Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Black and White Wednesday #103-Halloween Edition Gallery

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Welcome to this special Halloween edition of Black and White Wednesday for your viewing pleasure. Thanks to all who submitted such lovely images. My grand plans for submitting something spooky fell apart due to unexpected commitments! If anyone reading this post is interested in either hosting and/or submitting images to Black and White Wednesday, here is the link to the rules and host line-up. The more, the merrier!! Simona of Briciole will be hosting BWW #104-November 6, 2013.

Witch Fingers
Sanhita-A Pocketful of Spices
Chocolate Persimmons

Salmon with Coriander Noodles
Pam-Sidewalk Shoes

Haalo-Cook Almost Anything Once


If I have left anyone or anything, please let me know and I will correct the errors! Thanks!

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Black and White Wednesday # 103-The Halloween Edition

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You can photograph your own ghost using these tips from photojojo. Have fun and Happy Halloween.
It is believed that the celebration of Halloween began in the rural areas of Ireland where it was customary to celebrate the Celtic holiday Samhain, a festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the "dark days" of winter. This festival occurred on October 31 and ended on November 1, nearly halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. Special bonfires were lit which offered protective powers and food was prepared for the winter  Guising was part of the festival which involved children going door to door in costumes (disguises) often reciting verses in exchange for food.

Send me your favorite culinary monochrome image; it could be spooky,in the manner of the season, or anything culinary for this special Halloween edition of Black and White Wednesday. BWW was created by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook back in July 2011 and managed now by Cinzia of Cindy Star Blog. Rules and host line -up can be found here.

I will be accepting images and post url's up to 10 am, Wednesday, October 30. Please send an email to lynnylu AT gmail DOT com with BWW #103 in the title, your blog name, post url and attached image. Looking forward to your submissions!

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Estonia- "O" is for Orzotto-Abbecedario Culinario della Comunita Europea

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Update-If the link to your Estonian dish does not appear below, please let me know. I've had issues with adding the links and I'm not sure if it's my fault or Blogger's! Thanks, Lynne

Italian Translation below English
Many thanks to Cinzia for translating my English to Italian!

Our culinary journey of the countries of the European Union (Abbecedario Culinary) continues with Estonia and today, I present you with a brief description of that country and serve up a lovely winter salad of Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, feta  and Orzotto (pearl barley).

Of the three independent countries of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, called the Baltic States, Estonia is the most northerly and the smallest. Tucked in between Russia to the north-east and Poland to the south, with Belarus to the east, the Baltic States have similar geography, climate and a shared history. Before being declared independent in 1918 after World War 1, the Baltic States were under Russian control.
Estonia's coastline looks more Scandinavian than that of Lithuania and Latvia, with many small inlets resembling the Norwegian fjords with a sprinkling of islands out in the Baltic Sea. The largest two islands, Saaremaa and Hiumaa are not only favorite holiday destinations, but is a migratory stop for Arctic ducks and geese, a birdwatchers mecca. The huge Lake Peipsi covers much of the Eastern border with Russia and is full of freshwater fish such as bream and pike, making it one of the best places to fish for commercial and local anglers as well as tourists visiting the area.

Tallinn, a Hanseatic medieval  seaport and the capital of Estonia, sits on the Gulf of Finland. This beautifully preserved Old Town dating back to the 11th century boasts a wall with 26 watch towers, important in the defense and preservation of the city. This vibrant area in the city center is located between the harbor and the new business district. Cozy cafes, boutiques and art galleries in Old Town beckon tourists from all across Europe, but mostly from Britain and Finland. In 1997, Old Town was declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage and is considered "the medieval pearl of Europe".

The foods of Estonia are based on a peasant diet. Those who live there have had to concoct many ways to preserve the summer bounty of meat, fish and vegetables for use during the winter months. The fresh vegetables of summer would end up as sauerkraut and the pork and fish would end up smoked to serve in the winter. Rye bread is a staple and beer is brewed in all parts of the Baltic. An Estonians typical day begins with a breakfast based on rye bread, with cheese, sausage, eggs, tomatoes or cucumbers served with a steaming cup of black coffee. Lunch is considered the main meal featuring a meat or fish dish along with potatoes, rice or buckwheat and a fresh salad accompanied by a sour cream sauce.  The Estonians along with their Baltic neighbors love desserts, usually made of dairy products or fruit. Supper can consist of a soup, mixed salad, or a hot meal such as served at lunch time.

"If you do not love other people, you will not be loved"! The Estonians love entertaining their family and friends, sharing food and drink in a celebratory atmosphere. Guests are often given a small gift of food when departing and special guests are accompanied to the door where one last toast is shared with the host.

Pearl Barley-Orzotto-a portmanteau of risotto and orzo
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Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Pearl Barley Salad

1 cup (220g) pearl barley
200 grams brussels sprouts, halved
200 grams cauliflower, halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
200 grams red leaf lettuce
200 grams shaved feta
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
sea salt and cracked black pepper

To make the dressing, whisk together the garlic, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Set aside Cook the pearl barley in a saucepan of boiling water for 30-35 minutes, or until cook through. Drain, set aside and keep warm. Preheat oven to 400 °F. Place the Brussels sprouts and cauliflower on a baking pan. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast 10-15 minutes or until golden. Place the pearl barley, Brussels sprouts, red leaf lettuce and feta in a bowl or plate and drizzle with the dressing to serve. Serves 4.

I hope you have enjoyed my tour of Estonia and look forward to your posts with other delicious dishes from this beautiful country of the Baltic States. Thanks to Aiuolik of Trattoria MuVara for creating the culinary journey through the countries of the European Union.

L'Abbecedario della Comunità Europea prosegue da oggi con l'Estonia e come padrona di casa di questa nazione vi lascio una breve descrizione di questo paese e una bella insalata invernale di cavoletti di Bruxelles, cavolfiore, feta e Orzotto (orzo perlato).

Dei tre paesi indipendenti di Lituania, Lettonia ed Estonia, altresì chiamati gli Stati Baltici, l'Estonia è la nazione più settentrionale e più piccola. Compresi tra la Russia a nordest e la Polonia a sud, confinanti con la Bielorussia a est, i Paesi Baltici hanno in comune la geografia, il clima e la storia. Prima di essere dichiarati indipendenti nel 1918, dopo la Prima Guerra Mondiale, gli Stati Baltici erano sotto il controllo russo.Le costa dell'Estonia sembrano più scandinave di quelle di Lituania e Lettonia, con tante piccole insenature simili ai fiordi norvegesi e con una manciata di isole nel Mar Baltico. Le due isole maggiori, Saaremaa e Hiumaa non sono solo mete preferite per le vacanze , ma anche tappa migratoria per le anatre e le oche 
artiche,  diventando ben presto la Mecca dei un birdwatchers. L'enorme lago Peipsi copre gran parte del confine orientale con la Russia ed è pieno di pesci d'acqua dolce, come abramidi comuni e lucci, rendendolo uno dei posti migliori per pescare sia per i pescatori commerciali e locali che per i turisti che visitano la zona.

Tallinn, un porto medievale anseatico e capitale dell'Estonia, si trova sul Golfo di Finlandia . Questa città,  splendidamente conservata e risalente al XI secolo, vanta una muro di cinta con 26 torri di guardia, importante per la difesa della città. La zona vivace del centro città si trova tra il porto e il nuovo quartiere affaristico. Accoglienti caffè, boutique e gallerie d'arte in centro storico attirano turisti da tutta Europa, ma soprattutto dalla Gran Bretagna e dalla Finlandia. Nel 1997, la Città Vecchia è stata dichiarata patrimonio culturale dell'UNESCO ed è considerata "la perla medievale d'Europa ".

L'alimentazione in Estonia è caratterizzata da una dieta contadina . Coloro che ci vivono hanno dovuto sviluppare molteplici modi per preservare la carne, il pesce e le verdure per l'utilizzo durante i mesi invernali. Le verdure fresche dell'estate vengono conservate in salamoie (come i crauti) e la carne di maiale e il pesce vengono affumicati per essere poi riutilizzati in inverno. Il pane di segale è un alimento base e la birra viene prodotta in tutte le zone del Baltico. Una giornata tipo estone inizia con una colazione a base di pane di segale, formaggi, salumi, uova, pomodori o cetrioli serviti con una tazza fumante di caffè nero. Il pranzo è considerato il pasto principale, con un piatto di carne o pesce con con patate, riso o grano saraceno e una fresca insalata, il tutto  accompagnato da una salsa di panna acida. Gli estoni, come i loro vicini baltici, amano i dolci , solitamente a base di prodotti lattiero-caseari o frutta. La cena spesso è costituita da una zuppa, insalata mista, o  da un pasto caldo come a pranzo."Se non ami gli altri, non sarai amato"! Gli estoni amano intrattenere la famiglia e gli amici, condividere cibo e bevande in un'atmosfera festosa. Agli ospiti viene spesso dato un piccolo dono gastronomico quando lasciano la casa e gli ospiti speciali sono accompagnati alla porta, dove non manca il rituale dell'ultimo brindisi coi padroni di casa.

Cavoletti di Bruxelles al forno e insalata di orzo perlato

1 tazza (220g) di orzo perlato
200 g di cavolini di Bruxelles, tagliati a metà
200 g di cavolfiore, a cimette
1 cucchiaio di olio extravergine d'oliva
200 g di lattuga a foglia rossa
200 g di feta gratuggiata grossolanamente

1 spicchio d'aglio schiacciato
2 cucchiai di aceto balsamico bianco
1/4 di tazza (60 ml) di olio extravergine d'oliva

sale marino e pepe nero macinato fresco

Emulsionare insieme l'aglio, aceto, olio, sale e pepe e mettere da parte.

Cuocere l'orzo in una pentola di acqua bollente per 30-35 minuti, o finchè ben cotto. Scolare, mettere da parte e tenere in caldo. Preriscaldare il forno a 190/200°. 

Mettere i cavoletti e il cavolfiore su una teglia da forno. Irrorare con l'olio e cospargere con sale e pepe. Arrostire 10-15 minuti o fino a doratura. 

Disporre l'orzo, i cavoletti, il cavolfiore, le foglie di lattuga rossa e la feta in una ciotola o in un piatto grande e condire con l'emulsione preparata precedentemente. 

Spero abbiate apprezzato il mio tour in Estonia, resto in attesa delle vostre deliziose ricette che proverete per questo bel paese degli Stati Baltici. Grazie di cuore ad Aiuolik della Trattoria Muvara per aver organizzato questo bel viaggio culinario attraverso i paesi dell'Unione Europea.
Anisja-Vanaema Kook 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Whole Wheat Bread

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I usually shy away from 100% whole wheat breads as they are much too dense for my tastes, but I was intrigued by the methodology  of this bread chosen by Aparna for this edition of We Knead to Bake. A soaker and a biga/sponge was prepared ahead of time before actually making the bread dough. This addition to making the bread added to the softness of the bread which I find missing in many wheat breads. I followed Aparna's recipe exactly, but if you are not a whole wheat bread fan, you may want to sub in some all-purpose flour. The vital wheat gluten in the recipe gives a slight lift to the loaf. A perfect sandwich loaf for my chicken salad sandwich.

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Original Recipe From Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads
This Adapted Recipe From My Diverse Kitchen

100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
(Adapted from Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads)

For The Soaker:
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 to 1 cup water at room temperature
1 tbsp vinegar (apple cider or plain)

For The Biga/ Sponge:
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp instant yeast
3/4 cup milk (or a little more)
1 tbsp vinegar (apple cider or plain)

For The Final Dough:
All of the Soaker
All of the Biga/ Sponge
1 1/2 tsp Vital Wheat Gluten (optional)
1/2 to 3/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup whole wheat flour (and a few tbsp. more if required)
2 tsp instant yeast
1/8 cup oil (or melted butter if preferred)
2 tbsp honey

First make the Soaker. Mix all of the Soaker ingredients together in a bowl until all of the flour is hydrated. I found that I needed more than the original 3/4 cup of water suggested and used a little over 1 cup but this can change from flour to flour. So I would suggest using 3/4 cup water and then adding a little at a time, until you have the desired consistency. Your Soaker should be somewhat
like reasonably firm bread dough in consistency. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 12-24 hours.

Now make the Biga/ Sponge. Mix all of the Biga/ Sponge in a bowl and knead together well till a soft ball forms. Again you might need more than the originally suggested 3/4 cup of liquid; I needed a little more. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight. This will keep for up to 3 days.

Two hours before you plan to mix your dough for the bread, remove the Biga from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. You might find your Biga rising a little during this time.
Divide the Biga and Soaker into small pieces (about 12 pieces each) using a sharp knife or scraper and put them in the food processor bowl (or stand mixer). You can knead this by hand too, but the dough will be tacky and a little difficult to manage. Do not be tempted to add more flour, when it is time to, than necessary.

Add the remaining ingredients for the dough, except the 1/3 cup flour) and knead for about 3 minutes. Let it rest for 5 minutes, then add as much flour as needed (if necessary) to the dough and knead for another 3-4 minutes. Your dough should now come away from the sides of the bowl but still be a little sticky but somewhat manageable. It’s really important to not add too much extra flour during this step.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and let rise until almost doubled (about 1 1/2 hours). Then turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat the dough out into a rectangle with a width that just a bit less than your loaf tin. See that you do not tear the dough. Roll it up and shape into a loaf.  If you need help on shaping the dough, see How to Shape a Sandwich Loaf.

Place your loaf in a greased and floured loaf tin (I used a 9” by 4” loaf tin) and let it rise until it is just higher than your loaf tin. Bake the loaf at 180C (350F) for about 40 to 45 minutes until the top is a nice deep brown colour and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
Let the loaf cool completely (at least for about 2 hours), before slicing it. Refrigerate the loaf if not using immediately

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fall Still Life Images in Monochrome-Black and White Wednesday #102

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Susan of the well seasoned cook and creator of Black and White Wednesday is hosting BWW #102 this week. I am still obsessed with apples and the foods of the fall season this week and have four images below processed in various shades of black and white. Regarding this blog event, you can read more about either submitting and/or hosting this event on Cinzia's blog-cindy star.
Antique Wooden Bowl with Apples

Apples From the Orchard

Apples Ready for Shipment
Fall Bounty

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Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

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Looking back on some of my Fall pumpkin photos from a few years ago, I realized that I never posted this delightful sweet potato soup spiced with cumin and and slightly picante. Although Southwestern in theory, with this soup I like to serve puffy crisp poppadoms. This soup is just so easy to make and would be perfect for a first course or for lunch or supper with a sandwich.

Sweet Potato and Chipotle Soup
Original Recipe

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, about 4 medium, peeled and diced large
  • chipotle chilies en adobo, chopped
  • 7 cups chicken broth
  • Sour cream and julienned green onion, for garnish
  1. In a large heavy pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion, season with the salt and pepper and cook until the onions begin to brown along the edges. Add the cumin and garlic, and cook stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the sweet potatoes, chipotle chilies en adobo and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until the sweet potatoes are soft-20-25 minutes.
  2. With a hand blender, puree the soup, taking care when blending hot liquids. Adjust seasonings. Top with a dollop of sour cream and garnish with a sliver of julienned green onion. Serve with purchased or home made poppadoms. Serves 8.
Spicy Sweet Potato Soup
These two images are my contribution to Black and White Wednesday #99 hosted this week by Priya of The Humpty Dumpty Kitchen. More information on rules and hosting, visit BWW's admin, Cinzia who will be hosting the 100th edition with a special prize for the lucky one. In this post, you can view the images contributed to BWW #99.
A Gathering of Baby Pumpkins

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