Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings

If you’re not from the US, or even more specifically, not from the American South, then you may not be familiar with chicken and dumplings. But you should be. Basically a chicken stew with simple biscuit dough added and simmered at the last minute, it is pure comfort food. Although chicken and dumplings is most commonly attributed to the South, it can also be found in the Midwest and may have even originated from a similar French Canadian dish that appeared in the Great Depression (says Wikipedia). When I made it most recently, I was struck by its similarity to Ashkenazi Jewish matzo ball soup. My husband, meanwhile, compared it to chicken pot pie filling. Both of which are some of our favorite foods.


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Shortcut Red Beans and Rice for the New Year

Red Beans and Rice

The theme for this month’s World on a Plate is auspicious foods for a prosperous year. Since I represent America in this global get-together, the first thing that came to mind was Hoppin’ John, the famous southern dish of black eyed peas and ham hock. Being short on time and ingredients, I settled instead on a Cajun-inspired shortcut red beans and rice with smoky andouille sausage. Feel free to soak dried beans overnight, but if you need a quick supper this recipe is your answer. Continue reading “Shortcut Red Beans and Rice for the New Year”

Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek SoupAs the weather starts to cool down (yes, even in the Middle East), it’s only appropriate that the theme for this month’s World on a Plate is soup. I love soup in all its comforting glory, and immediately began considering what variety I would make. It didn’t take me long to settle on potato leek soup. I know it’s not technically American (I represent the good ‘ol USA in this global community project), but it’s so ubiquitous in the United States today that I think we can safely say we’ve claimed it as our own, along with the Irish, British and French. Continue reading “Potato Leek Soup”

Baked Stuffed Squash Blossoms

The theme for this month’s World on a Plate is stuffed vegetables and I couldn’t be more excited. I considered classic stuffed peppers (I found a recipe in an American cookbook from the early 1900s) but then I decided on one of my favorite summer favorites: Stuffed squash blossoms. Squash blossoms are the pretty yellow-hued edible flowers that grow along with zucchini and other summer squash. They have a subtle flavor on their own but make the perfect vehicle for delicious fillings. Squash blossoms are also a gorgeous addition to pastas, pizzas, and salads.

Baked Stuffed Squash Blossoms

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Strawberry Rhubarb Pie for World on a Plate

As soon as Pola announced that the theme for this month’s World on a Plate event I knew I would be making Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie, perhaps the most quintessential American summer pie. You already know how I feel about strawberry and rhubarb from my cocktail, and if you have my e-cookbook then you’ve seen my strawberry-rhubarb turnovers. Nothing, though, is more classic – or more delicious – than strawberry-rhubarb pie. Apparently it became popular in the 1800s, some three decades after Benjamin Franklin introduced rhubarb (which he nicknamed “pieplant”) to the US. Fun fact: did you know that rhubarb is a vegetable?

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie from

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American Rice Salad for World on a Plate + Vintage Cookbook Love

I adore cookbooks and have a particular affinity for vintage editions. I love the insight that you get into a time and place from its recipes, the similarities and differences between now and then, the foods and ingredients that were in vogue. I recently discovered an absolute treasure trove: the Library of Congress digital collection of American Church, Club and Community Cookbooks from the late 19th and early 20th century. Dozens of cookbooks from organizations around the country are available in full and online for your reading pleasure – you can even download them for free onto your tablet!

Vintage Cookbook Collection and American Rice Salad

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Cheese-Stuffed Burgers for World on a Plate

Just in time for Memorial Day, this month’s theme for World on a Plate is grilling! I don’t have a backyard, or a grill, but I do have a cast iron pan, which can be a worthy substitute. Since I’m representing America, I immediately knew that I would be bringing burgers to the party. But I didn’t want to go with just any old burger – so I stuffed some cheese inside to make them extra special. That’s right: a cheese-stuffed burger. When you cook the burger, the cheese inside melts, creating an ooey-gooey surprise that any cheeseburger-loving person is bound to go nuts over. You can even go extreme and put more cheese on top, but that’s just crazy talk (which I fully support).

Cheese-Stuffed Burger
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Potato Salad and a Virtual Picnic for World on a Plate

The theme for this month’s World on a Plate is picnic food, and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m representing the US in this global group, and picnic foods are some of the most quintessentially American. I’ve already posted about many of them, so I’ve created a little virtual All-American picnic for you, capped off with a recipe for my favorite mayo-free potato salad. It’s a bit more like a French potato salad in that it is essentially coated in a mustard vinaigrette instead of mayo, but I’ve always found the idea of normal potato salad sitting out in the heat to be unsavory.

Potato Salad Ingredients
Potato Salad Ingredients

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Sweet and Sour Meatballs for World on a Plate

I am excited about this post for so many reasons! First of all I get to share with you what may be the world’s greatest recipe: my mother-in-law’s sweet and sour meatballs. Second of all, I am part of a wonderful new blogging group called World on a Plate! Started by Pola from Italian in the Midwest, World on a Plate is a purposefully small group that is all about cultural exchange. Each month we will have a theme (this month’s theme is meatballs!) and will post a recipe from our “home country” that fits the theme. We are currently eight bloggers who represent Germany, India, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sweden, and the United States (that’s me!). If you are interested in joining and see that your home country is not represented, give Pola a shout!

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

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