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November 29, 2009 in 24x24, desserts, vegetarian15 comments

foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: girly cousins baking day! making grandma’s old world pastries

many miloste mingling merrily

Weddings. Baby showers. Christmas.

These are the some of the family gatherings where miloste, a Bohemian fried pastry, graced the banquet tables and spreads. Don’t bother googling; “miloste” is a phonetic spelling. We have no idea what the “real” name for these treats is. Hell, we usually call them “those fried things with beer in them and powdered sugar on top.” Read more on foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: girly cousins baking day! making grandma’s old world pastries…

foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: rhubarb — it’s not just for pie anymore

rhubarb salsa

Rhubarb with caramelized onions? Rhubarb salsa? Rhubarb and lentil potage? I can hear you now, the ornery ones of you that is: What the hell, woman…rhubarb’s for pie. Crisps. Crunches.

prepping peppers, onion, jalapeño, and cilantro for the rhubarb salsa

For April’s Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24 event, I decided to explore the savory side of rhubarb, since there’s a ton of it growing about 50 feet from my front door. As rhubarb is technically a vegetable/herb, why not try some recipes that utilize rhubarb as a vegetable?

chop the rhubarb for the salsa finely. you don't wanna crunch into a big honkin' piece of this stuff.

Hey, salsa has a tangy bite. I bet rhubarb could work in salsa. So I tracked down a viable candidate in The Joy of Rhubarb: The Versatile Summer Delight. It’s a classic Mexican salsa, with fresh cilantro, green onion (which made me happy; I can’t stand regular onions raw), lime juice, jalapeño for a bit of bite, barely-blanched rhubarb, and lots of sweet peppers and more sugar than salsa normally would have, to counteract the rhubarb’s bite.

colorful rhubarb salsa ingredients :)

Dad’s verdict? “It would be great on hamburgers. By the way, we’re having hamburgers tonight….” Subtle hint there, Dad. ;-) Yeah, he went home with some rhubarb salsa. Linda thought it had a bit of a bitter rhubarb taste to it and suggested more sweetener. I loved it. Fresh, crisp, clean salsa taste with the rhubarb adding uniqueness without overpowering it.

Overall verdict for rhubarb salsa: Two snaps up. Read more on foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: rhubarb — it’s not just for pie anymore…

September 27, 2009 in 24x246 comments

foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: summer’s last hurrah — a celebration of the garden’s final offerings

Do you enjoy reading Shiny Cooking? Me neither! Voting is open to all in the Foodbuzz food blog awards until September 30. If you like me, really like me, like Sally Field like me, you could toss a vote to Shiny Cooking in oh, the Best New Blog category. Or Best Writing Voice, or Blogger You’d Most Want to Whack Upside the Head. Voting is here.

chioggia beets, about to be rinsed and boiled

The end of summer is a bittersweet time for a vegetable garden. Many plants are ripe or ripening, while others still bravely put out blossoms, uncognizant of the coming frost that will put a halt to their reproductive attempts. Indeterminate tomatoes are the most tragic example of this, showing off their dainty little yellow flowers into October if weather allows.

Tomatoes are living proof of plucky optimism. “Winter is coming? I’ll believe it when I see it!”

In my garden still there are carrots, chard, overgrown bunching onions, zucchini, tomatillos, sweet and hot peppers, tomatoes, beets, cucumbers, baby watermelon, and a stalwart little eggplant.

For Foodbuzz’s monthly 24, 24, 24 event (24 meals by 24 bloggers in a 24 hour period), I chose to celebrate this last hurrah of the garden, at least in northern climes. The frost date for my area is September 25th, so the end of the month usually coincides with the end of the garden’s frost-tender plants, which is most of them.

The original plan was to host a meal. I know! I haven’t hosted a family meal at my place yet!

justin's 9th birthday party, opening presents

However, my nephew Justin’s birthday is September 25th, and Jennifer decided to throw his birthday celebration on the 26th — the day I was required to hold my 24, 24, 24 event. We decided I would provide several dishes based on summer’s last hurrah. Read more on foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: summer’s last hurrah — a celebration of the garden’s final offerings…

Foodbuzz 24×24: Don’t Get Chocolate on My Cards! Game Night Featuring Non-messy Finger Foods

tropical trail mix

Greetings and hello from the lovely planet Venus, where it’s cloudy and rains all the time. For our purposes, Venus is also known as Michigan.

For this month’s Foodbuzz 24×24 event, I hosted a Game Night — that’s with a capital G and N — and made oodles of easy-on-the-expensive-games snacks. I’m here to show you just how easy it is to have people over and serve amazing finger foods like tropical trail mix (above), asparagus frittata bites, blueberry-vanilla goat cheese on polenta dolce, cantonese roasted vegetables, and much, much more!

dishes carnage

Err…just try not to make these foods all at once. These dishes dirtied themselves for your benefit in testing all the recipes out. I wouldn’t recommending doing this all at once!

At the end of this post you’re also getting the easiest recipe of them all: tropical trail mix. Read more on Foodbuzz 24×24: Don’t Get Chocolate on My Cards! Game Night Featuring Non-messy Finger Foods…

October 5, 2010 in 24x249 comments

Foodbuzz 24×24: To the Land of Giant Pumpkins

laser carved pumpkin

Every month, Foodbuzz features 24 posts by 24 bloggers showcasing that month’s theme or simply a really cool meal. October’s 24×24 theme is the Kids Table. For my Kids Table meal, I took my sister, 8-year old niece, and 10-year old nephew to Johnson’s Giant Pumpkins, a farm that features lots of neat autumn-themed displays and activities. My post is in the form of a photo essay, so be prepared for a longish load time.


Lots of things to see and do at the pumpkin farm. This native American teepee was a lot bigger on the inside than it looked from the outside! Read more on Foodbuzz 24×24: To the Land of Giant Pumpkins…

January 24, 2010 in 24x24, appetizers, desserts, vegan, vegetarian5 comments

We love seaweed, yes we do

This was maybe 1/3 of the sushi we made

We love seaweed, how about you?

People were confused when I told them my aunt Linda and I would be making sushi for January’s 24, 24, 24 event. “Isn’t that raw fish?” they asked, knowing I’m not a huge fan of animal foods. Technically, sushi is rice that’s been specially prepared with vinegar and a little sugar, and topped with or rolled with…something.

nigiri sushi of brown rice with carrot on top, and pickled beet

It could be a shaped piece of rice with a slice of lightly steamed bias-cut carrot on top, tied with a scallion. This is nigiri sushi.

futo maki (big roll) of brown rice sushi with crab, scallion, tamago, and cucumber

It could be a fat roll of rice bound in nori (seaweed) and filled with imitation crab strips, tamago (japanese omelet), scallion, and cucumber. This is futo maki.

inside-out brown rice sushi with avocado, imitation crab, and pickled beets

It could be an inside out roll, with the rice outside the seaweed, all enveloping imitation crab, avocado, and pickled beets. This is uramaki. But everyone calls it inside out roll. ;-)

sweet nigiri sushi with kiwi and candied ginger

It could even be dessert.

Other forms of sushi include battleship roll (gunkan), which we didn’t make, temaki, which we didn’t make, and hosomaki, or thin rolls, which we did make, but I didn’t get any closeups of. Thin rolls use half a sheet of nori and are filled with only one or two ingredients besides the sushi rice.

what’s in this post, and what isn’t

Read more on We love seaweed, yes we do…