Sunday, June 01, 2008

Weekend Herb Blogging #135

Hello, Weekend Herb Bloggers!

Apologies for taking so long with the recap. I thought I would be clever by having the descriptions on one page and then I would upload photos on another page and combine the two. Except that I accidentally deleted one paragraph and then thought I could move out of the page, but Blogger had saved the version with the photos only, and then I had to start all over again and revisit every blog to copy and paste links, and remind myself of what description I wrote!

It's a pain because when I upload photos on Blogger, it always comes on top, so I have to cut and paste the photos where I want them to go. Unless I upload all the photos first in reverse chronological order, then write. But I had already written the descriptions.

And cutting and pasting, and scrolling back up each time for 39 photos was getting exhausting. Hence my not-so-clever two screen fiasco. Sigh. Plus, you know, I had to make this look pretty for everyone. Sigh again. I have a newfound respect for all previous hosts. This recapping business is hard! Especially with so many great entries. But I discovered so many new blogs this way.

I love the diversity of the recipes. And even though there were several recipes with similar ingredients, the end results were all quite different. I feel like I just virtually ate a feast.

So without further ado, I present this week's entries. The list is organized alphabetically by the recipe name that you submitted to me. If I've somehow missed you or got something wrong, please let me know.

Thanks again for being so patient, and thanks to Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen for letting me host!

*****

Anise hyssop by Victoria of Flavors of the Sun in San Miguel Allende, Guanajuanto, Mexico. Victoria says anise hyssop has licorice overtones with a lemony scent. It is a member of the mint family and has been used for various health treatments by the Greeks, Jews, Chinese, English and Native Americans. There's also a recipe for chocolate sour cream pound cake with anise hyssop and anise hyssop glaze.


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Apple Rhubarb Galette by Katerina of Daily Unadventures in Cooking in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Katerina decided to make a galette after seeing them popping up on food blogs. She had to buy her rhubarb from the supermarket because the ones in her yard kept getting eaten by deer. In fact, look on her blog for the dearest deer pictures. (I know! I couldn't resist.)


*****

Arugula and Pear Soup by Canela and Comino in Peru. A friend moved back to the States and left behind the cookbook, "A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen." Inside was this recipe for arugula and pear soup. She decided to try the recipe to use up some soft pears. Pears are a good source of vitamin C and copper and are even considered a hypo-allergenic fruit.


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Canh Rau Cuu Ky (Vietnamese (Chinese) Boxthorn) Soup by Wandering Chopsticks in Southern California. Chinese boxthorn was known to European herbalists and used in traditional Chinese medicine for several thousand years. Some species bear wolfberries, which are sometimes called a "superfruit" because of its health and commercial value. The leaves taste slightly bitter but are considered to help "cool" the body during hot weather.


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Cheese and Rice Cutlets (Croquettes) from Mansi of Fun and Food in California. These are an inspired vegetarian alternative to meat croquettes. No bread crumbs or egg required in the recipe. The rice makes these croquettes crispy and the cheese keeps them gooey.


*****

Chicken Fiesta Salad by Pam of Sidewalk Shoes in Soddy Daisy, Tennessee. A container of "Southwest seasoning" plus perfectly spiced blackened chicken, black beans, and corn equals a gorgeous salad. Just look at the colors. Even better, she shredded the leftovers, added cheese and cilantro and made a quesadilla.


*****

Chive Blossom Vinegar by Columbus Foodie. Thirty chive blossoms steeped in white wine vinegar for several weeks. The jar is so gorgeous, I'm eagerly awaiting what she'll do with them. Hmm, do you think the chives will turn the vinegar purple?


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Cherry Chocolate Clafoutis Muffin-Style by Dhanggit of Dhanggit's Kitchen in France. How can anyone pass up the combination of cherries and chocolate? If you haven't made this French custard-like dessert before, now's the perfect time to try.


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Coconut and Lavender Macaroons by Y of Lemonpi in Sydney, Australia. Unlike the pastel and airy French macarons, Y says she has a weakness for these macaroons with their rough and tangled, crispy outside and chewy inside. She added a touch of lavender to her recipe. Remember not to add too much or else lavender can make the dish bitter.


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Corn Soup for Supper by Lauren of I'll Eat You in Philadelphia. Corn soup was pureed and strained to make a thin soup. The soup was paired with flatbread with caramelized onions and goat cheese.


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Courgette Patties by Maria of Organically Cooked in Hania, Crete, Greece. Maria's hilarious post proves that *ahem* size does matter. ;) These zucchini fritters make a great vegetarian alternative. Just remember to squeeze, squeeze, excess moisture before frying.


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Deep-Fried Anchovies (Ikan Bilis) by Wiffy of Noob Cook in Singapore. These tiny deep-fried fish can be eaten as a great snack, stir-fried with sambal, added to soups for flavor, or topped salads for crunch. They're also the secret ingredient to a flavorful pork porridge.


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Eggplant with Tahini-Yoghurt Dressing by Anna of Morsels and Musings in Sydney, Australia. The sour and nutty flavor of this dressing is enhanced with the addition of garlic, sumac, and lemon juice. Sumac has been used in Mediterranean cooking since Ancient Rome and is a major souring agent in Middle Eastern cooking. Anna provided lots of interesting facts including this one: dried sumac wood glows under UV lighting. Huh! I learn something new all the time.


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Garbanzo Bean Salad by Michelle of Diva Kitty and the Fluffies in the San Francisco Bay Area. Michelle leads us on a wonderful tour of her farmers' market where she encounters fiddlehead ferns, ramps, fuzzy green almonds, and even sheaves of wheat. I'm so jealous of all her abundance. Her recipe is a garbanzo bean salad with celery.


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Green (Purple) Goddess Dressing by Erin of Erin's Kitchen in New York. I thought New York would be gray and plantless, but Erin visited the Union Square Greenmarket and found strawberries, rhubarb, asparagus, spring onions, radishes, baby romaine, and these gorgeous chive flowers. The blossoms apparently taste like the green stems, yet they're so much prettier.


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Jamaican Jerk Chicken from Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies of Ontario, Canada. Natashya says the two most important ingredients in jerk seasoning are habaneros and all-spice. I loved her anecdote about being introduced to jerk marinades by a tall, dark, and handsome neighbor who made jerk chicken and rum punch during apartment get-togethers. "The ladies would all laugh and sigh and twirl their wedding rings and enjoy the spicy island meal," she said.


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Maa di Dal (Dal Makhani) by Bee and Jai of Jugalbandi in the Northwest. I'm in love with the colors in this recipe, which uses green garlic, whole black lentils, yellow split peas, and kidney beans. The recipe comes from the book, "660 Curries." 660! The use of so many beans makes it very protein-rich for vegetarians.


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Moghrabieh or Giant Couscous by Pam of The Backyard Pizzeria in Victoria, Australia. These Lebanese couscous swell to the size of peas. Pam insists that the packaged stuff just won't do. While not difficult, it is labor-intensive to make from scratch. The key is to steam it over a fragrant liquor. She also gives a recipe for Lebanese couscous with roasted butternut squash and preserved lemons.


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Not Your Usual Pork and Beans by Gay of A Scientist in the Kitchen in The Philippines. Beans aren't really a part of Filipino cuisine, Gay says. Add in sliced pig's feet and pechay, similar to bok choy, and this dish is so much better than the canned version.


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Oven-Baked Lemon Chicken with Herbs by Ronell of My French Kitchen. Baked chicken is one of my favorite dishes and fresh herbs is a must. Just look at the wonderfully crispy skin. Even better, visit her blog for scenes of her herb garden, pantry, kitchen, studio, and art.


*****

Potato and Caper Terrine by Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once. I don't know if I even need to write anything, just look at that potato. It rather reminds me of an agate. The potato sits on finely shredded cabbage with a cooked egg, the bright yellow yolk just dribbling down the side.


*****

Potato and Radish Salad by Lisa of Lisa's Kitchen in London, Ontario, Canada. Lisa says the key to a great potato and vinaigrette salad is to toss the dressing while the potatoes are still warm to allow the flavors to penetrate. No starchy taste this way. A coarse grain mustard gives this salad a definite kick.


*****

Potato Salad by Ning of Heart and Hearth in Manila, The Philippines. Even though this potato salad also uses mustard, it's more similar to the standard American version with its use of celery. Ning says the potato might be a solution to world hunger because they will grow almost anywhere, require very little water, and mature in just 50 days.


*****

Rhubarb and Apple Crumble by Windy of Windy's Corner in the United Kingdom. Lucky for her, she has a father-in-law who grows rhubarb in his garden. Pairing rhubarb with apples in a crumble was a natural.


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Ridgegourd Peel Chutney by Srivalli of Cooking 4 All Seasons in India. Srivalli says ridgegourd is something that's widely available in India and this variety of chutney is famous in Andhra, a southern state in India.


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Roasted Sweet Potato with Ras el Hanout by Maybelle's Mom of Feeding Maybelle in Cleveland, Ohio. Maybelle's Mom says she fell in love with Moroccan food while in middle school and attempted to cook it long before she actually even tasted Moroccan food. Ras el Hanout is likened to curry, everyone has their own version of spices. She says to expect cardamom, clove, cinnamon, paprika, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, turmeric, dried rosebud, and then up to 81 more spices and herbs.


*****

Saffron Potage by Marija of Palachinka in Serbia. I admit, I had no idea what a potage was, but Marija says she didn't either until she made this recipe. It's a mushy medieval dish that is in the category of soups and stews. I just can't resist its lovely saffron color.


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Salad with Avocado and Feta by Katie of Thyme for Cooking in Vendee, France. If you're easily creeped out by snakes, you may not want to read her post. Fortunately, the recipe doesn't call for any. M√Ęche, lamb's lettuce, is delicate with a nutty, almost peppery taste. She mixed it with young spinach leaves and simply dressed the salad with tarragon vinaigrette.


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Salad with Thai Dressing by Pamela of The Cooking Ninja in Clermont-Ferrand, France. Pamela makes a salad from a recipe her mother-in-law found in a cookbook. The salad includes both red cabbage and Chinese napa cabbage. And did you know that red cabbage changes depending on the pH of the soil? The more acidic the soil, the redder the leaves.


*****

Salmon Salad with Waterchestnuts from Anna's Cool Finds in Mill Valley, in the San Francisco Bay Area. I love that this salad was made from lettuce she grew in containers on her deck. The salad includes water chestnuts, which are a good source of potassium and fiber, are low in sodium, and low in fat. Although, unfortunately, water chestnuts are not low in carbs.


*****

Salmon with Strawberry Salsa and Pink Mustard Greens by Moriah of Where I'm Cooking From in Astoria, New York. Moriah also visited the Union Square Greenmarket where she pounced upon New Jersey strawberries. A few weeks ago, she passed on small pink berries at the market. Now that they're a juicy red, she made strawberry salsa atop pink mustard greens and pink peppercorn-crusted salmon.


*****

Sausage Spinach Omelette from Tigerfish of Teczcape in Taiwan. Tigerfish used baby spinach leaves, which are soft and tender in texture. Its mild flavor means it does not need blanching. She combined spinach with sausage for an omelette.


*****

Sour Cherry Frozen Yogurt by Jennifer of Like to Cook. I wish I had friends with cherry trees. Especially friends who give away buckets of super-ripe sour cherries so I could make a frozen yogurt as vibrant as hers.


*****

Southwestern Corn Chicken Chowder by Sher of What Did You Eat? in Davis, California. I love corn chowder, but we don't always have time to cook everything from scratch. Sher's method to spice up an ordinary can of Campbell's Chunky Corn Chicken Chowder is to add cumin, cilantro, poblano pepper, and dry sherry.


*****

Spring Asparagus-Chive Quiche by Cat FoodieTots in Virginia. Cat once made quiche each morning during a high school junior class retreat. She started off with a basic egg, milk, and cheese blend and added in crazy meat and vegetable combinations. Ever since then, quiche has been her go-to brunch main course. She gives us a recipe for spring asparagus, chive, and Wallaby, a Monterey Jack-like, cheese.


*****

Tilapia with Strawberry-Citrus-Avocado Salsa by Emily of Superspark in Southern California. Emily discovered a quick and foolproof way to cook tilapia a few months ago, and ever since has been obsessed with making fish tacos topped with fruity salsa.


*****

Tofu, Chhole Aloo aur Dhaniya ki Dhaniyan (Tofu, Chickpeas, Potato, and Cilantro Stems) by Nidhi of Charche Chauke Ke in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Nidhi used fresh cilantro leaves and stems in her recipe. She also includes tips to keep cilantro fresh longer by removing the leaves from the stems and storing them in a paper bag or leftover boxes of berries, the kind with perforations so the leaves can breathe.


*****

Whole Wheat Sesame Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen in Salt Lake City, Utah. Kalyn decided to try this recipe after finding Garofalo Organic Whole Wheat Spaghetti at Costco. In fact, she bought 9 pounds of whole wheat spaghetti, and plans to buy more. If you're concerned about eating based on the glycemic index, whole wheat bread or pasta is a healthier option.


*****

Wild Salmon and Kaffir Cakes with Ponzu Sauce by Syrie of Taste Buddies in Vancouver, Canada. Syrie included chopped kaffir lime leaves to provide a citrusy bite to her salmon cakes. She coated them with panko bread crumbs and gently pan-fried them. Serve with a ponzo dipping sauce of soy sauce, brown sugar, green onions, ginger and lime juice. She also suggested using an ice-cream scoop to make the salmon cake rounds uniform.


*****

Thanks again everyone!

*****
1 year ago today, sweet, sour, salty, spicy tropical fruit salad.

15 comments:

  1. Great roundup. I have much reading to do now. Thanks.

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  2. Thanks for putting up my submission. Great roundup. Windy

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  3. Lovely dishes. Now I have something else to do with my chive blossoms besides throwing them on a salad. Great round-up.

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  4. You have done a fabulous job! I really appreciate the amount of effort you took,even mentioning the highlights of the recipes!! That's a great help. Thank you.

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  5. Great job. Must get some work done now, but I will be back later to read the ones I missed. Thanks again for hosting!

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  6. All the entries are colorful and there's a lot of new things to learn. Great job!

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  7. Coffee pot,
    You're welcome!

    Windy,
    Thanks for your submission!

    Marija,
    Thanks!

    Natashya,
    How cool was that to get two chive blossom ideas?

    CCK,
    Thanks for all the useful tips in your post. And thank you so much for noticing how much effort this all took!

    Kalyn,
    Thanks again for letting me. :)

    Gay,
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for a great roundup..you've done a terrific job!So many new links to visit...
    ronell

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  9. Great round up, thanks for the hard work! :) - noobcook

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  10. thank your for a lovely roundup with great summaries.

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  11. Great job and that pain-staking process of rounding up! It was fantastic :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. so much good good....so little time...
    Great round-up! (I've had a similar battle with the photos and disappearing text)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh my goodness! Talk about over-the-top posting! I will have to return when I have more time - great round-up, WC!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Ronell, Wiffy, Bee, Tigerfish, Katie,
    You're welcome. Thanks everyone for your submissions.

    Nikki,
    I didn't know what I was in for!

    ReplyDelete

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