Officially announcing my first ebook: Soul Food Thanksgiving! It’s a digital cookbook of classic holiday dishes made using whole food that delivers big flavor. These dishes are what I grew up eating from the holidays, and special care was taken to develop recipes that would produce the same food, but with the love, flavor, and respect it deserves. Written to appeal to new and old cooks alike, this digital book contains genuine recipes not to be found anywhere online. I offer context on every technique, a little history, a full shopping list, and measurements in both U.S and metric, so those of you cooking outside the U.S can get down in the kitchen too! 10% of all profits will be donated to The Hunger Project. Below I’ve shared the foreword to the book:
Soul Food Thanksgiving cookbook by Kendra Valentine, photo: Claes Helander
I’m working with Education First on a series of videos for their brand new ON THE GO with EF YouTube Channel! And since EF is the premiere language learning school, they include some excellent vocabulary words worth knowing for the Halloween season. In this video I give kids around the world the rundown on Halloween night and sample some classic Halloween candy! Which candy did I miss?
I’m working with Education First on a series of videos for their brand new ON THE GO with EF YouTube Channel! Here in the very first episode where I show you a really cool Halloween treat, featuring a classic Halloween candy: Caramel Candy Corn Popcorn… yes, you heard right! And since EF is the premiere language learning school, they include some excellent vocabulary words worth knowing for the Halloween season…
I’ve never made granola bars before… so this was a real experiment! Nice tart cranberries, roasted toasted almonds, and creamy peanut butter made these granola bars come together… literally and figuratively!
This recipe for chocolate chip cookies has all the goodness of classic chocolate chip cookies but with a magic weapon… ground OATMEAL! The oatmeal doesn’t make the cookies taste like oatmeal cookies, it does something else magical to the cookies and elevates the entire situation: you’ll just have to try it to understand what I mean!
Makes about 3 dozen small cookies (4 cm. diameter)
1 cup (225 grams) butter
1 cup sugar (2 dl)
1 cup dark brown sugar (2 dl)
1 cup chocolate chips or chunks
2 tsp. real vanilla extract (or 1 tsp. vanilla sugar)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2½ cups oatmeal or Harvregryn (This is measured before it is blended into powder)
*½ tsp. salt (if your butter has no salt)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda (Bicarbonat in Swedish)
Tip: Don’t have chocolate chips? Just chop up a milk chocolate bar!
There’s no Taco Bell in Sweden, so I started making a homemade version of the mild hot sauce that comes in those little packets. Don’t judge me: Taco bell is my vice, my love, my old friend… and that mild sauce is golden.
3 cups (7 dl.) water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 6-ounce can (175 ml. tube) tomato paste
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar (or white vinegar)
4 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons salt
Tip: You can of course use this sauce on tacos, but also makes a good enchirito (enchilada + burrito) or wet burrito.The sauce is a little thick for a hot sauce, so it works well. You could also use a bit in chili con carne or in a soup base. It’s totally worth the effort!
If you haven’t had garlic fries already, then get ready for something spiritual! I use a whole head of garlic for these fries and if I’m going to eat fries at home, I’m going to make it count: Deep frying is the only way to go.
1 head garlic, minced or pressed
frozen french fries
Tip: Always deep-fry to get the best fries! Since I started making fries this way I don’t crave fast food fries. These are as fresh and crisp as can be: at home. Practice safety and use a splatter guard or be sure the fries are not covered in ice crystals or the oil will pop in yo’ face! Stand back!
I’m taking the classic Swedish räkmacka or open-faced shrimp sandwich, and putting a Louisiana twist on it! The key is the remoulade inspired mayo which is as creole as can be: classic french flavors like tarragon and Dijon are combined with Tabasco and smoked paprika! Some razz-matazzz you might say if you’re that corny New Orleans Zatarain’s dude.
Boiled egg, sliced
Dark green lettuce
Dill sprigs for garnish (optional)
For the Louisiana Mayo:
(Enough for 2. Doesn’t need to be exact: as always, make it your own!)
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
1-2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon tarragon (dragon)
Few drops white-wine vinegar
1-2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
Tips!: In a separate bowl, mix the tarragon with the vinagar, and let set for 30 seconds (I do this to “wake-up” the tarragon so the flavor incorporates better.)
Another reason to go Louisiana style räkmacka, instead of traditional, is you’d have to make the mayonnaise from scratch for the right taste in a regular shrimp sandwich. Pre-made mayonnaise is sub-par eaten in large amounts. Doing this spiced mayo allows you to get a delicious result without the work!