Bourbon and Bacon Mac and Cheese – Expat Cooking With Booze

As promised – because I’m all about fulfilling promises – I’m about to give you the keys to the gates of culinary paradise.  A recipe so profound, so life-changing that I had to translate the recipe into English from the very alphabet of the Heavenly Angels.  A recipe that is the actual Platonic ideal of macaroni and cheese.  A recipe that epitomizes everything that is good about pasta, bourbon, cheese and bacon by mixing them together.

When Kraft grows up and becomes a highly successful hedge fund manager who volunteers in poverty stricken orphanages and works on clean water projects in the Third World, it is this bourbon and bacon mac and cheese.
When Kraft grows up and becomes a highly successful hedge fund manager who volunteers in poverty stricken orphanages and works on clean water projects in the Third World, it is this bourbon and bacon mac and cheese.

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You Can’t Take it With You – Expat Cooking With Booze

The thing about being an expat living in Africa is that everyone brings you booze for every occasion.  Plus there were all those times you passed through the Duty Frees in various transit airports (Pro-Tip:  Big 5 Duty Free in Johannesburg’s OR Tambo.  You can thank me later).  And don’t get me wrong, a lot of it gets properly used in the imbibing process.  However, it is inevitable that there will be a move that will come around just when you have reached maximum booze collection density .

Just a few of my favorite things.
Just a few of my favorite things.

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Doing What the Locals Do

I will totally own it.  I’ve said it.  I say it, in fact, every time we travel.  “Let’s do what the locals do!”

I mean, locals go to the Dubai Mall, right?  That counts.  And Angkor Wat.  Those are totally local things.

We're local here. Seriously. The Angkor Wat complex is local, and we're visiting it. It's local.
We’re local here. Seriously. The Angkor Wat complex is local, and we’re visiting it. It’s local.

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That Time We Stayed in a Murder Hotel in Addis Ababa

Right at the start I can assure you, I’m not using similes, metaphors, or exaggerating.  Me.  Two kids.  Murder hotel.  Addis Ababa.

And I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ethiopian Airlines for their high commitment of customer service in adventure travel (*COUGH*).

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Reaction GIFS Travelers Really Need

We have a Facebook page associated with the From Fresno to Timbuktu site, but you know that, right?  You know that, and YOU HAVE LIKED IT, right?  Go ahead, you can do that now.  I’ll wait for you.

JUST PRESS THE LIKE BUTTON!
JUST PRESS THE LIKE BUTTON!

Now that you have pressed the like button and are perusing our offerings of witticisms, pontificating, and moments of sheer ridiculousness (often brought to you by over-tired children, over-packed husbands, and a cat that finds car rides a better elimination help than Senekot tablets), you can start liking some of our stuff as well.

And by “like”, I mean, “pick an appropriate emoticon to tell us how engaged you are with all this hoo-dee-do.”

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Somehow My Travel Always Involves Stairs

I’m not sure how many people visit Kuala Lumpur and don’t stop by the Batu Caves, but I’m pretty sure that it’s required by international travel law that you see them when you happen to be in the neighborhood.  And they are  lovely – just absolutely lovely!

Just... seriously. Seriously- does it get any more gorgeous than this?  Because no.  No it does not.
Just… seriously. Seriously- does it get any more gorgeous than this? Because no. No it does not.

 

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When Trip Advisor Goes Wrong

I love Trip Advisor – I do.  I really, really do.  And I never make a hotel booking without first checking what Trip Advisor contributors have to say about that hotel.  There are always the odd reviews out where people have an ax to grind, but if you read the reviews with a practiced eye, you will get a very good idea of what to expect.

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You Shall Travel All Year!

I’m sure you’ve heard that what you do on the first day of the year will set the pattern for the year to come.

Actually, you may not have heard it, and I may have made it up.  I did try searching that phrase, but I couldn’t find a Google link, which seems to indicate that I just randomly decided that it is a thing.  Whatever.  It’s a good thing.

How I spent New Year's Day 2016
How I spent New Year’s Day 2016. Also, watching episodes of Rome.

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The Little Things About Travel – Cab Drivers

So there I am, at the bottom of The Peak Tram in Hong Kong.  I’m soaking wet.   I’ve managed to wrench my back somehow and am in the sort of pain only someone whose back lived through a pregnancy resulting in a nearly twelve pound baby can be.  It’s raining.  And worst of all – the won ton soup I had ordered at the top of The Peak had smelled like someone took the shrimp for a sun-filled vacation in a rotting sewer.  It was sent back, of course.  And I got no won ton soup.

japanese italian fusion
We ended up with Japanese/Italian fusion. Did you know that’s a thing? That’s totally a thing. There is a thing called Japanese/Italian fusion.

Sometimes you have these days when you travel. “But!” I told myself. “Hey! I’m in Hong Kong! That’s awesome! And we’ll just take a cab back to the hotel, chill and dry, then get some won ton soup somewhere else! Really, I’m totally ahead on this!”

Little did I know that one does not simply “take a cab” when it is raining in Hong Kong.

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Family Vacation Planning as a Second Career

Last night my husband broke into one of my nightly monologues (I feel the need to narrate everything that has happened that day to him, since he travels quite a bit for business) with this, “I know you’re really excited about our December vacation, but I honestly don’t really care what you decide we’re going to see. You’ve always chosen good places, I’ve loved all of our travel.  I’m sure this will be wonderful as well.”

Dude.  Buzzkill.  I know that half-an-hour on this hotel vs. the other hotel might seem like overkill to the uninitiated, but I love figuring this stuff out.

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Travel, Kids, Life, and the Search for the World's Best Airline Lounge