Food Talk

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.

Malaysian Desserts

Written by Jehanne of The Cooking Doctor.

Malaysia, Truly Asia. This slogan which is used extensively for Malaysian Tourism keeps conjuring to my mind every time I think of Malaysian food. A melting pot of multicultural backgrounds and heavily influenced by Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese and British colonisations, it is no surprise that the food scene in Malaysia is depicted as one of the best in the world. However, not many people outside Malaysia actually know much of Malaysian cuisine, let alone tasted the Malaysian desserts, so here I am with a bit of enlightenment for all of us, as in my humble opinion, the arrays of desserts one find in Malaysia is second to none.

Chai (Indian Tea)

Written by Michelle of Food, Football and a Baby.

A year and half ago, I was traveling in India. It was a cold January morning in Delhi, and my cousin and I had managed to snag a room in a beautiful guesthouse on the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus. As usual, we’d spent most of the night catching up with friends in the dhabas (street eateries) that JNU is rather rightly famous for, and we’d managed to crash into bed at around 3 AM. At 6.30 AM there was a knock on the door of our room. Bleary eyed, I opened the door to be greeted by a familiar, yet forgotten sight, the tea boy. ‘Chaaiya?’ he asks me, liltingly, with a question mark on noticing my sleepy state. After rubbing my eyes for a couple minutes, I realised what he was offering, and absolutely delighted, I handed over a few rupees, and grabbed a couple lotas (little steel tumblers) of steaming hot tea off him. As I sipped on that hot, sweet and fragrant liquid, I sat on my bed and regaled my (still sleeping) cousin with tales of that tea, and all my university memories that were inextricably bound up in them.

A Tour of Ireland’s Food Stops

Written by Jenny of Purple House Dirt.

Think that Ireland’s just a land of potatoes? You’d be wrong about that. Over the last decade, Ireland saw an influx of cash and cultures (owing to its great economy, which is sadly no more), and along with the changes came a new approach to Irish cooking. On a recent trip to the Isle, I managed to squeeze in some fantastic food experiences that I didn’t even know Ireland had.

In Dublin, we visited all of the typical tourist spots – Grafton Street, the Temple Bar, and the Guinness Factory – but one of the best meals we had there was at a little restaurant called the Winding Stair. In many ways, it was the best introduction to Ireland. Listed in the Good Food Guide (which is similar to the Slow Food Guides available in many countries), this tiny spot looking over the River Liffey was in fact at the top of a winding stair.

Challenge: Engage in Public

Written by Stephanie of Sustainable Cooking for One.

We’ve all heard that “the private is public”. But, have you ever heard the phrase used about the food we eat and the way it is regulated? As least as much as politicized topics like women’s rights, food is always crossing the borders between the private and the public spheres. While we often engage with it in the private sphere (the home, the mouth, the tummy) here on Daring Kitchen and our own individual blogs, I would bet lunch that fewer of us engage as actively with the public spheres, particularly the regulatory arena. My challenge to you, dear blog readers: comment on the mother of all governmental* blogs!

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Food Talk