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Kalyn's Kitchen

Weekend Herb Blogging #41 Recap

It’s Weekend Herb Blogging time again, and this week there are lots of new participants, and some very interesting entries too. It’s been gratifying to see how people have accepted and supported the rules for Weekend Herb Blogging that I announced on Monday. I appreciate the efforts of everyone to make this event so unique and educational because learning new things each week is what makes Weekend Herb Blogging so much fun.

Be sure to read clear to the end of this post to see who will be hosting Weekend Herb Blogging next week. Now, let’s see what kinds of interesting herbs, plants, veggies, and flowers people have been writing about this week.

Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
Our very first herb blogger this week is a new participant, Rachelle from The Accidental Gardener. Rachelle subscribes to the same “recipes are just a guideline” philosophy of cooking that I do, and created a Polenta and Bean Casserole with Tomatoes, Cheese, and Cilantro that sounds yummy.

Toronto, Canada
Ruth from Once Upon a Feast has been cooking overtime this week. First she made Lamb Chop Summer Salad, perfect for South Beach Dieters, and loaded with herby goodness. Next Ruth explored barbecueing with herb skewers, using lemongrass and rosemary branches. Finally, as promised, Ruth shares the recipes for the sea bass kebabs and chicken kebabs that she cooked on her rosemary and lemongrass skewers, plus some tasty sounding salads too.

Trinidad, California, U.S.A.
A visit from her sister and brother-in-law to attend a local blues festival prompted Christine of Christine Cooks to prepare a very special sounding dinner. The main dish was a fabulous sounding Steelhead with Herbes de Provence and Fresh Basil, but Christine’s Mango, Cherry Tomato, and Mozarella Salad with Fresh Basil and her Blood Orange Vinaigrette and Balsamic and Blood Orange Reduction Sauce also sound amazing.

Washington, U.S.A.
A nicely-done post about the glories of basil came next, from another new herb blogger, Kitchen Queen, from the blog of the same name. This informative post gives information about the health benefits of basil, and also contains a recipe for Basil Pesto, used in a great sounding recipe of Pesto Pasta with Chicken. This is something I know I’ll be making.

North Carolina, U.S.A.
Again, a new herb blogger, this time JMom from In Our Kitchen, who writes a number of blogs and is involved in Lasang Pinoy food blog events. JMom has a great crop of beets in her family garden, and she uses the fresh beets to make Fresh Pickled Beets with Dill, which look gorgeous in the photo and sound like they would taste wonderful.

Melbourne, Australia
An excellent post about sage is the contribution this week from Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once, who tells us about some of the medicinal qualities of sage as well as the things that make it so wonderful for cooking. Then in a creative twist on a recipe that was part of her heritage, Haalo creates Quail Saltimbocca with Fresh Sage, and shares the recipe and some stunning photos.

Missouri, U.S.A.
A Fridge Full of Food is a new blog that I bet you’ll want to start reading if you haven’t discovered it yet, and Glenna is our next contributor, and another new herb blogger! She discovered Chimichurri Sauce at a local steak house, and she’s been making it ever since, to be used as a dipping sauce for bread as well as other uses. (There’s an interesting thread of comments here about whether chimichurri sauce can be frozen; anyone tried that?)

Melbourne, Australia
Mushrooming is one of the hobbies of Neil from Food for Thought, and he sends a very interesting post about Morel Mushrooms, particularly Morchella Elata, a black morel which grows in Australia. If all you can get are dried morels, not to worry, Neil shares a morel sauce recipe that has dry morels, shallots, butter, garlic, brandy, chicken stock, and cream. What’s not to like in that list of ingredients?

Davis, California, U.S.A.
In a post which seems to have started a dialogue among the women herb bloggers, Sher from What Did You Eat presents The George Clooney of Tomato Soups, also known as Perfect Summer Tomato Soup with Tarragon Sauce. If you don’t get what perfect soup has to do with George Clooney, either you’re a man or you need to read the comments on Sher’s post.

Buffalo, New York, U.S.A.
Another new herb blogger and relatively new food blogger is Mandira from the blog Ahaar, who has learned to enjoy pasta with Italian herbs rather than her native masala spice blends. Primavera means spring, and Mandira’s recipe for Pasta Primavera with Basil, Rosemary, and Parsley contains lots of delicious garden veggies and sounds like it would taste great.

Weimar, Germany
Inspired by the Indian women who make their own Garam Masala each day, Meeta from What’s For Lunch Honey has been experimenting with her own dried spice mixtures. In her post she shares how she dries her own herbs and then combines them to make her Italian herb mixture. I think this sounds like a wonderful way to save your herbs at the end of the summer.

Kronshagen, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
A truly unique entry for Weekend Herb Blogging comes next from Ulrike of Kuchenlatein, who shows us how she makes her own fresh soy milk. Ulrike also talks about the health benefits of soy products and the controversial use of genetically modified soy which is allowed in some countries.

Sydney, Australia
Talented cook Anna from Morsels and Musings has another delicious herby offering this week with her Italian Veal Roll with Basil. Besides the recipe, Anna gives a lot of interesting information about the varieties, origins, and uses of basil, so be sure to read all that if you’re a basil fan like me.

Southwest Coast of Florida, U.S.A.
Another new herb blogger (I keep saying that!) and possibly a new blog for some of you to discover when you read the great recipe for Asian Style Cole Slaw sent by Doodles, one of the three contributors of Peanut Butter Etouffee. I love the sound of this with green and red cabbage, bell peppers, carrots, green onions, and cilantro, and a spicy Asian style dressing.

Southern California, U.S.A.
Surfindaave of The Serendipitious Chef thinks the U.S. tomatoes don’t compare to those he’s had in other parts of the world, and he’s been on a quest to find a flavorful tomato for a few weeks now. He discovered heirloom tomatoes at the farmer’s market, tried four different kinds this week, and reports they are a big improvement over the other California tomatoes he’s had. To spotlight the flavor, he’s created Mixed Heirloom Tomato and Dandelion Salad, which looks gorgeous. (Correction added later: Surfindaave tells me in a comment that it’s only the Southern California tomatoes, which are bad, not all over the U.S. Anyone care to venture a guess why that would be?)

Sunnyvale, California, U.S.A.
I’ve never had any luck growing carrots, so I’m impressed the the lovely carrots that are coming from the garden of Strata from My Bay Area Kitchen. She says it’s the “fluffy” planting mixture she uses in her raised beds that let the carrots grow so well. Strata gives us a recipe for Summer Carrots with a Snap, a yummy sounding microwave recipe that features carrots combined with ginger, honey, and sesame seeds.

Istanbul, Turkey
Returning to Weekend Herb Blogging this week is Isil of Veggie Way, who sends another unique and very interesting entry with her recipe for Purslane Salad. I was very tempted to wander out into my weed-infested garden and take a photo of some purslane, which is widely considered a weed in the U.S., and I think Isil is correct that many people don’t know that this is edible. I have promised Isil that I’ll try making this wonderful sounding salad, especially since she has given so much great information about the nutritional value of purslane. Can’t wait to try it.

Iowa City, Iowa, U.S.A.
Genie from The Inadvertent Gardener has bounced back from her garden disaster with the black walnut trees, and she and Steve are still thinking of imaginative ways to use some of the green tomatoes from the plants that didn’t survive. This week they’re concocting bacon, spinach, and fried green tomato sandwiches with Lemon Basil Aioli. It took Genie three tries to perfect the aioli, but the final version looks fantastic.

New Jersey, U.S.A.
I love the way many of the Weekend Herb Blogging participants have become a kind of online community, visiting each other’s blogs and trying each other’s recipes. A few weeks ago Sher posted a recipe for Strata with Spinach and Gruyere. This week Gattina has given the recipe her own unique twist, turning it into Sher’s Strata with Fried Basil Leaves. Fried basil leaves! What could possibly taste better!

New York City, New York, U.S.A.
Another example of the WHB participants borrowing cooking ideas from each other comes from the kitchen of Paz from The Cooking Adventures of Chef Paz. This week, nursing a hurt foot, Paz has created an Easy Broccoli Salad which she found on the blog of Kel, another frequent herb blogger. Paz also includes information about why broccoli is so good for you, and a poignant story about why she wishes it was in vending machines.

Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
It’s incredibly hot in Washington D.C. and Christa from Calendula and Concrete doesn’t feel like being out in her garden where there’s not a drop of shade. Instead, she combines lemon basil, sweet basil, and lemons to create a very refreshing-sounding Basil Lemonade. What a great way to stay cool!

New York City, New York, U.S.A.
This week the Chocolate Lady from In Mol Araan is making sorrel soup, also called Shtshav, schav, or szczaw, and named for the amazingly flavorful sorrel which is the main ingredient. However, this is not just any sorrel soup, but Deconstructed Shtshav, where the soup is not thickened and the eggs are served on the side. Possibly a warmer weather version, which sounds delicious.

Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A.
My own post this week was about How to Cook Spagetti Squash as a Summer Squash and I shared the difference between winter squash and summer squash. If you have any spagetti squash in your garden, do pick a few green ones and give this a try.

That’s all the herb blogging for this week. Next weekend I’ll be taking it a little bit easy, and Weekend Herb Blogging will be hosted by the fabulous Paz from The Cooking Adventures of Chef Paz. She’ll be posting the Recap on Monday from New York City, but you still need to send her your entry by mid-afternoon on Sunday (New York Time). Send them to pazcooks AT yahoo DOT com.

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    12 Comments on “Weekend Herb Blogging #41 Recap”

  1. Another wonderful roundup Kalyn. Great recipes and great new blogs to discover. With all those fabulous herb-y recipes to make, I’ll never get to one of my own!
    Thanks again!
    Somehow George has just got to know how famous he’s become!;)

  2. Wow – the roundup is great. It seems like so many more people are participating and that’s wonderful. What a great way to learn about different herbs and different ways to combine the ones we’re familiar with.

    Thanks so much for the gargantuan effort.

  3. Great recap, Kalyn! Now I’ll have to follow all these links, especially the ones for basil. I have an abundance of basil and I’m running out of things to do with them.

    BTW, I tried the cucumber mint salad over the weekend, and it is so refreshing and delicious! Thanks again for reposting the recipe.

  4. your recaps are wonderful………so I’m going to leave you now and go check out the “George Clooney” soup….how could I resist
    Thanks Kalyn

  5. CookieCrumb, the participation has been pretty amazing, and I think having guest hosts has just made it better. And frankly, some of the guest hosts are putting me to shame with the amazing job they do with the Recap. Wonder why your dad’s tomatoes have tough skins? I’ve encoutered that on some varieties of yellow tomatoes.

    Neil, you’re welcome and hope the chicken was good.

    Meeta, thanks, and I thought there were especially good recipes this time.

    Gattina, have fun surfing.

  6. Kalyn, thanks for the wonderful recap! It will keep me busy this whole week; I’ve seen a lot of great posts and recipes!

  7. Hi Kalyn,

    Great recap! and thanks for sharing the recipes with us. As always a lovely hostess!

  8. You’re right, there is nothing not to like in my list of ingredients, I’m off to roast a chicken…

    Thanks for the recap.

  9. OMG, Kalyn, no wonder you’re sharing the load these days! What a fantastic turnout, and a great roundup by you.

    SDaave: My dad would sure like to set you straight on SoCal tomatoes, but then, his are homegrown in Escondido. (Tough skins, though!)

  10. Dave, who’s Jessica Alba? (Ok, just kidding.) About the tomatoes, go figure. I can’t imagine what it would be in Southern California, maybe someone else will venture a guess.

    Mandira, thanks for participating. It’s always fun to see what everyone has been cooking.

  11. Great round up Kalyn. This was my first time participation in Weekend Herb Blogging and I enjoyed reading the recipes. Thanks

  12. Nice recap, Kalyn! Every week some fascinating ideas (George Clooney soup?! Must be because I’m a man. Now Jessica Alba soup I could understand 😉 )

    Just a comment – the tomatos only stink in SoCal. I’ve had outstanding tomatoes all over the US, and the world for that matter. It seems to be a SoCal anomaly, which is what makes it so frustrating!