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IFBC 2013 in Seattle + Endive and Arugula Salad with Walnuts and Grapes

Endive and Arugula Salad with Walnuts and Grapes; IFBC 2013

This year, the International Food Blogger’s Conference was held in Seattle, which is only a short $25 (or thereabouts) train ride from Portland. Also, this year Dorie Greenspan was the keynote speaker and since I’m in the French Fridays with Dorie group, this event seemed to good to pass up. Especially since I really enjoyed last year’s IFBC.

I mentioned IFBC and Dorie’s upcoming appearance there to everyone in FFwD and to my delight, a lot of us (Doristas) ended up converging on Seattle to meet up with each other, meet Dorie, eat some food, and drink some wine. It was so much fun!

International Food Bloggers Conference

In addition to all the sessions, food, and excursions, they had a Gift Suite. This is like a crazy black Friday sale where food companies give you tons of their stuff for free (and provide you with cute little canvas bags to lug it all around in). One of my favorite giveaways in the Gift Suite this year were packages of California Endive. Luckily for me, I didn’t have to fly my gifted produce back anywhere, just pack . . . → Read More: IFBC 2013 in Seattle + Endive and Arugula Salad with Walnuts and Grapes

Quinoa Polenta with Sautéed Greens, Parmesan & Apricot Vinegar

Quinoa Polenta with Sauteed Greens, Parmesan & Apricot Vinegar

Oh my god, I love polenta. Creamy polenta, sautéed polenta — doesn’t matter. I just wish corn was healthier than it is, especially when I could probably eat polenta multiple times per week. I think I have found a solution! Polenta that is half traditional polenta and half quinoa! Because quinoa is good for you, it all works out.

I wish I could take credit for the idea, but I actually saw it at the store. You know those little tubes of pre-made polenta you can buy? Well, that polenta isn’t that great compared to homemade, but they also now make a quinoa polenta version. I saw it the other day and I couldn’t believe what a great idea it was. So, I made my own at home.

I had also recently just made some apricot vinegar and although we had been using it in wonderful salad dressings all week, this dish seemed like a great use for it as well. I love making polenta with sautéed greens, so I just stuck to that theme here. I used some rainbow chard and used the same cooking technique as I did . . . → Read More: Quinoa Polenta with Sautéed Greens, Parmesan & Apricot Vinegar

FFwD: Swiss Chard Pancakes (but really Arugula Pancakes)

FFwD: Swiss Chard Pancakes but really Arugula Pancakes

I almost didn’t make this French Fridays with Dorie. In fact, I really wasn’t going to make it at all but at 9:00pm on Thursday night I looked to see what the assignment was…it was Swiss Chard Pancakes. I had really wanted to make those. And I didn’t have any chard. Because I was lazy and I absolutely did not want to go to the store, I used what I did have — arugula. Dorie even suggests these pancakes are very good with spinach instead of chard, and is arugula really that far away from spinach? No. Especially not at 9:00pm on a Thursday.

The nice thing is these came together so quickly! I was all done by 9:30-ish. And we had a nice breakfast all ready for the following morning (Friday). I just rewarmed them in a 350 degree F oven (in foil) for about 10 minutes. I served the pancakes with some Greek yogurt and finely diced red onion.

The few changes I made: made a half recipe, added about 1 tsp Dijon mustard to the batter, and sprinkled a tiny bit of Parmesan cheese on each pancake before . . . → Read More: FFwD: Swiss Chard Pancakes (but really Arugula Pancakes)

FFwD: Cod and Spinach Roulades

FFwD: Cod and Spinach Roulades

This week’s French Fridays with Dorie was a very interesting thing indeed — so interesting, in fact, that I am a day late in getting the post up.

Cod and Spinach Roulades — a spinach and onion filling, wrapped up in fish mousse, steamed and served with tomato sauce and pesto. Kind of like an Italian-French fish tamale?

I don’t see the recipe officially online, so I can’t link to it, but it can be found in the cookbook, Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan.

Notes:
1. I did not use plastic wrap. I know that it is probably fine, but I just don’t like the idea of wrapping plastic around food and then heating it. So…I used parchment paper. And it was moderately successful. It did let some steam/condensation in while steaming, but the fish still held together fine.

2. No cream on hand and didn’t want to go buy some for such a small amount, so I used a mixture of full-fat Greek yogurt and non-fat milk for a substitute. It seemed to work. I also substituted some plain lemon zest for the preserved lemon zest.

3. Plating was not as . . . → Read More: FFwD: Cod and Spinach Roulades

Perfect for Meatless Monday: Roasted Carrot and Quinoa Salad

Roasted Carrot and Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is one of my favorite grains. I can’t remember when I first tried it — I think maybe a couple of years ago? But ever since that first experience, I’m always looking for new ways to use it. I’m not quite sure what it is but I really like the texture and flavor — soft but still a bit toothsome, but with a slightly nutty flavor.

Tossed with spicy, roasted carrots, pecans, cranberries and peppery arugula, this is a great way to incorporate quinoa. There’s also a good chance that all the spices needed for the spice mix are already in your cabinet so you really don’t have an excuse to not give this a try. It may seem like a lot of work, but after you combine the spices together, you’re basically just using it as a seasoning for roasting the carrots, flavoring the dressing, and mixing in with the final salad.

After I photographed this meal, I got the lightbulb-worthy idea to crumble some feta on top of the salad — you should definitely do that.

Also, we don’t really stick to a Meatless Monday schedule, as we have a lot of . . . → Read More: Perfect for Meatless Monday: Roasted Carrot and Quinoa Salad