Halloweenie grazing board

Halloween snacks for grown ups and kids alike. Some healthy choices and some not. Sweet, salty, savory, chewy, crunchy, yeah.

Black: Dark chocolate Oreos, black seedless grapes, beef jerky, blackberries, dark chocolate-covered pretzels, black olives, black mission figs, chocolate Pocky Sticks, black licorice, seasoned sunflower seeds.

Orange: Spicy queso Pop Corners, Cheese It crackers, sharp cheddar cheese, carrot sticks, dried apricots.

Tuvalu 🇹🇻 Coconut Pudding

The cuisine of the Polynesian country of Tuvalu features an abundance of fresh fish and coconut. In fact, when making desserts, coconut milk is favored over animal milk. Here’s a simple but delicious coconut pudding, served right in the coconut shell. You can eat this creamy treat as is, or garnish with crispy, toasted coconut for added texture.

Naptime tip: You’ll need a hammer and Phillips head screwdriver to split your coconuts. This video Here shows how to do it safely. Probably no tiny helpers for this job!

Tuvaluan Coconut Pudding

Recipe with minor adaptations from Ethnic Foods R Us Serves 4.

Ingredients:

2 14oz. cans unsweetened coconut

1 cup sugar

½ cup corn starch

½ tsp. salt

2 coconuts, drained and split (for serving, reserving water for another purpose)

1 cup shredded coconut (optional)

Method:

In a medium sized skillet set over medium-high heat, whisk together the coconut milk, sugar, corn starch and salt. Cook, whisking regularly, until mixture boils and thickens, it should take about 5 minutes.

Once thickened and smooth, transfer to a container to cool. Chill in the fridge at least 2 hours.

When ready to serve, toast the coconut in a dry pan over medium heat, tossing frequently, until golden and crispy. Remove from heat and transfer to a shallow bowl to cool.

Scoop the chilled pudding into the cut coconut halves and sprinkle with toasted coconut as desired. Enjoy!

South Korea 🇰🇵 Dolsot Bibimbap

In South Korea, bibimbap was traditionally eaten on the eve of the lunar new year as the people at that time felt that they had to get rid of all of the leftover side dishes before the new year. The solution to this problem was to put all of the leftovers in a bowl of rice and to mix them together. If that’s not Naptime-friendly, I don’t know what is!

And Bibimbap has got it GOING ON! Savory, tangy, creamy, spicy, crispy…it’s awesome! It’s traditional to stir all the toppings together before serving, but I prefer to do that table side so I can show off how pretty the little piles are. It’s like a painting!

Naptime Tip: The pickles, sauce and sautéed vegetables can all be made ahead. Just reheat the veg in the microwave before adding to the rice. Or totally top your rice with real-life leftover veg! It IS traditional!


Dolsot Bibimbap
Serves 6. Recipe slightly adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

Ingredients-

For the pickles
1 cup cider vinegar
2 Tbs. sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 cucumber, peeled, quartered lengthwise, seeded, and sliced thin on bias
4 ounces (2 cups) bean sprouts

For the chile sauce
¼ cup gochujang
3 Tbs. water
2 Tbs. toasted sesame oil 
2 tsp. sugar

For the rice
2½ cups short-grain white rice
2 ½ cups water
¾ teaspoon salt

For the vegetables
½ cup water
3 scallions, minced
3 Tbs. soy sauce
3 garlic cloves, minced or grated
1 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
3 carrots, peeled and shredded (2 cups)
8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps sliced thin
1 (10-ounce) bag curly-leaf spinach, stemmed and chopped coarse

For the bibimbap
2 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 Tbs. toasted sesame oil 
5-6 large eggs (1 per person)

Method-

For the pickles- Whisk vinegar, sugar, and salt together in medium bowl. Add cucumber and bean sprouts and toss to combine. Gently press on vegetables to submerge. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.

For the chile sauce- Whisk gochujang, water, oil, and sugar together in small bowl. Cover and set aside.

For the rice- Bring rice, water, and salt to boil in medium saucepan over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 7 minutes. Remove rice from heat and let sit, covered, until tender, about 15 minutes.

For the vegetables- While rice cooks, stir together water, scallions, soy sauce, garlic, and sugar. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in Dutch oven over high heat until shimmering. Add carrots and stir until coated. Add 1/3 cup scallion mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until carrots are slightly softened and moisture has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer carrots to small bowl.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in now-empty pot until shimmering. Add mushrooms and stir until coated with oil. Add 1/3 cup scallion mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are tender and moisture has evaporated, 3 to 4 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer mushrooms to second small bowl.

Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in now-empty pot until shimmering. Add spinach and remaining 1/3 cup scallion mixture and stir to coat spinach. Cook, stirring frequently, until spinach is completely wilted but still bright green, 1 to 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer spinach to third small bowl. Discard any remaining liquid and wipe out pot with paper towel.

For the bibimbap- Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and sesame oil in now-empty pot over high heat until shimmering. Carefully add cooked rice and gently press into even layer. Cook, without stirring, until rice begins to form crust on bottom of pot, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer carrots, spinach, and mushrooms to pot and arrange in piles that cover surface of rice. Reduce heat to low.

While a crust forms, heat remaining 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over low heat for 5 minutes. Crack eggs into small bowl. Pour eggs into skillet; cover and cook (about 2 minutes for runny yolks, 2½ minutes for soft but set yolks, and 3 minutes for firmly set yolks). Season with salt. Carefully top the vegetables and rice with the eggs. Drizzle over a little sauce then present your masterpiece to the table! 

To serve, without disturbing the bottom crust, use a wooden spoon to stir the rice, vegetables, and eggs until combined. Then scoop out portions, making sure everyone gets some crispy crust. Top with pickles and more sauce as desired. Enjoy!

Uruguay 🇺🇾 Ñoquis del 29

Who woulda thought an Italian dish like gnocchi would crop up in South America?! Turns out Italians started immigrating to Uruguay in droves in the 1850s and even now, the country has a high population of Italians.

Uruguayans make gnocchi or ñoquis just the way Italians do, but it’s tradition to eat it every month on the 29th; it’s Gnocchi Day! Since gnocchi can be made with simple, fairly inexpensive ingredients, it’s meant to be an economical meal when funds are low at the end of the month. A coin is sometimes placed under the dish to ensure financial well-being for the following month.

*Naptime Tip: Ñoquis can be made on the 29th or any other day with either ricotta cheese or mashed potatoes. (Even leftover potatoes will work!)

Ñoquis del 29

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 tsp. Salt

Ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. Freshly ground nutmeg

1/8 cup grated parmesan

1 cup Whole milk ricotta or cooled mashed potatoes

1 egg

Boiling water

Salt

Desired sauce to serve

Method:

Set a large pot of water onto the stove to boil. Season with salt.

Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silpat dusted with flour.

Pour the 2 cups of flour, the salt, pepper, nutmeg and grated parm into a mound on a clean counter. Make a well in the center and add the ricotta or potatoes and the egg. Use a fork to whisk the wet ingredients and carefully introduce the dry. Work just until a loose dough is formed.

Next, sprinkle some more flour over work surface. Working with half the dough at a time, gently roll the dough into a long rope shape about 1/2” thick, using flour as needed to maintain a cohesive dough and keep from sticking. Use a butter knife or bench scraper to chop the rope into 1/2” long nuggets. Place cut Ñoquis onto lined baking sheet, add more flour as necessary to keep from sticking. Repeat rolling and cutting with remaining dough. 

Set your serving bowl near the stove. Working in batches of 10-15 at a time, gently lower Ñoquis into the boiling water and cook, without stirring, about 2 minutes. When they bob to the surface, remove them using a slotted spoon and place in the serving bowl. Repeat with remaining batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pot.

Toss cooked Ñoquis with desired sauce and serve. Don’t forget the coin under the serving dish for continued prosperity! (Pictured sauce is a tomato parmesan cream sauce topped with fresh basil.)

Seychelles 🇸🇨 Octopus Coconut Curry

Yes, there really is octopus in there! Octopus is eaten in a myriad of cultures across the globe, and I came across it many times in my research…but this time I didn’t wimp out. This curry from Seychelles was too good to pass up! So, I bought a frozen octopus from my local Asian market and I’m so glad I did! Tender pieces of octopus and vegetables mingle together in a sweet and savory sauce, perfect for draping over steaming rice. Try it! You won’t regret it.

Naptime Tip: If the octopus is still chewy after pressure cooking, put it back in and cook it 5 minutes longer. Don’t give up! It’ll get there! Plus, you can pressure cook those suckers 2 days in advance, if necessary.

Octopus Coconut Curry

Recipe and method compiled from Serious Eats and Hopscotch the Globe

Ingredients:

1 large octopus (about 2.5 lb) thawed and cleaned (Rinsed of sand then beak, eyes and ink sac removed. Mine came cleaned But needed rinsing.)

Water

Salt

2 Tbs. coconut oil

1 small red onion, chopped

1/2 jalapeño, seeded and diced

3 garlic cloves, grated or minced

2 Tbs. mild curry powder

1 tsp. ground cloves

2 Tbs. turmeric

2 Tbs. ground coriander

1 pinch ground cinnamon

1/4 cup fresh curry leaves (can substitute same amount diced green bell pepper)

1 can or about 2 cups coconut milk

2 Tbs. olive oil

Salt & Black pepper to taste

White rice, for serving

Special Equipment:

Pressure cooker

Grill, grill pan or sauté pan for searing

Method: 

For the octopus- Thoroughly rinse octopus to remove any sand, then place in a pressure cooker and add just enough water to cover. (Be sure to keep water level below your pressure cooker’s max fill line.) Add a couple of large pinches of salt. Close pressure cooker and bring to high pressure (12 to 15 psi). Once cooker has reached high pressure, set a timer and cook for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, cool pressure cooker under cold running water or use rapid pressure release option. Remove lid and check the tenderness of the octopus by sliding a paring knife into the thickest part of one of its tentacles; it should go in easily with little resistance. If the octopus still feels tough, return to high pressure and then cook for 5 minutes longer. 

Leave octopus to cool in its cooking liquid, then drain and chop into bite sized pieces (or large pieces, if grilling instead of pan searing.) Set aside until ready to sear. (This can be done up to two days in advance and chilled.)

For the curry- Heat the coconut oil in a large sauté pan over medium high. Add the onions, jalapeños and bell pepper, if using. Sauté until softened and starting to brown. Next, stir in the garlic, all the dry spices and the curry leaves.  Cook until fragrant then pour in the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer gently to reduce liquid slightly.

While sauce is simmering, heat grill, another large skillet or a grill pan over high heat. Toss the pre-cooked octopus pieces in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Sear over high heat on both sides, until just beginning to char, 5-8 minutes total. Remove from heat. Cut tentacles into smaller pieces, if needed.

Stir the octopus pieces into the curry and taste for seasoning. Serve immediately over white rice.

Suriname 🇸🇷 Pom

A surprising mix of citrusy starch and savory meats combine into one tasty casserole from Suriname. The top layer is typically made from a tuber called a pomtajer. You can order it online here Here or simply substitute grated potatoes or cassava.
Now, this recipe also calls for canned corned beef. It adds a rich meatiness to the Pom, so be brave and don’t skip it.

Naptime tip: Got leftovers? The Dutch and Surinamese serve it up on a roll and call it broodje pom.

Pom

Serves 10-12 Recipe adapted from The Dutch Table

Ingredients:
6 medium-sized potatoes or 2 yucca/cassava roots

Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 Tbs. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. turmeric
Salt and pepper
6 Tbs. butter, divided
1 cup chopped onion
2 lbs. boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 ounces canned corned beef brisket
1 Tbs. tomato paste
2 medium tomatoes, chopped 
1/2 tsp. nutmeg, divided
4 cups water 
2 tsp. Chicken base or 2 billion cubes

Method: 
Heat oven to 350°F.
Shred the potatoes or cassava and mix with half of the lime juice, all of the orange juice and the parsley. Then season it with the brown sugar, turmeric, some salt and pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.

Melt 1 Tbs. butter in a deep sauté pan over medium high heat. Cook the onions in the butter about 3 minutes or until soft. Add the chicken and cook through, stirring regularly. Next add the corned beef, tomato paste, the rest of the nutmeg, more salt and pepper, and the rest of the lime juice. Stir and cook about 2 more minutes, breaking up the corned beef.

Pour in four cups of water and the chicken base or bullion. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer, cooking for fifteen minutes, then remove from heat.

Using 1 Tbs. butter, thoroughly grease a casserole dish. Spread half of the shredded cassava or potato mixture on the bottom of the dish. Add the meat mixture in a layer on top, then finish with a layer of the remaining shredded potatoes.  

Drizzle any leftover juices from the chicken mixture on top, then dot with remaining 4 Tbs. of butter.
Bake at 350°F for 1 hour or until bubbling and golden brown. Cool slightly, then cut into squares and serve.

Uzbekistan 🇺🇿 Chuchvara (beef dumplings)

These are simple but tasty beef dumplings with a spicy surprise. According to tradition, you’re supposed to put lots of cayenne pepper in 1 dumpling and whoever gets it, has good luck…and a mouth on fire!

*Naptime Tip: Folded Chuchvara can easily be frozen and boiled when you need dinner super fast.

Chuchvara

Recipe adapted from Uzbek Cooking

Ingredients:

For the dough-

100g water

1/2 Tbs. salt

1 large egg

80-110g all purpose flour

For the filling-

250g ground meat (lamb or beef)

2 onions peeled and finely diced

Salt and pepper

5 Tbs. butter

4 Tbs. lamb’s tail fat cut into tiny cubes (optional)

Cayenne pepper (for 1 lucky dumpling)

For serving-

Sour cream or yogurt

2 Tbs. chopped cilantro

Method:

For the dough- Combine all the dough ingredients in a medium bowl, adding the flour bit by bit as needed. Knead to form a moderately firm dough. Cover and let dough rest for 15 min.

For the filling- Sauté the onions over medium heat in the butter until golden brown. Add the meat and lamb fat, if using, then season generously with salt and pepper. Cook until meat is no longer pink. Set aside to cool.

To assemble- Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a large rectangle, 1/16″ thick (or as thin as you can get it.)

Cut the dough into 1.5 x 1.5 inch squares.

Put 1/2-1 tsp. of filling in the middle of each square. Fold the dough corner to corner (making a triangle), pinching the edges together to seal. Pinch two corners together (like a hug!) Continue making chuchvara in the same way until you’re out of filling.

To serve: Chuchvara can be frozen at this point! Or cook in salted boiling water for 3-5 minutes until pasta is translucent and tender. Serve Chuchvara with some of the cooking liquid (called soup) ladled into a serving dish. Dollop with plain yogurt or sour cream and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

Alternatively, chuchvara can be served “without soup” and topped with fried onions and diced fresh tomatoes. Enjoy! (I hope you get the lucky spicy one!)

Togo 🇹🇬 Djinkoume (Tomato Cornmeal Cake)

Djenkoume is a simple starch from Togo made interesting with tomato paste and coconut milk. It’s just the right addition to a meal of fried or grilled meat.

*Naptime Tip: You can make this dish way in advance if needed, then reheat when ready to serve.

Djenkoume (Tomato Cornmeal Cake)

Serves 9-12. Recipe adapted from https://www.savourous.com/recipe-view/djinkoume-or-tomato-cornmeal-djenkoume/

Ingredients:

2 Tbs. coconut oil

4 Tbs. tomato paste

2 tsp. Garlic powder

1 tsp. ginger powder

2 tsp. onion powder

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 (14 oz.) can coconut milk

3 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
2 cups cornmeal

Method:

In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the tomato paste, garlic, ginger and onion powder. Cook about 1 minute then add the coconut milk and broth. Season liberally with salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil.

Once boiling, gradually whisk in the cornmeal and keep whisking to prevent lumps.

Reduce to a simmer and cook 5-10 minutes, stirring regularly, until tender. Season with more salt as needed.

Serve immediately or pour into a greased 9×9″ pan, cover and chill
Reheat when ready to serve, cutting into squares. Top with salsa or hot sauce alongside some fried or grilled meat.

Portugal 🇵🇹 Bacalhou à la Brás

The idea for this dish comes from my sister-in-law who served an LDS mission in Portugal.

A simple yet satisfying dish of eggs, potatoes and salt cod, this Portuguese favorite can be enjoyed breakfast lunch or dinner.

*Naptime tip: The salt cod needs to be soaked for 24 hours before using, so plan accordingly. Also, you can totally cheat and use leftover French fries!

Bacalhou à la Brás

Recipe slightly adapted from Global Kitchen. Serves 6.

Ingredients:

1 lb. boneless, skinless, dried salt cod (Try Salt cod on Amazon or Homemade salt cod)

1 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch by 1/4 inch sticks

1/4 cup olive oil, divided

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1/4 tsp. Saffron threads

1 clove garlic

6 large eggs

1/4 tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp. Black pepper

1/3 cup oil cured olives, chopped

2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley

Method:

Rinse the salt cod in cold water then place in a shallow glass dish with water covering the first by 1/4 inch. Cover and chill 24 hours, changing the water 4 times.

The next day, drain the fish and place in a saucepan with fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook 12-15 minutes or until fish begins to flake apart. Drain, flake into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

While fish is cooking, heat a large non-stick skillet to medium high heat with 2 Tbs. of oil. Add half the potatoes and cook 5 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towel. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan. Brown remaining potatoes, drain, then turn heat down to medium.

Pour 1 1/2 tsp. oil into now empty pan and add onions. Cook 6-8 minutes until softened and browning.

While the onions cook, whisk the eggs in a bowl with the salt and pepper. Set aside.

Back to the onions. Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 tsp. oil, the garlic, saffron and cook until fragrant, 30 to 60 minutes. Add the flaked fish and potatoes. Cook 1-2 minutes to warm everything through.

Next pour the eggs over the potato mixture and stir, cooking just until eggs are set. Remove from heat, sprinkle with the olives and parsley then serve.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 🇻🇨

Fry bakes are a traditional West Indian breakfast bread. They can be stuffed with cheese, fried fish, sausages, salted cod fish or left plain, and slathered in butter.

Fry bakes are a quick bread so they’re great as a last minute addition to a meal.

*Naptime Tip: Though not traditional, and slightly more time consuming, yeast can be added to the dough to yield a lighter fry bake. These can also be frozen and reheated in the oven or toaster!

Fry Bakes

Recipe from Genius Kitchen- Mama’s Fry Bakes. Makes 12.

Ingredients:

4 cups flour

4 tsp. Baking powder

1 tsp. Salt

1/4 cup lard or shortening

1 tsp. Instant yeast (optional)

1 1/2 cups water

1 cup vegetable oil (for frying)

Method:

Mix together the flour, salt, baking powder and yeast (if using).

Rub in the shortening until crumbly. Add water slowly to bring together a dough, you may not need to use all of it.

Knead dough lightly to make a smooth, not sticky dough.

If using yeast, allow dough to rest 30-45 minutes, covered with a damp cloth. Omit resting if not using yeast.

Divide dough into 12 pieces and shape into balls. Roll each ball to a 3 1/2 inch round disk, about 1/4 inch thick.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Fry each disk of dough until puffed and brown on both sides, flipping once.

Drain on paper towels and serve as is or stuffed with desired filling.