January 30, 2009 – Finest Foodies Friday

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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 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 to share ideas about all things food related. With a membership of over 3000 food blogs, I am sure you can find much inspiration and new friends! :)

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.

Dog Hill Kitchen
Here is yet another example of a wonderful blog, that I frequent and figured I had already featured here on FFF. But I am happy to have been reminded about Maggie’s blog again, so I could find out that I hadn’t featured it yet. So please guys, if you love a blog, tell me about it, because I forget even the ones I love! So why do I love Maggie’s blog – well she makes awesome food for one thing. She cooks mostly using whole foods and does some delicious baking – that is dairy free! And although she is an omnivore, she cooks lots of vegetarian and vegan dishes as well. But the reason I love her blog the most is because she and her husband are doing what me and my husband want to do – but a beautiful piece of property in the country and turn into their dream home and her property has been lovingly named Dog Hill. To read more about that project visit Building on Dog Hill

MomGateway
This is a fairly new blog to join The Foodie Blogroll. This blog features kosher and budget friendly recipes. It is simple yet good food that many of us who are on a budget could use to get some new ideas. So please go on over and say hi to one of our new members.

Love and Olive Oil

Love the name because the title is made up of two of my most favorite things! :) This is a great blog about quick and flavorful dishes that don’t hurt the wallet. The couple that write this blog, Lindsay and Taylor, found out that cooking together was fun and less expensive than going out to eat. They get tired of having a dish more thank once, even if it was incredible, so they have lots of variety on their blog, so go check it out!

Happy Jack Eats
This blog is written by someone whose days consist of eating, cooking, browsing menus, collecting recipes, reading books about food, looking at pictures of cheeseburgers, and embracing all things deep-fried. So you can bet there are a lot of delicious recipes (and photos) on this blog!

The Sunny Raw Kitchen
If you have ever wanted to learn more about raw foods, this is a great spot. Carmella was the Winner in the Best of Raw in the following categories: the Best Raw Website, Best Raw Media and Best Raw Chef! Her blog is just over 2 years old now, and if you want a post to start with, try her best recipes of 2008 post

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!

Foodie Blogroll Community Events: Books For Love

This is going to be a new Thursday feature:
Foodie Blogroll Community Events.

The Foodie Blogroll is a community of over 3000 food bloggers, many of whom hold blogging events. Many are for good causes and some are just for fun! But since there is such a variety, I will post about one every Thursday. I cannot post them all, but if you would like to have your event posted, and you are part of the Foodie Blogroll, please use my contact form (top left under my profile picture) to send the details.

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The first community event I would like to talk about this week is Books For Love which is created and hosted by my friend Arfi, from HomeMadeS. Here is what she has to say about the event:

This auction is for cancer kids in Indonesia who come from poor families. There is a foundation through which these children are helped and funded, it is called Yayasan Kasih Anak Kanker Indonesia (Care for Cancer Kids Foundation Indonesia), situated in Jakarta. Last year, Indonesian, New Zealand, and Australian foodie bloggers succeeded raising IDR 6,050,000. Hopefully, we’ll be able to help these children again, with more hope and more generous people who can help with bidding. Every dollar counts, every kindness is highly appreciated.

Continue reading to learn more about how you can enter…
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Lovely Limoncello

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Last year I fell in love with the Meyer lemons that were being sold week after week at the farmers market. After a few weeks of buying them and enjoying their wonderful flavor, I decided it would be great to use them to make limoncello. When I went back the next week to pick some up for this purpose, I was told lemon season was over!!! I was heartbroken! I know I could have just gone to the grocery store to pick up some organic lemons, but I wanted local meyer lemons.
I wanted it to be special. So I decided that next year, I would be ready! Well it is now lemon season again here in the Sunshine State, and what is more sunny than limoncello?

I love limoncello and made it years ago using vodka as the alcohol. After quite a bit of internet research (I mean I had a YEAR), I discovered that many people use grain alcohol to make limoncello as it more closely mirrors the kinds of alcohol that would have been available to country people in the south of Italy, like the Island of Capri (where lemons are as big as grapefruits!) who originally made this aperitif. Plus vodka is not strong enough to get all of the oils out of the peel. So I decided not to go against the grain. ;)

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I looked at several recipes and decided to go with this one as most of the other ones matched this one. The only thing I did differently is I did not remove the peels before adding the simple syrup to the mix, and then I let everything sit for another 2 weeks. When it was time, I strained the peels, and then dried them – they became “candied” and are a great garnish for a limoncello spritzer

MiniMates Giveaway!

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The Foodie Blogroll, in partnership with MiniMates is giving away 5 MiniMate Refrigerator Deodorizers. MiniMates are little devices that sit in your refrigerator and fight off any bacteria that might be living on the surface of your food. Through the use of activated oxygen (which breaks down odors and kills microbials leaving only pure oxygen with no residue), the MiniMate helps eliminate harmful pathogens like E.Coli and Salmonella. That way, your food lasts longer and is safer for you to eat.

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This is a wonderful giveaway to anyone that cooks – I mean who wouldn’t want a device that keeps your food fresher for longer? The MiniMate is about the same size as a box of baking soda, and the only maintenance is changing the batteries every few months.

To read more about this product, please check out their webpage and watch the video.

So please be sure to sign up for The Foodie Blogroll so you can be eligible to win!

Eligibility: You must be and active and eligible member of the Foodie Blogroll, residing in the US. 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 !

Dates of Giveaways:
Friday February 6
Friday Feb 13th
Friday Feb 20th
Friday Feb 27
Friday March 6

Also a reminder that we are giving away a free month’s membership to Sensei for Weightloss next Monday. So please check out the rules for how you can be eligible!

Boxed Tomatoes: Spaghetti and Meatballs….Spaghetti Squash, a Tomato Sauce Extravaganza!

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Here is another post about a featured pantry item. This was not planned it just so happens that the last few times I cooked, I got so inspired by a key ingredient and just went off on different tangents with it. Which to me, is my favorite way to cook – when I am inspired and excited about ingredients – when they make me hungry and I can’t wait for the dish to be done. This post is going to feature different uses for tomato sauces, which I made from boxed tomatoes.

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Now I am putting a disclaimer out there that this isn’t my mom’s, my grandmother’s or probably anyone’s grandmother’s recipe for tomato sauce, or meatballs. Even though I grew up both Spaghetti Squash and Spaghetti and Meatballs, I don’t like making anything EXACTLY the same way every time. Since I like to use my leftovers, when I make a sauce or any kind of dish, really, I always do a tour through the fridge to see what needs to be used yesterday, and find a way to incorporate it. Usually this means we get extra veggies in whatever dish I am making, which is never a bad thing. But it also ensures that my dishes are always slightly different every time, making it more interesting.

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Here is the story of this Tomato Sauce Extravaganza! I bought a spaghetti squash with all intentions to make baked spaghetti squash with fresh mozzarella for dinner. Then on Twitter, I was chatting with some of my buds and Elle, from Elle’s New England Kitchen was making Spaghetti and Meatballs, and Peter, from Kalofagas was talking about garlic bread. So naturally, I started craving both things. So I decided to act on those cravings and just make everything all at once. So I made the tomato sauce so that it could go in my baked spaghetti squash dish and also be used the next day for the meatballs. I must admit both dishes were fabulous!

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Then I made garlic bread topped with parm and a little leftover blue cheese. It was the perfect accompaniment.
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January 23, 2009 – Finest Foodies Friday

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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 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 to share ideas about all things food related. With a membership of over 3000 food blogs, I am sure you can find much inspiration and new friends! :)

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.

Home With Mandy
Mandy is a very crafty event planner who loves hand crafts as well as cooking. She grew up on comfort food, and is using her blog as a way to expand her culinary repertoire by delving into different ethnic foods. Each post features a recipe, step by step photos and her notes with how she would change it next time. This is a great blog to point people to who might be new to cooking. But is great for all of us who like to try new things!

An Apron Away From a Straightjacket
Sometimes it is just the name of a blog that will catch my attention! Like you just want to get to know the person and story behind the name. Well this is a blog authored by a stay at home mom of 5 children of various age ranges. She talks about how the life of a stay at home mom is a full time job, that you never get to “go home” from, because you are already there! She has a great sense of humor and cooking is a sanity saver for her. So drop by and say hi. Just don’t ask her to sing Itsy Bitsy Spider !

Berry Simple
Originally from Dublin, Ireland, this blogger moved to Sydney, Australia to see more of the world. She got a job, fell in love, and decided to stay! She says that she starts thinking about food the moment she wakes up and since blogging, finds that she also loves food photography! Her photos really are quite beautiful – enough to make you want to lick the screen.


Kiss My Artichoke

Here is another blog with a great title! From her about page: “I love to cook food, read about food, talk about food - sometimes even let the food say a thing or two about me. “ I love that statement because I really do believe the food we cook says a lot about who we are as people, and we can learn so much about a person by their cooking style. Just a quick tour through this blog and you will find a lot of baked goods and really yummy comfort foods. Which to me usually means a person who is down to earth, but isn’t afraid to indulge!

My Mom’s Recipes
People are influenced by so many different things when we cook, but I think all of us to a degree or another are influenced by our mother’s (or grandmother’s cooking). Some are influenced to learn to cook because they don’t like how their mom cooked, but most of us are influenced to try to bring something of our mother’s cooking into our own dishes and kitchen. This blog has mostly Indian recipes, but also other various cuisines (like smiley face potato pancakes!).

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!

The Ginger People

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Last month on FoodieBlogroll.com we ran a ginger holiday cookie recipe contest to get the buzz going about The Ginger People. An awesome company from California that specializes in high quality ginger products for baking, drinking, eating and enjoying. The winner of this contest was Betherann from Muffin Love with her Gingerlicious Biscotti. She won an awesome gift basket from The Ginger People, you can read about it on her blog here.

The Ginger People were also gracious enough to also give away a weekly treat to a lucky random winner from our membership! For 4 weeks a different winner received ginger cookies (Ginger
Shortbread and ANZAC Cookies). We always have contests and giveaways going on at FoodieBlogroll.com, so be sure to check out our website’s Contests & Giveaways page or check The Forum, here for what the current contests are.
You don’t want to miss out on all the great events!

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So, I was also lucky enough to receive a box for partnering with them in this giveaway. I received 2 boxes of ANZAC cookies and 2 bottles of Ginger Gizer. I had never heard of ANZAC cookies before, but they are a historical cookie that is based on a Scottish Oat Cake (which I do love), that was introduced to Australia by early Scottish immigrants. During WW I, loved ones of Australian and New Zealand soldiers were concerned about the nutritional value of the food being supplied to their men (love that!). So they created these cakes that could survive the long journey by sea to the war front. Today ANZAC cookies are known as Australia’s national biscuit. ANZAC stands for Australian New Zealand Army Corps.

I am a huge fan of ginger, so I knew I would love these cookies. I love oat based cookies, cakes and biscuits, and these ANZACS were sweet, but the oat flavor really comes out. There is also a really nice ginger punch. Roberto says they remind him (in texture and shape) of a ginger version of an amaretto cookie, which is one of his favorites. Just like pumpkin, he isn’t really too into ginger, but he seemed to like these cookies.

The Ginger Gizer is a triple ginger energy drink. It is made with apple juice, honey, ginger concentrate, ginger syrup and filtered water. It is warming and delicious and suitable to drink either hot or cold. It is the perfect beverage for the cold days we have been experiencing lately. Also very helpful in dealing with any stomach ailments, which I had the unfortunate chance to experience last week. But this drink really did the trick and helped enormously.

So if you like ginger and are looking for some awesome ginger products, please check out The Ginger People!

Canned Pumpkin… A Penchant for Pumpkin

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This is about getting inspired by the cans in your pantry closet. I am an enormous fan of pumpkin. I am not sure if that is why my favorite season is autumn, or because pumpkin is so synonymous with my favorite season, I love it so much. Or maybe it is its deep orange color (which happens to be my favorite color). I think what I love most about it, is that it is still a “Seasonal Vegetable”. People generally eat pumpkin, in the autumn and early winter, the time in which it is ready for harvest. I am also a huge proponent of eating seasonally, so all of these reasons tickle my fancy! Plus I generally only eat it in season, so it is a treat for me every year.

Now when you bring in the element of canning, something I want to experiment with this year, you can have veggies and fruits that are not in season, because you prepared them for eating later, by preserving. I did not can my own pumpkin, here, but I did have some canned pumpkin in my pantry, just the same. I got a hankering to do something with it, and so I dove in.

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I knew I wanted to make Pumpkin Quick Bread, but I also wanted to try a baked dessert too. So I went with Pumpkin Brownies.

Both recipes were great, and even Roberto loved them, which is great, because he is kind of iffy about pumpkin, especially in dessert items. So now I know there are several pumpkin recipes I can make that he will love too!

For the Pumpkin Bread I used a combination of these two recipes , one from No Fear Entertaining and the other from RecipeGirl but used yogurt instead of oil and added raisins.

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For the Pumpkin Brownies I used this recipe, except that before the last 10 minutes of baking, I topped the brownies with coconut, so it came out with toasted coconut on top! YUM!