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Breaking Bread with Fellow Edge Growers

Hosting a blogging event was a nice experience.  I received an email each time a new submission was added, I took the time to read each post and was pleasantly surprised by how international this month’s edition was.

mapAs per my hosting duties I am going to do a quick run down of this month’s entries and participants.  Slow food, local and seasonal ingredients, gluten free recipes as well as salads were some of the trends I noticed.

Salads are not really my thing.  The whole lettuce, tomato and dressing ordeal just bores me most of the time.  If you try to get me to eat a salad, it needs character.  I love when people introduce me to new ingredients.  Until I read about Kristen and Gina’s Kamut Salad at Pretty Little Dishes, I would have probably also searched for kamut berries in the fruit section.  I love how they both share their different takes on one dish, proving two heads can be better than one.

MJ and Hungryman are my kind of superheros.  Mixing it up with beet greens, farro and a penchant for mise en place perfecting, the Orange Farro Beet Salad looked lovely!  Now I am not a fan of beets, one of few vegetables I do not care for, but MJ is on to something with the orange slices in her salad.  I would try it for sure.  By the way MJ and Hungryman, I have a great Moroccan Orange Salad recipe I’ll send your way!

Rebecca from Season 2 Season Eating had me at “pineapple sage, Thai basil and German thyme”.  I have never used millet, but her Millet Berry Herbal Salad looked scrumptious and I will be hunting for that grain in a near future.  Big plus that her salad is gluten-free!  I will be passing the recipe along to all my students and making it for mom and the munchkin sisters.

Wrapping up the salad trend with style, Palachinka shared her newfound love for Kilu, a salted Estonian fish.  She even went beyond the call of duty and created a salad inspired by a local Kilu topped sandwich.  Her baltic-brunch-esque photos were delightful.

Deeba Rajpal from Passionate about Baking not only made a vibrantly colored Cherry Frozen Yogurt, but also made me want to get better with my food photography.  If she holds true to her mantra that everything “must taste as good as it looks”, then I am sure the fro-yo she whipped up was heaven in a spoon.  She recently did a feature for BBC Good Food that would make any dessert lover swoon.

Tsofiya contributed from Moscow with her Good Food blog.  Her snack recipe reminded me of japanese senbei crackers.  I love the way she photographs her culinary process.  Tsofiya was crazy creative with the variety of flavors she tried out!  Walnut, paprika, cumin, basil, hemp and even garrrlic (my best guess is that the excessive ‘r’s is due to the intense flavor).

German cooking duo Catherine & Marina strive to making cooking easy with videos and recipes on their blog.  They tackled a french recipe for Caneles Bordelais.  Anyone who can make french pastry simple, aced it in my book!  The pastries have a thick caramel outside and a creamy custard inside…how can you not want to try to make something that sounds that good?!?!

I was a bit confused at first with Abbe’s Banana Chocolate Chip Flapjacks.  That is until I realized where she was writing from!  What at first glance seemed like the craziest pancakes I have ever seen turned out to be a delicious looking bar cookie with oats and chocolate!  It never ceases to amaze me how people I meet from the UK and I do not speak the same language!

Ever see a recipe where you think, “that’s so crazy, it just might work!”  No?  Well that is exactly what I thought when Marnelli from Sweets and Brains put a little Asian persuasion into a childhood cookie classic.  Her culturally inspired thumbprint cookies left me smiling.  Between the improvised sugar grinding techniques and the fact that she used my secret go-to baking website authority, made her cookies a must try for me!

Our Growing Edge veteran Nom Nom Panda was brave enough to share a not so successful joust with blue corn tortillas.  After shelling out big bucks for ethnic ingredients and spending time trying different techniques, now at least there is a record of what not to do and how to approach the drawing board upon returning to the subject.

There were a few last-minute submissions.  Jo Mendez from Yummy Lover shared about her journey to find the yumminess in each day and how cooking helped her cope with a recent bad experience.  Her risotto uses several of my favorite ingredients: butternut squash, sage and thyme!  Fellow beer enthusiast, Adrian Zamora from Dos Amigos Home-Brewing Co, wrote about cooking with his very own home brewed cacao stout.  The burgers sound very tasty and I am a sucker for craft brews.

Phuong from My Kitchen of Love brought her delightful style and love for cooking to the table with a recipe for Langues de Chat.  Her cookies look deceitfully sinful and I can picture myself eating them with a cup of coffee.  I must say I identified with her over the burned batch of cookies left forgotten in the oven while photographing the beautiful ones.

Not everyone got busy in the kitchen, a couple of participants chose to scoot up chairs, unfold napkins and dine out.  Sonya Chan from AndMoreFood shared her thoughts about a new Latin American cuisine restaurant in Singapore.  I do hope she tries again at a different place, Latin American cuisine done right will leave you begging for more.

Genie, the hostess with the mostess and the mother of the Our Growing Edge brainchild, shared her experience as a first-timer at gourmet charcuterie, Big Bad Wolf.  She hit all the right points for a proper review: atmosphere, service, food and price range.  Luckily I was able to finish reading the descriptions of alpaca meat, Himalayan mountain goat and eel ravioli quick enough to avoid drooling on my keyboard.  As if I needed another reason to want to visit New Zealand.

Well kiddos it has been fun.  I very much enjoyed reading about the culinary going-ons around the world during these past few weeks.  For those of you with access to the new ingredients I was introduced to (kamut berries, kilu and alpaca meat) or those of you who want to send culinary goodies my way, I do have a P.O. Box address.  Thanks for participating if you did or thanks for stopping by if you did.  If you want to check out the full collection, you can find it here:

Until next time…

GE8

9 responses to “Breaking Bread with Fellow Edge Growers

  1. lovely round up, and that map is a fantastic idea!

  2. Thanks for hosting Chandler. You did an amazing job of it this month. I’m always struck by the differences and also the similarities of each round up. We might not all enjoy eating and cooking the same foods, but the same themes come up every month.

    You must have alpaca meat in Costa Rica? New Zealand is a long way from alpaca land but a handful of people farm them (or keep them as pets)

  3. So wonderful being a part of this fun event Chandler. Thank you for hosting it. I love the way you write. Your words are generous and evocative.

  4. Thank you Chandler, I love your distinct style of writing, it’s a joy to read about what other bakers across the globe were up to the past month.

  5. Brilliant Round Up, Chandler – it really is amazing just how much gets lost in translation from one side of an ocean to another. It’s always fun discovering the meaning of a word *elsewhere*… “Pants” is a good example 😉

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