Monday, 30 March 2009

Winners and Announcement of April's HotM theme

So we finally got two winners, one in each category and I am not going to make it a long wait for the hopefully happy winners! So here we go: there were no problems with getting a winner for the Best Presentation Category who wins the Hawaiian food parcel, Michelle and I are happy announce Bee and Jai from Jugalbandi as winners! Congratulations for a well deserved 1st place for their entry Baked Masala Nuts/Seeds! All you have to do is to send an email to Michelle (phillipslayden AT gmail DOT com) with you address and you will receive your prize in the post! And now we have the Best Recipe Catogory, here we had a tie between three entries but after a second voting we have a clear winner... eCurry and her Savory Layered & Nut Stuffed Chickpea Swirls! Congratulations from me and Michelle! Send me an email (luculliandelights AT gmail DOT com) with your address and I will send you your prize, the Italian food parcel!
Thanks to you all for participating and for voting!

linnaean furniture1

But now it is time for the announcement of April's HotM theme, it was not difficult to choose a theme, it somehow presented itself because right now I see them all over the place! Have you guessed what I'm thinking of? Flowers. Yes, the theme of this month is flowers and you are pretty free to interpret it the way you want. If you need a little help to get started I am thinking dried flowers like lavender, roses or camomile which leads me to all the different herbal/flower teas that you can get or make, hibiscus/karkade is just one example. Saffron is flower related, there are quite a few types of honey that have clear flower connections, not to speak of all the edible flowers we can find. Or if you want you can present your dish as a flower. See there are an infinity of possibilities here and I am looking forward to see what you come up with! Please send me your entries to luculliandelights AT gmail DOT com, the deadline is Saturday, 25th of April! Remember that your entry should be low in saturated fats (lean meats and fish), be low in salt (sodium), and that you can be abundant with vegetables or fruit. Check out our useful links in the right hand marginal. Please only use your entry for this event so that we can keep things centered on heart-healthy recipes.

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Thursday, 26 March 2009

Vote for your Favorite HotM Recipe!

We have a three-way tie in the Best Recipe category for the Heart of the Matter Birthday Bash Round-up! We need your help to pick a winner so that they can receive their prize! Please have a look at the contenders (in no particular order) and vote for your favorite recipe by Sunday, March 29. On Monday, March 30, my co-host Ilva over at Lucullian Delights will announce the winner for this category and for the Best Presentation category (we already have the winner for this one, but we are keeping it a surprise until then) when she announces next month's fabulous theme. Stay tuned!

Our first contender is the Green Gourmet Giraffe with her Strawberry and Passionfruit Icy Poles.

The second contender is the blog, eCurry, who sent us the recipe for her Savory Layered & Nut Stuffed Chickpea Swirls.

Last but not least is Bella Baita View's entry, Red Lentil Crostini topped with thin, dried apple slices.

So what's your vote???

Which of these recipes is your favorite?
Green Gourmet Giraffe's Strawberry and Passionfruit Icy Poles
ECurry's Savory Layered and Nut Stuffed Chickpea Swirls
Bella Baita View's Red Lentil Crostini
Free polls from

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Monday, 23 March 2009

Don't Forget to Vote!

Don't forget to vote for your Favorite Recipe and the entry with the Best Presentation from this month's round-up for Finger Foods for our 2 year Birthday Bash! You needn't have entered the actual event to vote for your favorite entries! There are prizes for each category: 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, including 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! The winner of the presentation category will be sent a box from Michelle's state, Hawaii, full of delicious tropical treats, including Waialua Estate Single Origin Hawaiian dark chocolate, Red Alaea Salt, and Hawaiian grown macadamia nuts and Planted by the River Guava curd (this is one of the last remaining bottles of these special curds - the couple running the company has decided to stop selling them and they are no longer available, which is really a very sad thing because they are amazing! see Heidi's review here and here)!

The winners will be announced on March 25th, so you have until tomorrow night at midnight (Hawaii time, which is probably well into Wednesday for many of you) to vote for your favorites. Send your votes to me at phillipslayden AT gmail DOT com.

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Thursday, 19 March 2009

HotM Birthday Bash Roundup!

Aloha! And thanks for joining us for the Birthday Bash Round-up for the Heart of the Matter. We're 2 years old now and I don't know about you, but I'm ready to celebrate! We had so many great entries this time - bloggers who have been with us since the beginning, some who have been showing up steadily since they first heard about us, and new bloggers who wanted to help out. Remember to keep your eye out for entries that stand out - we're looking for the entry with the best recipe (who will win an Italian goodie box!) and best presentation (who will win a Hawaiian goody box!). The winners will be announced on March 25th, so there is one week to vote for your favorites. You needn't have entered the actual event to vote for your favorite entries! Send your votes to me at phillipslayden AT gmail DOT com. Well, without further adieu, here are the entries...

Our first entry came from the Green Gourmet Giraffe, with Johanna's Strawberry and Passionfruit Icy Poles. If you're looking for a heart healthy and colorful treat for you, your guests or your kids that is full of freshly squeezed juices and fruit, then these are definitely it!

I love Brussels sprouts and my co-host, Ilva, from the blog Lucullian Delights, made some delicious looking (and beautiful) Chestnut, Parmesan and Rosemary-Filled Brussels Sprouts for her first entry. I can just imagine plucking them up with my fingers and eating them!

Our friend Labelga, from the blog Leafy Cooking, made these tasty little Marinated Arabian Cheese Balls with joghurt, which was something I hadn't heard of prior to now, but certainly look like they would be amazing!

Ever-faithful participants, Bee and Jai from the blog Jugalbandi, brought these unique Spicy Nut and Seed Clusters with all manner of wonderful flavors (including cayenne, fenugreek and pumpkin seeds!) to the party. I can just imagine myself standing by the refreshment table and gobbling these up by the handful...

From the blog, eCurry, arrived these dainty Savory Layered & Nut Stuffed Chickpea Swirls. Soma, author of the blog, says they are khandvis, another type of food that was new to me, but when I heard what was in them - mint & coriander chutney & coarsely ground lightly toasted almonds - I'm certain that I would fall in love with them!

They say for the prevention of heart disease you should eat your omega-3s and salmon is one of the healthiest sources for these essential nutrients. Tigerfish, from the blog, Teczcape - An Escape to Food, brought these lovely and healthy Salmon Cakes with Mango Salsa on them and I just love the splash of color that mango salsa lends to these little beauties. I wish the mangoes were ready to eat here!

If I saw this Fig and Red Onion Confit at a party, I'd definitely have to hunt down the maker - it happens to be Suganya, from the blog Tasty Palettes. I've always imagined confit being complicated and thought it was only made from meat...Suganya shows us it's easy, beautiful and can be healthy and vegetarian at the same time! Delicious!

While Marla from the blog Bella Baita View confessed that this birthday celebration was "only" her second time participating, I'm glad she decided to join us once again because her entry, Red Lentil Crostini, topped with thin, dried apple slices, sounds truly irresistable. We hope to see you again sometime soon, Marla!

I've been secretly hoping that Tanna (from My Kitchen in Half Cups) could participate in HotM for ages, but she's always got so many projects and other events she participates in that she hasn't had the time, so it made my heart beam when she sent in her entry for these scrumptous-looking Small Bite Bean and Tuna Pizzas. She shares these with neighbors on her rooftop with a bottle of wine - sounds like a perfect party to me!

One of my favorite greens is arugula, but I almost always eat it raw. I see now that I've been sorely missing out after hearing about these Saucy Chicken and Arugula Meatballs from More Than Burnt, she was lucky enough to eat them wild when she was only a child! These little babies seem to me that they're like the perfect little black dress - they can go from pasta dinner to party food (on toothpicks) in a snap!

From TastyCurryLeaf in India, we have this decadent Walnut Vegetable Pate, served on toasted whole wheat bread (and I can just imagine it would be equally delightful in wraps or scooped up with fresh vegetables!). It's filled with hearty-healthy walnuts and sounds like a wonderfully healthy version of this exquisite food that looks and sounds fancy, but is simple to make - perfect for impressing any guests!

Laura, from Tiramisu', brought these dainty Shrimp Marinated with Lime and Herbs to share at the party and I just absolutely love the little skewers! Elegant, yet simple, I bet these would make the perfect dinner party appetizer too. Not only are they good for you, but they're beautiful to boot!

My co-host, Ilva at Lucullian Delights was thinking of our friends who have trouble with gluten and made gluten-free Mediterranean Rice Balls for the party as her second entry. She declared her love for finger food and described it as: "The little 5 year old girl in me, sitting there in her pink tutu and her fairy wand, raging to get out and run havoc in my adult life." What's a party without a few children running around in the background, right?

Lastly, I made Spiced Macadamia Nut Granola Bars over at my site, The Accidental Scientist. These bars are full of my favorite granola ingredients - whole grains, lots of dried fruit, coconut, macadamia nuts, maple syrup and honey!

Thanks to everyone who pariticipated this month and celebrated right along with us!! Don't forget to vote for your favorites by March 25th so that we can send out the birthday bash prizes!!
See you next month!!

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