15 February 2011

Best Thing I Ever Ate (Recently) Roundup

If you have been following More Than Burnt Toast you will know that in recent years I have been creating personal challenges based on a theme to infuse new life into my cooking adventures. I am a firm believer that even every day food should be an adventure either with new ideas, or experimenting with a new cuisine. This is part of what blogging means to me to discover and rediscover new ingredients, new techniques and to rejuvenate my culinary skills when I am feeling uninspired. Every day we should be excited about what we are eating don't you think!!!! In the heart of a Canadian winter this can be a challenging since "fresh" and sometimes even "local" are only visions.

My inspiration comes from so many different places... cookbooks, your blogs, the Internet, magazines, restaurants and friends. Nothing is more intimate, or more effective at creating friendships, than cooking and sharing meals together. With the birth of a New year it was the perfect time to pump up our kitchens into high gear and celebrate cooking for what it is! In the classic movie Zorbas the Greek the main character sums it up the best, "On the coast I felt for the first time what a pleasant thing it could be to have a meal. We started eating and drinking, the conversation became animated. I at last realized that eating was a spiritual function and the meat, bread, and wine were the raw materials from which the soul is made." With this concept in mind I appealed to the blogging world to submit the Best Dish I Ever Ate (Recently). These dishes will knock your socks off and have you exploring what "the best" you have eaten recently means to you.

A huge thank you to all who particpated. I urge you to continue to be creative and hope you are all inspired to recreate dishes that inspire you!!! I can add dishes like my Beechers Macaroni and Cheese,and Pumpkin Cheesecake with Walnut Topping that I would never make any other way from here to eternity since they truly are "the best" in my eyes!!! Let's see what everyone else cooked up!!

Deeba's Chicken-Quark-Crossover-Puff Pastry

Our first dish comes from my good friend Deeba over at Passionate About Baking.  In her own words these Chicken-Quark-Crossover-Puff-Pastries evolved out of using up what was in the refrigerator to create an elegant and delightful treat. "A heart warming combination of chicken, sautéed mushrooms and roasted bell peppers, some creamy homemade quark mixed in with mozzarella, embracing each other in a creamy delicious way,"says Deeba.

Giz's Bread Pudding

Our next dish comes from my good friend Giz at Equal Opportunity Kitchen. We have spent long hours collaborating and racking our brains together for the past few years. With the combination of flavourful challah, raisins, cranberries and apples this Bread Pudding ranks up there with some of the best comfort foods that envelope you like a warm blanket.  Giz says, "I had absolutely no idea if this would even work but when I tasted the final outcome I couldn't figure out why this hadn't been a common dessert in our family. I loved it!!! It's the best thing I've eaten ... recently."

Ben's Moms Chiles en Nogoda

I have followed Ben of What's Cooking Mexico since I started blogging almost 4 years ago through life changes, photography and exploration.  True to form Ben has brought along one of his moms own dishes Chiles en Nogada. Ben has recently moved back to Mexico City to be close to his family and his roots. I so look forward to continue reading his blog as his culinary experimentation takes him to new heights as new ingredients and techniques are available to him in his new home. He has conquered this dish himself but nothing beats moms!!!

Sarah's Quail Egg Roast

One of things I love about blogging is the new people that you meet along the way. I met Sarah of Spoonful of Delight who sent us her Quail's Egg Roast . Sarah says, " I wanted to do justice to its subtle flavour and hence I had decided on no garam-masala or any other overpowering spices. It resulted in this delicious and simple Quail Egg Roast for which we scraped the cooking pot till the last morsel. This recipe goes well for Chicken Eggs and Duck Eggs as well. So in case you can't get Quail Eggs in your area, feel free to substitute with any other type of Egg (5 Quail Eggs = 1 Large Chicken Egg or Duck Egg)."

Valerie's Preserved Oven-Roasted Tomatoes

Another good friend and fellow Canadian Valerie of A Canadian Foodie entices us with her bounty of Preserved Oven-Roasted Tomatoes. I admire Valerie's inquisitive nature and constant experimentation from her home in Alberta. Valerie says, "Open a jar of this umami packed garden glory and you are in for an incredible treat! Slices of fresh, young, Bocconcini generously slathered with thick spoonfuls of this intensely delicious “winter salad”. I was in heaven. It is the BEST THIS I HAVE EVER ATE!"

This makes me wish I had taken the time to preserve my own tomatoes Valerie. Is that drool on my keyboard?

Claire's Three-Grain Crispy Tacos

I first met Claire of Chez Cayenne through Presto Pasta Nights. This is the joy of blogging and discovery when we are introduced to new bloggers and create new friendships. She has brought along a vegetarian and healthy version of a taco that is perfect for all of our new year promises to ourselves. Claire says, "These Three-Grain Crispy Tacos  started with a mistake - a dish I should never have made. They became one of my family's best-loved dishes and something I cook for guests frequently." This is our gain Claire!!!!

Deeba's Homemade Potato Gnocchi with Roasted Pepper Sauce

Next Deeba of Passionate About Baking sent in a second dish...Homemade Potato Gnocchi with Roasted Pepper Cream Sauce. She has so many delectable dishes with gorgeous photography on her blog I would classify everything she makes as "the best thing I ever ate". Deeba says, "The daughter was over my shoulder with a fork, and dug in every 2 minutes to have another!" I would be too Deeba. Thanks for sharing "the best thing you every ate (recently)!!

That Girl's Roasted Parsnip Soup
(From Soup, Stews, and One Pot Meals)
We are not done yet. I think you've caught me smacking my lips! The next best thing I ever ate (recently) comes from That Girl of Paved with Good Intentions. I don't know how long we have been following each others blogs!! A comforting soup like Roasted Parsnip Soup really can be the best thing on these wintry days!! She says, "It was creamy and rich, without an ounce of cream or milk. In fact, the most unhealthy part of the soup comes from the roasting oil alone. And the roasted parsnips added an unparalleled flavor, like any good roasted root vegetable. I see this soup being made again and again and again."

Joans Date Almond Pesto

I have spent days and nights sipping wine and sharing a table with my good friend Joan in San Franscisco. From FOODalogue Joan brings us a delicious Date Almond Pesto she made before she was whisked away to South America. Joan says, " I don’t have the proverbial sweet tooth but I do have a penchant for sweet when it’s mixed with savory — and especially if that sweet is fruit-derived, like from dates, figs or prunes. This pesto, jam, spread, whatever you want to call it, is a perfect example of that flavor balance."

 Looks like I have to concede my Pesto Queen" crown Joan:D

Shu Hans Pork Trotters with Black Vinegar Stew
Our next best dish comes from Shu Han of Mommy, I Can Cook  who brings to the table a Pork Trotters with Black Vinegar Stew. Shu Han says of her dish, "It's favoured by all Chinese mothers during the confinement period because it's incredibly nourishing, and soooo yummy. I love this so much I once famously said "I don't mind being pregnant just to eat all these (confinement) food." Hey, but, it's really a great stew for the winter, not just post-pregnancy. And there are hardly any ingredients, and even fewer steps."

Heathers Carne Guisada
Heather of Girlichef has just celebrated her 2 years of blogging and shares with us her Carne Guisada. Heather says, "A guisado is a full meal that is cooked together in one pot. Basically, like a "stew", if you will. Meat, veggies, sauce...a whole meal stewed together for a long time...that's a guisado. You'll probably eat it scooped into a bowl with it's liquid from a spoon. Can I just say...This is one of the best things I've eaten this year!  There's only a few ingredients...but the way they are cooked...they just coat the cubes of tender sirloin in a loving embrace of flavour!"

So happy you shared this with us BBFF!!!

Susans' Varkenshaas
(Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Sauce)

Next we have an oustanding classic from another new friend Susan of  Savoring Time in the Kitchen of Varkenshaas (Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Sauce). Susan says, "I've been making this recipe for a number of years and every time I serve it to guests I am inevitably asked for the recipe.  It's my all-time favorite pork tenderloin preparation and The Best Thing I Ever Ate (Recently)".

We are so happy you decided to share it with us Susan!!! 

Aglaia's Greek lemon Potatoes (Patates Rignates)
Last but not least my armchair travel has taken me back to Greece with Patates Rigantes (Aglaia Kremezi's Greek Lemon Potatoes). Aglaia says, "Few people can resist these potatoes, which are capable of stealing the show from any food they accompany - so make sure you have plenty for seconds. Although it is served all over Greece this dish is particularly good on islands like Naxos, where the local potatoes have an exceptional taste. On the special days when a leg of lamb or a chicken is roasted, the potatoes are cooked in its juices. If you want to cook this dish using small potatoes, there is no need to peel them, but I suggest that you halve them, because they taste better when they can absorb more sauce."

These potatoes will whisk you off to warmer climates. Close your eyes and you can hear the calming rush of the sea and if you listen really hard...you can hear bazooka music playing in the background...and maybe the bleat of a far off goat. Is that Kostis coming around the bay in his traditional caique "Soultana"?? Better get ready for another adventure......

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. What a fabulous collection and variety of dishes! This was fun to do and equally fun to review everyone's entries.

  2. What a wonderful round up of exquisite and yummy dishes! Thank you so much for hosting this event.

  3. A fabulous roundup! Everything looks so lovely.



  4. So many inspiring and exotic dishes there. I like the look of them all! I had meant to enter this event but have to confess that I seemed to run out of time. Next time, I hope!

  5. What a great post, and fantastic round-up! Inspirational, indeed - there's nothing there that I wouldn't love to try. Perhaps the quail egg roast and pork trotters most stand out for me, but it's a very close-run thing!

  6. Val: I am sorry I was not able to join you this time. Will do next.

  7. Thank you for the opportunity to play along, Val! I love the variety of food shared here and see some that I know I'd love to try.

  8. I loved this roundup. I have been thinking about this event for a while, but I was overwhelmed by the possibility that actually my next meal could be the best one (lately). With all these great recipes, it is bound to be :)

  9. I had forgotten about this challenge, and now I'm excited about all the new recipes to try- these look delicious!

  10. So much amazingly intense food all in one place! I'm so enamored.

  11. What a marvelous round-up, Val. And such variety too! I'm going to click on every one and read.

  12. I love seeing roundups like this. What a fabulous and diverse group of recipes! Thanks for doing this.

    Okay, am I the only geek who kept thinking of Star Trek DS9 when hearing about the quark?

  13. It all looks fabulous and inspiring. It would be hard to choose which one to try first.

  14. These are all incredible dishes! An excellent roundup!

  15. WOW!! Those chicken quark crossovers are calling my name! Amazing roundup, Val. :-) So much deliciousness on one page!

  16. Don't I wish to have all these amazing dishes delivered to my door ready to enjoy while I take a good break away from the stove ;o)

    Great roundup...much to refer to.

    Ciao for now,

  17. I read this early today and thought I had commented - actually, yesterday, I think. But, see it is still here and open, so I didn't comment yet. Beautiful morsels to discover. I am so amazed at how many of these people and their sites I have not visited and do not know at all. The beauty of blogging is sharing friendships, for sure!

  18. What a great roundup, Val! I see so much here to inspire me.

  19. Oh boy, what I wouldn't give to be at a buffet w/ all of these "best" dishes! This was such a fun event, Val...thanks so much for being such a gracious hostess and for the mouthwatering roundup xo

  20. Thank you for hosting this delicious event Val. I loved it, and have bookmarked plenty from the round up. It's an inspiring post, and a great idea behind the event.

  21. my favorite would have to be aglaia's riganates - and maybe a seaside table to enjoy them


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