Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pork Chops in a Porcini Gravy

I made this recipe recently with pork chops then with steaks both equally delicious and super easy to make. The Porcini mushrooms add a rich and meaty flavor to the dish and really make a special gravy. So next time you walk past the dried mushrooms be sure to put a pack in the shopping cart :-)

  • one small pack of porcini mushrooms (a wild Italian mushroom)
  • 2 medium pork chops
  • about a cup of bisto gravy (a classic British gravy) or any desired gravy
  • 1/2  a chopped red onion
  • 4 cloves of chopped garlic

  1. soak the porcini mushrooms in water for about 20 minutes
  2. saute the onion and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes then add the pork chops to brown 
  3. cook the pork for 7-10 minutes then add a 1-2 cups of gravy and the porcini mushrooms and simmer for another 10 minutes
  4. serve with mashed potatoes and any desired vegetables
  5. aw comfort food at its best

Just wanted to say thank you for being here with me :-), your friendships and comments have made 2010 wonderful

Happy New Year 


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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hibiscus, Citrus and Basil Tea


  • 2 teaspoons of dried hibiscus flowers 
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 2 slices of fresh orange
  • 2 leaves of Thai Basil

  1. add to a travel infuser tea mug with a filter with boiling water steep for 1-2 minutes 
  2. pour and enjoy
Does anyone else have any hibiscus flower recipes for me?!

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Guest Post with Chef David Marteau

I was recently tweeting with @DavidMarteau and looked him up as I do with all new folks on twitter :-) and discovered an amazing resume - Born and raised in Normandy France, he understands the meaning of  food. Chef David began his career as an apprentice and graduated from the CFA Le Mans. Always looking for adventure and a chance to create recipes from around the world, Chef David’s work has taken him to world class cities such as Paris, Belgium, Montreal and Shanghai.

I asked Chef David if he would be kind enough to guest post on chow and chatter about who he is and living in Shaghai.... enjoy all

I have travelled all over the world and I see my own transformation as an executive chef beginning when I was on a cruise ship in the Seychelles islands. After all this time, I still remember it was Praslin island. One afternoon while watching and taking photographs of the giant turtles, the executive chef approach me and asked me to go back and have a meeting with him. As his executive sous chef, I didn't say no. It was a positive conversation and I was promoted to executive chef and was gong to be in charge as of the the next cruise.

Wow! I surfed around the kitchen, placing food orders via email hoping that I had ordered enough food for everyone on board. My second career should have been as a professional juggler! I had to juggle staff schedules, menu changes and I was in charge of the food costs. I stayed with the company for 5 year and never looked back.

How does the Seychelles and Montreal fit into my life as a global chef in Shanghai? Its the foundation that set me on the course to continue to travel and explore this wonderful world and the food creations I have in store for it. Montreal was a crazy experience compared to my time on the cruise ships.

Dealing with more cooks, plumbing problems, equipment problem, sewing systems, ordering on a large scale, scheduling, payroll, inventory, creating menus for special events, a la carte menu, Xmas theme menu and so on, that if i would continue you probably would not believe me anyway, unless your are a chef yourself. It was during this time that I realized I wanted to travel again and I was committed to write my book.

When and how did I get to China? My China experience started with a 2am telephone call asking me if I could be on the next flight out of Montreal to become the executive western chef of an exclusive 5 stars hotel which had 5 restaurants, 1 lounge club, 1 bar and did I mention, 800 rooms.This was the shock of my life!! Leaving out all the boring details, My flight was 23hrs and I arrived to a driver meeting me at Pudong International airport and then I arrived at this massive hotel and started work the next day.

Moving forward, my experiences when I first arrived helps me to understand my team at the Parkyard Hotel Shanghai. I am thankful that I was patient because mutual respect runs in both directions. It continues to be a wonderful experience and a privilege to be working here in China. I love every aspect of it! Its great to be able to go to the local market and choose what I like or don't know what type of food I'm holding in my hands. I try to find time to wander around the old streets with my senior staff, and they let me discovers all those hidden wonders, which I love.

My staff are the ones that bring me to their local restaurants where i can have sample simple and delicious foods that are cooked the real Chinese way. We're not talking about the Canadian or American Chinese fast food that you find back home.It comes in all forms: soups to sweets, dim sum, bbq and even insects. Yes, I know what you are thinking but I was given them for Chinese new year. My reaction was not to be disgusted at all, but to be curious and see how I could learn to prepare some of these crazy insects.Simple enough, as they were dried and precooked. The only thing i had to do was to saute them again with some onion and eat them like that.

I have been privilege to be a global chef and believe i could go on forever about my chefs stories. I hope you've learned just a little bit about me and my experiences to go and buy my new book that will be released in January 2011.

 I for one am curious about his book see below how he fuses cuisines with French flare an Italian recipe and local ingredients. I think after doing the recipe app and knowing how hard it is I really want to help others share their wonderful work. Also stay tuned as Chef David may be a future guest on the chow and chatter radio show!

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Gingerbread houses

So for Christmas we surprised my parents with brunch and a night at The Grove Park Inn in Asheville NC. The amazing gingerbread houses are still on display and lovely trees so thought I would share the snaps.
It was a wonderful Christmas day yesterday and we even got to make a snowman my parents are pros in the snow :-)

Love you all


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Red Currant Madeleines

I made these madeleines last night for my parents arriving and they turned out so well I couldn't resist sharing them with you all. I added some fresh red currants it added a wonderful tart christmassy flavor. I am thrilled to report my parents made it, despite all the bad weather in the UK.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Thumbprint Cookies

So a couple of weeks ago I made my first thumbprint cookies, I know Americans will be surprised but in the UK cookies are not made as much as here, we are more of a cake nation. But America should be proud of its cookie making abilities I have so enjoyed all the blog posts on holiday traditions passed down through the generations. I got this simple recipe, simple is good for me ;-) from Amanda's Cookin she is a talented baker and also does amazing crafts and is a great voice in the blogging community.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Guest Post: Globe Trotter Diaries

It is with great pleasure to introduce you all to Karen and Valerie another fun food and travel blog, it will draw you in with its wonderfully written posts, food and travel history and photos, I had so much fun adding them all to the post. I have a two year old so am doing well to get one good shot he he, enjoy everyone. 

My parents come wednesday please say a little prayer that the snow in the UK clears so they can take of! in the summer it was the Icelandic Volcano that delayed them!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Interview with Terra (@FoodSafetyLady)

So I thought I would do another new series on Chow and Chatter and start interviewing folks to introduce my blogging buddies, friends from twitter and the chow and chatter facebook page. So expect to be asked he he or let me know if you would like to be interviewed. First up is my dear friend Terra, I have been chatting with her for quite a while now on twitter and following her blog, recently we started food and travel twitter parties together and did our second yesterday. On global holiday food traditions we plan to do another in the new year for new years food traditions and parties so stay tuned.

Hi! I am Terra, also known as – Foodsafetylady! I have a Nutritional Science degree from the University of Arizona. I started off thinking I wanted to be a Dietitian, but found my passion in the kitchen. I love working as a food safety/quality assurance specialist for a third party auditor. I also love to cook, and create new recipes. I am working on 52 ways to use Greek yogurt. So far I’ve created 11 and plan to have all 52 completed in 2011, and release an e-book.

I also have a passion for animals, and have four beautiful babies of my own, three cats and a dog.

I am working towards having my own Café someday.

I started a blog in February, but started blogging with a purpose in July. With my goal to have a Café, I want to start working on dishes I could serve there. I really love creating healthy recipes, gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan. I really want the café to have a French appeal, I love everything about France, and so I am now working on how to make French dishes.

My favorite thing about blogging is sharing my recipe or story. For so long, I thought I was unable to write well. It took having this blog to realize I do have the ability to tell a story, and others really do enjoy reading what I am sharing.

Having this blog has been a self-esteem booster for me. I even just won a recipe contest, talk about self-esteem booster! That put me over the edge on happiness! For all the positive lately, I have three things I will achieve; 1. Learn to speak French fluently 2. Live in France, and work as an apprentice for a French chef and 3. Open my own Café

I may create new dishes, but I still have to enjoy my favorite dishes along the way. One dish I adore is beef stroganoff, BUT with venison. I grew up on venison, and love it in any beef dish. AND of course I love love a simple grilled cheese sandwich once in awhile.

I would call myself a Twitter-holic, and love joining on twitter chats, and twitter parties. That is probably why I got excited at the opportunity to do a twitter chat with Rebecca on Food and Travel. I honestly have not traveled much outside of the country. However, my husband and I plan to travel a lot someday soon. The twitter party is fun, I love interacting with other foodies, and learning about their travels. Anytime food and travel is discussed, it is sure to be a party!!!

As I say on my blog, “Until next time, Come on over, Have a seat, *All animals welcome!*

Hugs, Terra

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Indian Spicy Cabbage and Peas

I saw this recipe on Tanvi's blog Sinfully Spicy recently and knew I would love it, being married to an Indian I am always looking for more great Indian recipes and love quick ones 
(he he most curries are not :-))

This is a wonderful way to cook cabbage and its quick, perfect. 


  • 1/2 a cabbage thinly chopped
  • a little canola oil
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
  • a few crushed coriander seeds
  • a few fenugreek seeds
  • pinch of red chili powder
  • 1/2 a teaspoon garam masala powder
  • salt to taste 
  • one tablespoon shredded coconut

  1. heat oil so hot add fenugreek seeds onions and brown a little for 3 minutes then add coriander seeds turmeric and cabbage and saute for 5 minutes to soften
  2. add peas and the garam masala, coconut salt and chili powder cover with a lid to steam for another 5 minutes and its done
This is a great spicy vegetable dish and definitely something I will make again.

Also be sure to tune in tonight - I am interviewing Nour @nourRD and Stephanie @bakingbarrister, hubby and me on different holiday traditions and foods, we will cover Ramadan, Eid, Hanukkah, Diwali and Christmas  and follow it with a tweet up chat on the topic #foodandtravel with my friend Terra @FoodSafetyLady

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pancetta, Baby Squash and Leek Risotto

Oh how I love risotto its easy to make and forces you to stop what your doing day dream and stir!, I found some lovely baby squash combined with leeks and pancetta and voila another great risotto is born.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Chow and Chatter Joins Alltop

Hi all just wanted to let you know that Chow and Chatter has been added to AllTop, I simply submitted for review and they added to food section how cool. Its a wonderful site and fun way to browse headlines of topics that interest you it is described as the “online magazine rack” of the web.

Fellow bloggers fill out the submission form and make your own alltop page to stay up to date from the stories that interest you.

I am the end of the wonderful Food section :-)

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Easy Fish Curry

Here's a nice easy way to make a fish curry, flavorful, spicy and made in a jiffy!

Guest Post : Christkindlmarket Chicago

The other day I mentioned on the Chow and Chatter Facebook page and twitter that if anyone has recently been to a Christmas Market I would love to post it. I love these markets and dream of going to the ones in Germany. The sweet Angharad of Eating for England replied :-) with one in Chicago. I was thrilled to hook up with a fellow Brit here and share our favorite British recipes, be sure to check out another great blog. 

And if you have a Christmas Market blog post, add the link below :-)

Hi Chow and Chatter readers! I’m Angharad and I blog at Eating for England. Like Rebecca, I’m a Brit living in the United States and I blog about my food experiences growing up in England and living, as I do now, in the U.S.
As the holidays are rapidly approaching, I wanted to share a little with you about the rather magical Christkindlmarket in Chicago where I went a couple of weeks ago.
There’s so much to see (and more importantly, eat) at Christkindlmarket and yet it’s not huge. It wasn’t overwhelming at all – although I was there on a weekday. It might even be more fun during the hustle and bustle of the weekend!
It’s such a fun place to wander around, listening to all the German accents and voices of vendors while they set up their stalls and call out their wares.
Oh, and about those wares. You’re going to want to go hungry…
Hot Bavarian pretzels in every flavour imaginable, Bratwurst, schnitzel, goulash, latkes, spiced nuts, apple strudel, stollen. My eyes were literally boggling at the sight of it all, let alone the smell as I wandered around, weighing my choices and biding my time.
Once you’re all food-ed out, there are plenty of non-food adventures to be had as well. Gorgeous, handmade Christmas decorations, ornaments, wooden toys, clocks…the list goes on. It would be such a great place to come with your family.
If you’re in Chicago, the market is open til December 24 and it’s right outside Daley Plaza – I’d highly recommend a visit! If anywhere is going to get you in the holiday spirit, it’s this place!

Eating for England

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Simple Bolognese

One of my all time favorite meals is Bolognese, not sure how traditional Italian it is probably a British version based on how my Mum made it. Its easy to make only a few ingredients needed, and is wonderful to freeze to have on hand for times you have limited time to cook. A jar of sauce is really not needed :-)


  • one pack of extra lean minced beef (hamburger meat in the US)
  • 4 cloves of chopped garlic
  • one small onion chopped
  • about 5 chopped tomatoes, canned can also be used
  • a generous tablespoon of Italian herbs and 2 bay leaves
  • olive oil
  • about 10 sliced mushrooms 
  • 2 small diced carrots and any other vegetables I add for the extra nutritional value :-)

  1. brown the beef with garlic and onions for 5 minutes 
  2. add mushrooms and carrot and herbs for 3 minutes 
  3. add tomatoes, herbs and bay leaves and simmer on low for 30 minutes 
  4. its as simple as that!
  5. serve with spaghetti or any desired pasta 
Stephanie recommends - 

    • Stephanie Miskew Looove Bolognese! Perfect with a glass of Chianti Classico Riserva on a chilly December night - yum:)
      4 hours ago ·  ·  1 person

and don't forget to tune in Wednesday to Chow and Chatter blogtalk radio for social media tips from John Cass a renowned PR and Marketing expert with Pace Communications:

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Weetabix Cake

This is a super easy cake to make using my favorite British Cereal Weetabix, that is sold in a few US grocery stores - yipee!


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