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japanese butternut squash tacos
“Food: the unifying language of the world”

quote from Sumayya Jamil, speaking at Food Blogger Connect, London 2012

Last Friday saw me quite literally stumbling onto the 7.15 Edinburgh-London train. I am not the most co-ordinated of people (I can fall off a pair of flipflops), but my flawed proprioception couldn’t be blamed on this occasion. As I attempted to board the train a sudden shift in the ever-present wind blew hair into my eyes, and I had a heart-pounding, and nearly electrifying, experience as my foot slipped between the step up and the clearly marked walkway. Still clutching my bags and cup of tea I just managed to lurch forward into the carriage, my body tingling with adrenalin that you get from a proper near-miss. Yowz.

The reason I mention this seemingly random incident is that I also experienced the same all-body tingle later that day. But not due to clumsiness or wind-whipped hair. When I pushed through the imposing blue doors  into a sea of people at Food Blogger Connect I had that overwhelming ‘new girl’ feeling. You know,  the heart-pumping  anxiety you get when you walk into a room where everyone seems to know each other and you only have one shot at making a decent impression? I was that girl, but with fictional spots, greasy hair and a selection of slide rules and leaky pens poking out of my pocket. Yup, that nervous. japanese butternut squash tacosBut I needn’t have worried. Almost as soon as I entered the lively courtyard of the former Lambeth Ragged School for destitute children (we are talking Victorian times, not the ’70s) Jacqueline, the trans-continental blogger behind the fabulous How to be a Gourmand, placed a welcoming glass of Champagne (from Champagne Jayne – the most popular girl at this particular school) in my sweaty, shaking hand and steered me toward the welcoming embrace of Karen, of the also fabulous Lavender and Lovage. I have been reading and virtually chatting to Karen for over a year and it was so wonderful to meet her in the radiant flesh. She said I was just as she imagined (she did not elaborate, and I did not push her), and she was just as I imagined – warm, personable and generous with her knowledge.

And so it went on. I met countless enthusiastic, articulate and talented bloggers over the three days. Although the talks and workshops were full on (you get your money’s worth) we had plenty of time to chat while queuing up for the varied and always outstanding street food vendors and producers, who had pitched up and cooked their socks off just for us greedy writers and snappers. I enjoyed all of the food but I must make special mention of Toma Mexicana (no guesses what kind of food they do) and the Seychelles food specialists Vinn Gout. Please come to Edinburgh and do a pop-up! I haven’t licked my fingers in public like that in a long time :Dflautas from toma mexicana

As for highlights, I found most of the talks incredibly useful, and the other participants, tweeting madly under the hashtag #FBC12, did as well. Topics included photography and writing sessions, using SEO and other blogging tools, using social media and pr techniques to promote your blog, as well as the dreaded but necessary blog security issues. But, for me, Silvana de Soissons, the eminent cook and writer behind the jaw-droppingly beautiful online food magazine, The Foodie Bugle, was unmissable. With her subject, The Brave New World of E-Publishing, Silvana charted the beginnings of her very democratic magazine – from the year she took to research the contributors and plan the design (she took a poster board mock up to her designer), to its being awarded the much-coveted Guild of Food Writers ‘New Media Award’ after only 18 months. I was so in awe that I neglected to take notes. But please just go and have a look at The Foodie Bugle. My words are not necessary.

I did take notes elsewhere, including at Sumayya Jamil’s talk on Niche Blogging. Her food blog, PukkaPaki, explores the huge and distinctive world of Pakistani cooking. Her mission with the blog is to fight misconceptions about her country in a light-hearted way through food. During her session she made some very salient points for anyone thinking of niche blogging, or engaging in niche blogging (that’s me). First of all, have a passion and speak authoritatively about it. Another main consideration is consistency of message: she says that she “uses her niche as a filter” for whatever she wants to put on her blog. In her case, does it reflect Pakistani culture, does it expand others’ knowledge on Pakistani food or way of life? For me, that might translate as does it use mainly whole foods? Is the cooking method healthy? Does the recipe contribute to health, or does it make a traditional favourite healthier? I will have this small but powerful tip in the back of my mind from now on.

Other sessions where my fingers got a workout were Felicity Cloake’s, on The ABC’s of Writing, and Elements of Recipe Development Writing. Felicity, award-winning food writer and columnist behind the Guardian’s “How To Cook the Perfect…”  was that wonderful mix of entertaining, informative, inspiring and can’t-believe-my-luck. In other words, I want to be her. I will have to really study the scribbled notes from her sessions, but the gist I got was to focus on not only the recipes, but also your style. Like niche blogging, finding your own style and being true to it is essential. She describes style as “writing with personality,” and advises reading over your last 15 posts in quick succession (not looking for typos) to help pinpoint your style and voice. To help hone your style and writing, Felicity suggests a tip she picked up from the fiction author, Zadie Smith: reading your work like an enemy might – really try and pick holes in it. Sounds painful! She also suggests that writers read: read as much as we can, see patterns, find out what you like in others’ writing and what you don’t like.

Other superb advice from Felicity: write first, edit later; describe don’t tell (paint a picture); give the story behind your recipe; avoid the obvious (describe why something is delicious instead of that it is delicious); get out of the house and away from the computer – live a little so you have something to write about; use a planned structure; make sure the piece links/has a thread running through it;  rhythm is important so read your piece out loud (shut the door so no one thinks you are mad); use a thesaurus, but bear in mind the first word that pops in your head is often the best…unless it is ‘nom nom’. And lastly, pause before clicking ‘publish’. As tempting as it is to just publish and be damned, sleeping on it and looking at it with a fresh eye in the morning can be sobering, in more ways than one.

Food Blogger Connect 2012 was pretty overwhelming and exhausting but I would highly recommend that anyone who gets the chance to go next year to just sign up. I hope to get in on some of the smaller, intensive workshops to do with photography and writing next year, but even with the standard sessions you will take home priceless knowledge and contacts. Once my fellow attendees have written up their own views and news from Food Blogger Connect 2012 I will give links to them.

I am sure you are running out of patience so I will just pop the recipe on and let you get on with the business end of this post – cooking. Although I made this dish before I went to FBC2012, it is my little vegan nod to the gorgeous food I ate at  Toma Mexicana. Sorry for the lack of FBC photos. I’m just not coordinated enough to eat, hold stuff and use a camera. Or get on a train without almost killing myself.

I am sneaking this over to Ren Behan’s Simple and In Season, being hosted this month by by Nazima at Franglais Kitchen. Please go and visit to see what other seasonal goodies are on offer. Nazima, and Laura from How To Cook Good Food, also have a One Ingredient Challenge link-up featuring Squash, so am putting this in the ring as well.  And Jacqueline, the brain’s behind the fabulously-named No Croutons Required contest, kindly invited me to submit this recipe. Check after the 20th of this month to see all the submitted recipes, but meantime check out Jac’s blog, Tinned Tomatoes. Thanks Jac!

making togarashi - japanese seasoningtoasting soft tacosjapanese butternut squash tacos - vegan

japanese butternut squash tacos - vegan
Butternut Squash, Black Bean and Kale Tacos with a Japanese Twist

 
Last Year: Courgette, Pea and Pesto Soup; Crispy and Sticky Black Pepper Tofu
Miss R’s Track of the Week: Pablo Blaqk’s Find Your Way – a whisper of a love song. Enjoy with a beer and a taco with someone you love
 
 Just because it is autumn doesn’t mean it needs to be all stewed and roasted this and that – as lovely as these methods are. Sometimes you want a meal that is quick, light and substantial: I think these unusually spiced tacos fit that bill nicely. Please try the recommended spice mixture, but if you are in a hurry – or just don’t fancy the sound of Japanese tacos – use a proprietary blend of Mexican taco seasoning, but only about 2 tablespoons (they are usually incredibly salty).
 
The Japanese twist here is an aromatic and spicy seasoning called shichimi togarashi. Or togarashi for short. Traditionally using seven ingredients – shichi is seven in Japanese – it is simple to put together and will keep for a number of weeks. Plenty of time for it to earn its keep. Although some of the ingredients are not exactly store cupboard stuff for most of us, the remainder will keep for ages, and I am sure to do a few recipes with the leftovers. I actually have a few Sichaun pepper recipes already (tap ‘sichuan’ in the search bar to the right). Failing that, some larger supermarkets may stock togarashi in the Asian foods section (Waitrose has their own make). And in fact most Japanese people buy it, so feel free to do so if it is available. But if you already have the ingredients, or don’t wish to hunt around in the store for it (I can already see the quizzical look on the befuddled shop assistant’s face), this is your recipe.toagarashi - japanese seasoning
 

How to Use Togarashi: With a pronounced citrus and pepper kick, as well as a touch of the ocean togarashi can be deliciously incorporated into all manner of dishes – omelettes, stews, rice and noodle dishes (great for zinging up bog standard ramen noodles), grilled fish, chicken and tofu. I even sprinkled it on the grilled miso butter tofu and corn from a few posts back, and I often put it on popcorn. It is a fairly common tabletop condiment in Japan and in Japanese restaurants, where it adds an intriguing and somewhat addictive dimension to sushi, miso and edamame. But like I said, use Mexican seasoning if this all seems a bit much.

Helpful to Have: Wok; spice grinder/clean coffee grinder; rolling pin; small jar for the togarashi
 
Shimichi Togarashi
 
1 tbsp black peppercorns
1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns (or use 2 tbsp of black instead)
2 and ½ tbsp finely grated tangerine or Clementine peel (not the white bits though)
½ to 1 tbsp cayenne or something milder like guajillo
1 tbsp powdered nori seaweed OR a thin strip from a sheet of sushi-making nori (I did the latter)
1 tbsp black sesame seeds
½ tbsp ground ginger
Optional: ½ tbsp powdered garlic
 
Scatter the citrus peel on a baking sheet and bake in a low temperature oven (150C/300F) for a few minutes, until it is just dried out but not brown – this may just take five minutes, so do watch it. While this is baking, pop the two types of pepper, and the strip of nori into a spice grinder to make a powder, or use a pestle and mortar. Pop the ground spice into a jar. Grind the cooled citrus peel and add it and the remaining ingredients to the jar and give it a good shake. This will make enough for about 10 tacos.
 
The Tacos
 
6 small soft gluten-free corn tacos or flour tacos
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
½ small butternut squash, cut into small cubes
100g kale leaves (I used black/dinosaur kale), shredded
1 corn on the cob, husk and ‘silk’ removed
2 tsp minced ginger
200g cooked black beans, rinsed and drained (half a can)
2 heaped tbsp. togarashi seasoning, or taco seasoning – or to taste
Juice of one lime
Coriander/cilantro, for garnish
Yogurt or vegan sour cream for garnish (optional)
Salsa: chopped spring onions, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, lime, tangerine/clementine pieces
 
First of all, the tacos. You can either steam them until soft, pop them in foil and warm through, or you might like to toast them on an open flame like Mr A did. For toasting, use tongs to drape a single soft taco on the pan supports of your hob/stove and keep checking and flipping until there are bubbles and some dark bits on the taco. They will still be floppy and pliable. Either keep it as it is or you can shape it around a rolling pin to make a traditional taco shape.  They won’t be nearly as sturdy as if you had fried them but of course they are healthier this way. Pop them in a moderate oven while you finish the rest, and while you make the yummy filling.
 
For the filling, heat the oil in a wide shallow pan or wok, and add the butternut squash. Saute over a medium heat for eight minutes, or until the squash is softening and is slightly golden brown in places. 
 
While the butternut squash is sautéing, take the corn and trim the wide end so that it will hold steady on a cutting board. With a heavy knife (a chef’s knife is ideal) slice the kernels from the cob, turning after each downward slice. Add the kernels to the pan, along with the kale and ginger, and give a good stir with a pair of wooden spoons or spatulas. Let this sauté, stirring occasionally, for a further five minutes, then add in the beans and togarashi. Once everything is heated through and sizzling, give it all a good squirt of fresh lime juice,stir again, and fill the tacos. Garnish with coriander leaves, salsa, extra kale strips if you have any, as well as yogurt and extra seasoning.  Serve with herby rice and salad.    Serves 3homemade togarashi - japanese seasoningtoasting the soft tacoshaping the soft tacojapanese butternut squash tacos - veganjapanese butternut squash tacos - vegan
 
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64 thoughts on “Japanese-style Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos + Highlights from FBC2012

  1. It has been great to read a bit about your experiences at FBC12. I bet there was just so much valuable information to take in. So hard to listen and take notes, I bet!
    Your recipe sounds so good, packed full of so many ingredients I love to use. And it looks so tempting because of all the wonderful colours, it can only be good for you x

    1. Thanks so much Laura. I am rubbish at taking notes, but I did try! Will you be able to come to FBC next year and stay for longer? With your work – especially for the Friday I know it must be tricky. You and I have such great jobs that it is hard to slip away.

  2. What an interesting post, I am so relieved your survived your slip to tell the tale! All great points and I especially like Felicities advice of making sure you ‘live a little’ (I think I’m good at that bit, just need to home in on the getting behind the computer bit now…)
    Well as togarashi is my v. fav spice (I seem to put it into everything including lentil soup!) I shall certainly be trying this out. The colour and depth in your photographs are amazing and if the flavours are even half as layered/deep looking as the images, this is going to be an absolute cracker. Thank you! BTW has anyone told you how kind you are to just give us these recipes each week? Well, THANK YOU from a grateful scoffer.

    1. What a honey you are, Miss Niki. I didn’t know you were such a togarashi fan (what other foodie secrets are you keeping from me?…), and in lentil soup too – brill idea. Do you use the stuff from Waitrose? Doing it yourself lets you highlight the orange notes and tone down the heat (that’s what I’ve done). LEt me know if you try it. Meet up next week before I go?

      1. Yes, I’ve been using the Waitrose togarashi – its lovely but I do like the idea of a self blend.
        Yep, next week defo – will buzz you. x

  3. As ever I read your blog and my mouth waters. Butternut squash always gets the thumbs-up from me and this recipe looks delicious!

    1. Thanks so much Simon.Love your new twitter name and the gravatar – way cool! Let me know if you try this super easy supper.

      1. Thanks Kellie Not sure I could do this one justice to be honest — particularly the part where Mr A flamed the tacos (i only have electricity)!! Even if I did have gas I just know I’d end up setting things on fire, you know what I’m like!

      2. Just give the filling a try – and use regular taco seasoning if you like – and roll it in a microwaved soft taco. I really think the colourful combo of kale (black kale at sainsburys right now), black beans and butternut squash (you can get a small pack of cut squash there too) is super healthy and satisfying. I don’t want you trying this on an electric burner though!

      3. Cool! Yes I will definately try it then – I shall report back on how it goes :-)

      4. Excellent. No pressure though!

  4. Jacqueline @How to be a Gourmand says:

    Kellie, what a beautiful and inspiring blog you have. Full of original and healthy recipes – definitely one for my blogroll :-)
    I’ve never heard of togarashi before – is it the Japanese equivalent of chilli pepper?
    Thanks for being so generous with your comments Kellie. It was so lovely to have met you at FBC. Hopefully see you again x

    1. The feeling is mutual, Jacqueline. I meant what I said on your blog and in my post. You really put me at my ease, just by being yourself! If you are ever back up in Scotland I would love to meet up – in Edinburgh or Glasgow. But Hong Kong calls, I know. Lucky you! And yes, the togarashi is a spicy seasoning that uses chili and 6 other spices/seeds to make a really intriguing taste.

  5. will definitely have to give these tacos a try!!! thanks for another great recipe idea :)

  6. Sally says:

    Gorgeous recipe, lovely to meet you at FBC …and yes I want to be Felicity Cloake too!

    1. How cool was she? I try and read her column most weeks and was excited to see her on the list. She lived up to my expectations, and more.

  7. This looks so delicious. I love mexican food too, and loved the streetfood they served at FBC. Thanks for linking to Simple and in Season.

    1. I will be over in a mo to do the proper link up. Thanks for stopping by, and commenting too.

  8. Choclette says:

    Goodness what an informative post. The Shimichi Togarashi seasoning sounds interesting as do the tacos. I have black cumin seeds, just need to hunt down some sichuan pepper. I’ve heard quite a bit now about FBC and it sounds as though it should be a must for all of us food bloggers. Apart from anything else, it must be good to meet up with so many others.

    1. That was the best part, I think – meeting so many people with the same interest. A whole weekend of food chat without worrying I was boring anyone with blog chat (although hubby says it’s not boring at all. Liar!). Do try and come next year. There are sure to be free tickets up for grabs closer to the time.

  9. I’ve never heard of Togarashi before – sounds awesome. Thank you for introducing me to it!

    1. I hope you make it up. It has so many uses other than just Japanese food. A really interesting mix of aromatics. Thanks for commenting :D

  10. Jacqueline says:

    Wish I had been there Kellie. It sound like everyone had a wonderful time and learned loads.

    I wondered if you would like to submit this to this month’s No Croutons Required? The topic is original veggie sandwiches. This is perfect. If you do just add a link and add it to the linky at the end of the challenge.

    Jac :)

    1. Thanks for the invitation – I am honoured :D Btw, how are you enjoying your Vitamix? Three were given away at FBC but not to me :( But I did win a cookbook I have been wanting. I will talk about it and the author when I receive it.

  11. Shannon says:

    Hey Kellie! I’m only halfway through reading your post (which has something super-yummy in it too, judging from the photos) and was taken with your near-miss story and subsequent blogging conference, driven to comment right away. What a fun time that must have been for you! I enjoy meeting mutual bloggers and the face-to-face in this endless sea of Gravatars. I read your interview from FBC2012 – like you, I’ll take a knife over undies any day!

    Great post so far (as are all of yours). I’m hoping to dedicate a bit more time to real cooking (not just beans and grains) rather than just prepping and storing fresh stuff for me, hubby, and four kids to get at whim. Our new vegan lifestyle has me overwhelmed with great recipes and little time to work them into my currently busy schedule. Borscht is DEFINITELY on my list; looks like this one is too. :)

    Now, off to finish my read.

    1. What a fantastic comment – thank you SO much. The whole family going vegan – that’s impressive to get everyone onside. I hope you get a chance to look through my newly done index to see all the vegan main meals I have. My formatting went a bit wonky and I can’t seem to fix it, but I hope it is not too annoying. Good luck finding the time to do ‘real cooking.’ I know vegan cooking can be harder work than traditional cooking but it will so be worth it. Let me know if there is any particular recipe or technique you want me to blog about. I rely on my own ideas but I would really like to know what people like yourself think and want too.

      1. Shannon says:

        You’re SO welcome! Thank you for what you do here. I know what goes into a food post (which is why I don’t do them yet!) so rely heavily on my blogger foodie lovers. Especially the vegan variety.

        It’s been a fabulous ride. I already was not a “traditional cook,” in that we eat most fresh or grilled and LOTS of different leaves for flavor and nutrients, so going vegan was a cinch. It was the dairy that was the hardest switch. Thanks to nutr. yeast and nut and soy products (and a soy-and-nut milk maker!), we are good to go.

        Keep it up, Kellie. :)

      2. It’s funny that although we are not vegan we rarely have cheese or milk and I certainly am very comfortable cooking with the nut and grain milks, and we all love tofu (as you can probably tell). I am so honoured to be in included in your blog reads. Perhaps I am an honorary vegan??PS I am putting a Vitamix on my Christmas wishlist: it makes fabulously smooth nutmilks and amazing grain and nut flours. It was demo’ed a lot down at the conference and I think they will see a spike in sales. It seems to do everything but buy the ingredients! What nutmilk maker do you use?

      3. Shannon says:

        Honorary vegan it is!

        We bought the SoyaJoy G3, but there are others out there that may have better cleaning features.  It works like a charm.  I can’t believe it took us so long to get one – I HATE the non-recyclable milk containers (see my post on it).  We now use it about every other day.

        If you think the Vitamix is hot, check out the Ninja Pro. Six blades – crushes ice in no time flat! Some seriously smokin’ power. Makes great smoothies. We love ours.

      4. Great product tips Shannon. Thanks! I will also have a look at your post about non-recyclables too. I haven’t heard of the ninja pro – I hope it does hot and cold like the vitamix does as that is seriously cool.

      5. Shannon says:

        It does do hot as well as cold. I use it to puree soups or squashes (that I’ve just steamed) straight off the stovetop. Also dropped in whole, unpeeled, unseeded tomatoes from my garden to freeze in batches for soups and sauces. Worked great.

        The container is a thick plastic, which is less heavy than glass (especially when it’s filled to a gallon capacity with fluid!). Easy to clean. Nice safety features built in.

      6. I will definitely need to look into this. It sounds great! And probably less expensive than a Vitamix. Thanks Shannon

  12. Ooooohhhhh! That looks good!

  13. I have a problem….where do i file this recipe??? Under Mexican? Japanese? Vegetarian!

    1. Oops – hadn’t thought of that dilemma. Fusion? I had a hard time deciding what to call it for the post because I love all the veg, and wanted to write the word ‘togarashi’ but thought it would have frightened the casual reader. But togarashi is an awesome word. Thanks for commenting, Linda. I appreciate it.

  14. thespicyrd says:

    I don’t know what to say…Japanese/Mexican tacos-genius! I have been catching up on your latest posts with a big smile on my face. Wonderful reading them all! Did you know you and Mr. Spicy were in London at the same time? He, of course, was not there for a food blogging conference, but rather taking a two day breather & visiting a cousin on his way home from Oktoberfest. The conference sounds wonderful, and these tacos are a must make!

    1. Thank you Mrs Spicy. Oktoberfest. Hmm. I have heard some tales about Oktoberfest! I hope Mr Spicy and his liver are recovering nicely (just kidding about the liver.. I am sure he was the picture of sobriety and decorum ;). The tacos are a bit crazy but I thought it was a fun way to use one of my favourite spice mixes.

  15. candidsbyjo says:

    Wonderful recap of FBC Kelly. I’ve been on a health/butternut squash kick lately so will be trying this recipe soon! Look forward to trying togarashi too

    1. Thanks Jo. I will be doing a little more recapping (without the self-indulgent preamble) about Leemei’s cookbook writing session once I get my hot little mitts on her book! I am going to visit family in the US next weekend and hope to take a few photocopied pages to try out on them. Thanks so much for commenting, Jo. It was fantastic meeting you and having a few wee chats.

  16. Those tacos are gorgeous! I’ll have to get my hands on some butternut squash and try them out for our next taco night. Thanks so much for the recipe!

    1. Is butternut squash easy enough to get in Stockholm? Any hard, sweetish squash would do though if other varieties are easier to get. I am really chuffed that you like the look of these and that might feature on your taco night menu. We topped them with some non-fat Greek yogurt and more togarashi, with plenty of zippy lime (I am lime fiend) and an ad-hoc salsa made from bits and bobs.

      1. Butternut squash and pumpkin are easy to find. Any other kind of squash (acorn, spaghetti, etc) forget about it.

      2. Spaghetti squash are hard to find here too. I LOVE them but I only have one recipe up for it because I don’t want people getting their hopes up and then not being able to find it. Other squash, including acorn, are fine though. But there really is no other substitute for spaghetti squash cos we want it for its spaghetti-ness, don’t we? PS I pinned your roasted apples last night :D

  17. kittenkirst says:

    Wonderful photos: I am now itching to try this recipe (black beans & squash being some of my fave ingredients). Really looking forward to trying the togarashi- do you think it’d be okay to use a pestle & mortar, possibly take a while longer to grind and be a little more coarse?
    Thanks

    1. Pestle and mortar will be fine, but a little coffee grinder is such a big help if you like to grind your own spices regularly. I’m really glad you like the look of this. Wasn’t sure how people would react to it, ‘cos it is a bit weird, but I should have trusted that anyone who reads me knows that I tend to come in from left field :D

  18. Wow, what can I say. Firstly, it was absolutely great to meet you at FBC. It was so lovely to be your classmate for the day and to finally put a face to a name! I throughly enjoyed my time at the conference and am only sad that I didn’t get to stay for all of it. I would have enjoyed Felicity Cloak by the sound of your write up and agree that SIlvana was a great highlight and that generally the whole conference was full of great content. As to your delicious recipe, it really entices ot to try the Japanese spice blend – a new one for me! Kale, butternut squash, tacos, what’s not to love? Thank you for supporting Simple and in Season.Looking forward to hearing about Leemei’s talk. xxx

    1. I am smiling from ear to ear with your very kind comment. You know I was thrilled to meet you too, but sorry for jostling the table with my fidgeting! The event has planted many seeds in my mind: should I self-host (scared of losing my subscribers in the shuffle – yikes!), security (double yikes), pr stuff (not so sure)- lots of things. I’m not sure if the photo for this entry to Simple and in Season went through but if not just pull it off the web. Your round ups are always great, and a superb way of introducing us to other bloggers. Anyone reading this: go visit Ren!

  19. This looks like a wonderful light treat for an autumn day. I can’t wait to try it. I completely agree, not everything has to be roasted and stewed!

    1. It is very light, but nicely filling too. We are going to a relative’s for afternoon tea, so I think we will have these again tonight to balance out the cakes and sandwiches that will undoubtedly be on offer.

  20. What a FABULOUS post Kellie and thanks so much for your kind words too…..you were just as I imagined, insofar that you were friendly and kind as well as being easy to talk too and with a lovely “bonny” complexion….and it was a delight to sit next to you throughout FBC! Your recipe and photos, as always, are irresistible and I really must get my finger out and write my FBC post! Let me know when you get your book and I look forward to meeting you again, hopefully before the next FBC in 2013! Karen

    1. I will be looking for your write up of FBC. You and your lovely iPad could go much faster than me and my little hands! And I too hope we can see each other before next year’s event. I will be on the look out for cookery course down your way. And down Ren’s way too (I will try and get her to make me some proper Polish food!). Thank you for your most kind comment – my ‘bonny complexion’ indeed! Ha ha

  21. Susan says:

    That must have been the most fun us foodie bloggers could ever have in one big place!!! I MUST find out about next year’s event, and plan on attending. So much knowledge…so little time! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your experience.

    1. The thing was, it wasn’t too big, which was a big plus for someone like me who just shrinks in crowds. We were able to meet the speakers and anyone we liked really. YOu would have loved it I’m sure. There is so much more information from FBC but I will probably share it in dribs and drabs and will definitely point to other attendee’s blogs for their interpretation and analysis. I know Karen from Lavender and Lovage will do something, and it will be very useful for any blogger to read her.

  22. That “new girl” feeling only comes once in the same setting, and it goes away so quickly. I am so glad both heart pounding moments came and passed quickly! I need to get myself to a blogging conference. It sounds so inspiring!! My brother made corn this weekend for chili – it was great and it sent me on a mission to incorporate corn in recipes. This is a great one to try!

  23. kathrinjapan says:

    Who knew there was even such a convention?!? That’s awesome!

    1. It was good fun, and I learned loads. Never too old to learn!

  24. moominkat says:

    Hi Kellie, sounds like you had a blast, love the links to the various blogs and online magazine – thanks! Re: the togarashi, I tracked some down in the chinese grocers in Tollcross, as the Morningside Waitrose doesn’t carry it and I was too lazy to trug down to Stockbridge! They keep it by the till and call it ‘7 spice powder’. No idea if it’s as good as the Waitrose one nor the one you made.

    1. kellieanderson says:

      Clever you! I’m sure it’s the same as Waitrose and similar to mine. The fact that it is 7 spice is the key (shichi). I really hope you like it. Add some more fresh orange zest with bought kind to give it a bit more freshness. All recipes have a slightly different balance, mine favouring the citrus and playing down the fiery heat. Thanks for letting me know that Morningside doesn’t carry it. Wonder why.

  25. Kiran says:

    I am a huge fan of anything and everything vegetarian tacos! Yum :)

  26. Natalie Ward says:

    I’ve actually got some of that stuff (7 spice it’s called on the pack), soooo glad to find a recipe to use it!! I’ve just sprinkled it over veggie tempura before. I feel left out not going to the FBC, it sounds like you learnt loads but I have to admit I like being anonymous sometimes, crowds scare me a bit, you did so well braving it!!

  27. Anne says:

    Togarashi is a new one on me, sounds delicious! The tacos look delicious!

    1. Thank you. It’s pretty different. I mean, seaweed and orange peel? But somehow it works.

If you have time, I would love to hear from you. Thanks so much!

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