Sunday, July 27, 2008

More Beautiful Things and a Short Break

It's time for me to take a little time off from blogging. Call it a vacation, but after eighteen months, I've hit the inevitable burnout and need to play the lotus eater for the next few weeks. It will be a period of rest and recharge. During this time, I will essentially be incommunicado save acknowledgment of your recipe submissions for My Legume Love Affair - Second Helping. This is an ideal moment to thank the long roster of guest hosts who have already signed up through May 2009. I plan on booking out the remainder of 2009 as long as the interest continues, and do have some other volunteers yet to contact for scheduling. Please be assured that any post comments and emails left for me during my time away will be responded to as promptly as possible when I return in August.

I leave you with a few images of another recent photographic foray, as well as a clutch of awards I have been delighted to receive. Thank you, Laurie, Swati and Nanditha. Those I have passed the kudos onto are under no obligation to further the tags along. Indeed, one will be unable to do so, although the spirit, I'm sure, is willing.


Wisteria
Wisteria



Peony
Peony



Iris
Iris

~~~


ENMAPYMMD
(Excellence-Nice Matters-Arte y Pico-You Make My Day)

From Laurie going to ATENABWMMD.
(All the excellent, nice, artistic bloggers who make my day.)

~~~


From Swati going to Vaishali.

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From Nanditha going to Meg.

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From Nanditha going to Sher.

~~~

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My Legume Love Affair - Second Helping – An Event, A Prize & A Call for Hosts*


Given the rousing success of February's My Legume Love Affair (with 116 spectacular entries), it’s time to roll out a second helping of the food community’s best and brightest recipes to share with like-minded bean fans. As before, there are no restrictions nor a particular theme other than recipes must feature legumes as the central ingredient. Vegetarian, vegan or not, I leave the choices up to you, again welcoming your creativity and naturally good taste. All cultures and courses are welcome.

The prize, a choice of Cool Food or Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World**, will be selected through a random drawing of all participants, to be shipped worldwide to the winner at my expense. Those who aren't bloggers are also invited to send recipes/photos; you will be included in the round-up and drawing. Family and friends are not eligible for the prize.

Please post a new recipe or a newly posted one from your archives, linking to this announcement, with the following details to me [thewellseasonedcook AT yahoo DOT com] by August 24:

Name:

Name and URL of Your Recipe Post:

Location: Optional

Photo: Optional (400 X 300 or 300 X 400 depending on orientation. If your image is exactly square, fine tuning the dimensions to avoid distortion is encouraged while keeping in mind the general size requirement.)

Use of the logo is optional.

I will post the round-up by August 31. Latecomers are welcome as long as the round-up has not yet been published.

So, come share your appetizers, side dishes, entrées, beverages and desserts for another fantastic and flavorful round-up. Be in love with legumes all over again! Thanks for joining in!

* Future Hosts: My Legume Love Affair is now a monthly event. Please let me know if you are interested in guest hosting in the future. Given the diversity of dietary persuasions, a guest host is free to request vegetarian fare from their participants for the month they are hosting.

** These cookbooks are in my personal collection, a copy of one to be ordered when the winner makes his/her selection. I have no business nor personal relationships with their authors or publishers.

~~

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lucifer's Crucifers - Brussels Sprouts Baaji

Brussels Sprouts Baaji


Brussels sprouts, those dear little baby cabbages, members of the Brassicaceae/Cruciferae family of plants, are among the healthiest produce on the planet, rich in fiber, folates and phytochemicals, among other nutrients . Unfortunately, they are also known as one of the most sulphurous vegetables (read: stinky). Yet it only takes a quick blanching and an equally fast stir fry with some formidable flavors to make you forget all that trauma when you were a kid, the kind that made you grateful when spinach, of all things, was on the dinner menu instead.


Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts Baaji (Indian Spiced Brussels Sprouts) - Adapted from Yum Yum Mum Mum's recipe

Ingredients

2 cups Brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons mild-flavored oil
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, coarsely crushed in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder
1 tablespoon brown or black mustard seeds
3 large dried red chile peppers, cut into strips (Remove the seeds if prefer less spiciness.)
Salt to taste

Method

Rinse the sprouts in cold water, towel dry, then carefully cut a thin slice off each stem to prevent too many leaves from falling off. Peel away and discard any old, outer leaves. If the stem ends are very tough, common in larger sprouts, you can cut a small "V" vertically into each stem to remove some of it. This will keep the bulk of the good leaves intact. You can also cut them in half vertically from top through the trimmed stem. Heat a medium pot of water to a boil. Place sprouts in a large strainer then submerge them in the boiling water for approximately 8 minutes, or until they can be easily pierced with a fork, but not mushy. Remove from water and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the oil and mustard seeds over medium heat until the seeds crackle and sputter, add the coriander seeds, stirring briefly, then add the red chile peppers. Stir fry the mixture until it is fragrant, but before it turns brown. Add the sprouts, continuously but gently stirring until they turn very lightly browned and crisp. Salt to taste, stirring once more. Remove from heat and serve immediately. Serves 2 generously. --

Brussels Sprouts Baaji


This recipe is going to Archana of Archana's Kitchen, hosting Weekend Herb Blogging for Kalyn Denny of Kalyn's Kitchen, creator of this weekly food blogging event.


Been There, Done That ~

Fractal Cauliflower Ragu
Mixed Vegetable Ambat Curry (Cauliflower and Mushrooms)
Confetti Cole Slaw

Other People's Eats ~

Cabbage Thoran

Kimchi
Gobi Manchurian

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Pancakes on Parade - The Round-Up and The Raffle Winner *

It was a fine turnout; forty-two recipes showcasing all the wonderful ways we have with our pancakes. (Please contact me with any omissions or errors, and I will make the corrections immediately.) I thank you all for contributing your valuable time, energy and talents to another successful event. Without you, it wouldn't be possible. Event hosting certainly is not without demands and technical frustrations, but it is also not without rewards. Though this round-up is online some hours later than I expected, the parade did not pass us by.

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With edges crisp as parchment, circles of classically
thin and light plättar can nonetheless feed a small army.

Swedish Pancakes
Wendy - A Wee Bit of Cooking
Inverness, Scotland

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Though tomatoes are not native to India,
a creative cook dresses her dosa in the glowing
color and flavor of the vine-ripened fruit.

Tomato Dosa
Arundathi - My Food Blog
India

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Fruit in season is never so alluring as
when endless punnets of bauble-like berries
are laid out on a farmers market table.

Pretty in Pink Strawberry Pancakes
Susan - Food Blogga
San Diego, California, U.S.A.

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Jowar flour (sorghum) boosts the nutritional profile
of a multi-grain recipe that is already high on good health.

Thalipeeth
Sireesha - Mom's Recipes
Paris

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Coconut, one of India's cherished
fruits, lends a sweet, nostalgic texture
to "an all-time favorite" meal.

Rice and Coconut Pancakes
Sunita - Sunita's World
United Kingdom

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An IHOP fan hops to it in her own kitchen
to create a hearty and healthier breakfast that
no chain restaurant can ever hope to match.

Whole Grain Blueberry Pancakes
Mansi - Fun and Food
California, U.S.A.

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No naan? No worries. Not when you can
try the tasty tandoori roti on the menu.

Tandoori Roti
Srivalli - Cooking 4 All Seasons
India

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Soft grains create a dosa of great delicacy, the perfect foil for
the fire of chiles and the flavor of cilantro.

Oatmeal Rava Dosa
Vidya - Random Thoughts and Recipes
Tennessee, U.S.A.

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Gentle cardamom crêpes curl around a
sweet filling shot through with black pepper.

Pepper Crêpes
Marit - Tasty Food
Belgium

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How do I love thee? Let me count the grains in amboli:
rice, millet and wheat.

Amboli Multi-Grain Pancakes
Meera - Enjoy Indian Food
U.S.A.

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A son is in awe of his mom’s homemade scallion
pancakes with a touch of sesame seeds.
I am, too, and we aren’t even related.

Chinese Green Onion Pancakes
Priya - Live 2 Cook
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

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Does hand grating root veggies grate on you? Have your
carrot cakes and eat them so much quicker when
you follow a terrific (why didn't I think of that?) time-saving tip.

Carrot Cake Pancakes
Robin - Made with Love
Rhode Island, U.S.A.

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Tender crêpes caress a double-dairy filling,
an excuse, of course, to build a shrine
to vibrantly sweet, red berries.

Strawberry Cheesecake Crêpes
Kevin - Closet Cooking
Toronto, Canada

~~~

Serve this uniquely fermented and spongy pancake
at your next dinner party, and you will be the talk of the teff.

Injera
Asha - Foodie's Hope
North Carolina, U.S.A.

~~~

When life hands you sugar, sometimes you just have to
reach for the salt. Savoring a savory was never so sweet.

Pajeon
Ann - Redacted Recipes
New York City

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A relative newcomer on the grain scene, quinoa contributes
quality protein and fiber to an Indian staple already rich
with benefits of a vegetarian diet.

TT - The Taste Tinkerer

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Cardamom and coconut are a dreamy duo for a quick
morning sugar rush and a tribute to mom's special recipe.

Wheat Sweet Pancakes
Archy - Archy's Recipe Book
Overland Park, Kansas, U.S.A.

~~~

Tufted with ruby and golden fruits, a summer breakfast baked in a pie tin
is a homey homage to Jewish grandmothers everywhere.

Lisa - Lisa's Kitchen
London, Ontario, Canada

~~~

That serendipitous bag of produce forgotten in the freezer
can unleash all the giddy greed of a kid in a candy shop.
Watch what you look for.

Pudla
Lucy - Nourish Me
Melbourne, Australia

~~~

Fresh grated coconut. For those who didn't grow up in a tropical
paradise, we now know what we were missing.

Madak Saan
JZ - Tasty Treats
Minnesota, U.S.A.

~~~

It's winter in Australia now, but you will still fall hard for
this powerfully healthy brunch treat, glowing with carotene
and spiked with spices.

Pumpkin Pancakes
Johanna - Green Gourmet Giraffe
Melbourne, Australia

~~~

Armed with a pancake turner, a cook's thoughts turn to dad
and the other lads of her life. Sometimes, pancakes
are, indeed, the province of men.

Blueberry and Sour Cream Pancakes
Anna - Morsels and Musings
Sydney, Australia

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When Nutella syrup is bubbling at the bit, you've got to whip
together the quickest batter to satisfy its sweet impatience.

Banana Pancakes with Nutella Syrup
Katie - Salt and Chocolate
U.S.A.

~~~

Nuts, bananas and maple syrup? No need to feel guilty.
They are all part of a well-planned and balanced
vegetarian start to the day.

Whole Grain Pancakes with Pecans and Bananas
DK - DK's Culinary Bazaar
U.S.A.

~~~

"Microwaved and Mashed Sweet Potato" is just plain smashing
in flatbread reminiscent of other, more elaborate recipes
best left for a day when time and patience are plenty.

Sweet Potato and Coconut Parathas
Kalva - Curry in Kadai

~~~

There are legions of us out there, those who are nuts about
Nutella. It starts early, when we are kids. If we are really
lucky, we will go mad for mango, too.

Whole Wheat Pancakes with Nutella and Mango
Meeta - What's for Lunch, Honey?
Weimar, Germany

~~~

Quinoa, sorghum, agave, and xanthan gum are the
unique touches that finesse the challenges
of an experimentally vegan kitchen.

Carrot Cake Pancakes
Katie - The Summertree Café
Kansas, U.S.A.

~~~

A culinary agent is on a mission to reveal an intriguing and
exotic ingredient. Call it "Mission Impossibly Delicious."
Is the sweet suspense killing you yet?

Buckwheat Pancakes and Secret Ingredient #1
Kyle - Yum-Oh!
Sydney, Australia

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The spoils of summer's harvest come together in a light
meal brilliant with flavor, color and the sunshine
memories of girlhood days.

Corn Crêpes with Quick Tomato Tracklement
Ricki - Diet, Dessert and Dogs
Toronto, Canada

~~~

Which came first, the apple or the egg? Ancient ingredients
provide fuel for thought first thing in the morning.

Apple Pancakes
Haalo - Cook almost Anything at least once
Melbourne, Australia

~~~

Oil and starch are the guilty, comforting pleasures of
a traditional Taiwanese recipe which eases
the indulgences of nights out on the town.

Tsung Yo Bing
Shaun - Winter Skies, Kitchen Aglow
Auckland, New Zealand

~~~

Nutella Crespella or Best Buttermilk? Everyone
should have so blissful a dining dilemma.

Best Buttermilk Pancakes
Hendria - Canadian Baker Too
Ontario, Canada


Oven Crespella with Nutella Sauce
Hendria - Canadian Baker Too
Ontario, Canada

~~~

A serious pancake for a serious appetite, this skillet batter "pizza"
can be as loaded or lithe as the toppings you pile on it.

Savoury Pancake
Lydia - My Kitchen
Malaysia

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Cheerful summer vegetables brighten the lush fried wedges
of one of Switzerland's signature dishes.

Summer Vegetable Rosti
Bellini Valli - More Than Burnt Toast
British Columbia, Canada

~~~

A lively filling of spiced shellfish and allium within tender
parcels delights the diner from the first forkful to the last.

Pancake Surprises
Dhanggit - Dhanggit's Kitchen
Aix en Provence, France

~~~

An admitted novice with "flour and batter" finds her
first attempt at pancakes a grand success.
Can membership in The Daring Bakers be that far behind?

Homemade Pancakes with Fruits
Wiffy - NoobCook
Singapore

~~~

A torte layered with savory fillings is an easy, elegant
option when your cravings for style match your hunger.

Tarta de Panquekes Salata
Gloria - Canela's Kitchen Recipes
Santiago, Chile

~~~

Don't let the blue tablecloth fool you. There's real heat in even
the tiniest green chile hidden in a crush of Mexican condiment.

Corncakes with Gazpacho Salsa
Suganya - Tasty Palettes
U.S.A.

~~~

Need to navigate the fascinating intricacies and vast diversity of Indian
cuisine? Brilliant in concept and design, these user-friendly primers
will hold your hands without you having to wring them.

1001 Instant Uttappams
Ramki - One Page Cookbooks - For the First Time Cook
South India

1001 Savoury Indian Pancakes
Ramki - One Page Cookbooks - For the First Time Cook
South India

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The waters are wild and bountiful on the coast of
Celtic France, but not all recipes revolve
around the beloved fruits de mer.

Breton Buckwheat Oven Pancake
Susan - The Well-Seasoned Cook
New York

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* Congratulations, Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe! You have won the random drawing for Pancakes A to Z ! Please contact me with mailing details. I will get your cookbook in the post this coming week.

~~~~~~~~~