Food on Fridays: Go Greek with L.L. Barkat

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Here at the Food on Fridays carnival, any post remotely related to food is welcome—your link could be a recipe like your favorite Colts blue Superbowl party dip, but it does not have to be a recipe. If it’s about shopping at Trader Joe’s or your review of “Julie & Julia,” go ahead and link up! Think of it as a virtual pitch-in where you can sample what everyone brings and have a great time.When your Food on Fridays contribution is ready, just grab the broccoli button (the big one above or smaller option at the bottom) to paste at the top of your post and join us through Mr. Linky.Here’s a Mr. Linky tutorial:

Write up a post, publish, then return here and click on Mr. Linky below. A screen will pop up where you can type in your blog name and paste in the url to your own Food on Fridays post (give us the exact link to your Food on Fridays page, not just the link to your blog).You can also visit other people’s posts by clicking on Mr. Linky and then clicking participants’ names–you should be taken straight to their posts.Please note: I return when possible during the day and update this post by hand to include a list of the links provided via Mr. Linky. If I can’t get to the computer to do so, you may access them all by clicking on the Mister Linky logo.

Food on Fridays Participants

1. Laura @ Frugal Follies (Jalapeno Poppers)2. Kristen (sticky spicy biscuits)3. Newlyweds (Chicken Corn Chowder)4. Alison @ My Vintage Kitchen (roasted garlic and potato soup)5. Dining With Debbie (chocolate pecan chocolate chunk pie) and a giveaway6. Self Sagacity7. Alison @ Under the big Oak Tree (food round up… links) 8. Prudent & Practical {Old Fashioned Date Cookies} 9. April@ The 21st Century Housewife (Chocolate Banana Snack Cake)10. Kathleen Overby11. Tara @ Feels Like Home (fruit salad w/yogurt dressing)12. Raw Thoughts and Feelings13. Aubree Cherie@ Living Free (Banana Bread Bites)14. ITWPF{ Tuscan Menu}15. Kelly @ This Restless Heart (Orange Cheese Blintzes w Strawberry Sauce)16. Sara (greek chicken) 17. P31′s Rachel Olsen (superbowl)18. Odd Mom (Black Bean Burritos)19. Breastfeeding Moms Unite! (Pico De Gallo)20. Upstatemomof3 (Gomen Wat)21. Hoosier Homemade{ Super Bowl Recipes}22. JA @ Gravity of Motion (Black Bean Taco Salad)23. Marcia@ Frugalhomekeeping(My Favorite Chocolate Recipes Cookbook)24. Leftovers On Purpose (Chicken Couscous)25. Elizabeth26. trishsouthard (Mississippi Mudslide for Fat Tuesday)27. Comfy Cook – Quinoa Cakes

Food on Fridays with Ann

Today I want to introduce you to my friend L.L. Barkat. We met at the 2008 Festival of Faith & Writing, where we sat in the spring sunshine munching our pre-ordered box lunches and talked about writing, publishing, editors and agents. Little did I know that a year or so later, she would contact me in her role as Managing Editor at HighCallingBlogs (HCB) to ask me to serve as a volunteer contributor and later as a Content Editor. It’s been a privilege and pleasure following her work online, reading her published works, and now working with her through HCB.Ann: L.L., first off, what’s your all-time favorite recipe? Will you share it with Food on Fridays readers?LL Barkat: I have so many favorites! Here’s a Greek recipe I love. If you prefer to make it with beef, that can work too. But I’m a veggie girl, so…Greek Roasted Vegetables and ChickpeasAdd all to a large rectangular casserole dish and cover with aluminum foil. Roast at 400 degrees for about 2 hours or until very tender. Remove foil, lower heat to 350 and roast for another 15 minutes or until nicely browned…• assorted vegetables chopped chunky, such as turnip, carrot, potato, celery, red onion• 1 can or 1 1/2 cups dry and pre-cooked chickpeas (or 1 lb. beef if you prefer, sautéed first until brown)• 1 TB balsamic vinegar• 1 TB worcestershire sauce• 4 large garlic, minced• 1/2 jar Muir Glen Sauce• 1 TB Muir Glen tomato paste• 1 tsp. cinnamon• 1/2 tsp. nutmeg• 1/2 tsp. allspice• 1/2 tsp. ground clove• 1/4 cup red wine• a few pours olive oil• 2 cups water (add more as needed throughout, for desired sauce consistency)Finish…Add salt and pepper to taste and a few pours of olive oil. Mix in a handful or two of raisins.Serve over any kind of flat noodle, with salad or other green vegetable. The rich spices are an excellent complement to the mild flavor of chickpeas.Ann: Mmmm….I’ll bet the kitchen smells great while it’s roasting. Well, now that we’re off to a delicious start, let’s talk a little about HCB and your role as Managing Editor. Your Post “5 Things a Blog Network Can Do for You”  is a great overview of HCB. How would you describe your Managing Editor role?LL Barkat: It is my absolute dream job. I get to be social, strategize, write, host Twitter parties, go to conferences, work with Editors. Wow! I love it.The cool thing is that it happened because I started by volunteering, and then HCB entered a time of expansion and new funding (which, btw, should still be a trend going into next year, so HCB is a good place to watch for opportunities).Ann: How you do all that you do is beyond me—Managing Editor at HCB, keeping up three blogs, raising and educating two beautiful daughters, learning all about social networking trends, writing books and generating poetry—even hosting poetry parties! You lead Random Acts of Poetry at HCB and host poetry jam sessions through @tspoetry. How do you do it all?LL Barkat: Synergy. Everything I do works together. The Twitter parties, for instance, are also something I use to feed Random Acts of Poetry at HCB. And some of my best poems in InsideOut came from material I wrote during the parties. At my Green Inventions blog I process thoughts about education and technology. At Love Notes to Yahweh I think out loud about chapters I’m writing or material that I need to reflect on for talks.After blogging for more than 3 years, I found I had to approach on-line life this way or I’d burn out.Ann: Synergy. I like that. Now, I have to be honest with you, L.L. @tspoetry still  intimidates me a little. I don’t completely understand how it works. Can you explain it to us? And did your Lazy Blogger’s Tuna Casserole post flow from a @tspoetry party?LL Barkat: Oh, the Twitter parties are so much fun. @tspoetry announces the time (which is usually 9:30-10:30 pm EST every other Tuesday night), then we all get on Twitter and write poetry together. @tspoetry gives prompts, which we respond to. But we also lift and turn each other’s words. It’s challenging, hilarious, sometimes poignant. Check out http://tweetspeakpoetry.com/blog for more info on how to come to a party.Casseroles on Twitter! That post you’re referring to was just me keeping myself company on New Year’s Eve. I was cooking and tweeting and suddenly… The Lazy Blogger’s Tuna Casserole.Ann: I think the foodies here at Food on Fridays might be particularly interested in the food posts at Green Inventions, like your vegetarian dishes and The 30-Day Recipes. Any advice on what they should explore?LL Barkat: I’d probably start in the sidebar, at the recipe list. Or… I don’t know. Maybe begin with your favorite bean? ☺Ann: You’re a woman of great spiritual depth and intellectual curiosity. You explore and express ideas, prayer, creativity and faith through words and art (and food!). One avenue is through blogging at Seedlings in Stone and, as you already mentioned, Love Notes to Yahweh and Green Inventions Central. How do each of these blogs capture/reflect some aspect of who you are?LL Barkat: Sometimes people ask me why I have three separate blogs (it’s not very effective for getting the most Google juice ☺). But the fun is I can be different things to different audiences; yet it’s the same old me. Writing about all the stuff I love: art, food, spiritual practice, writing, technology, education.Ann: Your book Stone Crossings was recently released when we met at that Festival. You’ve also recently released a book of poetry with International Arts Movement, Inside Out. In keeping with the food theme, would you share “Page 5,” the poem on p. 100-101? I’ll leave my readers with your words.LL Barkat: How delightful. Sure, here it is…Page 5The menusays strawberryshortcakewith whipped creambut here’s the deal:I remember what’s real,my mother’s child-smallhands turning floursugar, shorteningthe “size of a big egg”so the old recipeinstructed. I remembersun-kissed fields offurrows, hills mygrandmother’s roughpatched yet paintedhands turned and raisedto grow strawberries blushedand bleeding real juice,not perfumed waterthat pretends ripenesscut and strewn over too-sweet cake. I remembercream, real, whipped.

“Greek Roasted Vegetables” photo © 2007 by LL Barkat. Used with permission.

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  • Comments

    1. That recipe sounds so delicious – what lovely flavour combinations it has in it. And thank you for introducing us to LL Barkat and her blogs!

    2. Tweetspeak poetry is dangerously fun. Deep play for adults. Thanks Ann and Laura. HCB is on my ‘pointer’ list on twitter. The pool to splash in is deep, wide, high and long. I have met so many people, all walks of life and faith. Still exploring, it will take a bit.

    3. What a cool interview with LL! I didn’t know that she was such an artist with food as well! I really enjoyed the poem that you chose to close this with… very vivid.

      Thanks!

      Dan King

    4. “…I remember

      cream, real, whipped.”

      This line makes me want to cry. Every single time I read it.

      What a fun interview – I love this food post idea, Ann. I’ve been somewhat absent online this week. I need to get over here more. Thanks for the opportunity.

    5. Oh, just bravo, Ann! I loved all the questions you asked L.L.–learned more about this remarkable woman. Can’t wait to try her Greek Veggies recipe (probably with beef for me!) Enjoyed this post tremendously.

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