Global Favorites

Ex-Pat Living: Holiday Dinners

Making The Most of What We have… I’m Thankful

So many of our stories and memories involving food, dining customs, unique recipes and traditions at home, that I thought it would be a great place to collect the additional textures referred to in the posts.

The photo here is a holiday dinner I gave for my staff in Baku, Azerbaijan one year. We had local foods, semi-American dishes, home-made and store-bought. Some of the best things were the least expensive, and some of the most expensive we things that had been imported and reminded me of “home”.

Starting from the holidays in December, 2013 I’m using this section to collect all the bits that make our time with friends complete. I don’t know exactly how this will work yet, so bear with me if this gets a little cluttered while I sort out the best way to present content in this format.

[Update: I created a new page for Chocolate desserts, also in this Global Foods section. Use the menu bar at the top and click on Global Foods to find the drop down Chocolate page! Well worth it…]


We’re figuring this out together so any suggestions will be welcome!

This recipe below is the one I adapted for this year’s main course, Beef Standing Rib Roast.

The video clip describes what I did to adapt this recipe and how it turned out.


Holiday Dinner 2013: Recipe for Standing_Rib_Roast with Rosemary

Holiday Dinner 2013


Scones, a measure of customs and traditions for Expats: Over or Under? The Great Jam and Cream Debate!

The Ultimate Scone Recipe, Angela Nilsen via BBC Good Food

Angela Nilsen’s Ultimate Scone recipe, courtesy BBC Good Food
225g self-raising flour, preferably organic
¼ tsp salt
50g slightly salted butter, chilled, cut in small pieces
25g golden caster sugar
125ml buttermilk
4 Tbsp full-fat milk
a little extra flour for dusting
strawberry jam and clotted cream, to serve

[To one of the commenters: If you go to there you can convert Metric/U.S./U.K. measurements with 1 click!]

Serve with strawberry jam and a generous mound of clotted cream (Cornish people put cream first, then jam, Devonians the other way round).
Eat them as fresh as you can.

1. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7/fan 200C and lightly butter a baking sheet (unless you’re using a non-stick sheet).

Tip the flour into a mixing bowl with the salt.

Shoot in the butter, then rub together with your fingers to make a reasonably fine crumbed mixture, lifting to aerate the mixture as you go. Try not to overrub, as the mixture will be lighter if it’s a little bit flaky.

Now stir in the sugar.

2. Measure the buttermilk, then mix in the milk to slacken it. Make a bit of a well in the middle of the flour mixture with a round-bladed knife, then pour in most of this buttermilk mixture, holding a little bit back in case it’s not needed.

Using the knife, gently work the mixture together until it forms a soft, almost sticky, dough. Work in any loose dry bits of mixture with the rest of the buttermilk.

Don’t overwork at this point or you will toughen the dough.

3. Lift the ball of soft dough out of the bowl and put it on to a very lightly floured surface. Knead the mixture just 3-4 times to get rid of the cracks.

4. Pat the dough gently with your hands to a thickness of no less than 2cm and no more than 2.5cm.

Dip a 5.5cm round fluted cutter into a bowl of flour – this helps to stop the dough sticking to it, then cut out the scones by pushing down quickly and firmly on the cutter with the palm of your hand – don’t twist it.
You will hear the dough give a big sigh as the cutter goes in.

Gather the trimmings lightly then pat and cut out a couple more scones.

5. Place on the baking sheet and sift over a light dusting of flour or glaze if you wish.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until risen and golden.

Cool on a wire rack, uncovered if you prefer crisp tops, or covered loosely with a cloth for soft ones.
6. Serve with strawberry jam and a generous mound of clotted cream

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  1. Pingback: Could There Be A Super Bowl of Car Buying? A Negotiator’s Stanley Cup? | Life Lessons

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