Luxuriating in Lamu (and I’m back!)

DSC_0145Hopefully you’ve noticed that I’ve taken quite the hiatus over the past few weeks. After two glorious weeks in Kenya (more on this later), I returned to New York and immediately moved to a new apartment. But, now that the dust has somewhat settled, the first order of business is to reminisce on my African adventure with lots of food photos and descriptions of utter hedonism.DSC_0044

Although this was my first experience in Africa, my trip was far different from the traditional safari voyage; in fact  more of a relaxed beach vacation. After an 11 hour layover in London, 16+ hours of air travel, and time spent in the makeshift international arrivals area  (read: tent)  at Nairobi airport, my parents and I arrived in Lamu, a small island off the coast of Kenya.DSC_0059

A world heritage site, Lamu is the ultimate paradise—clear blue waters, long stretches of un-inhabited beach, and boats instead of cars. Days were spent enjoying long luxurious beach walks, sampling local seafood, and going for dips in the ocean.

Lunch at Lamu House Restaurant on the other side of the Island:

DSC_0090DSC_0098 DSC_0119 DSC_0115 DSC_0106 DSC_0103 DSC_0101 DSC_0100DSC_0099The local Swahili cuisine is an interesting mix of Indian and African—samosas, chutneys and pungent stews are pervasive, with an emphasis on seafood and tropical fruits. We ate almost entirely seafood-based dishes, ranging from Western-inspired to Swahili and even some Asian influences.

Fish Curry, Okra and a Spicy Fresh Salad:

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Langoustines and Roasted Vegetables:

DSC_0135 DSC_0141 DSC_0139 DSC_0137Whole Roasted Fish:DSC_0239Stuffed Crab: DSC_0274Fresh Fruit including the “Tree Tomato”, which was sour and had a distinct roasted meat flavor: DSC_0143 DSC_0159DSC_0257DSC_0244…And back to reality.

Summer Eats on the Shore

DSC_0115When I’m with my friend Rachael, food is never far from the equation, whether we’re trying out a new restaurant in Philadelphia where she lives, cooking ourselves a quick dinner or just talking endlessly about what we’ve been eating. I recently spent a few days with her in Philly and then in Margate, on the Jersey shore, and we had some fabulous food as always. A dinner at Amis was terrific, with the stars being swordfish meatballs, pasta with bass and an outrageous Nutella-covered waffle for dessert. We also hit up Khmer Kitchen, a super-authentic Cambodian joint where I found mussels that made me question my previous ambivalence to the species, and dove head first into some fantastic flavors. After a quick Banh Mi from Nam Som and some baked goods from the newly opened Kermit’s Bake Shop, we headed for the Shore for some much needed beach time. Our first evening, we made a summery feast heavy on the excellent Jersey produce we bought:

Shrimp in BBQ & Garlic Marinade:DSC_0070Summery Salad with the sweetest Jersey tomatoes!:DSC_0084Stone fruit getting honeyed before the grill:DSC_0093Fodder for the grill!DSC_0100

Aesthetically pleasing arrangementDSC_0105A few crabcakes were in order…DSC_0106 (thanks to Rachael)

Nawlins

In early March, I spent an unforgettable weekend in New Orleans with a friend. We ate, drank, boogied and Bayou-toured. Trip Highlights included:

  1. Stumbling Upon a Crawfish Boil while Parking the Car. We chatted with the awesome proprietors of Lucy’s Retired Surfer Bar & Restaurant, took numerous photos, and dug into some serious Zatarains-laced Nawlins Crawfish.DSC_0121 Continue reading