Kalyn's Kitchen

Weekend Herb Blogging #156 Recap and Three Years of Blogging About Herbs!

Weekend Herb Blogging Three Year AnniversaryIt’s time to finish up our week of celebrating the third anniversary of Weekend Herb Blogging. Earlier in the week, WHB fans left comments telling about their favorite herb, vegetable, and fruit, and three lucky commenters won a prize! Read about the prize winners and favorite herb, favorite vegetable, and favorite fruit choices which were announced earlier today.

Reading the delicious entries that have landed in my e-mail box this week definitely reminded me how I’ve met interesting people all over the world through Weekend Herb Blogging. Although witing this recap is my last official act as WHB boss, WHB will be continuing under the direction of the lovely and talented Haalo. You can find all the new WHB information at Haalo’s blog, Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once, including the rules, the list of hosts, and a new WHB archives for year four, starting next week. The past WHB information on Kalyn’s Kitchen will also remain in place, so you can also check there to find the links to Haalo’s info.

Now, let’s journey around the world and see what favorite herbs, vegetables, and fruits people have been using. Altogether it’s a wonderful collection of interesting dishes from all over the world, and a great party to celebrate three years of Weekend Herb Blogging.

Ambercup Squash/Winter Squash (Chili, Sage, Cinnamon)

Although he may have been slow to warm up to the idea of winter squash, now Jerry from Jerry’s Thoughts, Musings, and Rants says he loves it. This time he made Jamie Oliver’s Zucca al Forna, featuring roasted Ambercup Squash and delicious sounding seasonings.

Apples (Plums, Cinnamon, Rolled Oats)

Genie from The Inadvertent Gardener has relocated to California since she started herb blogging, and she’s loving the local produce that’s available. In an admirable display of portion control, when she found herself with some great local fruit recently Genie created Apple-Plum Crisp for One, a perfect breakfast.

Asparagus (Potato, Carrot, Chard, Garlic, Onion)

Doesn’t everyone love asparagus? Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe in Melbourne loves it now, although she remembers when asparagus was not so much in favor and gives an interesting history lesson about this year’s vegetable winner. I think Johanna has made perfect use of this delicious veggie in her Crustless Asparagus and Potato Quiche, as you can tell from that amazing photo of the finished dish.

Aubergine/Eggplant (Zucchini, Tomatoes)

In Crete, Maria from Organically Cooked has just seen the movie Ratatouille with her children, and as she has plenty of eggplants in her garden, she’s created a delicious Summer-Autumn Vegetable Stew. This dish is cooked all over Europe, and Maria has some intereting links to the various names for this combination of ingredients.

Carrots (Cashews, Rosemary, Black Sesame Seeds, Garlic)

A very interesting pasta dish was created by Tatiana in Italy, who has used carrots in a rustic sauce thickened with cashews and seasoned with rosemary and garlic. Tatiana finished the dish of Avalon’s Creamy Sauce with Carrots and Cashews with black sesame seeds, but she says you could garnish with chopped rosemary or cashews as well.

Cauliflower (Onions, Garlic, Rosemary, Aleppo Pepper)

Like many of us in the U.S., Laurie from Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska has developed a serious case of PESD (pre-election stress disorder) and has given up blogging until after the election. I am pleased that she did sit down at her computer long enough to share her recipe for Pasta with Spicy Cauliflower Sauce in honor of WHB’s third birthday. And as Laurie says, if you’re in the U.S., be sure to vote!

Chayote (Chili, Scallions, Ginger, Garlic, Cilantro)

I’ve tried most types of summer squash, but I’ve never tasted chayote, which Kit of Kits Chow in Vancouver is using in her delicious sounding Chayote Soup. I love the sound of the flavors in this soup, and there’s cilantro, so I’m guessing I’d give it a thumbs up!

I don’t think there have been many WHB entries about chestnuts through the years, but Chriesi from Almond Corner in Switzerland says roasting chestnuts is one of her favorite memory from childhood. In honor of the occasion, she has made a delicious Chestnut Cake, and if you’re a chestnut fan, you can find other ideas at this blog too.

Chickpeas (Lentils, Tomatoes, Chiles, Cilantro, many spices)

I was lobbying hard for chickpeas for favorite vegetable, and at Simply Innocence in Irving, Texas, Rajee has made a dish that would be perfect for me. Her Gujarati-Style Black and Yellow Chickpeas with a Spicy-Sweet Sauce feature black chickpeas, an ingredient I haven’t seen but would really love to try.

Chickpeas (Scallions, Lemon, Mint, Cilantro)

My own post for the anniversary edition serendipitously combined the three ingredients I was lobbying for: cilantro, chickpeas, and lemon, and I loved the resulting Indian Spiced Chickpea Salad with Yogurt, Lemon, Scallions, Mint, and Cilantro.

Chile Peppers (Ginger, Napa Cabbage, Onions)

Ning from Heart and Hearth in the Phillipines made a delicious Fresh Clam Soup, well seasoned with fresh ginger, garlic, and onion. However, it was the three fresh chile peppers that Ning included to symbolize the three years of Weekend Herb Blogging that gave this dish an extra kick!

Chile Peppers (Garlic)

Another take on hot chile peppers comes from Wandering Chopsticks in Southern California, who has certainly gotten my attention by making her own Tuong Ot Toi or Vietnamese Chili Garlic Sauce. Side-by-side photos with two different types of peppers show how you can vary the result if you’re a fan of this spicy sauce.

Cilantro (Ginger, Onion, Lime, Jalapeno)

The cilantro fans at Weekend Herb Blogging have been making each other drool for quite a while now, and I always seem to be drooling over the dishes from Pam at Sidewalk Shoes in Tennessee. This time she’s made a very tasty looking Hanoi Noodle Soup, garnished with plenty of cilantro, just like I like it.


Astrid from Paulchen’s Food Blog in Vienna has made a delicious veggie soup. To go with the soup, she remembers the soup crepes her grandmother used to make and creates Herby Soup Crepes with Cilantro, which go beautifully with her soup. The thin strips of crepe in the soup intrigue me, and of course I love the idea of crepes with cilantro.

Cilantro (Many vegetables and aromatics)

It’s getting cold in Michigan, and Mandira from Ahaar has a cough that needs some chicken soup therapy. Her Chicken Soup with Soba Noodles had so many delicious-sounding vegetable additions, but I definitely noticed that there was cilantro in there!

Dandelion (Persimmon, Medjool Dates)

There are always interesting looking dishes coming from the kitchen of Susan from Food Blogga, have you noticed? Susan gets amazing produce at her farmers market in San Diego, and her entry this week uses dandelion greens, combined very interestingly in Dandelion, Persimmon, and Medjool Date Salad.

Dried Beans (Thyme, Chili, Carrot, Onion, Potato)

At Blog From Our Kitchen in Toronto, EJM and her husband T are trying to eat more vegetables and less meat, so they’ve created a recipe for Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie. Of course my fondness for chickpeas is legendary, but I must say that everything about this sounds perfect to me, including EJM’s suggestion to be sure not to miss the thyme seasoning for the chopped beans and the onion gravy.

Figs (Hazelnut)
If you like figs even the tiniest bit, you’ll want to see the beautiful Fig, Hazelnut, and Chocolate Fudge Cake created by Anna from Morsels and Musings in Sydney, Australia. Anna has been enjoying both fresh and dried figs this year, and has a great-sounding recipe for fig jam too.

Ginger (Chile, Onion, Tomato, Shitake Mushroom, Sour Plums)
There are a lot of flavorings in Easy Steamed Fish, prepared by Wiffy from Noob Cook in Singapore, but I decided the ginger flavor would be essential to this dish so I’m putting it under ginger. I’d love to be able to transport myself to Singapore and taste this because I’m intrigued by sour plums as one of the ingredients, and the combination sounds delicious. (Wiffy is also the host for next week’s edition of WHB, so send her your entries at whb AT noobcook DOT com.)

Kabocha Squash/Winter Squash (Garlic, Onion, Coconut Milk)

A very interesting looking Filipino dish comes from Jude from Apple Pie, Patis & Pate in Chicago, along with more great photos on this blog. Ginataang Kalabasa or Kabocha Squash in Coconut Milk looks comforting and delicious, and this type of winter squash is one I’ve been really wanting to try.

Endive (Kale, Pear)

Nikki at Nik Snacks in North Carolina is imagining her perfect day, one which would feature Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Dusted Steak, Braised Belgian Endive, and Sauteed Kale with Caramelized Pears for lunch! Nikki says although her actual day was not perfect, she really did get to have that lunch, and the best part was the endive!


In Melbourne, our new Herb Goddess-in-Chief Haalo has another one in a long series of great WHB posts for us at Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once. This time Haalo has made Mango Pannacotta, in a post that starts out with one of her stunning photos of a cut mango, and equally gorgeous photos of the finished dish. Haalo says you can make this in 15 minutes, and your guests would definitely be impressed!

Mint (Apple Cider)

From Andrea’s Recipes in Virginia comes a recipe for Mint Apple Jelly that sounds like a great go-with for everything from toast to meat. Andrea is a skillful gardener as well as a cook, and I always enjoy seeing what’s coming from her kitchen, as well as being impressed with her canning skills.

Mint (Mango, Banana, Apple, Orange, Coconut, Lime, Cashews)

The Outspoken Female at Confessions of a Food Nazi in Melbourne is marking the changing season with Trans-Seasonal Fruit Salad featuring mint, something she loves in many dishes. I think the pairing of mint with lime and fruit is always exceptionally good, and this sound delicious.

Olives (Garlic, Lemon, Coriander Seed)

Because of Weekend Herb Blogging I feel like I’m able to learn things about worldwide food traditions I never would have heard of otherwise. This post from Ivy at Kopiaste in Cyprus is the perfect example of that; she shares how people in Cyprus prepare Green Olives (Elies TSakistes) by crushing them slightly, soaking in water for days to remove the bitterness, then marinating in flavorful aromatics.

Olive Oil

From Valsorda on the shores of Lake Garda in Italy, Brii from Briggis Recept och Ideer has given us a look at her olive grove and a delightful peek into the process of making olive oil. Brii has chosen to spotlight olive oil because it’s not only her favorite ingredient, but one she uses in nearly every dish.

Parsley (Tomatoes, Olives)
Pam from The Backyard Pizzeria in Australia says that her family is getting tired of cilantro, and that’s the only reason she’s using parsley in her dish of Mougrabieh Couscous with Tomatoes and Olives. Whether you use cilantro or parsley, this sounds good to me, and I’m impressed that Pam managed to get an herb, a vegetable, and a fruit, plus intrigued with the idea of cooking this type of couscous too.

Parsley (Leeks, Walnuts, Lemon)

Just as I’ve been very faithful to cilantro, Ulrike of Kuchenlatein in Germany has never wavered in her fondness for parsley all the years she’s been participating in Weekend Herb Blogging. I see her love is still true as she shares a recipe for Cheese Leek Quiche with Parsley Gremolata for the anniversary celebration. I love gremolata, and this sounds like a real burst of flavor on the quiche!

Pecans (Thyme)

Kim is learning to cook southern (U.S.) food for a year at A Yankee in a Southern Kitchen, and if you know anything about southern food, pecans are an essential ingredient. For the WHB anniversary edition, she’s found a lovely recipe for Thyme Toasted Pecans; this is something I’d love to try.

Pineapple Sage (Tomatoes, Rice)

Simona from Briciole in Northern California has returned from Italy with a new type of whole-grain Carnaroli rice that she’s used to make Risotto Integreale al Pomodoro e Salvia. If your Italian is rusty, thats Risotto with Tomatoes and Sage, or something close! Simona gives wonderful directions for risotto, including one tip I know I’ll be using, and don’t miss hearing her pronounce the name of the dish.

Pumpkin/Winter Squash (Carrots, Sage, Thyme)

I’m not quite sure where Beth is located now that she’s cooking in the (ex) Expatriate’s Kitchen, but she’s definitely loving pumpkin of all types and has a great list of pumpkin varieties to prove it. There’s also a wonderful sounding recipe for Pumpkin White Cheddar Soup that’s perfect for WHB year three, since it has pumpkin, apple, and thyme.

Pumpkin/Winter Squash (Cilantro)

When I retire from my teaching job, one place I’m already planning to travel is to northern California to visit Christine from Christine Cooks, someone I’ve been lucky enough to meet twice already. Christine knows my love of cilantro, and thoughtfully shared a recipe for Pumpkin Soup with Cilantro, as cooked by a local chef in her area. Sounds wonderful to me!

Pumpkin/Winter Squash (Vanilla pod)

Another blogger living near Lake Garda in the town of Bardalino, Italy is Cinzia from Cindystar. Cinzia loves pumpkin, and she shows it with her collection of carved squashes and a delightful looking creation of Pumpkin Creme Caramel that looks delicious!

Rau Ram (Many herbs, vegetables, and aromatics)

In Melbourne where Lucy writes the great blog Nourish me, the leafy herb called Rau Ram is often called Vietnamese Basil, but it can be called Vietnamese Mint, Vietnamese Coriander, or Laksa Leaf as well. I’ve tasted this once in San Francisco and loved it, and the delicious version of Laksa, but Lighter with Rau Ram that Lucy has created sounds amazingly good and full of interesting flavors.

Sage (Butternut Squash)

I agree with Chris from MeleCotte in Atlanta, who says she likes the word sage as well as the herb sage. This week Chris has combined sage with butternut squash for a delicious sounding Balsamic Roasted Butternut Squash and Sage Couscous that sounds delightful!

Savoy Cabbage

Sister bloggers TS and JS at [eating club] Vancouver have used potsticker filling to make a truly delicious sounding version of Stuffed Savoy Cabbage with Pork. There are great step-by-step photos of how they assembled and steamed this unique dish, which was a big hit with everyone who tried it.

Spaghetti Squash (Pumpkin Seeds, Herb of your Choice, Garlic)

In Cleveland, Ohio Yasmeen shares her healthy cooking at her blog Health Nut, and this week she’s made Spaghetti Squash with Pumpkin Seed Pesto. In this post she’ll tell you how to cook spaghetti squash, as well as why it’s such a healthy and delicious choice.

And that is a wrap for the Three Year Anniverary of Weekend Herb Blogging. Thanks again to everyone for your support over the last three years.
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    20 Comments on “Weekend Herb Blogging #156 Recap and Three Years of Blogging About Herbs!”

  1. Thanks for a lovely round up of such interesting recipes – WHB has surely opened my eyes to many superb and fascinating dishes and this round up is no exception! Congratulations on 3 good years!

  2. Kalyn, what a glorious bundle of recipes! It’s such a lot of work to host an event such as this and I’m thrilled by each and every entry. Are you feeling any better, I wonder?

    Congratulations! Put your feet up and rest knowing that Haalo will be a generous, warm successor. Thanks.

  3. Great round-up! Congrats on the 3-year anniversary! And WHB is still going strong. =)

  4. Everything looks so good!! I can’t wait to try just about everything here. Many thanks again, Kalyn! (I really don’t think we can thank you enough for keeping it going.)

    I’m sorry to see you stepping down as host but by the same token, I’m looking forward to Haalo’s continuation of your wonderful event.


  5. Thanks Kalyn for a wonderful spread of great dishes. And thanks for being such a gracious host and organizer for 3 years.

  6. Great round up! you are a great host!

  7. Great round-up Kalyn. That must have taken sooo much work! Happy 3-year anniversary!

  8. Another delicious round-up, Kalyn. And thank you for your kind words. Congratulations once again on WHB. You rock!

  9. Thanks Kalyn for all your efforts the last 3 years, you were a gracious host.

    And if you make your way to Northern Germay one day, drop me a line, it will be my pleasure to be your personal host.

    Ulrike from Küchenlatein

  10. I’m new but can’t wait to become a part of this wonderful community. Congrats Kalyn !

  11. kalyn…it is a pleasure beeing part of all this.
    thank’s for this wonderful round-up..

    have a nice week
    see you soon 🙂

  12. you’ll always be the herb goddess and i’ll miss the event residing with you.

    waiting to hear about your next big invention 🙂

  13. I really enjoyed this round up. Thanks for your kind words. Congrats on the 3 years milestone and best wishes for WHB! 🙂

  14. Kalyn, you’ve done a wonderful job with the roundup, as you do with all things. Thank you very much for all your hard work!

  15. that’s what I love most about WHB besides cooking with herbs: those wonderful roundups, that make you drool with every single entry!

  16. This is a fabulous round up! Thanks for all your hard work this time…and for the past 3 wonderful years. I love how I find new and exciting recipes to try every round up. My WHB bookmark folder is huge! Thanks again, Kalyn. 🙂

  17. Kalyn! It’s a beautiful round-up filled with such amazing recipes. I cannot WAIT to try so many of them, and plan to do so soon. Again, congrats on three years of goodness, and thank you for all your efforts to promote good and healthy food.

  18. Thanks for being a gracious host for the last three years!

  19. Thank you for the wonderful round-up! So many interesting dishes to try! Congratulations again for these successful three years! 🙂

  20. i wanted to participate this round but didn’t get a chance to do a write-up in time. congrats on three years of WHB!