Finest Foodies Friday: November 21, 2008

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Good Morning/ Afternoon/ Evening to you all out there. This is the last FFF of the month on The Leftover Queen Blog. Roberto and I are going to be traveling to visit my Dad and Stepmom for the Thanksgiving Holiday this year. For next week’s FFF, please visit my GOOD friend Judy‘s blog, No Fear Entertaining, for some of her favorite pics from The Foodie Blogroll.

I wish all the Americans a Happy Thanksgiving and to everyone else, the same, even if you do not celebrate this holiday. Today I am going to give thanks and gratitude to all the food bloggers out there who are part of The Foodie Blogroll, for making it such a wonderful community! We have a lot of exciting things in store for the coming year and we thank you for making this one so great!

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 and 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 over 2500 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.

As I often say there are certain blogs that are just so great that I assume I have already featured them. Here is another such blog, my friend Sam‘s Blog The Greek Gourmand. Sam subtly hinted to me, that I must be saving the best for last, and that is when I realized that I hadn’t yet featured this very interesting blog. Now Sam is a great cook and makes lots of wonderful Greek dishes that are just mouthwatering, but the best part about his blog is the history. Every recipe Sam features on his blog is set in historical context, which is so interesting from an anthropological and historical perspective. Something I am way into! So if you want some history with your Greek food, you must stop by and say hi to Sam!

Another great Greek food blog that I have failed to feature yet is Ioanna’s blog: Food Junkie, Not Junk Food. Jo, as she is also known by, is a Greek archaeologist living in Athens, so you can bet she and Sam would have a lot to talk about! ;) She is very talented speaking at least 3 languages that I know of, and a phenomenal cook. Her food is always fresh and bright and full of those tantalizing Mediterranean flavors! She writes her blog in both Greek and English, so don’t be intimidated if you stop by and see lots of Greek. I promise you will not be disappointed.

Arfi from HomemadeS has a wonderful blog. She is an Indonesian living in New Zealand and you really get a perspective of both cultures and their foods while perusing her blog. Her photographs are outstanding, she has won many awards in the blogging world for her beautiful photos. So please go visit her blog, not only because it truly is a work of art, but because all the food looks delicious too!

La Fuji Mama
I love this blog! This is the blog of La Fuji Mama who from Southern California, has lived in Japan with her adorable daughter (and I believe France as well?). I really enjoy this blog because it is a wonderful way to raise children – by showing them the world, giving them a real appreciation for other cultures from a young age. There are so many great traveling trips for traveling with kids as well as anecdotal snippets about an American’s life in Tokyo, Japan. It is a great read!

Paula‘s Blog, It’s All Gouda makes me laugh with the name. This is a phrase I often use in my life, not because I love food, but because I really love cheese. But this blog is not all about cheese – it is named for its play on words. So don’t worry, even if you don’t like cheese (and I know there are some of you blasphemers out there!) you will still find some great recipes on here, especially some really great kid friendly recipes, for the kid in all of us!

That’s it for this week! I hope you enjoyed this week’s FFF. 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!

Pistachio-Pomegranate Chicken with Mint and The POM Wonderful Featured Blogger Contest ($5000)

Hello Everyone!

I just wanted to post this lovely dish I made last year to celebrate the Winter Solstice. It was so good, I decided it was worth entering in the POM Wonderful Featured Blogger Contest going on this month. If you have not heard about it, food bloggers can submit an original recipe featuring pomegranates and have a chance to win $5000 from Pom Wonderful!

Now that is what I call wonderful! :)

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As an incentive to Foodie Blogroll members, in conjunction with the lovely POM folks, we are giving away cases of POM Wonderful products for the next 2 weeks, while the contest is going on. For more details on how you can enter to win either of these contests, please check out the Foodie Blogroll/ Leftover Queen Forum!

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Now onto my recipe! This chicken dish was prepared in a cast iron skillet, first browned over high heat and then finished off in the oven. The chicken breasts were so juicy and tender coupled with the tartness of the pomegranates that explode in your mouth after being heated up, mixed with the salty pistachios and green mint was a wonderful unexpected flavor combination! This dish is simple to prepare, yet so elegant. This is also a great dish for the season, that is sure to impress at any holiday gathering.

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Buckwheat Pudding with B. Lloyd’s Nuts

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I love puddings – rice, bread, custards, you name it, if it is creamy and flavored with vanilla, I am all of it! I also love buckwheat, it has pretty much become my favorite grain of all time. I am not really big on the grains unless we are talking about bread, but there is something about buckwheat that I just love. Maybe it is all the protein or just the nuttiness of the flavor. Whatever it is, I decided to make a pudding, starring my favorite grain, humble buckwheat.

I thought it would also be the perfect dessert to showcase some delicious B. Lloyd’s nuts that I was asked to try by the folks at Komet Marketing. They’re all natural glazed and salted nut salad toppings, that are really delicious! Great health benefits of nuts with a great flavor, made with certified organic non-hydrogenated oil. Right now the nuts are available in grocery stores in California, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana. I have been enjoying them on top of salads, or just right out of the canister. There are at least 6 different varieties to chose from. Great to have in the pantry whenever you need to add a little crunch to your dishes.

We ate the pudding warm, as a dessert, with a pool of almond milk and honey on top, but it could just as easily be served up for a hearty breakfast!

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Foodie Blogroll Contests and Giveaways!

Hello Everyone!

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It has been over 2 months since we launched the new and improved Foodie Blogroll website and widget! Things have already grown so much in these past 2 months and we are thrilled. Thank you to all the valued members of our community!

We are pleased to announce 2 great contest giveaways going on right now.

POM Wonderful

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The folks at POM Wonderful are asking bloggers to submit an original recipe that includes pomegranate for a chance to become the POM Wonderful featured blogger and enjoy a $5,000 prize! Click here for contest details.

As a special incentive for Foodie Blogroll members, for the next two weeks, all our members who enter a recipe in the contest and post about it on their blog (and right here on this thread of the Foodie Blogroll forum ) will have a chance to receive 1 case of POM Wonderful Juice and 1 case of fresh pomegranates! The Foodie Blogroll team will randomly select one member winner per week.

In order to be eligible to win the free cases, all you have to do for your chance to win, is post your pomegranate recipe on your blog and on the Foodie Blogroll/ Leftover Queen Forum! Be sure to mention both the POM Wonderful and Foodie Blogroll contests in your blog post. You must be a member of the Foodie Blogroll (make sure you have your widget up and running, or you will not be eligible) to enter the chance to win the free case prizes, but any blogger is eligible to win the POM Wonderful featured blogger contest!!!

Remember please post your recipe on The Foodie Blogroll/ Leftover Queen Forum and on your blog, and make sure to enter the recipe on the POM WONDERFUL contest page. Then please discuss both contests on your blog post! Thanks!

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Timberland Pro Giveaway

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The Foodie Blogroll, in partnership with Timberland Pro is giving away 10 FREE pairs of new Timberland PRO BLACK Series shoes (valued from $75-$95)

Eligibility: You must be and active and eligible member of The Foodie Blogroll. If you are not a member yet, all you have to do in order to be eligible is sign up for the Foodie Blogroll, be approved and have the latest version of The Foodie Blogroll Widget on your blog. You will then be put in the random pool to win a pair of your choice!

Yours in Food,

The Foodie Blogroll Team

Finest Foodies Friday – November 14, 2008

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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.

Venny from Sanctuary from the Mad World

Venny’s blog was re-introduced to me via the Nominations Thead on the Forum. As soon as I loaded the page I knew I wanted to feature this blog. The photos are just beautiful and all the food looks incredibly yummy! She has lived all over the world, this love of other cultures is reflected in her simple, yet delicious recipes. She is also a bookworm, which is a trait close to my heart! I am sure she has found some great book in all her travels….probably even cookbooks!

I really knead to feature Knead for Bread

as I am always looking for inspiration when it comes to bread baking. Right now I am very happy with my no-knead bread method, but sometimes I am looking for new ways to flavor up my favorite breads, and also to get ideas for how to sculpt the bread to make it not only delicious, but beautiful also. If you have also joined the Bread Revolution, I encourage you to seek your next bread recipe here!

This blog Hunter-Gathering: wild & fresh food

is one that I am in total awe of. I just love everything about it. These guys take local eating to a whole other level. I really wish my life was conducive to learning more about wild foods and how to forage for them. After this year’s foray in local foods and trying to make more of my own food all the way from scratch (like bread for example), I think this is the next step for me in my food journey! I am looking forward to it!

My love for Greek food is no secret and so I love it when new Greek blogs come on the scene (or at least ones I wasn’t familiar with before) and the latest one I have come across is Maria‘s blog Kali Orexi, which means Good Appetite. Maria is a first generation Greek American who grew up with her family’s recipes from the Old Country. Although I am the first one to check out a blog from Greece itself, I really love immigrant blogs, because it is something I am familiar with. I love to see how families take traditional foods and then adapt them based on the ingredients available in their new home country.

Another cuisine I make no secret about loving is Moroccan. So I got really excited when I saw Do It The Moroccan Way! make its way onto the Foodie Blogroll! It is one of the few blog on the Foodie Blogroll dedicated to Moroccan food. This blog is authored by a Moroccan woman living outside of Morocco with her American husband. She cooks up really delicious and flavorful foods in her kitchen. So go check it out!!!

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!

Fall Harvest, Part 2

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The other day I talked about what to do with tons of fall veggies! Today there is more. As soon as the weather starts to get cooler I start thinking about roasted root veggies, it is kind of like my signature fall dish. There is just something so satisfying about the caramelization that happens when these beautiful veggies, glistening with olive oil, go in a hot oven together. I could live off different combinations of these veggies all autumn and winter long, and often do. This time I served the roasted veggies with Maple-Sage glazed pork chops and the rest of the greens.

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The other thing I love to make when the weather turns cold are squash or pumpkin soups. This delicious pumpkin soup I made from the leftovers of those lovely jack-o-lanterns that we made for Halloween based on a the recipe from Creamy Vermont Winter Pumpkin Soup from Dishing Up Vermont.

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Fall Harvest, indeed

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I am so in love with the seasonal foods at this time of year. For me fall is all about renewal, it is about bounty and it is about comfort, slowing down the pace a little, turning more inward and enjoying quiet times with loved ones. I love fall foods so much that most of my clipped recipe notebooks have a special section that I call “autumn foods”. Our trip to New England was especially inspiring being that it was full of this delicious bounty. So what does one do when you come home from a vacation full of meals consisting of seasonal vegetables and fruits, celebrating autumn? Well one goes to the farmers market to get some more. What does one do with loads of turnips, carrots, potatoes, squash, pumpkin and greens procured from said farmers market? Well one get their butt in the kitchen, makes a big mess and eats the rewards of one’s labor for days and days, of course!

When we got back from our trip, we had barely any food in the house, and nothing fresh – no veggies, no dairy and no meat. So we headed to the Farmers market. Now I knew we couldn’t get everything there, but I wanted to see what I could get there and then go to the grocery after. For me the grocery store is always an after thought. The farmers market and all the goodies there are the inspiration and fodder for week’s meals and we go to the grocery store to fill in the blanks. I enjoy letting the seasonal bounty dictate our menu more and more.

I ended up getting so many greens (kale, chard and turnip greens, as well as lettuces) because they came in such huge quantities from one of the produce stands that we love, that we literally brought home a GARBAGE bag full for about $9. I had so much that I gave half to the gentleman who does the landscaping for our condo. But there was still so much leftover, I knew I just had to start getting creative. So what came out of it was sauteed greens with garlic and citrus champagne vinegar, stuffed acorn squash, roasted root vegetables and pumpkin soup ( as well as Judy’s roasted pumpkin seeds). I also made bread, Pumpkin Oatmeal, from the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day book. Here are the recipes for the sauteed greens and stuffed squash.

Also if you want to learn tips on how to make your kitchen more Green, check out this article

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November Royal Foodie Joust Winners & Ingredients for This Month’s Joust!

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Next week we will be back again with Finest Foodies Friday! It just so happens that today is the day to announce the winners of this month’s Royal Foodie Joust. I thought about featuring both Joust winners and FFF in today’s post, but I felt that it would steal the thunder from one group and I didn’t want to do that. So please forgive me and I promise FFF next week. But until then, please check out the Joust winners’ blogs to keep you tied over! I promise they are all great blogs:)

The Royal Foodie Joust is an awesome monthly peer voted competition that is hosted on
The LeftoverQueen/FoodieBlogroll Forum! It gets better each and every month as the competition gets stiffer as Jousters try to outdo each other each month! It is also one of the friendliest competitions I have ever seen. So please don’t be intimidated to come and join us this month! We don’t bite, unless of course there is real food in our faces ;)

The only rules for the competition is that each Jouster create one dish and each entry must feature the 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!Other prizes too!

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

This month’s ingredients of Acorn Squash (or winter squash), Orange and Sage were chosen by last month’s winner, Susan from Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy

As always we had really awesome and inventive entries come in based on these ingredients – everything from sweet to savory and all in between!

This month’s winners TS and JS from Eating Club Vancouver stole the show with something sweet: Squash Churros with Orange-Sage Hot Chocolate.

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As soon as I saw this entry I just knew it was a winner! There are always super creative entries that go into the Joust, but sometimes an entry comes in that everyone just loves – and this one featured chocolate, plus it was just so whimsical and creative! This was the one this month – so way to go girls! Look for that apron in the mail! ;)

Second Place goes to my pal, Peter from Foto Cuisine. Peter is one half of a husband-wife blogging team – he cooks, she photographs – how cool is that?! But really this is a stellar blog full of stunning photos and gourmet food. Their entry this month was Autumn Grouper over Risotto.

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Third Place is another great savory entry by Melody from Trap Door and an entry that I was hoping someone would make as I just love her 3-Cheese Squash Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter and Orange Sauce

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Thanks guys for making this Joust another huge success and giving us all great ideas for how to use the abundance of squash this season!

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

Please join us for this month’s Joust – the ingrendients are: Coffee, Black Peppercorns and Honey. As chosen by our winning blog! December is my birthday month, so please make my wishes come true and enter the Joust! Even if it is your first time! Plus, we are going to change things up a bit! ;)

Happy Jousting Everyone!