What a challenge to recapture the excitement of the 2007 Blogher Conference with a few words and photos. This was the world's largest blogging conference with about 800 attendees, mainly women. I've spent hours editing photos, reading posts by other bloggers, and reading posts by people who were liveblogging at Blogher 07. Blogher was great last year, but this year I met many more people. If you were there and I miss mentioning you, please let me know! I'm planning to add to this post many times over the next few days, and I truly want to include everyone I can.
(Thanks to all my faithful readers who haven't abandoned me, despite the fact I've been neglecting the blog a bit while I was off attending the Blogher Conference in Chicago. I'd planned to keep up better than I did, but I ended up with what I hope was just a stomach thing in Chicago and was kind of functioning on half power for a few days. However, despite the stomach-ache-from-you-know-where, Blogher 07 was just so much fun! I'll be writing a long post with photos tomorrow to share some of what happened. And yes, for those who were there while I was feeling so crummy, I am going to the doctor!)
I'm at the Blogher Conference in Chicago having great fun with some of my food blogging friends. Last night I had dinner with a lot of food bloggers. There were some new Chicago bloggers I met for the first time, and a few old friends, including Elise and Alanna, both of whom have ties to this recipe. Last summer, Alanna inspired the veggie part of this recipe, and then Elise gave me a great camera recommendation, and this was one of my first photos the new camera. Besides cooking a lot of yummy food, one of the best things about food blogging is meeting great people.
It's a holiday in Utah; today is Pioneer Day, celebrating the day the Mormon pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley after their trek across the United States with covered wagons and handcarts. This year I'm not really properly celebrating; I'm actually very busy getting ready to go to the Blogher Conference in Chicago on Thursday. I'll be in Chicago from Thursday to Monday and I'm really looking forward to meeting more food bloggers in personlike I did last year, not to mention learning a lot of new things about blogging.
Doesn't everyone just love stuffed mushrooms? If you're a meat-eater, you've probably had a version of mushrooms stuffed with some kind of sausage. This non-meat version uses mushroom stems, bread crumbs, kalamata olives, and feta cheese for the stuffing, and it's another recipe from my friend Georgette who made the World's Best Tzatziki Sauce I loved so much with my version of Lamb Shish Kabobs. No, Georgette doesn't have a blog, but if I can get her to keep giving me recipes, I'll keep sharing them here!
Earlier this year I wrote about how much I loved the Italian tuna packed in olive oil I'd been finding at my local grocery store. I've been having fun creating new salads using this delicious type of tuna. (More to come after this one!) One day at lunchtime, the idea popped into my head to make something with a cilantro-tuna salad mixture stuffed into an avocado. It was one of those hmmm, what's in the fridge kind of recipes, and this was the tasty result.
It's been a few weeks now since we met, and I'm well into my love affair with fresh tarragon. I keep discovering new things that taste great with the slightly anise flavor of this herb and I've been having fun experimenting with it. Recently I was looking through a cookbook that had been sent to me by the publisher, and I spotted a recipe that used tarragon in what seemed like an unlikely combination. The recipe came from The G.I. Diet Express, a book of ultra-simple recipes for anyone who's wanting to eat the low-glycemic index way. It's a book of fifty easy recipes, color coded so you can tell whether each is low, medium, or high based on the glycemic index. This recipe was coded green, which means, eat as much as you want!
You might remember my squeals of delight a few days ago when I finally used agave nectar for the first time. After I stopped kicking myself for not trying this type of natural low-glycemic sweetener earlier, I realized there were a lot of recipes where I'd been using Splenda where it might be fun to try substituting agave. It's not that I'm anti-Splenda, I'm not, and I remain convinced it's safe when used in small amounts. But agave has a great flavor, and it's a good low-glycemic alternative for people who don't want to use Splenda.
Recently I was trying to remember the first time I ever tasted lamb, and decided it must have been in college when I used to work at Le Parisien Restaurant in downtown Salt Lake, where we would occasionally have rack of lamb as a special. We certainly never had it at home when I was growing up. Whenever it was, from the time I first tried it lamb has always been my favorite red meat.
An interesting thing is happening to me in my cooking. Although I still spend (far too much) money on cookbooks and spend (far too much) time reading them, more often lately if I'm going to cook something for the first time, I'll visit other food blogs to get ideas of how other home cooks have done it. This recipe is my adaptation of Glazed Salmon with Dijon Mustard Sauce, a recipe I found at Beyond Salmon, one of the best blogs around to get information about cooking fish.
This is a recipe which falls right smack into the category of what some of my nieces and nephews would regard as weird food, as in, "Bring whatever you want to the party, but don't bring any weird food." Such a legacy; the aunt who might possibly bring weird food unless you warn her not to.
Maybe a few months ago I wouldn't have thought of trying a recipe that called for radishes to be sauteed in olive oil and vinegar and then sprinkled with herbs, but that was before I tried roasted radishes and discovered for myself how delightful cooked radishes really are. Radishes are high in vitamin C, contain small amounts of many other vitamins and minerals, and are very low in calories. According to Wikipedia, radishes are grown all over the world, and they're a popular garden plant because they're ready to pick so quickly. In fact, many people consider radishes the easiest vegetable to grow in the garden. And since any herb, plant, veggie, or flower is eligible for Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by Susan of Food Blogga, this week it's all about the radishes.
Lately I'm on a quest to use some of the meat that's in my freezer. That was the main reason I decided to thaw out some steaks recently. I had no idea just how I would cook them, but when I looked through a few cookbooks, a recipe caught my eye in Food to Live By, that wonderful cookbook from Earthbound Farms that I've been raving about. The idea of serving steak with a sauce made of olives sounded pretty unique, but good.
(Updated July 2007) Last week I went with my two young nephews to see the new movie Ratatouille. Movie critics and food-lovers alike are raving about this movie. It's a delightful film with great animation and really captures how people can be passionate about food. I can tell you from my waitressing experience, it also accurately portrays the restaurant world. A central plot element is how food memories from childhood stay with us all through life, something I realized when I made my ratatouille last summer.
Here's the latest update from Kalyn's garden, which is completely full of weeds, since I've been seriously distracted by having two young visitors. Let me just say that I have new-found respect for any mother with young kids who writes a food blog! We had lots of fun, and they're incredibly good kids, but now I'm trying to catch up on the blog, cooking, and weeding the garden! You can click the label 2007 Garden Updates at the end of the post to see how the garden is progressing. (As always, links to commercial sites are merely to provide information about that type of plant, and not an endorsement of the site.)
The Fourth of July festivities are over, and it's back to the regular programming around here. Things are not quite back to normal though; I'm still babysitting two very cute young boys. The kids are quite impressed with the blog, Ethan is obsessed with the Statcounter map feature showing where visitors live. These kids are pretty tech-saavy, however, their taste in foods is pretty limited, especially when it comes to vegetables. These mushrooms are something they wouldn't even consider tasting, so we'll be grilling hot dogs tonight for Ethan and Mitchell when their older brother Jake comes for dinner. Jake is the nephew who made Bengali Red Dal Curry for me, and he's got incredibly sophisticated taste in food for a college kid, so he and I might be trying out a new recipe or two.
It's the fourth of July and I'm having two young guests spend the week, aged 3 and 6, so I'm definitely a bit distracted from the blog. We have a lot of fun activities planned, including a party tonight with some goodfriends where there will be ponies for the kids and fireworks. Happy birthday to Nick and Ken, the father and husband of my great friend Mary!
One thing I never imagined when I started writing my recipes down on a food blog is that I would start virtually *meeting* other bloggers from all over the world, and that I would actually get emotionally attached to some of them. It's been a pleasant surprise to me how you can understand the real character of someone through their written communication without ever having met them. This post is dedicated to Karina, who's right up there on the list of food bloggers who make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Grilling is such an equal-opportunity cooking method. No matter what your favorite foods are, just about everything tastes better when it's cooked on a grill. I've been grilling for years, and I really came to love cooking on a grill when I catered houseboat trips for over ten years at Utah's Lake Powell. Nothing was better on the houseboat than something cooked on the grill.
Once again I'm feeling proud and amazed at all the fantastic entries people have been sending all week for Weekend Herb Blogging #89. Someone asked this week whether I ever imagined WHB would last this long, and I had to laugh, since it started as a joke, and I never even imagined it would catch on, let alone last the way it has. I know I'm repeating myself, but it's learning about foods from the amazing participants that has kept Weekend Herb Blogging going all these weeks. Read through this week's collection of entries and you'll see just what I mean.
All Photos and Original Text (C) Copyright: 2005-2015, By Kalyn's Kitchen® LLC. I grant permission for photos and recipe links to be copied to social media and other sites, but not recipe text. All Other Rights Reserved. (Other bloggers may post their adapted version of any recipe found here, with their own photos and recipe text, but please link back to the original inspiring recipe on this site.)