Finest Foodies Friday – July 31, 2009

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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 4,500 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.

Local Lemons
This blog is written by a New Yorker who escaped Brooklyn with her husband for the sunny skies of Berkeley, CA. Although they left many family and friends in NYC, their desire for a slower life moved them to start a new adventure together across the country. The original recipes here give you a look at all natural ingredients that can be found by living sustainably and locally year round in the East Bay area of CA. Ingredients they found were similar to what they thought you could only find in Italy! Allison says: “Living for the environment and for your community, and not just for yourself, is more rewarding than I ever imagined. You have to live it to understand.” Well we can get a taste of this through her blog. The photos are gorgeous, and I am absolutely drooling over the tomatoes on this pizza

Forking Delicious
This is the blog of Private chef and cookbook author David Lawrence. His book A Private Chef Cooks Simple Gourmet, (Lake Isle Press) is all about having fun in the kitchen. David’s humorous style and easy to follow recipes will help even the most timid cook feel like a kitchen rock star! I really love his very first post that explains why a cookbook writer would want to write a blog.  I think it has some great insight, and reaffirms many of my reasons for blogging!

Evil Shenanigans
Written by a part time culinary student who loves baking up desserts and bread! But there is way more on this blog than just baked goods – there are main meals, Like Creamy Orzo and Mushroom Pasta , soups, like Spicy Red Bean or a delicious Croque Madame Panini.  I am not sure about the shenanigans, but the food looks good! However if you are worried about how evil her shenanigans are…“Not too evil, just evil enough!” I guess you’ll have to see for yourself!

Anice & Cannella
“Anise & Cinnamon” is an Italian blog, written in Italian. This is the first time that I have featured a blog not written in English, because many times I am not sure what to say about the blogger, if I can’t read their “about me” section. However, luckily this blog has it in both English and Italian! What really blew me away with this blog is how beautiful the photography is! They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that really is the case here! After reading the “about me” I can see why they are so good. This is what Paoletta says: “This blog is unpretentiously born, but just with the desire to merge my two great passions: cooking and photography. While I love cooking in all its expressions I particularly like the recipes coming from the tradition. And I’m also strongly persuaded that with the aid of photography I could be able to fix them indelibly in time, together with the gestures and the feelings that tie them to us.”

Blue Jean Gourmet

This blog is written by Nishta, The Blue Jean Gourmet, who like most of us, is “pretty much always thinking about food”. She says that cooking is her favorite way to show affection and she has quite a team of professional family and friends on her side that I am sure welcome their lucky stars to recieve that affection! Her team includes her spouse, Jill who is an awesome food stylist, corn bread maker, grill-master, vegetable gardener and bird hunter. Sonya, their food photographer who is “paid” for her skills with her favorites: margaritas and fried plantains. Then there is Heather, the technology goddess – her skills really allowed The Blue Jean Gourmet to be born. See what can happen when a few good friends get together and just have fun putting their combined skills together? Yummy things. Like Berry Champagne Granita from last week!

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!!!!!! I know we all have our favorite blogs that we read everyday, and I would love to know about them. We have a very diverse food community, and I would love to see more of the blogs you love featured. We also have a lot of humanitarians out in the Foodie Blogosphere. If you think there is a food blogger out there that deserves a little recognition for their culinary skills, or what they are doing to help the world through the lens of food, please tell us about them!!! Please post your favorite Foodie Blogroll foodblogs here.

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! They would love to have your feedback.

A Simple Beach Picnic: “New World” Veggie Salad

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As I have discussed a few posts ago, summertime is all about simple, laid back fare, getting together with friends and family and just relaxing. We live very close to the beach now. We could walk there, but sometimes it is fun to take the car so we can bring our big cooler, a blanket and other goodies for a beach picnic.

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While Rachel and Gwen were here, we went with our friends Lela and Bubba to have a beach picnic. Everyone met at our house, we made sandwiches with whatever was in the fridge and both Lela and I brought something to share. She made a delicious pasta salad with asparagus and red peppers and I made what I called a “New World” veggie salad – it contained 2 ears of corn on the cob, a roasted sweet potato, black beans, tomatoes, red bell pepper and zucchini. I tossed all the veggies in a light mustard vinaigrette and sprinkled with lime salt, cilantro and a pinch of chili pepper.

I also baked a batch of gluten free blueberry muffins for dessert. I used a gf muffin mix I found at the health food store. I topped the muffins with some cream cheese icing I had in the fridge leftover from when I made Lela and Bubba’s wedding cake!

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We all had a great time enjoying the food and keeping away the sea gulls who really were hell bent on joining our party! They were some serious party crashers! But we didn’t let them stop of from enjoying surf, sand and each other’s company!

Recipe: (Not Julia’s) Cherry Clafoutis

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Lately in the blogosphere I have seen a lot of bloggers making Julia Child’s Cherry Clafoutis in honor of the movie, Julie & Julia. Well it just so happens that I also made Cherry Clafoutis last week because… I had an overabundance of cherries.
As it happens, the grocery store had 2 for 1 Rainier cherries on sale, and so I bought some. When I got back, I asked on facebook what I should make with them. A lot of great ideas came back, like cherry pie, duck breast with cherry balsamic reduction, and chocolate covered cherries. But I chose Haley’s suggestion for Clafoutis. I have always wanted to make Clafoutis and so as soon as she suggested it I knew that was what I was making.

However, I studied a bunch of recipes, including the Clafoutis recipe in my new favorite cookbook (more on that next week) Nourishing Traditions and all called for either cream, or creme fraiche – neither of which I had on hand. This wouldn’t have been a very Leftover Queen-ish recipe, if I went to the store to get just one item…so I did what I had to, and called upon my Twitter resources.

My friend Peter, from Kalofagas, directed me to his Clafoutis of Berries recipe that called for milk, which I did have. I trust Peter’s recipes, if you have yet to make your way to his blog, please do! It is one of my favorites. So I used most of Peter’s recipe, but omitted some of the items – although I promise Peter, I will make it your way at some point! :)

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Needless to say, if you have enjoyed Clafoutis before, we absolutely loved it. Straight out of the oven, it was like a delicious and sweet soufflé. This recipe made enough batter for two individual Le Creuset ramekins and one small glass baking dish – yeah for leftovers!
Read the rest of this entry »

Finest Foodies Friday – July 24, 2009

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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 4,500 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.

A Broad on Broadway

This blog is written by a foodie couple who recently moved to New York City and are enjoying exploring their new home city by dining at restaurants. Their blog posts reviews of the placed they enjoy (and didn’t). So many cuisines! This is a great blog to check out if you find yourself traveling to The Big Apple.

Swallowing The Seasons

This blog takes a seasonal approach to eating and drinking. Melinda enjoys combining what’s growing in the garden or sitting on the pantry shelf to make something delicious. Which is something I can certainly relate to! Check out her Vietnamese Spring Rolls perfect for easy summertime fare!

Eat Well, Eat Cheap

“Quit that restaurant habit and shrink that bar bill. Here’s how to cook delicious meals at home – and find wine bargains for less than $10 a bottle”. That is the description of this blog’s inspiration. Lots of cooking with fresh CSA veggies and reviews of wine.

My Boyfriend Dated a Chef

This blog was started by Karalee whose boyfriend used to date a chef. That being the case, when the couple got together, she decided she needed to step up her game and get some cooking chops of her own! This blog features her favorite recipes, and the little tips and tricks she has learned along the way – everything from shortcuts to meals that take 2-3 hours of preparation! It is all here.

Fruitcake or Nuts

I just love this blog title…it brings up so many different images! This blog is authored by Shayne, a 33 year old Michigan woman who just moved to Mexico. She is married to a British born Serbian and they have two beautiful children. Cooking is her pastime and source of relaxation. She writes her blog for her love of food, cooking and to keep a record of what has been tried, or what she may want to try or what others try that looks interesting!

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!!!!!! I know we all have our favorite blogs that we read everyday, and I would love to know about them. We have a very diverse food community, and I would love to see more of the blogs you love featured. We also have a lot of humanitarians out in the Foodie Blogosphere. If you think there is a food blogger out there that deserves a little recognition for their culinary skills, or what they are doing to help the world through the lens of food, please tell us about them!!! Please post your favorite Foodie Blogroll foodblogs here.

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! They would love to have your feedback.

Recipe: Chicken Caprese Burger

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Summer time is grilling time. There is just something so laid back and simple about summer foods – throw some stuff on the grill, whip up a quick salad full of fresh veggies, serve a frozen treat for dessert, and invite some friends over. Like everyone else, we have been doing a lot of grilling this summer. But a menu of the same burgers and hot dogs can get boring after a while (well, maybe…), so I wanted to try something different.

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I came across some organic free range ground chicken at the grocery store, so I picked up a package. I also had some leftover mozzarella cheese from a pizza night. So I decided to make some chicken burgers with mozzarella, fresh heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil. I drizzled everything with some balsamic glaze we got in Italy and this yummy Jalapeno-Lime and Sun Dried Tomato Tapenade I picked up at Pier One (I know it was weird, but believe me, this stuff is awesome!) from O Olive Oil . I served the burgers with fingerling potato oven fries. Simple and so delicious!

Leftover Summer Fresh Orzo Salad

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This is a dish I made a while back, that I have yet to blog about. It is so very simple, but the taste was just so bright and summery, I thought this would be the perfect time to share it – in the height of summer. These are my favorite kinds of salads – “leftovers salads”, where you pull a bunch of stuff out of the pantry and out of the garden, and make a simple masterpiece. I do a lot of these “leftovers salads” and they are always the best because they are always so unique.

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I had half a box of orzo pasta that I cooked up and then cooled. I drizzled it with some sun dried tomato dipping olive oil that I received via FromTheFarm.com from Sierra Olive Oil Company. Then I chopped some heirloom tomatoes and garden tomatoes and some fresh mozzarella.

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I stirred that in with fresh chopped herbs from our garden: basil, oregano, scallions and lemon balm. A little salt and pepper for the top, and a final drizzle of organic Meyer lemon vinegar.

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I brought this to a potluck dinner and there was nary a piece of orzo left! Now that I am writing about it, I am craving it again! :)

Finest Foodies Friday – July 17, 2009

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Sorry this post is a little later than usual today – but today was the day we said goodbye to my fabulous step-daughters, Rachel and Gwen, who returned to their home in CT today. I don’t know what I am going to do now without my kitchen helpers! ;) But I am proud to say that while they were here, they both started blogs! I think eventually everyone in our family will be a blogger!

Anyway, 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 4,000 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.

Gastronomer’s Guide

This blog is written by Joseph whose inspiration for blogging is to “celebrate the world of gastronomy in both the simple and elegant forms, from basic home cooking to elaborate restaurant cuisine. My aim is to teach, entertain, and expand the reader’s/eater’s fundamental experience with food into the extraordinary by exploring science, history, culture, cooking, dining, and eating.” The pictures are seriously drool-worthy.

SoCal Sustenance

Laura is an East Coast girl who shares her misadventures in learning to love the bounty of her new home in California. Her latest recipe for Peanut and Panko Crusted Chicken Nuggets with a Thai Satay sauce looks like a yummy weekend dish to me!

Stile Mediterraneo

Stile Mediterraneo means Mediterranean Way of Life. In Puglia, in Southern Italy, sisters Cinzia and Marika give a perspective of life in their beautiful region of Italy through blogging about the food and wine of the area. They also hold culinary and wine classes for those who wish to travel to Puglia to learn more first hand! Who knows, maybe the next time we are in Italy, we will stop by!

Feasts and Fotos

Susan from New York City is the writer behind this blog. She shares her adventures in the kitchen, behind the lens and on the road as she enjoys her hobbies of cooking, photography and travel! Her Independence Day Stuffed Potatoes look absolutely delicious!

Little House

This blog is written by a Vietnamese couple living in Singapore – talk about awesome food cultures!The original blog was written in Vietnamese, but this is the English version. Just like my blog, she does the cooking, and he does the photography! There are some really beautiful and unique (to me) recipes on this blog, and yummy photos accompanying each 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!!!!!! I know we all have our favorite blogs that we read everyday, and I would love to know about them. We have a very diverse food community, and I would love to see more of the blogs you love featured. We also have a lot of humanitarians out in the Foodie Blogosphere. If you think there is a food blogger out there that deserves a little recognition for their culinary skills, or what they are doing to help the world through the lens of food, please tell us about them!!! Please post your favorite Foodie Blogroll foodblogs here.

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! They would love to have your feedback.

Perfect Summer Peaches and Some Foodie Events!

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We recently received another box from a FromTheFarm.com producer. This time it was a dozen beautiful ripe peaches. When I opened the box the sunny aroma immediately hit my nose. I knew these peaches were ripe and so we decided to get to work.

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That night for dessert I made a wonderful and simple Peach and Cherry Cobbler. My version was about as easy as you can get. I sliced about 3 peaches into rounds, laid them, overlapping in a spiral in an oval baking dish. Then I halved some fresh cherries and dotted the peaches with them. Then sprinkled the top with cinnamon. My topping was simple – just mix some oatmeal, brown sugar and butter in a bowl and sprinkle on top. I baked it in the oven at 350 F for about a half an hour. Served with vanilla bean ice cream, it really hit the spot.

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A few days later we decided to make Fresh Peach Ice Cream. I love ice cream and it had been a long time since I had fresh peach ice cream. So we chunked up 2 peaches and pureed them in the food processor. Then in a bowl we mixed 3 cups of whole milk, 1 cup of heavy cream, about 2/3 cup of sugar – raw and brown mixed, and vanilla together. Then stirred in the peach puree. Then we turned the ice cream machine on, and poured in the mixture – and soon we had yummy ice cream.

The rest of the peaches we enjoyed in our morning fruit salads and also stirred into vanilla yogurt, topped with cinnamon! Peaches are one of summer’s delicious treats, what do you like to do with your bounty of peaches?

In Foodie News:

Three Books and a Whisk:

My friend Elle, from Elle’s Kitchen HAS MOVED, and is running a great giveaway to promote the new movie, Julie & Julia . Her blog is featured as a “Featured Blog of the Day” on the official movie website! Way to go, Elle! And to celebrate she is giving away 2 cookbooks and a cool retro whisk! So go check it out.

America’s Next Top Cookie:

How would you like to win a gift certificate for Starbucks or Peet’s Coffee? Well Tiffany from The Cookie Blog, who was featured on FFF  last week is giving away a gift certificate (winner’s choice). She is running a cookie contest called “America’s Next Top Cookie”. All you have to do is bake a cookie and photograph it! The contest is based solely on the beauty of a cookie. Any foodies who would like to compete, can find more info at The Cookie Blog.