Thursday, January 30, 2014

Citrus and Walnut Salad

On our recent trip to California, my contribution on Christmas day was this simple citrus salad, I was feeling inspired with the fresh citrus in Southern California and had picked up a big bag by the side of the road in Redlands. We have just had a few days of snow in Winston Salem, was lots of fun for the kids with sledding and snow angels. It doesn't snow much in this area so it was a great experience and now the snow is melting got to love winter in the South.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Parmesan and Za'atar Popcorn

I was reading that two of the latest trends are creative popcorns and za'atar so I am right on target, in regard trends though I say create your own. Funny I never made popcorn until recently but it really is a great snack, easy to make and whole grain and high in fiber. The seasonings are endless from sweet to savory I worked a health fair recently and made a spicy chili popcorn to take that was popular, and fun to watch folks reactions to the spice. Its also a good afternoon snack for hungry kids.

Popping corn is a specific type of corn that pops when heated different from regular corn. I learnt this from a conference I attended in the summer from a popcorn farmer. It has been around for 100's of year and originated in Peru. 


  • 1/2 of unpopped popcorn 
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil 
  • 1/4 teaspoon za'atar 
  • 2 slices of parmesan grated 

  1. heat the oil in a pan with a lid, check to see if warm enough by adding a couple of kernels of corn, when they pop add 1/2 a cup of corn keep on a medium heat and cover with a lid
  2. gently move the pan and allow to pop 
  3. remove from the heat add the za'atar and parmesan 
  4. enjoy 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone :-) 

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Nominated for a Shorty Award

Hi all So I have been nominated for a @shortyawards in Food, the shorty awards are like the oscars of social media, there are categories for the general public and also professional marketers, brands and celebrities. 

Here are some examples of nominations: 

It means a lot to me if you enjoy my facebook posts, tweets, pins and vines if you can kindly support me, I rarely ask but it really means a lot I adore social media and it would make my day. 

Simple send a tweet via the site

or like this as a quick tweet - 

I nominate @chowandchatter for a Shorty Award in #food because… 

thanks so much 


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Orange and Chocolate Chip Muffins

These are fun little muffins and a great way to use winter citrus, not too sweet and nice for breakfast. One of my favorite parts of visiting our family in Southern California was seeing the citrus growing around Redlands. We didn't find any particular farms to tour but you can park and take pictures of the grooves. If your lucky you may come across folks selling it on the road side too :-)

Monday, January 13, 2014

A Flourishing Porto Alegre Garden

Let me introduce you to Monique I met her on twitter, a lovely Mum and world traveler, fun and full of life she blogs at Ready, Pack, Go - A family travel blog where her, her hubby and daughter. share their travel adventures.

 The other day I was chatting about the passion fruit I had bought and how to know if it was ripe when Monique replied that she grew up in Brazil with passion fruits in her garden. In fact 30 fruit trees and an abundant kitchen garden. I couldn't resist asking her for a guest post to tell us about the wonderful garden she grew up with- 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Spicy Tuna Pita Sandwich

Not long ago I visited a cool wee cafe in Greensboro NC called Nazareth cafe, the owner is from Nazareth and serves kebabs, hummus, baba gannoush and special coconut cookies from his home town. They also bake fresh pita bread so I happily got some and brought it home. It was one of those evenings with not much in the house, you know the time when you really need to go grocery shopping and I came up with this. It was easy to make and surprisingly good, it makes a great light meal or would be a good packed lunch. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Meet Walter- Country Gourmet Traveler

 Walter at  Shakelton's hut in Antarctica

I have been reading Walters blog Country Gourmet Traveler for a number of years, I was fascinated by the far away, exotic places he traveled I remember Antarctica and fairly recent ones of amazing food markets in Ghana. He is a 5 star trained chef, with talent but you will find his recipes elegant and doable even as a home cook. I asked Walter if I could interview him to introduce you all to him and his wonderful story. 

So Here goes

1. Tell us a little about yourself, how long have you been a chef. I enjoyed following your trips around the world on the ship.

At the tender age of 11 my teacher told me that I will be a chef one day as I had just written an essay about a week the whole class spent together in the Appenzell Region of Switzerland. I had kitchen duty and the way I wrote about it, she was convinced that I would become a chef one day........which did happen. 3 years later I already had to start deciding what I wanted to do after school and when I told my dad that I want to become a chef, he at first did not believe me, but gave me all his support.......then with 16 I was finished with my school end of March on a Friday, moved over the weekend away from my parents to Zurich and started my apprenticeship on Monday in one of the 5* Hotels.

I never looked back, I enjoyed every single moment as a chef, that means the past 28 years I am doing what I really love to do.

After 3 years of apprenticeship I went to Geneva, to learn French and of course more about French Cuisine. Working in a 5* hotel I got into the Michelin starred restaurant after 6 month of hard work, wow, how I love fine dining.

After that I spent some more years in Michelin starred restaurants in Switzerland before leaving the country. I always wanted to travel, but was still too young to go very far, so I went to Germany.

2 years later I was offered a position in South Africa, of course I took it immediately and even so I just wanted to stay for 2 years, I actually stayed there for 9 years......yes I liked it a lot. Then I went back to Switzerland for 3 year, working in the rather fashionable place of St. Moritz.......and then I went to the ships

Vladivostok Fish Market
For 7 years I cruised the 7 seas, I have seen most corners of the world and went to some amazing places like Antarctica, the North Pole (just where the ice starts), South America, the Amazon River, the Mediterranean, Alaska, Caribbean, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, just to name a few.
Till I left the ships, had a great time in Ghana and ended up here at Soneva Fushi, one of the top resorts in Maldives

2. I love your food market posts, particularly the ones in Ghana where are your favorite markets?

Tokyo Fish Market
I was very fortunate to be the Executive Chef of a cruise ship called "The World" where all the cabins are actually residences bought by our guests, so some of them live there for several month of the year. During two and a half years I sailed on The World around the world and part of my job description was to go out in every port, buy fresh fish and vegetables on the local markets and go to the Delicatessen shops to buy goods for our own Deli on board. So I went around the world visiting some of the most amazing markets. I love especially the fish markets like the old fish market in New York, then Tokyo and Sydney Fish Market and all the vegetable and fruit markets in South America and Asia

Vegetable Market in Vietnam

3. Has all the travel influenced your cooking as a chef?

Absolutely. To see the world, the different cultures, the different foods, the tasting the markets, that has all influenced me a lot. One thinks a lot more open about fusion, about local ingredients and combining them with other cuisines. There are no more limits

4. What are your most visit foodie places ?

Apart from Markets I love to go to gadget shops, I love to see what is on the market for "house wives" I have my dream kitchen in my mind and I know that within the next couple of years I will be able to realize my dream.....

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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Speedy Channa Masala

This is a great and speedy recipe for chickpeas, a wonderful source of protein, fiber and nutrients. You can use soaked and pressure cooked or a can works well. Channa masala is great with rice or chapati it would also make a great filling for a wrap. Its great to have go to nutritious recipes to have on hand to eat well this new year and indeed throughout the year. Chickpeas or Gabanzo beans are one of the earliest cultivated beans and are loved all over the world. Added to stews, made into hummus, added to curries, toppings for salad the possibilities are endless. 


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