This is a reprint of a review I wrote for amateurtraveler.com.
Flavors of Belize: The Cookbook” presents over 120 recipes spanning the cultures of Belize. From British to Lebanese to Garifunn, they are all here. Some of Belize’s most renowned chefs and cooks submitted recipes to this project. These folks range from the classically trained chefs to ones that learned to cook only in their mother kitchen. This diversity brings out an outstanding variety of gastronomic offerings.
Throughout the book care was taken to present the recipes with clear descriptions and directions so that they can be produced in any home kitchen. The first thing I made was the guacamole. My wife has a real passion for good guacamole and she gave it her approval. After the success of the guacamole, I moved on to pork chops with pineapple salsa. Nice clear directions made the salsa easy to make. I made both of the versions, one with jalapenos peppers and one without for my children. The salsa went well with the grilled chops. My picky children even ate the pork chops covered in the salsa. The last dish I fixed was the lobster and avocado salad from the red ginger restaurant on Ambergris Caye. My wife and I were able to make an entire meal out of this. The recipe is fairly complex but it really shows how clear and well written the directions are.
The last section of the book details the contributors and their restaurants. Short paragraphs detail each chef or cook and the cuisine they present. This is an excellent source for planning where to eat if you are traveling to Belize. This cookbook is an excellent trip through the culinary culture of Belize.
Disclosure: A free copy of this cookbook was given to a volunteer with the expectation that they would write a fair and honest review of it.
The original post can be found here.
I have recently flown Delta on a couple of international and domestic flights and thought I would share some of my current thoughts about the airline. these last 6 flight have been the first on Delta in many years. I was impressed by the first flight, even though it was full and only between Raleigh, NC and Atlanta, GA the A319 we were on had TVs at every seat and plugs to charge every possible device. Everyone in our group was impressed with this flight even after getting up at 3:00AM to get to the airport.
The second flight of that day was from Atlanta to San Salvador, El Salvador. After the nice airplane from RDU to ATL that morning this plane was a disappointment. Although we did get a small sandwich the rest of the flight was a crowed mess. The inflight magazine I read on the first flight talked about what movies were shown flying to a from Central America. There was no movie on our flight to or from El Salvador. This was the first international flight I have taken where the service was so lack luster.
My next set of flight for a business trip to Atlanta. I worked hard to not need to check luggage, only to get to the gate and get to listen to the gate agent practically beg us to check our carry ons because the flight was so full. This time I also paid attention to the boarding process. I realized that the whole “Boarding Zone” thing is completely false. I watched the agent board the usual pre board folks, then the First Class passengers. The MD 90 that was the aircraft for the day, had 16 first class seats and over 20 people boarded. Then after that all the mega-elite Medallion Level folks started to board. I never imagined that there were that many of them. At least another 30 folks boarded. Then the lower level Medallion members of the SkyMiles program boarded. Finally zone 1 and after that zone 2. By the time I go on board in zone 2, I was glad I had checked my bag, as there was so more room for them on the plane. On the way back to North Carolina on Wednesday of that week, the same thing happen on boarding. Except a group of Delta flight attendants boarded each with 3 or 4 cary on bags. Guess Delta really does not care about the impressions they give to their customers as they provide bag customer experience.
My oldest son is a huge NASCAR Fan. His favorite driver is the Six Time Champion Jimmie Johnson. So when we heard that the Jimmie Johnson Foundation was holding a 5k race in Huntersville, NC as a part of the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Wellness Challenge we knew we had to go run. This was my son’s first 5K since he was 10. It is always an experience taking a child on their first real road trip that is not a family vacation. Watching Chase, now 13, struggle out of bed at 5:00 am for the 2 hour drive to the race all for the chance to meet one of his heroes was impressive. He was a real trooper doing his best to stay awake and keep me talking for the drive.
The drive from our home in Pinehurst to Huntersville is one two lane country roads for and congesting in the Charlotte, NC area. This are of North Carolina between the Sandhills and the Piedmont is one of a changing landscape. In our Sandhills area you start out seeing nothing but Long-leaf Pines and as you drive North and East it slowly transitions to a hardwood forest of oak, maple and sassafras.
The race itself was superb, very possibly the best ran 5k event I have been to. They were ready with packets, the all important t-shirts were good and most important of all the race started on time and the course was the correct distance. Since chase and I were running together, I did not come close to a good pace, but he set a new personal record for 5K!
The after party was pretty good also. Blue Bunny Ice cream was their with treats and Mac’s Speed Shop brought their mobile BBQ pit Hogzilla and had BBQ sandwiches for the runners. Now I must admit I am not the biggest fan of North Carolina style BBQ, but this BBQ was good as was the coleslaw and Mac and Cheese. Just good southern BBQ. Seeing the Hogzilla was a trip. I just need to convince my wife that I need to build one.
Chase ready to run
Me and Chase at the start line.
chase and Jimmie Johnson
Chase and Chad Knaus