December 07, 2008

A Heartfelt hug for Barbara...

It's amazing, this internet thing.

The friendships I've developed, the stories I've shared, the things I've learned from people around the world. People I've never met. People with whom I don't share much in common beyond a passion for food.

Barbara is one of those people.

If you've surfed much of the food blog world you've undoubtedly encountered Barbara's warm heart, gentle spirit compelling photography and tasty recipes. A three time cancer survivor, she says she first discovered her fascination with food with an amateur attempt at raclette -- at the tender age of six. She started blogging to retain her sanity and some sense of community during her first round with chemotherapy and went on to lead the food blogging community in support of the Lance Armstrong Foundation's LiveStrong events with the colorful Taste of Yellow. She's the baker, the wine lover, the traveler, the brains, heart and soul behind Winos and Foodies.

As she faces yet another round of the brutality that is chemotherapy, Barbara needs a little love. And her food blogging friends are right here to provide it. This weekend we're sending her love and laughter, strength, peace and spirit as we do it best -- through the sharing of food.

When Bron and Ilva put out the call to action on Friday I knew where I was going to find a recipe. It had to be a Donna Hay. Barbara's "Donna Days" event introduced me to Donna Hay -- part Nigella Lawson, part Martha Stewart, with a little bit of Giada di Laurentis thrown in for good measure, Donna's food is simple yet sophisticated, comfort food worthy of company. The perfect fare for a virtual hug.

My first thought was the recipe that started it all, the infamous self-frosting cupcakes, but opted instead for what I'm calling Chicken Soup for the Soul, Donna style:

Chicken in Basil and Coconut Broth

2-14 ounce cans coconut milk
2-14 ounce cans chicken stock
2 tbsp shredded ginger
2 red chiles seeded and chopped
1 tbsp fish sauce
3 sprigs cilantro, chopped
2 organic chicken breasts (boneless & skinless), sliced
1 cup basil, chopped
3.5 oz bean sprouts

Bring the first 6 ingredients (coconut milk through cilantro) to a slow boil over medium heat. Simmer for five minutes. Add the sliced chicken breast and poach until chicken is cooked through (5-7 minutes). Stir in basil.

To serve, distribute bean sprouts in four small bowls. Top with chicken breast and coconut broth.

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From the archives...
In 2006 I reflected on rellenos.
In 2007 I discovered some 19th century kitchen tools.


Bellini Valli said...

This is a heartfelt tribute to Barbara who has left her footprint on our hearts.

Peabody said...

A lovely post about Barb and a great dish for her.

Anonymous said...

What a delicious looking dish. I don't know Barbara, but felt it was a lovely tribute nonetheless.

Natashya said...

What a beautiful sentiment. Your dish truly is warming and healing as well.

farida said...

Beautiful post. I wish Barbara a speedy recovery.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A wonderful post and a great recipe! That soup looks mighty good!



Bron said...

I apologise Dolores, I thought I'd been by and left you a message!
So sorry! Thank you so much for sharing a delicious hug, it looks wondeful!

Barbara said...

Thank you Dolores for you lovely words and delicious recipe. It looks wonderful. Hugs right back at you.

Jaime said...

mmm that definitely looks comforting and i know barbara appreciates it!

just wanted you to know i finally got around to making the caramels and i LOVE them!! thanks for challenging me :)