Sunday, October 22, 2006

Weekend Herby Blogging

We had a great turnout for WHB this weekend, with some intriguing surprises in the entries. It has been much more fun than work to be the host, and my heartfelt thanks go out to Kalyn for sharing the opportunity! And to all you friendly bloggers for sharing your recipes. It's been a great experience for me! But enough about me, let's look at what all of YOU have been cooking this week ...

First up is Gattina from ... um ... Gattina with some cunning little Grape Mini-Cakes. These sweet bite-size delights have some ingredients that made me go back and read the recipe twice. Not to mention some enviably beautiful photos. Check out the entry and see if you don't agree!

If Gattina's goodies didn't raise your eyebrows a bit, then take a quick jaunt over to Brilynn's Jumbo Empanadas for a gander at her beautiful They're Just Brownies... Or Are They? This is Brilynn's first entry to WHB, and I think you'll agree she's a wonderfully creative addition to the crew. Welcome, Brilynn!

Regular contributor Cate of Sweetnicks fame returns from a cruise and wastes not a moment "diving" right in with a selection from the prolific Rachael Ray, Lime Chicken Avocado Salad. Not only is Cate a great cook, but she's also the host for Weekend Dog Blogging, so after you check out her recipe, take a look at all the canine cuties submitted this week, including my very own Simba.

Burcu from Almost Turkish Recipes stops by with an intriguing recipe for Barbunya Beans (Barbunya Pilaki). Don't they look delicious? Burcu tells us that barbunya beans, which are native to Turkey, are very close to roman or red beans. I'm not sure I know what those are, but the recipe is loaded with all kinds of vegetables, parsley, and tomatoes, so it qualifies for WHB on many fronts!

Ruth from Once Upon A Feast has also "over-qualified" for WHB with this yummy-sounding Leek, Mushroom & Swiss Chard Soup. There's just nothing so warming as a bowl of soup, and I don't know about you, but warming is just what's in order in my neck of the woods.

The ever-resourceful Sher found a perfect use for the last tomatoes of the season: doesn't Red Snapper With Warm Tomato-Saffron Vinaigrette sound divine? It sounds as if she's mourning her final tomato harvest much as I lately lamented our final green bean harvest. Commiserations, Sher!

To continue with the prolificness ... prolificity ... prolificousness ... oh, heck! whatever! of Rachael Ray, we have Genie of The Inadvertent Gardener telling us about Iowa City Cowboy Spaghetti, which she assures us makes it onto her table at least weekly. That's a powerful recommendation from a busy cook who rarely repeats recipes. With tons of veggies and even whole wheat pasta, it sounds like a recipe we all might like to give a shot!

From Coffee & Cornbread comes this deceptively simple Warm Tarragon-Dressed Potato Salad. I simply love warm potato salads, and this Nicoise-inspired dressing has me yearning for a few days in the countryside of France.

For a change of pace, Ulrike from K├╝chenlatein brings us a short essay with beautiful photos of the fruit of the blackthorn shrub. The fruit, called sloe, can be made into a liqueur called sloe gin, of the "fizz" fame, but Ulrike discovered a distillery that makes it into a kind of sherry made of sloes.

Speaking of over-achievers, next comes Chrispy of Experimentation of Taste with not one but two entries for WHB this week. First she banishes the grey-weather blues with the ultimate comfort food, Mac N Cheese, which may not seem like a WHB entry until you see the recipe. Then she launches an ode to tomatoes with a Tomato-Ricotta Tart. Each is an excellent reason to skip on over to this busy blogger's site for a visit!

They're just coming into grilling season Down Under, so Ange of Vicious Ange was inspired to Griddled Eggplant with feta, mint & chili. Doesn't that combination sound interesting? And I don't mean the damn-with-faint-praise "interesting," but the really-really sort of interesting. Since we don't have a gas grill and have to wait for the charcoal to heat up each time we use ours, we don't grill in cold weather. This one will have to wait until our grilling season returns. Or perhaps I could prevail upon gas-grilling pals to let me make them at their house. Or hmm, I wonder if I could take that stuffing and use it elsewhere ... hmmm ...

France pops up again, this time in the form of Virginie from Absolutely Green. She shares this simple recipe for Green Tea-Infused Rice. Her blog is written in French, but there are links to get English translations of it and of her post. I just discovered the Google translation tool myself recently. How cunning!

One of the very fun things about hosting WHB has been hearing from folks from around the world. This time it's Haalo, another Australian food blogger, from Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once. In case there was any doubt, she proves incontrovertibly that it's mint season in Australia, because her recipe also features mint: Mint Sorbet. Yum.

Skipping back over to Germany, we hear from Anna from Anna's Cool Finds. No, wait, she's from California! I plead that the title of her post confused me: Supper Club - States of Germany. Anna sounds bodaciously self-assured, serving her Cucumber and Potato Soup to 17 other chefs!

My goodness, it is so fun to hear from folks in the southern hemisphere. Here we are, mourning the loss of the harvests from our gardens, and then they come along with posts about heading into summer! Our next entry is from another Anna, of Morsels and Musings, this time from Sydney, Australia. She tells how she grew from hating zucchini to loving it, and shares a recipe for spaghettini con zucchini.

Well, well, well, look who's here. It's Kalyn herself, checking in with an absolutely mouth-watering recipe for Grilled Halibut with Garlic Cilantro Sauce. Halibut is one of my favorite fishes, and I promise not to make any jokes about eating it just for the halibut. Oops! I think I just did! Sorry!

Now along comes Strata from My Bay Area Garden with an article about Extending the Harvest: Peppers & Dill. I was especially interested in her creative use of inter-planting to shade her peppers, but all the solid information about harvesting and storing dill will also be of interest to those of you whose dill hasn't gone dormant for the winter yet ... or those of you whose dill is just now greening up!

Lastly, you DO want to read this post from The Serendipitous Chef on saffron and paella. I give you this quote, which provided me with a surprise chuckle and a fun ending to this roundup:
"... it’s the do what’s necessary to appease the bickering factions lifestyle. The brown rice kept TeenGirl happy, the chicken and lack of sea food kept TeenBoy happy. The absence of protracted arguing kept the Serendipitous Chef happy."
Oh! I nearly forgot to point you to my own contribution, from earlier this week: green beans with toasted walnuts and herbs. Just scroll down to see it. This one is truly a favorite in our house. I'm about to cook up the very last green beans from our garden, and this is the recipe I will use. If you're a green bean lover, do yourself a favor and try it!

That's it for this week, folks. A huge and hearty "THANK YOU!" for joining the fun, whether by blogging or by reading. Next week, Weekend Herb Blogging will be hosted by Fiber of 28 Cooks. Send your entries via e-mail to CLBritto AT LancasterGeneral DOT org.


surfindaave said...

Very nice roundup! Some really interesting ideas this week!

gattina said...

I have a good time while reading the roundup, Pat, you have a great sense of humor! And thanks for your kind words to my entry!

Kalyn said...

What a fantastic job you did on this! Thanks for all the work. Now I'm off to read everyone's entry.

Ruth said...

Pat - great roundup, so many wonderful dishes and you presented them all so well.

Thanks for a job well done.

PS - your green beans were great!

Kalyn said...

Hey Pat, it's me again. I just noticed you didn't put a link to your own entry. You should add one, otherwise when this goes into the WHB archives, if someone comes here in the future they won't be able to find your recipe. (And it was such a good one!)

Genie said...

Pat, this is a really great list of recipes -- and you've made them all sound so inviting! Thanks for doing all the work to make this happen this week -- it's very much appreciated!

The Inadvertent Gardener

Ulrike said...

Thank you for the great round-up and hosting this event. BTW we Germans make also jelly and syrup from sloes.

coffeepot said...

Wonderful! You did such a good job.

I have to go and try and read the entries.

How does one find time to try them all?

Virginie said...

Thanks a lot for this recap. Lots of recipes looks yummy and I'm going to surf a while on the web to dicover them.