Black Fungus Salad | 凉拌木耳 | Liángbàn Mù’ěr & Beijing Photo Tour

Don’t shy away from tasting this lovely Black Fungus Salad called  Liángbàn Mù’ěr. This mushroom salad is slightly crunchy, refreshing, and perfectly paired with a spicy soy sauce and rice vinegar dressing.

Beijing is like the Liángbàn Mù’ěr, or Black Fungus Salad. It looks scary and intimidating at first sight, but if you get over your fear and peel away the layers, you will be rewarded with enchanting and beautiful flavors. Right now everyone is asking me how my trip to Beijing China was. The problem is I cannot respond with a short answer. I just can’t. You better be ready to pull up a chair and listen to me go on for a few minutes.

Yes I loved my trip but it was a shock to the system at first. Your social and cultural compass gets completely off track and it takes about three days for your brain to stop having a ‘deer in headlights’ reaction, only then can you start going with the flow. And you don’t even really realize you are in a culture shock at first, you only realize it later….

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Black Fungus Salad

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Cold Sour Cherry Soup (Hideg Meggyleves)

Cold Sour Cherry soup, or Hideg Meggyleves, is the quintessential Hungarian summer soup. Made from fresh sour cherries, spices, a touch of sugar and sour cream, you are sure to fall in love with the delicate tartness and slight sweetness found in every chilled bite.

A fruit soup you say? Oh yes they are very common in Hungary. In fact while in Budapest a yogurt elderflower soup and a strawberry soup crossed yours truly’s lips. These summer soups are served mostly as an appetizer and only sometimes as a dessert. It does throw a North American palate for a loop at first but I was hungry for more in no time. This cold sour cherry soup is a bit more tart, making it a great starter dish.

cold sour cherry soup

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Anchovy Ice Cream on Grilled Caesar Salad

A salad, tossed and served in a bowl – BORING! Instead throw that lettuce on the BBQ and turn your dressing into an ice cream: Anchovy Ice Cream on Grilled Caesar Salad! Voilà!

It’s Food ‘n Flix time again! In this monthly group a host picks a movie of their choice that pertains to food. Everyone watches the movie and then makes a recipe which the film inspired. It can be any recipe you want. This month’s pick is hosted by Kimberly at Coffee and Casseroles and she picked a fun movie that the whole family can enjoy: Hotel Transylvania 2. It’s been a while since I did a crazy recipe, this movie was full of insane inspirations but I took one almost word for word, that is Anchovy Ice Cream!

Anchovy Ice Cream on Grilled Caesar Salad

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Curious about Spätzlesalat (Cold Spätzle Salad)?

Want to surprise guests with a new kind of cold salad? Then try this Spätzle Salad, a special egg noodle, served with fresh veggies, bacon, cheese and a light dressing.

My new food obsession is spätzle (or spaetzel)! I consumed large amounts of it during my summer vacation in Austria and Hungary. What are they? Well they are like a cross between dumplings and soft egg noodles. You will find them in almost every plate served to you in Central European countries. Spätzle means “little sparrow”. Almost all countries have the same spelling, yet in Hungary they are usually called nokedli. After reading this post you will be able to prepare your own delicious cold spätzle salad which will be a hit at your next pot-luck party.

And finally, a bonus at the end of the post with a few pics from my summer vacation! 🙂

Spätzlesalat Cold Spätzle Salad mit basil
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Ketchup and Beans Salad with Spinach for Popeye

Making your own homemade ketchup is so rewarding, and a millions times healthier than the bottled crap.  Find below one of the original recipes from 1906.

It’s Food ‘n Flix time again! In this monthly group a host picks a movie of their choice that pertains to food. Everyone watches the movie and then makes a recipe which the film inspired. It can be any recipe you want. This month’s pick is hosted by Elizabeth at The Lawyer’s Cookbook and she picked a really original movie: Popeye! No, spinach was not the main inspiration for my recipe but there is some in there. I was actually inspired by a book I was reading and by ketchup, the condiment. That turned into a Ketchup and Beans Salad with Spinach!

Ketchup-and-Beans-with-Spinach-closeup

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Sopa de Ajo (Spanish Garlic Soup)

Garlic lovers rejoice! Enjoy a beautiful bowl of Sopa de Ajo, a rustic Spanish garlic soup accompanied by poached eggs and grilled bread.

The traditional Sopa de Ajo is said to have been created by Castillian shepherds looking for a way to stay extra warm during colder nights out in the pasture. Many recipes cook the bread right into the soup but my garlic soup is served more as a broth with the bread on the side. A chunky and earthy broth rich with crispy chorizo, fragrant thyme, smoked paprika, and large pieces of caramelized garlic cloves.

Sopa de Ajo top

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Cream of Almond Soup, Medieval Cooking Part 2

Cream of Almond Soup was a traditional recipe often prepared in Medieval times. Ground or powdered nuts were used to thicken broth and stewed in milk with a spices or herbs.

Before we explore this unusual Cream of Almond Soup, or Crème Almaundys, here is a quick refresher on what is considered Medieval times. The Middle Ages covers roughly the 5th to the 15th century. It is called the Middle Ages because it is the middle period of the three main divisions of history, at least the Western one: first is Antiquity which ends with the collapse of the Roman Empire, second is the Medieval period, and third we have the Modern period which started with the Renaissance.

Almond Soup

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