A Spring Dinner – Grassfed Beef Steaks with Chimmichuri, Fresh English Peas with Garlic and Pan Roasted Fingerling Potatoes


It is no secret that I love to eat seasonally and that I am a big fan and customer of my local farmer’s market. Last spring I showed you how to make this really nice dinner that showcases the bounty of spring. When you eat more seasonally it is fun to see now how much you really look forward to certain foods during the year. For example fresh English peas in the pod. These little beauties are like the heralds of spring. Just their very color is indicative of the season – beautiful spring green. I felt this meal was so invoking of Spring, that it was worth posting again, now that spring is in full flourish – and also because I really want to win some grassfed steaks!


So this is my entry for the Clean Your Plate Challenge over on Nourished Kitchen . This month’s addition is Grassfed Steaks !

We have been trying to eat as seasonally as possible for the past two years, which can be a challenge depending on where you live. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like we have been doing it for this long, because I am still learning more traditional cooking techniques and adding more and more real food to my kitchen repertoire. This past month for example, I have been eliminating processed sugar and white flour from our diet. When we move to Vermont in 2 weeks, these things will no longer have a place in my kitchen. This way of eating will always be a work in progress, but I feel the pluses completely outweigh the minuses, both in health and taste. That is one other thing I am looking forward to with our upcoming move – even more access to local and pasture raised meat and dairy foods!

As I have mentioned before, Roberto and I are very active people. We enjoy activities like archery, martial arts and weight lifting, among other things. With an increased activity lifestyle over the past year, it has come an increased need for good quality protein and food. I feel like this way of eating has given me not only increased physical energy, but also mental energy, and more balanced emotions.

I paired this beautiful grassfed skirt steak with local fingerling potatoes – another spring veggie.  I really loved the combination of these three components – steak, potatoes and fresh English peas.


I also got some inspiration from my fresh herbs out on the porch. I have always wanted to make a chimmichuri sauce – its vibrant green color and fresh taste is very attractive to me on so many levels, and it just felt like it would go great with this meal.

Chimmichuri is typically made with fresh cilantro or parsley as the main herb, but I don’t have either of them growing. So I used what I did have – basil and oregano. I threw these herbs together with extra virgin olive oil, citrus champagne vinegar and a few other spices to make a fabulous tangy and herbal sauce for the steak.

I pan roasted the fingerling potatoes by throwing them in a large pan with olive oil, salt and pepper and cooking until they were browned on all sides. I then thew them in the oven at 425 F for 20 minutes, and tossed them with fresh chives when they came out of the oven. I sautéed the peas with olive oil and 3 cloves of garlic.

It was a wonderful meal full of the fresh flavors of spring!



1 cup fresh basil leaves
¼ cup fresh oregano leaves
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup citrus champagne vinegar
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 TBS sumac
salt to taste


Throw it all in a food processor or blender and blend until it becomes a sauce and serve it with the steak and potatoes.

Coconut Chicken Tenders with Potato Puree


A few weeks ago, I got a nice package in the mail from Tropical Traditions. They are doing a giveaway this month on The Foodie Blogroll, and as the creator of that community, I often receive some nice perks for putting these giveaways on for the community. One of the delicious coconut items in the package was a bag of coconut flour (to see all the items, and for a chance to win them, click here). I was really excited to see coconut flour included in the package, as I have been working with a variety of Gluten Free and Grain Free flours lately.

I had some chicken tenderloins in the fridge, and thought it would be fun to make Coconut Chicken Tenders. I always have a bag of dessicated coconut in the pantry, and so with an egg I was ready to go.

I served it with a potato puree that I made in my Vitamix. I had intended to make mashed potatoes, but those blades are certainly powerful! So mashed becomes pureed! The puree turned out delicious and udderly (pun intended) creamy – a perfect accompaniment to the chicken.


I used a special butter in the puree. Delitia Parmigiano Reggiano Butter is made from the cream left over from Parmigiano Reggiano cheese production. It is a delicious, delicate and flavorful butter – with a Parmigiano Reggiano quality to it. If you happen upon some, it is worth trying. It is certainly not local to me, but the quality of Italian dairy products is known the world over.


Coconut Chicken Tenders


6 chicken tenderloins

1 egg, scrambled

1/8 cup coconut flour

¼ cup dessicated coconut


Preheat oven to 400 F. Rinse and pat dry the chicken tenderloins. Dip them in the egg, and then the mixture of the flour and coconut. Place them on a cookie sheet and cook for 25 minutes – turning halfway through. Serve with potato puree.

Potato Puree


4 Idaho potatoes, boiled until soft

1- inch slice of Delitia Parmigiano Reggiano Butter

dash of heavy cream

salt and pepper to taste


Place all the ingredients in the Vitamix, and blend until smooth.

Goat Fromage Blanc with Garbanzo Crackers


Well I have been up to a little kitchen experimentation, lately. First I wanted to tackle another batch of Fromage Blanc made with goat milk. The last time I made it , after draining it for 12 hours, I gave the cheese cloth a bit of a heavy handed squeeze which resulted in a dry and crumbly sort of cheese. I liked it. It was good for stirring in eggs and other dishes. However this time I was hoping to yield a softer more spreadable cheese. Basically I followed the same procedure as last time , except that I used pasteurized goat milk, instead of raw, let the cheese drain for about 15 hours (instead of 12) and did not squeeze the bag. It came out perfectly! Wonderful and creamy and perfect to spread on crackers…except there were no crackers!

That was an easy fix. I have been wanting to play with some of the recipes from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients. Jeff and Zoe, along with Monica from their publishing company, St. Martin’s Press, are generously hosting 2 months of giveaways of this book on Foodieblogroll.com! I was lucky enough to receive a copy of the book from Monica and really wanted to get baking. I was particularly interested in the gluten-free breads. So I was delighted to find a gluten free version of the Olive Oil bread, I use so often from their first book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking. The gluten free recipe called for soy flour, and I have a soy sensitivity and I didn’t have rice flour on hand either. So I decided to make a modified version, using what I had available – since I really wanted to enjoy some cheese & crackers.

These crackers are not gluten free, but what I call transitional crackers. Although you could make them gluten free by using rice flour in place of the WW flour. I used kefir and raw apple cider vinegar to soak local whole wheat Vermont flour – from a farm we visited in Vermont this fall and then used garbanzo bean flour to cut down on some of the grains in this cracker. The garbanzo bean flour had a very strong smell and so I really wasn’t sure how it would turn out if I used exclusively garbanzo flour. I used over half of the dough to make crackers, and then used the other part to make a small loaf of bread. The bread was not great, but the crackers were wonderful! The bean flavor in the flour really complimented the nice crispy crackers. Here is my recipe inspired by both Gluten- Free Olive Oil Bread and Gluten-Free Cheddar and Sesame Crackers from Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.

Seedy Garbanzo Crackers (NOT Gluten-free)


1 ½ TBS yeast

1 TBS sea salt

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp raw apple cider vinegar

2 large organic eggs

½ cup of homemade kefir

2 cups filtered water

3 cups whole wheat flour

3 cups garbanzo bean flour

½ cup corn starch

Cracker toppings: seeds: white or black sesame, fennel, flax, etc, salt, za’atar spice or any other spices or dried herbs you like.


1) Whisk together flours, cornstarch, yeast and salt, and put in a large lidded bowl.

2) Combine all the liquid ingredients and gradually mix with the dry ingredients using a spoon, or 14 cup food processor.

3) Cover (not airtight) and allow the dough to rest at room temperature for at least2 hours, but better for those with grain intolerance, to let it rest for 12 hours and up to 24 hours.

4) The dough can be used immediately after its initial rise or you can refrigerate in the lidded container and use it over the next 7 days. The flavor will be better if you wait for at least 24 hours of refrigeration.

On Baking Day:

1) Thirty minutes before baking time preheat the oven to 400 F.

2) Cut off an orange sized piece of dough, place dough on a piece of parchment paper or a silicone mat. Then cover with more parchment paper or plastic wrap. Use a rolling pin and roll until you have a 1/16th inch rectangle. Peel off the top layer or wrap or paper, and place the dough on top of the paper or mat onto baking sheet.

3) Using a pizza cutter gently score the dough into the shape you want the crackers (be careful not to cut the silicone mat, if that is what you are using).

4) Just before baking, using a pastry brush, paint the dough with water and sprinkle the top with black and toasted sesame seeds, salt and za’atar spice.

5) Bake for 15 minutes, or until crackers are golden brown. Allow them to cool before eating.

6) Serve with fromage blanc!


Æbleskiver : Danish Pancakes


(My first attempts—deformed æbleskiver…)

Have you had Æbleskiver (pronounced EB-el-sku-wyr)? They are yummy and delicious, cute and round Danish Pancakes that can be eaten with syrup, like pancakes, or filled with anything from fruit to cream, or even Nutella! I imagine some savory combinations too – like apples and cheddar, perhaps?

I heard about them several years ago, but saw them being cooked for the first time in San Francisco, this past November, at the Foodbuzz Food Bloggers Festival. That is where I met Chad Gillard, co-owner of Aunt Else’s Æbleskiver. He was there in the afternoon’s tasting pavilion as part of the Foodzie crew, demonstrating how to make æbleskiver using Aunt Else’s Æbleskiver Mix which is made with organic, Minnesota grown wheat & organic buttermilk from Wisconsin and using Aunt Else’s high quality, locally made 9-hole cast iron æbleskiver pan. I was really intrigued and got in touch with Chad after the festival to see if he wanted to do a giveaway on Foodieblogroll.com, so we could start an Æbleskiver Revolution in the Food Blogging world! So that is how I came to be a lucky recipient of an æbleskiver pan and Aunt Else’s mix at no charge for hosting the giveaway.

I decided that my maiden attempt to make æbleskiver would be over Thanksgiving, while my family was visiting. I wanted everyone to have a chance to taste these little darlings, and I was excited to offer something unique for breakfast. I had prepared the cast iron pan the night before so it was all set. When it was time, I used coconut oil to prepare the pan for cooking. Making the mix was easy – just add eggs and water and you are ready to go! Just like pancakes, the first few batches didn’t really look as round and cute as Chad’s did at the festival – but then again, I comforted myself in that knowledge that he is a professional! I was about to get discouraged, but then the batches started coming out great! It is fun to make æbleskiver, after you pour the batter in, you turn them several quarter turns using a metal implement that comes with the kit. Back in the day, the Danes would use a knitting needle – but I suppose you could also use a chopstick!

I decided to make a simple version – just plain and sprinkled with powdered sugar! Powdered sugar makes everything look pretty – even my deformed æbleskiver! I served them with maple syrup for dipping.


(Practice makes perfect….)

I really love Aunt Else’s stuff, especially the fact that they are a small company making their product locally, and using local and organic ingredients in their mix. That is something I feel really good about supporting. For your chance to win your own Æbleskiver Kit, check out Aunt Else’s Contest Page on The Foodie Blogroll. Mange tak, Chad and Aunt Else’s!

November 2009 Foodie Blogroll Giveaways!


It is another month, which means we have another new round of great giveaways and contests to share with our Foodie Blogroll members blogs! If you have a food blog, and are not a member of The Foodie Blogroll, what are you waiting for? Please join our community of over 5500 food blogs!

This is the last time I will be posting about Foodie Blogroll Giveaways on The Leftover Queen blog, as a rule of thumb. In case you haven’t heard, after a year of listening to your feedback and developing a band new software program, we launched a new and improved Foodie Blogroll website this month!!!!

The new website is much more interactive than the old site was, and so after this month, I will be posting all the giveaway news on The Foodie Blogroll website! So if you have not been there yet, please go over and check it out! 🙂


In order to promote the new website and its interactive features, we are working with Regional Best this month. Regional Best features artisan foods. You can purchase handcrafted local foods directly from artisans, family farms and small companies. They have everything from chocolate and confections, to gluten free foods, condiments, cheeses and meats. They are giving away three (3) $25 shopping sprees a week, through the month of November, to Foodie Blogroll members located in the continental US! In order to be eligible you must go and comment on the post about the Regional Best Giveaway on the Foodie Blogroll website on our Contests and Giveaways Page. You can begin commenting on this contest entry starting next week.

You can now comment on all posts, articles, blog and member pages! Please come and check out our new features, and be sure to comment on the Regional Best contest post!

We have 2 other exciting giveaways to offer you this month directly from Foodie Blogroll members! Two cookbooks – The Adaptable Feast by Ivy Manning of Ivy’s Feast and Poor Girl Eats Well – To Go! By Kimberly Morales of Poor Girl Eats Well !


Adaptable Feast by Ivy Manning is about cooking in mixed-diet families, where there are hearty and satisfying meals for everyone at your table – vegetarians, vegans and omnivores. Inspired by her own background as an omnivore married to a vegetarian, Manning has developed a diverse and delicious collection of 90 recipes, each adaptable to yield a few vegetarian servings of a meaty dish, or a few omnivore servings of a vegetarian one. Typical entries in this beautifully illustrated cookbook include elegant Japanese Eggplant and Halibut with Miso Glaze, and a sumptuous Spaghetti Carbonara for gourmands of all persuasions. Ivy says that it is a great book for the holidays, giving you ideas of how to feed the mixed crowds of eaters that may be dropping by for festivities. To be eligible to win Ivy’s book you must have a verified active blog featured on Foodieblogroll.com.


Poor Girl Eats Well – To Go! is Kimberly Morales’ self published book about eating well on a budget.  You can order her book on her website. Her very popular blog Poor Girl Eats Well, has been nominated for a Foodbuzz blog awards nominee in the category of “Blogger you’d most like to see have her own show on the Food Network”. So be sure to congratulate her on her nomination. Her blog is dedicated to those who can’t always afford the best but still expect the best. “Often imitated, never duplicated, I will show you how you can stretch your dollar while making delicious, good-for-you meals”. You can enjoy her tips, tricks and delicious recipes in her book!  <!– @page { margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } –>This 46-page mini-book features top favorites like the Caprese Omelette, Shrimp with Pineapple-Pepper Relish, and the Mushroom Asiago Quesadilla. A few of the most popular tips are featured too, with the bonus tip on how to have a successful $25 Shopping Cart trip  A perfect holiday gift for anyone that loves food! To be eligible to win Kimberly’s book you must have a verified active blog featured on Foodieblogroll.com.

Thanks to all our current Foodie Blogroll members for your support and ideas over the last year. Please keep an eye out for our monthly newsletter next week with all the contest details.

Royal Foodie Joust Winners: Apple, Maple and Cayenne


I love the fall, it is certainly, without a doubt, my favorite season. So when Natasha, from 5 Star Foodie , winner of last month’s Joust, sent me her choice of ingredients for this month I was thrilled!

Apple, Maple and Cayenne are three ingredients that really exemplify fall fare. It seems that the Jousters felt the same way, because we had 17 awesome entries this month! Everything from soup, to seafood and salsa to caramel apples! Be sure to check out all the recipes and tantalizing photos here on the Foodie Blogroll forum!

We welcomed several new Jousters this month, who will hopefully become regulars, and welcomed many of our seasoned Jousters back, after a much deserved summer break! I hope this will encourage some of you to join us this month too! Things are always exciting, and changing in the Jousting fields! We have a fantastic group of ingredients this month too. I will announce them at the end of the post!

About the Joust:

The Royal Foodie Joust is an awesome and fun monthly peer voted competition that is hosted on The LeftoverQueen/FoodieBlogroll Forum! It gets better each and every month as the competition gets stiffer and more creative, as Jousters try to outdo each other! It is also one of the friendliest competitions I have ever seen. So please don’t be intimidated to come and join us this month in another round!

We don’t bite, unless of course there is real food in our faces ;)

The only rules for the competition is that each Jouster create only one dish and each entry must feature three ingredients in common.

This competition has been referred to many times as the “Iron Chef” of the Food Blogosphere. Each month’s ingredients are chosen by the previous month’s Best Overall Entry winner. The Best Overall winner of each Joust not only wins the Queen’s favor, bragging rights and a cool icon to put on their blog, but is also awarded with a super awesome Royal Foodie Joust Apron! There are also prizes for the winners of the other two categories: Best Photo and Most Unique Interpretation

So what are you waiting for? Come over and join us this month!

If you would like to participate in this month’s Joust, be sure to submit your entry by 12 NOON, Eastern Standard USA time on the First of the following Month (Nov. 1, 2009)!

If you have an idea you would like to share about how to make the Joust a better community event, please join us in discussing it here.

Although there were so many awesome entries this time around, there can only be one winner in each category, and each month making that call gets harder! Onto those winning entries now!

This month’s Best Overall winner is Kat from A Good Appetite. Her winning entry is Brie Stuffed Maple Burger with Spicy Apple Bacon Compote .


Her recipe was inspired by a local restaurant, Blue Door that does some really interesting takes on the classic Minneapolis Juicy Lucy. Their most recent version stuffed with brie & topped with apple compote was only available for one day. Kat and Matt, couldn’t make it there that day so they decided to put their our own spin on it at home. “In our version the beef is flavored with a little maple syrup & then stuffed with brie. The apple compote is spiced up with cayenne, sweetened with maple syrup plus given a little saltiness with some bacon. Put it all together & you really have an amazing flavor combination. The apples go surprisingly well with the beef.”

I could certainly sink my teeth into this amazing burger! Congrats Kat for taking the win this month!

As food bloggers (and food appreciators) we all know that pictures speak a thousand words and this month’s Best photo winner goes to Peter, aka Protos Souvlaki for the Soul with Spicy Carrot and Apple Cakes with Maple Buttercream Frosting


For his Joust entry Peter made us some mini carrot cakes. He added the cayenne pepper to the “spice mix” which also included nutmeg, cinnamon and ground cloves. He added the maple syrup to a buttercream frosting that went on top. True to his Greek roots, he also used olive oil, Greek yoghurt and a combination of wholemeal flours and almond meal in his recipe. I really love the look of these cute little cakes!

The Winner for Most Unique Interpretation of the Ingredients is awarded to Joan of FOODalogue with her 3 Alarm Fruit Pizzette


This pizzette is an amazing combination of flavors! Joan says she always has bits of recipes and flavor combinations swirling around in her head that helps her to create her super flavorful dishes on her blog. This is what she says about her Joust creation:It may make you sweat a bit, but the layers of flavors will totally entice. You’ve got heat from the cayenne pepper and jalapeño mustard; sweet from the maple syrup and apples; salt and gooeyness from the cheese; freshness from the cilantro, scallions, lime zest and starfruit; and crunch from the pumpkin seeds and toasted flatbread.” Unique and delicious indeed!

Thank you so much to our winners, all the participants and everyone who voted! Remember, even if you don’t enter the Joust you can still vote for your favorite entry on The Foodie Blogroll Forum!


This month, here in North America, we celebrate Halloween! So for this month’s Joust, Kat has decided to use the colors of Orange and Black to inspire you for this month’s Joust!

Here are your ingredients:

Orange – Pumpkin (or anything other orange flesh squash, i.e. butternut, acorn, kabocha)
Black – Stout, Porter or other dark colored Beer (if you don’t want to use alcohol, you can substitute in cola)

Please post your entries here!

Let the games begin!!! 🙂

October 2009 Foodie Blogroll Giveaways!


Well another month is about to start which means that we have some new giveaways to announce this month!!!

Cupcake Provocateur Couture Chef Aprons


I am really excited to announce this month that we are working with Cynthia from Cupcake Provocateur . She is a member of the Foodie Blogroll, and sells her own line of really cute and durable kitchen aprons!  In this picture I am wearing the Perfect Pear Brown design.


Here are some of the staff members of Charm City Cakes (Ace Of Cakes) wearing their Artisan Chef aprons!!!!


So you will be in good company for sure! 🙂

I love this line of aprons and you will too! The winner will be able to chose their favorite Artisan Chef apron from her website. To be eligible, please post on The Foodie Blogroll forum which Chef apron you would chose if you were picked as a winner! Then we will choose a random winner from all those who comment.

To see the apron choices, please check out The Cupcake Provocateur

The winner will also receive “Cupcakes in A Jar” — decorative mason jars featuring some of her most popular cupcake flavors made into dry mixes!!!! This contest is available to all of our Foodie Blogroll members! So head on over to the forum today and tell us which apron is your favorite, for a chance to win!


The Ginger People Halloween Recipe Contest


We have another exciting contest to share with you! Our friends at The Ginger People are back to offer a tasty gift basket of warming ginger treats, perfect for autumn baking to one lucky winner!

Entries due October 31, 2009!

To enter, please share with us, on this forum thread,  a Halloween themed ginger recipe featuring GINGER. One lucky participant will win an awesome 5 lb. Ginger People gift basket. As a bonus just for entering the recipe contest, all entrants will receive 20% off their order of awesome Ginger People products (good through November 15, 2009)!

Please post your Halloween ginger recipes here!

If you aren’t familiar with The Ginger People’s product line, please check out their webpage: TheGingerPeople.com . Their Ginger Snaps are my favorite cookies on the market, and their Ginger Gizer is a triple ginger energy drink. Perfect for keeping the cold, and any upset tummies away. Many more great products on their website! This contest is available for US residents only.

Don’t forget to follow The Ginger People on Twitter @TheGingerPeople!


Stuffed Nation Giveaway


Don’t forget the Stuffed Nation Giveaway is still going on. Blog about your thoughts on obesity in the US or food policy and you will have a chance to win the book, by Hank Cardello. This is a huge topic that affects everyone, and food bloggers should be one of the many voices heard. We have deep roots in the food community, and with that comes a chance to speak up and be heard! So please participate. If you would like to learn more about this giveaway, please click here.


Star Extra Virgin Olive Oil Giveaway


We also have Star Olive Oil giving away bottles of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a recipe book!  For more details about this giveaway, and how you can win a trip to Spain, visit The Foodie Blogroll website!

CameO Apple and Swiss Chard Tart for Ovarian Cancer Awareness!


Last week marked the first day of Autumn for us, in the Northern Hemisphere. The Autumn Equinox, Harvest Home, Mabon, or whatever you like to call it, is officially my favorite day of the year, because it marks my favorite season of the year. Autumn for me is like the beginning of a new year, a re-birth of sorts, a time for inner reflection as we turn inwards while hunkering down for colder weather. There is much to celebrate – cooler temperatures, fireplaces, time with family, cozy evenings sipping hot beverages, snuggling up in blankets and reading stories, beautiful colors, and seasonal fare. I feel like fall foods, are some of the most universally seasonal eating people do – hearty soups and stews, pumpkins and other winter squashes, roasted root vegetables, and fruits like pears and apples figure prominently for most people without even having to think about it. There is something about the crisp air that hearkens to change.

To celebrate the change of seasons, I always like to make a special dinner on that day. So for this equinox I prepared Apple and Swiss Chard Tart. You may remember me making this before, but this time, I prepared my own gluten free crust, using a combination of garbanzo bean, fava bean and rice flours. I also used Cameo apples, one of my favorites. It goes wonderful with a nice slice of sharp cheddar – another ingredient in the pie. We always have the Seriously Sharp Cabot Cheddar in our fridge. It is amazing to eat plain, but also goes great in cooking. It also makes us feel closer to the home in our heart, the state of Vermont.


Because this is such a comforting, yet healthy dish, I wanted to make it in honor of something else, besides just the changing of the guards so to speak. Just like last year, when I baked it for Breast Cancer Awareness. This year I wanted to make it for the O Foods Contest for Ovarian Cancer Awareness. This is its second year running and is done to raise awareness about Ovarian Cancer. The O Foods tradition is in honor of our friend, award-winning pastry chef Gina DePalma,  author of Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen. Gina has been fighting ovarian cancer for the past year and a half, and in addition to physically battling the disease, she has also started the Cowgirl Cure Foundation to raise awareness and money for research as well. She is an amazing woman, and I wish her all the best. She will be judging this years O Foods Contest!!! But since I am posting this on the last day of the contest (and I apologize profusely for that), you can also participate by just donating money to the Cowgirl Cure Foundation.


We raised a toast to Gina and Autumn by sipping some nice and sparkling Italian Prosecco with our tart dinner! If you are looking for some delicious fall flavors, this tart has it all, apples, chard, cheddar and caramelized onions. For the recipe, click here . As for the crust recipe, I adapted it from a recipe on About.com. The flavor was amazing, but the crust did stick to the tart pan. So I would suggest using butter (I used oil) to grease the pan with. If anyone else has other suggestions for greasing tart pans, I would love to hear them!