Tuesday, August 22, 2006

EVENT: Summer Salad Recipes Round Up #1

It has been a scorcher of a summer all over the globe. Well except for where it is winter. And looking at the weather report it is going to be summer for quite a while longer. So there is plenty of time to try many of these Summer Salad Recipes. There are 33 recipes in the round up from different blogs and websites around the world.

It has been so much fun hosting my first food blog event. I want to thank everyone who helped promote the event for me. And of course I want to thank all of the many participants who this event would not have been such a success without.

My Life As A Reluctant Housewife will be having a Fall Salads event coming up so when the wind starts to rustle up the leaves and bring the cooler breezes to your door, start to think about all the fall produce that you can use to make a Fall Salad.

Blog: Spitoon Extra
Recipe: Goat's Cheese and Quince Jelly Salad
Not Mine - Goat Cheese Quince Salad
Andrew was inspired by his friend's salad. And I am glad he was because this looks wonderful and I really want to try it. Andrew really knows wine so he suggests a lovely wine to go along with. Now I am thirsty and hungry.

Blog: Kitchen Parade
Recipe: BLT Pasta Salad
Not Mine - BLT Salad

Alanna has made a scrumptious salad. This is a take on the old-fashioned sandwich but today it is in a salad with orzo pasta!

Blog: Odelices
Recipe: Mixed Salad with Snap Peas and Hard Boiled Eggs
Not Mine  - Salade_composee
Marie-Laure shares a delicious mixed salad that helps her to cling to the warm days of summer while the cool breezes of England begin to drift in.

Blog: 1x Umruehren Bittefront
Recipe: Lemon Potato Salad
Not Mine - potato salad
Zorra is sharing a delicious potato salad. The lemons in this salad are from her own tree. It also has a little bit of cognac in it and I am not sure that I have ever had that in a potato salad but look forward to trying it.

Blog: Confessions of a Food Nazi
Recipe: Brown Rice Salad with Canned Salmon
Another Outspoken Female who has a Significant Eater in her life and he is quite picky about what foods should and should not be combined with eachother. It all sounds way too healthy for me. Although, Australia is slowly coming out of the doldrums of winter, there are some signs of spring in the air.

Blog: Eat Drink Talk
Recipe: Baby greens, with avocado, parma ham and cacao nibs and vanilla-spiked dressing
Not Mine salad
Jennifer does not have a blog but does have a small cooking school in London, England. So, I am going to share her recipe with you here. It looks really wonderful and creative.

Serves 2
1 bunch baby greens (I like lambs lettuce or baby spinach)
1 ripe Haas avocado
8 slices of parma ham
2 tbsp cacao nibs
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 vanilla bean
3 tsp balsamic vinegar

Wash and dry the greens with a tea towel or in a salad spinner. Spread them out on two plates.
Cut open the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds from the pod. Warm the olive oil up on a very gentle heat and add the vanilla seeds and pod. You don't want it to get hot, just to warm up enough to infuse the vanilla flavour into the oil. Turn off the heat and leave the vanilla to infuse for a few minutes.

Half the avocado and remove the large pit. With a butter knife, cut the avocado while still in its skin into slices, and then lift the slices out with a spoon. Arrange the avocado slices on top of the greens in a fan. Tear the each slice of parma ham into 2 or 3 shreds and nestle in amongst the
salad. Sprinke the cacao nibs over top.

Remove the vanilla pod from the olive oil. Add the balsamic vinegar and whisk to combine. Drizzle over the salad and serve.

Blog: Kuechenlatein
Recipe: Warm Potato and Bacon Salad
Not Mine - German Potato Salad
Ulrike's potato salad is exactly the type of potato salad I grew up with. This is mostly because this is how my dad likes it. So Mom made it this way. No mayonaisse. Ulrike lives in Germany and potato salad made this way is what most Americans call "German Potato Salad". Imagine that! Actually, her version has much more greens than I am used to but it looks really wonderful.

Blog: What's For Lunch Honey?
Recipe: Veal "Vilanese" and a Peas and Lettuce Salad
Not Mine - peas and lettuce
Meeta was experimenting in the kitchen again and that can only mean one thing. . . YUM. This time she crossed Wiener Schnitzel with Piccata Milanese. Wait... There was a salad too. Peas and Lettuce in a creamy vinaigrette dressing. She also suggests listening to Nelly Furtado's Man Eater while cooking this dish.

Blog: What We Are Eating
Recipe: Summery Veggie Salad
Not Mine - Vegetable salad
Amand and Tyler got into the spirit of things and packed up a delicious meal and took it to the beach at La Jolla, California. Along with a stuffed bread (drool) they made this mixed vegetable salad with a lemon vinaigrette. This type of salad is right up my alley with artichoke hearts, zucchini, grapes, tomatoes and asparagus.

Blog: Saffron Trail
Recipe: Indian Carrot and Peanut Salad
Not Mine - carrot peanut salad
Nandita shares a this vibrant Carrot salad. She says that most Indian salads don't have dressing on them. They either have yogurt or a simple seasoning on them making them nice and healthy and light.

Blog: Anne's Food
Recipe: Quinoa Salad with Two Cheeses
Anne is offering up another salad with lots of leeway. If you don't have halloumi, well then use something else. And feel free to add bacon or chicken if you would like!
Not Mine - Quinoa Feta Halloumi Salad

EVENT: Summer Salad Recipes Round Up #2

Blog: Catching Points - a food blog
Recipe: Black Pudding Salad
Not Mine - black pudding salad
Well this is the newest salad to me. Lexi must be quite adventerous. I actually have never had blood sausage nor have I have I ever had sausage on a salad. Two new things to try!

Blog: Chez Megane
Recipe: Mixed Arugula Salad with Ham and Cheese Toasts
Not Mine - ham cheese mixed salad
Megan says this is the perfect salad for those days when you need a great meal but can't go outside when it is pouring rain. Of course there are a gazillion different variations making it a great place to start off from. Just look in your pantry and see what you have!

Blog: What's The Recipe Today Jim?
Recipe: Watermelon, Feta and Pumpkin Seed Salad
Not Mine - watermellon salad
Rosie has come up with a salad that could only be found in the summer. Watermelon and feta is such a great combination and I bet the pumpkin seeds add a great crunch. She says that she saw it in a magazine and passed over it at first but then happened to have the ingredients on hand and it was a total success!

Blog: all kinds of yum
Recipe: Jicama, Nectarine and Cucumber Slaw
Not Mine - Jicama Nectarine Cucumber
Tannaz had about 10 friends over and had a great party this summer. A fun time was had by all and I think she should invite me the next time she has a soiree. She made this refreshing summer salad along with Pita Triangles with Labneh and Mashed Garbanzo Beans and Cucumber Spa Tonic with Minty Sugar-Salt which is one of my favorite drinks except I have never had it with vodka which sounds even better!

Blog: Kitchen Inferno
Recipe: Seafood Slaw
Not Mine - Seafood Slaw
Mickey has been making this seafood slaw for years and I can see why. Just add some cabbage and onion slaw to crab or any other shellfish and you have a perfect meal.

Blog: The Omnivorous Egg
Recipe: Georgian-Style Beet Salad
Not Mine - Beet Salad
Jen had a whole bunch of beets but was not in the mood to make borscht and was tired of goat cheese and beet salad (one of my favorites) so she went hunting for a new recipe and she found this intriguing recipe that combines beets with walnuts and prunes. She thought the end result was delicious since the bitter walnuts paired reall well with the earthy beets and sweet prunes. And who can beet the color?

Blog: Field to Feast
Recipe: North African-style Dried Nectarine and Apple Salad
Not Mine - North African Salad
Carolyn got this recipe from Cooks Illustrated. Cooks Illustrated is one of her favorite magazines because of its Puritan minimalism and meticulously tested before being published. These are the exact reasons I like that magazine so much too. Oh, I want to know about her obsession with L.L. Bean, I may or may not understand it completely. Back to the salad, I love idea of dried nectarines. I have only have had dried apricot and dried peaches and I love them. Then the spices - cumin and coriander are among my favorites. A great one to try!

Blog: Culinary Concoctions by Peabody
Recipe: Apple, Dried Cherry and Walnut Salad with Maple Dressing
Not Mine - apple walnut salad
Peabody is sharing this delicious variation on a Waldorf Salad and it looks fantastic. I would like everyone to take a moment and console Peabody who seems to be allergic to too many foods. But she still finds plenty of foods to make very delicious meals. Because of the apples, dried fruit and walnuts this is more of a fall salad but she is allergic to most of the food that make up most summer salads. Oh Peabody - I am going to have a Fall Salad event too so you will have to come up with something really "Fally".

Blog: Foodfreak
Recipe: Szechuan Cucumbers
Not Mine - Szechuan Cucumbers
Petra got this recipe a while back but when she got a big delivery of organic cucumbers she knew it was the time to try it out. Could anything look more refreshing? And there is not oil in the dressing so you only get fat from the peanuts.

Blog: Running with Tweezers
Recipe: Savory Cantaloupe Salad
Not Mine - cantaloupe salad
Tami is from Atlanta. Hotlanta. Ovens should not be turned on. Well this is the perfectly refreshing and cooling salad for the heat. Sweet Melon and tangy Goat Cheese and salty Soppresseta sounds like something I should to add to my list this week because I hear it is going to be a hot one.

Blog: Veggie Friendly
Recipe: Long, Green and Pointy Salad
Adam who posted this fresh salad on his friend's blog loves this salad because it is so simple and fresh. Asapargus, green beens and snow peas with a little bit of balsamic vinegar sounds perfect.

Blog: The Passionate Cook
Recipe:Panzanella - more than bread salad
Not Mine - panzanella salad
Johanna made a Panzanella, bread salad, which is becoming quite popular once again. I have had it in two restaurants this summer so I can attest to its revived popularity. It is very easy to assemble but tastes of all the rich flavors of summer. Johanna describes it as a "gazpacho before the invention of the blender" which I think is a great description.

EVENT: Summer Salad Recipes Round Up #3

Blog: Veggie Friendly
Recipe: Red Capsicum, Parsley and Chickpea Salad
Not Mine - Red Capsicum, Parsley and Chickpea Salad
KP says that this is her favorite Summer Salad. Well, I am so glad that she decided to share it with us! Chickpeas, red capsicum and parsley in a sesame and lemon dressing.

Blog: Champaign Taste
Recipe: 95 temp + 110 heat index = 2 salads
Not Mine - corn salad
Not Mine - basil potato salad
Lisa made two salads for this event. Bringing two pots of water at the same time has to create less time of any heat than doing one at a time at different times. Italian Basil Potato Salad has a delicious sounding pesto dressing and the Fresh Corn Salad tells a story of a hot August day.

Blog: Start Cooking
Recipe: Washing Lettuce
Not Mine - washing lettuce
Kathy, gives us a step by step guide on how to wash lettuce. This may sound like a funny thing to explain but this simple task is super important. You want it clean. Nothing ruins a salad like crunching down into dirt. Ick. And then you also don't want to keep the leaves too wet or that yummy salad dressing is not going to cling to the leaves.

Blog: Wino Sapien
Recipe: Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil salad
Not Mine - tomato mozzarella salad
Edward made a simple summer salad. Usually this salad has large beefsteak tomatoes and thick slices of mozzarella but he changes it up a little bit by using crumbled bits of cheese and sliced cherry tomatoes with a large pile of basil chiffonade on top. Pair with a dry white wine and you are all set!

Blog: South Beach Diet for Idiots
Recipe: Yakitori Guacamole Salad
Not Mine - Yakitori Guacamole Salad
Catherine makes a Spanish style gaucomole salad but tops it with a deliciously flavored Yakitori salad. A complete meal in itself.

Blog: Je Mange la Ville
Recipe: Blueberry Pasta Salad
Not Mine - blueberry pasta salad
Michelle got this recipe from Eating Well and she was a bit skeptical about how it would turn out. Who wouldn't be? Blueberries in pasta? But it came out perfectly with the great combination of blueberry with thyme and feta with lime. Thanks for such a creative summer pasta salad!

Blog: New Yorker By Heart
Recipe: Warm Salmon Salad and Chef Salad
Not Mine - tomato salad
Not Mine - smoked salmon salad
Birthe has blessed us with two summer salad recipes.

Blog: Once Upon A Feast
Recipe: What's In the Fridge Salad
Not Mine - refridgerator Salad
Ruth is a very practical and healthy person. She has a refrigerator full of healthy food that she can toss together into a delicous salad. This is the way to live. She is a South Beach Diet success story and you can see why!

Blog: Cascading Flavours
Recipe: Corn Pasta Salad
Not Mine - corn pasta-salad
Ramya made this salad early this summer to celebrate the Fourth of July. She combined two Native American ingredients, corn and green beans, in honor of the day.

Blog: Posie's Place
Recipe: Summer Salad
Not Mine - summer salad
Pamela has madce one of her favorite salads of the summer. This is the perfect meal salad. It has mozzarella and garlic marinated turkey plus corn. I have loved having corn in salad since the summer after 11th grade when I had it in Denmark. And to top it off there is some balsamic vinegar. Yum!

Blog: Retro-Food
Recipe: Sliced Cucumber Salad
What could be more refreshing that thinly sliced cucumbers and a small onion drizzled with vinegar? A couple of summers ago I made this at least once a week. It is time to start making it again!

Monday, August 21, 2006

PHOTOGRAPHS: Family Wedding

View from Stryker Vineyards
View from Stryker Vineyards

Bridal Bouquet
Wedding Bouquet

Another View
Vineyards at Stryker Vineyards

Wisteria Vine over an Arbor
Wisteria Arbor at Stryker Vineyards

Wisteria Vine Seed Pods
Wisteria Pods

Flowers at the Wedding Area
Wedding Flowers

Ceremony Area
The Chapel

Flowers at the Cocktail Reception
Flower Arrangement

Fried Green Olives
Fried Green Olives

Fried Artichoke Hearts
Fried Artichokes

Seating Chart
Seating Chart

Dining in the Vault
Stryker Vineyard Wine Vault

The Wedding Cake
Wedding Cake

EVENT: Summer Salad Recipes - Round Up Coming Soon

Hello everyone!

I am going to be VERY busy on this round up this week. I am so excited because I think there are 30 entries for my Summer Salad Recipes! I can't wait to share them all with you.

xo Gabriella

Saturday, August 19, 2006

FOOD FOR TODDLERS: Blueberries and Cheese

Well well well!! Timmy at some fruit that was not a banana or a pineapple. Miracles never cease. Oh, I should mention he at 4 halves of a blueberrie for a total of two blueberries. The rest contributed to the large stain on the carpet below his high chair. But he loves the arrowroot cookies and monterey jack cheese. I am not sure I could handle snack time with these two without cheese.


Friday, August 18, 2006

ON FOOD: Ace of Cakes - A New Foodtv Show

Oooh. A new show to become addicted to!!! Ace of Cakes on the Food Network.

Duff Goldman and his team create some of the most fabulous cakes out there and now we get to see all about what goes on behind the scenes. They can have twenty cakes a week and barely be able to get them all done because they are so intricate and detailed.

He has had cooking jobs with Thomas Keller, Todd English among others. But for Duff needed his own shop to create what he wanted to. He used to be a grafitti artist so you can guess that he is not tied down to any traditional concepts of cake decoration. He would love to be able to accept commissions for only the most creative cake decorating projects.

He quickly outgrew his home kitchen and smaller kitchens. Now, he and his friends have taken up residence in a 6,000 foot space. He only hires people he knows and likes. And of course Duff is in an Indie band.

His website is City Cakes and his show appears on Food Network

Here are some of the cakes I think are great