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Big Night Menus, Media, and Recipes

Big Night Menus, Media, and Recipes

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Published by BlazeVOX [books]
Big Night Introduction


Big Night has been the best poetry reading to happen to me, ever. Michael Kelleher wanted to do something different with the standard poetry reading as they became formulaic and never as much fun as the going-out after the event. He asked me if I would cook for a reading series in which they would provide a modest budget for food. There would be film and or music to accompany the reader so it would be a whole evening of fun. I agreed and it has been a wonderful experience ever since. Now in it’s third year, we have the pattern down and it is a very popular, well attended reading series in Buffalo. There is food and a comfortable room in which one can experience poetry in a light, entertaining atmosphere, not the solemn, church-like environment one comes to think of when one draws on memories of dreadful poetry readings one has attended in the past. Along with the series co-curator, Aaron Lowinger Buffalo has had a wonderful time of poetry.

Gathered in this book is just about everything Big Night; that is, as far as the food is concerned. To accompany this book of menus, news stories that appeared online and recipes is a photo journal. I took several images at each of the Big Nights for fun. It is not a direct representation of anything as these pictures selected are snapshots I took as a way to remember the food. I am a sloppy photographer and that will show. I even dropped a brand new camera, breaking it beyond repair after slipping on the ice in my chef clogs. So as food is enjoyed with the eyes and less on text, I do hope you enjoy. Hurray!

There is a section of all of the full menus of every Big Night events in which I cooked and presented food. Unfortunately, due to a move in the middle of February, I missed out on Christian Bok’s magnificent reading. But all other Big Nights are included up until, as of this writing, Kent Johnson’s reading, Saturday October 22, 2011.

Also included are recipes of some of the favorite dishes at Big Night. I had envisioned a longer book with recipes of all the items of all the menus. This proved to be too time consuming and then frustrating. These dishes are composed of spur of the moment ideas of what is fresh at the markets. And that whim seems to want to take over how one captures these dishes on paper. So instead, I have included basic recipes of spice mixes, syrups, dressings and vinaigrettes and flavored oils. Also included are techniques on how to cook these dishes. Mainly the Big Night food are ve getable based salads with all of the ingredients cooked separately and brought together right before serving. And example of this is Autumn Medley, a warm fall dish of root beets, crispy mushrooms and ginger syrup. Each vegetable is cooked by itself and then brought together at the end, right before serving. Included in this section are techniques for making delicious aromatics. Happy cooking!

To conclude, I want to thank everyone for enjoying the food. It makes me very happy to cook for the poetry community. But it is also a wonderful puzzle for me to play with. Since I left cooking professionally, there are times I miss having my hands in the pot. There are technical successes in making large meals that one cannot feel in cooking for two. But it is also a great way for me to stay active as a cook. I can keep skills alive that I, in no other way, could keep sharp. Thank you!

Rockets, Geoffrey

:-)

Friday October 28, 2011
Big Night Introduction


Big Night has been the best poetry reading to happen to me, ever. Michael Kelleher wanted to do something different with the standard poetry reading as they became formulaic and never as much fun as the going-out after the event. He asked me if I would cook for a reading series in which they would provide a modest budget for food. There would be film and or music to accompany the reader so it would be a whole evening of fun. I agreed and it has been a wonderful experience ever since. Now in it’s third year, we have the pattern down and it is a very popular, well attended reading series in Buffalo. There is food and a comfortable room in which one can experience poetry in a light, entertaining atmosphere, not the solemn, church-like environment one comes to think of when one draws on memories of dreadful poetry readings one has attended in the past. Along with the series co-curator, Aaron Lowinger Buffalo has had a wonderful time of poetry.

Gathered in this book is just about everything Big Night; that is, as far as the food is concerned. To accompany this book of menus, news stories that appeared online and recipes is a photo journal. I took several images at each of the Big Nights for fun. It is not a direct representation of anything as these pictures selected are snapshots I took as a way to remember the food. I am a sloppy photographer and that will show. I even dropped a brand new camera, breaking it beyond repair after slipping on the ice in my chef clogs. So as food is enjoyed with the eyes and less on text, I do hope you enjoy. Hurray!

There is a section of all of the full menus of every Big Night events in which I cooked and presented food. Unfortunately, due to a move in the middle of February, I missed out on Christian Bok’s magnificent reading. But all other Big Nights are included up until, as of this writing, Kent Johnson’s reading, Saturday October 22, 2011.

Also included are recipes of some of the favorite dishes at Big Night. I had envisioned a longer book with recipes of all the items of all the menus. This proved to be too time consuming and then frustrating. These dishes are composed of spur of the moment ideas of what is fresh at the markets. And that whim seems to want to take over how one captures these dishes on paper. So instead, I have included basic recipes of spice mixes, syrups, dressings and vinaigrettes and flavored oils. Also included are techniques on how to cook these dishes. Mainly the Big Night food are ve getable based salads with all of the ingredients cooked separately and brought together right before serving. And example of this is Autumn Medley, a warm fall dish of root beets, crispy mushrooms and ginger syrup. Each vegetable is cooked by itself and then brought together at the end, right before serving. Included in this section are techniques for making delicious aromatics. Happy cooking!

To conclude, I want to thank everyone for enjoying the food. It makes me very happy to cook for the poetry community. But it is also a wonderful puzzle for me to play with. Since I left cooking professionally, there are times I miss having my hands in the pot. There are technical successes in making large meals that one cannot feel in cooking for two. But it is also a great way for me to stay active as a cook. I can keep skills alive that I, in no other way, could keep sharp. Thank you!

Rockets, Geoffrey

:-)

Friday October 28, 2011

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Published by: BlazeVOX [books] on Oct 28, 2011
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G of y a a efe G t r z

Big Night
Geoffrey Gatza

Menus, Media, and Recipes

BlazeVOX

Table of Contents
Big Night Menus, Media, and Recipes Introduction: ......................... 7 Big Night in the News ....................................................................... 9
‘Big Night’ in Buffalo enriches cultural scene .......................................................................11 An interview with Kaplin Harris featured on Lemon Hound .............................................14 Lungfull Report by Mike Kelleher ..........................................................................................21 Big Night for Combat Paper Project.......................................................................................23

Menus ............................................................................................. 25 Recipes ........................................................................................... 47 Hybrids of the Kitchen .................................................................... 49
Some thoughts on Aromatics ...................................................................................................49 Some recipes of Oils, Vinaigrettes, Syrups and Spices ...........................................................54 Big Night Spicy Cornbread .........................................................................................................58 Corn Bread Variations .................................................................................................................59 Autumn Medley............................................................................................................................60 Big Night Pasta Salad ...................................................................................................................62 Couscous With Tomato, Lemon And Fennel............................................................................63 Curried Potatoes and Peas with Ginger Syrup ..........................................................................64 Tilapia with a Black Bean Salsa....................................................................................................65 Sugared Apple Cake .....................................................................................................................66 Classic Rice Pudding ....................................................................................................................67 Many Berry Rice Pudding ...........................................................................................................68 Rice Pudding with Lemon and Cranberries...............................................................................69 Traditional Raisin Cinnamon Rice Pudding ..............................................................................70 Rhubarb Crumble.........................................................................................................................71 Honey Roasted Plantains over Vanilla Ice Cream....................................................................72 St. Lucia Saffron Buns (Lussekatt) ..............................................................................................73 Keke Faasaina (Coconut puff cookies) .......................................................................................74 Bojo ................................................................................................................................................75 Kumquat Almond Olive Oil Cake .............................................................................................76 Pumpkin Fritters...........................................................................................................................77 Takihi .............................................................................................................................................78 New Zealand Pavlova...................................................................................................................79 Pawpaw and Coconut Cream Dessert ........................................................................................80 Burmese Banana Shwe Gye Cake ...............................................................................................81 Peking Dust ...................................................................................................................................82 Almond Cakes (Kwarezimal) ......................................................................................................83 Plum Tart - Quetscheflued ..........................................................................................................84 Kuih Pau (Dousha Bao) ...............................................................................................................85

Salady Voankazo (Fruit Compote with Lychee Nuts) ............................................................86 Lithuanian Rhubarb Crumble .....................................................................................................87 Sfouf ...............................................................................................................................................88 Jordanian Chocolate Beet Cake...................................................................................................89 Poke ...............................................................................................................................................90 Canjica ...........................................................................................................................................91 Honduran Buñuelos .....................................................................................................................92 Israeli Apple Cake ........................................................................................................................93 Baked Apples Stuffed with Oranges Congo ..............................................................................94 Ananas Con Vinho Do Porto (Fresh Pineapple in Port Wine) ................................................95 Baked Bananas Gabon..................................................................................................................96 Georgian Butter Cake ..................................................................................................................97 Coffee Can Cakes .........................................................................................................................98 Melon Fingers with Lime.............................................................................................................99 Ngalax ..........................................................................................................................................100 Baseema .......................................................................................................................................101 Karask ..........................................................................................................................................102 Pudim De Queijo........................................................................................................................103 Honeycomb Cream and Strawberries ......................................................................................104 Scottish Black Buns ....................................................................................................................105 Sabayon........................................................................................................................................106 Bachelor's Buttons......................................................................................................................107 Gaufres From Brussels (Authentic Belgian Waffle Recipe)...................................................108 Firnee ...........................................................................................................................................109 Rujak Brunei ...............................................................................................................................110 Ginger Syrup ...............................................................................................................................111 West Indian Pudding ..................................................................................................................112 Chinese Almond Cookies ..........................................................................................................113 The Best Rice Pudding Recipe In The Whole World.............................................................114

Big Night
Menus, Media, and Recipes

Introduction:
Big Night has been the best poetry reading to happen to me, ever. Michael Kelleher wanted to do something different with the standard poetry reading as they became formulaic and never as much fun as the going-out after the event. He asked me if I would cook for a reading series in which they would provide a modest budget for food. There would be film and or music to accompany the reader so it would be a whole evening of fun. I agreed and it has been a wonderful experience ever since. Now in it’s third year, we have the pattern down and it is a very popular, well attended reading series in Buffalo. There is food and a comfortable room in which one can experience poetry in a light, entertaining atmosphere, not the solemn, church-like environment one comes to think of when one draws on memories of dreadful poetry readings one has attended in the past. Along with the series cocurator, Aaron Lowinger Buffalo has had a wonderful time of poetry. Gathered in this book is just about everything Big Night; that is, as far as the food is concerned. To accompany this book of menus, news stories that appeared online and recipes is a photo journal. I took several images at each of the Big Nights for fun. It is not a direct representation of anything as these pictures selected are snapshots I took as a way to remember the food. I am a sloppy photographer and that will show. I even dropped a brand new camera, breaking it beyond repair after slipping on the ice in my chef clogs. So as food is enjoyed with the eyes and less on text, I do hope you enjoy. Hurray! There is a section of all of the full menus of every Big Night events in which I cooked and presented food. Unfortunately, due to a move in the middle of February, I missed out on Christian Bok’s magnificent reading. But all other Big Nights are included up until, as of this writing, Kent Johnson’s reading, Saturday October 22, 2011.

Also included are recipes of some of the favorite dishes at Big Night. I had envisioned a longer book with recipes of all the items of all the menus. This proved to be too time consuming and then frustrating. These dishes are composed of spur of the moment ideas of what is fresh at the markets. And that whim seems to want to take over how one captures these dishes on paper. So instead, I have included basic recipes of spice mixes, syrups, dressings and vinaigrettes and flavored oils. Also included are techniques on how to cook these dishes. Mainly the Big Night food are vegetable based salads with all of the ingredients cooked separately and brought together right before serving. And example of this is Autumn Medley, a warm fall dish of root beets, crispy mushrooms and ginger syrup. Each vegetable is cooked by itself and then brought together at the end, right before serving. Included in this section are techniques for making delicious aromatics. Happy cooking! To conclude, I want to thank everyone for enjoying the food. It makes me very happy to cook for the poetry community. But it is also a wonderful puzzle for me to play with. Since I left cooking professionally, there are times I miss having my hands in the pot. There are technical successes in making large meals that one cannot feel in cooking for two. But it is also a great way for me to stay active as a cook. I can keep skills alive that I, in no other way, could keep sharp. Thank you!

Rockets, Geoffrey :-) Friday October 28, 2011

Big Night in the News

‘Big Night’ in Buffalo enriches cultural scene
By Colin Dabkowski Published: Buffalo News Arts Beat Blog May 9, 2010, 1:53 PM Updated: August 21, 2010, 6:05 AM Somewhere along the line, the poetry reading picked up a bad rap. In some dusty corners of the popular imagination, these events seem to belong to an earlier time, when Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac roamed half-drunk from cafe to dimly lit cafe, delivering their rhythmically inflected stanzas to crowds of finger-snapping hepcats dressed all in black. Or else they’re thought of as pretentious academic affairs in which tweed-clad academics try to one-up each other with evermore obscure references to poets long dead. But at the Just Buffalo Literary Center, whose mission is to reveal the buried power of literature and poetry to the masses, those outmoded preconceptions go up in a puff of smoke. At the center’s monthly “Big Night” celebration, poetry is treated not as some impenetrable fortress or closed society, but as a living, breathing organism with surprising relevance to the way we live. The final “Big Night” of the current season, held recently in the Western New York Book Arts Center, was a case in point. Some in the diverse crowd of nearly 100 came for the poetry readings by Jonathan Skinner, Florine Melnyk and others. Some came to see the art exhibitions by Julian Montague and Leah Rico or prints by the late abstract painter Adele Cohen. Still others came simply to soak up the vibe, have a glass of wine or a beer and a bite to eat. At a cool $5, this was probably the most

affordable and rewarding cross-cultural and people-watching event of the month. The occasional group of teens and 20-somethings, streaming past the building on their way to the Mohawk Place a block away, peered into the building with confused looks on their faces, probably taking the eclectic activity inside for some kind of church service or Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. The few that struggled in were happily surprised. Perhaps the most talked about aspect of the night –no dig intended at the deeply engaging poetry or art exhibitions –was the food. In one corner of the center’s lower floor was a square table laid out with a kaleidoscopic assortment of exotic finger foods and culinary concoctions, from chanachur chickpeas and potato samosas with salsa verde to jasmine rice pudding with currants and whipped cream-topped strawberry tarts. This impressive smorgasbord was the work of Big Night collaborator, former Marine and ex-chef Geoffrey Gatza, who somehow produced it all with a paltry budget of $100. Gatza, it also happens, is the editor and publisher of one of the region’s most successful small poetry presses, BlazeVox (motto: “Poetry that doesn’t suck”), which has published dozens of gifted poets in its decade of existence. “Poetry is a really solitary act,” said Gatza, who was wearing a green chef’s uniform spattered here and there with the oily marks of his work in the kitchen. But at the Big Night, which always features some combination of poetry, music, art, dance and other art forms, “everybody’s having a good time. It gets people to mingle and hang out,” Gatza continued. It also serves as a sort of Trojan horse for the poetry itself, clearly the motivating passion of the event’s organizers. A typical Saturday night poetry reading, Gatza

said, would at best draw only a quarter of the crowd that attended April’s “Big Night.” One of the downsides to Buffalo’s diverse and thriving cultural scenes is their relative isolation from one another. Visual artists are often too busy painting, actors treading the stage, writers scrawling prose and poetry – and all of them working day jobs to boot –to engage in much cultural cross-pollination. The “Big Night” is that rare instance when Buffalo’s fans and creators of all the arts get together, commune for a bit over some food and drink, and let their artistic passions intermingle. Who knows what new art will result from that mixture, what new audiences will be created. But it’s clear that when the next season of “Big Nights” kicks off again in September, Buffalo’s cultural scene will be all the richer for it.

An interview with Kaplin Harris featured on Lemon Hound
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 02, 2010

The Big Night Menu: Geoffrey Gatza Talks Food & Poetry
In September 2009, the literary center Just Buffalo inaugurated the Big Night series which features “poetry, food, music, visual art, film, video & whatever else we can think of.” Mike Kelleher & Aaron Lowinger curate the monthly series, & Geoffrey Gatza prepares the food. I got a chance to ask Gatza some questions about the culinary side of things following last week’s event.

Kaplan Harris: Whose idea was it to feature a buffet of fine food for Just Buffalo's Big Night series? Geoffrey Gatza: Michael Kelleher, the artistic director for Just Buffalo, approached me with the idea. He wanted to expand the idea for a literary reading into a multi-art event. Big Night happens in the WNY Book Arts gallery hosting two literary readings and a film or music performance. The addition of food makes it into a wonderful gathering for everyone. I am a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and have worked with food for 25 years. In the past two years I have been working solely at BlazeVOX [books] and this left a real void in my life. I missed restaurant work and there is no real reason to cook for 100 people if one doesn’t have to. So Mike gave me a budget of one hundred dollars that must feed about 75 people. Which may sound impossible, but that is part of the challenge. I do not get paid for my work on this and we have the indefatigable help of Donna White and Lori Desormeaux.

This is the most wonderful form of food art I could do. In every other event or circumstance a professional cook has very little to do with the absolute creativity of the menu. For the most part, I have full control of the menu and it is normally not fully set until a few hours before the event. We buy what we can and make what seems best to fit those ingredients. And it is wonderful because the Big Night audience is very open to trying new dishes. I am very lucky we are able to do this with all this kind support. KH: Do you know of any other reading series to feature a regular dinner menu? Any precedents? GG: Honestly I do not know first hand of any such thing, but David Meltzer was kind enough to tell me of similar events happening in San Francisco / Berkley areas over the years. It is certainly effective in getting people to come out to an event, and when there have a good time. I think this happens because poetry readings can be dreadful, if not outright deadly. And the addition of food makes the it less of lecture and more into a performance where the audience feels they can get up, move around and mingle. In my past I have done similar settings for book launch parties in Buffalo. The success of that gave Mike the confidence that this could be a regular event. But I also work with food as a medium to connect people and poets together. One way is the annual Thanksgiving menu poem. Each year I make up a conceptual poem menu for Thanksgiving, as if I could invite as many poets as I could to honor one poet. I make a menu and have poems in the place for the courses. And in 2008 I had Anne Waldman as the guest of honor using actual recipes I created for her at this breakfast. It was great fun all around. This year is for C. D. Wright and the following year, David Shapiro. Here is a link to the Thanksgiving menu page. http://www.blazevox.org/index.php/thanksgiving-poems/

KH: For Linh Dinh's reading, (which also featured media performance by Al Larsen & fiction by Ken Sparling), you prepared a cheese dip in homage to his latest book, Some Kind of Cheese Orgy. How do you decide to match a

menu to the poet or poets? What did you serve for prior Big Night readers? GG: Luckily I have been very familiar with the work of the poets we have hosted for the Big Night event. I always try to find a way to make a blend of the food to the writers work. The cheese orgy yuck was presentation piece and the food was a bit subtler in technique. Linn Dinh’s is a working class poet who is decried as decadent in his homeland of Vietnam, and I took that to its culinary extreme. I tried to infuse Asian cuisine with western but using basic ingredients. One dish was root vegetables and apples in basil syrup, golden beet and lychee salad, barbequed pork with corn bread, and a creamy rice pudding. Most readings, Mike provides a word or two as theme to work around. For CA Conrad’s reading, I was going to make a peanut butter, honey and banana sandwich called the Elvis, to recall his new book. But I changed my mind at the last minute, as I was afraid of people getting sticky. I did use as many bright colored vegetables I could find though. And for Simon Pettit I knew he is fond of gooseberries, or goose-gobs as he calls them, and I made a Gooseberry & D’anjou Pear Bread Pudding for him. Here are some of the items that have appeared on the Big Night table: Alphabet Pasta Salad With Broccoli Rabe And Shrimp Yellow Tomatoes, Black Bean And Bacon Salad Purple Carrots, Fennel And Dried Cranberries Potatoes, Corn And Leek With Parsley Vinaigrette Roast Ginger Vegetables Golden Beets, Caramelized Fennel And Onions Indian Spiced Chicken On A Bed Of Delicious Apples Ginger Tapioca Pudding Big Night Fruit Cake Gooseberry & D’anjou Pear Bread Pudding Cortland Apples Crumble White Eggplants and Chickpea salad General Geoff’s Chicken Chicken Sausages with salt potatoes and sugar snap peas Potato Samosas with Mint Chutney & Madras Tomato Chutney

Baby Bok Choy & Ginger Rice Lychee, Shitake, Apple Salad Big Night Cornbread Belgian Cocoa Brownies Pear Eve’s Pudding Yellow Tomato, Lychee, Shitake, Apple Salad Roast Chicken Long Bean Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette Gold And Purple Carrots and Green Beans Roast Autumnal Vegetables in Ginger Syrup Crimson Beets, Apple, Mushrooms and Balsamic Onions Cinnamon Pork with Lingonberry BBQ on Field Green Roast Chestnuts, Cranberries, Chipolini Onions and Peppers Gooseberry and Fig Bread Pudding Apple and Orange Blossom Honey Crisp Roast Autumnal Vegetables With Rosemary And Thyme Curried Potato Salad Golden Beets, Caramelized Fennel And Leeks Pear Tomatoes, Yellow Peppers And Orzo, Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette Carrots, Parsnips And Chipolini Onions With Pickled Ginger Asian Pears And Cranberries California Tart New York State Macoun Apple And Bosc Pear Crisp Watermelon Squares And Pomegranate In Spice Syrup KH: Where do you shop for food in the dead of winter in Buffalo? GG: I shop at these stores for the Big Night food. Guercio is a wonderful old style food market that is a hidden gem in our town. They supply restaurants so they always have a great selection of produce and hard to find items. Best of all, the prices are very nice. Super Bazaar and Ni Hoowa are the real deal when it comes to getting authentic Indian and Asian food. And, Budway markets are a nice alternative to large supermarkets. They have the best butchery around. The prices are great and the quality is very good. They also make wonderful sausages, which is a hard to find anymore. Guercio & Sons Inc 250 Grant Street

Buffalo, NY 14213-1421 (716) 882-7935 Super Bazaar (Indian Food Market) 3218 Sheridan Drive Amherst, NY 14226-1907 (716) 835-4770 Ni Hoowa Supermarket (Asian Food Market) 3175 Sheridan Drive Amherst, NY 14226-1909 (716) 834-4315 Budwey's Kenmore Supermarket 416 Kenmore Avenue Buffalo, NY 14223 KH: Can you tell me about your current writing project that involves food? GG: I am currently working on a book-length children’s prose poem entitled Desserts Around the World. Once I realized that everyone in the world eats dessert, I began researching desserts and recipes and it was true, everywhere people live, they enjoy some form of dessert. The theme for the whole work is that people are the same all over, only very different. I am using the capitals of the world, a traditional dessert and a person with whom I am sharing the dessert as touchstones. It seems a wonderful vehicle to talk about the world’s people and countries using something everyone can agree on, sweets.

(Pictured above: Linh Dinh, Aaron Lowinger, & Geoffrey Gatza) ----------------------

Kaplan Harris is guest blogging on Tuesdays in January & February. His work appears in American Literature, Artvoice, Contemporary Literature, the EPC,

Jacket, and The Poetry Project Newsletter. He is also editing, with Peter Baker & Rod Smith, The Selected Letters of Robert Creeley for the University of California Press. He lives in Buffalo.
Email This BlogThis! Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Google Buzz at 8:00 AM Labels: Big Night, food, Geoffery Gatza, Kaplan Harris

6 comments:
Lemon Hound said... Um, how can I get an invite? I think that's what most people are thinking... 8:50 AM Nick said... Yeah, great looking spread. And a fun post. I just finished reading Linh Dinh's Blood & Soap the other week and loved it. Appreciate the head's up on his new book as well. 11:44 AM Russell said... I really don't want to screw up your new book, but I thought I had to tell you anyway that I don't eat dessert Geoffrey 1:40 PM -kaplan said... Sina, maybe a care package? Or you could always come to Buffalo. (My vote for the latter.) Thanks, Nick. I love that book & his others too. Last year I even taught a seminar "Borderless Bodies" (based on his book title) & thus made the last 100 years of writing culminate with Linh Dinh. Well, Russell. Not sure what to say. I mean, lots of essentialist definitions of the "human" are really ways of excluding one group or another. So I guess there are worse ways of excluding someone from humanity than based on an aversion to dessert. :-) 7:31 PM nikki reimer said...

Wow. All kinds of delicious. Thanks for this post....now I'm hungry. 7:36 PM Kent Johnson said... This is great to see. Geoffrey Gatza is a living American poetry treasure. I also think he may be the sweetest person, in person, of any poet I've met. He's also astonishingly generous, a quality not necessarily in surfeit within the field: His work, most of it, is devoted to others, without request or expectation of recompense. He has two cats, many culinary utensils, and a smoking addiction. When you are with him, he talks and talks and smokes and smokes, and it's never obnoxious, it's just pleasant. Kent 9:26 AM Post a Comment

Lungfull Report by Mike Kelleher
2010-02-05 Geoffrey Gatza seemed to me the least likely person to find at a poetry event when I met him several years back, after a reading at Rust Belt Books in Buffalo. He approached me in suit and tie and overcoat, introduced himself, and shook my hand while passing me his business card and a CD-ROM filled with his poetry and electronic work. Little did I know that within the next few years this Gulf War veteran and Culinary Institute of America-trained chef would become my publisher (he's the founder and editor of BlazeVox books), my friend, and more important to this here report, the in-house food-whiz for a new multi-disciplinary poetry series called Big Night. Life's funny that way sometimes. Big Night began as a conversation between myself and my poetry conspirator Aaron Lowinger after last year's poetry season had ended. Both of us were tired of the "introduction plus two-poets reading"formula for literary events and wanted to try something different. Not just different, revolutionary: a poetry reading that is actually entertaining! A poetry reading that someone might choose to go to instead of going to just about anything else: a movie, a play, a football game, or dinner at grandma's.So we came up with a new formula: one poet plus two other performers from at least one other discipline or genre of writing, i.e., a filmmaker and a fiction writer, a performance artist and a theater troupe, and so on. To tie it all together, we came up with the brilliant idea of serving free food. This, we hoped, would bring out some of those people who might not go to a poetry reading under any circumstances. We called our friend Geoff and asked if he could imagine preparing a feast for 75-100 people on a budget of a hundred dollars per event. No problem, he said. And so the recipe for Big Night was born. Menu A night of practical pussies featuring Lee Ann Brown reading and showing films plus Damian Weber singing songs plus White Eggplant and Chickpea Salad, Indian Muruk Swirls and Pink Fashion Mellows. Icelandic Eileen Myles powerpointing and reading plus Poets Theater performing her libretto "Hell" plus films by Turskish filmmaker Ekrem Serdar plus Yellow Tomato, Black Bean and Bacon Salad, Chicken Sausages with Salt Potatoes and Sugar Snap Peas.

Elvis-ational CA Conrad and Hearth-y Simon Pettet reading poems plus live music, video plus performance art by Kyle Butler plus Lychee, Shitake, Apple Salad, Big Night Cornbread and Belgian Cocoa Brownies. Scott Puccio's heartbreaking short films plus poetry by Torontonians Sam Kauffman, Rebecca Houwer and Thom Olsen plus Gooseberry and Fig Bread Pudding, Apple and Orange Blossom Honey Crisp, and Roast Autumnal Vegetables With Rosemary And Thyme. "Some Kind of Cheese Orgy," with media performance by Al Larsen plus short fiction by Ken Sparling plus Linh Dinh reading poetry plus Cheesy Big Night Cornbread and Bowl Full of Melted Nacho Cheese. Mmmm... And the poetry's pretty good, too!

Big Night for Combat Paper Project
By Louise Continelli NEWS STAFF REPORTER Published: Buffalo News January 30, 2011, 12:00 AM Updated: January 30, 2011, 6:42 AM The Combat Paper Project aims to help military veterans reconcile their experiences by transforming uniforms worn in combat into cathartic works of paper art. The unusual concept—unfolding in art studios across the country— was a focus of “Big Night,” a Just Buffalo Literary Center event Saturday night in the Western New York Book Arts Center, Washington and Mohawk streets. It featured poet Lisa Jarnot, music by Jack Topht and the Vegetables, and a talk and reading about Combat Paper Project by Chris Arendt and Margaret Mahan. Geoffrey Gatza, a Marine Corps veteran of the first Gulf War about 20 years ago and a trainee of the Culinary Institute of America, figured prominently in the program. “The uniform’s a touchy subject with many veterans, and the respect for it is, in actuality, one of the few totems one can stand beside and honor,” said Gatza, the head of BlazeVOX books, which has published about 1,000 authors over the past 11 years. Gatza, who also has an accounting degree from Daemen College and is currently writing his ninth book of poetry, “A Rocket Full of Pie,” said he is happy to “to help out fellow vets and writers.” Artists in the Combat Paper Project offer “a great deal of comfort and solace to

many veterans,” he added. “They talk about the transformation of their former uniform into paper objects as a physical action, as a method to perform — enact — a way from one life to another peaceful life. I think this is a great way to find oneself after a military tour of duty.” Uniforms are cut up, beaten in-to a pulp and formed into sheets of paper, with veterans using the transformative process of papermaking to reclaim their uniform as art and begin to embrace their experiences in the military. For “Big Night,” Gatza used his culinary talents to put together a lineup of winter comfort food, including pasta salad with parsley pesto, golden beets with pomegranates, snow crab with turnips and spinach, and cinnamon-roasted vegetables. For dessert — apple crisp, strawberries with ginger cream and rice pudding. Gatza reflects on his own military background. “I’ve often found, when discussing this with other veterans, the lack of exit training when one leaves the military,” he said. “Thus an emotional vacuum is formed, in the mind and soul, that’s not readily eased when one returns from a barracks to a picket fence. It took me years to understand that. Writing was my means of coming home.” The Combat Paper Project moves on to Niagara County Community College on Monday through Feb. 11 and the Western New York Book Arts Collaborative, Feb. 7 to 13. lcontinelli@buffnews.com

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Just Buffalo Welcomes Ha Jin

Welcome Persian Flat Bread & Roast Garlic Salad Lychee, Shitake, Apple Salad Field Green, Tomato, Persimmon; Maple Mustard Vinagrette Vegetables Crimson Beets, Apple, Mushrooms and Balsamic Onions Green Beans, Yellow and Red Peppers Roast Autumnal Vegetables in Ginger Syrup Main Course Cinnamon Pork and Roast Chestnuts & Cranberries Lingonberry Stuffed Chicken Breast with Pear & Potato Purée Seared Sea Scallops on Brussels Sprouts & Bacon Dessert D'Anjou Pear Nestlerode New York State Apple and Saigon Cinnamon Crumble

Welcome Bernadette Mayer
Friday April, 1 2011 6pm

Menu
"poetry is as good as chocolate / chocolate’s as good as poetry."

Welcome White Cornbread with Green Chilies Persian Flat Bread & Roast Garlic Butter Croissants Salad Bok Choy with Lotus Root and bamboo shoots Pasta Salad with Roasted Tomatoes and Basil Sweet Carrots, Roasted Tomatoes, Peppers with Gorgonzola Dinner Herbed Couscous with Lemon Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Plums Spicy Tilapia served on Black Eyed Peas with Horseradish Raita Curried Potatoes and Peas with Ginger Syrup Green Beans with Fennel & Salsify Broccoli with Lychee and celery Dessert New York State Apple and Sweet Ricotta Bake Jasmine Rice Pudding with Coconut Strawberries and Blueberries Nesselrode Chocolate-Topped Éclairs Cookies and Candies

Just Buffalo Big Night Menu
September 19, 2009

White Eggplants and Chickpea salad General Geoff’s Chicken Pink Lotus Steamed buns with Hoison Sauce Chicken Sausages with salt potatoes and sugar snap peas Potato Samosas with Mint Chutney & Madras Tomato Chutney Baby Bok Choy & Ginger Rice Lychee, Shitake, Apple Salad Big Night Cornbread Big Pasta salad

Snacks: Fresh Cut Fruit Parmesan Crustini Asian Shrimp Chips Indian Fried Peas Black Pepper Banana Chips Indian Muruku Swirls

Dessert: Pink Fashion Mellows Rainbow Fennel Seeds Belgian Cocoa Brownies Pear Eve’s Pudding

Just Buffalo Big Night Menu
Theme: Fire & Ice | October 24, 2009

Big Food Tomato And Pepper Penne Pasta Salad With Dijon Vinaigrette Moroccan Roast Eggplant With Cici Beans, Fennel, Herbs And Lime Roast Autumnal Vegetables In Ginger Syrup Red Cabbage Hot Italian Sausage Green Beans, Yellow And Red Peppers Chicken Pumpkin Curry And Brown Rice Golden Beets, Apple, Mushrooms And Balsamic Onions Cinnamon Pork And Roast Cranberries

Breads And Snacks Herbed Corn Bread; Cheese Crustini, Indian Naan, Spicy Puff Squares

Dessert Quince Bread Pudding With Yogurt Sauce Gooseberry And D'Anjou Pears Crumble Baked Apples With Raisins And Brown Sugar

Just Buffalo Big Night Menu
November 12, 2009 Snacks & Breads
Rice Crackers Rounds Spicy Indian Bhel Mix Persian Flat Bread & Roast Garlic

Salads
Roast Autumnal Vegetables With Rosemary And Thyme Curried Potato Salad Golden Beets, Caramelized Fennel And Leeks Pear Tomatoes, Yellow Peppers And Orzo, Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette Carrots, Parsnips And Chipolini Onions With Pickled Ginger

Fruits of the Season
Asian Pears And Cranberries California Tart New York State Macoun Apple And Bosc Pear Crisp Watermelon Squares And Pomegranate In Spice Syrup

Desserts
Chocolate And Blonde Pizzelles Pineapple And Guava Wafers An Assortment Of Fancy Biscotti Colorful Gumballs And Jaw-Breakers

Just Buffalo Big Night Menu
November 21, 2009

Big Night Big Night Corn Bread Persian Flat Bread Yellow Tomato, Lychee, Shitake, Apple Salad Roast Chicken Long Bean Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette Gold And Purple Carrots and Green Beans Roast Autumnal Vegetables in Ginger Syrup Crimson Beets, Apple, Mushrooms and Balsamic Onions Cinnamon Pork with Lingonberry BBQ on Field Green Roast Chestnuts, Cranberries, Chipolini Onions and Peppers

Desserts Gooseberry and Fig Bread Pudding Apple and Orange Blossom Honey Crisp Assorted Butter Cookies

Just Buffalo
Big Night Menu
December 12, 2009

Big Food Alphabet Pasta Salad With Broccoli Rabe And Shrimp Yellow Tomatoes, Black Bean And Bacon Salad Purple Carrots, Fennel And Dried Cranberries Potatoes, Corn And Leek With Parsley Vinaigrette Roast Ginger Vegetables Golden Beets, Caramelized Fennel And Onions Indian Spiced Chicken On A Bed Of Delicious Apples

Breads & Snacks Tuscan Bread Maki Wrapped Sesame Crackers Melba Toasts & Roast Garlic

Desserts Assorted Italian Cookies Ginger Tapioca Pudding Big Night Fruit Cake Gooseberry & D’anjou Pear Bread Pudding Cortland Apples Crumble

Big Night Menu
January 28, 2010

Snacks
Cheese Orgy With Crisps Big Night Cheesy Corn Bread

Main
Red Bliss Potato And Vine Ripened Tomato Salad Big Night Pasta Salad With Lemon Vinaigrette Sweet Potato, Green Beans and Fennel in basil syrup Golden Beets, Caramelized Onion, Lychee Parmesan & Parsley Sausage, Broccoli Rabe And Black Beans Jamaican Pork Loin With Cherry Mead Barbeque Sauce

Dessert
Jonathon Gold Apple Crumble Sugared Apple Cake Vanilla Trifle And Coffee Ladyfingers Cantaloupe, Pear And Papaya Salad With Golden Tangerine Syrup Classic Rice Pudding Assorted Cookies

Just Buffalo Big Night February 27, 2010 Big Menu
Big Night Corn Bread Spicy Chickpea Snack Italian Sausage With Chianti Onions, Spicy Peppers And Potatoes Curried Eggplants, Chick Peas Spinach, Ricotta And Roasted Pepper With Artichokes Big Night Pasta Salad Broccoli Rabe, Tomatoes And Mushrooms In Lemon Vinaigrette Golden Carrots, Parsnips, Painted Peppers In Garlic Basil Oil Baby Bok Choy Enoki Mushrooms With Butter Beans Potato Samosas With Ruby Ginger Syrup

Desserts
Deep Dark Chocolate Almond Brownies Assorted Crazy Cookies Sautéed Bananas With Brown Sugar And Vanilla Yogurt Mango Tapioca Pudding Honeydew Melon, Lychee, Rambutan, Almonds And Vanilla Syrup Apple Crisp

Just Buffalo
Big Night Menu for Bill Berkson
Saturday March 20, 2010
Snacks Garlic Lavender Corn Bread Crescent Rolls & Traditional Butter Lamb Indian Chickpea Snacks Main Big Night Pasta Salad with a Parsley Vinaigrette Couscous With Tomato, Lemon And Fennel Curried Eggplant And Chickpeas With Roasted Peppers Yellow Carrot, Roast Beets with Merlot Onions Basil Pesto Tomato Salad On Field Greens Green And Yellow Squash Ribbons and Roasted Mushrooms Radish, Potato, Fennel and Dates with Parsley and Lemon Desserts Green Anjou Pear with Chestnut Cream and Yogurt Berry Rice Pudding California Tart with Banana, Papaya, Coconut and Lemon Cream Golden Apples and Gooseberry Crumble A Bunch of Crazy Cookies Jellybeans & Many Colored Peeps

Just Buffalo
Big Night Menu
for Jonathan Skinner
Saturday April 24, 2010

Snacks Spicy Big Night Corn Bread & Crescent Rolls Indian Chanachura Chickpea Snack Lemon Rice Stuffed Grape Leaves Main Big Night Pasta Salad Tomato Couscous, Lemon, Fennel, Sunflower Seeds, and Roast garlic Asparagus, Red Onion, Cabbage and Dried Cranberries Potato Samosa with Salsa Verde Basil Pesto, Courgette, Red and Yellow Tomato Salad Snow Peas, Parsnip, Caramelized Onion and Roasted Peppers Broccoli Rabe, Roasted Mushrooms and roasted fennel Green Anjou Pear with honeyed pecans and blue cheese Desserts Jasmine Rice Pudding with currents Fresh Strawberry Tart with Whipped Cream Macintosh Apple Oat Crumble A Bunch of Crazy Cookies Candies and other treats

Just Buffalo Big Night Menu
September 18, 2010

Snacks Spicy Cornbread Nine Grain Crustini Cheesy Pop Corn Dinner Big Night Pasta Salad with White Peppers and Feta Wild Salmon with Cucumbers and Leeks Red Pepper Couscous with Dates and Caramelized Onions Homegrown Tomatoes, Zucchini and Lemon Vinaigrette Soba Noodle with Asian Carrots, Garlic and Ginger Curried Potato and Pea With Ginger And Leek Roasted Tomatoes with Black Bean, Hominy and Green Chilies Desserts New York State Apple Crisp Sponge Cake with Fresh Mission Figs, Cream and Ginger Honeydew Melon, Cantaloupes and Grapes Chocolate-Topped Éclairs Papaya Coconut Rice Pudding Assorted Fun Cookies and Mints

Just Buffalo Big Night Menu
Happy 125th Birthday of Ezra Pound
Snacks & Birthday Ezra Pumpkin Birthday Display Spooky Pumpkin Cornbread Nine-Grain Herbed Crustini

October 30, 2010

Dinner Big Night Pasta Salad With Tomato And Basil Mushroom And Cheese Ravioli With Mushrooms And Colorful Peppers Curried Potato And Pea With Ginger Syrup Black Beans And Hominy Autumn Chili Red And Golden Beets, Carrots With Walnuts And Blue Cheese Smoked Paprika Couscous With Dates And Tomato Roast Autumnal Vegetables Eggplant And Green Peppers With Balsamic Vinaigrette

Desserts NYS Cortland Apple Pie Chocolate Pumpkin Bread Pudding With Whipped Cream Chocolate-Topped Éclairs Traditional Raisin Cinnamon Rice Pudding Halloween Fun Candies And Creepy Crawlies

Just Buffalo Big Night Menu
Welcoming Joshua Clover
Snacks Honey Cornbread Pumpernickel And Sunflower Crisps Traditional Chex Mix With Pretzels

NOV 20, 2010

Dinner Big Night Pasta Salad With Tomato, Green Peppers And Basil Curried Potato And Pea With Ginger Syrup Roast Autumnal Vegetables With Sage And Basswood Honey Butternut And Acorn Squash, Leek And Cranberries Couscous With Dates, Tomato And Bacon Salmon With Leeks, Butter Beans And Golden Carrots Roast Onions, Roast Celery Fresh Cranberries Carrots And Mushrooms

Desserts Sautéed Honeycrisp Apples And With Hot Cinnamon Syrup Red Quince And D’Anju Pears Walnuts And Golden Raisins Chocolate-Topped Éclairs Rice Pudding With Lemon And Cranberries Thanksgiving Gingerbread Cookies And Chocolate Pretzels

Just Buffalo Big Night Menu
Snacks Happy December White Cornbread Crescent Rolls 9-grain spicy crisps Dinner Tilapia with a Black Bean Salsa Mushrooms Couscous with Dates and carrots Big Night Pasta Salad with Tomato, Peppers and Basil Curried Parsnips, Potato and Pea with Ginger Syrup Roast Autumnal Vegetables with Ginger and Cranberries Acorn and Butternut Squash with Roast Onion and Celery Red and Yellow Tomatoes with Green Peppers and Fennel Crisp Asparagus with Squash Ribbons and Pomegranates Desserts Cortland Apple Gingerbread Crisp Red Quince, D’Anju Pears and Golden Raisins Chocolate-Topped Éclairs Rice Pudding with Lemon and Cranberries December Cookies and Peppermint Canes

Welcoming Ish Klein Saturday 12 11, 10

Just Buffalo Big Night Menu
Snacks Big Night Spicy Cornbread Green Corn and Vegetable Chips 9-grain spicy crisps Dinner Jackson Pollack with Spinach, Black Beans Red and White Onions Zucchini Red Tomatoes Green Peppers with a Basil Bunting Golden Beets, Belgian Salsify and Ginger Carrots Ricotta Stuffed Raviolis with Roasted Pepper Coulis Saffron Tomato Couscous Butternut Squash and White Turnips and Pomegranates Big Night Pasta Salad with Parsley Pesto Curried Potato and Pea with Ginger Syrup

Welcoming Lisa Jarnot Saturday January, 28 2011

Desserts Empire State Apple Crisp Strawberries and Blackberries with Ginger Cream Chocolate-Topped Éclairs Rice Pudding with Lemon and Cranberries Valentine’s Day Cookies and Candies

Just Buffalo Big Night Menu
Tribute to Millie Niss February, 19 2011
Snacks Big Night Spicy Cilantro Cornbread Green Corn and Vegetable Chips Nine-Grain Baguette Dinner Ham, Onions and Green Peppers with Grain Mustard Vinaigrette Spinach, Black Beans, Red Onions, Fennel and Celery Zucchini, Mushrooms Green Peppers and Ginger Carrots Broccoli with Bamboo shoots, Belgian Salsify and Tamarind Ricotta Stuffed Raviolis with Roast Tomatoes and Onions Couscous with Beets, roast Garlic and Dates Big Night Pasta Salad with Tomato Basil Vinaigrette Curried Potato, Green Chilies, Pea with Ginger Syrup Desserts Many Fruit Crumble Strawberries and Blackberries with Mango Yogurt Chocolate-Topped Éclairs Coconut Lychee Rice Pudding Marzipans, Cookies and Candies

Just Buffalo Big Night
October 1st 2011
Earth's Daughters 40th Anniversary

Snacks
Sage Corn Bread Indian snacks Steamed and Salted Edamame Butter Croissants

Dinner
Curried Potato and Peas with Ginger Syrup Penne Pasta Salad with Homegrown Tomatoes and Basil Ricotta Ravioli with Yellow Tomatoes and Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Butternut squash with mushrooms, tomatoes and roast onions Red, Yellow and Green Pepper sautéed with Bacon and Spinach Golden and Red Beets, Celery with Purple Plums Maple Salmon with tarragon carrot strings and Fennel

Dessert
Rice Pudding New York State Apple Crisp Sponge Cake and Strawberry Yogurt and Glace Cherries Fresh Cantaloupe and Cranberries Chocolate-Topped Éclairs Fun Cookies, Meringues and Mints

Just Buffalo Big Night
October 22nd 2011

Occupy Kent Johnson
Savory and Spicy
Occupy Kent Johnson Corn Bread Mini Butter Croissants Curried Potato and Peas with Ginger Syrup Penne Pasta Salad with Homegrown Tomatoes and Basil Tandoori Butternut squash with Red Onions and Cranberries Nuremburg Bratwurst with Cinnamon Turnips and Carrots Couscous with Dates and Roast Onions Broccoli Rabe and Spicy Red Peppers and Tomatoes Shrimp and Scallops with Fennel and Spinach

Sweets and Crisps
Coconut Rice Pudding New York State Apple Crisp Sponge Cake with Chestnut Cream Fresh Pineapple and Papaya with Ginger Tiny Cream Puffs Fun Cookies and Chocolate Pizzelles Meringues, Gummies and Mints

Recipes

Hybrids of the Kitchen
Some thoughts on Aromatics
Onions
Onions are simply wonderful. They provide the richest flavor and is the base for your dish. The onion can be used in many ways to provide a wide variety of tastes. There are many kinds of onions available at the market from the spicy Spanish onions to the very sweet Maui onions. Depending on the dish and your personal tastes will be the deciding factors on which onion you will use. Here is a basic run through on the onions used in these recipes. Roast Onions This deceptively simple dish may be the best way to cook onions. It is easy and the slow coking process makes the onions develop a real roundness in flavor. To roast an onion simply cut it lengthways in half. Leave the skin and the root ends on; really. This will protect the onion while it cooks. Place the onion halves in a large bowl and drizzle on olive oil and season with salt, pepper and fresh ground nutmeg. Place the flat side of the onion on a non-stick baking sheet, or tinfoil-lined pan and roast in a 450-degree oven for a half hour. When done remove from the over and let cool down. When cool, remove the skin from the onion and with a paring knife remove the root ends of the onion and discard. Chop the onions into large and reserve for use in whatever dish they are called Grilled Red Onions Peel the skin off of the onion and discard. Cut one inch thick slices of the red onion lengthwise and place them onto a sheet pan. Brush with olive oil season with salt, white pepper, brown sugar and fresh ground nutmeg. Let them sit for ten minutes before placing the slices onto a very hot, clean grill. Let them cook on the one side until nice grill marks appear, then flip to the other side. Place them back onto the sheet pan. The onions are not done yet, but will require ten or fifteen minutes of extra cooking time in the oven. Brush with honey and roast in a 450-degree oven until they are fully cooked. Remove from oven and let them cool done. Pull apart the rings of the red onions and reserve for use in whatever dish they are called.

Caramelized Onions It is best to use a sweet onion for caramelized onions as it is the sugars that are cooking to form the dark color. Use Maui sweet onions or Georgia Vidalia onions for best results and flavor. To begin, peel the skin off of three sweet onions and discard. Cut onions in half and remove the stem. Slice in long strips from top to bottom of the onion. Place in a bowl until ready for the stove. Heat a sauté pan with clarified butter and when hot, add in the onions. Toss them in the butter and then let them sit in the heat without moving them very much. This will ensure that they begin to caramelize. Stir them around after a few minutes. When they are almost finished, add in a dash of Worcestershire sauce, one-tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, one-tablespoon of honey and one-tablespoon of Dijon mustard. Season the dish with salt, pepper and fresh ground nutmeg. Let this mixture cook down. Remove from the heat and let cool down and refrigerate until ready to use. Chianti Onions This dish consists of sweet onions braised in Chianti wine. They are sautéed first then red wine is added and reduced to a thick syrup. They will become bright red, soaking in the wine and its entire grand flavor. It is best to use a sweet onion for Chianti onions, as it is the sugars that are cooking to form the dark color. Use Maui sweet onions or Georgia Vidalia onions for best results and flavor. To begin, peel the skin off of three sweet onions and discard. Cut onions in half and remove the stem. Slice in long strips from top to bottom of the onion. Place in a bowl until ready for the stove. Heat a sauté pan with olive oil and when hot, add in the onions. Toss them in the butter and then let them sit in the heat without moving them very much. This will ensure that they begin to caramelize. Stir them around after a few minutes. When they are almost finished, add in three cups of chianti wine. Season the dish with salt, pepper and fresh ground nutmeg. Let this mixture cook down. Remove from the heat and let cool down and refrigerate until ready to use. Balsamic Onions This dish is similar to Chianti onions only one uses balsamic vinegar rather than wine. This will be a very dark color, almost black, as the vinegar. There is honey added to make a sweet and sour flavor that is hard to resist. As above, is best to use a sweet onion for caramelized onions as it is the sugars that are cooking to form the dark color. Use Maui sweet onions or Georgia Vidalia onions for best results and flavor. To begin, peel the skin off of three sweet onions and discard. Cut onions in half and remove the stem. Slice in long strips from top to bottom of the onion. Place in a bowl until ready for the stove. Heat a sauté pan with clarified butter and when hot, add in the onions. Toss them in the butter and then let them sit in the heat without moving them very much. This will ensure that they begin to caramelize. Stir them around after a few minutes. When they are almost finished, add in a two cups of balsamic vinegar, ¼ cup of basswood honey, or other flavorful honey at hand,

and one-tablespoon of Dijon mustard. Season the dish with salt, pepper and fresh ground nutmeg. Let this mixture cook down. Remove from the heat and let cool down and refrigerate until ready to use. Sautéed or Sweated Onions It is best to use a Spanish onions for sautéed onions as they are more savory and produce a strong onion flavor that does well in this short and fast cooking. These onions have a warmth or a kind of directness to them so they are cooked on high heat for a short period of time until they just turn translucent. To begin, peel the skin off of three Spanish onions and discard. Cut onions in half and remove the stem. Slice in long strips from top to bottom of the onion. Place in a bowl until ready for the stove. Heat a sauté pan with grape seed oil and when hot, add in the onions. Move them around a lot and when translucent, season with salt, black pepper and fresh ground nutmeg. Remove from the heat and let cool down and refrigerate until ready to use. Scallions Prepare the scallion for cooking: Cut off the brushy root ends of the scallions and give them a good washing. Cut off the top inch of the scallions. Peel the skin off of the scallion with a paper towel and discard. Sliced Scallions Using a sharp chef’s knife so as to not bruise the scallions; cut them lengthwise in very thin slices; be sure to use both the white and green parts, as both are delicious. Chopped Scallions Using a sharp chef’s knife so as to not bruise the scallions; cut them lengthwise in very thin slices; be sure to use both the white and green parts. Gather the scallions and continue to chop them until they are chopped very fine. Grilled Scallions Take the whole scallion and brush with olive oil; season with salt, black pepper. Place the scallions onto a very hot, clean grill. Let them cook on the one side until nice grill marks appear, then flip to the other side. Place them back onto the sheet pan and let them cool down and reserve for use in whatever dish they are called.

Chives Chives are long, thin and just beautiful. In most cases you will want to use the chive raw, so be sure to wash them and dry them with care. Using a sharp chef’s knife cut the chives to the size desired, either small chopped pieces or inch long sticks. You can also use them as a wonderful garnish as is. The lithe green will make any buffet dish stand out.

Pan Roasted Chipolini Onions Chipolini onions are small onions similar to pearl onions, but these are more flat and squat than pearl onions. They are very sweet and match well with honey and balsamic vinegars. To peel the onions, heat them in a hot oven for a few minutes, this will make the skin blister a bit and the steam will loosen the skin. This makes for easy work. Take a paring knife and carefully remove the stem. To pan roast the chipolini onions, heat a sauté pan with clarified butter and when hot, add in the onions. Toss them in the butter and then let them sit in the heat without moving them very much. This will ensure that they begin to caramelize. Stir them around after a few minutes. When they are almost finished, add in some balsamic vinegar, honey and season with salt, pepper and fresh ground nutmeg. Let this mixture cook down until syrupy. Remove from the heat and let cool down and refrigerate until ready to use. Leeks Leeks have a very sophisticated onion flavor and set the entire tone of anything one can pair with it. They are grown in sandy areas and must be given an extra good washing before serving or risk getting grit into your dinner. There is a trick to washing leeks, and trick lies in the fact that leeks float. To begin with, take your leeks and trim off the tops and bottom roots. Slice the whole leek into half lengthwise. Flip the leek half onto the flat side and cut half moon slices that are a half-inch wide. Place a pot of sated water on the stove and get it ready to blanch the leeks. But while it heating to a boil, take the leeks and place them in a deep bowl and cover with cold water. Let them soak for a good while and poke them to remove any sand that may still remain. The sand will sink tot the bottom of the bowl while the leeks, now clean float on the top of the water. Carefully pull the clean leeks into another bowl making sure not to disturb the sand in the bottom of the water. Take the clean leeks to the boiling salted water. Place them in and give a good stir to make sure they all are covered. Let them cook for two minutes and drain into a colander and quickly place them into ice water to stop the cooking process and cool them down rapidly. This will give you a bright green color to the leeks. Drain from the ice water and be sure to squeeze out all of the water. Place them on a paper towel to further dry them out.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

Pan Roast Fennel Fennel is one of my favorite aromatic vegetables. The fresh snap of the licorice and the light delicate leaves of the herblike tops make for one of the most versatile of flavorings. This dish uses the fennel, cut in strips and then lightly caramelized. Take the fennel and remove the stalks from the top. Set aside and cut off the fluffy herb top and chop finely. Save for later use in a different dish when called for. Return to the fennel and cut it in quarters. The root is large in the fennel so carefully remove it with a diagonal cut. Cut the fennel into strips and set in a bowl. To pan roast the fennel, heat a sauté pan with clarified butter and when hot, add in the onions. Toss them in the butter and then let them sit in the heat without moving them very much. This will ensure that they begin to caramelize. Stir them around after a few minutes. When they are almost finished, add in 1 Tablespoon of sugar and season with salt, pepper and fresh ground nutmeg. Let this mixture cook down until the sugars caramelize and a slight syrup has developed. Remove from the heat and let cool down and refrigerate until ready to use.

Some recipes of Oils, Vinaigrettes, Syrups and Spices
Garlic Oil Cut two whole bunches of garlic in half lengthwise, leaving the skin on. Heat up 2 cups of good olive oil to 175 degrees and place the garlic into the warm oil. Take off the heat and cover the pot with plastic wrap. Let the oil sit over night for the best flavor. Strain the oil but reserve the garlic and refrigerate until ready to use. Keep the garlic and separate the cloves from the skin; throw away the skin and use the cloves, as you would roast garlic. Rosemary Oil Heat up 2 cups of good olive oil to 175 degrees and place a bunch of fresh rosemary into the warm oil. Take off the heat and cover the pot with plastic wrap. Let the oil sit over night for the best flavor. Strain the oil and refrigerate until ready to use. Basil Oil Take 2 cups of good olive oil and put it in a blender or food processor with 1 cup of fresh basil leaves with the stems removed. Pulse until soothe. Add salt and pepper and lemon zest and let sit overnight in a refrigerator. Do not strain the oil as the basil will add color but also great flavor to your dish. Parsley Pesto 1 cup good olive oil 1 Cup Flat Italian Parsley with the stems removed ½ Cup toasted walnuts ¼ Cup good grated Romano cheese Put all ingredients into a blender or food processor and pulse until soothe. Add salt and pepper and lemon zest and let sit overnight in a refrigerator. Ginger Syrup 1 cups of sugar 2 Ounces ginger ½ cup white wine

Do not peel the ginger, but roughly cut into 1-inch pieces. Cut smaller if you prefer a hotter ginger flavor. Put into a saucepan and mix with the sugar and white wine and bring to a boil. Cook for a half an hour on low heat until it becomes a nice syrup. Strain out the ginger and let the syrup cool. Refrigerate until ready to use. Vanilla Syrup 1 ½ Cup Sugar 1 Cup Water ¼ Teaspoon Salt Juice of one lemon one vanilla bean Combine the sugar, water, salt, lemon and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and let simmer for fifteen minutes. Take out the vanilla bean and set aside; you can place this bean in your sugar container to make a nice vanilla sugar. Garlic Basil Oil 1 Cup Garlic Oil 1 Cup Basil Oil Mix both oils together and let rest before serving so flavors can mingle. Balsamic Vinaigrette 1 Cup Garlic Oil ¼ Cup Balsamic Vinegar 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard 1 Tablespoon Roast Garlic 1 Teaspoon Geoffrey Grill Spice 1 Teaspoon Basswood Honey Whisk together all ingredients until an emulsion is formed. Refrigerate until ready to use. Parsley Vinaigrette 1 Cup Lemon Vinagrette ½ Cup Parsley Pesto Mix the pesto and the vinagrette together and let rest before serving so flavors can mingle.

basil syrup 1 ½ Cup Sugar 1 Cup Water ¼ Teaspoon Salt Juice of one lemon 1 Cup Basil 1 Teaspoon Whole Peppercorns Combine the sugar, water, salt and lemon in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and let simmer for fifteen minutes. Cool down the syrup and pulse in a food processor with the basil and peppercorns. Let sit overnight. Lemon Vinaigrette 1 cup good olive oil ¼ Cup lemon juice 1 Tablespoon Lemon zest 1 Teaspoon Geoffrey Grill Spice Whisk together all ingredients until an emulsion is formed. Refrigerate until ready to use. Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette 1 cup good olive oil ¼ Cup lemon juice ¼ Cup Roasted Garlic 1 Tablespoon Lemon zest 1 Teaspoon Geoffrey Grill Spice Whisk together all ingredients until an emulsion is formed. Refrigerate until ready to use. Mustard Vinaigrette 1 Cup Garlic Oil ¼ Cup White Wine Vinegar ¼ Cup Dijon Mustard or 1 Tablespoon grain mustard 1 Tablespoon Roast Garlic 1 Teaspoon Geoffrey Grill Spice Whisk together all ingredients until an emulsion is formed. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Tagine Spices 1 Tablespoon turmeric 1 Tablespoon ground coriander 1 Tablespoon ground ginger 1 Tablespoon ground cumin 1 Tablespoon black pepper 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 Teaspoon dried Lavender Place all spices into a small mixing bowl and store in an airtight tin until needed. Savory Cinnamon Spice 2 Tablespoon paprika 1 Tablespoon granulated garlic 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon 2 Tablespoon chili powder 2 Tablespoon ground coriander 1 Tablespoon black pepper 2 Tablespoon ground cumin ½ Tablespoon Cayenne Pepper 1 Tablespoon salt 1 Tablespoon brown sugar 1 Tablespoon Place all spices into a small mixing bowl and store in an airtight tin until needed. Geoffrey’s Grill Spice 2 Tablespoon Hungarian paprika 2 Tablespoon dark chili powder 1 Tablespoon ground cumin 1 Tablespoon ground coriander 1 Tablespoon salt 1 Tablespoon black pepper 1 Tablespoon English dry mustard

Place all spices into a small mixing bowl and store in an airtight tin until needed.

Big Night Spicy Cornbread
1 cup flour ½ Cup yellow corn flour ½ Cup white corn flour 2/3 Cup sugar 1 Teaspoon Salt 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder 2 Tablespoon Geoffrey’s Grill Spice 1 egg 1 Cup Milk 1/3 Cup vegetable oil Put flour and corn flours and other dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle, pushing the flour up on the sides of the bowl. In a separate bowl beat the egg until fluffy and lemon in color. Add in the milk and oil and blend. Pour batter in a non-stick baking dish. Decorate the cornbread with writing by using sirachi hot sauce. This sauce is thick enough to stay on top of the batter during baking, so it makes for an excellent garnish and adds that something special to the event. Hold the bottle of sirachi like a pen and hold about a halfinch over the batter, and write as you would with icing for a cake. If you do not want a hot sauce experience, you can omit this step all together. Or if you are feeling adventurous use honey and drizzle that over top of the batter. Bake in a preheated oven 350 degrees F. for about forty minutes.

Corn Bread Variations
Happy December White Cornbread Use the same recipe above but use 1 full cup of white corn flour and omit the yellow. Big Night Spicy Cilantro Cornbread Use the same recipe above but add in 1 can of green chilies and a ¼ Cup of chopped cilantro. Spooky Pumpkin Cornbread Use the same recipe above but substitute brown sugar for the white sugar and add in 1 cup of canned pumpkin to the batter. This will need to bake for about 10 minutes longer than the normal cornbread. Garlic Lavender Corn Bread Use the same recipe above but substitute 1 Tablespoon dried Lavender for the Geoffrey’s Grill spice and add in 2 Tablespoons of roast garlic, 1 Teaspoon salt and ½ Teaspoon black pepper. Big Night Cheesy Corn Bread Use the same recipe above but add in 1 cup of your favorite grated cheese. I like Parmesan, or white cheddar, Monterrey jack.

Autumn Medley
Roasted Red Quince 4 Quince 2 Cup Vanilla Sugar 1 Cup water 1 Teaspoon cloves 4 Cardamom pods 1 cinnamon stick 1½ Tablespoon lemon juice 2 Apples Peel and quarter a ripe green quince. Using a paring knife, carefully remove the seeds and stem. Quinces are a very firm fruit, so please take care not to slip with the knife. Do not throw away the peelings as we will use them in the next step. In a saucepan combine the sugar, water, spices and lemon and bring to a boil. Add in the quince quarters and return to a boil. Turn off and let the fruit and syrup cool down. Place the quince quarters with the liquid in a buttered baking dish. Peel and grate the apple with a box grater and place the grated apple on top of quince halves. By doing this, the apple will protect the quince in the hot over and will not dry out and discolor. Place the baking dish in a 275˚F oven for forty minutes.

Roast Beets There are many ways to cook a beet, but roasting is very simple, not messy and the end result is delicious. Simply take the red or yellow beet and give it a good wash. Trim off the root end, leaving the skin on, place in a large bowl. Toss with garlic oil, salt, black pepper and nutmeg and place on a baking sheet. Place into a 425-degree oven and roast until they are soft on the inside. To test this is the same as testing a baked potato by piercing the beet with a fork and if it is soft inside, it is done. Be sure that the larger beets are cooked all the way through, if they are not it’ll be a colorful mess, as the raw beet will turn black and taste awful. So be sure your beets are cooked all the way through. When done, let them cool on their sheet pan. Peel the beets with a paring knife and cut into large slices or a large cubes.

Crispy Thyme Mushrooms Mushrooms are very easy to cook, but often, if not cooked properly they can be mushy, soft and can ruin a fine meal. To cook them properly, you need a sauté pan with a good amount of olive oil set at high heat. When the oil begins to smoke, add in your sliced or whole mushrooms. Let them sit so they can caramelize, there are a lot of sugars in mushrooms, and if you let them, they will get crispy. Some mushrooms absorb oil while cooking so be sure to have enough oil so they cook and not simply burn in the pan. Add fresh chopped thyme, salt, black pepper and nutmeg. Toss the mushroom a bit so all sides cook evenly. When done, place on a sheet pan lined with paper towels. When they cool, they will release the oil they took in while cooking. Let this pool on the pan with the brown mushroom juices and save for a later use. This is really great tasting oil now and will be great for the vinaigrette or for use in a couscous. When the mushrooms cool, set until ready to use. Roast Tomatoes Preheat an oven to 250 degrees. Place roasting rack on top of a sheet pan. Take your tomatoes, remove the stem end and slice in half. Set the tomato halves, skin side down, on the rack. Brush with garlic oil, or plain olive oil and season with salt, black pepper and fresh thyme. Place the tomatoes in the oven and roast slowly for four hours. When done remove from the oven and set aside for use. Curried Potato Take two pounds of red potatoes and give them a good wash. Place in a pot and cover with salted water. Boil the potatoes until they are soft. To test this, pierce the potato with a fork and if it is soft inside, it is done. Drain the potatoes and let cool down for at least two hours. When the potatoes are cool, leave the skin on and cut them into small pieces. Heat a sauté pan and place in three or four ounces of butter and while it is melting add in two tablespoons of madras curry powder and two teaspoons of garam masala. Let the spices cook in the butter and when they are toasted add in the potatoes. Let the potatoes cool in the spices and butter until golden and crispy. Add in two cups of fresh or frozen peas and let them slowly cook together and remove from heat. Let this cool on a baking sheet. Add in one cup of caramelized onions. Toss this mix together and add fresh chopped mint, coriander, salt, black pepper and nutmeg. Cover this dish fresh squeezed lemon juice and one cup of ginger syrup, add more if desired. To finish the dish, place each of the above items, in their own colorful section of a larger serving plate, in other words, do not toss together. Drizzle with Ginger Syrup and fresh ground black pepper.

Big Night Pasta Salad
1 pound of dried pasta ¼ cup chopped scallions ½ cup caramelized fennel ½ cup chopped tomatoes ½ cup lemon vinaigrette 2 Tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the dried pasta in a large pot filled of boiling water. Be sure to salt the water, this will help flavor the pasta while it cooks. Cook the pasta for 8 to 12 minutes, until it is done. For a pasta salad you will want it just past to ‘Al Dente’ stage, firm but not too crisp. Cool down the pasta in ice-cold water, drain and shake off any excess water. Lightly toss the pasta with olive oil and place in a container. Combine the rest of the ingredients on top of the cold pasta and serve.

Couscous With Tomato, Lemon And Fennel
2 cups instant couscous 2 ½ Cups vegetable stock ½ cup caramelized onions ½ cup caramelized fennel ½ cup chopped tomatoes ¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted 2 Tablespoons chopped dates ½ Tablespoon curry powder 1 Tablespoon Tagine Spices Juice from 1 lemon and zest 2 Tablespoons Garlic Oil 2 Tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh coriander Salt and freshly ground black pepper Place the vegetable stock in a pot and heat until boiling. Place all other couscous, onions, chopped tomatoes, dates and spices in a large bowl. Pour boiling stock over top, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes. Remove cover, add toasted almonds and herbs, and fluff with a fork until combined. Season the couscous with lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and black pepper and garlic oil.

Curried Potatoes and Peas with Ginger Syrup

Take two pounds of red potatoes and give them a good wash. Place in a pot and cover with salted water. Boil the potatoes until they are soft. To test this, pierce the potato with a fork and if it is soft inside, it is done. Drain the potatoes and let cool down for at least two hours. When the potatoes are cool, leave the skin on and cut them into small pieces. Heat a sauté pan and place in three or four ounces of butter and while it is melting add in two tablespoons of madras curry powder and two teaspoons of garam masala. Let the spices cook in the butter and when they are toasted add in the potatoes. Let the potatoes cool in the spices and butter until golden and crispy. Add in two cups of fresh or frozen peas and let them slowly cook together and remove from heat. Let this cool on a baking sheet. Add in one cup of caramelized onions. Toss this mix together and add fresh chopped mint, coriander, salt, black pepper and nutmeg. Cover this dish fresh squeezed lemon juice and one cup of ginger syrup, add more if desired. Ginger Syrup 1 cups of sugar 2 Ounces ginger ½ cup white wine Do not peel the ginger, but roughly cut into 1-inch pieces. Cut smaller if you prefer a hotter ginger flavor. Put into a saucepan and mix with the sugar and white wine and bring to a boil. Cook for a half an hour on low heat until it becomes a nice syrup. Strain out the ginger and let the syrup cool. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Tilapia with a Black Bean Salsa
Take two pounds of good Tilapia and clean the fish and then pat dry. Place on a tin foil lined baking sheet. Brush with garlic oil and season with Geoffrey’s Grill Spice, salt and pepper. Place into a preheated 500 degree oven for seven to ten minutes. The fish will be lightly flaky when done. Cool the fish down and brush again, lightly, with garlic oil. This fish will be served at room temperature on top of a black bean salad. You can of course serve the hot fish on top of the salad. To do so, place the salad on the each plate and serve one tilapia filet right from the oven on the bed of salad. Garnish with radish sprouts and Lemon Garlic vinaigrette. The black bean salad is a very simple dish, but it is loaded with color and flavors that work well with tilapia. 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed under water 1 medium red onion, diced 1 cup of roasted tomatoes, finely chopped ¼ cup of green chilies ½ cup of celery, peeled, diced and lightly sautéed ¼ cup of Lemon Garlic vinaigrette 1 Tablespoon Chili Garlic sauce Geoffrey’s Grill Spice, salt and pepper Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss together. Lay the salad in a large serving dish and break apart large pieces of tilapia on top of the salad. Garnish with radish sprouts and baby red and yellow sweet peppers.

Sugared Apple Cake
4 eggs 2 cup granulated sugar 1 cup cooking oil ¼ cup fresh orange juice ½ cup milk 3 Teaspoon vanilla 3 cup all-purpose flour 1 Teaspoon baking powder 1/4 Teaspoon salt 1 cup walnuts, chopped 2 cup Apples, peeled and thinly sliced 2 Teaspoons cinnamon 3 Teaspoon sugar Powdered sugar With an electric mixer, beat eggs until very light lemon colored and thick. Continue beating, gradually adding sugar. Continue beating and add in the oil, juice, milk and vanilla. Sift together flour, salt and baking powder and stir into egg mixture. Slowly fold in the walnuts. Peel the apples and cut into quarters. Remove the core and slice the apples thinly. In a large non-stick cake pan pour one third of the batter. Layer half of the sliced apples evenly on top of the batter. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a bowl and sprinkle on top of the apple. Cover the apples with another third of the batter. Layer half of the sliced apples evenly on top of the batter and sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar on top of the apples. Pour the remaining batter on top of the apples. Bake in a preheated oven 350 degrees F. for about an hour and fifteen minutes. Remove from the oven and dust with powdered sugar. Allow to cool and serve.

Classic Rice Pudding
3/4 cup white rice 1 quart Milk 2 cups Water 1/2 cup Sugar 1/2 bay leaf Put Rice, Milk, Water, Sugar and bay leaf and lemon zest into a heavy bottomed pot. Place on stove top under a medium flame, stir frequently. Let cook until the rice soaks up most of the milk. Turn off heat and remove the bay leaf. Get ready to add in the following ingredients: 1 whole egg 2 egg yolks 3 tablespoons of Heavy Cream 2 tablespoons of Sugar Mix the egg and egg yolks, cream and sugar into a bowl. Whip them well to be sure they are fluffy. Bring the bowl to the hot rice mixture on the stove. Take a ladleful of the hot rice and stir into the egg and cream mix. Do this is to temper the eggs and cream so they do not cook too quickly and turn into scrambled eggs :-) Once this is done add this back into the rice mix and stir on a low flame for five minutes. Take off the stove and put rice pudding into a container and cool :-)

Many Berry Rice Pudding
3/4 cup Jasmine rice 1 quart Milk 2 cups Water 1/2 cup Sugar 1/2 bay leaf Put Rice, Milk, Water, Sugar and bay leaf and lemon zest into a heavy bottomed pot. Place on stove top under a medium flame, stir frequently. Let cook until the rice soaks up most of the milk. Turn off heat and remove the bay leaf. Get ready to add in the following ingredients: 1 whole egg 2 egg yolks 3 tablespoons of Heavy Cream 2 tablespoons of Sugar Mix the egg and egg yolks, cream and sugar into a bowl. Whip them well to be sure they are fluffy. Bring the bowl to the hot rice mixture on the stove. Take a ladleful of the hot rice and stir into the egg and cream mix. Do this is to temper the eggs and cream so they do not cook too quickly and turn into scrambled eggs :-) Once this is done add this back into the rice mix and stir on a low flame for five minutes. Take off the stove and put rice pudding into a container and cool :-) 1 Cup Strawberries 1 Cup Blueberries 1 Cup Blackberries ½ Cup Sugar ½ Cup Whipped Cream Mix the berries and sugar in a bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours. The berries will get very juicy as they macerate in the sugar. Before serving, pour the berries and juice onto the rice pudding and spoon the whipped cream on top. Sprinkle with lemon zest.

Rice Pudding with Lemon and Cranberries
3/4 cup Basmati rice 1 quart Milk 2 cups Water 1/2 cup Sugar 1/2 bay leaf lemon zest from 1 lemon ½ cup of dried cranberries Put Rice, Milk, Water, Sugar and bay leaf and lemon zest into a heavy bottomed pot. Place on stove top under a medium flame, stir frequently. Let cook until the rice soaks up most of the milk. Turn off heat and remove the bay leaf. Get ready to add in the following ingredients: 1 whole egg 2 egg yolks 3 tablespoons of Heavy Cream 2 tablespoons of Sugar Mix the egg and egg yolks, cream and sugar into a bowl. Whip them well to be sure they are fluffy. Bring the bowl to the hot rice mixture on the stove. Take a ladleful of the hot rice and stir into the egg and cream mix. Do this is to temper the eggs and cream so they do not cook too quickly and turn into scrambled eggs :-) Once this is done add this back into the rice mix and stir on a low flame for five minutes. Add in ½ cup of dried cranberries Take off the stove and put rice pudding into a container and cool :-)

Traditional Raisin Cinnamon Rice Pudding
3/4 cup white rice 1 quart Milk 2 cups Water 1/2 cup Sugar 1/2 bay leaf 1 Tablespoon cinnamon 1 Teaspoon ground cardamom 2 Tablespoons sugar ½ cup of golden raisins Put Rice, Milk, Water, Sugar and bay leaf and lemon zest into a heavy bottomed pot. Place on stove top under a medium flame, stir frequently. Let cook until the rice soaks up most of the milk. Turn off heat and remove the bay leaf. Get ready to add in the following ingredients: 1 whole egg 2 egg yolks 3 tablespoons of Heavy Cream 2 tablespoons of Sugar Mix the egg and egg yolks, cream and sugar into a bowl. Whip them well to be sure they are fluffy. Bring the bowl to the hot rice mixture on the stove. Take a ladleful of the hot rice and stir into the egg and cream mix. Do this is to temper the eggs and cream so they do not cook too quickly and turn into scrambled eggs :-) Once this is done add this back into the rice mix and stir on a low flame for five minutes. Add in ½ cup of golden raisins, the cardamom, cinnamon and sugar and stir until well blended. Take off the stove and put rice pudding into a container and cool :-)

Rhubarb Crumble
½ Cup butter 1 Cup Sugar 3 Cups flour ½ Teaspoon salt ¼ cup flour ¼ Teaspoon salt 1½ Cups Sugar 4 Cups rhubarb In a saucepan melt butter. In a large mixing bowl combine the sugar, salt, and flour. Add the melted butter and lightly mix to form a crumbly dough. Set aside half of the dough. With the remaining dough line the bottom of 9-inch tart pan. Wash the rhubarb well and remove any leaves, and cut into one-inch pieces. In a large mixing bowl mix the flour, salt, sugar and mix well. Add the rhubarb and toss well, covering the rhubarb well. Place in tart pan with the crust and pack in well. Sprinkle remaining crust lightly on the top. Bake in a preheated oven 350 degrees F. for about an hour. Decorate with powdered sugar serve warm. Vanilla ice cream goes very well with this dessert.

Honey Roasted Plantains over Vanilla Ice Cream
Even thought they may look like bananas, plantains simply are not bananas. They are part of the dame family, but a plantain is a vegetable not a fruit. They are commonly known as the potato of the Caribbean, because they are not very sweet and they are rather starchy. Don't eat plantains raw, as they should be cooked first. In this recipe you need to boil them in their skins before slicing them. This may seem odd, but it will be just fine. Ingredients 7 very ripe plantains 1 ½ cup honey ½ Brown sugar 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash the plantains but do not peel them yet. Heat up a pot of water and add the plantains with their skin still on. Let the water come to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Drain and remove the plantains from the water and let them cool down. Peel the plantains just like you would a banana and slice them lengthwise into strips. You can get about five or six strips per plantains. They will be soft enough to roll now, so take a slice of plantain and roll it on up and lay them in a buttered baking dish. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together. Combine the lime juice with the honey and add to the melted butter. Then pour the honey lime butter over the rolled up plantains. Roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Halfway through roasting, open the over and spoon the honey liquid over the plantain rolls. They will be done when the rolls are a nice golden color. Serve in an ice cream dish with a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream and garnish with a fresh sprig of mint.

St. Lucia Saffron Buns (Lussekatt)
In Scandinavia they celebrate Saint Lucia on December 13. It is the start of the winter festivities. Saffron is a very expensive spice that comes from a very special kind of crocus, but don’t worry this recipe doesn’t call for a large amount. It is special because of the delicate flavor and deep golden color it gives to food. These buns are very yellow and quite tasty too. Ingredients: 1 Teaspoon saffron 1/2 cup lukewarm water 2/3 cup lukewarm milk 2 pkg. active dry yeast 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup soft butter 2 eggs 2 Teaspoon ground cardamom 2 Teaspoon ground ground nutmeg 1 Teaspoon salt 5 cup flour melted butter 1 tbsp. milk 2 tbsp. sugar In a saucepan, bring the water and saffron to a boil. Remove from heat and add the milk. Let cool down to a nice lukewarm temperature. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and milk in a large bowl. Stir in, the sugar, butter, eggs, cardamom, nutmeg and salt, and 3 cups of the flour. The other 2 cups will be used next. Beat this mix until everything is incorporated and smooth. Stir in remaining flour to form the dough. It is ready when it becomes easy to handle. Take the dough out of the bowl and place onto a lightly floured table. Knead the dough until smooth. Now the dough has to rest for a short while. Put in a lightly greased bowl so it won’t stick, cover the dough with a towel and let rise until doubled in size. When it has doubled in size, kneed the dough to squeeze out the air. The dough is now ready to shape. Divide into 24 parts. Shape each piece into an S-shape rope; curve both ends into a coil. Place the rolled buns on non-stick cookie sheet making sure to give them some space between each bun. Brush the buns with the melted butter and let rise once more until they have doubled in size. Mix the milk and sugar together and very gently brush the buns. Sprinkle with sugar and place in the oven. Bake in a preheated oven 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Keke Faasaina (Coconut puff cookies)
2 eggs ¾ cup of Sugar 3.5 oz melted unsalted butter 1 teaspoon vanilla I cup coconut milk 3¼ cups of flour 1 Tablespoon baking powder Beat eggs and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until it is light, fluffy and a light lemon color. Melt butter in a saucepan and add to the egg and sugar mix with the coconut milk and vanilla. Beat the mix together until all is smooth. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Then slowly incorporate the flour to the coconut mixture. Mix well and then turn the dough out on a floured surface. Roll out cookie dough with a rolling pin until a ½ inch thick. Then cut into 1-inch squares. Place cookies onto a non-stick cookie sheet, making sure to give them each some space between each cookie. Bake in a preheated oven 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until they brown on both sides.

Bojo
The cassava, also know as yucca is native to South America. 2 cups grated coconut 4 cassava tubers, peeled and grated ½ cup of raisins 7 oz sugar 3 eggs 4 oz butter 1 cup milk 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons vanilla 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Peel the cassava tubers and grate. Place in a large mixing bowl and mix with the grated coconut. Add the raisins, cinnamon and salt. Beat eggs and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until it is light, fluffy and a light lemon color. Melt butter in a saucepan and add to the egg and sugar mix with the milk and vanilla. Beat the mix together until all is smooth and then add to the cassava coconut mixture. Butter the inside of baking dish and pour in mixture. Bake in a preheated oven 350 degrees for about an hour.

Kumquat Almond Olive Oil Cake
1 cup pureed Kumquats 2/3 Cup olive oil 6 Ounces blanched almonds, lightly toasted 1 mango, peeled and finely diced 4 Large eggs 1 ½ Cups Sugar 1 Cup flour 1 Tablespoon baking powder

To make kumquat puree, cut in half and remove seeds. Place fruit in a food processor and pulse until it is the smooth puree. Add the olive oil and pulse a few times to blend well. Place mix in a large mixing bowl. In an oven lightly toast the almonds until they are a golden brown. Let them cool down and place in a food processor and grind coarsely into a light flour. Peel the mango and carefully remove the fruit from the large pit. Cut the mango into a small dice and set aside to mix into the batter. With an electric mixer, beat eggs until very light lemon colored and thick. Continue beating, gradually adding Sugar. Sift together flour and baking powder. Stir in egg mixture. Gently fold in kumquat puree, nuts, and mango. Pour batter into lightly oiled 9-inch spring-form pan, bake in a preheated 350 F. oven for 1 hour or until the tip of a knife gently inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool on rack completely, then remove the sides of spring form pan. Garnish with fresh kumquats and powdered sugar.

Pumpkin Fritters
Ingredients: 2 cups boiled mashed pumpkins (Use either fresh or canned pumpkin) ¼ cup sugar 1 egg 1 Teaspoon vanilla 1 Teaspoon cinnamon 1 Teaspoon nutmeg ½ Teaspoon salt 1 cup flour ½ cup water 1 Quart Peanut oil for frying Powdered sugar for dusting

Combine the pumpkin, sugar, egg, vanilla, spices, salt, flour and water in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Heat oil in deep pot until it reaches 325 degrees F. Drop spoon size of the batter into the hot oil. Fry until the fritters become golden brown. Remove from the oil and place on a paper towel to cool down. This will soak up the extra oil. Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm.

Takihi
This dish is kind of custard that is traditionally baked in an outside earthen oven called and umu. An umu uses rocks, heated with fire, as the heat source for the oven. Food items like, fish, pork or taro are wrapped in banana leaves or aluminum foil and stacked with the hot rocks. The food is then left to cook for a few hours until it is finished. This recipe calls for a normal inside oven. Ingredients: 4 taro roots peeled, and sliced thinly 2 Papayas, thinly sliced 14 Ounces Cream of Coconut Slice the taro lengthwise to get long thin strips. Peel the papaya and cut in half. Using a spoon remove the black seeds and throw away. In a buttered baking dish place alternating layers of taro root and papaya. Repeat this process until you have, four or five layers. Cover with coconut cream. Just as a note: coconut cream is not the same as coconut milk. Coconut cream is a mixture of coconut pulp and sugar and is readily obtainable canned. Bake in a preheated oven 350 degrees for about an hour.

New Zealand Pavlova
This light fluffy meringue is a wonderful dessert. 1 Tablespoon corn flour 6 egg whites 2 Teaspoons vanilla 1 Tablespoon vinegar 1 cup sugar 4 Ounces melted chocolate ¼ Cup New Zealand Macadamia nuts

In a large mixing bowl beat the egg whites and corn flour together. Add in the vinegar and vanilla and continue mixing. Slowly add the sugar into the egg vanilla mixture. Continuing beating the mix on a high speed until soft peaks form. Place a non-stick baking mat on a baking sheet. Spread mixture in a circle about 2-3 inches deep. Place the baking sheet in a preheated 300 degree F. oven. Turn the oven off and bake for 1½ hours. Leave in oven until it is completely cool. Melt the chocolate and decorate the Pavlova. Sprinkle the macadamia nuts on the melted chocolate and let sit for until the chocolate sets. Place a large dollop of whipped cream on the top of the Pavlova just before serving.

Pawpaw and Coconut Cream Dessert
Serves 4 This chilled dessert uses a pureed pawpaw, which you may know as a papaya. I’ll bet your didn’t realize you knew what a pawpaw was. I was taken aback for sure. When I first heard of a pawpaw, I envisioned something pricklier that a prickly pear. But no, it was our dear friend papaya. This recipe is also nice as it has a delightful recipe for homemade coconut milk. Ingredients: 1 ½ Cups coconut milk 2 Cup heavy whipping cream ¼ Cup sugar 2 pawpaws (Papayas) 1 lime, juiced and zest To make coconut milk: 1 cup shredded coconut 1 ½ Cup boiling water Heat up the water in a small saucepan until boiling. Place the shredded coconut in a large mixing bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Let the coconut soak in the water until it becomes cold, or about an hour. The water will become milky; this is what you will use for the recipe. Strain the coconut from the milk making sure to squeeze the coconut thoroughly. In a large mixing bowl place the coconut milk, heavy whipping cream and sugar. Whip the mix until soft peaks develop. Place in the refrigerator until ready to mix with the fruit. Peel the papaya and cut in half. Using a spoon remove the black seeds and throw away. Cut into squares and place in a food processor. Take the lime and grate the outer skin to remove the zest; then juice. Place the zest into the processor along with the lime juice. Pulse the fruit until it forms a nice smooth puree. Fold into the cream mixture and spoon into glasses. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

Burmese Banana Shwe Gye Cake
Shwe Gye is the Burmese word for semolina flour. Semolina is made from durum wheat and is a light yellow color. This dessert is flavored with sweet coconut, banana and poppy seeds. 28 oz Coconut milk 5 Ounces evaporated milk 1½ cups water 2 eggs, beaten 1½ cup Sugar 5 bananas, mashed 1 cup butter 2 cups semolina (shwe gye) 2 tablespoons poppy seeds 2 Tablespoons honey

In a large pot combine the coconut milk, water, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar and bananas. Stir over medium heat for five minutes until it begins to simmer. You can use 2 cans of Coconut milk for this recipe, or refer to the recipe in the back of the book. Add the semolina to the milk mixture and continue stirring until the mixture thickens. Add the butter and continue to stir. Remove from heat and pour the mix into a nonstick baking pan. Bake in a preheated oven 350 degrees F. for about an hour. Mix the honey with the poppy seeds. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the poppy seed mix on top the cake. Let cool down and serve the next day.

Peking Dust
Peking dust is a delicious Chinese sweet. It is made from ground chestnuts and sugar and served with whipped cream. It is called dust as chestnuts are rather crumbly and have an excellent texture in the mouth.

2 pounds fresh chestnuts ¼ Cup sugar ½ Teaspoon salt 1 Teaspoon nutmeg ¼ Cup Sugar 1 ¼ cups heavy whipping cream 3 Tablespoons caster sugar 1 Teaspoon vanilla Using a paring knife carefully cut an X on the flat side of each chestnut. Place in a large pot, cover with water. Add a ¼ Cup sugar to the water and bring to a boil. When it boils reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Drain the chestnuts and cool on a cookie sheet. Once they are cool, remove the shells, making sure to remove all of the brown inner skin. Using a food processor, grind the chestnuts into a fine powdery consistency. Add the salt, nutmeg and a ¼ Cup of sugar and stir until it is well mixed in. Mix together the cream, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Whip the cream to the desired thickness you like. Serve the Peking Dust as one dessert large in a trifle bowl, or as single servings in a dessert bowl. Top with whipped cream and nutmeg sugar.

Almond Cakes (Kwarezimal)
These almond cakes are crisp and sweet. They have a nice citrus flavor that comes from orange flower water and the zest of lemon, orange, and tangerine. 2 cups blanched almonds 2 cups flour, sifted 1 cup Sugar 1 Teaspoon cinnamon Orange Flower Water Grated zest of 1 lemon 1 orange 1 tangerine Honey to brush And sliced almonds to garnish

In an oven lightly toast the almonds until they are a golden brown. Let them cool down and place in a food processor and grind coarsely into a light flour. In large mixing bowl mix the almond flour with the flour, sugar, cinnamon. Take the citrus fruit and grate the outer skin to remove the zest, and then add to the flour. Make a well in the middle, pushing the flour up on the sides of the bowl. Pour enough orange flower water in the well to form dough. Knead lightly until well mixed and shape into ovals, approximately 6 inches long, 2 inches wide and 1 inch thick. Place the cakes on non-stick cookie sheet making sure to give them some space between each cake. Bake in a preheated oven 375 degrees F. for about 20 minutes. When they come out of the oven brush with honey and sprinkle with the sliced almonds.

Plum Tart - Quetscheflued
2 Cups of flour 4 Ounces yeast ¼ Cup sugar, 1/4 pint lukewarm milk a pinch of salt 50 gr. Melted butter 1 egg, beaten 14 Damson Plums, cut in half with stone removed 2 Tablespoons sugar Powdered sugar for garnishing

Put flour into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle, pushing the flour up on the sides of the bowl. Mix the yeast, sugar, and lukewarm milk together and let the yeast bloom. Add the salt, melted butter and beaten egg. Mix this all together and Pour into the flour and knead into a smooth dough. Cover the dough with a damp towel. Let the dough sit to rise for 40 minutes. Cut the Damsons plums in half, and carefully remove the pit. Punch down the dough and spread into a non-stick baking dish, making sure to form the edges. Place the plums on the dough in a circular pattern and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in a preheated oven 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

Kuih Pau (Dousha Bao)
These tiny buns are filled with azuki bean and Screwpine leaves. Azuki bean are commonly used in desserts and taste similar to chestnuts. They are the second most popular beans in Asia after the soybean. Screwpine leaves are also known as pandan leaves, and are popular in Southeast Asian cuisine. These leaves are best used fresh, and have a nutty, floral scent that is similar to the smell of Jasmine rice. The leaves are often pounded or strained then blended with a little water to add flavor to sweets. Malaysians love this flavor in their desserts as vanilla is loved in other countries. This leaf might not be in your local shop, but can be found in specialty shops and online. 1 pound azuki beans, soak in water overnight 3 screwpine leaves 2 ½ Quarts water 1 cup of cooking oil 2 ¾ Cups sugar 1 Teaspoon vanilla 2 ½ Cups flour 1 ½ Teaspoon baking powder ¼ Teaspoon baking soda 1 Teaspoon salt 1 Ounce of fresh cake yeast 1 Teaspoon vegetable oil ½ cup sugar 1 ¼ cups warm water In a saucepan place the red beans and screwpine leaves with water. Heat until boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes or until the beans are soft. In a food processor pulse the beans into a smooth paste. Transfer to a saucepan, add sugar and add vanilla. Cook on a medium heat, stirring constantly. The paste is ready done when it dries a bit. Cool the paste in a refrigerator for an hour. To make the dough, in a large mixing bowl mix the sugar in warm water. Add the fresh yeast cake making sure to dissolve it completely. Let it stand for 10 minutes for the yeast to bloom. In another mixing bowl sift the dry ingredients together. Add the yeast mixture and corn oil and knead for 10 minutes, making a soft dough. Dust with flour if the dough is still sticky. Cover dough with a damp towel and let sit for an hour and a half. When the dough is twice its size, punch down the dough again and let sit for another half hour. When it is ready, place on a floured surface and knead till smooth. Cut in half and roll out dough one at a time, so it is easier to work with. Cut dough into a 2 inch squares and roll out with a rolling pin. Fill each square with a spoonful of beans in the center and gather up the four corners and carefully crimp the top. Place in a steamer 12 minutes. Serve warm.

Salady Voankazo (Fruit Compote with Lychee Nuts)
Lychee nuts are delightful little fruits found in Asia. They have an elegant flavor that is sweet, aromatic and floral. This dish has calls for a fresh vanilla bean, which provides an unusual flavor when matches with fresh fruits. It is always best to cook your vanilla before using it with fruit, this makes the flavor a bit more subtle. When cooking vanilla, be sure to cut a lengthwise slit down the bean to open up the insides. This is where the flavor is contained within vanilla. When done cooking, you do not have to throw away the bean. Take out the vanilla bean and set aside; you can put it in your sugar container to make a nice vanilla sugar.

2 Cup Fresh Pineapple, Cut In Large Dice 1 Cup Cantaloupe, Cut In Large Dice 1 Cup Honeydew melon, Cut In Large Dice 1 Cup Strawberries, Sliced. 1 cup Blueberries 1 Cup Canned Lychee Nuts 2 Tablespoon sugar 1 Teaspoon nutmeg 1 ½ Cup Sugar 1 Cup Water ¼ Teaspoon Salt Juice of one lemon one vanilla bean Prepare the fruit and place into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with the 2 Tablespoons of sugar and nutmeg. Stir the fruit and let sit while you make the syrup. To make the syrup, combine the sugar, water, salt, lemon and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and let simmer for fifteen minutes. Take out the vanilla bean and set aside; you can place this bean in your sugar container to make a nice vanilla sugar. Pour the hot syrup directly over the fruit. Toss well to cover all the fruit and place in a refrigerator to chill for at least an hour. Serve in a large trifle bowl with the syrup. Decorate with whipped cream if desired.

Lithuanian Rhubarb Crumble
½ Cup butter 1 Cup Sugar 3 Cups flour ½ Teaspoon salt ¼ cup flour ¼ Teaspoon salt 1½ Cups Sugar 4 Cups rhubarb

In a saucepan melt butter. In a large mixing bowl combine the sugar, salt, and flour. Add the melted butter and lightly mix to form a crumbly dough. Set aside half of the dough. With the remaining dough line the bottom of 9-inch tart pan. Wash the rhubarb well and remove any leaves, and cut into one-inch pieces. In a large mixing bowl mix the flour, salt, sugar and mix well. Add the rhubarb and toss well, covering the rhubarb well. Place in tart pan with the crust and pack in well. Sprinkle remaining crust lightly on the top. Bake in a preheated oven 350 degrees F. for about an hour. Decorate with powdered sugar serve warm. Vanilla ice cream goes very well with this dessert.

Sfouf
2 cups semolina flour 1 cup flour 1 teaspoon turmeric 1 teaspoon nutmeg 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 cup butter, melted 1 1/3 cups sugar, 1 ½ cups milk ½ cup water ½ cup slivered almonds

In a large mixing bowl, combine semolina, flour, turmeric and baking powder. Stir to combine well. Make a well in the middle, pushing the flour up on the sides of the bowl. In another mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, sugar, milk and water. Add to dry ingredients and stir to make a paste. Pour batter into nonstick baking dish and sprinkle with almonds. Bake in a preheated oven 350 degrees F. for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Set on a rack to cool serve with a cup of coffee or tea.

Jordanian Chocolate Beet Cake
1 cup Harvard beets, roasted and chopped 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil 3 eggs 2 cup Sugar 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil 2 1/2 cup flour 2 Teaspoons baking soda 2 Teaspoon cinnamon 1 Teaspoon nutmeg 1 Teaspoon salt 1 Tablespoon vanilla 1/2 cup cottage cheese 1 cup crushed pineapple 1 cup walnuts, chopped 1/2 cup shredded coconut Roll the two large Harvard beets in the oil and sprinkle with sugar and nutmeg. Place on a baking tray and roast in a 375 degree oven for an hour. Remove from oven and let cool. Peel off the skins and cut into large pieces. Place the beets in a food processor and pulse to a mashed consistency. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs until very light lemon colored and thick. Continue beating, gradually adding sugar. Add the oil to the egg mix. Sift together flour and baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir into the egg mixture. Add vanilla, mashed beets, cottage cheese, pineapple, walnuts and coconut and mix well. Bake in a nonstick baking dish Bake in a preheated oven 350 degrees F. for about an hour. When cool, decorate the cake with chocolate frosting.

Poke
Pronounced as Po-kay, this is an island favorite. It is basically baked banana custard that is traditionally baked in an outside earthen oven called and umu. In this recipe you will cook it in a normal oven. This is not a dessert really, but you can eat it that way if you like. Normally poke is served with roasted meats. 10 bananas 2 Cups water 2 Tablespoon granulated sugar 1 Cup milk 2 cups arrowroot 1 cup cream of coconut

Peel the bananas and place them in large mixing bowl and mash. Place them into a large pot along with the water. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 minutes, or until the bananas take on a purple or deep pink color, if needed add more water. Remove from the heat and let cool. Mash the bananas into the water until smooth. Dissolve the arrowroot and sugar in the milk and add to the banana mixture. Mix well then pour into a butter nonstick baking dish. Bake in a preheated oven 350 degrees F. for 35 minutes or until set and golden brown. Remove from oven cool and remove from baking dish. To serve poke, cut into squares and place in a bowl. Pour the cream of coconut milk over the poke and serve.

Canjica
Canjica is a classic Sao Tomean dessert, which is a pudding, made from the starch from green maize. This syrup is thickened with eggs and flavored with a cinnamon stick. Green maize might not be in your local shop, but can be found in specialty shops and online.

2 pounds green maize 1 quart water 2 Cups sugar 1 stick cinnamon 6 eggs, beaten

Crush the maize with a mortar and pestle and add to pot of boiling water. Boil the maize for a few minutes. The liquid from this stew is what we will use for the recipe. Drain the liquid into a large mixing bowl and discard the maize. Add the sugar to the liquid and return to the pot. Add the cinnamon stick and bring to a boil. Cook the liquid until it thickens, forming pear-like drops when dripping from a spoon. Let the syrup cool down a bit. And on a very low flame add the beaten eggs to the syrup. Be sure to beat vigorously or it will scramble. Cook until it thickens. Serve warm in a dessert glass with whipped cream.

Honduran Buñuelos
6 cups flour 1 Teaspoon Sugar 1 Teaspoon baking powder 1 egg 2 Tablespoons melted shortening 1 cup water 1 Tablespoon cinnamon 2 Tablespoons sugar Peanut oil for frying

In a large mixing bowl sift the flour, baking powder and sugar together. Make a well in the middle, pushing the flour up on the sides of the bowl. In a small bowl mix the egg and shortening together. Pour this into the flour and mix together. Slowly add the water until it forms a stiff dough. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes. Cut the dough into 2 inch pieces, and roll into small balls, then flatten into small cookie shapes. Let them sit for 10 minutes. Heat the peanut oil to 350 degrees F. in a heavy pot. Carefully place the buñuelos into the hot oil. Fry until the buñuelos become golden brown. Remove from the oil and place on a paper towel to cool down. This will soak up the extra oil. Dust with cinnamon sugar and serve warm and crisp.

Israeli Apple Cake
4 eggs 2 cup granulated sugar 1 cup cooking oil ¼ cup fresh orange juice ½ cup milk 3 Teaspoon vanilla 3 cup all-purpose flour 1 Teaspoon baking powder 1/4 Teaspoon salt 1 cup walnuts, chopped 2 cup Apples, peeled and thinly sliced 2 Teaspoons cinnamon 3 Teaspoon sugar Powdered sugar With an electric mixer, beat eggs until very light lemon colored and thick. Continue beating, gradually adding sugar. Continue beating and add in the oil, juice, milk and vanilla. Sift together flour, salt and baking powder and stir into egg mixture. Slowly fold in the walnuts. Peel the apples and cut into quarters. Remove the core and slice the apples thinly. In a large non-stick cake pan pour one third of the batter. Layer half of the sliced apples evenly on top of the batter. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a bowl and sprinkle on top of the apple. Cover the apples with another third of the batter. Layer half of the sliced apples evenly on top of the batter and sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar on top of the apples. Pour the remaining batter on top of the apples. Bake in a preheated oven 350 degrees F. for about an hour and fifteen minutes. Remove from the oven and dust with powdered sugar. Allow to cool and serve.

Baked Apples Stuffed with Oranges Congo
4 oranges 1 cup chopped dates 1/2 cup chopped peanuts 1/3 cup apricot brandy 8 Apples

Peel the oranges, section and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Place the oranges in a large mixing bowl, add the dates, peanuts and brandy. Cover and refrigerate for an hour. Using a paring knife carefully core each apple, making a ½ inch hole all the way through the apple. Stuff the apples with oranges Congo. Place apples on a buttered nonstick baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake in a preheated oven 350 degrees F. for about an hour.

Ananas Con Vinho Do Porto (Fresh Pineapple in Port Wine)
The people of Mozambique love pineapple and cashew nuts. Cashew nuts are one of the leading crops of Mozambique. In this dish, the cashews provide a nice nutty crunch to the red sweet pineapple. 1 large pineapple, ripe ¼ cup sugar ½ cup red port wine 1 cup minced cashew nuts

Remove the leafy top of the pineapple and peel. Quarter the pineapple and remove the inner core from the four pieces. Cut in 1-inch slices put in a large mixing bowl and dust with sugar. Cover the pineapple with port wine and refrigerate for six hours. Check on the pineapple and give a stir every now and again. Serve in dessert bowls and garnish each dish with the cashew nuts. You can also put a dollop of whipped cream on top if desired.

Baked Bananas Gabon
There are many different ways to make this dish. The bananas can be dipped into shredded coconut or chopped peanuts instead of breadcrumbs. Or for a savory banana mix curry powder and cayenne pepper with the breadcrumbs and continue with the recipe as normal.

8 Bananas 1 Egg, Beaten 2 Tablespoons Orange Juice ½ Cup Bread Crumbs ½ Cup Vegetable Oil ¼ Cup Sour Cream 2 Tablespoon Brown Sugar

Peel the bananas in three uniformly diagonal pieces and set aside. Beat the egg with the orange juice in a large mixing bowl. Dip the bananas in the mixture and then into the breadcrumbs. Be sure to cover the bananas with the crumbs. In a sauté pan heat up the oil and carefully add the bananas. Remove from the pan when they begin to brown. Place the bananas on a non-stick cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes. Mix the sour cream with the brown sugar and place a dollop on each plate. Place three pieces of banana on top of the cream and serve.

Georgian Butter Cake
This simple light cake is very similar to pound cake. ½ c flour 5 eggs. 1 c sugar 8 Ounces plus 1 Tablespoon of butter Zest of 1 lemon

Let the butter come to room temperature and place in a large mixing bowl. Cream together the butter and sugar with a mixer. Slowly add the eggs one at a time, making sure to incorporate it into the mix before adding another. Gradually add flour. Take the lemon and grate the outer skin to remove the zest; add to the batter. Put the batter in a non-stick baking dish and bake in a preheated oven 350 degrees F. for about 30 minutes.

Coffee Can Cakes
No, this recipe does not make metal cakes, but it does, in fact call for two coffee cans. You will use these coffee cans to bake the cake batter in. I know it sounds odd, but a little trust will yield a fun and tasty treat. 1 cup coffee 1/2 cup Raisins 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 1/4 cups Sugar 1/4 cup butter, softened 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 egg 1 teaspoon cinnamon 2 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Coat the inside of 2 clean coffee cans with nonstick cooking spray. In a small saucepan, combine coffee, raisins, and baking soda. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool. Let the butter come to room temperature and place in a large mixing bowl. Cream together the butter and sugar with a mixer. Slowly add the eggs one at a time, making sure to incorporate it into the mix before adding another. Add the vanilla and cinnamon and continue to mix. Gradually add in the flour, coffee raisin mix, and the walnuts into the batter. Pour half of the batter into the prepared coffee cans. Place the cans on a cooking tray and bake in a preheated oven 350 degrees F. for about an hour. Remove from the oven and cool. Slice and serve with a dollop of whipped cream and cinnamon sugar.

Melon Fingers with Lime
Melon Fingers make a wonderfully refreshing dessert for hot evenings. You can use any kind of melon you fancy for this dish. I choose honeydew, as it looked freshest in the market. 1 large honeydew melon, chilled 1 lime 2 Tablespoons sugar

Cut the ends off the honeydew melon and carefully remove the skin. Then cut the whole melon in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Slice the melon half in long sections and arrange on a nice large serving platter. Take the lime and grate the outer skin to remove the zest; and juice the lime. Gather up as much pulp of the lime as you can and in a small bowl. Mix with the sugar and spoon over the melon. Chill for an hour and serve.

Ngalax
This delightful dessert is basically couscous mixed with peanut butter and baobab fruit juice. The baobab fruit comes from the baobab tree that are some of the largest, strangest trees to live on the planet. They are very large trees that are found in Australia, Africa or Madagascar. Most live over 500 years and some trees in Africa are believed to be 5000 years old. Their trunks are very large and have wild twisted branches that bear furry fruit. Baobab fruit juice, called bouye; it might not be in your local shop, but can be found in specialty shops and online. If baobab fruit or the juice is not available you can use any juice you like. I recommend canned tamarind juice, but pineapple is a fine second choice.

3 cups cooked karaw (millet couscous) 1 Tablespoons butter 4 cups bouye (baobab fruit juice) 1 cup smooth Peanut butter 2 cups Sugar 1 Teaspoon vanilla 1 Tablespoon orange-flower water 1 Teaspoon nutmeg 1 Teaspoon cinnamon 1 cup of Raisins Steam or cook couscous. Stir in butter and cool in the refrigerator. In a large mixing bowl combine the fruit juice and peanut butter and heat over a low flame. Add in the sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and orange water. Mix until peanut butter melts and remove from heat. Refrigerate until ready to serve. When ready to serve, in a large serving bowl mix together the couscous, sauce, and raisins. Sprinkle with sugar and garnish with sprigs of mint.

Baseema
This yogurt based coconut cake is sure to quickly become a favorite dessert. It is soaked in lemon syrup and it is sweet with a splendid moist texture. 5 eggs 1 cup sugar ¾ cup butter, melted 16 Ounces yogurt 2 Teaspoons baking powder 2 cups flour 1 Teaspoon vanilla 1 cup of shredded coconut 2 cups of sugar Juice and zest of 1 lemon 1 cup water

With an electric mixer, beat eggs until very light lemon colored and thick. Continue beating, gradually adding Sugar, butter, vanilla and yogurt. In another mixing bowl, mix together the flour, coconut and baking powder. Gradually add into the egg mixture and mix until smooth. Spread mixture onto buttered non-stick cake pan. Bake in a preheated oven 350 degrees F. for 40 minutes. Take the lemon and grate the outer skin to remove the zest; then cut in half and squeeze out the juice into a saucepan. Mix with the sugar and water and bring to a boil. Cook for a half an hour on low heat until it becomes a nice syrup. Pour the hot syrup evenly over cake and let soak in well before serving.

Karask
This is wonderful carrot cake that is served warm with a cranberry cream. ¾ Cup Carrots, grated 1 Tablespoon butter 1 egg ¼ Cup Sugar 16 Ounces sour cream 4 Ounces butter, melted 1 Cup whole-wheat flour 1 Cup barley flour ½ teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 1 Cup plain yogurt ¼ Cup Sugar ½ Cup Cranberries 1 Cup heavy whipping cream

Peel the carrots and the carefully grate the carrots; pat dry with a paper towel. Melt the tablespoon of butter in a pan and cook the carrots. In a large mixing bowl sift together the flours, salt and baking soda. In a separate mixing bowl beat eggs with an electric mixer, until very light lemon colored and thick. Continue beating, gradually adding Sugar. Stir in the sour cream and melted butter. Slowly add the flour to the egg mixture. When the flour is a smooth batter, fold in the carrots. Pour the whole mixture in a buttered non-stick baking dish and bake in a preheated oven 350 degrees F. for 40 minutes. Place the cranberries and sugar in a food processor. Pulse until it they are crushed. Add in the yogurt and beat for a few minutes more. Pour in the heavy whipping cream and pulse until the cream becomes light and fluffy. Slice the warm karask and serve on dessert plates with a spoonful, or two of the cranberry cream on top.

Pudim De Queijo
l lb. soft goat cheese 1 cups Sugar 2 cups water Juice and zest of 1 lemon 12 egg yolks 4 egg whites

With your fingers crumble the goat cheese and set aside. Take the lemon and grate the outer skin to remove the zest; then cut in half and squeeze out the juice into a saucepan. Mix with the sugar and water and bring to a boil. Cook for a half an hour on low heat until it becomes a nice syrup. Remove from heat and stir in the goat cheese and mix well. Separate the eggs and place the yolk and whites in different mixing bowls. With a mixer and beat the egg yolks until light and fluffy. They will be a light lemon yellow when they are done. Whisk the egg whites in a copper bowl until to a stiff peak develop. Fold together the cheese, egg yolk and egg whites together. In a large soufflé ramekin, coat the insides with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Pour in the mixture into the ramekin and set in a larger tray filled with water. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F. oven for about an hour. Remove and cool. Decorate with powdered sugar.

Honeycomb Cream and Strawberries
1 quart of milk ¼ cup sugar ½ ounce of gelatin 3 eggs, separated 1 Teaspoon vanilla 2 pints strawberries, hulled

Put the gelatin in a small bowl and bloom in a ¼ cup of hot water. Separate the eggs and place the yolk and whites in different mixing bowls. With a mixer and beat the egg yolks until light and fluffy. They will be a light lemon yellow when they are done. Whisk the egg whites in a copper bowl until to a stiff peak develop. In a saucepan pour in the milk and the sugar, do not stir. Slowly bring the milk to a boil. Add the gelatin mix and bring back to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool. Add in a slow stream to the egg yolks while beating vigorously. Fold this into the egg whites very gently. Pour into a clean custard mold and chill. It will be firm in an hour. When you are ready to serve turn out onto a serving platter. Decorate with sliced strawberries and whipped cream.

Scottish Black Buns
This is an age-old Scottish recipe, which is the traditional sweet served at the end of the year fest, Hogmanay. You may have heard of it before only with a different name, such as the Winter Solstice, or Yule. With most of the desserts in this book, they are made to be eaten right then and there. But this one can be made weeks in advance so the flavors can meld together. And if kept on an airtight tin it can last for six months. 1 pound raisins 1 pound currents 1 cup sugar 2 ounces sliced almonds 2 ounces citron 1 Cup strong black coffee 1 egg lightly beaten 2 cups flour 1 teaspoon ground ginger 2 teaspoon cinnamon 1 Teaspoon ground cardamom 2 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon caraway seeds 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Take the warm coffee and pour over the raisins, currents, almonds, lemon citron, egg and let sit. In a separate large mixing bowl combine the flour, spices and baking soda and blend together. Make a well in the middle, pushing the flour up on the sides of the bowl and blend in the fruit. 3 cups flour ¾ Cup butter, room temperature Pinch of salt ½ teaspoon baking powder Cold water

Cut the dough in half and roll out each half the dough separately. Line the bottom of a non-stick cake pan. Brush the top part of the dough with water. Take the other half of the rolled out dough and place on top and crimp together. Bake in a preheated oven 350 degrees F. for about 3 hours.

Sabayon
6 egg yolks ¾ Cup sugar ½ c marsala wine 1 Teaspoon cinnamon 1 Teaspoon nutmeg ½ Cup cake crumbs ½ Cup pistachios ½ Cup dried cherries ½ Cup sultana (yellow raisins) 2 Tablespoon marsala wine. Separate the eggs and place the yolk and whites in different mixing bowls. Save the egg whites for another use. With a mixer and beat the egg yolks until light and fluffy. They will be a light lemon yellow when they are ready to add the sugar. Add the sugar and place the bowl over a pot of boiling water and continue to stir. Add the marsala wine and keep stirring. Continue to cook the egg wine mix over the hot water until the eggs begin to thicken. When the mixture is done it will be thick and creamy. Mix the cake crumbs, pistachios, dried cherries and sultanas in a small mixing bowl. Add the marsala wine and mix together. To serve, spoon the fruit mix into dessert glasses. Ladle the sabayon into the glasses and serve immediately.

Bachelor's Buttons
These light brown cookies are small and sweet with a light flavor of almonds. 2 cups all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking soda 3/4 cup Butter 1 cup brown sugar 1 egg 1 teaspoon almond extract

In a large mixing bowl sift together the flour, salt and baking soda. In a separate bowl, add the butter and brown sugar and using a mixer cream together until smooth. Beat in the egg and almond extract. Stir in the flour mix until blended. Let the dough sit for 10 minutes. Roll into small balls about the size of a marble; toss in sugar. Place the rolled cookies on non-stick cookie sheet making sure to give them some space between each cookie. Bake in a preheated oven 350 degrees F. for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Gaufres From Brussels (Authentic Belgian Waffle Recipe)
1 Cup flour 1 Tablespoon sugar 1 Cup milk 1 pinch of salt 1 Teaspoon vanilla 2 Ounce butter, melted 4 egg whites 5 egg yolks

Put flour into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle, pushing the flour up on the sides of the bowl. Add the sugar, milk, salt and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Separate the eggs and place the yolk and whites in different mixing bowls. With a mixer and beat the egg yolks until light and fluffy. They will be a light lemon yellow when they are done. Whisk the egg whites in a copper bowl until to a stiff peak develop. Fold together the batter, egg yolks and egg whites together. Pour the batter onto you heated non-stick waffle iron. Leave the top open until a few bubbles form on the top of the batter. Close the waffle iron and finish cooking the waffle. When the gaufre is golden brown, remove from the iron with a form and dust with powdered sugar. You can also serve with whipped cream and strawberries.

Firnee
In Afghanistan this cardamom pistachio custard is always a nice treat. It is very easy to prepare and is a real comfort no matter what time of day it is.

½ Cup cornstarch 4 cups milk 1 ½ cups sugar 1 Teaspoon ground cardamom finely ground pistachio and raisins to garnish

Mix the cornstarch into a small amount of milk, and mix until smooth. Set aside. In a saucepan heat the milk and sugar until it is hot. Add in the diluted cornstarch and stir continuously until thick. Cook for five minutes making sure that there are no lumps. Pour out of pan through a strainer into a bowl to remove and lumps. Serve warm in dessert glasses. Garnish top with raisins and pistachios and a dollop of whipped cream.

Rujak Brunei
This is a wonderful fruit salad. It is sweet and spicy, hot from chili peppers and cool from cucumbers. It also features carambola, also known as star fruit, because when cut makes a five-pointed star, thus the name. It is a beautiful looking, tasty salad.

2 Cucumber, Sliced Thin 2 Apples, Sliced Thin 1 Cup Jicama, Sliced Thin 1 Carambola, Sliced Thin 2 Bartlet Pear, Sliced Thin 2 Cups Pineapple, Diced 1 Cup Papaya, Diced

¼ Cup dry roasted peanuts 1 hot red chili, seeded ½ cup brown sugar 2 tablespoon tamarind paste, 1 ½ cup water 1 cup ginger syrup 1 small banana In a large mixing bowl mix the cucumber, apple, jicama, carambola, pears, pineapple and papaya. In a food processor add the peanuts, chilies, brown sugar, tamarind paste, water, ginger syrup and banana and pulse several times to blend. Pour over the fruit and chill for an hour and serve.

Ginger Syrup
1 cups of sugar 2 Ounces ginger ½ cup water Do not peel the ginger, but roughly cut into 1-inch pieces. Cut smaller if you prefer a hotter ginger flavor. Put into a saucepan and mix with the sugar and water and bring to a boil. Cook for a half an hour on low heat until it becomes a nice syrup. Strain out the ginger and let the syrup.

West Indian Pudding
The wonderful flavor of ginger highlights this Caribbean dessert. Ginger is a rhizome and grows underground. Some of the world's best ginger comes from the island of Jamaica, but it is grown through the West Indies.

2 cups heavy whipping cream 1 ½ cup sugar 12 Ounces Lady fingers (1 whole package) 8 eggs 3 Ounce crystallized ginger

Finely chop the crystallized ginger and place in a small saucepan. Add the sugar and cream. Bring to a boil. In a large mixing bowl crumble down the lady fingers; pour the cream over the cookies. Pour in the pudding in a buttered non-stick baking dish, cover and bake in a preheated oven 350 degrees F. for about an hour. Remove from oven and cool. Make the ginger syrup while the pudding is baking. Ginger Syrup 2 cups of sugar 4 Ounces ginger 1 cup water Do not peel the ginger, but roughly cut into 1-inch pieces. Cut smaller if you prefer a hotter ginger flavor. Put into a saucepan and mix with the sugar and water and bring to a boil. Cook for a half an hour on low heat until it becomes a nice syrup. Strain out the ginger and pour the hot syrup evenly over pudding and let soak in well before serving.

Chinese Almond Cookies
These wonderful almond cookies are light and crisp. 2 cups sweet rice flour ½ cup chopped almonds 2 cups powdered sugar 3 eggs ¼ cup almond oil 1 Teaspoon Almond extract

Beat eggs and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until it is light, fluffy and a light lemon color. Add in the almond oil mix well. Slowly add in the flour while stirring, when a dough forms add in the almonds. If the dough is still stiff do not add water, add more beaten eggs. Turn the dough out onto a surface floured with rice flour. Roll out to a half-inch thickness and cut into circles. Place half an almond in the center of each cookie and bake in a preheated oven 300 degrees F. for about 25 minutes.

The Best Rice Pudding Recipe In The Whole World
Well OK, it is good, and very well may be the very best recipe in the whole world. But it may not be, I am not sure. I did eat a great deal of rice pudding on my journey. And if I am right, each place had some kind of rice pudding. It might be because rice is widely used all around the globe. Or it might be just because it is really, really good.

2 cups Coconut milk 1/2 cup heavy cream 1/3 cup long grain white rice 1 vanilla bean 1 Teaspoon salt ¼ cup sugar 2 eggs 1 teaspoon of cinnamon ½ Teaspoon cardamom ½ cup sultanas ½ cup pistachios

Place the rice in a large mixing bowl and wash the rice under cold rice. This will wash off some of the starch of the rice allowing the pudding to be a creamer texture. Put the rice, sugar, coconut milk, cream and salt in a heavy-bottomed pot. Cut a lengthwise slit down the vanilla bean to open up the insides and add to the pot and bring to boil. Reduce the flame let the rice cook for 20 minutes, making sure to stir frequently to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Beat eggs in a large mixing bowl until it is light, fluffy and a light lemon color. Add a cup of the rice mix to the eggs to temper them. Then add the eggs to the creamy rice and whip vigorously so the eggs will not scramble. Cook on a low flame for five more minutes. Add the spices, pistachios, and sultanas. Serve in a dessert bowl with a dollop of whipped cream.

Geoffrey Gatza is the editor and Publisher of the small press BlazeVOX. The fundamental mission of BlazeVOX is to disseminate poetry, through print and digital media, both within academic spheres and to society at large. Gatza has received awards from the Fund for Poetry and a Boomerang Award. He is the author many books of poetry, including Secrets of my Prison House (2010). Kenmore: Poem Unlimited (2009) and Not So Fast Robespierre (Menendez Publishing 2008). His writings for children’s include HouseCat Kung Fu: Strange Poems for Wild Children (Meritage Press 2008), and Kindle books, A Rocket Full of Pie and The Diamond who wanted to be a Ruby. He is also the author of the yearly Thanksgiving Menu-Poem Series, a book length poetic tribute for prominent poets, now in it's tenth year. He is a CIA trained chef, a former Marine, a lifelong Sherlockian and an avid philatelist. He lives in Buffalo, NY with his girlfriend and two beloved cats. http://www.geoffreygatza.com/ http://www.blazevox.org

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