Sunday, February 14, 2010

Messing With Mezze

First off, Happy Valentines Day! Okay, on to the February Daring Cook challenge....

The 2010 February Daring COOKs challenge was hosted by Michele of Veggie Num Nums. Michele chose to challenge everyone to make mezze based on various recipes from Claudia Roden, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Dugid.

Mezze (pronounced mezz-ay) is a middle-eastern style of eating, with a bunch of small dishes to be eaten with pita bread. We were required to make our own hummus and pita bread from scratch, and then we could do whatever ever else was to our fancy (as long as it featured middle eastern flavors).

I had SO MUCH FUN with this challenge. I spent a great deal of time looking up native foods to the middle eastern area, desserts, and recipes. I actually made Mezze twice; I was so much fun the first time, and I wanted to add different recipes. Oh, and because the pictures I shot the first time weren't very good, so I deleted them all- making it so I almost had to make Mezze a second time.

I'll stop talking now, and let the pictures explain themselves....

My Mezze: hummus, split pea kalamata dip, mock tabouli, black olives, and sweet balsamic sunflower seeds. There was originally sweet balsamic almonds (way better) included, but I was without almonds the second time of Mezze.

Because I am gluten-free, I had to create my own pita bread. I wanted to create my own recipe for it, and after three failed batches (three) I struck gold. Mind you, they don't puff up, but they are a delightful flat bread, and the recipe can be adapted in a kick-butt pizza crust, too! Unfortunately, when I made Mezze the second time, I was without a needed flour, so my mom (who wanted to learn how to make them) was carrying out my adaptation instructions. She accidentally misread one of the ingredient preparations, hence the cracking of this pita bread. They normally don't do that.


Split Pea Kalamata dip. My own recipe.

Mock Tabouli, with non-traditional ingredients, but oh so yummy!

Thanks Michele, for the great challenge!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Macro Rat

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Hand for Haiti

The overwhelming chaos and tragedy of the Haiti earthquake has shaken me, to say the least. I wondered what to do, all those people, and animals, who need help! For the animals, Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH) is on this, and I will be leading a fundraiser for them at the local middle school. I know that there are countless of places to donate money to the people pf Haiti, but I just don't know where to start. I don't know, helping people has never been something that comes to me as easily and assisting animals. Donating to the local giving tree last Christmas was something new to me. Haiti needs help, what can I do? I wondered. Then, I found out that Lauren of Celiac Teen was struggling with the same thing, and she came up with a brilliant contribution. We might not be able to to go to Haiti and treat the wounded, or donate millions of dollars, but we can cook. I can cook. The blogosphere working to together with a common goal- helping Haiti, by doing what we love best.

A Hand for Haiti the recipes that make the blogosphere feel at home e-book is now available for purchase. The minimum price is $10, but you can give more as an extra donation. And, the Canadian government will match all donations made up to February 12. So buy your copy now, and see if you can spot yours truly of page 74! That's right, I'm in a cookbook. A dream come true.... and it goes to a good cause, too.

I contributed my adaptation of chocolate pudding cake, a very rich and homey dessert in my family. There are also 86 other recipes, ranging from breakfast to dinner, from sweet to savory. Some recipes are vegan, some are gluten-free, and even if you can't eat every single recipe in the book, there's something for everyone. There's even something for the people of Haiti.

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