When the Stars Align! Kittee Bern’s Teff Love! Review (Gush Fest) and Giveaway!

platter 2Platter of Yum: with homemade 100% teff injera, spicy red lentil wot, mild yellow split peas in a creamy sauce, Ethiopian inspired Mac and Cheesie, Tangy lentil Salad and a tasty green salad with Italian Salad dressing.

Luckily for me, I’ve been stalking Kittee Berns of Cake Maker to the Stars for quite some time now. The infatuation/hero worship began when I first ran across her crazy awesome blog, and then found out she’s been vegan for 23+ years. Kittee is incredibly talented inside and outside the kitchen! She’s forever cooking/crafting/knitting/sewing all of the most fantastic things! A dear friendship has developed out of that stalkerhood and sometime in the last year I became an unofficial recipe tester for Kittee’s debut cookbook, Teff Love. During that time period, I’ve developed a serious hunk of burning love for all foods Ethiopian and sprinkled with berbere.

hummus and teff crepesEthiopian spiced hummus with toasted sunflower seed butter base, quick teff crepes and a bit of greens with Italian dressing on the side.

As you know, I LOVE food. So it’s no surprise that I adore pretty much every ethnic food I’ve ever tasted, and it turns out that despite never visiting an Ethiopian restaurant (0r Ethiopia, obviously), Ethiopian food is my new favorite cuisine. The recipes in Teff Love are straightforward, well explained and mouth-wateringly delicious. Most of the ingredients required to make these recipes are simple whole foods you can purchase at any grocery store and the book is almost entirely gluten-free. However, like any different genre of food, there are a few specialty ingredients/spices that you need in order to make the recipes in the book, these ingredients can be purchased at an Ethiopian Market/Grocer or easily online. Buyer beware: make sure to purchase imported berbere for these recipes! It packs some heat, but it’s a very delicious and complex spice mix, while berbere that’s produced stateside is mostly cayenne pepper and is EXTREMELY spicy.

pudlaEthiopian spiced chickpea pancake.

shehan ful (2)Shehan Ful, these are some of the best beans I’ve ever eaten, and guess what?!? You eat them for breakfast! Though I’ve made them for lunch and dinner plenty of times too!

If you’re like me and just wading into Ethiopian food bliss for the first time, Kittee has plenty of fusion recipes for you to dabble with that are all ready familiar and comforting to your palate like: brownies, crispy potato wedges, tofu scramble, vegan mac and cheese, pancakes and more.

browniesOutrageous Fudgy Mocha Teff Brownies! Look at the amazing crinkle top!

JojoCrispy Garlicky JoJo Potatoes Deliciousness

sourdough pancakesBlueberry Sourdough Pancakes, plus some banana ones for good measure

Tempeh SaladEthiopian spiced Mac and Cheesie and an Insanely good Tempeh Salad loaded with Apples.

tofu scrambleTofu Scramble tastiness

When you’re ready to take it to the next level and start making real Ethiopian food, Kittee holds your hand throughout the book and teaches you everything you need to know. The book includes menu plans, instructions for how to make your own 100% teff injera and even advice for putting together your own Ethiopian food shindig.

My favorite thing in the universe right now is Kittee’s injera. The injera is a fermented sourdough type crepe and serves as a base for all of the delicious recipes that top its surface. Its texture is slightly spongy and stretchy and it absorbs the flavors from the foods that sit on top of it and makes for a gorgeous flavor explosion. I cooked my injera on a well seasoned cast iron skillet and it turned out perfectly. You can watch a short video of Kittee making injera and get more injera skills info here.

Somer and Kittee

I found out Kittee was going to be in my neck of the woods and I invited her over for lunch. I made her and her bubs (Dazee and Vee) an Ethiopian feast with some of the recipes in the book. I love that although this was the first time we’d “actually met” it just felt like old friends getting together. Our two hours weren’t nearly long enough!

platter 1  SO MUCH GOOD FOOD! 

We gobbled up our feast and I still had plenty of yummy leftovers to serve my family for dinner that night. I’ve all ready got another batch of injera fermenting!

teff love

Visit Kittee Berns at her blog: Cake Maker to the Stars.

Read more about Kittee’s love affair with Ethiopian food here.

Purchase your own copy of Teff Love: Adventures in Vegan Ethiopian Cooking!

Or, for a chance to win a copy of Teff Love, simply leave a comment on this post below. The winner will be chosen at random on March 11th! U.S. Residents only please! Good luck! ❤

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155 comments

  1. This book looks like a lot of fun to experiment with! I’m crossing my finger, toes, and eyes until I win!

  2. I can’t believe how good that food looks. I am now starving. And I don’t want to wait. I want that food and I want it now!!!!!!

  3. I’ve just tried Ethiopian food and loved what I have tried so far. I would love to explore this enticing cuisine some more

  4. i just read about this cookbook today in my local, “alternative paper.” The first thing that caught my attention was teff – I’ve been looking for the grain (or is it a seed) for several months at various groceries near me but with no luck. Guess I’ll have to order it online. I used to make it for my babies when they were ready for a cereal/porridge. Anyway, I’m studying Ayurveda these days and it seems like a good complimentary cookbook that would go well with some of the Ayurvedic principles around food. Plus the cover is gorgeous! Looking forward to buying it…. if I don’t win the giveaway, that is!

    1. Hi Janet! How cool that you recently read about this! About finding teff: I can get teff at several local grocery stores, even at Walmart, but smaller grocers carry it too. It’s usually found in the gluten free section of the store, most commonly you can find the Bob’s Red Mill bags. My health food store also has it in bulk bins. Ordering online is easy though if it’s really not available! Good luck!

  5. I would love to have you Ethiopian cookbook in my collection. The only time I enjoy Ethiopian food is when my adventurous friend will join me. I really enjoy the cuisine & yours looks delicious.

  6. I haven’t had a lot of Ethiopian foods…but I have teff…and I love it! Awesome sounding book an Drecipes…drOOlimg!

  7. So looking forward to trying these recipes..hopefully I will be able to get this cookbook soon..peace and live healthy

  8. We’ve been doing vegan Ethiopian food for months but her method for injera is definitely going to be tried in our kitchen! This cookbooks looks really exciting; I’m always on the lookout for new injera recipes and ever more uses for delicious teff.

  9. Ethiopian is one of my favorite cuisines! I like how creative she gets with the flavors and using them in non ethiopian foods. Anytime I go out for ethiopian I bring back all the injera and use it for anything from wraps to PB and J’s! I should really learn to make my own.

    1. I adore the fusion recipes! So much fun! Now that I’ve mastered injera, I’ll be doing the same as you and using it for everything! It’s so good! The method in the book is perfect!

  10. Wow, how great is it that you two got to hang out! I’m super excited about this book. I’m a long time Kittee fan and got her Ethiopian Zines a long time ago. Really looking forward to the book!

    1. It was so wonderful! Kittee is such an amazingly sweet and generous person. I’m lucky to be her friend. I missed out on all the zines, so I’m really grateful to have this cookbook!

  11. Thank you for the review and congrats to Kittee, whose blog I’ve been following for a while. It’s awesome stuff

  12. I just made injera for the first time a few nights ago. It was great! I’d love to get this cookbook so I could learn more Ethiopian dishes

  13. OMG!! I LOVE teff but i’ve never cooked with it! I have to get my fix at Queen of Sheba, our “local” (i.e. ONLY 45 minutes away from my house) Ethiopian restaurant. This would be an amazing way to experiment and get some of my favorite flavors regularly! SO EXCITED!

  14. I’m excited to try these recipes, win or lose. I haven’t had Ethiopian food since an International Fair at UMASS Amherst a million years ago.

  15. Yum, my mouth is watering now, have to go cook something thing now. I have never had Ethiopian food, looks like I really missing out.

  16. I have only recently adopted a vegan lifestyle (6 months) , and now can’t imagine any other way of eating!! I have only ever eaten Ethiopian food in restaurants. The spices used are wonderful!

  17. I just started learning how to bake with Teff flour & I love it. I have a super duper limited diet & haven’t been able to eat out much since people don’ t really understand, most the time they think I just don’t like items & put it in anyway. I love Ethiopian food & will have to check this book out & start making Ethiopian food at home 🙂

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