Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bloggeraid: Because We Can Help - ROUNDUP

I thought starting our roundup, that some information on statistics for world poverty would be powerful. As I spent time researching, I found it to be a lot more than powerful. The statistics are mind boggling and if you'd like to read more, please follow these stats.

Judging by the momentum that's growing at the BloggerAid Forum , I truly believe we have many people who really and truly would like to be able to help but don't really know how. Sometimes it just takes a few ideas to stimulate more ideas. That's what's been happening and we're all looking forward to full steam ahead in the new year.

Equal Opportunity Kitchen sent out a call for recipes that you would feed for hungry guests who came into your home. We're thrilled to see the entries from people who are connected to this cause.


Nuria of Spanish Recipes makes Goulash Soup. Even though Nuria is not Hungarian, isn't it wonderful how easily she can adapt culturally with a dish that could feed an army.

and also
Nuria's bean porridge , Spanish soul food that comes complete with tips on beans.

Ning of Heart and Hearth introduces us to a Filipino staple called Milkfish Stewed in Vinegar. Made with simple ingredients one can easily see how this lovely dish could feed so many.

Soma from eCurry bakes a beautiful Spiced Cranberry Raisin Bundt Cake

Gloria from Cookbook Cuisine comforts us with Mucho Meatloaf. The smell of meatloaf in the oven creates a memory of home like no other.

Yasmeen of Health Nut baked up this incredible Fruit Challah with Cranberry Preserves . It's festive, it's staple and it's complete with something to put on it. I'm in love.

Val of More Than Burnt Toast loads up the hospitality with Cranberry Chicken. How appetizing does that look!!!

Ivy from Kopiaste brings us Cuckoos Nest Chocolate Cake. Ivy laboured over this cake and admits it was an involved process. She made it for her husband's "name day" and the labour was entirely worth it. This is a special cake indeed and how nice that something so special is shared with this event.

Ohio Mom Cooking in Cleveland In the true spirit, OM has taken literally scraps and made an incredible soup.

Harini at Tum Yum Treats shows us how to make light rotis and includes a song that speaks to hunger. The words and meaning can be found on Harini's blog.

Dharm at Dad Baker and Chef prepares Roast Lamb with an Asian Twist.. Because of the cost, having a leg of lamb for dinner is truly a special event dinner. When this cut came from Australia with "the lovely wife", Dharm shared it with all of us.

Deeba from Passionate about Baking quotes
"The war against hunger is truly mankind's war of liberation."
John F. Kennedy.
Shared is her Spicy Lamb in Black Pepper.

Michelle at Bleeding Espresso serves up Fried Baccala


Baccala with Tomatoes

Jen from A2EATWRITE prepared two gorgeous and hearty soups. The first is Jen's Rockin Vegetable Soup


The world's easiest (and BEST) Chicken Noodle Whatever Soup.

Navita from Zaayeka cooks up her Lentils in Creamy Sauce. Beans provide such complete nutrition and can feed many for so little.

City Girl from City Girl Lifestyle prepared Shrimp Scampi Pasta with Feta. Quick to prepare, packed with goodness and "that" good.

Diane of The Pittsburgh Deli delights us with latkes. You never have to ask me twice to sit down for latkes with sour cream...yum yum.

Rachel from The Crispy Cook delivers an intriguing appetizer called Chili Fried Shrimp. Nice and easy and so easy to just pop in your mouth.

Ramya of Ramya's Kitchen Corner baked these fabulous croissants. I hope you baked alot - we're all on our way.

Marie from Proud Italian Cook offers up a Veggie Ribbon Pasta.

Notyet100 of Asankhana somehow managed to put together this feast in 3 hours while her husband was sleeping.

Jeanne from Cook Sister knows how comforting Quick Chilli Con Carne can be. It can be vegetarian or meat and stretches a very far way.

Psychgrad at Equal Opportunity Kitchen features her first pork loin ever. I suspect there's no stopping her now.

Giz at Equal Opportunity Kitchen

This event has been very enlightening to us. We've made many new friends in the blogging world through this event - all of whom we feel very appreciative of. Some of the personal notes and kind words sent by email have been heartwarming and gives us motivation to continue on our quest. Thank you for being a part of this event and we're looking forward to seeing more of all of you as we continue on our journey. StumbleUpon

Monday, December 29, 2008

Hannukah Dinner on Christmas

R and I keep saying that we should tell our respective families that we are going to the other side of the family's place for the holidays and then take off to somewhere warm instead. Since I'm a terrible liar, the closest I could get was visiting Giz for a few days and then going to the Dominican for a week (flight departs in just under 6 hours - woohoo!).

Here's the dinner we had on Christmas. I'm still not sure whether this is a Christmas dinner or Hannukah dinner.

Maybe neither or a bit of both, mainly directed by a desire to share in the holiday festivities. This year, my uncle hosted.

Dinner was a joint effort. Auntie Takeout offered to "make" the shrimp ring. Giz brought an entire laundry basket worth of food. R and I...we were exempt, given that we spent the better part of the day travelling. Actorboy (my brother) played the part of starving actor. Baba was in charge of the latkes.

Despite earlier calls to Giz asking how long a turkey should be cooked after the turkey had been in the oven for the morning, my uncle's turkey was pretty good:

As is tradition, too much food was served. This almond crusted talapia was a likely culprite:

Perhaps the most important part of the meal was the latkes. There is quite a bit of variation in the composition, texture and flavour of latkes. My baba always blends the latkes to a mush-like texture.

First, she peels and cleans the potatoes:

Next, she cuts up the potatoes into smaller chunks:

This allows for greater ease of blending the potatoes. Then she adds onion, egg, flour, salt and pepper.

and the frying

drinks all around - this is always uncle's specialty.

and the carrot ring with broccoli

nobody is going hungry, that's for sure;

and yet another version of Giz's heavenly salad;

Here is evidence of Giz's insanity:

After dinner, we played a game. Baba was so funny playing, I had to film some of it. Without going into too many details, at this point in the game, each player was supposed to use one word as a hint to the group about a name written down on a piece of paper. Baba didn't like this rule, so she just made the game whatever she wanted. We all agreed because with her English language skills, she was likely to quit if the game was too difficult.

Sorry for the shaky camera work. I could hardly breathe I was laughing so hard. StumbleUpon

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Sharing during the Holidays

Today, my main goal is to spend as much time as humanly possible on the couch. With snow, rain, and freezing rain, R and I weren't sure whether we would make it to Giz's. Thankfully, things cleared up on Christmas day.

Although we don't officially celebrate Christmas, maybe Chrismakah (a combination of Christmas and Hanukkah), I can see how important the holiday is to so many people. So, R and I try to help out by sponsoring a family in need. It's a nice way to make a small difference in someone's life and actually see the people who are receiving the gifts. It makes the process of giving more personal than something like online donations.

This year, we were paired with a young single mom with two kids (a 5 year old girl and a 6 year old boy). I called the mom up a couple of weeks before Christmas to see what her kids would like to receive. I could tell from the sound of her voice that she was around my age, if not a few years younger. I can't imagine raising two young kids on my own, so both R and I felt really good about being able to help her.

Luckily, I had a great present for the little girl, a doll that Giz had in an unopened box (don't know why). For the mom, I was happy to share some of the mounds of creams that Giz has given to me. Plus, Giz donated an angel and bracelet. We picked up some K'Nex for the little boy (man...Lego is expensive) and gift certificates for the movie theatre. Plus, when talking about the family with some friends of ours, they generously wanted to drop off a couple of gifts for the kids.

In this program, the focus is actually on food, specifically donating Christmas dinner. I know that the requirements are really only to bring groceries for dinner. But, what's Christmas without the sweets?

I filled a tin with sweets I had made. The first layer consisted of a couple of Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins and Strawberry Oatmeal Squares (I used Giz's Homemade Strawberry Jam).

The second layer was Puppy Chow. In fact, you probably make some version of it yourself and call it something else. So good.

For the top layer, I used up the rest of the infamous sugar cookies with some festive sprinkles.

I added a couple of cookies I bought at the French bakery:

Overall, the experience was very good. Though, I left with a heavy heart. When going into the woman's apartment, the kids ran up to meet us at the door and gave us some cute homemade cards saying thank you and merry Christmas. They quickly found the tin full of sweets and grabbed a cookie each. The mother seemed appreciative. But, it was very obvious that she was high and the place reeked of pot. I'm open-minded about that stuff, but not when it comes being around kids. It's not fair that they should have to be surrounded by drugs and that their (maybe) sole caregiver is stoned. I'd have to assume that it's a regular thing, otherwise why smoke when you're expecting someone who is donating food and gifts to you?

Still, the experience was generally positive. Knowing that the kids have presents to open for Christmas and a full Christmas dinner is reason enough to do it again.

Happy holidays everyone!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Low Cal Mushroom Quichelettes

There's a theme over the past few days. That's what happens when Giz goes to Costco and buys a box of 180 tart shells. Now I'm at the stage where I'm saying "what the hell was I thinking?" I'm not sure how many tarts a person can make but my freezer now has Bulging Baked Goods Syndrome and needs many hungry people visiting over the holidays.

This recipe comes from Norene Gilletz's "The Pleasure of Your Processor" and what was particularly interesting is how low cal it is. When made into a pie, it serves 8and each serving is only 125 calories. It's pretty obvious that I'm feeling pretty guilty for my overindulgences.


1/2 lb. Swiss, Mozzerella or Cheddar cheese (2 cups grated)
1/2 medium onion
1 pint mushroom (I used cremini)
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
dash pepper
dash nutmeg
3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese (I used alot more)


Grater: Grate cheese and onion, using medium pressure. Empty bowl

Pastic knife: Process mushrooms until coarsely chopped, about 5 or 6 seconds. Add remaining ingredients except for Parmesan cheese and process with 3 or 4 quick on/off turns, just until mixed.

Place in prepared tart containers. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 F for 35 to 40 minutes, until set and golden.


Note: I didn't change knives in the food processor since the mix was going into small tart containers. The yield was 24 tarts. If you're making one quiche use a 9" pie plate or cermaic quiche dish. This freezes well.

From Equal Opportunity Kitchen - we wish you all a very joyous holiday season. Joy is what you make it but our wish for you is good health, enough food on your tables and peace in your family. We know everyone is very busy this time of year. Please remember those who don't have enough to eat. If you have an entry for BloggerAid: Because We Can Help please remember the deadline is December 28th. StumbleUpon
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