Archive for November, 2010

Review Of Food Blogs For October 2010

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

I cannot really believe that it is already November, the clocks have fallen back and I am preparing for Christmas, with the Christmas cake baked and Christmas pudding slated for this weekend.  So on a cold, windy, dark November morning, I looked back with joy at the tail end of autumnal style cooking and my favourite bloggers’ articles on the web.

At A Slice Of Cherry Pie, Julia Parsons has been cooking in Turin at the Slow Food Show, making sausages and a British pasta dish; all good reading and sounds like an amazing event.  And in a Halloween vein, there are recipes for Halloween biscuits and Roasted Winter Squash With Nutmeg.

At Cannelle et Vanille, where as always the photography is awesome, Aran Goyoaga has made some delicious Pumpkin, Quinoa And Hazelnut Gnocchi which sound amazing; I have never really liked gnocchi and I get tired of pumpkin soup at this time of year, so this seems to sort out two problems at once.  While earlier, the smells of the mouth-watering Pear, Hazelnut and Brown Butter Cakes just leap out of the screen and they look so dainty and perfect in the photography, shaped as they are in mini bundt circles.  I have also worked out why her blog looks so perfect, she is a food stylist and photographer, so I do not need to feel too down on my own inabilities in my blog, where everything seems made at home, so rough and ready, which actually is how it is.

Some time back, I experimented with recipes for the ideal Almond Cake and came up with something that seemed to pass muster, however Clotilde Dusoulier at Chocolate & Zucchini has come up with a great alternative, Quince Almond Cake, which I reckon you could also do with pears if you cannot find any quinces.  Clotilde has also posted an intriguing Savory Sesame Cookies recipe that has been adapted from a recipe by Clea at Clea Cuisine.

At Chubby Hubby, they have created a fusion slow-cooked Pot Au Feu that mixes French cuisine with Vietnamese pho.  It sounds like an ideal winter warmer as the nights draw in.

CookSister has been very active with lots of photography, restaurant reviews and some inspiring recipes.  I like the Individual Beef & Guinness Pies, where I might substitute a local stout or dark beer from a microbrewery around us like Monkey Wrench Ale from Daleside Brewery or Riggwelter from Black Sheep Brewery.  These would be accompanied nicely by the Runner Bean And Feta Gratin and with Creme Brulee for pudding.

David Lebovitz has been enjoying visiting markets again with the Arabian exoticism of the Sharjah Market in the United Arab Emirates.  But life will never be the same after the recipe for Chocolate Mousse cake which is a must for any cake-a-holic and chocoholic and has already entered our repertoire.  I love his post about Oatmeal Raisin Cookies as they sound lovely, as well as the truth behind David’s life about being a chef and that it is grunt work; I think TV has a lot to answer for as it makes everyone feel they can be the next superstar singer earning gazillions or Gordon Ramsay or Prime Minister, which is plain folly as most of us are really just going to have to work hard to scrape a living, pay our taxes and get by – that’s the plain and simple truth.  My father talks about “winers, diners and grinders” in the business world, where most are permanently left in the grinders (or grunts) camp, so for example a policeman friend of ours says that they are really just well paid muscle willing to do the stuff that no-one else will do.  But the piece de resistance for me is the Swiss Chard Tart where David has topped the normal pastry filled with chard with apples on the top layer and then enclosed this in even more pastry; this sounds a delicious combination with all those heady baking spices and different textures from raisins and pine nuts.

Helen at Fuss Free Flavours has been busy making Double Chocolate Madeleines which I need to make alongside the David Lebovitz’s Chocolate Mousse Cake mentioned earlier, and I like the idea of Healthier Chocolate Crispies, which I do not feel will catch on for kid’s parties but sounds a perfect excuse for adults to indulge in children’s foods – why should they have all the fun?  Chocolate seems to be the theme and Spiced Chocolate Stout Beef Casserole sounds amazing even after Chocolate Week, finishing off with the very adult Chocolate Stout Brownies to help the waistline.