Tag Archives: Giveaway

An Edible Mosaic Virtual Book Launch

A fellow blogger, Faith Gorsky of An Edible Mosaic, just had her first cookbook released!  With the release of An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair, I’m excited to participate in her virtual book launch party, and share a recipe from her book!

About 2 years ago I came across Faith’s blog when searching for a Middle Eastern dish for my book club.  With her help I made the Beef & Rice Stuffed Zucchini, and the Golden Red Lentil Soup.  Since then, I have continued to read her blog and have had many opportunities to try out her recipes.  Many of them are inspired from when she lived and visited the Middle East right after she got married, and from her mother-in-law Sahar.

Faith’s book has over 100 Middle Eastern recipes, which focus mainly on dishes from the Levant.  Throughout the blog and in her book, Faith explains complicated dishes and approaches them in a modern way.  Her book is available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble! (so if you’re looking for a good holiday gift, definitely check this one out!)

Head over to her blog to check out the virtual book launch party to see other bloggers who are participating!  She is also hosting a giveaway- be sure to check it out all of the items up for grabs!

Below is one of Faith’s recipes, which I’ve made a few small changes to, based on what I had on hand in my kitchen.   The original recipe is Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts.  This recipe is vegan, so it can easily be incorporated into a vegetarian meal, but will be just as delicious served with some beef, chicken, lamb or seafood.

Fifth Floor Kitchen Recipe Changes: When making this dish I used vegetable broth, rather than water, when cooking the rice to give it some extra flavor.  If you’ll be pairing this with beef/chicken/lamb then you can also use that specific broth as well.  Also, I did not have any raisins on hand, instead I used dried pomegranate seeds- it was a great variation!  Another tasty alternative would be dried cherries or cranberries.

Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts

Recipe courtesy of An Edible Mosaic:  Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair by Faith Gorsky (Tuttle Publishing; Nov. 2012); reprinted with permission.

Serves: 4 to 6
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes, plus 15 minutes to let the rice sit after cooking

1½ cups (325 g) basmati rice, rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 onion, finely diced
4 tablespoons sultanas (golden raisins)
1¾ cups (425 ml) boiling water
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon saffron threads (or ½ teaspoon turmeric)

  1. Soak the rice in tepid water for 10 minutes; drain. While the rice is soaking, put half a kettle of water on to boil.
  2. Add the oil to a medium, thick-bottomed lidded saucepan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Transfer the pine nuts to a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the onion to the saucepan you cooked the pine nuts in, and cook until softened and just starting to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rice and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the sultanas, boiling water, salt, and saffron (or turmeric), turn the heat up to high, and bring it to a rolling boil.
  4. Give the rice a stir, then cover the saucepan, turn the heat down to very low, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes (do not open the lid during this time). Turn the heat off and let the rice sit (covered) 15 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
  5. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle the toasted pine nuts on top; serve.

OPTIONAL Add two pods of cardamom, two whole cloves, and one 2-inch (5 cm) piece of cinnamon stick at the same time that you add the rice.

Spring Vegetable Tart

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, many of you have already ordered flowers or presents for their mothers.  But for those of you who might be making brunch for them, I’ve got the perfect dish.

A couple of weeks back I was strolling through the Penn Quarter Farmers Market when I saw these giant and gorgeous spring onions:

Spring onions are are bigger than green onions.  The bulb is more defined (very round), and the flavor is a little stronger.  While green onions are available year-round (you can even grow them in your window sill), spring onions are only available in the spring (now)- find them and cook them, you won’t be disappointed!  They can be added to salads, roasted whole, or simmered with meat.

Although Sam and I ate this for dinner, this dish is perfect at any brunch table- it can be a substitute for a frittata or quiche.  More vegetables and less cheese!

Spring Vegetable Tart
Adapted from: Cooking Light (April 2009)

Rather than cooking potatoes, use mashed potatoes if you have them available.  This tart can be whatever flavor you’d like to to be, some substitutes/additions can be: mushrooms, shallots, prosciutto or parsley.

1 1/2 lb potatoes (1 big, 1 small or about 3 cups mashed potatoes)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 of big onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, minced
1 spring onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
4 cups chopped spinach
1/4 cup Half ‘n Half
1/4 cup shredded fontina cheese
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2-3 tbsp breadcrumbs
1/4 cup shredded pecorino cheese

Place peeled potatoes in a pot full of water, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.  Drain, allow to cool slightly.  Puree potatoes in a food processor, or mash with a potato masher.  Add to a large bowl.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion, allow to cook until it is translucent.  Then add the garlic, jalapeño and spring onion; cook for another 2 minutes.  Stir in lettuce and spinach, cook for a couple of minutes until the greens wilt, stirring frequently.

Turn off the heat and pour into the bowl with the potatoes.  Then add the half and half, fontina cheese, eggs, salt, and pepper.  Stir all of the ingredients together.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.  Coat an 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray, then dust with breadcrumbs.  Add the potato mixture to the dish.  Bake for 25 minutes, until the top is slightly brown.  Remove from the oven, let stand for 10 minutes.  Sprinkle with pecorino cheese before serving.

The first ever Fifth Floor Kitchen Giveaway winner is comment number 4- Virginia!  Her favorite kitchen appliance is the Kitchen Aid stand mixer- excellent choice!

Please send an email to: fifthfloorkitchen@gmail.com with your full name and mailing address.

Thank you to EVERYONE who entered the giveaway! Love getting comments & new readers!  Come back next week for another giveaway!

Eat Write Retreat Recap & a Giveaway!

This past weekend I attended the Eat Write Retreat 2012 Conference, which was held at The Madison Hotel in Washington D.C.  This was my first food blogger conference, and I was a little nervous- but I was also excited about meeting some new friends!

I decided to participate in Eat Write Retreat 2012 because I’d like to grow this blog, I’d like to meet other bloggers and hopefully learn new things about the blogging and food community.

The first thing you need to know about food blogger conferences is the swag!  Check out what I brought home:

Most of these things fit into this bag (perfect for grocery shopping!):

I did get a couple more things which did not make it into this picture: an OXO cutting board, a Calphalon Convection Oven and a watermelon!  It’s clear to say that this was like Christmas for my kitchen!

I started this blog as a hobby, and I enjoy trying out new recipes and sharing them with all of you.  It’s inspiring to hear about how many people have a blog as a business, and how much they love what they do!

Of course this conference would not have been as much of a success if it wasn’t for the sponsors!  They were: OXO, Calphalon, National Watermelon Promotion Board, Jarlsberg Cheese, Harvard Common Press, Fresh Mushrooms, Dogfish Head Brewery, Qualia Coffee, Honest Tea, Endives, Lindsay Olives, Barboursville Vineyards, GooGood Clusters, Feastie, Chix DC, and DRY Soda.

Some of the sessions included:

None of this could have possible without the organization and hard work done by Casey Benedict and Robyn Webb.  Thank you!

Check out the list of bloggers who participated in this conference here!

Now it’s time for the GIVEAWAY!!!

Since I came home with a number of goodies, some of which won’t fit into our tiny fifth floor kitchen, I’d like to give some things away.

The first ever giveaway at Fifth Floor Kitchen!  One winner will have a chance to win an OXO Mini Chopper and Goo Goo Clusters Supreme (3 clusters in one box).  *These are items I’ve received at the Eat Write Retreat 2012 Conference, and this giveaway is not affiliated with OXO or Goo Goo.

The winner will be chosen at random, and will be notified by email (please make sure your email is correct)- they will have 3 days to respond to me with their address, otherwise I’ll choose another winner.  (Note: you must have a US address to be eligible to win)

This giveaway is open until Friday (05/11/2012) 11:59:59 EST.

***This giveaway is now closed***