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! ❤

155 comments

  1. Oh my! I’ve never had the pleasure of trying Ethiopian food, and now I can’t wait. Everything looks delicious. I actually have teff flour in my pantry. Not sure why I bought it, but now I can put it to use. Thanks for sharing your experience and those great pics!

  2. We go to a local Ethiopian restaurant here in Austin for all of our special occasions. I would love to go more often, but we have a tendency to overindulge because we just can’t help ourselves. (Half an hour later, it feels like all that injera is expanding in my belly!) Maybe if I learned to make these flavors in my own kitchen, we wouldn’t be so inclined to gorge!

  3. I have never had Ethiopian food but it all looks fabulous. It’s so much fun to actually meet our internet friends in real life!

  4. Never tried Ethiopian food – the colors are amazing! I would love to have thus cookbook as an introduction , thank you!

  5. This looks like such an awesome cookbook! I’ve not venture into Ethiopian cuisine much beyond a peanut curry and injera at a local restaurant so this book will be much welcomed to my library!

  6. I have never tried Ethiopian food before,but I am always open to try new cuisine,especially from other countries.

  7. When I first saw this cookbook going around the internet recently I thought, “Wow, I bet that stuff’s super complicated!” I’ve never even had Ethiopian cuisine, but after reading this it doesn’t seem nearly as intimidating. And it looks SO delicious. I’m sold! 🙂

    1. Amber, it’s not complicated! I promise, if you can follow a recipe, you can make any of this food. Kittee explains everything so well! Plus tons of easy and familiar type foods as well.

  8. Beautiful photography as always, Somer, and look at that impressive spread! This makes me want to run to the kitchen and start another batch of injera batter!

  9. Many thanks for putting together such a mezcla of beautiful recipes! Ethiopian food is simple, delicious and nourishing and I am grateful for a potential chance to win a copy of this brilliant cookbook. Keep creating and inspiring! Cheers! Liz

  10. I’m not sure if my previous comment posted so I will restate it. It is such a pleasure to have come across such a mezcla of ethiopian creations. Ethiopian food is so nourishing, simple and delicious. I look forward to having a potential chance at winning a copy of this cookbook. Keep creating and inspiring. Many thanks! Cheers. Liz

  11. Yumyumyumyumyum! I have tons of options for Ethiopian food here in DC. I can stop by a shop on my way home and pick up ingredients like berbere, lentils, yellow peas, etc. So far, though, my own attempts at making Ethiopian food at home have been just okay. This cookbook will teach me how to make my own vegan stews that taste like the restaurants’! I’ll probably keep buying my injera, though. (…mouth watering now…)

  12. I have her last zine, and I haven’t used it nearly enough, beyond my attempt at making the Injera fake outs! I just discovered a little hole-in-the-wall Ethiopian market by my office, so I’d love to get more into exploring Ethiopian flavors!

  13. Yum! Injera!!!! It all looks amazing. I love Ethiopian food and have wanted to make it at home for a long time, but wasn’t sure I could get it right.

  14. When Nick and I lived in LA, we lived about 1/2 a mile from Little Ethiopia. It became an obsession of mine to try all the food. It was amazing! And the smells, oh the smells….. I would use the s@&t out of this cookbook. 😉

  15. We had Ethiopian food for Christmas this year (before the book came out but AFTER I had pre-ordered it), and it was excellent. This is perfect celebration food. Now I have the book, and every recipe I have made so far has been splendid. If I win the book, I know JUST WHO I will give it to as a gift! And, I would also love to meet Kittee. She has helped me in the kitchen for many years now.

  16. Love that you have introduced me to different foods . . . been wanting to try Ethiopian but just didn’t know where to start. My berbere spice is soooooo hot – will get the imported you recommended. Now, if only I had this cookbook 🙂

    1. Jackie! I made the same mistake when I first started testing the recipes! My mouth was on fire! Haha! Imported Berbere is so much more delicious! Good luck on the win!

  17. I love ethnic food, but I haven’t been very adventurous in trying new cuisines in my kitchen. It would be great to learn how to cook Ethiopian food for some interesting new flavor at dinner!

  18. Curious about this book, especially seeing that it’s not just Ethiopian, but rather inspired by the cuisine

  19. This cookbook looks amazing! It makes me want to try everything and feel good about eating it. Thank you for such a wonderful giveaway 🙂 Even if I don’t get selected will definitely purchase this jewel.

  20. My mouth is watering. The food is so beautifully presented. I have never had Ethiopian food and I can’t wait to try it. 🙂

  21. Ordered a copy of the book just wanted to say your injera looks awesome, I have tried before but didn’t come out as nice as yours. can’t wait to find out (from the book) what we did wrong.

  22. Those pictures are beautiful, my mouth is watering. I would love to win this book and be able to cook this delicious food for friends.

  23. There used to be an Ethiopian restaurant in our area but it’s been at least a couple of decades since it closed. I’d love to try these recipes here at home.

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