Alisa with Chouquettes

Hi! My name is Alisa and I have loved to cook ever since I was a little kid. I started cooking as a toddler (with help, of course) and by the time I was 7 was planning and cooking full meals for our family of 5. My parents tricked us when we were younger…if we were good, we GOT to cook. Later, we HAD to cook. But the trick was on them, because I love to cook and all 3 of their children turned out to be good cooks. My daughter Eva, who is now 15 also loves to cook and is a great eater. I feel very lucky, and happy for her. When she was little we would feed her all kinds of things and make up fun names. In fact, Eva did not realize until about age 6 or so, when she could spell, that when we ate out and ordered the “chicken nuggets G-R-I-L-L-E-D” that she was in fact eating grilled chicken.

Fun nameActual food item
Candy. Cubed steamed sweet potatoes.
Green french fries.Green beans.
Dinosaur eggs.Persian herb balls.
Chicken nuggets.Any type of meat whatsoever (EXCEPT
actual chicken nuggets) in shape or form.
Chicken nuggets.Peruvian yucca balls stuffed with lime
marinated onions, chicken & olives.
Chicken nuggets.Grilled chicken.

I tried to instill a love of cooking into. Seems to have worked…although her favorite things to make are desserts, whereas mine our meals – maybe because we started out with chocolate mousse at about 2 years old. In addition to cooking, I love to travel. Fortunately, so does Eva. When we went to France she decided to try frogs legs and snails. She fell in love with all kinds of stinky cheeses. She also loves setting a fancy table and dressing up.

Growing up we ALWAYS had family dinner together…6:30 pm on the dot. As a mom, this was a tradition that was incredibly important to me to continue and even brought some ire and judgement from others who could not undertand why I would not sign my child up for soccer which went weeknights from 6-8 pm. To me, that is family time and and is sacred. Guess I was ahead of the curve because the last few years everyone is trying to promote family dinners to try to rebuild connections and in our house, of of the things my child values the most is meal time as a family. In fact we never miss meal time together. Ironically, COVID has taught many families the value of family meal time.

Last year (pre-Covid I must add) I was trying to find a way to motivate my daughter to do something…anything…and came up with the idea of cooking meals from each country around the world…in more or less alphabetical order. She was excited at first and we looked for the country list together and then picked out a few recipies. Ultimately she decided it was cool, but she was not going to do the cooking regularly…but she would be happy to try to food. We did a smattering of countries over a few months. Then Covid hit, we still did a few here and there, but then one day, I decided to pick up the pace a bit and do it more for me and to try to make it fun and educational. I started posting on Facebook about what we were making. I guess the fact that there were several B’s in a row caught people’s attention and a number of friends suggested I try a blog. My brother, Bhikku Subhuti, who is a buddhist monk living in Burma (you can follow his blog at AmericanMonk.org) offered to help me get started and has continued to help with hints and suggestions. So here I am writing a blog.

Like everything in life, this endeavour is a work in progress. All feedback and suggetions welcome. Would definitely love some authentic recipes too. People ask, where do you get your recipes. Well, I look on the web and watch lots of people (mostly moms and grandmas) cooking in their kitchens in languages I don’t understand. As I can read some French, Spanish and a bit of Portugues and Italian I also search google in those languages too, especially if the target country speaks those languages. As a teacher, I always did cooking projects in class with my students and taught them how to go to the actual google site for the particular country they had and how to search it. I am now doing the same 🙂

Just started adding step by step directions. Would love your feedback. Hoping to add YouTube videos soon.