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FOOD + DRINK HOLIDAY entertaining RECIPES + menus

Back to Basics Thanksgiving Menu | Tastespotting Watch

I gathered classic recipes with a twist on the ingredients or the food presentation. Enjoy!

butternut squash-tangerine soup with pistachio gremolata :: duchess potatoes on ramakins :: tastespotting

+ A Butternut Squash-Tangerine Soup with pistachio gremolata appealed to my senses. The tangerine juice adds a brightness of flavor to the butternut soup. The pistachio gremolata garnish looks and must taste amazing. Thanks to Cathy of Noble Pig for preparing this appetizing butternut soup.

+ I cannot recall when I last ate Duchess potatoes. This classic dish can regain its lost glory when served in individual ramekins. I usually sprinkle the paprika. The light brushing technique is something to try. Via The Well Seasoned Cook.

cranberry blackberry sauce :: dulce de leche pumpkin -toffee pie :: tastespotting

+ Sweeten your cranberry sauce this holiday by adding blackberries and allspices. Check out the Cranberry Blackberry Sauce recipe by Baking Bites

+ If you are looking for ideas to elevate the pumpkin pie, try the Dulce de Leche Pumpkin-Toffee Pie by The Recipe Girl. Her recipe is basically a pumpkin pie with a layer of dulce de leche. If you like, mix her idea with your favorite pumpkin pie filling. She suggests adding whipped cream and a sprinkle of toffee bits when you plate the pie.

+ 4 images showcased on Tastespotting – rights reserved


My Picks on Tastespotting


+ Learn how to make your own no-knead European peasant bread. Pete of used a recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. You may recall that I reviewed the book. By the way, the blog for the book is called Artisan Bread in five.

+ For breakfast, try this Bread pudding baked in a muffin tin from James Starmer


+ For a quick lunch, opt for healthy salad like the Butterbeans with sweet chili & herbs salad from A Spoonful of Sugar. You can have a slice of the European bread with it.

+ For a simple dinner, my friend Quynh of QlinArt shares her recipe for a moist and fluffy steamed omelet with pork, mushrooms and fresh dill. It sounds delicious. This dish takes 30 minutes from prepping the ingredients to the table. Perfect on a weekday!

More Vietnamese Recipes

Quynh told me her pork steamed omelet is a traditional Vietnamese family dish. This is not something you will find at a restaurant.

Vietnamese Fish Sauce Dip (Nuoc Mam) by QlinArt - rights reserved

I encourage you to read QlinArt. She is a talented photographer and cook. QlinArt is about easy to make and tasty Vietnamese recipes. Last week, she published her delicious Vietnamese Fish Sauce Dip (Nuoc Mam). You can keep the sauce up to 3 weeks if stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

+ 4 first images showcased on Tastespotting – rights reserved
+ nuoc mam: image by QlinArt – rights reserved

EVERYDAY entertaining FOOD + DRINK RECIPES + menus

A Week-End Menu | Tastespotting Watch

tastespotting weekend menu

I am giving a second chance to my Tastespotting watch. Tonight’s menu is a casual weekend dinner. It would be perfect for a Sunday night dinner.


+ Hummus with chili oil
+ Sweet Gorgonzola and Pear Bruschetta

Main Course Ideas

+ Pan-fried Fish with a Garnish of Fresh Asian Herbs and a bowl of Asian rice
+ West Texas asado


+ Plum and fig sheet cake

Party Favor

+ Jam jar muffins – perfect for the next morning breakfast

Why is there no montage picture in this post?

My life philosophy is based on making it easy for me. Honestly, I get tired of the “Please Ask First” rule to promote for free a blogger; especially that I am always careful to publish proper credits.

If a part of the foodie community cannot understand that I am sending them traffic; there is nothing I can do. I know that it deprives the readers from inspirations and useful information. But frankly, it becomes too complicated to assemble a board with recipes from 4 to 6 bloggers. I live on the moment; that is how most of my posts are born. This is why I link to Tastespotting.

FOOD + DRINK HOLIDAY entertaining RECIPES + menus

New Links for my 2007 Thanksgiving Menu

tastespotting autumnal dinner menu :: 2007 thanksgiving

Last year, I composed this menu out of pictures featured on Tastespotting.

With the Tastespotting saga, the Tastespotting links do not work; the URL changes for all of them. To be safe, I am giving you the links to the actual recipe links.

Soup course

+ Cumin coriander carrot soup with dill pesto [SingleGuyChef] – copyright picture

First Course (too filling salad for the after the main salad course)

+ Dandelion Greens, Pear, Blue Cheese And Walnut Salad [cookthink] – copyright picture

Main course

+ Candied Lime Sweet Potatoes [Vegan YumYum] – copyright picture
+ Sauteed Green Beans With Shallot And Lemon Zest [cookthink] – copyright picture
+ Turkey roasted whole Chicken [Never Bashful with Butter] – copyright picture


+ Autumn Trifle with Spice-Roasted Apples, Pears, and Pumpkin-Caramel Sauce [The Traveler’s Lunchbox] – copyright picture
+ Buttery pumpkin pecan madeleines [supper in stereo] – copyright picture

Stay tuned for more autumnal dinner party menus.


What’s for Dinner Menu | Tastespotting watch

what's for dinner :: summer menu on tastespotting

This time around, I composed a simple weekday menu that is healthy and delicious from recent submissions on Tastespotting.

What’s for dinner is a question that becomes hard to answer day after day. My menu can save you time or at least, inspire you.

My goal is to give you practical options. At the same time, you will discover or be reminded of wonderful blogs by foodies.

Today’s Menu


Tastespotting is Back


Your old submissions to Tastespotting live again. I am glad I added new Google Alerts on my blog name yesterday because this is how I found out that Tastespotting is back online.

We know more about the big saga that led to the temporary close down of Tastespotting. A business split occurred between Jean of NOTCOT and Sarah J. Gim, the editor of Tastespotting.

Sarah is now the owner of Tastespotting. She continues to run the hugely popular food porn site. The front end and back end systems of Tastespotting had to be rebuilt. It is still almost at part with the original site.

What Is Lacking?

One important feature that is lacking is the preview of a submission. In an interview to Food Interviews, Sarah said that they are working on an improved version of the Preview function. The upcoming Submission Preview will give the users more powered than the original one. It should be ready in a week or two.

What Is New?

Every member of the Tastespotting community can add a 250 by 250 pixels avatar image. I put that on my To-do list.

I like that the URL of the submitted story is written on top of the picture. Knowing ahead that information can save us time. It encourages us to discover new blogs and it reminds us to visit old favorites.

Improve Your Chances to Be Selected

Sarah will continue to be picky on the picture quality of each submission. I am glad because it ensures the level of quality that made this site a success.

If like me, you wish to polish my photography skills; we got one more reasons to do so. In the Food Interviews, Sarah Gim gives a few tips on how to create an outstanding food picture and how to write a caption.


New Players

In the interim, similar sites emerged to try to fill the void. One that stands ahead of the crowd is FoodGawker by Chuck of Sunday Nite Dinner. It stands ahead again for the visual quality of the featured posts.

One feature that is great on FoodGawker is that we can follow the status of our submissions. They also posted an overall submission reports on Twitter. So you can know that all submissions prior to midnight were reviewed. It is fun to see the interaction between social networks.

FoodGawker started as an homage site to Tastespotting. Now, they must find a niche of their own. The cooking industry is large enough for the two to coexist.

Which food porn cravings site(s) do not plan to visit on a daily basis?

>>> Sourcing:
Get inspired: Tastespotting
Get inspired: FoodGawker
Via: Inspiration From Electric Artists- 06.27.08 [NOTCOT]
Via: Interview with Sarah J Gim of Tastespotting [Food Interviews]


Tastespotting watch | Sunday family dinner menu

sunday dinner menu inspired by Tastespotting

When I was young, the Sunday night was a more formal dinner affair at my home.

A Sunday family dinner is a worthwhile ritual that brings everyone closer together. It is the perfect time to have uninterrupted discussions. Schedule one for next Sunday and see the benefits.

We can all enjoy a casual yet stylish meal with our family or friends. I composed this seasonal dinner menu out of recipes featured on Tastespotting.

Since this is not an everyday dinner, why not starts the meal with an aperitif?

The first courses

You can serve a salad followed by a fish appetizer.

The entrée

Because it is supposed to be your day off, do not be afraid to take the bests within the comfort food repertoire.

The dessert

Who could resist a Chocolate Pistachio Fudge?

FOOD + DRINK FOOD presentation RECIPES + menus

Tastespotting watch | enRoute Best New Dining Trends

enroute magazine 2007 dining trends

This in-flight magazine for Air Canada always brings significant views on restaurants and the dining experience.

It is clear that classics making a comeback are growing in importance. From the November 2007 issue, I am listing enRoute latest trends in dining:

  • Tap Water
  • Feist
  • Tiny Restaurants with Tiny Menu
  • Blackboard Menus – I am a big fan of them even at home
  • Champagne Cocktails
  • House-Marinated Olives
  • House-Made Chorizo
  • Mom’s Cooking
  • Spaetzle – the new gnocchi
  • Pannacotta – the new crème brûlée – I see them everywhere
  • Single Varietal Honey
  • Peanut Butter Ice Cream
  • Tongue, cheek
  • Duck Confit in Risotto
  • Rosé
  • Salt Cod
  • Cheesecake
  • Mostarda
  • Fernet-Branca and Cynar – two herb-based bitter Italian digestifs
  • House Ketchup with unexpected flavors
  • Ratatouille

Recipes on Tastespotting

The recipes that I selected from Tastespotting represent well the new dining trends. Rhubarb is popular lately. It is so easy to grow your own rhubarb that you can enjoy them for many weeks. Brandade, a salt cod tapenade is a classic French appetizer. Almost every French bistro will serve them. The provencale ratatouille is one of all time favorite vegetable dishes.

The worst trend according to enRoute is square plate. Personally, I like them. My everyday tableware are square plates and bowls. I received lots of compliment for my dinnerware set. So it is fair to say that I am not the only one that appreciates them. You need a little time at the beginning to get used to plating the food. I have this set for a year now. I do not regret my purchase.

Their dislike has not deter enRoute from recommending several restaurants that used square dinnerware. I feel that the plate from Vella Restaurant seems a little bit to full to look truly stylish. From my point of view, the green salad should rest in another plate or bowl.

Recipe: Ratatouille by Fanny on Tastespotting
Recipe: Panna cotta with hibiscus and rhubarb jelles by Lincoln on Tastespotting
Restaurant: Vella in Montreal – picture from enRoute
Recipe: Brandade by Sarah on Tastespotting