Thursday, June 30, 2016

Invitation: Mezedakia on Cephalonia with #BookClubCookbookCC

Here we are at the final #thebookclubcookbookCC event. Final. Can you believe it??


It's hard to fathom that our year-long journey to explore - and cook from - The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp* is drawing to a close. Judy, Vicki, and their publisher, Tarcher-Penguin, provided the hosting bloggers with copies of the book plus copies to giveaway each month of the project. We are so grateful for their generosity over the past year.

This month I have selected Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernières. The book was also made into a movie, starring Nicholas Cage and Penelope Cruz. I highly recommend both the book and the movie.** The Book Club Cookbook includes a recipe for Spankopita which I am sharing below, but feel free to cook anything that intrigues you be it something Greek or Italian. I, myself, might just have to make an entire tray of mezedakia (Greek snacks) for this event!

How to Participate
1. Draw inspiration from the chosen recipe(s).
2. Blog about it! It doesn't have to be a lengthy post. Just share your dish.
3. Include a link back to the hosting blog (that's me!) - Culinary Adventures with Camilla - somewhere in your post. 
4. Include a link back to this invitation.
5. Your post must be current (during July 2016). And, of course,we don't mind if your post is linked to other events. The more, the merrier.
6. Email your entries to me at: constantmotioncamilla[at]gmail[dot]com and include: 
  • Your name
  • Your blog's name and URL
  • The name of your dish and the permalink to the specific post you're submitting
  • Attach a photo of any size (or just give me permission to"pull" one from your post)
  • Indicate #thebookclubcookbookCC in the subject line

Deadline for submission is: Friday, July 29th. Watch for the roundup to be posted shortly after this deadline...along with the winner of the cookbook.

Spankopita makes 5 dozen triangles
reproduced with permission

Ingredients
  • two 10-ounce packages frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 bunch (6 to 8) scallions
  • 1-1/2 C butter
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbed
  •  12 ounces (1-1/2 C) small curd cottage cheese
  •  8 eggs
  • one 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound phyllo dough

Procedure
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Thaw the spinach and drain in a colander. Taking a handful of spinach at a time, squeeze out all moisture. Roll spinach in a clean dish towel and wring dry. Place in a large bowl.

Chop the green and white parts of scallions separately. Melt 2 T of butter in a skillet and saute the scallion whites until soft, approximately 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in scallion greens. Add to the spinach along with the feta and cottage cheese.

In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat the eggs briefly. Add the cream cheese and continue to beat until smooth. Add to spinach mixture.

Stir in 3 T melted butter. Add salt and pepper to taste (take care with the salt as feta cheeses vary in their saltiness).

Prepare a clean work surface. Keep a bowl of melted butter handy at all times. Cut the phyllo lengthwise into 3 equal strips, approximately 3" wide. While making the spanakopita, always keep the phyllo covered with plastic wrap or damp dishcloth to prevent drying.

Remove one strip of phyllo, place on work surface, and brush well with butter, using a pastry brush. Place a teaspoon of filling near the bottom of the strop and fold one corner up to meet the opposite edge, making a triangle. Continue to fold the triangle, edge over edge like a flag, to the end of the strip. Place seam-side down on a sheet of aluminum foil. Repeat this process with remaining phyllo strips. Nestle finished spanakopita together in squares. As you fill a sheet of foil, brush the tops of the spanakopitas with butter and cover with another sheet of foil. Spanakopitas may be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen until ready to cook.

Place spanakopitas on an ungreased baking sheet and bake 20 to 25 minutes, until puffy and golden. Serve warm.

Giveaway
This month Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla, this month's host, is giving away two copies of the book.* Enter to win a copy of the cookbook!

TWO of our lucky readers - US and Canada only! - can enter to win a copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy of Tarcher-PenguinGiveaway runs from July 1st till July 31st at 6 o'clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Disclosure: Camilla received a complimentary copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp as an opportunity to give two copies away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.

**This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.


 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Cold Avocado Yakisoba with Chili-Kissed Ahi #sponsor

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of JSL Foods (Fortune Noodles). All opinions are my own.

When I received an email from JSL Foods, inviting me to create either a cold noodle salad recipe or a noodle stir fry recipe using their Fortune Noodle products, I was excited. They were looking for easy-to-(re)create recipes that are delicious and great for families.

And we love noodles. So, I was eager to take part in their Fortune Asian Noodle Blogger Recipe Challenge. You can read the rules: here. In debating between their udon and yakisoba noodles, I picked the yakisoba.


photo courtesy JSL Foods

A few notes about the noodles...

Check for the noodles at these retailers - Shaws, Star Market, Jewel, Albertsons, Randalls, Stater Bros, Safeway, Lucky's, Food Maxx, Food 4 Less, Savemart, and Bashas. And you can find JSL Foods on facebook and on twitter.

The Fortune noodle brand is symbolized by a laughing Buddha.  In Chinese culture, the laughing Buddha heralds luck and joy.  

Fortune noodles are pre-cooked and available fresh in your grocer's refrigerated produce section. So, they are easy to use; you can serve them straight from the package with their seasoning packet or experiment with a recipe of your own.

I'm sure it's no mystery what I did. I used the noodles as a blank canvas to create an Asian-inspired recipe with a California twist.

This recipe is quick and, after a long day of summer vacation adventuring, this can be on the dinner table in less than 20 minutes. With fresh herbs and a kiss of chilis, this is delicious. And, with the seared ahi, it's a hearty plate to satisfy those hungry bellies!

Ingredients serves 3

Noodles
  • package of yakisoba noodles (prefer Fortune Noodle Yaki-Soba)
  • boiling water

Sauce
  • 3 ripe avocados
  • juice from 1 organic lemon, approximately 2 T
  • 1 t soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/2 t sesame oil
  • 1 t olive oil + more as needed
  • 1 t fresh cilantro
  • 1 t fresh parsley
  • freshly ground pepper

Seared Ahi
  • 1 lb sashimi grade ahi tuna
  • 1/4 C soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 1/4 C canola oil, divided in half
  • 1 fresh jalapeno, thinly sliced on the bias
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed and minced
  • 1 pinch red pepper chili flakes

For Serving
  • sesame seeds
  • freshly ground pepper
  • chili paste

Procedure

Noodles
Blanch noodles in boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes, then cool noodles down with cold water. Drain completely.

Sauce
Place cilantro, parsley, and olive oil in a food processor or blender. Pulse until a smooth paste forms. In a large mixing bowl, mash avocados with lemon juice, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Stir in herb paste and season to taste with freshly ground pepper. If the sauce is too thick, thin it with more olive oil or water.

Seared Ahi
In medium mixing bowl, whisk together tamari, sesame oil, half of the canola oil. Stir in jalapeno slices, crushed garlic, and chili flakes. Lay ahi steak in the marinade for at least 5 minutes per side.

In a large, flat-bottom pan, heat the remainder of the canola oil. When the oil is hot, sear the ahi filet on all sides. I usually do it for 30 seconds per side, but you can do it for longer if you prefer it cooked more. We like ours pretty rare. Remove the ahi to a cutting board.

For Serving
Toss your drained yakisoba noodles in the avocado sauce. Place on individual serving plates. Slice your seared tuna across the grain at a slight diagonal. Slice into 1/4" thick pieces by pressing down on the fish and dragging in one, fluid stroke. Don't saw!


Place tuna slices on top of the noodles. Dot each slice with chili paste. Garnish with sesame seeds and freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.

*Disclosure: I received product for free from JSL Foods, the sponsor of the Fortune Asian Noodle Blogger Recipe Challenge. I agreed to use this product to create an original recipe and post the recipe on my blog for their contest.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Pop-Up Brunch with Chef Brad Briske

Some kids have favorite actors, athletes, and musicians. Mine have a favorite chef: Chef Brad Briske of La Balena and Il Grillo


So, when I saw that Brad was going to be a guest chef at the Scotts Valley farmers market pop-up brunch (click for the pop-up brunch series), I bought tickets immediately. Unfortunately, Jake was wrapped up with the house remodel and under the gun with his deadline. So, he didn't get to come with us. I let the boys invite a friend instead.




POTATOES SAVORY AND SWEET
potatoes, peavetta, golden raspberries, and herbs


STRAWBERRIES AND CHOCOLATE
Live Earth Farm strawberries with Ashby Confections’ chocolate


PORCHETTA BRUSCHETTA
Companion Bakeshop open-face sourdough, Fogline Farm pig, fried egg, greens and honey




SWEET FINISH
plum tart, almonds and lavender syrup


As always, Brad and his dishes delighted all of our senses. Everything was delicious, beautiful, and perfectly in season.



Here are my happy boys. They had a blast!


And so did I. We love Chef Brad!!

Torta di Prugne {Gluten-Free} #FoodNFlix


Food‘nFlixThis month Evelyne from CulturEatz is hosting Food'N'Flix. Here's her invitation. She invited us to watch I am Love.*

On the Screen...
I am shocked that this movie has never made it onto my to-watch list.I will watch anything set in Italy. Seriously. Anything. And if it's actually in Italian, even better!

It's actually a hilarious phenomenon. No matter how long it's been since I left Rome, if I watch a movie in Italian, I begin to think in Italian for several hours; I often try to speak to my family in Italian for a spell, too. My boys just shake their heads and wait till it passes.

I am Love is about the Recchi family whose matriarch is Emma (played by Tilda Swinton), a transplanted Russian who, as she admits, ceased being Russian when she married Tancredi Recchi and moved to Milan. In fact, she admits that Emma isn't her real name; it's the name her husband gave her. She says she  doesn't even remember her birth name, but she recalls that they called her Kitesh.

There is so much to say about this dramatic, tragic love story. There is so much I adored about it - the scenery, the language, the acting, the music - but I don't want to spoil it for you. Let's just say that, within the framework of the Recchi family story, there is sex, love, death, and food. And there's lots of the latter considering one of the characters is a chef.

Antonio prepares eggplant and elderflower when he talks about opening his own restaurant at the remote property his family owns in Sanremo. When Emma dines at the restaurant he runs for his father in Milan, he prepares prawns in ratatouille for her. Though there are no words in the scene, you see that she is positively seduced by the dish. And, then, there's the dish that unravels it all. It's the Russian dish that Emma had shared with Antonio: Ukha, a clear soup made with lots of different freshwater fish. 

If you're wondering about the title of the movie, you're not alone. I did some research because I was perplexed myself. When Emma is in bed with her husband, they are watching Philadelphia and Maria Callas is performing an aria 'La Mamma Morta' (the dead mother).

Voce piena d'armonia e dice
Vivi ancora! Io son la vita!
Ne' miei occhi è il tuo cielo!
Tu non sei sola!
Le lacrime tue io le raccolgo!
Io sto sul tuo cammino e ti sorreggo!
Sorridi e spera! Io son l'amore!
Tutto intorno è sangue e fango?
Io son divino! Io son l'oblio!
Io sono il dio che sovra il mondo
scendo da l'empireo, fa della terra
un ciel! Ah!
Io son l'amore, io son l'amor, l'amor. 

The final line is: I am love, I am love, love.

Next month, Elizabeth at The Lawyer's Cookbook is hosting us as we watch Popeye.* That's another new-to-me movie. Hope you'll join us.


On the Plate...
I was intrigued by the ukha, but I really wanted to make something more Italian. And I decided to make an Italian plum tart because I had made a plum jam last night and the color reminded me of love - the passionate, all-consuming, messy kind of love. The jam was a brilliant garnet shade with dueling highlights of red and purple. Does it sound crazy to think that emotions have color? I'm weird like that.


Ingredients
  • 1 C butter
  • 1-1/2 C gluten-free flour blend
  • 1/2 C ground almonds
  • 2/3 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 to 5 T plum jam (recipe to come)
  • roasted plums (click for my recipe) to create a layer over the jam


Procedure
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place flour, ground almonds, sugar, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. With your hands, press the butter into the flour, flattening the cubes into flat leaves. Add in the eggs and press together gently to form dough. Press two-thirds of the dough mixture into an 8" square pan.


Spoon jam over the top of the dough and spread over the surface. Lay roasted plums on top of the jam. Crumble the remaining flour mixture over the top.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the top is golden and firm. Let cool slightly before you slice and serve.


*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.

Sherry-Vanilla Bean Roasted Plums


With my bounty of plums from our friends, I decided to roast a pan-full. It's a simple preparation and you can use them in a multitude of ways. Or you can just put them on top of plain yogurt for a delicious semi-sweet treat.



Ingredients
  • 12 plums, halved and pitted
  • 2 T honey
  • 2 T sherry
  • 3 whole vanilla beans, sliced lengthwise
  • Also needed: parchment paper

Procedure
Heat oven to 375°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Lay plums, cut-side up, on the paper. Place vanilla beans on top of the plums. Drizzle with honey and sherry.


Roast for 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in syrup. Reserve the syrup for homemade sodas or cocktails.

*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Bleu Pig Potato Waffles {Gluten-Free} #SundaySupper


Waffle Mania!
Since June 29th is National Waffle Day, the Sunday Supper tastemakers are kicking off the week with a huge waffle party! Although waffles have been around for nearly seven hundred years, the first American patent for a waffle iron wasn't issued until the late 1800s. Sue from A Palatable Pastime has rallied us to celebrate all things waffle. She invited us to make anything in the waffle iron from sweets to savories and everything in between. 

All the Waffles
Sweet and Sinful:
Savory Brinner Winners:


My Waffle...
I'm sure it's no surprise to anyone that I opted to make a savory waffle. I've made my share of sweet Dragonfruit Waffles to my Rhubarb Waffles and from my Olive Oil Waffles to my Coconut Milk Waffles. For Waffle Week last year, I shared Waffled Polenta Crisps with Caponata; and I've made Chicken and Mashed Potato Waffles for another event. But this time, the Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf said we should make waffles with bleu cheese and bacon. That sounded like a plan. He adores bleu cheese...and who doesn't love bacon?!?

To make them even more bluish, I used a mixture of baby potatoes, including purple potatoes.


Ingredients
  • 2 C mashed potatoes
  • 2 T butter
  • 1/3 C gluten-free flour (use regular flour if you wish)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 to 1/2 C milk
  • 4 to 6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled + some for garnish
  • 3 T crumbled bleu cheese + some for garnish


Procedure
Heat the waffle iron to its highest setting. In a large bowl, mix together the potatoes, butter, egg, and milk. Gently fold in flour, bacon and bleu cheese. The potato batter will be a soft and sticky dough.


Place a scoop in the center of your very hot waffle maker and close the lid. Cook for a few minutes until crisp on the outside, about 3 to 4 minutes. Repeat with remaining potatoes.

To serve, top your waffle with more crumbled bleu cheese and some crumbled bacon.

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.

Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It's easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Plum Polenta Cake {Gluten-Free}


Earlier this week, friends of our who are out of town asked if we could pick their plums, water some plants, and pick up the mail. The boys - and my parents - were game and off they went. They came home with so many plums yesterday. So, I started off with a plum-polenta cake for breakfast this morning. We're still debating on jam versus chutney and shrub versus liqueur. I'll keep you posted.


Ingredients
  • 1/2 C  butter, softened + more for greasing the pan
  • 2/3 C organic granulated sugar  
  • 1/4 C honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 C coconut milk
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1-1/2 C gluten-free flour (I used a mixture of rice flour, brown rice flour, and coconut flour)
  • 3/4 C yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 C corn kernels
  • 10 to 12 small, ripe plums

Procedure
Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Butter a baking dish; I used a 9" square dish. Slice your plums in half, or quarters, and remove the pit. Place the plums in the bottom of the dish and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar together until lightened and fluffy. Fold in the honey, eggs, and coconut milk. Gently fold in the salt, flour, cornmeal, and baking powder until just moistened. Stir in the corn kernels.

Spoon the batter over the plums and place in the oven. Bake until set and beginning to brown, approximately 35 to 40 minutes.

Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve hot.

The #GuacSquad12 and the Guac-Lock™ by Casabella #sponsor #ad

Remember when I wrote about our upcoming blogging event: #GuacSquad12? Click to read details about the event, see who's participating, and meet our sponsors: here.

We've timed our #GuacSquad event with the release of a brand new product from one of our event sponsors: Casabella. The product is the Guac-Lock™.

All of the participating bloggers will be posting their own reviews of the product along with a creative twist on guacamole. And...we will be giving away TWELVE Guac-Locks™ during the event. Yes, twelve. A dozen of our lucky readers will be able to try the Guac-Lock™ for themselves.

I can't wait. Until then, check out the video below to find out more about the Guac-Lock™.

 

Find...
Casabella
on the web, on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram, on Pinterest

The Giveaway...
Our generous sponsors have contributed prizes for this event. 
Stay tuned for how you can enter to win.

*Disclosure: Bloggers received complimentary product from sponsors for the creation of this event. This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are our own.*

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

{Gluten-Free} Black Tahini-Chocolate Bundt with Ganache #PeoplehoodoftheTravelingSwirlyPan


My time with Dorothy (she's a bundt pan) and Toto (he's a journal) - for the Peoplehood of the Traveling Swirly Pan - is drawing to a close. I'm hoping to squeeze in one more adventure before I need to wrap them up and send them off to the next baker.

You can read more about the Peoplehood of the Traveling Swirly Pan and see my first recipe with Dorothy (herewhen I made a Gluten-free Bourbon Gingerbread with Prickly Pear Lemon Curd...and my third recipe (here) when I made a Gluten-free Hot Milk-Matcha Bundt with Chocolate Silk Sauce.

I can count. Really. My second adventure was a complete and total flop. So, I didn't share that recipe on the blog or with the #PeoplehoodoftheTravelingSwirlyPan. Flops are how you know you're stretching your culinary competence, right? While they aren't a success, they are necessary to becoming a better cook!


I decided that I would make a chocolate cake for my fourth Dorothy attempt - but not just any chocolate cake. Of course I needed to shake things up and decided to add some black tahini to the cake.


Tahini adds something decidedly savory to the cake which makes my savory-loving palate happy. But, to make the other members of my household happy, I slathered it all with chocolate ganache.

Ingredients

Cake
  • 1-1/4 C butter, plus some for greasing
  • unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting pan
  • 1/4 C unsulphered molasses
  • 1/4 C black tahini
  • 1/4 C tahini
  • 1/4 C cold coffee
  • 1 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 C rice flour
  • 1 C buckwheat flour
  • 1 C ground almonds
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 C sour cream
  • 2 eggs
Ganache
  • 3 oz dark chocolate, chunks
  • 1/2 C organic heavy cream
  • 2 T organic granulated sugar
  • 1 T butter


Procedure

Cake
Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Butter bundt pan and dust the pan with unsweetened cocoa powder to prevent sticking.

Melt the butter. In  large mixing bowl, whisk together molasses, tahini, black tahini, sugar, cold coffee, eggs, and sour cream. Pour in the melted butter and stir until well-combined. Add in dry ingredients and stir till completely moistened. Spoon into buttered cake pan.

Bake for 1 hour or till a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack. Let cool for another 10 to 15 minutes.


Ganache
Place everything except for the cream in a mixing bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream until small bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Pour the cream into the mixing bowl, making sure that the chocolate is completely submerged. Let sit for 3 minutes. Whisk till smooth.

Divide ganache in half and place 1 bowl of ganache in the freezer for a quick chill. Let the other bowl sit at room temperature to keep it at sauce-consistency.


Once cool, spoon cooled ganache into the swirls. To serve, drizzle liquid ganache onto your serving plates. Place slices of cake on top of the drizzle. Enjoy!


*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.

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