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April, 2010

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A cute napkin fold, baked potato bonda, chili pesto & a great giveaway!

Friday, April 30th, 2010

How to make food soar!

On the agenda today:

napkin folds, bonda ( baked recipe), pesto recipe & a giveaway!

May 13th: We shuffled all the names and Teresa was the lucky winner of this giveaway. Congrats to Teresa!

A huge giveaway from Bob’s Red Mill!

Bob’s Red mill is giving away a box containing several packs of different kinds of their stone ground flour to a lucky person out there. Yes, not just one but several! In order to win this awesome gift, just leave me a comment and voila this box will find its way to your door! Imagine all the nutritious and fun things you can bake and use in your stove top dishes with these superior products! For me there can be no other, so get with the “grind” you’ll, get with Bob’s Red Mill!

See also other recipes in previous posts using Bob’ Red Mill!

Thank you Bob’s Red Mill!

BTW, the winner of  the spa soap basket giveaway  was Jo, of Literally in the moment, as mentioned at the end of my previous post! I am working on another basket for yet another lucky person, so check back with me! Also there will be another giveaway from Bob’s Red Mill but you will have to come up with a simple recipe using their flour.  I shall let you know more about this later!

Is this not a cute napkin?  See the super easy “how-to” below! I swear your little child will be able to make this napkin fold!!! Guests will really find them amusing! Now, even the guests at the B&B are learning the whole’ napkin folding thing” and they often e-mail me, saying that they get rave reviews from friends and family when they put it into practice back home.

napkin-pers-nazarina

Baked potato bonda with chili & pistachio pesto. Typically, this hors d’ oeuvre is fried but here I put my own spin on it by rolling the potato dough into balls, poking a hole in it with the back of a wooden spoon & baking it.  I did not mix the garbanzo flour with water like in the traditional recipe.

This crispy potato had a  golden brown “skin” and a silky soft interior. The little hole was a perfect place to hide my tasty chili pesto. Yeah, potatoes are real peasant food, but when presented and baked in this chic way, will make even those food snobs stop looking down their snotty noses!

Made with Bob’s Red Mill stone ground  Garbanzo bean flour!

potat-bonda

Chili & pistachio pesto, (creamy, slightly spicy and a nutty accompaniment), I have coated shrimp, smeared under the skin of whole chicken and prepared several other meats & seafood with this  pesto and then grilled or baked! Just thin out just a touch with water for this purpose! Use your culinary realm of imagination!

chili-pesto-b-pine

How to fold the napkin

  • Iron the napkin
  • Bring the upper & lower edges horizontally together to meet in the center
  • Put finger on the center and open out each of the four corners diagonally from that center point like in the picture below

person-instruc

  • Roll the left side of the napkin vertically toward the center point and place something on this fold, while you roll up the right side toward the left to meet in the center.
  • Fold back the upper section to form the arms of the person.
  • Turn the napkin over and gently pull the arms apart.
  • Slide the handle of the spoon in the folds in the back of the little person like in the presentation above.

Please use organic ingredients when possible

How to make the baked potato bonda:

  • 1 t pure pickle masala or Hungarian sweet paprika ( I always put about 2 teaspoons just because I am crazy for spice that way!)
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 2 lbs potatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 T ” Tofutti” brand cream cheese( a soy product & available at Whole Foods and Sunflower Market) or you can use regular
  • 2 T Tofutti sour cream
  • 1/4 cup Silk soy milk or regular dairy
  • 1 T unsalted butter (optional)
  • 3 T chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons bell pepper seeds ( optional)

Do not overwork the dough!!! Just incorporate and be done with it! Do you want stiff balls , then practice being light-handed!

Mix the first 3 ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Peel and boil the potatoes in salted water, until soft, drain the water, and put back on a low heat so that the potatoes are dry. Add the butter, cream cheese and milk and mash. Take off the heat and mix in the garlic,bell pepper seeds and cilantro and check your seasoning. Roll the mashed potato into little balls and poke with the back of a wooden spoon and place on a cookie sheet, see below.

potato-bonda

Chill in  the refrigerator for half an hour. Brush with egg wash and lightly sprinkle with the garbanzo mixture. I put the garbanzo bean mixture in a sifter and sifted over the potatoes. This will ensure a lighter coating. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for about 45 mins until golden brown. Immediately fill the little cavities with chili pesto and serve

For the green chili and pistachio pesto:

  • 1 x 7oz can green chilies
  • 1 t pure pickle masala
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 c pistachios plus 1/4 c pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 2 t basil
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 3 T salad oil
  • a little kosher salt to taste.

Blend everything in a blender and refrigerate the leftovers!

Are these really pears?? See recipe on my old blog! You will be surprised to see what they really are!

pear-tato-na

Thanks for your visit! Don’t forget to leave the comment for the giveaway!

Much love,

Nazarina.

Easter eggs & bunnies, a bunny napkin fold & a giveaway!!

Monday, April 5th, 2010

My old blog www.giddygastronome.blogspot.com

How to make soap whimsical!

A zero calorie post LOL!

See details of the GIVEAWAY at the end of this post! I think you will love this giveaway!

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Easter  week-end. I wanted to post this yesterday but could not make it, so hope you will still enjoy and a happy Easter Monday to ya! Actually, Easter Monday, in many countries, is considered part of the celebration of Easter and many stores are closed for business!

If you have followed my blog in the past, then you know by now that I make my own soaps as well!  As usual, I was busy  making Easter goodies for the B & B and making these egg and bunny soaps kept me very busy. These had to go in all of the bathrooms for the guests and they got to take them all home ! So naturally none of the guests wanted to use them because they wanted to take them home untarnished ha! ha!

We have two more ski week-ends & then the slopes will be closing down for this winter. Normally during the summer, it is a winding down of tourists visiting the mountains here in Colorado, but trust me the flora and fauna are breathtaking as well.

A few speckled eggs as well! ( The speckled hens are amiss, but who cares as long as the bunnies are hanging around)!

I made the “speckled” eggs by dipping an old tooth brush in  plant based dye and flicked the toothbrush with my finger over some of the eggs. I used several rod iron garden pedestals to display the soaps.

“Just because we are speckled, we are no different to the rest & definitely deserve a spot in the nest, in fact our shells are a lot tougher!” LOL!

bunny550giddy p10

The kids loved the ceramic bunny which held the eggs in its tummy. I had to buy 10 of these ceramic bunnies, filled with my  soap & wrapped in cellophane for the guests. Some of the fragrances I used were,… lily of the valley, sweet pea, honeysuckle, “Irish spring type”, lavender, green apple, pineapple…etc and not to leave out the males, I used “Polo designer fragrance.”

bunny-&-egg-soaps-580

These bunny napkin folds looked real pretty on the dinner table! I shall try to post some of the dishes I made  in a future post. I think a sense of whimsy and attention to detail stimulate the senses and would make any meal memorable! Don’t you think it rather ridiculous that the guests refused to wipe  their hands with these napkins?

Bunnies to me are the epitome of spring, so this napkin fold is not only for Easter, but will work for any spring decor!

bunny-napk580

How to fold the bunny napkin

Use thin fabric & I think the brighter the napkin the better but for this table setting, I used a creamy colored napkin.

  • Spray starch on a square napkin
  • Iron the napkin
  • Fold upper & lower edges toward center
  • Iron flat again
  • Bring bottom edge up to top edge thus folding napk. in half
  • Fold right side of napkin up form the center point so that the folded edge is vertical
  • Fold the layers of the top right corner diagonally down to center
  • Repeat these steps to the left side as well to form a diamond shape
  • Fold right hand upper edge down to the vertical center line and do the same with the left side
  • Hold the pleats in place and fold the bottom point up behind the “2 ears” ( this forms a triangle)
  • Take the right corner, roll over to the left  “ear” at the back of the head and tuck it into the base pocket on the left side
  • Turn napkin around and open the “face” of the bunny

A giveaway! (I shall mail this anywhere!) I shall announce the winner on Sunday!

Leave me a comment and I shall mail you a  basket of different handmade soaps and bath salts & face towels. Do not fret if you are not the lucky winner this time because from time to time I shall have another giveaway, so more chances of winning! BTW, check my side panel on the bottom for more of my soap designs and on my old  blog here ! My soaps are made from shea & mango butters, olive oil and goats milk. I use different essential oils and fragrances as well & they do not contain alcohol that would dry out your skin! This will be a random drawing, so anyone could be the winner!

Much love,

Nazarina.

Monday 12th The winner of this spa basket is Jo literally in the moment! Sorry guys, I could not get to this blog yesterday, I was super busy and exhausted,  so please forgive me! I shall have more cool giveaways soon!!! I had one of the guests write out all your names on pieces of paper, shuffled it all up and she withdrew the above winner!

It is my b/day today , so we are going out to celebrate!

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