The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

12:03 AM

News & Reminders

Posted by Magic of Spice

News & Reminders 

First up, this is my entry for Novembers Your Best Recipe :)
Baked Brie & Cranberry Sauce  Croissants for the recipe.

Your Best Recipe

This is a monthly entry to show off your best...Entries for this month need 
to be submitted by tonight if you have not already done so. It is fast and easy
and here it an quick instruction link YBR. If you missed this month I encourage 
you to show off your best for next month.

Next on my list is the latest 
Quickens Challenge

The Challenge
Any a noodle dish of your choice. 
A main dish, side, dessert or snack. Just be inventive and show some serious food love.
They will choose the most appealing and interesting or unexpected entry to win.
And what do you win? The most amazing cookbook "Quickies Morning Noon & Night"
Entries are open until 12:00 am EST December 14th
 to submit on quickens morning noon & night here and on Lazoro Cooks here.

And now for the news
My dear friend Rebecca has a brand new app...yes I mean an APP...
You know like there is an app for that, well now there is :)

You can download this treasure here Chow and Chatter App.
Rebecca is a Registered Dietitian and gives use an on the go, anytime access to the
healthiest and tastiest recipes out there. I am working on begging...I mean working with
Rebecca on featuring a recipe know as an example :)  Stop by Chow and Chatter 
here to get a good feel if you are not already a huge fan, it will just take a few moments.

So help me in sharing and supporting our friends accomplishments,
if they are new friends for you...Then stop over and have fun!

Enjoy~ Alisha-Magic of Spice

Add To Facebook Share with Twitter Stumble This Digg This Add To Add To Reddit Post to Google Buzz Share on Myspace Share with Windows Live Pin It

10:36 PM

Farmers' Market Finds, Organics and Foodie Friends

Posted by Magic of Spice

Farmers' Market Finds, 
Organics and Foodie Friends 

What could be better then finding a new Farmers' Market that has certified
organics, as well as a cheese selection like pictured above? Wait I know...
shopping with friends :) My friend Priscilla of She's Cookin' and I spend this
 past Sunday at a local Farmers' Market in New Port Beach. Some of you
may remember that we spent an afternoon awhile back at a different
market that left a bit to be desired.There were some nice finds, but the
selection was limited and not heavy on the organics. This market was just
the opposite, in fact we had several storms that weekend and Sunday was
expected to be the same.Luckily we ended up with clear blue skies later that
morning. But with rain expected a few vendors did not attend, impressive
never the less and I can not wait to see what the full market has to offer.

So let's explore just a bit about my cheese selection from a local vendors
cheese stand at the market. Picnics Fine Foods is a full service catering,
deli and fine foods grocery. Here is a link to their website.

My Artisan cheese selections:

Pierce Point - organic cows milk
Semi-firm with a creamy texture
The cheese is washed in a Muscato wine, rolled in dried
 herbs and grasses then aged for three weeks.
Imparting a delicately complex layer of flavors
The cheese is only produced during the Fall and Winter
 Seasons in California by Cowgirl Creamery

Fromager Des Clarines - cows milk "mountain milk"
Served at room temperature has a thick creamy texture.
Generally served directly in the wood-chip box.
The cheese is aged for about four months and
has deep white truffle flavors and the texture of
thick creamy butter. If you enjoy aged Brie, this is for you.
Produced in France by Jean Perrin

Etude - goat’s milk
A hard firm textured cheese
Aged for about six months and has a surprisingly
smooth milky flavor, mild and nutty with a bit of
a tangy after note.
Produced in California by Andante Dairy

Rondo - goat and cow's milk cheese.
A very soft-ripened cheese with an herbed rind.
At room temperature you can see in the photo above,
the cheese becomes very creamy and soft.
With a full, bright and slightly sharp palate.
Produced in California by Andante Dairy

We found the most amazing selection of local honeys as well.
I did not get an abundance of information on the honeys produced,
but the selection was quite large. There were two selections that
really caught our attention~ Avocado Honey and the Buckwheat...
 Bee Ladies Local Honey -
If you are local to Orange County California or near by, you may
want to contact them for information on these unique and tasty honeys. 

And of course some gorgeous vegetables worth the trip themselves.
These gorgeous heirloom carrots straight from the ground (mud and all).
The photo does not do their striking and vibrant colors justice, and will
surely liven up any salad or dish they grace. And sitting in the very next bin,
pea shoots or pea greens. Have you ever tried them? They are a lovely
addition raw and added to a crisp salad. They can also be lightly sautéed
or just wilted with a splash of fresh citrus and your favorite spices.
They are also loaded with carotenes, antioxidants and vitamin k.

But the very best thing about a foodie day with a friend?
You can you the ability to try out many new items
with out worry of waste. Just load em up, then split em up :)
The Newport Beach Farmers' Market

And if you missed our Guest Post with Spicie Foodie and her new cookbook see it here.

Alisha-Magic of Spice

Add To Facebook Share with Twitter Stumble This Digg This Add To Add To Reddit Post to Google Buzz Share on Myspace Share with Windows Live Pin It

Guest Post- Spicie Foodie 
with  An Epiphany of the Senses

We have a special guest here today on The Ardent Epicure...
Please join us in welcoming our most lovely friend Nancy. Nancy is
the author of Spicie Foodie the blog as well as her new cookbook
An Epiphany of the Senses. She will be sharing with us today one of
the beautiful recipes featured in her cookbook and tell us a little bit more
about the book sit back and enjoy~ 

First I would like to thank Alisha and the Ardent Epicure team for hosting me and for all of the support and friendship they have always given me, Thank you guys.

My name is Nancy but perhaps better known as Spicie Foodie. My cookbook, An Epiphany of the Senses, was just released and it is so great to be able to share it with everyone. I poured all of my heart and soul into my cookbook and I do hope that you will all see the passion behind it. I am a self taught cook and  foodie blogger chronicling all of my kitchen adventures on my blog, Spicie Foodie. 

The book is a 64 page, 7.5' wide × 7.5' tall, Full color, paperback book is filled with the scents and flavors of my kitchen and my adventures into the culinary world. The recipes are healthy and bursting with delicious flavours, aromas and exotic spices. The recipes in the book have resulted in an eclectic collection that is guaranteed to awaken your senses, and is perfect both for the seasoned cook and the novice foodie. I hope you will all stop by and purchase your copy very soon. 

An Epiphany of the Senses

Indian Curry - an epiphany of the senses
One of my favorite things in the world is curry, both making it and of course eating it. I love different types from many different countries like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand and Japan. Which did I miss?, well these are just the one's I've tasted so far. My favorite curries are Indian curries. Why?, because of the complexity and mélange of all the different tastes, textures, sounds, smells, and colors.

Often times you will hear a Chef or passionate foodie describe food or eating a truly delicious meal as an awakening of the senses. For me the awakening came with this curry.

Touch~ the roughness of the cloves,cumin,cardamom,pepper corns and fennel,the ridges of the bay leaves, the silky velvety touch of cinnamon,turmeric and nutmeg.
Sound~the pestle pounding and grinding the spices against the mortar, the oil gently popping as the ingredients cook.
Smell~the individual aromas of the freshly ground spices as they gently meld together.
Sight~the intriguing color palette, the simmering brilliant red sauce as it turns a creamy red when adding the creamy coconut milk.
Taste~ you take the first bite; a burst of flavors. You can taste coconut,a bit of sweetness, you feel like your are tasting all the ingredients individually and at the same time all together. Then; the spiciness it's the last tingling sensation at the back of your tongue.

Today I would like to share a delicious Indian chicken curry recipe that is not difficult to make. (In a previous post I gave you my recipe for freshly ground Garam Masala, or you use what you have.) The recipe makes a big portion for 3 to 4 people.

Your ingredients:
1 lb. (500 grams) chicken breast,bite sizes
1 red onion,chopped
4 garlic cloves (1 tbsp. minced)
2 tbsp. fresh ginger finely chopped(1/2tsp ground)
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/2 cup warm water Or chicken stock
2 tbsp. Garam Masala*
2 tsp. whole coriander seed (1 tsp ground)
2 tsp. cumin seed(1 1/2 tbs. ground)
1 tsp. Turmeric powder (aka curcuma)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. hot chili/cayenne powder *
1 can stewed tomatoes (14 oz. or 400grams)
Coconut milk 1 2/3 cups ( 13.5 oz. or 400 ml)

* to start with and you can adjust to your liking as you go*
1. In a large pan add a couple of spoonfuls of vegetable oil, once it's warm add the chicken and saute until it's cooked. Next add red onions and cook for about 5 minutes or until it has become soft, then add minced garlic and ginger cook for 2 minutes. Add all of the spices to the pan, and stir continuously for about 3 minutes, the spices will release their aroma.
2. Make sure the stewed tomatoes are in small pieces, then add them to the pan,combine thoroughly. If using bouillon cube dilute it in the water and add it to the chicken and spices, or just add the chicken stock. Stir the mixture and cook for another 5 minutes, then reduce heat, and add the coconut milk. Under low heat cover and let it cook for another 10 minutes.
3. Almost finished, taste your curry, does it need a bit more salt or more spices? I always double the spices and triple the chili given above, because I like my curry very fragrant and spicy. But this is up to you, every one's taste is different. The more you cook with spices you'll learn to use them by feel, you won't pre-measure anything. I did, and I had to stop to measure these just so I could do this post:)
Once you've tasted and if you added anything else you should cover and let it simmer a little longer.

That's it, super simple and ready in about 30 minutes. Serve with steamed white rice or vegetable spiced rice and or some naan bread.

©2010 by Nancy Lopez-McHugh and Spicie Foodie 
Publisher : Anaja Creatif 
First Edition

We would like to again thank you Nancy for sharing your
beautiful and intoxicating recipe with us here today. And for giving us
just a taste of what lies beneath the cover of this stunning cookbook.
Please stop by and visit Nancy here on Spicie Foodie.
And you can pick up your very own copy or two of An Epiphany of the Senses here.

Add To Facebook Share with Twitter Stumble This Digg This Add To Add To Reddit Post to Google Buzz Share on Myspace Share with Windows Live Pin It

9:46 AM

What's for lunch? Forbidden Rice Salad

Posted by Magic of Spice

Forbidden Rice Salad

If you have yet to try Forbidden Rice you are really missing something...
The rice was introduced into the United States in 1995 by Lotus Foods.
The rice is grown organically on small family farms in China and can be purchased
on line or in most health food stores. Although it is a bit difficult to tell in the photo,
once cooked the rice has a deep rich purple color.
This heirloom rice is prized for both it's exotic nutty flavor as well as its
medicinal characteristics. Boasting  a high concentration of antioxidants know as
anthocyanins  as well as a higher lever of various vitamins and minerals.
Now for me, anything that tells me there is an anti ageing benefit...well hey!
But the main attraction is the flavor, with little or no flavor enhancements,
it is just plain delicious ;)

What you will need:
For the salad
1 cup forbidden rice, cooked
1-2 tablespoons organic lentils, sprouted
(or a sprout mix)
1 head frisée (curly endive)
Garnish with carrot shavings, radish sprouts and pea sprouts
And a bit of Greek feta or other cheese

Let's get cooking:
Cook rice according to package instructions.
Ratio= 1 cup rice to 1 3/4 cup water
This will yield 3 cups cooked rice
About 10 minutes before your rice is done,
add sprouts to your rice. Continue to simmer covered until done.
Once your rice is done, add a small amount of oil and fluff.
Mixed sprouts I used are primarely lentil , garbanzo, split pea and adzuki.
Allow your rice to cool to room temperature,
 then arrange your salad.
as desired

For the dressing
I used pistachio oil
Sparling wine
Orange/Mango juice
Fresh thyme and sage, finely chopped
1 garlic bulb, minced
*Note: I used a 3 to 1 ratio, however I replaced vinegar
with juice and sparkling wine

Alisha-Magic of Spice

Add To Facebook Share with Twitter Stumble This Digg This Add To Add To Reddit Post to Google Buzz Share on Myspace Share with Windows Live Pin It

Baked Brie Croissants with Cranberry 
Sauce and Awards

There are a few awards here today, and as many of you know
 Awards=Desserts :)
This is such an easy but delightful dessert...Or breakfast even ;)
I actually am insane over Baked Brie and I have served them loaded
with sautéed mushrooms or fresh garden herbs, but never fruit??? Well
it all started with an innocent shopping trip. I was just minding my own business
trying to hurry past the cheese case...when there they were, these perfectly
adorable mini wheels of baby Brie. I instantly thought of my fresh cranberries
 I already had waiting at home, then thoughts of baked Brie filled my mind.
I can't help it, really I was born this way :) And if you have never made your
own cranberry sauce, you really must and it is so easy...

What you will need:
For the cranberry sauce
1/2 cup black cherry juice, or other juice
1/2 cup water
1 cup raw sugar
12 ounces fresh whole cranberries
A dash of nutmeg and cinnamon, ground
Small sauce pan

For the Brie
4 mini brie wheels
2 sheets prepared puff pastry
A sprinkle of brown sugar
A small pat of butter for each, melted
Lined baking sheet

Let's get baking:
For the cranberry sauce
Place juice, water and sugar in your sauce pan.
Cook on medium/high heat until sugar has completely melted.
Add additional spices, stir until incorporated.
Add cranberries and reduce the heat just a bit, stir occasionally.
Continue to cook for about 10 minutes or so, until cranberries split
and sauce begins to thicken just a bit. Place in a bowl and refrigerate
until completely cool and thickened.

For baked brie croissants:
Prepare your puff pastry dough as instructed by the label.
With a sharp knife, remove just the very top rind of each wheel of brie.
Cover each brie top with chilled cranberry sauce.
Working on a piece of parchment paper, lay out one section of your
 puff pastry dough. Place brie wheel rind side down on dough section.
Fold dough up sides until just reaching the edge with a slight overlap.
Place additional dough section over the top and lightly press to bottom edge.
Place on lined baking sheet then cover tops with a bit of melted butter
and a sprinkle of brown sugar. *See photo above
Bake in a 350 (F) degree oven for about 20 minutes,
or until just golden and flaky.

The Awards
We have a few more awards to share with you here today :)
I am going in the order received, and as previously established
with No Rules attached... We will be sharing these awards with fellow
bloggers that we enjoy for various reasons. Many sites has stunning
photography, recipes and/or wonderful stories to brighten our days.
But there is something else they all share, and that is Spirit.
They share their warmth and support for their fellow bloggers in
many delightful ways. So here we would like to continue this.

From Fimer

Fimer is the author of a most amazing site  Aux délices des gourmets
I am sure many if not all of you are already acquainted. The site is in French 
and is the epitome of food as art. Every recipe unfolds with a brilliance and
mouthwatering experience, a most definite delight for the senses. Please stop
by and take a look for yourself, you will leave most happy that you did :)
Fimer, nous remercions vous donc beaucoup pour ce prix 
Thank you,
Alisha, Adam and Grely

For these two awards we would like to extent them to:
Pippi of io...cusi come sono (Italian)
Federica of Noteficioccoloto (Italian)
Zuetonka of Don't worry, be happy (bulgarian)
Natale of Canela Kitchen (English/Spanish)

From Elizabeth

Elizabeth is the author of  Food and Thrift Finds
First and foremost Elizabeth is a genuinely delightful lady...
Every post if filled with love and enthusiasm, plus some seriously great food.
She does some amazing flavor packed veggie dishes, and we know how I like that.
Plus, she collects some amazing goodies that she finds in various Thrift Shops...
and takes up shopping with her too :) Again, I know many of you already know her
but for any of you that do not...just pop on over and have a great time :)
Elizabeth we thank you so much for honoring us with this award...
Alisha, Adam and Grely

For these two awards we would like to extent them to:
Claudia of Foodessa
Bonnie of Sweet Life
Juliana of Simple Recipes 
Karen of Tasty Trials 
Melissa of The Hungry Artist 
Emme of Food Samba 
Erin of EKat's Kitchen 
Amanda of Baking Without A Box  
Aipi of US Masala 
Evan of Sweets 
Akheela of Torview  
Please take a moment to stop by, they are all wonderful blogs and blog owners :)

Enjoy~  Alisha-Magic of Spice

This recipe is being entered into Novembers YBR
on Spicie Foodie...

Add To Facebook Share with Twitter Stumble This Digg This Add To Add To Reddit Post to Google Buzz Share on Myspace Share with Windows Live Pin It

Chipotle Bean & Barley Soup
 Plus a few Treats

This soup is a fall favorite here in The Ardent Epicure kitchen...
Talk about some serious comfort food...Rich, warm and fragrant.
This is a vegetarian version but can easily be adapted to vegan :)

Today we are going to have one of those "No Recipe"recipe posts.
But I will tell you that I did something a bit different with this soup.
Normally I use a combination of freshly ground herbs and fresh herbs 
from my garden...But since I received a wonderful treat of dried
 organic herb blends (we will talk about in a bit) I decided
 to experiment a bit.   

What you will need:
2 pounds of dried beans
1/2 cup pearl barley
4-6 large whole chipotle chilies, dried
2 tablespoons or so molasses, agave or honey
4 white tea bags
1 cup white wine, optional
6-8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
A mirepoix
*Planet Garlic herb and seasoning mix
*Celeman Celery Salt
*See notes on Blessed Botanicals
Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
A couple tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons butter, omit for vegan
4 quarts vegetable broth and a little water if needed

2 crockpots or slow cookers
(you can 1/2 ingredients for less soup)

Let's get cooking:
Soak beans overnight in a large bowl with water covering
 beans to at least an inch above. Rinse beans thoroughly.
Sauté mirepoix (onions, celery & carrots chopped) in
a bit of olive oil until onions are just translucent.
Split all ingredients between the two crockpots and
cook on medium hight to high for about 12 hours.
Note: You can use large soup posts if and adjust the
cooking time until beans are tender...

Garnish with grated cheese and serve with crusty bread

Now on to a few treats that I received during a couple of give aways...
We will start with some lovely organic spice mixes from Blessed Botanicals.
I received this great gift through a giveaway held by Sommer on
her lovely site A Spicy Perspective. Thank you again Sommer...

I received five different varieties to try out and used two of these blends
here in our soup. The other varieties I received included  Salt of the Earth,
Farm House Rub and Lazy River Rub :) The site also carries a wonderful
collection of loose teas that sound delightful. So stop over and check them out.

I also received some lovely treats from Ritual Waters.
Now although these are not to be put in our soup, they most
definitely qualify as treats :) These lovelies were my prize from
another giveaway held by Christiane of The Mom Chef.
I chose the Rosemary Lemon-grass Soap and I received two
additional surprises  Hazelnut Lip Balm and Citrus Spice Lotion Balm.
You will find a beautiful of natural Handmade Herbal Soaps
along with several other bath and body products.
Thank you again Christiane I absolutely love them :)

Coming up we will have more Awards to share~
Along with another treat I have received in the form of a CSN gift certificate. 
I know what your thinking...Who is she paying off and just how much ;)

Enjoy~ Alisha-Magic of Spice

This will be entered into  on our darling Ekat's Kitchen 

Add To Facebook Share with Twitter Stumble This Digg This Add To Add To Reddit Post to Google Buzz Share on Myspace Share with Windows Live Pin It

4:16 PM

What's for Dessert - Decadent Fudge Cake

Posted by Sugar and Spice

Decadent Two-Layer Fudge Cake

This is a rich, delicious cake reminiscent of both fudge and brownies. It has two layers of decadent chocolate flavor, and goes great with an after-dinner cup of coffee.  In fact, it even has a little dash of coffee flavor in it!


For the Cake
2 cups of flour
2 cups of sugar
6 tablespoons (rounded) or cocoa powder
2 teaspoons of instant coffee (granules, not mixed with water)
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of unsalted butter
1/2 cup of oil (vegetable or canola will work fine)
1 cup of water
1/2 cup of buttermilk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla

For the Frosting
6 tablespoons of cocoa powder (rounded, unsweetened)
2 teaspoons of instant coffee (granules, not mixed with water)
16 ounces of powdered sugar
1/2 cup of unsalted butter
6 tablespoons of evaporated milk (plus a little more)
2 teaspoons of vanilla
Optional: 1 cup of pecan pieces


For the Cake
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together the flour, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl.
In a saucepan, add the butter and let it melt.
Next, add the water, oil, cocoa powder, and instant coffee to the butter.

Heat the mixture until it just begins to boil.
Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture and combine well.
Add the baking soda to the buttermilk, and stir this into the chocolate mixture.
Beat the eggs with the vanilla, and add this to the chocolate mixture as well.

Pour the mixture into a greased sheet cake pan (9 x 13) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
Follow the directions for the frosting so that you can frost the cake immediately after it comes out of the oven.

For the Frosting
You will want to time it so that you finish the frosting just as your cake is coming out of the oven.
Place all of the frosting ingredients into a skillet.

Heat the ingredients over low heat until the butter begins to melt.
Take the mixture off the heat, stir, and pour over the hot cake directly out of the oven.
If desired, add the chopped nuts over the top.

Enjoy this delicious cake, with rich chocolate flavor.  It takes a bit of work, but the result is a super-moist and decadent dessert!  Serve with ice cream, whipped cream, or both!

Thank you to The Show Boat Cookbook for this wonderful recipe.
Enjoy~ Grely-Sugar and Spice

Add To Facebook Share with Twitter Stumble This Digg This Add To Add To Reddit Post to Google Buzz Share on Myspace Share with Windows Live Pin It

Vanilla Custard with Pomegranate 
Molasses and Awards

The recipe I will be sharing with you today is flavor wise, based on a classic
Crème brûlée. However we needed a bit thicker of a custard base, so we
will just be calling our dessert Vanilla Custard. Why? Simple, if we were
to serve a lovely Crème brûlée with a hot Pomegranate Molasses....
We would have soup, I am sure a delicious soup but soup non the less.

So for our dessert today, we are looking to pair a rich creamy custard
with hard caramel topping and a sweet, slightly tangy sauce. 

A custard, if you are not already familiar, is a process of thickening
cream or milk with egg yolk. Custard bases are used in a variety of dishes
from sweet desert sauces to savory quiches. Although there are a variety of
preparations used to create a custard, one basic standard is generally upheld.
This standard involves a slow and imperative technique of gradually cooking the
ingredients to ovoid curdling.

What you will need:
4 large egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
1-2 vanilla beans, split
1/4 cup raw sugar
4 ramekins
Hot water for bath
Culinary torch
4 tablespoons raw sugar for topping
Pomegranate Molasses recipe here

Let's get cooking:
In a saucepan add cream, vanilla beans and sugar.
Over a medium low heat slowly bring mixture to a low boil.
Whisking your mixture constantly, cook for about 5 minutes
making sure the sugar is completely dissolved.
Remove your mixture from the heat source and allow
to cool to room temperature....
Whisk or stir several times while cooling.
Place egg yolks in a mixing bowl and mix throughly
until completely blended. * Avoid mixing too briskly
as not to develop a foam, gently blend instead.

While your cream mixture is cooling pre-heat your oven to 300 degrees F.
Then prepare a high rimmed baking dish by placing a paper towel
or small kitchen town neatly lining the bottom of the pan.

Now that your cream mixture has cooled, slowly pour into the bowl
with your egg yolks. Stirring constantly until fully incorporated.
Strain your mixture through a fine sieve into another mixing bowl.
Pour even amounts of mixture into each ramekin and place in baking dish.
 Carefully pour enough hot water in the baking dish
to reach half way up the ramekin sides.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until set, but still jiggle in the center.
Remove from the oven and allow to stand until slightly cooled
then remove from the pan. Now allow these to sit to room temperature.
Then chill three hours to overnight.

Prior to serving remove the custards from refrigeration and
allow to stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Then place about 1 tablespoon of raw sugar on top of each.
Spread the sugar evenly over each surface and caramelize using
your torch. This can also be done in a broiler for 3-5 minutes.
*Note: if using a broiler watch carefully and do not place them to
close to the flame.

Serve each custard with a small bowl of hot Pomegranate Molasses.

The Awards
We received a few awards late last month and will be presenting them here today.
These awards will be passed on to several other bloggers that we enjoy ourselves.
A couple words about the awards before we start. As in our last awards post...
These will be passed on with No Rules.

From Nadji

These lovely awards were passed on by our dear Nadji.
 Her blog Saveurs et Gourmandises, this is not only one of my very
most favorite sights, but an instant delight for anyone stopping by...
Her dishes are executed brilliantly and with a great deal of passion.
The photographs and presentations are always exquisite...
The site is in French so I would like to add her original message
 with the Awards translated below.

"Let's start the holidays by a distribution of prizes throughout the world and 
also returned through a blogosphere ever larger and more varied, thereby 
broadening our world view and another. A blogosphere where contacts are
 becoming easier, an area without visas or residence permits, 
a place where everyone finds his place.
A space where, for a while, we forget the economic crisis, unemployment 
and all that is wrong. A place where relationships are based on sharing and
 generosity exchange recipes and gifts, real or virtual."

So here today we are most honored to accept these awards from a
beautiful and generous friend Nadji. We would now like to extent these
awards to a few of our favorite international sites....

María José of Hecho En Casa (Spain)
Deniz of MUTFAKultesi and Bistro Carambita (Turkey)
Federica of La Cucina Di Federica (Italy)
Pierre of Pierre Cuisine  (France) site is French & English
Javier of La Cocina de Javi  (Spain)
Sara & Mike of Culorile din farfurie-Romanian  and Les plats roumaines-French (Romania)
Simona of Alison's Trials (Romania) 
Tania of Dulcis In Furno (Italy) site is in Italian & English

From Leanne

This next award was presented to us by Leanne of  My Little Sweet House.
Her blog originates from Australia and let's just say that the term "Sweet" is point on.
She never fails to whip up the most delightful of confections and treats, and some
delightful comfort foods to boot...I have had the opportunity to get to know her a
bit better recently via email, and I can assure you she is such a sweet lady.
If you are already not acquainted, please stop by...your in for several treats :)

Here we would like to pay it forward to a few of more of our favorites...
Again these sites and people provide us with delicious dishes, photography
and wonderful stories. These are also a few of my favorite people out in our
beautiful blogging world. They as well as the international sites I have mentioned,
show kindness, support and respect to those around them....

Biren of Roti n Rice
Jill of The Homegrown Gourmet 
Marisa of Cook's Book 
Patricia of Patty's Food

Enjoy~ Magic of Spice - Alisha

Add To Facebook Share with Twitter Stumble This Digg This Add To Add To Reddit Post to Google Buzz Share on Myspace Share with Windows Live Pin It

5:00 AM

Food Tip - Scrambling Eggs

Posted by Truffle Shuffle

Scrambling Eggs

Eggs a great source of nutrients, and are delicious to boot.  The scrambled egg is one of the simplest preparations, as well as one of the most popular (as well as one of my favorites).  However, with this simplicity can come a lot of hasty, poorly-made scrambled eggs.  Here are a few tips to make sure your scrambled eggs come out perfect and tasty every time.
First , make sure you have high-quality eggs.  I always use organic, free range eggs.  Make sure they are fresh and are not broken before-hand.  Also, when making your eggs, pay attention to egg shells; no one likes to bite on a piece of shell in the middle of a pile of fluffy scrambled eggs!
Crack your eggs into a bowl or cup, and add a tiny bit of oil (I use olive oil or canola oil), as well as a splash of milk or half and half.  Whisk the eggs a bit until they are well mixed.  

Next, set your pan on the stove, and set the burner to medium-high heat.  Add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan, and give the oil a minute to warm up.
Pour the egg mixture into the pan, and immediately begin to stir it.  For this, I use a small spatula.  Any kind will work, but I prefer a wooden one with a flat edge.
The idea is to not let any egg that begins to stick to the bottom of the pan to sit for more than a couple of seconds without being scraped off.  If you tend to this the whole time, constantly stirring and scraping, you will come out with perfect eggs that are not overcooked.

Once the eggs have taken a more solid shape, and are loosing the shiny wet look, add any cheese or other ingredients you plan on adding (or just leave them plain).  Let them sit for a few seconds, flip the whole thing over, and do the same on the other side, just to make sure they aren't wet.
Transfer your eggs to a dish, and garnish with sea salt, freshly-ground pepper, and any spices or herbs you like on your eggs.  For these eggs, I used some black pepper, a seasoning mixture, and a little bit of delicious truffle salt.  I also added a bit of a shredded cheese blend.
That's all you need to have perfect eggs every time!  Just remember, if you pay close attention to your eggs, they won't take long, and you won't have burnt or undercooked eggs.  Eggs are very temperamental and jealous, and they require your undivided attention!  Constant movement and scraping will result in pristine scrambled eggs.


Truffle Shuffle

Add To Facebook Share with Twitter Stumble This Digg This Add To Add To Reddit Post to Google Buzz Share on Myspace Share with Windows Live Pin It