Meet Chrissy, the adventurous and worldly foodie behind The Hungary Buddha Eats The World and Undiscovered Kitchen Ambassador! As you may have already guessed, Chrissy got her inspiration by traveling around the world exploring new cultures and cuisines and bringing them home to her kitchen! Chrissy’s motto (which we LOVE!) is “I think therefore I travel” using every single hour of vacation time to seize any opportunity to explore the world.
Each week, Chrissy picks a new region of the world and cooks four dishes from that region: one breakfast, two entrees and one dessert (Hey Chrissy, how do we get an invite to your next dinner party ;) The best part is that she blogs about them all so that you too can join in on the fun. You can find her full library of recipes broken down by country right here from Afghanistan to Vietnam!
[Tweet “Eat The World With The @HungaryBuddha Without Leaving Your Kitchen! #recipes #travel”]
Since I am 100% fresh-off-the-boat polish I had to take a peek at the polish recipes and was stoked to find some of my all time favorites including this Polish Dill Soup (drool!)
Here’s a taste of the variety of recipes you can find:
Shrimp Stew from South America
Bacon-infused Coffee Caramel Sauce from Canada
Borscht (Beet Soup) from Russia
Mandalas Torte (Chocolate Almond Cake) from Hungary
Chocolate Chai Truffles from India
Falafel from The Middle East
In addition to these international delicacies, you can also find “Buddha Family Originals” including these White Chocolate Raspberry Cookies – Yum!
Chrissy loves getting her hands in recipes that have been passed down through the ages! She writes for a monthly column called, “From Grandma’s Kitchen” for the Chicago Foodseum where she digs up and prepares family recipes from family and friends. She’s always looking for suggestions so if you have any recipes to share – send them her way!
In return, you can try one of Mama Buddha’s recipes:
- Mama Buddha’s Caramel Nut Crunch
- Mama Buddha’s Gumbo
- Mama Buddha’s Indian Dal
- Mama Buddha’s Peanut Butter Cookies
- Mama Buddha’s Potato Curry
- Mama Buddha’s Lamb Curry
When did you start your blog and what inspired you?
The Hungary Buddha Eats the world was inspired by my love of cooking, traveling and eating. After returning home from Ireland in fall 2012 floored by all the wonderful food I ate on the trip (and all the trips that came before it), I decided that I needed to expand my cooking repertoire back home and cook the world!
What’s your goal/mission?
My overall goal is to be happy and to find balance with the things that I need to do (work) with the things that I want to do (play, travel, nurture and build my relationships). It’s a constant challenge, but one that I’ve definitely learned to manage (and achieve) as the years pass.
Is your blog your full time job? If not, how do you balance your time?
Unfortunately, my blog is not my full time job. Luckily in my real life I’m the kind of lawyer who can check out at the end of the day, and work a reasonable 40 hours a week rather than 80. Because of it, I’m been lucky enough to have time to dedicate to my blog, not only on the weekends, but during the week as well.
Something only your best friends know about you?
Well, I guess it’s not a secret anymore! My friends know I’m the worst liar ever, but something a little more interesting is that I love to collect fancy and unique artisan jams when I travel to take back as souvenirs. I’ve gotten some Whiskey Marmalade from Ireland, Marionberry from Washington State and Apple Cinnamon from Georgia, just to name a few.
What’s THE weirdest thing about you (because weird = AWESOME!)
I’m not sure if its necessarily weird, but I am not cool at all when it comes to music and if anyone were to scroll through my iPod they’d think I was 60 (Frank Sinatra/Simon & Garfunkel) or 16 (One Direction/Miley Cyrus/Glee covers). If you walk into my house on any given weekend day, you’ll most likely find me dancing in the kitchen to Frankie Valli the Four Seasons, and that’s not just because of Jersey Boys.
Something you’ve been dying to master but still can’t get exactly right?
Macarons, but to be honest, I only tried once. It’s on my to-master list, but thus far I’ve been unmotivated to do so.
Given all the time, tools and fresh ingredients, what would you try to make in the kitchen?
This is hard because I don’t really have a dish that I have put off making because of time, tools or ingredients! Perhaps it’d be something really extravagant like an expensive cut of meat, which I tend to avoid, but what I’ve learned from living in my teeny tiny Chicago apartment is that all I really need is a good pot, a good knife, a gas stove and good ingredients. Would I like a super awesome gas range? Yes, but I’ve been able to make some pretty amazing things with my little efficiency stove.
Plus, what I’ve learned cooking all these crazy dishes from around the world is that no dish is unattainable and most things can be modified to fit the tools and time that I have. For example, do I love French Onion soup? Yes. Do I have 4 hours to caramelize onions? No, so I find a way to make it work using fresh, healthy base ingredients. All good cooking starts with good ingredients.
Your favorite thing to do on the weekends?
I do love a quick weekend getaway! However, when I’m at home, I usually spend my days exercising or in the kitchen prepping for the week. When the weather’s good in the summer, most days I’ll be outside on a patio with friends, at the beach for some volleyball and at the tennis courts. I like to move on the weekends to make up for being trapped at a desk all week.
What are you excited to or hope to achieve in the next year?
Though my blog is almost three years old, I’ve only just recently started trying to “get it out there” more. It’s constantly evolving, but I hope that it can pick up steam. I also love the idea of recipe development, so I’m hoping to explore those options more in the next year. From a travel perspective, my friends and I have tentative plans to hit Iceland/London/Paris/Oktoberfest in the fall. I’m already getting antsy to go!
What are your favorite artisan food companies?
Unfortunately before I learned about Undiscovered Kitchen, the only way I heard about artisan companies was when I’d visit farmers’ markets, something I’m more likely to do when I travel. If I had to name a few that I’ve come to love I’d say:
- Carol’s Cookies
- The Spice House (in Chicago)
- Old Town Oil (in Chicago)
One of the first artisan brands that I fell in love with before I knew what artisan goods were is England’s Preserves, a jam company that I first discovered at the Borough Market in London when I lived there back in 2007. Every time I visit London I come back with at least four jars, which makes for a very heavy suitcase!
What are your favorite foodie blogs/sites?
This is tough because there are so many great sites out there, but the ones that tend to go to consult before all others are:
- Joy the Baker
- The Brown Eyed Baker
- Smitten Kitchen
Your all time favorite blog post of all time?
That’s hard, because I think certain posts, whether I write them myself or that I’ve read from others speak to me in different ways depending on what I’m feeling at that moment that I write or read them.
One of my favorites is a bit outside-the-box because it’s one of the only posts I’ve written that’s not related to food but to travel. Whenever I read it, it takes me back to all the trips I’ve been on and experiences I’ve had, so it’s one of my favorites to re-read: Deep Thoughts: The World Through A Traveler’s Eyes
The best blog comment/feedback you’ve ever received?
Imitation is the best form of flattery and I have two friends that have been, in some ways, cooking along with me. I love getting weekly emails and updates on what they’ve made and what they’ve liked. Whenever people make something that I’ve posted, it’s the best form of compliment!