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Samoa is a little island in the Pacific Ocean about 3,200 kilometers north of New Zealand. Lonely Planet calls it the place where "emerald shores meet azure waters." Sounds pretty much like every other island in the Pacific.
We chose to make Masi Samoa which are coconut cookies. Please do not confuse these with the Girl Scout "Samoa" cookie. They are not the same thing. At all. 

The best part of this recipe is the way your house smells while the cookies are baking. The 4 year old walked into the kitchen just as the cookies were finishing up in the oven and proclaimed, "Hmmmm ça sent très bon!!" (It smells very good!). 

Apparently these cookies come in neatly piled stacks tied with ribbon on the streets of Samoa. Whenever we make our way there I will gladly pick them up and devour them as fast as possible.  They're a cross between a shortbread cookie and a scone. Although delicious as they were, we found that slathering them with nutella was a great addition. They were also lovely the next morning coated in a touch of butter and strawberry jam.  

The ingredient list is pretty simple and you've probably already got everything in your pantry. Butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, eggs, vanilla extract and coconut milk. I followed this recipe

A's rating: 3 
M's rating: 4-5
H's rating: 6

The cookies are delicious but very simple. I think the leftovers are going to serve as the base for strawberry shortcake. 


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2 tablespoons sugar
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Equatorial Guinea

(Yeah, I didn't know it was a country either)

The dish tonight = chicken with peanut butter sauce and boiled plantains.

If you're looking for a non-traditional/non-American carb, grab a plantain. They pack a punch.  They're deceptively starchy and bland. However, if you're hungry and you're in need of carbohydrate replenishment, they're amazing.  They're also pretty good as a side dish to a chicken peanut butter stew.

The dish tonight was interesting. The relationship between peanut butter, tomatoes and oregano was incredible. It was a beautiful polygamous marriage that actually worked.

7 out of 10

[Note to self: Do not overestimate the power of a habeñero. Even though this is the devil pepper the entire thing is warranted in this recipe. Leave some out and you'll regret it.]


This fourth largest island in the world is up next and so is the national dish romazava over rice. Depending on how the rice cooking goes I may also have Ranonapango (burnt rice drink).

Some French family friends went to Madagascar in 2009 and loved it. Since then I've had a secret crush on the island country.

Ranonapango Rating: 3 out of 10.
"This takes some getting used to."--Tony. I, however, actually enjoyed the idea of this drink. It's resourceful and you get a flavored drinkable water . (This is very important due to the water concerns on the island and the need to boil just about any liquid you put in your mouth.)

Romazava Rating 8 out of 10.
Looked awful, smelled reasonably acceptable but tasted wonderful.

For an interesting read of most things Malagasy, check out the great blog called, Don't Feed the Lemurs.

1.5 cup of rice3 cups of waterRinse the rice and set aside. Bring the water to a boil and throw in the rice. Simmer for 20 minutes until t…