Sunday, March 18, 2018

Bunny Mary #EasterWeek #EasterRecipes

This recipe is intended for readers 21 years and older. Please drink responsibly.

This year Christie of A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures has rallied a group of bloggers to share recipes to inspire your Easter menus. So, if your menu still isn't set, check back with us throughout the week. We'll be posting on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of this week.

Monday Recipes

Bunny Mary

I've long been a fan of Bloody Marys as evidenced by my Beefed Up Brown Mary, Charred Bloody Mary, and probably a handful that I haven't bothered to post. This adults-only Easter cocktail is a slightly sweet, slightly spicy Bloody Mary made with carrot juice instead of tomato juice...hence the 'bunny' part. Cheers! 

Ingredients makes one cocktail

  • 1 lemon wedge (I used a Meyer lemon)
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 4 ounces carrot juice
  • 2 dashes hot sauce
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pinch salt (I used a Habanero salt) + more for rimming the glass
  • 1 pinch pepper flakes
  • 1 pinch smoked paprika
  • olives
  • pickle ribbon
  • Also needed: ice, cocktail strainer, pint glass, toothpick


Pour some salt onto a small plate. Rub a lemon wedge along the lip of a glass. Place rim down in the salt and roll until every edge is coated. Spear pickle ribbon and olives onto a toothpick and set aside.

Place ice in a pint glass and squeeze the remaining lemon juice from the wedge. Drop in the lemon. Add in the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Strain into prepared glass and garnish. Serve immediately.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

#Winophiles Invitation: Picpoul

image credit

On the third Saturday of the month a group of food and wine bloggers post about a French region or wine varietal. For April's event, I wanted to shine the spotlight on the Picpoul grape. And, since I wanted to give folks ample time to track down wines and think about their posts, I'm posting the invitation early.

The Picpoul #Winophiles event will be Saturday, April 21st. Posts will be live by early that morning and you can follow along on a Twitter chat, using #Winophiles, from 11am-12pm Eastern time that day as well.


I am excited to explore this varietal more - learn from the others and see how they pair it - because I've only encountered it once before when I poured a Montmassot 2014 Picpoul de Pinet for a sponsored Languedoc event in November 2015.

From what I remember, the wine was almost crystal clear with a tinge of green in the glass. It had a delicate nose with hints of honey. And, on the tongue, it was fresh and zippy. I know it's often suggested to pair with seafood, but I can imagine it pairing nicely with cheese and charcuterie as well. One article mentioned chocolate. So, major kudos if you pair this with a dessert! Maybe I'll attempt that route myself.

Details for participation
Are you ready to jump in and participate in the Picpoul #Winophiles event? Here are the details…

Send an email to tell me you're in: Include your blog url, Twitter handle, link to your Pinterest profile, and any other social media detail. If you know your blog post title now, include that...but you can send me that a bit closer to the event, I'd like to get a sense of who's participating and give some shoutouts and links as we go. The email is constantmotioncamilla[at]gmail[dot]com.

Send your post title to me by Monday, April 16th, to be included in the preview post. I will do a preview post shortly after getting the titles, linking to your blogs. When your post goes live, the published title should include "#Winophiles" but it doesn't need to be included for the title list. 

Publish your post between 12:01 a.m-7:00 a.m. ET on Saturday, April 21. You can always schedule your post in advance if you will be tied up around then.

Include a link to the other #Winophiles participants in your post, and a description of what the event is about. I'll provide the html code you can easily put in your initial post--which will link to people's general blog url--then updated code for the permanent links to everyone's #Winophiles posts.

Get social! After the posts go live, please visit your fellow bloggers posts' to comment and share.

Sponsored posts OK if clearly disclosed. Please be sure to disclose if your post is sponsored or if you are describing wine or other products for which you have received a free sample.

Live #Winophiles Twitter Chat April 21, 11 a.m. ET: Participating bloggers and others interested in the subject will connect via a live Twitter chat. It's a nice bring way to bring in others interested in the subject who didn't get a chance to share a blog post. You can definitely still join the blog event if you're not available for the live chat.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Sober Clams + a French Syrah #Winophiles #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me in conjunction with the March #Winophiles event.
Wine samples were provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links.

Liz of What's in That Bottle is hosting the French Winophiles this month. She wrote: "There's great variety in the Rhône, from north to south, and it should be a fun wine region to explore. And since our Twitter chat will be scheduled on March 17 -- St. Patrick's Day - perhaps we can consider the delights of Irish food with Rhône Valley wines! Sausages, bacon, Shepherd's Pie ... I can imagine all these would be delish with a Rhône red!" You can read her invitation (here) and her preview post (here).

photo from Jill at L'Occasion
Fac et Spera
Not only is Liz hosting, but she organized a sponsor to send a group of us bloggers some wine samples. Many thanks to Maison M. Chapoutier for providing us with three different wines for the event.

Maison M. Chapoutier's family motto is: Fac et Spera which, in Latin, means 'Do and Hope.' To them, those words encompass their winemaking philosophy and guide their winemaking process.

On their website, they list a respect for the terroir ("paying attention... to the world, the environment, anticipating the needs of the earth") then, a respect for the grape ("acting as a merchant for the grapes"), and a respect for the wine drinkers ("aim to always convey the same love of discover its diversity").

Yes, That's Braille on the Label
I was curious about the Braille on the label! Here's what I found: In 1993, when Michel Chapoutier had only been the lead winemaker in the family business for a few years, his friend musician Gilbert Montagné discussed his discomfort at going to a wine shop alone. He couldn't read the labels and always felt better when a friend could describe the wines available. With a little research, Chapoutier found it was a fairly simple process to add Braille to his labels. Since then, every bottle of Chapoutier includes appellation, name of the wine, vintage, and whether it's a white or a red wine.

Jill from L’Occasion has a different version of the reason based on the original owner of the vineyards who was blinded. Read her post for that explanation!

And, after Chapoutier adopted Braille on his labels, other winemakers followed suit. I recently saw Braille on a bottle from Greece...but that is for another post in another wine group.

The Other #Winophiles

Crozes-Hermitage “Les Meysonniers”
For this event, I received three bottles from them: Lubéron, Les Meysonniers Crozes-Hermitage, and La Bernardine Châteauneuf-du-Pape.* I will share pairings and posts for all of them within the coming weeks, but for today's #Winophiles' event, I am pouring their Crozes-Hermitage "Les Meysonniers."

This is a single varietal wine made from Syrah grapes that are, at least, a quarter of a century old. Grown in a blended soil, the grapes are hand-harvested and vinified in a traditional manner with through treading and remontage, also called pumping over. The Crozes-Hermitage is then aged in concrete tanks for about a year.

To the eye, the wine is an intense violet hue. Maybe it's a trick of the eye, but the color actually had me getting violet aromas, too...along with rich berry notes. On the tongue, the wine is round and full. It finishes with a tinge of sweet vanilla. Though I initially planned to pair the wine with an Irish stew made with lamb, I decided to play with the sweet and tart and serve it with seafood and a splash of citrus. Success! This was a hit with all.

You'll see the Lubéron and La Bernardine Châteauneuf-du-Pape in future posts. But I'll give a teaser and tell you that I served the Lubéron with pork and the La Bernardine Châteauneuf-du-Pape with chicken. Is your curiosity piqued? I hope so.

Sober Clams
This is a riff on an Irish dish that Jake and I love: Drunken Mussels. But the two Manns of non-drinking age don't care for the alcohol in the dish and asked if we could make it without the booze. And, when I went to the fish market, there were no mussels to be had. alcohol and no mussels; we ended up with sober clams!

  • 2 pounds clams, soaked, scrubbed, and dried
  • 1 stick of butter, divided in half
  • splash of olive oil
  • 3 to 4 whole juniper berries, crushed
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and diced (approximately 1 C)
  • 1 red onion, diced (approximately 1 C)
  • 1/4 C freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 C water
  • 1 C organic heavy cream
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 C fresh chopped herbs (I used a mixture of parsley, tarragon, and thyme)

Place 1/2 stick of butter and crushed juniper berries in a large, flat-bottom pan with a lid. Add a splash of olive oil to keep the butter from burning. Heat until the butter is completely melted and foamy.
Add in the fennel and onion. Cook until the fennel is softened and the onion beginning to caramelize. Deglaze the pan with water (you can do this with wine if you aren't making sober clams!). Once the water begins to simmer, pour in the lemon juice and place the clams in a single layer in the pan and add the remaining butter. Cook for one to two minutes, then pour in the cream. Stir to combine, then cover and steam until the clams open. Check them after five minutes. They are cooked and ready when the shells are completely open. 

Remove the clams and fold the herbs into the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, I cooked squid ink pasta and placed them in individual serving bowls. I divided the clams evenly into the bowls and spooned the sauce over the top.

Find the Sponsor..
Maison M.Chapoutier on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter

*Disclosure: I received sample wines for recipe development, pairing, and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizer and sponsors of this event.

Kimchi Dubu Jigae (Kimchi-Tofu Stew) #SoupSwappers

Soup Saturday Swappers is one of my favorite groups, started by Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm, I always end up with recipes to try. I love being part of this creative crew.

This month Sally of Bewitching Kitchen is hosting. And she wrote: "Please share a soup that soothes your soul and chases away those winter blues!"

There are a lot of different soups that fit the bill. I thought about making another version of Canh Suon Khoai Tay (Vietnamese Spare Rib Soup); or Unaş from Turkmenistan; French Onion Soup is a family favorite that hasn't been on the table in a few months. But, in the end, I was inspired by some fresh cabbage I had from a local farmer.

The Winter Soup Pots

Kimchi Dubu Jigae (Kimchi-Tofu Stew)

This is a flavorful, spicy soup guaranteed to make your belly happy and banish winter from your mind. And it's super quick to make! Also, please note that a Korean-speaking friend told me that my title was incorrect. I had originally called this soup Kimchi Soondubu Jigae; she told me "it should be Kimchi Dubu Jigae rather than soondubu. Soondubu refers more specifically to tofu soups made with soft tofu that kind of disintegrates into the soup base a bit like potatoes do." Edit made. Thanks, Kathey!


  • 1 T oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 2 T fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 T garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 1/2 C cubed pork belly (omit this for a vegetarian version)
  • 1 head of cabbage, cored and sliced, approximately 3 C
  • 6 C chicken stock (use veggie stock for a vegetarian version)
  • 1 jar kimchi (whatever spiciness you prefer, we use medium)
  • 1 block extra firm tofu, drained and cubed
  • 1 T fish sauce
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • hot sauce to taste


Heat oil in a large souppot. Stir in cubed pork belly and cook until fat is rendered. Add in the onions, ginger, and garlic. Cook until the onions are softened. Stir in the cabbage and cook and cook until starting to wilt, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the kimchi - cabbage and liquid - and pour in the stock. Bring to a boil and gently drop the tofu cubes into the liquid. Reduce heat to a simmer and let cook until the tofu is warmed through, approximately 5 minutes. Stir in fish sauce and sesame oil. Season to taste with hot sauce. Serve hot.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

R's Rabarberpaj (Swedish Rhubarb Crumble)

R, the Precise Kitchen Elf, needed to bring an international dish with familial ties for a potluck in Chemistry class. That's all I knew. Here's what he made...

My paternal grandmother’s mom was from Sweden and my family loves rhubarb. Whenever it’s in season – which is a very short season here on the central coast of California – we make rhubarb everything: pie, curd, barbeque sauce, and this Swedish crumble. It’s not totally traditional; it’s my mom’s version.                                                                                                                               – R

Ingredients makes two

Pâte Brisée (for two pie crusts)
  •  2-1/2 C all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1/2 C ground almonds or almond flour
  • 1/2 C organic powdered sugar
  • 1 C butter, very cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 T pure lemon extract
  • 3 to 4 T cold water
  • 9 C sliced rhubarb
  • 1-1/2 C organic granulated sugar
  • 2 T flour
  • 2 T butter, divided
  • 1 t vanilla paste
  • 2 t pure lemon extract
  • 1-1/2 C flour
  • 1-1/2 C rolled oats
  • 2 T organic granulated sugar
  • 2/3 C butter, very cold, cubed
  • 4 T slivered almonds


Pâte Brisée
Use the hand-held pastry blender or food processor to blend together the butter and flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add lemon extract and cold water 1 T at a time, until mixture just begins to clump together. If you squeeze some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it's ready. If the dough doesn't hold together, add a little more water and cut again. Note: too much water will make the crust tough. Once the dough comes together into a ball, halve your dough and wrap tightly each ball tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using. While the crust chills, make the filling...

In a large bowl, mix together the filling ingredients and let stand.

Blend all the ingredients together to form a “crumb.”

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Roll crust out between two pieces of parchment paper.

Transfer to your pie pan.

Spoon half of the filling into the crust.

Use half of the crumble on each pie and press down lightly to create a flat top. Dot with butter with 1 T on each pie.

Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 45 minutes. Let cool slightly before slicing.

Singapore Chili Crab #FishFridayFoodies

It's time for Fish Friday Foodies' March event. We are a group of seafood-loving bloggers, rallied by Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm, to share fish and seafood recipes on the third Friday of the month. This is, easily, my favorite recipe sharing event of the month. I always come away with a list of recipes that I just have to try!

This month, P~ of The Saucy Southerner is hosting. She said: Since we've never done a focus on a single fish, let's get crabby! Any and all things crab! Stuffed, cakes, soups, pasta, fried, dips, you name it!.

We're All Crabby

Singapore Chili Crab
Years ago my friend Belle mentioned Singapore Chili Crab. Then, during our annual summer camping trip one year, I heard about it again from Jake's cousin who had honeymooned in Singapore and other places around Asia. A caveat: this is super messy to eat. So, don't wear anything white...and don't be embarrassed to lick your fingers. It is that good.

Bear in mind that this is a very 'inspired' version, not so much an exact replica. For instance, I subbed anchovy paste for the requisite shrimp paste and used fresh ginger throughout instead of a mixture of ginger and galangal. And there were no candlenuts (also known as kukui, I really didn't know those were edible!) to be found, so I used peanuts. Otherwise, I did make my own tomato ketchup and I think it turned out really well. I just wouldn't serve this to anyone from Singapore.

  • 2 two to three pound crabs, boiled and cleaned
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 3 shallots, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 large knob of ginger, grated on micro plane
  • 1 C water
  • 1/2 C tomato ketchup (recipe below - it's not regular ketchup)
  • 2 T honey
  • 1/4 C ground roasted peanuts
  • Rempah (recipe below)
  • Crusty bread to serve and mop up the juices
  • fresh herbs, including cilantro, basil, and parsley
Tomato ketchup (note: this is not your regular ketchup)
  • 8 to 10 tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 large knobs ginger, diced
  • splash of olive oil
Rempah (this is not a traditional rempah, I used what I had)
  • 3 banana chiles
  • 4 poblano peppers
  • 1 T anchovy paste
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, diced
  • 1 T minced ginger
  • 1 large knob ginger
  • 4 T crushed peanuts (I used roasted, unsalted nuts)

For the tomato ketchup:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Roast your tomatoes for approximately 1 hour.

Destem your tomatoes and place them in a blender or food processor. Add in your garlic and ginger. Blend till a smooth consistency.

Pour the puree into a large, flat-bottom pan. Simmer the ketchup until it's reduced - and concentrated - by approximately half. Set aside.

For the rempah:
Destem your peppers and blend them until they form a paste. In a large flat-bottom pan, heat a splash of olive oil. Brown the ginger, garlic, and lemongrass until fragrant. Add in the anchovy paste and crushed peanuts.

For the crab:
Cook the crab. Let it cool enough that you can handle it without burning your fingers. Pull off the legs and crack the claws. Chop the body into quarters. Don't discard the crab butter.

In a large pot, heat a splash of olive oil. Cook the garlic, ginger, and shallots until aromatic and softened. Add in the water, rempah, tomato ketchup, and honey. Place the crab pieces into the sauce and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes or so. Add in the crushed peanuts. Uncover, turn the heat up, and cook for an additional 10 minutes till the sauce thickens.

To serve:
Place crab legs and body in a bowl. Spoon sauce over the top. Sprinkle with a chiffonade of fresh herbs, including cilantro, basil, and parsley. Serve with a side of crusty bread to mop up the sauce.

The verdict:
I don't see myself ever doing plain ol' crab boil again. This is too amazing. We're definitely going to make this a few more times come crab season. Thanks for the nudge, Obe, Andi, and Belle. I'm in love.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Lamb, Basmati Rice, and Grape Leaf Pi(e) #PiDay

Coleen, The Redhead Baker, invited her blogging friends to join her for Pi Day 2018.

Last year, for Pi Day 2017, Coleen also hosted and I shared a Gluten-Free Matcha Chocolate Pie. Back in 2015, Terri of Love and Confections wrangled us and I made a savory pie: Curried Lamb Potpie. I decided that I wanted to try my hand at another savory pie.

I will say that our all-time favorite savory pie is my Seafood Pie. It's my most requested dish from family and friends alike! In fact, I just made one for a friend's birthday dinner last weekend. Supposedly it's "palace food" in Morocco; the birthday girl said she would come wearing a tiara.

The Other Pi(e)s

Lamb, Basmati Rice, and Grape Leaf Pi(e)

While I definitely don't qualify as a 'math nerd,' I gave birth to two of them. So, every year, we celebrate Pi Day. Do you need any other reason to math-geek out about Pi Day? It's Albert Einstein's birthday.

I had all of the ingredients because I had planned to make Lamb-Stuffed Grape Leaves this week. So, instead of rolling dolmas, I made Lamb, Basmati Rice, and Grape Leaf Pi(e) for dinner. Is it really a pie? Well, it doesn't have a crust per se, but I have done something similar with phyllo dough and it qualified as a pie. So, I'm going with it.

  • jarred large grape leaves, drained
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and diced
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1 C fresh tomato sauce
  • 1½ t ground cumin
  • 2 T fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1/4 C fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 C cooked basmati rice
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 C crumbled feta cheese
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking dish with oil and line the dish with grape leaves so that they cover the bottom and hang over the sides of the dish.

In a large, flat-bottom pan heat a splash of olive oil. Add onions and fennel. Cook until softened and beginning to turn translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Add the lamb and cook until completely browned.

Season with ground cumin, oregano, and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the tomato sauce, egg, and cooked rice to create your filling. Fill dish with 1-1½" of stuffing. 

Fold leaves over and seal any gaps with remaining leaves to completely enclose filling. Press down gently on the pie. Drizzle with olive oil, cover with foil, and place in the oven.

Bake for 20 minutes then uncover the dish. Return to the oven and bake, uncovered, for another 10 minutes -  until leaves are well-crisped.

Let pie cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving platter. Cut generous wedges and serve with a salad or steamed vegetables.

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