April's YBR Roundup, A New Level of Yum!

>> Saturday, April 30, 2011

Welcome to Aprils YBR roundup. We have so many new participants and the most participants to date, yay!! You will notice the asterisk next most of the names, they indicate those of you who want to be part of the draw for the Honest Cooking feature. The winner of the Honest Cooking recipe feature will be contacted and announced in the coming days. In the mean time make sure you are following Honest Cooking on Twitter, and/or Facebook or RSS feed to keep up with this revolutionary food magazine. Good luck to all of you and thanks for being a part of yet another amazing YBR roundup.

And now here are Your Best Recipes for the month of April 2011 in the order received. Please stop by and say you saw them on April's YBR roundup!

What's on the side? Brandy Dipped Citrus Salad
Alisha ~ Magic of Spice, The Ardent Epicure, What's on the side? Brandy Dipped Citrus Salad

Florida Rock Shrimp Boiled, Broiled or Fried
**Claudia L. , What's Cooking Italian Style, Florida Rock Shrimp Boiled, Broiled or Fried

Vanilla Chia (Pet) Pudding
**Amanda , Zomppa, Vanilla Chia (Pet) Pudding

Grapefruit Vanilla Bean Mini-Bundt Cakes

Semolina dumplings with yogurt
**Alina , Explora Cuisine, Semolina dumplings with yogurt

Asian Pork Burger + Snow Pea Slaw
Joan Nova , FOODalogue, Asian Pork Burger + Snow Pea Slaw

 Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza with Tyson Grilled Chicken

What's for Dessert - French Toast Bread Pudding
Grely ~ Sugar and Spice, The Ardent Epicure, What's for Dessert - French Toast Bread Pudding

 Lemon Risotto
**Elyse, The Cultural Dish, Lemon Risotto

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese
**Victoria, Mission:Food, Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

Peanut Butter Fudge Krispies
**Kimberly, The Farmers Wife, Peanut Butter Fudge Krispies

Swiss Chard as an Indulgence
**Priscilla, She's Cookin', Swiss Chard as an Indulgence

Vegan clementine blueberry cupcakes with candied blueberry compote

Strawberry & Rose Teacup Cupcakes
**Julie, Gourmet Getaways, Strawberry & Rose Teacup Cupcakes

Smoked Salmon and Egg Tartine

Veronika G., My Catholic Kitchen, Smoked Salmon and Egg Tartine

Bird's milk candy
**Cooking Rookie, Cookbook of Trial and Error Bird's milk candy

Vanilla-Saffron Shortbread
**Tiffany, Como Water, Vanilla-Saffron Shortbread

French Onion Soup
**Irena, My Wandering Spoon, French Onion Soup

Chie Lime Roasted Artichokes
**Laura B., Family Spice, Chie Lime Roasted Artichokes

Meyer Lemon Ricotta Penne
**Laura, Sprint 2 the Table, Meyer Lemon Ricotta Penne

Grilled lamb, marinated in lemon, honey and mint
**Mihaela, De prin lume adunate..., Grilled Lamb, Marinated in Lemon, Honey and Mint

Strawberry Lemonade Waffles
**Gina, SPCookieQueen, Strawberry Lemonade Waffles

Strawberry Shortcakes
**Heather, The Flourishing Foodie, Strawberry Shortcakes

Strawberry cheese cake
Citra, Indonesian in Turkey, Strawberry cheese cake

Cereal Treat Easter Eggs
**Desi, SteakNPotatoesKindaGurl, Cereal Treat Easter Eggs

Salmon Rosettes with Cream Cheese and Capers
**Liz B., That Skinny Chick Can Bake!!!, Salmon Rosettes with Cream Cheese and Capers

Slow Simmered Curry Lamb Meatballs
**Heather,Pass The Cayenne Pepper, Slow Simmered Curry Lamb Meatballs

Apple and peach cobbler
Nandita, Paaka- Shaale, Apple and peach cobbler

Asparagus stuffed tritip roast
**Pola M., An Italian cooking in the Midwest, Asparagus stuffed tritip roast

Stuffed breakfast tomatoes
**Megan, Pip & Ebby, Stuffed breakfast tomatoes

Dulce de leche cake pop
**Penny, Jeroxie (Addictive & Consuming), Dulce de leche cake pop

Apricot-Mocha Brownie Marzipan Bars
**Maya, Foodiva's Kitchen, Apricot-Mocha Brownie Marzipan Bars

Spicy Spaghetti with grated Zucchini

My First Cake Pops!i
**Ann, Anncoo Journal, My First Cake Pops!

Smoked Dirty Chicken and Dumplings

Panera Style Tomato Mozzarella Grilled Sandwich
Byn Always, 365 Days of Clean Eating, Panera Style Tomato Mozzarella Grilled Sandwich

Lettuce Wraps
**Asiya, Chocolate and Chillies, Lettuce Wraps

Mousse cake
Roxana, A little bit of everything, Mousse cake


Pears, Mushrooms and Spinach. What was I thinking?

>> Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pears; Mushrooms; Spinach; Pears; Mushrooms and Spinach; rice; baby spinach; recipe; still life; Spicie Foodie; rissotto; parmesan cheese; thyme; rice dishes; vegan; Vegetable Rice; vegetables; fruit; vegetarian
A tale of kitchen failures and bad photos to go with a strange recipe.

Do you ever dream or day dream about how two ingredients would taste together? Of course you do, we all do! My mind starts going when I do a check of what's left in the refrigerator and pantry, as well as when I'm shopping for food. Then once it's time to go into the kitchen to cook our dinner I'll start thinking to myself "Okay, how can I make this more interesting than last time, or what new spice or ingredient can I experiment with today." To me that's what cooking is all about, experimenting and trying new things. My favorite way of testing out new flavor combinations is by staking a bite size amount of new ingredients together for a small taste. Often times I discover some great new flavor combinations that become favorites. But sometimes, well things don't turn out quite like I had imagine.

Baby spinach and pears taste great together. The sweet tenderness of the pear really compliments the crisp mild taste of baby spinach. These two together make a great salad, just add some walnuts and goat cheese and your set. Baby spinach and mushrooms also taste great together. Both are mild and neither overpowers the other. I love to use mushrooms and baby spinach together in stir frys, along side chicken, stews, and curries. So I got the idea that baby spinach, pears and mushrooms would or should taste pretty good in the same dish. Well, that's not really the case. Before I started on the rice I stacked a piece of raw pear, a piece of raw mushroom and a couple of raw baby spinach leaves together. The taste was quite good, mild and crisp with a slight sweetness from the pear. But once the rice was finished, that was a different story. It was edible but not quite the savory, salty and splash of sweetness I quite envisioned. I don't know if the failure was a result of the spices just not complimenting the main ingredients, that the flavors change once cooked or if it was just an overall failure. My poor guinea pig, I mean my husband, still ate what was put in front of him but didn't ask for seconds. Haha! He's a good sport and for that I shall not torture him with this dish again.

I almost didn't photograph and post this but I thought I'd share my most recent failure. After all most of us have them and that's how learn. Right? You could probably tell that I didn't put much effort into the photos, I felt it wasn't quite a dish deserving of a decent photo. So please excuse the horrible photos. If you're brave enough I dare you to make it, haha!

Ingredients :
1 3/4 cup or 320 grams long grain white rice
1 Portobello mushroom (100 grams or 3.5 oz), thinly sliced
5 oz or 140 grams Button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 firm pear 10.5 oz or 300 grams , in chunks
4 garlic cloves, minced
100 grams or 3.5 oz baby spinach
2 1/2 cup or 600 ml vegetable broth
1 tsp. salt
large pinch of ground white pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tbsp. olive oil

grated Parmesan, optional

1. Heat the oil in a large pan, saute the mushrooms until soft, drain the excess liquid. Add the garlic and saute 2 minutes. Next add the spinach and cook until wilted. Pour the rice into the pan and stir to well combine. Add the remaining spices and pear chunks into the pan and again stir well. Pour in the vegetable broth, stir, cover and simmer under medium low heat.

2. After 15 minutes check on the rice. Taste the rice for tenderness and if needed add a little bit more broth or water. Make sure that the broth/water does not dry out before the rice is cooked through. If so pour just a little bit more into the pan. Once the rice has cooked through add some grated parmesan cheese if you like. Rice should cook through in about 20-25 minutes. Serve as a side dish or vegan/vegetarian main meal.
Pears; Mushrooms; Spinach; Pears; Mushrooms and Spinach; rice; baby spinach; recipe; still life; Spicie Foodie; rissotto; parmesan cheese; thyme; rice dishes; vegan; Vegetable Rice; vegetables; fruit; vegetarian

Remember kitchen failures are okay we all have them. Tell me what was your most recent kitchen failure?

Tomorrow, April 29 is the last day to sing up for the YBR. Sign up here if you haven't done so already.


Vegan Indian Cauliflower Mash, or Aloo Gobi Mash

>> Sunday, April 24, 2011

Indian Cauliflower Mash; Aloo Gobi Mash; Cauliflower; Indian; food; recipes; vegan; vegetables; fast; easy; healthy; low fat; Spicie Foodie
Happy Monday! To those of you that celebrate Easter I hope you had a lovely holiday. To those of you, like me, that don't celebrate Easter, I hope you had a great weekend. Today I have a vegan recipe that is great as a main dish or as a side dish. It was actually inspired by Veggie Test Kitchen. She participated in February's YBR and submitted her Madras Mashed Cauliflower. As soon as I saw her photo and read her post I knew I had to make it immediately. Well immediately came a little later but I did finally cook it.

I hope The Veggie doesn't mind if I quote her blog as to how she came up with this dish. She says that this dish is a spin on the classic Indian Aloo Ghobi. Aloo Ghobi translates to potato cauliflower and it is a eaten throughout the country, India. She goes on to explain that Aloo Ghobi is chunks of potatoes, cauliflower florets, onion, garlic, ginger and spices. But she made her own version by mashing the potatoes and cauliflower and topping with sauted shallots and a few other things. The Veggie gives some great tips so please stop by to read her whole post. Trust me you will want to make it immediately.

Indian Cauliflower Mash; Aloo Gobi Mash; Cauliflower; Indian; food; recipes; vegan; vegetables; fast; easy; healthy; low fat; Spicie Foodie

When I went into my kitchen to prepare her recipe I didn't have all the spices in her recipe so I improvised. This is my version of The Veggie's madras mashed cauliflower. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. I served it a part of our vegan/vegetarian dinner along side some flat bread and a couple other small sides. It was so delicious and filling with a little quick to it. Remember though you can always adjust the chile amount to your own taste. Enjoy and thank you The Veggie :)

Indian Cauliflower Mash, or Aloo Gobi Mash
Based on and inspired by The Veggie, Veggie Test Kitchen, Madras Mashed Cauliflower .

1 cauliflower head, cut into large florets
4 small potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
small piece of fresh ginger, ginger and finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 red chile, finely chopped
11/2 tbsp. garam masala* (my recipe is here)
1 tsp. ground turmeric
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
extra chile powder, optional *
salt & ground black to taste
finely chopped chives, chiles and/or fresh cilantro to top, optional

* Adjust to taste

Indian Cauliflower Mash; Aloo Gobi Mash; Cauliflower; Indian; food; recipes; vegan; vegetables; fast; easy; healthy; low fat; Spicie Foodie

1. Boil the cauliflower and potatoes until tender. Drain and set aside. Heat the oil and cook the onion until soft and translucent. Add the ginger, garlic and chile and saute for another 3 minutes. Place the boiled cauliflower and potatoes into the pan. Add the remaining spices to the pan. Use a potato masher and mash until the vegetables have broken up into a thick mash. I left a few chunks of both the potatoes and cauliflower for a chunky texture. Stir to combine all ingredients well, and cook for another 10 minutes.

Serve with Naan bread or other Indian flat bread.
Indian Cauliflower Mash; Aloo Gobi Mash; Cauliflower; Indian; food; recipes; vegan; vegetables; fast; easy; healthy; low fat; Spicie Foodie


I'm Ready To Be Spanked! And Mazanec Czech Easter Bread

>> Friday, April 22, 2011

Mazanec Czech Easter Bread; Mazanec; Czech; Easter; Bread; recipe; raisins; rum; almonds; Spicie Foodie; blog; food blogger; baked; dessert; breakfast; tea cakes; tea breads
Easter is here and the city of Prague has been gearing up for the celebrations. The first signs of Velikonoce (Easter) are the markets that open up all over the city. The small vendors sell traditional hand decorated Easter eggs, and poml√°zka which are decorated pussywillow twigs. Along with many other souvenirs you will also find gingerbreads baked in the shape of lambs, eggs and even chicks. At the markets you will also have a choice of typical Czech food and beer to enjoy as you take a stroll through the markets.

I am not religious so Easter is not a holiday I have paid attention to in the Czech Republic. From what I've seen and know about Easter in the Czech Republic, I would say it is more like a celebration of spring than a religious holiday. Czech Republic was under communism for a long time and religion was oppressed. Communism has been replaced by commercialism and the freedom to practice any religion. While most Czechs have no religion there are Christians here who will be going through the rituals of Easter as well as the nonreligious people following with tradition. Easter eggs will be decorated, traditional Easter dishes will be served and the boys will visit girls to spank them with their pomlazka. The pomlazka is used because tradition says that by being spanked the girls will be blessed with health and beauty during the whole year. I'm ready to be spanked, who else is with me? The spanking is accompanied by traditional carols and the boys are rewarded/thanked with a special hand decorated egg from the girls. If it's men that do the spanking then they get a shot of alcohol. It's almost like trick or treating in the states, the boys want to visit as many girls and receive as many rewards as possible. Some girls get their revenge by pouring buckets of cold water on the boys. This all sounds like fun and a bit naughty, lets move on shall we?
Mazanec Czech Easter Bread; Mazanec; Czech; Easter; Bread; recipe; raisins; rum; almonds; Spicie Foodie; blog; food blogger; baked; dessert; breakfast; tea cakes; tea breads
As is typical of many holidays, religious or not, around the world there is always food to go with the celebrations. I will be telling you about the baked Easter treats. Czechs will be baking gingerbread, cakes shape like a lamb that are dusted with powdered sugar, cross buns, Jidasky buns, and Mazanec which I will be showing you how to bake today. Mazanec is a sweet yeasted bread made with rum soaked raisins and topped with almonds. The bread has a crusty golden surface but is soft and delicious inside. You don't have to be religious or wait for Easter to bake this bread. It make a great accompaniment to coffee or tea and it can be enjoy at breakfast or as dessert.
Mazanec Czech Easter Bread; Mazanec; Czech; Easter; Bread; recipe; raisins; rum; almonds; Spicie Foodie; blog; food blogger; baked; dessert; breakfast; tea cakes; tea breads
Mazanec Czech Easter Bread
adapted from Albert Magazine

* You can cut the recipe in half to make a smaller loaf if you like.*

4 tbsp. rum
150 g or 5 oz raisins
42 g or 1.5 oz fresh yeast
400 ml or 13/4 cup lukewarm milk, use whole milk
200 g or 7 oz (1 cup) sugar
1 kl or 2.2 lbs. a.p flour
1/2 tsp. lemon zest or orange zest
4 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
40 g or 2 heaping tbsp butter
4 tbsp sunflower oil
slivered almonds to decorate

3 bowls, parchment paper, baking sheet

1. In a bowl pour the rum over the raisins, stir well and set aside.

Yeast starter:
In a bowl combine the yeast, milk and a couple tablespoons of the sugar. Set aside.

Once the yeast has risen : In a separate bowl combine the flour, rum soaked raisins, salt, and lemon zest. Stir to well combine the ingredients. In a separate bowl mix together 3 of the eggs,melted butter, oil until well combined. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour the yeast and egg, fat liquid into the dry ingredients. Work the dough until it becomes a smooth and elastic dough. If need be add a little more flour. Grease a large bowl, place the dough, cover and allow to rise for 11/2 hours.

Punch the dough down, divide the dough in halves, knead and shape into two loafs. Place the loaves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Lightly beat the remaining egg and brush over the loaves. Allow them to raise for another 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 180c or 356 f. Sprinkle the almonds over the loaves, and bake in center of oven for 35 - 40 minutes. If the top of the loaves is browning too much cover with aluminum foil for the remaining time. Allow to cool before slicing.

Mazanec Czech Easter Bread; Mazanec; Czech; Easter; Bread; recipe; raisins; rum; almonds; Spicie Foodie; blog; food blogger; baked; dessert; breakfast; tea cakes; tea breads
Serve with butter, honey, jam or any other toppings desired. Enjoy and Veselé Velikonoce! (Happy Easter!)

**April's YBR signup has been posted. It's a special edition so do check it out.**


Signup For April's YBR, A Very Special Edition!

>> Thursday, April 21, 2011


Last month I told you that April's YBR would be the start of a very special edition. Spicie Foodie has teamed up with Honest Cooking to bring you an even better YBR experience. As a bonus to our monthly event Honest Cooking will be choosing 1 recipe to feature on their site. Yup that's right one of you lovely participants could not only be a part of the monthly roundup here on Spicie Foodie but also have a special feature on this awesome food magazine's website. Everything stays the same as far as the YBR goes, all you have to do is say wether you would like your recipe to be included in the draw for Honest Cooking to choose from. If you agree and your recipe is chosen then it will be featured on Honest Cooking. How exciting! What are you waiting for signup below!

And these are the rest of the rules to participate in April's YBR round up :
Show me Your Best Recipes
Your Best Recipe, a monthly roundup of your best recipes hosted by Spicie Foodie. There are no limitations as to what you can submit, anything goes. No limits on your kitchen nor photography skill, everyone is invited to join. This is not a competition, it is just a showcase of great food being cooked all over the world. And here is how you can participate :

Requirements to participate:
1. It has to be a recipe that you published in APRIL, and it has to be a recipe that you feel was your favorite one posted that month. It can be anything your heart desires. Your submitted recipe can be your own creation or one that you adapted from another foodie, just give them credit on your post.

2. Sign up to April's roundup by leaving a comment saying you'd like to participate. I will add your name and your url to the list of participants below.

3. You must choose and display any of the following badges to invite your visitors to the roundup being hosted here.
Right click images to save or get code to embed on your site here:

Your Best Recipes
The badge below, you can add a small thumb of your dish. If you need help or would like the PSD file just shoot me an email, or read the tutorial here YBR Badge Tutorial (how to insert your photo). Some participants like to use this badge below on a new blog post inviting their readers to see the roundup.
Your Best Recipes
This small button can be added to a post and/or your blog's side bar, if you wish.
Your Best Recipes Button

4. By the 29th of April please email me at spiciefoodie (@) gmail.com the following:
1. Your Name, Blog Name, Name and link to your chosen recipe published in April.
2. A small image of your dish. You must own the photo, and it cannot be a creative commons or public domain photo.

On April 30, the last day of the month, I will post the roundup photos with a link to each of your sites and recipes. It would also be good if you invite your readers to the roundup by also posting a new blog entry or mentioning your participation in a new post (the last day of the month or after) on your blogs with a YBR badge and a link to the roundup here on Spicie Foodie. This way we can all help spread the YBR submitted love around even more!

If you need any help or clarifications post a comment or send me an email. I'll make sure to post a reminder as we get closer to the deadline.

~ Magic of Spice, The Ardent Epicure
~ Nancy, Spicie Foodie
~ Amanda & Belinda, Zomppa
~ Heather, Girlichef
~ Joan Nova, FOODalogue
~ Paaka Shaale, Paaka Shaale
~ Laura, Family Spice
~ Victoria, Mission Food
~ Kimberly, The Farmer's Wife
~ Priscilla, She's Cookin'
~ Kimberly, Unrivaled Ktich
~ Tiffany, Como Water
~ Veronica G., My Catholic Kitchen
~ Larry, BBQ Grail
~ Megan, Pip & Ebby


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