About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie's interest in food began when she used whole food and traditional nutrition to bring healing to her health challenges, but it quickly grew into a love for backyard gardening, fresh flavors, and simple but lovingly crafted family meals. This year will find her stepping on every continent in the world, as she and her husband take their 4 young children globe-trotting. She's eager to study cooking in as many countries as possible, scout out the local markets, savor the unique cuisines, and glean inspiration from the pots and pans of the people she crosses paths with. You can find her sharing about natural homemaking at Keeper of the Home, or weaving travel tales on EntreFamily Travels. She has also written 3 books to help families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods.

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How I learned to cook whole fish, Sicilian style (and how you can too)

Four months into our round-the-world journey, we’ve wound up in Mediterranean Europe. First mainland Greece, then Naxos island, Rome, and now Sicily, then on to Provence in France, and the south of Spain.

I’ve arrived in the land of open-air markets, and I’m not quite sure how my husband is going to drag me onto the airplane that will take me away from this wondrous place.

For those blessed with access to a farmer’s market, you’ll understand my sentiments when I say the market is an easy place to delightfully lose track of time, sniff aromatic melons, smile at blushing red tomatoes, and fill your cloth shopping bags until you come home with a bounty like the one pictured above (the literal fruits of my first Sicilian shopping trip– local pistachios and almonds, three types of local cheese, salami to die for, and gorgeous seasonal produce).

There’s another side to these markets, however, one that even caught my children’s eyes (or rather, noses) when we first stumbled upon it. The fish stalls.

counter of fishmonger at market

It’s not a sight that we’re used to in North America. My fish usually comes frozen in packages, bound up in cans (for salmon patties), or at the very least, laying clean on styrofoam, shrink-wrapped in plastic.

Not here. Particularly on the islands or in coastal cities, the “pescheria” (as they call the fishmonger shops here in Italy) are prevalent and popular among the locals.

Wanting to challenge myself in each locale we visit, I decided it was high time I make my way to the fish stalls, purchase something fresh and glossy-eyed, and take it back to the kitchen of our rental apartment to prepare it as a Sicilian cook might.

[Read more...]

Empanadas: The perfect pocket food (Recipe: Apple Pie ‘Panadas)

empanadas-with-pears-and-cucumbers

Written by Stephanie of Keeper of the Home and EntreFamily Travels.

Have you ever noticed that nearly every culture has its own variation on a “pocket” food?

Chinese gyozas, Japanese rice balls with fish inside, German bierocks (beef, onion and cabbage filling), Mexican burritos and tamales, Italian calzones,  Polish pierogies, Indian samosas, English hand pies.

Hand held “pocket” foods, filled up with whatever is seasonal, available or simply leftover, just makes sense. Excellent for sending off with hard working husbands, or when you need a quick meal for hungry children.

They’re economical, easy to eat, and filling. The perfect homemade convenience food!

Empanadas… an Argentine staple

Aside from the famous asado (BBQ beef) and alfajores (slightly crumbly cookies with creamy, sweet dulce de leche oozing in between), empanadas are one of the most loved traditional foods here in Argentina, where our family is currently located during our year-long travels around the world.

Part of the joy of engaging in and experiencing a new culture for me is to experiment with the local foods. My husband conquered BBQ asado perfectly, and I made a pretty tasty batch of alfjores cookies, if I do say so myself. Last on my list was homemade empanadas.

[Read more...]

Exploring food cultures around the world (and in our own homes)

pastries-up-close

Written by Stephanie of Keeper of the Home and EntreFamily Travels. Welcome, Stephanie!

As I write this, I’m staring out the window of a cafe on a cobblestone plaza in Northern Argentina. Directly in front of me is a white stone building with a terra cotta tiled roof, grand archways, and a statue of an austere looking fellow named Guemes.

I’m sipping on a glass of agua con gas (carbonated mineral water), a plate of Argentine pastries to my left, which were brought to me “on the house” for reasons I couldn’t understand. This country seems determined to send me away in a size more “grande” than the one in which I arrived.

Another round of cafe con leche (milk coffee) is on the way to boost my brain function from the lack of sleep due to attending a Carnival parade until 2 am last night.

our-family-in-argentina

Who am I and what in the world am I doing here?

It’s an honor for me to join the Simple Bites team. I’m a long time food, health and homemaking blogger over at Keeper of the Home, as well as a Simple Bites reader since its inception.

For the past three years I’ve been sharing my love for green and natural living on Simple Homemade, but a change of plans and scenery this winter caused me to shift gears.

You see, on January 21st our family embarked on a rather unusual and ambitious journey. Together with our four young children (ages 8, 5, 3 and just turning 1), my husband and I are traveling around the world for an entire year!

First on our itinerary is a 3 month stop in South America, which includes time in several parts of Argentina as well as Uruguay. Following our time here, we’ll travel around Europe for 8 weeks this spring, then settle in southern Spain for the summer. Then it’s off to Turkey for a month, then hopefully Israel, Africa, Indonesia, China and Hong Kong, Australia and who knows where else! [Read more...]