Nearly three years ago, Ilva from Lucullian Delights and I started thinking about beginning a monthly blog event dedicated to heart-healthy eating. In February of 2007, Ilva, along with Joanna from Joanna's Food, made those thoughts a reality when they launched the website for Heart of the Matter - Eating for Life and called out to the food blog community to send in their recipes for heart-healthy foods. I finally joined them in October as a host and for nearly two years, your recipes have been rounded up and archived every month so that we all have a go-to resource for diverse, heart-healthy recipes and information about heart disease.
Last month, we were concerned that we were going to have to end Heart of the Matter (HotM) because we were getting fewer and fewer entries every month. We sent out a plea for recipes and you came to our rescue - we had a whopping 20 entries! This month, we'd like to have even more! To celebrate that HotM has survived, and in honor of this very special anniversary, we've revamped the website and we're going back to our very first theme: Finger Foods. Entries will be due at midnight on Sunday, March 15. Please send your entries to my email: phillipslayden AT gmail DOT com with the subject "HotM" and link back to this announcement in your post or to the HotM blog. I'll post the round-up by March 18th.
(Here we see the Italian prize: black rice from Veneto, a small bottle with White Truffle Scented Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar Jelly and Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans from Slitti)
But what would a birthday be without presents, right? Even though it is the birthday of HotM, we feel that it wouldn't exist today without YOU. So we want to give YOU a gift for being a vital part of the HotM community and participating! After the round-up is posted on the 18th, you will have one week (until March 25th) to vote for your Favorite Recipe and the recipe with the Best Presentation. The winner of the favorite recipe category will win a special box coming all the way from Ilva's home country, Italy, packed with goodies (see the photo above)! The winner of the presentation category will be sent a box from my state, Hawaii, full of delicious tropical treats, including Planted by the River exotic curds, Waialua Estate Single Origin Hawaiian dark chocolate, Red Alaea Salt, and Hawaiian grown macadamia nuts (picture to come soon)! Stay tuned after the round-up for more details on this.
Keep in mind that your entry should be low in saturated fats (lean meats and fish), be low in salt (sodium), and have loads of vegetables or fruit (nuts, wine and chocolate are also considered to be healthy for your heart in smaller quantities!). See the HotM blog, especially here and the links to various heart disease related organizations on the side bar. This list of Joanna's is also helpful as are this, this, this, this, this and this and even this post! Please only use your entry for this event so that we can keep things centered on heart-healthy recipes.
So no matter if you're new to HotM, you've been waiting for that perfect time to join in (this is it!) or if you've been participating with us since the beginning (a special thank you to you!), send in your healthiest, heartiest finger foods! See you at the party!