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Food Talk

Juicy Non-fiction For Lovers of Food

Written by Hannah of Rise and Shine.

In film, I love a good off-beat documentary. In books, I tend toward short stories and especially stories highlighting the humors of real life such as those written or edited by Ira Glass and David Sedaris. I am also, officially, obsessed with all things cooking and more recently baking. Which leads me to the goldmine in documentary short stories for foodies: the Best Food Writing series edited by Holly Hughes.

With a keen eye for fascinating topics, clever wit and brilliant writing, Holly has been gathering the best of the best stories and essays from food journals, books, newspapers, blogs and newsletters and compiling them into a roughly 350 page publication since the year 2000. The books are a recent discovery for me. I was hooked in 2010, have since read 2011, and am working my way back to the beginning (currently breezing through 2006).

Mumbai Street Food

Written by Ketaki of The White Elephant Cooking.

A great man once said “You have never really visited a country until you have tasted it’s food”. In a country as large and diversified as India it is more like “You have never really visited an Indian city unit you have tasted it’s food”. Every city has it’s own unique food and flavor.

When I think of my home town Mumbai and the foods that truly represent it are the Wada Pav, Pav bhaji and Mumbai Chaats. No trip to the city is complete without trying these foods. The delicious aromas get you salivating even when you just walk or drive past a street food vendor.

Please be careful while trying the food from road side carts and vendors in India. It is spicy with loads of chilies and various spices and may not suit everyone’s stomach.

Sourdough Starter: A Stand Alone Ingredient with a Place at the Table

Written by Rebecca of CakeWalk.

I am passionate about quite a few things in my kitchen, but nothing captures my heart quite the way that sourdough starter has. I grew my starter more than a year ago using grapes grown on my family’s rural Wisconsin property, and ever since I saw my first bubble, I began finding ways to use it in things other than bread.

Honestly, this quest to use up my discard starter really began because when it was a young starter, it wasn’t strong enough to raise bread. Out of my frustration and frugal mindset, I started finding ways to incorporate it in nearly every baking opportunity I could. At first, I used it up in things like pancakes and loaves of bread that also used commercial yeasts to help with a good rise. (I like to call breads that use both wild and commercial yeast breads “hybrids”, and they are still my favorite “quick” yeast breads; they are the ones I turn to when I don’t have the extra time needed to bake my favorite all-wild yeast sourdoughs.)

Cooking to Learn

Written by Ruth of The Crafts of Mommyhood.

I grew up in the kitchen. My mother cooked and baked all the time, and therefore my siblings and I did, too. I remember the excitement I felt one night when I was around nine years old and I was allowed to create my own dinner. While my rice, green pea and fish stick creation might not have been gourmet, it did show my comfort in the kitchen, and my desire to learn and create. What I didn’t know at the time, though, was that I was learning a lot more than what things tasted good together. (At least to me…!)

Now that I am a mother, I am seeing just how much there is to learn in the kitchen. True, my oldest is only two years old, but that doesn’t mean that she is too young to learn. The basic skills she is learning now will serve as building blocks for her as she grows, both in school and in the world.

So what are kids learning in the kitchen, other than how to make yummy food? Well, here are just a few of the lessons, life skills and habits you and your children can learn, all while having fun in the kitchen.

Homemade Gifts – Something for Everyone

Compiled by Ruth of Makey-Cakey

Homemade edible Christmas gifts are always a joy to receive, and knowing that someone has taken the time and care to make you something beautiful and delicious can be a welcome antidote to the over-commercialisation of Christmas that seems to be all around us.

However my enthusiasm for them conceptually is often outweighed by my lack of forward planning – I’m sure I’m not alone! Instead of busily preserving the best of the summer’s bounty so that come Christmas, I have a stash of nicely matured chutneys and jams to give, I generally find myself in late November with nothing more to show for my plans than a bookmarks folder on my laptop full of interesting pickles and a packet or two of labels and lids bought in optimism in August that this year would be different.

Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up

Compiled by Margie of more please

Your Thanksgiving menu probably includes the usual assortment of time-honored recipes, but just in case you’re looking for something new this year, we’ve compiled this selection of holiday recipes from our member Daring Bakers and Daring Cooks.

For most of us, the iconic turkey sits plump and proud at the center of the Thanksgiving table. That gorgeous bird pictured at left was brined in maple syrup and smoked to perfection over cherry wood. You can find the recipe for Maple Brined Turkey at Burp! including instructions for either smoking or roasting the bird. (Photo by Burp!).

We’ve got more turkey recipes below. Plus, you’ll find a festive assortment of side dishes, some traditional, some daring. Be sure to save room for dessert, because we’ve got quite a tempting array of sweet treats. Thank you to all the participating bloggers for sharing their holiday recipes and photos. Go ahead and scroll, then click through and try something new on your Thanksgiving table.

Springerle cookies

Written by Fabi of Fabs Food.

If you take a look at my profile you will see I was born in Montevideo (Uruguay) I came to Spain when I was 9 and always lived here, except for an Italian parenthesis that left an important background of feelings and memories in my heart… And in my tummy too!

Seriously, if someone is wondering why am I talking today about some old fashioned and very special German cookies (they date back to 14th century) the truth is I found them on the internet while I was searching for something else a couple of years ago.
I can’t actually remember what was I searching for, but when I discovered these amazing cookies it was one of those “Oh My God” kind of revelations. I knew I had to learn how to make them, so I got some molds and started my own personal training.

My first attempts were a disaster. Believe me, don’t try to make Springerle in summer. They will not dry properly and/or they will keep not the shape or the beauty and the details of the picture on top of them. And don’t try to make them if you’re in a hurry. These cookies need their time. But if you have a little patience you will get a beautiful reward.

Have Yourself a Supernatural Halloween

Written by Mandy of What the Fruitcake?!.

The hubby and myself have been watching “Supernatural” from season 1 and this has inspired the idea of a Supernatural Halloween.

Now, to be honest, I’m more of a Christmas girl, Halloween’s not exactly a big holiday where I’m from in South Africa, but here in Ireland it is definitely enjoyed.

Kids costumes start appearing in stores in September, along with shelves dedicated to ghoulish treats, either filled with something green and gross or at least shaped like something eerie. I could definitely get into it, probably moreso when we have kids. But for now I’ll have to enjoy Halloween as an adult. Hence a Supernatural theme seems fitting.

Baking with bananas

Written by Fabi of Fabs Food.

When it comes to baking, bananas are one of my favorite ingredients. They are delicious and versatile but bananas are not just simply good: they are actually good for us!

A banana has more or less like 100 calories per piece. They are very satiating and easy to digest when eaten as a snack.
Bananas are fat-cholesterol-sodium free and they contain, among others:
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), often called the “mood vitamin” because helps our brains and metabolism. Our body requires vitamin B6 to convert amino acid L-tryptophan into a neurotransmitter called serotonin.
Vitamin C (15% DRA) is a powerful antioxidant that boosts our immune system. It also helps regulate your blood sugar and grow and repair body tissue.

No Churn Ice Cream and Semifreddo

Written by Jenny of Cook Like Ina.

As Spring has sprung here in Australia, my mind wanders to food for the Summer months. Especially ice cream, now I love nothing more that dipping my spoon into a wonderful creamy ice cream, especially if I have made it myself. If you are like me and have a home ice cream churn that needs the main bowl frozen for 24 hours and don’t have the room in your freezer or who doesn’t remember to keep it in the freezer, then these recipes are for you.

There isn’t a custard in sight that you have to stand and pray over so it doesn’t become scrambled eggs, or the all day process of making a base then getting it cold in the fridge then churning it, then freezing it. Mind you I have made ice cream like that, and will probably do it again in the future when I am organised and have the time, but these recipes are for those of us that are time poor or who in the morning think, “gee I wouldn’t mind some homemade ice cream for dessert tonight”. These recipes are for you.

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