooms, from homemade soups to homespun wool.

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Full and Thankful

We had a quiet Thanksgiving for two this year. I ordered a fresh 4 lb turkey breast from Eastern Market instead of making the whole bird for just the two of us. It was so wonderful to have L here and I’m already counting the days until we see each other again at Christmas. I put him to work hanging up shelves, a spice rack and pictures. He put me to work cooking – we only ate out once. (Thank you Aunt Nancy!) But that’s fine with me, I’m happy to cook for more than just myself again. Here is our Thanksgiving Day menu.

1. Mashed potatoes and parsnips with roasted leeks

2. Haricots verts and sugar snap peas with shallots and pine nuts

3. Provençal turkey breast with jus

4. Grilled carrots with balsamic glaze

5. (not pictured) Cranberry-Apple pie

Apple Butter

With apples coming out of my ears from last weekend’s apple picking trip, I decided to try to make apple butter for the first time.

You may already know this, but apple butter does not, in fact, contain any butter. The ingredients are simple: apples, apple cider vinegar, sugar, and fall spices like cinnamon and cloves. You’ll need either a food mill or a chinois sieve (a conical sieve with a very fine mesh) to strain the apples into a fine puree. A food mill would have been faster, but I wasn’t about to buy a new kitchen appliance just for this project.


I followed the recipe from Simply Recipes as closely as I could, although I only made about half as much apple butter. If you want to try it yourself, I recommend you head to the website for the complete process and measurements as well as links for how to follow proper canning procedures. My favorite part of this recipe was the surprise lemon rind and juice.

In general, there are 5 main steps:

1. Cut up apples (don’t peel or core) and boil them for 20 minutes in water and apple cider vinegar.

2. Strain the apple mixture through the sieve into a fine puree

3. Add sugar and spices

4. Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 hours until thick and smooth. (stmemory exclusive tip: if stirring for that long sounds boring, just watch a movie on your laptop in the kitchen while sitting and stirring. I watched Bridesmaids and the apple butter turned out very well – just saying).

5. Once it’s cool, put your sweet, smooth apple butter in a pretty glass jar.

Strained apple puree separated from the pulp.

As you can see by comparing this photo with the first photo in the post, the apple butter turns from yellow to a rich caramel color after you cook it.

What are your favorite things to make when you have a bunch of apples?

A bushel and a peck

Did you know there are four pecks to a bushel? I didn’t until last Saturday when I went apple picking with some friends. It was a chilly morning, but we had fun at Stribling Orchard in Virginia. I only got a peck and I still have way too many apples to eat. Here are some photos from our trip. Next post: making apple butter!

For more photos (all taken with my iPhone), including the most scenic Porta Potties you’ve ever seen, click for more.

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Small World about to get Smaller

A few months ago when we all received our job offers to join State, the possibilities seemed wide open. Where would we end up for our first tour? Turkey? Tanzania? Thailand? Trinidad and Tobago? On Friday, our world will narrow even more - down to one.

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