Hye Thyme Cafe: IRON FOODIE 2010

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010


How excited am I?!?  I just recently started blogging, and even more recently - yesterday to be specific - I was approved to become a member of the Foodie Blog Roll. I logged on to their website a while ago and saw that they are teaming up with the folks at Marx Foods to crown the first ever Iron Foodie. As soon as I saw the word "Iron," I was like a deer caught in headlights! I love to watch Iron Chef (1993-1999) reruns, Iron Chef America and The Next Iron Chef ... not to mention the bazillion other cooking shows/competitions I follow.

Out of all the bloggers entering, 25 will be selected to participate in the challenge. They will each receive 8 mystery items from Marx Foods and will in turn transform 3 of those items into their Iron Foodie creation. The winner will receive a $200 store credit to Marxfoods.com. That would be awesome for me, because my job is only part-time at the moment, so my available discretionary income doesn't allow for playing their their exotic gourmet offerings right now. 

I have a confession to make ... I was not aware of Marxfoods before today. After wandering around their website for a while, I think I'm equally excited/scared. You see, they offer quite an array of proteins, and I'm a big wuss in that area (I guess that's two confessions). Being half Armenian, I grew up eating lamb, which completely disgusts about 20% of the people I know. That was totally normal to me, because it's what I grew up with, but when I moved to New Orleans back in 1993, I was horrified to start seeing things like rabbit, turtle, and alligator on menus! I knew people ate frog legs, but bunnies?!? Now that I'm back in Yankee territory (central NY), it seems like everybody and their uncle is out to get Bambi!

"What did she just say?!"

What am I gonna do if I'm selected for the challenge and receive something like Kangaroo?!  We'll see...

One of the eligibility requirements is that we answer the following questions:

1.  Why do you want to compete in this challenge?

First of all, I love the mystery aspect. I've been a mystery buff since I was 6, so even if I'm not selected, the anticipation of finding out what the 8 mystery items will be is already killing me. A challenge like this can really get your creative juices flowing and open you up to other new possibilities. Plus, it would be a great way to sort of introduce my new blog to more people and get to know some of my fellow foodies better through their entries.

2.  Limitations of time/space notwithstanding, whose kitchen would you like to spend the day in & why?  Julia Child, Thomas Keller, Ferran Adria, James Beard, Marie-Antoine Careme, or The Swedish Chef?

Hmmm, it's an interesting selection of chefs, but I think I would have to go with Ferran Adria. One of my favorite artists is Salvador Dali, and Adria was referred to by Gourmet magazine as "the Salvador Dali­ of the kitchen," so that alone would make me want to cook with him. His use of molecular gastronomy fascinates me, but after the billionth use of his foam technique on the cooking challenge shows, I'm over that one! It's been used so many times, just the word turns me off now. Aside from his style of cooking, and the fact that he has 3 Michelin stars and runs the purported best restaurant in the world, he's in Spain! I had the opportunity to travel to Spain twice when I was in high school and would welcome the opportunity to return as an adult.

3.  What morsel are you most likely to swipe from family & friends’ plates when they aren’t looking? 

I don't bother waiting for them to look away. I am regularly known to steal mint leaves off of other people's plates. I can understand leaving a parsley garnish behind, but mint leaves?!? I still chuckle thinking about being at Camp Calumet in NH when I was a kid ... on the long drive into the camp by the softball field was sort of a trench along the roadway. It was chock-full of mint, so while everyone else was watching the game, if my team wasn't up at the time, I'd be following my nose and sneaking away to scoop up some of that minty goodness. Many of the other kids thought I was a total freak for eating "weeds," but that's OK - I knew what they didn't! My nose was also great at picking up the scent of wild blueberries. "Stop the car, I smell blueberries!!"

4.  Sum your childhood up in one meal. 

Roasted chicken with Pilaf. I can feel all the Armenians reading this collectively smiling. That's kind of the quintessential every-day meal in an Armenian household. Well, I guess an American-Armenian household. That and Shish Kebab! Yummmmmm!!!

5.  The one mainstream food you can’t stand? 

Remember me talking about food protein phobias?  Well fish is another. I think that may go back to choking on a bone when I was 3 or 4, because I remember eating fish before that.  I'll sneak an occasional bite of lobster or a few shrimp here and there, but that's about it.  You'd be hard pressed to even get me to eat a tuna salad sandwich. Soooo, for that reason, my answer would have to be Sushi. I have no problem making it. We sometimes do a Sushi and Tempura night at home - recently added Sukiyaki, so my next mission will be to try Ice Cream Mochi to go along with it for dessert. 

OK folks, that's it. Wish me luck! And if I don't get chosen to participate (sniffle, sniffle, sob) ... good luck to those of you who do. I'll be playing along in spirit!!  A big thanks to The Foodie Blog Roll and Marx Foods for the opportunity.  


  1. Great minds think alike I have also chosen Ferran... Good luck

  2. Good luck to you too - it sounds like it should be fun! :)

  3. Congratulations, on being chosen as one of the 25 challengers! It will be so much fun to unwrap the "treasure box"!! I look forward to competing with you in this awesome contest! Good Luck!

  4. You too Rebecka, thanks! I can't wait! I keep telling people after looking at the Marx website, I'm just afraid they'll send Kangaroo or Llama or something that will make me want to cry! LOL :(

  5. Maybe I've overlooked it, have you posted for the Marx contest yet?

  6. Nope, got wrapped up in Thanksgiving, company, Christmas shopping, etc. I'll be cooking my dish for dinner tomorrow. :)


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