Yellow for Bri

yellow_for_bri1

YELLOW NARCISSUS IN THE MORNING DEW
Picture taken by yours truly in our backyard.

Narcissus is my favorite flower. White or yellow, it is so fragile, so beautiful and it smells beautiful too. I took this picture way back in February early in the morning when the drops of dew were still fresh and shining on the flower. I rushed to pick up my camera and took the picture you see above. Several months passed and I learned the sad news about Bri, a 30-year-old food blogger I don’t personally know, but who is now always in my mind. Today, I would like to give my favorite flower to Bri, wishing her a speedy recovery and a long and healthy life full of joyful moments.

Since this photo is not food related, I cannot submit it to the Click event. So this is my humble gift to Bri. I encourage you to participate in the event if you have a suitable photo.

UPDATE: I am submitting MY TANDOORI BREAD to the Click Event organized by JUGALBANDI. It has a yellow element on it:).

Please take a moment and read the appeal below and contribute in any way you can.

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This is an appeal on behalf of a group of food bloggers who are friends of Briana Brownlow @ Figs With Bri.

Bri was diagnosed with breast cancer two and half years ago. A mastectomy, chemotherapy and two years of relatively good health later, the cancer is back. It has metastasized to other parts of her body. At the age of 15, Bri lost her 41-year old mother to the disease. Now, she’s waging her own war against breast cancer. More about it here.

She is going through intensive chemo and other treatments and needs to focus single-mindedly on healing and finding what treatment works best for her. Her health insurance, unfortunately, does not cover holistic alternatives which she would like to try. Bri and her husband Marc have enough on their plates right now in addition to worrying about her medical bills.

The team organising the JUNE edition of CLICK at Jugalbandi has organised a fundraiser to help Bri and her family meet her out-of-pocket medical costs for ONE YEAR.

CLICK is a monthly theme-based photography contest hosted by Jugalbandi. This month’s theme is: YELLOW for Bri

Yellow is the colour of hope. Through the work of the LiveStrong Foundation, it has also come to signify the fight against cancer.

The entries can be viewed HERE. The deadline for entries is June 30, 2008. The fundraiser will extend until July 15, 2008.

The target amount is 12,000 U.S. dollars. We appeal to our fellow bloggers and readers to help us achieve this. Bri deserves a chance to explore all options, even if her insurance company thinks otherwise.

There’s a raffle with exciting prizes on offer. After viewing the list, you may make your donation HERE or at the Chip-In button on any participating site.

Your donation can be made securely through credit card or Pay Pal and goes directly to Bri’s account.

This month’s photo contest also has some prizes. Details HERE.

You can support this campaign by donating to the fundraiser, by participating in CLICK: the photo event, and by publicizing this campaign.

Mimosa Salad

salad-mimosa

When I had just launched my blog a little more than 4 months ago, I didn’t know I would soon be receiving emails from around the world from people who at one point in their lives happened to be in Azerbaijan, whether for work or for travel. Some share their stories about the country, some write about their experience with local foods. Some request recipes for the dishes they loved the most. I love reading such emails!

One of such wonderful letters came from Kathy, a mom to an adoptive son from Azerbaijan. When her family visited Baku to complete their son’s adoption, Kathy recalls being treated to dolma and a mimosa salad she loved. In her email to me, Kathy was asking if I was familiar with that salad. And sure enough I was. Not because I am a genius:) but because it is a pretty popular salad in Azerbaijan. So finally, here is the recipe. My cousin’s wife Saida, with whom we share a passion for cooking, sent me her version of the salad, which I tried and loved! Cokh sagh ol (thank you), Saida!

About the recipe. Mimosa Salad is a layered salad. One of the many layered salads we make in Azerbaijan using a great variety of ingredients. This one is probably the most common and is served in many local restaurants and cafes in Baku, the capital. It tastes as delicious as its presentation is beautiful. Once done, Mimosa Salad really looks like a festive cake. Shh, dont’ tell you guests it isn’t. Let them be pleasantly surprised:)

I would like to dedicate this recipe to all the people who adopted children from Azerbaijani orphanages. And those who are in the process of adopting. I admire you not only for giving loving and caring homes to the little kids but also for doing everything possible to keep them connected with their Azerbaijani roots. I hope I can contribute to this connection at least a tiny-tiny bit with the food I share with you on my blog.

MIMOSA SALAD

Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus 1-hour refrigeration
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves 6 to 10

INGREDIENTS

1 pound (450 g) skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon salt, for boiling
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
3 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled
2 eggs, boiled and peeled
3 medium carrots, boiled, and peeled
salt, to taste

For Dressing
6 tablespoons sour cream mixed with 6 tablespoons light mayonnaise – use about 2 tablespoons each time dressing is called for. Use more for a moister salad. Note: You can also use creamy plain yogurt for the dressing (it shouldn’t be sour). Alternatively, use sour cream or mayonnaise only. If using mayonnaise only, be extra careful not to oversalt your salad since mayo is pretty salty by itself.

To Garnish
gouda cheese (In Azerbaijan: Holland Pendiri), shredded

1. Place the chicken in a pot with about four cups of water. Add salt. Bring to a boil. Cook for about 20 minutes or until chicken is tender. Drain and set aside. When cool enough to handle, cut the chicken into thin strips using knife or tear it into small pieces using your hands.

2. Grate boiled and peeled potato, carrots, and eggs on a coarse side of a box grater.

3. On a round serving plate, EVENLY layer the ingredients in the following order (do not mix!)

half the chicken
dressing
half the walnuts
half the potato
salt
dressing
half the eggs
salt
half the carrots
dressing

Repeat in the same order with the remaining ingredients, finishing with carrots.

4. Spread some dressing on top and around the sides of the salad to give it a cake-looking appearance. Top the salad with some shredded Gouda Cheese. I used fresh pomegranate seeds. Just use your imagination and you’ll have a fabulous cake, oops, a salad at the end!

And as we say in Azerbaijan – Nush Olsun! (read: noosh olsoon)

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