Friday, September 29, 2006

Weekend Herb Blogging Year in Review: Weeks 41-51

This is the last of a series of year-in-review posts to celebrate reaching week 52 of Weekend Herb Blogging, and I don't know if I could have gone on another day! Check out the first four reviews if you missed them. It seems like weeks since I've posted a new recipe, but I'm including one with this post from a past Weekend Herb Blogging. If you want more, there are plenty in the recipe archives.

If you've been following the tallies at the end of these posts, are you as surprised as I am at how the favorite herb votes are coming in all spread across the board? I would never have predicted it. If you're not a blogger, don't be shy about leaving a comment to get your vote in.

Brown and Wild Rice Salad with
Snow Peas and Peppers
(about 8 servings, recipe created by Kalyn)
(This was my recipe for Weekend Herb Blogging # 45)

2 cups brown and wild rice mix
5 cups chicken stock or water
(omit if cooking rice in rice cooker)
2 cups snow peas, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup sliced green onion (or less)

1 large red bell pepper, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup chopped pecans (or less)

1/2 cup peanut oil
2 T rice vinegar (not seasoned vinegar)
2 T soy sauce
2 tsp. Splenda (for South Beach) or sugar
1 tsp. garlic puree (also called ground garlic)
1 tsp. ginger puree (also called ground ginger, could also use grated ginger root)

Cook brown rice in chicken stock or water for time recommended on package, about 55 minutes for most brands. Be sure all water is absorbed or drain rice well and let cool.

Cut snow peas, red peppers, and green onions and coarsely chop pecans. Mix dressing ingredients. At least one hour before serving, put rice in large bowl and gently mix in snow peas, peppers, and onions. Add enough dressing to moisten well (you may not need all the dressing.) Let salad chill for an hour or longer. Just before serving, stir in pecans and more dressing if the salad seems dry. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Now, let's see the last 11 weeks of herb blogging that led up to the celebration we're having this week.

Week 41: Lots of Newcomers!

This may be the most new participants we've ever had. First Rachelle from Accidental Gardener does beans and polenta and Kitchen Queen writes about The Glories of Basil. Then Glenna from a Fridge Full of Food starts everyone craving Chimichurri Sauce. JMom from In our Kitchen is also new with a great post about Pickled Beets with Dill. Mandira from Ahaar makes Pasta Primavera with lots of herbs, and Doodles from Peanut Butter Etoufee does Asian Style Coleslaw with Cilantro. Besides having a lot of participants, I guess George Clooney visiting Sher is the biggest news this week. No movie stars at my house, but I was cooking spagetti squash.

Week 42: In New York City
This week's host was the fabulous Paz from The Cooking Adventures of Chef Paz, who did another one of those great recaps with photos. There were a lot of entries, so check out part one and part two over at Paz's place to see what was happening.

Week 43: Interesting Topics but No New Bloggers
Who knows why these things go in cycles, but this week there were no new bloggers, but people coming back had very interesting ingredients. There were posts about lemon verbena cream, red currants, amaranth greens, cloudberries, mustard seeds, cuban oregano, and garlic scapes, plus some great recipes for more conventional herbs. I was making a salad with cilantro, and enjoying the summer.

Week 44: In the U.S. Capital
This week Christa from Calendula and Concrete was host and in another creative recap idea, she found flags from every state and country and posted them with the description of each post. It was so fun seeing all those flags. Head over to Calendula and Concrete for the recap of Weekend Herb Blogging #44.

Week 45: More Interesting Recipes
Again this week, no newcomers, but great recipes are still flowing in from the regulars. Some of the more unusual offerings included Lavender and Lemon Verbena Limeade, marianted feta, shishito peppers, gariguettes, and a drink called sahlep. My contribution was the salad featured at the beginning of this post, and I was gearing up to go back to school.

Week 46: Traveling to India
Another great hosting job done this week by Anthony of Anthony's Kitchen in Mumbai, India. The guest hosts are amazing, and Anthony did photos of all the posts. Lots of participants again this week, so check out Weekend Herb Blogging #46 at Anthony's Kitchen.

Week 47: Good Food From Many Places
This week had two new food bloggers, and many interesting recipes from the regulars, who are now starting to all seem like old friends. Newcomers included Pookah from What's Cooking in Carolina, who made "fried" okra and Ange from Vicious Ange who Did Thai Pumpkin and Seafood Curry. Other interesting offerings included pumpkin seeds, pickled shallots, eggplant stew, carrot fritters, celery root and a Mexican herb called Pepicha. I blogged about How to Freeze Fresh Herbs, which has turned into one of my most popular posts.

Week 48: Genie Hosts from the Road
When I mentioned having guest hosts I was pleased by how many people were eager to do it. Genie, The Inadvertent Gardener turned out to be planning to go out of town, but even though I offered to change her to another time, she said she'd be happy to host from the road. What a great job she did! It was Labor Day Weekend in the U.S. but there were still lots of great entries, so head over to Genie's to read about Weekend Herb Blogging #48.

Week 49: Looking Ahead
By the time week 49 came around, lots of people were realizing we were heading up on week 52 and I had started giving hints for people to think about their favorite herbs. There were a few new herb bloggers, Megan from Chez Megane in Paris did two great salmon recipes, PatL from Up a Creek Without a PatL made braised red radishes, Shaheen from Malabar Spices offered Spicy Chicken Kabobs, and Scott from Real Epicurean featured Wild Mushrooms on Toast. There were some who said it wouldn't ever happen, but I actually featured a dessert that week.

Week 50: We're in Italy!
Piperita of the Kitchen Pantry opened her post of the recap of Weekend Herb Blogging #50 with a great collection of photos from all the posts like a patchwork quilt of deliciousness. It was a great collection of recipes again, so check it out.

Week 51: We're All Old Friends By Now
An amazing collection of old friends came together for week 51, with lots of people anticipating what they would be blogging about for the favorite herb event the next week. There was one new herb blogger, Anna from Anna's Cool Finds who wrote about Secrets of the Yamaimo. Some other interesting foods were parsnips, quince, silverbeet, quinoa, and rhubarb.

That is the end of the review of a year of fun times blogging about interesting plants, herbs, veggies, and flowers. If I've missed someone or gotten things wrong, please let me know or chalk it up to too much information. I may have missed new participants the weeks I didn't host, but I hope people will follow the links to find them.

Now the weekend is finally here, and you have a couple more days to write about your very favorite herb and send me the link.
If you're a food blogger who wants to particpate in the special event, send your link to kalynskitchen AT comcast DOT net by 3:00 on Sunday, Utah time.

Not a food blogger or don't have time to post about your favorite herb? No problem, just leave a comment telling what your favorite is and we'll add your vote to the tallies. Now, here's how it's going:

Favorite Herb Tally Update
(I'll probably stop udating this count after Saturday so it doesn't ruin the surprise on Sunday.)

shiso 1
basil 2 3 4 6
oregano 1
dill 1
thyme 1
cilantro 2 3 4
rosemary 1
Chives 1
tarragon 1 2
parsley 1
mint 1
sage 1
verbena 1
Greek bay laurel 1
scallion 1
salt and pepper (they know it's not an herb) 1
Garlic 1
catnip 1 (from Sher's cat)

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More to Chew On:


  1. I'm a friend of Kalyn's and not much of a gourmet cook, however I do use salt and pepper, which would be my vote (I know they aren't herbs).

  2. This was hard, but I've finally picked my fave, and posted my recipe: Roasted Corn Chowder. And I bet you know which herb it is - cilantro.


    Thanks for creating and hosting such a fun event, Kalyn!

  3. Laura, I think a lot of people agree with your vote, they just don't read food blogs that much.

    Karina, great choice!!

    If anyone wonders why the tallies are not updating, I decided to only do it when I'm home so I don't lose count. I've gotten a lot of entries already today, so I'll update it tonight after work.

  4. Kalyn, I haven't had time to post about this, but my favorite is basil. If I could, I'd vote for it 3 times! :-)

  5. Susan, as much as I love you, you only get to vote once! I'll add your vote for basil the next time I update.

  6. Garlic - definitely garlic! Life would be very bland without it.

    Congrats on your first year. Had hoped to blog on my favourite herb for the occaission, but I seem to be spending my spare time encouraging all from near and far to post in the Inaugural Pie Review at

    (please check it out one and all, if you have a moment this weekend)

  7. AOF, our first vote for garlic!

  8. I really want to participate in this project, Kalyn, but the last month has been incredibly busy.

    May I vote anyway?


    It may not be the single herb I use the most (basil, thyme rosemary), but it is the one whose aroma I like the best. I could wear it as perfume. So clean smelling.

    If I could vote for a blend, it would be Herbes de Provence.

  9. Mimi, great choice! I need to visit your site to see what you do with Herbes de Provence. I have some but don't quite know how to use it.

  10. Hi Kalyn, I've never participated in WHB, but always read about it from Gattina's posts. May I vote rosemary please?

  11. Angie, isn't Gattina great! Your vote for rosemary has been recorded. (I'll change the tally next time I update it.)


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