Happy September, and We’re Still Cooking with Herbs, Plants, Veggies, and Flowers!
While I’m trying not to complain about the loss of summer, herb bloggers from other parts of the world are starting to celebrate the arrival of Spring. Once again, I’m so excited at the many wonderful entries I’ve received, from possibly a wider variety of locations than every before. This week it’s Weekend Herb Blogging #98, and we’re happily counting down until we get to week #104, the two year anniversary of Weekend Herb Blogging, October 8 – 14. I do have some plans in mind for the celebration, but right now all I’m going to say is that it will be double the fun of last year! As I traveled around collecting links to write the recap I noticed I’m not the only one really looking forward to the two-year celebration. Maybe I was just feeling nostalgic, but it was fun to see so many familiar blogs among the entries. It made me think about the comraderie of Weekend Herb Blogging, and how fun it is that we’re all on this journey together, learning about interesting herbs, plants, veggies, and flowers. Now, let’s see what people have been cooking.
Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.A.
Can you believe that Weekend Herb Blogging has traveled clear from Salt Lake City to South Africa! Our next entry comes from Timeless Herb Secrets, written by South Africa’s blogging herb man, DiDi Hoffman. He’s sharing his family’s favorite Arugula Spring Salad with Classic Vinaigrette, something I’d love to eat any time.
Vancouver, B.C., Canada
More eggplant, this time from Katerina at Daily Unadventures in Cooking who’s giving us a very delicious-looking and beautifully photographed Eggplant with Miso Sauce. Katerina happened to rediscover an old favorite cookbook along the way to this recipe, something that’s always fun. I also learned a thing or two about miso, something I’ve never cooked with and have been wanting to try.
Outside Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.
Another blogger who’s feeling the time crunch like I am is Chris of MeleCotte, who is adjusting to her demanding schedule as a new school administrator. She still manages to do a bit of cooking though, and made a lovely looking Chard and Roasted Pepper Frittate, which she’s sharing for WHB this week with great step-by-step photos of how she made it. Looks delicious; I love chard!
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
The next entry comes from Terry from Blue Kitchen, who I had fun meeting when I was in Chicago for the Blogher Conference this summer. Terry sends a very informative and entertaining post about Watercress Vichyssoise, which he was inspired to make by a famous bad-boy chef as well as a Weekend Herb Blogging regular who’s not a bad boy at all! (What a great writer Terry is; I always love to read his posts!)
Back with us after being on a herb blogging hiatus is Tigerfish from Teczcape, writing about long beans. Seems they’re not merely green beans that are long, who knew? Tigerfish is using her lovely beans to make Stir Fry Long Beans with Korean Dried Shrimps, which looks delicious and has another ingredient that was new to me, do check it out.
Next up we welcome a brand new herb blogger, who comes with an interesting recipe featuring a very unusual ingredient. Pamela from The Cooking Ninja not only sends lots of information about stinging nettles, she also shares a recipe for Soup d’Ortie or Nettle Soup. I’ve never tasted this plant, but the description makes it sound like something that would be definitely worth a try!
Kel from Green Olive Tree is now in living in Amsterdam, where she’s still finding unusual ingredients to cook with. This week it’s some amazingly colorful purple runner beans, which she is sorry to report turned an ordinary green when she cooked them.
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
At Food Lover’s Journey, Anh reports her recent fling with chocolate has got to end and she is in need of some vegetables. Always creative in what she cooks, Anh uses wonderfully-fresh looking baby leeks and comes up with Leek Vinaigrette with Eggs Mimosa and Pistachio. Don’t miss the photos of the leeks, just wonderful!
Kevin from Closet Cooking has been making some very tasty looking salads recently, and here comes another one for his Weekend Herb Blogging entry. I think the flavor combinations in Melon Salad with Proscuitto and Goats Cheese are simply brilliant; check it out and see if you agree.
Southwestern Virginia, U.S.A.
Sue from Coffee and Cornbread has discovered it’s still possible to blog even if you spill coffee all over your keyboard, but it’s definitely more challenging! Luckily for us Sue was up to the challenge, so she still managed to share her wonderful sounding recipe for Watermelon Salad with Feta, Pine Nuts, and Basil. More great flavor combinations, if you ask me!
Iowa City, Iowa, U.S.A.
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Another creative recipe is up next from Erin at The Skinny Gourmet, who conspired with her friend Natalya to create Artichoke Dip a la Natalya. When you read the list of ingredients, you’ll see how this couldn’t possibly taste anything but great, and while you’re there, read about the huge adventure Erin’s just about to embark upon.
Sao Paulo, Brazil
There’s nothing I love more than a good Greek Salad, and the Almost Greek Salad created by Patricia from Technicolor Kitchen sounds like a very delicious variation. Head over to Technicolor Kitchen to see what changes Patricia has made to the traditional version; then decide where in the world this salad should be living.
New Jersey, U.S.A.
Cate from Sweetnicks is settling into her new house and getting ready to celebrate The Husband’s birthday, an event that he thinks should last all week long. No problem though, Cate is ready for him with a wonderful recipe for Fresh Homemade Salsa, as well as a couple of other great sounding recipes in this post.
Another WHB regular who’s an amazingly creative cook is Virginie from the vegan blog Absolutely Green. This time Virginie is using barley grass juice, along with some other tasty-sounding ingredients, to make Tonic and Salted Milkshake with a Barley Grass Flavor. (There’s also a secret ingredient which is dear to my heart, so I’m ready to have some!)
Another new herb blogger is joining us this week from the blog Coffee and Vanilla, which has the most beautiful photos in the header. Margot has made Sundried Tomato Pesto Tart with Mushrooms and Onions, which looks beyond delicious in the photos. (There’s another secret ingredient here too, and this is one I’m dying to try!)
I’m hoping Jennifer from Like to Cook can inspire me, because she didn’t use to like baking bread, and now she’s turning out wonderful looking treats like Foccacia with Tomatoes, Onions, Thyme and Goat Cheese. And the thyme is from her garden too; don’t you think that sounds delicious?
Heart of the Vendee, France
More pizza comes next from very talented cook Katie from Thyme for Cooking, who’s also next week’s host for WHB. Katie needed a reward after an unfortunate experience, which I’m definitely going to let her tell you about herself. Not to worry though, all is well now and her Pizza with Proscuitto and Mozarella looks like it could definitely make you feel better.
Next comes another talented cook who is introducing us to an ingredient I’ve never heard of as well as one I’ve been longing to try. Be sure to read this post to hear how Haalo from Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once started out to make Jeweled Amaranth with Barberries, which she had in mind as a side dish. However, this dish had a mind of its own and morphed into a yummy looking treat for breakfast.
I am doubly impressed by this next entry from Zorra at Kochtopf. First, I am impressed that she’s growing an avocado tree, even if she doesn’t have any avocados yet. Second, I am impressed that she was willing to try just a bit of cilantro in her recipe for Guacamole, and even though she’s not a cilantro fan, she reports it was not too bad.
Kronshagen, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
Another blogger who always impresses me is Ulrike from Kuchenlatein. I’ve been impressed with her bread-making skills for a long time, and now she is making her own pasta too! Check out her delicious-sounding recipe for Homemade Tagliatelle with Salmon in Pea Mint Sauce (and even if you have to buy your pasta, I bet it’s still great.)
Country Victoria, Australia
It’s spring at the home of Pam from Backyard Pizzeria, and she has oranges growing on her tree! Pam sends us a delightful sounding recipe that she meant to be Rosemary Orange Mustard, but since her oranges were rather juicy it turned out to be Rosemary Orange Mustard/Marinade. When you read the ingredients I think you’ll agree that this sounds perfect as a marinade or a mustard, and I love the combination of orange and rosemary.
Sta. Rosa, Laguna, Phillipinees
Another very interesting entry from Our Taste of Life, and I’m guessing that when you read this one you’re going to learn something new when Sherra tells you about a type of chili that grows in the Phillipines. Sherra has used the local “siling labuyo” chile to make her own Sweet Chili Sauce which sounds like it would taste great on lots of different things!
Bloomington, Indiana, U.S.A.
Eggplant may have been the recipe of the week, and next we have a very interesting recipe for a Turkish roasted eggplant salad from Burcu of Almost Turkish Recipes. I’ve decided that I love Turkish food, because everything Burcu makes looks delicious to me, and this recipe for Thracian Roasted Eggplant Salad looks amazing. Besides eggplant, Burcu says the salad must have parlsey, peppers, tomatoes, and vinegar, but you can vary the proportions to your own taste. (Visit Burcu to see the name in Turkish!)
Davis, California, U.S.A.
If you’ve been following Weekend Herb Blogging for even a while, surely you’ve realized that Sher from What Did You Eat has the same tastebuds that I do! Not only are we both stark raving mad over cilantro, but everything else Sher cooks looks wonderful to me too. This time it’s her Shell Bean Salad that has me drooling, with lots of parsley co-starring with the cilantro and several yummy types of beans. (Sher, please come to Utah and cook for me for a few weeks. Remember, I do have that new sofa bed!)
Westchester, New York, U.S.A.
I know I keep saying it, but here comes another talented cook! This time it’s Rinku from Cooking in Westchester, who has a great-sounding recipe for Spicy Chicken Stew with Rosemary. I think there are so many great-sounding flavors in this recipe; you must visit Rinku to see the recipe so you can imagine how good this must taste.
Soddy Daisy, Tennessee, U.S.A.
Another teacher who is adjusting to the realities of school is Pam from Sidewalk Shoes. Even though Pam hasn’t been cooking as much as she’d like the last few weeks, her herb garden is positively flourishing. As soon as she gets back in the rhythm of school she has a great selection of herbs waiting for her, and she’s sharing some wonderful photos to inspire those of you who haven’t yet ventured into growing your own herbs.
Another new herb blogger, welcome to Zoe from a charming blog called Puku (read her about to see what that means!) I love all the ingredients in her Snow Pea, Tomato, Avocado, and Fetta Salad, so this sounds like a complete winner to me. And I couldn’t agree more with the comment Zoe makes in her introduction to the recipe when she says this about Weekend Herb Blogging: “one of the reasons food blogging is so much fun… a big, warm community.”
Even Tinier Town, Columbia River Valley, U.S.A.
Get the birth announcements ready, because we are celebrating the arrival of a brand new blog! The talented Beth of KitchenMage has honored us by sharing one of the very first posts on KitchenMage’s Herb Garden, a blog I know many of you will be interested in. Check out her recipe for Three Tomato Pasta, with arugula and basil, plus the most adorable baby tomatoes you’ve ever seen, then stay tuned for more about herbs.
San Francisco Bay Area, U.S.A.
My mouth was watering when I read this entry about capers from the charming blog Briciole. written by Simona, who’s Italian but living in the U.S. Simona is using the capers in one of her Pate de Olive which is one of her husband’s favorite things to spread on bread. I’ve already saved this recipe to try, and be sure to listen to Simona saying the name in Italian when you check out the recipe.
Next comes a delicious entry with a delightful sense of humor from Sophie at Mostly Eating. She’s posted a cheese sandwich, and if you remember the Cheese Sandwich Uproar, you know how boring some people might think that is. Well trust me, this Ricotta, Courgette, Lemon, and Mint Summer Sarnie doesn’t sound the least bit boring; what a great combination!
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Didn’t I tell you that eggplant was the ingredient of the week! Now we have another positively intriguing recipe using eggplant in a Moroccan dish. Sarah from What Smells So Good is sending us Kamfounata, a dish similar to ratatouille which has cumin as one of the main seasonings. This sounds fantastic to me, and there’s lots of good information about Cumin too.
New York City, New York, U.S.A.
The Chocolate Lady from In Mol Araan has discovered that one of the most interesting things about being a CSA subscriber is that you will get produce you’ve never tried before coming in your weekly vegetable delivery. This week she has gotten some fresh edamame on the vine, which is completely new to me. Anyone know whether you can use the leaves or stems for anything?
Someone who always does an outstanding job with her Weekend Herb Blogging posts is Anna from Morsels and Musings. (I’m always joking that I would have loved to have had her for a student!) This week is no exception as Anna has cooked a wonderful looking Green Olive Crusted Veal. Whether or not you are someone who eats veal, you must visit this post to see theinformation about how olives are grown and types of olives. Very enlightening and informative Anna, first rate as usual.
Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A.
My own post was part of How to Use Garden Tomatoes Week, a series of ideas I shared about how I’m attempting to use the tomatoes from my seventeen tomato plants! Be assured I’m giving some tomatoes away, but I’ve also been making a lot of slow roasted tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato salads. For the WHB post I got inspired by Christa’s roasted tomato sauce, and without a shadow of a doubt, this Roasted Tomato, Italian Sausage, and Basil Sauce for Pasta was the best tomato sauce I’ve ever made.
That’s it for this week, and what a great collection of recipes it is. Now I’m heading into the kitchen to make two more batches of slow roasted tomatoes, plus a couple of other recipes I’ve had my eye on that I can take for lunch this week. Happy Labor Day to everyone in the U.S.