Friday, December 19, 2014

Saturday, July 5, 2014

3 Tips That Will Impact Your RAGBRAI Experience

A RAGBRAI host family home in Orange City, Iowa
3 Tips that will impact your RAGBRAI experience
By Kathy Stutzman aka Mama Caruso

Now that the 4th of July is over it’s time to get really serious about RAGBRAI which is in less than 2 weeks and I wanted to share some pointers that I have found to really enhance my RAGBRAI experience. For those of you who do not know what RAGBRAI is it stands for the (DesMoines) Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa – and by bikes, they don’t mean motorcycles, they mean bicycles.

Every year 10,000 to 20,000 bicycle riders mount up and start their trek across the great state of Iowa by dipping their rear bicycle tires in the Missouri and head east…for the brave and crazy ones, that means all the way to the Mississippi River, in 7 short days. Each year the course varies between north and south, hilly and flat, long and short. This year’s course is coming close to my town in Minnesota it is that far north, so of course I am riding. We have a small family
Dipping my wheels in the Mississippi
team and this is one of our annual family vacations.

While I am a relative “newbie” after riding RAGBRAI 7 years, I have learned a few things along the way and thought that I would share the top three things that have really impacted my experience at RAGBRAI, so please enjoy and I hope you find these useful:

Tip #1: Lots and lots of George Washingtons, yes, one dollar bills. No kidding, I have made so many friends by walking around with my daily allotment of 25 $1 bills, I can’t tell you. But I can tell you that several years ago I got moved to the front of a 100 person+ line waiting for pasta because the cashier at the front of the line needed someone to help them make change for all of the $20’s they were getting. I can’t tell you how incredible that felt to get moved to the front of the line, and to have my meal comped because I had $25 in one dollar bills.

If you can imagine, each rider spends between $50 - $150/day consuming calories and fluids to fuel the thousands and thousands of calories that we burn, that’s a lot of money. And, a lot of that is spent on $1 bananas, drinks, brownies, cookies, you get the idea…so by the time the 100th rider has stopped by the cookie lady’s stand at 7:00 in the morning to buy a $1 cookie with a $20 bill – there’s no change left, and in fact, she probably ran out of change after the 10th rider…so riders, and support crews, carry your cash in $1 and $5’s and you will be loved, and you will be fed and you will be able to pay for the food that someone has so graciously provided for you to get replenished.

Tip #2: Snack sized ziplocks. I bring an entire box of 100 snack sized ziplocks with me and our entire family uses them. For what? Riders…tell me…how would you use a snack sized ziplock? Let me count the ways…first and foremost, my cell phone goes in there. It fits in a snack sized ziplock perfectly and it is protected from the rain and the sweat if I am carrying it in my jersey pocket. But the beauty of carrying my phone in a ziplock is that I can still see through it in case I do get any messages. Cell phone use and crashing the bandwidth during RAGBRAI is another story.

We also use snack sized ziplocks for our daily snacks, they are just the perfect size, and I use another one for my money and identification. This is a great travel tip too, I use snack size ziplocks when carrying money in a money belt and it keeps the money from absorbing any sweat or rain that I may encounter while wearing my money belt. Because I also carry a bike bag, I bring quite a few very useful things that all go into snack sized ziplocks; business cards, note paper and a pen – I never know when I am going to want an autograph, or get someone’s phone number for a story, my camera, and any emergency medications I might need, especially an allergy medicine – it seems like there is always something blooming in Iowa.

Most importantly, I keep the addresses of the places where I am staying in a snack sized bag so that it does not disintegrate in the rain or sweat. Once my brain has been challenged by riding 80+ miles day after day, I do not want anything hindering directions to where I am going to rest…and because of the bandwidth problem, I cannot rely on GPS.

The unassuming pacifier pod 
Tip # 3 is a 12 in 1, really…are you ready? The absolute most useful accouterments, something besides my
biking gear that I bring is…a pacifier pod. Yes a pacifier pod, and in fact, I just found some really super cute ones that match my bike and I can’t wait to show them off. Why in the world would any bicyclist want a pacifier pod, and exactly what is a pacifier pod?

A pacifier pod is a very small 2” x 4” pouch with a snap strap made of nylon or other durable fabric with a velcro closure that snaps on and off my bike handle-bars and provides me with quick and ready access to absolutely everything I need whenever I stop. Whenever I stop during the ride, I just unsnap this cute little pouch and away I go. Here is what I carry in my pouch (please see photos to envision the usefulness):

·         Cash – some of those George Washington’s I alluded to before, not all, some;
·         An insect repellent towelette, in case I need to make a quick trip to the cornfield;
·         A credit card in case my tire needs repair at the bike tents along the course;
·         An antibacterial wipe or two for so many reasons;
All of these items fit nicely into the pouch
·         A blister pack of Chamois Butter to keep chafing at bay, especially after 50 miles;

·         Sunscreen stick;
·         Allergy medicine for sudden attacks;
·         A few coins
·         A business card
·         A bandaid;
·         Pepto-bismol tablets and calcium to deal with sudden cramps;
·         A thermometer and compass – it is easy to get disoriented after riding for 8 hours in the blistering heat and I like to know what the temp is for context, sometimes I will hang the thermometer on my bike bag but it swings back and forth and annoys me.

I want each of these items to be available when I need them and don’t want to be digging around for them. And, more times than not, other riders will ask me for almost everything in my pouch – the antibacterial wipes are especially handy for those unexpected pit stops or when the port-a-potties have run out of toilet paper and I usually end the day with most of my consumable supplies exhausted. I used to carry a tiny LED flashlight in the pouch too, but it gave way to the Chamois Butter.


I lock the pod into place with a bandanna
to keep it in place. A bandanna is
another very useful item!
The three tips have really made a difference in not only my experience of  RAGBRAI, but also of the many people with whom I come in contact during that wonderful, challenging and character-building week. I hope you find these tips useful and be sure to let me know if you pass me during the ride…and remember to Ride Right (that means ride to the right unless you are passing!) From my table to your…from my bike to yours…enjoy!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Bloody Mary Gazpacho Time

At 11:00 Central time I am going to be making my Bloody Mary Gazpacho for a 4th of July Celebration. Here's what I found at the store yesterday to add some flavor. Join me at #MamaCarusoCooks for pointers



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Play Like a Kid in the Kitchen

Love love love these
new marshmallows
I am sitting in the kitchen waiting for the final test bake of my super delicious Chicken Artichoke Enchilada Casserole and can't wait for it to be done so I can post the recipe. Every time I have cooked the casserole is was been really great and all of my taste testers (a nice picky group) have unanimously loved it...yippiee! I can't wait to share it with you all!

I hope to have it posted by tomorrow before I leave for #TECHMunch Conference in Chicago where I will be connecting with food, wine and lifestyle bloggers from all over - can't wait. Too many exciting things happening and I am just sitting in my kitchen waiting...

I am pretty sure I have mentioned that I am not the best "waiter" in more
respects than one, so I am looking around the kitchen filling my time...waiting and look what I come across - black olives and marshmallows> I am immediately transported to my childhood. Time to play a little.

I know you think about doing this
What kid doesn't wear olives on their fingers? I think about it every time every kid who comes into my house does this same thing...if they can do it, why can't I? Ohhh this is fun, if I had some white bread in the house, I would put some of my leftover pasta on it and make a spaghetti sandwich...another one of my childhood favorites!!

And, one of my real favs - marshmallows that came in a little box that was two marshmallows wide, six marshmallows long, in two layers separated by a thin layer of cardboard and wrapped in plastic - which meant that if you did not eat them all, they would get nice and hard and have some great chewy texture by the time I discovered them in the pantry. So sweet with a little crunch, chewy and satisfying...and even then I wondered what they were made of because I wanted to make more...yum.

Okay - so what foods remind you of your childhood? Did you eat the crust first off of your sandwiches or pop-tart? Did you just love a crazy combination of foods..like a spaghetti or onion sandwich? What foods or methods of eating food remind you of your childhood?  I would love to hear about them.

Well - it looks like the casserole is done and I don't know exactly what
happened to all of those funky cool marshmallows, but I had a lot of fun today while waiting. Until I tomorrow...enjoy...from my table to yours, Mama Caruso.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Recipe Testing Day!!

Ingredients ready to go
I cook to relax, I know, I know, for so many people cooking can be a stressful activity - but nothing (well except for vacuming) calms me more than creating some crazy dishes to serve. The wilder the ingredients, the more extravagant the cooking techniques, the crazier the combination of flavors the better.

I can read a recipe or look at a set of ingredients and know exactly how I want it to taste and when I am on a cooking jag...watch out! I could never make it on any of the cooking shows, because when I am in the zone, tasting the texture, the flavors, the layers of goodies unfolding, being mixed and and matched I go into an alternate universe. Some may call it an altered state, and I spent most of last week in that place trying to relax and as a result ended up with some pretty phenemonal dishes.

Today I am testing the recipes, moving the food from my brain onto paper and I can't wait to share them with you. Each of the dishes are unpretentious but will amaze others when you serve them - all with a mix of semi-home cooking to make the meals accessible for all - no matter your cooking skills. So look for the recipes next week cause I am cooking up a storm today!

Here are some of the delights that are cooking in my kitchen today:

I couldn't wait so had to whip up
a batch to taste test
Coconut curry shrimp poppers
Carmelized onion coconut stew
Spicy ginger fried plaintain
Mango cilantro salsa
Super delicious cheesy  grits
Sweet potato rosemary chips
Corn and bean salsa
Chicken artichoke enchilada casserole

Yummm, can't wait to get these recipes tested so that we can get to eating! From my table to yours...enjoy...Mama Caruso

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

West African Cooking Heating up my Kitchen


Can't wait to transform this plantain
I belong to a book group whose theme is "we read to eat". Each month we read a book and then cook a meal that corresponds to the book - it is loads of fun and creates great opportunities for gathering, eating and laughing. Over the past 9 years we have traveled all over the world through books and this month we are reading "The Witch Doctor's Wife" by Tamar Myers which means we are visiting West Africa...yippiee! I returned from Ghana recently with a suitcase filled with spices, cookbooks and several cooking lessons so I am all ready to go.

After a trip to the local grocery store where I found these plaintain I settled on Kelewele, one of my favs: a spicy, flavorful fried sliced plaintain - it makes my mouth water just to think about it. I can't wait to get cooking tomorrow adn I especially can't wait to get eating. Stay tuned for completed food photos and recipe. From my table to yours...enjoy.

Click here for more on my latest trip to Ghana

Saturday, March 15, 2014

My new favorite snack!

So simple! And yummy! Sweet and spicy, with the crunch of a fresh raw apple - cut your apples into 12 slices, skin on or off - your preference;  using an adjustable grinder to spice the apples to taste (I like a thicker grind as you can see from the pictures) grind rock sugar and chopped cinnamon stick onto your apple slices; and let sit for a few minutes to let the sugar and cinnamon do their thing.

Sliced apples sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon
let the mixture sit for a few minutes to let the
sugar and cinnamon do their thing...and then enjoy!

Want to change it up even more? Put cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, white or pink peppercorns into your grinder with the sugar, want to leave the sugar out - no problem, use pears to add a little different touch too.

Use an adjustable grinder filled with rock sugar and chopped cinnamon sticks
to spice up your daily dose of apples
I have found this to be a great appetizer to put out next to a tray of cheese, mix up the apples and include a few hard green apples, or a few heirloom options and your guests will be really happy. This is so super easy...what simple great ideas do you have to share? I'd love to hear about your favorite super simple yummy idea.  From my table to yours...enjoy...Mama Caruso

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Host a Throwdown Today

Today’s Throwdown - Bring something you have always wanted to make and haven’t dared

The winter weather here in Minnesota has certainly made national news this year and instead of getting overwhelmed with the weather – Mama Caruso invited foodie friends to warm it up and have some fun. There’s nothing better to warm a spirit than friends, food and fun. Today’s post features a Throwdown!

The Throwdown Theme – Bring something you have always wanted to make and haven’t dared

These were the ingredients for my dish - something I have always
 wanted to make but haven't dared - what did I make?
Planning for this event began several weeks in advance so that the challengers could have enough time to choose their dish, prepare it and then deliver the goods and what an incredible event it turned out to be. Perhaps the most interesting part of the evening was when everyone shared why they choose what they did, and why they hadn’t dared until now – it was great.

Hosting this event was one of the easiest Throwdowns I’ve hosted because everyone came self-contained, so the only hosting prep that was needed was checking in with everyone about fridge and oven space, any utensils or special serving requirements (that would have been a good time to have been told about the need for a fire-extinguisher…)

These ingredients were for my
youngest daughter's dish...
what did she make?
The most difficult part of hosting this event was me being a challenger as well which took all of my focus and so it was lucky that the hosting prep was minimal. I would not change both hosting and participating because of the minimal requirements for the hosting prep (plus I was cooking up to the last minute on my third attempt at my dish and would not have been able to get something on the plate were it not for being held at my house). Note to others – host it yourself so you have those few extra precious minutes.

Because we choose not to tell what we were making with any of the participants, it was interesting to have to sit back and wonder if there would be a good cross-section of food that would be edible, and so I did have a platter of cheese and fruit ready to pull out if necessary (which it was not).

Perhaps the greatest lesson that we all learned was that there is a reason we had not yet previously dared…many of the dishes took far longer than we had calculated, with one challenger rising at 4:00 am on the morning of the Throwdown to get his dish done by the 5:00 pm “hands-up” Throwdown start time.
As my dish was crashing and burning (almost literally) and I was starting again for the 3rd time fifteen minutes
My husband crafted a
masterpeice with these
ingredients - What did he dare?
before everyone was supposed to arrive, the phone began ringing and ringing and then ringing again. Every challenger was running late and the final entry arrived an hour after our intended start time – note to others – set a time and be flexible. When we do this again, I will encourage the challengers to do a practice run, or encourage them to begin earlier than they originally intended.

But I am getting ahead of myself - let’s back up and start with – what’s a Throwdown, how do I host a Throwdown and finally, what food did my foodie friends dare to bring to this fabulous Throwdown?

What is a Throwdown? A Throwdown is a food related challenge – it can be related to an ingredient, a specific dish, any themed challenge that involves food. The host of the event sets up the rules, criteria and theme and sometimes the prizes. A Throwdown can be as complex as you want to make it with judges, scoring, and prizes or as simple as this Throwdown which involved bringing a dish that you have always wanted to make and never dared – those were the only rules, bring a dish that you have always wanted to make and never dared.

We have had more complex Throwdowns such as the chocolate mousse night which had an overinvolved scoring system that took 2 scientists (albeit 10th graders) several hours to calculate – but since we had all been judges and had each sampled (devoured) five different chocolate mousses, we weren’t planning on sleeping anytime soon and we waited for the results – it was a fun Throwdown and I have had recent requests to reprise it.

One of the more simple Throwdowns I hosted was for everyone to bring a potluck dish that described their personality, while simple for the judging (all participants had to guess who brought what and there were prizes for the most correct vote getters and vote placers), the trickiest thing about this Throwdown was coordinating the dishes as they came in so that no one could see who brought what – but it was super fun.

My oldest daughter has always wanted to make this...what is it?
One element that Throwdowns have in common besides being a challenge related to food, is that they are very interactive and lots and lots of fun. The challenge pushes everyone out of their everyday food experience and gives us something new to laugh and bond over. And making the rules flexible enough gives people permission to get really creative – at the last Throwdown, one of the kids involved brought a boxed cake that he made and when he was describing why he had never dared before he said that who in the world would dare to bring a boxed cake to a foodie festivity! Of course, great dare and it was then that my husband admitted that he had considered making hamburger helper – because that would be a pretty daring move!

It does not take a lot to host a Throwdown, just some willingness to create an environment where people can have fun – that’s what it is all about and so here’s how I hosted this Throwdown

Throwdown – Bring Something That You Have Always Wanted to Make and Haven’t Dared
  • The title determined the direction – when asked if something would fit or would be okay, I reiterated the title
  • I selected a date and called a bunch of friends to invite them to participate
  • Participating as a challenger was an option and I left it really open – I wanted to see what would happen and as it turned out leaving it open gave some people an opportunity to decide at the last minute to get involved – several entries were decided upon the morning of the Throwdown
  • The only instruction I gave them was to prepare for at least 20 people
  • I planned to begin eating at 5:00 and people didn’t finish arriving until 6:00, in the future I would still invite everyone to gather at 5:00 and then tell them we would begin eating at 6:00
  •  Telling people what time you will eat is important to some of the timing of the dish, so that is critical in the invitation
  •  Hold your event on a Saturday so that people can take the time they need to cook their dishes
  • Start early because this kind of event, from getting the various food on the table, in the appropriate courses takes a lot longer than a regular dinner party
  • Food allergies – each challenger needs to bring an ingredient list that gets posted by the dish and people with food allergies need to be alert to those ingredient lists
  • I had several people with food intolerances or allergies and encouraged them to make something that they could eat so that there would be something for them (I struggled with this because I usually uber-cater to people with food-specific issues, but in this case I was asking my foodie friends to cook their dreams and their dares)
  • Knowing that there would be some dished that participants couldn’t taste (different than wouldn’t taste) the prizes were related to best dare story and things like most ingredients, most time to prepare, best worst and worst best – in the future I would add a category that would include, most number of times having to remake the dish and dish that required most physical sacrifice!
  • I provided large platters (to eat off of), plastic utensils and bowls – we had so much food that it was fun to continue to go back for more and then more and then more again – I usually like to serve off of fun plates with real silverware – but I just wanted to have fun. We did use real wine glasses.

This was really simple, really fun and will certainly be back again on the Throwdown list. We do have a few more planned and I will write about those in another post. I wanted to get you going on your plans for a Throwdown – pick up the phone, plan a Throwdown and let the fun begin!


The food that we ate was some of the best food I have ever had and there were scant leftovers. Come back again for the entire menu for our Throwdown…and get the answer to why I needed a fire extinguisher, or what could someone possibly have made that put themselves in physical peril…and finally…how many eggs did I go through on my three attempts to remake my dish…and went through how many eggs??? The answers to these and more next time on Mama Caruso Cooks – until then, enjoy this recipe from the Throwdown – a Cuban Beef recipe for Ropa Vieja – it won the most number of ingredients prize and was enjoyed by all. Until then, from my table to yours...Mama Caruso.

Ropa Vieja – Cuban Beef Recipe
Mike Farrand - foodie

 Below is my variation on the Cuban Beef dish. It can be served over rice, or on tortillas with sour cream, cheese, and fresh cilantro on the side. This recipe uses 4 pounds of flank steak, but you can cut it in half to serve 8 or so. 


4 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 pounds beef flank steak
1 cup beef broth
4 oranges (juiced) - or tangerines, or tangelos
2 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 small onion, sliced
2 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (12 ounce) can tomato paste
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon onion salt
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 C chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoon white vinegar


Directions

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the flank
steak on each side, about 4 minutes per side.
Transfer beef to a slow cooker. Pour in the beef broth and tomato sauce,
then add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, tomato paste, cumin, onion salt,
cayenne pepper, salt, cilantro, orange juice, olive oil and vinegar. Stir
until well blended. Cover, and cook on High for 6 hours, or on Low for 10
hours. In the last hour add spice to taste and test beef to make sure it is
breaking apart.

When ready to serve, shred meat and serve with tortillas or rice. Garnish
with sour cream, cheese, and fresh cilantro.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Spices of Ghana

Some of the local spices I brought back
from my recent trip to Ghana
 One of the things I love about traveling is not only sampling the local cuisine but bringing samplings of the local cuisine back home...where do I begin? Do I make the spicy and sassy Kelewele Or a staple - jollof rice, or fire up the food with red red or peppe chicken? Yummm can't wait to get cooking! For more information about my most recent trip to Ghana. West Africa visit: Return to Ghana

These green habaneros add spcie to everything and anything

Mama Caruso learning the art of pounding fufu

Monday, January 20, 2014

On Q Latitudes Celebrates Germany - Friday January 24th

Tim, Alisa and Kathy on the set at On Q Latitudes
On Q Latitudes airs on Friday nights in January at 8:00 pm Central time. Join me, your host as we explore and celebrate cultures, traditions and stories from people who are from other countries and are now living in our communities. Learn about their hope and dreams, their struggles and opportunities, and what brought their families to the United States. Each show is 30 minutes and features my guests, my guest co-hosts along with photos, factoids, music, food and even questions asked by our viewing audience. Come and celebrate the culture and traditions and heritage of our neighbors, friends and families on On Q Latitudes beginning Friday January 3rd at 8:00 pm Central time. For those of you out of our viewing range, the series will be available on-line, for more viewing onformation go to: http://www.ksmq.org/ or join the conversation at:   KSMQ Public TV Facebook

On Q Latitudes airs on KSMQ
on Fridays in January
January 24, 2014 Join me on Friday night January 24th at 8:00 pm Central time on KSMQ Public Television with my guest co-host Tim Ruzek and featured guest Alisa Rudiger as we learn about the culture, heritage and traditions of Germany on On Q Latitudes. Learn about health care, food and family and what it is like to grow up in Germany several generations after World War II - the answers to these questions and more during this week's episode of On Q Latitudes.Tim, Alisa and I share stories and talk about what it is like to be a Rotary Youth Exchange student. Join us on Friday night at 8:00 central time, join the conversation on Facebook, or check back for a link to the show if you are out of the viewing region.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

On Q Latitudes Celebrates the Hmong Culture


Yesenia, Laura and Kathy on the set of On Q Latitudes
 On Q Latitudes airs on Friday nights in January at 8:00 pm Central time. Join me, your host as we explore and celebrate cultures, traditions and stories from people who are from other countries and are now living in our communities. Learn about their hope and dreams, their struggles and opportunities, and what brought their families to the United States. Each show is 30 minutes and features my guests, my guest co-hosts along with photos, factoids, music, food and even questions asked by our viewing audience. Come and celebrate the culture and traditions and heritage of our neighbors, friends and families on On Q Latitudes beginning Friday January 3rd at 8:00 pm Central time. For those of you out of our viewing range, the series will be available on-line, for more viewing onformation go to: http://www.ksmq.org/ or join the conversation at:   KSMQ Public TV Facebook

On Q Latitudes airs on KSMQ
on Fridays in January
Many stories are told within the
fabric of the Hmong people

January 17, 2014 features Laura Lee who shares with us the deep and rich traditions of the Hmong Culture. Join me and my guest co-host Yesenia Mendoza as we learn about how the Hmong people relocated to the United States, the importance of stories, family and traditions. How does a first generation Hmong woman honor the culture of her family and find a place for her family? What sacrifices were made by the Hmong people as they sought communities in which to raise their children? Why did the Hmong people relocate to Minnesota? Learn about the answers to these questions and more during this week's episode of On Q Latitudes.Yesenia and Laura share some great stories and connections in this episode of On Q Latitudes. Join us on Friday night at 8:00 central time, join the conversation on Facebook, or check back for a link to the show if you are out of the viewing region.


Yesenia Mendoza and Laura Lee

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Visit India - On Q Latitudes


Yesenia, Vandana and Kathy on the set
On Q Latitudes, KSMQ TV
 On Q Latitudes airs on Friday nights in January at 8:00 pm Central time. Join me, your host as we explore and celebrate cultures, traditions and stories from people who are from other countries and are now living in our communities. Learn about their hope and dreams, their struggles and opportunities, and what brought their families to the United States. Each show is 30 minutes and features my guests, my guest co-hosts along with photos, factoids, music, food and even questions asked by our viewing audience. Come and celebrate the culture and traditions and heritage of our neighbors, friends and families on On Q Latitudes beginning Friday January 3rd at 8:00 pm Central time. For those of you out of our viewing range, the series will be available on-line, for more viewing onformation go to: http://www.ksmq.org/ or join the conversation at:   KSMQ Public TV Facebook

January 10, 2014 features the country of India, with my guest Vandana Tripathi. Join me and my guest co-host, Yesenia Mendoza as we learn about the rich and diverse cultures and traditions of India. I first met Vandana at a cooking class that she was teaching and have since enjoyed her cooking several times. She makes her own paneer and I am looking forward to having her as a guest cook on my Mama Caruso Cooks You-tube channel - stay posted for an announcement about that, along with some great Indian recipes and cooking tips for successful spicy meals. Yesenia and Vandana share some great stories and connections in this episode of On Q Latitudes. Join us on Friday night at 8:00 central time, join the conversation on Facebook, or check back for a link to the show if you are out of the viewing region.




Thursday, January 2, 2014

On Q Latitudes on KSMQ Public Television - Fridays in January

Join me, Kathy Stutzman your host for On Q Latitudes
as we celebrate traditions and people from other countries
living in our communities
On Q Latitudes airs on Friday nights in January at 8:00 pm Central time. Join me, your host as we explore and celebrate cultures, traditions and stories from people who are from other countries and are now living in our communities. Learn about their hope and dreams, their struggles and opportunities, and what brought their families to the United States. Each show is 30 minutes and features my guests, my guest co-hosts along with photos, factoids, music, food and even questions asked by our viewing audience. Come and celebrate the culture and traditions and heritage of our neighbors, friends and families on On Q Latitudes beginning Friday January 3rd at 8:00 pm Central time. For those of you out of our viewing range, the series will be available on-line, for more viewing onformation go to: http://www.ksmq.org/ or join the conversation at:   KSMQ Public TV Facebook


Yesenia, Vandana and Kathy on the set at KSMQ 
 January 10, 2014 features the country of India, with my guest Vandana Tripathi. Join me and my gest co-host, Yesenia Mendoza as we learn about the rich and diverse cultures and traditions of India. I first met Vandana at a cooking class that she was teaching and have since enjoyed her cooking several times. She makes her own paneer and I am looking forward to having her as a guest cook on my Mama Caruso Cooks You-tube channel - stay posted for an announcement about that, along with some great Indian recipes and cooking tips for successful spicy meals. Yesenia and Vandana share some great stories and connections in this episode of On Q Latitudes. Join us on Friday night at 8:00 central time, join the conversation on Facebook, or check back for a link to the show if you are out of the viewing region.



January 3, 2014 features the country of Togo with my guests Eddie and Sabrina Devine. Join me and my guest co-host, Luke Sperduto as we learn about the cultures and traditions of this exotic West African country. I have been to Togo twice and think fondly of the people and the hospitality. I have enjoyed some of the best food ever in the capital city of Lome and some of the more adventuresome food in Apatakme, located in the central part of the country. I hope you enjoy learning more about this country from our guests and the stories that they share.


Luke, Sabrina, Eddie and Kathy on the set at On Q Latitudes


January 17th features the Hmong culture. Join my guest Laura Lee and guest co-host, Yesenia Medndoza Ramierz as we explore the traditions of this interesting and ancient culture. Coming up will be shows about Germany with Alisa Ruediger and guest co-host Tim Ruzek and Cuba with Ernesto Rodriguez Ruiz and gues co-host Luke Sperduto. More info and photos coming soon.

Check out what this is all about on
On Q Latitudes, January 10

Yesenia and Vandana on the set of On Q Latitudes

Yesenia, Vandana and Kathy

Yesenia and Laura on set
sharing stories about families

Yesenia, Laura, and Kathy
Celebrating the Hmong culture

One of the beautiful fabrics that Laura brought from her heritage

Tim Ruzek, Alisa Ruediger and Kathy
learning about heritage and culture in Germany

Kathy visiting Ernesto Rodriguez Ruiz at work in Austin