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Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes (or in the kitchen rather) or a cooking blog? Well, here’s your chance to find out.

Last week our 17 year old niece Danielle joined us in the kitchen while we tested a few recipes. About 5 of them actually, all at the same time. Absolute chaos, no doubt…

Danielle is an aspiring and very talented writer, editor of her high school paper and creator of her the movie review blog Filmcr8ze . Not too shabby, uh?

So after spending most of her day in our kitchen, she decided to document her experience. Here’s what she had to say:

“The other afternoon my aunt held up an apron that says, “Will cook for shoes.”  She laughed and then said to me, “Now you’ll have to get a shirt that says ‘Will write for food.’” I smirked not only because I appreciated the wit of the remark, but also because I, ironically, already have one.

As the avid writer that I am, I was obliged to describe the fantastic frenzy that erupts in my aunt’s kitchen in return for a bite of the dish of the day. Watching as a bystander, you’re not sure where exactly to focus your attention. At the kitchen table you have Raquel mixing vegan cream-cheese and peaches, inventing her own dessert (which came to fruition beautifully as a Vegan Peach Napoleon), while over by the stove, you have my Aunt Vicky frying an egg to add to a delicious egg-plant, pepper and pickle mix, soon to be placed atop a crisp toasted piece of bread with cheese. Simultaneously, my Aunt Ruthy, almost, and sometimes actually, bumping into her sister, flips a Middle Eastern grilled cheese that smells better and better with each sizzle of bread-meeting-pan. With all of the hustle and bustle engulfing me, I can’t help but be overwhelmed and in heaven as all of the disparate ingredients and spices waft into my nostrils, uniting into the most wonderful, mouth-watering amalgamation of Middle Eastern and American food that my taste buds can handle.

You would think the most frustrating drawback for them would be the tight kitchen space or their having to constantly come up with new recipes to share with their viewers. No…not even close. Do you want to know how to tell a good cook from a great cook? When you realize that the most frustrating obstacle for my aunts and cousin is actually documenting specific ingredients and measurements for recipes because they have some unearthly skill to cook impromptu, you realize what great cooks look like; cooks who have not only the talent, but the ingenuity to continuously dish out(no pun intended) new ideas. “We know how to cook; now we just need to figure out how we do it,” Vicky joked.

I began with the humor of the apron for the effect, but also to make a serious point. My aunts really love to cook, and they cook for the love of doing it. It’s a passion for them that doesn’t need to make a lot of “cents” for them to wake up every morning and break out the blender. For them, cooking is all about fun, which is reflected in the chaos of the kitchen, fueling streams of positive energy for them, and hunger, of course, for me J

Just remember to always check out May I Have That Recipe if you want to know what’s cookin’.”

RAW CORN SALAD
Prep time: 5 minutes
Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 4 ears of corn
  • 1/4 cup chopped  fresh basil
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs fresh squeezed lime juice
  1. Carefully cut corn kernels off the cob and place them in a medium bowl
  2. Add tomatoes, basil, olive oil, salt and lime juice. Toss it all well together and set aside

BASIL DRESSING
Preparation: 5 minutes
Ingredients (Makes 1 cup)

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil
  • 1 tbs Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbs extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.

CORN & MUSHROOM SPRING ROLLS

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Ingredients (makes 8 rolls, serves 4):
  • 2 medium shallots about, diced
  • 1-10oz pack of baby bella mushrooms, diced
  • 2 ears of corn
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 8 spring roll wrappers
  • Balsamic glaze (optional)
  1. To prepare the filling, sautee shallots in 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet, at medium heat, until translucent
  2. Carefully cut the corn kernels off the cob
  3. Add corn, mushrooms, salt and pepper to the skillet and continue cooking for about 15 minutes. Set aside
  4. Add crumbled feta cheese
  5. Preheat oven to 375F

6. Brush both sides of each spring roll wrapper with olive oil

7. Add about 2 tablespoons of filling 2-3 inches from the bottom corner of the wrapper

8. Carefully fold the corner over the filling

9. Fold the sides over

10. Roll the wrapper until it meets the opposite corner

11. Place the spring roll on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper

12. Bake at 375F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown
13. Drizzle with balsamic glaze (optional). Serve with raw corn salad and basil dressing for dipping
14. ENJOY!! From May I have that recipe

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