Happy Halloween!!!

I am back from vacation and I will soon be back to posting! But in the meantime, enjoy these pumpkins that we carved today!
Hope everyone has a happy and safe Halloween!

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Also check out Judy’s blog at No Fear Entertaining for a great way to use those pumpkin seeds!

October 10, 2008 — Finest Foodies Friday

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Just a quick reminder, we are off soon for our annual New England Trip, so for the next 2 Fridays, FFF will be hosted over on No Fear Entertaining where my good friend Judy and Peperoncino’s friends Osso and Dakota will share their favorite blogs from the Foodie Blogroll with you! :)

As always here is what the FFF is all about. Finest Foodies Friday! FFF is a weekly Friday post featuring favorites from The Foodie Blogroll! We do this so we can share in the rich diversity of what The Foodie Blogroll has to offer by featuring some of our favorites yours! What is the Foodie Blogroll? It is the first and fastest growing free membership blogroll for food bloggers and has become a wonderful community (just under 2000 strong) to share ideas about all things food related.

The only requirement to be featured here on FFF is to be a member of The Foodie Blogroll and be displaying The Foodie Blogroll widget on your blog. If you are not yet a member, but you have a food blog and would like to join us, please click here!

If you have a favorite foodblog on The Foodie Blogroll, that you would like to be featured here on FFF, please join us over on The Leftover Queen/Foodie Blogroll Forum, and post your favorite Foodie Blogroll foodblogs here.

Melissa from Alosha’s Kitchen

Melissa’s blog became famous when she was singled out by ATK/CI/CC over a copyright issue that had the whole food blogging world up in arms over they way she was treated. But Melissa’s blog has so much more to share with us, like her love for the kitchen. She has a blog full of colorful and delicious dishes, so if you haven’t been over to see Melissa in a while, I suggest you go…like now. :)

Lisa of Jersey Girl Cooks

is indeed a girl from Jersey that loves to cook! If you have never been to Lisa’s blog, you need to go. Her blog is full of delicious down to earth foods that are always beautiful. Lately she has been doing a lot of posts about some of her own tasty travels and I have been enjoying all the great pictures and reviews. Thanks, Lisa!

Linda at Ciao Chow Linda

Linda left her job as a journalist in NYC to spend a year living in Italy with her husband. Both of her parents are from different regions in Italy, so the love of all things Italian is in her blood. Her blog reflects her passion for food, art, and a healthy life!

Valley Writer

VW is actually a friend of ours in real life who just started a food blog about living in the Pioneer Valley of Western MA where we are headed in a few days! Roberto and I actually met her and Mr. VW while we were both on our honeymoons in Jamaica. Turns out not only did we used to be neighbors in MA(pretty much literally) but we were both writers who have a lot more in common! She just started her blog and joined the FBR, so go check it out and see a part of the world that I love!

Deb of Kahakai Kitchen

Deb’s blog is about cooking, eating and living in Paradise! Kahakai means beach in Hawaiian, so you can see right there what Deb is all about. Her recipes reflect her island home, where the fish and fruit are fresh and tropical. She even talks about fresh spices – that is spices that most people only find in jars. There is a whole world of food to be learned about, so go say hi!

Remember, if you would like to see a blog featured here, who is part of the FBR please visit the forum and nominate them. I NEED NOMINATIONS!!!!!!

Also we all love to know how people came to find our blogs, so please visit all of our featured bloggers today and don’t forget to tell them that you found them via Finest Foodies Friday!

Have a great weekend everyone! See you all when we return! :)

****DON’T FORGET!*****
Go see Judy the next 2 Friday’s for her FFF picks!

Baking For Breast Cancer Awareness: Apple-Chard Quiche

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This recipe is horribly old. It is back from around the time right after we got married in May. But this is part of the promise to myself to get these old posts up and out of the “pending” folder! Plus as you will see if you read this post, there are several good reasons for posting it now.

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This Quiche is my entry for Ley’s Baking for Breast Cancer Awareness Event ! It is being hosted over on one of my favorite blogs, Cilanto & Lime. It is Ley’s first blog event and I encourage everyone to participate. Last month we participated in Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, here on The Leftover Queen Blog . I feel that it is vitally important to spread awareness about all these diseases!!!

Thankfully, up until this year I have not personally known anyone with this terrible disease. But with the expanding of my horizons through the food blogosphere, I heard about Bri, from Figs with Bri , during last June’s Click Event. Bri is been battling this terrible disease for the second time. My heart and prayers go out to her and her family. I don’t personally know Bri, but I feel like she is part of my foodie family anyway, so this is dedicated to her and all the other women and men who suffer from this disease and their loved ones.

Breast Cancer Statistic: Excluding cancers of the skin, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among U.S. women, accounting for more than 1 in 4 cancers. For more, see this website.

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I have never been a fan of apples. For me, when people got all excited in the fall for apple season, I hunker down, square my shoulders and get ready for all the apple treats I have to consume out of politeness during this season. I can’t really explain what it is about apples I don’t like. I like crunch, so it isn’t that. I just think the flavor of them is either too sweet or too tart for me to ever really like. I lived in Apple Country, New England for years, and I have tried many different types, I have been to many an apple festival, but there were never any that really “applealed” to me. The only things apple-y that I can tolerate are apple cider donuts, or apples that are paired with something savory. For example, apples in squash soup, a piece of apple pie with cheddar cheese or this latest recipe, Apple Chard Quiche. I decided to post this in honor of the fact that we are heading off on our yearly New England trip next week, and heading right into apple country!!! To read about last year’s trip, click here(the articles are on both the first and second pages).

Anyway, while we had family here over the time of the wedding, apples were purchased, because some of the guests liked them. But when they left, there were several remaining apples. Horror of horrors! What was I supposed to do with these, these, things???? Being the Leftover Queen that I am, I couldn’t even think about throwing them away, even though I don’t like them. I thought about throwing them outside for the animals, but thought I really should challenge myself instead. So I knew I had come upon one of my greatest culinary challenges. I had to come up with something tolerable, that I could pass off even as good, for two apple-haters. Yep, Roberto is not a friend to the apple either. Imagine that.

I came across this recipe I had saved from a Vegetarian Times Magazine years ago. I think I was intrigued by the combination of flavors. So, I tweaked it to our liking. The amazing thing is, we both really genuinely loved it. It was really weird, but we could have eaten the whole quiche in one sitting. We actually had to restrain ourselves , even in our bewilderment. So the crazy thing is, that I for the first time in my life, I am happy it is apple season, so I can enjoy this quiche at the height of their season. Who would have thought?
Read the rest of this entry »

Royal Foodie Joust Winners!!! (and the next Joust’s secret ingredients!) :)

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The Royal Foodie Joust is a monthly peer voted competition that is hosted on
The LeftoverQueen/FoodieBlogroll Forum!

Each entry features 3 ingredients in common. This competition has been referred to many times as the “Iron Chef” of the Food Blogosphere. Each month’s ingredients are chosen by the previous month’s winner!

The winner of each Joust not only wins the Queen’s favor, bragging rights and a cool icon to put on their blog, but is also awarded with a super awesome personalized apron! Second and Third place winners also receive prizes!

So what are you waiting for? Come over and join us this month!

This month’s three ingredients were chosen by last month’s winner Protos (Peter) of Souvlaki for the Soul and they were: Fennel, Dairy (any form) and Parsley.

As always all the participants came out with amazing interpretations for these ingredients, creating inventive and beautiful dishes that were all just mouth-watering! It is always such a challenge voting! But there can be only one winner, and this time I am happy to award the apron to a fellow Floridian,

Susan of Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy with her Creamy Gorgonzola, Fennel & Pear Tart:

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Second place goes to Ioanna from Food Junkie not Junk Food with her Pork Roll Stuffed With Fennel Olives And Rosemary :

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And Third place is Natashya from Living in the Kitchen with Puppies with Fennel and Sausage Pizza :

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To check out all the other great entries this month, please click here!

Congrats to all the winners and thank you to all who participated! :)

To join us this month, Susan’s ingredients are: acorn squash, oranges and sage

So get those fall inspired dishes coming!

Click here to post your entries.

O Foods Contest Winner! and another O Foods Recipe: PierOgi Pasta

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I have the very distinct privilege of announcing one of the O Foods Recipe Winners, from those participants who were featured on Bleeding Espresso. We had a really hard time deciding as there were so many great recipes. So Michelle and I decided to share our top three and go from there – but we both had the same exact top three:
Olive Ascolane from The Flavors of Abruzzo , Octopus in a Stew from Spanish Recipes and Chard stuffed with Riso Arborio and Portobello Mushrooms from Feed Yourself.
Uh oh! How to chose now???

So I decided to enlist the help of a real expert – our new pup Peperoncino!

I saw on Wendy’s blog that she recently had a contest and her puppy, Marco chose the winner, which I thought was brilliant. So I put the recipes on a slip of paper, put them on the floor and the first one he sniffed was the winner! Well it looks like Peperoncino wants some Octopus! So congratulations to Nuria, from Spanish Recipes who has won a $50 gift certificate from Amazon, with her Octopus Stew! :)

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Thanks again to all of you who participated and be sure to stop over to Nuria’s blog for some more great Spanish Recipes!

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PierOgi Pasta

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Here is a great fall pasta dish, that is so satisfying and chock full of veggie goodness. My best friend Jen, who lives in MA is Polish and all the women in her family get together the Saturday after Thanksgiving and make Pierogi for Christmas. I have always thought this is a wonderful family tradition. I love Pierogi, but have never made it myself. A long time ago, when I still lived in MA I was at Jen’s house…she was making a dish for dinner that she called Lazy Man’s Pierogi, which was from what I can remember: sauteed cabbage, onions and mushrooms tossed with sauerkraut, cottage cheese and egg noodles. It looked and smelled great and I always put it on the back burner for a “someday recipe”. Well that day came. But I decided to change it up a little.

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I sauteed the cabbage, onion and mushrooms like she did. Then I added sauerkraut, some leftover tomato sauce and some Greek Yogurt. I cooked it all down until it was soft but still crunchy and then added whole wheat tortellini to it and continued to cook it for another 10 minutes so the tortellini had time to steam in the juices. I seasoned everything with salt, pepper, cumin and paprika. It turned out great and made enough to feed a small army! We loved it and it is something I will certainly be making down the road again! Plus I get to see Jen a week from today, when we head up north for our yearly trip to New England! YAY! :)

O Foods Round Up Part 3 – Awareness!

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Good morning/afternoon/evening everyone around the world. I know you came here expecting to see this week’s Finest Foodies Friday picks, however, instead I give you something that deserves to take its place today – the roundup of blogs for the O Foods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Contributors. Which is another way to check out some great new blogs! :)

I must say how touched I was seeing all the participation, enthusiasm and outpouring of generosity surrounding this event. It just re-affirms how special and how much there is a sense of community in the blogosphere. We’ve raised $415, gathered 45 fabulous O Food recipes, and hopefully reached many women with important information about ovarian cancer, particularly regarding signs and symptoms .

These fine blogs listed helped us, me, Michelle from Bleeding Espresso and Sara from Ms. Adventures in Italy publicize this event, and get the word out about Ovarian Cancer awareness – so thanks guys! We appreciate it from the bottom of our hearts.

Suitcase Contents a blog about the life of a Colombian nomad.

Art and Bob Live in Italy , the adventures of a couple who moved from Kentucky, USA to Umbria, Italy.

My Life’s Joys!, an Italian American who loves blogging.

Milanese Masala ,The life of a Desi-Canuck mom living in Italy.

Don’t forget that you can still donate to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. We’re going to leave the donation page active the rest of the year and we’ll keep checking back on it. Help us spread the word! Stumble the round-up pages! You can even raise awareness through jewelry – be sure to visit Bleeding Espresso for more info on that

Please be sure to visit Bleeding Espresso and Ms. Adventures in Italy for all the delicious O Foods recipes that bloggers all over the globe put together for this event!

This guy sure thought they were great!

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Thanks again everyone for all your help and support.

To Your Good Health!