Behind The Scenes: Ally’s Kitchen~A Passport For Adventurous Palates cookbook

Blog Tour - May-1-28-2015

I’ve been holding a secret treasure in my hands for over a year — filled with wonder, adventure, and tales from around the globe shared by a precious gem of a friend — right there in my writing nook.

When Ally Phillips asked if I’d edit her cookbook-in-the-making in April 2014, of course I jumped at the opportunity — and onto her “magic carpet!” What a ride it’s been since.

Besides working on editorial stuff (spelling, grammar, formatting recipes, arranging page flow, and making sure Ally’s “voice” came through, etc.), I played in my kitchen — and around the house. Ally encourages that. :)

Did I mention fabulous food? (I didn’t spend all my time on the computer!)

Being privy to some of the most imaginative recipes I’ve ever read prompted me to “taste test” frequently, too.

So far I’ve savored Makai Paka, Pan Seared Flounder with Fresh Herb Tomatoes, French-Inspired Beef Roast, Croatian Potato Salad, Bourbon Drizzle, Shakshouka, and more.

Now that Ally’s “treasure” is shared with the world (available in bookstores May 12th) you can discover other folks’ reactions to it (and recipes they’ve tried) on the Blog Tour.

No surprise that the reviews are as diverse as the author ~ ‘expressing your unique self’ is a theme throughout her cookbook.

“It’s my sincere hope that ‘Ally’s Kitchen~A Passport For Adventurous Palates’ will be the spark, the catalyst that allows you to discover your own special sense of style ~ not just in the kitchen, but in life and living.” ~~ ally

singaporean grilled glazed salmon

Singaporean Grilled Glazed Salmon

(from Ally’s Kitchen~A Passport For Adventurous Palates)


1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger (I used 1 tsp. ground ginger)

1 tsp. lemon pepper (I used 1/2 tsp. each fresh lemon zest & coarsely ground pepper)

1/2 tsp. sea salt

2 Tbsp. sesame oil

1 (1 lb.) salmon filet, approximately 1-inch thick, cut into two pieces

Cooking spray

marinade in the making

In a small bowl, combine the ginger, lemon pepper, salt, and sesame oil and blend well. Score the top of the salmon about 1/4-inch deep, then drizzle with the marinade and rub it into the salmon. Cover and refrigerate about an hour before cooking.


3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup cranberry juice

1 Tbsp. concentrated tomato paste

1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce (I used Tamari)

1 tsp. freshly grated ginger (I used about 1/2 tsp. ground ginger)

juice of 1/2 lime

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 tsp. mustard

1 tsp. red curry powder

1/2 tsp. turmeric

1/2 tsp. Chinese 5-Spice


Combine the brown sugar, cranberry juice, tomato paste, soy sauce, ginger, lime juice, garlic, mustard, red curry powder, turmeric, and Chinese 5-Spice in a heavy medium-size saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring and cooking about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook another 8-10 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.

Coat outdoor grill grates with cooking spray and heat to 300-350 degrees. Place the salmon on the grill and cook 1-1/2 to 2 minutes on each side (or to your desired doneness), closing the lid in between turning. Turn off the grill and use a pastry brush to coat the top of the salmon with the glaze. Close the lid again for about 3 minutes, then remove the salmon to a plate for serving.

(I “boho’d” mine by plating it over gluten-free black bean “spaghetti.”)


For more about Ally’s Kitchen~A Passport For Adventurous Palates please visit:

Ally’s Kitchen or Barnes & Noble

Book signings/events

Cookbook trailer (3 minute video featuring Ally)

Blog Tour (May 1-28, 2015)

Enjoying sharing “treasure” with you,

~ Kim

Disclaimer:  Cedar Fort Media & Publishing provided me with a complimentary copy of this cookbook and I’m employed by Ally’s Kitchen LLC, but the opinions expressed in this review are uncompensated and entirely mine.

Project Egg (Recipe review and FREE e-book)

Project Egg

Project Egg by Jane Sarchet

Every once in awhile, someone comes into your life and makes it sunnier — or in this case, sunny side up.

Jane Sarchet, author of The Hedge Combers blog, wanted to put her passion for poultry into print.  After gleaning through recipes submitted from ’round the world, Project Egg was hatched.

Featuring dozens of egg-related dishes to appease your appetite (or whenever you’re feeling peckish), you’ll find everything from appetizers to desserts in this charming lil’ e-book.

One of the contributors to Project Egg was Helene D’Souza of Masala Herb.  (She also co-authors Food Writer Friday with Maureen Shaw.)  Helene’s Shakshuka recipe intrigued me for two reasons: 1) creamy eggs simmered in fragrant tomato sauce make me swoon and 2) this tasty idea appears in a number of cultures (for good reason), each contributing their own spin.


Shakshuka, Up Close and Personal

Case in point.  Earlier this year, my friend, Ruth (89 years young) sent me a similar recipe.  In researching its origins, I ran across a version by David Leite of Leite’s Culinaria.  I contacted him straightaway and he was kind enough to do a comparison.

David confirmed that my friend’s recipe was an original, not an adaptation.  (His hailed from Portugal, hers from Minnesota.)  Many thanks, David!

Helene’s recipe comes from the shores of Goa and dates back to the Ottoman Empire.  That was enough research — time to crack some eggs.  Rather than duplicate it here, I’ll share my conclusions.

(You’ll have your own copy in a minute!)

Helene’s photo in Project Egg shows perfectly-cooked sunny-side-up eggs.  Mine were a bit more “done.”  (Operator error — mine, not hers.)  Be sure to make the “wells” large enough — the eggs should end up more flat than round (with yolks still intact) when you crack them into the simmering sauce.

Also remember that eggs continue to cook once you remove them from the heat, so keep an eye on ’em.  (Helene was specific about that in her instructions.)  I can confirm this is true.

Despite my snafus, Shakshuka was flavorful and balanced, not to mention quick — less than 30 minutes from start to finish — a terrific stove-top recipe for summertime or anytime.


By the way, Project Egg is Jane Sarchet’s gift to the world!

For your FREE copy, click here.

Enjoying all things egg,

~ Kimby

Disclaimer:  Although one of my recipes was also selected to be included in Project Egg, my enthusiasm for this e-book is rooted in Jane’s benevolence.  Thank you for realizing that. xo