Wednesday, October 08, 2014

My Lunch in Monochrome-BWW #146

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Busy day today planting more Fall vegetables in the garden plot we have at Skidaway Farms.  But time caught up with me so had to rush back home to shower before my afternoon dental appointment. Having no time to make my own lunch, I stopped by my favorite Japanese restaurant, Sushi Zen to grab a quick spicy tuna bowl. The waitress, Hitomi, always remembers exactly how I like the dish prepared and brings with the spicy tuna bowl, a refreshing glass of iced green tea. Below is the color image of the dish. Image captured with Camera+, background blurred with Big Lens app and finished off in Snapseed.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

The World Culinary ABC is on the Way

Print Friendly and PDF "Viral" is a fashionable word these days. Something goes "viral" because everybody knows it, talks about it, wants it. Well, the European Community ABC didn't go viral, but in reading again its announcement post from December 2012, I see that it talked about 16 blogs that were announcing together a virtual culinary tour of the European Community countries. This year, however, we are ready to go: the calendar has been finalized and 29 bloggers (some of them ambassadors for a country, others travelers) plus the one and only Aiuolik make up a happy caravan.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are delighted to announce:
You got it: this time we will virtually travel around the world and put it on the table one letter at a time.
This tour will feature an ambassador for each letter and we hope that again there will be many of you traveling with us — for just one leg or for the whole tour or whenever your luggage is ready and you want to join the fun.
Each letter of the alphabet is associated with a city that represents a country and the ambassador will start the festivities with a dish s/he chooses from that country's culinary tradition. During the three weeks following the opening post, anyone can publish a recipe from the same country. It's that easy.
In brief, if you'd like to participate, remember the 4W rule:
  1. WHEN: every three weeks we change letter and country; 
  2. WHAT: you can publish any recipe (or more than one) from the country represented by the letter (the initial of the recipe name does not matter); 
  3. WHERE: publish the recipe on your blog and then leave a comment on the initial post (on the ambassador's blog) containing the URL of your post; 
  4. WHO: anyone who has a blog can participate; the more the merrier. It would be great to travel together for as many stops as possible, but, as I said above, you can choose when to participate.
The post(s) you publish must include a reference to the event and to the ambassador's blog. Use of the logo (the image above) is optional but welcome. You can also contribute a recipe from your archive: add the reference to the event and to the ambassador's blog and then submit the URL as described above. Let me know if you have any questions or doubts on the process.
Here's the calendar. Each line includes the letter, the name of the representative city, then in parentheses the name of the country and continent in which the city is located, the start and end date of our stay in the country and finally the hosting blog (ambassador).
  • A - APIA (Samoa, Oceania) - October 6 through October 26, 2014 - Mangiare è un po' come viaggiare
  • B - BALARAMPUR (India, Asia) - October 27 through November 16, 2014 - Cindystar 
  • C - CANBERRA (Australia, Oceania) - November 17 through December 7, 2014 - Cook (almost) anything 
  • D - DAKAR (Senegal, Africa) - December 8 through December 28, 2014 - Cafe Lynnylu
  • E - EDMONTON (Canada, America) - December 29, 2014 through January 18, 2015 - Zibaldone culinario 
  • F - FORTALEZA (Brasil, America) - January 19 through February 8, 2015 - Torte e dintorni 
  • G - GUADALAJARA (Mexico, America) - February 9 through March 1, 2015 - Torta di rose 
  • H - HANOI (Vietnam, Asia) - March 2 through March 22, 2015 - Les madeleines di Proust
  • I - CAIRO (Egypt, Africa) [In Italian, the city is called IL CAIRO] - March 23 through April 12, 2015 - Crumpets & Co. 
  • J - JUAN CARLOS BASE (Shetland Islands, Antarctica) - April 13 through May 3, 2015 - Briggis' home
  • K - KYOTO (Japan, Asia) - May 4 through May 24, 2015 - Nato sotto il cavolo 
  • L - LUCERNA (Switzerland, Europe) - May 25 through June 14, 2015 - Kopiaste 
  • M - MINNEAPOLIS (USA, America) - June 15 through July 5, 2015 - Briciole 
  • N - NAIROBI (Kenya, Africa) - July 6 throuh July 26, 2015 - La cucina di qb 
  • O - ODESSA (Ukraine, Europe) - July 27 through August 16, 2015 - BigShade 
  • P - PORT MORESBY (Papua New Guinea, Oceania) - August 17 through September 6, 1015 - Kitchen in the city
  • Q - QUITO (Ecuador, America) - September 7 through September 27, 2015 - Ricette di cultura 
  • R - RABAT (Morocco, Africa) - September 28 through October 18, 2015 - La Melagranata
  • S - SUVA (Fiji, Oceania) - October 19 through November 8, 2015 - Santa Parmigiana
  • T - TUNISI (Tunisia, Africa) - November 9 through November 29, 2015 - Le tenere dolcezze di Resy 
  • U - ULAN BATOR (Mongolia, Asia) - November 30 through December 20, 2015 - Un Uomo dal Bagno alla Cucina 
  • V - VOLGOGRAD (Russia, Europa) - December 21, 2015 through January 10, 2016 - Un pezzo della mia Maremma 
  • W - WELLINGTON (New Zealand, Oceania) - January 11 through January 31, 2016 - Gata da plar 
  • X - XIAN (China, Asia) - February 1 through February 21, 2016 - Un'arbanella di basilico
  • Y - YEREVAN (Armenia, Europa) - February 22 through March 13, 2016 - La cucina di Cristina 
  • Z - ZAGABRIA (Croatia, Europa) - March 14 through April 3, 2016 - Burro e zucchero
Traveling with us is free, you learn a lot and you'll always find someone smiling next to you. What are you waiting for? Get that luggage ready.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Spicy Avocado Smoothie

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A dark green bumpy Haas avocado will work well with this slightly spicy smoothie. To determine if ripe, the avocado should yield to gentle pressure. Cucumber imparts a exhilarating touch to the smoothie while lemon and lime juice adds some zing. With one sip, the heat of the sweet chili sauce is evident.  If you need a perk-up in your day, this will do the trick.  

Spicy Avocado Smoothie
Makes 2-3 glasses
  • 1 medium ripe avocado
  • 1/2 European cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons superfine sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup apple juice or mineral water
  • 2-4 teaspoons sweet chili sauce
  • crushed ice cubes
  • chili pepper for garnish
  1. Halve the avocado and remove the pit. Scoop the flesh from each half and transfer to a blender or food processor. Add the cucumber, citrus juices, superfine sugar and salt. 
  2. Process until smooth and creamy, then add the apple juice or mineral water and a little of the chili sauce. Blend to lightly mix.
  3. Pour the smoothie over the ice cubes. Decorate with the chili pepper and serve with stirrers and extra sweet chili sauce. Recipe adapted from 650 Cocktails and Drinks.

The black and white image of the spicy avocado smoothie is  my contribution to Black and White Wednesday #145 hosted this week by the lovely Cinzia, admin for Black and White Wednesday. Going strong since July 2011, BWW is the brain child of Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Prosciutto Fig Pizza with Arugula

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Sweet and salty marry well in this prosciutto di Parma fig pizza topped with peppery arugula and shaved Parmesan cheese.  The fig preserves are a tad sweet, but sprinkling some kosher salt over the preserves before topping with the mozzarella cheese tames some of the sweet. If you can't find the fig preserves, fresh sliced figs can be substituted. The pizza dough is easy to make and can be kept in the refrigerator for several days before using. In fact, I find the dough is more manageable and tastes much better than pizza dough used right away. 
 Proscuitto and Fig Mise En Place
Fresh Figs

Pizza is the theme for our We Knead to Bake Facebook group.  Aparna, our admin, broke her wrist and was unable to choose a bread for us to bake, so suggested pizza, sweet or savory as the bread for September. My pizza is a bit of both! Happy healing to Aparna and looking forward to October's bread. 

The pizza dough is my own creation, but the prosciutto di Parma fig arugula and shaved Parmesan topping is an adaptation from Ree Drummond's-The Pioneer Kitchen.

Pizza Dough

  • 1 envelope instant or rapid rise yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2/3 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. In a medium bowl, add warm water and sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the water , stir and let stand 5 minutes or until softened. 
  2. Stir in olive oil, flour and salt. Stir until dough comes together. Transfer to a lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Shape into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, about an hour. Alternatively, cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several days before using. Makes one large pizza or 4 pizzettes.
Proscuitto Fig Arugula Topping
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons fig spread
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 12 ounces fresh Mozzarella, sliced thin
  • 6 ounces thinly sliced Proscuitto di Parma
  • 1 bunch arugula, rinsed and spun dry in a salad spinner
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
To Make the Pizza
  1. Preheat oven to 500° F. Remove pizza dough from bowl. Transfer to a lightly floured surface. Divide into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a round. Transfer to a large parchment lined baking sheet. Brush each piece with olive oil. Divide fig spread among the 4 rounds. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
  2. Lay slices of mozzarella cheese over each round. Sprinkle lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake for 12-15 minutes in a hot oven or until crust is golden and cheese is bubbling.
  3. Remove from the oven and immediately lay the prosciutto slices over the hot pizza.  Just before serving, sprinkle on the arugula and shaved Parmesan. Serve immediately.
Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Black and White Wednesday #143-the Gallery

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Today's gallery has a happy mix of not only delicious soups, vegetables and pasta,but some lovely shiny tankards, teapots, coffee pots, wooden spoons and mugs. Thanks to all who contributed to BWW #143. Hope you all will contribute to the next edition of BWW. Simona of Briciole will be hosting BWW #144.

Curried Lentil Soup
Chef Mireille

Spicy Potato Stew with Cumin and Green Chiles
Sudha-Spicy, Quirky and Serendipitous

Nodi Knots-Handmade Pasta

Wooden Spoons from Dehellerin's
Lynne-Cafe Lynnylu

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Wooden Utensils From Dehellerin's in Paris-BWW #143

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An image of woolens spoons bought at Dehellerin's in Paris is my contribution to Cinzia's weekly black and white Wednesday gallery of which I am hosting.  Wooden utensils was shot with an iPhone 5 using Camera+. The images were then brought back into Photoshop CS6 and a levels and curves adjust made. Back to the phone using the Photo Transfer app and made into a collage with the Diptic app. Lastly, a filter was added with the app Jazz.

I look forward to your contributions to BWW #143

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Beachside Diner-Black and White Wednesday #141

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Seat Yourself, Honey

Shot on the fly while herding two very tired children back to the condo after spending nearly all day at the beach and then out at night to the amusement park nearby. I can't remember the name of the diner, but the mannequin hostess caught my eye. Image captured with iPhone in color and converted to black and white via Silver Efex Pro on my computer.

This image is my contribution to the 141st edition of Black and White Wednesday hosted by its talented creator, Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook. For rules and the host line-up, please visit Cinzia of CindyStar Blog who now expertly manages BWW.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Gadget by The Blog Doctor.