Tag Archives: fun

Maizena from The Dominican Republic


Good afternoon!

Today I’m bringing you a recipe for staying warm from the Domincan Republic. It is called maizena and it is also common in Puerto Rico. It is commonly eaten for breakfast and is quite delicious! This recipe can be changed quite a bit to suite your tastes. The most important ingredient is the corn starch, that’s what turns the milk into a custard. From there you can add unsweetened cocoa instead of vanilla, almond milk instead of regular milk, the cloves can be skipped altogether etc…


3 tablespoons corn starch

1 tablespoon sugar

dash of cinnamon

2-3 whole cloves

1 tablespoon of vanilla

1 1/2 cups milk

1. Pour the milk into a small pot and add the corn starch. Stir until the corn starch is completely dissolved.


2. Turn the burner on to a medium high heat.


3. Add in vanilla, cloves, cinnamon and sugar and stir slowly for about 10 minutes.

I think that's everything!

I think that’s everything!

4. Your maizena is ready to be taken off the heat about a minute after it begins to bubble and thicken up.

thickening up!

thickening up!

5. Pour into a bowl and let cool for a bit before eating. Maizena is best enjoyed warm.

Remove cloves before eating!

Remove cloves before eating!

I enjoy it exactly like this, however I use almond milk instead of regular. It really adds to the flavor. I hope you enjoy and please keep warm everyone!


Traveling Sam

Daruma Dolls for Goal Focus!


Today I wanted to share with you a Japanese handmade wishing doll called a Daruma. They are perfect for New Year Resolutions because they help you focus on your goals. Learn more here and stop back by to learn how to make one for yourself!

Notice on the above dolls how the eyes are blank? It’s because they are brand new and they need a goal to focus on! When you decide on your goal you choose the color that matches that goal as there are different colors for different types of goals. You then color in one eye and place it where you can see it on a daily basis. Your daruma will be focused on your goal for you, and you will color in the second eye when you meet your goal! Once your goal is acheived, you write that goal on the back of the daruma and start a new doll.

I found a video of how to make your own daruma dolls or you could use the following picture to color a flat one quickly. Remember to use the correct color!


There is also a great children’s book to go along with this craft for young children.


I hope you will use this post to have some fun with your child!

Until next time,

Traveling Sam

New Year Traditions

Happy New Year!

I would like to share some of the photos I received about New Year traditions and I would like to thank those who shared despite not having been visited by me yet.  Remember, you can contribute even if I am not visiting you, I want to hear from everyone!

The first comes from a teacher friend who uses the extra time away from work to watch the entire Harry Potter series from start to finish, usually over 2 days.


It’s done over the holiday break, after Christmas and before returning to work, not necessarily on New Year’s Eve.

Next is from another family that stays comfy and safe at home, ringing in the New Year with Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper on TV (in America).

NYE Traditions2

Oh look, I did sneak into this one! I must have been extra sleepy because I do not remember being there.

Moving on to Baltimore where shellfish is a must on New Year’s Eve.



And in Southeastern Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvanian Dutch / German tradition of pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s Day for prosperity in the New Year

NYE Traditions3

How did these food traditions start? I asked myself this question and found this website that not only has the meaning behind the food choices but recipes to make some New Year cookies for yourself. I wish you all a prosperous new year and I hope that I will get to visit you soon!


Traveling Sam

Family Traditions week!

Hello everyone!

Ready to bake!

Ready to bake!

I am here in Winchester, Virginia helping my host family and they have kindly let me participate in their family tradition of baking reindeer cookies for Santa. I hope to share more family traditions this week so please send in your pictures!

We found this special peanut butter cookie recipe to use for the base of our reindeer cookies. We were excited because they promised soft peanut butter cookies (and they delivered!) Here is a link to the website we found the recipe on. Be sure to check out her other treats!


Peanut Butter Reindeer Cookies


1/2 cup (1 stick) of salted butter, softened to room temperature

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

chocolate chips


M&M’s (preferably the brown and red!)


In a large bowl with a handheld or stand mixer, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.



Mix in peanut butter, then the egg, and then the vanilla.


IMG_6162        IMG_6157

In a separate bowl, mix the baking soda and flour.

Wait... WHAT? We remembered flour and baking soda but COMPLETELY missed the salt and baking powder but guess what? They were STILL yummy! (in my defense, I'm a bit under the weather!)

Slowly mix in the dry ingredients. Do not overmix.


IMG_6158  Chill dough for at least 30 minutes.

We covered and stuck the dough in the fridge for about 2 hours and all was good.

We covered and stuck the dough in the fridge for about 2 hours and all was good.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove chilled dough from fridge and roll into balls. Spread a thin layer of granulated sugar on a plate and roll each dough ball to evenly coat (if desired*). *we did not do this part because we were about to make reindeer.

Add chocolate chip eyes, an M&M for the nose, and pretzels for the antlers.


On an ungreased baking sheet, bake for 8-9 minutes, until the tops begin to *slightly* crack. Do not bake longer than this.  Cookies will look undone, but will firm up as they cool.

Transfer to a cooling rack very VERY carefully! Those antlers take some practice to handle!


Those smell delicious! I hope we can manage to save one for Santa in a couple nights! What kind of cookies do you make for Christmas?

Until tomorrow,

Traveling Sam