Wednesday, 30 January 2008

The Great Divide

As most Melburnians will know all too well there is a rather stark divide between those who live north and those who live south of the river. The split has become particularly apparent of late with The Writer having returned from overseas and the search for our first place together in progress. He grew up south of the river but having lived most of his adult life on the other side he is now quite firmly attached. Apart from a year of city living since moving from Sydney I have always lived south of the river and having become oddly attached. I know where to go for a heavenly steaming bowl of pho, a dress for a last minute event and the best quality fruit, vegetables and seafood at bargain prices. Then there’s the other issue, the big issue, lazy weekend breakfasts.



The Writer and I are both quite fond of Saturday mornings with the paper spread out over a café table accompanied by coffee and perfectly poached eggs. In the inner-northern suburbs we have an attachment to Ray, it having featured heavily in our early dating days. With sweet temptations like the toasted pide with labna and rosejam it’s no wonder we’ve kept coming back. The Writer is partial to the savoury varieties of pide, in particular the pesto, tomato, mozzarella and prosciutto. I’m drawn to the beautifully balanced sweet and salty combination of roasted caramelised pumpkin and baby spinach with feta and olive tapenade.





On the south side of the river we find ourselves making regular visits to Amici Bakery Café. Although it’s the reasonably priced and perfectly executed café breakfast options that bring us back, you can’t help but melt when you get your first sight of the bakery counter windows filled with rhubarb tartlets, berry charlottes and quivering vanilla slices. I would have photographed the assortment of patisserie delights but that would have involved elbowing out at least a dozen people queuing for a loaf of sourdough and perhaps a strawberry tart for good measure. Instead I have for you my first venture into the sweet breakfast items at this venue; cinnamon french toast topped with caramelised bananas and maple syrup. Any one of those components would be enough to make me a little weak at the knees but together they make the perfect weekend indulgence. The thick slices of casinlinga soak up the syrup beautifully.



The Writer opts for the Amici Big Breakfast, a towering plate of poached eggs, pesto potatoes, bacon, chipolatas, mushrooms, tomatoes and relish. It’s the little things that Amici does so well. The addition of pesto to the cottage potatoes is simple but makes them delightfully moreish. The eggs are perfectly poached and the chipolatas beautifully spiced. This is not your standard fry-up but like the ideal fry-up it’s the sort of comforting breakfast fare that is always completely satisfying. The portions are incredibly generous and The Writer is defeated. Luckily I don’t hesitate to venture with my fork across the table.



The Amici has a strong local following but is worth trekking across town for and at just over $10 for breakfast and coffee, its prices are comparable to its northern counterparts. With a great use of space you almost never need to wait for a table although that doesn’t mean that some locals aren’t queuing at the door to get in and who could blame him?




Amici Bakery Cafe
242 Chapel St, Prahran
Tel 03 9529 7770
Sun-Thurs 7am-7pm
Fri-Sat 7am-midnight

Ray
332 Victoria St
Brunswick 3056 VIC
Phone: (03) 9380 8593
Mon-Fri 7.30am-5pm
Sat-Sun 8am-5pm

Monday, 28 January 2008

Sunday Kitchen



Come Sunday there is no excuse to not fill the house with wonderful aromas. It’s the perfect day for food that takes just a little bit longer. Some weekends, however, you don’t want to be chained to the kitchen yet still crave the deeply flavoured fare that only comes with slow cooking. Those are the Sundays I set an intensely flavoured stock to simmer in the morning, inhale its delicious aromas throughout the day and return in the evening to find the perfect base for a deeply comforting dinner.

This is not your standard nursery food stock of carrots and celery, although that certainly has its place. This aromatic beef broth with hints of South-East Asia and layers of spice is the perfect beginning for a quick noodle soup or a slow cooked hotpot filled with meltingly tender meat. In the colder months I favour the latter but while the weather is still pleasant I like to pair it with quickly grilled transparently thin slices of tender marinated beef. While I can’t make any promises as to authenticity I can assure you of the sort of deliciousness that has your scraping the bowl for that last spoonful of broth.

This is also my entry to Presto Pasta Nights hosted by Ruth at Once Upon a Feast.


Spicy Beef and Rice Noodle Soup

Serves 2

Stock
1 kg chicken bones
1 knob ginger
1 onion quartered
4 cloves garlic with skin
1/2 tsp peppercorns, lightly crushed
2 cardamom pods, crushed
1 stick cinnamon, broken into pieces
1 tsp brown sugar
3 star anises
fish sauce
1 packet rice noodles

Grilled Beef
300g/10oz scotch fillet
2 tsp sesame oil
2 cloves garlic crushed
2 tbsp soy sauce

To garnish:
Sliced spring onions
coriander
sliced fresh chilli
beansprouts
lemon wedges

In a non-reactive bowl rub your beef with the sesame oil, crushed garlic and soy sauce. Place in the fridge to marinate.

In a dry pan briefly toast your star anise, cinnamon, peppercorns and cardamom.

Place your chicken bones in a large pot and fill with enough cold water to cover the bones completely. Bring the water to the boil and add the remaining ingredients except the noodles and fish sauce. Turn the heat down to the smallest whisper, cover with a lid and leave to infuse over the course of the day. For a quicker stock you can turn the heat up to a simmer and leave for just 30 minutes.

When you are ready to eat skim the stock and strain. Season with fish sauce to taste. Return to the heat.

Prepare the rice noodles according to package instructions. These usually require you cover them with hot water until they are softened.

While the noodles are softening, on a grill pan or bbq briefly sear the scotch fillet on the highest heat. The meat will continue cooking once added to the soup so you are only seeking a charred exterior with a meltingly pink interior. 2 minutes per side should suffice.

Drain the noodles and add them to the pot of warm broth. Slice the beef as finely as possible.

To serve divide the noodles between two bowls and ladle over the broth. Arrange the beef slices on top and scatter with bean sprouts, chilli, coriander and spring onions. Serve with lemon wedges.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Madrid



There is something about landing on Spanish soil that makes me deeply happy. It is hard to be gloomy even momentarily in a country where you start every day at the humane hour of eleven with crisp churros accompanied by a hot chocolate so thick you could stand a spoon in it.



To me this is a country of indulgence, relaxation and the most intoxicatingly rich culture I have ever encountered. After my visit to Barcelona earlier this year I was firmly convinced I could happily spend a lifetime in Spain and even a few days in Madrid on this trip were enough to lift the spirits and leave me smiling for weeks.



Perhaps unsurprisingly my holidays are structured around gastronomic delights. After the consumption of the aforementioned pastries are the best hours for some leisurely sight seeing before the customary lunch hour at 3pm. No visit to Madrid would be complete without a morning at the Museo del Prado. With the most exceptional collection of masterpieces, it is impossible not to be moved. Squares such as Plaza Mayor have a delightfully rich atmosphere but the overpriced meals in tourist haunts dotted around them are best avoided.



It's a joy just to wander and you can easily stroll from the Prado to the Palace at the other end of town. Surprisingly the historic quarter of Madrid is sufficiently quaint and small that within hours the geography seems familiar. Although Barcelona will always be my first and greatest love, I adored Madrid. Its grand architecture and majestic monuments stand in contradiction to the slower pace and quieter nightlife.



Of course all that walking will leave you famished but fortunately sustenance is to be found in the laneways surrounding Calle de Postas. Unpretentious cervecerias or beer bars are filled with the gentlemen of Madrid enjoying a drink and a cigarette. A plate of jamon and a cold frothy beer will only set you back a few euros and is almost customary at around 1pm. If you adore charcuterie as much as we do you’ll struggle to go past the chain known as Museo del Jamon dotted around town. Lined with deli counters packed with jamon, cheeses and pastries surrounding a bar where shoppers, tourists and locals stop for a beer and plate of chorizo, it’s the type of food chain I wish we had back home.



If you’re ready to sit down to lunch at 3pm and already in the area it is hard to go past Restaurante Rodriguez on Calle de San Cristobal, steps away from Calle de Postas. With three course lunches starting at around ten euros including wine and coffee, you would be hard pressed to find better value for money. The restaurant is filled with Spanish families raucously devouring platters of paella and finishing with a light flan or some seasonal fruit. Grandparents dish up portions of grilled whole fish while grandchildren joyously run around the table. It isn’t hard to understand that you’ll inevitably require a siesta after dining at this establishment but you won’t be alone as the city winds down for the late afternoon hours. Given the Spanish affinity for late dinners, it’s only fitting you prepare yourself for a long night.



Refreshed and ready to take on the town, an excellent place to start is Las Huertas. This street of cervecerias and tapas bars was recommended to me by a friend with a wonderful knowledge of food and drink and a better understanding of the Spanish language than I could ever wish for. When in Spain we have always tended to graze on tapas rather than sitting down to a heavy meal in the evening. I adore this approach not only because you get to experience a wider assortment of food but because you get to meet more wonderful people. A champagne and garlic prawns here, sangria and octopus salad there with cold beer and a terracotta dish of spicy chorizo to finish perhaps.



You will get countless recommendations about where to find the best cuisine from locals, perhaps that perfect custard filled pastry to seek out tomorrow morning. The willingness of the Spanish people to share stories about their own lives and the secrets of their cities is what draws me back to this place. Not only is it sensationally beautiful and filled with the most wonderful food, history and culture but the sort of people you would like to spend your life surrounded by. As we wander home in the early hours it’s all too easy to start planning a move to this wonderful country so that every day can be so exciting and perfect.

Monday, 7 January 2008

Winter in Paris



I am undoubtedly not alone in finding a winter in Paris to be deeply romantic. Spending our days perusing markets for fromage and baguette to savour in our little apartment, far away from the hordes of tourists, was nothing short of heavenly. We discovered the lesser known but ever so delightful museums and galleries in our neighbourhood. Frequenting the same bakeries for our morning pastries and coffee and the same bars for our evening glass of wine made Paris start to feel like home.


Around the corner from our apartment


Our little apartment overlooked the rooftops, a short walk from Montmartre and Sacre Coeur and the most wonderful markets lined with charcuteries, fromageries and pâtisseries. Best of all just next door was the perfect neighbourhood bar. It became an evening routine to pop in for a drink or watch the soccer before going out to dine or back upstairs to prepare the day’s market gastronomic delights. The charming barman would give us little complimentary treats each night, perhaps some orange filled chocolates or a taste of a cinnamon scented spirit prepared on the premises. It was also the perfect place to grab a quick baguette filled with pâté or sausage to sustain us as we set out to explore Paris on foot. It was all too easy to imagine living in this beautiful city forever.


View from our apartment window

Parisian Markets

Apart from the wonderful array of produce in our neighbourhood, the market we were repeatedly drawn to was the Rue Mouffetard in the Latin Quarter. Cheese shops and florists bursting with blooms spill out along this idyllic street and tucked between them are small bistros serving classic French fare at reasonable prices. Even at 8pm in winter the street is filled with shoppers seeking out the best produce. It’s a delightful sight seeing hundreds of Parisians making their way home on foot or by metro with a baguette tucked under their arm. Rue Mouffetard was the perfect place to seek out Toulouse sausage for a warming winter casserole to be eaten in front of the television with plenty of baguette or a little pâté to nibble with wine as we prepared dinner.

















Dining out


With such a brilliant cornucopia of produce available we rarely dined out. As we wandered the city on foot, we would however stop for an espresso or two sipped at the bar or a slice of tart that looked particularly enticing in a pâtisserie window.





When we did dine out we favoured unpretentious neighbourhood bistros. The type that features herby roast legs of lamb, steak and frites and duck confit followed by the simplest crème brulee and accompanied with plenty of wine.




In the evening I was particularly attracted to the sort of older bistros where young Parissien couples repeatedly send the waiter away when he comes for their order because they can’t draw their eyes away from each other long enough to look at the menu. When they do finally order and the food descends on the table it’s something utterly delicious and rustic like a platter groaning with roast chicken for two with the crispest potatoes and buttery green beans. At lunch I favoured those neighbourhood bistros packed with locals where businessmen meet their wives for lunch and linger over a cheese platter far longer then they intended. I can understand why people say it’s easy to fall in love in Paris but what I never knew before is that when you’re in love there’s no better place to be.

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Yuletide Cheer

I know of late I have been unacceptably absent but to those of you who have followed this blog over its first year, I’d like to wish you a very Merry Christmas. Perhaps the most notable indication of my absence is that my last post was also a Daring Bakers one but unfortunately life and travel have got in the way. Very soon I’ll be bringing you some delicious moments from Paris and Madrid. Until then I give you my fourth Daring Bakers challenge, the Yule Log.



For those of you that don’t celebrate Christmas, Ivonne and Lis’ selection also represents life, prosperity, warmth, protection and light during the dark winter. All good things. Although the burning of the Yule Log is associated with European cultures, this delightful creation spreads Christmas cheer all the way to the southern hemisphere.

While fiddly and time consuming, this challenge was yet another joy to prepare. There were just enough crises such as the risk of the butter cream curdling to keep this baker on edge without adding to holiday stress. Having a slight aversion to strong coffee desserts I opted for a mocha butter cream. The addition of cocoa and chocolate to the espresso created a beautifully rich dark log. I opted for the meringue mushrooms but otherwise stayed true to the original recipe as below. I warmly invite you to browse the creations of the other Daring Bakers here.

Thank you again for all your kind comments and for following my culinary adventures over the past year. I hope your holiday season is filled with plenty of warmth and light in the spirit of the Yule Log and that the year ahead is filled with delicious moments.




Yule Log

from Perfect Cakes by Nick Malgieri and The Williams-Sonoma Collection: Dessert

Plain Genoise:

3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
pinch of salt
3⁄4 cup of sugar
1⁄2 cup cake flour - spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off (also known as cake & pastry flour)
1⁄4 cup cornstarch

one (1) 10 x 15 inch jelly-roll pan that has been buttered and lined with parchment paper and then buttered again

1.Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
2.Half-fill a medium saucepan with water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat so the water is simmering.
3.Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, salt and sugar together in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer. Place over the pan of simmering water and whisk gently until the mixture is just lukewarm, about 100 degrees if you have a thermometer (or test with your finger - it should be warm to the touch).
4.Attach the bowl to the mixer and, with the whisk attachment, whip on medium-high speed until the egg mixture is cooled (touch the outside of the bowl to tell) and tripled in volume. The egg foam will be thick and will form a slowly dissolving ribbon falling back onto the bowl of whipped eggs when the whisk is lifted.
5.While the eggs are whipping, stir together the flour and cornstarch.
6.Sift one-third of the flour mixture over the beaten eggs. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour mixture, making sure to scrape all the way to the bottom of the bowl on every pass through the batter to prevent the flour mixture from accumulating there and making lumps. Repeat with another third of the flour mixture and finally with the remainder.
7.Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
8.Bake the genoise for about 10 to 12 minutes. Make sure the cake doesn’t overbake and become too dry or it will not roll properly.
9.While the cake is baking, begin making the buttercream.
10.Once the cake is done (a tester will come out clean and if you press the cake lightly it will spring back), remove it from the oven and let it cool on a rack.

Coffee Buttercream
(I opted for a chocolate version)

4 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
24 tablespoons (3 sticks or 1-1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 tablespoons rum or brandy

1.Whisk the egg whites and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Set the bowl over simmering water and whisk gently until the sugar is dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
2.Attach the bowl to the mixer and whip with the whisk on medium speed until cooled. Switch to the paddle and beat in the softened butter and continue beating until the buttercream is smooth. Dissolve the instant coffee in the liquor and beat into the buttercream.


Meringue Mushrooms:

3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1⁄4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1⁄2 cup (3-1/2 ounces/105 g.) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (1-1/3 ounces/40 g.) icing sugar
Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

1.Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Have ready a pastry bag fitted with a small (no. 6) plain tip. In a bowl, using a mixer on medium-low speed, beat together the egg whites and cream of tartar until very foamy. Slowly add the granulated sugar while beating. Increase the speed to high and beat until soft peaks form when the beaters are lifted. Continue until the whites hold stiff, shiny peaks. Sift the icing sugar over the whites and, using a rubber spatula, fold in until well blended.
2.Scoop the mixture into the bag. On one baking sheet, pipe 48 stems, each 1⁄2 inch (12 mm.) wide at the base and tapering off to a point at the top, 3⁄4 inch (2 cm.) tall, and spaced about 1⁄2 inch (12 mm.) apart. On the other sheet, pipe 48 mounds for the tops, each about 1-1/4 inches (3 cm.) wide and 3⁄4 inch (2 cm.) high, also spaced 1⁄2 inch (12 mm.) apart. With a damp fingertip, gently smooth any pointy tips. Dust with cocoa. Reserve the remaining meringue.
3.Bake until dry and firm enough to lift off the paper, 50-55 minutes. Set the pans on the counter and turn the mounds flat side up. With the tip of a knife, carefully make a small hole in the flat side of each mound. Pipe small dabs of the remaining meringue into the holes and insert the stems tip first. Return to the oven until completely dry, about 15 minutes longer. Let cool completely on the sheets.



Assembling the Yule Log:

1.Run a sharp knife around the edges of the genoise to loosen it from the pan.
2.Turn the genoise layer over (unmolding it from the sheet pan onto a flat surface) and peel away the paper.
3.Carefully invert your genoise onto a fresh piece of parchment paper
4.Spread with half the coffee buttercream (or whatever filling you’re using).
5.Use the parchment paper to help you roll the cake into a tight cylinder.
6.Transfer back to the baking sheet and refrigerate for several hours.
7.Unwrap the cake. Trim the ends on the diagonal, starting the cuts about 2 inches away from each end.
8.Position the larger cut piece on each log about 2/3 across the top.
9.Cover the log with the reserved buttercream, making sure to curve around the protruding stump.
10.Streak the buttercream with a fork or decorating comb to resemble bark.
11.Transfer the log to a platter and decorate with your mushrooms and whatever other decorations you’ve chosen.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Daring Bakers #3



I can't begin to tell you the joy this recipe gave me. I have never worked with a dough that was such a pleasure to handle. It is undeniably sticky but also wondrously silky. I am a self confessed amateur baker but even in my novice view this recipe is a keeper. It results in a delightfully tender crumb and crusty exterior. The rolls are ideal for dipping in a little olive oil and rock salt. The warm slices are heavenly eaten unadorned and all too moreish for my waistline. Thank you to Tanna for this sensational recipe and I encourage you to browse the creations of the other Daring Bakers.



Tender Potato Bread

The below instructions are for what I made, a large loaf and several flat breads. You could also make a twisted loaf, dinner rolls or countless other variations.


Ingredients:

4 medium potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
4 cupswater
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
6 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (130g) whole wheat flour

Cook the potatoes in the water with 1 tsp salt until very tender. Reserve 3 cups of cooking water. In a large bowl mash the potatoes well and then add the 3 cups reserved water.Let cool to lukewarm (70-80°F/21 - 29°C). Add yeast to 2 cups all-purpose flour and whisk. Add yeast and flour to the cooled mashed potatoes & water and mix well. Allow to rest 5 minutes.

Sprinkle in the remaining 1 tablespoon salt and the softened butter; mix well. Add the 1 cup whole wheat flour, stir briefly. Add 2 cups of the unbleached all-purpose flour and stir until all the flour has been incorporated.

Turn the dough out onto a generously floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, incorporating flour as needed to prevent sticking. The dough will be very sticky to begin with, but as it takes up more flour from the kneading surface, it will become easier to handle; use a dough scraper to keep your surface clean. The kneaded dough will still be very soft. Place the dough in a large clean bowl and let rise about 2 hours or until doubled in volume.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead gently several minutes. It will be moist and a little sticky. Divide the dough into shapes of your choice. I used 2/3 for a loaf and the remainder for small flatbreads. Place the bread into tins or baking trays. Brush with a little olive oil and sprinkle with herbs if you wish. Bake for 10 minutes at 450°(230°C) and then turn the oven down to 375°F (190 °C) for the remaining time. Bake the loaf for a further 40 minutes and the rolls for another 20 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing the loaf although the rolls can be eaten while warm and are in my opinion best this way.

Weekend Herb Blogging #110



As I dash between hemispheres it is such a delight to host Weekend Herb Blogging and discover the best seasonal produce in both parts of the world. My apologies for the lateness of this roundup due to a 30 hour flight and lack of internet access but enough with the excuses and onto the food. This weekend bloggers from across the globe have shared everything from cooling ice cream to warming Thanksgiving fare. For more information about this incredible blogging event created by Kalyn please visit Kalyn's Kitchen.

Lucy from Nourish Me has the perfect solution for those of us battling the Australian summer. Her lemon yoghurt ice is a feast for the eyes and senses. Head over to experience her beautiful words and photos as she works wonders with citrus.

Our creator Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen has the perfect accompaniment to any Thanksgiving meal. Her Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Balsamic, Parmesan and Pinenuts are deceptively healthy and sound absolutely sensational.

Mike of Mike's Table reminds us of the joy of simple things with his Herb Butter Roast Chicken. There are few greater pleasures in life than a perfectly roasted chicken and Mike's sounds simply wonderful.

Anh from Food Lover's Journey reminds us that mother's do know best with her Freshwater Fish, Choy Sum & Ginger Soup (Canh ca nau cai). This Vietnamese summer meal is both delicious and healthy. What more could you want during the warmer months?

Laurie from Tastes Like Home turns the humble onion into something special with her Pan-Friend Scallops and Caramelized Onions and Spinach. She certainly knows how to get the best out of her produce and I can easily see how this could become a regular meal.

Jennifer from Like to Cook offers a curried cauliflower soup. Another fabulous warming meal.

Annemarie at Ambrosia and Nectar offers a quick sabzi, the perfect way to spice up vegetables for those of us attempting to be a little more health conscious or just those who love tasty dishes. This Indian dish with Persian influences is certainty an exotic twist on the standard vegetable offerings.

Kalva from Curry in Kadai has another spicy offering, a grated squash curry. The vibrant colour alone is enough to jazz up any meal.

Gay from A Scientist in the Kitchen brings us a mango, cucumber and lettuce salad. A new way to utilise this fabulous summer fruit.

Rosa from Rosa Jackson has created a Kamut Flour Pizza. This gourmet delight sounds absolutely sensational.

Patricia from Technicolor Kitchen brings us a refreshing and flavour packed Lemon Pasta. It sounds heavenly on a summer evening.

Kevin from Closet Cooking brings us Cauliflower and Cheddar Soup with Dill. It looks wonderfully hearty and the perfect winter warmer on chilly evenings.

Jeanne from CookSister! has used some of my favourite flavours to make a wonderfully exotic winter warmer. Her Harira (Moroccan soup) is something I can't wait to try out.

Helene has also created something I'd love to add to my soup repertoire with her Multi Veggie Soup. I love the addition of susage for a hearty winter meal.

Anna from Anna's Cool Finds engages in some Mushroom Madness. She has chosen to grow her own so head over for a fascinating insight into the process of cultivating shitake mushrooms.

Genie from the Inadvertent Gardener has created the perfect Thanksgiving dish; Pear Salad with honey-cranberry drizzle. It sounds flavour packed and delicious.

Peter from Kalfogas has brought us a beautiful zucchini linguine. It sounds as lovely as it looks!

Emily from Superspark has made a mouthwatering cornbread and brocolli rabe strata. The photo alone has me desperate for a taste.

Anna from Morsels and Musings has brought us pickled nectarines with ricotta and proscuitto. These bite sized delights are a fantastic addition to any menu.

Gretchen from Canela and Comino has made a pumpkin pie porridge that sounds almost too delicious to be healthy.

Pam from Sidewalk Shoes has made me wish we celebrated Thanksgivng with her Turkey with herbs de provence and citrus. Now that is one beautiful bird!

Jerry has brought us one of my favourite winter meals, braised lamb shanks with white beans. I can't think of anything more comforting!

Katie from Thyme for Cooking brings us a salad of chevre, dates and nuts. The ingredients alone are enough to make me know this is a recipe I have to try!

Pam from the Backyard Pizzeria has created the most colourful dish of stuffed baby capsicums. Cute and delicious!

Haalo from Cook Almost Anything has used the most sensational Italian produce in her Bresaola con Rucola. Enough to make me want to go to Italy right now!

Gwen from Intoxicated Zodiac has submitted our first liquid entry- Chestnut Chocolate Alexanders. I think they have my name on them!

From Almost Turkish we have Bulgar Risotto with Beet and Beer. So hearty but exciting exotic!

Syrie from Tastebuddies has made roast chicken prepared with a lemon herbed butter consisting of fresh thyme, rosemary, lemon zest and parsley. Sounds like the perfect Sunday Roast to me!

Sher from What Did you Eat has made the perfect party pleaser with her Herb Pita Crisps, with a Sun-Dried Tomato Dip. Can't wait to try this at my next gathering.

Elizabeth from Blog from our Kitchen has made Penne with Oven Roasted Sweet Potato, Pecans and Goat's Cheese. Comfort in a pasta bowl!

Susan from the Well-Seasoned Cook brings us a pudding that is bound to spice things up with her licorice pudding. This sensational dessert is definitely one to check out!

Rinku from Cooking with Rinku has the perfect way to use left-over turkey in her Turkey with Makhani Sauce. It sounds too delicious to be made of leftovers!

Strata from My Bay Area Kitchen has a flavour and colour packed contribution with her Fall Snack Plate. Check out the gorgeous produce!

Finally my own entry of Summer Trifle of Stone Fruit and Raspberries. A light dessert of luscious fruit and rosewater scented yoghurt and a final tribute to summer before I head to the northern hemisphere.

If I've missed anyone please leave a message. Most importantly, next weekend Weekend Herb Blogging will be back at the home of its creator, Kalyn so please send your entries to kalynskitchen (at) comcast (dot) net.