Finest Foodies Friday: Top 5 Vegetarian or Vegan Food Blogs

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Sorry that this came a little late today…but I promise I have a good excuse – we went off today to get our marriage license!
So…can I be forgiven? ;)

We can all see a little bit of spring beginning…even where it is still cold, blustery and even maybe still snowy for another month or so, it is intrinsic in humans as well as other animals to begin feeling the pull of the spring tide. I think for me it is a lightness in the air. Even though it is still cold, the quality of the air has changed, almost as if it is beckoning me to spend more time outside and stop and smell the roses more often. With the coming of spring also comes all the long awaited Farmers Markets for those who are not able to enjoy them year round.

In the spirit of being creative with Farmers Market veggies and produce, it is time to recognize those Vegetarian and Vegan food blogs that can help us all get some great ideas and learn to be more creative with our food! I know for myself, once the warmer seasons come, the majority of what I eat is of the vegetable variety. So I am looking forward to seeing more Vegetarian and Vegan blogs on The Foodie Blogroll! So if you know any Vegetarian/Vegan bloggers who are not on the blogroll, please send them here to join!

And if there is a blog you love and want to see featured in another edition of FFF, please
write your nominations here.
So without further ado Jenn’s Top 5 Vegetarian or Vegan Food Blogs:

Holler from Tinned Tomatoes was one of the first food bloggers I met in the blogosphere. She is one of the nicest people you will come across, a yoga enthusiast and a great cook. She loves to experiment with exotic flavors and her chutneys and preserves look amazing! Like this Apple and Red Onion Chutney Plus she lives in Scotland, which is a place I have loved to visit in the past and hope I re-visit many times in my life (Maybe has something to do with the fact that my dad is of Scottish decent???).

Then with Holler comes Lisa of Lisa’s Kitchen! Those two just started a very successful event called No Croutons Required where there was lots of blogger participation. I myself cannot wait to join in the fun! But back to Lisa – her blog features lots of Spicy Indian dishes but this recipe for Olive Cheese Balls had me drooling profusely and thinking I need to make them for movie night this weekend!

Then there is Johanna from the Green Gourmet Giraffe. With a name like that, how can you go wrong??? I love green, gourmet foods and giraffes! And as Johanna points out, green is the color of hope! Johanna hails from Melbourne, Australia and she is all about really good vegetarian comfort food, and her scones are out of this world! Her latest post about the Queen Victoria Market makes me realize although I do love my Farmers Market – there are some out there of a whole other league.

Next is Lyra from The Gluten-Free Hippie. Now Lyra is pretty new to the foodie blogroll, but she stands out. She wowed me with her entry for this month’s Royal Foodie Joust . Lyra also features a lot of yummy raw food recipes. I really love her blog because she comes up with things I would never think of, but that I am compelled to try. She is also planning a wedding like I am, so one more thing in common!

Then last but certainly not least is Jenny from Rabbit Food Jenny has an adorable rabbit named Nutmeg and get this, they are both vegetarians! Jenny admits that although they like the same kinds of food, their eating styles are different. She made these awesome Chocolate and Lavender Cookies that not only look so pretty but are pretty ingenius!
We are a big fan of bunnies and cookies, in this house, so there you go! :)

And I really need to special mention a 6th person here. Heather from BeBop Vegan Cooking. She is spunky and fun as her food is colorful and original.

And since we are talking about The Foodie Blogroll, I just wanted to throw everyone a little nibble – with over 1000 members now, we are going to be making some changes – to make it easier to host the blogroll and to continue the community building that we started almost a year ago! Bringing foodies together online is one of my greatest passions in life!
So stay tuned, there are lots of exciting things afoot!
:)

Foodie Event: Eat To The Beat

Man, I am getting in a lot of blog posts this week! I guess there is just so much good stuff going on in the food blogoshpere that I want to support and be a part of. Sometimes, I get so backed up with other food related posts that I wait until the last minute to get my entry in for a Foodie Event. I wish I had time to do them all! I just love the creativity in this community! Food Bloggers ROCK!

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Which leads me exactly to this post and this Foodie Event which is called Eat To The Beat and is the brainchild of my friend
Elly from Elly Says Opa! Elly says she was inspired to create this event because her love of music is about as big as her love for food! I completely concur. I have always believed that my life would be so much better if it had a soundtrack. So since I have started working from home, I can listen to music all day long and it just makes my life so complete. I can’t imagine cooking without music, dinner parties or meals without some kind of music playing the the background. So in a way, I have created a soundtrack for myself!

Press Play:

As you all who are regular readers of this blog know, I do bellydancing and I love it. Due to this fact, much of my music collection is what we call in this house “bellydancing music”. If the music hails from the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey or any of the places in between it is referred to as such.

And as all of you know who read this blog, I love all the foods from those regions as well…coincidence? Most likely not.

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So this gets me to the meat of this post. We were having friends over for dinner last week, and I wanted to create a fun atmosphere – so we did small plates-  meze, antipasti, tapas, whatever you want to call it. I was really getting into all the dolmas or stuffed grape leaves people were making in the weeks leading up to it.  So I decided to combine Peter’s from Kalofagas and Mag’s from Hommus w/ Tabbouli to make my own version. I also made the Labneh from Mag’s blog as well, which is a soft Lebanese yogurt cheese, plus I re-created the Middle Eastern Meatballs with Orzo I had made last year. However, this time I made my own meatballs with the leftover ground meat from the gyros the week before. I just added and egg and some bread crumbs and baked the meatballs in the oven at 400 F for about 25 minutes. The meal was a huge hit and we had a great evening.

I chose this song, Desert Rose, click here to see the original video, the partnership of Sting and Cheb Mami, who is one of my most favorite artists and who is a very big star in his native Algeria and much of the “bellydancing music” world. His voice is unique and beautifully haunting. I also love Sting and give him major props for introducing Cheb’s beautiful voice to the western world through this song.

For more by Cheb Mami, click here.
To hear more of his music, click below.

Now for the recipes:
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To Market, To Market A Food Blogging Event

Gay, from
A Scientist in the Kitchen
invited me to participate in another fabulous food blogging event – this one devoted entirely to local food markets.

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As you all know, I am a recently converted member of the I Love The Farmers Market Club.
No, it is not a real club, but it really should be. I have been writing lots of posts based on our Farmers Market finds. There is just nothing better than being able to support local farmers, growers and producers of food products – from veggies to bread, cheese, nuts and grains – these markets help you to support your local community in the most important of ways – SUSTAINABILITY, which should be on all our long term goal lists.
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Another Quick Meme…

Okay, so first I was tagged by Susan over at Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy for the 5 things meme. Well luckily I have already done that meme once. If you want to re-visit it, you can find it here.

Then Roni, from GreenLiteBites tagged me for the 7 things you didn’t realize you needed to know about me and food…Meme. I have NOT done that one yet, so here we go…

1) I do not like Marjoram. I hate when people say it tastes like Oregano, because it does not. Oregano is my favorite herb and I know it doesn’t taste icky.

2) I don’t like cooked celery. I used to hate celery all together, but now I can deal with it when it is raw and crunchy – but that is all. If there is cooked celery in soup or something else, I have to pick it out.

3) I am not a chocolate freak, I am a vanilla girl.

4) I have been known to throw people’s Splenda out when they aren’t looking…;)

5) I have a sensitivity to Soy, so I only eat it once in a while, if I go out for sushi or if there is soy sauce hiding in something.

6) I used to not eat fruit – EVER. Now I have found fruits that I enjoy – namely – Papaya, Cantaloupe, Pomegranate, Blueberries, Grapes, Figs and fresh Apricots (although I love them dried too).

7) I don’t like eating Italian food out – it usually does not live up to its potential (that sounds snobby, doesn’t it??!!!) :)

Season Of Soups: Recipe: Artichoke & White Bean Soup

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Soup doesn’t always have to be a long and involved process. I love quick and easy soup recipes using things I normally have stocked away in my pantry and fridge – that’s what being the LeftoverQueen is all about, right? I love spending hours experimenting in the kitchen but sometimes even I am in a rush and need a quick but healthy meal. To me soup is the opposite end of the coin from salad – both use lots of veggies and healthy ingredients – just one is hot and one is cold. Here is one of those easy, healthy and delicious recipes straight from the pantry!
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Finest Foodies Friday: Top 5 Wittiest Food Bloggers

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Finest Foodie Friday: Top 5 Wittiest Food Bloggers and a MEME and an update! Whew!

We all need some humor in our lives, right? Well I find myself trying to visit these blogs as often as I can because they make me laugh along with giving great tips and recipes for food. If you would like to participate in the FFF and have a nomination, please enter your nominations here
And since only members of The Foodie Blogroll can be nominated, if you are not yet a member of this group which is over 1000 bloggers strong, please join us today!

Ley of Cilantro & Lime
is a crack up. She along with giving you recipes for all kinds of goodies and sweet treats, gives you dose of humor with every bite. She tells you like it is and entertains me all the time! Ley was the first Royal Foodie Jouster to receive an apron and she did a great little post about it – that had Roberto and I cracking up and rolling on the floor! Ley is also getting married soon and planning a wedding, so I also love her blog Boho Bride which is a great little blog all about the alternative bride – which we both CERTAINLY are! :)

Then there is Heather of Gild The Voodolily
– by now all of you have heard of Heather – she is making waves all over the food blogosphere with her fast talking, tongue in cheek humor that keeps everyone on their toes. I love going over to Heather’s blog and seeing all the familiar faces over there getting their attitude on. Everybody just lets it hang loose over there because Heather is so laid back and doesn’t take offense to any of the jabs. Not only this, but I need to give serious props to Heather because she is one of the most creative cooks you will find in the blogoshpere. I mean check out her winning entry for The Royal Foodie Joust last month! She really is a go-getter when it comes to food and life and laughter.

Next in line is my friend Emiline (ohhh…look at me rhyme!) of Sugar Plum
Emiline has a quiet dark kind of humor that she puts to constructive use. She has many a blog post about something someone did to tick her off (I mean the girl DOES work in the food industry and man, people in her position take a lot of crap from the rest of us) and then she goes home and takes it out on her food. But wow, is that food awesome
She kills me with her sweet and salty delicacies which pop up frequently. Very creative mind. Emiline is a young food blogger but she has a lot of talent and I am so excited for her – she is well on her way to becoming a culinary Goddess.

Then there is Sue from Food Network Musings
who is an absolute stitch. For those of you who are addicted to The Food Network – and I know a lot of you are, you have got to go check out Sue’s rants raves and musings about all the celebrity chefs and cooks on there. Sue is a culinary school graduate, so she really knows what she is talking about – so she calls these celebs out on the mistakes and mishaps in their shows. It is a riot to read!

And last but certainly not least is Brittany of Musings of a Barefoot Foodie She is relatively new to The Foodie Blogroll, but not new at all to the trials and tribulations of raising boys, and taking care of her family – all done with a super dry wit that makes me laugh so hard my face hurts. She is also a great resource for cooking meals for a family, because she does it every single day. I know when I have kids, I am going to Brittany for sanity checks.

Next Week: Top 5 Vegetarian/ Vegan Food Blogs

Please see the post below for a Meme sent to me by Ivy of Kopiaste and an update about my blog!

A MEME and an Update…

I was tagged for this MEME: Food For Gossip by Ivy over at Kopiaste

INSTRUCTIONS:

Select five people to tag: Consider all y’all tagged
Here are the things to blog about and my answers:

What were you doing 10 years ago?

In 1998 I was in College at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. I was doing research for my undergraduate thesis on strip mining and genocide on Black Mesa/ Big Mountain, on the Navajo Reservation. I also spent 6 months that year out in AZ on the Navajo Reservation with 2 Navajo elders who were and still are resisting relocation by the US Government – because their ancestral homeland lies on top of large amounts of coal, uranium and natural gas. I was there to help them get through the winter (at that time they were both in their early 80′s and there is no electricity or running water on the Mesa) and look after them as well as bear witness to the atrocities.

What were you doing 1 year ago?

Roberto and I had just moved to Florida from Vermont in the middle of one of the worst blizzards ever. We were getting acclimated to being Floridians. I also just started my first blog: Jenn’s Travel Closeup

Five snacks you enjoy:

1) Hummus and crackers
2) Organic, non-GMO, Non-transfat Cheesy Puffs
3) Gelato or Ice cream
4) Dolmas/ Dolmades
5) Really good French Fries

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:

1) Travel the world with stops in Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Sicily, Calabria, Rome, Alaska, Iceland, Norway, Scotland and Paris, to name a few.
2) Set up SAFE schools for Navajo children living on the reservation – meaning ones not built from uranium infested materials which cause a lot of health problems.
3) Pay off my mom’s house and buy Roberto’s mom a nice flat in Rome or Ostia (her choice)
4) Buy a house in one of the places I mentioned above that I liked the most
5) Donate money to the Humane Society

Five bad habits:

1) I am neurotic about having a clean house, so I tend to be a bit militant at times
2) I get easily stressed by money, numbers and math related things
3) I try to solve everyone’s problems and think that I have to.
4) I bite my cuticles when I am stressed
5) I give my loyalty to people I shouldn’t because I always believe people can change and imagine that they will.

Five things you like doing:

1) Reading a great book while enjoying a nice hot drink and snuggling with my kitty
2) Listening to Music – I have very eclectic tastes and lots to choose from
3) Meditating
4) Going to the Beach
5) Drinking Coffee!
6) Bellydancing (sorry – couldn’t leave it out..)

Five things you would never wear again:

1) Nylon Stockings
2) Very high Heels
3) Shoulder pads
4) High waisted Jeans
5) Thong underwear

Five favorite toys:

1) My Cuisinart Food Processor
2) My Stovetop espresso maker
3) My Laptop – even though sometimes I want to chuck it out the window
4) That is all I can think of – does Roberto or the Kitty count? I guess they would be more like playmates.

NOW FOR MY UPDATE:
If you go to my Recipe Page – you will now see an alphabetical list of all of my recipes. Enjoy!

Recipe: Homemade Gyros with Super Garlic Tzatziki

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I have been getting very inspired by blogs recently. Maybe it is because I sit down to check my daily bloggings while sipping that first cup of coffee before I eat anything – so I am half starved. But in any case, bad habits aside, I have been going crazy copying recipes from blogs that I visit through my daily interactions with The Foodie Blogroll. There is just so much good food out there and being exposed to it on a daily basis is a dream for someone as food obsessed as me.

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To me there is nothing better than a Gyro – spiced meat in a warm pita slathered with garlicky Tzatziki, put an order of fries on the side and I am in a state of bliss. So the other day when I came across this, on Bitsy’s blog, A Matter of Taste, I was intrigued. I mean normally I only get Gyros out – and you watch them slice the meat off a huge cylinder of meat on a spit. For me, foodie though I may be, it never really occurred to me to think how this giant cylinder of meat might come to be. I mean there are no cuts of meat this shape and size, so what’s the deal? So when I learned I could make it at home, no spit required I decided to take up the challenge.

So here we go…

Here is your music of the day:


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