Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Milk and Honey Bread and a Giveaway!

So the bread I made for this bread braid was the milk and honey bread I really enjoyed this bread lovely soft and moist.

In my last post I mentioned that good bread deserves good olive oil and vinegar so I asked Black Star Gourmet if they would do a giveaway for my fellow bread makers and readers and they kindly agreed.

So simple leave a comment and I will pick a winner at random in a weeks time Monday May 10th for you to receive these:

Balsamic Vinegar of Modena Aged Over 10 years

and This wonderful Moroccan Olive Oil:


1. live in the US
2. consider following Black Star Gourmet on twitter (I help tweet for them and tweet cool stuff he he )
4. Sign up for Black Star Gourmets Newsletter for great news and deals


Enter to win the

Sponsored by
Black Star Gourmet

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Pancetta and Shrimp Gumbo

After making the Pancetta risotto I was on twitter and asking @ChefAustinSzu about Pancetta he said it could be used in place of bacon in any recipe so I thought why not Gumbo!

This turned out to be fabulous Gumbo and had a good kick to it. Shame Jasmine wasn't so keen her Indian half hasn't kicked in yet!


8 slices of pancetta
one spoon olive oil
one small red onion chopped
4 cloves of garlic
one green pepper chopped
one cup of okra chopped
one cup of wild caught shrimp
2 small red chilli's
2 small tomatoes chopped
one cup of vegetable broth
3 medium potatoes chopped
some cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
salt and pepper to taste

  1. cook the pancetta for 3 minutes add the onions and garlic for another few minutes then add the pepper, chilli's, potato, tomato, okra
  2. add the broth and the rest of the spices turn the heat low and simmer for 10 minutes
  3. then add the shrimp and simmer for a further 15 - 20 minutes

Finally its so wonderful to have my parents here and magical to see them with Jasmine, heres a picture of our friend Wayne building a swing for her, stay turned for a picture of her in it. We have to wait two days for the cement to set that may prove too difficult!!

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Guest Post from My Man's Belly

It is with great pleasure to bring you a guest post from Pamela from My Mans Belly, this is a wonderful blog with first class recipes, good humor and relationship advice I love it. This is a special post as my Parents should be finally arriving tomorrow and Rhubarb is one of my Dad's favorite things shame she didn't post us all some of this yummy Rhubarb and Strawberry sauce, enjoy!

Spring’s Hidden Gem - Rhubarb

I’ve been reading Chow and Chatter for some time now and was honored when Rebecca asked me to write a guest post. Then my brain really kicked in and started taunting me with things like: What should I write? What would her readers like to see? Does anyone really want to hear what I have to say? Once my brain was done with the self-flagellation I was able to settle in to what I would write about.

A trip to the farmer’s market gave me all of the inspiration I needed. It’s rhubarb and strawberry season! If you’ve ever seen those pinkish red stalks (that kind of look like a really pretty celery stalk) and never knew what to do with them…I’m here to help.

Rhubarb is probably not something you want to sit down with and just start chewing on, it’s very tart. But when you mix it up with some of Spring’s fresh strawberries…now you’ve got something you can slather onto just about anything and give it a little zip of Spring.

Growing up, my mom always made strawberry rhubarb pie with a meringue crust. As I got older I realized why I liked it so much. I just liked the tart filling. Thus began my lust for rhubarb sauce. I eat it all by itself, which causes my husband to cringe while watching me slurp down the tart concoction. (He is not of the tart persuasion…he would be on the sweeter side of the coin.) But if there are any baked goods around, or pancakes, I catch him spooning it on very generously. While the rhubarb sauce is tart, when it’s put onto something sweet the pucker power of it is greatly diminished.

Makes approximately 1 ½ cups


  • · 1 Pound Strawberries (hulled and quartered)
  • · ½ Pound Rhubarb (sliced to ¼” – ½” pieces)
  • · ¼ Cup Water
  • · 3 Tablespoons Sugar*


  1. Add Strawberries, Rhubarb, Water and Sugar to a small saucepan. Cook ingredients over medium high heat until rhubarb is soft and falling apart. (This takes 20-30 minutes) Stir frequently to keep ingredients heated evenly.
  2. Remove from heat and let cool.

Serve by itself or over sponge cake, biscuits, toast, pancakes or even white fish.

*Or add more sugar to taste.

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4 Things to Live Longer and Look Younger

A recent study looking at the lifestyle habits of 5000 British adults found that those that smoked, drank excessive alcohol, more than 3 drinks for men and 2 a day for woman, did less than 2 hours of physical activity a week and less then 3 servings of fruits and vegetables a day had a shorter life span. They also looked 12 years older than those who made healthier choices.

So what can we do?

  1. Get help to stop smoking if you smoke
  2. Enjoy Alcohol in Moderation
  3. Walk or do fun activities daily
  4. Eat more fruits and vegetables, for example Orange juice for breakfast an apple mid morning, salad for lunch, broccoli and peas for supper and berries and cereal before bed see its not that hard

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pancetta and Shiitake Risotto

I made this yummy risotto the other day, with pancetta and shiitake for something different.


  • 1/2 pancetta
  • one small pack of shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 baby bella mushrooms
  • one cup of vegetable stock
  • 4 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1/2 red onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup of white wine
  • 2 cups of water
  • one cup of Arborio Rice
  • one cup frozen peas
  • a little Parmesan cheese for garnish

  1. saute the onion and garlic in olive oil
  2. then add the pancetta for 3 minutes
  3. add rice and peas and the wine and stir keep stirring the rice loses the water then add another cup, stir then add the final cup this takes about 30-45 minutes
  4. near the end sprinkle with Parmesan cheese

finally Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks kindly gave me I Love your blog award thanks so much, I am enjoying your blog, be sure to check it out everyone

What are your favorite mushrooms? I am going to try Maiitake next!

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Book Tour: 21 Simple Things You Can Do to Help Someone with Diabetes

The lovely and talented Author Cherie Burbach is doing a virtual book tour and since I reviewed her book in September last year and am now her virtual friend I was more than happy to host her tour.

My review is below and a link to the book. It is a great little book and a must for friends and family members to have on hand to understand diabetes better. Cherie has diabetes so her insight is priceless.
21 Things You Can Do To Help Someone with Diabetes

I really love this little book and the concept of it. It is a quick and easy read geared towards friends and family of those with diabetes giving them down to earth and practical tips of how to help their loved ones.
Cherie has had diabetes for 20 years herself and really speaks from the heart and personal experience, enriching the book.

I love the way it helps the reader to put themselves into the shoes of someone with diabetes and see it through their eyes, some of the take home messages for me are
not to judge, and police them, looking at their plates and so forth to be a good listener and understanding

It reminds the reader of how complex diabetes is, its not all about what you eat, and that blood sugars are affected by many factors, food, activity, stress and illness

It also offers practical advice such as learning how to give shots and check blood sugar so if needed they can offer a helping hand also to keep healthy food on hand and sugar free soda when your loved one comes to visit.

It suggests learning about the condition and attending support groups, with them.
Its a great book I highly recommend it.

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Hi all it's with great pleasure to announce the give away winners

1. Judy has won the Breville juicer and citrus fruit please email me with your address
2. Barbara of moveable feasts for the Wise Man Tea giveaway please email me
3. Peachkins of The peach kitchen for the Chamomile tea please email your address

Many congrats all

Love Rebecca

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Charleston SC Eats

My hubby had a fun days off so we decided to head down to Charleston SC for a couple of nights with my friend and her 11 month old. We got a great deal on a lovely cottage on Folly Beach it was beautiful and it was my friends baby first time to the beach. Jasmine had so much fun with the "Baby!"
Today we ate at SNOB or Slightly North of Broad in Downtown Charleston-192 East Bay St.
Charleston, SC 29401 the wait was really long, it was recommended to me by @EatItAtlanta on twitter! it was a great restaurant with typical low country food I would give it 7/10.

The Interior

Align Center

One thing I thought was great they brought little bowls of fruit for the girls before they took the order.

I got a beef shank in a olive and tomato sauce with mashed potato and okra overall very nice. The beef was from a local Organic butcher

Hubby got fried chicken livers and grits very Southern!Align Center

My friend got shrimp and grits with homemade sausage this was really good.

The coolest thing for me was the discovery that there is a tea plantation South of Charleston the only one in America and the tea was really good!, we enjoyed this with a slice of carrot cake no picture it was gobbled up fast!

Then this evening we went to a Local seafood place near folly beach look at the Sunset!

Sauteed shrimp this was yummy but unfortunately the only thing on the menu not fried!

Deviled Crab

We had a lovely couple of days in Charleston, if you haven't been its a must. One of my favorite cities in the US beautiful buildings good food and Southern Charm and they grow tea!!!

I will announce the giveaway winners tomorrow, stay tuned

Love from South Carolina

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tea Giveaway for all!

So a few days back I mentioned that I received some wonderful loose tea and a cool travel mug from Wise Man Tea Company I then emailed Byran to thank him and to ask if he would consider doing a giveaway for Chow and Chatter readers and he kindly agreed!

Flavored Blacks

Brian and his partner Jordan are both tea enthusiasts and founded Wise Man Tea Co. company while at DePaul University, Chicago selling fine loose-tea for great taste and health benefits.

Bryan says "Our tea differs strongly from what most consumers are used to. We package the teas in characteristically modern gloss black tins and combine them with real fruit pieces, creating a strong visual effect. The use of herbals and fruit pieces instead of sugar or additives yields wonderful flavor varieties, which have been very appealing to our customers"

Part One

All you have to do is check out their sample sets and leave a comment stating which one you would like to try and they will ship it to you with a travel mug. I will announce the winner over the weekend.

Part Two

But its NOT finished I feel so bad as this is for US residents so I am going to send a Chamomile tea I received to anywhere in the World. Just Indicate in the comments if you are US or International and I will make two lists and pick a winner randomly from each list.

Happy Tea Drinking!

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Guest Post with Skip to Malou

It is with great pleasure to introduce you to Malou she is one of the sweetest folks in the blogging World, a great Mum, amazing cook and has such a great outlook on life. I asked her to do a guest post in her own lovely style, be sure to visit her blogSkip To Malou it always brings a smile to my face.

It's almost noon during an unseasonably cold, hazy spring day as my daughter, hubby and I decided to take a walk at the beach. The beach? Really? On such an overcast day? I know, I know... it doesn't seem right but the beach being just in our backyard seems to always beckon us... especially when my eldest daughter comes for a visit... coming from a highly stressed environment, the beach is therapeutic... even minus the bright skies.

Spring is evident all around, even under grey skies. We drove past rows of flowers all in bloom. Vivid hues of shimmering yellow, romantic red and vibrant purple... the lively chorus of birds chirping and the rhythm of their flapping wings as they fly in droves... ahhh this is why I love spring!

On the beach, surfers in wet suits glide with the waves with grace and balance. The beach is not crowded, that makes us appreciate it more. My daughter and I giggled as we realized we moved in synchronized motion as we took our shoes off and ran towards the ocean. Meanwhile, my husband was standing, watching over us by the roadside, seemingly content with the captivating views of the the cliffs and the ocean... and relaxing to the sound of the crashing waves landing on the shore.

We screamed every time the waves hit the shore and washed our feet. We could see my husband's head shake as he hears our screams and shreiks.. but we didn't care... we were there to enjoy and celebrate the beauty of God's gifts in a rare occasion where it's just the three of us.

As we dusted off the sand from our shoes before entering the house, my daughter glimpsed at the pictures posted on the wall. The gallery of photos has always been there on the entry way all these years, but having a wonderful feeling coming from the beach, she looked at these pictures differently.

"Heartwarming" she said... to see the last pictures we had in my hometown at about the same time in early April, one Easter weekend ten years ago. Even when we move, these pictures always find their place on the entry wall. It happened to be the last Easter we celebrated before we moved to the US. They never fail to remind us of the good times we had in the past. The nostalgic feeling led my daughter to request for one of her comfort food from my home town... and yes, which leads me to share with you the recipe of a noodle dish known in my home town as BATIL PATUNG.

Batil Patung is stir fried noodles served with an egg topping (patung),and a side serving of egg drop soup (batil) the dish is not complete without the sauce--- soy sauce and vinegar with lots of raw onions. It maybe high in cholesterol and sodium but hey there's no taste like home!


1/4 lb. ground beef
1 pc. chinese sausage, sliced
chinese cabbage, sliced
mongo sprouts
carrots, sliced
onions, diced
garlic, minced
soy sauce
oyster sauce
beef stock
fresh egg noodles (found in the refrigerated items section in an asian store)


  1. Sauté the garlic and onions. Add ground beef and sausage. Cook for about 4 minutes or until beef is brown and the sausage is cooked. Add the vegetables. Season it with soy sauce and oyster sauce. Adjust to taste. Set aside.
  2. De-glaze the pan using beef stock. (you can also use chicken or pork stock). Add soy sauce and oyster sauce Let it simmer. When the soup stock is simmering, break an egg and stir. Pour into a serving bowl and set aside.

3. Using the same pan and with the remaining soup stock, add the noodles. (You may add more beef stock if needed) Cook the noodles for about 3-4 minutes.

Place the noodles on a serving plate. Arrange the stir-fried beef, sausage and vegetables on top. Add a poached egg.


Soy sauce with lemon or a little vinegar
Diced onions.

We enjoyed slurping the soup and reviving the memories we had back home. As my daughter says: “those were good times, good times!”

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Lamb Curry

I made this yummy lamb curry the other day on hubby's request bless him he doesn't request food often and its been ages since I made this as it takes a long time to make. After eating it though you realize it was all worth it and it makes wonderful leftovers! Our little dog Sachin (hubby named him!) also loves it when I make this as he gets the bones!


  • 3 lamb shanks or chops - chopped
  • one red onion
  • 7 curry leaves
  • 3 green chilis
  • ginger/garlic paste one teaspoon
  • 4 potatoes
  • masala powder about 2 tablespoons or to taste
  • whole masala with cloves, cumin seeds, pepper corn etc (unground)
  • salt to taste
  • chili powder to taste
  • coriander powder one teaspoon
  • 2 small tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup frozen grated coconut

Step one:

The paste – this step really makes the difference with this curry

  1. fry 2 green chili’s 1/2 of the onion, curry leaves, ginger/garlic paste and whole garam masala- add coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cardamon, bay leaves, till golden brown
  2. near the end add grated coconut
  3. grind and set aside for later

Step 2:

The Curry

  1. peel and cube potatoes and boil
  2. then fry the rest of the onion with ginger/garlic paste, salt, chili powder coriander powder and masala powder add the lamb and fry till a little cooked with tomatoes
  3. pressure cook if desired for one whistle will make it tender
  4. Finally add the potatoes and paste and simmer for 20 min.

What's your favorite dish that takes ages to make but in the end you are pleased you made it?

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