Friday, May 21, 2010

New Anthology/Cookbook and Global Dinner Party Invitation

I'm very excited about Rita Golden Gelman's new anthology/cookbook Female Nomad and Friends, Breaking Free and Breaking Bread Around the World, looking forward to reading the travel adventures of 41 authors, and trying out their tested recipes in my own kitchen. Check back for my book review here on Cook Around the Block on June 7th; I'm a participant in the Female Nomad and Friends Virtual Tour. If you love food and love to blog about travel and/or food, join the tour. If you would like to host a Global Dinner Party on June 18th, follow the links below. We're all invited!


100% of royalties will be donated to fund scholarships to vocational schools for kids from the slums of New Delhi.

SEATTLE, WA (MAY 20, 2010) -- Bestselling author Rita Golden Gelman launches Female Nomad and Friends: Tales of Breaking Free and Breaking Bread Around the World (A Three Rivers Press Original), June 1, 2010, in Seattle. Forty-one authors tell their stories of adventuring around the world; all but two of them are women. To celebrate the anthology and the special bonding that happens when people share a meal and a book, Rita is hosting a 24-hour global dinner, Connecting through Food, on Friday, June 18th. She hopes you’ll join her by giving a dinner in your home.

The Anthology/Cookbook is the sequel to Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World (Crown Publishers, 2001) which tells the story of Rita’s selling her possessions and becoming a nomad—living in mud huts, in royal palaces, and on magical islands. She’s been a nomad for 23 years. Her story captivates readers; the book is still going strong. Ignoring a warning from her publisher, Rita included her e-mail address. The last line is: “I can’t wait to hear from you.” She was flooded with e-mails from readers worldwide who offered guest rooms, couches, meals…. and their own stories of connecting around the world. Many of those stories and more of Rita’s adventures are collected in Female Nomad and Friends, which includes 59 amazing tales and more than 30 fabulous international recipes.

“We’re encouraging people around the world to invite friends to buy the book, cook the recipes, and share a meal at our Global Dinner Party – Connecting through Food,” said Gelman. “In hundreds of homes, guests will be ‘talking’ to us about the stories and discussing the anthology as well as the food. We’ll post your videos, pictures, and comments on Facebook. Please join us.”

Global Dinner Party

· To learn more about how you can be a part of the 24-hour dinner, go to Rita will be posting some recipes, suggesting others, and also proposing topics for discussion.

· For an advance peek into Female Nomad and Friends, read the first chapter here:

Meet Rita Golden Gelman

· Vashon’s Books by the Way June 1 at 6:00 p.m.
For more information, go to:

· Ravenna’s Third Place Books June 4 at 7:00 p.m.
For more information, go to:

For information on Blogger’s Book Tour, go to:

About the Author:

Rita Golden Gelman is the author of Tales of a Female Nomad and more than seventy children’s books, including More Spaghetti, I Say!, a staple in every first-grade classroom. As a nomad, Rita has no permanent address. She is currently involved in an initiative called Let’s Get Global (a project of U.S. Servas, Inc.), a national movement designed to bring the gap year to the United States. Learn more at:

Female Nomad and Friends

By Rita Golden Gelman

A Three Rivers Press Original | On Sale: June 1, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-307-58801-2| $15.00 | 352 pages



206.719.5001 /


Monday, May 17, 2010

Tilapia with Herbs and Lime

I've only had tilapia once in my life until tonight. The first time was at a Mexican restaurant - a whole fish filleted and either deep fried or grilled with a batter than created a crisp brown crust. Although it tasted quite good, I was sick all night. Not sure if it was the fish or something else, but I've been reticent to eat it again, until now.

This time, we bought tilapia at our favorite seafood market. I prepared it in my own kitchen following the recipe in Raman Prasad's Recipes for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet on page 128. This recipe is extremely simple (5 minutes to prepare) and the cook time is between 10-15 minutes. Because this fish is soft, overcooking will cause it to break apart and be tough, but cooked right, it is succulent and tender to the point of melting in your mouth. Gently lift from the pan with a wide spatula.

Tilapia is mild flavored. Herb seasonings and lime bring out the delicate flavor of the fish. An excellent choice for a light home-cooked meal.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound tilapia fillets
1/2 lime, juiced

  1. Rinse and pat dry the tilapia.
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients.
  3. In a stovetop frying pan, heat the olive oil on medium heat.
  4. Sprinkle the dry mixture on both sides of the fillets.
  5. Place the tilapia in the hot pan and cook for a total of 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through.
  6. After you place the fish on the dinner plate, sprinkle each fillet with some of the fresh lime juice. Serve with a dollop of mango salsa.
Serves 2

Learn about tilapia at Seafood Watch.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Like to see my mussels?

I thought I'd show you my mussels... all 2-1/2 pounds of them.

Following Aunt Jo's recipe from Recipes for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet by Raman Prasad on page 126 and directions from the Internet about preparing the mussels for steaming... this is how I adapted the recipe with detailed directions for cleaning prior to cooking and when to remove them from the pot.

Rinse the mussels several times in water, but do not soak them, as fresh water kills them and if they are already dead when you go to steam them they will not open up. If their is a beard (fibrous string) attached, gently pull or cut it off before steaming.


2--1/2 to 3 pounds of washed mussels, or clams or a combination of both
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Melted butter, for dipping (optional)


  1. Placed the washed mussels in a large, deep pot.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the butter, and toss with the mussels to coat.
  3. Cover and cook on medium-high heat with the lid on, until the mixture begins to boil. Note that there is little water in the pot, but the mussels release more liquid as they begin to cook and open.
  4. As soon as the water is boiling, creating steam, lower the temperature to medium and simmer until the mussels are open, approximately 3-5 minutes. I recommend that you remove the lid and begin to pull individual mussels out with tongs as soon as each one opens to prevent them from getting tough.
  5. Discard any mussels that do not open.
  6. Serve the mussels while hot with melted butter for dipping (optional).
Serves 2-3

Broth with herbs, garlic and olive oil.

Toss mussels in mixture to coat before steaming.

Serve hot. Set out an extra plate to collect the shells.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My Mother's Day Breakfast, Lunch and Family

What a wonderful Mother's Day!

First off, I awoke to the taste of a fresh strawberry dipped in honey on my lips. Sweet!

While I was getting ready for church, my husband cooked up a batch of french toast on our griddle adapting the following recipe he found online at PKU Recipes blog, using Angelina's gluten-free Outrageous Orange Cinnamon Swirl Rice Bread. Yumtastic!

Rice Dream® French Toast

1 1/2 cups Rice Dream Original
4-6 slices whole wheat bread
3 Tablespoons arrowroot powder or 2 eggs
3-4 Tablespoon oleic safflower oil or butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder


1. In a wide bowl, whisk together Rice Dream, cinnamon, and eggs (or arrowroot).
2. Cut bread into triangles and soak in the Rice Dream mixture until softened (1-3 minutes).
3. Heat portions of the oil or butter in a frying pan or griddle, over medium - high heat.
4. Add several pieces of the soaked bread; do not overcrowd the pan.
5. Cook evenly on both sides for 2-3 minutes or until each is browned.
6. Serve immediately with your favorite fruits, jam or maple syrup.

Right after church, we followed our daughter, Effie, and granddaughter, Sephira, home for Mother's Day lunch. Effie's family loves my spoon bread. Sorry Dirk had to work and was unable to join us. While the spoon bread baked in the oven, Effie warmed up the pre-made Chili Verde she buys from Trader Joe's on the stove top and together we put together a crisp, crunchy salad of fresh greens and vegetables. The combination of flavors and textures were delish!

They day before Mother's Day, Effie and Sephira came out to visit us at Le Roost Lorane wearing matching jackets. A number of years ago, I bought Effie the jacket she's wearing. A while back, one of her neighbors put this toddler jacket in her garage sale; Effie snapped it up, looking forward to the day they would be 'twinsies' - so adorable!

Sunny afternoon.

Such a serious face.

This is priceless!

Sephira Lee clumpin' about in Nana Lee's old hiking boots.

I am so blessed to have such a wonderful family! I only wish my other daughter, Skye, and my grandson, Max, lived closer... so we could enjoy these good times together! I heard they had a great play day chasing giant bubbles and being silly. As Max says, "Awesome!"

Friday, May 7, 2010

Angelina's - "Baking to the Rythm of Life"

This time, I was away for six days visiting my family in Central Oregon, including a one-day round trip to Portland with my daughter in a blizzard. Snow conditions on the passes hindered the return trip I had planned for earlier in the week, but by waiting a couple more days I was able to celebrate Mother's Day early with my mom (video) and oldest daughter, and enjoy a beautiful drive home with sunshine and blue sky all the way.

I arrived in Sisters before 2:00pm, and took the time to stop by Angelina's Bakery to pick up a couple of my favorite gluten-free baked goods and have a quick bite of lunch to fuel up for the two hour drive back to Eugene on Santiam Pass.

While the staff was reheating my slice of gluten-free Polenta Pizza layered with marinara sauce, a medley of vegetables and vegan cheese, and preparing my salad of fresh greens, feta and balsamic vinaigrette, I ordered gluten-free baked goods - a freshly-baked Marionberry Morning Muffin and a 2-pound loaf of Angelina's "Outrageous Orange Cinnamon Swirl Rice Bread for treating us to french toast on Sunday morning, which will be Mother's Day breakfast at our house. Now, that was a mouth full of healthy gluten-free goodiness. Yummers!

Angelina's Bakery, a local newspaper review rating it "a little slice of heaven", has been in business since 1997. For more information about their history, stories, staff, events, dedicated gluten-free bakery, menus and baked goods and bake-at-home products, visit Angelina's online.

Wishing mothers and grandmothers everywhere a very Happy Mother's Day!