The Mystery Canned Meat and Corn Beef Hash

>> Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I would first like to warn you that this is not going to be a pretty post and there will be plenty of canned corn beef bashing. Don't take it personal if you like this stuff, this is just my very opinionated opinion. Oh and vegetarians be warned you may want to look away.

corned; beef; hash and eggs; hash; corned beef; canned; tin; blue; potato; onion; green pepper; fried egg; sunny side up
This mysterious tin can has been in our kitchen cupboard for about 6 months (or maybe longer than I would like to admit to). We purchased it from a local English food specialty shop to use in ..... well I honestly can't remember. I have always had a biased opinion against canned foods like pastas or anything that contains meat "products". The exceptions to this would be most canned vegetables, some fruits, and tuna or other fish preserved in water or oil like tuna. Honestly it's not an issue of me thinking I'm above eating canned foods, it's more along the lines that I really do not like the taste.
corned; beef; hash and eggs; hash; corned beef; canned; tin; blue; potato; onion; green pepper; fried egg; sunny side up
So last week we finally decided to use it in something. I have eaten American deli style corn beef, you know those thin strips of delicious meat. But never have I tried this canned stuff, so I didn't know what in the world to cook with or in. But the first step was getting this annoying can opened. I nearly cut my fingers off because the little key thingamajig fell out of place and I couldn't keep turning it. Well finally got it opened and eewww! it looked so disgusting, it looked like dog food. As a matter of fact my dog used to eat food that looked like that, used to being the key word. I kept telling myself well I'm at least going to try it and not judge it by its looks, it was quite expensive after all. I gave my dog a little piece that he then quickly spit out, I mean the chunk went flying out of his mouth. Well this isn't a good sign I thought to myself, my dog is not a picky eater but he also wont eat just anything. So I began examining and removing this mystery meat out of its can, and the more I looked the more I didn't like it. Look what the heck is this? No wait I really don't want to know or talk about it.
corned; beef; hash and eggs; hash; corned beef; canned; tin; blue; potato; onion; green pepper; fried egg; sunny side up
Still trying to keep a brave face and strong stomach, I was still in the mindset that I would cook it and it would taste decent. As I consulted my friend Mr. Google it quickly became apparent that the safest and most common recipe would be Corned Beef Hash. In the photos I saw and looking at the typical ingredients I thought that sounds like something I'm going to like. So here is a pretty standard corned beef hash recipe.
corned; beef; hash and eggs; hash; corned beef; canned; tin; blue; potato; onion; green pepper; fried egg; sunny side up
1 can of corned beef
1 large green bell pepper,finely chopped
1 medium onion,finely chopped
1 large potato, cut into small pieces
salt & pepper to taste
1 tbs. vegetable oil or butter

fried egg to add on top of hash

1. Heat the oil in a large pan, fry the onion until translucent. Add the potatoes and fry for 5 minutes then add the bell peppers. Cook the vegetables until soft and stir often to prevent from sticking. While the vegetables are cooking try to cut the corn beef into small pieces. Once vegetables are cooked through add the corned beef pieces and stir to well combine. Sprinkle in the salt and pepper, stir well then cover and allow the corned beef to warm up. This should take about 8 minutes. Serve with a fried egg on top and toast on the side.

As I was cooking the hash I thought it didn't smell so bad, then I lifted the lid and got a big whiff of the hash and still thought it's not so disgusting. Then I tasted it - ran to the garbage and spit it out. OK, OK put on a brave face what kind of foodie are you if you won't even give it a chance. One more try, nope! definitely can't eat this, it's going in the garbage and Now! OK one last chance, I take a small sample to my husband asking if it was palatable to him. He laughed at my question then said , "Uhm its good" my jaw dropped to the floor in amazement of hearing those words, "Are you serious?!" OK! So I served it to him for dinner and I ate left over soup. He actually went up for seconds! WTH !
corned; beef; hash and eggs; hash; corned beef; canned; tin; blue; potato; onion; green pepper; fried egg; sunny side up
I had the nerve to actually complain (more like ranted) to our English friend about this disturbing and disgusting meat. Since it came from an English store and the brand comes up in many English sites, I figured everyone there eats up this stuff like it's their favorite thing in the world. So I would now like to apologize to English people for my ignorance and for blaming you guys for putting this stuff out in the world. That said I will never ever buy or allow a can, oh sorry a tin, of corned beef in my house!

What do you guys think? Do any of you like this stuff or am I the only ignorant one here?


Classic Egg Salad and Another IIP

>> Saturday, September 25, 2010

egg cups; egg salad; Hard boiled eggs; healthy; how to; old fashion; old fashioned; recipe; brown; table; wood; chives
Today's recipe is for classic or old fashion egg salad, it may not be a very fancy salad or recipe but it's definitely one of our favorite lunches. I've been wanting to do a post for the egg salad for a while but it has just kept being pushed back and I never took photos of it until a couple of days ago. I have Penny to thank for the final push because the theme this month for her IIP (international incident party) is eggs. Well I actually had several ideas of different egg dishes I could make for the IIP, but quite honestly I took the easier way this time. I have been extremely busy working a big project that I will share with you guys in the coming weeks, so please make sure you come back to hear the news.

egg cups; egg salad; Hard boiled eggs; healthy; how to; old fashion; old fashioned; recipe; brown; table; wood; chives
Obviously in order to make egg salad you need to have hard boiled eggs prepared. I have already shared my way of cooking perfect hard boiled eggs every time. You can find the instructions in my archives here.

I also want to add a little note to the technique, I have learned from so many websites that if you add a teaspoon of baking soda (soda bicarbonate) to the water it will make removing the shells much easier. Which honestly can be such a hassle because the shells can sometimes stick to the egg white. This last time I decided to add the baking soda and I peeled the egg shells under running water. If you have a special technique or trick share with the rest of us in the comments section below.

6 hard boiled eggs
3-4 tbsp. mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. salt, adjust to taste
pinch ground black pepper, adjust to taste

large bowl
fork or potato masher

1. Remove the shells from the boiled eggs. Place the eggs in a large bowl, using either the back of the fork or a potato masher push down to break up the eggs. Continue until you have coarse pieces or to the desired consistency.

2. Add the mayonnaise to the bowl and mix until well incorporated. Sprinkle the salt and ground black pepper over the egg salad and mix until well incorporated. Taste and adjust salt and/or pepper if needed.

Serve on bread of your choice. egg cups; egg salad; Hard boiled eggs; healthy; how to; old fashion; old fashioned; recipe; brown; table; wood; chives; egg salad sandwich; wheat; bread; lunch

Don't forget to stop by Penny's site for her Egg recipe as well as visiting all of the other participants submissions. Oh I can't wait to see all the wonderful recipes everyone has shared.

This last photo I'm just throwing into the mix because I loved the way the sunlight was hitting our healthy lunch. See you can make it extra healthy and nutritious by adding your favorite fresh fruit and some tea or coffee with milk and you're set :)
egg cups; egg salad; Hard boiled eggs; healthy; how to; old fashion; old fashioned; recipe; brown; table; wood; chives; egg salad sandwich; wheat; bread; lunch,fruit, nectarine

International Incident Eggs Party


Kuri Squash Corn Muffins and the Official Start of Autumn 2010

>> Monday, September 20, 2010

red kuri squash; Japanese Squash; Orange Hokkaido Squash; Baby Red Hubbard Squash; Uchiki Kuri Squash; pumpkin; vegetable; orange; yellow; black; table; red; brown; green; vertical; winter squash; healthy; organic; fresh; season; Autumn; corn; muffins; cupcakes; ribbon
In the northern hemisphere this 22nd and 23rd of September marks the official start of Autumn. To welcome the start of Autumn 2010 I have baked a very Autumn treat, Kuri Squash Corn Muffins. The spirit of Autumn is very much alive in these little muffins, from the vibrant colors to the taste and smell. I love Autumn first and foremost because of the vivacious color palette, which can sometimes feel like you are walking in a magical almost fairy tale painting. There is a different kind of smell outside, a crisp and cool breeze that somehow magnifies the beauty of nature changing and getting ready for something else. Taking those long walks to hear and feel the soft crunching of the dying leaves beneath my feet which radiate the most magnificent shades or red, orange and yellow. Then sipping that warming cup of tea after I've come back from a long cool walk. I love the feeling of my scarves wrapped around my neck, so soft and cuddly. Here in Prague it seems like Autumn has arrived a little bit early this year, which to be honest even though we had a cool Summer I am not minding at all. My little family has already been out enjoying the sunny Autumn weather with plenty long walks. This weekend my husband and I went out to the city center and we saw some of the trees starting to change colors already. Of course I had my little point and shoot camera with me and I can't wait to go back out once all of the trees have changed, it will be so beautiful to see.

Two thing that screams Autumn is here are corn on the cob and all of the pumpkin/squash varieties for sale every where. So I thought why not combine the two with some warm spices. I actually didn't use fresh corn for the muffins but instead used corn flour. I used red Kuri squash which is also know by these names Japanese squash, Orange Hokkaido squash, Baby Red Hubbard squash, and/or Uchiki Kuri squash. This is a round small winter squash that has a bright orange skin and a vibrant yellow, like Turmeric, flesh with thick seeds. It is my first time both tasting and cooking with this squash and I liked it so much that I bought a few. I have already used it in several recipes for us and even cooked it for our little puppy, in case you are wondering he loved it! The taste is a very similar to a chestnut of all things, and it is very easy to cook with because it absorbs spices well. I sliced and roasted the squash then mashed it to use in the muffins, so this is what I advice you to do as well. The extra leftover squash can then be used in any other recipes you like.

red kuri squash; Japanese Squash; Orange Hokkaido Squash; Baby Red Hubbard Squash; Uchiki Kuri Squash; pumpkin; vegetable; orange; yellow; seeds; wood; table; brown; green; vertical; winter squash; healthy; organic; fresh; season; AutumnIngredients: (makes 12 small muffins)
1 cup (140 grams) all purpose white flour
11/2 cups (185 grams) medium grain corn flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tbsp. organic brown sugar ( adjust to taste)
1/2 tsp. salt
4 whole allspice
4 whole cloves
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
11/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 cup (140 grams) cooked and mashed red kuri squash
1 medium egg
1/3 cup (85 grams) plain white yogurt
3 tbsp. sunflower oil
1/2 cup ( ml) whole milk

1. Preheat oven to 200C or 390F, prepare the muffin molds. Grind the whole allspice and cloves in a mortar and pestle to a fine powder. In a large bowl combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar,salt, ground allspice, ground cloves, ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon. Mix these dry ingredients until well incorporated making sure the spices are well distributed in the flour. Set the bowl aside.

2. In a separate bowl whisk the mashed squash, yogurt, oil and milk until well incorporated. Next beat the egg into the wet ingredients until well incorporated. Make a well in the dry ingredients bowl and gently mix in the wet ingredients. Mix just until the ingredients are incorporated. Fill each muffin molds or paper mold 3/4 full, place in the center of the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through.
Serve with butter and honey.


My Interview with MexGrocer UK

>> Sunday, September 19, 2010

Since I began writing my blog I have received countless emails from fellow Expatriates and from Europeans asking me if I could tell them where they could purchase Mexican ingredients. Sadly for the longest time I have had to tell them no and have suggested they look at my blog for my alternative ways of cooking Mexican food as authentic as possible. I had just given up on finding an authentic Mexican ingredients in Europe or trying to get merchants to ship to Europe. Mostly we have relied on a very expensive way of burdening my family by sending us some care packages. Well about two weeks ago just for fun I did another Google search and I have found not one but two sources of authentic Mexican food products and one was right here in CZ, woohoo happy dance time! Today I'm going to tell you about one of them,

Today's post is a post dedicated for all my fellow expats and for those Europeans looking to find a great authentic Mexican product selection. MexGrocer is owned and run by a Mexican/English family. One of MexGrocer's owners is Katya, and I have invited Katya to answer a few questions about the store so that we can get to know them a bit better.

1. Your site says that is run by a family, I'm assuming that it is by Mexican expatriates living in the UK? Can you tell us why you decide to open the store?
" was originally created and operated by a couple, my friends Monica and Sol Flamberg. Monica is Mexican and Sol is English. They opened the online store in 2006 because Monica missed her (Mexican) food badly. When they (Monica and Sol) decided to move to the USA in 2009 I bought them over, because my experience and business contacts were food orientated due to Mestizo Restaurant (which we will talk about shortly). "

2. Does have any relationship to
"No, and just share the name and we each have a different ownership. We do recommend each other to our customers from different regions of the world, the one that best suits the customer's location. We recommend them to people living in North America, and they recommend us to expatriates living in the UK and Europe."

3. Do you have a recipe section or recipe ideas to use the products purchased from your store?
" Yes, we have a recipe section ( follow this link), you will find many authentic recipes. For example there are many types of enchilada recipes. I think it's one of those dishes that represents a lot the day to day Mexican food. It can be for breakfast, lunch or dinner, it can be spice or not, vegetarian and/or any color, it's also a favorite dish. This year we had a very successful Enchilada Festival with 12 recipes from different states of Mexico and it was very successful even among the British!"

4. What are your favorite Mexican and English dishes?
"My favorite Mexican dish is "Chiles en Nogada" or as my grandmother said "Chiles enojada (upset)". She said that because it takes too many hours and effort to prepare it but at the end is worth it!, My favorite English dish is Beef Wellington, I am very lucky because I married an Englishman that loves cooking, and to me he makes the most delicious one :o) The best of two worlds!"

5. Where does ship to? Is it just The UK or will you also ship to mainland Europe?
"We ship within the UK and to all of Europe. "

6. offers a wide range of authentic Mexican products from dried chiles, masa harina, candy, canned goods and some tools. I see that you also offer cooking classes in Nottingham, can you tell us who teaches the courses?
"The cooking classes are taught by a chef. Her name is Sara and she specializes in spicy food! Anyone interested can sign up and contact us through our website for more information."

7. I see that you also have a link called "Our Restaurant", can you tell us a little about the restaurant?
"The restaurant is called Mestizo, and with my two partners (Mexican as well) we opened up in London in 2004. The main goal was to bring proper authentic Mexican food to this part of the world. It has been a long journey but it has paid off, we opened Mestizo Madrid in 2007. It has been a pleasure to see how open Europeans are to our food. We have many events like "Jueves de tacos or Taco Thursdays" with a Mexican DJ, playing Mexican music. On Sundays we offer Sunday Brunch, with many handmade authentic dishes. We also have many festivals and parties, like "Gastronomic week" samples of food from 7 states in Mexico, "Independence day party" with all the traditional "grito" mariachi and flags, "Day of the dead Festival" with an altar and teaching classes how to make sugar skulls and "papel picado", "Mole Festival" with a menu with 10 different moles from all over Mexico, "Enchiladas Festival", "Mexican posada", "Frida's Menu" from Frida Khalo recipe book, next year we will hold our first "Tamales Festival" well... the list just go on and on because Mexican food is so big that is nearly impossible to cook every single traditional dish."

8. Mestizo sounds like a great restaurant offering very authentic dishes and a great taste of Mexican culture. Tell me what does the Mexican community in London think of Mestizo?
"Mestizo in London is now considered the home for Mexican expatriates (including me). But of course everyone from any country is welcome to visit us :)"

Muchas Gracias ( Thank you very much) Katya for spending some time with me and my readers. I know all of us expatriates both Mexican and Americans as well as curious Europeans will really appreciate your store. It has been so great finding you guys and I'm so excited to have one great place to find all of those authentic ingredients. Please stop by to pay Katya a visit and place your orders for anything you may need. Buen Provecho! (Bon Appetit! )

**All images are the sole property of **


Arroz ala Mexicana for Bicentennial Celebrations

>> Wednesday, September 15, 2010

arroz ala Mexicana; Mexican; recipes; ingredients; rice; cusine; food; oregano; tomato; onion; garlic; spices; white; red; green; yellow; ceramic; bowl; vertical; kitchen towel; wood; table; leaves; carrots; peas

Tomorrow is a big Mexican holiday, our Independence day. This year there will be a very big and special celebration because 2010 is a year of bicentennial celebrations. Tomorrow September 16th marks 200 years of independence from Spain. November 2010 also marks the 100th anniversary of our Revolution. Being that in 2010 Mexicans are commemorating such big events and celebrations there are huge parties and celebrations planned throughout the country and even Mexicans abroad are planning large celebrations.

Last year I gave you guys a brief explanation about our Independence Day and also shared my Enchiladas Rojas recipe, if you are interested you can find it here. I haven't solidified my dinner plans for tomorrow but I thought I would share a must have and must know Mexican recipe. I actually can't believe I haven't shared this with you, Arroz ala Mexicana or Mexican rice. Such a simple and delicious recipe anyone can make but yet so many get wrong. Sorry I'm going to sound like I'm ranting a bit, but I really hate when I get served "Mexican" rice and it's bright red, taste like tomato paste or is just white rice with a can of corn-carrot-pea and beans thrown in it and called Mexican rice, yuck! Maybe I'm spoiled because my Mom always made perfectly delicious arroz. You may remember that I never listened to my Mom when she tried to teach me how to cook but somehow I remember her special technique and the authentic recipe, I guess I was listening after all. I'm sure most of you already know that the rice is served as a side dish with many Mexican dishes, it can also be enjoyed on it's own or in Tex-Mex cuisine it is used as a filling or topping for many recipes. What ever way you choose to enjoy Arroz ala Mexicana that is exactly it - you will really enjoy this recipe and be very proud of the authenticity and taste.

arroz ala Mexicana; Mexican; recipes; ingredients; rice; cusine; food; oregano; tomato; onion; garlic; spices; white; red; green; yellow; ceramic; bowl; vertical; kitchen towel; wood; table; leaves; carrots; peasIngredients:
1cup (185 grams) long grain rice
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large tomato (200 grams or 7 oz.)
1/2 tsp. salt , or to taste
pinch of ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. oregano
11/2 cups (375 ml) chicken bouillon*
1 tbsp. corn or sunflower oil
1 small can of peas and carrot mix

*For the best flavor use either powdered chicken bouillon or 1 chicken bouillon cube dissolved in water.

1. Finely dice the onion, mince the garlic and roughly chop the tomato. Dissolve the bouillon in the water and set aside. Place the 1/2 cup of the chicken bouillon, tomato, salt, pepper, oregano and 1/4 of the finely diced onion inside a blender container and pulse until completely broken down into a sauce, set aside.

arroz ala Mexicana; Mexican; recipes; ingredients; rice; cusine; food; oregano; tomato; onion; garlic; spices; white; red; green; yellow; ceramic; bowl; vertical; kitchen towel; wood; table; leaves; carrots; peas
2. Heat the oil over medium heat and saute the remaining 3/4 onion until translucent then add the minced garlic and saute another 2 minutes. Add the rice to the pan and fry until it starts to turn golden like in the photo, stir often to prevent burning. (Frying the rice like this will give the rice a better taste.) Next pour the sauce mix from the blender, be very careful because the sauce can splash up as it hits the hot pan. Then pour in the remaining 1 cup of bouillon and the drained can of peas and carrots, cover and simmer under low heat until the rice is soft and cooked through. You can check the rice a couple of times and if need be add a little more water or bouillon to the rice if the liquid evaporates before the rice cooks through. Allow to cool and serve on the side of any Mexican dish you like or enjoy on it's own.

arroz ala Mexicana; Mexican; recipes; ingredients; rice; cusine; food; oregano; tomato; onion; garlic; spices; white; red; green; yellow; ceramic; bowl; vertical; kitchen towel; wood; table; leaves; carrots; peas

Perhaps my rice recipe will put you into a celebratory mood and you will inspire you to cook some Mexican food tomorrow to join the celebrations. Like many other countries there are ups and unfortunately downs, I know lately Mexico has been in the news for all of the wrong reasons, but it hasn't always been like this and it will not always be like this. Not all of Mexico is engulfed by the drug violence and certainly not all Mexicans are involved in it. Mexico is a big country with very warm and welcoming people ready to help you experience the vast rainbow of colors, culture, history and huge feasts that makeup Mexico. On this bicentennial year of celebrations I wish nothing more than for a brighter future for the normal everyday people of Mexico.


Apple Celeriac Salad

>> Sunday, September 12, 2010

Apple; Celeriac; Salad; meatless; vegetables; vegetarian; fruit; recipes; easy; gluten free; cook; cusine; fusion; foodie
The previous post I talked to you guys about the ugly, yet very delicious, root vegetable Celeriac. Today I am going to share with you my favorite recipe in which I use Celeriac. It's super easy, fresh, relatively healthy and always a crowd pleaser. I always make this apple celeriac salad to serve on the side of pulled pork sandwiches and the two are a perfect combination that compliment each other very well. If you also add some old fashion potato salad to the meal, let me tell you that is a perfect dinner for the whole family!

Apple; Celeriac; Salad; meatless; vegetables; vegetarian; fruit; recipes; easy; gluten free; cook; cusine; fusion; foodie
I have categorized this recipe under my vegan/vegetarian section because this is a meatless dish. For vegan or vegetarians you could easily substitute the regular mayonnaise for a vegan alternative. I could not tell you if the recipe will taste the same since I use regular mayonnaise, but I couldn't imagine that it wouldn't also taste great. Also you will notice that the photos are from two different occasions using two different types of apples. This is to show you that I will use whatever kind of apple I am in the mood for. Though I think a green apple with it's slight tartness gives the salad the best tasting results, but that's my personal taste.

Apple; Celeriac; Salad; meatless; vegetables; vegetarian; fruit; recipes; easy; gluten free; cook; cusine; fusion; foodie
Serves 2 people
1 small head of Celeriac ( 260 grams or 9 oz. or a little over 1/2 lb.)
1 small apple
1 small lemon, juiced
2 tsp. mustard (Dijon or brown mustard)
3 tbsp. mayonnaise
Salt & black pepper to taste

Apple; Celeriac; Salad; meatless; vegetables; vegetarian; fruit; recipes; easy; gluten free; cook; cusine; fusion; foodie
1. Remove the rough outer skin of the celeriac by slicing off or using a vegetable peeler. Grate the celeriac into a large mixing bowl and set aside. Core the apple but leave the peel intact, either grate or cut into very small pieces and add to the mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients into the bowl and mix thoroughly or until both the celeriac and apple pieces are well coated.
(*please note that the salad is a bit dry and should not be over powered by the taste of mustard nor mayonnaise. )

Taste for salt and pepper and adjust to your taste. The salad taste best if left in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. If you have any leftovers it will still taste terrific the next day. The apple celeriac salad can be serve as a side dish, on crackers or even on it's own if you like.
Apple; Celeriac; Salad; meatless; vegetables; vegetarian; fruit; recipes; easy; gluten free; cook; cusine; fusion; foodie,celeriac recipe, knob celery, root celery

A couple of other suggestions or tips I'd like to make are for the mustard. Use good mustard, do not use yellow mustard that will not be a good result. On occasion I have also used a Bavarian brown and slightly sweet mustard that has also had very good results. As for the mayonnaise you need good, real, full fat mayonnaise , do not use miracle whip or those types of salad dressing sauces. So you see the key is to stick with "real and good quality" mustard and mayonnaise for the best tasting salad. I hope you will all try one of my favorite salad recipes very soon.
(The photos are not very good, Since I wanted to share the recipe right away I didn't have a chance to make the salad again and it's what I had in my old photo archives. I'll have to re-shoot it soon, or that is make the salad again very soon because my mouth is watering. )


Celeriac The Ugliest ,Yet Tasty, Vegetable

>> Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Celeriac, also know as celery root or knob celery, is probably the world's ugliest vegetable. Okay maybe not THE ugliest but definitely one of the ugliest. But you know that saying don't judge a book by it's cover, well that should apply to fruits and vegetables too ( not that they wear covers but you get the point) .

Once you cut away the bumpy, rough, dirty outer layer and cut off the almost woody dry green stalks Celeriac is quite palatable. Celeriac is a type of celery and they are both in the same Apium graveolens rapaceum family. Celery is primarily grown and used for the tall green stalks, where as celeriac is grown for it's root. Celeriac can be as large as a small cantaloupe or as small as a large potato. What does Celeriac taste like?, it taste like celery. The inside is white, thick and crunchy when you bite into it. Though it is safe to eat the stalks, people don't because they taste terrible and have a woody textures so they are just discarded. The leaves on both celery and celeriac are also typically discarded.

I buy celeriac to cook in soups and a delicious salad recipe that I will share with you another time. If you do a quick search you will find many recipes using celeriac in soups, as a mash , and I even found an Italian recipe battering and frying celeriac. If you would like some tips on buying, storing and a few recipes I suggest you start here, Veg Box.

Today I want to show you how and why I do not discard the leaves. When I buy both celeriac and celery I will right away remove the leaves. I do this so that I can preserve them and use them as an herb in a lot of my recipes and when I run out of fresh celery. But you can also use the leaves to put in salads, or use like you would a fresh herb.

Start by removing only the leaves from the stalks, then place in a large bowl and cover with cold water and allow to site for a couple of minutes. This soaking is because celery root tend to come with a lot of dirt and this is to assure that all of the dirt is removed from the leaves. The leaves will float to the top, scoop them out and place on a colander and throw out the water they were soaking in. Rinse the bowl and repeat the step one more time. Again place the leaves in a colander and allow to drain for 20 minutes. After they need to be placed on a baking sheet lined with waxed or baking paper.

Now there are to ways to dry them 1. place inside a very-very low heated oven to slowly dry. Do not let them burn. or 2. Leave out to dry in a dry place, and they will dry within 1-2 days. Either way you choose you should turn the leaves a couple of times to ensure even drying.

Once the leaves have completely dried, place inside a blender and pulse for a few seconds to break down. If you would rather leave the leaves whole you may do so. I sometimes just put some of the leaves between my hands and break them up like that, it's your choice. Store in a dry dark place as you would any other spice.

Next time you run out of celery you can use some of the dried leaves in the recipe and still have the celery taste. Or just add them to any of your recipes as you would any other herb. So next time you buy celeriac or celery you can use almost or all of the vegetable, and that is a nice feeling.


Angelina's Eggplant Parmesan

>> Sunday, September 5, 2010

Today's recipe is not my own creation, it belongs to Frank and Angelina from Memorie di Angelina, (and so fits into my recipe review category). Everyone knows Frank and his wonderful site with beautiful memories of his Italian Grandmother, Angelina. When a recipe has a special story, meaning or memory it draws me in right away, and so you can see that Frank's site is one that I will visit often. Not just for the stories but also for the exquisite dishes he shares with use. I love the way all of his recipes feel like warming comforting foods that you sit around a big table with loved ones to share. Frank always gives us easy to follow instructions that make you feel like you can make delicious and healthy Italian dishes with excellent results. My husband and I love eggplant, he loves eggplant cooked anyway I serve it to him but Eggplant Parmesan is on the top of the list. When I saw Franks recipe my mouth started watering and I immediately showed it to my husband telling him I was going to make it this past week, you can imagine how happy he was.

I've never made Eggplant Parmesan or Parmigiana di melanzane as it is called in Italian, but it is a dish that has been on my list to learn. So I thought what a better way to learn than with Frank's and Angelina's recipe. I followed it exactly as he instructed on his site. Since I wouldn't want to relay incorrect instructions to you I will just send you to Memorie di Angelina for the full recipe.

I know some of you may still be having hot summer weather so turning on your oven may not seam like a great thing to do right now. But you should bookmark or save Frank's and Angelina's recipe to make during cooler weather, trust me it's going to be a dish you'll want to make often. For us it seams like Autunm has moved in , sadly the Summer was mostly cold and now an early Autumn. One positive thing though is that I have been getting into the Autumn season by baking breads, making granola and several of soups to keep warm. A couple of nights ago we had our first single digit temperature, 7C or 45F , so baking season has begun.

Thanks Frank for sharing this very flavourfull, tummy and tastebud pleasing recipe. Now I can say I've made Parmigiana di melanzane !

I am submitting my recipe to Torview's event , Food palette red event giveaway , check it out!


Awards and My First Cookbook Feature

>> Saturday, September 4, 2010

I some great news and some special awards to share today. First the news, I received an email from Foodista notifying me that my recipe was among one of the lucky 100 winners chosen from 1,500 submissions for their cookbook, wohoo! The recipe I submitted was for my Luscious Thai Chicken Pineapple Curry, you can find the recipe in my archive and it's the center photo in my top page banner. The book is set to release on October 19, 2010 and you can pre-order your copy now, this is the Amazon link Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook: 100 Great Recipes, Photographs, and Voices . Here is a little bit more information about the book :

"Andrews McMeel will publishing a beautiful, full-color, internationally distributed cookbook, set for release on October 19, 2010. Born out of the "Blog to Book" panel at the first International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC) in 2009, the cookbook celebrates the best food bloggers worldwide."

You can also check out Foodista to see the other winners and congratulate our fellow foodie friends. I'd really like to thank Sheri and the other staff at Foodista for including me in their project.

And now for the awards, Thank you so much Alisha from The Ardent Epicure for all of these lovely awards. I'm sure you all know who Alisha is an know of her delectable site, The Ardent Epicure. Every recipe Alisha shares is a feast to the eyes and on the taste buds. Every time I visit her I end up spending more time reading (and salivating) than I will admit to :) I love that she always uses fresh healthy ingredients and always manages to keep her recipes so eye catching, interesting and have you coming back for seconds and more. Alisha also has a great eye for photography, her drool inducing photos are so full of color (which in case you haven't noticed I love)! Please stop by The Ardent Epicure and say hello one of the sweetest food bloggers you'll meet.

Alisha has passed on these awards to a few of my favorite bloggers( Tanantha & Stella) already so instead of doing this twice I will exclude them and give you some of my other favorite foodie friends.

- Patty
- Liw from
- Frank from Memori di Angeli
- Patty who has 2 wonderful sites &
- Girlichef
- Sook
- JillAn from
- Claudia from
- Chef Denis
- Penny from
- Claudia from
- Alison from
- Evan from

And this is a very short list of some of my favorite bloggers :) Hope everyone has a great weekend, I have recipe to share in the coming couple of days.


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