Sunday, November 04, 2007

Weekend Herb Blogging: No Tricks but a Lot of Treats This Week

Here we are in November, and in year three of blogging about herbs, plants, veggies, and flowers. I think it's a good thing I was smart enough to realize two years ago (when I created Weekend Herb Blogging by accident) that you can't very easily write about fresh herbs year round if you're living in Utah, because most of my herbs are in full hibernation mode around here right now. In other parts of the world though, spring is coming, and it's always fun to hear about it.

This week there are quite a few new herb bloggers, which is always fun, plus a lot of old friends returning to share what they've been cooking. I had so many good comments about how I organized the Doubly Delicious Two Year Recap by ingredient, that I decided I'd continue that when I'm hosting, although admittedly a few entries were rather challenging to categorize! So grab a cup of coffee (or that bowl of Halloween Candy you didn't manage to give away) and continue reading the Recap for Weekend Herb Blogging #107.

Assorted Herbs
Amazingly (to me) some people actually do like Halloween, and one of them is Susan, who writes The Well Seasoned Cook. For her witches brew this year she's sampling an interesting Italian liqueur, reportedly concocted from over 70 different herbs, although the actual recipe is a secret. You'll have to visit Susan to see what it is.

Pam from Sidewalk Shoes has managed to find a recipe for an olive oil and herb dip for bread that she's enjoyed for years at her favorite restaurant. I love the sound of Carrabbas Bread Dip, (who doesn't love bread dipped in olive oil and herbs) and I think the dry mix for this would be a wonderful gift idea for a "from the kitchen" gift too.

Basil
She says she normally writes about plants more than herbs for Weekend Herb Blogging, but this week Tigerfish from Teczcape - An Escape to Food is giving us a wonderful recipe using basil. I especially love the way the beef is marinated before it's stir-fried, which I'm guessing makes this Black Pepper Basil Beef unusually delicious.

Beans
Greek comfort food is how Peter from Kalofagas, In Pursuit of Delicious Food describes the dish of Gigantes Sto Fourno or Baked Butter Beans that he's sharing with us. Besides tomato sauce, there are also many other aromatics, herbs, and spices adding flavor to this dish that you can just tell it is going to taste fantastic.

In London Jeanne of Cook Sister is enjoying a glorious autumn, although the produce department is starting to look different now that the seasons are changing. With the last organic broad beans of the season, she has made a fabulous looking Broad Bean Tart to enjoy while the temperature changes.

Beetroot (Beets)
Jen from Little Bird Eats sends along a very delicious-sounding recipe for Tipsy Beetroot Soup (with fennel, doesn't that sound wonderful?) Jen shares some interesting information about Beetroot (or beets, depending on where you live) and describes her adventures in creating soup art.

Berries
There are some wonderful sounding berries in Estonia, and Pille from Nami Nami definitely is making the best of them. Once again she's using Sea-Buckthorn Berries, but this time she's turned them into Sea-Buckthorn Sorbet. This post also has a fantastic tip for cleaning berries off the stems if the branches are prickly; don't miss it.

Cabbage
I'm a huge fan of cabbage, so I loved the sound of the recipe for Kaach-Paaki or Cabbage Salad from Manisha at Indian Food Rocks. The name means uncooked-cooked, and this is a spicy version of cabbage salad with some extra ingredients that made me smile. If you're a little intimidated about Indian cooking like I am, this one sounds like it's definitely manageable, and Manisha has some good information about ingredients.

Carrots
I wanted to taste it the minute I started reading the post about Carrot (Gajar) Halwa at Jugalbandi, where Jai and Bee work together to create such amazing posts. You must go read about this interesting recipe which can be used for a variety of vegetables and which creates a finished vegetable dish with with wonderul-sounding seasonings.

In New Zealand, Arfi of HomemadeS is havinging some nice weather in her garden (and don't miss the photo of her adorable kids!) When she's busy gardening she enjoys a light lunch of Gluten Free Triple C's Muffins. With courgettes, carrots and cheese, these gluten-free muffins really sound like a winner.

Cucumbers
From the blog A Life (time) of Cooking, VegeYum serves us a dish that would be really unusual in many places where cucumbers are rarely served cooked. You'll change your mind about how to serve cucumbers when you see this recipe for Cool as a Cucumber Curry to Die For. There are so many good flavors in this coconut milk curry thickened with lentils.

I decided to put the post from Anna of Morsels and Musings with cucumbers, because as she points out, a true Greek Salad doesn't ever have lettuce, but it must have cucumbers or it can't be Greek Salad. Anna's version of Greek Salad with Fresh Oregano sounds great to me, and there is absolutely no doubt that I love Greek Salad!

Figs
It was a bit of insomnia and the figs from her CSA box that led Laurie from Tastes Like Home: Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska to create her delightful-sounding Fig, Lemon, Olive, and Rosemary Cookies. Have you ever created a recipe this great in your mind when you were laying in bed trying to sleep? It's really a keeper.

Another creative recipe using figs comes from Katrina at Cabbages and Kings, who is also a relatively new blogger, so leave some comments to welcome her! While you're there, you might want to bookmark this recipe for Lavender Almond Thumbprint Cookies with Fig Filling, they sound just heavenly.

Lemongrass
Another entry from someone who's almost a brand-new blogger, (leave comments again, everyone!) and from the Phillipines, an area we don't get many entries from! Gay from A Scientist in the Kitchen shares a recipe for Vegetable Soup with Lemongrass, an herb she is growing herself now that she's living in an area where it's hard to find.

Mushrooms
Most of us are trying to avoid those pounds that creep on at this time of year, and Chris from Mele Cotte has a recipe that can help. Not only is she using kasha, a healthy whole grain, and low calorie Baby Bella mushrooms, but Mushroom Kasha Burgers also sound like they will taste wonderful.

There are people like me who really can hardly bake a thing, and then there are cooks like Vanessa from What Geeks Eat who produces things like her amazing looking Mushroom Galette and calls it a simple dinner. Are you picturing mushrooms, potatoes, carmelized onions, goat cheese, bell peppers and garlic, all tucked inside a beautifully browned crust? Go to Vanessa's blog and see how beautiful it is.

Onions
I once worked at a fancy French restaurant in Salt Lake where I developed a real fondness for French Onion Soup, and the recipe from Ramona at The Houndstooth Gourmet looks like it's just perfect. As the perfect herbal accent for the soup she's using thyme, which I know will be wonderful with chicken stock and onions.

Parsley
Happy two years of blogging to my great buddy Sher from What Did You Eat! Everyone go leave a comment for Sher and when you get back I'll tell you what she cooked this week. Oh I guess you already saw her delicious Sicilan Style Meatballs when you were there leaving a comment didn't you? The starring herb is parsley, but there is also marjoram, something I'm fond of. Actually all the food Sher cooks looks good to me, and someday we're going to meet and have an actual meal together instead of just drooling on our keyboards. (Sher, don't forget I have that sofa bed!)

Pears
I wasn't sure whether to file this under watercress or pears, but in the end the interesting-sounding tiny Seckel pears in the Watercress, Pear and Brie Salad created by Susan of Food Blogga really got my attention. What a great combination of ingredients; I love watercress and pears, and the brie is a delightful bonus in this wonderful recipe.

Sometimes you just want to drink your fruits and veggies, and that's where Gwen from Intoxicated Zodiac comes in to help us match the right cocktail with our astrological sign. This time she's featuring Elderflower Pear Cocktail, perfect for Libra, but any sign might want to give it a try.

Potatoes
Emily from Superspark is having fun exploring Super Natural Cooking by Heidi from 101 Cookbooks, and she's tried the recipe for Hedgehog Potatoes which looks like a winner. Not only has Emily used the most colorful potatoes you've ever seen, but mint and cilantro are both here bumping up the flavor of the yogurt dipping sauce.

Pumpkin
At What I Eat, Stephanie realized that her mom always made roasted pumpkin seeds, so she thought she should try it. Not only were they very tasty, but she has uncovered an interesting bit of pumpkin seed trivia, so check her post to see why eating pumpkin seeds might calm down the kids when they've had too much candy.

You can find a lot of good tips about Baking a Pumpkin in this next post from EJM at Blog From Our Kitchen. There's also some information about uses for the kinds of pumpkins (and which ones are worth baking to get the flesh) as well as links to some great sounding pumpkin recipes.

Rosemary
I hope she doesn't mind that I'm taking a bit of editorial license with her recipe title, because when I saw this recipe I could tell that the Chickpea Soup with Pasta and Rosemary was really all about the rosemary. There is a lovely photo of rosemary here too from the garden of Jennifer who writes at Like to Cook.

Sage
If you feel the slightest bit intimidated at making a fancy rolled chicken breast dish like Chicken Saltimbocca, Mike from Mike's Table has wonderful step-by-step photos to show you just how it's done. Sage is traditional in this dish, and Mike combines it with basil for a filling that sounds fabulous.

I've never made my own sausage, but I do admire people who do, and Jerry's Turkey Sausage Patties from Jerry's Thoughts, Rants, and Musings really sound tasty. Of course there is sage, one of the most essential ingredients in sausage if you ask me.

Spring Onion (Green onion, scallion)
You can count on Anh from Food Lover's Journey to come up with something interesting for Weekend Herb Blogging, and this time she has a delightful Spring Onion Tray Bread to celebrate the arrival of spring in Australia. She's also using one of her favorite ingredients, the spring onion, which she arranges in a delightful way to decorate the bread; don't miss the photos.

Tomatoes
Maninas at Maninas: Food Matters is sharing the recipe for Mamin sug od Pomidora or My Mum's Tomato Sauce, and what an interesting sounding sauce it is. Apparently in Croatia parsley and celery leaf are favored over basil for flavoring the sauce, and there are also some other interesting changes from traditional Italian tomato sauce in how this delicious-sounding recipe is prepared.

Truffles
Talented Haalo from Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once is still traveling in Italy, and this week she is having a real treat attending a truffle festival in Umbria where she has managed to score an Umbrian white truffle. I learned from this post that white truffles are not cooked, but gently warmed by being shaved over cooked food, and Haalo's Scrambled Eggs with White Truffle looks perfect. Don't miss seeing Haalo's always fabulous photos if you're not familiar with truffles.

Winter Squash
Having an overabundance of butternut squash has caused Katie of Thyme for Cooking to get creative about how she uses them. She's used puff pastry, thin slices of butternut, mushrooms, leeks, and ricotta cheese to make interesting little appetizers she's calling Autumn Pastry. Do check the post for more details, this sounds delicious.

All the way from Peru, Greatchen from Canela y Comino is showing us the supersized squash called zapallo macre in South America. At the market Gretchen is able to buy this type of winter squash in pieces, and she combines it with zucchini for a delicious-sounding dish she calls Double Squash Gratin.

My own post this week featured a recipe that's going to be something I'll be making over and over. I loved the spice mix I used on Roasted Butternut Squash with Moroccan Spices, and not only is this squash a good low-glycemic menu option, but I'm going to be trying the spice mix on a lot of other veggies too.

Zucchini
Pam at The Backyard Pizzeria has a family that's not overly big on zucchini, while she loves it herself. However, she figured out that if she includes enough cream, cheese, eggs, and bacon, and turns it into a delicious looking Zucchini Loaf, no one in the family will complain at all. Sounds like a great idea to me.

Simona from Briciole has been traveling in Italy but she has returned home, moved to a new house, and still managed to get an entry in for Weekend Herb Blogging. Way to go Simona, and much congratulations on the new house. While she was away her garden did feel a bit neglected, but there were a few zucchini which managed to grow to giant size, so Simona has made a delicious-sounding Stuffed Zucchini with Bell Pepper, Eggplant, Capers, and Herbs.

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13 comments:

  1. Thanks for the great round-up, Kalyn. Time to relax, now; there are 361 days left to next Halloween. Hope you survived your school day from "heck." ; )

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  2. Hello Kalyn, thanks for your work. My kitchen is nearly finished and I get back to cooking and baking. I hope I'll join WHB next week again.

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  3. Great job, Kalyn! I appreciate all the work that went into it - and as a result I've bookmarked 3 new recipes:)

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  4. Another fabulous roundup. Thanks kalyn.

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  5. I like your new format, too. Great round-up!
    So many yummy things to try; so many new blogs to check out; good thing I have a full pot of coffee!

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  6. Wonderful lineup as usual. I'd like to taste everything. ;-)

    I like your latest banner. I like how it changes from time to time. Have a good week.

    Paz

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  7. Great round up, Kalyn! Lots if delicious food and dishes. Thank you!

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  8. I'm really lovin' your new format, Kalyn. It makes it a breeze to find a new recipe for a particular ingredient. Thanks for the wonderful round-up.

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  9. Susan, love the new photo. Thank goodness Halloween is over!

    Hi Ulrike. Will go check out your kitchen. I've lived through a house remodel, so I'm surprised your blogging at all.

    Pille, thanks. (Me too!)

    Vegeyum, thanks.

    Katie, I'm glad people like it. I think it's more useful, even though some entries are a bit hard to categorize!

    Hi Paz. I'm so lucky to have the fabulous Rand for a brother aren't I?

    Chris, you're welcome, and thank you!

    Susan, thanks. So glad people like it.

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  10. thanks, kalyn, for the amazing array of treats. it's wonderful to see such crativity, and events such as yours make it so easy to find all the recipes at one place.

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  11. The bloggers who participate in this event are amazingly creative. It's very fun to read. Thanks for all your hard work, Kalyn!!

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  12. Terrific round-up, as usual, Kalyn. I don't think it can be said often enough how incredibly useful this herbal/vegetable resource has become. Many many thanks again!

    As I have been wandering through the various posts, I also came upon a link to your pumpkin post on Blogher and found a post about the pumpkin roll cake I was planning to make. How handy was that?!

    -Elizabeth

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  13. gwen sutherland kaiserNovember 6, 2007 at 7:21 PM

    as usual... AMAZINGLY mouth-watering round up. thank you!

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Thanks for joining the conversation! I love hearing from readers and even though I can't always reply to every comment, I will always answer specific questions on a recipe as soon as possible. Sometimes I'm answering by iPhone, so my replies may be short!

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