Category Archives: Adventures!

My new Kindle ebook “Not So Vanilla: Easy Recipes to make Leftover Store-Bought Vanilla Ice Cream into Something Extraordinary!”

For those of us who don’t like it too vanilla 😉 Here’s the ‘scoop’:

“Not So Vanilla” By Kendra Valentine Kindle ebook Cover

“So, it’s someone’s birthday and you’ve bought a tub of vanilla ice cream to go with the cake. Afterward, not only do you have leftover ice cream, but you realize that you already had a freezer burnt nearly finished batch already in the fridge from last summer’s blueberry pie.

This has been happening to me for years.

This little inspiration recipe book came through a lot of research trying to find a solution to the never-ending carton of vanilla ice cream. Inside you’ll find some pretty cool ideas to capitalize on leftover ice cream… so much so you might end up buying vanilla ice cream specifically for these recipes. All the recipes and ideas in this book are exclusively simple & easy ways to make that boring vanilla ice cream into something extraordinary. Like most of my recipes and solutions, this book is merely a guide! Let your creativity flow and use what you have on hand. And don’t worry…there are just as many grown & sexy recipes as family-friendly ones…

Included: A free downloadable handy little cheat sheet to put on the fridge… it’s so cute you’ll leave it up even after you’re a vanilla ice cream hacking expert.”

Let me know how you feel about vanilla ice cream and help out the cause at the same time by grabbing a copy for just .99 cents and reviewing the book on Amazon. I’m counting on reviews from the fam so download a copy for some cool ways to shift down to ‘chill’ mode for the summer! Or do it so I will stop with the puns. Your choice.

Berlin Food Market Exploring & Sightseeing x On the Go with EF Vlog

I worked with Education First on a series of videos for their On the Go with EF YouTube Channel! In the first video, I explore the food market in Berlin, Germany (Winterfeldt Markt and Hackescher Markt). I was on the search for some Easter holiday goods. Thereafter in the next video, I do some sightseeing in the capital of Germany, and my new home: Berlin! Since EF is the premiere language learning school, they include some excellent vocabulary words worth knowing for the spring season.

 

Alternatives to Collards for Those Who Live Abroad

So, you live in a country where you are hard pressed to find some greens for a proper mess ‘o greens? Can’t find collards or a culinary-linguistic expert to figure out what the local language calls them (if anything)? Then, here are a couple of suggestions…

Collard Greens: The Mayor of Soul Food

Cooked down in a smoky broth, collard greens can be dubbed the mayor of soul food. Not only will they fix any mood I may be in, but they are healthy: loads of vitamin A, C and K, along with manganese and folate.  Collards are members of the cabbage family, but are close relatives to kale. And although collards are available year-round, they are at their best after the first overnight frost of the year.

Although collards are a bit bitter and take a lot longer to cook, tradition has tied me close to preferring them as my choice greens. However, now that I live in Europe, I’ve had to spread my soul food wings and adopt other go-to greens candidates, most notably: curly kale. Here are a few you could try, but don’t forget:

An authentic ‘mess’ of greens needs a solid flavor base. They need to be cooked down with a ham hock (or other salty/smoky hack that I cover in Soul Food Thanksgiving) to make a juice so concentrated with love it has its own name: potlikker.

 

Kale

Kale is not only less bitter than collard greens, but they cook a lot faster. Kale is also an excellent source of beta-carotene, vitamins C and B6. But, more importantly to curing a soul food craving: the curly more mature kale varieties are the closest I’ve found to collards.

 

Cavolo nero (“black cabbage” in Italian)

Cavolo nero has been grown in Tuscany for centuries and is one of the traditional ingredients of minestrone soup- so you know it stews well. It is a leafy and hearty green that will definitely do the trick.

 

Mustard Greens

Mustard greens have a stronger and bitter taste than collards, so it is best to mix with another milder green. However, they are tender enough to eat raw in salads, so cooking doesn’t take too long. They are also high in vitamin A, C and K, similar to collard greens.

 

Chard

Available widely in Europe, chard belongs to the beet family and cooks much quicker than collards as well. Rainbow varieties have a slight sweetness, so try blending with mustard greens for a nice balance. Chard provides high amounts of vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as magnesium and potassium.

Broccoli Rabe

Broccoli rabe has a nutty, bitter, and strong flavor reminiscent of mustard greens. It is a great source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium, calcium, and iron.

 

Spinach (not baby spinach!)

This would be my last choice only because spinach has its own distinct flavor and a very mild texture that does not stew as well. However, spinach provides much more folic acid than collard greens, and high amounts of iron, along with being high in vitamins A, C and K, manganese, and magnesium: so Popeye really knew what he was doing!

 

Once you get your hands on a few bunches of suitable greens, be sure to download my mini digital cookbook “Soul Food Thanksgiving” and check out my three-page recipe on making love to one of my favorite dishes of all time. 10% of profits will be donated to The Hunger Project.

soul-food-thanksgiving-cookbook

And don’t fret, these greens are on average packed with more nutrients for collards. Just don’t get crazy and turn to Nieman Marcus for your fix… just a friendly warning.

 

Soul Food Thanksgiving Cookbook

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

Soul Food Thanksgiving cookbook by Kendra Valentine, photo: Claes Helander

Classic Halloween Candy with EF On the Go Vlog!

 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?

Halloween Caramel Candy Corn Popcorn for EF On The Go Vlog!

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…

You’ll need:

  • About 12 handfuls popped corn
  • 440g (1 c.) packed brown sugar
  • 164 g (1/2 c.) light syrup
  • 114g (1/2 c.) butter
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • As much candy corn (or other candy) as you like!

Finalist in the 2015 SAVEUR Blog Awards!

 

Americulinariska is a Savuer Blog Awards 2015 Finalist!

Americulinariska is a Finalist for “Best Use of Video” in the 6th Annual SAVEUR Blog Awards!

 

We are one of six finalists (out of 50,000 submission overall!) in the “Best Use of Video” category, which will have two winners: the finalist with the most votes will be named Readers’ Choice winner and a team of SAVEUR editors will  select an equally weighted Editors’ Choice winner. Although we are newer to the game, and still building our community, we want to make a solid go at this opportunity.

 

So, now until  April 30, 2015 voting will be open at saveur.com/blogawards

So tell all your friends and vote! We really need your support!

Swedish Turkey Day

Thanksgiving Special

Oh Thanksgiving… living in a country outside the US during this holiday is when things ‘REALLY GET REAL.’ Nostalgia can creep up on you something fierce…

But, in some cases, you actually get more than you expected… case in point: an entire store dedicated to turkey.

I’ve visited Ingelsta Kalkon, a little turkey boutique in Stockholm to take a look at turkey through a Swedish lens…

A HORSE of Course! Horse Meat in Sweden (Gustafskorv)

GustafskorvYou’re eating Horse?!? Nehhhhhh!(In my best Mr. Ed impression)

When it comes to regional food I never turn my nose up on something large numbers of peoples eat… no matter how cute it was in its living state. Sorry but I’ve been that way since learning what veal was when I was a kid… after that, it was like “hot damn, well if everyone is doing it….” But alas we come to the meat in question: horse meat sausage or Gustafskorv.

Why? Well, as my companion in Dalarna (county in central Sweden) put it:

“Why not? What’s the difference between a horse and a cow?”

Okay, riding a cow is neither practical nor romantic, but for all intensive purposes, they are pretty close hooved amigos. Now, I’m not advocating adding My Little Pony to the little pictures on the ‘ideal diet’ chart, especially since it wouldn’t replace any meats we already over consume…. but as much as I like the idea of better meat practices, I also believe in eating local: and in Dalarna “Gustafskorv” (Horse Sausage) is as local as it gets!

Magasinet Hunger intervju: kökstång perfekt för fritering

Swedish food magazine “Hunger” interviewed me for this issue’s “The Favorite” column featuring my trusty tongs (kökstång)! From turning tortillas as a child in California to deep frying comfort foods in Stockholm, this American classic has served me well! Below the article, you can find the recipe for the “Panko Fried Eggplant” (“Panko Friterad Aubergine”) that I cooked for the magazine shoot: (In Swedish and English!)

Favoriten-Kendra-Valentine Hunger Magazine CROPPED

“Panko Friterad Aubergine”

Av Kendra Valentine

2 auberginer

3 ägg (blandat med lite vatten och chili peppar sås, om du vill)

1 dl vetemjöl

4 dl. Panko ströbröd (blandat med vitlök flingor)

1 l  rapsolja

Skär auberginen i ca. ¾ cm tjocka skivor och salta. Doppa skivorna i mjölet. Fortsätt därefter med ägg blandning, och tredje panko blandning. Lägg dem utspridda på en plåt eller bricka.

Låt dem ligga och torka medan du värma oljan i stekpanna eller kastrull. Värme till ca. 160 C eller level 7.  När en skärva panko fräser och flottör i oljan: kör.

Fritera tills de är gyllenbruna, ca. 2 minuter på varje sida.  Lägg upp på hushållspapper för avrinning.