A Taste of Home


crock pot recipes, slow cooker recipes, chicken adobo, filipino food, moving overseas, expat lifeSomething about cooking just makes a place feel more like home.Saturday night I made my first home-cooked meal in San Salvador: spaghetti bolognese (it was actually just ground beef sautéed with garlic and a jar of Classico pasta sauce, but “bolognese” sounds better) and caesar salad (romaine with store-bought dressing).But still — I felt like purchasing ingredients from the grocery store and cooking a meal with the embassy-issued welcome kit’s cooking supplies on our first full day in town was a small achievement. Baby steps, right?Sunday morning (well, I slept in, so it was more likely around brunch/lunch time) I made us breakfast. Weekend breakfast has been a tradition in our household for some time.We do it up big: sometimes pancakes and bacon (with the BEST maple syrup from Costco — Kirkland brand, obv.) and other times sunny-side-up eggs with homemade hash browns — and I mean real hash browns, not the cut-up potatoes that restaurants serve under the guise of “hash browns” that are really, in fact, home fries (I am serious about my breakfast potatoes): peeled, shredded and riced potatoes (ricing is key to get all the moisture out) — and sausage links (links > patties).Sometimes we go crazy and do something like cinnamon French toast or omelettes. I’ve even been known to poach an egg or two. And of course, the star of every breakfast, every day of the week, is coffee from our Cuisinart Grind-and-Brew Coffeemaker. I am eagerly awaiting its arrival in our UAB.salvadoran coffee, cuisinart coffeemaker, moving overseas, expat life, moving abroadHello, old friend.Sunday night I made dinner again, one of our favorite dishes: Filipino chicken adobo, though not my favorite slow-cooker version adapted from Skinnytaste.com (see first photo) since my other favorite kitchen appliance has yet to arrive.I am really looking forward to the arrival of our UAB and HHE so we can really get cooking! But we are making do with what we have for now.What are your favorite recipes? How do you make a new place feel more like home?

Published by La Vie Overseas

I'm Natasha -- writer, runner and wife to a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. Current location: Frankfurt, Germany.

7 thoughts on “A Taste of Home

  1. Wow, this is so weird to imagine – trying to cook some of the non-Salvadoran meals I make, like spaghetti and meatballs, over in El Salvador. Does it feel odd? Have you had good luck finding ingredients?Ten years ago it would have been difficult but when we went to ES last year the number of American-style grocery stores had increased, there was a WalMart with familiar brands, and I believe we drove by a Cosco at one point.Congrats on your first few meals!


    1. Thanks! So far we’ve been to the grocery store twice (Super Selectos and PriceSmart, the equivalent of Costco) and we’ve been able to find everything we’ve needed. I haven’t gone out specifically with a recipe looking for ingredients — I’ve heard that it’s possible to find everything here, but you might have to go to more than one grocery store. But they have tons of American products and brands. Since we don’t have our car yet and are relying on rides/taxis, we’ve been somewhat limited in getting around but it’s only been a week! Lots more to explore.


  2. The first time we went to El Salvador I lost quite a bit of weight because I didn’t have access to my American comfort foods and I always thought that moving to ES temporarily or for an extended period would be a good weightloss plan for me, but not anymore. LOL. Not only have many Salvadoran foods become comfort foods for me over the years, but now all my American foods are there too. If anything, moving to El Salvador would be more dangerous to my waistline LOL


    1. Hm, I don’t envision myself losing weight unless I really try (which I am, since as you know I went on quite the eating tour of DC prior to leaving — luckily we have a fitness room at our apartment complex and access to the embassy gym). But yeah — between all the American/other international foods AND Salvadoran food (hello, pupusas!) I think it will be just as hard if not harder to maintain weight here. Especially since we are not walking around as much as we did in DC.


  3. Hilarious that you love Adobo. Our cook made the best Adobo in the Philippines. She used to add potatoes and they’d soak up all that vinegar soy combo and yum! We also love our grind and brew from Cuisinart. Love that you are cooking at home already. It sure does make the house feel like a home! Also great that you can find Western products there. It’s a relief sometimes to realize just how much is available in a foreign country. It’s not so foreign after all!


    1. Ooh potatoes — now that is a thought. I am Filipino (but grew up in Virginia) so we had lots of Filipino dishes in our cuisine! But adobo is the only Filipino dish I know how to make. Reading your blog and a few others that always have delicious-looking homemade treats on them has motivated me! I was pleasantly surprised to find so many American products. It is definitely making the transition to living in a foreign country easier — there are so many familiar brands around!


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