Monday, April 7, 2008

Tasty Tools: Grater/Microplane Round Up!

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Thank you to all the food bloggers (and non-bloggers) who participated in my first Tasty Tools blogging event! We had a total of 37 participants from all over the world including Netherlands, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Poland, India and all throughout the US. I'm thrilled to share with you all the wonderful recipes that can be made with your everyday kitchen grater and microplane. Hopefully these recipes will inspire you to use these tools more often! Now onto March's Tasty Tools participants...


My Indiana neighbor, Annie of Annie's Eats, shares with us a Triple Citrus Cheesecake using lemon, lime, and orange zest. The microplane definitely allows the zest of these citrus fruits to carry their flavor into the cheesecake's crust. This is a wonderful dessert to welcome spring - Thanks Annie!


Myriam of My Kitchen Diaries submits her French Style Lemon Tart from across the sea. Myriam is from the Netherlands but from the looks of her tart, I'm reminded of my trip to Paris a few years ago. The grater Myriam uses helps make this tart look so refreshing!


New Englander, Danielle of Make No Little Meals, joins the Tasty Tools blog event from Rhode Island. Danielle's entry is a Roasted Asparagus and Cherry Tomato Tart which used the microplane grater for the hard cheese called for in her recipe. I love the fresh colors of the veggies in this tart and I can only imagine how good it is with all the cheese paired with the buttery puff pastry. Thanks Danielle for sharing it with us!


In the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, Ashley of The Spicy Skillet from Arizona, shares a festive meal of Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Green Mashed Potatoes! She used her microplane grater to finely grate parmesan cheese used for the chicken crust. Great job Ashley!


Kristelle of Kristelle's Chocolate Year is probably the youngest of all our bloggers participating in the Tasty Tools event! She shares with us her blog's first recipe, Chocolate Rapture Cake. Using a microplane, she grated chocolate to stir into her frosting and also as a garnish to top her luscious cake. Great job for a new blogger Krystelle!

From Boston, Stephanie of Confessions of a City Eater, joins in the Tasty Tools event with the tropical flair of her Pina Colada Cheesecake Bars. These bars looks amazing and I'm a sucker for pineapple! Stephanie used her grater to get additional flavor from her lemon rinds. Thank you Stephanie for posting a recipe perfect for the spring!


I love cheese and Amy of Tart Reform, who hails from Maryland, has found a way to my heart with her Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs). She made these delicious pillows of cheese using her grater. Grated cheese makes it easier to melt and combine within the dough, resulting in picture perfect gougeres. Thanks for making these Amy!


From the Land Down Under (Australia), Y. of LemonPi submits her Warm Chestnut Pudding with Butterscotch Pear. Wow, if the name of the dish doesn't intrigue you, I don't know what will! For this dish, shares the recipe for the streusel used. Y. used the microplane to zest a lemon for added flavor and aroma to the streusel topping her baked pudding (or can be used to top your favorite muffin recipe). I love the combination of flavors and this dish inspires me to work more with chestnuts! Thank you Y. for sharing your dish for the Tasty Tools event!


Jen of Beantown Baker - Adventures in a Boston Kitchen, joins the event from Boston with lemon & lime curd. Most are familiar with lemon curd, but I love Jen's spin by making a key lime curd. The microplane allows her to pack in a lot of flavor, resulting in a flavorful and fresh curd to use in various ways. Thanks Jen for your refreshing entry!


I'm getting thirsty as a result of Robin of Made with Love's entry! Robin joins the event from Rhode Island, sharing her Orange Cream Mimosas. Her new microplane does a fine job zesting an orange which was used in the recipe. What a perfect way to break in your new kitchen toy Robin!


My friend Cheryl, joins the event with her Eggs Florentine over Polenta Cakes. I met Cheryl when she attended one of my events through What's Cookin Chicago. She's a chef by trade and I really like how she used her microplane to grate cheese and nutmeg for her dish. This looks like a wonderful breakfast - Thanks Cheryl for sharing!


Not many folks know this, but I'm actually a Canadian citizen. Given that, I was thrilled to have Sarah of What Smells So Good? join the event from Ontario Canada. She comes to the event sharing her Skyscraper Pumpkin Biscuits. Wow... I need to try this recipe soon. Sarah used her microplane to grate fresh ginger that was called for in her recipe. I love the combination of pumpkin & ginger. All that's missing is a pat of butter~mmmm. Thanks Sarah!


One of my fave weekend breakfasts is of freshly baked cinnamon rolls. Carrie of Carrie's Cooking Adventures must have read my mind because she shares with us her Sticky Orange Cinnamon Rolls. Carries made an orange spread which was used in between the cinnamon roll creases. Her microplane allowed her to get that extra flavor from the orange, making it tasty and fragrant. Thanks Carrie for your entry!


Melissa of Made by Melissa tempts me with her Key Lime Bars! She used her microplane to zest the limes needed in the bar filling. Her recipe is a tried & true one so definitely check it out. From the looks of her pics, they are perfect to welcome spring! Thanks Melissa!


Other fellow Canadians join in on the fun! Gizmar & Psychgrad of Equal Opportunity Kitchen and they share with us recipes for Hamentashen, or Jewish Purse Cookies. They used their microplane to add the zest of lemons into the poppyseed filling called for in their recipe. It looks fabulous and I love the history they mention about the cookies as it relates to the Purim Jewish holiday. Thank you both for sharing a wonderful recipe and culture with us!


A Happy Belated St. Patrick's Day to Ruth of Ruth's Experiments! She hails from Northern Ireland and shares with us her chicken, bacon & pea risotto. Ruth's use for the microplane is a clever one! She used her microplane to grate an onion for her risotto to disguise the addition of it in the dish from her husband. I love this trick because I do the same for recipes where I want the flavor but not the texture of the onion. Thanks for your entry Ruth!


Sarah of Homemade shares with us her lemon poppyseed muffins! She joins us from Arizona and her microplane gave her the lemon zest needed for the recipe. Sarah's guests who she made these for were pretty lucky to enjoy these! Thanks so much Sarah for sharing them with us too!


Another savory dish is saffron & black pepper pasta that Lee Ann from Tiny Mango shares from Virginia. Her microplane did double duty in her recipe which called for lemon zest and finely grated manchengo cheese. What a "grate" entry to show the versatility of a microplane grater Lee Ann!


Sarah of Sensible Suppers & Decadent Desserts joins us from the midwest to share her Banana Strawberry Cake with Lemon Frosting. She used her microplane to zest lemons for her lemon frosting. I especially love her very cool pic of her microplane... what a great angle! Thanks Sarah for sharing and the flavors are perfect for spring!


Lots of folks may be intimidated by cooking fish, but Karen of Lovestoeat Weblog makes it look easy! Karen is lucky to have access to fresh seafood since she's in Florida and we're lucky to have her share a Citrus Tilapia dish. She used her microplane to zest an entire lemon for this savory dish. Thanks Karen!


Richa of As Dear As Salt, joins the event from New Jersey with her Fig & Honey Gelato. I love the combination of fig and honey... and her microplane was used to add some orange zest to the mix. Her recipe is one to keep since summer is just around the corner! Thank you Richa for your delicious entry...


Tina from SweetDesigns is a talented baker & cake decorator from Indiana. Tina shares with us a refreshing ginger lime curd. Both the ginger and lime were paired up with the microplane to add the needed flavors to the curd. Tina, I love your photos clearing showing your use of the microplane. Now if only I could get a taste of the ginger lime curd... Thanks for joining the event Tina!


A Perfect Party Cake has been submitted for the event by Jaime of Good Eats 'n Sweet Treats. In making this cake, Jaime used her microplane to zest lemons for the cake batter. The result is a beautiful cake full of fresh berries and citrus flavor. Thank you Jaime for sharing a delicious entry!


My friend Linda joins us from Chicago. She's a member of my What's Cookin Chicago group who brought a wonderful Goat Cheese Spread w/Herbs & Olive Oil appetizer over the other day. I told Linda that it would be a great recipe to include in the Tasty Tools event. If you are a goat cheese fan, this is a great recipe to try for guests or just as a light snack. It uses fresh herbs and the microplane was used for the lemon zest to add a perfect hint of lemon. Thanks Linda for sharing it with me and participating in the Tasty Tools event!


My neighbor to the north, Erika of Tummy Treasure, joins us from Wisconsin. Her recipe is for an orange yogurt cake that required the microplane. The cake looks fabulous with the orange slices and zest mixed into the batter. Thanks for sharing the lovely cake Erika... I bet it tastes as great as it looks!


With summer just around the corner, thoughts of ice cream come to mind. And apparently Kelsey of Apple a Day thinks of ice cream too! She joins us from Arizona to share her meyer lemon ice cream. Her microplane allowed the zest of lemons and oranges to penetrate the ice cream batter. Thanks Kelsey for a wonderful entry!


A fellow Chicagoan joins us! Erin of Cooking and Eating in the Windy City brings a delicious looking pear clafouti to the Tasty Tools event. This is Erin's first blogging event and her submission is great! She used her microplane to grate chocolate over her french dessert. Thanks Erin for choosing Tasty Tools as your first blogging event and I hope you continue to participate in future events soon!


From Poland, Ewa of Milk & Pumpkin brings some Polish carrot pancakes to the event! Her recipe is not only an ethnic specialty but a creative one. Her microplane was used to finely grate carrots for the perfect pancake texture. Thank you Ewa for joining the event with another fun way to use a microplane!


Have you ever grated cauliflower for a recipe? Well here's your chance! Ranji of Ranji's Kitchen Corner comes from Massachusetts (by way of India) to share her cauliflower masala recipe. Ranji used her grater to get a nice fine texture from her cauliflower and her ginger. I love the exotic flavors used in her dish and its also vegetarian too! Thank you Ranji for sharing your recipe and another inventive way to use a grater.


Tarts are especially popular this time of year to welcome spring and make use of fresh produce and cheese. Dana of Dulcedo joins us from Washington state to share her asparagus & gruyere tart. Aside from the beautiful presentation, her tart required the use of a microplane grater to achieve a finely grated gruyere cheese called for in her recipe. Dana, your tart looks wonderful and I'm willing it to bet it tastes wonderful too!


One dish that I've meaning to make is a panna cotta, but I keep putting it off. However Deeba of Passionate About Baking has inspired me to give it a go. She comes from India and shares her lime yogurt panna cotta. Her recipe uses the microplane for several ingredients including lime, lemons and nutmeg. Thank you Deeba for your inspiration and joining the event!


Shrimp is my husband's favorite seafood choice and he's definitely a fan of the Coconut Lime Shrimp that Renea of Sweet Savory Southern made for the event. Renea joins us from Alabama with her first blogging event and she used her microplane to add some lime zest to the shrimp breading. Great job Renea for a wonderful recipe perfect for the warmer days ahead!


Alexandra of Addicted Sweet Tooth comes to the event from New York with her scrumptious orange cherry muffins. She used her microplane for the orange zest called for in her recipe and if you look at the second picture below, you can even see the little specks of zest throughout the muffin! Interestingly, her muffin recipe was inspired by a dance studio that served cherry-orange juice. What a great way to bring back memories and participate the event - Thank you Alexandra!


Spring is in the air and also in the risotto & spring vegetables dish that Kim of Live Love Laugh shares with us! Kim has a pretty smart grater that measures as she grates - I love it! Her grater was used to grate parmesan cheese called for in the recipe. Thanks Kim!


We've been given a warning to Proceed With Caution by Stefany. A fellow Chicagoland blogger, she comes to the event to share a great looking warm asian noodle salad. I'm a sucker for asian food and this dish is no exception. I love how Stephany's microplane serves double duty to create pulverized garlic and grated ginger for her recipe. Thanks Stephany for participating!


Jade of Apples & Oranges joins the event too from New York. She comes sharing Paula Deen's Lemon Bars recipe and her own suggestions/tips for adding a little more "pizzaz" to the recipe. The lemon bars includes lemon zest (hence, the use of the microplane) but I'm always in awe of Jade's beautiful photos. Thanks Jade for sharing your helpful tips!


Sporting a new look & blog, Amy of Sing For Your Supper, joins us from Texas. She recently bought a new microplane grater and I'm thrilled she participated in the Tasty Tools event to help break it in. Her recipe for lemon cake looks amazing and I bet tastes great with a little marscapone cheese she used. Her microplane came in handy for the lemon zest called for in the recipe. Thanks Amy for joining in!




Thanks again to everyone that participated and hope more join in for the April Tasty Tools Challenge. Information on the April Tasty Tools Challenge to follow!

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