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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cherry Clafoutis and Blog Awards

Clafoutis = custard-like texture, great flavor, quick preparation, no butter and very few calories. The recipe and new winners of food blogging awards below....

Last year in early June I woke up one happy day to discover that a wonderful blogger, Giulietta, the author of Alterkitchen, had passed my way a whole collection of awards.

I was extremely honored, and to celebrate the occasion I immediately prepared Cherry clafoutis, just as it appeared in Giulietta's award-passing post. The clafoutis turned out delicious, even my picture turned out decent, and I was all ready to publish my own post and to announce the new recipient of the awards, when I ... got stuck. When you pass on the awards you are supposed to mention 7 things about yourself. I came up with 6, and simply could not think of anything for the 7th point.

So time went on, I had to publish other posts for cooking clubs I was a member of, and so it happened that my cherry clafoutis post remained in it's unborn draft stage. Days went by, summer became winter, winter spring, and a new summer came. And with a new cherry season I remembered Giulietta's delicious clafoutis and my unfinished post. So now with only a year's delay (what's a year in the grand scheme of things ;-) ) it's finally being resurrected.

And it so happens that I have the 7th thing to add to the list of things about me. So here is my list:

1. I really love berry picking.
2. I lived without a TV for 7-8 years, and it was pretty good. Now that I have one, my default channel is the food network – surprise!
3. I recently (now a year ago) saw my first grizzly bear from up close, and he/she was very cute. Do you know that bears eat up to 35000 calories per day? And then they sleep for half a year! I want to be a bear..
4. As a kid I hated zucchini and eggplants, and did not even bother to know which was which: why bother if I would not eat either? So I called them the green ones and the purple ones.
5. Then I liked a dish that I was served in a restaurant. I thought it was a mushroom dish that I had ordered but it turned out to be an on-the-house eggplant salad. That’s how I was converted to eating eggplants.
6. I just had my second flamenco class today (this was written a year ago ;-) )– fun! Should I now make paella to celebrate???
     And the 7th point that delayed this post for a year, drums rolling...

7. When I started food blogging I discovered that there are lots of wonderful communities and sites where bloggers can share recipes. My favorites were recipe galleries. Unfortunately, many of my posts were rejected due to the photo quality. I felt quite frustrated about that: why should publishing a post be one person's decision? Why not accept all recipes and let all the visitors choose which ones they like better? And then the more popular posts can get better positions to make browsing more enjoyable.
I could not find a site like that, so I decided to build one. And now it's live. It's called RecipeNewZ And you can see it for yourselves.

And now that I'm finally done with my 7 things (phew...), the fun part - passing on the awards!
Actually, choosing a handful of blogs to pass on the awards to is also a very difficult task: there are just way too many amazing food bloggers out there, and if I could have my way, I'd have a hundred blogs on the list. So to simplify the decision making, and because my life now revolves around RecipeNewZ, I decided to choose blogs that have shared some of their delicious recipes there.

And now without further ado, the awards go to:

1. Julie of Mommie Cooks - she has wonderful, simple and elegant family-style recipes. And she submitted the very first post to RecipeNewZ and made me very happy!
2. Violetta of Fun and Taste - she has beautiful and very originally presented Polish (and other) recipes. And she submitted recipe #1,000 to RecipeNewZ (in just a little over a month we have had more than 1,000 recipes).
3. Barbara of Barbara Bakes - as her blog title implies, Barbara is an amazing baker: if you are looking for breads, cakes, cookies, etc, look no further! But on top of that she has a great collection of main dishes, sandwiches and sides. Barbara was also one of our early contributors and she was the first to provide RecipeNewZ with user feedback, which we value very highly because we are in beta testing.
4. Nava of Nava-K Your Lifestyle Blog - in addition to delicious Malaysian recipes she also has posts on fashion, travel and entertainment. Nava has given us extensive feedback on user experience and thus helped with troubleshooting technical issues on the site, and we really appreciate that.
5. Ann of Thibeault's Table - posts great recipes for day-to-day cooking. She has another site too, where you can find her beautiful maple cutting boards. Ann was kind enough to mention RecipeNewZ on a forum, which was a very pleasant surprise and brought quite a few new users our way.
6. Nancy of Spicie Foodie - has a blog abounding with amazing food photography. In addition, she has great photography tutorials and she hosts a monthly YBR (Your Best Recipe) event, where everyone is invited to submit one's best recipe of the month. Nancy also mentioned RecipeNewZ in one of her photography tutorials during our very first days.
    And last, but not least:
7. Christi of Mom, What's For Dinner?- she publishes delicious gluten-free recipes that have been extremely popular on RecipeNewZ. Her Cheesy Cauliflower bread quickly became and still is the most popular recipe on the site, so far generating over two thousand clicks. But it does not stop there: Christi has submitted over 50 recipes and almost each and every one of them is a hit.

Thank you for reading so far. The winners are now invited to pass on the awards (but don't forget the 7 things :-) ). And we can move on to the delicious Cherry Clafoutis recipe from Giulietta!

Cherry Clafoutis

Taste: 5 (out of 5)

Difficulty: 1 (out of 5)

Source: Alterkitchen blog


- 600 g cherries, washed, stem removed (380 cal)
- 3 large eggs (210 cal)
- 100 g sugar (390 cal)
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla essence (10 cal)
- 200 ml milk (100 cal)
- 2 tbsp Brandy, Kirsch o Rum (70 cal)
- 90 g all-purpose flour (330 cal)
- butter (to grease)
Total 16 individual 1 cup ramekins, 1490 cal, 95 cal

1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Lightly butter and sprinkle with sugar a low edged cake mold or 16 individual low 1-cup ramekins.
2. In a bowl, beat the eggs with a pinch of salt and with sugar using an electric whisk, until mixture is fluffy and doubles its volume. Add the vanilla essence and flour, incorporating continue beating until incorporated. Then gradually add the milk and the liqueur.
3. Take cherries and arrange them evenly at the bottom of the cake mold or the ramekins; then pour the batter over them.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the clafoutis is soft and golden brown.
5. Remove the clafoutis from the oven, sprinkle it with sugar or powdered sugar and serve warm.

To Recipe...

Monday, June 4, 2012

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

Rosemary roasted potatoes - need I say more?
This recipe is featured on RecipeNewZ

RecipeNewZ - great recipes, desserts, mains, cooking, baking
Source: adapted from Grumpy's Honeybunch.

Taste: 5 (out of 5)
Difficulty: 1 (out of 5)

- 1 lb Russet potatoes
- 2 stalks fresh rosemary
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
 Total: 4 servings

1. Wash and cut potatoes into wedges.
2.  Coat with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and sprinkle with chopped leaves from two stalks of fresh rosemary.
3. Cook on high power in microwave for 5 minutes.
4. Preheat over to 450F and roast for 20-30 minutes or until done.

- This is a perfect, simple and delicious recipe. If you love potatoes, you can't go wrong with it.
- This was my SRC assignment for May. I had visited the Shelby's Grumpy's Honeybunch blog before - it has lots of great recipes. Unfortunately, this month is just way way too busy for me, so I was looking for a very quick recipe, and I found it. And ti turned out yummy! Check out Grumpy's Honeybunch for many more goodies!
- And last but not least, a word about SRC - the Secret Recipe Club. It's a group of over a hundred food bloggers, who are assigned a "secret" blog each months. Then they choose a recipe from that blog, make it and post it on their own blog on a given reveal day. Then there is a big party, where you hop form one blog to another and check what everyone's been cooking. Lots of fun! I want to thank Amanda, Jane and April for making it all possible!

To Recipe...