Friday, June 23, 2017

Egyptian Mint Limeade #EatLikeAnEgyptian

Welcome to #EatLikeAnEgyptian! Today we are having fun exploring our favorite Egyptian cuisine recipes to commemorate the holiday of Eid-el-Fitr, which begins at sundown. Thanks to Sue - of Palatable Pastime - for coordinating the event!

Many years ago - actually more than seven years ago from looking at the ticket photo - my boys were fascinated by the ancient Egyptians. We read books about them and watched documentaries about them. Oddly, I think I remember going to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose when I was about that same age.

 And it just so happened that the Tutankhamun exhibit landed in San Francisco that year...just in time for D's 6th birthday. So, naturally, we bought tickets, booked a hotel, invited my parents up, and made a birthday adventure out of it.

The night before we went to the museum, we ate at an Egyptian restaurant in the Outer Richmond where we feasted, watched a belly dancer, and the boys were able to put on some kitschy costumes. They loved it!

The following semester I taught a 6-week class at their school called Tut-Mania! The final class day, we had an Egyptian feast. It's been awhile since I've had Egyptian food, so when Sue suggested a food event, I was in!

Back when I taught Tut-Mania! I served an Egyptian lemonade, Assir Limon. But for today's event, I wanted to make something that intrigued me: Egyptian mint limeade. I'd read about this drink and it's cool frothiness was much needed as the temperatures on California's central coast soared this week. Okay, let's be honest, we live in a temperate, Mediterranean climate here. So, when I say that it was hot, that just means it was over 70 degrees F. Don't laugh.


  • 2 C ice + more for serving
  • 2 C water
  • 4 large organic limes, washed, cut into small pieces, and seeds removed
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1 bunch fresh mint leaves, stems removed (about 25-40 mint leaves), more for later
  • 1 C organic granulate sugar

Add all the ingredients to the bowl of a food processor or high-quality blender. Cover and liquefy until you achieve your preferred consistency. Taste and adjust with more sugar or more mint leaves, if you like. Blend again.

Place ice into individual glasses and pour the limeade into the glasses. You can strain it, if you like, but I left my thick like a smoothie. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and serve immediately.

All of the #InspiredbyNature Progressive Summer Potluck Recipes #sponsored

Every now and then, a sponsor approaches me with an idea that just makes my little foodie heart jump with glee. When Charles Viancin enlisted my help to help them reveal some of their new Summer products, I gathered a few of my favorite bloggers to celebrate the Summer Equinox with a progressive potluck. 

With the help of Charles Viancin, we set a lovely summery table for you. And the Republic of Tea added to the fun with one of their brand-new iced teas, the Organic Black Currant Rosemary Large Iced Tea Pouches. Some of us have incorporated that into our recipes as well.

The Bloghop Schedule...   
If you didn't follow along as we shared recipes for a delicious, five-course meal, or even if you have, you'll find all of the yummy links here. The bloggers shared recipes, posted their thoughts about the Charles Viancin product, and are providing the chance for readers to win a prize package from our sponsor. Read about their drinkware line, the air-tight lids, the utensils, the cooking line, and the tea accessories. You may visit the Charles Viancin Amazon Store: here. And enter the giveaway below. You still have a couple of days to join the fun. One lucky winner will receive one of everything we're featuring. Good luck!!

The Recipe Posts...

featuring the Drink Covers

featuring the Timber 5-Piece Cutting Board

featuring the Air-tight Lids

featuring the Spatulas

featuring the Coasters, Bottle Stoppers, and Lids

The Giveaway...
One of our generous sponsors has contributed a prize package for this event. 
The giveaway runs from June 19th and ends on June 26th, 2017
and is open to US residents only. No purchase necessary.
Individual bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Grateful to Our Sponsors*... 
and how you can find them around the internet

Charles Viancin
on the web, on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram, on Pinterest

The Republic of Tea
on the web, on Twitter, on Facebook, on Pinterest, on Instagram

*Disclosure: Bloggers received complimentary products 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.*

Fabada Asturiana, A Bloody Good Stew #FoodNFlix

This month's Food'N'Flix event was hosted by my friend Evelyne over at CulturEatz. You can read her invitation: here. She asked us to watch Volver.*

The title of the movie didn't sound familiar, but once I popped in the DVD, I kept having strange déjà vu. About the third time I thought to myself "______ is about to happen," and it did, I had to admit that I must have watched it before!

On the Screen...
The instant the movie begins, you have a sense it's going to be a strange one. The boys were coming in and out when I was watching it, asking, "Why are you watching a telenovela?"

It's not a telenovela.

"It looks like one."

It does, actually. There's sex, scandals, heartbreak, and death.

This film, to pull from one scene when there's blood on Raimunda (played by Penelope Cruz), is about "women's troubles." It's about women across generations helping each other, hurting each other, and forgiving each other. Think incest, murder, extramarital affairs, and secrets. Lots of secrets. There are comedic moments; there are dramatic moments. There's a supernatural element in the form of the insanity-inducing East wind.

And there is a lot of cinematic artistry. Director Almodóvar succeeds in making what would otherwise be horrific - cleaning blood off a murder weapon - erotic and beautiful. And there's one scene of Raimunda chopping red peppers that made my mouth water! The entire film was really colorful and vivacious.

On the Plate...
There was plenty of food inspiration to be found. On a trip to their village, Raimunda, her daughter, and her sister eat donuts; and while at Aunt Paula's, they devour wafers. They call them wafers, at least in the subtitles, but they look like churros.

Raimunda does take over a local restaurant and caters for a film crew. We see her cooking, her menus, and a dinner party. On the menu I saw: Tortilla y Morcilla, Mojito, Authentica Caipirhna, and more.

I already mentioned the scene of her chopping bell peppers and there was one shot of her unmolding a giant flan.

I was inspired to make Fabada Asturiana, often simply known as fabada, a hearty Spanish bean stew made with morcilla. Well, sort of. Morcilla is a Spanish blood sausage. I got my hands on some sanguinaccio which is an Italian blood sausage. While the Spanish version usually includes rice, this version, from Boccalone, uses buckwheat groats. Close enough. This recipe is originally from the province of Asturias, but it's now widely available throughout the whole of Spain.


  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T butter
  • 4 to 6 ounces Spanish chorizo (I used the sweet, versus spicy, chorizo), peeled and thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces blood sausage, cut into this coins
  • 1 C chopped tomatoes (I used organic cherry tomatoes)
  • 1/3 C red wine (I used a Spanish Tempranillo)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 15 ounces cooked butter beans (these are a type of lima bean)
  • 1/2 C water
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 C fresh parsley, chopped

Melt butter in olive oil in a heavy, lidded pan. Add the garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant, but not browning. Stir in the chorizo and blood sausage. Cook until the blood sausage is firm; it might crumble and not longer be in the shape of the coins - that's fine!

Stir in the tomatoes and cook until they begin to soften and lose their shape. Pour in the red wine and stir in the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Add in the cooked beans and stir to combine. Pour in the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. Everything is fully cooked, at this point, you're just letting the flavors meld. Remove the bay leaves and thyme stems. Spoon into a serving dish.

Serve the fabada with a side of crusty bread and a glass of the red you used to cook the dish. Salud!

You still have a week or so if you want to join Volver fun. Or, next month, Sarah from Chef Sarah Elizabeth will be hosting Dirty Dancing. Stay tuned for more information about that.

*This blog currently has a partnership with 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 and search for the item of your choice.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Earl Grey Panna Cotta #DairyMonth

Our week long celebration of #DairyMonth end today. This event was co-hosted by From Gate to Plate and Cooking With Carlee. We put together our best recipes using cow milk, goat milk butter, cream and cheeses. And we hope you enjoyed them! Thanks to Lauren and Carlee for organizing this fun, fun week.

Day 5 #DairyMonth Recipes

Earl Grey Panna Cotta

What a glorious dessert this was! Subtle and silky. Wow.

  • 1 envelope gelatin
  • 1/4 cold water
  • 1 C organic heavy cream
  • 1 C organic 2% milk
  • 1/4 C organic granulated sugar
  • 2 T loose leaf Earl Grey tea
  • zest from 1 organic lemon

Dissolve the gelatin in cold water.  Place the other ingredients in a medium saucepan and heat till it begins to steam. Do not let it boil. Let steep for 10 minutes. Strain out the lemon zest and the tea leaves.

Pour the cream into the gelatin and stir till completely dissolved. Pour the mixture into your serving containers and let chill, uncovered, until set - at least four hours. Serve chilled.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Coffee Bourbon Milk Punch #DairyMonth

Our week long celebration of #DairyMonth continues. This event is co-hosted by From Gate to Plate and Cooking With Carlee. We are putting together our best recipes using cow milk, goat milk butter, cream and cheeses.  We can't wait to share them with you.

Day 4 #DairyMonth Recipes

Milk Punch
Someone mentioned that it's been a really long week. It has, hasn't it?!? So, I decided it was time for a cocktail. I've long been intrigued by milk punch. Though I'm not a huge milk drinker, I love creamy cocktails. White Russians were my drink of choice in college! Did I really just admit that? I also drank lots of red wine and we splurged on expensive Scotch when we were celebrating. But I definitely consumed my fair share of White Russians.

Since bourbon is my booze of choice these days, I decided to make a coffee milk punch, thinking it would be a kind of creamy Irish coffee. What I did the day before was to brew a strong pot of coffee and make coffee ice cubes!

Ingredients makes 1 cocktail

  • 3 T milk
  • 1 T heavy cream
  • 1 T coffee syrup (you can use 1 t coffee and 2 t simple syrup)
  • 2 T bourbon
  • Also needed: coffee ice cubes, ice, cocktail shaker

Place coffee ice cubes in your serving glass. Fill the cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Pour in milk, cream, coffee syrup, and bourbon. Shake for approximately 30 seconds. Strain into serving glass. Cheers!

Peaches and Cream Cocktail #FantasticalFoodFight

I love the Fantastical Food Fight coordinated by Sarah of Fantastical Sharing of Recipes. For more information about the event, click here. I haven't been very good at participating, but this month, I couldn't resist. We were given the challenge of making a recipe with peaches and cream. So. Many. Possibilities.

It is peach season, after all. Try as I might, I couldn't come up with a savory peaches and cream recipe. Savory peach recipes, yes; but nothing with peaches and cream! Jake suggested peach cobbler with whipped cream. Fantastic idea...I'll need you to swap out that oven for me first. Hmmm...

Peaches and Cream Cocktail

Ingredients makes 1 cocktail

  • 3 parts bourbon
  • 1 part heavy whipping cream
  • 1 part peach puree
  • 1 part maple syrup
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • thin peach slices for garnish
  • Also needed: ice, cocktail shaker

Fill cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Pour in the bourbon, cream, peach puree, and maple syrup. Add in a dash of cinnamon. Shake for at least 30  seconds. Strain into a serving glass. Garnish with fresh peach slices. Cheers!

Cochinita Pibil with Homemade Tortillas

I've been dreaming about Ruth Riechl's Cochinita Pibil since I went to The Foodie Edition last month. You can read about that here. So, I decided to just do it...and I invited over some of our friends to join the fun. Thankfully I found my tortilla press and spice grinder in the same box. Phew.

First, we took the boys to the park. Then we came back to the house and I put them to work, making tortillas. This crew spans ages 3 to 15 and I have to say that I love watching these boys grow up and play together. And they are pretty darn handy in the kitchen, too.

Cochinita Pibil
Banana-Roasted Pork

Cochinita Pibil, Ruth explained, was something that she learned in the Yucatan. It's a spice-rubbed pork cooked in banana leaves. This recipe was inspired by her story and watching her prep the dish on a stage; so there may be some spices that I missed. But I think this is close. One thing that struck me about her recipe: She toasted her banana leaves. I've used banana leaves in many dishes from - Filipino Suman to Honduran Nacatamales and from Ugandan Chicken Luwombo to Steamed Fish from Tuvalu - but I have always just used them as is. Frozen and defrosted. But watching her run the leaves over a flame was a new technique for me. And, I'm not joking, you could smell the aroma from the center of the theatre!

Prepping Your Banana Leaves
As I said, I've always gotten the leaves frozen at the Filipino market. I found large, fresh banana leaves at the Mexican market last weekend. Wow! They were beautiful. Since I don't currently have a gas stove, I pulled out a culinary torch, sliced off the thick spine from the center, spread the leaves on a laundry rack, and put my Precise Kitchen Elf to work.

I loved watching the color change and the leaves turn shiny as he ran the flame across the leaves.


  • 1 package of fresh banana leaves, trimmed and prepped
  • two 2 to 3 pound bone-in pork shoulders
  • 2 T annatto seeds (these might also be called achiote seeds in your store)
  • 2 t mixed peppercorns
  • 2 t dried oregano
  • 2 t coriander seeds
  • 1 t cumin seeds
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 t red pepper chile flakes
  • 1/4 t cloves
  • 3 whole shallots, peeled
  • 6 to 8 whole garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 1/4 C vinegar (I used a banana vinegar from Mexico, but feel free to use whatever vinegar you have on-hand)
  • juice and zest from 2 organic limes
  • 2 t salt
  • 2 whole onions, peeled and quartered
  • 2 C stock (I used a homemade pork stock)
  • olive oil
  • For serving: picked red onions, picked carrots, homemade tortillas
  • Accompaniments: rice and beans

Put the spices - from the annatto seeds to the cloves - into a spice grinder; whirl to a powder. Place the garlic, shallots, vinegar, lime zest, lime juice, and salt in a food processor. Add in the spice blend and whirl until you have a thick paste.

Massage the spice paste into the pork, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

When you're getting ready to torch the banana leaves, remove the meat from the fridge. It should be room temperature.

Line two Dutch ovens or other heavy lidded pans with banana leaves. Place 1 quartered onion in each pan. Place the pork in the center and drizzle with olive oil. Pour the stock over the top and fold the banana leaves around the pork, tucking the loose ends into the pan.

Place the pan over medium to high heat and bring to a boil. You will have to listen as you want to keep it covered and not release the steam. Once you heat it boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the meat braise for 5 to 6 hours.

To serve, place the entire banana leaf-wrapped packet on a platter. Let diners shred off as much meat as they want. Serve with picked red onions, picked carrots, homemade tortillas, rice, and beans.

Homemade Corn Tortillas
click for the recipe post: here

Share Buttons